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Hope of Nations - When Society Shakes, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
July 27, 2021 6:00 am

Hope of Nations - When Society Shakes, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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July 27, 2021 6:00 am

Do you realize, that we’re blessed to live in the 21st century? I mean every day, we get to experience: freedom, education, and scientific and medical innovations. In this program, our guest teacher John Dickerson reveals that the historical figures responsible for these ideas shared a common conviction. Join us for the answer, it may surprise you!

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Have you ever stopped to realize, I mean, how blessed we are to live in the 21st century? Daily, we see medical breakthroughs, scientific expansion. Millions around the world experience the blessing of freedom, education, and democracy. But did you know that many of history's prominent figures shared a common conviction?

They had something in common that led to their success. You'll be shocked and surprised at what it is. That's today. Stay with me. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. I'm Dave Druey, and the mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians through the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram. Thanks for joining us as we continue in our new series, Hope of Nations, taught by our guest teacher, John Dickerson. He's a close and trusted pastor friend of Chip, with a lot of great insight to share. As a quick reminder, if you missed any part of this series along the way, you can catch up anytime at livingontheedge.org or by listening on the Chip Ingram app. Let's join John now for his message titled, When Society Shakes.

This is a little bit different series where we are engaging not only our hearts, but also our minds. And so buckle up because we've got some really life-changing stuff to learn today. We all have some people in our families or workplaces, don't elbow anyone, who is in their 40s or 50s or 60s, and when they do something wrong, they still act like it was never their fault.

We've all got some people like that in our lives. And the thing with parenting and grandparenting is now's our chance to try to get personal accountability and responsibility, some of these ideas, into the minds of our little ones. Because right now it's kind of cute, but the older they get, the bigger the implications and the consequences of their choices become.

And I'm well aware of this, we all are, but I'm well aware of it because of my time as an investigative reporter. There was a time when I was profiling a number of heroin addicts in Phoenix, and one of those heroin addicts was a 19-year-old girl named Miki. And what's unusual or was a little unusual about Miki is that she had grown up in a middle upper class family.

Her dad was an attorney, and she had a pink bedroom with a cute little bed with all her stuffed animals lined up, but Miki made choices along the way to the extent that by the time she was 19, she was living in a prostitution house selling her body, doing anything she could to get more Mexican black tar heroin to inject into her body. Because the reality is what we believe about ourselves and how we behave has consequences. We all desire, whether it's for our kids, our spouse, a person you're dating, your grandkids, we all desire for the people we love and for ourselves that we'd be living lives of freedom. And what I mean is free from drug addiction, free from alcoholism, free from sexual addiction, free from bankruptcy, free from impulsiveness or not being able to control a temper.

Some people go through life and they keep losing jobs over and over again through their adult life because they can't control their impulses and they have moments where they get heated and they lose their temper and they lose that job and then they go have another one for a few years and then it happens again. We want our kids and grandkids to be free from that. We want our kids and grandkids to have the best life possible. So the question we're asking today is this, how can we ensure freedom and prosperity for the people we love?

What can you do? You can't control their decisions and you can't control their future, but what can you do to best set them up for success? What can you do for the people you love to best put them on a path that leads to a life of freedom in their choices and in their family and in their future? Well, as always, when we gather here, we open the Word of God to see what does God say about this? And Jesus actually answered this question directly in John chapter eight and here's what he said. He said, if you hold to my teachings, so if you know them and do them, well then you're really my disciples or followers. So being a follower of Jesus is more than just being baptized and saying I'm a Christian.

That's a start, but it's actually following after Jesus. And none of us do it perfectly and Jesus knows that, but the goal is to do it consistently and Jesus says, if you hold to my teachings, if you make it your effort, you'll fall down, but if you get back up and you keep trying to pursue my way of life, well then you will know the truth. And this idea of know is you'll know it not only in your mind, but you'll know it in your experience. You'll experience my truth and the truth will set you free. The truth will set you free.

Here's what we're learning today. God's truth brings freedom. God's truth brings freedom. I think of that heroin addict, 19-year-old Mickey, and I know that as my girls and my kids go through their teen years and through their 20s and through their 30s, I won't be there on their shoulder every time a temptation comes their way.

I won't be standing next to them every time a dangerous opportunity presents itself. And so the best thing I can do is get God's truth into their minds and into their hearts so that they're in those situations, God's truth is there, and they always have that ramp out to freedom of knowing God's way. God's truth leads to freedom, and if I want my kids, my loved ones, to experience freedom, I'll teach them to know it and to understand it. Point number one on your outline, very simply, God's truth, when obeyed, sets individuals free. And you're in a room of people where individuals who found Christ have shared it with their relatives, and sometimes a whole family gets set free, a family that used to be defined by alcoholism or abuse or other generational vices that have been handed down, but one generation decides to place their faith in Christ, and it changes the story of the family tree. God's truth can set you free. God's truth can set your family free. And we're going to see today, even bigger than that, when a whole bunch of people like we have in this room together seek God's truth, it can actually affect an even larger group of people or a society of people if they pursue God's truth. Christ came to set the captives free, and it's when we read God's truth and believe it and do it that we live a life of freedom.

And I know this not only from my own experience, but I've seen in my family God's power to transform an entire family. And I'll summarize the story, but my grandfather became a Christian back in the 1940s around World War II era. He was working on a Ford assembly line in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

He was not a follower of Christ. And there was a guy working on that assembly line next to him named Earl Peters. And Earl Peters started sharing with my grandpa the freedom that was available in Jesus Christ. And eventually, my grandpa placed his faith in Christ.

And right away, Earl Peters told him two things. He said, hey, if you want to live the full Christian life, there's two things you need to always do. One, you've got to have a Bible and be able to read God's word for yourself.

Second, no matter where you ever live, you've got to find a Bible preaching church to be part of. And if you'll do those things, it will transform you. My grandpa did those things, and it did transform him. And eventually, he started to share with his sister and his brother and his parents. And it didn't happen overnight, but over the course of about 15 years, each of his siblings and his parents, because of the change they saw in him, they became followers of Christ. Well, then he raised his three kids, one of whom is my dad.

And he raised them to know that God's truth leads to freedom. So my dad raised me, and I'm one of four boys. And out of the four of us, I'm probably the one who wandered away the most. But God brought me back eventually. Because as I went out there and saw the world as an investigative reporter, I started to realize all that stuff in the Bible about how humans work and society works.

It's actually true. And I came back. And now today, I'm one of four boys where each of us, you know, we're imperfect. We sin like everyone else. We struggle in our marriages like everyone else.

But you know what? All four of us boys, by God's grace, we haven't ever gone through a divorce or a bankruptcy or a major alcohol or other addiction. And that's not because we're better people. It's because our dad raised us to understand God's truth and its power to set free. Why do I tell that story? It's not about me.

It's one example. This room's full of examples where a whole family, it gets contagious, and God's truth starts setting more and more and more people free. Some of you are here and you've tasted that. Some of you are here and you think, man, I'd love that.

And if that's you, be inspired. God's truth has the power to set not only you free, but also the people you care about. And if you think, well, man, I have a grown child or someone else that it could never happen. Pray for their heart. Gently expose them to God's truth. It does set people free.

Don't give up. It doesn't happen overnight, but God's truth can change entire families. I want you to know today that no matter what you feel like a slave to, you might feel like you're a slave to something because of your choices in the past or your choices recently. Or you might feel like you're a slave to something because the family you came from and everyone in your family did that thing, is enslaved to that thing.

You need to know today, there's no slavery in your life. There's no vice that God cannot set you free from. And it's His truth that sets people free. Well, in this series, we're studying the society we live in, and we're gonna move now from scripture to history, but don't throw up in your mouth if you're not a history person, okay? We're gonna move from scripture to history, and we're gonna see some examples of how not only families, but entire societies, or the majority of people in a society, sought God's truth, the Bible, and as a result, experienced freedom at a much higher level than other societies throughout history.

And that's point number two on your outline. Those of us who live in the United States or in Western Europe, we don't always realize it, but we actually inherit unusual freedom and we inherit unusual wealth because many in our society pursued God's truth. Just like this works for individuals and for families, this works for groups of people. God's Word is like a seed. And when you plant God's Word as a seed in your life, it leads to freedom. When you plant God's Word as a seed in your family, it leads to freedom.

And there are some societies, there are no perfect societies, just like there are no perfect families, but there are some societies that for hundreds of years did strive towards God's Word imperfectly but consistently. And what we experience today is the benefits of these fruits at the top of the tree, things like the scientific revolution. So we take for granted that we have light bulbs and electricity and batteries.

We take for granted that we have cars and we can fly on airplanes. Those things all wouldn't have happened without the scientific revolution. The scientific revolution, we can measure, we can trace back in history, it came from one specific area, an area of Christian universities that were training people like Isaac Newton and Blaise Pascal and Johannes Kepler who were all devout Christians. The same is true of medicine. If we were born 200 years ago, half of us in this room wouldn't be here because of plagues and diseases that commonly would wipe out large swaths of the population, but a thing came along called the vaccine. The vaccine didn't just evolve and come out of nowhere, it was discovered and invented by a guy named Edward Jenner who was a devout Christian who was trained at a Christian university. We have modern medicine in modern hospitals that we're going to see traced back to a society that was pursuing the truth of God's Word.

So I'm not here talking about America specifically, though this will overlap with America, but this predates the United States of America by many hundred years, okay? The point is that there were these Christians who started institutions like Oxford University, which would give birth to Cambridge University, which would give birth to Harvard University, and these Christian universities all started by Christians, and their graduates brought about things like Western democracy, modern education, social literacy, the fact that we can all read, the end of slavery, the abolition of slavery, the scientific revolution, and much, much more. These are the fruits, but they come from roots of people who sought God's truth and God's way of life.

I don't know if you've ever been to a country in Africa or if you've been to India or China. If you've never experienced a culture that has never had major Christian influence, it's hard to even describe how different it is. But there are things we take for granted like paved roads and courthouses and laws and rights that are not common throughout world history, and really what we live in is unusual. And what I want to show you is that these things came about not from perfect people, but from people who pursued the Word of God as their truth standard. And what we're going to see today is that our generations have inherited orchards, massive orchards, vast land that is prosperous because of the people who came before us. But those roots were planted out of a pursuit of God's Word we're going to see many of those roots were. So let's start with Oxford.

You've heard of it before. It's one of the oldest universities in the world, and Oxford is one of what I call these seed universities. What we call college or university today did not happen by accident. Every major leading university and college can be traced back, just like a family tree, to Oxford and a handful of these other seed universities, and here's what's unique about them. All of them started in churches.

You can check it out for yourself, okay? Oxford was a church school outside of a church cathedral, and the word university actually comes from the Latin word to study all things, universita. And so these church schools that started to, they existed to train clergy to read the Bible and know the Bible. They started to say, let's consider other things as well, and at the cathedral school, they created a universita. This is why if you go to any major leading university in the world, Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, you'll find a church in the middle of the campus because they grew out of churches, believe it or not.

That might sound impossible to you, but you can check it out for yourself. Now, here's the thing about Oxford. If you look at the crest, there's three crowns.

Why? Well, because they were there to study God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. We call it the Trinity. What's this book? It's a Bible. Everyone at Oxford knew it was a Bible because they had to learn Latin and Greek and Hebrew to even be admitted into the universita to study the Bible.

What's written on the Bible? Well, it's written in Latin, and what it says in Latin is the Lord is the light of me. And in English, the Lord is my light.

And every one of these students would have known from their studies that this was a Bible verse. The motto of Oxford is Psalm 27 verse 1, the Lord is my light. Maybe you've heard the old cliche, the light of learning.

The light of learning is this idea that truth is like a light that guides people out of darkness and started a thousand years ago at Oxford and other early seed universities, all of which, you can track them down yourself, grew out of Christian cathedrals. Well, eventually, Oxford, some of its professors would go and start another Christian universita called Cambridge. In Cambridge, a number of its students were people like Isaac Newton. Isaac Newton, who actually started out as a theology student, but his professors kept saying, you're really good at math. And so Isaac Newton was encouraged by his professors to study math, and he ended up becoming one of the founders or fathers of what we call the scientific revolution.

Scientific revolution was this unique time in history. By the way, if you don't remember Isaac Newton, you had a picture of him in your high school or middle school textbook with an apple, right? He's the gravity guy, okay?

But it's a lot more than gravity. It's called Newtonian physics, and it unlocked the keys to the universe. People like Albert Einstein hundreds of years later would look back and say, through Newton's principles, we're able to do what we can do today with modern science. Isaac Newton was one of Albert Einstein's heroes who he looked up to. But here's the thing about Isaac Newton. He was not just a great scientist.

He was a devout follower of Jesus, a fanatical follower of Jesus. And we have existing today thousands of pages of Isaac Newton's writings and his journals. Isaac Newton, as a student of Trinity College at Cambridge University, knew Syriac, Greek, Hebrew, and Latin, as well as a bunch of other languages, because that's how you studied the Bible. And Isaac Newton would actually go to the library at Cambridge, and he'd pull out these ancient manuscripts of the Bible in all these different languages. And it sounds crazy.

It sounds like something a lunatic would do. But he would take measurements from the Old Testament about the dimensions of the temple and other things, and he'd write those out in charts, and he'd compare those to reality. And somehow, out of that genius of a mind came Newtonian physics and the birth of the scientific revolution. And you can go online today, and you can read Isaac Newton's journals. About half of them have been translated.

He has so many of them, about half of them haven't. But if you can go online yourself, search up Isaac Newton's journals, and just type in the word Jesus. And here's what you'll find. You'll find quotes like this. Isaac Newton, writing in his personal journal, wrote this, this is life eternal, that they might know the only one true God and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. Father of the scientific revolution wrote that in his journal. He was quoting John chapter 17.

Now, here's the thing. I'm not cherry picking. It's not like, well, there's a lot of seed universities, and Oxford's just one of them that happen to be Christian.

Look it up. They were all Christian. You can look up the founders of the scientific revolution and see for yourself that 98% of them were Christians. And more than half of them didn't just go to church on the weekend, but they were like Isaac Newton, where they're journaling about their love for Jesus. Blaise Pascal, another father of the scientific revolution, was such a devoted follower of Jesus, he wrote a poem to Jesus called Pascal's Memorium. And he actually carried it in his coat pocket everywhere he went.

It was this passionate poem about his love for God and how Jesus had transformed him. Robert Boyle, if you remember from chemistry, a thing called Boyle's Law, was such a devoted follower of Jesus that he wrote a book called The Christian Virtuoso, in which he argues that it's a Christian worldview that enables the best pursuit of science. Johannes Kepler, who invented the modern telescope and eyeglasses. The list goes on and on of devoted followers of Jesus who were graduates of Christian universities who unlocked the scientific revolution. You're like, why does that matter? I don't care about history.

Here's why it matters. If you remove the scientific revolution from history, we don't have electricity, we don't have light bulbs, we don't have airplanes or cars, all those things built on the scientific revolution. And just think about this, for thousands of years, people studied science in China, people studied science in Buddhist cultures and in Muslim cultures, but the scientific revolution didn't come out of any of those. For some reason, it came out of these Christian-themed cultures. Were the people perfect?

No. But were they pursuing the Word of God? Very clearly, if you read their writings, they were.

Well, the same is true of education. I mentioned Oxford and Cambridge, and it was a group of graduates from Cambridge who were pursuing the Word of God. And they looked around, and as they could read the Word of God for themselves, they looked at their society and they said, we want a more pure expression of Christianity.

And they were so motivated. They said, a group of us, we're going to leave everything, we're going to travel on wooden ships across the Atlantic to a new world, and we're going to start a new society. They were called the Puritans. And some people came to North America to make money, but the Puritans did not come for that reason. They came to create a society for their kids where their kids could read the Word of God and have complete religious freedom. They were called the Puritans.

They were graduates from Cambridge, most of them. And when they arrived, the first thing they did was build their houses. Next thing they did was build a church.

And the next thing they did was say, we need to start a Bible college so that our kids will have pastors who can read the Bible. And they raised money for that Bible college, and one of the pastors who led the charge was a guy named the Reverend John Harvard. And so they named their Bible college after him, and today it's called Harvard University, the first university in the United States. Here's a plaque that you'll see etched into the stone at Harvard University. By the way, a lot of my friends who graduated from Harvard don't know this, so if it's new to you, you're not alone, okay? But it's documented clearly.

You can look it up for yourself, okay? After God had carried us safely to New England and we had built our houses and built our place of worship, essentially this is a little pamphlet that they gave around to raise money for their Bible college. And they said, we realize we're gonna die eventually, and our whole dream of coming over here and making a society where people can freely read God's Word, it won't happen if we don't train the next generation of ministers is the word they use. And so let's all pool our resources and start this Bible college, which would become Harvard University. Now here's the thing, you can look up Yale's founding charter, and in the second line you'll see, for the propagation of the Protestant Christian religion. You can look up Princeton's founding and you'll see it was founded by a group of pastors. I'm not here to talk about Ivy League colleges, but here's the thing, whether it's IU, University of Michigan, Ohio State, Stanford University, the people who founded those colleges trace back to Harvard or Yale or Princeton, who trace back to Cambridge, who trace back to Oxford, that's why I call it a seed university. If you remove Christianity from world history, you don't have higher education.

If you don't have higher education, you don't have engineers, you don't have doctors, you don't have scientists, you don't have attorneys, our whole way of life we take for granted would go away. And you can go to places in the world, like South Africa, and places in the Muslim world where Christianity is outlawed, and you can see what it looks like. It looks like the Dark Ages, takes you back a thousand years if you remove Christianity. Well, it wasn't just the university, that same group of Puritans created social literacy. What does that mean? That's the fact that you and I can read today. Did you know if we were born 500 years ago that you wouldn't be able to know how to read, and neither would I? You've been listening to the first part of John Dickerson's message, When Society Shakes, from his series, Hope of Nations.

Chip will join us here in studio with some additional thoughts and his application in just a minute. John's subtitle for these messages is, Standing Strong in a Post-Truth, Post-Christian World. And sadly, we're living in a time when God is being disregarded, right and wrong are considered subjective, and followers of Jesus are persecuted.

But it didn't used to be this way. So what happened? How did we get here?

And what can be done, if anything, to right the ship? Through this series, John will reflect on the impact of the Christian faith throughout history, and where the society, and America in particular, is headed. He'll also highlight opportunities we could take advantage of to engage the culture around us.

For complete information for Hope of Nations, just go to LivingOnTheEdge.org. App listeners, tap Special Offers. Chip, this new series from your friend John has a very different feel than what our listeners might be used to. Some might think this is too risky a subject matter to tackle, but you feel burdened to air John's messages.

Why? Well, Dave, what I know is that ideas matter. What I see is a completely different narrative that's not true to history nor true to Scripture that's happened in universities, in schools, and in the media. And I know that God has people. He has people in the church. He has people in business. He has people in government.

He has people locally. And I think they're seeing this world change and they feel isolated and they know what they believe, but they don't have a way to articulate all the things they're hearing, not just to their families, but to friends and co-workers. I want to put a tool in the hands of leaders—sunny school leaders, small group leaders, civic leaders, community leaders, government leaders, church leaders, pastors—and give them the data, the truth, the core that's articulated in a way that they can first digest for themselves and then pass on to other people.

And so it's certainly worth the risk. There's a huge population in America that is seeing this wave of immorality or changing values that aren't necessarily Christians and they don't know what's happening and they need someone to articulate, wait a second, here's where we've been, this is where we are. Now, by the way, this is where this is headed. And did you know that some of these things you've heard about Christians or Christianity, number one, they're not true. Could I take you back to history and then could I take you back to Scripture?

Truth never goes out of style. It's not always popular, but it's always what God wants. And I think God has given us a special gift in John Dickerson in this book, and I want to make sure as many people as possible would get it, read it, pass it on, and then practice it.

Thanks, Chip. Well, to get your hands on this insightful book from John Dickerson called Hope of Nations, visit LivingOnTheEdge.org or call 888-333-6003. This is a well-researched commentary on the challenging times we're living in. John looks at the decay of society's morality and how Christians are called to engage this lost world. Again, to order your copy of Hope of Nations by John Dickerson, just go to LivingOnTheEdge.org or call 888-333-6003.

That's 888-333-6003. As we close today's program, I have no idea your background, your age, or your thoughts. But what you heard today is a history. It's a narrative. It's a lens and a worldview that has been progressively and intentionally buried. Western thought, America, has been recast as this narrow, bigoted, colonial, oppressive, putting down people.

And Christianity has been pictured as some white man's Western religion when, in fact, it was birthed in the Middle East. The foundation of the truth, as you heard today, and our greatest universities, hospitals, orphanages, scientific breakthroughs, were rooted in the Judeo-Christian worldview. There's a narrative that you need to know, you need to share with your children, you need to share with your grandchildren, and you need to resist the sound bites and thoughts that flood the airways each and every day that tell you a different story about life and truth and, in fact, will determine the future. Let me encourage you to listen to the series, get the MP3s.

They're available. Download the notes, the discussion questions, and even purchase the book, Hope of Nations, Standing Strong in a Post-Truth, Post-Christian World. I think we have to dig in like never before and become intellectually astute believers if the narrative's going to change. Let's learn together. As we wrap up this program, just a quick but important thought. Living on the Edge depends on listeners like you to help us continue programming right here in your area. Would you consider partnering with us on a monthly basis so people around you can benefit from the ministry of CHIP and Living on the Edge? To set up a recurring donation, call us at 888-333-6003, tap the donate button, or go to livingontheedge.org. Thanks in advance for doing whatever God leads you to do. Well, in our next program, our guest teacher, John Dickerson, continues in his series, Hope of Nations, so be sure to join us again. In the meantime, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-19 17:10:44 / 2023-09-19 17:22:53 / 12

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