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Best of Broadcast: Dr. Brown Tackles Your Internet Questions

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown
The Truth Network Radio
December 29, 2023 3:30 pm

Best of Broadcast: Dr. Brown Tackles Your Internet Questions

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown

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December 29, 2023 3:30 pm

The Line of Fire Radio Broadcast for 12/29/23.

Delight in Grace
Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
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Robby Dilmore
The Line of Fire
Dr. Michael Brown
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John MacArthur
The Line of Fire
Dr. Michael Brown
Insight for Living
Chuck Swindoll

The following is a prerecorded program. It's one thing to say, yeah, I'm a Christian, but on the line of fire broadcast, we are going to strengthen you and challenge you today in keeping with our commitment to infuse you every day with faith and truth and courage so you can stand strong for the Lord.

I will not be taking any calls today. We're going to plunge into the word. We are going to give a realistic assessment of where we are today and we're going to lay out a very strong biblical calling.

Now, this is not for the faint hearted. This is for those who are serious, but here's what I believe. I believe that throughout America and around the world, God's people are calling out for something serious.

I believe that while there is an ear tickling message that continues to seduce many and deceive many, and it's a fundamental defect in the American gospel that we've exported around the world, I also believe that many are hungry and thirsty and serious and they do not want to play games. You know what brought this to my attention recently? We are active with our team on social media. I'll post some things directly, but then we have a team that posts regularly. We'll take some of my quotes or clips from videos and post them or quotes that I really like from others and post them. And then I'll just look periodically and see, oh, this got a lot of response.

Oh, that's interesting. Instagram. And Instagram is maybe the one that's growing the fastest, but it's the smallest of our different platforms, maybe 44,000 followers on Instagram. And you realize there are people who have millions of followers and celebrities with tens of millions of followers.

And numbers doesn't mean anything in terms of effectiveness or impact. I'm just saying this relative to what I'm about to explain to you. So I'm on Instagram. We have a little fun.

Also, I may post a little fitness video, you know, exhorting you as I'm doing jumping jacks or something like that, or just we have a little more fun as well as post lots of good edifying, challenging content. So our media team took one of my quotes probably from Twitter and just put it up so it's just just the text and there's a little musical background, but that's it. There's nothing fancy. Just the text. You're just looking at the text. And it says this, the last time I checked the Bible, these words from Jesus were still there. How odd that we don't hear them preach that much. He said, quoting from Luke 962, no one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God. Let me read that again. The words of Yeshua.

No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God. And that, to my knowledge, is the most viral post that we had on Instagram. One hundred thirty seven thousand views for that. Now, maybe there are others that went beyond that. But, you know, we normally get five, ten, fifteen, twenty thousand views.

Maybe one is really popular gets thirty thousand views again. It doesn't mean anything in the largest scheme of things. It just means that got people's attention or people were resonating with it. Isn't it interesting that a strong word like that, where we take a teaching of Jesus, a statement of Jesus about the requirements of following him, that that gets so many people saying, yeah, we don't hear it preach. We want to hear it preach. And I'm finding that consistently. That when I'll say something strong, when I'll really lay it out, when I'll be as direct and blunt as I know how to be and say, look, this is what Jesus said. Look at where we are.

And there's a massive contrast. Instead of people running away from me, people saying, yes, we feel the same way. We believe the same way.

May I say this to every pastor and leader? I'm not talking about being harsh. I'm not talking about being judgmental. I'm not talking about being self-righteous or holier than now. Look at me. I'm following Jesus. What are you doing?

No, not at all. And by all means, as a shepherd, have compassion on those that are weak and hurting and those that are new and growing by all means. At the same time, we are called to make disciples. And a disciple is not just a student, but a follower. A disciple is someone who emulates the master. As Jesus said in Matthew 10, that it's enough for the disciple to be like the master, enough for the student to be like the teacher. If the master of the house has been called Beelzebub, Satan himself, how much more the members of his household? As the master, so it will be with the disciple.

As the teacher, so it will be with the student. That's why Jesus said in John 15, if the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. That's why Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3 that everyone who lives a godly life in Messiah Jesus will suffer persecution.

These are realities. And when you go around the world, if you go to Pakistan right now where the church is suffering, or India where the church is suffering, or Iran where the church is suffering, or Nigeria where the church is suffering, or North Korea or China where the church is suffering. If you go to these other countries or Afghanistan where the church is suffering, you don't need to wonder and speculate about what did he mean by persecution? What did he mean by the world hating us?

No, it is the ongoing reality. So, I want to open up some notes to you from a message that I preached during the Brownsville Revival at a pastors conference December 2, 1998. So, this is almost 25 years ago, but I have run into people over the years that point back to that message and it changed their lives. And I remember preaching it, not getting all emotional, not in kind of a Pentecostal shouting way, but just with this painful call to take up our cross and follow Jesus. And I ask you a question.

I ask you a simple question. Did Jesus ever lower the standard? We're saved by grace.

It's a gift. All of our works cannot pay for our salvation. All of our best efforts cannot pay for our salvation. Our good works, our best efforts cannot undo the weight and the cost of our sins. We are saved by grace and forgiveness and mercy.

Dead stop. Jesus now requires us as his followers to do certain things. This is a requirement for those who will follow him. And what does he say? If anyone wants to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.

Did that ever change? Did Jesus ever revise that? And what does it mean to take up your cross and follow him? It means you're going to the place of death.

It means you're saying goodbye to this world and goodbye to ownership of your life. And the only way you live is on the other side of this cross, a new life in obedience to God. This is not radical. I've said for decades that what the world calls fanaticism and much of the church calls extremism, God calls normal. To remind you again of what Watchman Nees said, by the time the average Christian gets his temperature up to normal, everybody thinks he's got a fever. Or as Leonard Ravenhill used to say, the church has been subnormal for so long that when it finally becomes normal, everyone thinks it is abnormal. Here's what I wrote.

December 2nd, 1998. The need is great. The hour is late and the laborers are still few. Something has to change if we are really to see a worldwide visitation of the Spirit in our lifetimes. How many of you are like me, that something's not succeeding, but you keep doing it every day the same way, thinking tomorrow it will change? Now it's one thing, chopping down a tree, you're making progress, progress, progress, progress, at a certain point the tree will fall over.

Alright, so you're working on a project, little by little by little by little by little by little by little by little, you'll get to your goal. It's another thing where you're doing the same thing to say lose weight and you're doing it for ten straight years and your weight stays the same or goes higher. Well obviously, your plan's not working.

And trust me, I've been there, I've had that plan and it didn't work. It's still Albert Einstein quote that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Well often the church is like that. Well tomorrow will be different. Well no, tomorrow won't be different unless today is different.

Tomorrow won't be different unless today is different. I started my message and I referenced Matthew 5 verses 10-12, Matthew 10 verses 16-37, Matthew 16 verses 24-25, John 12, 24-25, John 15, 18-21, John 16, 1-2, John 21, 18-19. Acts 5-41, Romans 8-17, 2 Timothy 2-3 and 3-12, Philippians 1-20-21 and 29 and 3-10, Revelation 2-10. All of these speak about our calling to suffering as followers of Jesus, our calling to potential death as followers of Jesus.

An old friend sent me a note on Facebook Messenger and it's a picture of me from a long time ago, 25 years back, probably longer. And there I am on a platform with other students, believers behind me and what I'm saying is that the basic commitment of a New Testament disciple is this, I will follow you by life or by death. Again, that sounds radical and extreme but that's normal discipleship. I have colleagues when they baptize former Muslims, they will not baptize them without asking them, are you willing to suffer for Jesus, are you willing to die for Jesus? Water baptism, it's the same with a dear colleague of mine in India, when he baptizes people he asks them after their profession of faith, are you willing to follow Jesus to your last breath, to your last drop of blood?

Again, this is normal discipleship. Here, all of you who served in the military and to whom we are indebted, when you served in the military, when you enlisted, you're going to go out, it's during a time of war and you enlist in the military, what's the first thing you know? You might die.

That's the reality. In other words, it's not a desk job that's going to be safe and out of danger, it's not just going through war gains because it's not a time of war. If it's a time of war and you enlist, you volunteer for the armed forces, in any branch of the armed forces, what do you know?

You might die. Have you ever seen people, they're mixed martial arts, they're going to get into a cage and battle and they hug each of their team members and then they go out there. They know they could get seriously injured. They know that they could get hurt in a way that would mess them up for life or at least put them in a very painful situation for weeks or months to come.

They understand the danger involved. Well, we often want to make people feel so at home in our church. We got the best coffee in the lobby there. Oh yeah, and talk about state of the art stuff for the kids, it's amazing. The parking, the ushers, the way they get people in and out is extraordinary.

The service runs so tight, you can time it to be in and out at a certain point with your busy schedule and the pastor's message is so enjoyable. Hey, that's fine, as long as you're telling people the truth, as long as you're producing disciples, not consumers, that's fine to do everything in the best possible way. Yeah, better to do things well than not. Well, if you're going to serve coffee, might as well taste good, not good.

If you're going to have parking, better to have adequate parking than not, fine. But are we producing disciples or consumers? Are we just making people feel good or are we calling them to leave everything, take up their cross and follow Jesus? And now live that out wherever they are in society here, wherever God's calling them, are we producing consumers or disciples? What about you?

What about me? Are we consumers or are we disciples? We're going to open this up. I believe so many of you saying, Dr. Brown, thank you for speaking about this. It's what's in my heart too. I truly and honestly believe that.

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Get on the line of fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Just a reminder, make an investment in your body. Be a good steward over your body so you can run your race and honor the Lord. Remember, you have been bought with a price.

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Use the code BROWN25. All right, I'm going to read the words of Jesus from the Gospel of Luke and go back to some of my notes from this message 25 years ago called to die. As they were going along the road, someone said to Jesus, I will follow you wherever you go. Jesus said to him, foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.

In other words, it's not so easy to follow me. Look, he was unique. He was the Son of God. He was God incarnate. Miracles happened through him. People's lives were transformed.

No one ever spoke and taught as he did. Sure, I want to follow you. Oh, yeah, really?

Really? Do you want the fishes and the loaves? Do you want the stuff that feeds your stomach? Do you want the excitement? The miracles?

Or do you really want me? There's a difference. There's a difference.

And let me say this. If Jesus was more exalted in our meetings and if Jesus was more exalted through us and if people could see Jesus more through us, they would be more ready to leave everything and follow him. To another, he said, follow me. But he said, Lord, let me first go and bury my father. Well, that sounds like a perfectly reasonable request and Judaism emphasized the importance of honoring father and mother and Yeshua himself emphasized the importance of that in Matthew 15 and Mark 7. Even rebuking the religious leaders who developed traditions that would give a loophole for honoring father and mother.

It seems totally reasonable. Jesus said to them, leave the dead to bury their own dead, but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God. Now, there are various answers that commentators give here to maybe soften the blow and to say, look, he was just waiting. His father wasn't about to die. He's like an old man. Let me wait until he dies.

Then I'll follow you. Or some have even argued it was a second burial where after the first burial, the bones would be relocated sometime later. And that's what he was referring to. Either way, we know that Yeshua saw through what the man was saying and saw it as an excuse.

But what he said to him was quite radical. The kingdom of God comes before everything. Now, again, the New Testament is clear. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 5 that if you don't care for your own, then you're worse than an infidel. So we are called to care for our own. We are called to honor our father and mother. We are called to care for those in our own family and meet those needs.

So dads, don't tell me, well, the Lord just called me to pray all day so there's no money to pay the rent and we're going to be out on the street. Well, the Lord also said in his word, if you don't work, you don't eat. So it's not talking about negligence, but it's a radical call that the kingdom comes first. The kingdom comes first.

I wonder if we just kind of analyze the time that we waste on secondary things or trivial things, whatever it is, surfing the web or watching sports or pursuing some hobby. All the time we spend doing that and then at the end of the week, while I really have enough time to spend quality time with God and prayer, really dig into the word or really serve others, I wonder how that works out in terms of, quote, being a disciple. And then words we started to broadcast with, another said, I'll follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home. And Jesus said to him, no one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God. Jesus saw through that and saw double mindedness. All right. Let me read some quotes for you.

A.W. Tozer said this, that this world is a playground instead of a battleground has now been accepted by the vast majority of fundamentalist Christians. Ask yourself about so much preaching and teaching throughout America today or maybe even in the country where you are. Is it preparing you for a battle or is it playground Christianity? Have fun, enjoy Jesus, enjoy life and heaven, too, whereas there's a recognition we're in a battle, not with people, but with demonic forces. This world, as much as we can be blessed in it and enjoy it and have vacations and family time and all of that, ultimately we are in a battle. Is that our mentality? Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2, endure hardship as a good soldier of Messiah Jesus. Endure hardship as a good soldier of Messiah Jesus.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-02 19:27:34 / 2024-01-02 19:36:02 / 8

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