Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P622 (04-02-21)
People often ask questions from scripture, and get focused on a word or two in a translation that gets them confused. The key is you hold onto truth in scripture you know are true, and do not let less clear scripture conflict with what you know is true. For if you are in Christ Jesus, you know the gospel you have come to understand and have believed in. Instead, it usually means you need to check it out with another translation and also read more of the passage in its entire context.
An example of that is the passage in 2 Corinthians 5:9-10. Is it really about judgment, as if we are going to be judged, or punished by God, for the bad things we have done in our flesh? No. God already dealt with sin once and for all when He shed His blood on a cross. The gospel has made that clear, where other scriptures clearly reveal that, as in Hebrews, where Jesus promised us that He remembers our sins no more and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
That passage of scripture in 2 Corinthians 5:9-10, is talking about an appraisal, or the receiving of rewards, of hearing God say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant! Come and share in the Father’s happiness”. Those things you do, not in the energy of the flesh, but those things you allow the Holy Spirit to do in you and through you will not be forgotten and will be noticed by the Lord when you see him at the time or some time after the rapture, where you will meet the Lord in the air, as mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.
Sometimes, we as believers can get overly focused on less important matters, and forget about the most important matters of being about the Lord’s will, that is to make our lives available to him and keeping the primary focus that the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. We will not be able to figure out all the nuances of end time events, or what is going on in our country today that we can let us weigh our hearts down if we let it. If we are not careful we can have the same attitude of a lost person wanting to hurry up and get out of this world. A lost might want to commit suicide but we might just want to keep longing for the rapture to hurry up and come. And certainly as things wax worse and worse, as scripture prophecies will happen, there is that tendency to let your love grow cold, which God warns us to be on guard against.
Sometimes, as believers we can also just get all out of sorts on trivial or disputable matters, whether a person celebrates the birth of Christ on a certain day of the week, rather than focusing on the opportunity of that particular holiday to proclaim the gospel message. If we are not careful with what we personally believe on such matters, we can play into the hands of an atheist, who wants to remove any and all resemblance of anything to do with God. Certainly a communist is about destroying Christianity, and we certainly do not want to help them out in doing so. To put it practically, why be concerned about a Jewish Menorah in a delicatessen run by a Jewish person? You would expect that from a Jewish person, and that should not be offensive to you. You certainly would not expect them to have a Buddhist temple. That would be out of character with who they are as Jewish people.
Rather ponder over the wisdom and manner in which Paul shared truth with the Greeks who had all kinds of statues of false gods around. What did he focus on? He focused on the one statue with an inscription to an unknown God. He knew they were living in ignorance, and so he proclaimed to them who the one true God was, and did not go about smashing every one of their idols. If they come to know the one true God, they will just stop paying any attention to the false ones, and they might even smash the ones they made themselves, as they see it as an offense to the one true God.
As Christians we need to discern where people are at. Did a person just come to Christ yesterday out of sin city, such as the people in Corinth the poaslte Paul addressed, where prostitution was rampant everywhere. Look after those whose faith is weak, who are new in Christ, and have not gained understanding of truth, of how to overcome the temptations that so easily cause them. Teach them the truth of how God intended your body to be made for the Lord. The Lord would not want your body to be used in dishonor, in promiscuity. Teach them such basic truth, with tenderness and grace. They already have the Holy Spirit in them, who will also be guiding them along, but their body is weak with all their former habits and thinking patterns, and that all takes time to overcome. The truth shall set you free. Reiterate such truth to them. That God will provide a way of escape, so look for it. God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able to endure, and all such truth that encourages them in knowing their new identity in Christ Jesus, and how to develop a total dependence on God, a walk of faith.
Larry from Sacramento, CA
Larry: Can you read 2 Corinthians 5:9-10 for us?
2 Corinthians 5:9-10
9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment [Bema] seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
Bob: What is your question, Larry?
Larry: It is about judgment. We must all stand before Christ to be judged.
Bob: No, it does not say we must all stand before Christ to be judged. It says we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, which is the Bema seat, which is for all the things we have done in the body, whether good or bad. The Bema seat is still identifiable in Corinth today. There are still the excavations there of a place that still has the designation of a Bema seat on it. It would be the same things as the Olympians that stand to receive their rewards, to get their gold, silver or bronze medal. That would be called the Bema seat back in those days. To be real honest with you, I have not been able to research that out a hundred percent. The people who have said that will be on the day of the rapture, where we will appear before the Bema seat of Christ and receive rewards. As to whether that is the day, I do not know for sure. I should probably check that out some more but it has never been that big of a deal to me.
Bob: Bema is a different word than judgment. That is a different Greek word than has ever been used in there for judgment. It is an appraisal. We will be appraised at the Bema seat. When the works are being appraised, that does not mean if it were not good you will be beaten to death. It just means your works will be appraised, whether you let Christ live His life in and through you or whether you lived your Christian life in the energy of your flesh. Those are the things that will be appraised at the Bema seat, and will be rewarded accordingly.
Larry: As far as good or evil we have done in our bodies, how would that be measured out?
Bob: It will not be, Larry. Your sins have already been through judgment. They were judged at the cross, so there will be no more judgment of your sins. Your sins were all taken away by Christ Jesus. We will never be judged again by our sins. The only sin attributable to man is the sin of the rejection of the Son of God, who came to provide for the mankind of dummies, who are still trying to provide for ourselves. Nevertheless, the world’s sin is unbelief in Jesus.
9 The world’s sin is unbelief in me
Bob: The appraisal of these things will be the things we have done in the body, whether good or bad. That was good what you did, and that other thing was not so good. That was functioning in the flesh. Here you allowed Jesus to live His life in and through you. In other words, it is not sitting there in a judgment of sins. It is an appraisal of your works of whether they were done in the energy of your flesh or whether done through the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 3:11-13
11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.
Larry: But as far as good and evil, that is where I am confused a little bit, as far as where someone will be placed above somebody else. I do not know how that works in heaven.
Bob: You do not have to know how it works. The things we allowed Christ to do in and through us, He will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant”. Those done in the energy of the flesh, that will be rejected as a work to be rewarded. That Bema seat is a place for rewards. Some things will be rewarded and some things will not. It is not that the things that are not rewarded are going to be punished. You have to hang firm in what you know to be true. There is no more judgment for sins.
(Recall the parable of the bags of gold in Matthew 25.)
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
Bob: It has been judged by Christ, and that is the only judgment there is going to be in regard to our sins. The sin of the rejection is the only sin attributable to man, that is the sin of the rejection of Christ Jesus. The works now, when we are saved, having come to faith in Christ Jesus by His death, burial and resurrection, are the things we allow Him to do in and through us. Those will be rewarded at that Bema seat. Those things we have done in the energy of the flesh will be burnt, as wood, hay and stubble.
Larry: Okay. Thank you.
Larry: Another quick question on 2 Corinthians 5:21. I have a translation that I am not really hip on. It is the New Living translation.
2 Corinthians 5:21 (NLT)
21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
Bob: That is not bad. God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. The Living Bible translation is just kind of a paraphrase of what it is. God made him who knew no sin. God made Jesus who had no sin, to be sin for us. How? By him taking upon Himself our sins. So that in Him, in His resurrection, we might become the righteousness of God.
Larry: Maybe I am confused. I have always looked at God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, as they just were. They are one, and so are all God. I am looking at that part where it says God made Christ. I am looking at that as God making him.
Bob: God the Father did. That is the job of God the Father. God the Father made Jesus who had no sin to be sin. How? Was he there to punish you? No. That is the only way the sins of the world can be transferred on someone else except us. If Jesus had not gone to the cross, we would still be in our sin and guilt. The Triune God is the one who had to develop the plan for our salvation. But God the Father is the initiator to carry out everything that was done. That is why Jesus said, “I do not do anything unless the Father told me to do it so He was in total submission of His Father while He was here on earth.
49 For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. 50 I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”
19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.
Larry: So God created Christ?
Bob: No. No. No. He did not create Christ. Christ is God.
Bob: You can complicate anything. It is really not complicated. It is complicated when we try to put flesh and blood on God. God is Spirit. However the Spirit is made up, that is God’s business.
18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
Bob: He put flesh and blood on Jesus while He was here, because that is the only way He could be a substitute for our flesh and blood. All of that was done at the mind of the Triune God. But it was carried out with God in Heaven, God the Father, who was the initiator of everything, in God the Son, in His humanity and in His flesh, did on this earth. He was the initiator of everything Jesus did, and Jesus was the responder. God initiated Jesus to become sin, and all of this was in the mind of the Triune God, before the creation of the world, of knowing full well that man sinned and they will have to provide a way to correct that.
Bob: So all of this was God arranging this to take place. So Jesus went to a cross voluntarily. God sent Him there. That is why He cried out, “Not my will, but Your will be done. If there is any way to do this without me becoming sin, do it, yet it is not my will, but your will be done”. Who is the initiator? The Father. Who is the responder? Jesus. The Father initiated Jesus to go to a cross and to become sin, for the sins of the world to be placed on Him, and there He who knew no sin became sin. He had the sins of the world placed on Him that He literally became sin. The Father looked down on that sacrifice and said propitiation has taken place. The blood of my Son God Himself is of such eternal nature that it is able to take away the sins of the entire world throughout eternity.
Larry: Thank you .
Bob: That is all at the hand of God.
Larry: Thank you. The word initiated makes it more clear to me.
Larry: Sometimes I get tripped up on words.
Bob: If you get that into your mind, everything will clear up in so many things that come up in the scriptures. God the Father was the initiator of everything Jesus did while He was here on this earth.
Larry: Okay. God bless you.
Bob: You too, Larry. Bye.
Randall from Duncan, British Columbia
Randall: It says in the bible to be absent from the body and be present with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:8 (KJV)
8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
Randall: What does it mean that the dead shall rise first and meet Him in the air? Is that the people that died before Jesus?
Bob: Are you talking about what is in Thessalonians, Randall?
Randall: I am not exactly sure.
1 Thessalonians 4:15-17
15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
Bob: You are talking about the same thing, absent from the body and present with the Lord, and the dead in Christ are the first to rise first. You are talking about the same occasion but at two vantage points. Absent from the body and present with the Lord tells what happens to us when we die. It does not say we die but that we fall asleep in Christ Jesus. We just leave this body. Our spirit never dies. It just leaves here and goes in to the presence of God.
Bob: Now when talking about the Thessalonian passage, you are dealing with a sequence of events in regard to the rapture. So they were asking the apostle Paul, “if this rapture is going to occur, then what about the people who have died prior to the rapture?” The answer to that is the dead in Christ are the first to rise. They are already there. They have already risen.
Randall: I see.
Randall: Thank you for your time.
Bob: You are sure welcome, Randall. Thank you. God bless you, pal. Bye. Bye.
Randall: You too.
Eric from Vista, CA
Eric: I would like to, first of all, address the first caller in regard to end time prophecy and how the church is preoccupied with it. I recently read a book on the end times. After I was finished with that book, I was at such peace, whereas most are frightened. The reason I was in such peace is because I finally realized God is a God who is true to His promises. He fulfills His promise. A lot of Christians I see that are saying rapture me up now. It seems they are in a hurry. When we accept Christ, we begin our eternal life at that point. What is the hurry? There is a lot of work to do. So I would like to speak to all the Christians out there. There is a lot of work to do. Do not get preoccupied in getting raptured up and getting out of this hideous world.
Bob: A lot of times the lost world says, “I want to commit suicide”. The Christian world does not want to say that so they just say, “I wish the Lord would hurry up and get back”. It is the same thing. They want to get out of here. I think so too. End times teaching is in the scripture and you have to address it but you can get so hung up on the press and the pros.
Eric: Times tables.
Bob: It is. You have to be careful not to overdo it.
Eric: I kind of fell into that, and now I have come full circle. Now I am trying to focus on my family.
Eric: My question was concerning this attitude and this fear nowadays that we are in the holidays again. We are down in San Diego with the symbols of Christianity being torn away. It seems like an exercise in futility. God said that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. It just seems to me frivolous to put so much effort into saving a cross on a field or whatever.
Bob: I think what you are dealing with there, Eric, is the attitude behind those things. If the Christian should just sit back and do not do anything, there are elements out there who would like to take Christianity out of everything and God out of everything and make this into an atheist country. The only people who will stand up against that are people who are Christian in one form or another, and maybe not even born again, but at least people who have an appreciation for God or Christ Jesus. I get tired of watching the atheists.
1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good.
Bob: A man is a fool who claims there is no God. Since I believe the bible is infallible I believe they are fools. To allow them to continue to want to denigrate everything about Christ, I think sometimes you have to stand up. You do not have to get out and fight and have gun battles, but you stand up. I am glad for some of the news media in the past that have stood up and said, “enough is enough”.
Bob: There is nothing wrong with celebrating Jesus’ birthday. These people are crazy. I wish these people would go out and get a life. There was a Jewish Menorah out there. That was not an offense to me. That is a Jewish delicatessen in there. What do you expect? A Buddhist temple?
Eric: I have a twelve year old son, and I am teaching him about the mind of God. If I do not and he is an observer of what is going on, he is going to fall away. That is true with other religious faiths. If you do not fight back and preserve these cultural values, then a lot of damage will be done. I just see the atheists, and agnostics, and those in the apostate church, they are just kicking against God. It is tragic.
Bob: It really is, Eric. It is unnecessary. We have got a lot of evil in this world. We do not realize how evil people can be. So, the main thing we have to do as Christians is to keep proclaiming this good news. That is the only thing that is going to change hearts is the gospel. Nothing else will bring peace to the world unless people are being indwelt by the prince of peace, just like you said.
Bob: I appreciate your call, Eric. Give your family our love, will you?
Eric: Same to you.
Bob: Okay, my friend.
Betsy from Richmond, VA
Bob: Betsy, you are finally on the air. You have a lot of patience.
Betsy: I do have a lot of patience. That is what I need to hear.
Betsy: This is a question which I have not heard you explain on the air, 1 Corinthians 15:16-19. A guy talks about sin against the body versus sin outside the body. I just wanted you to explain to me why he made that distinction between the two sins when He forgave all sin except unbelief?
1 Corinthians 15:16-19
16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
Bob: Again, because He forgave sin and took it away from the eyes of God does not mean we do not continue to sin. Certainly that was the case in Corinth as it is in Corinth or Dallas, TX or any place else. So it is saying to us that everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial. Not everything is profitable for us.
1 Corinthians 6:12
12 All things are permitted for me, but not all things are of benefit. All things are permitted for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.
1 Corinthians 6:13-14
But the body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. 14 Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power.
Bob: So he is talking to the Christian here.
1 Corinthians 6:15
15 Do you not know that your bodies are parts of Christ?
Bob: If you are in Christ Jesus, Betsy, you are a part of the body of Christ, aren’t you?
1 Corinthians 6:15-16
Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”[Genesis 2:24]
Bob: We know that is true, whether a prostitute or otherwise.
1 Corinthians 6:15-16
17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
Your body was not made for that. You were not recreated by God so your body would be made for sexual immorality. But your body was made for the Lord. So you are sinning against your body. So if you are having intercourse with another member of the body of Christ, then you are sinning against the body.
Bob: So what he is saying is that it should not be. I think everybody knows that.
Betsy: I guess when I see where it says they will become one flesh, it is sort of like a marriage thing.
Bob: No, it means the two of you have joined yourself together. It means you and Jesus have joined yourself together with a prostitute.
Bob: Again, Betsy, you have to understand the context there. Corinth was probably the most sinful city that was ever on the face of this earth even today. You will see high Corinth, which is up on a hill from the city of Corinth, which is where all the temple prostitution took place and where all the prostitutes lived. Prostitution was rampant in that part of the world. The ladies shaved their heads. That was a sign you were a prostitute. That is why it says to cover your head so you do not look like one of the ladies of the night. It says the ladies used to wear on the back of their shoes a sign that said follow me. They had public baths. It was a very sinful city. To go into that place with the gospel of Christ Jesus, these things just do not fall off of you overnight. There are people who come to Christ but they were still tempted back into those old lifestyles. He is saying you are not under the law. It is permissible but it is not profitable. It is not profitable because your body was not meant for that. God did not make your body for that. That is the context of what he is talking about there.
Bob: I think it ties into where it talks about marriage. It goes right into marriage in chapter 7.
1 Corinthians 7:8
8 Now to the unmarried and the widows [someone who lost a mate though death] I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. [and save yourself a lot of trouble] 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
Bob: There is nothing spiritual about sitting around burning with passion. Instead of living contrary to what God wanted you to, if you are going to burn with lust, get married to the person.
Bob: To me, if a person is living with someone, if you love them enough to live with him, then go ahead and marry him, if you are a Christian. It makes no sense to be violating what God says. If you are a Christian, just go ahead and get married.
Betsy: As Gentiles, we are children of God now. That basically is our background. This corruption is going around in Corinth. That is sort of like what Gentiles do back then and still are doing that today.
Bob: It was just rampant back then. It was one of those cities like Los Vegas, where every sin imaginable is there. But there it is promoted and advertised. It was a very sinful place. But the principle applies today.
Betsy: Okay. Thank you.
Bob: Does that help?
Betsy: Yes, it did.
Bob: Okay, Betsy. I appreciate your call.
Betsy: Bye. Bye.
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