Share This Episode
The Christian Worldview David Wheaton Logo

Evaluating the “He Gets Us” Campaign for “Brand Jesus”

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton
The Truth Network Radio
October 8, 2022 6:00 am

Evaluating the “He Gets Us” Campaign for “Brand Jesus”

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 453 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.


October 8, 2022 6:00 am

There are many pressing issues in the world right now, such as the aftermath of Hurricane Ian which decimated areas and lives along the west coast of Florida or the sabotage of the undersea Nord Stream pipelines which transport natural gas from Russia to Germany.

No matter the current event, the most important issue is always how sinful man can be reconciled to Holy God.

We are living in an era of our nation where God-rejection is rushing forward at an alarming rate. The statistics (such as The State of Theology that we covered last week) show that the nation, and particularly the younger generation, is turning away from Christ and Christianity. Many of our civil authorities lead the way in suppressing the truth and advocating for sin.

So what should the Christian response be to this God rejection? Evangelicals have widely different answers to this question. Most want to soften the sharp edges of the faith and present the faith as “what we are for rather than what we’re against.” And they would define what we are for as “radical love, compassion, and forgiveness.” This sums up the “He Gets Us” campaign that we will discuss today.

And there is a small minority of believers, who despite what the market researchers say, know that they must faithfully proclaim all of God’s Word, trusting in His Holy Spirit (instead of human reasoning) to change people’s hearts. This sums up John MacArthur’s "An Open Letter to CA Governor Gavin Newsom", which we will also discuss today.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Clearview Today
Abidan Shah
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
Running to Win
Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Pulpit
Don Green
Clearview Today
Abidan Shah

Evaluating the He Gets Us Campaign for Brand Jesus. That is the topic we'll discuss today right here on the Christian Real View Radio Program where the mission is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.

I'm David Wheaton, the host. The Christian Real View is a non-profit, listener-supported radio ministry. Thanks to you, our listeners, for your prayer, your encouragement, and your support. You can connect with us by calling our toll-free number, 1-888-646-2233, writing to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331, or visiting our website, thechristianrealview.org. There are many pressing issues going on in the world right now, such as the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, which decimated areas and lives along the west coast of Florida, or the sabotage of the undersea Nord Stream pipelines, which transport natural gas from Russia to Germany.

Who did that, and what will be the fallout? But no matter the current event, the most important issue is always how sinful man can be made right or reconciled to holy God. We are living in an era of our nation where God-rejection rushes forward at an alarming rate.

The statistics, such as the State of Theology survey that we covered last week, show that our nation, and particularly the younger generation, is turning away from Christ and Christianity. Many of our civil authorities lead the way in suppressing the truth and advocating for sin. So what should the Christian response be to this God-rejection? Evangelicals have widely different answers to this question. Most want to soften the sharp edges of the faith and present the faith as, quote, what we are for rather than what we're against, unquote. And they would define what we are for as, quote, radical love, compassion, and forgiveness. This sums up the He Gets Us campaign that we're going to discuss today. And then there is a small minority of believers who, despite what the market researchers say, know that they must faithfully proclaim all of God's word, trusting in His Holy Spirit instead of human reasoning, to change people's hearts.

This sums up John MacArthur's open letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom, which we will also discuss today. So thank you for joining us on the Christian Real View. I just want to start out with a quote from Charles Spurgeon, the great British preacher. He said this, I do believe that we slander Christ when we think that we are to draw the people by something else but the preaching of Christ crucified.

Just keep that quote in mind as we discuss this sort of tale of two methods in reaching nonbelievers. Last week we talked a bit about this He Gets Us campaign. I'm just going to read a little more from that Christianity Today article on this titled, 100 Million Dollar Ad Campaign Aims to Make Jesus the Biggest Brand in Your City.

We have this article linked on our website, thechristianrealview.org, just a few paragraphs from the article. If you haven't seen the commercials yet, you will. This month, and they're referring back in March of 2022, what is thought to be the biggest ever Christian advertising campaign will go national. TV commercials, along with online ads and billboards, will target millennials and Gen Z, the younger generation, with a carefully crafted, exhaustively researched, and market-tested message about Jesus Christ, He Gets Us.

Those behind the He Gets Us campaign say they'll spend $100 million, donated by a small group of wealthy, anonymous families, on the national launch. The video ads, some of which are already garnering millions of views on YouTube, feature striking black and white photos in a stirring piano track. Made under the direction of Michigan-based marketing agency Haven, each ad focuses on an aspect of Jesus' earthly experience with which today's the struggle is real crowd might resonate.

Just going to play an example of a couple of the ads from the He Gets Us campaign. This first one is titled The Rebel, where Jesus is portrayed to be one of the misunderstood rebels on the streets today. A rebel took to the streets. He recruited others to join him.

They quit their jobs, left their families, and swore allegiance to him. They roamed the hood, challenged authority, and made a lot of people uneasy. Community leaders feared them. Religious leaders abhorred them. Law enforcement labeled them outlaws. We have to shut them down, they said. Get them off the streets.

Protect our communities from these troublemakers. But they weren't part of a gang spreading hate and terror. They were spreading love. Either all or most all the ads end with the tagline, He Gets Us, as in Jesus gets us, all of us. So the point is that Jesus was misunderstood. You may be misunderstood, but he gets you, and he came to spread this message of love. But that doesn't give an accurate picture of why Jesus came. In fact, Jesus said himself in John chapter 3 verse 17, For God did not send the Son Jesus into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

Jesus came to save sinners. Not this nebulous idea of just loving and being compassionate to all. Moving on with the Christianity Today article, the ads, and there's several of them, direct viewers to hegetsus.com, where they can choose four ways to engage.

Number one, chat live with someone. Number two, text for quote prayer and positivity. Three, sign up to join a small group with Alpha, Alpha being a Bible study course that is used around the world, started in England, that has the reputation of being able to be adapted to make it say what you want it to say about the Bible.

Number four, click through to a Bible reading plan on the YouVersion app, and I'm not really that familiar with that. The creators of He Gets Us say this is a strength of their particular campaign. It can't be misunderstood as promoting a single congregation because churches all over the country and across denominations are involved, so it's ecumenical. The $100 million for He Gets Us comes from the Servant Christian Foundation, a nonprofit organization backed by a Christian donor advised fund called The Signatory. Both of those organizations, the Servant Christian Foundation and The Signatory, declined to name the donors who helped envision and pay for He Gets Us. That is very odd that people who are running this gigantic campaign, maybe the donors want to remain anonymous, but how about the people who are leading it and running it? It would be nice to know who they are.

There's only one name that we could find going on with the article. Last year, the Servant Christian Foundation approached Bill McKendree, founder and chief creative officer at Haven, this marketing firm, concerned that too many young Americans are leaving Christianity—that's what we were talking about last week in the State of Theology survey—and that more people were growing hostile toward faith. Their idea, the article says, a national media blitz for Jesus at a scale that no single church could afford.

So here's the parachurch jumping in there to do something that the local church really should be doing. McKendree said approaching American Christianity's image problem with business savvy is what Jesus would have done. Quote, Jesus crafted his language and his storytelling to resonate with people. He told agricultural stories to farmers.

He told fish stories to fishermen. This culture is immersed in media, and we're using media to reach them for Christ. Unquote. Well, there certainly isn't anything wrong with using media to reach people for Christ, but that is the least of the issues with this He Gets Us campaign. Haven came up with, to put it in marketing terms, a quote, problem statement that their campaign would answer, and that's this. How did the world's greatest love story in Jesus become known as a hate group?

Unquote. Again, Jesus isn't the world's greatest love story. Yes, God demonstrates his own love toward us, and that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, but this is much more than what people would think of as a love story. This is the Son of God coming to earth to live as a man, to live a perfect life, to die on a cross for the sins of mankind, to be buried and rise again in the third day, and to ascend into heaven so that those who would obey his command, not a suggestion to repent and believe in this, believe in who he is and what he did for us, could be saved from their sins, from being sentenced to hell. That is the story of Christ, not the world's greatest love story.

That is an egregiously incomplete depiction of who Christ is and why he came. Moving on with the article, the project began with six months of market research, including online and telephone surveys, to try to learn more about what McKendree calls the, quote, moveable middle. Their research found that over half of American adults are religious skeptics or cultural Christians, people who believe in Jesus but don't have an active relationship with him, in other words, nonbelievers.

Prior to the national campaign, which were run through the end of the year, He Gets Us had a two-month test launch in 10 cities in late 2021. During that time, it led 17,000 people to engage with the site's offers to chat, join an Alpha group, or start YouVersion's Bible reading plan. So far, hundreds of churches have signed up to respond to people who fill out Connect forms at hegetsus.com. Scott Beck, CEO of GLOO, which is running that digital infrastructure, said he expects many more churches will join when the campaign launches nationally. And then there's this line from the article, there is no theological criteria or statement of faith that churches must adhere to in order to take part.

Let that sink in for a minute. So clicks and likes and calls and engagements are the metrics of success. That should never be the metric of success. Faithfulness to God and His Word is the only metric of success, no matter how many people respond. The question should be, are we being faithful to God and His Word? Are we accurately representing Christ in our outreach to the lost?

Next paragraph, quote, we hope that all churches that are aligned with the He Gets Us campaign will participate, said Jason Vanderground, president at Haven, quote, this includes multiple denominational and non-denominational church affiliations, Catholic and Protestant churches of various sizes, ethnicities, languages, and geography. Ultimately, the goal is, get this, inspiration, not recruitment or conversion, unquote. Well that should tell you everything you need to know about their view of reaching the lost. It's not about conversion, which is what the Great Commission says, to make disciples. In other words, people need to be evangelized and to believe in the gospel and then be discipled in their faith.

This is about inspiration, not recruitment or conversion. And having no theological criteria for churches that are participating only guarantees that there will be all kinds of false teaching and confusion. There's been some criticism saying that by emphasizing a God who, quote, gets us, that that doesn't give a full picture of Christ's deity.

That would be correct. The criticism carries echoes of a long-standing rift among evangelicals. And here's the question we're trying to answer today. Does becoming seeker sensitive risk watering down the gospel? And the answer to that is most definitely. So what this campaign is doing is contextualizing, which means adapting the message or methods of Christianity to become more palatable or relatable to the person or group you're trying to reach. That can only extend so far as truth from Scripture is not compromised and the gospel is fully presented. And contextualizing is always based on what Paul said in 1 Corinthians chapter 9, I have become all things to all men so that I may by all means save some. But that has a limit.

There are boundaries to that. It's easy to contextualize yourself right into error. Paul never compromised the message or withheld the whole message to reach whatever group he was trying to reach. Final paragraph, despite disagreements about tactics or even the content that he gets us team is confident that they'll start where every successful ad campaign starts, with a good product. Jesus said French, quote, is really the strong brand here, unquote. That's a tragic error that Jesus is a brand that needs to be marketed. The Bible says we need to preach Christ and Him crucified. Here's one more example of an ad from the campaign that uses this contextualization to make Jesus out to be all about compassion.

A caring man took a walk. Everywhere he looked, people suffered. Anxiety ran high. Hope dwindled. Hatred rose. His neighbors had lost trust in the system and in each other.

I need to do something, he thought. I'll bring them together and feed them. Around the dinner table, they can talk and see how much they have in common.

Shared struggles, shared joy, shared pain. So he prepared a feast and invited all into his home. But some refused to sit at his table because they chose to only see differences. He was heartbroken because he wanted everyone to eat and be filled, not with food and wine, but with compassion. So again, when Jesus eats with sinners, it's not for their salvation. It's so that people can be filled with compassion. Complete misrepresentation of who Christ is and why He came. All right, short break here. We'll be back with more on this topic. You are listening to the Christian worldview.

I'm David Wheaton. The momentum from the world is like a tsunami that's flooding our entire country. And the only way to change it is for people to be born again, is for there to be a great awakening in our country again, and for people to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. And that will never happen until there is first conviction of sin, righteousness, and judgment for people to repent and to turn from their sins and to turn to God and embrace His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. That was Dr. Stephen Lawson. His book, New Life in Christ, What Really Happens When You're Born Again and Why It Matters, is available for a donation of any amount to the Christian worldview.

Regular retail is $16.99. Go to thechristianworldview.org or call 1-888-646-2233 or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. The 2006 Oscar-winning film An Inconvenient Truth featuring former Vice President Al Gore painted a disturbing portrait of the future, super storms, melting ice caps, rising temperatures. Is this crisis unfolding more quickly than you would have anticipated? This is unfolding faster than the scientists warned us, and now they're telling us we've got to prepare for much worse unless we take action quickly. Instead of believing the false prophets of NBC News and Al Gore, order a copy of Global Warming Skepticism for Busy People by Roy Spencer for a donation of any amount to the Christian worldview.

This 113-page softcover book dispels the scaremongering with actual facts. Go to thechristianworldview.org or call 1-888-646-2233 or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. Welcome back to the Christian worldview, I'm David Wheaton. Be sure to visit our website thechristianworldview.org where you can subscribe to our free weekly email and annual print letter, order resources for adults and children, and support the ministry. Now back to our topic, evaluating the He Gets Us campaign for Brand Jesus. Just a little more about this from an online publication called AdChat. It's a marketing website that covers different campaigns going on. Cross-cultural agency LERMA led the creative for the He Gets Us campaign.

The ads have one singular focus, John Lee, principal at LERMA said. That is to invite people, particularly people who may be skeptical about Christianity, to rethink Jesus as an inspiring and human figure that we can learn a lot from regardless of what your beliefs are. Jesus felt the same emotions they have felt, all while building a radically inclusive love movement that changed the world. It's an effort to help people better understand Jesus' message of hope, peace, and compassion. Again, only featuring the loving side of Christ, which is absolutely true.

He is a God of love, but he's also a God of righteousness and justice and wrath for those who reject God's offer of reconciliation. Now going straight to the actual website for He Gets Us, and you can go visit there yourself, hegetsus.com. The headline on the website is this, the first thing you see, He Gets Us aims to, and here's what their mission is, aims to free the name of Jesus from those who judge, harm, and divide.

What does that even mean? What is this mission? It's not evangelism, obviously, not about saving souls, but they're out to free the name of Jesus from those who judge, harm, and divide.

Who is this? It's not judging, harming, and dividing. It's not non-Christians because they don't name the name of Jesus in the first place. So who they are trying to free the name of Jesus from, do you know who it is? It's from Christians who they deem to be judgmental, harming, and dividing.

And how do they see that being done in our society today? It's when Christians stand up and speak up for the exclusivity of Christ and the moral truths of Scripture. Those are the judges, the harmers, and the dividers, and that apparently is what their mission is, to free the name of Jesus from those kind of people.

So when a Christian says, no, a man cannot become a woman, God made them male and female, we should embrace what God made you, or that homosexuality is a sin, or that all lives matter, not just black lives matter, but all lives are made in the image of God and they all matter, those are the ones they're trying to free the name of Jesus from. And just to be clear, Jesus was a divider and he stated so himself. Listen to what he said in Luke chapter 12, do you suppose that I came to grant peace on the earth? I tell you no, but rather division.

From now on, five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father. It goes on in Matthew chapter 10 verse four, do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth.

I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. And he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he who does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. He who has found his life or thinks he's found it will lose it. And he who has lost his life for my sake will find it. So according to Jesus, he came to bring division between the saved and the lost.

And sometimes that occurs very painfully within family and relationships. There's so much more that could be said about this, but I thought it'd be interesting to see what those who are atheists or those who have nothing to do with Christianity think about this outreach. Are they looking forward to it, to finding more out about Jesus, to be inspired by Jesus? Well, there's a website called Religion Dispatches that said Gen Z is the least religious generation. And I'm pretty sure that this tech savvy, culturally aware and very online generation is not going to be won back to Christ by, for example, a heavy handed quasi parable about Jesus inviting everyone to his table and being heartbroken that some refuse his invitation because he wanted everyone to be filled, not with food and wine, but with compassion.

On a superficial level, the he-gets-us spots have high production value, but that's where their sophistication ends. The pros and delivery of their voiceovers are classic evangelical, managing to be somehow both vague and overwrought, in addition to being just well obnoxiously concerned. Meanwhile, the music is straight out of the manipulative megachurch worship services tug on the heartstrings playbook. As someone who grew up partly in seeker sensitive evangelicalism, I ought to know. This new PR blitz for Jesus is going to be a flop and American secularization will continue apace.

And I hate to say that I agree with someone who's a secular, probably an atheist. But this is the same compromising failed strategy that has been used in evangelicalism for the past 40 or 50 years that has led to our state of theology where it is today now in America. Why don't they just go back to what the word of God says and how Jesus and his apostles modeled reaching the lost?

I saw in some of the videos the comments underneath from the he-gets-us campaign saying, oh, this is great. Jesus is being proclaimed. We should not be happy when Jesus is just mentioned in broader society. We should only be happy when Jesus Christ and his word and the gospel are accurately represented. And when the bride of Christ, the church, is exalted and prioritized, but listen to what it says on the he-gets-us website. Is this a campaign to get me to go to church? Answer?

No. He-gets-us simply invites all people to consider the story of a man who created a radical love movement—there it is again—that continues to impact the world thousands of years later. Many churches focus on Jesus' experiences, but you don't have to go to church or even believe in Christianity to find value in them. This is just heretical on so many levels. The lack of focus on having people saved and then getting them into a sound local church, the ecumenism, the misrepresentation of Christ above all. What this really reveals is that evangelicals do not have confidence in God, and they don't have confidence in the Word of God or the Holy Spirit of God to convict people of their sin and their need to repent and be reconciled to God.

All of that is not emphasized here. They are ashamed and embarrassed by the Word of God. Otherwise they would plaster it everywhere knowing that it's the Word of God that convicts someone of their sin and need to repent and turn to Christ. Now I want to finish the commentary here about the he-gets-us campaign with the same quote from Charles Spurgeon that I read at the beginning. Here's what he said, one of the greatest preachers of all time, I do believe that we slander Christ when we think that we are to draw the people by something else but the preaching of Christ crucified.

Where did Charles Spurgeon get that? Right from the Bible in 1 Corinthians chapter 1 where it says in verse 20, Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe?

Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? So how do you reach those people? Verse 21, For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For indeed, Jews ask for signs and Gentiles search for wisdom. But we, Paul writes, we preach Christ crucified. To Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who have been called by God, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. In other words, just preach Christ and him crucified and those whom God has chosen for salvation he will bring to saving faith.

Have confidence in God and his word and the Holy Spirit to do his work through the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ. So we can talk about the amount of money being spent on this marketing campaign, the focus groups, the ads, the music, whatever you want to say. But the biggest miss here is that there is no preaching of sin, righteousness and judgment and especially of Christ and him crucified for the sins of mankind. And that's why this campaign is not only not faithful to God and his word, but is actually dishonoring to God. Okay, we've spent about half the program analyzing the He Gets Us campaign.

Now let's contrast this to another outreach to non-believers taking place. Just this past week, John MacArthur wrote an open letter to Governor Gavin Newsom of California and just for a little bit of context on why he wrote the letter, I'll quote from Al Mohler in World Magazine. He writes, Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed more than a dozen pro-abortion measures in recent days. He is a lead driver of the LGBTQ revolution, the homosexual revolution, and he is eager to lead the parade for as just about any progressivist cause imaginable. In just the last few days, Newsom has declared his intention to make his state, California, a haven for women seeking abortions and teenagers seeking transgender treatments offered in the Orwellian package designated, quote, gender affirming care. Now who could be against that right? Gender affirming care. What gender affirming care is, is offering sometimes irreversible medical treatments, surgeries and hormone treatments that attempt to do the impossible, to change the sex or gender from a male to female or vice versa, causing irreparable harm on people and especially children. The specific act by Governor Newsom that propelled Pastor John MacArthur of Grace Community Church into action was a billboard advertisement placed by Newsom's campaign operation in support of abortion.

I think it's very likely that Gavin Newsom will be the Democratic front runner for the presidency of the United States once Joe Biden is out of the way. Still, Mueller goes on to say, John MacArthur was not primarily concerned with where the billboards were placed, but by what the campaign on the billboards dared to cite as support for its abortion mania. The text of the billboard stated, need an abortion?

California is ready to help. After offering a web page, the billboard cited the Gospel of Mark, chapter 12, verse 31, Jesus words, love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these, unquote. And so this is what John MacArthur had to say before one of his recent messages at his church, Grace Community Church.

I have something that I want to talk to you about that is on my heart and it's very, very important to me and I need your help with this. So we're watching a culture that is under divine judgment, and you can think about that in terms of a culture or you can realize that the people who defy God in the culture are under divine judgment. It's very personal. So I'll just jump in here for a second to say that John MacArthur, of course, is noticing the direction that society is going, and it's not just society, it's the people within society. It's very personal, just as the He Gets Us campaign says that the culture is increasingly turning away from Christianity, particularly young people. So they're, let's say, sort of identifying the same problem.

MacArthur continues. And it struck me this week in a way that it hadn't in the past. Governor Gavin Newsom, who has decided that he is going to lead the nation in providing the slaughter of the children that God creates in the womb, has postured himself as if he were Herod. And I am deeply concerned for the jeopardy of his eternal soul. I have talked to him in the past, and I know he was raised in the Roman Catholic Church.

But a line was crossed this week that really, really gripped my heart. He began putting up billboards all across America, advertising the website in California that you can connect to if you want to have an abortion. And on all those billboards, he included the words of Jesus, billboards advertising abortion.

This is what he put on those billboards. Jesus said in Mark 12 31, "'You shall love your neighbor as yourself, there is no other commandment greater than these.'" He had the terrifying audacity to use the words of Jesus to support the slaughter of the ones that He creates in the womb. The jeopardy of his soul is evident. I say this because my heart is grieved that Christ should be so dishonored. Words across the country with the words of Jesus trying to support abortion, terrifying.

My concern is about his eternal soul, because he will meet his Maker. Just to jump in again, this kind of strong language that Governor Newsom is going to meet his Maker, which is a completely biblical based statement, that he has the terrifying audacity to use Holy Scripture to justify abortion. Many evangelicals would be uneasy with this kind of message from John MacArthur. They deem it not very winsome. They might even think of John MacArthur as the one who's causing division here, not Governor Gavin Newsom for advocating for abortion using scripture as a basis. But just wait for what MacArthur says next. We'll hear that after this short break on the Christian Real View Radio program.

I'm David Wheaton. Scripture commands that children are to be brought up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Offering biblically sound resources for children is one of our top ministry priorities. At our store at thechristianrealview.org you will find carefully selected children's Bibles and books, along with video and audio resources. Check out the Bible infographics for kids books, Little Pilgrim's Progress, and the popular Adam Raccoon set. Theo is a 15-episode video series addressing key doctrines of the faith that is a must see for children and adults. Satan and the world are bent on capturing the heart and mind of your child.

Instead, get sound resources that will train them up in the way they should go. Browse an order at thechristianrealview.org or give us a call for recommendations at 1-888-646-2233. That's 1-888-646-2233 or thechristianrealview.org. For a limited time we are offering My Boy Ben for a donation of any amount to the Christian Real View. The book is the true story of a yellow lab that I had back when I was competing on the professional tennis tour.

It's about relationships with Ben, my parents, with a childhood friend I would eventually marry, but ultimately with God, who causes all things, even the hard things, to work together for good. You can order a signed and personalized copy for yourself or for your friend who enjoys a good story, loves dogs, sports, or the outdoors, and most of all, needs to hear about God's grace and the gospel. My Boy Ben is owned by the Christian Real View.

It's 264 pages, hardcover, and retails for $24.95. To order, go to thechristianrealview.org or call 1-888-646-2233 or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. Thanks for joining us today on the Christian Real View. I'm David Wheaton, the host. Just a reminder that today's program and past programs are archived at our website, thechristianrealview.org.

Transcripts and short takes are also available. Now let's get back to our topic of the day. We were hearing from Pastor John MacArthur in California as he addressed California Governor Gavin Newsom for the billboards his campaign has put up outside the state, inviting women to come to California for abortions and justifying it by using the very words of Jesus Christ. MacArthur went on to say this. And there's a passage in Psalm 50.

Listen to it. Verse 16, but to the wicked God says, what right have you to tell of my statutes and take my covenant in your mouth? What a statement. You cast my words behind you. Then God says in Psalm 50, now consider this, I will tear you in pieces and there will be none to deliver you.

The jeopardy is clear. Just notice the use of God's holy word, not shying away from chapter and verse and using God's word as the sharp two-edged sword that it is. But then after the rebuke, he offers hope to a sinner like Gavin Newsom, living in complete and abject rejection of God.

But there's a closing verse in that song. He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me. And to him who orders his way aright, I shall show the salvation of God.

That psalm ends with mercy and the offer of salvation. And as the church of Jesus Christ with compassion, we want the governor and all who follow him and all who reject the Lord to know that no matter what they have done, he offers salvation. I think with a new kind of resolve, I want to ask you to begin to pray for the salvation of the governor. And the people around him, we can't do anything else.

There's no political solutions to anything. We can cry out to the Lord to be merciful because we care. This is why the church is in the world, and that he would understand what he has done, that he would turn from sin. He would repent along with those who accommodate that, follow that, and cry out for mercy from God who will grant it through Jesus Christ. Amen?

Amen. No, I'm guessing when the He Gets Us website says that they aim to free the name of Jesus from those who judge, harm, and divide, they're referring to people like John MacArthur, who are very clear on the exclusivity of Jesus Christ as the only way of salvation, a pastor who preaches clearly on the moral truths of Scripture. Let's quote those kinds of Christians that they're trying to free the name of Jesus from, not realizing the compassion that he shows towards a non-believer like Governor Newsom, asking his church to pray for the salvation of that man and those around him.

So that's what John MacArthur does next. He prays for him. Father, we thank You for Your truth, and we boldly proclaim it like those who were filled with the Spirit in Acts 4.31. It says there that they were filled with the Spirit and boldly proclaimed the Word. We proclaim it boldly from the housetop to all, and You have told us in particular to pray for the salvation of rulers and leaders. And so we boldly proclaim the truth of Christ. This is our calling in the world, and ask that You would be gracious to those sinners in leadership who are in the line of fire for Your judgment, and turn them to repentance and faith in Christ, and provide for them the forgiveness that You give every penitent sinner who comes and calls on Your name. And Lord, help us to so live that in the midst of a world that is so profoundly troubled, our song never ends, the new song of redemption, because we are filled with Your Spirit.

We ask these things in Christ's name, amen. So this is the complete point of this program, to contrast how mainstream evangelicalism uses their flawed human reasoning based on their lack of confidence in God and His Word to save souls, to think they know better how to reach non-believing culture. And so they reinvent Jesus as if He's some social justice warrior that brought this message of love and compassion and peace. That's what He's all about, and how flawed that is, and how that explains what evangelicalism has become, miles wide, an inch deep, and dishonoring to God. John MacArthur just modeled from Scripture how to reach non-believers, explicitly using the words of Scripture, God's Word, yes, rebuking an unbeliever for sin.

And then in the next breath, reaching out and presenting God's offer of forgiveness and reconciliation through the person and work of Jesus Christ, and then praying for Him earnestly. If we all did that, if broader evangelicalism did that, we would have much different churches in this country, we'd have much different Christians in this country, and we may just as well have a different country. So in the remaining minutes of the program, I'm going to read this letter, this open letter from Pastor John MacArthur that he wrote to California Governor Gavin Newsom. And just notice the use of Scripture, the rebuke based on Scripture, in order to have the Holy Spirit convict Governor Newsom of his sinfulness.

And yet notice how John MacArthur isn't just looking for policy change, he's reaching out to Governor Newsom personally, calling him to repent and believe in Christ. Sir, Almighty God says in His word, righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people. Proverbs 14-34. Scripture also teaches that it is the chief duty of any civic leader to reward those who do well and to punish evildoers. You have not only failed in that responsibility, you routinely turn it on its head, rewarding evildoers and punishing the righteous. The word of God pronounces judgment on those who call evil good and good evil, Isaiah 5-20. And yet many of your policies reflect this unholy, upside-down view of honor and morality.

The diabolical effects of your worldview are evident in the statistics of California's epidemics of crime, homelessness, sexual perversions like homosexuality and transgenderism, and other malignant expressions of human misery that stem directly from corrupt public policy. I don't need to itemize or elaborate on the many immoral decisions you have perpetrated against God and the people of our state, which have only exacerbated these problems. Nevertheless, my goal in writing is not to contend with your politics, but rather to plead with you to hear and heed what the word of God says to men in your position. Let all kings bow down before him, all nations serve him, Psalm 72-11. He who rules over men righteously, who rules in the fear of God, is as the light of the morning when the sun arises, 2 Samuel 23, 3, and 4. It is an abomination for kings to commit wicked acts, for a throne is established on righteousness, Proverbs 16, 12. What God said to Cyrus is a truth you should take to heart, quote, I am the Lord, and there is no other. Besides me, there is no God.

I will gird you, though you have not known me, that men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun that there is no one besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other, Isaiah 45, 5, and 6. In mid-September you revealed to the entire nation how thoroughly rebellious against God you are when you sponsored billboards across America promoting the slaughter of children whom he creates in the womb, Psalm 139, Isaiah 45. You further compounded the wickedness of that murderous campaign with a reprehensible act of gross blasphemy, quoting the very words of Jesus from Mark 12-31 as if you could somehow twist his meaning and arrogate his name in favor of butchering unborn infants. You used the name and the words of Christ to promote the credo of Molech, Leviticus 20.

It would be hard to imagine a greater sacrilege. Furthermore, you chose words from the lips of Jesus without admitting that in the same moment he gave the greatest commandment, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. You cannot love God as he commands while aiding in the murder of his image bearers. Psalm 50 speaks to people who pervert the word of God for their own sinful ends. But to the wicked God says, What right have you to recount my statutes and to take my covenant in your mouth? For you hate discipline, and you cast my words behind you. When you see a thief, you are pleased with him, and you associate with adulterers.

You let your mouth loose in evil, and you harness your tongue for deceit. My concern, Governor Newsom, is that your own soul lies in grave, eternal peril. Each one of us will give an account of himself to God, Romans 14-12. One day, not very long from now, you will face that reality.

Nothing is more certain. It is appointed for man once to die, and after this comes judgment, Hebrews 9-27. You will stand in the presence of the holy God who created you, who is your judge, and he will demand that you give an account for how you have flouted his authority in your governing and how you have twisted his own holy word to rationalize it. As you look over the precipice of eternity, what will your answer be? When you look ahead of you and see that nothing awaits you but eternal misery, the just punished judgment for your sins, what will all the clever rationalizations and political talking points avail for you then?

And by then it will be too late for any remedy or redemption. It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God, Hebrews 10-31. My plea to you, sir, is that you would not let it come to that, that you would not go to that day of judgment apart from receiving forgiveness and righteousness through faith in Christ alone. In Psalm 50, after rebuking the wicked for uttering God's word in a profane way, Scripture makes this promise. Now consider this, you who forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there will be none to deliver.

He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving glorifies me, and he who orders his way, I shall show the salvation of God. Verses 22 and 23. So there is salvation for those who repent. Christ purchased full redemption for all who will turn from wickedness. Forsake their evil thoughts and actions and trust fully in him as Lord and Savior. Our church and countless Christians nationwide are praying for your full repentance. Please respond to the gospel. Forsake the path of wickedness you have pursued all your life. Turn to Christ, ask for forgiveness, and use your office to advance the cause of righteousness as is your duty instead of undermining it, as has been your pattern. Seek the Lord while he may be found. Call upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return to the Lord, and he will have compassion on him and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."

Isaiah 55, 6, and 7. Governor Newsom, now is the acceptable time. Behold, now is the day of salvation, 2 Corinthians 6, 2, for the master, John MacArthur. We can only pray that Governor Newsom and those around him would respond to this biblical message to repent and believe in the gospel. But one thing is for sure, John MacArthur is being faithful to scripture, to rebuke him based on the Word of God, to call him to repentance and faith, and call on his church to pray for his soul.

If only the He Gets Us campaign would do the same thing. The younger generation is very reachable. They have a conscience like everyone that God exists. God put that in them. And so all they need to do is explicitly use the Word of God and trust him and his Holy Spirit to do their work in the lives of the younger generation.

And who knows how many God would save, but that's up to him. The call for us is to faithfully present God's Word and accurately present who Jesus Christ is. Thank you for joining us today on the Christian Real View Radio program. In just a moment, there will be information on this nonprofit radio ministry.

Let's be encouraged. We live in a challenging world where Satan is constantly trying to soften and distort the message about Christ. Remember this, Jesus Christ and his Word are the same yesterday and today and forever.

Until next time, think biblically, live accordingly, and stand firm. The mission of the Christian Real View is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. We hope today's broadcast encouraged you toward that end. To hear a replay of today's program, order a transcript, or find out What Must I Do to Be Saved?, go to thechristianrealview.org or call toll-free 1-888-646-2233. The Christian Real View is a listener-supported nonprofit radio ministry furnished by the Overcomer Foundation. To make a donation, become a Christian Real View partner, order resources, subscribe to our free newsletter, or contact us, visit thechristianrealview.org, call 1-888-646-2233, or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. That's Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. Thanks for listening to the Christian Real View.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-01 11:22:06 / 2022-12-01 11:40:08 / 18

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime