Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P577 (10-08-20)
The Lord said to us so we have the privilege of choosing to let Him live His life in and through us. But we also have the choice not to do so, but it would make no sense to do so. We are no longer under the law but under grace. That does not give us a license to sin, for we can do that without the law. Indeed, the law is what stirs up sin. But under grace, when you are truly born again, you have this attitude of gratitude, of the deep mercy and mercy of God towards you ,that you are compelled to live in the new way of the Spirit, who lives in you.
So God called us to be sanctified, to be set apart from the world, for His good purposes. But, when we are not thinking correctly, having errors in our heads, we need to be renewed with truth. For Jesus said that the truth will set you free. Oftentimes, what trips us up is circumstances that come to us all, trials and tribulations, that if our mind is off of Christ and onto our circumstances, we let anxiety and depressive thought grab ahold of us. Then we start doubting God’s presence or love. But God has never left us. He is always there in us, just as He promised to never leave us or forsake us. He tells us that we can boldly got to the throne of grace for help in time of need.
Listen now, as Bob shares with several callers encouraging words, scriptural truth, and practical advice to help them out with the burdens on their heart. Each of us is a part of the body of Christ, and God put us in a body that we may encourage and strengthen one another in the Lord. As the Lord tells us, as you see the day approaching, encourage one another all the more, so no one is hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Anything that does not come from faith is sin. So, let us encourage one another to keep a hold of our faith in Christ, clinging to His promises, so we can walk above our circumstances in peace and joy, that the Spirit has given us, through Christ Jesus, who is living in us.
Francisco: I have a very good friend of mine who was brought up in drugs, fornication and homosexuality. He gave up all that drinking and partying and cursing. He loves the Lord and goes to church and God blessed him with a beautiful family. But one thing he asked me, “God delivered me from all this, but I can never get rid of the cigarettes”. He says he cannot pray or read the bible because he thinks that his habit is hindering his relationship with God.
Bob: He is not functioning under grace. He is functioning under law. I can say without question that a person who is functioning under the law, he might say he loves God, but I do not believe it. It is not that we love God but that God loved us first. If we do not understand the unconditional love of God, then how can we love Him back? Now if you say that you cannot pray because God has turned His back on him, then that is not unconditional love, is it? That is conditional love. How can you know unconditional love, that God loves you, if you put conditions on it? Therefore, how are you going to love Him back? So what you have is a stupid habit. To say you cannot quit is utter nonsense.
Bob: Before I got saved, I smoked like a furnace, and I did not have the Holy Spirit in me. I just made up my mind I had enough and I quit. If you are a Christian and are still smoking that stuff, then you need to put it down. Smoking is not a testimony of Christ. So what you are saying is you love cigarettes more than a testimony for Christ. In a church setting, you hide those things. But you cannot hide it. You can smell it. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit of God. Would you go into a church building and smoke a cigarette? No, goodness no. Yet, you are not thinking of not lighting up in the real church, but would not dare to light up in a man-made building we make. Those kinds of things have no place in a Christian experience. If you are a Christian, put that stuff aside and ask God to give you enough discipline to do what is necessary to quit a habit that is offensive not only to lost people but saved people as well. That is, if you want to have a true opportunity and witness into the lives of others. Does that mean you cannot pray? Of course not. Does it mean you cannot go to church or study the bible? No. It just means you are stuck in a habit you are having difficulty getting out of. You can get out of it if you just follow a few simple steps and it may be difficult for the first two or three days, but after that you can get through it. The key is, do you want to?
Julie from Springfield, OR
Julie called to ask about living with someone outside of marriage. She says she believes she knows the answer to it. A woman who is living with someone else outside of marriage, and what are your views on it? And why are counselors so quiet about that? Julie, at first shares as if she was talking about some person in general but then admits that she is a woman who is living with someone outside of marriage and even that she has left and come back into that situation several times. She later confesses that her boyfriend says he loves Jesus and God but hates to talk about God. So in addition to fornication, she is unequally yoked with an unbeliever. She also is rationalizing her behavior. Bob confronts her with the truth, calling out her behavior for what it really is, sin. He does so in a matter of gentleness, yet firm with truth, with the intention to restore her to right living, where she can experience the peace and joy with God.
Bob warns about denying calling something is sin when God clearly says it is. She then agreed with Bob that the behavior she is doing is sin. But seeking to justify her behavior, she provides more information about her circumstances, such as being homeless. Bob did not give into her one moment. He remained gracious yet firm with truth. He instructed her to make the right choices in life, reminding her that she is in this situation because of wrong choices. Then, to respond to her excuses or fears of homelessness, he informed her that there are always other options. To help her to be willing to make right choices, he asked her: “Are you happy with your choices? Is what you are doing working for you?” Obviously she knows the answer to those questions or she would not be calling, willing to express her difficult situation. He reminds her that all sin has been placed on Jesus Christ and tells her that God wants her to be happy. But one cannot be happy living in sin. God is interested in you having peace and joy.
Bob: When you are dealing with issues that are sin, then it is not a matter of someone’s view on it, but what the word of God says it is. Living with someone outside of marriage is fornication and God calls it sin. That is the truth of the matter.
1 Corinthians 6:18
18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is outside the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body.
Bob: Also the truth of the matter is that the sin you are talking about was placed on Jesus Christ 2000 years ago at the cross, so him who knew no sin became sin for you, so that in the resurrection of Christ you can become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21
212 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Bob: You never want to get to the point of denying what God says is true, that is calling what is bad good and what is good bad. Living together is not shacking up, not just saving expenses. Living together is sin. You call it what it is and then you just thank him for taking that sin away never to be seen again in the eyes of God so that you can walk in the newness of life.
4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
Bob: God did not die for us just so that all sins are forgiven but so that we walk in the newness of life, with the fruit of the Spirit, that he produces in you as you are willing to yield yourself to His control.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Bob: Julie, have you come to the point where you have come to know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Julie said she asked Jesus into her heart a long time ago. Julie then started rationalizing her sinful behavior by saying that following Jesus is very hard for her. She says that she just makes choices that come, claiming there are no other options. Bob replied there are always other choices and told her that what she said is a cop out. Are you really happy with this arrangement? Don’t tell me you are happy for there is no way to be happy in that, living in sin willfully knowing it is wrong. God tells us not to do that because He wants the best for us. God wants us to have peace and joy and love and patience and kindness and goodness. All those things get hampered when you choose to willfully sin, choosing to sin when you know it is wrong. God wants the best for you. Recognize that fact and get out of it.
Bob: This is not doing any good for you or for the guy. He is probably feeling guilty as well. The two of you get together and agree to quit this. Does your boyfriend know the Lord? Julie replied, “He says he knows Jesus and God but he gets upset when I talk about God.” He is not saved then. No one is saved who gets angry talking about God. On top of fornication, you are also unequally yoked with a non-believer.
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: You need to get out of that relationship. You do not have to make a massive blow up over it. Just say, “I cannot continue to live this way, it is not good for me and it is not good for you, and we have to cut this off”. Just like Jesus told the woman caught in adultery, to go and sin no more. God is also telling you the same thing.
Julie: Will you remember me in prayer to do what I have to do?
Bob: Absolutely. Bob then continued giving her needed instruction. You need to find a way to make a living. Julie, still trying to rationalize her behavior says, “But for the grace of God go I. In my church, one of the main reasons, I do these things is they tell you to take off, leave and don’t come back.” Julie then share that she keeps leaving and coming back to this man. She says she is living on a mission and that there is no alternative. Julie also said she has been homeless.
Julie is making excuses so Bob got more firm with her.
Bob: The issue to me is this. There are places that take care of people who are homeless. What you have been believing and doing has not been working for you, has it? You have to realize that whatever you are doing is not working. What you believe is why you are living this way. The choices you have made are not correct. There are correct choices and there are ways to get jobs. If you are an alcoholic, then that has to come under the control of the Holy Spirit sooner or later in your life. You are a byproduct of your choices. Do you want to continue living as if your decisions are okay? Do you want to continue thinking that you are just living under those circumstances? Or do you want to change your way of thinking? You have to make up your mind that what you have been thinking and believing has not been working. You have to decide that you are going to change the way you have been thinking. You have to decide that you are going to get work and be a diligent worker, to work as unto the Lord and not unto men. There are shelters out there. I do not know if a pastor said to you not to come back to church, and if so, then that is not a good thing. For a church is a place for people like you. You have to go and get work. Be a waitress or whatever it might be. I hope this has helped you. If you need more help, then get back in touch with us.
6 Your old evil desires were nailed to the cross with him; that part of you that loves to sin was crushed and fatally wounded, so that your sin-loving body is no longer under sin’s control, no longer needs to be a slave to sin;
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters
Randy from Denver, CO
Randy: I am kind of falling apart. Is it okay to question my belief? It does not seem like He hears me. I am suicidal.
Bob: Randy, what kicked this off?
Randy: A lot of things. I am separated from my wife. She is very ill.
Bob: How long ago was that, Randy?
Randy: We have been having trouble for over a year.
Bob: When did the final separation take place?
Randy: About 10 months ago.
Bob: Okay. Alright.
Randy: She does not work. I am trying to take care of the house and all the bills. I am close to losing the house. I do not want that to happen. I am trying to find financial help, because once fallen behind, it is very difficult. The last thing I want her to face is losing her home, if she passes on as well. She has cancer. I am trying to figure this out.
Bob: Did you all know that when you got separated?
Randy: No, she did not have cancer. She might have had M.S. She pushed me away, partly thinking I would not help her.
Bob: In other words, you are not divorced. You are just separated?
Randy: We did a legal separation. Yes.
Bob: So, you are not living in the house you are wanting to preserve? She is there by herself?
Randy: Yes, Sir.
Bob: The family moved out?
Randy: The son moved out.
Bob: It sounds to me that you are a pretty nice guy. You want to provide for your wife, even though separated, which is very honorable. Have you given any thought about moving back in, in the remaining time your wife has left, the two of you getting back together as man and wife and finishing out this life together. Have you considered that?
Randy: I talked to her some about it. She is not receptive because she says she doesn’ t want pity. That is not what it is. She even gets angry. I have lived like a pauper. It costs me about quite a lot of $3500 to $4000 per month to keep the house.
Bob: Does she know the Lord, Randy?
Randy: Yes, she does.
Bob: It sounds to me that, and I hate to say it when someone is sick, but it sounds like a proud deal, where her pride is getting in the way, in what would be the most godly advice would be. “Look, you two get back to where you need to be and work out your problems. Let your husband take care of you.” Does she know the doctor told her that the time left here on earth is limited?
Randy: But she will not discuss what is going on. Since we are apart she seems there is not a need for me to know.
Bob: If you guys are still married, it is for you to know. You may be legally married, but you are still married. On your part, I would try to explain to her this is not a pity situation. “We are married. You are my wife, and I have an obligation to take care of you and I want to take care of you. I married you in good times and bad times, in sickness and in health. That is God’s way of doing things.” Some sort of conversation along that line would certainly be beneficial and would enable you to move back into the house, and to be able to watch over her, and save some of your expenses as well.
Randy: Yes. I guess I was wondering too. I have questioned God on my prayers, why things have to be falling apart, and why I am losing my home. Is that wrong?
Bob: Yes, Randy. The situation there. Circumstances come upon yourself as a result of decisions. When sickness comes like that, there is a decision connected with that. It is the things leading up to that where decisions people were making. God gets all the blame for that but Satan is really the one who does the damage, who puts in fears and all things that ultimately cause people to be separated and divorced. But right now, it is the circumstances that you are going through, not being able to. I do not know if you are not able to keep up the finances because of having to live in two different locations. Is that basically the reasons or do you have more expenses?
Randy: That is part of it. I also got laid off with 1600 other people. I am not making the money I used to make.
Bob: But if you lived in one location, could you be able to handle that?
Randy: I might. It would still be tight. I started a new job. I need a month of reprieve, and I do not know where I will get that from.
Bob: Randy, again, it is getting back to trusting the Lord with this thing, regardless of what happens. God is not going to forsake you. He is going to carry you through. When we are in our weakest moments is when Christ is able to move in our lives. It is not unusual for you to walk through questioning. It just does not make any sense. God loves you perfectly. He said, “I will provide everything you need for life and godliness.” He says, “trust me with that.”
Bob: But I think that when you are into financial situations. Many people have gotten into financial trouble, owing money, but there are ways out of that. There are ways, many times, of consolidation of bills, and all kinds of things that can take place. Those kinds of things can be corrected. What is a sad thing in your life is the deal between you and your wife. That to me is sad, especially with her finding out the news in regard to her health. She knows she does not want to go through that by herself. But there is a proud situation going on there. I would focus on trying to get that solved.
Bob: I am glad you have another job bringing in some income. You never know what is going to happen. God could open up a new avenue or you could start getting raises. But you have to get out of that depression. The reasons you are depressed is because you are thinking negative thoughts. You are built by God that way. As a man thinks so is he.
7 for as he thinks within himself, so he is
Bob: The reason you are feeling depressed is because you are thinking depressing thoughts. What you have to do, Randy, is to replace those depressing thoughts with truth.
30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
Bob: Grab a hold of that verse and hold onto it. If God is for you, who can be against you?
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I can be separated from money, separated from my wife, separated from my children and separated from a job but nothing can separate me from the love of God I have in Christ Jesus. Hang onto that love, Randy, the fact that God loves you perfectly. Get your eyes off your circumstances and get them onto Christ Jesus, who is the solution to your circumstances. That depression will go away as you quit thinking depressing thoughts.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Bob: It is very difficult when going through trials and tribulations to not be anxious about tomorrow, always thinking about bad things going to happen tomorrow. That is called anxiety. Tomorrow is God’s country. We do not belong up there. The only thing we know about tomorrow is Jesus who is in your today is already in your tomorrow. If you can trust Jesus with today, then you can trust Him with your tomorrow. Try to get your mind renewed on truth and let that truth set you free.
32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Try to put into effect anything that you can to talk to your wife, for she is suffering as well right now. I would just have a heart to heart talk with her. Say, “honey, let us quit playing games and I really want to talk to you. I love you. I want to be with you and I want to take care of you.”
Randy: Okay, I appreciate your time, sir.
Bob: You are welcome, Randy. If we can be of any further help, you call us and let us know, okay?
Randy: I sure will.
Bob: Alright, pal.
Randy: You have a great night.
Bob: You too, Randy. God bless you, pal.