Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P598 (01-14-21)
It takes time to get wisdom, and that only comes by knowing God, spending time in His word, and learning to ask good questions. A home bible study, or a Zoom meeting with other believers, can be helpful for that. But the group meeting should be organized about the word of God, and focused on getting to know the author. This is not like a book study, where you get information, like you would a history or math book. In those kinds of studies, like you would study in college, you are not trying to get to know the author. You primarily just want to get a grade and a degree. Not so with the bible. You want to know a person, and by knowing that person of Jesus Christ, you get wisdom.
In this day of Coronavirus, with all these lockdowns and censoring going on, more and more people are beginning to see more readily that the church is not a building but people, people who are born again, who have Christ living in them. That is when two or more are gathered in His name, and Christ, being in you, is right in the midst of you. And such a gathering may not be in homes, depending on the restrictions placed on you by your state, but on a virtual Facebook live or zoom meeting, where you can interact with others.
So as you ask questions, people are free to interact and discuss struggles of life, and get practical advice on how to deal with those things that are bothering you, or something you want to understand more clearly or fully. For example, a man may find himself unequally yoked, being married to an unbelieving wife, and is not sure what to do. But as he is in a discussion with other men, he comes to understand from 1 Corinthians 7, that there is this case where God wants us to live in peace, and if the wife does not want to live with you, being adamantly opposed to your belief, your faith in Christ Jesus, and wants to leave, then let her go. You are not obligated in such circumstances.
Then, as a new believer, you are bothered by the fact that no one in the workplace wants to hear about Jesus. You think it is unusual. But then you hear other believers tell you that is not unusual. People did not even want to hear Jesus when He told them that He is the way, the truth and the life. When you are born again, you are set apart from the rest of the world in your thinking. You have the mind of Christ. The lost do not understand you and think you are strange. They cannot discern the things of God. It just sounds like foolishness to them, as scripture says. But there is practical advice, and wisdom from scripture, in how to interact with non-believers. Be friendly, kind and humble, and make yourself available to them, and gently ask them if they have interest. If they do, you can share with them after work hours or at lunch. But do not push if they have no interest. Just be led by the Spirit as to what He would have you do.
So listen to today’s program to hear practical advice on a variety of questions being asked. And realize that you have been made complete in Christ, you who are in Christ Jesus. There is nothing that you need to do to be made more perfect. You have everything you need for life and godliness through Christ, who is in you. Just choose to participate in the divine nature, that privilege you have been given from God, relying on Him to live His life in you and through you.
Frank from Gloversfield, NY
Frank: I am dealing with a little hard time right now. Every time I talk about the Lord Jesus Christ, I get people coming at me. They say we do not want to hear about religion. I am not talking about religion. I am talking about Jesus. I am born again. People just want to walk away from me. “Are you some kind of a nut?” “No, you do not understand.” It is just crazy.
Bob: Frank, what you are running into is not unusual, especially out in the workplace. What sets you and me apart from the world, which is what sanctified means, to be set apart, is because we have come to know Christ Jesus and the truth of Christ Jesus. The world does not want to hear truth. The world likes error. They believe anything except the truth. So when you are in a workplace, you become set apart from the rest of the people, not because of how you act or not because of the way you eat or the way you dress, but because of what you believe. That is what sets you and me apart from the world. If you took a survey of the world, and asked people, how many people think that Jesus Christ is God, and was born of a virgin, died on a cross, to take away sins, raised from the grave, to offer newness of life, to us who were born dead. How many people believe that? You find you are in the vast minority. That is what sets you apart. So do not feel like you are a lone ranger out there, or feel like this is something unusual. You are on foreign territory. You are on alien territory.
1 Corinthians 1:2-3
2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ – their Lord and ours:
3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Frank: There is another thing I go through when I am working. I enjoy listening to Cherry Valley when I am working. When they say when I turn on the radio, they say they will smash my radio.
Bob: First, I do not know what Cherry Valley is. Again that is your radio? Does your boss allow you to play the radio?
Frank: He does not say we cannot. He really just does not want any radios in the place. Everybody brought in a radio and to play crazy stuff.
Frank: This time, they have the idea that I can play country and western. You are not going to censor what you listen to. Can you listen to the radio, not just me, but everybody, if they want to?
Bob: You are not going to censor what I listen to, but the issue is, you can tell me, as an employee, I do not want my employees listening to the radio. I want them working. If that is his decision, then do not listen to the radio. Or if you do, then put some headphones on.
Frank: I came up with that idea. I will bring the radio, and put headphones on. Then I am enjoying the radio.
Bob: If it is that I do not want employees listening to the radio.
Frank: No. I am working as I am listening.
Bob: There is nothing he can do or should do if you are sitting here privately listening to the radio. If he does not want the radio disturbing people, that is understandable. That is where becoming submissive and subservient to the man in authority, which is your boss. I would go to him very kindly on that, “Do you have any objection to my listening to the radio, not censoring me, but listening to the radio?”. If he does, then I will just wear headphones.
Bob: Then if you want to share Christ with people, then try to make appointments with people, if they are interested. I would like to share something with you that has changed my life. If they are interested, then they are there. But they know how you stand, don’t they Frank, don’t they?
Frank: They look at me as an outcast of the whole building.
Bob: Well, you are.
Frank: I feel like I live on a deserted island. I look at people. They say, “Oh, you are one of those bible people. Do not come around me. I do not want to hear about it.”
Bob: You are. That is what sets you apart.
Frank: I tell them, “You do not understand.
Bob: You do not have to defend that. They are not understanding. You can say very nicely, as my friend, “I am sorry you feel that way, but it is obvious you do not understand. I am not a bible thumper nor am I someone slaying people with the Spirit knocking people over. I am a person who has a relationship with Jesus Christ. If you ever want to hear how you can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, then come and talk to me.” Just be nice about it.
Frank: But they are saying, “Do not come to me with your religion.”
1 Peter 3:15
15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect
Bob: Then, do not come at them. It says to give an account of the hope within you. Let them know where you are, and if they are interested, then you are more than happy to talk with them. Then leave them alone.
Frank: But my idea, it is not religion I am into. I am born again, and I just want to say something about the good Lord, what He has got to offer everybody.
Bob: So did Jesus. He wanted to talk about what He was there for, but they did not want to listen. And you are in the workplace. That is not a place to share Christ out in the open. In the workplace, that is a place you go to earn your living. If you want to share Christ with someone, go at lunch break or after work and meet people. If they do not want to hear during work, then don’t. They know where you stand. Frank, you do not have to push yourself on people. They know where you stand. If they are interested and they want to find out how they can have their life turned around, come talk to me and we can go to lunch together. Do not fight it.
Frank: Okay. I understand what you are saying. Do not push it on them. Let them come to me. Then if you want to sit down then we can talk about it.
Bob: Absolutely. It says be willing to give an account of the hope you have within you. That is not knocking somebody on the head. That is being available to give an account of why you believe the way you do, and why you act the way you do. So let people know you are available. “If you ever have a problem or want to talk to somebody, I am more than glad to talk with you.” Just let them know. Okay, brother.
Frank: Thank you.
Ken from Pittsburg, CA
Ken: I had a weird week. Monday, I got laid off. Tuesday, I was planning on separating from my wife because we were unequally yoked. Everything bad happened with the job. I am looking for understanding. I am just trying to seek if this is God’s punishment on me. I am looking to see if I can work things out with my wife or if it is one of these things it just happened. I thought it would be a real good job. But then I found out, he is a total nutcase. Everything he promised he did not obligate. I am looking for insight and understanding. I was wondering if you could help me?
2 Corinthians 6:14
14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
Bob: Ken, as far as the job goes, you can get another job. There are plenty of jobs available to people. It may not be exactly what you are looking for, but certainly plenty of places to get employment. When those types of things happen, you are not going to be happy about that, so you will be somewhat depressed over it. If you look at life realistically, these things happen and do, then you just get up and move on. Then you start interviewing for other positions.
7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”
8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
1 Corinthians 7:10-16
10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.
12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.
15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
Bob: As far as your wife is concerned, the bible certainly does not advocate divorce nor does it encourage people for divorce unless you have one who is a born again believer, a strong born again believer, and a mate that is not, and does not like the fact that you are. And does not really want to live with you as a born again believer. Then it says you can let your spouse go for He wants you to live in peace. Otherwise, hang in there, and let God be God and watch Him go to work. The problem I see is when people jump into divorce or separation too early, and today it is so easy to do, but we miss the blessing of seeing God go to work. That is really a shame because when you hang in there and do what God tells you to do, you see Him go to work. That is the most exciting thing to see. I certainly do not advocate breaking up a marriage, unless there has been infidelity and some people cannot live with that, and cannot forgive, and He understood that. So that may be one of the cases. Otherwise, He says to hang in there.
Bob: That is the only advice I can give you brother, out of the word of God for you.
Ken: Thanks, Bob. I appreciate that. It is difficult being unequally yoked. I got some members in fellowship dealing with the same thing, unequally yoked with mates. Some people have to deal with it over twenty years. I do not know if I have the patience to last that long.
Bob: Again, if your wife is in rebellion against Christ, you have to find out why. Sometimes, and may not be in your case, but sometimes, and she says, “if you are an example of what a Christian is, I do not want anything to do with it”. There is that kind of thing that takes place. But if a person is living in dependency upon Christ, and is patient and kind, and all of those things, as Christ desires for us to be, and a woman says, “I do not like you and this Jesus stuff and I do not want to be involved in that.” Then she says, “I want to leave you”, then scripture says to let her go. She is one, according to that passage, she is one who needs to take initiation. If she does not want to be there, then let her go. She is the one saying ”I want to get out of here”.
15 But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
Bob: If you do want to be in that capacity, then you are free to go.
Ken: Okay. Thank you, Bob. I will let you go on with other people. I will keep you posted.
Bob: Okay, my brother. God bless you, pal.
Charles from Nicholsville, KY
Charles: I went on vacation a week or so ago, and just got back. I got in a conversation with a gentleman in his home. I refer to it as positional grace. The way he made it come across is that we are complete in heaven but not here on earth, and God has not given us everything in Him for here on earth now. I heard you elaborate earlier, and you addressed some things. Can you elaborate more that we are not willing to accept we have been made complete in Christ here by the power of the resurrection?
Bob: Charles, again, there is no such thing as positional forgiveness. I hate those kinds of statements. It is just the fact you are complete. The bible does not say that except you are complete in Christ. What that means is God has made you complete as far as God is concerned. God has forgiven you. So where am I forgiven? Here on earth. I am not forgiven in heaven. Obviously, I had to be forgiven in heaven before I was forgiven here. I was given eternal life by God who gave that to me from heaven. I have it now. It is not something I get later. I am complete in Christ here. He is not going to do anything more for me than what He has already done for me here on earth. That is why it says we are complete. You just ride with that. How are you going to walk by faith what you have done for you in heaven some day. I have to walk by faith in what He has done for me right now.
2 Peter 1:3
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
Charles: That is a question the Lord laid on my heart to ask him. He asked me what it would look like this resurrection you are talking about? The only answer I could come up with was Jesus Christ risen from the dead. My question to him is, “What, to you, is a man of faith?” I posed it to him that way and I am waiting for a reply, waiting for his response. What I understand from the book of Hebrews is that we have been sanctified for all those who have been made perfect in Him.
14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
Bob: Exactly. We have been made perfect and that means be made complete. You cannot add to it or subtract from it. You just have to walk by faith in it. I do not even have to understand it.
Bob: God has done everything He is going to do for me right here on this earth. When I am absent from the body, I will be present with the Lord. Then, I am going to see Him as He is and be like Him. But while here on earth, He has given me everything I need for life and godliness. Praise God!
2 Corinthians 5:8
8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
1 John 3:2
2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
Bob: Charles, if I am understanding correctly, you are right on with your teaching. We have everything God has given us, and we have right now on earth. So you say, “How is that manifested?” It depends on whether we are walking in dependence of the Holy Spirit of God living in us.
2 Peter 1:4
Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
Bob: We can also participate in the flesh. So that is where the conflict comes in. But that has nothing to do with what God has made us. God has made us complete. We struggle with sin here on this earth but God does not see our sin. He has already dealt with our sin.
Charles: He made a comment. “Why are we renewing our mind?” My thought was to be able to comprehend the width, length, depth and height of the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Bob: Absolutely. We are renewing our minds on truth. Charles, God wants us to have wisdom. You can go out and get knowledge. I went to a university, and said, “There is a room full of nonsense.” All of those books written by authors and you do not know if those people who wrote those books have a brain or not. You have no clue. You do not know their character or whether accurate or not. How do you get a degree? You read the book. You do not read a book to get to know the author until you studied the bible. I grew up in Indiana University with Dr. kinsley. He was a total basket case. He raised his son with a monkey in the same crib and ate the same foods. Then everybody read his books like it was God speaking to him.
Bob: So, again, we do not know who the author of any of those books is. We do not know them personally. We just hope they know what they are talking about. Then you read the book in detail enough so you can write that down in a bluebook to get a grade, to get a degree. aad we are all proud of our degree. But unless it was some kind of specialized training, what are we proud of? All we did is internalize someone’s thinking and we do not know if they are right or not.
Bob: But wisdom. We know who the author is. The only place you get wisdom is the bible. And we know who the author is. You can get knowledge, but if you are going to get wisdom, you must go to the bible. The bible is where we get wisdom.
1 Corinthians 1:30
30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.
Charles: Basically, they have not submitted themselves to righteousness that comes from God but sought to establish their own.
3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.
Charles: And have not a clue to enter into the Sabbath rest, resting from their works just as God did from His.
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.
Bob: That is true, too.
Charles: Thanks. Okay, I was on mark.
Bob: You sure are, brother.
Charles: I just wanted confirmation.
Bob: You keep teaching up there, Charles.
Charles: I am resting in Him and allowing Him to talk through me.
Bob: There you go.
Charles: I thank you for standing firm in the faith, all of those seeking to find. As you know, He says if we seek then we will find.
Bob: Absolutely. That is a promise, isn’t it?
13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Charles: Thanks. Bye.
Carl from Atlanta, GA
Carl: I was reading the scriptures with guys on my job. I wanted a home style study, as brothers to get together to read and study and pray together. A guy said he could not do it unless he asked his pastor first. Can anyone born again, who is a believer, have a home bible study without actually having pastors?
Bob: It is not the pastor’s business whether you start one or not. I can go ahead and start one. If you can announce it from the pulpit, and he felt you were qualified to teach a home bible study, that would be one of the jobs that would be of an elder. An elder is not necessarily a person’s age, but his maturity in Christ and his grasp of the word of God. He would be an extension of an apostle in regard to his understanding of the word of God and adherence to it. If a pastor felt that was true, he would support bible study out of the pulpit.
Bob: But, you do not have to ask his permission for something like that if it is going to be an extension for church. If you are going to go out on your own to start a bible study, God gives you permission to do it. As a matter of fact, the church was the home. It says to greet the church that meets in their house.
5 Greet also the church that meets at their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia.
Bob: That is where church met, in homes. It did not meet in buildings until Constantine came along and ruined the Christian faith by making it a national religion, something you had to belong to. If that is the case, you have thousands of people who have to go on Sunday, so you build a big building and put stained glass and organs in them, in order to entertain the lost. That is how all of that developed. But the real church was in homes. Right now the real church is in homes.
20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
Bob: Wherever two or more gathered in His name, there Jesus is in the midst. So how can two or more people gather together, and Jesus is not in the midst of you, but yet you cannot call it a church? The church is not a building. The church is people. Wherever people are gathered, that is where Christ is.
Carl: The reason I say it. I go to a big church. It is a non-denominational church. Thursday, when we had bible class, you cannot ask questions because there are too many people there. I like to ask a lot of questions. I read your books, and I want to ask certain questions, but I cannot ask them. That is why I want a bible study.
Bob: That is the best growth you will ever have. You will grow more in bible study than in any other form of teaching. As a pastor, I do not think unless I am repeating over and over again, which I do, to think that people are going to grasp what you are teaching with a twenty minute lesson on Sunday morning. That is not the case in our church. The twenty minute lesson would be the introduction. But how in the world do you think that? Why would people think that where I have all these hours, the hours that are in a week, and then I am going to devote one hour to sit in church and listen to a fifteen or twenty minute message and that will do something for me, in light of all the rest of the time I am on earth for that week? That is nonsense. That is why the bible studies are so effective. You can ask questions. That is why people who hold home bible studies, because in that study, you learn to ask questions and think on your feet, and if you do not know the answer, you do not blab out what you do not know, but you go home and find an answer to bring back next week.
Bob: Go for it. I think people miss in spiritual development who do not get involved in that type of teaching.
Carl: I appreciate that Bob. I will take that information. God bless you.
Bob: You too, my brother. Bye. Bye now.