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Jesus Skeptic - Jesus and Freedom for the People You Love, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
July 19, 2022 6:00 am

Jesus Skeptic - Jesus and Freedom for the People You Love, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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July 19, 2022 6:00 am

Many parents today, are deeply concerned about the hostile world their kids are growing up in. In this program, our guest teacher John Dickerson shares some hope for moms and dads, as he continues his series – “Jesus Skeptic”. Don’t miss the ways parents can set their children up to make wise choices, good friends, and avoid the prevalent problems all around us.

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If you're a parent, you are very concerned about the world.

Your child is growing up its hostile it's dangerous. How can you set them up to make wise choices make good friends and avoid the addictions and the problem that are so prevalent all around us. That's today don't want to miss. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with shipping in Scripture Bible teacher for this international discipleship ministry focused on helping Christians like Christians on just a minute will continue our new series Jesus skeptic Marcus teacher John Dickerson is an award-winning investigative journalist Haley past direct connection point Christian church in Indianapolis in the before we get started, let me encourage you to use our message notes while you listen help you get the most out of what you're about to hear from John. You can download them under the broadcast stab@livingontheedge.org hapless nurse tap fill in. Let's join John down for his message Jesus and freedom for the people you love.

When I was an investigative reporter.

One of the first big investigation. They had to do was on heroin addiction. I profile this young 19-year-old girl named Mickey who is down to about 90 pounds. She was so addicted to heroin it was destroying her body and as I looked into Mickey's story. One of the unique things about it is that she wasn't born in the slums are in poverty. Her parents were attorneys. She went to Disneyland as a kid she had the perfect little girl bedroom with stuffed animals all around, and when we think about this question.

What can you do to set the people you love for a life that they live free from addiction free.

Hopefully from divorce free from as much pain-and-suffering as possible. It's important that they have a good education. Yes, play new sports that can be good. Yes, Mickey did all those things and one high school party which is led to smoke a little marijuana. It led to her than trying cocaine and then trying math and then trying heroin and ending up living in a drug house at age 19. How do you prevent that kind of thing in a world where there's so many things that our kids are exposed to division and hatred and so many things that are designed to addict them. How do we set them up for freedom. We can control their choices. But how can we set them up to make good choices. Will Jesus speaks about this in John chapter 8 he speaks about freedom and as we learn in this series. When Jesus speaks, he's not speaking as a guru or a self-help coach or even a great spiritual teacher. He claims to be Almighty God is all in this series we've documented. Yes he lived. Yes, we know what he said. It's recorded in the gospel accounts at yes his birthday is the zero of our calendar and he's impacted humanity. He has more followers than anyone else ever in the history of the world. But the real power of Jesus is in his words, and within these claims to be God we we each have to look at these and say what this guy actually God on earth does he claim or is he some weird lunatic because just good people who were helpful moral examples don't claim that their God. They don't claim that they're going to return and judge every single person for how they live their life, but Jesus made these audacious and it's within that context that Jesus said things like this in John chapter 8 he said if you hold to my teaching then you're really my disciples. So your salvation begins when you believe that he died on the cross for you but being a disciple means you're continually reading the teachings of Jesus, and you're continually looking at your life and saying am I doing what Jesus said now none of us do this perfectly, but it's about trajectory. Is there an effort to simply obey the words of Jesus in your life. If so, then he gives this promise, he says, then you will know the truth, not a truth not one of many ways, but the truth God's truth and then this well-known phrase that this is your first time in church you've heard this phrase before, and the truth will set you free. The truth setting you free, is dependent on the first part do you hold to Jesus teachings are you striving to do what he says in your life. In other words, Jesus is making this radical claim.

He claims to give unrivaled freedom to those who follow his teaching and most of the other freedoms in our lives were kind of recipients we been born into a country where we have a lot of freedom. Most of us didn't personally achieve that. But the kind of freedom. Jesus talks about is freedom from death, you have eternal life, freedom from sin from any kind of addiction or habit or pattern that makes your life smaller freedom in family systems when there are things like alcoholism or abuse or codependence or insecurity that get passed down from generation to generation.

Jesus claims he can break that in your family. He can change the this is a radical claim in our series we've been seeing that followers of Jesus in history have been at the leading edge of setting other people free those who gave their lives to turn the conscience of countries against slavery we saw from the writings they were followers of Jesus and all that is documented. It's not opinion but want to show you today. What will look at a little bit a history I want to show you what this looks like right now right here were a bunch of people who've taken Jesus up on this promise that if we do what he says will set us free, and we found it to be true.

Zach and Lindsay are two of those I want you to go ahead and see their story when we first met each other just like a friendship. It was about getting high is now having sex. It was about using one another. I had gone through Kay's house caught on fire. I ended up signing over custody terrain parents for my two oldest children and now the way I started using that which version of times and then every time I got to try to be good good and I became homeless. Number my mom got diagnosed with cancer and she ended up helping to leave the house was raised in. You know, so after that I didn't have nowhere to go homeless shelter keep going out trying to do sales going to use one or 23 times and eventually led down the road we got married married hi at the courthouse in her hometown and my parents encouraged us. How about a detox center to help us any and all when I picked her up from the rehab. I had heroin all me and we ended getting outgoing live with a man in a detox and are where he is 90 drinking hi there. We got kicked out of the house to go so we went set at the Walmart so with the heroin in the mouth.

You know, I finally got a room.

It was going to lead me to prison again for the rest of my life or dead at the time. I wish I was trying to find drugs you notice to build in my life just like like giving up. Try to get on Facebook and just try to call and try to reach out to anybody that I could reverse that in their honor and Zach just looked at me and we didn't know what. Nobody that we were messaging God.

These are the people I want to go get help. Send a message to a guy I know my childhood and he reached out to me come pick us up.

I mentioned Trinity life ministries he knew about that. So I went to the Trinity officer interview with yesterday when I wanted entered the program the same day. I actually had to weigh online before I can get through the gate so our Christian friends (my a while. I was able to visit with my children and I opened her eyes. My mentor Jim Mosher was served just knowing that my husband this really good relationship with a godly man. Why pray for now way to mentor me.

I came service so I said stood firm and see wanting love it now. I love committing every Sunday because of everything we've been through, I just felt like I was being led to may make the decision to basically share being right this good good memory.

I have been everything James tremendously from being homeless, drug smell being able to be there for my kids family be a godly man family.

Why example to others be out there right now you've been seeing her story to show them what Jesus has done in our lives and our dark and now they CS and the light just baptized sign now. His son's mother and want to get baptized and it's pray like there are so many doors here and now refining just like him at least five different ways.

Now seen fruit by that are now being because there were too late to surrender all in a matter of desiring to guide desiring a better life and the answer is that transformation does the son sets free are free indeed. There are things I saw as a journalist I thought people could never get free from that kind of addiction and I was a pastor I see Jesus doing CM setting people free not only from addiction but also from insecurity from never feeling like they could do enough to be accepted from never feel like they're good enough set free from shame set free from greed, set free from guilt set free from brokenness. Those the son sets free are free indeed. And you're just sitting in a room full of people were broken and imperfect but who have found in Jesus that when we hold to his teaching.

Not perfectly, but consistently then we come to know the truth, and it does set us free. Changes are in motion the changes what we see when we look in the mirror.

It changes how we treat the people around us those. The son sets free or free indeed. I tried to make it to that video without crying because I know exactly where Zach and Lindsay sit there watching them through a video how are they now they're here every weekend.

The point of this is Jesus all we are is a place that connects people to the source of life to the one who not only creates but also redeems and restores and re-creates is a God's truth obeyed sets of people for God's truth is always available to set you free in your life.

But whether it will or not depends on will you obey, and I hope you heard from me, you don't have to obey it perfectly. You just have to obey it willfully and intentionally, with some consistency.

We all still stumble and fall down were a group of imperfect people. But what we have in common is when we fall down we got people around us who pick us up and just as often say keep following Jesus. He's the path to freedom.

Now this is true for individuals. This is true for families. So many families in this church and in Jesus movement over the last 2000 years, where for generations. Greed or alcoholism or physical abuse or emotional abuse or some other thing which is passed down from generation to generation and that pattern could never be broken until there was a generation that believed in Jesus and helped to his teaching, and then they knew the truth and it set them free. And what we see when we look back over the last 2000 years is if you get enough people together who are experiencing that then they start to help other people experience that in the movement grows and it starts to actually change the society in which they live. As might sound like an impossible claim. Depending on your education background, but we look at primary evidence. What did Harriet Tubman say about Jesus. What did Frederick Douglass say about Jesus and we found out that the leaders of the movement to end open and legalize slavery not only here in the US, but around the world were dedicated followers of Jesus and were motivated by Jesus teachings that's according to their writings. That's not me putting that in their mouth.

We saw the same with the top 10 hospitals. We saw that the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins Massachusetts Gen. those three of the top five are symbolic of the top 200, which have spread healthcare around the world and that each of them had followers of Jesus at their founding that they were started to care for the poor and obey Jesus words raises whatever you do for the least of these, you've done on to me and again all of that was documented very briefly. I want to give you a thesis in the thesis is this that we live in a time where yes societies imperfect, but we've inherited some fruits of freedom, prosperity and longevity of our lifespan that are unusual in history so the average lifespan in human history has been 45 years now. In the US.

It's about 80 years. That's changed in the last 200 years because of specific advances in healthcare where did those come from most people throughout history.

Either were slaves, or they live in a society that had slaves in the last 200 years that has changed.

Who are the people who change that. Where were they educated. How did they do these are all fruits that we inherit even what we assume are our property rights and our human rights and that we can go to a court and hopefully have at least an effort at a just and fair trial. That's unique in history where did all this come from and if you think of these as fruit on a tree. The reality is that there were seeds that were planted and we can trace these to restrict we look at the Rev. Samuel right African-American gentleman who was born into freedom because of the Quaker Christians long before the Civil War. He gave his life to help, and slavery. It was very rare that he knew how to read and write as an African-American before the Civil War. Why did he know how to read and write. While it was because of the Quaker Christians. It was them in the Puritan Christians who pretty much instituted what we now call public education that every boy and girl gets taught how to read over the generations that's been handed on its obscene not overtly Christian anymore, but that's where started and if you were to look at each of these advances. One of the things they all have in common is the University as we know it today. Could you imagine if there were no universities today. One, how terrible would it be to not be able to watch college football. So thank you Christians for founding the University system so we can watch our favorite team.

How did or when, but so much more than that. I just imagine if right now.

There were no universities in the United States. The roads that you drove on today to get here wouldn't be like that because there wouldn't be engineers trained to grade and design the road like that the vehicle you have wouldn't exist. The electricity you had the contract on the lights. It wouldn't be there without the University remove that one thing from the last 1000 years and were back in the dark ages where did the University system come from listening to the first part of Argus teacher John Dickerson's message Jesus and freedom for the people you love from his series, Jesus skeptic, Chip and John will join us here in studio with some additional thoughts of application in just a minute.

If someone were to ask you how you know Jesus actually lived or can we really trust the Bible, what would you say in this new series pastor and journalist John Dickerson answers those questions using evidence from multiple reliable sources in the well documented impact of Jesus followers throughout history jungles are credible case for the Christian faith or hope is that this series will help you confidently say Jesus is real. The Bible is true and I can prove it. For more information about Jesus skeptic go to LivingontheEdge.org or the chipping room or call AAA 333-6003 chips. Join me in studio now in chip before you and John share some final thoughts about today's message. I thought it might be helpful for you to talk about what happens when people support us financially mean when you ask people to partner with us home with her gifts being used, you know, Dave. What I want you to know is that when you support Living on the Edge you bring biblical teaching on core issues that at times is not politically correct but is at the core of what brings about real-life change in families that are stable and honor God.

What I ask you to do is would you be willing to partner with us as we create the small-group resources as we put them on the app as we pay for radio time as we try to help families be all God wants him to be.

It requires an enormous amount of time and energy and financial support. So if you have never given to Living on the Edge now would be a great time to say you know I want to help them reach families or if you're a regular giver to Living on the Edge.

First let me say thank you and then let me ask you this. Would you be willing to become a monthly partner, you know, there's nothing quite like having people that you know that you can count on each and every month.

The amount is immaterial whether it's $10 $50 $100. God uses every single gift. If you would pray and just give whatever he shows you we will be grateful and will invest 100% of it right back into the ministry.

Thanks so much for whatever lead you to do. Thanks, Chip will of joining the Living on the Edge team is an idea that makes sense to let me encourage you to become a monthly partner. Just go to LivingontheEdge.org and tap the donate button with just a few clicks, you can set up a recurring donation and help others benefit from this ministry, or if it's easier just give us a call at AAA 333-6003 and that's AAA 333-6003 to learn how you can become a monthly partner with Living on the Edge Listener step donate will Chip.

Let's get to that application. We promised from you and John. Thanks Dave will John, I want you to know that today's message really resonated with me.

These messages are really impactful and appreciate you sharing them with this. I wanted you if you could to elaborate on the point that you made in today's talk you said Jesus offer of true freedom is unrivaled in human history, could you tease that out for us little bit why is the freedom that Jesus offers so much better than what we can find anywhere else.

Yet it's a great question Chip. Why is the freedom that Jesus offers better than any other freedom I think of a few reasons. The first is it actually is free us. The other things that say their free require a great cost a great price. In the case of what Jesus offers. That cost has been paid by him on the cross that price has been paid.

So every other religion. Every other self-help system is exactly that were looking for freedom, but then the weight is on us to deliver what Jesus offers. The weight is on him. All we have to do is be humble enough to receive it. Another reason that I'd say that Jesus freedom is better than the so-called freedom you could find anywhere else is it's transformative. That is, Jesus offers you a heart transplant. He offers you transformation from the inside out that changes you from the inside out every other form of freedom is something that we try to get from the outside in. But Jesus offers us a freedom one will humble ourselves before him and receive him as our Lord and our Savior, a freedom that then comes from the inside out. Chip, I'm exiting it now, but 1/3 reason that Jesus freedom is so kind a undeniably better and it's this Jesus started the largest movement in all of human history.

Here's what I mean by that is if you're looking for a product that works. You look at the online reviews how many five-star reviews are there. Is there 100 or third man 14,000 reviews Jesus has more than 2 billion followers today in the world. That's one out of three people in the world says I've found something in Jesus that I couldn't find anywhere else is more than any other movement or anything else. And so that was part of my journey as a skeptic is realizing oh my goodness, there must be something here because more people followed this guy than anyone else in the last reason I'm thinking of here chip, you know, it's free, it's transformative. It clearly works because 2 billion people say it does. But the most important one is eternal life and forgiveness of sins. The freedom that Jesus offers you is freedom from the fear of death and freedom from the slavery of sin. We all have bad habits or things we do that hurt us and the people around us. Jesus can truly set you free from that. You don't have to pay money for it, or do good deeds.

You simply receive by believing in the same is true of eternal life that you don't have to live in fear of death. If you receive Jesus as your Savior and you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven and you know that when you breathe your last breath on earth, you'll wake in the very presence of God.

That's pretty great freedom. Thanks, John.

As we close a great way to get plugged in with our resources here at Living on the Edge is through the chipping remapped there you can listen to past series sign up for daily discipleship and much more. Let us help you experience God in a new personal way. Starting today with the Chip Ingram will join us next time as our guest teacher John Dickerson wraps up his new series Jesus skeptic until then, this is Dave Drewry saying thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge


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