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September 4, 2020 1:00 am
Battle of Christianity as a relates to assurance is a battle of the mind.
That's why Paul wrote in second Corinthians chapter 10 in verse five cast down imaginations, and every thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. In other words, taking every thought and capturing so that it matches up with the knowledge of God that we know in Scripture now car right away and 13 David Manning I'm just wondering normal reminder company or am I really think you Talisha thank you so much for calling in with your question, Stephen can a person be saved if they don't feel close to God. Scott, I sure hope so because there are times when I feel very close to the Lord and I praise him for my salvation. And there are times when I think the Lord there is absolutely no way I could ever belong to you. I'm so grateful that you asked that question Talisha and let me remind you and everybody else listening, and I believe every honest Christian listening to me can identify with your question. Our nature is fallen but were sinners. Keep in mind that that also means that your feelings are fallen there inconsistent and that's why the battle of Christianity as a relates to assurance is a battle of the mind. That's what Satan will attack that's why Paul wrote in second Corinthians chapter 10 in verse five is writing the believers and he says cast down imaginations, and every thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
In other words, taking every thought and and capturing it corralling it so that it matches up with the knowledge of God that we know in Scripture. Is there anything that you need to do to be saved beyond placing your faith in Jesus Christ, while not because if there is we've just created a works salvation is no longer faith alone, it is faith plus works alone. Listen to these verses.
You might want to write down the texts John chapter 20 verses 30 and 31. Therefore many other signs. Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book. But these these signs have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the son of God and that believing you may have life in his name is another verse Romans chapter 10 verse nine and 10 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved for the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. So what you have to do beyond believing the gospel and acknowledging it to be true. Nothing every day you fail every day, you sin. So if our salvation is based on how good a day. We had every night you and are you need to get saved all over again. That's why the last for somebody give you is over in first John chapter 1 and verse seven we read it to you first. John 17. The last part in the blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all sin.
Verse eight if we say that we have no sin, that is, if we say were not sinning. We are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I love the tense of the verb there back in verse seven, the blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all sin. It means it is continually cleansing you from all sin. When you came to faith in Jesus, we tend to think of the blood of Jesus Christ cleansing us permanently and it does just what it is ongoing in its cleansing and it needs to be because your sin and mine continually cloud today, so keep this in mind, I'm not. I'm not suggesting that you can send and you don't need to worry about it or if your trouble with your sin that you need to get over it know we grieve when we sin against the Lord. Let's just make sure that were not basing our salvation on how good a week. We had a I didn't miss my devotion three days in a row so I'm saved or I've missed church in a month. Some probably part of the family, but well our assurance of salvation does tend to increase by means of consistency. But let's make sure that our assurance of salvation isn't based on how we feel or that consistency but it's based on the gospel of Christ.
Oswald Chambers is a wonderful devotional writer and here's something that he said that I think is worth repeating me review this paragraph, Scott, and the will will go on to another question. He writes we have all experienced times of exaltation on the mountaintop when we've seen things from God's perspective and we've wanted to stay there. God never seems to allow us to stay there. The true test of our spiritual life is in exhibiting the power to come down from that mountain. We weren't made for the mountaintop for sunrises for all those beautiful attractions in life. Those are intended to be moments of inspiration that help us look forward to heaven were actually made for the Valley and the ordinary things of life that is the ordinary experiences the difficulties and challenges and it's down there in the valley where we prove stamina and strength.
But just remember Talisha that proving stamina and strength as you walk with God through the challenges is a different subject from proving that your saved, I like to think of the fact that we are limping our way to heaven we inconsistent daily in need of God's grace. So when you're discouraged. Take it to the Lord, take those thoughts captive ground your faith in what Jesus says what his word says and not how you feel the moment you given to how you feel. The enemy just as he got a letter he loves to kick people when they're down some ground stabilize roots.
Your faith in God's word not your emotion.
I hope that helps you just know by the way you are in good company because I'm right there with you.
Thank you so much Talisha for calling.
Then, and if your listing today.
I hope you are. I want to make you aware of a resource that I think will help you. Stephen has written a short easy-to-read booklet entitled Blessed assurance.
It's a great resource that helps you understand how you can know for certain that you are truly saved and it's a booklet that brings comfort to your soul Talisha, if you're listening today, I want you to call because we want to send you a complimentary copy of this booklet, but to all of our listeners. This is a resource that's available in our online store you can visit us firstname.lastname@example.org you navigate to the store you'll find this booklet.
Blessed assurance, and if your first time caller you've never contacted our ministry before we like to send you a copy of this booklet as well is just our way of thanking you for taking the time to introduce yourself to us so call us today at eight 648 Bible. That's 866-482-4253 and ask how you can get a copy of Blessed assurance. Now the number that Talisha used to call in and record her question for Stephen is different from our office number. We have a Bible question line in a prayer line that set up for you to call in any time 24 hours a day. You can leave a question for Stephen to answer on a future broadcast or leave a prayer request for our weekly staff prayer time. That number is 910-808-9384 910-808-9384. And that's the number.
This caller used in Clearwater, Florida, a loved one dies and you don't know if they were saved or your pretty sure they were not. How can a believer rejoice in happy Bible so clearly described, rejoice always and let the peace of God rule in your heart can help me with that will be great. Thank you for your ministry in G what a great question that is Steve and I don't think we've ever been asked that before. I don't think so either Scott in the gym. So glad you called, and this may be very close to your own heart. Having experienced the death of a family member who is an unbeliever were never quite sure. Especially in a culture like ours where people hear the gospel so often what exactly happened at that last moment of conscious thought and I know that I hold out hope for a number of people that give no evidence of salvation but remained unconscious for some time before they died there in those moments they were like the dying thief who reached out and believe we don't know though, and that especially if someone is is obviously an unbeliever. They rejected Christ. How do you rejoice. Great question. What first of all let me just say this, you need to understand that rejoice isn't necessarily the same thing as being happy.
Okay, rejoicing is is more of an inward state of contentment based on what you know about the Lord that he is good that he's right that he's just the command from Philippians 4 verse four that that you quoted rejoice evermore. This is rejoicing in the Lord. In contrast to being afraid or anxious. Because later on he says be anxious for nothing, so within this context. He's wanting us to trust the Lord which gives us a spirit of joy. It's really more understood in this text is confidence, comfort and assurance, along with thanksgiving.
Also, I want you to keep in mind Angie that this commander rejoice doesn't exclude moments in times of morning and weeping and grieving that were commanded in Romans 12 are we in verse 15. Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep the church in Corinth was told by the apostle Paul that they become arrogant in their unwillingness to discipline from their membership and unrepentant sinning a believer and he says you should be morning grieving. Instead threes exhorting the whole church to grieve in second Corinthians 12. He says I'm afraid that when I come again, my God, may humiliate me before you, that I may mourn over many of those who send in the past and not repented. So obviously Paul is morning and grieving over unrepentant and believers, or even unrepentant believers have our own personal lives. Here's a text to write down and consider in the future. James chapter 4 verses 8 to 10 draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, purify your hearts, you double minded. He's writing to Christians here. Be miserable and mourn and weep.
Let your laughter be turned in the morning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord and he will exalt you. So yes, mourn the death of an unbeliever. How do you have peace about their death will understand that God is just that he provided more opportunities for that individual to repent and believe than you'll ever know God is in forcing anybody into hell without good reason. I will always do what's right. It is sad it is worth weeping when an unbeliever dies friendly even though you don't know they did the last moments of their conscious life. You still grieve that they wasted their lives right you still grieve over the fact that you never had the fellowship with them that you wanted to have. And you long for butter comfort and are assurance which is by the way, the same thing is rejoicing. Depending on the context. Our comfort and are assurance and are contentment is in knowing that God is just.
God does what's right and God's provided opportunity for those to believe in him and to call upon him to be saved about that helps you Angie such a great question to ask. I know many listeners out there are listening on the edge of their seats because they've struggled with the same question. So thank you so much. Thank you Steven and thank you Angie, Stephen, here's our next question for today. All my question is how Rahab the engrafted into their lineage of the Messiah by what process I've been searching for answers to this question for over 20 years. Thank you. Well Stanley, your 20 year search for the answer to that question ends right now. Stephen is I set you up too much pressure zone.
That is why it is a great question visually. How in the world could Rahab be in Jesus lineage yes you go to Matthew chapter 1. And there are several names that jump off the page that would raise questions one would be a Hittite woman by the name of Bathsheba it's mentioned is the wife of Uriah is a Hittite woman get in there, but to his question Stanley there are two ways of looking at this in an two ways of approaching the answer. First of all on a physical level, and second of all on a spiritual level, to answer the physical level is simply a matter of God orchestrating the fact that that she would marry someone from the tribe of Judah.
Judah was the Royal tribe.
He was one of the sons of Jacob and it's through Judah that the Messiah will come. It's already prophesied in Genesis chapter 49 and here's Rahab living in Jericho.
The people of Israel are coming into the land then this is the first fortified city that they are going to conquer as they possess the promised land. And God tells the Israelites something that's actually often overlooked. By the way in Deuteronomy 21. Here's what the Lord commands when you the Israelites, when you go out to battle against your enemies, and the Lord your God delivers them in your hands and you take them away captive and you see among them all a beautiful woman have a desire for her to take her as a wife.
He says now bring her in your home as you go through all these protocols of cleansing and then they can marry a woman who obviously then converts to Judaism and a bring that out because I want you to know it's not a violation of God's law for a Gentile to be married to an Israelite. Now obviously this is going to imply that there's conversion involved so that would be the next level and that's the spiritual level was Rahab convert to Judaism. She's a Gentile she's a Canaanite. She deserves death. According to Deuteronomy chapter 20 in judgment but did she trust God.
Well, go to Joshua chapter 2 and let me read you verses 8 to 13. Rahab said that these men and she's got the bravo there on the wall. You remember Stanley and these men come and hide out in that bravo that's a great place. By the way, were people won't ask your name. That's why they probably navigate to her. Bravo they're going to hide out and hopefully their lives will be saved well.
She says to the men. This amazing testimony in a minute quote or I know that the Lord has given you the land and the terror of you has fallen on us and that all the inhabitants of the land of melted away before you, for we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did.
The two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan to sign a dog, whom you destroyed.
When we heard it on our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because you do get this for the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above and on earth beneath, wow, that's a testimony by the way she's not believing in the veracity of her idol. She's believing in in the reality of the God of Israel being the God of heaven and earth. She believes God rejects her own people, by the way in saving these spies and becomes identified with God's people. Now if you just scoot ahead to Joshua chapter 6 and verse 25.
Here's what it says.
However, Rahab the harlot in her father's household and all she had.
Joshua spared and she is a lived in the midst of Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho is the only imagine how surprising it is to have her mentioned in Matthew chapter 1 and she is are two reasons physically, she becomes the wife of Salmon, who is from the tribe of Judah that introduces her into the physical line of the coming Messiah because Jesus the Messiah descends from the line or tribe of Judah. But there's another passage you might want to mark in your Bible and that's Hebrews chapter 11 and this tells us a little bit more about what was going on. Verse 30 says by faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they'd been encircled for seven days.
Verse 31 and by faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient after she'd welcome the spies in peace, why, why was she rescued because she had faith in the God of Israel, she was converted to the God of Israel, by the way, one of the wonderful elements of her story is the grace of God. Think about it in us got you and I were talking earlier she's tagged with this title. It's always the prostitute rewrite harlot Rahab the harlot, you know, why isn't it like you said David, the murderer. It's Rahab the harlot. I think this is God's way of reminding us that in the family tree of Jesus are converted sinners. And you know I that's good news because I am converted center owned by the way of a Gentile as well, but I'm allowed to be a descendent as it were just even as you were saying that I just dawned on me that if we are to try to pull all of the sinners out of Jesus lineage he would never have been born as every single one of them had a history in the past. That's right one more little addendum here and that's the fact that Rahab has a son by salmon and her son grows up and he also marries a converted idolater, a Moabitess, a Gentile woman who also leaves her family and her former idols and Boaz is his name and he marries a woman named Ruth so there you have another name entered into the genealogy of Jesus, who was a foreign woman, a Gentile converts to follow the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and she becomes by the way the great-grandmother of King David. Are we better stop with that. Thank you Steven and thank you so much Stanley for calling in with your question Steven.
I think we have time for at least one more. I'm calling Florida and would like in your the nation for Matthew 1333 clearly and correctly thanking by Edna. Thank you so much for calling and on behalf of your class and Steve and I don't know when this question came in, but I'm glad we got to it today because of her classes been waiting hopefully they found the answer. Prior to us, but I'm Stephen. Here's the verse that Edna referenced in her question.
It's Matthew 1333 it says this he spoke another parable to them the kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three packs of flour until it was all leavened gray question. Thank you for for calling in the Lord is speaking in parables, and as you notice the context which is very critical of understanding any parable.
By this time the people have rejected the Lord they rejected his offer of the kingdom, and now he shifts into giving parables.
These are difficult stories. Each story has one primary meaning have to be careful that you don't make everything a parable mean something a parable simply has one primary meaning, and he explains them. Then later on to his disciples so that they understand the intention this when he doesn't. Some of them. He does the elements in this parable are the kingdom of heaven is like leaven and a woman hides the leaven, or she takes that leaven and she puts it in three packs of flour that's that's half of half a bushel, so she's got a bushel and 1/2 of flour and she's putting the leaven in there until all of the flower is of course affected or leavened. So how is that leavened dough like a believer like a follower of the kingdom, a follower of Christ. I think the reason is confusing. Edna and probably your class struggle with this is that normally in Scripture leaven is a negative element. It represents sin were to remove the leaven it's illustrated in the Passover to eat unleavened bread. It isn't tainted, as it were now in this parable. Leaven is actually positive. It's a good thing. This leaven refers to the work in the heart of the disciple downwards hidden in their heart. There is this leavening process this influence. This would obviously be God's word God's spirit through his word at work in the hidden part of the believer and every aspect of the believer then is affected.
This is what we call sanctification. This is a transforming life in every area of life is the work of God the Word of God by means of the spirit of God does a work hidden away in our hearts. So I think the confusing part is more than likely because it's a negative in other passages of Scripture here. It's positive leaven is that influencing work of God through his word and the spirit that changes our lives. Thank you Steven and thank you so much Edna and all of you who called in with questions this week.
We were so glad to hear from you. I'll give you that number one more time. It's 910-808-9384.
That's our Bible question line.
Monday is Labor Day. We will be back with the broadcast that day, so be sure and tune in for that. However, our office will be closed as our staff team enjoys some extra time with their family and friends on have a great weekend sure and join us next time.
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