Classic Christianity – Call-In Bob George p401 (12-20-18)
Welcome to Classic Christianity Radio with Bob George. Today we are pleased to present a special radio show, featuring call in listeners from Bob’s original People to People daily radio program that was on the air for over 30 years, offering real answers for real life problems as he addresses common questions as well as the tough issues of today, directing callers to the centrality of Christ in you, the only hope of glory. Let’s now join Bob George as he offers practical biblical insights as he helps people experience faith, hope and love in Jesus Christ.
Anesto from El Paso, Texas called to get clarity on eternal security. He was being misled by improper understanding of Ananias and Sapphira’s unusual death recorded in the book of Acts, what he had read concerning fallen angels and Satan, and what he had read in Revelation in regards to remaining faithful to the end lest your name be taken out of the book of life. Randy, from Denver, Colorado called out of deep depression as he explained his marital separation from his wife and his financial difficulties. Debra from Houston, Texas called to ask about how to live the Christian life and had another question in regards to forsaking the assembly from what is called church today as she was experiencing guilt for not going to church.
Anesto from El Paso TX
Anesto says he believes in eternal security but then he was hearing things that he did not know how to answer. Friends of his evidently had challenged him on his claim of eternal security. The question was raised, “Look at what happened to Ananias and Sapphira”? If one reads the account of Ananias and Sapphira, then one must conclude they were not really born again. They were professors but not possessors of eternal life. The attitude of their heart was to get recognition of men. They were playing church for their own recognition from men but not for the glory of God. Bob made reference to the scriptures where Jesus did many miraculous signs but then said to many in the crowd who followed him to not seek for food that spoils but seek food that can never spoil or fade.
23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. 25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.
26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
These people who saw the miraculous signs said they believed in his name, but did they come to Jesus for Jesus, out of a changed heart? No, they came to Jesus for what they could get. So even though people say they believe in his name or say they love God or say they are a Christian, they are not born again spiritually. In John 2:23-25 above, notice the transition word, “but” where Jesus would not entrust himself to men for he knew what was in a man. In other words, they did not come to him for spiritual life, but only temporal life, things of this world. They were darkened in their understanding of their real need of a savior from sin and the grace and love God offers in His Son. As Bob paraphrased what was Jesus was saying, “You are not coming to me for me. You are coming to me for food (John 6:26-27 – after the miraculous feeding of 5000). You are not coming to get life but to get something from me”. People can say “I believe in him” but Jesus initiates and completes salvation and they did not respond to God’s offer of salvation in Him.
The same thing with Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5. They proclaimed they knew God and they boasted of what they did for God so as to gain recognition among men, and deceived many as to their intentions. But Peter showed discernment into their hearts, particularly when it became known that they lied and held back part of the money they had boasted of giving. Some people claim that God zapped them. Bob believes that the more logical explanation is they died of a heart attack, after their heart of wickedness was exposed. Ananias and Sapphira were professors but not possessors of eternal. They were not saved.
Anesto then reported another remark he had heard. What about the “Fallen angels and Satan, they lost their salvation”? The angels and Satan, also known as Lucifer, were never saved to begin with. They chose to disobey God due to pride, unrighteousness found in them, so God cast Lucifer, or Satan, and a third of the angels who followed Satan, out of heaven.
17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
18 He [Jesus] replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Anestos also mentioned that he heard that if the “faithful do not remain faithful to the end, their name will be taken out of the book of life”.
He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
1 John 5:4
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
From these verses alone, the one who overcomes is the one who is born of God, born again spiritually, a believer. The moment he believes his name is written in the book of life and he will never be cast out. When someone’s name is placed in the book of life then his name will never be taken out. How can someone be in the book of life, if it is just a book of life today and a book of death tomorrow?
Bob also replied by saying that the scripture he was referencing, presumably Revelation 2:10, is not referring to a believer but a reference to the nation of Israel. That passage is not to us at all. Furthermore, “faithful to the end” in this passage has nothing to do with salvation.
10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.
Bob then shares more fully what salvation really is. Salvation is life.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
In that life, in Him, in His resurrected life, we have forgiveness. Where is that forgiveness found? In Him! In Him, we have forgiveness, redemption, justification and eternal life. It is not my salvation but His. He said “never will I leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
We were not born alive spiritually but at a moment in time accepted His life. Jesus is a guarantee of a better convent and an eternal inheritance. How can you have eternal inheritance if it is a temporal inheritance? If you have come to Him for life, then what would be the only thing for that life to depart from you? Sin was what caused the Spirit of God to leave Adam. Sin was also what caused the Spirit to leave the body of Jesus? For our sins, not his, for he had none. Why can’t sin cause life to depart from you? Where are all those sins? Taken away, not covered, at the cross. The reason you have life eternal is because of the cross, taking away what caused death, which is sin. Without the cross, then if you received life, then the next time you sinned, you would die again, for sin is the cause of death and so without the cross, you would be dead again. The cross took away the what caused death, which is sin.
Many doubt salvation because they only think of salvation as getting sins forgiven. Salvation is far more than getting sins forgiven.
For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
It is important to understand this truth. I am not a person who gets redemption. I am a redeemed person. That is a part of my identity. I am not a person who gets forgiven. I am a forgiven person. I am not a person who gets justified. I have already been justified. If I lose any one of those things, then I lose my total identity. I am not a person who gets eternal life, but I am a person who has eternal life, Christ in me who is eternal life.
1 John 5:12
Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
Salvation is not something you get. It is something you got.
The more we know about Him and His love, we are drawn to the heart of God. This grace of God teaches us to walk in his path.
It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
Randy from Denver, Colorado
Randy, is really struggling with depression and in how to reach out to his wife so as to be with her and help her. As Randy shares information, Bob continues to ask more questions to discern his situation. Oh, such heart-wrenching information to hear indeed. Randy is very open and such an honorable man. He continues to share details about his separation from his wife, her cancer and short time to live, and a great financial weight on his shoulders, potentially losing his home where his wife lives without him. The greatest need is to be restored to his wife. As Bob shared, there are always ways out, consolidation of debt and other practical ways out, in the material things of life. The more difficult and challenging issue is restoring the relationship with his wife. He encouraged Randy to do what he could to have a heart to heart talk with his wife, to tell her to put aside her playing games, that he loves her, and since he is his wife, he has an obligation to meet her needs, which he is already doing and more than willing to do. The real unanswered question is if she is willing. Bob encouraged Randy to appeal to his wife to live back together under one home in whatever remaining years she has left, and this is not a matter of having pity on her, but before God he has an obligation to meet her needs, to cherish and love her, in sickness and in health. Bob also addressed Randy’s struggle with depression. The reason someone is depressed is because they are thinking negative thoughts. As difficult and as natural as it is to be depressed, the only way that works to overcome depression is to replace what you are thinking about with truth. Instead of dwelling on present circumstances, projecting the unknown future of seemingly unending hopelessness, he encouraged him to ponder over the following scriptures. He encouraged him to think about those things that are always true – God’s love and provision. In your weakest moment, Jesus Christ is there and has always been and will continue to be there for you.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Debra from Houston, Texas
After Debra said that we have been reconciled to God through accepting forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ, Debra asked “How does God expect us to worship and serve him from that understanding to the time we physically die?”
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,
The same faith to believe in Christ to be born again is the same faith exercised in your daily walk in Him. For us to believe in the first place is walking by faith.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him
Without faith it is impossible to please God. It is a step of faith to believe the message of the gospel, that he died for me and rose again from the dead for me. When you heard the message of this offer to give you new life, you accepted that new life and he did what he said and took up residence in you. We grow in understanding by the Holy Spirit living in you, who teaches you spiritual truth. Only the Spirit in you can interpret spiritual things. Spiritual truth has to be discerned spiritually.
1 Corinthians 2:14
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.
The Spirit is interpreting truth to my head and heart. So when I believe truth then I am growing. Listening to truth of the word of God and then you believe the truth revealed to you by the Spirit living in you. And when you believe something you act on it. No one has to tell you how to act when you believe something. If someone tells you there is an ice cream truck coming around the corner and you want ice cream and you believe what he said because he likes ice cream too, then you believe him and you run with him to get the ice cream. If someone told you to invest money and he never lies and you believe him, you act on that belief in what he said, being an honest and intelligent man, and so you invest money as he said. In a similar way, when we hear the voice of God through His word, and believe the message of truth that changes hearts and live, we act on such truth and walk in new freedom. That is the walk of faith that shows forth in conduct as God initiates and we respond to the truth He tells us.
Debra had a second follow up question. She asked what it means to forsake the assembly of yourself because she was being confronted by a fellow believer as she had not been going to church. Her friend shared an illustration with her to appeal to her to go to church. Her friend said “You really need to be in church with other hot coals to be on fire for God.” Debra said she has not found a church. Every church she attended interprets the bible differently. She also said she feels guilty on Sunday when she washes her car beside being in a physical structure called church. Bod responded by saying that a church is not a building, but you, a child of God, are the church whom the Holy Spirit dwells. Fellowship with other believers so as to be encouraged by one another is a valid reason to want to be with other like-minded believers. But Bob said that church today is reduced to activity in a building.
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