If you travel with me anywhere around the world, you will be hard-pressed to find a hospital or an educational institution that doesn't have the finger mark of a Christian who decided to go to a faraway land and to serve people with their entire entire life.
We have nothing to be ashamed of. Not only that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God into salvation, we have nothing to be ashamed of because we are in the heritage of 2,000 years of people who've been pretty good at changing the world for good because of Jesus Christ. The world has been too successful influencing Christians. It's time for Christians to influence the world. Today on Connect with Skip Heitig, we hear from special guest Johnny Moore who has advocated for religious freedom around the world. Today he shares how your courage can influence the people around you to live for Jesus. Right now, we want to tell you about a resource that explores the epidemic of fatherlessness in our nation and how godly men can help turn the tide.
Your gift to this teaching program has helped us grow and we want to do more in 2023. This month with your gift of $50 or more, you'll receive a download or DVD of a new critical issues video hosted by Skip, Where's Dad? The problems are clear. Teen crime, drug abuse, youth suicide, abortion, and a host of others. The question is where's dad? Where's the man of the household when their boys are making life decisions about their treatment of women, their world view, and their morals?
Why are legions of energetic teens channeling their time towards self-destructive and socially destructive behavior? And where's dad to guide them, to correct them, to be in relationship with them? We realize that single parent families are not exclusively a male issue. Fathers who do not take responsibility for their children are the critical problem. Where's Dad? looks at the problem of missing fathers in the home, tells stories of people who have been impacted by this plague, and looks at the possibilities of reconciliation at any age or stage of life. Get your DVD or download of the full-length video, Where's Dad? hosted by Skip Heitzig and featuring Josh McDowell. Receive your copy of Where's Dad?
when you help us expand Skip's teaching with your donation of $50 or more, call 1-800-922-1888 or go to connectwithskip.com to get your copy of Where's Dad? Now, we're in Psalm 31 as we join special guest Johnny Moore for today's teaching. When Paul became a Roman citizen, and we don't know how he was a Roman citizen, you know, the theories because he was a tent maker, which is probably a trade that was passed down in his family. And so some scholars think that maybe his family made tents for the Roman garrison or something, so they granted them citizen.
We have no idea how Paul got Roman citizenship, but we know what the result of it was that eventually it saved his life on one occasion in the book of Acts, and on another occasion it afforded him the opportunity to do what every Roman citizen could do if they got in trouble. They could appeal to Caesar himself, and Paul thought, what a great way to preach the gospel to Caesar himself. And when you read his letters to Timothy, you got to read them slowly because you miss stuff. And one of the things you'll miss if you don't read it solely is he says, he just runs by it, he says, and all the believers in Caesar's household send their greetings too. If you go to seminary, I survived seminary, you will learn this. If you want to understand the world of Jesus 2,000 years ago, you have to understand three things to get the biblical context. Greek culture, the Jewish religion, and Roman politics, and then it all makes sense. Paul wasn't the least likely person to change the world, he was the most likely person. He was a Roman citizen, trained by the top religious scholar of the time.
And when he went to Athens to argue with those philosophers, the book of Acts says that he quoted their own poets. But if he wouldn't have been courageous, it would have all been useless. None of it would have resulted in anything. But we're not courageous anymore. We're certainly raising less courageous kids and we're living in a less, less courageous era. We award the courage in our culture for people speaking up by canceling unpopular opinions rather than just arguing with them.
We, all of us, self-select who we want to hear from on social media and ignore, you know, everyone else. And even us as Christians sometimes, rather than being proud of this 2,000-year heritage that we have, this amazing, amazing heritage of Christianity, we seem like we have this inferiority complex sometimes. We cower in the corner when we have to talk about our own beliefs, despite living in a country, by the way, where they're, you know, they characterize Christians like us as evangelicals, okay? There are 80 million evangelicals in the United States of America, okay?
We're not, like, if you watch television, they act like we're like these strange little people on the sidelines. No, like, this is America. We would have no America if people wouldn't have fled another country to have religion. We would have no America if people wouldn't have fled another country to have religious freedom here.
We should be proud of who we are. You know, a couple of years ago, there was like a talk show and they made fun of a famous Christian on the talk show. And I don't go in the press very often myself, but I decided to do an interview on this one.
And they said that people who believe the Bible were mentally ill. That's what they said. And I, you know, was trying to think, what am I going to say? You know, this can, it's a very awkward experience when you do an interview.
I know you think it's normal when you watch the news. It's very, very strange. They put this thing in your ear and you can't really hear. And it pops out of your ear and you're looking at this camera.
You can't see the people, you know, it's, it's a very, very awkward experience. And I just remember praying, God, help me to know what to say. And, and, and the camera came on and the person asked me the question. And I said, I wonder if that commentator thinks that Billy Graham, Martin Luther King Jr. and John Paul II were all mentally ill because all of their work was inspired by their faith and belief in the Bible. If you travel, if you travel with me anywhere around the world, you will be hard pressed to find a hospital or an educational institution that doesn't have the finger mark of a Christian who decided to go to a far away land and to serve people with their entire, entire life. We have nothing to be ashamed of.
Not only that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God into salvation. We have nothing to be ashamed of because we are in the heritage of 2000 years of people who've been pretty good at changing the world for good because of Jesus Christ. We can't train our children to be ashamed of their faith.
Now it's hard because we're kind of frail anyhow. You know, I read an article not, not long ago about this village in Wales where these kids had a particularly rugged playground and the kids liked to start a fire when it was cold. These little kids go and start a fire. As I was reading this article, I thought, what would happen if in the United States of America kids just go starting fires to keep themselves warm? Like the parents would be in jail. The kids would be in counseling for the rest of their lives. They make the kids wear fire suits to their schools.
You know, the whole thing is like crazy the world that we're living in now. I read the other day, some company manufactured wifi equipped water bottles so parents can keep track of how much water their kids are drinking during the day. Okay, clever. I don't care.
You want to wifi equip water? That sounds like a good company to invest in, in a frail culture. But like it says something about us today that we just, we're just frail. You know, I'm sure this doesn't happen in Albuquerque. I'm not sure about Santa Fe, by the way, you guys need to work on Santa Fe.
Sorry, Santa Fe. But it's not just that we're physically fragile. It's that our worldviews are fragile.
Let me just, I want to issue a warning here. There's a terrible verse in the Bible, an absolutely horrible, horrible verse in the book of Judges chapter two. And I think we are perilously close to having this own experience in this great country. It says after that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who neither knew the Lord nor what he had done for Israel.
That verse should give you goosebumps. We don't speak up anymore for what we believe. We don't argue in the public square like any of this actually matters. We don't do the hard work anymore of actually understanding, learning how to rationally make our case rather than just demand other people believe. And if we the believing Christians don't do it with the fruit of the Spirit, then we aren't a model for others either.
One of the reasons why there's so many fizzers in our culture is because those of us who are supposed to be in the world but not of it just look like everybody else. I mean we even cower in our homes sometime to talk about what we believe with those who love us the most. It's time we do what the author of Hebrews said.
Chapter 12 verse 12. Lift up your tired hands and strengthen your trembling knees like that soldier strengthening his back and stealing his gaze. We are not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ which is the power of God unto salvation. Now I know what some of you are thinking though like why is this so hard? Right?
Why? If we believe, could you believe this? I believe it. I believe it. But I would say it's hard for two reasons.
There are other reasons but just two I'll highlight. The first one is that the truth is while we may believe we don't actually know what we believe anymore. It's like we get into the kingdom and we sort of like lose the discipleship, the growing part. We don't know we believe anymore. We don't know what we believe what we believe about who we are, what is true, why we're here, all of these things. And it begins with knowing who we are in Christ. And by the way it's a blessing to know who we are in Christ.
I mean I could do a whole sermon on who we are in Christ. We're saved by grace and we're delivered and accepted and blessed. You're forgiven. You're a child of God. You're loved by God himself. You're the apple of God's eye.
You're his friend. You're adopted. You're set apart. You're a new creation. You're empowered by him.
You're unique. You're cared for. You're beloved. You're a co-heir with Christ. You're fearfully and wonderfully made. Righteous. A saint. Whole.
You are never alone. And he says if you got a burden, why don't you just put it on my shoulders? And if you don't think I understand, I just counted the numbers of hairs on your head for the heck of it.
Which is easier for some of you. You know I was sitting with this friend of mine, a friend of Pastor Skip actually, not long ago. And he said, just in passing, he said after 40 years of walking with Jesus, after 40 years, he just said it in passing. And I thought like I just don't hear that phrase anymore.
I just don't hear it anymore. But it's not just what we believe about who we are in Christ. It's what we believe about the Bible.
Is it true or is it not true? Because if it's true, that means something. Because truth is like fallen in the streets these days. Truth is what whoever's the most persuasive, that's what truth is. But as Christians we don't believe that. The Bible tells us about itself that scripture is God breathed from the breath of God. It's useful for teaching and rebuking and correcting and training and righteousness so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
It's authoritative. We don't know what our mission is. Like why are we here? We're here to reach the world in our generation. We're here to speak up about our faith. We're here to stand up for other people.
We're here to be the light of the world. I don't think we just, we believe but we don't know what we believe anymore as so many of us, me included. It's just hard.
It takes work like everything. And then the other thing I would say is like we're just paralyzed by criticism in the world that we're living in, particularly in the digital age. I read this like super, super scary study recently in the American Psychological Association's Journal of Abnormal Psychology, okay? And I'm not a psychologist. It's this survey in 2019 collected data from 600,000, 600,000.
It's not like one of these political things where they interview five people and they say that this is going to happen. No, 600,000 adolescents and adults. And it found this study that in the last 10 to 12 years, 2019 was the study. So going back to 2009, 2010, the last 10 to 12 years, the number of people reporting symptoms of major depression increased by 52% among 12 to 17 year olds. It went up 63% among 18 to 25 year olds. And the study says that the changes were probably not connected to like poor financial prospects or substance abuse, the report said, noting that during the study, there was an economic expansion.
And it was at a time when drug and alcohol abuse and other unhealthy behaviors were either unchanged or decreasing. Instead, the report said the increases may be linked to increased time spent on social media and electronic communication along with a decrease in sleep young people are getting. You know how it is. Like instead of having our face in Facebook so often, we have to get our face back in the book more often.
Okay. And it's not just our children. It's us.
You thought you were done with peer pressure and then Instagram came. No, these things are disruptions to our society with incredible good brought as well. But one of the things about Christianity is that for 2,000 years, there have been all kinds of disruptions to society. But we, the Christians, had a foundation. We were on a ship that whatever the winds, however the winds were blowing, we knew where we were going and we knew about the foundation.
But these days, it seems like we're just adrift with everybody else. And by the way, criticism is hard. I mean, it's hard. If you're a public figure, you get criticized, you get misunderstood. You know, I get misunderstood a lot, criticized a lot, you know, as a little bit of a public figure.
Imagine a major public figure. And when people, you, you, you get and when people, you, you, you, the one time you posted your political point of view on Facebook and all of a sudden, all these crazy people came from nowhere trying to kill you. It hurts. But does the Bible say anything about criticism?
Yeah, it does. Let me read it to you. I'm going to read it slow. Okay. The Apostle Paul wrote this. I'm going to read it real slow for you.
Okay. Am I trying to win the approval of human beings or of God? Am I trying to please people? Because if I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. He wrote to the Thessalonians, for we speak as messengers approved by God entrusted with the good news. Our purpose is to please God, not people.
He alone examines the motives of our hearts. By the way, that doesn't mean you have to be a jerk about it. Okay. I need to say that to some of you.
Let me just like liberate you for a minute. Criticism is always overrated. Okay. Everything is controversial to someone.
Everything. If you wake up every day deciding who you're going to be, what you're going to believe, or what you're going to do with your life based upon whether somebody thinks it's controversial or not, you're going to believe nothing, be nothing, and go nowhere. And this is the beauty of our faith.
All those questions are already answered for us. Put your sail up, catch the wind, and go off in your mission to be a light of the world. Be a light of the world. It's time for us to get courageous again. The Bible demands it. Our culture needs it. And we got nothing to lose from it. We got nothing to lose from it. And by the way, that doesn't mean it's not going to cost us something. I don't mean that at all.
But see, you know, we as Christians recognize that we're passing through this world like this world isn't everything to us. But it may cost you something. It may. There may be a personal cost. You might lose some friendships. You might lose some reputation.
You might have some professional costs. You may get canceled. By the way, this cancel culture stuff drives me crazy in the United States of America. I happen to be sanctioned by the Communist Party of China because I said something that offended them. I was like the 51st American sanctioned earlier this year. And one of the things I said that was offensive to them, I think, is that when I see the cancel culture in the United States of America, I think it's like Maoism.
It's like what happened with the struggle sessions in Cuba. It's saying you can't believe that this is the United States of America. You have the right to freedom of speech in the United States of America. You can raise your voice about what you believe. But that doesn't mean it's not going to cost you something.
It may cost you something. The question is, is it worth it? Do you believe this book? Some of you, you do believe it because your life was profoundly changed by it. And it's a little easier for you because you look back as to who you were versus who you were. You're one of those amazing people that had this unbelievable life, life transformation. By the way, there may be somebody here tonight, maybe in this very room tonight, you slipped in this service.
And this is your night for that transformation. But for some of us, it's a little more difficult. And it hurts to cost something.
The question is, is it worth it? Who are we? Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, who are we to choose to deprive another generation of the beliefs and the values that have given us the freedoms we enjoy, the faith that holds our life together, the hope of eternity? Who are we, because of a lack of courage, to deny another generation all the joy we have received from what we have inherited?
What a cruel thing for us to do because it hurts if someone says something mean to us on Twitter. I tell you, it costs you and me nothing. Cost you and me nothing.
Let me tell you what it costs some other people. This mom, Nigeria, name's Rebecca. I met her. Rebecca's daughter was kidnapped with a hundred young women from a school in the middle of the night by terrorists. Rebecca's daughter was the only Christian among those 100 women. Rebecca was shattered.
And then the phone rang. And it was the government telling Rebecca to join all the parents at a designated place because the government had negotiated the release of the hundred girls. So Rebecca arrives there.
One by one, the girls come off the bus. But Rebecca's daughter never came. Rebecca sees one of her daughter's friends and she goes up to her and says, where is Leah?
Her name is Leah. And Rebecca's daughter's friend, Leah's friend, said, mama, Leah refused to convert. She wouldn't leave her Christian faith. So they wouldn't let her go. So they wouldn't let her go.
To this day, almost four years later, that little girl Leah is captive by terrorists for one reason. She wouldn't deny Jesus Christ. She's willing to die for a faith we're barely willing to live for. But it's the same Christianity.
We should really save ourselves the complaining. And it's been all of that energy finding the joy of all we're missing by just being shy Christians. And that courage has a way of introducing us to God in a new way.
Because you're closer to him like Esther, like David, like Noah, like Abraham. And in your time of need, he'll be with you. Our daughter had like this fun run at school for like little girls. And she said, she said to my wife, if I fail, mom, I'll get back up. If I get tired, I will keep going. I will not give up.
I can do this. We should listen to our kids and stop making it so complicated. It's time for a courage awakening in the church. That wraps up special guest Johnny Moore's message from the series Hunting Giants. Now we want to tell you about an opportunity you have to take your knowledge of God's word to a deeper level. Going to church is a great way to learn about God. But what if you want to learn more?
Go deeper. This spring, Calvary College is offering classes in spiritual growth, classes like spiritual foundations. Learn how to joyfully walk with Jesus. Take evening classes on campus or online and transfer credits to Calvary Chapel University or Veritas International University for an accredited degree that will impact your spiritual life for the rest of your life. Apply now at calvarychurchcollege.com. There are many things we encounter in life that can cause us to fear, but God gives us courage to face those challenges. And through him, we can be victorious.
That's why we share these messages, to encourage you in your faith so you can follow where God leads you. And when you support this ministry, you not only do the same for others, but you keep these teachings you love available to you as well. Just call 800-922-1888 to give a gift today. That's 800-922-1888. Or visit connectwithskip.com slash donate. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate. Thank you. Tune in tomorrow as Skip Heitzig begins a series called Hustle and Grind and shares about the honor and dignity you can have in the work God has called you to. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-17 07:31:06 / 2022-11-17 07:40:34 / 9