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Idolatry Among Professing Christians - Part 1

Discerning The Times / Brian Thomas
The Truth Network Radio
May 25, 2024 1:00 pm

Idolatry Among Professing Christians - Part 1

Discerning The Times / Brian Thomas

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May 25, 2024 1:00 pm

Brian gives his background story and explains how idolatry within professing Christians motivated the call to ministry.

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Blessings to Israel presents, Discerning the Times, a program committed to encouraging you to view current events through the lens of the Bible. Now in honor of the one and only true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, please join us for today's program. Welcome to Discerning the Times.

My name is Brian Thomas. Such a blessing to be with you once again this week. I want to spend the next week or so speaking on the topic of idolatry and specifically idolatry among professing Christians. I had the privilege a few weeks ago to be a guest on Worldview Matters hosted by David Fiorazzo. And what David asked me to do was to give my background, basically give my testimony so that his audience could get to know me better.

And in doing so, I came to realize that, well, that's something that I've never actually done for our listening audience on this program. So I want to do that and go into even greater detail than what I did with David Fiorazzo, because I think it's good for people to know the people that they're listening to, who they're watching. And again, just to get an idea of the background and what makes me tick, what motivates me to do what I do is I focus a lot here on prophecy and apologetics and again, Discerning the Times. And so we're going to talk about it from the aspect of idolatry. But before we do, I want to remind you, as we always do, that your eternal state is far more important than your current state. If you have never received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, I urge you to do so today. Otherwise, if you leave this out of life without having received him, you will spend eternity in the lake of fire separated from almighty God. So will you please give your heart to Jesus Christ on today?

All right, folks. So once again, we're going to talk about the topic of idolatry. If you will turn your Bibles to Exodus chapter number 20. And I want to begin by looking at verses one through six, Exodus chapter number 20, verses one through six. And God spoke all these words saying, I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, any likeness of anything that is in heaven above or that is in the earth beneath or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them nor serve them.

For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love me and keep my commandments. I was born and raised in a rural area of North Carolina, Franklin County out on what used to be farmland. And I grew up outside of the town city limits and we didn't have internet. We didn't have satellite.

The only thing we could get was through the air, through the antenna, the rabbit ears, if anyone remembers that. And at the age of about five years old, I began to read the Bible on a daily basis. Now I couldn't read the King James version.

I couldn't understand that. As a matter of fact, I could barely read it all, but my parents had one of those huge giant family Bibles. Those are those hardcover family Bibles that would sit on coffee tables. A lot of people use them as the centerpiece of the coffee table.

I don't know if a lot of people have coffee tables anymore. I don't know if they're the end thing now, but we had one of those huge family Bibles that was sit on the coffee table and in a front of it and had children's stories. And there were about 20 children's stories, the very popular stories, you know, like the creation and Noah's Ark, Moses in the burning bush. So I would read one of those children's stories each night before going to bed.

And when I would get to the last one, then I would start over again at the beginning and I would just read those stories over and over. And I asked people or people ask me, you know, about my story, what was it that, that caused me to come to know the Lord? And I just tell people, the Holy Spirit drew me at a very young age because as long as I can remember, as far back as I can remember, I've had this heart for our Lord. And I just say, well, the Holy Spirit put that in me.

I take no credit for that. That is something that he chose to do. And so I continue reading the Bible and after a couple of years, I guess maybe around the age of seven, I began to read the King James version. I began to be able to read better and to understand it. And so I would read the King James version of the Bible.

I would read a chapter each night. And again, all of this credit goes to our Lord for placing that in me as such a young age. But something happened to me during that time period that had a very huge impact on my life.

Two events in my life, I would say have really shaped my life in many ways. And what happened to me was around the age of six or seven, somewhere in there, I was molested by a male family member. And I can't get into all the details.

Of course, I can't say certain words because I don't want to trigger any FCC violations or anything that's going to flag us on social media to get the video taken down. But let me just say that what I experienced, I would not wish on anyone. It was a horrific experience of what I went through and being molested by this person that I trusted, this person that I really looked up to. And as I was going through this time period as a young child and not understanding what was really going on, what was being done to me, I knew it was wrong.

I was told by this person to keep it a secret, not to tell anyone. And when you hear things like this, people often say, well, why didn't you say something? Why didn't you tell someone?

Why didn't you call out for help? But again, you're talking about the mind of a six or seven year old child and your mind is not prepared and equipped to handle things of that nature. And I went to a very dark place within my mind during that time period as I was experiencing that. And that's why it troubles me and it angers me so much today when I see in schools, government schools, them showing and teaching and exposing young children to things that are pornographic in nature, things that when it comes to physical intimacy, they should not be exposed to those things because children's minds have not matured to be able to handle that type of stuff. And it really angers me.

It troubles me because it can send you down a dark road. But I'm so grateful that God kept my mind during that time. He didn't cause me to go down the road of becoming rebellious in life or later becoming promiscuous or even going into homosexuality.

He didn't allow me to go in that direction. And so I praise God for that. But again, that's why I'm passionate today about speaking against sin, speaking against sexual immorality, because today these people are trying to destroy children at a young age with matters that their minds are not equipped for. So as I was going through that experience, I remember thinking to myself that it was only a matter of time before I would be dead, because you have to understand this was during the 80s when HIV AIDS came on the scene and a lot of people were very afraid during that time. And pretty much when you heard of someone having HIV AIDS, you just figured that was a death sentence, that there was no cure for it. And I just thought as a young child again, not completely understanding things, but I knew enough to at least have it in my mind that, well, once a man had been with another man in that way, I just thought that that meant automatically you would contract HIV AIDS. And so as a young child, I thought I was dying.

I really did. I thought it was only a matter of time before I would be dead and gone. But during that period, I would pray to Jesus.

And that is the thing. I knew that Jesus was real, even prior to that experience. But during that time, he became even more real to me, because he was with me during that time. I remember I would go to bed at night and I would get down on my knees and pray and I would then get into bed and I would not end the prayer. I would continue talking to Jesus. And he was there for me. He comforted me. And I would oftentimes cry myself to sleep still talking to Jesus.

I would wake up in the morning and remember I never ended the prayer, but I was able to sleep and to rest because Jesus was comforting me through that time of what I was going through, what I was experiencing. So as time went on, after maybe two, three, four years, I began to realize that, well, I wasn't getting sick. My health was still OK. And I started thinking, well, I guess I'm I'm not dying.

I guess I'm going to live. But what happened to me going through that experience? I became very withdrawn. I kept to myself a lot. And I can remember even being ridiculed by my classmates, even by adults, family and school administrators were saying, well, you know, something is wrong with him. He doesn't he doesn't speak to anyone. He doesn't engage with other children.

He doesn't play like the other children. No one ever took the time to come to me to find out was I going through something. And if they had, they would have known I was being molested by this adult male. But as I went through that time period again, I sought the Lord. And what the devil did, though, is he would begin to sow doubts within me. He began to cause me to to see myself in a negative way. I would look at myself and in what I saw was not good because Satan was telling me, you're not a real man. You you've been defiled by another man.

You're not a real man. That's what he would tell me time and time again. And going through school, I would have you know, young girls would give me compliments sometimes. They would tell me they thought that I was a cute guy.

And, you know, it would last for all of a day. But by the next morning, I would look in the mirror and I would hear Satan saying, you're you're not a real man. Nobody wants you. Nobody wants someone who has been defiled in that way. So I really struggle with self-esteem issues growing up.

I really, really struggled. And that continued even to adulthood. But I continue to call out to Jesus. I continue to seek him.

He he continued to walk with me. And I know there are naysayers out there and they'll say, well, if Jesus is real and if he loves you so much, why do he allow that experience to even happen to you? And there are some things that I'll be honest, I can say I don't have all the answers for it. I don't know why when when people say, well, if God is a loving God, why does he allow bad things to happen in the world? Why does he allow children to have these things happen to them?

I don't have all the answers for that. But I trust God. And I know that in his sovereignty, he will turn evil for the good.

He can turn it to his glory if you would just put your faith and trust in him. And so that's what I did in my life. And again, going through life, I struggle with my self image. I again always we hear nobody wants to listen to you. No one sees you as a real man. No woman really wants you. And even now I'm married. I'm a married man. And Satan still to this day, he tries to to to touch that that tender spot in my life. And he can start messing with my mind and say, your wife doesn't really desire you.

She doesn't really want you because you're not a real man. But I have to take those thoughts captive and look to our Lord Jesus Christ. And I want to encourage others out there to do the same. So as I fast forward, I'm going to fast forward now. So that was probably up until the age of about 12 or 13, when I began to feel those things happening and realize that I was not going to die, that I was going to live. And so I'm going to fast forward up until about the age of 30, when some things began to happen in my life.

But before I get to that, we're going to pause for a brief announcement, but please don't go away. I'll be back with more on the other side, giving my testimony concerning idolatry and what caused me to do what I do. You are tuned into Discerning the Times.

You are tuned into Discerning the Times. If you believe in what we stand for, would you consider partnering with us? Our partners program is based on Genesis 12-3. I will bless those who bless you for a recurring donation of $12.03 per month. You can help us share the message of Discerning the Times as we await our Lord's return to Israel.

For more information, please visit our website, BlessingsToIsrael.com, or write to us at BlessingsToIsrael.com. Now, let's return to the conclusion of today's program. Welcome back to Discerning the Times. My name is Brian Thomas, and today I'm really giving my testimony. I'm giving my backstory concerning where I am today and why I do what I do in ministry, what God has called me to do. And we're looking at it from the standpoint of idolatry. So I haven't gotten to the idolatry yet, but just be patient. We're going to get there.

I'm building toward that. But what I share with you before the break concerning what I experienced as a child being molested, and forgive me if I seem a bit uncomfortable in talking about it, but this is actually the first time that I've ever publicly shared this. I've shared it to a few people in my life, but it's the first time I've ever shared this publicly, something that took place. We're talking about more than 30 years ago, but it had a major impact on my life.

But as I fast forward to the age of about 30, I met this beautiful woman, and when she came into my life, things sort of went in fast gear. We sort of shifted into high gear because throughout my life, I felt God had a call on me for ministry. And let me just say that as believers in Jesus Christ, all of us are called to minister. We're all called to serve and to share the good news, fulfill the great commission. But there are some that God will have a special formal call in ministry. And I knew that throughout my life, and I had numerous people that would share that with me in terms of confirming that they thought God was calling me to something, but I had a hard time seeing what that was going to be.

I didn't really know, but I felt that, well, when the time comes, God will make me into what he needs me to be, and he will show me what he needs to show me in order to fulfill the calling. So back to when I was a little child though, again, I lived in a rural area. We didn't have, as I said earlier, we didn't have satellite. We didn't have internet. We didn't have cable. We had rabbit ear television, whatever you could get through the air, those rabbit ears. I know a lot of people probably don't even know what that is now, but we would get Jack Van Impey would come on once a week.

And that is the only Bible prophecy programming that I could get. And I look forward every week to, to watching Jack Van Impey, but I had this strong passion for Bible prophecy. And I can remember a day when I was out with my cousins, I was about the age of 10 and they were around the age of eight and nine. And we were out riding bicycles, playing, just doing what little boys do. And we decided to stop for a rest break. And during that rest break, I just started talking about the seven year tribulation that is coming. And I started talking to them about the beast with seven heads and 10 horns. And you know, at that age, I didn't really understand the, the proper way of interpreting the scripture. So I didn't see that as figurative. I took that literal literally. And so I was telling them, yeah, there's going to be this beast roaming the earth and terrorizing people.

And he's going to have seven heads and 10 horns. And as I was standing there talking to them, I could see their, their eyes were just glazed over. They were just looking at me like this, this guy's lost his mind.

What in the world is he talking about? But God had placed that in my heart at a young age to have this passion, a love for Bible prophecy. And I, I made a decision when I was young that if God ever called me into formal ministry, that I would dedicate that ministry to teaching the prophetic word, to, to teaching the return of Jesus Christ. And so that is one of the things that the Holy Spirit put in me at a very young age.

And so as I fast forward and I met my wife in 2006, we got married in 2007 and a few things happened during that time that really shaped the direction of ministry for me. So first of all, my love for prophecy, I mean, it came like a flood. I had always loved prophecy, but all of a sudden I just had this insatiable desire to, to learn and to read and to hear things about the prophetic word, the return of Jesus Christ. So I was always browsing the TV guide.

By this point, we didn't have satellite. So I had direct TV. So I was on direct TV, checking the guide for when was there going to be a Bible prophecy conference that was going to be aired. I was online looking at things on the internet, trying to find articles related to Bible prophecy. And so oftentimes what I would do was I would share something that I found with my, my wife. We were both working jobs at the time, secular jobs, and I would oftentimes email things to her. And one day I emailed an article that I found on lamb and lion ministries. And within a matter of minutes, she called me and she said, have you ever considered becoming a web minister? And I paused for a moment and I said, well, you know, I haven't, but that sounds like a great idea. And what prompted her to do that is because she saw on the lamb and lion website, that was the picture of Nathan Jones and under the title web minister.

And so I said, I think that's a good idea, a great idea. And we immediately began working on a website to which we started posting articles related to Bible prophecy. I was just writing constantly things on Bible prophecy, but as we were also going through that time period, we were also experiencing what happened with the upcoming Senator from Chicago by the name of Barack Obama. And again, being that we had just gotten married, we both were coming up through churches that we had been a part of as, as we were reared in our upbringing. And so she was at her church and I was at my church. And when we got married, we were trying to figure out, well, would one of us join the other church or will we find a church elsewhere? And so during this time we were hearing all of this hoopla about Barack Obama and didn't know anything about the man. So we began to research.

And as we research, we found out that, well, his position, when it comes to abortion, the unborn, when it comes to a marriage and when it comes to Israel, we're all in contradiction with the Bible. Now the church that I had been a part of, they actually took a huge portrait. They, they got this huge portrait of Barack Obama and they hung it in the church foyer.

I kid you not. They hung the portrait of Barack Obama in the church foyer, the church that my wife was attending. They printed his photo, Barack Obama's photo on the church, bulleting bulletin or a program. Not a lot of churches, I don't think do this anymore, but during those times, churches would hand you out a program or bulletin as you come in and it would list the order of service, who's going to give scripture and who's going to pray and win and all of that.

So they had his photo on the program, on the bulletin. So my wife and I, again, as we were researching and we saw this man's background and we saw, well, the church was, was really celebrating him and we were saying, well, wait a minute, this is a problem. So we both went to our pastors respectfully, privately. We did not do it out of order. And we, we talked to them about it. We said, okay, why, you know, the church is really celebrating and promoting this, this person, but we see a contradiction with the Bible.

So how, how do we reconcile this? And well, to make a long story short, we were shunned by those pastors. And needless to say, we did not remain in those churches.

But what we learned during that time was how bad, how just the, the gross immorality of idolatry, what it is in a church. And when I say gross, I mean, gross in terms of the magnitude of it, because what was happening is people were celebrating him because of the color of his skin in the churches that we were a part of, because well, people were saying, well, he's a black man. And then on top of that, he was a Democrat. Now you heard Joe Biden say a few years ago, if you don't vote for me, you ain't black. Now that is the view within the black community. The black community views it as you, you are a sellout if you don't vote Democrat, you are a sellout. And here we had Barack Obama who was not only a Democrat, but he was a black Democrat. So that's a double whammy.

That's, that's a double sellout for not going along with that. But my wife and I, we purpose in our heart, just like Daniel and the, the Hebrew boy Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who, who purposed in their heart that they would not defile themselves with the King's food. We purpose in our heart that we were going to say true to God, true to the Bible. We didn't care whether people shunned us or not. And we did lose family members and we lost friends during that time period.

And when I say lost family members, I mean, relationships that became more distant or strained. But we said, we're staying true to the word of God. So we began to look around and we said, well, there has to be at least one pastor out there that sees what we see that, that knows what this man is standing for and is not willing to go along with it, but is going to speak truth in how we are as Christians supposed to vote, how we are to live out our lives, how we are to be discipled. But as we were looking around, I felt the Holy Spirit said, I've given you a voice, you speak. And so that tied into what prompted us to start this ministry. This, this parachurch ministry was what we were seeing because again, we saw that this man Obama was in favor of abortion, um, was in favor of same sex marriage and was in favor of dividing Israel.

All things that God warns that a great judgment would come to those who went against his word when it comes to those matters. And as we were deciding on what to name the ministry, I was one day at home and I was doing contract work at the time and I was in between contracts and I was watching, uh, the 700 club or something like the 700 club and they were showing Jews returning Ethiopian Jews returning to the land of Israel. And when they came off the plane, they would get down on their knees and they would kiss the ground, kiss the tarmac. And I was, uh, just becoming emotional. My eyes were welling up with tears as I was sitting there.

My son, he was about a year old and I was trying to keep myself composed because I didn't want him to see me in that way. But I say, here is Bible prophecy being filled right before my eyes. And so God placed it on my heart to tell your people about my people.

And what he meant by that was tell the Gentiles about the Jews. So we decided to name the ministry blessings to Israel. So I'm going to pause there for this week, but there's a lot more that I have to share concerning my background, my testimony and why we do what we do here at discerning the times at blessings to Israel. So I hope this is a blessing to you and please come back and join me next week as I'm going to continue with my background, with my testimony. So please join us as we continue to discern the times by view of life through the lens of the Bible. Until then, remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, bless God's great nation of Israel and to the only wise God be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen. Thank you for tuning into discerning the times. Please come back and join us next week as we continue to encourage you to view current events through the lens of the Bible. Until next time, remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, bless God's great nation of Israel and seek first the kingdom of God. discerning the times is presented by blessings to Israel.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-25 12:12:57 / 2024-05-25 12:23:17 / 10

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