Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P628 (04-23-21)
Have you ever got into a conversation trying to persuade someone on what truth on a matter is? But they are not understanding or their mind is made up. It is one thing to disagree on certain trivial or non-consequential matters, and certain things are not as clear without more or sufficient information to draw conclusions. But when God has made something clear to you, that has been revealed to you through the scriptures on what Christ Jesus accomplished on the cross for you, it is heart-breaking when you share such truth on such a critical subject of life and death, and the person is blind or hard of heart and cannot see!
It is also heartbreaking when you see those leaders whom you trusted and respected, who were even influential in your early years in coming to Christ, have gone astray or have fallen into a serious sin, maybe even as a pastor, where much more is expected from them. That can lead to anguish and soul-searching in many hearts as to questioning what truth is, or what church is, of trust and fellowship is. To a lost person it could create a greater barrier to coming to Christ. To a saved person, it could lead to a weakening of their own faith, if they do not have a solid foundation of truth laid, and can easily drift back into old sinful patterns of behavior themselves.
It can also drive you to understand what church really is, as you are led to go deeper into the word of God to seek truth out for yourself. The church is people who are born again, and whose head is Christ Himself, and He will build His church. Oftentimes people think of church as a denomination or a building you go to, with all kinds of activities and the ability to meet socially with other people, to sing songs and carry on. How often have you heard someone ask, “Where do you go to church?” Sometimes I wonder why people ask that question. Is it just so they can decide by your answer if you are worth listening to, for if you answer is with a denomination different from theirs, they may just not listen any more to what you have to say. And if you answer with “I do not go to church”, then you might just get a quick automatic response that you are somehow forsaking the assembly of believers, thinking you are in sin, when they do not know anything about you. If someone is trying to disassemble from people that are not believers or not of like mind, how could that be forsaking assembly together? Does the assembly have to be in a particular denomination in a certain building? Someone in Communist China certainly would not think so.
Oftentimes, churches may have all kinds of good things of service to be involved in, ministries to the homeless and the poor even, but may not be solid on the teaching of truth. But as a result of these difficult things, a church breakup on a matter, a pastor who falls into sin, you are so inclined to study the word of God for yourself, which you ought to be doing anyhow. So what was bad that happened turns out for your good, just as God promised us in His word, to cause all things to happen for our good, for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
For that is how you personally grow, hearing from the Spirit of God, developing that trust relationship with Him, of His faithfulness to you, of all that He has provided for you, that He will never leave you or forsake you, of the covenant of grace you are under. The word of God comes alive to you. It is as if you are now free from legalistic bonds and not being confined to what the church structure expects of you, with staring eyes and critical remarks of what others perceive of you, of what they think you ought to be doing. But you are at peace and with a quietness of your soul, you are simply letting Christ direct you as to what He would have you do or not do, say or not say, and no pressure or guilt or condemnation associated with it. Your heart is in it, and there is no condemnation with Christ Jesus. You love because you are simply responding to His love for you, which has been poured into your heart. Out of that daily relationship with Him that love is so real to you and flows through you into the lives of others. That is the dynamic we all long for and desire to experience.
So what attitudes of heart do we have to a pastor who falls into sin? Do you pray for His restoration? Do you pray that He grows in Christ so he can share the grace of God he experienced? Does the pastor know his identity in Christ? Is he merely teaching out of denominational persuasions of men or from what he himself has learned from God? How about a fellow believer who falls into temptation? What is your attitude towards him? Does your heart fill up with tears, with a burden for his complete recovery, that he may walk in the new way of the Spirit God intended for him to walk in? Do you go to him with humility of heart, with the attitude of restoration, gently speaking truth to him, so that when he hears such truth, he hears with an attitude of total unconditional acceptance and love, that you are there for him, to see him through.
That by the way is a work of God in you for someone to see such attitudes of heart in you, of unconditional love and acceptance, yet firm with truth for their restoration, knowing that God is at work in him to bring him to maturity in Christ. To have such confidence in what God promised to him, the ability to get up and walk in truth. For God is love, love does its neighbor no wrong, and love is a fruit of the Spirit, not something I can produce in the energy of my flesh, but out of a relationship with the living God, letting my roots go deeper in Him. That is the Christian life lived out. All of us are weak in our natural selves, susceptible of committing any sin we see someone else fall prey to, and we rely daily on the grace of God so that our mind is continually renewed and does not drift away from our first love, which is Christ Jesus our Lord.
Toni from Fresno, CA
Toni: I called because my dilemma is I have been raised a Baptist. I grew up in the church. I was attending a Baptist church locally in Fresno. I was a member of that church. I was so believing in the church, that I was paying my tithes. I was feeding the homeless, as one of the church ministries. The pastor brought the word so clear. It was spiritual. Unbeknownst to the church, the pastor was having an extramarital affair with the church secretary. So I left the church, and then I went back. He is fallible. But I went back to church, but I could not get that off my mind. So I started listening to Christian radio a few weeks ago, and found your ministry radio program. Then I started listening to another Baptist church. I started looking into visiting that church. Before going to that church, the minister was arrested for two counts of child molestation. The problem is that I grew up believing fellowship with believers is extremely important to one’s personal growth. I missed the fellowship, the singing, and the participation, but I was becoming very disillusioned with the church leaders. So what is God’s expectation in regards to someone who goes to church and one who does not go to church? I believe the bible. I listen to your Christian radio. I listen to the bible on cassette. I am at a loss as what to do spiritually.
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Bob: Toni, there is not one passage in the bible that tells people to go to church. It tells the church to go to people. It does say to not forsake assembling together as some are accustomed to do. There is a reason to do that. It is just like logs on a fire. You get one log it smolders and goes out. You put two or three on, they feed on each other. So fellowship with the body of Christ is important.
Bob: But it is important that fellowship is with the body of Christ, with people of like mind. As you say, these men you are talking about are fallible. I believe, quite frankly, the reason you see, many times, that taking place in the leadership is because of people who are burned out. They are tired. They are burned out. Quite frankly, in many instances, I have found through my counseling, is the fact that they are literally hoping to get caught, in essence, so they can get out of the rat race they are in, having to pretend that they are something that they are not.
Bob: A guy said to me one time, “I do not know if I am a Christian practicing homosexuality. Or, I do not know if I am a homosexual practicing Christianity. I am burned out.” I did not know who he was either. Many times, churches will burn people out. There is this expectation of people. And people sit under that law of expectation, and the power of sin is in the law and it makes them extremely vulnerable to the temptations of Satan. So we have to have compassion in that regard.
Bob: But on the other regard is the fact of people allowing themselves to be put in a position of being burned out. That comes from that idea of “go sick them for Jesus” and “burn out for Jesus” mentality. I heard pastors say that my goal in life is to burn out for Jesus. But the Spirit does not burn out. The flesh does burn out but the Spirit does not burn out. It is people functioning in accordance with the way people want them to function. They want them to burn out for Jesus. Instead of functioning as being led by the Spirit. People are thinking, ’I have to function being led by the board of directors, by the deacon board, by the elder board and by this and that committee” instead of allowing Christ Jesus to lead me spiritually. So there are a lot of problems. I said that to the other young man in the denominational world today because of those pressures.
Bob: As far as you are concerned, you are a child of the living God and you have the Spirit of God living in you.
Bob: That is really where your thoughts should be. I get amazed, to a degree, how people talk about going to church. I love the church. I love the body of Christ. What about the head? That is where the church has become. People have been totally preoccupied with the body at the exclusion of the head. The scriptures talk about that, that we have lost contact with the head.
16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. 19 They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
20 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
The church world has become like a chicken with its head cut off, flapping around, making a lot of noise, splashing blood all over the place, but lost contact with the head. You are in contact with the head spiritually, personally.
Toni: Yes, I am.
Bob: So let the Spirit of God just work with you during this period of time, regardless of where you park your car on Sunday. It is one of the least significant things you will do all week. It is an hour out of the week. If it is the only time you are going to be fed, on a 20 minute message on Sunday morning, then you are pitifully malnourished.
Toni: Yes. I left the ministry of the homeless. I found another ministry. I work with the terminally ill.
Bob: Sure. Great ministry.
Bob: Let God use you to guide you individually there. That is the greatest joy that you will ever have in your life any way, is reaching out. The purpose of the body of Christ, Toni, was to mature saints. It is not to evangelize the lost. That is to be done outside the walls of the church, but to mature saints to do what? To prepare them for their work of ministry. Hold on. Toni is going to do ministry outside the walls. Someone in church says, “We cannot have that.” Well, that is where ministry is conducted, outside the walls. It seems to me, in your case, you have grown and matured in your walk with Christ and have a great grasp on the word of God, and have a ministry. Just follow that and let that be your joy.
Toni: Thank you very much. I want to thank you. I found this radio station. God led me to it about two weeks ago. I now listen to it every day. I have learned so much. It has reaffirmed my walk and belief. And listening to stories of others. I know that I am serving the head of the church. Thank you very much.
Bob: You are sure welcome, Toni. Keep focusing where you belong, with your eyes on Christ and not on men.
Toni: God bless.
Bob: You too. Bye. Bye, Toni.
Roy from Nashville, TN
Roy: I listen to you every day, and you make my day.
Bob: Well, good.
Roy: Yes, sir. I had a question. I am trying to get resolved on a hurting matter, where a pastor in the pulpit while preaching, in the middle of the sermon, stops to make a false statement, and to slander, I feel like a member and his family, and make it an untrue statement. The statement was not true and to continue on preaching. And then has not sought to reconcile or apologize. The statement that was made was hurtful to me. It was a statement of slander against my family, wife and children. The statement was made that we. It came up because we wanted to talk to the pastor after the service. Before we even spoke to him, he beat us up about it and told a slanderous remark. How do you deal with something like that when it comes from the man who is supposed to be feeding the sheep instead of abusing the sheep? I was just really hurt by that. I did not know where to go or what scripture to go to help me with this.
Bob: Roy, in the first place, the service is no place to be discussing problems with a pastor. If he is there to feed the sheep, he is not there to argue with the sheep. So if a person has something to discuss with a pastor, make an appointment with him during the week, so they can take it to another place and time to talk with someone intelligently. I have had people come to you to argue with you before or after the message. That is the dumbest thing for someone to do. It is not courteous to do. If I am there to give a message. I do not want to be arguing with somebody before the message. Nor do I want to argue with someone after the message. I have a whole week to sit down with someone intelligently and discuss the grievance. If you have a grievance against the pastor, what scripture says is for you, who are spiritual, to go to him, and to arrange that meeting and to talk about it. I got something we need to talk about. If a pastor is worth his salt, he will meet with you. That is the way you handle those things. But he should not be ripping you up from the pulpit over something like what you are talking about. That is also not courteous and it also a disadvantage to you because you cannot say anything back. There is a tendency to do that. We all have a tendency to do that, especially if someone has insulted you, to mess up the body of Christ in some shape or form. But that is not the best thing to do. The best thing to do is set up an appointment, and settle your grievances and then forgive one another as brothers in Christ.
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.
15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[Deuteronomy 19:15] 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
1 Timothy 5:18-20
18 For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,”[Deuteronomy 25:4] and “The worker deserves his wages.”[Luke 10:7] 19 Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. 20 But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning.
Bob: Okay, brother?
Roy: Yes, that is it.
Julie from Nashville, TN
Julie: I got a quick question for you. This is basically about baptism. I was raised as a Lutheran. As Lutherans, they believe that you are baptized as a baby and you are fine. Alright. I fell away for most of my life. But thank God I am back now. Now my basic question is do I have to get re-baptized?
Bob: Julie, the issue is, there is not anything in the bible if the shoe fits wear it. There is nothing in the bible about baby baptism.
Julie: I thought people tell me you have to be re-baptized as an adult?
Bob: Hold on a minute, Julie. Let me answer your question. There is nothing in the bible about baby baptism. There is nothing in the bible about a necessity to be baptized to be saved.
1 Peter 3:21
21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also – not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ
Bob: If baptism saved you, how could the apostle Paul say, “I am glad I did not baptize anybody.”
1 Corinthians 1:14-17
14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel – not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
Bob: If baptism was in the gospel, he could not make that statement, could he?
Bob: Then in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, it says the gospel that saves us is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4
1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures
Bob: It does not say anything about dunking or sprinkling in that statement. So baptism does nothing except as an expression of being baptized in the Spirit.
5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Bob: It is a baptism of the Holy Spirit that saves you, not water baptism. No baby or anybody else is saved through getting baptized or to be rededicated. That is all man-made stuff. It is man-made by the Lutherans. It would be man-made by us if we were doing that. It would be man-made. It is not biblical. When you come to Christ, you come to Christ when you at that stage in life you recognize yourself as a sinner, and you recognize there is a consequence to sin called death, and the only person capable of giving you forgiveness and life is Christ Jesus and you accept Him by faith and you are saved.
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
Bob: So your first baptism probably did not mean a thing to you. In other words, you were not saved at that time. You were just baptized. After that, if you have become saved, and you want to make a public statement that I am a child of God and I am going to follow that commitment of being a child of God with baptism, fine. You do not have to but it is a great expression for you to do if you feel led by God to do so.
Julie: Okay. Thank you. I appreciate that. That clears up a lot of questions. Bless you. Thank you for being on the air.
Bob: You are welcome, Julie. Thank you for listening. Bye. Bye.
Ron from Baltimore. MD
Ron: I have a question for you, sir. The question is, as I was watching a movie, The Last Temptation of Christ, I was also cross-referencing with the bible. The comment that Christ made on the cross, “Why have you forsaken me?” Now, Christ knew he had to be crucified and beaten and shamed and all of that, but it seemed like when He made that statement on the cross, that something happened to Him that He did not expect to happen on the cross. I heard a lot of preachers in my time. Some say it was because He bore the sins of the world and God had to turn His back on Him for that split second. Others think different things. What is your opinion upon that particular statement. He said that after he said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Bob: Let me see if I can answer that, Ron. Turn to Psalm 22.
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Bob: These were the identical words Jesus said at the cross.
Ron: Oh, okay.
Bob: He was basically bringing us back to say, this is not something that man is doing. This is something that had been prophesied that is going to be done. I will read Psalm 22 where it described in detail the death by crucifixion, hundreds of years before there ever was something called a crucifixion.
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? 2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent.
12 Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me. 13 Roaring lions that tear their prey open their mouths wide against me. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint.
All these things happened to Him.
My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me. 15 My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.
Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierced my hands and my feet. 17 All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. 18 They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.
Bob: Every one of those things were fulfilled that day at the cross. What Jesus was really saying to us is that this had to be done. It was prophesied. Jesus is the fulfillment of that prophecy.
Ron: So He was crying out for us.
Bob: Absolutely. It was for our benefit. Yes.
Ron: Praise God. Thank you very, very much.
Bob: Sorry we do not have more time, brother. You call again.
Ron: Thank you.
Bob: Thank you, my friend.
Carrie from British Columbia
Carrie: I have a question in regard to submission in regard to husband and a wife. How is that a choice? Do you also think it is notefull of our understanding of our new identity as well, that Christ is the head of our marriage but also our individual relationship to Him in that marriage too? That Christ is first and it should work out of that context?
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church – 30 for we are members of his body. 31 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’[Genesis 2:24] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Bob: I think it just means what it says. It says for wives to submit to your husband. But prior to that it says to submit to one another. If I submit to the Lord then I am also in a position to submit to one another. I look at that in a ministry relationship. Bob and I are a head of a ministry but we submit to the opinions of other people. We talk to them. We do not sit around and dictate and become a dictator and a ruler. But if there are decisions to be made, we talk to people and we value their opinion. Then, in the final analysis, a decision has to be made and that decision is either going to fall on one of us, and then we are going to live with it. If it is a good decision we praise the Lord and if it is a bad decision we will say praise the Lord but not as loud.
Bob: I think it is the same thing in a marriage. We first of all should have a spirit of submission to one another, but in the final analysis, when the decisions have to be made, the husband is responsible for making that. When that is violated, you see the consequence of that, if there are major decisions to be made. That is why in this Christian work that Amy and I have been in for years, we basically have tried to never make a decision that the both of us were not in agreement on, even to this day. We have never made a mistake as far as we could tell, when both of us were in absolute agreement to something. When I wanted to be in full time Christian work, Amy was not ready. We waited until she was ready to go into full time Christian work. That worked beautifully for us. Many times it is a way of determining the timing and not the calling, but the timing of the calling, is when the man and the wife, their spirits and their souls are both together in unity. You can almost count on the fact that this is the time to get going.
Carrie: I just feel sometimes that we just get so fixated on going to church on Sunday and doing those outward things and yet really when we come home, we really need to be submissive to one another, in listening to one another. I think it is a great place, for the women too, because basically if the man finally does make this decision, and they do not agree, that I was not for it, but you went ahead and did it, the consequences are kind of with you. The marriage and the family and the church, these are institutions set by God. We cannot just be submissive on the outward conduct. We need to bring that into our day to day. Maybe some of it is key to both, knowing how we are as Christian individuals whether married or not. Christian marriages as well because of our relationship with Christ.
Bob: I think you got it. I appreciate your call. Like you say, if it does not work at home, it is not working. It does no good to sit in church looking holy yet go home and be beating your wife, either verbally or bodily. That is where it all, quite frankly, spells itself out, is in those intimate relationships we have. Good to hear from you my brother. God bless you.
Carrie: God bless you guys. Have a great day.
Bob: Thank you. Bye bye now.
Tijuana from Seaside, CA
Tijuana: My question today is on people who are unbelievers but they act like they are spiritual in the sense they are saying that their human spirit, that they believed in it, but they do not know Christ. The reason why I am asking that is because I have a cousin, years ago, when I would try to minister to him about Jesus Christ, he would always say that his human spirit was directing him.
Bob: How did he even know the determination of human spirit? Get it out of Reader’s Digest? Where did he hear that?
Tijuana: He said spirit to spirit. But I was thinking he was talking about his human spirit. But he kept using the word spirit. Are they saying they are leading themselves?
Bob: They are just saying their spirit is their own God. They are saying that what I feel I do and what I feel to do is right. You cannot understand the lost mind. The lost man cannot understand spiritual things. It is foolishness to him. To try to explain spiritual things to a natural man is an exercise in futility. They will take it and turn with it in all different directions. They cannot understand the meaning.
1 Corinthians 2:14
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.
14 The law is good, then, and the trouble is not there but with me because I am sold into slavery with Sin as my owner.
15 I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I can’t. I do what I don’t want to – what I hate. 16 I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience proves that I agree with these laws I am breaking.
Bob: The best a lost person can do is to understand the gospel. That is what you try to do. Evidently you tried to do that with your cousin. That is as good as you can do, to present the gospel to him. To get into arguments over people whether created by God or created by an ape some place, at many times, it is an exercise in futility because you are talking to somebody who is lost as can be. You keep doing what you are doing. You keep talking to them about how to be saved through a relationship with Jesus Christ. If they turn their back on that, then the responsibility for their salvation is in their hands, not yours.
Tijuana: A little bit of that second part. Like these talk shows like Oprah. We know Oprah is religious. But Oprah will say your problem is a spiritual problem.
Bob: That is just words to her. She has no clue what she is talking about because she is not saved.
Tijuana: I heard you say one time in a message I was trying to understand. We know we get our spiritual fulfillment through Jesus Christ. The world tries to get their fulfillment through other ways for their spirit. But when trying to do that they are not fulfilling what needs to be fulfilled in the spirit man.
Bob: That is correct. Sorry, we are running out of time. We will talk to you later. Good bye.
Tijuana: Alright. Good bye.
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