Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P588 (11-13-20)
It is good to receive encouragement from other believers. We all face struggles in life, a son going off to fight a war, burdened when you see your adult son making bad decisions in life, struggles with bitterness or depression, finding it difficult to forgive others who have wronged you. There are all kinds of struggles we face down here. We know these struggles are temporary in light of eternity, but we want answers on how to deal with these things.
Bob himself is encouraged to hear when truth is received and lives are changed. Those who grab a hold of this truth are teaching the same truth that encouraged and helped them into the lives of others. There are bible studies started in prisons and over in other countries where people have been deployed.
Listen as Bob answers questions from various callers, continuing to help others with the gift of teaching God has given him. Of course, the starting point is knowing God as your Lord and Savior. The teaching about salvation, of life in Christ Jesus, is a practical message. Christ in you is your hope of glory, is your means of living in love and joy and peace in this world we live in. It is not simply about getting to heaven some day and having to grunt and groan down here. Salvation is eternal life, the person of Christ Jesus, in His life being lived in you and through you now and continuing forever, and eventually in a new immortal body that is not plagued with indwelling sin.
Salvation is about growing in grace and in your understanding of Christ Jesus. You come to understand the difference between law and grace, between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, so you can discern scriptures in the context they are written. And as your mind is renewed, you are growing in grace.
In regard to growing in your understanding, look at the Lord’s prayer in its proper context. The Lord’s prayer is really not a prayer, but the Lord is teaching you how to pray under an Old Covenant. He taught us how to pray under an Old Covenant. Under the Old Covenant, forgiveness was conditional. How did you get forgiven under the Old Covenant? You went to the day of atonement where you sacrificed a bull and a goat. That was conditional. In the New Covenant, there is no more sacrifice for sins. Jesus being the propitiation, or complete satisfaction of God’s wrath against sin. The sins of the entire world – past, present and future – have been paid in full by Christ’s shed blood on a cross.
So when you read in the gospels, in Matthew, where Jesus says that if you do not forgive your brother then neither will God forgive you, realize that is in the context of the Old Covenant. When you read that we are told to forgive as God has forgiven you, that is in the context of the New Covenant. There is a different way of thinking under a New Covenant, with better promises, that replaced the Old Covenant, that could never give life. The letter of the law kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Oftentimes we struggle because of what we are thinking. Actions always follow our thinking. When we have depressing thoughts then we are depressed. So we must turn our minds back to Christ and have Him renew our mind. Jesus said you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.
Other times we think we can do something in the energy of our flesh, but then find ourselves not doing what we know we should or doing things we know we shouldn’t be doing. So, we must turn our minds back on who God is, His perfect love for us, His unconditional love and acceptance of us. Then we recognize that we must depend on Him, who is our life. We learn to allow the agape love of God flow in and through us because we cannot conjure it up on our own.
God is the initiator of all things and we are responders. That is called faith. That is how we enter into that relationship to God’s initiation with us. There are people who will respond to Him by faith; that He is the initiator and I am the responder. That perfect love of God has been initiated to you through Christ Jesus. You respond to that. The more you respond to that, the deeper it becomes. You become, sooner or later, like the apostle Paul, to be convinced of something. God wants us to be completely convinced of His love, that nothing can separate you from His love.
Ted from Eugene, OR
Ted: It is nice to be home, back from Iraq.
Bob: You do not miss the sand?
Ted: Not a bit.
Bob: Glad to have you back, Ted.
Ted: Thank you. Thanks to all the listeners and those who supported sending books over to me while I was deployed in Iraq. It was such a blessing to have a bible study with the soldiers, studying Victory over Depression and Classic Christianity. They were having a good time in those studies.
Bob: Keep in touch with us and we will help any way we can. It is good to know you started a movement over there.
Ted: It is good sharing truth. I am still in the national guard in Oregon, and will be until December. I am currently back home safe and sound. I am engaged to be married, remodeling a rental house where we will live, and applying for a job at a fire department in town.
Bob: That is great. We enjoyed your visit with us, and many were blessed because of your testimony. Those guys continually need to be prayed for. That part of the world is getting too familiar. We need to rejuvenate that. There are still men over there sacrificing their lives so people can have freedom and they can have freedom in their country. It is a big assignment. God bless you. You keep in touch.
Sandra from San Diego, CA
Sandra from San Diego, California
Sandra: Hi Bob. Thanks for taking my call.
Bob: You are sure welcome.
Sandra: I am experiencing bitterness. I walked with the Lord for over 20 years. I walked through several times through forgiveness. Recently I see a bitter root in me. An arrow will hit me in the middle of the day. It is like a bitter root that is there. I am not thinking bitter thoughts and not trying to have these attitudes. When it comes, it is very strong. What do I do to come against that? I am in this battle field in this one little area.
Bob: Sandra, again, when something comes upon you. If bitterness wasn’t in you it wouldn’t come out of you. Circumstances do not cause your nature. They reveal your nature. You could not stir up beans in a pot unless beans are in there. Unless you can have the spirit of bitterness in you, you cannot let it out of you. Circumstances just reveal that.
15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.
Bob: You can have a spirit of bitterness because you are bitter over something. And when you are bitter over something you are hanging onto it too long. If someone insults you, then it is only important as long as you continue to insist on remembering it. You have to let go of these things. They are not important. In light of eternity just how important is it when somebody insults you. It is learning to put everything in proper perspective. If bitterness is there, all it takes is a little thought and it will get triggered. So just get rid of the bitterness. You learn to say, “It is over as far as I am concerned.” It is not worth thinking about. Start praying for the person who is bitter.
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
Sandra: That is it. Oh, I thought I was over this, and then boom. Okay.
Bob: You may be over this. Satan is activating those thoughts. I have had situations in my life where people have done things to me that were very, very difficult to forgive. I could not forgive them in my flesh. I was trying to conjure up fleshly forgiveness. I had to realize that I could not forgive in my flesh. What I was trying to do was to manufacture up fleshly forgiveness. There is nothing good in the flesh.
20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
Bob: The flesh never wants to forgive. Hold on a minute. I am in the Spirit. I am a new creation. I am a spiritual being. The Spirit who lives in me has already forgiven them. So as far as I am concerned they are forgiven. I do not care what my flesh tells me. Hold on a minute. This flesh is not going anywhere except to the grave. I am in Christ Jesus and Christ has forgiven that person. So as far as I am concerned they are forgiven. Whether my flesh wants to agree with that or not is irrelevant. Satan is activating those thoughts. In the Spirit, you forgive. Satan is just triggering your flesh. Satan, you might as well talk to someone else. I am not interested in entertaining that thought anymore.
2 Corinthians 10:5
5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Sandra: Okay. I need an answer that makes sense. Thank you so much. I just do not want this thing to keep going on, wasting my time.
Bob: Absolutely. Satan wants you to waste your time and he is the one who is bringing those thoughts back to your mind.
10 The thief [Satan] comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I [Jesus] have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Sandra: Thank you so much, Bob. God bless you. I just love your ministry. Thank you very much.
Bob: Thank you, Sandra. Bye bye now.
John from San Diego, CA
John: Hello, brother. I appreciate your ministry very much.
Bob: Well, thank you John.
John: I am able to teach some of what you are talking about, not having to go back to forgiveness over and over again. It is a great message. There is one issue that comes up that I am not able to reconcile. I have been listening to your program hopefully to hear the answer. So finally I called to ask it.
John: The one issue I have not been able to recognize is a passage in Matthew when the disciples say to Jesus, “Teach us how to pray.” and he says, “if you do not forgive others neither will I forgive you”. Can you explain the meaning of that?
Bob: Yes, absolutely.
Bob: You see, John. Think about this for a minute because it is a good question. How could you say “if you do not forgive someone here on earth your Father in heaven will not forgive you” out of one side of your mouth. Out of the other side of your mouth, “God was in Christ reconciling the entire world unto Himself not counting man’s sins against him”. Those are two totally opposite things, aren’t they? They contradict each other. Don’t they?
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
2 Corinthians 5:19
19 God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s sins against them.
Bob: But God does not contradict Himself. So both of them are true. How are they both true? One is Old Covenant and one is New Covenant. The New Covenant we are under went into after Christ’ death.
Bob: The gospels are the recording of Jesus’ life. The people Jesus was talking to were not under the New Covenant yet. Christ taught under the old Covenant and buried us under that covenant. That is what prepared us for the New Covenant of grace. Under the New Covenant, in Hebrews, Jesus said, “your sins and lawless acts I will remember no more” and “where these have been forgiven there is no more sacrifice for sins”.
Hebrews 10:17-18 (TLB)
17 And then he adds, “I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.” 18 Now, when sins have once been forever forgiven and forgotten, there is no need to offer more sacrifices to get rid of them.
Bob: For the Jew under a New Covenant, Jesus says to put aside the day of atonement. Put aside that whole sacrificial system. There is no more sacrifice. Today, he would say to Catholics, “you should never have gotten a confession booth, but now that you have one, put it away, if you understand this truth”. To the evangelical that has to keep going back to ask for forgiveness, say, “It is finished. Stop and quit doing what Christ has completed.”
Bob: The Lord’s prayer is really not a prayer, but the Lord is teaching you how to pray under an Old Covenant. He taught us how to pray under an Old Covenant. Under the Old Covenant, forgiveness was conditional. How did you get forgiven under the Old Covenant? You went to the day of atonement where you sacrificed a bull and a goat. That was conditional. In the New Covenant, there is no more sacrifice for sins. Jesus being the propitiation, or complete satisfaction of God’s wrath against sin. The sins of the entire world – past, present and future – have been paid in full by Christ’s shed blood on a cross.
John: I have the privilege to minister to inmates. The one issue that comes up is the one on forgiveness. They are the ones who bring this up because there is a lot of gang activity. Forgiveness is a huge issue for them. So, you cannot say if you have unforgiveness in your heart to your brother, you still have to reconcile that somehow?
Bob: You do not have to John. No, there is nothing to reconcile. If you have to reconcile then you are still under the law. We are not under the law. We are under grace. Leave that one where it belongs, under the Old Covenant. There is nothing in the New Covenant to even deal with that issue. Today, what does it say?
13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Bob: Do you see the difference in the New Covenant? How? As Christ Jesus forgave you. Today, under the New Covenant, it says “forgive one another as Christ Jesus forgave you”. Under the Old Covenant, “if you do not forgive your brother who sins against you, your Father in heaven will not forgive you”. So you see the difference in the two covenants. If God forgave you, then why should I not forgive you? There is your motivation.
John: If I sin and I think God is mad at me, and maybe he will forgive me, and then that keeps me from approaching God in confidence. He has already forgiven us.
Bob: Absolutely. That is correct, and God freed us from that so we can boldly approach the throne of grace.
16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Mike from Porterville, CA
Mike: Can a person sell their soul and return and become a good guitar player?
Bob: A born again person would not even think of selling their soul. Satan already has the soul of a lost person. A person can say to God, “I am giving everything I have to you”. A lost person could do that with Satan. Satan offered Jesus the world and its kingdom.
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’“
Bob: Evidently Satan had it to give or he would not have been offering. I could probably name someone who had sold his soul to Satan. They have riches and had everything in this life this world has to offer but are totally Satanic in nature. Madeleine Murray O’Hare comes to mind. A guy who is continually issuing lawsuits and a member of the atheist party is denying Jesus and is not accepting Christ.
Mike: Basically, the unpardonable blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
Bob: Yes, he is denying Jesus. Could such a person at their last moment of their life come to Christ? Possibly so. It is not likely for someone who has such a strong conviction, who is anti-Christ, but nevertheless possible.
Mike: How about prior to salvation?
Bob: A person could give their inner being over to Satan and find the ill of its way and still be converted. A person can never go too far to not come to salvation. You cannot be too good to earn it or too bad to not obtain salvation.
Mike: I am 38 years old. I remember at 10 praying to God. As a child, I would observe adults. How adults act on television is not very pleasant. I thought how I would never want to be like that as an adult. So I remember praying so I would be kept innocent as an adult. It is very difficult for me to love like God loves. Am I the one to instigate? I would rather love than have all the riches of this world.
1 John 4:10
10 This is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Bob: It is not that we loved God but He loves us first. We have to understand that truth. God is the initiator of all things. We live in this world under the law of causality. The effect is never greater than the cause. The warmth of the sun is not greater than the sun. My salvation is not greater than my Savior. We live by that law of causality. The same is true with God. If the effect of something is greater than the cause of something, then you become greater than the cause. That is, if the effect is greater than the cause, you are greater than God. If I can cause God to respond to me, then I am greater than God.
Mike: Like Satan’s attitude when he turned against God?
Bob: Absolutely. God is the initiator of all things and we are responders. That is called faith. That is how we enter into that relationship to God’s initiation with us. There are people who will respond to Him by faith; that He is the initiator and I am the responder. That perfect love of God has been initiated to you through Christ Jesus. You respond to that. The more you respond to that, the deeper it becomes. You become, sooner or later, like the apostle Paul, to be convinced of something. God wants us to be completely convinced of His love, that nothing can separate you from His love.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Bob: There is nothing that can separate me from God’s love. I did not earn or deserve it. If I understand how much God loves me, how can I not respond in any other way than in love back to Him.
Mike: His love flows out of you.
Bob: Absolutely. God loves me. I love Him. God loves the world. So go let me love through you to them. Allow the agape love of God flow in and through us because we cannot conjure it up on our own.
Donna from Nashville, TN
Donna: I am a first time caller. I called to get guidance in how to parent my 18 year old son. He is making bad decisions in life and relationships, and I have evidence he is visiting porn sites, and I have confronted him about that. I am trying to speak truth in love and not provoke wrath in him. I am having a hard time in transitioning in parenting him as a young adult and not as a child.
Bob: When a child that old, a freshman in college, if he does not have a foundation now, then he has to get his own foundation somehow. He may have to fall on his face to get a foundation. Today, so many young men get into college and get caught up in wild living and drinking, going down to those beaches, and especially men acting like morons and idiots. It is strange to think these young men are the hope of the world acting like that and yet getting interviews upon graduation. These were guys drunk on a beach.
Bob: It is a good thing God has to get a hold of us sooner or later. You are in college to get educated but what you really need educated on is how to live. Are all of you Christians? Does he know the Lord?
Bob: This is what I would say. “Son, look, you have got choices as a child of God to make any decisions you make, but when you choose to get into alcohol, that alters the mind and destroys the body. Those are poor decisions. I come to you as a friend not as a parent for you are beyond parenting now. For your own good, let us reason together. As a parent who loves you, these decisions you are making are going to destroy you if you do not ultimately change your mind and start on a new path.
Bob: How long has this behavior been going on?
Donna: In high school he was a little rebellious at 16 but at 17 he got more rebellious.
Bob: When you let kids have liberty in high school then they have a place to come home to. In high school, you have a place to learn these things of life. Let your kids have enough liberty that when they fall on their face, then there is a safe place to come home to and receive guidance as well as unconditional love.
Bob: Let me encourage you. Here is a suggestion of what you might say. “There is no one going to love you any more than your mom. I am not coming here to chastise you. I am not parenting you anymore. You are beyond that. You seem like you are lost and like you do not know where you are going. I want to talk to you as a friend. I am talking to you as a friend who cares for you.” Do not get shocked by it. Just keep talking to him about the love of God and how much He loves him