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873. The Call to Discernment

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
December 2, 2020 7:00 pm

873. The Call to Discernment

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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December 2, 2020 7:00 pm

BJU President Steve Pettit continues a discipleship series entitled, “Truth and Love” from 1 John 4:1

The post 873. The Call to Discernment appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

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Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville South Carolina today were continuing the study series and first John, but after the message will hear part of an interview with Rand humble about Christian camping which was taken from Dr. Pettit's podcast. But first, here's a message from first John chapter 4, entitled the call to discernment when you take your Bible stick this morning and turn to first John chapter 4 I want to begin this morning as we look in first John chapter 4 in verse one this morning with an illustration of something that I experienced a number of years ago I started going to the country of India to preach right about 1990's been my privilege of speaking over there at least six times. When I went there was a particular gentleman who did most of the translation work for me that I got to know when we became very good friends. He was a little short Indian man, probably. I'm in a guest 20 years older than I am, and his name was TT Varghese's so I just called them brother TT and after the first time I preached and he interpreted for me. He said something to me afterwards very interesting. He said Steve I don't interpret for everybody that comes to India he said I only interpret for those in this is the way he said it who preached the crucified CD of your as it was what you mean what you mean crucified Savior.

I mean, I know I know what that means but splaying your idea, he said well he said a number of years ago I was preaching in a tent crusade and he said when the service was over with. I sat down and I begged God to forgive me for what I had said he was an invited interpreter, he said.

I begged God to forgive me for what I said and I got on a bus that night and I left and I never came back to the crusade, and I looked at him as a brother TT. What in the world did you say and he said I preached another Jesus. So we mean another Jesus. He said I preached to Jesus that would help you.

I preached a Jesus that would heal you. I preached a Jesus who would care for you.

I preached a Jesus who would make you wealthy, but he said in the course of the sermon. I never preached a Jesus who was crucified for you on the cross to pay for your sins.

He said I was preaching another Jesus with that whole trip.

I spent a lot of time with him. Fact is, the next night I preached on the woman to touch the hem of Jesus's garment and when the sermon was over with.

He looked at me. He said good sermon. He said next time a little bit more of the cross and if you ever experience is you go overseas. I was there for probably a month so you kinda get immersed in the culture and then you come back and I think I landed in San Francisco and I flew to Las Vegas so is like total culture shock and I got home and I started listening to preaching with a different viewpoint and suddenly I realized that the preaching of another. Jesus is going own all over the United States of America this morning. I want to speak to you on the theme as we have time. The call to discernment that is discerning the right message. John is writing this letter to warn against false teachers and to confirm the salvation of true believers. First John chapter 4 is the high point of the letter and it focuses on two main tasks of genuine FET faith test number one is the truth test verses one through six and were going to look at that today in the next time we meet. The second task which will take the rest of the semester is the love test in verses seven through 21 so as we consider the truth test this morning. How does Scott. How does John begin this chapter will if you look at what he says in verse 20 starts with two urgent commands.

The first thing is don't believe everything you hear. Second command evaluate our check out everything that you hear. Let's look at first John four verse one. Notice what he says. Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets are gone out into the world. The point he is making is that every Christian has to avoid being gullible and nave. With regards to teachers and preachers he said try the spirits examine them task them just like metals were tested in the New Testament to see if they were genuine test to see if this preacher is preaching a genuine message from God.

John Stott said. Behind every prophet is a spirit and be and behind each spirit. There is either God or the devil before we can trust any spirits we must test them so John is issuing a call for all of us to develop the ability to discern the nature of of truth and true spiritual teachers. What is discernment is the ability to see through appearances in order to get to the truth to get to reality to what really is from God. So this morning I want us to see. Very simply, as John explains that there are three reasons why it is so important that she don't believe everything you hear and the first reason is because of the presence of false teachers. What did John say many false prophets have gone out into the world so the magic question should we be surprised by this.

What did Jesus say Jesus explicitly foretold the coming of false prophets beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Matthew 24 verse 11 and many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. Jesus was not giving that warning just for his own day, but for the whole history of the church. Paul warned against warned the Ephesian elders over 30 years before first John was written about the coming of false teachers listen to what he says, for I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them later own Paul wrote of first Timothy 41 now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils and even Peter warned about it he says in second Peter 21, but there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you who secretly shall bring in damnable heresies, so should there be any surprise when John tells us that many false prophets have gone out into the world as John was writing this letter already within the church of Ephesus there were heretical factions that had risen up among the body of believers, and here's what it happened. The false teachers had left the church and they when it went out into the world.

They were both de facto or worse, but they were also detractors. That is, they had left the church, but they were still creating problems. Now if this was the situation in the first century. What about the probability of the presence of false teachers in the 21st century. Matthew question. Are we so nave to think the things that things have changed and everything is better are we that Donna, do you think false prophets actually exist today after I came back from India I was in Denver Colorado where my wife lives. I was sitting in the living room with my mother-in-law and she was watching a guy on television preaching. He pastored the largest church in the United States of America and two minutes into his sermon.

I couldn't take it any longer and I said to my mother-in-law Arlene, do you know this man is a false teacher and actually she looked at me a little shocked. I said listen to what he says. How do you discern a false teacher will obviously of a guy gets up and he denies the deity of Jesus Christ. That's a false teacher.

I think we get that.

But this is a call for discernment because the false message was coming from professing Christians. How do you discern the false message and the answer is not just by what somebody did not rise, but it is by what somebody deemphasizes, let me say it this way. Paul said I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. In other words, of false teacher cuts out parts of the message or he manipulates the message in such a way as he takes out the parts of it that are more offensive to make it more palatable and more acceptable to the hearer God is called a preacher to preach what God says to declare the whole counsel of God, not not not the message to make it easier so I said my mother-in-law said, listen to a message at listen on the times he mentions the word sin. He didn't listen to how many times he talks about Jesus. Listen to how many times he talks about the crucifixion of Jesus on the cross to save us from sin and to save us from hell you didn't hear it because his message was tailored to the desires of his hearers and not to the truth of God's word young people. I want to urge you. Be discerning because there are false teacher.

There's a second reason why we need to be discerning and that is not only because of the presence of false teachers, but because of the impact of false teacher in John's day the false teachers were having a dramatic impact on the church and the world TT Varghese from India, said Steve, the greatest problem in India today is the commercialization of the gospel is using the gospel for selfish purposes. In John's day.

These people gone out. They left their church their own ministers were traveling around and they were spreading their false teaching and their impact was damaging because the world was blindly flocking to hear them because their message was tailored to fit what the world wanted to hear.

And sadly, even gullible believers were being drawn away by the false prophets mixed message and so what was happening there ministries were thriving, their ministries were experiencing this sudden growth and it was validated in the minds of shallow people because of the apparent success. Those that were shallow were excited about the growth because the church was growing like a weed.

And the more discerning were concerned because all they saw all were leads. I want to say that all growth does not mean that the church is shallow, but not all growth means that the church is solid and unfortunately the impact was affecting God's people. They were confused and they were discouraged and yet got. John says to us, he says try the spirits.

Now the idea of the word. Try is actually very positive. The word means to task for the purpose of approving something.

The goal here is John is saying is to task and discover and discern which spirit is from God or if I can say this way he's not calling us necessarily to be heresy hunters where we look for a heretic under every rock that's not what he saying he saying we need to have the ability to listen to what is true and what rings true.

And I think John is saying that the positive impact of the presence of false teachers is that it should strengthen the people of God and give them a greater spirit of discernment and my hope is that you will not only be aware of the reality of false teachers but their very presence should strengthen your discernment. It should fire up your soul for the truth. I give an illustration next week's Bible conference is based on this very reason, when I came here to and 1/2 years ago. That summer we had two of our professors, Dr. vote and Dr. Boyd who went to a conference in Grand Rapids Michigan entitled bio log office. There were 250 people there and the vast percentage believed in court. They believed in theistic evolution that is they were professing Christian Biologics bios log office stated purpose and you can read it online. I read it to you. It says bio log us invites the church in the world to see the harmony between science and bond and biblical faith as we present an evolutionary understanding of God's the only two professors at bio log office conference that believed in six-day creation were from where Bob Jones University that fired me when they wrote back. I went to State College I staff people mock me because I believe in six-day creation. I got locked in 1975 or 1977 when I heard that they gave me the report I got. I came back I said this is fired me. You know what we ought to have a conference on biblical creation and state to the world that were just stupid people who believe in creation. Okay, admitted had it you just open you believe the Bible for what it says that God created the world in six-day by response. That is always managed to give a long time because he could've done it in one day. There are among you. Many false teachers because let me tell you something if you don't believe that God created the world and if you are honest with the Bible you are going to have significant doctrinal breakdowns from that because inevitably, you will not believe in Adam and if you don't believe in Adam, you don't believe in the existence of a man is Santa brought death into the world and if the first Adam didn't come then what's the point of the second Adam coming and dying on the cross and I want to say to all of you that the presence of false teachers should not weaken your faith, but it almost strengthen your faith and a lot of fire up your soul that leads me to the last thing and why is it that we should have discernment and that is because the future of Christ Church, the ability of God's people to discern the spirit of truth from the spirit of error is vital for the future of the church Jesus promised the gates of hell will not prevail against the church, but that promise never meant that the church should go on vacation and fall asleep or become lazy and indolent. Jude said earnestly contend for the faith. Paul said fight the good fight of faith.

John said that the false teachers will be energized by a power called the spirit of antichrist who is the antichrist will be the literal historical figure who hasn't come yet is coming in the last days. First John 218, little children, it is the last time, and as you have heard that antichrist shall come, just like Jesus was God incarnate.

The Antichrist will be Satan incarnate, but before he comes the spirit of the antichrist will be active in infant influential in the world through false prophets. Think of this way before Jesus came. The Old Testament prophets embodied the message in the spirit of the coming Messiah. So Isaiah and Jeremiah lately embodied Jesus is coming. Likewise, the false prophets embodied in their message in their spirit, the spirit of antichrist. And I want to say to all of you this is a warning of huge proportions.

It tells of the active presence of an evil and antagonistic spirit that is against God's truth that energizes false prophets that attacks God's people and seeks to destroy God's church. False teaching is real and its consequences are devastating.

So from the time of John until the day God's people are called to discern and stand against this evil spirit and that's why next time we meet, to speak on how to spot a false teacher and may God give us discernment you been listening to a sermon from Dr. Pettit study series truth in love, which is a study of first John, many of you may not be aware of the Dr. Pettit has a podcast called highest potential which explore stories of how Bob Jones University empowers young people to reach their highest potential for God's glory. The excerpt will hear today is an interview with Rand Hummel, who has worked at Christian camps for over 40 years. He's currently the camp director of the wilds of New England enduring New Hampshire, Dr. Pettit and Rand will be discussing Christian camps during covert, 19 I want our people to listen to really grasp the value of camping talk to us about that. Yeah well, especially in our covert world today.

If you think about the kids or become stuck in the house in front of the computer screen or iPad. They don't get to be with her friends, and are very lonely day and that's why this past summer, all the emails and the techs how much they miss camp is huge because party getting them away from the normals of life and just getting to a place camps all over the United States and is wonderful Christian camps. I think you have maybe over 50 that normally come here every fall and get students to go on work form and on their all great places because were getting them to a place we have a controlled environment extended exposure. The word of God and then obvious extended exposure to dedicated allies what we call the counselors and people say what makes up a good camp will honestly I can say it's not the property and you can have no key property and a not so funny fun time and just okay food you got you got counselors really love the kids really love God and you have a speaker that so loves God and uses his word. You have great we could camp your doctor. He taught us, you could have a good camp in the church parking lot and a member and saying that this it was like seven property was the blinds and waterfalls and all that and then this last summer when the New England they close this down and in New Hampshire and within literally within 24 hours. My steps of working to go to the kids at and we set up 12 day accounts at churches form in Pennsylvania.

The other 826 states of New England over 1200 kids show. I saw Sandy many trusted Christ in church parking lots. Now they get some orange blossom special and if my nose is running money and 5 pounds opossum and we preach twice to them. I had pizza the first second third fourth fifth. We did have hotdogs the six rally okay in the null rest repeats again so I'm put enough pizza little bit now but just to be with these kids and they were so excited just for us to be there and show that we we really care so camping is a part where we just kinda come in if you know one noted on the sheepdog tape pastors and shepherds. The other sheep and then as a sheepdog. I can buy did the heels and bark and push them back to the shepherd back to the local church and at the same time showing them how excited that we are about God's word and trying to kinda infuse and plant seeds into their heart that they would love the word of God will you and I both you know you been a Director for many years I was a camp director happened in northern Wisconsin and the. The impact of camping on the lives of Christian young people is just absolutely undeniable and hundreds and hundreds of young people who been saved in their in their lives been transformed to that concentration of God's word in one week is is unbelievable. So do you see this is do you see that this is what people still want for the future. Oh, according to what were seeing a bow through fundraising through letters. I think if we open camp today if we could, number one, the kids want to come number two the parents. They need a break from the kids to send in for a couple weeks and were were seeing that such trust next summer, 20, 21, would again for all her camps because United States be one of the greatest summers will have and we trust God to do that if he doesn't return that the doors will be opened up a new regulations are such that we can have four weeks the camp yeah the kids we do thing called daily meditations. This is a five-minute Bible study. Walking to a book of the Bible for teens. Anybody can subscribe to a good subscribe to it and I utterly know how many right now are doing that daily because they just love a touch of that memory of being with her Christian friends and being encouraged by the word of God in if even those listen, if you think how many people you know or maybe yourself that actually made a life changing decision that account, it is it it it's huge in their lives. We know historically revival has always started among young people and the course one most likely places for that.

Take places in a in a Christian camp. I've seen it happen over my ministry and I remember back in the early 90 some unusual things happen with not just a handful, but literally hundreds of teenagers getting saved in their lives being transform and those people are in ministry today you been listening to Dr. Pettit's interview with Rand Hummel camp director of the wilds of New England Christian camp.

You can learn more about Rand and also subscribe to his daily meditations by going to Rand that's our NAND HUM

This was just one of the episodes that are available on Dr. Pettit's podcast highest potential which explore stories of how Bob Jones University empowers young people to reach their highest potential for God's glory.

You can listen to the whole interview by searching for the words highest potential that Apple podcasts modify or wherever you listen to podcasts. Thanks for listening and join us again tomorrow is will continue the series, truth and love from the book of first John here on The Daily Platform

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