Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P476 (9-26-19)
Tom from Louisville, KY
Tom: A friend of mine, a pastor of a church I go to, is not resting in the finality of the cross. From a passage in Hebrews chapter 3 where it says if we hold firmly to the end, the confidence we have at first, where he is trying to tell men you can lose your salvation. What does it mean to hold on firmly to the end?
14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.
Bob: The solution to biblical interpretation is context. What is the context of the first three chapters of Hebrews? It is about the superiority of Christ in contrast to the things the Jews are holding onto. He is superior to the angels. He is superior to Moses. He is superior to Abraham. He is God Himself. He is gearing us toward a rest, and that is coming up in chapter 4. That is the the Sabbath rest He wants us to enter into.
Bob: You know that you have the story of the Jews who were in Egypt. They got in the desert. That could represent salvation. Then you have another story of entering the promised land. You are drinking from wells you did not dig and eating from trees you did not plant. You are entering into a rest which you cannot do in Egypt. You are out of Egypt, saved but you are not resting. You are no longer in the desert, but you are not resting.
Bob: In translations into English from the Greek, the if has different meanings and has to be understood in context. In the Greek language you have an “if” translated into English. When Satan tempted Jesus, he said, “if you are the Son of God, then turn these stones to bread”. It is not using “if”, saying, “if you are God”. It is an “if” saying in the light of the fact you are the Son of God, turn these stones into bread. There is another “if” that is conditional. “If you do, he will. If you don’t, he won’t”. This is an “if” that means “in as much as”.
Bob: We come to share in Christ in light of the fact that we hold onto firmly the confidence we had at first. If you do not hold firmly to the confidence you had at first, then you will not continue sharing in the first. You are saved, but you are still in the desert. If you want to share in Christ with confidence, then He wants you to have confidence in the end of your life as you did at the beginning of your spiritual life. You are never going to do that when you are not resting. The only way you are ever going to have confidence is by getting out of the desert. The desert is where you work. The promised land is where you rest.
Bob: Why are you resting? By faith, you know that you are a forgiven person. You know that you are a redeemed person. You know that you are a justified person. You know what your destiny is. As far as God is concerned you are already seated in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus. That is all a part of who you are. I can rest in that. I do not have to work at that. I cannot add to what God has done. I certainly do not want to subtract from it. I can rest in that.
Bob: The only way I am going to continue to share, not dealing with salvation, but just to share in that relationship with Christ is to enter into a rest. If you are in the desert wondering if you can rest or not, then you cannot rest. So this whole deal is pointing us toward what Joshua did, which was to lead the Jews into the promised land, which Moses could not dd and did not do. So this is not dealing with salvation and losing salvation. This is dealing to continue in your understanding of Christ so you can rest with Him and enter that Sabbath rest.
Bob: Tom, anyone who believes you can lose your salvation does not know what salvation is. Salvation is life. In other words, you are not saved by the death of Christ. You are saved by the life of Christ. What are you saved from? You are saved from the wages of sin, which is death, by the gift of God, which is 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?”
Bob: Christ came to offer us life.
21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.
1 John 5:12
12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
Bob: The whole issue of salvation is life and death. What kind of life did He give us, temporal life or eternal life? Eternal life. In order to give eternal life, you have to have eternal forgiveness. For if you did not have eternal forgiveness, you cannot have eternal life. A person who says you can lose life is looking into the face of Jesus and saying you can lose what is eternal. Now, if your only understanding of salvation is having your sins forgiven then you can get to the point that you can out-sin the cross. There is no way to have eternal life to lose what is eternal. So someone who says you can lose salvation does not know what salvation is.
Tom: But the way that passage is written, it is like a double “if”. It says, “if only we hold onto our first confidence ”
Bob: That is the confidence we are talking about. Again, Tom, context. You are already out of Egypt. It is whether you are going to rest or not, whether you are out of the desert. The people who are teaching what you are hearing are not resting. They are in the desert.
Tom: So what does it mean by being in partnership?
Bob: If you are not resting in the completeness of the work, you will not lose your salvation. You just will not have any joy.
Michelle from Washington, D.C.
Michelle: You can certainly have dreams today, but do they have any meaning?
1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.
Bob: Whenever you have a “but” you have a contrast. In the past God spoke to us this way, but in these last days God has spoken to us by His Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. Everything God wants you to know about Himself has been revealed in Jesus, not in dreams and not in visions. You can have dreams but they do not have any bearing as far as God is concerned.
Frank from Sacramento, CA
In Matthew 10:28, we read, “do not fear those who kill the body but fear the one who can kill the body and send you to hell”. Who is he talking about? God?
28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Bob: Read it in context. The same passage is also in Luke.
1 Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 3 What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.
4 “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Bob: There are only two people that can throw you into hell. One is God and one is Satan. When God is talking about those who destroy the body, that would not be God but that is talking about those controlled by Satan. But fear Him who after killing of the body, has the power to throw you into hell. That would be God. That is who is being talked about there.
Frank: Can Satan kill a person physically?
Bob: No, but he can use people to do so. What is going on in the Satanic Muslim faith, who believe God is pleased with them for killing Jews and Christians, Satan obviously has control of those people’s minds. I do not know any one in their right mind who would be thinking their god wants to kill people, or wipe people off the face of the earth, regardless of who they are. Satan uses people to do his dirty work. Satan used Judas to try to stop the program of Jesus Christ.
Frank: I was a soldier in the army for three years. If I killed somebody in combat, would I be guilty of murder?
Bob: That is a different matter. Those are things you are defending that you need to defend for a country to remain a country of freedom, for a country right now where religious freedom is there. That is protecting your country and your right to protect your country to be able to worship openly. But there are some people who have an aversion to killing in combat, who say, “I am a Christian and therefore I am a conscientious objector”. So the Army has provision for that. You will come into service, as all people will, but you will not be required to go into combat. You will be put into the medical corps or something like that. So they do not tell that you have to carry a weapon and go into combat. You have to follow your conscience on that.
Larry from Jonestown, NY
Larry: Thank you for everything you are doing for those Christians who are in bondage.
Bob: Thank you, Larry. I am glad the Word ministers into your heart.
Larry: On the topic of law and grace, a particular situation happened with a minister whose wife left him. He tried to hold the family together. He waited many seasons for her to come back. Meantime, he was raising his family and keeping them in church. To the best of his ability, he was raising them in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Does that mean his life was not in order?
Bob: Obviously his house was not in order. There are always two sides to any story. But what you explained there, one of the popular ministers in America, the same thing happened. His wife left him. A woman finds themselves in the role of a pastor’s wife, and she really does not like that role. Being the wife of a pastor is a calling from God. If you do not have that calling, then it can be a miserable existence for you. She cannot live up to those expectations. That does happen in Christianity.
Bob: The issue is when talking about household being in order. It would be your wife or your children. We cannot determine the decision of a mate. If a wife decides she does not want to be married to a pastor, then she has chosen to leave. Or it possibly could be she is not even a Christian. I can name hundreds of examples where that is true.
Bob: What he has to do is do what he is doing. He is raising their children in the admonition of the Lord. I wish the best for him and for understanding of the congregation. He is going through circumstances that will put more compassion in his heart than he has ever had in his entire ministry. He will understand what this passage means.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
Bob: A very traumatic thing a pastor has to go through when that occurs. But he will be able to reach out with compassion with the same compassion he receives from God, the God of all comfort.
Larry: He should not be asked to stop pastoring, to step down, correct?
Bob: No, I do not believe so at all. I do not think a congregation should ask a pastor to step down. If a pastor is called by God then he should be the leader of the church. He should not be run by a committee. He is called to be a leader of the deacons and elders. You leave those decisions in the hands of the pastor. He is the one who is sensitive to God. If he isn’t, then he should not be in the pulpit. If he feels he cannot adequately minister to people with that, then he is the one who is to say, “I cannot do this anymore”.
Bob: This was the same thing with a pastor on television. He did not feel God was calling him to step down because of the decision of his wife. People are still growing in the knowledge of the grace of God from his teaching.
Larry: They are not looking at the grace factor. They are looking at law but we are not under law anymore. We saw that he is doing a great job. He is still reaching out and touching people.
Bob: This is what happens in church settings. You have deacons and elders and they start running the church. They are not supposed to be running the church. The pastor is. When that is not the case, the pastor is on thin ice, wondering if he will get fired or not. That should be in reverse. He should be griping on them, and not vice versa. We got this whole thing in reverse. When you are in charge of the church, you are in charge of the church. When you are misusing that privilege, then you will know that and God will know that. God will reveal that to the man.
Larry: In our church, we also have a lot of women in charge.
Bob: There are repercussions of that.
Bob: Let us wish him the best and pray for him. Let him know you support him. Let not this get out of hand. A challenge needs to be made: “Are we in charge of this guy or is the pastor to be in charge?”. From the scriptures, we are to love our wives as Christ loves the church, and the head of the c church is Christ and after that, the pastor is to be in the leadership role. I do not know how you can lead when someone else is in control.
Wayne from New Orleans, LA
Wayne: I am saved for over 30 years, and from trying to interpret the scriptures, I always wondered about the rapture, whether it occurs pre-tribulation or mid-tribulation and what your views are? Is it heretical to believe in mid-tribulation?
Bob: No, I am prepared for whenever it will occur. I am prepared for what will probably occur in my life prior to when any one of those occurs, which is my physical death, where I will be absent from the body and present with the Lord, and not have to worry about the rapture. So whether I meet Him at the rapture or meet Him at my death, that is all God is interested in, and that is I will meet Him.
Bob: Do I believe the rapture takes place before the tribulation? Absolutely because the bible tells us we are not meant to go through the tribulation. The issue is, is it heretical to not believe that? No. I believe that is the accurate way of understanding those things, but there are many people who disagree. So I agree to disagree.