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F.A.Q. - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
May 19, 2024 6:00 am

F.A.Q. - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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May 19, 2024 6:00 am

An old Persian Proverb reads, "It's harder to ask a sensible question than to supply a sensible answer." Many times our questions to God are reactive—based on a sort of knee-jerk reaction to painful circumstances. Peter asked Jesus two questions of this sort. But whenever we ask God questions we must hang around to get the supplied answers. The questions Peter asked are similar to ones we frequently ask. Let's consider and apply Jesus' outstanding answer.

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Frequently asked questions. We often say, Lord, where? And usually our question is, Lord, where are you? Where are you when I need you?

Or the question, why? Why, Lord? Did you let this happen? You could have stopped it. Lord, where?

Lord, why? Welcome to Connect with Skip Weekend Edition. Have you ever done a sensory deprivation exercise? You know, the sort from school where you're required to deprive one sense in order to increase the other? One common exercise has participants sitting back to back and then conduct a conversation without looking at one another. It doesn't seem challenging on the surface, but in practice it's quite difficult because talking includes body language. And without it, it's almost impossible to conduct a coherent conversation. Well, today in Connect with Skip Weekend Edition, Pastor Skip has a message he's titled FAQ.

And in it, we'll see that even though we can't talk to God face to face, we can still hold a conversation and we can still hear him. If you have a Bible handy, you'll want to be sure to open it up to John chapter 13 as we join Pastor Skip for today's message called FAQ. If you have children, you know, the kids like to ask questions. And as parents, you learn how to answer their questions throughout life.

I went to a website called frequently asked questions that kids have about life and often ask their parents. Questions like why do I have a belly button? Did Eve have a belly button?

Where do hiccups come from? Does God have a beard? Why do people need to sleep? Why do penguins have wings if they can't fly? Why is the sky blue? What was God doing before he made the world? If God made us, then who made God?

How do fingernails grow? If you're a parent, you've got those answers nailed down, right? Frequently asked questions. Some businesses, advertisers, schools, etc., will provide a list of frequently asked questions that they can give to people so that people might readily know what they're about, what they offer, what their product is like. And sometimes when you call businesses, they will have voicemail that directs you to frequently asked questions or frequently asked for options.

Now, have you ever wondered what it would be like if God had voicemail? It might sound something like this. Press zero. Please select one of the following options. Press one for request. Number two for Thanksgiving. Press three for complaints. Press four for all other inquiries.

I'm sorry. All of our angels are busy helping others right now. However, your prayer is important to us and will be answered in the order that it was received.

So please stay on the line. If you would like to speak to the Father, press one. To the Son, press two. To the Holy Spirit, press three. To find out if a loved one has been assigned to heaven, enter his or her social security number and then press the pound key. If you get a negative response, try area code 666. For reservations to my Father's house, press the letters J-O-H-N and then the numbers 316.

For answers to nagging questions about dinosaurs, the age of the earth, where Noah's Ark is, please wait until you arrive. Our computers show that you've already prayed today. Please hang up and try again tomorrow.

The office will be closed for the weekend to observe a religious holiday. Please pray again on Monday after 930 a.m. If you're calling after hours and need emergency assistance, please contact your local pastor.

Have a blessed day. Now compare that with what the Bible actually promises like in Jeremiah chapter 33 where God says, Call unto me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you know not. God has given us his Holy Spirit living inside of us. He's given us the Word of God to direct us and the combination of those two mean that God is in the business of answering questions. Now we come to a conversation in the upper room in John chapter 13.

Really it's not a conversation as much as an interruption by Peter that turns into a conversation. It only occupies three verses, verses 36, 37, 38 of John 13 between Jesus and Peter. Peter asks two questions of Jesus. I would say they're frequently asked questions by all believers. And Jesus gives two answers.

And those two answers form three principles that we're gonna consider this morning. Now something about Peter. As you read through the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, you discover that Peter is very prominent. Peter speaks more than any of the other apostles. Peter is addressed more than any of the other apostles by Christ. Peter is rebuked by Jesus more than any of the other apostles. Whenever there's a list, and there are four lists in the New Testament of the apostles, the 12, Peter is always number one on the list.

And Judas is always the last on the list. In verse 36, 37, and 38, I wanna begin a little bit back to get the flow of the context, to understand the conversation once again. Verse 31, so when he, Judas Iscariot, had gone out, Jesus said, So Jesus has been speaking up until now.

Here comes the interruption. Then Peter said to him, Lord, where are you going? Jesus answered him, Where I am going, you cannot follow me now, but you shall follow me afterward. Peter said to him, Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for your sake. Jesus answered him, Will you lay down your life for my sake?

Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied me three times. Two questions, two answers, three principles. Question where? The question why?

Frequently asked questions. We often say, Lord, where? And usually our question is, Lord, where are you? Where are you when I need you? Or the question why? Why, Lord, did you let this happen?

You could have stopped it. Lord, where are you? Where? Lord, why? Let's look at the first question, and notice how it is phrased. Lord, where are you going? Now stop right there. Whenever anyone asks a question, it reveals something about that person. This reveals something about Peter. And in this question, where are you going, Lord, this reveals, I believe, Peter's self-centeredness.

Now follow me on this. You read what Jesus has said to all of those people in that upper room. He's talked about glorifying God. He's talked about loving one another. He talked about being able to share the reality of who we are with the world by our love for each other. Of all of those things that Jesus said, it's interesting that Peter focuses in on none of them. The only thing he focuses in on is that Jesus said he was leaving. Peter didn't go, oh, excuse me, Lord, you talked about glorifying the Father. Show me how to do that. I really need to know that. Or, Lord, you just spoke about loving one another.

I have a real tough time loving these guys. Would you help me? Would you show me how? No, the first and only thing he says is, Lord, where are you going? Now why does he do that? Why does he focus on that thing that Jesus said? And not the others?

Well, it's pretty simple. He didn't care about all the others. He didn't care about the stuff that Jesus said as much as he cares that Jesus said he's going to leave. Let me give you an example in my own personal life. When I was a kid, I distinctly remember my parents, and they would go out on dates and go away for little short periods of time, but when I was a little kid, they once announced to us boys that they were taking an anniversary vacation alone, apart from us, to Hawaii.

I remember not liking to hear that. I had some questions for them. I said, where are you going? Like this, where are you going? They said, we're going to Hawaii. How long are you gonna be there?

Couple weeks. What am I gonna eat? What am I gonna do while you're gone? You see, these were questions that I asked because I was worried about me.

In other words, I was saying, life's really good when you're here to take care of me. That's what it's like for Peter. You're going somewhere?

Where are you going? That's the idea of this question. How many times have we been just like Peter? Just like Peter. Here is the Lord trying to reveal very profound life-changing truths to us, like he was doing to Peter and the rest there that night.

But we don't hear those truths. We're so focused on our own immediate need that his voice gets drowned out, and we only pick up on one little thing, like this. I heard about a man who decided to go on a diet, and he was very serious about this. He was so serious that he even changed the route that he would go to work, and he used to drive every day by a bakery. He said, I can't do that. It's too tempting, because he'd stop there every day and have breakfast. He said, I'm going on a diet. He was serious about it.

Changed the direction in which he would drive to work, but one day, he comes to work with a gigantic coffee cake, and everybody in the office looked at him and scolded him because he came with a coffee cake. It's like, wait a minute. I thought you were on a diet. He said, now hold on.

I know what you're thinking. This is a very special coffee cake. And I drove by that bakery, and as I drove by the bakery, I saw this coffee cake in the window as I drove by.

And I thought, this can't be an accident. So I prayed. And I said, Lord, if it's your will that I have that coffee cake, then would you provide me a parking space right up in front of the bakery? And he said, and sure enough, the eighth time around the block, there it was. Now, do you think he was praying in earnest when he was praying that? Was he praying to listen to God's voice?

No. He was thinking about one thing and one thing only, that coffee cake and how he can get it. Number one, Lord, where?

Where are you? Because it reveals he's gotta do something for us. Second frequently asked question, Lord, why? And notice how Peter says this. Lord, why can I not follow you now? That's the question. Notice it's followed up by a statement.

I will lay down my life for your sake. The disciples had gotten into an argument. We mentioned this twice now. And it was the argument about who would be the greatest in the kingdom of God. Can you imagine the bickering back and forth? I'm gonna be. No, I'm gonna be.

No, I'm gonna be the greatest. They were arguing about that. It's my belief, it's my hunch that Peter views this as a test. And he's determined he's gonna pass the test. For you see, Jesus had already predicted to these fellas in that upper room that one of those disciples was going to betray him.

They didn't know who that was at this point. But Peter is thinking, okay, I get it, I get it. This is a test like Caesarea Philippi when Jesus said, who do men say that I am? And I got the answer right.

It's one of those deals. I'm gonna prove that I am not the betrayer. And so he said, Lord, why can't I follow you? I'll lay down my life for you. And I said, Christians, Peter, you are the greatest.

You will be the greatest in the kingdom. That's not what he heard. What he heard is Jesus make a prediction that he would betray him.

Now, it's always good when you have an eyewitness account to compare any other eyewitness accounts. And we have a parallel to this in Mark chapter 14. You don't have to turn there.

Let me just read it to you. I've selected the verse in advance. Jesus said to them, now this is after the upper room, they're on their way to the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus said to them, all of you will be made to stumble because of me this night, for it is written I will strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered. But after I've been raised, I will go before you into Galilee. Peter said to him, even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be.

That's a pretty bold thing to say when your buddies are around. And Jesus just said, all of you guys are gonna fail me tonight. For Peter to say, excuse me, Lord, yeah, you're right, they probably will. But I won't.

Not gonna happen. Jesus continues, assuredly I say to you that today, even this night before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times. I have to die with you, I will not deny you. And so they all said likewise.

I imagine that Peter, when he heard Jesus make this prediction, he felt very, well, misjudged. He probably thought, Lord, you don't really know me, do you? I'm so loyal to you, I would never do what you say I would do.

I would never do that. Don't you know me? Don't you know how much I love you?

Well, not really was the issue. Jesus knew Peter better than Peter knew Peter. And he predicts exactly what's gonna happen. But Peter here, in our text, asks a question and makes an assertion, as if to say, it will never happen to me, I will never deny you. Next time you think you're so spiritual and you'll never blow it ever again, you might wanna remember what the mama whale once said to the baby whale.

She said, you know, sweetheart, once you get to the top and you start to blow, that's when you get harpooned. Or to put it in a Bible verse, 1 Corinthians chapter 10, let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. Peter's gotten to the top, he's become prominent. His voice is heard in the New Testament.

And he's so confident, trouble is he's overconfident. He doesn't see the mistake that he's about to make. So two questions, frequently asked, Lord where, Lord why. Now Jesus gives answers, and let's unpack these answers in terms of three principles when we don't have answers in life. Principle number one, and we'll look at this in depth, your faithfulness, your present faithfulness is expected. Look what Jesus says, after Peter asks the first question, Lord where are you going, verse 36, where I am going, you cannot follow me now.

Okay, stop right there. Where I am going, where's Jesus going? After he dies on the cross, after he raises from the dead, where's he going?

He's going back to heaven, he's going back home, back to his father's house. Peter, I'm going there, you can't follow me there right now. Do you notice that Jesus' answer to Peter is a little bit cryptic. He doesn't answer him completely or directly. He doesn't say now Peter, I'm going to the paradise of my father's house, in fact tomorrow I'm going to be crucified, three days later I'm going to be resurrected.

I'll be hanging around here for 40 days, 40 days after that, I'm going to ascend to the right hand of my father's throne. You Peter, in 67 AD will die just outside of Rome, and at that moment you'll follow me to my father's house. He didn't give him that complete information, all he says is where I am going, you can't follow me now. Here's my question, why does Jesus answer Peter's question cryptically rather than completely and directly? Well, I can offer you two reasons.

Reason number one, what good would it do anyway? Peter really was not listening to the words of Jesus. They were either going over his head, he wasn't grasping them. Because if you remember on another occasion when Jesus was very complete and direct and said I'm going to Jerusalem, they're going to kill me and three days later I'm going to rise, Peter said, no Lord, not so, it will never happen to you, we're not going to let this happen, that's Matthew chapter 16. So Peter really wasn't in a place where he's really grasping what our Lord is saying, but reason number two above and beyond that is this answer reveals an expectation that Jesus has for Peter.

You can't follow me now. He's not saying Peter, you can't ever go to heaven. He's just saying Peter, you can't go now, you'll go later, you just can't come now. Now as a parent, you can relate to that.

How many times have you had to tell your children, not now, but later? Mommy, can I go to the store? Not now, later. Daddy, can we go on vacation? Not now, we'll go later on this summer. Can I drive? Not now, but later.

When can I start dating? Not now, but later. Now the truth is those kids are going to grow up and enjoy all of those things, but what you're telling them is right now, just enjoy being a kid. Hey, Peter, you're a disciple. You're a follower. You can't go now.

You'll go. But in the meantime, just be a follower. Well, questions, answers, dialoguing with deity. It's all part of our interaction with God. That's where we'll have to pause for today. You just heard part one of a teaching titled FAQ.

And before we go today, let's find out more about this month's Connect with Skip resource offer. Does God exist? And if He does, is it possible to know Him?

How you answer those questions shapes how you see the world and navigate life. And Skip Heitzig knows how important it is to have an accurate view of God's character. I've noticed that almost every problem that a person has in their life stems from an inadequate view of God. In Skip Heitzig's book, Biography of God, learn to recognize and remove the limits you may have placed on your idea of who God is.

The truth is, I am a fellow traveler on the same road that you are on, and we have access to the same information, the same documents, but I hope to offer a fresh perspective on God himself. Biography of God is our way to thank you for supporting Connect with Skip Heitzig. As we reach a lost world with the gospel, request your copy with a gift of $50 or more when you give securely online at connectwithskip.com slash offer or call 800-922-1888. That's connectwithskip.com slash offer or call 800-922-1888. If you'd like to get a copy of today's teaching called FAQ, you can find it at connectwithskip.com or you can call us and order one at 1-800-922-1888.

Each copy is just $4 plus shipping. We'll continue through our series Believe 879 with more from the Gospel of John next time, so I hope you can join us right here in Connect with Skip Weekend Edition, a presentation of Connection Communications. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast all burdens on His word. Make a connection, a connection, a connection. Connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-19 04:07:54 / 2024-05-19 04:15:36 / 8

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