Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P552 (07-10-20)
Sometimes we can get all bogged down worrying about whether someone is going to be saved. We shared the truth with him and we want him to be saved. But we have to learn what God’s role is and what our role is. One man waters, another plants, but God causes the growth. Ultimately, man has a free will. There are people who have heard the message of the gospel, but they do not want it. They are stubborn. We cannot make anyone want to listen. It is their free choice. It does no good to get all worried about that. Indeed, worry is sin. So let it go. Shake the dust off your feet and move on. Acknowledge that that worry is sin, praise God for His forgiveness of sin already, and thank Him for His great mercy and kindness to you.
Many times people do not understand what salvation is. Salvation is being saved from the consequence of sin, which is death, by the gift of God, which is life, eternal life. But people think salvation is getting sins forgiven, and stop there at the death of Christ but do not move on into the empty tomb to the resurrected Christ, to receive the life that raised him from the dead. The death of Jesus, by his shed blood, is what prepared you and me for salvation. Your sins were forgiven, taken away from the eyes of God, before you and I were ever born. But in Him is where you receive that forgiveness, that was provided then at the cross, and become a forgiven person. It is in Him that you not only become a forgiven person, but you receive His resurrected life and become a new creation, a new spiritual being with the Spirit of God living in you. That is what eternal life is, to know God and His Son, Jesus Christ.
As you grow in Christ, you begin to ask questions about all the things you have heard from the Christian world and denominational persuasions of men. What about tithing? Is that for today? You have been told it is. But is it? Oftentimes preachers will share one or two passages out of Malachi to persuade you that you are robbing God, if you do not tithe, but they fail to mention the context of who the author was writing to. In the first few verses in Malachi, you read that he is writing to the descendants of Jacob, about those under the law, who were still under the Levitical priesthood. Are you a descendant of Jacob? No. So, he is not writing to you. He fails to mention about the book of Hebrews that explains the New Covenant, a new priesthood, with Jesus as the high priest, that when there is a change in the priesthood, then by necessity, there is a change in the law.
We are under grace today. The apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians about free will giving under the New Covenant. Many preachers may not even know the Lord themselves, but they certainly do not know the full counsel of God, or are deliberately teaching you error because they want to control you, and do not trust people to be led by the Spirit of God. The Spirit is the one who is the head of the church, the body of Christ. He is the one who directs each member what he has them to do or say. One thing we do know is that under a New Covenant we are to give cheerfully, willfully, not under compulsion, not in accordance with what we do not have but in accordance with what we do have. God loves a cheerful giver. We give not under a law that says you must, but by grace that does so out of the love of God that has been poured out into your heart, and in accordance with what you have, so you can give cheerfully, from the heart, and from love.
Sadly, in the world today, it is hard to find a church where there is a man who accurately teaches truth. Oftentimes, the church caters to the world and puts the style of music ahead of the message, if there even is a message of the gospel, and at best only half a gospel. So now the church has dwindled from what it was supposed to be, people born again of the Spirit, meeting together for fellowship, teaching of truth, the breaking of bread, and knowing its proper meaning in the context of celebrating a New Covenant, and prayer. It has become an entertainment center for the lost or even an indoctrination of false doctrines of men. The church often today can be a dangerous place to be. Many today have decided it is better to stay at home, so as to learn from the Spirit of God, than to remain under the teaching where you are essentially ingesting spiritual poison, or sitting under men whose goal is to turn preaching into a means of obtaining riches.
But the church is the people of God, with the Spirit of God living in them. They want to meet together to encourage one another in the true faith and to build one another up in love, to edify one another and exalt God in their hearts. That can be in a home bible study, or today with the Coronavirus scare taking place, do an online meeting through social media outlets, such as Zoom or Facebook live, or join Take a Closer Look Bible Study online as we dive into the Word of God. We are blessed to also have the Word of God at our fingertips. Hear the Holy Spirit speaking to you and learn as you read the Word of God today and be with others too!
Carla from Springfield, VA
Carla: I just heard you say we should live a quiet life and tend to our own business. So I don ’ t even know if what I ask you is tending to my own business. I have been attending a church for 7 years now. (Carla and Bob laugh together)
1 Thessalonians 4:10-12
10 And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, 11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
Carla: I really enjoyed the pastor’s teaching. I feel he is anointed by God. But the one problem I have is this tithe and offerings. We never see in our bulletins about the amount given. Nothing is ever talked about what is being given. I am going to see my pastor and his family. The wife, the son and himself really must run the church. I think they should be held accountable because I see these extravagant things they are buying. Should I even be asking? What do you think about that? I know he will have to stand before God.
Bob: I would be very skeptical when a man, wife and a son are running the church. First of all, I do not think that is biblical. As far as accountability for funds, absolutely. Anyone who signs a check is accountable to the funds. Anyone who is running the church should be held accountable. If the church is a corporation, such as a 501C, they are to be held accountable. Then they have a board of directors. If a board of directors is loaded by family members, then you need to question that. I would not be a part of that. I would demand audits. I would demand accountability of the spending of the pastor, if it appeared to be out of line. I think, Carla, that one of the things you see taking place is people who are in the ministry for the purpose of getting rich. If a person is of such a bent, that is one place you can get rich. You just con people that you need to be tithing so God will bless you, or just send money in, with no accountability to the funds at all. So it is just up to you to spend it whenever you want to spend it.
Carla: I went to another church and then in the bulletin, every Sunday, they show their tithe and offerings.
Bob: I do not think that is advertising your priorities. That is like what you see posted in front of the church. This week we took in this. Last week we took in that. Last week, this many people showed up. You are advertising your priorities, right up front in church, which is nickels and noses. What you need is an audit. An auditor will analyze and show if handling of funds is done and is a record that anybody has access to. It is not on a weekly basis, but a yearly basis. If you are audited and that audit is available to anyone who wants to see it, it is public information. I think people like that would have more difficulty in spending activities when that takes place.
Carla: Yes. I think it should be brought to attention. A lot of people have less for that reason.
Bob: I imagine he does not care, as long as he is getting money and is spending wildly and living the life he wants to live. He has his whole family in there on the board so nobody can kick him off. I do not think he cares who leaves as long as the people who stay continue to support him. I would get out of there. You can talk to him about it. He will not listen to you. A guy like that is there for one purpose. He will not listen to anyone anyway. If you want to talk to him, that certainly would be a biblical thing to do. And if you do not like what he says, go find another place to worship.
Carla: Right. Thank you very much.
Bob: Did that help?
Carla: It sure did. Thank you so much.
Bob: Okay, Carla. Bye. Bye.
Greg from Anaheim, CA
Greg: In reference to music in the church, I understand where you are coming from. I love loud music in my home. I listen to loud music. Never once has anyone covered their ears. When I go to this church, it is a fairly new church, and the speakers are almost as big as the sanctuary. I actually have to cover my ears. You can go to the front. That did not work. I could probably listen in the foyer. I am not trying to be a radical, but it is not like the music I grew up in the church. It was different. I was from New York. Now I am living out in California. I remember the quiet and they harmonize. It is so bad when you sit in a congregation and you cannot hear the congregation sing. All you hear is the instruments.
Bob: I hear you. The music has taken over the power of the message. We forgot that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. We think faith comes by music. I agree with you. It is loved and very much into the world. We have gone out and found out what attracts the world and says let us put it into the church and attract people. The issue is, who are you attracting, people who want to know, Jesus or people to want to hear loud music.
Bob: You have to have a balance. There has to be a balance between hymns and some of them that are modern music in order to reach the likes of different people. But I know churches that you could not find hymns played in it if your life depended on it. At any rate, we have to continue looking until you find balance in the church. But basically, I would not go to church for music. Many people do. I left a church that had the best music in any church I have been in all my life. There is another church very similar to that in Dallas. The First Baptist Church in Dallas and Prestonwood, they have phenomenal music. You have a lot of people who go because of the music. I left not because of the music. I left because of the message. The criteria for going to church is to find a man who knows Christ Jesus and where God is real to them, who is proclaiming the fullness of the gospel. I do not care if you do not have any music. If you have a person like that, that is where you need to be. Music is secondary. The message is primary.
Greg: You have to have coffee and donuts between services. That is okay. But I ask him the reason why the music is so loud? Well, the one person said, the young people want to feel if.
Bob: Well, brother. There is nothing you can do about it. The thing is, lead a quiet life and tend to your own business. If you do not like the music there, find a church you can go to that you do like it. It is not going to do any good to complain about it. It is not going to be changed. Either stay there and have your critical spirit fanned every week, or find music consistent where you like, but especially where the message is there, which is the message of truth.
Bob: Okay, brother?
Greg: Yes. There is a compromise. They are bringing in stuff we used to hear when I was growing up. I can hear that the same beat is there. They say that is the way to bring new people to church. You really cannot do that. That is compromising the word. The word is sharper than any two edged sword. Well, when you put yourself in place of the word, trying to bring people in, you have lost it.
Bob: That is for sure. Well, Greg. God bless you.
Archer from El Paso, TX
Archer: I am a little bit mixed up as far as the tithing situation. I am the only one that works in my household. It is 10% of my total salary. It would be quite a chunk to tithe.
Bob: You are not under the obligation of tithing?
Archer: Oh no!
2 Corinthians 9:7
7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Bob: Of course not. There is no tithing under the New Covenant. The New Covenant is free will giving, to give joyfully, to give hysterically, to give generously, to give what you have, not what you do not have. There is not anything ever mentioned in the New Covenant.
Archer: I thought you were obligated to give up ten percent.
6 “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7 Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.
“But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’
8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.
“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’
“In tithes and offerings.
11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood – and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood – why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also.
Bob: If Levi is your priest, give ten percent. That is what it was for, to support the Levitical priesthood. If Levi is your priest, then give ten percent. If Jesus is your priest, give joyfully.
Archer: Well. Yes, sir. That is exactly how I feel. The other question I had. Is it hypocritical thinking or stupid thinking to give and expect to receive a tax deduction at the end of the year? Is that bad thinking?
Bob: No. If the government allows a tax deduction, you give. We will probably come to the point, one of these days, the way the government is going, they will take that away, then you will be giving without a tax deduction. Some people will stop giving.
Archer: Should we feel bad?
Bob: No. I feel good when I get a tax deduction. I am not giving to get a tax deduction. I would give the same amount if I did not have a tax deduction. But I am grateful that we do.
Archer: I guess I have a little voice saying what kind of Christian am I if I am expecting money back at the end of the year. I wonder what people think.
Bob: You are being a good steward of God’s money. What you save on that type of thing will probably come to the point where the government will decide they will do a better job than churches do. They think they do better than the automobile industry and the banking industry. So before long they will think they do better than churches can. But as long as you do it, praise God for it.
Archer: You all got me straight again. I really appreciate it. I appreciate your program. I wish it was longer than half an hour.
Bob: Well, you just continue to listen every day and every week. Good to talk to you, Archer.
Carey from Van Couver, British Columbia
Carey: I have a question in regards to Christian education. My oldest son is going to go to a Christian school starting in September. We had a meeting with them to get to know some of the teachers. The lady was saying that she has been with the school for thirteen years but she could not answer how much of the curriculum was based on the bible. Then she mentioned some books she will be using that are from Harvard. I hardly think that Harvard is a bastion of Christian teaching and doctrine. I have doubts in my mind. At least when you put someone in public school and they start hearing teaching on evolution, you have a concrete thing to come back to and show the converse side of the coin of the word of God, with creation and God responsible for all of creation. I wonder if you could give me some of your insights, and how you feel about Christian school as opposed to public school?
Bob: It all depends on the school. Dallas here is a bastion for all kinds of schools and Christian schools and churches and more churches. You have some that are good and some that are not good. You have some here in Dallas. I think the most popular one that is so unbelievably legalistic that, quite frankly, I would not send a child there for anything because of legalism. You have a lot of denominational schools. Therefore you know full well they will be teaching in school predicated on doctrines that are taught in their denominations. So you could pretty well tell that. You go to a Church of Christ church school, you will hear Church of Christ teaching.
Bob: So, you have to discern. It is hard to decide on that thing. It is the call a parent has to make. Overall, you are probably going to get a better class of children to run around with than you would in a public surrounding. No question about that. That is worth something. Young people’s friends are worth something. It is worth a lot to have friends who hopefully know the Lord, or if not, at least have interest in things of the Lord. That is important to God to find a school that everyone is going to teach the way you believe. You are not going to find one like that. If there is something that is taught that is really off base, you have an opportunity of going back. In the long run, it is what you teach children at home that is going to stand. We have seen that numerous times with children who are children of our staff members, in their public school what will be taught. “Mom and dad, you should have heard what the teacher taught today”. What you learn at home, they learn that what is taught there is not correct. Give them a firm foundation and find a place that you will have to determine denominationally what the school is. Then take your chance and see what happens. Overall, the chances of you running into childern who possibly are not quite as wild and stupid in public schools, you will find in Christian school.
Carey: There is this idea that just because parents are Christian, that automatically the children fall into that category too. We know that is the farthest from the truth. Also school opens doors to non-Christians as well.
Bob: Sure. You have to take a look. You have to ask God to guide you and give you wisdom on that.
Carey: It appears like that there will be some kind of open door policy, a chance to meet with the teacher and principle if we do have problems. That is worth something too.
Bob: Yes, it is.
Carey: The best teaching will come from home. Hopefully we can straighten it out that way.
Bob: Alright. It is good to hear from you. We wish the best from you. Keep us posted.
Carey: Will do.
Bob: Alright. Bye, bye now.
Jim from Little Falls, NY
Jim: I have been thinking about whether we are justified by faith alone or love alone or faith and love. It says if you have faith to move mountains but have not love you are nothing. Does that mean we are not justified only by faith, but probably by love? Or does it mean that we are justified by love? Or by faith and love?
20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Bob: Jim, you are justified by faith in Christ. You are not justified by anything you do.
28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.
Bob: It is the object of your faith. The object of your faith is the work of Christ and not anything you are doing. When you and I place our faith in what he came to do. He came out of love.
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 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!
Bob: We were reconciled to God through the death of his Son when we were yet enemies, lost. You were born into this world reconciled to God through the death of his Son. Every man that was born into this world is born with the forgiveness of his sins provided by Christ Jesus. But that is not salvation. That is the half, the core for salvation. That was preparatory for salvation. Salvation is the gaining of life that only comes by the resurrection. How much more having been reconciled shall we be saved by his life.
10 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!
Bob: We have to be saved from the consequence of sin, which is death, by the gift of God, which is life.
16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified
Bob: No man will ever be justified by obedience to the law. Justification only comes by putting faith in the finished work of Christ Jesus. So, the love of God is what caused Jesus to come to this earth and to do for us what we could never do for ourselves. We are putting our faith not only in Jesus, but putting your faith in the love of Christ.
Bob: God so loved me and I put my faith in the fact of that issue. It is not in my ability to love. I do not have any, but in His love for me. Once Christ comes to live within you, then you have a relationship where, Jim, like a vine and a branch that Jesus told us about in John 15.
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Bob: He said, “I am the vine. You are a branch”. A branch cannot produce anything. A branch cannot produce joy, peace, patience. It can produce nothing. A branch that abides in the life of the vine, who can produce those things, will produce them in and through you and me. As a branch, we can bear that fruit out to others. That is the purpose of the fruit of the Spirit, for the benefit of other people.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Bob: We can bear that fruit but we cannot produce it. That is what keeps us dependent on Christ Jesus. We cannot produce agape love. There is no way in my flesh that I can produce agape love. It is hard enough to produce friendship love. But I can abide in the one who can. Therefore, I can bear fruit to others, with full knowledge that I cannot produce it. It is faith alone, but that faith, if we rest, then at salvation in Him, He will produce that love in and through you.
Jim: But if I have no faith, then I cannot move mountains, or nothing either?
Bob: I have not seen anybody moving mountains. Our faith is smaller than a mustard seed, which shows us that it is not the size of our faith that matters at all. It is the size of our God. So none of us can walk around bragging about how big our faith is. That is dumb and dumber because our faith is smaller than a mustard seed. That is what he is saying. But I tell you if you have faith, you can move a mountain. Well, no one moved one of those lately. So, it tells us the size of our faith. So Jesus is saying that if the Father told him or you and me to move a mountain. He is not going to say that, but if he did, it could only be pulled off through him and not us. That is merely an allegory, showing you that you do not have faith to do anything except what is received from him. It takes all of the self effort out of our life, Jim, and also if we were able to do things. That goes on today, people bragging about their faith, talking about how big their faith is. You do not have to talk about how big your faith is to me because I know it is as small as a mustard seed. So that gets rid of those bragging rights.
Jim: I see what you mean. Thanks for taking my call.
Bob: It is all Him, Jim. There is not one thing he said. You and I can do nothing. That is a zero with the edges knocked off of it. Nothing apart from Him. There is nothing wrong with that. We do not have to grimace on that type of thing. That is to praise God. There is nothing in this flesh of mine that is worthy enough to enter the kingdom of God. He has clothed you with His righteousness. He has given you His life. That makes it to the point that we can spend the rest of our life praising Him and thanking Him for His mercy and kindness to us instead of thinking we are doing something that is impressing Him.
Jim: That makes sense.
Bob: Okay, my brother?
Jim: Thank you.
Bob: Okay, Jim. Thank you, my friend.
Patty from Van Couver, British Columbia
Patty: I am really grieving in my soul. I have a good friend who believes in Hinduism. He believes in the Mitraya. I am trying to get through to him that Jesus Christ is the only way for salvation. I do not know how to get through to him. Can you please help me?
Bob: Well, Patty, again, it makes no difference if a person is a Hindu or Muslim or a so-called Christian who does not know the Lord. You are not going to come to the Lord until you have been humbled in life to the point you are ready.
Patty: I cannot get through to him. He won’t listen.
Bob: Quit trying. It is not your job to convert him. So, quit trying.
Patty: But I want him to be saved.
Bob: Oh, Patty, what you are saying does not make any sense. It is what you are wanting. I want. I want. That does not make a difference what you want. The issue is that Christ certainly wants him to be saved. So you do not need to sit around wanting him to be saved. You are doing what God has asked you to do. You told him how to come to Christ. So shake the dust off your shoes and move on. It is not your work to convert him. You already expressed to him your desire for him to come to Christ. But you have no idea what he is going to do. He has a will. But obviously, he is stubbornly exercising that will. You are going to drive yourself crazy worrying about someone’s salvation. That is not your business. That is God’s business. You are worrying about something that is God’s business. It would be like you are worrying about my business instead of your own. Quit worrying. Worry is of sin.
Patty: You are right. You are right. That is true. Yes.
Bob: Just exercise faith in fact. You share Christ. Our role, Patty.
Patty: Just believe God?
Bob: What you are believing God for is, “Lord, I have done what you have asked me to do. I have shared with this man how he can have salvation through you. And now, I have sowed the seed. I may have watered it a couple of times. Now, it is up to you to make it grow. If he doesn ’ t want it to grow, it will not grow.”
1 Corinthians 3:6-8
6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.
Patty: But, I want it to grow.
Bob: I would want that I would not have a sin nature. But God certainly isn’t going to eradicate it. Get rid of those things you want.
Bob: Remember Jesus said, “It is not my will, but yours be done”. It is not my will. It is Christ.
Patty: Thank you very much. Bye. Bye.
Bob: Bye bye, Patty.