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Jamie Rasmussen (When God Feels Far Away)

Janet Mefferd Today / Janet Mefferd
The Truth Network Radio
November 29, 2021 4:30 am

Jamie Rasmussen (When God Feels Far Away)

Janet Mefferd Today / Janet Mefferd

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November 29, 2021 4:30 am

How should a Christian respond when the Lord seems distant? Pastor Jamie Rasmussen joins me to talk about it and his book, "When God Feels Far Away." Plus: As the Biden Administration hypes the latest COVID-19 "Omicron" variant, Dr. Anthony Fauci is not ruling out banning the unvaccinated from airplanes. We'll talk about it. And why is the former president of the Southern Baptist Convention publicly promoting a poorly exegeted "sermon" delivered by his openly homosexual son? All that and more on Monday's JANET MEFFERD TODAY.


Our confidence is in Christ alone is no and if you get words of human anguish in the Bible come from the Lord Jesus Christ hanging on the cross.

You remember he cried out my God my God why have you forsaken me. This was when he was taking on all of our sin and making the atonement for it to the shedding of his own blood on Calvary yet even though we haven't been through that experience. Who among us hasn't felt it sometime or another that God feels very far away. Even the psalmist laments in chapter 71, oh God, do not be far from me. All my God, make haste to help me. So what is the appropriate response of a Christian when we do feel that God is far from us though the Bible says he isn't working to talk about it today with Jamie Rasmussen, senior pastor at Scottsdale Bible church and he is the author of the book will be discussing when God feels far away eight ways to navigate divine distance, Jamie. Great to have you with us.

Thanks so much for being here. My offer what you have gone through this experience having you a feeling like God was far away. How have you experienced that struggle in your own life, yet you I was not raised in a Christian home, we hardly ever went to church and I accepted Christ almost 40 years ago when I was 17 years old and for the first for five years. I experienced what is called your first fervor was on fire for the Lord and what have you. And that is those feelings started to wane.

Want your seasons where I felt the goggles farther away from distant from him and I do everything that I knew to do what was taught to do to draw close and sometimes it works and sometimes they didn't and I had a breakthrough experience in the counselor's office. In my first pastorate where got honest about that.

I feel far from God. Here I sure hope people. It was a moment in time when I decided to things I write about this in the book of maps to get honest about times when I feel far from him and pursue ways to draw closer to him, maybe even ways other Christians don't talk often about that was really helpful thing for me. Well I think everybody probably can relate to what you just said we all have this periods of time where will have a prayer time. For example, and think that was so wonderful and I just felt such a fellowship with the Lord, and other times it feels like the heavens are brass and you wonder what your thoughts on our on the issue of even evaluating because we know that the Bible says that God is omnipresent.

He's near the broken hearted he'll never leave or forsake us. His name is Emmanuelle which means God with us, so we know objectively that God is always with us. Are we interpreting how we feel in a wrong way when were saying today is near and yesterday he was farming wheat. He's always near.

So what what is going on with us that we have that impression is complicated right probably a combination of the times are faulty perceptions maybe were we happen to be an art in our humanness and what have you in our fallenness walks the presence of God or the felt presence of God. There are times where God is doing things in our lives. You might be shipping weight or character allowing times where we feel far from him so that he might be doing something to deepen and grow us in our walk with him and the reason I say that is because there were plenty of times in the Psalms 10+ times where the psalmist said what are you hiding your face from me little theologians differ argue about whether or not that was the psalmist, perceptions, or whether God really was. I think their times were doing our best to draw close to God. And again, whether it's our fallenness or whether God might be doing something unique and we do feel far from him and that's very real. Maybe a great example would be like with our children. Their times run right with my children there with them, but there's a distance relationally from us maybe because they're rebelling. They're not seeing something, but even on present with them. They feel not very close to me. I think I know that happens in our walk with the Lord's.

I think you're right about that.

You also mentioned some of the regular activities that were all taught to do is Christians, all of which are good things to have regular time in prayer is hanging out with quiet time or what have you to read the word of God to fellowship with other Christians, and sometimes those regular activities don't give us the desired results. As you know it. So what is the way out of that because clearly we have to obey what God's word tells us to do. How should we approach that when that that input that were getting is not helping us feel closer to the Lord.

Yeah, you mentioned that the equation walk with God were taught across denominational lines. We study the Bible, pray regularly, fellowship, worship, syrupy, generous level people that we can expect certain output with the Lord, you know wisdom from him. Blessings, guidance, feelings of his presence, power from the spirit, motivation to persevere, what have you, and thankfully a lot of the times because the equation is certainly biblical works where we get the input and God gives blessings on the output, but as I point out in the book. There are times when it doesn't work anymore. We double down on the input it just becomes more frustrating and I 20 years ago found incredible liberty and freedom to the book of Esther because we can talk of the book of Esther is a book that addresses when that input output equation does not work and it offers us why: a different pathway of the mountain to God doesn't get rid of the equation.

It kind of becomes a grid you can put upon the equation yes now here's Esther people will recall that she married the king of Persia, and he didn't know she was Jewish and then she learned of this plot from her cousin that there was going to be a plan to exterminate the Jews from Persia. She did know what she could do. The story takes off from there. What about that book.

In particular, do you think is a good model for us on this issue of Providence in particular way that outline of book trusting in God. The book of Esther stands unique among all 66 books of the Bible in that it's the only book doesn't mention God.

It's the only book you'll mention his law prayer is missing is an activity that is key principles missing like God's grace toward his people frustrate Martin Luther, the great reformer so much that he wrote I wish the book of Esther never existed right. It reads like a secular book. But when you look behind the veil. The reason the author wrote the book that way is because Israel did feel very far from God.

Given Old Testament structure in many ways they were far from God because they were in captivity and away from the temple and tabernacle, and so the whole point of the book of Esther is how they had to navigate divine distance in a way that didn't necessarily work the equation, but provided other ways up the mountain and then you mentioned the first way trusting in God's providence which most Bible experts take is the theme of the entire book of Esther and acid. We don't just trust in God we trust in a certain aspect of God and that is that when he feels really far from us or we feel far from him.

We can still bank on his providence that he is there he is in control but he's got this may have left his people and he hasn't left to right. That's hard to do though. If you're in a really tight Scott easier said than done sometimes and I can only imagine how difficult it was for Esther being in her position.

What you take from the taxes on how she dealt with Providence yeah version Esther that about every writer would would point out is chapter 4 verse four were Mordechai cousin says to her when she walked away and whether she can go to her husband, the king to try to save the nation. She's about all I can do it because these rules and regulations that cost me my life if I go to him in the wrong way and he says will you keep silent. Esther deliverance will come to our people, God will find another way is the kind of work I say and then he says, you know, maybe you have come to this point your life for such a time as this is just room with the study of Providence. There were times my wife and I were clinging to nothing but God's hand was upon his knees and control it really does bring comfort and hold rank when we need a very good take a quick break will be back with pastor Jamie Rasmussen when God heals far away you listening to Janet, maybe no matter when this is the end of the story of a young mom who plan to end her pregnancy but chose life after visiting a pre-born center pre-born steps into the lives of hurting young women who were being told that a pre-born baby is not a life pre-born is the largest provider of free ultrasounds in the country and the direct answer to Planned Parenthood helping young moms choose life. I feel like it was meant for me to head this is something I need a reason you can be a part of choosing life with young hurting women across the country which you join with pre-born and Janet Mefford today to help save 400 babies by the end of 2019 for $140 you can sponsor five ultrasounds and help save five babies from abortion and now through match your gift of $140 will actually help save 10 babies instead of five. All gifts are tax-deductible to donate, dial 855402, baby. That's 855-402-2229 855-402-2229 where there's a banner to this is Janet Mefford.

For by deleting international authorities in China are making life difficult for Christians. It's against the law to share Christ with children under age 18. We cannot preach to children under 18 practice and law when parents bring change you can and then you can send gospel to them great joy.

Believers are teaching English to young people using a finally program that uses God's word is the source of the reading assignments, and many are coming to embrace Jesus as Lord and Savior and sharing him with their families is joined by the Lincoln sending God's word to buy Melissa believers in China and around the world for only five dollars per Bible $50 sends 10 $500 sends 100 call now 800 yes word 800 YDS WORD where there's a finally banner to click Janet Thank you for your you're listening to you here with us and glad to have with us Jamie Rasmussen, senior pastor of Scottsdale Bible church and author of when God feels far away eight ways to navigate divine distance. This is a common Christian thing. I believe Jamie we've been discussing it in a little bit more detail but you're looking at the book of Esther is a really good book to study to examine this issue of divine distance trusting in God's providence is so important. You also talk about the way of choosing humility over pride. How does that apply to the issue of divine distance and vulnerability. Janet, when we are times when we feel God is far from us match that we say are flash you know God is going to be far from me. I think I'll return the favor and we cop an attitude which I do and I say well I got about a loan him to do my own thing sorted exist in the flash and the Bible calls that pride whenever we elevate ourselves above God is one of the recipes if you will, of the book of Esther we see it right from the opening chapters is that both Esther and Mordecai adopted a posture of humility before God even in the really difficult circumstances and is contrasted in the very first or second chapter, there. The king asked her husband Matthew were three Xerxes and using nothing but prideful. So you have this contrast between humble Esther and then prideful the purple king, and it screams to us to one of the ways that Esther is going to navigate divine distances by remaining humble and that's so eminently biblical. We are familiar with James for six work since God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. One of the few verses in which it literally says if you do this God will give you grace and so humility is a very powerful and potent posture or attitude that we can have toward God stands the best chance that when the equation is not working. We can adopt humble posture and really working drawing us closer to this also touches on important important point to me because if God feels far away.

Could it be that he is far away, in a sense, because you are in a sinful place in your life that you have the wrong posturing for him and you're not humbling yourself before him, I mean that's the other side of the equation. We sometimes will talk about the fact that God feels far away. And here I am, this good Christian and I'm really trying to reach out to him and he's ignoring me, which is now terrible to even think that way. But what about that flip side of well is there something that you aren't involved in in terms of sin that is keeping you from having no good fellowship with the Lord.

How do you trust that question why think you're exactly right. Communicating the solution of identifying the problem, meaning you're right. Many that are far from God because we have said no guy led me to cry so years ago we said God feels far away who moved rights. You know that there point and so humility becomes the end of the because more humble we say I don't have all the answers.

I'm not thinking of my universe. I can't take the bull by the horns and get myself out of this. I need outside help. I need him and just by that very posture toward God, that every admitting if you will. We start to draw closer and start to see our sin and are more open to others input. We don't read our own press releases and we get into a better place with God and also the heavens open up the Psalm is so weeping in the night.

There's joy that comes in the morning. Very good reminder. Another thing you focus on is your third way which is doing right in the right way and this has to do with what you do and how you act.

I think we touched on that just a little bit. But again, going back to asked her what can we learn from that buck that will really help us along the way you really screams to hear you have beaten the Israelites over million of them living in Persia, exiled to a foreign nation feeling very far from God and Mordecai especially adopt this posture of obedience before the Lord, doing the right thing in the right way as outlined in chapter 3 of Esther and it just hit me that could that be one of the ways that we navigate divine distance again when we feel far from God were more prone or vulnerable to sin, to making terrible decisions and doing wrong things, at least in my experience, and so never does obedience become more important than when we feel like were in the valley with God is not on the mountaintop and Mordecai shows that because he obeys God, according to one of the 10 Commandments of not bowing to Haman the archenemy there and it has terrible consequences for the nation Israel. Stay strong, stay strong in his obedience. What I got from Matt is that when God feels far away obedience matters and that it protects us from feeling even further away from him actually helps us to draw close to him and what strikes me about what you just said is the fact that regardless of our feelings which come and go in and somebody made the line once maybe it was the pizza you ate last night you just not feeling well don't blame it on got on time.

We always have his word always and you may read a particular verse on a particular day, and it hits you like an anvil dropping on your head and you're just moved to tears, and other days you can read the same verse and it's just diverse but it doesn't matter because even if you don't feel close to God and don't feel his presence. The way you would want to.

You always have his word, so a practical terms, how do you advise a Christian who feels God is far away to obey.

Like you said, and also to engage with the word of God and not close. It's because you don't feel that God is there by a Christian you have been here about 15 years. I am regularly that obedience is a choice. You know, many times we like victims to put things in culture to the flesh or what have you and God says I deposit.

Deposit my Holy Spirit inside of each person who believes in him. Holy Spirit is the seat of power is one of my mentors taught me years ago, Larry Crabb, who recently passed away in glory with the Lord. Right now he was of the Holy Spirit has to be the deepest part of who you are, even if you covered up the spirit with lots of sin and poor attitudes, or what have you. The spirit are still deposited in you and you do have the power you do have the gumption inside of you through the spirit to obey God and to choose him and to choose what is right.

So for me, Janet, I don't allow victim status I used was a Christian on a more than low victim status to invade my soul, remind myself that even one against the ropes and I feel beat up as a Christian and not very close to God. I can still choose to follow him behaviorally in the areas that matter. And that's a normal part of the Christian life. One of the things that frustrates me and I might frustrate you to is the fact that sometimes I think young Christians are, you know, students starting out is young Christians are sold a bill of goods a little bit, maybe not intentionally all the time, but that the court would if you just give your life to Jesus you have eternal life, and you have abundant life and will be it's going to be a wonderful ride from here and the fact that that's not what the Bible says we we also engaged in the fellowship of his sufferings we see the trials that that attend a lot of Christians who we read about in the book of acts.

For example, have we in some way set up people to look to their feelings as the what is the standard for whether or not God is close simply by the way, we tell them what to expect as a Christian and not teaching them listener to be seasons of ups and downs, which is the truth I have time to get me going on the subject.

I am 57, 58, a been a Christian for four years and a lot of ups and downs in my walk with God. One thing I've learned so hard for Christians to hear this today, especially in America is convinced that God is not as committed to our comfort as we are just I really believe that we were so blessed in this nation that have a comfortable life.

If we choose to live something wrong with that but if you go to many other parts of the world they don't have that choice. Paul the apostle never had that choice. Jesus didn't have that choice in so many ways that mean God wasn't committed to them or isn't committed of them. Of course, not interested since comfort is a blessing. My feelings are blessing the be-all and end-all of our Christian experience that all they can become idols and quick story. When I first got saved years ago I got involved a group all campus Crusade in college now call crew little track they put out and train the trainer might number the engine was fact.

And then there was faith in the caboose was feelings and they taught us very early on that our faith is built on fact that then have to respond with faith in the feelings that might or might not come to the caboose and that the problem is they said many young people also about time trying to leave the train by the caboose by her feelings and that was helpful for me as a young man to remind myself that my trust in Jesus is built on the fact that he existed and exists now they died for me and that he wants my trust in him. That's I and I think that really ails a lot of Americans in general. Especially maybe more than people in other countries saying that you know my emotional happiness is what is important. While God cares about our holiness a whole and threaten our daily happiness. I think I and I agree with you completely. I think that's a great point. So going into a season where you might be feeling God is far away. Jamie what do you say that Christian by way of encouragement to keep going to keep obeying but to trust in the Lord regardless of what your feelings might be right now logic.

It could go into it saying that obedience matters my holiness matters my righteousness matters and that I have two choices.

I can either respond to feelings of distance by saying ups I go my own way and do my own thing and we all know that will just complicate things and make it worse or to make a choice to say that on the areas that matter Frank faithfulness to one spouse.

Honesty at work maintaining a quiet time with the Lord continue to fellowship with other believers. All the things we know that God wants from us. We might not feel like doing them.

Think about logically being absent doing them not doing them. Quite frankly only complicate things with bad situation worse. Jamie, you're right. Thank you so much. When God feels far away. Jamie Rasmussen thanks a lot Jamie for being here listening to this effort today and here's your host Joe Mefford. Well, what shall we call this new variance of covered 19 you knew this was coming. You know this was coming, is that the new variance is it that she know I can't be that she variance that would just be too close to home. You don't want to associate this thing with China.

My goodness, we can associate Cova 19 with China because that might remind you of who actually funded the research into coronavirus creation there in that little transposed to talk about that either. Let's just call it the oh micron variance cranberry just skip over sheep.

We don't talk. She among people of China Wuhan.

I did they really think were stupid don't they really do think were stupid and here comes found.

She again the chief medical advisor chief virus advisor to the presidency and they always have these new titles and nobody supposed to talk about the scandal of him lying to Congress about the funding of the kind of research that took place at the Wilhelm Institute of virology, they're too busy worshiping at the feet of fancy.

It's just call it the midterm variant. That's a much better name for this thing, don't you, there were people online talking about. This is not original to me, but I think it's perfect term variance. If you went people up into a frenzy about a new variant of covered 19. It's so scary it's so scary. This one is really gonna wipe out the population then you can keep people in a frenzy and the no go back and make sure that they reward the Democrat party because who else can protect us was Joe Biden. By the way, who said he was gonna vanquish covalent and covert would be eradicated under him in order to throw everything we have.

We have a 200 page plan against cup can be a break gave me a break.

If this were Tromp and you had variant after variance. All they would be talking about is the fact that his vaccine rollout was a disaster. Don't you think they would be taking the statistics differently if it had been Donald Trump, under whose presidency we were seeing all of these vaccinated people transmitting the virus in contracting the virus talk all day about whether or not the Cova 19 vaccine makes Cova 19 less barrel you know it it is you know lessons. The symptoms are lessons. The duration of your hospitalization.

If you're in there fine you can talk about that. All I'm saying is the politics of the thing are outrageous because you know Trump would be security be raked over the coals. If these kinds of things were occurring under his vaccine operation warp speed. So let's go to this story. Shall we.

This is Firefox the South African Dr. who first alerted authorities to the presence of the Cova 19 oh micron variant reported that it presents unusual but mild symptoms. Dr. Angelique Cozzi, a board member of the South African medical Association first noticed. Otherwise healthy patients, demonstrating unusual symptoms.

On November 18 and said their symptoms were so different and so mild from those I had treated before O but let's panic let's have a worldwide panic. Cozzi explained it presents mild disease with symptoms being sore muscles and tiredness for a day or two.

Not feeling well and by the way most of the patients were men who reported feeling so tired and half of them were unvaccinated quickly. Let's do a little math your 50% when vaccinated. That means that 50% of them were faxing. That's interesting, and the symptoms were mild, unusual but mild something else pointed out by Dr. Robert Malone, the inventor of mRNA vaccines who has been speaking logically about this whole situation. He points out this announcement of the new cover 19 variant detected in Botswana and it says the preliminary report. The preliminary report revealed that all the four cases of this new Cova 19 variance had been fully vaccinated for covered 90 day habit.

So what you think that she is not on this like at this point do we really even need to verify what found she is saying about all this but here's what he said to Chuck Todd cut one.

Should we have a vaccine that you know, I'm not knocking to make any any pronouncements about what we should have about vaccine mandates for travel.

We know that we evaluate these things literally in real time all the time.

Everything is discussed and everything is on the table. There you go. Everything is on the table so if you have not been vaccinated that she says you might have to be vaccinated in order to board an airplane there's no problem there. Course can they .21 instance on any airline where there was a Cova 19 outbreak without a vaccine mandates vaccines for that matter.

I said this before I flew continually during the whole course of the pandemic and nobody was getting sick and there were no outbreaks.

Churches were super spiders. Mind you, but never airplanes, never airplanes. I haven't seen one news story in the entire course of this pandemic over most of the last two years that has ever linked a super spreader event to an airplane but vaccine mandates are not off the table. Now let's go to what some of the liberal media are having to say about this.

Oh micron variance. This is why news busters. Rachel Scott was filling in his coanchor good morning America.

Recently she asked Avery Harper, the deputy political director about how the new variant could be a wet blanket for Joe Biden. This is cut to nearly 150 days ago the president that we were closer than ever to declare independence from the virus. Now we see this new coping variance how to dispose of the private. We mention those travel restrictions earlier. We know that New York's governor has declared a state of emergency and I we saw the markets take a nosedive on Friday. All because of the oh micron variant so I would say that this poses a significant challenge to the Biden ministration, particularly on the economic front in the last week we heard the president urged Americans have confidence in the progress of the economy has made while the owner cranberry could pose a significant threat to that progress and into an election year for the abiding ministries, which is critical, it could spell trouble.

What are you talking about. Where is your evidence that this could be a disaster for Biden, but see how they're viewing it, it's all about whether or not this affects Biden politically. When you when you couple this with what found she had to say about the fact that vaccine mandates for travelers on airplanes is one of the things that's on the table.

You begin to go back to the sense that many of us have had for a long time that the plan is already there.

They're just revealing it as they feel they politically can reveal it's there heading in the know the wrong direction on this. This is the great reset direction, folks, this is globalism. This is technocracy. This is taking over the American economy and making sure that you don't own anything and you'll be happy as they say over the world economic forum Clow Schwab said so you can to be happy for so many people under communism were so happy that you know that's one thing if you look at old pictures of communists in and the people in the streets when the communist were in power. There is nothing more apparent than the fact that those people were gleeful, really gleeful standing in those long lines trying to get a loaf of bread. Boy, those were good times we should return to those times in the United States is that'll make everything equitable when were cut here, Chuck Todd, talking about the effect on Biden here on NBC. This is cut three. Does he take this opportunity to sort, of course, that all of the Republicans quickly and this in various states that if an anti-vaccine mandate anti-mandates in general hesitant on the vaccines because if we do find out that certainly vaccinated individuals are in a much better shape with this new variant that unvaccinated individuals does the president uses is an opportunity to basically use the bully pulpit pushback at all of this vaccine misinformation that's out there and grab a hold of this because the social spending all his other political problems. None of them can be solved until cove is behind us and I think this is a reminder that he needs to be more front and center on the Cova response that he has been so far crackdown on the unvaccinated because those four cases found in Botswana originally were all in fully vaccinated people and half the cases that the South African doctor who was the originator of reporting this virus to the WHO said that half of these people were unvaccinated.

Oh, and half of them were vaccinated, so by all means crackdown on the end, it doesn't work, folks. This is in the vaccine we've set it until our faces are blue it's not a vaccine it said best, something akin to a therapeutic like TheraFlu which you give to people when they have the flu that will mitigate the symptoms and shorten the life of the effect of the virus on you misinformation these people major in misinformation and not somebody who decides ahead of time and then tries to find evidence to back up what I want to be true. I want to read the research on the evidence and I been following this since day one in I'm sorry but when you start engaging in censorship against doctors and against people who have researched this and epidemiologists and you kick him off social media and you kick him off YouTube. You look suspicious. They bounce fully coming back. Stay with us. This is Janet Mefford for bodily international Esther is 17 years old and part of the Maasai tribe in Kenya Africa. Like many of her age and gender.

Esther was subjected to practices not taught in the Bible. One is arranged marriage where a woman is forced to marry someone she doesn't know the other is female circumcision done out of superstitious belief with no known health benefits. Esther lived with bitter unforgiveness until it finally volunteer introduced her to Jesus. Now she's let her husband to Christ and she seen 60 young women come to them race the hope of the gospel Bibles are scarce in this part of Kenya. Please join by the league in sending God's word to finalist believers in Africa and around the world for only $5.20 vitals costs $100 most generous gift by calling 800 yes word 800 YESWORD 800-937-9673. There's a vital link manner

Every day babies and their mothers swims are fighting for life, with abortion being the leading cause of death. I was at the ministry of pre-born has pregnancy centers nationwide standing by to help young moms in crisis. Choose life freeborn is the largest provider of free ultrasound sessions in the country by letting the mother see her baby in the womb and hear the baby's heartbeat. She's 80% more likely to choose life for her baby. When I'm there. Ultrasound is where faith is like to cry and I can and sometimes the blessing is doubled.

Would you join with pre-born in Janet Mefford today to help save 400 babies by the end of the year for $140 you can sponsor five ultrasounds and help save five babies from abortion and now through match your gift will be doubled to donate dial 855402, baby. That's 855-402-2229 or there's a banner to click Janet you're listening to Joe that Mefford today though.

Here's another story. I need to get to this actually broke during Thanksgiving week when all of us were eating turkey and taking a few days off and giving thanks to the Lord for many many blessings. As Americans, James Merritt.

You might remember that name. He was once the president of the Southern Baptist convention and now he is visiting professor. I guess over at Southeastern Baptist theological seminary. He's also a pastor in Georgia of a Southern Baptist Church very well known SBC elites. He came out in a social media post just a few days ago promoting a sermon by his son Jonathan Merritt who is an out and proud homosexual man now back in the days pretty re-voice I guess a lot of us would have said how in the world could you have somebody aside from somebody who is in a Metropolitan Community Church out and proud and preaching a sermon.

It's just man how the world could you this but now the stage of the Southern Baptist convention where a former president. This is his son is promoting the servant of his son when really what he ought to be doing is saying, son, and maybe behind the scenes, he should be promoting them first about the second of all, he ought to be talking to them behind the scenes and telling his son repents.

Let's look at the list of all of the things the Bible says that will cause you to not inherit the kingdom of God. That's one of them is homosexuality.

I didn't say it, God said it. God said in his word. If you believe the word of God then you have to go there so the conservative Baptist network put out a statement on the same promoting homosexual preachers is not loving biblical or Baptist. They point out Scripture is clear that homosexuality is a grave sin and that sin separates mankind from God, to present to Southern Baptists. A man living in unrepentant sin is someone to whom they should listen for a sermon that is quote unquote faithful to the gospel as the elder merit tweeted is wholly illogical and demonstrably dangerous. I agree with them 100% but there are more problems with this sermon than just the activities of the deliverer of the sermon. You could also argue this is bit of a nepotistic move on the part of James Merritt to other some great sermons that it's my son. Right.

Let's listen to some of what he actually said in the sermon on Mark 13. This is very interesting. See if you can have a little pad of paper and a pen. See if you can pick out all of the disturbing parts of this particular clip. This is Jonathan Merritt's cut for so there he stands awestruck. This unnamed disciple and he taps his rabbi on the shoulder and says wow you look at this place isn't it magnificent and Jesus says do you see all these great buildings, not one stone here will be left on another. Everyone will be thrown down.

Talk about a buzz kill you, just extinguishes the disciples wonder right there where he stood buzz kill or not. Jesus is reminding them and us of a God honest truth that we need to hear whether we like it or not. Nothing lasts forever. Everything constructed by human hands is temporary. The houses in which we live. The offices in which we work. Even the sacred places in which we worship there all fleeting, no matter how much you love them, and if that's not bad enough. Well the structures on the inside. They will all eventually crumble to the families. We build the careers we construct the relationships we forge temporary now if you were a Buddhist you might call this idea impermanence but us Christians.

Well, we just call it a fact of life. The grass withers, the flowers fade and the stones of life, no matter how majestic or well-placed will eventually fall permanence is an illusion permanence can even be a D illusion. I'm listening to this thing saying that is not at all. The point of Mark 13, and the destruction of the Temple that he predicted in that passage.

How much worse can you be, he can't even exegete the passage properly.

By the way, when he says that nothing lasts forever, and that's the point at the destruction of the temple is not the point of the destruction of the temple. Do you know anything about messianic prophecy.

Do you know anything at all about the real Temple. You know, I will destroy this temple in the third day member that when Jesus talked about that predicting his resurrection. The end of the sacrificial system of the Jews in the temple being destroyed was not about nothing lasts forever and by the way, did you know how he quoted from Isaiah 40 verse eight which says the grass withers and the flower fades, but the word of the Lord stands forever left that part out because he was trying to make the point that nothing lasts forever. I got news for you Jonathan Merritt. The word of God lasts forever, the souls of men last forever and that includes the body of Christ.

Last forever so don't say nothing lasts forever, things of this world are passing away. But God gives us eternal life through his son Jesus Christ and therefore we are eternal and the souls of men are eternal and that's why we should have urgency about evangelism and missions. It's just horrendous to listen to that sciences until little more. This is CAT5. One way that Christians can follow Jesus's advice to keep watch is to wait for the literal second coming of Jesus. When all things will be made right at the end of time now before you dismiss this as silly or superstitious.

Let me remind you that there is a long history of Christians doing exactly this kind of watching and not just in times junkies.

This view has long sustained Christians who been stuck living on the bottom rungs of the ladder, yearning with froth and fever for a final and all of the injustice and oppression that keeps pushing them down down down it was the American slaves, Dr. Masters, who sang my lord, what a morning when the stars begin to fall yet for many of us living in the 21st century watching for Jesus to literally return at the end of time is rather easy work that doesn't demand we do anything differently than those who are waiting and watching. So there is another way. Another way that we Christians can follow Jesus's encouragement here to keep watch. In times like these, we can simply open our lives to the truth that just as the world is always ending. Christ is always coming again. What are you talking about, what are you talking about that doesn't even make the world is always ending. Christ is always coming again. There's going to be a point in time when Christ is calm and then it will be too late for those who have not repented of their sins and place their faith and trust in his blood to wash away their sins in his resurrection from the dead to justify them before a holy God. And that's why we should be about our father's business of warning men who are dead and send in trespasses to give their lives to Jesus Christ and repentance and faith because today is the day of salvation is horrible is a preacher. It's incredible in this account on Twitter which is very good and and posted a lot of different clips from this sermon it's called will preacher clips and I recommended to you, says this is the gospel that the whole gospel that Jonathan Merritt was allegedly preaching in this sermon is the gospel of the great reset.

This is the opinion of this writer. You see that the social world around you is changing and it seems like it's not for the better but don't resist it. Powers affecting this change are just getting rid of what's obsolete you will learn to love their new world. This is somebody's opinion about the sermon obviously but that's where he's coming from.

I mean this is a guy who was out.

It is having had a relationship. I want to call it that homosexual encounter with another man. Then he did a little video thing with Ed Stetzer. You might remember this, but let's go back and listen to what Jonathan Merritt had to say back then. This is got six there was a shift that went on from homosexuality as a curse to homosexuality as a cross and it sort of like this is a part of her fallenness and broken essence complicated.

Maybe you chose it. Maybe not. Maybe at some mixture of nature nurture. We don't really understand there's a mystery here, but we know that that we all have crosses that were supposed to bear and were told to take up our crosses her daughter and temptations and this is your cross and just take it up and follow Jesus and and and and embrace of some of the complexities of the issue and at the same time still call to certain biblical sexual ethic, and I think now we are entering into 1/3 phase that faces the phases I I see sort of arrange in the there's the right that I think is more similar to what sort of that crawlspace. There's the middle and I'll obliterate because I'm Southern Baptist, but through the crucible that that that this is an experience in which we learn something about who we are as human beings and Christians that if we, for example, if we allow homosexuals to become members of our church that we learn something about what it means the logger to be marginalized last that you might you might find like a little that would be that such right is a crown that it's it's a gift, and that there these should be.

These people should be given special treatment in the church. I don't know how it's going to shake out, but my sense is is that is that this dish of cookies has been put back in the oven and at some time and it could be three years five years 10 years were all going to hear that day to come out and at that moment were going to be. I think in a new phase of of evangelical thinking on the issue well or any new phase that we were in the post-release phase and it sounds like Jonathan Merritt is sitting right in. Having left evangelicalism in 2019 and come out of the closet 20, 21, August, just a few months ago and now you have an SP ceiling. His father James Merritt promoting his horrible sermons horrible sermon. The irony James Merritt's latest book, and I can believe this. It's called character still counts is time to restore testing values, that's for sure. Gotta be based on the word of God, not on nepotism and not on softness toward sin the care and love people and we have to be truthful about sin and grace doesn't mean a thing. Gotta leave there will see next time I Janet effort

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