The spiritual condition of America, politics, culture, and current events, analyzed through the lens of Scripture. Welcome to the Alex McFarland Show. In Isaiah 26, verse 3, the Word of God says, Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee.
Hi, Alex McFarland here. I want to bring a message that I title, Ultimate Peace, Ultimate Joy, Because Jesus Christ is in Control. And I begin with that verse from Isaiah 26, verse 3, written 750 years before the birth of Christ, but so relevant for our times. It says that God will keep an individual in perfect peace when our mind is stayed on thee, or fixed, or filled with God's truth. We trust in the Lord.
We personally live each day with our Savior, and one of the byproducts of knowing Christ and being a believer is that we have a consistent foundation for peace, fulfillment, even joy in the core of our soul, because our source, our foundation, our strength is Almighty God. Now this might sound like a little ambitious of a topic, ambitious subject matter for a week that we've seen deadly tornadoes in Mississippi, we've seen a lot of tragedies around the world, and of course none more prominent in our mind than that heinous shooting in Nashville, Tennessee, Covenant Presbyterian Church, Covenant Christian School. Clearly, if ever it were legitimate to call something a hate crime, this was it. Aubrey Hale, the transgender individual who shot through a lock on a door, went into the school, killed six people, three students, three faculty, including the headmaster, was absolutely a demonic crime. And there's been so much in the news, and a lot of people, they called into our live radio show this past week, they called into our live television show Truth and Liberty, and they want to know why.
Why would this happen? How could God allow it? Why did God not intervene?
And I want to talk about some of those things, but I also want to give three realities about seeking peace and joy common to human beings throughout all of history. And let me say this, when something like this happens, something very evil and very tragic, it does cause people to ask the question, why? And what could God have done to stop this? Let me say, believe it or not, an evil deed like this, as they say in the legal world, with malice and forethought, this does not negate the reality of the Christian faith.
It doesn't mean that God doesn't exist, it doesn't mean that God doesn't care, and it certainly doesn't mean that God is not in control. In fact, the Bible tells us that as we near the end of time, evil men will wax worse and worse. The Bible says in 1 Timothy 4 and 2 Timothy 3 that as we near the end of this age, perilous times will come. As songwriters have said, preachers have opined, and scripture itself indicates that we are to keep looking up for our redemption draweth nigh. Jesus is coming. But let me talk a little bit about what's been going on in the news, and then I do want to give three realities about seeking peace and joy.
I want to throw a couple of words into the conversation, the word ultimate and proximate. Now, my title for this message is Ultimate Peace, Ultimate Joy. Christians of all people know that ultimately we have a reason to stay hopeful, because we know God is in control, and he has promised to shepherd us into his presence one day, just like Jesus would shepherd the disciples across the Sea of Galilee in a boat. Even though the storms were boisterous, he was above the storm, and you read in the Gospels, they would reach the other side. Well, every Christian can know with utter confidence that one day we will, quote, reach the other side with our Savior. In fact, one of the great evangelists that I often quote, Vance Havaner, I would encourage you to read Vance Havaner.
He's the guy that encouraged Billy Graham to become an evangelist. But Vance Havaner, we've quoted it many times, in heaven, he says, all of our question marks will become exclamation points. So at a time like this, we don't pull away from God, we don't draw away and believe that God has forgotten us.
He hasn't. But before I give some more Bible realities, I've got to comment on some things in the news. I was very privileged that Fox News National quoted me. And I said, this is tragic, our prayers and condolences are with the people, they're in Nashville, traumatized beyond words. But this has happened. More malcontents like Aubrey Hale take up arms to do harm and lash out at a world they don't like and they don't understand, a world that they believe has not validated them sufficiently, and so they kill. And things will be this way until we turn back to God. Just like an individual experiences repercussions for the sins they commit, our nation is experiencing the repercussions of us nationally, governmentally, educationally, in our entertainment, media, journalism, culture. We have essentially told God to go away.
And in fact, it was amazing to me how many of the other journalists that were covering this as the shooting unfolded, some were mocking, saying, well, pray louder, or maybe you didn't pray hard enough. Well, let me say this, God has all the power. The word is sovereign, sovereignly in control. Yes, every molecule of matter, human life, the souls of people, the universe is in the control of Almighty God. But here's the thing, while the Spirit of God offers the right way to live and act and react, God offers truth, but he doesn't force it because we have a free will. The word is volition, v-o-l-i-t-i-o-n. You might have heard the phrase volitional choice. Why do we have a choice to do right? Why do we have a choice to refrain from that which is wrong? Because God Almighty wants to have a relationship with us. God doesn't make robots.
God is not a cosmic puppet master. And Aubrey Hale and all sinful, fallen people that are tempted to do evil things, they have the option not to do such things. One of the trans groups, one of the transgender groups in the coverage on Wednesday, March 29th, really excusing the actions of the shooter at the Covenant Christian School, said she was speaking out in the only way she knew how.
Well I disagree. You can have philosophical disagreement with somebody, even vehement disagreement, spirited debate and dialogue. You don't have to kill people to be heard.
Now, if being heard, quote unquote, means that we continue to tear down sanity, we force gender mutilation, hormone replacement therapy, and transgender surgery on young people, if the transgender LGBTQ activists demand that being heard means that we throw truth out the window and descend further and further down the abyss of godlessness, no, we will not hear that because we care enough about God and country to stand for truth. Now we've got a break and when we come back I'm going to talk more about ultimate peace and ultimate joy because Christ is in control. Stay tuned. We're back after this brief break. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert.
Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. In recent years our nation has suffered greatly and we seem to be on a rapid moral decline. We've rejected God, morality, and we've almost completely lost our sense of patriotism. It's no wonder that many are asking the question, is this the end of America? Hi, Alex McFarland here and I want to make you aware of my book, The Assault on America, How to Defend Our Nation Before It's Too Late.
You know, our nation has seen politicians that are corrupted by greed and they've got a vested interest in power and many of our elected officials seem to care little about the country that they've been appointed to serve. Read my book, The Assault on America. We can stand up for our great nation and defend America before it's too late.
It's available everywhere. You can learn more on my own website, which is alexmcfarland.com. Read the book, The Assault on America, How to Defend Our Nation Before It's Too Late. He's been called trusted, truthful, and timely. Welcome back to The Alex McFarland Show. Welcome back to the program.
Alex McFarland here. We're talking about ultimate peace and ultimate joy, even in the face of heartbreak and tragedy like the shooting in Nashville just this past week. And as we fully expected, the left would interpret this wrongly. Within hours of the shooting, they were saying we have to ban firearms. Even now, there's talk in the news about the confiscation of guns and the repealing of the Second Amendment, which gives constitutional protection for an individual's right to keep and bear arms. It's interesting how the left says, well, the Second Amendment refers to muskets and primitive guns that were available in 1787 through 1789.
Well, I mean, think about that. One of the points of genius about the founders' vision was that they built our government on the biblical principles and the natural law, undeniable truth principles that not only are known to all people at all times in all places, but it would be workable. Our Constitution would work in the 18th century, the 19th century, the 20th century. It would work now in the 21st century if we would actually follow it.
But I mean, think about the logic. Those in the aftermath of the Covenant Christian school shooting that are saying, OK, ban guns, make self-defense illegal because after all, they say the Second Amendment was written by men who fired muskets. Well, by that logic, the First Amendment, the right to free speech, freedom of expression, freedom of religious expression, then if the Second Amendment only applies to muskets and sticks and rocks, then the First Amendment would only apply to quill pens, ink, wells and feathers. No, obviously these are timeless truths, transcendent principles God gives to nations and individuals the right to self-defense. And the answer is not to disarm the populace, but to arm the populace, not only in the sense that we think of being armed, but I think about with moral truth. How far? How far do we have to go?
How much do we have to descend into lawlessness and anarchy before people say we need to return to God? But I want to talk about that and I want to give three realities about the seeking of peace and joy, which this seeking has been common to humans throughout history. You know, C.S. Lewis, Clive Staples Lewis, he lived 1898 to 1963, one of the most important Christian apologists in history, really. And I would say along with Billy Graham, C.S. Lewis was one of the most well-known Christians of the 20th century, probably Billy Graham and C.S. Lewis, the two most influential Christians of the 20th century. But Lewis said this, God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from himself, because it is not there.
There is no such thing. You've probably seen little plaques that say, no Jesus, no peace. No Jesus, no peace.
K-N-O-W versus N-O. To know Jesus, K-N-O-W, is to know peace. But if we have no God, no moral standard, if we don't know Jesus, who is truth incarnate, N-O, no Jesus, then we have no peace.
And as Lewis said, there cannot be happiness and peace apart from Jesus Christ the Savior, because there is no such thing. And part of the reason that a person like Aubrey Hale could not deal with her feelings, could not deal with her birth gender, could not deal with reality, and could not deal with the fact that a school of Christians were learning God's Word, and they were happy and content and fulfilled. Part of the reason that the lost world just cannot abide Christians who know truth, it's not that they really have a gripe with us, but they have a gripe with the God within us.
The trans activists in the aftermath of the shooting, very cryptically and with a veiled threat, a not so veiled threat, said hate has consequences. We've got to, as a church, if you're a believer, if you care about order and the preservation of our Constitution, if you care about reality, we've got to have the resolve and the courage to not back down. And we need to calmly, lovingly say to this world, look, when I'm telling you the truth, when I'm living out God's revelation, that's not hate. In fact, the most loving, most compassionate, most empathetic thing we could ever do is to help people understand truth.
But what a threat. In other words, you will get in line, you will acquiesce, you will not only tolerate, not only allow, but celebrate and affirm the deviations and the destructive, malicious delusion of the LGBTQ trans ad infinitum activists. Well, even in the midst of this proximate evil, Christians have ultimate joy and ultimate peace. Now, two words, proximate and ultimate.
Proximate means something right here, right now, right up close, like something is in close proximity. But in the biblical worldview, and really only the Christian worldview can make this promise, that everything has an ultimate good God will bring out of it. The Bible says ultimately even the wrath of man will praise God. That's why Romans 8.28 can say, for we know that all things work together for the good. Now, all things aren't good. In fact, there are some things that are just downright rotten, terrible, like the cowardly act of shooting children in a Christian school.
What kind of miscreant does that? But do you know ultimately, because God is in control, Christ paid for sin on the cross, rose from the dead, whosoever will may come. And I'm just sure of it, because look, Satan and a lost world will never put God in checkmate. Probably people have already turned to Christ as a result of this terrible tragedy in Nashville. People as myself and other ministers and leaders that know truth have talked about Jesus in the national media. People are turning to Christ.
I know our ministry gets hundreds and hundreds of inquiries every month from people who want to know how to be saved. So the wrath of man ultimately will praise God. And we have peace, we have joy.
We're not dying of stress or getting stomach ulcers. Christians know God is in control and Christ is coming soon. When we come back, I've got three realities about peace and joy, ironclad, scripturally supported realities.
So stay tuned, we're going to talk about peace and joy, which can be yours when we return right after this brief break. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert. Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. In the midst of a culture obsessed with relativism, Alex is a sound voice who speaks timeless truths of Christianity in a timely way. With 18 published books to his name, it's no surprise that CNN, Fox, The Wall Street Journal and other media outlets have described Alex as a religion and culture expert. To learn more about Alex and to book him as a speaker at your next event, visit alexmcfarland.com. Or you can contact us directly by emailing booking at alexmcfarland.com. He's been called trusted, truthful and timely. Welcome back to The Alex McFarland Show. Welcome back to the program.
Alex McFarland here. We're talking about ultimate peace and ultimate joy even in the midst of a challenging world because Christ is in control. I want to give you three thoughts and I'll elaborate on these. For the naysayers who say that a tragedy, an act of violence, a shooting must somehow mean that there is no God or that God doesn't care. No, actually man's inability to achieve peace on earth is actually proof of the biblical message.
Secondly, human longing for peace, joy, some ultimate sense of justice, fulfillment, peace. The longing for this is really proof that God exists and that we need Christ. And then finally, human salvation experiences are proofs of the reality of Jesus and the hope and life that he offers.
Now I want to go back through these. Charles Spurgeon, one of the great ministers of all time, he lived over a century ago. Very often it's called the Prince of Preachers. And recently I was in a conference and somebody asked me, other than the Bible, if I could only recommend one book in the world other than the Bible, what would it be? And I said, Morning and Evening Devotions by Charles Spurgeon. But Spurgeon said, quote, as long as a man is alive and out of hell, he really has no reason to complain. And that's really true. We're in the land of the living.
We're not in hell in judgment. We really have a lot for which to be grateful. And yet people aren't grateful. It's human nature to take things for granted. And really people take life for granted. They're taking this country for granted.
They take God for granted. But let's talk about this, because after the dawn of the 20th century and when World War One was ended, they said it was the war to end all wars, and left-leaning preachers like Harry Emerson Fosdick, and then after him, people like Norman Vincent Peale, they would say every day, in every way, man is getting better and better. And that a thousand years of utopia and peace on earth would be ushered in. And no sooner had the jubilation of the ending of World War One abates. And then along comes World War Two, even worse than World War One. And the 20th century, as far as anybody knows, has been the bloodiest century in human history, although it might be that the 21st century is quite the contender.
But here's the thing. Man, for all of his utopian dreams and schemes, and money hasn't done it, and philosophy hasn't done it. Education, reform, laws, totalitarian states have certainly not been able to do it. Man, in his own strength and ability, has been utterly incapable of implementing peace on earth.
Well that is a proof of how we need the Prince of Peace, and only God himself can bring peace on earth. Even Socrates. Socrates lived 470-399 BC.
He said the real danger in life is not death, but living an evil life. Now, Plato, a very seminal figure in the history of philosophy, he was the student of Socrates and the teacher of Aristotle. And Plato, amazing lineage, his complete works have been in circulation and studied now for 2400 years. But Plato, he lived 428-348, but he said this, quote, Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws. Even 2500 years ago, in Athens, during a time of great intellect, they still dealt with criminals, murderers, liars, thieves.
They still dealt with the problem that causes our problems today, which is sin. Man's inability to achieve peace on earth is actually proof of the biblical message. Secondly, human longing for peace is proof of our need for Jesus.
Now, C.S. Lewis, the great philosopher, defender of Christianity, he said this, For every human longing there is an objective referent. In other words, we're hungry and there is food. We desire love and companionship, and friendship and love and marriage and intimacy is possible. Well, we long for God. We long for this ultimate, not only implementing of justice, but the foundation of it. And we long for God. As Augustine said, The heart is restless till it rests in thee. Well, the human longing for peace, for absolution, for forgiveness, restoration, is proof that we really, really need something.
Something beyond ourselves, something beyond the medicine cabinet, something beyond the liquor cabinet, something beyond the classroom, the boardroom. What do we need? We need Jesus. You know, even Ricky Gervais, the founder of The Office, the British version of The Office, famous Hollywood pundit who claims to be an atheist, but he was in a recent interview shedding tears. And he said, I wish there would be a Jesus, someone who's perfectly loving and forgiving. Well, the good news is there is a Jesus.
In fact, there is the Jesus who rose from the dead. And the longing not only for peace, but longing for the Lord Jesus Christ, as people around the world do. It's proof that we need him. And as Lewis said, for every legitimate human longing, there's an objective referent. And we want the Lord.
And the good news is he says close by as a prayer. Finally, human salvation experiences are proofs of the reality of Jesus Christ and the hope, new life, and joy that he offers. People throughout history have claimed to have experienced God. As the famous Quaker theologian and philosopher Elton Trueblood said, some of the best and the brightest, most virtuous people throughout history have claimed to have experienced God. If even one of them was right, then God exists.
And the idea that they all were delusional or malicious, very unlikely. It's like Aquinas said, if anything is true, then truth exists. Well, from Billy Graham to Mother Teresa to the greatest throughout history, they've claimed to have experienced God and Jesus. And there's an empty tomb to prove that Christ rose.
Now what does this mean? It means that ultimate peace and ultimate joy is a reality for every born-again Christian, and it can be a reality in your life. We often say this, Jesus is as close by as a prayer. And if you acknowledge Christ, that he claimed to be the Son of God, and he proved it by fulfilling all the prophecies, doing all the miracles, rising from the dead, and if you ask him to be your Savior, he is promised the man who is truth and cannot lie.
He said, the one who comes to me I will in no way reject. That's John 6 37. Now think about Thomas Merton, the mystic Christian philosopher. Merton said this, we are not at peace with others because we are not at peace with ourselves. And we're not at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God. Today you can be at peace with God. Isaiah 26 3 said that God will keep you in a perfect peace. Peace in your heart, peace in your soul, when your mind is stayed on thee because you trust in the true and living God.
If you go to my website, which is AlexMcFarland.com, there's a tab under resources. What does God say? And we have a booklet. We've circulated hundreds of thousands of copies around the world.
What does God say about my relationship with him? You can read it online. We'd love to send you one if you write to us.
But it tells you how you can have salvation, you can have assurance of salvation, and you can turn back to Christ if you feel like you've drifted away. Hey, please keep us in prayer. We've got a big event coming up in Tennessee in just three weeks, April 21 through 23.
We've got summer camps coming up. We're on the radio. If you feel led to help us, at least please pray for us. But if you would like to donate, you can give absolutely securely online.
AlexMcFarland.com. You can mail in a check if you make it to TNG, as in Truth for a New Generation. That's P.O.
Box 485, Pleasant Garden, North Carolina, 27313. May God bless you. Turn to Christ. He's waiting for your prayer. And in the meantime, pray for us as we try to help people come to Christ and come back to Christ.
Even in these times of crisis, Jesus Christ is in control. Alex McFarland ministries are made possible through the prayers and financial support of partners like you. For over 20 years, this ministry has been bringing individuals into a personal relationship with Christ and has been equipping people to stand strong for truth. Learn more and donate securely online at AlexMcFarland.com. You may also reach us at Alex McFarland, P.O. Box 10231, Greensboro, North Carolina, 27404. Or by calling 1-877-Yes-God-1.
That's 1-877-Y-E-S-G-O-D-1. Thanks for joining us. We'll see you again on the next edition of the Alex McFarland Show. Over the last several decades, it's been my joy to travel the world talking with children, teens, adults, people of all ages about the questions they have related to God, the Bible, Christianity, and how to know Jesus personally.
Hi, Alex McFarland. I want to make you aware of my book, The 21 Toughest Questions Your Kids Will Ask About Christianity. You know, we interviewed hundreds of children and parents and families to find out the questions that children and people of all ages are longing to find answers for. In the book, we've got practical, biblical, real-life answers that they have about how to be a Christian in this modern world. My book, The 21 Toughest Questions Your Kids Will Ask, you can find it wherever you buy books or at resources.afa.net.
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