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We've got questions, we've got answers, any question of any kind that relates in any way to any ministry work we do, anything that we talk about on the air, anything having to do with Bible theology, spirituality, culture, moral, political issues, Israel, whatever! If you disagree with me, want to challenge me on something, phone lines are open, 866-348-7884. Michael Brown, absolutely delighted to be with you and we are going straight to the phones. Sam in Columbus, Mississippi, your first up today, thanks for calling. Thank you, thank you so much Dr. Brown for taking calls.
I appreciate you so much. My question, and I'll tell you a little bit what leads up to this question. I did some studying sometime back on the Calvinist Doctrine, I passed through a small church, I was never very interested in it, I would always just throw it out because of foreknowledge, you know, I understood that. And the deeper I got into it, the more I realized I needed a little help, so I wound up being turned to you, listening to the debates, and it was just absolutely wonderful. I said, you truly are our voice. And so, I just prayed and I said, Lord, show me something specific, you know, for me, I mean besides, of course we have the doctrinal issues, or the scriptural issues, but in Matthew 25, I felt like the Lord just led me here one morning, when you see the sowing and reaping, the man who received the one talent, remember he accused the master of being a hard man? Because you sow, you know, you reap in what you don't sow.
And of course the master said, well you knew all this, you're wicked, you know, for what all you've done, and to me the master was very upset of being called a hard man. Well, in the doctrine of election, there appears to be no sowing and reaping. Even in our honor of exchange, when we get saved, we're exchanging our lives for Christ's life, you know? And this law seems to be throughout scriptures of sowing and reaping, and my question is, do you see this, do you see that that doctrine eliminates the sowing and reaping? Yes, it's certainly a fair question, and I appreciate you wrestling through the biblical issues, and thanks for the kind words.
So of course with any parable, it's meant to convey overall points and messages, and even though there may be equivalences that this stands for this and this stands for this, obviously we don't want to go too far in deducing things from parables. But the question would be, does Calvinism paint a picture of God that makes him unfair or unjust or cruel in some way? And although there are Calvinistic friends of mine and Calvinistic leaders through history that extol the grace of God and the beauty of God and say that Calvinism displays God's love because none of us deserve to be saved and God chose to save some of us, that of course is true. But if Calvinism is true, God simply chose to pass by multitudes of other people for reasons unknown to us but having nothing to do with the quality of our lives or lack thereof, and that by creation, the way he made us, that ultimately we're only doing what we were created to do. In other words, someone who was created by God with the ultimate purpose of being a wicked person who will be damned to hell as a testament to God's justice only did what they could do. They could never not be wicked, and according to Calvinism, they did not have the power to believe that Jesus died for them, and even if they did believe it, it wasn't true because he didn't die for them. So that would be like blaming someone who was handicapped, was in a car wreck and their spine was severed, and it's impossible for them to walk, for me to blame them for not walking or hold them responsible.
That's how many would see it, so I know my Calvinist friends would have a response to that, but yes, the logic behind it is not consistent with the larger picture I see painted of God in the Scriptures. So thank you, sir, for the question. Yes, sir, thank you. Appreciate it, and you know, when you referenced being a pastor of a small church, there are so many large churches today, and I have the privilege of working with some of them and ministering in some of them, and they're thriving and healthy and great, but thank God for those who've labored for years, sometimes in small communities, sometimes with the ups and downs and challenges of life and ministry. I used to tell our students in the midst of revival in the Brownsboro Revival School of Ministry that a pastor may have asked for a team to come out, and you may go out and there may be 30 people in this church, and you might think, wow, he's been here 20 years, only 30 people. I said, that man was the one that got the call in the middle of the night when the parents found out their 14-year-old committed suicide.
That man had to go from the bedside of a loved one in the congregation dying of cancer to then go and preach behind a pulpit, so honor, honor him. Hey, thank you, sir, for the call, 866-348-7884. Let's go to Trevor in California. You are on the line of fire. Hey, Dr. Brown, I love your ministry, man, and in response to the last caller, you actually were instrumental in your debate with James White and helped me to not go down the Calvinistic route, so I appreciate that. All right, great, thank you. All right, hang on.
Hang on one second. James, if you're listening, don't fall off the bike. I'm sure you get your stories on the other side, but hey, good news, Trevor, thanks. Okay, just have a little fun with James White there. Back to you, though, please.
Yeah. And Dr. White, if you're listening, I still love your ministry. There you go.
There you go. Yeah, so I know you have a book with John Kilpatrick called Seven Keys to Sustaining Personal Revival, or maybe it's Eleven, but I was wondering if you could give me some of those keys. You know, I've had a great season of personal revival, and then sort of the energy that comes off the first part is wearing off, but the commitment is still there. So yeah, now that I'm in this kind of less like feelings of zeal, but still lots of godly things happening, how do I sustain this? Yeah, so the title of the book that was written together with John Kilpatrick and Larry Sporax is The Fire That Never Sleeps, and it doesn't list X number of keys, but it's keys for sustaining personal revival. So on the one hand, revival is a season of unusual divine visitation, and we know that God uses it to wake up a sleeping church, to bring about a great harvest of lost sinners, to bring about fundamental changes in the body, but that revival in itself is something exceptional. The key is that we continue to walk in passion, devotion, consistency, truth, right, and that's really what you're talking about, and that's part of the reason for the book.
So this is a great challenge. There's no magic formula, but there are certain principles that we live by. First is we've got to always remain jealous for our times alone with the Lord.
By the way, you can hear me, but we can't hear you, there's just some background noise, so if you're interacting, I'll get back to you after I share. The first and most fundamental thing for any believer is jealousy of the quality and consistency of your times alone with God. We will wander, we will leave our first love, we will lose our edge, we will decline in devotion, we will compromise our standards. All these things will happen if we do not spend adequate time consistently with the Lord.
Schedules can vary, but we still have to be jealous for that. One thing that's helped me is periodic, intensive times alone with the Lord, because of the busyness of life, and I'll just get so consumed writing and doing ministry work, sometimes busy traveling, that I will neglect the depth of focused time alone with the Lord. So, more often than I ever have in my life, I just get alone, I cut back on ministry travel schedule to spend, it's probably averaging to every five weeks, just getting alone the entire weekend to be with the Lord.
Uninterrupted, just being with him, that's been life changing. So, that's number one. Number two is to keep reading, listening to, taking things in that stir fire, that stir hunger. Because staying hungry is really important, there are more lost people to be touched, there are more sick people to be healed, there's more to be done to raise up a standard for the name of Jesus.
So, whether it's reading other things that challenge you, it could be missionary biographies, it could be testimonies of healing, it could be stories of past revival, it could be certain worship songs that take you to a certain place and remind you of the beauty of the Lord. So, do things to stir yourself on a regular basis. A third thing would be give away what you have. Go out and do outreach.
If you feel miserable and you have nothing, go out anyway. I found that as we live by the principle of give rather than hoard, talking spiritually, that God renews. Lord, I've only got $20 in my pocket, I'll give you a monetary analogy.
Give, right, help that poor person and next thing someone writes you a $200 check that helps you go on your missions trip. It's the same kind of thing that often happens spiritually. So, those are some of the things and then journal, journal. If you feel the Lord speaking to you about something, write it down. If you're having an incredible encounter with God, write it down. Then go back and review your journal notes because that may stir you, that may remind you. So, these are some of the things that I believe will be healthy. The emotions are going to go up and down, but you can live in a state of revived devotion and love. So, hopefully some of those things will be helpful to you, Trevor. So, the ones that come to mind is the most essential and foundational. Alright?
Yeah, thanks so much. I am particularly interested in what you said, that revival helps change cultures in the body. I was wondering, does that type of thing often happen starting just with one or two people who are kind of interested in seeing that change in a body? Well, generally speaking, unless you are leading the congregation or leading a denomination or movement or something like that, you don't have the ability to bring about that change. But it could be that your hunger, your prayer, your crying out to God helps spark something. Maybe you pray regularly for your pastor leaders for a year. Just pray the fullness of God's blessing on them and the freshness of God's fire on them and deeper devotion. And maybe they encounter God in a new way or are revived and brought back to first love. And maybe they begin to look at church and ministry and say, what are we doing? These are just dead traditions so we're just repeating what others have done and maybe that can then bring some type of reformation and change. But often the spark starts with just a few people. But it's going to have to spread and then spread to those who have the power to bring about change or to birth something new.
If there is to be a change in culture and sometimes unlikely people end up birthing something new that they never planned to. But as they call for reformation and change, they launch into something entirely new. Hey, thank you for the call. We've got a line or two open if you want to call in now. 866-348-7884.
Adam, Sims, Michael, coming your way next. It's the line of fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the line of fire by calling 866-344-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown.
Thank you so much for joining us on the line of fire. Are you getting my emails? You say, Dr. Brown, you ask that every day.
Yeah, because plenty of people tune in for the first time and it takes a few reminders. So be sure to go to my website, askdrbrown.org. Just click there right on the home page to get the emails.
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Be it changing diapers, be it programming computers, be it preaching on the street corner, wherever you are on the front lines. We want to stand with you and help pour into you. So go to the website askdrbrown.org and let us start pouring into you today.
All right, we go to Montreal, Canada. Adam, welcome to the line of fire. Hey Dr. Brown, how are you doing today? Doing very well, thank you.
Awesome, awesome. Yeah, so I just have a couple questions for you. The first one is regarding Genesis chapter 14 where the king of Sodom offers Abraham wealth, you know, after the whole scenario happened with delivering lots and all that. Yep. And I just want to know, how does that, like, you know, when Abraham rejected the king's gift, how does that apply practically today? Because, for example, let's say somebody's in business, right? And, you know, you're working primarily with unbelievers.
Right. So how does the whole concept work of, you know, rejecting, you know, the king of Sodom's wealth like today? Right, so we know that God has the children of Israel plunder Egypt, right? And, of course, they worked as slaves, so this was a way of getting wages, but took the wealth of the wicked and gave it to God's people.
Israel was told to ask for it from every neighbor and it was given to them and those physical, excuse me, physical riches were used, among other things, to help build a tabernacle. And we know that there are verses about the wealth of the wicked being stored up for the righteous in the book of Proverbs, right? So, that in itself is not a problem, but Abraham's ethic was to say, I didn't do this for money, I didn't do this for any person, and no one is going to be able to say, hey, I made Abraham rich. It's only God that's going to be able to say that, so that was his personal ethic before God. You can live that out in many, many different ways. For example, when Paul said that even though he was entitled to financial support for his ministry work, that he was not going to be deprived of his boasting that he did for free.
He said, God commanded me to preach, so I can't boast about that, but if I don't receive income for it and work extra to support myself, that's my boast. So, there may be something that you do, and let's just say, and again, this is a practical application, let's say that you have somebody that has really been against you personally, and really tried to hurt you, right? And you have an opportunity to do good to them, and you contact them and say, hey, I discovered this, if you fix this, it'll save you thousands of dollars a month. And they're like, you did that for me? Yeah, okay, listen, what can I pay? It's like, nothing, man. Why?
Because you just did it out of love. You just did it to do good as a Christian. But to say, well, you can't make money off of other people as long as it's legitimate, honest, fair, of course you can.
It's just doing good business. So, and how did Abraham get the rest of his wealth? Obviously, he traded, he sold, he had flocks, he did whatever he did. It's not just that God rained down the money from heaven on him, right? But this was an ethic, hey, I did a righteous thing to rescue a cousin here, and no one's gonna pay me for that, and no one's gonna be able to say, well, I helped Abraham get rich. No, no, to him, that was like a gift.
Work hard, fine, but to him, that was like a gift. That's how I'd apply it. All right, you had one more question, right?
Yeah, exactly. By the way, thank you, that really clarifies it, so I appreciate that answer. Also, another question I have, this one's more on a practical level, and I wanted to hear it from somebody who has over 40 years of ministry experience like yourself on this matter. So I do happen to be in ministry, and let's just say, example, you know, you feel the Lord's calling you perhaps to move into a different aspect of ministry. Example, let's say, you know, someone's been pastoring for a certain number of years, and they feel like maybe it's time to, you know, maybe move on or to, you know, maybe go into evangelism, something like that.
When it comes to making a big move in ministry, how would you suggest going about it to make sure you heard right from the Lord, and also to go about it the proper way? Right, so there are different levels of this, meaning if you just had a sense, you had an inkling, you just, boy, I don't have the same grace to be doing what I was doing before, and I feel this prompting. Well, that you keep praying about it, you lean into the light that you have, and you ask the Lord for greater clarity. Then you might share it with your spouse or other leaders and say, hey, pray with me, I don't know what to make of this, I have this sense. And others may say, hey, you know, the Lord showed me six months ago, you're going to be transitioning, I've just been waiting for you to come to me, and you may start to get confirmation like that.
Another thing is to start to give yourself to doing some of the other things. It's like, okay, I'm still pastoring, but I've got this advance, I'm going to just start doing outreaches, or grab a few people in church, hey, let's just outreach here. And maybe you really feel God's grace in it, you feel, wow, this is him. So, the more you do that, walking in the light that you have, as you get closer and closer to the light, it gets brighter and brighter, right?
Other times it's just our emotion, we get worn out, it's seasonal, we're going through a hard time, the grass always looks greener on the other side, we're humans, that can happen. That being said, I've been spoken to by God at different times over the years with intensity and with dramatic clarity, and I knew it was the Lord. And when I knew it, I shared it with others, God spoke this to me, I have to act on it. Now, if I was in leadership at that time, and with ministry, then of course, I'd share it with others and say, I'm convinced God spoke this to me, and I'm sharing it with you. If everyone says that's not God, well, now let's, okay, let's all pray, I really believe it is.
Let's all pray. I may ultimately have to do what I believe God spoke to me to do, even if I was warned, I listen to the warnings, I take them seriously, but ultimately I have to give account to God, or it could be that that corporate wisdom gets me to slow down, maybe my timing is off. Maybe it's the Lord, but I haven't processed it properly.
But that's why I say it can be at different levels. So those are some of the practical thoughts, may the Lord guide you, my brother. I did a teaching series, oh, I don't know, 10, 20 hours of teaching on how to be led by the Spirit. It's an older series, but you might find it practical, it's on our website, askdr.brown.org, in the store with all your resources. Hey, thank you for the call. 866-348-7884.
Let's go to Michael in Fort Worth, Texas, if you could turn that radio down there, we'd be great. Okay, are you there? Yes, sir.
Yes, go ahead. Yes, sir, I have been, like, losing faith. I am a Gentile that I was reading in Isaiah, it says that we will be servants and be handmaids, basically, in the last days. No, no, no, just to clarify, Michael, that's not talking about believers in Jesus, that's talking about the people of the nations that will enter the future kingdom once Jesus has returned on the earth, and they will support and serve the nation of Israel. It's not saying that Gentile Christians will serve Jewish people in the world to come, it's not saying that. If you're a follower of Jesus, you serve Jesus, and I serve Jesus, and we serve one another in love as fellow believers, but Gentiles don't serve Jews in the church, we serve the Lord together. Oh, okay, because I was getting scared, I was like, yeah, these last days, they would cling to them, they would be possessed, and they would be servants and maids. I was like, wow, that doesn't sound really good. No, so here, Michael, get saved today so that you can serve the Jews. No, that's not it. But, see, at the end of the age...
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