Thanks for listening this Truth Network Podcast Podcast. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere, in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. We're talking about the ascension today. We're talking about Jesus' ascension because May 18th is kind of like ascension day.
It's not really a widely celebrated holiday, and this really isn't a widely talked about part of Jesus' ministry. Even though it's the last thing he did on earth as part of his ministry, he ascended into heaven. They put that in a lot of creeds. Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father. He ascended into heaven.
It's like part of their creeds, and yet it's a part that we kind of gloss over a little bit. Even though if I saw a man like, first off, rise up from the grave, that's kind of crazy. But now we're walking.
You see him rise up from the grave. He's like, all right, peace out. Everybody good? You good? You good?
You good? Peace. I'm like, what in the world?
Walking on the water? That was pretty cool. Like, beating 5,000, that's cool. But did he just ascend up into the clouds, and that's it?
That's crazy. This passage, Acts 1, verses 8 through 9, this is in tandem with the Great Commission. We focus on that from Matthew chapter 28 a lot, but these words were also said at that same time, where Jesus is ascending into heaven. And last words are really important.
When you think about somebody's last words, it summarizes who they are and what they're passionate about and what their mission is. And here, you have the gospel. You have the charge to go and make disciples and evangelize and share the message of hope with other people. The disciples weren't just supposed to sit on this.
They were supposed to share it far and wide. You know, last night, we were all here at the church, and it was the first night of sports camp. And I don't know if you know this, but your kids are grown. I know, and I'm really tired of it.
I'm really fed up with it. Especially the twins. The twins are like, what, 11 or 10? 10. They'll be 11 in July. I was watching them, and I was like, I can't believe you have 10-year-olds. I can't believe I have 10-year-olds. I was watching them do the sports camp and stuff and helping out, and I was like, these kids are groany. Yeah.
Why is that? That's a young woman over there. They're going out for middle school sports.
Oh, my goodness. They're talking to their friends. They are wanting to go do this and that.
They're starting a youth group in the fall. It's filling me with fear, because I've got two little ones right now. Yeah. And I don't want them.
I had two little ones, too, and now I've got two big ones. Yeah. They're asking for things. Like, they're asking for phones now. Phones? Phones. At 10 years old? Let me tell you this. Our oldest daughter—so we have twins, 10-year-old twins.
They're right there neck and neck. But our oldest daughter, Hartley, she asked for a phone in maybe one of the most creative ways that I have ever encountered. Like, the answer right now is no. She's not getting a phone at 10, because she doesn't need one. But I was kind of impressed with the presentation.
Okay. My girl Hartley makes a PowerPoint presentation, right? So when you say you were impressed with the presentation, like, literally, it was— A literal presentation. She's learned how to do this for school projects. She did not make a PowerPoint. She hopped on Google Drive.
She made a Google Slides presentation of why she needs a phone at 10 years old. You have my undivided attention. I wish I had the PowerPoint. I'd show you.
Those of you who are watching the podcast, I would show you. It was—I'm not going to lie. For 10, it was pretty well done. Like, I was kind of impressed. Did she sit you and Elizabeth down and be like— No, she didn't. She didn't, like, walk us through the presentation. Okay.
But she was like, hey, I left this file for you. Just— Just peruse at your earliest convenience. Just check it out.
I'm going to bed now, because it's bedtime, but you and mommy just look this over. It's like— Just give this a glance, as you have time. It's like someone in corporate world. Like, she is made for corporate life, because, like, she puts this—she puts it on, she's like, just peruse at your earliest convenience and get back to me whenever you can. Yeah. She's one of those, like, per my earlier email, like, uh-huh. I just wanted to circle back and see where we are.
Corporate businesswoman, absolutely see that in her future. You read it, and it's like a gigantic merger. And it's like, how did you think this was appropriate for a PowerPoint?
At my earliest convenience? Yeah. She laid out the facts pretty well. She made a compelling case. So she had good points.
The answer is still no, because all of her reasons for a phone—we had reasons why you don't need a phone to do that thing. Okay. So it wasn't like, you have good points, but daddy says no. It was like, I have better points. You have good points, but I have better solutions for those points based on your age.
Uh-huh. What if she put at the end, she was like, I just really want a phone. And as my daddy, you should want me to be happy.
I do want you to be happy, but I also want you to be safe. Had a phone at 10 years old, in my opinion, for my children, not a safe choice. What if she was content with a flip phone? Would you give her a flip phone?
What if she was like, I'll take it? No, not yet. Not having a flip phone.
Not yet. Because you can still text on it. So the twins have these little—they're actually pretty cool. They have little, almost like smartwatches, that we can track them, like GPS, so we know, because both of them play sports, so they have away games, so we like to know where they are. They can receive text messages, so they have their own number. They can receive text messages from a set of 25 people, and they can send back preset messages like, okay, or hi, or little emojis.
That's crazy. And they can also call their 25 contacts, and we can call them. So she can answer on her watch if I call her. That's crazy, and she wants a phone. This is the same issue that you had with plate lunch. What they're getting is already really great, but everybody else—you guys were packing their lunch methodically, but they're like, everyone else has plate lunch, so that's what I want.
Right. They're like, we have this really cool Tony Stark watch, but I want a phone. The arguments were nice and great and flashy, but the bedrock was, everyone has one, and I want one. I've got to see this PowerPoint. We've got to work on getting this on the show. I'll see if I can get my hands on it, and we'll share it with you guys. I'm so excited.
I'm not going to lie, I was pretty impressed. At this point, I kind of am rooting for her to get a phone. Yeah. Is there an age? Like 13, you have a phone?
No, there's not a hard and fast age, but there are some criteria that have to be met that she has not met yet. Okay. Okay. We'll see. I'm excited. I can't wait. We're going to share that with you guys.
Like Jon said, we're talking about the ascension today and what this means for us as believers, as modern-day Christians. We're going to get Dr. Sean in just a minute, but if you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028, or visit us online at clearviewtodayshow.com. We'll be back after this. Well, good morning, afternoon, evening Clear View Today listeners. My name is Jon. And I'm David. And we just want to take a quick second and let you know about another way that you can keep in touch with Dr. Sha's work.
And that is his weekly podcast series, Sermons by Abaddon Sha, PhD. As a lot of you may know, or maybe some of you don't know. If you don't know, you do now. And if you don't know, then maybe just hop off the podcast.
David. I'm just playing. Hop off the podcast.
I'm just playing. Keep listening. Dr. Sha is actually the lead pastor of Clear View Church in North Carolina. Every single weekend, he preaches expository messages that challenge and inspire us to live God-honoring lives. Well, one of the four core values of Clear View Church is that we're a Bible-believing church. So every sermon is coming directly from scripture, which is great because that guarantees that there are timeless truths that are constantly applicable to our lives. This is a great resource because whether you're driving, whether you're cleaning the house, whether you're working out, you can always benefit from hearing the Word of God spoken into your life. And God's Word is always going to do something new for you every time you hear it. Sometimes it's conviction and sometimes it's encouragement. But know that every time you listen to God's Word, you're inviting the Holy Spirit to move and work in your life.
So you can follow it. But for right now, David, let's hop back in. All right. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abaddon Sha, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at ClearViewTodayShow.com. Or if you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text to 252-582-5028. That's right. And if today's your first day ever listening to the Clear View Today Show, we want to welcome you, let you know who's talking to you today. Dr. Abaddon Sha is a PhD in New Testament textual criticism, professor at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor, and the host of today's show. You can find all of his work on his website.
That's AbaddonSha.com. That's right. And I know you were busy getting graduation things ready, graduate messages. I know you're often a speaker at graduations.
How did that come about? How did people start grabbing you for graduation speeches specifically? Well, I've always been not just curious, but also very passionately interested in our next generation or the generation now, as Ryan would say it. I always want to know how they're thinking, how, where they are, how we can reach them, not just to punish them, get onto them, because that's easy, easy to fuss at young people because I mean, it's easy, you know, just start fussing, but I don't want to do that. I want to help them because people who have done great things for God through the ages have always been people who recognized the young generation and helped them. So, with that in mind, I always try to find the pulse and people have noticed that and they go, oh, he knows about the younger generation. He knows about the next generation. Am I always really good at it? Not necessarily, but I try. I try to have the pulse and then I try not to have the same expectation, expectations of them that I have of me or any other generation prior to me, but I try to meet them where they are, but not leave them there, but help them go forward, help them to achieve things for God, help them to don't get sucked into the culture. Yeah.
So, I don't know. That's people I picked up on that and that's why they asked me to come. I've heard you speak at a couple of graduation ceremonies now and it always amazes, not amazes me, but I'm always so impressed how you can speak to where they are, but not do it in a way that's like the typical graduation meds, like your future's ahead of you and reach for the star. Yeah, Jeremiah 29, 11. Like, we've all heard those before, but you do it in such a way that it captures their attention and it's applicable to all of us.
Right. I hope so. And I hope to do that again. I'm speaking in a couple of weeks at a graduation as well, high school graduation.
So, I'm hoping to share some words of wisdom through the word of God, through my personal life in 10 minutes, maybe 15 max, but do it in a way that will be helpful. Well, I appreciated the way that you did these generational series that we just did a couple of months ago, because it's just like you said, it's about feeling the pulse. And a lot of people just say, okay, I need to get on the level with this new generation. Let me learn their lingo. Let me learn how they talk and I'll just talk like them.
And what ends up happening is we, and it's funny because when you look at it, really like you're just going to look like a clown. They're not going to listen to you, but in their minds, they really think this is going to help connect with these people. I love how we kind of took time and talked about these Strauss, how generational models, we looked at where these generations are, what they grew up with, what they're experiencing, what they're thinking. So you can, like you said, you're getting the pulse of this generation. So you understand where they're coming from and you connect with it. And once you connect with it, now I see, Hey, we may not have our vernacular in common, but these goals and ideals we do and we can connect on those. And we have a lot to learn, but we are far ahead of the game because we are taking the time to prayerfully, right?
Prayerfully study these things and understand them and then apply them. And in today's episode, you know, we kind of have the benefit of having you for more than 10 to 15 minutes because it is graduation season for many. People are graduating high school, they're graduating college or higher education and heading into what, you know, for many is that next chapter of life. There are some parents who are, as I'm saying this, they have tears that are welling up in their eyes because their sweet little baby is shopping for a cap and gown and we're talking diplomas and college in the fall. And, you know, it's a time of change for many people. So this is a great opportunity for us to kind of speak to those people who are entering into that graduation season and then what comes next. Yeah, there's the message for the parents and then there's a message for the students. And they're different messages.
They're not the same, but they basically have the same foundation but not the same application. For parents, I would say understand that this is the pattern of life. You know, you want your kids to grow up. You want them to step out. Maybe how soon and how much, that depends on your student, that depends on you as a family, that depends on your value system.
How soon? I mean, for us, we told our kids, you know, learn some Bible, you know, have some good foundation. And then you can decide what you want to do because this world is actively trying to proselytize or proselyte, right, our kids. And I want to make sure that on the way out we give them enough of the foundation that they will not vacillate.
They would not, you know, turn to the left or the right, but they will go forward. They will do their own things, which is great. We want them to do their own things. We want them to follow God's plan for their lives, not just mom and daddy's plan, but do it from the foundation that will enable them to have solid personal lives, spiritual life, mental wholeness, good relationships, financial strengths, you know, long-term vision.
These are the things that come when you have your feet grounded, not only in the Word of God, but in Jesus Christ. Yeah, I love the way that you said that because the world is trying to capture the hearts and the minds of our kids, right? You know, sometimes I hear people say things like, I don't want to push religion on my kids. I don't want to force them to go to church because I want them to make their own decisions. Just know that you taking a back seat there means the world gets in the front seat. They are the ones who are actively trying to force your kids to make a decision away from church.
Right, and now you've already given them the driving receipt, you know, and that's not smart. And there are some times where even, like you said, the world is actively trying to get them, but even we can inadvertently hold them back. You said something a few minutes ago where you said it's good that your kids grow up. It's good that you are letting them grow up. And I know now that Gavin is like two, he's pushing three years old, it's getting difficult. And it's like, man, it's really hard to watch him not be a baby anymore. And I can imagine that there are some parents who are like, he needs to be a baby forever.
He needs to be here with me. Oh, I know some parents like that. Yeah. And they think if I can just take care of him, I'm not stunting him in any way or her in any way. I'm just going to continue to take care of them. But that development, like you said, is getting stunted and it's good. And I think it's interesting that you said that is for the parents because I remember graduating high school. I didn't recognize that as a milestone. I didn't be like, okay, this is a big shift in my life. I was like, okay, cool. Now I'm just, I'll go to college now. But looking backwards on it, I'm like, that's a huge milestone.
That's a huge shift that I didn't know. My parents had to deal with it, I think more than I did. Yeah. So my encouragement to parents is just know, give them the solid foundation. And that may be like, hey, let's, let's get some more of the Bible in you.
Get us, get some more of Christ in you. And then you're ready to face the world. And also, based on how you raise them, if you raise them to be strong individuals, if you raise them to be independent, if you raise them to, you know, be confident, they will be, they will go out there and do things. And sometimes as parents, it's a little unnerving to go, oh, what are they doing? What are they doing?
Stop, stop. But that's what you raised them to do, right? Now, why are you pulling them back? Yeah. Let them go.
Even as your kids to be confident. Right. That's exactly what you wanted. They're doing it. Let them go.
Yeah. So my parents did that with me. I left home at 17.
And can you imagine that 17 and leaving home for you? Wasn't just, I'm going to move a couple hours. I'm going to move down the block over to grandma's house.
No, no, no, no, no. I'm going across the globe. I'm on the opposite side of the planet with only $500 in my pocket, which means there's, there's a good chance. I may not be coming back anytime soon. I did go back. I did had to borrow some money. I went like a plane ticket. Is that the arcade story?
That's a different one. I went like three exits up the road on the interstate. My mom had a hard time, so I can't, I don't know. Same. I moved across town to the house that my grandmother had. And even then my mom, I don't like you being gone so far.
Like I'm just, you can get to my house in seven minutes. Yeah. But you know, they, they had instilled in me biblical values, strong foundation. Does, does that mean that I was always like where I am today as this kind of person? No, I was not. I had those values in me, but was I this vocal about biblical values standing against the moral degradation in our culture?
Was I as firm and strong about sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ? No. But it's, but it's a testament to your parents wisdom and your wisdom as well in that they did allow you to grow up and they did allow you to make that stand on your own as not only a man, but a biblical man. Like we've all seen people who are like in their forties and still think they're in their twenties or developmentally they're like in their late teens or early twenties and it's just, it's not good.
It's really, really, really not good. Yeah. Like on one level it's like fun to make fun of, but then it gets to a point where it's like, you know what? This is sad. Yeah.
This is sad. Yeah. I also think about, you know, biblically speaking of Daniel, right? This weekend we talked about Daniel and, and Hananiah and Michelle, Azariah, you know, we know them as Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, same, same guys, by the way, they had, those were just the Babylonian name, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego. But these were same situation, 17, 16, 17 year old guys, you know, thrown out there in Babylon, being, being forced to follow Babylonian culture, eat Babylonian food, and maybe even bow to Babylonian gods. But they refused to do that because they had been instilled with this solid foundation. And in time, God not only honored them, but raised them up 10 times wiser than all the magicians, the sorcerers, the Chaldeans of Babylon.
So that's what we want for our young people to instill in them those biblical values that at the right time, they will shine at the right time. They won't back down. That's right.
But if you want to make a shift here and talk to the students, you know, I want them to also understand that there is some responsibility on your shoulders as well. That's right. Right. It's not all your parents. You can't blame them. That's right. You cannot always depend on them. That's right.
You have to, some point in time say, okay, based on what I know, based on my relationship with Jesus Christ, now it's time for me to trust in him, look to him and step out and see what he has for me. Yeah. I think that's something that I missed when I was graduating high school. I think that was kind of, like I said, it wasn't a milestone for me.
And so I didn't treat it like one. And so I think, you know, if that had been something that at 18 years old, I had had somebody telling me that this is a huge deal, treat it like a huge deal, see what God is going to do for you, pray and ask him to kind of direct your path. You know, I think God worked my life together for good at the same time. And he did that with the youth pastor in your life. He did that by bringing you to clear view. So God, in a way, had his hand on you that even though, you know, some ways it didn't happen for you, the way it happened for me, it did happen for you through the impact of the youth pastor.
The impact when you start, and what age were you where you started working at Clearview? 21. Yeah. I mean, this is the time where it would have been so easy for you to go off and go back into the world or be a nominal Christian. But instead, you know, you were here and had to deal with me. But I mean, look what we have.
Look at what God has blessed us as a team. And I think that's something that, like you said, for students at that young age to take that responsibility and to understand that this is a transitional period that God is putting you through on purpose. You know, it's not an accident that he's placed you here. It's not an accident now that you feel this sort of shift or you maybe don't feel this shift.
Being intentional about it and going and saying, okay, God, I'm listening for you. I'm seeking you in this time. Like Daniel sought the Lord and like, like they they're in this foreign land, but God, I'm seeking you.
I think that will make all the difference. And keep in mind is Daniel and then Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego. They were together. It is iron sharpens iron, right? They were able to help each other stay strong in their conviction. So here's my, my challenge to students. Don't listen to people who don't have the same values as you do. Even if they may be family members, even if they may be in church with you, they may be your best friends. But if they don't have the same values that you do, they're giving you advice based on their bad experiences or based on some sin in their lives.
How about in the back? Y'all have anything to add to this? Anything? Thinking about students and young and whatever. I definitely would say if you're a student or if you're like young and you're in that context, or you're transitioning, or even my age, cause I'm, I'm 24 and I'm still learning so much. Find a local church somewhere where you can plug in because as much as I got out of, you know, learning from different things online or stuff when I was like really trying to study, it was always something that I would try to learn, but I wouldn't quite understand it cause I didn't have people in my life until I found Dr. Shah and Ryan and John who I could be like, okay, I heard this and I learned this.
What do you think? And then under the guidance and knowing the proper context, y'all could lead me and guide me and show me that. So it, you can have good resources online, but, and you can find good resources through like all of those places and even through commentaries, but if you don't have a local church body and a pastor who is leading you and guiding you through that, who has that experience and knows that you can always find a way to misinterpret what you're reading or what you're doing. So you need that in your life. I would echo that. Find a pastor you trust.
100%. Even if you don't work under him, spend time with him and, and buy into his vision for, for that church that you plug into because that will make things so much smoother and so much easier. Cause if you don't have a, a leader or shepherd that you trust, I feel like you're ultimately going to go back to your own understanding. Even if you're, even if you're going away to school, find a place where you are, where you can plug in.
Even if you know you're not going to be there forever, if you know you're only going to be there during the window of time where you're there in school, you need that local community. You can't just rely on, I'll go to church when I go back home or I'll live stream it. You knew those people who are alongside you, just like you said, Dr. Shah, with, with Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, they had each other alongside themselves to, to kind of bolster their faith.
Yeah. There was a time that I drifted away from church. I have to admit that it was a period of about, I would say about a year I drifted away and on and off I would go to church, but I wasn't.
And partly it's because of hypocrisy in the church. I saw people doing things, being hateful to me. There were people who were hateful to me. I'm prejudiced, whatever. So when somebody says, oh, prejudice, that doesn't exist.
He does. I felt it. I saw it. Somebody refused to shake my hand and I was like, okay. All right. That's awful. Yeah. And coming from a pastor's home, being a Christian in a foreign country, sharing the gospel, having missionaries in and out of our home, but somebody did not shake my hand when I was sticking my hand out. Okay. All right.
So I'm like, I don't need it. The best pastor I know is my own dad and he is back home and that's all matters. But in time I had to go through trials and in those trials I realized, what am I doing? You know, am I going to walk away from the church because of a couple of ignorant people?
No, I'm not going to do that. I'm going to follow God. And then in time, God brought, you know, Nicole's dad into my life who showed me love and kindness. And gosh, I mean, I can't even imagine, you know, what that life was like, where I was like angry at the church. I can't even imagine that now. So hard to even remember that.
Wow. So just a word to the students. I know sometimes you may get disappointed in church or somebody may do something or say something or act in ignorant ways or be hypocritical. Don't let that get to you. I know it's hard, easy for me to say, hard for you to experience, but don't let that get to you. Just, just shake your head and shake your head and say, God, I give that person over to you.
I'm going to love Jesus and do what Jesus wants me to do and not let bitterness take root in my heart. That's right. And so I love that you say that because it's so in vogue right now to talk about things like church hurt. And yeah, I know I've been burned by this person and I'm just kind of, I've lost my faith and I get it. I get it.
I get it. But, but, but like you're saying, is that it? You're going to let that get to you. Exactly.
Yeah. It's so much more than just this one person and the church is made of sinful people. People are going to make sinful choices.
It's going to happen. Not that excuses what you know, you've experienced or it doesn't invalidate your experience, but you can't write off God's institution because of one person or even a season of people being disobedient. Especially if you're young at 18, you know, I couldn't see to my thirties and forties or whatever and say, okay, God, I think you have something great planned.
And that's something you say all the time is the best days are always ahead of you. Yes, of course. Of course. Yeah.
Yeah. So a word to the parents and the word to the students, to the parents, Hey, look, this is, this is the goal. This is where you're headed. Give them strong foundations. Like the, I know it's cliche, but you know, give them roots, but also give them wings and to the students, you know, same thing to you guys, you know, have those roots, but also have those wings, but let God be the one who, who, who, who puts the wind beneath your wings. Oh, I had to add another cliche in there.
If you're going to have one, go ahead and have two. You went beneath my wings. There you go. Very nice. If you guys enjoyed today's topic, or you have questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text to 252-582-5028. Or you can visit us online at clearviewtodayshow.com. You can partner with us financially on that same website. Click that donate button. Let us know that it's coming through Clear View Today. We are grateful for all of our giving partners and the impact you're having through our radio show together. We love you guys. We'll see you next time on Clear View Today.
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