Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P541 (06-04-20)
People have often called into the radio program to ask for more clarity on scripture passages they find difficult to understand. One common one question asked is what about “falling away” and “not being brought back to repentance“ and this “expectation of raging fire” in Hebrews 6:6? The common mistake people do is not read the book of Hebrews all the way through several times over, and then asking the Spirit of God to reveal the meaning of it to you. They tend to focus on one verse out of its entire context, and think of all kinda of fearful thoughts. What is that sin? Did I commit it? So Bob highlights some other passages that gives greater to clarity the scripture in question.
In addition to Hebrews 6:6, look also at Hebrews 9:22, Hebrews 10:11-12, Hebrews 10:17-18 and Hebrews 10:26-29. When you read through those passages, you will see that what the writer of Hebrews is talking about is the sin of unbelief in Jesus, where a religious Jew is sinning against the knowledge of the truth, who wants to go back to the day of atonement to get his sins forgiven. He fails to realize that Jesus has already finished the work of taking away the sins of the entire world. For John 19:30, we read that Jesus cried out on the cross, “it is finished”. You will read about how there is no more sacrifice for sins, that we are under a New Covenant of grace ushered in after the death of cross, and that as a result of the cross, God will remember our sins no more.
So if you are going to go back to the cross to get your sins forgiven, then you never repented of your sin of unbelief in what Jesus accomplished for you. For we read that without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins. So Jesus is not coming back to shed his blood again. So a person who is falling away is falling to where he has never been. He has heard, he has seen, he has tasted, but he has not swallowed. He has not believed, or taken to heart by faith, what God alone has already done for him. Not only do the Jews go back to the day of atonement, and even today reject Christ as the Messiah, but Catholics go to a confessional booth and Protestants quote their 1 John 1:9 out of context to get or keep their sins forgiven. What is that? It is subjecting the Son of man to public disgrace all over again, making a mockery of the blood that sanctified and insulting the Spirit of grace. Such a person is lost who has not come to faith alone in what Christ has done for him. You have to let go of one to grab a hold of the other.
The appeal of Christ Jesus is this. Now that you have been reconciled by the blood of Christ, come to Him to receive His resurrected life. There is nothing, no sin, except the sin of unbelief, that is holding you back from receiving His resurrected life. If you are going to place your faith in Christ, you have to let go of what you are trusting in, your tradition, your religion, your system, or whatever you are doing, that you think by that God is going to accept you, and instead, receive by faith what has all already been provided in Christ Jesus. You say thank you, God, for what you have already done, taking my sins away, and that in Him, you have forgiveness,and so you come to Him to have life. In Him, you have the redemption, the forgiveness of sin (Ephesians 1:7). In Him is life, and that is what you need, because you are spiritually dead until the Spirit of God is sealed in you, comes to live inside you.
Other common questions is about free will and election. As one caller commented, those who preach on predestination seem to think that God gives us that faith and we do not have the free choice to resist it. That is the teaching of Calvinism and Reformed Theology, which is utter nonsense. Logic bears that out when you think that even a dog has a free will. Everyone has faith. You can go to the remotest part of the world and find someone worshiping some god of their own understanding, of their own making. It is built into the creation of man to worship. But will man lean on his understanding, or will he look at the evidence available to him, even the testimony of God’s creation? And just from creation alone, Paul testifies to the Romans that because of that, no man is without excuse.
God created man with free will, God’s choice in creation, because He did not want to make robots. Faith is not the gift. Every man has a measure of faith, enough light to walk into in order to seek Christ. The Spirit of God also draws all men unto Himself, and He rewards those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:1 defines faith for us. Is a person humble or proud? 1 John 2:2, Romans 10:17 and 2 Peter 3:9 shed light on this, and testify against this teaching of election. God did die for the sins of the whole world, but that does not mean everyone is saved. A person can choose to reject or to accept the life of Christ Jesus. He can choose to stay in the cave of his own religion, of his own making, or he can out of the cave and into the light. This can start by simply asking, ’God, I want to know who made the tree?” For someone seeking to know Him, God will make Himself known and reveal Himself to him. We also have the scriptures, that He gave us, so we may know Him. Take advantage of that opportunity.
David from Hammond, LA
David: We have been studying Hebrews, particularly in Hebrews 6:6.
6 and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
Bob: Where have you been studying, in your church there? Are you in Frank’s church there?
David: I am looking forward to the conference.
Bob: I am looking forward to being with you, too.
David: I think Frank is opening up some other churches in the New Orleans area.
Bob: What this is talking about is people who have been enlightened. I think he amplifies this to really get the meaning of it, which is in the tenth chapter in verse 26.
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
Bob: What is the knowledge of the truth they just wrote about? It is the knowledge of the truth about the New Covenant, where he said their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.
17 Then he adds:
“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”[Jeremiah 31:34]
18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
Bob: Where these have been forgiven, not will be, there is no longer a sacrifice for sin. So if we deliberately keep on sinning, that is, denying the finality of the cross of Christ Jesus, after you received the knowledge of the truth about Christ Jesus, there is no sacrifice for sins left. He just got through saying there is no more sacrifice for sin left but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
Bob: So you are talking about the fact that people who will not accept Christ Jesus, and his final sacrifice, there is no more sacrifice. There is no more forgiveness to be executed on our behalf by God. He has executed total forgiveness to mankind. That does not mean all mankind is saved. What was provided then is only received in His resurrected life. But He has taken away the sins of the entire world. When we do not believe that, we are trampling the Son of God underfoot, treating as an unholy thing, the blood of the covenant, this brand new covenant of grace that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace.
29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?
Bob: They are standing their insulting the grace of God, who reached down to us in mercy and kindness, and providing for us that we had no chance in providing for ourselves. So, once you are enlightened to that truth, and you have been around and tasted these things. Tasted does not mean swallowed, but tasted. Judas would have fallen into this category. Those who are professors but not possessors fall into this category. You have tasted these things. You shared in the Holy Spirit. You tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of this age, but if they fall away they cannot be brought back to repentance. How come you cannot be brought back to repentance? The same reason you cannot be brought back to where you have never been. If you try to go back to where you have never been, you will have some difficulty going back. The reason you cannot be brought back to repentance is because you never repented. You never changed your mind. In your mind, it says, to your loss, you are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to public disgrace. What does that mean? It could mean to go back to the day of atonement. I could go there or I could go to Jesus. If I could not go to Jesus for the totality of my forgiveness, and I am asking Him to do what He has already done, then I would have to crucify Him again.
11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God
Bob: In another place, the priests offered their sacrifices day after day, which could never take away sins, but when this priest took away sins for all time, he sat down at the right hand of the Father. Why did he sit down? His work is over. If you are not going to believe that, and keep going to your confession booth to get forgiveness, or in the evangelical world, which continues to hang onto this doctrine that you have to keep short accounts with God, you have to ask God to forgive you. A lady was at our seminar this weekend, saying she was in a church where the pastor said that she was full of pride for saying she does not have to ask God to forgive her. If you have to keep asking God to forgive you, then it is not a pride issue, but an ignorance of the word of God issue. If you want to talk about pride, pride is what says, “I am going to keep short accounts with God”. Faith says it has been done and all I can do is thank God for what He has done. That is humility. Pride says, “I am going to keep short accounts with God”. People teach that and keep pounding that from the pulpit. The same people who pound the bible down from the pulpit, saying all your sins are forgiven, past, present and future, and all of them forgiven, but out of the next breath say, “If you confess your sins, He will forgive you”. That is total double talk. That is what this passage is dealing with. You cannot be brought back to where you have never been. It is an indicator that you have never changed your mind. You said out of one side of your mouth that Jesus took away the sins of the world and out of the other side of your mouth, like the Jews, saying “I am going back to my day of atonement”. “What for?” “To get my sins forgiven”. It is like a Catholic saying, “I believe Jesus took away my sins”. Where are you going? “I am going to my confession booth”. “What for?” “To get my sins forgiven”. What is that? Double talk. It is like the Protestant saying, “I believe Jesus died for my sins”. “What are doing?” “I am doing the 1 John 1:9. I am going to keep my sins forgiven. I am going to ask God to keep forgiving my sins”.
Bob: There is not one single passage in scripture that tells man to ask for forgiveness. Why? It is not that we do not need forgiveness. It is not that it is a gift of God that we have forgiveness. It is the grace of God that provided the forgiveness. Once that was done, and he said it is finished, paid in full, it is not faith to ask God to do what in Christ he has already accomplished for you. You can go and say, “it feels good” and all that kind of nonsense. I can tell you what really feels good is when you are in a situation that you are humbled so much by that truth that all you can do is say, “Thank you. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for what you did. You did not do it because I asked you”. There is not one person on the cross that asked Jesus for forgiveness. He initiated forgiveness. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.”
34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Bob: Man responded to that truth by either accepting or rejecting it. If you are going to continue on seeking forgiveness, and subjecting Jesus to public disgrace, crucifying the Son of God all over again, because if God answered what you asked Him to do, He would have to die again, for without the shedding of blood there is no
forgiveness of sins.
22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
Bob: You would be subjecting him to public disgrace, who took away all our sins at the cross, in order for you to say, I do not believe you when you said “it is finished” when you died on that cross.
30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Bob: It is an absolute abomination to God to keep asking Him to do what in Christ He has already accomplished. We would not be asking God to give us eternal life if we are in Christ Jesus. Why? We have eternal life. You certainly would not ask God to redeem you. You have been redeemed. You would not ask God to justify you? Why? You have been justified. You would you not ask God, “Please let me go to heaven?” You are already seated in the heavenlies with Christ Jesus. All of those things we would not do, yet when it comes to forgiveness, why do we ask God for what we already have?
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
Bob: Would we ask God to redeem us? In him you have redemption. Would you ask God to redeem you as a born again believer? Why? In Him, you already have redemption. Then why would you ask Him to forgive you, instead of, in both of those cases, thanking Him for what He has already done. Faith says, “thank you”. Pride says, “I have something to do with this whether you like it or not, God. I am going to be the initiator in asking you and you are going to respond to me by doing so”. In so doing, we have placed ourselves as God, being the initiator, instead of the responder, which is who we are.
Bob: David, I hope this sheds some light and I hope this helps.
David: In 2 Peter 1:9, they were doing the same thing. They were short-sighted about their forgiveness.
2 Peter 1:9
9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
Bob: That is what Peter said, “You are blind indeed and have forgotten you have been forgiven of your past sins”.
David: It was affecting the fruit.
Bob: You cannot mature if you have forgotten. Until you finalize the cross, and able to walk, saying “thank you for what God has accomplished”, you are never going to mature and grow. That is very simple.
Bob: I really appreciate your call. God bless you, pal.
Pat from Atlanta, GA
Pat: Can you help me sort this out? We know from scripture that God is an initiator and not a responder. We know also from scripture that God said He poured out His love in our hearts through His Holy Spirit. 1 John 4:19 says we love because He first loved us. We can understand from this that God is the initiator of the very love that we have for Him, that He gives us. For what I understand from this, our very ability to love Him is given to us by Him. Am I correct in that?
Bob: Yes. We are responders, Pat. If He is the initiator, then you have to have a responder and that is us. We do not initiate to God. If we are the initiator then we would be telling God what to do. There are those people on television in Christendom who hold onto that type of doctrine, saying “We can boss God around and He is obligated to do what we tell Him to do”. That is what is going on.
Pat: Does the same thing apply to our faith? Is God the initiator of the very faith that we put in Him, or are we the initiator of the faith that we put into God?
Bob: Everyone has faith. Every person on the face of the earth has faith. You can go into the most remote areas of the world, to the remote people in the world, and they are worshiping some kind of a god because it is built into us. But He is the initiator and we are the responder. There again, how do we respond? By faith. How does He initiate? He initiated creation. He initiated salvation. How do we respond? We respond by faith. We either put our faith in what He has revealed to us or put our faith by leaning on our own understanding and not acknowledging Him and directing our own path.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Bob: But everyone has enough faith to accept the gospel. Otherwise, He would not say, “it is not my will that anyone should perish”. But not everyone is going to come to Christ by faith. Can we resist God’s will? Absolutely. All we have to do is deny it. That is the gamble that God had when He gave man a free will to begin with. The gamble is that man will use his free will, instead of loving Him, and instead to use free will to walk away from Him. The alternative to that is to make robots out of us. He gave us a will to choose. We have the right to choose.
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
Bob: There is the initiation. We hear the word of God. We then can respond by faith. Every man on the face of the earth has the capability of doing that. Those who do not have intentionally decided to rebel.
Pat: God is going to initiate it. We have the ability to accept it, but at the same time He is not going to force us to.
Bob: That is right.
Pat: That is not like those who preach on predestination, who seem to think that God gives us that faith and we do not have the free choice to resist it.
Bob: Yes, and that is nonsense. That is what some denominations teach. Calvinism teaches that. The Reformed Theology teaches that. But that is ridiculous because just by observation of nature, you know that you have a will. Even a dog has free will. It is the the most ridiculous theology I know of. I hate to say it in that way but that is what I believe. We were given a will and the opportunity to choose.
2 Peter 3:9
9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Bob: How are you going to spin it, that “none” just means the “elect”. God forgave the sins of the whole world. Yet, they will say, “The world does not mean world. It just means elect”. You have to do a lot of spinning on that. It is absolutely not biblical.
Pat: It creates a lot more questions than answers.
Bob: Absolutely. We all have choices to make. Why would Paul say he would give up salvation for the sake of his own people if everyone was chosen. Why would he make a missionary journey to preach to those who have not heard?
Pat: Thanks a lot.
Bob: I hope that helps.
Pat: It sure does.
Bob: Okay, Pat. God bless you.
Rick from Madonna, GA
Rick: First of all, my oldest son got saved this past resurrection Sunday.
Rick: He was 9 years old. I was saved 29 years ago, on a Sunday night.
Bob: That is a great thing to plug into. You never have the trouble remembering when you were saved.
Rick: He was 9 years old. I was thinking he would be a little older. It was kind of a surprise to us. I thought about it. Was he too young. If Jesus was walking down the street, and we knew He was Jesus, and He came to our children, we would not prohibit Him from coming.
Rick: I have a question, as I was reading the bible to my child, about Jesus before he was betrayed and in the garden praying.
39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
Rick: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” We know Jesus is God, and we believed Jesus, or God, is all-knowing, why would he ask that question if he already knew the future. And did he already know the future?
Bob: Again, what you see Jesus confirmed to us later on, “I do not do anything unless the Father tells me to do it and I do not say anything unless the Father tells me to say it and how to say it. As Father sent me so I send you”. Jesus put the prerogative aside in regard to who God is. God is always the dynamic of His own action and the cause of His own effect. Jesus put that prerogative aside in order to walk in total dependency upon His Father in order to teach us how to live as a man. You and I cannot live as God. Jesus is God. There is no sense in showing us how God lives. He wants to show us how He intended man to live. That is why He became a man. Here is Jesus getting ready, for the first time in his live, to take upon Himself every dirty and rotten thing that everybody in the world has ever done, literally to the point of becoming sin. It was not death that was causing him to drop great drops of blood. It is the idea that the purity of God Himself having to take upon Himself all the slush of this entire world. I think it was a very honest statement he was making. If there is any other way in the world, as if maybe we did not think it through, but “if there is any other way to save mankind apart from me having me to take upon sin, let us do it. Yet, not my will but your will be done”. It shows his dependency and his heart as a human being, as well as being God, of saying, “look I am not looking forward to going through this”.
Bob: There are many people who are condemned to death in an electric chair with a semi-worldy peace to it. So Jesus was not sweating great drops of blood because of death. It was because of having to take upon sins. In just my life alone, to take upon Himself all the dirty thoughts I had and the things I have said and done, that would be enough to make Him sick. That would be enough for him to say, “Lord, if there is any way of saving this guy, let us do it. But, nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done”.
Rick: Did he temporarily give up his foreknowledge to become a man?
Bob: There are so many things he did not answer. That is not for you to know. What he knew, we do not need to know. It is the fact that he became man, and found himself in appearance as a man and walked in obedience to his Father. He was not trying to be an initiator of information. He only revealed what his Father told him. He put that prerogative aside.
Rick: When I heard about partial birth abortion victory today. Have you ever heard of “silent scream”. I saw this on PBS. It showed an abortion taking place in a mother’s womb. When that action took place, the baby’s mouth opened and you could tell that the baby was in pain. That would be something to look at, people watching that, to see.
Bob: I think this, Rick, I do not need to watch that to know abortion is wrong. Abortion is murder. Sometimes we get hung up on issues like that. What we need to do is continue to. The United States of America and the Supreme Court has passed a law that it is okay to have an abortion. That is the law of the land. Just like it is okay to have pornography in a Seven Eleven store. I do not have to go to a Seven Eleven and I do not need to encourage people not to go to Seven Eleven, if I felt that way. But me to protest Seven Eleven is nonsense. The law allows them to have the material in their stores. So that is nonsense. What my role is, as a born again believer, is to encourage people to stay away from those things. I never had to tell a young girl about abortion, and I never told one to not to have one. I have just told her about the importance of life. I think that is a testimony of how you deal with abortion, not anti-abortion but pro-life.
Rick: But if congress and senators could see that.
Bob: It would not make an once of a difference. Their hearts are hardened. The reason they passed a law they did is because their hearts are hardened. In many instances, they are under pressure groups that are financing their being in office. I do not think it will make an ounce of a difference.
Rick: Anyone out there, ladies or girls, who had them, your sins are gone. God remembers them no more. I do not want to torment them. I want them to be saved.
Bob: That is what Jesus did. He had a heart of mercy. Those people who stand up and act like you are going to hell, that is not the heart of God. Jesus took that away. That is what he went to a cross for. Get up and walk in the newness of life.
Rick: I know I have done terrible things and I sure cannot judge anyone. Please pray for me and my family. I am struggling with my finances too many years. If I can get through, I would sure appreciate it. I have not gone through yet.
Bob: Well, maybe he wants you to be in a situation you are in right now to learn to trust Him better.
Rick: Then I better start trusting pretty soon then.
Bob: Thank you for your call, brother.