Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P576 (10-02-20)
Listen as people call to get answers to their questions. Every now and then, you have a caller who asks, “What must I do to be saved?” or says “I am having doubts about my salvation.” Many people have doubts about their salvation for any number of reasons. And wherever you are right now, we all start out the same way, without the Spirit of God living in you. That is we are born dead spiritually and are in need of new life.
When you are reading the gospels, you are reading a record of the life of Christ while he was here on earth. What was his destiny? He came to die on the cross and give you and me eternal life in Himself. In order to do that, He had to prepare us and show us what our condition was. He had to show us we are sinners. If we do not see ourselves as sinners, what would the cross mean to me? He had to show us we are dead. If I did not know I was dead, why would I need life? The teachings in the gospel buries you and me. The law buries you. If you think the ten commandments are hard, then try the sermon on the mount. The law buries us. It shows us we cannot do it. Now you got it and now you know to come to depend on Jesus, the only God who can.
Listen as Bob guides a caller into the truth concerning what salvation is. He is in a position to nail that decision to receive the offer of new life in Christ Jesus. Bob senses in his Spirit that he has the right heart attitude, of someone who now understands his condition, after sorting through some of the confusion and error he had been believing. So he is ready for the truth so he can become a child of God. As this caller prays along with Bob, Bob encourages him by saying that he is now a child of God and offers him support to help him grow in this new life in Christ Jesus.
Listen as Bob also instructs a new believer in how to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ as you read the scriptures. First, it is important to read scriptures in its context. Bob also shared a few other few pointers. When reading the scriptures, the basic teaching of Christ Jesus is there to show us what perfect righteousness is in Him, and therefore, seeing the unrighteousness in you and me. That prepares us for what he came to do, which was to usher in a New Covenant of grace, which went into effect the day he died. So if you keep that in mind, as you are studying the scriptures, and especially the gospels, that this was all preparatory for the cross and the resurrection, it will clear up your reading time tremendously.
For a thorough explanation of what salvation is, listen to the audio or read the transcript. You can also check out Be Born Free for an online walk through of several scriptures, explaining what Christ Jesus accomplished for you through his death, burial and resurrection. In one sentence, salvation is being saved from the consequence of sin, which is death, by the gift of God, which is the resurrected life in Christ Jesus.
Larry from Merced, CA
Larry: I am not doing so well. I am having doubts about my salvation. I believe I gave my life to Christ when I was 22 years old. I felt the presence. I read the gospel but I did not join with the church and get into fellowship. I went back to my old sinful nature. I started drinking again. I am 45 years old now. I have been drinking for about 20 years. I am denying I am an alcoholic or had a problem with the drinking. I am also bipolar. Have you heard of that before?
Bob: Yes, but I do not believe in that, that any of that is true. Let us get to your problem. First, you will not find bipolar in the bible.
11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.
Bob: You also do not have a drinking problem. You have a heart problem. You said you gave your heart to Jesus, and that certainly could be true. But the issue is, did He give Himself to you? If you came to Christ by recognizing the truth of something, you have to come to recognize your condition. You spelled out quite honestly about some things that identified your condition except when you get into all that psychological junk out there. The world of psychology gives a name to something so they can prescribe drugs to it. So that is why you have bipolar, anorexic or bulimic or whatever it is. If they cannot give it a name, they cannot medicate you. So they give a name to it instead of saying what God calls it, a preoccupation with self.
Larry: What about schizophrenics?
Bob: That is just double-minded. I will not give a drug to it by calling it double-minded. If I can call it a big fancy name, then I can put a drug on it. So all these companies, with drugs being subscribed to people, and then in a few short years discover that it has side effects that could even kill you, and so the drugs are taken off the market. God did not want us to alter our minds but to renew our minds. That is what we are going to talk about, renewing our mind.
Bob: The condition of a lost man is a sinner. If you are like me, then you would have no problem agreeing with that point at all. You must also understand there is a consequence of sin, which is called death, spiritual death. When Adam died he died spiritually. Death is the absence of life. The life of God departed from Adam, leaving him dead to God, but alive to the world. We are born in that condition. We are born dead spiritually. The only solution to death is life. The only life available to you, to a Mormon, a Buddhist, a Muslim, a Catholic, a Protestant, and it does not matter who, you are dead. The only life available to you is the resurrected life of Christ Jesus. That is why Jesus said he came that you might have life. He said, “I am the resurrection and the life”.
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Bob: He is not talking about the sweet bye and bye, but right now. You need spiritual life. But why would you need spiritual life if you did not know you are dead spiritually? Those are the two things a man must come to grips with in his life. There is a reason I am doing what I am doing. I am either ignoring the life that is in me or I do not have that life. I have not truly yielded to the life He has given me. I am leaning on my own understanding and doing it my way. I want you to come into my heart to be my Lord and Savior and to give me your life. I thank you for what you did at the cross. You took away my sins to never see them again. At the cross you took away the sins of the entire world. The sins of the world were placed on Christ Jesus. No one will go to hell because of their sins.
2 Corinthians 5:21
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Bob: The only question God will ever ask any human being on the face of the earth is what did you do with my Son? Did you ignore him and his sacrifice of his life for you? Did you accept him, acknowledging your sinfulness, his provision for you at the cross, and recognizing your condition of spiritual death and asking Him for His spiritual life? That is the only question God will ever ask.
Bob: As you are contemplating these things, do you know fully well that you were dead spiritually? Do you fully acknowledge the fact that the only life available to you is Christ Jesus? Did you really ask the Lord Jesus Christ to take residence in your life? Are you sure that took place?
Larry: I do not think that occurred.
Bob: I can tell by your heart you want that to take place. What I suggest to you is this. When you were dead in your sins, in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive. You agree with God and say, “Lord Jesus, if you say I am dead, then that is where I am. And you said to me that you came to give me life, I want your life. I recognize that what you said is my condition. I recognize what you said is your provision, which is your resurrected life”. So if you want, ask Him to come in and give you His resurrected life.
Bob: If that is your desire, we can settle that issue, thanking God that he has already taken away all your sins. He is not dealing with you on the sin issue today. The verdict is guilty, the punishment is death, and Jesus took it for you. The only thing we are left with is thanking Him for his provision at the cross, where he took away the cause of death, and now asking him to raise you from the dead spiritually. Larry, if that is your heart ’s desire, we can settle that issue today. Is that your desire?
Larry: I am now in a mental hospital. I go through depression.
Bob: I understand all that. Do not avoid the issue. I do not care if you are in a mental hospital or not. You cannot tell the difference between that and what you see on television. You are talking very logically so you are not insane. Why you are there only God knows. All I told you is scripture. Are you willing to acknowledge what God said? You cannot sin against the truth. If what I said to you is true, and all I shared with you is scripture, and if Jesus is God, and He says scripture is true, then scripture is true. If you recognize what scripture has said about your condition, then forget about all this other stuff you are going through.
Bob: Your basic condition is spiritual death and the only solution to that is the resurrected life of Jesus Christ. If you are able to recognize that, Larry, then invite Jesus into your heart as Lord and Savior. Then you will be born again, having the life of God living in you. You will have the mind of Christ living in you. Then you can start renewing your mind on truth and letting that truth set you free. Like two girls in Louisville, KY, taking shock treatments in a mental hospital, who got a hold of this truth and walked out of that hospital in two months. Now they have a ministry talking to many people with this truth, to have the person of God living in you, leading and guiding you in the paths of righteousness. Do you want to do that tonight, Larry?
Larry: I so want to but something inside me compares myself to Pharaoh, the hardening of his heart. I feel like my heart is hardened.
Bob: The same sun that melts wax hardens clay. It is not the fault of the sun. It depends on what it falls on. What pride will do is harden on your heart. All pride says, “I do not need this. I can do it on my own”. Here you are stuck in a mental hospital, with all kinds of evidence that you cannot do it on your own. That ought to tell you that you cannot do it on your own, Larry. Pride is what keeps you. Pride is what hardens your heart.
Larry: I am a very proud person.
Bob: Then, get rid of that pride. You ought to realize that it has not been doing you much good. How can you be proud when you are in the shape and condition you are in? You ought to be saying, “I have been acting like an idiot. I am not a big deal. I want to be guided by someone other than myself. I have not been doing too good trusting myself.” Do you agree with this Larry?
Larry: I have not been doing very well. I am drinking and throwing my life away.
Bob: Give Jesus a try.
Larry: The facts are there. I am 45 years old. I am throwing my life away.
Bob: You have not done too well on your own and that is understandable, Larry. Nobody can do well leaning on their own understanding. God in the man is indispensable to the humanity of the man just like electricity in a light bulb is indispensable to the functioning of the light bulb. It is a fine instrument but it will not function apart from electricity. God designed you to not function apart from God living in you. And what do we do? We go out and give it a try. You tell God, “I will give it a whack for awhile”. God says, “okay” and follows you around, waiting for you to come to your senses. Right now you ought to be in a situation where it is obvious to you that you cannot do it. You have proven to yourself that following your own inclinations has not worked.
Larry: I am also stuck on this ‘elect’, this chosen of God”.
Bob: The chosen of God was Jew and Gentile and has nothing to do with you’s and me’s. That is a theology that has no biblical bearing at all. He chose the Jews for salvation and He chose the Gentiles for salvation. Some Jews refused and some Gentiles refused. Do not get hung up on that. God is speaking to you tonight and He is asking you to let Him live in you to give you peace to your heart. God is asking you, “Are you willing to come unto me and let me bring peace to your heart”.
Larry: Yes, I am.
Bob: If that is your desire, and I believe it is, and if so, then let us pray together. I will say a prayer, and you repeat after me, but you are not talking to me, you are talking to God.
Bob with Larry repeating: “Lord Jesus, I need you. I thank you for taking all my sins away at the cross, never to see them again, so that you could now offer me your life. I am now asking you to come into my heart, to be my Lord, my Savior and my best friend. In Jesus name, amen.”
Bob: Larry, based on the word of God, to as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become a child of God. You just received Him, so what have you become?
Larry: A child of God.
Bob: I too am a child of God, so what does that make us?
Bob: Correct, we are brothers. I got a new brother in Christ. I am rejoicing with you. It says in the scriptures that the angels in heaven are rejoicing. You are now able to enter into a new realm of life. You are now able to be plugged into the word of God and to grow in His absolute love and grace for you.
Larry: I truly believe that.
Bob: Do you have a bible to read?
Bob: Do you have the ability in the hospital there to receive literature? I want to send you some literature. Do you like to read? Are you able to concentrate?
Larry: Sometimes, but it is hard to concentrate with all that goes on here.
Bob: I believe you do not belong there. Call me any time. Do not think you can over-call us. Call me with any question you have because I want to see you grow and want you to return to normalcy.
Bob: God bless you Larry.
Larry: God bless you, Bob.
Bob: Now hang onto the line so I can get contact information from you, so I can send you some literature.
Larry from Chicago, IL
Larry: I am a new believer. I have been reading the bible and I have a hard time understanding a passage in Luke, where it says to carry your cross daily.
26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, even their own life – such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”
Bob: When you read the scriptures, you read it in context. Is Jesus telling us to hate people when his life and message is to love people? No, he is just saying that, in comparison, your love for the Savior will look like hate when you follow the Lord at all cost. That is what it means when picking up your cross. In other words, is your life here on earth more important than the proclamation of the gospel? In that early church, and in places today, an open proclamation of being a Christian would mean death to you. Even Paul said his life bore the scars from proclaiming the gospel, the truth to men.
16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule – to the Israel of God.
17 From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.
Bob: Here on earth was not important to him. What was important to him was the proclamation of the gospel. Every one of the disciples died as a martyr for Christ. The proclamation of the gospel was more important than their own life.
Larry: I have been looking for a church. I went to this church and the pastor was talking about this verse. He did not explain it like you did. He said you will probably have to reject your friends and family. He did not say it in a caring and loving way.
Bob: I was 36 years of age when I came to Christ. I didn’t even know anyone who was a Christian. All my buddies were bar buddies and that kind of thing. I did not reject them. They rejected me. I just quit going to the bar and since I no longer did, they rejected me. Jesus did not reject anyone while on the earth. He loved even his enemies. There is not a place in the bible to reject people. You will reach out to the lost and have compassion for the lost. You will have love for the lost, if the love of Christ is living in you. You do not need to reject anybody. They will reject you. You do not have to worry about setting yourself apart. They will set you apart.
Bob: So what is important? That is the part of picking up the cross. What is more important, a relationship with God or a relationship with my friends? By the grace of God, I had the opportunity to lead most of my buddies to Christ. I eventually led most of his friends to Christ. They could not deny there was a change in me. All kinds of things are being said by the lost about you. So you have to pass that off. There was terrific rejection in the beginning from family members and friends. They are rebelling against the God living in you. Die to your Savior daily. Until we are confronted with that, we are not sure what we would do. We form attitudes and policies of the heart, and when they are formed, we do not have to make a decision when the occasion occurs. By the grace of God, I will not reject the grace of God. By the time that situation occurs, you will not have to worry about a decision because the decision was already made.
Bob: As a new Christian, when you are reading the gospels, you are reading a record of the life of Christ while he was here on earth. What was his destiny? He came to die on the cross and give you and me eternal life in Himself. In order to do that, He had to prepare us and show us what our condition was. He had to show us we are sinners. If we do not see ourselves as sinners, what would the cross mean to me? He had to show us we are dead. If I did not know I was dead, why would I need life? The teachings in the gospel buries you and me. The law buries you. If you think the ten commandments are hard, then try the sermon on the mount. The law buries us. It shows us we cannot do it. Now you got it and now you know to come to depend on Jesus, the only God who can. When reading the scriptures, the basic teaching of Christ Jesus is there to show us what perfect righteousness is in Him, and therefore, seeing the unrighteousness in you and me. That prepares us for what he came to do, which was to usher in a New Covenant of grace, which went into effect the day he died. So if you keep that in mind, as you are studying the scriptures, and especially the gospels, that this was all preparatory for the cross and the resurrection, it will clear up your reading time tremendously.
Larry: Thank you so much for your insight on that.
Bob: You are sure welcome, my brother. I appreciate your call very much.