Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P559 (08-06-20)
There are many common questions continually asked from time to time, mostly because so much is taught from denominational persuasions of men, generation after generation, but also because new believers need to grow in grace and knowledge. New believers are mere infants in Christ, and so it takes time to learn and grow. So, Bob often answers questions by very sincere and honest people who want to learn. But sometimes, you just get a caller who is trying to stir up division or controversy. In such cases, you always want to avoid argumentation, and show respect, but firm with truth and be totally honest.
There were a variety of questions today. One caller asked about what it means to be a legalist. So Bob explained about how believers should never mix law and grace, and provided an explanation from scriptures from the apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians. In short, as believers, we are not under law but under grace in Christ Jesus. We are not under an Old Covenant of sin and death, led externally by words written on stone, but we, who are in Christ Jesus, are under a New Covenant of grace, internally led by the Spirit of God who lives in us.
Another caller asked about the frustration he is experiencing, being bogged down in the evil he sees in the world today, and wondering why Christians are not doing more. The issue is we have to be focused on what God is leading us to do and not be concerned about what God is doing with other people, for that would not be minding your own business. Now, if the Lord leads you to provide correction or rebuke, then praise God for it. Otherwise, there is nothing you are going to do about that. If God is directing someone else and they are not listening to God, then there is nothing you can do. The only avenue you have is prayer, that God gives wisdom to others or God reveals the truth of the gospel to someone. Until someone comes to receive the gospel and is born again, anything accomplished is temporary and not permanent.
Another caller asked a question on the role of elders and pastors in the church, including what role women have in teaching, whether they should be in positions of authority, such as a pastor or teacher. He mainly asked in regard to what he heard a pastor of his church say in regard to church organization and wanted further understanding on this from Bob. Bob provided background of the New Testament church, in regard to elders traveling from house to house, in order to ensure correct doctrine is being taught, shared a passage from Timothy, where it clearly states that a women should never be in position of authority over a man, and that the role of an evangelist is to teach someone to trust Jesus for salvation and the pastor-teacher to teach someone to trust Jesus for their daily life. Also, there are no apostles and prophets today, now that the word of God has been written down.
Bob also mentioned the importance of knowing that the word of God never had its origin in the will of man, but men of old, the prophets and apostles, wrote what the Spirit of God led them to write. The same Spirit of God is living in us, not to write new revelations down, for there is no more to be written down, but by having the mind of Christ, to have truth revealed to us. It is vitally important to know that the Spirit of God is the one who reveals the truth to us, who are in Christ Jesus. I will repeat what Bob often shares, because it is so important. Bob said, “I have told people for twenty years on this air, ‘Do not listen to me in what I am telling you. Go into the scripture and ask the Spirit of God, who lives in you, to reveal the meaning of the word of God and then you will be taught by Him and not by me.’”
Then there are those heart-breaking situations, where a caller has a relative who is dying, but is not a believer. He asked how he should approach someone who is dying. In a situation like this, you cannot be concerned about what people think, for this is a life and death situation. Your focus is to bring the gospel to this person. When you have that situation, you have to be honest with people. You know that even at our best, your time to leave this world and go to the next is very near. The issue is where you are going to spend it. There is only one way you are going to know where you are going to be, and that is becoming a child of God. There is only one way to become a child of God.
You bring the simple and complete gospel message to them. You tell them what Jesus did. “He died for their sins and was raised from the dead to give him eternal life. Your mom and dad had given you physical life, which you enjoyed through your years, but is now coming to an end. God wants to give you spiritual life and tell him how to get it.”
Bob from Naptown, IN
Caller: What does it mean to be a legalist? Does that mean I take every word of the bible at face value? Do I need to repent of my sins and ask for my forgiveness? Or, I do not have to because Jesus already did that when he shed his blood?
Bob: The answer to that is yes. You asked, is a legalist not someone who takes the bible literally? You better take the bible literally because it is God’s inspired word. The issue is whether you are under the Old Covenant of legalism or the New Covenant of grace. Paul told us that we have been called to be a minister of the New Covenant, not of the letter that kills, but of the Spirit that gives life.
2 Corinthians 3:6
6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Bob: Unfortunately most of us that are in the ministry have forgotten that point and try to co-mingle law and grace, which Paul talks about in Galatians. He called them foolish for mixing law and grace.
1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?
Bob: The obvious answer to that is believing what you hear. So if you are starting by grace, why are you trying to perfect yourself now by human effort. He calls people who co-mingle law and grace, living under both of them, foolish because you become a double-minded man, unstable in all your ways. So we have to realize we are dead to the law so we can be led internally by the Spirit of God.
4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.
Bob: God does not lead us without direction. Instead of direction written on stone, it is now direction written on the heart. That is the role of the Spirit of God living in us. He is our counselor and teacher and will guide us into all truth, to take the things of Jesus and make them known to us.
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
Bob: We are to be led by that, and not laws written on stone. No man will ever be declared righteous in the sight of God through obedience to the law. All the law can do is show you that you are dead spiritually. That is the purpose of the law, to show you your condition of spiritual death. That is what prepared you for the cross and the resurrection where we receive grace.
20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
2 Corinthians 3:7-9
7 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9 If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!
10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”[Deuteronomy 27:26] 11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.”[Habakuk 2:4] 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”[Leviticus 18:5] 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”[Deuteronomy 21:23] 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
Caller: Amen. Do you think many of us, ministers and lay people, that we try to make salvation much more complicated than what it really, truly is?
Bob: I sure do. I think we have tried to complicate it by adding to what Jesus did. You cannot say that salvation is Jesus plus anything or Jesus minus anything. It is merely recognizing what the bible says about us, that we are sinners and that we are dead. There is a missing link in salvation messages. You always hear about how bad sinners we are but that is not even the issue. The issue is not how bad you are, but how dead you are. We are born into this world dead. In case you have not figured it out, death is a worse problem than sin. Sin caused your death but death can only be corrected by life. It is not corrected by forgiveness. The only life available to us is the life of Christ Jesus. The reason we know we have that kind of life, eternal life, is because of the eternal consequence of the cross. I know the very moment I leave this body that I will be present with the Lord. The reason I know is because of the eternal consequence of the cross. If Jesus Christ had not taken away the sins of the entire world, all of them, then I would not know I have eternal life. Sin is what causes death. If He had not taken away the cause of spiritual death at the cross, I would not know I have eternal life. But because He did take it away is the reason I know I have eternal life.
Be Born Free is an excellent little booklet that explains the gospel.
Miriam from Pittsburg, CA
Miriam: I just wanted to know your feelings in regard to Pat Robertson’s comment in regards to the murder or assassination of another brother?
Bob: I just heard about this recently. I think I heard last night a part of that on a program. But I was not listening to that closely, so I am really not in a position to comment on it. My understanding, if I remember correctly, is that he made some statement that he needed to be dealt with severely. That has been interpreted as assassinated. Whether he said that or meant that I do not know.
Miriam: Should he be rebuked?
Bob: How can you rebuke somebody if you do not know what he said. I do not know what he said so there is no way to rebuke him. I do not even know the circumstances of the person he was talking to. If you were alive during World War II and pastor Robertson was in existence and he said that Adolf Hitler needed to be assassinated, would you have a disagreement with that?
Miriam: Yes, I would.
Bob: Well, I would not at all because Adolf Hitler needed to be assassinated. If he was, that would have saved millions of Jews and thousands of American soldiers who had to get him out of office.
Miriam: Same thing with Saddham Hussein? And others?
Bob: Yes, same thing.
Miriam: They may pass judgement on him the same way. Would you want a person to say that Pat Robertson should be assassinated?
Bob: I do not believe he is out assassinating people and killing thousands of people, Miriam. Use your brain. You are talking about people who are absolute hoodlums and murderers.
Miriam: He is an evangelist?
Bob: No, not Pat Robertson. The people that …
Miriam: Pat Robertson is an evangelist of the Christian faith?
Bob: Yes. I know that.
Miriam: They are the ones to be feared, the right wing in our country right now.
Bob: Why would the right wing need to be feared, Miriam? You are talking like somebody who has no thinking pattern to you at all. You are thinking out of the mind of a liberal mindset. Miriam, I am going to tell you something. Back in World War II, and I was alive back in those days, where we were an isolationist country, and everybody was saying, peace, peace, and peace. If you believe man is sinful there will never be peace.
Miriam: There is no peace. There is no peace in Israel. There is no peace in Iraq.
Bob: I agree with you.
Miriam: There is no peace in our world.
Bob: Except the prince of peace.
Miriam: We know false Christs will rise in the latter days. This is in Mark 13 if you want to read scripture.
Bob: Miriam, I do not like your innuendos. Believe me, Miriam, I do not have this program for a bunch of wise guys. The way you are talking is a wise guy. You should be ashamed of yourself, talking that way to the minister of the gospel. You are violating your own principles right now with your anger and innuendos to another person who is a minister of the gospel. Get this straight. I am not there to condemn Pat Robertson. I did not know what he said. Neither should you condemn someone unless you know precisely what he said. The illustration I was giving, in which you very surprisingly said, you would be amazed at someone saying, during World War II, that Adolf Hitler should be assassinated. I am amazed you are contrary to that in your mind, knowing full well what Adolf Hitler was, a murderer of unbelievable consequences. And you say he should not be wiped out! That is unthinkable to me. We did not call to argue. That is your opinion. You are welcome to that opinion. You certainly have a right to it, but it is just dead wrong.
Mark from Catcher, Ontario
Mark: I have a question regarding 2 Peter 1:20. Can you give me some idea what this verse means? It seems to me like this verse suggests that only the bishops are able to interpret scriptures for us.
2 Peter 1:20-21
20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
Bob: It is saying the very opposite of that type of thing, Mark. It is saying there that all for all of us to understand that no prophecy in scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. It is the same thing that Jesus said while he was on the earth. Here was God, here on earth, but he was behaving as a man. “I do not do anything unless the Father tells me to do it. I do not say anything unless the Father tells me to say it and how to say it.”
19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”
10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.
Bob: When the Holy Spirit comes, He will guide you and lead you into all truth and take the things of Jesus and make them known to you. Jesus walked in total dependency on his Father. That is how you and I are to walk in total dependency of the Father. So the scriptures written by the apostles did not come by the apostles’ own interpretation. It came from the Holy Spirit of God who lives in them. Prophecy never had its origin in the will of man. Prophecy came from God, not from man. Man spoke from God. Just as Jesus said, “I speak as the Father tells me to speak, as carried along by the Holy Spirit.” It is a great passage of scripture that lets you and me know that the bible we hold in our hands may have been written down by the hand of an apostle, but it was the Holy Spirit who was directing his thoughts to do that. It did not come from his origin. It came from God Himself.
Mark: Okay. Is there any scripture in the New Testament that would suggest that the Holy Spirit gives us proper understanding of the scriptures.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10
9 However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”[Isaiah 64:4] –
the things God has prepared for those who love him –
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
Bob: Yes, The Holy Spirit, who lives in you, is the only one who can reveal the meaning of the word of God. That is why people, to me intellectually, are not even honest, to go to someone else to find out what the meaning of the bible is. You have thousands of people in this world who believe what they believe because that is what “we Catholics teach”. No one has checked it out to see whether it is true or not. A person says, “I am Catholic and that is what we Catholics believe, so that is what we Catholics believe.” Or a person says, “I am Lutheran, and I have no idea what they believe, but you just tell me what to believe and I will believe it.” That is nonsense. God gave you and me, as born again believers, the ability to understand the meaning of the word of God.
1 Corinthians 2:14-16
14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,
“Who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?”[Isaiah 40:13]
But we have the mind of Christ.
Mark: Thank you, sir.
Bob: I have told people for twenty years on this air, “Do not listen to me in what I am telling you. Go into the scripture and ask the Spirit of God, who lives in you, to reveal the meaning of the word of God and then you will be taught by Him and not by me.”
Mark: Thank you very much.
Bob: Okay, pal.
Mark: Okay. Bye bye.
Kevin from Vancuver, British Columbia
Kevin: It is a privilege to speak with you. I listen to you all the time. You have a great program. I got a question and a few comments if we have time. First off, how do you approach a situation, a childhood friend of mine, his mom is in the hospital and is soon going to pass away, and they are non-believers. I have been through this before. How would you approach that? What advice would you give me to deal with that? I am going to go, but I think a lot of people might be uncomfortable in that situation. What do you have to say about that?
Bob: When you are dealing with life and death, you are dealing with people where they are going to spend eternity, either in the presence of God or in hell. So what people think is totally irrelevant to me, when I go to visit someone on their deathbed, how family thinks about it or anyone else. If they are asking me to come, I am not thinking about what they are going to think. I am going to do my best to get the gospel in the ears of those who are lying there. I have even done that with someone in a coma, who cannot talk but they can understand. So the gospel is given.
2 Thessalonians 1:8-10
8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes
Bob: When you have that situation, you have to be honest with people. You know that even at our best, your time to leave this world and go to the next is very near. The issue is where you are going to spend it. There is only one way you are going to know where you are going to be, and that is becoming a child of God. There is only one way to become a child of God.
12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
Bob: I would say, ”I am encouraging you, in these last moments of your life, I am encouraging you not to go to hell.” I have no problem at all saying that to a person. You have to be up front. “This is life and death stuff. If I did not love you as much as I do, I would not be talking to you.”
Kevin: What would you share? I like the parable where you can be taken at the last minute.
Bob: I would not worry about that. I would just go in and give the gospel. I do not think they are worrying about this being the last minute or not. You are giving a message so that when they lose their present life, they know they are going into the presence of God. So I would tell them what Jesus did. “He died for their sins and was raised from the dead to give him eternal life. Your mom and dad had given you physical life, which you enjoyed through your years, but is now coming to an end. God wants to give you spiritual life and tell him how to get it.”
Kevin: Bob, I am a pretty sensitive individual. I have a bit of a critical spirit. I get frustrated a lot. I heard a lot of teaching saying, that if walking with the Lord, then you should not really feel that. As you look around, anyone with eyes and ears, there is so much filth out there. It is pretty tough to deal with. Is it normal? It is tough sometimes for me. I think I am a little bit more sensitive than a lot of people. I love reading the bible every day, but I do struggle. I do get frustrated with a lot of things. Some of the parenting things I see inform my eyes. Is that normal? It is tough to take sometimes.
Bob: Well, I think, Kevin, what you have to deal with is this. There is a passage of scripture. “Lead a quiet life and tend to your own business.”
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
Bob: I think it is a phenomenal passage of scripture. You cannot deal with everybody’s problems. The issue is, if God puts you in a situation to correct something, then praise God. You have got the ammunition to do so. But if He doesn’t, then there is nothing you can do about it. The best you can do is pray that God gives these people wisdom.
Kevin: Yes, but they are strangers.
Bob: If they are, just pray that God will, in some way, will reach them with the gospel. For until that occurs nothing permanent is going to happen anyhow.
Kevin: I am working on a program with homeless people, and the frustration often goes out in that direction. Why do churches, and I do not mean to beat them up, why are they not doing more, but if they really believed the word of God, why are not Christians doing more. I see cults, scientologists, getting involved, so why do we not do more? I do. I try to get some things going. But I get frustrated. Why? There is a lot of suffering.
Bob: Kevin, you cannot do that. First, you can look at yourself and say, “I am not doing enough either.” You have to do what God is leading you to do. If someone is not listening to what God is leading, then it is not going to get done, and there is nothing you are going to accomplish sitting around worrying about that. I give it no thought whether a church is doing this or why they are not doing that. It is because they are not listening to God. Am I going to correct that? No, I am not going to correct that. So what am I going to do? I am going to do what God called me to do and that is to keep proclaiming Jesus.
Bob: You get your eyes off other people and do what God has called you to do. Otherwise you will be driven crazy.
Kevin: Thanks for your time. Keep up the good work. God bless you all.
Bob: You too, Kevin. God bless you , pal.
Louis from San Marcos, CA
Louis: I wanted to tell you how I learned so much about God’s grace from your teaching, books and tapes. I really appreciate that.
Bob: Thank you, brother.
Louis: I have been looking for a church that does not mix law and grace. I think I finally found one. One of the teachings this minister teaches is what I want to ask you about is in Ephesians 4:11, where it talks about pastor-teachers.
11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ
Louis: He says in regard to pastor-teacher, that this is the only place in the bible that this is found. Pastor is not a leadership position in the church, only elders. The bible refers to only elders. That pastor-teacher is the spiritual gift, and spiritual gifts are open to all people, including women. In our congregation, we have some women who are pastor-teachers. But, he says that the pastor teacher’ job is to lead believers into more maturity. I wondered. He says also that a church cannot have one elder because the bible always refers to more than one. The elders are subject one to another. I just wanted your comment on that.
Bob: Well, it is a person that is certainly bogged down in church organization instead of what the substance of what the Christian life is, which is Christ Jesus. So God gave some to be evangelists, some to be pastor-teachers, and some to be prophets and some to be apostles. There are no apostles today. An apostle is a person who had been with Jesus from the beginning and witnessed his baptism, death, burial and resurrection. So there are no more apostles. There is no need for a prophet today. The prophet is a forth-teller of the word of God. We now have the word of God in written form in the bible. So we do not have that today.
Bob: So what we have left is pastor-teacher and evangelist. Their work is to equip the saints for their work of ministry. What is the work of ministry? It is to believe in Jesus. When they asked Jesus, “What is the work of ministry?” He said, “the work of the ministry is to believe in me.”
Bob: You can hear them saying, “you did not hear my question?” “Yes I did. The work of ministry is to believe in me.”, just as Jesus walked on this earth in total dependency on the Father. He did not do anything unless the Father told him to do. He did not say anything unless the Father told him what to say and how to say it. “As the Father sent me, so I send you.”
Bob: So, what is the role, therefore, of an evangelist? To teach people to believe in Jesus for salvation. What is the role of pastor-teacher? To teach people to believe in Jesus for their daily life, to learn to walk, to be led by the Spirit instead of to be denominated by church officials.
Bob: The problem we run into is we begin to put these positions into positions of control. If you are going to have an organization, a local assembly, somebody has to be in charge. The elders, quite frankly, they got that all mixed up. The elders would not be people in one local assembly. They were people who went from one local assembly to another to see if doctrine was being taught right. An elder steeped himself in the word of God and was there to teach solid doctrine to the people.
Bob: Just like a pastor would, but he would be more of a traveling pastor. That would also be the role of an elder. You can have one in your assembly, but in the New Testament, you had bible studies all over the place. There were no big buildings to meet in. They met in homes. The elders went from home to home to ensure no one was going off into their doctrine. The pastor was to secure correct doctrine and teach people. Elders were servants. Their role is to serve. So, if you would do that, you would not need all of this control facet.
1 Timothy 2::11-14
11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.
Bob: I do not agree with him at all in regard to pastor-teachers. The bible talks about the fact that a woman is not to be in a position of leadership over a man. That is clear as a bell. If you are in a position of leadership whether an elder or a pastor, you should not be a woman. It is good to be teaching as a woman, but not in authority over a man. People can get hung up on those deals. When you try to dot every “I ” and every “T”, sometimes you get to the point where your faith is in your administration and in your organization instead of in Christ Jesus.
Louis: Thank you, Bob.
Bob: Okay, God bless you, pal.