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Matt Slick Live

Matt Slick Live! / Matt Slick
The Truth Network Radio
February 13, 2023 7:02 pm

Matt Slick Live

Matt Slick Live! / Matt Slick

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February 13, 2023 7:02 pm

Open calls, questions, and discussion with Matt Slick LIVE in the studio. Topics include--First Show of 2023---1- 18-Year anniversary on the radio on 1-2-2022--2- California Trip coming late July--3- Cessationism. Have gifts have ceased----4- Gifts of the Spirit, the Apostles had some gifts we won't. Tongues.--5- Does God hate or love sinners-- Psalm 5-5, 11-5--6- Jesus walked on water, why was he going to pass the disciples. Mark 6-47-52--7- Thanks for the matching funds drive---8- Luke Wayne leaving CARM--9- Caller on Matthew 3-8. Bearing fruit, complete trust in Jesus.

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The following program is recorded content created by people in when you're wondering what it's about. This show deals with the issue of apologetics, a defense of the Christian faith, and that's what we do.

We work to defend faith, to explain Christian theology, doctrine, talk about Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Science, Unity Baha'i, Islam, atheism, evolution, UFOs, the occult, Christian theological perspectives, all kind of stuff, we talk about all kinds of stuff. So that's what's going on. By the way, couple things here. Yesterday, the second, was the 18-year anniversary of me doing radio five days a week. I've been doing this for five days a week for 18 years.

Now, aside from a couple vacations here and there, that kind of stuff, and then when we switched networks, I was off for about two or three weeks. But other than that, 18 years I've been doing radio, and two years before that, one day a week. So officially, about 20 years of radio I've done.

People say I have a radio voice, and also a face for radio as well. So it works out perfectly. And if you want, you can give me a call, 877-207-2276. Oh, by the way, for those of you who participated in the end-of-year matching funds drive, I want to say thank you very much. It really has helped us. And we've talked to the matching funds guy, and he was very pleased. So we got our bills covered for a month or two, and we just continue to hope that God brings stuff in as the year goes by.

We continually trust him. So praise God for him and for you. Thank you, again, and all sincerity. What I'm gonna be doing is calling people periodically, just saying thanks for supporting us, if we have your phone number and things like that. And just saying thanks, because it's nice. And we do appreciate it. We want you to know that we appreciate it.

So thank you very much. Now, one other thing. What was I gonna say? In late July, I'll be down in Southern California. I've got a memorial service to go to. So I'll be down there. I'm gonna take a few extra days, and if people want me to speak down there, I think I will. Maybe drive down there. I can't afford it. The car rentals, I was checking.

It was like $700 for a week. And boy, I'll tell ya, it's amazing. All right, so I think that's about it with something else, but I can't remember what it is.

No big deal. If you wanna give me a call, 877-207-2276. I wanna hear from you. Give me a call. All right, let's get on the air with Dave from California. Dave, welcome.

You're on the air, buddy. Hey, just a side note. If you're planning for that trip to California, you might wanna send another $700 to Cypress Gas. Yeah, I know, it's pretty bad. Yeah, it is pretty bad. So, you know, it's, I have this older car that gets 30 miles of a gallon. It doesn't have the cruise control on it. It's noisy.

One of the air vents doesn't work, and the FM, or the AM doesn't work on it. But hey, if I had to take it, that's what I'll do. And at least it runs well. So, yeah, that's okay. Oh, yeah. Great, that's that.

Oh, yeah. Because I have heard you and Andrew Rapaport go back and forth on Asianism, and I do agree a lot of, I like points on both sides. However, I feel my view is kind of schizophrenic in that, and on how things line up. I don't know if that's the right way to say it, the right way to say it, because I agree with you on the, I have no idea where they get the conclusion that the perfect is the scripture or the canon. I don't follow that logic, but I also do agree with their point that the miraculous is associated with revelation or the revealing of scripture as a validator, a messenger. Sure it is.

Oh, we agree, yeah. So, I agree with both of those things, but the thought that crossed my mind recently when mulling it over was would that, would the station of the sign gifts be a witness test, say for the Antichrist for performing signs and wonders if those signs have ceased and he's doing them, would that be an indication for that? I don't know if that makes sense.

What do you mean for that? You mean using the Antichrist to justify the continuation of the gifts? Him performing and being a sign that he is, because if the sign has ceased- That he is what, the Antichrist? Yes. Well, not only that, you see in Matthew 7, 22 and 23, many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, do we not prophesy in your name, cast out demons in your name, perform many miracles in your name.

And he says, get away from me, I never knew you. So, it won't just be the Antichrist, you can do the miraculous. There's gonna be a lot of people who say they're Christians who are gonna do the miraculous who were never saved. Now, that doesn't prove the continuation of the gifts is there or not there. It just means that you can't say, because the Antichrist does them, that they're valid or invalid. It's just, you know, just wouldn't work that way.

Okay? Okay, because that was just something that crossed my mind that he's going out and doing these things if we were to take the position of a cessationist where they are not present anymore. Well, he would just say that they could hold to cessationism and then say, but the devil's just doing false miracles by the demonic power, that's all.

And that would be consistent with cessationism. And I'm with you, I do not, well, I do know how they get to the idea the perfect is the Bible. They get the idea the perfect is the Bible because the gifts have ceased.

That's how they get it. It's not because the perfect is the Bible, that's why the gifts have ceased. The gifts have ceased, that's why it's the completion of the canon. So they are reading into the text. I mean, come on, you know, and it says you're not to lack any charismatic gift while you're waiting for the return of Christ, 1 Corinthians 1.7, and the perfect is the return of Christ.

That's what's going on. Their arguments are weak. And then it would invalidate large portions of the New Testament and, you know, seek for these gifts. Oh, it doesn't mean for that. You know, it was only meant for the Corinthians. You know, it's just, it's a weak position.

And plus, that means that John Knox, George Wisher, John Fleming, wouldn't be allowed to speak in their church because they exercise these gifts. So yeah, I'm really irked about it. And the reason is, there's a couple of reasons. One, I lost my pastorate over the issue and I wasn't treated properly. I wasn't treated fairly over it. And I wasn't, I'm over it, I'm over it. You know, it's not a problem.

But that's what opened the door for me to really seriously study this over the years. And I have, I'm absolutely convinced that the cessationist position is just bunk, period. I don't affirm it. I deny it. That's not to say that, you know, people who hold it, you know, they're brothers in Christ, no big deal. I don't have any problem with that. I can work with people who are cessationists. But when they start developing a film and documentary of why they're done, why the gifts aren't there, and I know the guys or part of the guys, some of the guys who are doing it, and they haven't contacted me to see if they want to give another position, that causes me concern.

You know? And another thought I had on the topic, and I don't know if this one is valid or not, or how strong it is, I always think back to the parable of Lazarus and the rich young man, where the statement of, they have Abraham and Moses and the prophets, listen to them. You know, but if they won't believe the prophets, then they're not gonna believe a miracle.

I've always kind of viewed that as an example as to why you don't see the overtly supernatural in the West so much as you would say in Africa, where, you know, we've got you, we've got Bill Craig, we've got, you know, all this other stuff. We don't need, we have, you know, Logos Buckler, we have everything we could need to answer the questions. So we don't need to have, you know, somebody coming out and doing these things. Right, I agree with you. I agree with you. That's why I just ruled them out because of that.

Yeah, we gotta be careful, though. We don't wanna make doctrine out of experience, but since the Bible does not teach that the gifts have just ceased with the completion of the canon, the perfect is not dead. It's return of Christ, then I look at those things, I say, yeah, there's truth there. And there's plenty, plenty of accounts of people who are solid Christians who see the miraculous happen. And it's, what we can do, say, oh, they're all wrong.

Well, you know, it's like I said, the reason the perfect means it's the completion of the Bible, because they're cessationists. And that's what the issue is. Anyway, that was my question is how far I could take that or how I could apply it. Yeah, I understand, yeah, I'd be careful about it, but I do understand. Now, I have a website where, as you know, I'm reformed in my theology, it's called CalvinistCorner.com. I get to contact the guys and get a security certificate installed.

And so it says it's not secure, but I put the site up and it's just sitting there. And I have an article called Experiential Calvinism and the Charismatic Gifts, and I go through the argument out of 1 Corinthians 13, 8 through 10, and I cite how the phrase, you know, to be known is used and face to face is used to see what God says. And for example, because we've got nobody waiting right now, check this out, it says when the perfect comes, then we'll see face to face. So if the perfect is completion of the Bible, then does this make sense that that's when we're gonna see face to face?

Well, I don't think so. And when you look at how the phrase face to face is used, I mean, I'll read you every single instance in the Bible. So Jacob called the place Peniel saying it is because I saw God face to face, yet my life was spared. That was Exodus, or excuse me, Genesis 32, 30. Exodus 33, 11, the Lord would speak to Moses face to face as the man speaks with his friend. Numbers 12, eight, with Moses, I speak face to face clearly and not in riddles. He sees the form of the Lord. Deuteronomy 5, four, the Lord spoke to you face to face out of the fire in the mountain.

Jeremiah 32, four, Zedekiah, king of Judah, will not escape out of the hands of the Babylonians, but will certainly be handed over to the king of Babylon and will speak to him face to face and see him with his own eyes. In Saint Corinthians 10, one, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you. I, Paul, we am timid when face to face with you, but bold went away. Third John 12, I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face just as your joy may be complete. And finally, in Third John 14, I hope to see you soon and we will talk face to face.

Peace to you. So when the Bible comes, if the completion of the canon, the perfect is the Bible, is that when we see God face to face? It makes no sense. It just is not consistent without scripture. It doesn't, it's just, you know, but if it's at the return of Christ, now that makes sense.

We'll see him face to face. I got it. And so the perfect, like I said, the perfect is the completion of the canon because they're cessationists. And this gets me because when people, this always has gotten me, I don't care who it is, Calvinist, non-Calvinist, Lutherans, non-Lutherans, I don't care who it is.

When you start raising something up and you push it to the point of dividing the body of Christ, that to me is a serious problem. And if you're gonna do a documentary on it, it better be equal and well presented on both sides and then let the viewer decide at that point. And that's what needs to happen.

Okay, I don't believe it's what's gonna happen with this documentary. All right, buddy, there's a break, okay? All right, man. Have a good one.

You too, God bless. Hey folks, Five Open Lines. If you wanna give me a call, 877-207-2276. We'll be right back. Give me a call.

Welcome back to the show. We have five open lines. If you wanna give me a call, all you gotta do is dial 877-207-2276.

By the way, if you are interested in emailing me a question, all you have to do is just go to info at karme.org and you can just email me some stuff there. You can say, hey, I don't wanna talk on the phone. Maybe you're driving, you just wanna do an email. I don't know.

Well, not driving, you don't pull over or whatever. But if you wanna do that, all you gotta do is that. Okay, easy to do. Hope to hear from you if you are curious and you wanna email me a question. That's all you gotta do. Okay, all right, sorry. All these things coming in.

We have nobody waiting, 877-207-2276. So the caller was talking about cessationism and what that is, for those who don't know, is the charismatic gifts. Have they ceased?

And some people say yes and some people say no. Within both those camps are variations of which gifts have ceased or not ceased or can or cannot be used. Now, one of the things we have to be careful of and understand is that the sign gifts that are used by the apostles, that's one grouping of gifts, but I like to associate them with the apostles. The apostles were specifically given authority by God, by Jesus, and they would go around and they would raise the dead.

They would heal people because they had the authority to do so. Now, I believe that aspect stopped with those apostles because the authority that Christ gave them was specific, was to them alone. So they were equipped with it because Christ appointed them and sent them out to further the kingdom in his name and in his authority.

So they were gifted by Christ with certain abilities. And I have an article on this dealing with the authority. In fact, it's in relation to the authority of the Roman Catholic Church, because in Catholicism, this is just part of the issue, is that they say that they have the authority of Christ by apostolic succession. And what I've done is go through and looked at the issue of authority out of Matthew 10, because what Jesus did was he sent the disciples out, gave them authority to cast out demons and heal. And then I have the references in the article that deals with Paul, Peter, John, I forgot who, and they were doing or commanding certain things occur and they did occur. So the Catholics don't have the same authority because they can't do the same thing.

They don't have the authority. That's another issue. And so related to this is the issue of the charismatic gifts.

So are they for today or not? Well, the ones that the apostles had, the way that they had, no, those are gone. But what about the issue of, for example, speaking in tongues? When you go to 1 Corinthians 12, it's really interesting because of what the Bible says.

Now think about this. If the charismatic gifts have ceased, then let's look at this. See, now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware. You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray by the mute idols, however they were led, you were led.

Therefore I make known to you, no one is speaking but the spirit of God could say Jesus is accursed. He was on, he says, now there are a variety of gifts, but the same spirit. The word gifts there is charismatic. And it's the charismatic gifts. So there are a variety of charismatic gifts, but the same spirit. There are varieties of ministries and the same Lord.

There are varieties of effects, the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the spirit for the common good. Now, if the charismatic gifts have ceased, then would it be the case that it's not that each one is given the manifestation of the spirit because he's talking about charismatic gifts.

If the cessationist wants to say, no, it's not talking about the charismatic gifts, it's talking about just giftings of the spirit. Well, that can't be because the gift of the spirit or the fruit of the spirit is one thing, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness. That's Hebrews, I mean, Ephesians 5 or Galatians 5 22. And it says the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness. The word fruit there in Greek is karpos and it's singular, not karpoi.

It's karpos, singular. Well, at any rate, so to each one, in 1 Corinthians 12 5, to each one is given the manifestation of the spirit for the common good. For to one is given the wisdom, the word of wisdom through the spirit.

So this is what he's talking about here, is the manifestation of the spirit in the context of the charismatic gifts. So what the cessationist would have to do is say, well, this is only for the Corinthian church, for example, or maybe the churches at that time. So it would say then to you, or to one who's given the word of wisdom through the spirit, it only meant for that period of that time. And to another, the word of knowledge according to the same spirit, to another by faith, the same spirit, and other gifts of healing by the same spirit. So they would say all of those are just for that time.

And to another, the effecting of miracles and prophecy and distinguishing spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues, but one of the same spirit works all these things and is distributed into each one individually just as he wills. So what they would be saying is the gifts have ceased and all of these things are no longer applicable. So what we could do is print up, for example, 1 Corinthians 12, and then what we could do is cross out the verses that don't have application for today. Now they would respond by saying, no, we can learn the principles that they have, it's still applicable today. Well, if they want to say that, that all this is, even though it's not applicable today, the lessons of unity and stuff are what's applicable. All right, then we jump over to 1 Corinthians 14, pursue love, yet earnestly desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.

Now that then, they would have to say, well, that's only for the Corinthian church or the churches at the time. Then it goes on, for he who speaks in a tongue speaks to men and to God. Well, I'm sorry, but now we can't say, seek that you prophesy because that would not be for us. You gotta cross that out because it doesn't apply to us today.

Seek, pursue it, seek that you could prophesy. Cross it out because it doesn't apply literally to us today. For the one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men, but to God, for no one understands about his spirit.

In his spirit, he speaks mysteries. That's not for today, cross it out. The one who prophesies speaks to men for edification, exhortation, and consolation, cross them out. They're not applicable today. Now the cessationists will say, well, you can understand those things were for then and what we can learn today is that it was done for edification, that's what's going on. Great, I accept that.

Certainly we can learn from that, but still it's true. It says, pursue love, is that for today? Yes, and it says, earnestly desire spirituals.

Actually, what is this? Pneumotikos in Greek, spirituals, like spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. Is that for today? Well, no, so pursue love is for today, yet desire that you prophesy is not for today, right? So the pursue love, we don't cross out, but desire that you prophesy, we do cross out because it's not applicable today.

If you want to say that the lesson of prophesying back then was okay, then is it the lesson of pursuing love is also what's there or does it apply for us today? This is where it becomes problematic because all of a sudden, now what they're doing is hopscotching between what applies and what doesn't apply based on their presupposition that the gifts have ceased. Why? Because when the perfect comes, the imperfect will be done away with and because they're cessationists, the perfect has to be the completion, or excuse me, the completion of the canon. You know, I just get frustrated with this kind of stuff. I do, you know? Come on, God can do what he wants.

He's not restricted by our dispensational idea that the gifts have ceased. I don't buy it, but there you go, I just step on toes. Four open lines if you want to give me a call, 877-207-2276. We'll be right back. ["Matts Lick"] It's Matts Lick live, taking your calls at 877-207-2276.

Here's Matts Lick. Hey, welcome back, everyone. If you want to give me a call, four open lines, 877-207-2276.

Want to hear from you, give me a call. All right, let's get to Paul from North Carolina. Paul, welcome. You are on the air. Yes, Matts, first of all, a blessed New Year to you. You too. I have a question concerning, I've heard some different things concerning how God feels about sinners, and I heard some say that we generally think that God loves sinners based on John 3.16 and stuff like that, but I've heard other preachers and teachers say also, on the other hand, but there's also a part of God that hates sinners, you know, so it seems contradictory, so I need some clarification as to whether God actually loves or hates the lost sinners.

Sure, no problem at all. So first thing let's do, let's look at Scripture. Psalm 5-5, the boastful shall not stand before your eyes.

You hate all who do iniquity. That's Psalm 5-5. Here's Psalm 11-5. The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence, his soul hates. So we have two Scriptures right there, Psalm 5-5 and Psalm 11-5, where it says that God hates the one who loves violence, and God hates the one who do iniquity. Now this is talking about some bad people here, and yet, you mentioned John 3.16, God's loved the world.

That's all the nation groups. What's a better verse to contrast, or better pericope, would be Matthew 5.43, starting there. You have heard that it was said, you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy, but I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who's in heaven, for he causes his Son to rise on the evil and the good, and send rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Not even the tax gatherers do the same. If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others?

Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore, you're to be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect. So the context here is that you're to be loving the way God is loving. He loves everybody. Okay, so now we have a bit of a contradiction, but not really, because the kind of love that God is talking about in Matthew 5.43 through 48 is a love of provision that is given to all, and that he is kind to all and patient to all, even the wicked. But at the same time, he can hate those who do iniquity. So imagine that you have a son-in-law, a daughter-in-law, you know, children get married, whatever it is. And at the same time, you hate, let's say a son-in-law, you hate how he treats your daughter, let's say. And at the same time, you show him love and patience and kindness. You're doing both, which seem to be contradictory, at the same time.

But there's different senses and different aspects. So God definitely does hate those who love sin and love iniquity. But on the other hand, God can also show love to them by providing for them and not killing them right away.

Because he lets the sun shine on them and the rain shine on them. And this is a kind of love that is spoken of by Jesus himself in Matthew 5. Plus, we know that 1 John 4.8, God is love. Okay, so God is love.

We get it. This means it's his nature to be loving. And that's why, you know, God so loved the world, he gave, he's only begotten the son.

So here's another thing. If he hates those who, you know, because it says in Psalm 5.5, the boastful shall not stand before your eyes. You hate all who do iniquity. And then Psalm 11.5, the Lord tests the righteous and the wicked and the one who loves violence, his soul hates. Yet, Jesus says in John 15.13, he says that greater love has no man than this, but he lay his life down for his friend. Okay, wait a minute.

Now we have two things to talk about here. He's laying his life down for his friend. What about his enemies? Now that's a question because there were enemies. Now some would say, yes, he laid his life down for the enemies. Well, we can make a case yes and no to that.

That's just an interesting side note discussion. But for the most part, we can say, well, yeah, there are people who hated him that became Christians, like Paul the Apostle, for example. So can we say that Jesus exemplified the greatest act of love by sacrificing himself for others? Even those who hate them? Yes. Even those who loved iniquity?

Yes. So God can love someone and hate them at the same time because of the difference between them. Not that one excludes the other, but that both can exist in different senses at the same time in the same being. God can hate the sinner for doing what he's doing and really hate him.

And yet also show him love and therefore be loving by sacrificing himself for him. So both are possible. That help? Yeah, yeah, yeah. I thought that they were exclusive of each other. You couldn't have one of the others, you couldn't have both at the same time. You can't, okay, a contradiction occurs when one statement means another statement's impossible and they are in the same reference at the same time in the same way.

And that's the critical issue. So if it's meant that he can only hate people who do iniquity, and that's all it means, then we would have a contradiction. If it meant to hate them means only hate and there's no other option.

Then that would be a contradiction. But when it says he hates them, it doesn't negate the idea that he can also show love to them especially when Jesus teaches that that's the case when he says, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, your enemies. The enemies of the people of God are often enemies of God so that your son's of your father who is in heaven for he causes a son to rise on the evil and the good.

He stands on the reign of the righteous and the unrighteous. So he is blessing and showing love, that's the context what Jesus is saying, to the evil and the good and the righteous and the unrighteous. So in a different sense, he's loving them.

And to love someone doesn't mean you can't also hate certain aspects about them or hate certain qualities about them. So this is why they get more differentiation in it. But it's a good question though. I hope that's a good enough answer for you. It is, yeah, it says to clarify some things. You have time for one more question? Sure, man, there's nobody waiting right now, sir.

It's all you. Okay, this is one other thing that puzzled me. I was reading in the Gospel of Mark in the sixth chapter where Jesus walks on water.

Yes. And the disciples were in the boat and it says in verse 48 that Jesus saw that they were in trouble, struggling with the wind and the waves. And so he comes walking on the water towards them. And the thing that poses me is where he gets to verse 48 where he says that about three o'clock in the morning, he came towards them walking on the water and it says he intended to go past them. And I don't understand why is that.

Why does Jesus intend to go right past the disciples when he knew that they were in trouble? That's a good question. I'm not exactly sure.

Let me take a look here. Let's see. Intended to past them. I'm going to look at the word intended.

Aselin. And to will, wish, desire imply active volition and purpose. All right, from phileo, from to will or desire. So that's good. So, you know, I remember reading that going, why would that be the case? I don't have a great answer. So what I'm going to do is just talk out loud, see if we can kind of work through it.

Is that good? It could be. Now, when it says intended, it seems to mean that the writer, Mark, knew the intention of Christ in his own heart. Now, that will be problematic because the only way for him to know that would be as if Christ revealed it to him verbally or gave it the word to someone who then told it to Mark. So that's a possibility, but it doesn't seem to be the case because we would have to know that Jesus was saying, this was my intention.

So I don't think that's the case. I think what's going on is that Jesus was purposely trying to walk past them. Why would he do that? Now, that I don't know because he knew that they were in trouble. He's walking out to where they are as though he's going to pass them. And then they saw him walking on the sea. They supposed it was a ghost. They cried out. And they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke with him saying, take courage in his eye. Don't be afraid. So he knew. So he's walking by them as if he's going to pass them. They get afraid. And he says, don't be afraid. Okay, you know, if I was sitting at a campfire with Jesus afterwards, I'd say, can I ask you a question? I'm trying to figure this one out. I haven't quite got it. And he would probably say something, you know, like, well, that's because, you know, or maybe he might say, it's not for you to know.

Well, that'd be fine. That's certainly possible because there's often something going on that he wants to do for another reason. And so they were afraid. And he told them not to be afraid. They should have known it was him. If he'd come straight to them, maybe they'd recognize him. But if it was someone else, who would it be? Maybe he was testing them.

That's what I kind of think. There's music. We got to go, buddy. Okay.

All right. Hey, we'll talk to you a little bit. Call back if you want to get in line. Hey, folks, we'll be right back after these messages. Please stay tuned. It's Matt Slick live, taking your calls at 877-207-2276.

Here's Matt Slick. All right. Welcome back to the show, everyone.

Last segment of the hour of the first show of the year. And I want to say thank you again to all those out there on the East Coast, Ohio, and Utah who supported us at the end-of-year matching funds drive. Seriously, thank you. I really do appreciate it.

It helped, and it just pushed us over the hump where we need to be in order to pay some missionaries and stuff like that. And I want to say thank you a great deal. And also, just to keep a little bit of notice here, give you guys a heads up, Luke Wayne, who's been with us for seven years, written a lot of articles. He's a great guy. He's moving on to another ministry, and praise God for that. Not that we're getting rid of him, but for him and his family.

And they're able to offer him more than what we can. And so I just want to say thanks to Luke, if he's listening. And we'll still be in contact, and you may still be hearing from him from time to time filling in. He hasn't left yet, of course, filling in. And even after he's gone, hey, fill in, you know, because he's a great guy. And just pray for the success of his move and transition and all that goes along with that. So praise God, and I'm just so pleased that God sent Luke to us, to this ministry, and that he was privileged by God to be able to serve the Lord through this ministry as well.

Now, for another one, they'll be blessed as well. All right, Four Open Lives, if you want to give me a call, 877-207-2276. Noel from Virginia, welcome. You're on the air. Hey, Matt, how are you doing? I'm doing all right. How are you doing?

I'm okay. Okay. I wanted to talk about a certain verse that yesterday it didn't rub me too well. And I just wanted your context and maybe elaboration on this verse. It's in the book of Matthew, chapter 3, verse 8. Okay. When John the Baptist was speaking and he said, bear fruit in keeping with repentance. Mm-hmm.

What about it? And I just, I don't know if I necessarily have a specific question. I just wanted you to elaborate in the context on it because for me personally, it kind of scared me because I'm notorious for evaluating myself and over-analyzing and always tending to fall back into despair. And this verse kind of rubbed me in that way.

And it's not the Word of God. So then why do you not have your eyes completely on Christ? Why do you not have your eyes completely on him?

Why do you keep looking to things like what others' failures are and then projecting one yourself? If you look to Christ and Christ alone, then you're secure in his arms. You need to picture him as the Great One who is embracing you in his arms, that he's holding you and that in his arms you're secure.

As long as you're looking into his eyes, you'll be fine. But as you look to verses, you know, the fruit in keeping with repentance, he's talking to the Pharisees here, the religious hypocrites who want to condemn him, John the Baptist. It doesn't apply to you. It applies to the religious hypocrites of that day.

They need to turn from their hypocrisy and their evil, and that's certainly not you. And even while you're looking away from Christ and you're looking to other things and even scriptures and other conditions, he's still holding you. He's not letting you go. He wants you to gaze upon him and not let even these things from John the Baptist who is talking to the Pharisees and the Sadducees.

It doesn't apply to you. You need to turn your head back to the one who's embracing you. You need to look into his eyes, you know, figuratively of course, and you need to express and understand and experience the love that he has for you.

That it is permanent, it's infinite, and you cannot stop it. You can't. You need to look to him.

Keep your eyes on him. Does that make sense? Yeah, you're hitting a chord rather than the Lord hitting a chord. Yeah, because I know you, and I know that you continually take your eyes off of Christ and you look to other things. You even look into yourself to see how good you are, and you've got to stop. I mean this lovingly, you know.

It's for a lot of people who look to themselves or on conditions. It's a way to examine yourself and see your failures, but you see your failures because Christ is alive in you. Just turn your eyes back up to him looking into you as he's embracing you and holding you and coddling you. Picture him holding the way a baby would be held, but it's you. I'm not saying you're a baby, I'm saying in the sense that Christ is embracing us and making us secure in his arms as he looks lovingly into us, and we look back and trust in him completely.

So no wind, no earthquake, no accusation, no truth of your failures will ever be able to remove that. And as soon as you take your eyes off of him, and that's why you have problems, you've got to learn that because I'm just telling you, you're taking your eyes off of Christ, you're putting it elsewhere. So you struggle because you don't have him on Christ. And yet he still holds you and embraces you even while you do that because of who he is, not because of who you are. And that's another thing you've got to realize.

It's not because of you that he loves you, not your consistency, not your repentance, not your goodness, but in spite of all of it, along with your failures, he loves you because of who he is, and that's what you need to do. Push everything else aside, look at your Lord, and relax in him, in his arms, and trust him. That's what you have to do no matter what, okay?

Yeah, thank you. I'm sorry. I think this has been a little rough lately, so I appreciate that. I know you're under a great deal of stress. I know you have a child that may or may not survive birth, and I can relate to that because that's exactly what my wife went through. And so we had to do it together, I understand. But I can tell you this, that through that even, we never took our eyes off of Christ, not into our circumstances, not into anything. And miraculously, even through the loss of our son, he was so present and so there that we felt him to such a degree that my wife and I even have fondness for those days between his birth, death, and the funeral. And the only way anybody could understand that is if they've experienced the comforting embrace of our Lord and Savior Jesus as we rested in his arms through all of it. And there was that peace inside of, even surrounding, the great pain we were going through, but he was there.

And so it's a weird combination, but it's true. Because if your eyes are on him, that peace will stay there. If your eyes are off of him, then he'll let you have that. He'll let you have that. He'll let you look. While he's got you in his arms and you glance off to the left, you're looking off to something else, he'll let you. He doesn't push your head back to him. He'll let you look while he's still holding you until you've had enough of what's over there. You look back to him, he's still there.

This is how he is. I need you to accept that. And even as the child you're carrying and the issues that you're going through with that, that he's there.

Never doubt it. Because he doesn't love you, Noel, because of you. He loves you because of him. Not because of what he could see in you, but because of what he was, what was in him. And he chose to love you in spite of you. I mean that with a smile.

Same thing with me. In spite of what I am, he loved me anyway. Now why would he do that? Good question. But that's how he is. My question is, why in the world?

Thank you, I appreciate your tenderness. Why in the world what? I want to know, why in the world what?

I didn't hear. Just, why in the world would Christ choose to love somebody like me? Especially just every day I do evil. And, you know, I really, I say I've let go, but I haven't, I guess, of my previous abortion and just walking through this new trial. It's just wearing some old wounds up and it's just hard. I relate to that more than you realize.

I've had to talk about that part of my life as well. And that God will love you even though he knows everything about you. You have to understand, remember him holding you, knowing everything about you. Even the stuff you've not done and he's chosen to love you. It's not because of you, it just is not.

We can ask the question, why would he choose someone like me? Look at me, look at all this. And it's all true. You got this wrong and that wrong. It's all true.

All of it's true and more. We don't even know the depths of our own sin. And yet he loves us because he's God, God infinite, God in flesh. So you can trust him. You can realize that those arms that are holding you cannot fail.

They cannot fail. And his love for you from eternity past is infinite because he chose you in Christ. Ephesians 1.4. And that means that the thoughts that he's had, the loving thoughts of you in his election and his calling you are infinite in number.

This is who he is. The arms that are holding you cannot fail. You cannot be dropped. And you can look. You can look elsewhere, but you're always in his arms.

He'll never, ever, ever forsake you or leave you. It's not possible. Okay. That's what you need to focus on. Let everything else fall away. Don't worry about anything else.

You let him be the Lord of your life in that area. Okay. Yes. Okay. Yes.

You're welcome. Okay. No. Well.

Yep. Okay. Thank you. All right. God bless. Well, there's a perfect timing.

There is the music. May the Lord bless you. And I hope, Lord, that, well, I hope that you have a great evening. And by his grace, that you'll listen in and tune in tomorrow. And have a great evening, everyone. So God bless. We'll talk to you tomorrow. Bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-21 00:49:48 / 2023-02-21 01:09:11 / 19

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