Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P474 (9-19-19)
Rainey from Albany, NY
Rainey: I am reading Classic Christianity, and calling the number at the end of the book. I am dealing with depression. I have had a very difficult childhood, with divorce. I thought I got over most of the stuff. I was always religious, a Catholic growing up, and thought I would become a nun. I think anti-depressants help. I get messages that I do not have enough faith.
Bob: Let me see if I can help you. If you have depression, I can help you with that. Psychiatric patients are like that because they are obsessed with the past or the future. The first thing you have to understand is that God created you that our feelings will predictably respond to what you are thinking. As an example, “Have you ever felt the emotion of jealousy? What were you thinking? Jealous thoughts. That is why we are feeling thoughts of jealousy. Are we together?
Rainey: Yes. It is hard to keep a thought from entering.
Bob: Have you ever felt sad? Have you ever felt happy? What were you thinking? Happy thoughts. Have you ever felt anxiety? What were you thinking? Anxious thoughts. You were made that way by God. There is no way you are going to change that. You do not have feeling problems called depression. You have thinking problems. What you are thinking is depressing thoughts and that is why you are depressed. As an example, you can go to a scary movie and get the daylights scared out of you. Why? You were looking at scary sights through the eye gate and hearing scary sounds through your ear gate, and your dumb emotions did not know whether you were in a movie theater or in a shower with Psycho. Your emotions were just responding to what you were seeing and hearing. You are designed that way by God. There is nothing unusual about that or about being depressed. Otherwise, why would God say, “Do not be anxious or depressed about anything”.
5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Bob: Now, He did not say come to Prosac. He said, “Come unto me”. When we do not know the Lord or that He is sufficient for life and has given you everything for life and godliness, then what do you have to overcome depression? No pill will stop depression. It may numb you for the day or hour or however long it lasts. The only cure to our problem is the renewal of your mind.
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Bob: God says to renew your mind. Eli Lilly says to alter your mind. So the issue is, Who are you going to believe, God or a drug company? We are sucked into the thinking of the world in numerous things, not just things of depression, that God has to give us wisdom from the word of God. You can find information in books but you are going to find wisdom from the word of God.
Bob: What you have is thinking problems. You expressed to me some reasons for your thinking problems, things of your past. You have been through some tough times, all in the past, and you start thinking on those things. You can only feel something right now. You cannot feel something yesterday or tomorrow, but you think of all the things that happen to you for the last thirty plus years. Your emotions do not know what is going on. Your emotions respond predictably to what you are putting in your mind. Then you can fantasize about what will happen in the future. Your emotions do not know whether it is going on or whether you are thinking it is going on. It just predictably responds to what you are putting in your mind. That is why you can make yourself an emotional basket-case today, and ruin the only thing you have, which is today, by a preoccupation with the past or a preoccupation, or fantasizing, about the future. That is precisely why the Lord Jesus tells us to live one day at a time. Why? That is the only way you can live with joy. So it is totally renewing our mind with truth.
32 “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Bob: Jesus said, “I am that truth” and “when the Son of man sets you free you are free indeed”.
It is not unusual to be thinking about all the bad things that happened to you in your past. We are all capable of that. That is why Jesus tells us to stop doing it. Why? It will destroy you. Your emotions do not know whether it is going on or whether it did go on. They are just responding to what you are thinking. And what you are thinking can only happen now. Do you see how all this is working together?
Rainey: This is similar to what friend of mine is saying. But it kind of makes me feel like I have not enough faith. The one who gave me this book is a Christian psychologist, who is treating me. I am having a hard time trusting her for she is of that field who lie.
Bob: Well, she is not lying if she is leading people to Christ.
Rainey: But she is explaining to me how anti-depressants are a tool like vaccines to help mankind.
Bob: She is dealing with something she herself does not know. Nobody knows the mind. They keep equating it with diabetes. You can take a test to determine you have diabetes. But you cannot take a test to prove you have depression. You have to get out of that realm altogether.
Bob: The issue is this. Are you going to believe man or are you going to believe God? What I shared with you is not from man. That came from God. God taught that. God tells us to live a day at a time. He tells us feelings follow our thoughts. You do not have to be a genius to figure that out. You can observe humanity to see that to be true. When Jesus says to not be conformed to the pattern of this world and to be transformed by the renewing of your mind, then do you believe Him or are you going to believe some man. Again, it depends on whether you really have a relationship with Christ or not.
Bob: For being a Catholic does not mean you are saved any more than being a Protestant or being a Jew means you are saved. You are saved when you recognize what the bible says about you and about his solution to you. What the bible says is two things you have to understand about yourself. First of all you are a sinner. We should not have a problem recognizing that. The second thing He told you is that the wages, or consequence of sin, is death. You and I are not born into this world alive spiritually. We are born dead spiritually and in need of spiritual life. I am a sinner and there is a consequence to sin called death. If we recognize what the bible says about us, what Jesus has told you and me about us, then He is going to explain the solution to that. He went to a cross to take away the sins of the entire world.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:19
19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.
He took our sins away from the eyes of God never to see them again. Having done that, he has cleared the deck for the divine action for bringing life to the dead. What is the meaning of his cross? Taking away the sins of the entire world. What is the meaning of the resurrection? He entered into your death with you, so being raised from the dead, you can enter into his resurrection with Him. The meaning of the resurrection is this. It is where you and I receive spiritual life, restoring in us what was lost in Adam, that being the Spirit of God living in us. We are not born with the Spirit of God living in us. We are born on our own. We have the ability to choose the resurrected life of Christ Jesus, to receive that life in our hearts, which makes us alive spiritually.
That is why Jesus said this.
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
The whole message of Jesus is the message of life.
24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
1 John 5:12
12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
Bob: Until we come to Him, not just to come for forgiveness, because you are already forgiven. You were born forgiven. That forgiveness that was provided then is only received in His resurrection. When you have come to Him for His life, then He lives in you, and you have the ability, because you have the mind of Christ, to be taught the wisdom of God and to understand the meaning of it. Before you come to Christ you are called natural man who cannot understand the things of God. It sounds foolishness to him. When you come to Christ, you have the ability to understand the truth that is in the word of God. That is where the renewing of the mind comes in. And the renewing of the mind is what sets you free.
1 Corinthians 2:14-16
14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,
“Who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?”
But we have the mind of Christ.
Bob: You cannot have the mind renewed until you are born again. Where all this starts is in the born again experience. Have you come to the point in your life where you understood the fullness of the gospel, where you understood what God says about you and what He said about His solution for you? You said to the Lord that you believe this and because you believed this, you asked the Lord to come into your heart to be your Lord and Savior. You literally asked the Lord to come to live inside you.
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Bob: Until that occurs you will never be able to get over things like depression because you do not have Him in you to renew your mind. Have you come to know Christ in the way we have talked about or are you still in the process?
Rainey: I have always known Christ.
Bob: No, that is an impossibility. No one is born a Christian. Everyone has a time in life when they understand what I just explained. I guarantee you did not understand that as a kid. When you understand the first time in your life, that you are a sinner, and there is a consequence to that sin called death, and the only solution to death is life and the only life available to you is the resurrected life of Christ Jesus.
20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
Bob: He is standing at the door of your heart and knocking and is saying to you, “if you hear My voice and open the door I will come into you”. That does not happen by being a member of a church or born into a certain denomination. It happens individually.
17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
Bob: Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God, by hearing the truth of the word of God and responding to that by faith. The only thing that pleases God is faith. There is a point in time in history you were born physically. There also is a point in time you were born spiritually. It does not happen by osmosis. It happens at a point in time in history. Do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that that step has been taken?
Bob: Have you accepted by faith the resurrected life of Christ Jesus in your life and He lives there?
Bob: Praise God for that. If that is true, then you have the ability to discern spiritual things. The spiritual man can understand all things. Why? Spiritual things have to be discerned spiritually. You now have the wherewithal to discern spiritual because the Spirit of God lives in you. You are prepared to receive the wisdom of God. That is what is going to set you free. That is why you need your mind renewed on the word of God. God says to forget the past and press on to the high calling of Christ Jesus.
13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Bob: You cannot change anything that ever happened to you, can you? No. You also do not have a clue about tomorrow. That is God’s country there. So praise God today. God says, “You are my child” I am no longer a Presbyterian or Baptist. God gave me that. I am no longer a Catholic or Protestant. I am a child of the living God. God has given me everything I need, in Christ, for life and godliness. So I am going to start there and build on that foundation. God did not call me to be a depressed person. He called me to walk in the newness of life. He called me to experience the fruit of the Spirit. Love, joy, and peace should be on display, not depression.
Rainey: I do understand the things you are saying. I go to a Christian support group, all dealing with depression. All these people have accepted Christ too. In my 20’s I wanted all depression to be over. I thought at one time I was supposed to be a nun. I realized now it was me not being forgiven of a lot of things. When I started dating in my late 20’s, which is later for most people, but when all these things did not go away, I got angry at God for I trusted Him to heal me of my past. So this abandonment issues I had, I am back to point of asking why? So simply forget. Does God just want me to be alone? I read that God puts lonely in families.
Bob: He never called a person to be a nun or a priest. He is calling you unto Himself and then He sends them where He wants them to be. Nobody is called. That is one of the misconceptions people have. Before I was saved, I thought I was called to be a pastor. No, I was not called to be a pastor. I was being called unto Jesus. So we get into these problems because we do not know the word of God. If you do not know the word of God, you will not get your mind renewed. You will not get your mind renewed sitting around in a group talking about your problems.
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ
Bob: You are no longer under law. You are under grace. Grace is grace. Grace is not the law. You cannot be under law and grace at the same time. Do not tell me everybody knows that. I am telling you, very few people know that. Very few people know that you are under a brand new covenant. Most people do not even know what a new covenant is. Most people do not know you are saved by His life. They think you are saved by his death. So we keep dealing with sin, sin, sin instead of life, life, life. I am saying things to you that are deeper things of God that are contrary to what is taught out in Christianity today. I think you are reading a book that will help you with that. But in the final analysis, you have to get in the bible and let Him renew your mind.
Bob: This idea that we are all Christians here, but we are all sitting around depressed makes no sense to me. If you are all Christians, then quit being depressed. You are children of God. You know where you go when you die. Your future is secured. Your past is over. You cannot change it. So get on with your life. There is nothing to be depressed about.
Bob: My wife went to hunger years in Russia. Her mother sold her wedding ring for a piece of bread. She was in the Holocaust, in Hitler’s German camp. They lived like paupers, slaves all her life. And I tell you she is not a depressed person. The reason she is not depressed is she does not sit around dwelling on those things. She is grateful she is in Christ Jesus and that she is a child of the living God. So that is your choice. Forget the past and press on to the high calling in Christ Jesus.
James from Benita, OR
James: Be patient with me. What does it mean to know the love of Christ who lives in me? (It was hard to hear what he was saying, for he was crying with tears, and seemingly distraught.)
Bob: If you are truly born again. I say “But” because I do not know that. Only you know that.
James: Praise God. I know that beyond a doubt.
Bob: When you were born again, what were you born again of?
James: Spirit of God, living in me
Bob: So that life is there. Now, you have the option as to whether you are going to avail yourself of that life or avail yourself of your own life. I used to ask God, “Why did you not just eradicate my flesh”. God replied, If you did not have a sin nature, then you would forget me in a New York minute.
Bob: Your failures are what keeps you dependent on Christ. That does not mean you go and try to fail so you can be dependent. No, you do not have to try to fail because you are going to fail. God says, “your weakness is where my strength is manifested”. You do not have to worry about your weakness or try to fight your weakness. You rejoice in your weakness. That is not what I said. That is what Paul said.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Bob: Rejoice in weakness. Why? It keeps you dependent on Jesus. How do you walk in that? You recognize what you already stated, “He is there. His life lives in you”. He is your only hope of glory. So now the only thing left for you to do is this. Am I going to walk by faith in that truth and to avail myself of what is available to me, His wisdom, His mercy, His kindness and His love, that nothing can separate me from His love, and walk in that truth. It does not matter if the whole world is against you because Christ is for you.
James: The reason it is so hard is because of sin-indwelling flesh?
Bob: Yes, that is true. So any time that voice comes, and it sounds like you, but it is the voice of Satan. If truth is what sets you free, then error is what binds you. Satan does whatever he can to keep you away from that truth. Recognize that source, deny that source, and hold on to the truth of the word of God. Does that help, my brother?
James: Yes. Thanks for being patient with me.
Bob: You are welcome. I am glad that helped you. Feel free to call any time.