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What Are Your Toughest Challenges in the Faith?

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown
The Truth Network Radio
January 26, 2024 4:00 pm

What Are Your Toughest Challenges in the Faith?

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown

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The Line of Fire
Dr. Michael Brown
The Line of Fire
Dr. Michael Brown

The following program is recorded content created by the Truth Network. You've got questions. We've got answers.

The phone lines are open. Let's do it. It's time for The Line of Fire with your host, biblical scholar and cultural commentator, Dr. Michael Brown. Your voice for moral sanity and spiritual clarity.

Call 866-34-TRUTH to get on the line of fire. And now, here's your host, Dr. Michael Brown. I just finished an hour and 50 minutes on the air Zoom call with campus apologists equipping them for Jewish outreach and Jewish ministry. What a great time to be in the harvest field. I'm delighted to have this time with you, thrilled with this open door.

Here's the number to call, 866-34-TRUTH, 866-34-87-884. I'm going to the phones momentarily. We've got a few phone lines open, so it's a great time to call now.

Any question of any kind. I know the largest listening audience that we have is on podcasts. By God's grace, we're in the top.05% of podcasts worldwide, according to listening notes. So, by God's grace, the biggest audience we have is by podcast. People who listen catch the broadcast afterwards on iTunes or Spotify or whatever. And then, our great radio audience, as I'm speaking to you live all over America, as you're listening live, and then those listening on American Family Radio on Sunday afternoon, shout out to all of you. Of course, you can't call in the show because you're not listening live. And then, everyone watching on Facebook and YouTube. So, that would be our last and our smallest audience, even though we've got big social media platforms, that would be our smallest audience. But to everyone watching on YouTube or Facebook, those that will comment, those that will challenge, especially from my Hebrew Israelite friends who often post a lot of challenges, and of course, I can't reply to comments online.

Time doesn't permit it. But call in. Please call in. I'm not going to be putting out video after video rebutting.

There will probably be scores and scores of videos. I'm seeing more and more videos that are being sent to me from different Hebrew Israelites attacking my positions or rebutting my positions. Have at it. Let's have a discussion. But call.

You're welcome to call. And raise a specific thing. Challenge me on a specific issue, and let's enlighten one another.

Fair enough? 866-3-4-TRUTH. We start in, let's see, in Tempe, Arizona. Robert, welcome to the line of fire.

Hello, Dr. Brown. Thanks so much for your time. I'm actually calling from Charlotte with an Arizona phone number. Ah, okay. So here's the funny thing now.

We have this much more sophisticated phone system, and when someone calls in, it will locate them for us and then say, here's the last time that they called from this number, etc. So this is the second time this has happened now. But, alright, it's automatic, so welcome to Charlotte from Phoenix. Anyway, go ahead. Thanks so much.

Again, thanks for your time. My question is threefold, all regarding Messianic Judaism, so I'll just throw it all out there, and I'd love to gather your thoughts. Yeah. So, in your consideration, are Messianic congregations an effective approach to Jewish outreach, as well as an effective manner for both Jew and Gentile to share and believe in community together, as in Ephesians 2, 11-22? And should Messianic congregations be the primary and preferred option in which Messianic Jewish believers gather for believing community? And lastly, do you gather with a Messianic congregation? Alright, so last one first, I was an active member leader in a flagship Messianic congregation, Beth Maasai in Rockville, Maryland, from 87 to 93.

And, okay, not sure what that noise is, but yeah, so I served actively as a leader in Beth Maasai from 87 to 93, and raised up and led Maasai Biblical Institute and Graduate School of Theology. But I'm not presently a member of a Messianic congregation. I work with Messianic Jews around America and around the world, and do my best to serve at different conferences and teach and help equip, and will speak periodically in Messianic congregations, but I'm not myself a member of a Messianic congregation.

So, question two, it's a matter of calling. Should all Messianic Jews be in Messianic congregations? If that's where they're most at home, and that's where they feel called to take root and grow. Many Messianic Jews are members of churches, and they're happily members of churches, especially if the church has a heart for Israel. My own calling has been so much to the nations and to the church at large, that I'm very much at home in a church that has a heart for Israel. Most of the Jewish people recognize God's purposes for Israel, but I'm still not keen on like Easter services and Christmas services.

I just don't relate to that. So, it's going to be different for every person. Sometimes it's the environment in which you came to faith, but for your first question, Messianic congregations play a very, very important role. One, it's biblical for Jews to live as Jews once they come to faith. In other words, 1 Corinthians chapter 7 verse 17 says, if you're called circumcised, don't become uncircumcised.

If you're called uncircumcised, don't become circumcised. So, if you come to faith as a Jew, call to salvation as a Jew, don't become a Gentile, call to faith as a Gentile, don't become a Jew. And circumcision in terms of salvation is nothing, right?

Ultimately, it's a new creation that matters. But for sure, Paul, Peter, would have been very much at home in a Jewish expression of faith because they continue to live as Jews. And Jacob James, writing to Jewish believers scattered around the world in the second chapter, the second verse of his letter, says, when someone comes into your synagogue, synagogues in Greek, your meeting place. So, yeah, it's an absolutely right place and a great place for Gentile Christians who say, well, why not celebrate the seventh-day Sabbath? God didn't change it to the eighth day, to Sunday in the Bible. And why not celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus within Passover, like it was originally instead of a separate holiday called Easter?

Wonderful, great. As long as Gentiles don't think they now have to become Jews or a second class because they're not Jews, we're one of the Messiah. As far as effective for outreach, it should be, Messianic congregation should be effective for outreach, but sadly, the vast majority are not, because often there is more of a heart to disciple the Jewish believer and not as much of a burden to reach out to the Jewish community. But one Messianic community in your city, one Messianic congregation of 50 people will draw more attention to the subject of Jews believing in Jesus than 100 churches that each have 100 Jewish believers in their thousands and thousands among them. So, they should be very effective for outreach, but often, unfortunately, they are not. And the vast majority of Jews who come to faith in America come to faith through the witness of a Gentile Christian and probably in a church.

The vast majority of Jews who believe in Jesus in America are in churches, not Messianic congregations, but Messianic congregations are great places for Jewish believers to go, great places to raise families with a continued Jewish identity in Yeshua, and theoretically should be great places for outreach. You just have to pray for more grace to evangelize. So, thank you for your question. I appreciate it. Thanks so much. Thanks so much.

All right, you are very welcome. Friends, when you support our ministry, you are helping us reach Jewish people around the world. We are on the forefront. Our materials, by God's grace, that we produce are used by Jewish believers for outreach by the largest organizations and the smallest. They're used around the world for reaching Jewish people, for helping Jewish people answer objections to their faith.

They're used in English, they're used in Hebrew, they're used in Russian, they're used in Spanish, they're used in Portuguese around the world. As you support us, you are helping us reach Jewish people with the good news. Even now, on a daily basis, I'm involved with what would be the most important Jewish outreach project of all time in my life, and you help hold our hands up in doing that. You can join our support team at Help us bring redemption to Israel. Click on donate monthly support, and let's be on the front lines together in reaching the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

We go over to Scotty in San Antonio, Texas, or at least with a San Antonio phone number. Welcome to the broadcast. Hi, Dr. Brown. How are you today? I'm doing really well. Good.

Listen, I wanted to ask you a couple of things. First of all, I understand you're not going to be doing an Israel trip next year, is that correct? Yeah, there's nothing scheduled for next year, correct. Oh, okay. Well, bummer, because I was looking forward to it.

I didn't get to go this last year with you guys. But my next question I want to ask you, I'm always amazed by your ability to quote scripture, and I was just wondering, is there some kind of technique that you use? Because I'm having trouble, a lot of trouble doing that, or doing it very well.

Everybody's different in terms of gifting, right? So, you know, for example, I'm at a hotel, I leave my hotel room, I start walking to the left, I say, Oh, no, no, no, no, it's to the right. And I'll do that 10 times and get it wrong 10 times over.

My wife will take me around her hosta garden, one of the many beds she has in our yard, and she'll explain to tell me the names of the hostas. She's told me 10 times I can't even name one of them. And yet, other things I learned well. So everybody learns differently, right? For me, what happened was when I was saved a year, I was reading the Bible two hours a day, I was praying at least three hours a day, and then I was reading the Bible two hours a day. And so the repetition, just reading it over, over, over, over, over, that reinforces, right? Then God helped me to memorize 20 verses every day.

I did it without missing a day for at least six months. So my method, I realized when I was in high school, that if I wrote something out, that it helped me to memorize. So I would look at the verse and keep breaking it down, repeating it, until I could write it out one time and get it right. Then I would have to say it seven times perfectly, and then I would write it out again.

And then they kind of locked it in. And then as I was walking, I would quote Scripture and driving, I would quote Scripture. So in your case, what I'd encourage you to do is say, so this is one verse in a week that you want to memorize, so one verse in a month, whatever it is, you know, it's everybody's right, and then you build on that, right? So what you want to do is get your first verse that you really want to learn. Just write it out, like 10 times. Just like a kid, you know, I will not talk in class, right? Write it out 10 times, say it, write it, say it, and then keep saying it just through the day.

Do whatever comes to mind. Say it. It's like, ah, I forgot it already.

So you have it on a card, we can remember it. Repeat it, say it, get it out. Okay, now that you definitely have that, I got that, I'm going to memorize another verse. Okay, but hang on, before you quote that verse, quote the old one.

So now you're reinforcing the first one, you're adding in the second one. So you write it, you write it, you say it, you write it, you say it, until it gets locked in, and then now by the time you've got, say, 10 verses, now you're quoting the first nine before you get into the 10th. Each time now, you are further reinforcing and building and building and building, and now after a while, hey, those first 10 I've got down. And then maybe just once a month, just look at all the verses you memorized.

Maybe it gets to 50 or 100. And what you do is now just periodically review all of them so you don't lose the ones you memorized and build in this way, hey, I got a break, but this will really help. Simple little things like this will really help. God bless you, man, I gotta run, I got a break. Thank you, sir.

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Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Hey friends, about once a month we have a broadcast where we really dig into health issues because we know a healthy church starts with a healthy you. And Nancy and I have written a mini book of free digital download, about 10,000 words. So it's very readable, but it may just change your life.

It may just save your life. So any order you place with our friends at TriVita, our co-sponsor, you'll get the digital download automatically. But having it in your inbox won't help you. You've got to download it and read it, but it's a gift. So when you call TriVita, you know the number 800-771-5584. When you call them, they'll give you all the info you need, answer questions you have, and then you don't have to ask for the digital book. You'll get it automatically. If you go to the website to make sure you get it and you get the best discount and for 100% of your first order to be donated to the Line of Fire, what you need to do is use the code BROWN25.

So if you go to, then use the code BROWN25. But Monday we're going to have a really eye-opening discussion with Dr. Paul Brunette. I think you're going to find super helpful and for maybe even life-saving. All right, 866-344-TRUTH.

Any question of any kind on any subject that relates in any way to the Line of Fire, 866-344-TRUTH. And let us go to Jim in Chicago, Illinois. Welcome to the Line of Fire. Hey, Jim. Hello, sir, how are you today?

I'm doing great, man. Oh, good. My question is, are there different degrees to hell? Because, you know, Lazarus said that it was hot, right? And then Jesus was speaking of outer darkness. Right, so certainly, Jim, the subject of hell is one we must take with absolute and utter sobriety. In other words, it's the ultimate subject, final punishment. And for sure, there have to be different degrees of punishment because God is just. You know, the person who maybe grew up a certain way, lived like an average life, didn't know the Lord, heard the gospel, but the thing was for them, they die in a lost state. It's certainly different than an Adolf Hitler or someone that tortured Christians, right?

Obviously. So, a lot of the images are meant to be metaphors. In other words, weeping, gnashing of teeth, outer darkness, flames of hell. If you have flames of hell, then you don't just have pitch darkness.

So, these are metaphors of suffering, for sure. But there have to be different levels. For sure, there is no salvation outside of Jesus, Yeshua. For sure, eternal life only comes through the cross and through the mercy and grace of God. But yes, there will be different degrees of punishment. Some believe that there is ultimate destruction. In other words, that people suffer for their sins and are ultimately destroyed. Others, the traditional view would be that they are suffering forever, but there have to be different levels of suffering punishment, for sure. Just like in this world, God punished people more severely for certain things. Jesus spoke of the Jewish leaders that betrayed him to Pilate and said, you've committed a graver sin because you've gone beyond your authority. You know, 1 John talks about a sin that's not a sin unto death.

So, just as there are different levels of sin and guilt, but all sin is sin, there are certainly different levels of punishment. The one thing I know is it's very troubling to think of anyone being lost. It's very troubling to think, I mean, Hitler, different ones we could easily see, lost and suffering forever, but people that we love, people that didn't know the Lord, it's very painful to think of them suffering in the future. What I take comfort in is that God is a good God, and therefore I know whatever He does will be good and right and fair, and therefore I rest in that while I warn people about the judgment to come. Hey, thank you so much for your question. I appreciate it. Oh, real quick, you know, my parents, they both, they were Buddhist, and they, they, when they were dying, they started to see ghosts and even that of a family from the past that died many decades ago, and then, you know, those are, a pastor told me that those were demons.

This is true? I would, I would assume so. I mean, they may have thought they were seeing the ghosts of their former ancestors, and again, we lead their judgment to God, we know what He does is right and true, but yeah, if they actually saw beings, and that were claiming to be ancestral beings, yeah, they weren't actually ghosts, they would have been demonic spirits.

It wouldn't have been angels masquerading, but that, that would be the, obviously I wasn't there in their bodies, but that would be the most logical assumption, sir. Hey, thank you very much for the call. Yeah, go ahead. All right, I know you're in a hurry. Okay, have a good one. No, no, no, no, no, I'm good, I just thought we'd answer it, but thank you so much, sir. You know what, my dad's face, he saw, he was, he said he refused medication then from the nurse, and then he saw this, his mom, and then he, he went with her, I think, because, you know, I don't know, it's, I was just wondering if, because my parents were so nice, I just hope they're in a lighter part of hell, you know? Well, Jim, here's the thing, just know that, is God very patient with you? Would you say that God is compassionate in the way that He deals with you? Yes, sir.

Very compassionate, very long-suffering. Oh, for sure. Yeah, and He's not out, like, to crush us because we did one wrong thing, right?

Yes. So that's, that's the God that is going to sit in final judgment, and, and therefore, I have this deep, deep sense of confidence that on that day we'll, we'll recognize that whatever He did was good and right, and we'll be able to affirm it, and it will all, it will all be clear to us at that point. So maybe my mom then, she was a nice, she would take spiders and put them outside the house, you know, she was so nice, wouldn't hurt anybody, always smiling, so maybe God put her in the lightest part of hell, I'm just maybe looking for reassurance here.

Well, Joe, I wouldn't, I would just leave us a question mark where your mother and father are. Only God knows He's their judge, right? It seems that they didn't know Him.

They didn't believe. Right, right. So, of course, the very nicest of us compared to God's standards, we fall so, so, so short. But, like, my mom was a wonderfully nice Jewish woman, she prayed with me to receive the Lord, but I, you know, very nice people and kind-hearted people, what about, what about very devout Jews, or very devout Muslims, or what about the very nice atheist neighbor, or, you know, they're, this is the human race, they're really the people that are extremely wicked, and, and there are others that seem nice and kind, we just leave it to God that He is the righteous judge.

We know we need Him, we share the gospel with others, and then we, we, the day we stand before Him, and we see what He did, it'll all make perfect sense in the light of His holiness, in the light of eternity. Hey, thank you so much for the call. Thank you, appreciate you taking my call.

You bet, you bet. And a shout-out, W-Y-L-L, yeah, 1160 AM in Chicago, shout-out to all of our great Chicago listeners. Remember, phone lines are open for you every day, 866-344-TRUTH. Okay, we're looking at the clock here, so rather than give someone 30 seconds to answer a question and 20 seconds for me to answer it, we'll come back after the break and talk to, let's see, John and Johnny and Steve. Just a reminder, ladies, all of our female listeners and viewers, you're free to call in, and everybody on YouTube, all right, especially the ones that are posting hostile, I am not watching, but posting hostile comments as the show goes on, you ought to call. We have such fun conversations, and I wish, you know, when I read through comments sometimes, because I love the truth, and I see error, error, false statement, false accusation, I just wish I could just stop time and respond to everybody, and then you respond, respond back.

But you know, here, I challenge one Hebrew Israelite teacher, one time it was like, put out like 10, 15 videos, probably, by the time we're done, let's see if it gets to 30, 30 or more videos attacking me. But hey, I'm flattered. Maybe people will go to our website and look for the truth themselves. I won't believe what somebody says about me or a little sound bite or a cut here or a cut there. But it's my honor. I get attacked day and night, lied about, misrepresented, day and night by all different groups online. What an honor, what a privilege. Let's seek the truth together and go find it.

Hey friends, Dr. Michael Brown here. Do you remember when people thought I was crazy when I said it's not too late for America, that God can still do something in our country, that there is going to be a pushback, a gospel-based moral and cultural revolution? And do you remember when people thought that you were crazy because you felt the same way, because you believed what I was saying and already felt it in your heart? Well friends, that pushback is here. The gospel-based moral and cultural revolution we've been talking about for 25 years is unfolding. And we are right in the thick of it.

And the line of fire broadcast is divinely positioned for such a time as this. Friends, you would be so gratified and blessed as I hear, if you could hear what I hear, testimony after testimony as leaders, young people, old people, moms, dads, students, people from all backgrounds come up to me and say, Dr. Brown, you're providing a template for us. You're providing a blueprint for us. You're showing us how to do this, how to have hearts of compassion, backbones of steel. But friends, it's a joint effort.

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Welcome back to the line of fire. If you don't get my emails, you may not know about our latest videos. I just put out a video praying for the repentance of Andy Stanley in terms of his stances on LGBTQ issues.

I've been dealing with Andy eight years on this and really trying to get him to clarify. And now that he's got this conference with openly gay speakers and things like that, and things are just hitting everywhere, it was time for me to say, okay, we just pray for his repentance, pray for him to get on the right side of these things. But you'd know, sending out new videos, new articles, you won't miss any of them. We've got some super important resources that are going to be released, an amazing Jewish outreach resource free that we're about to release. So you want to know about these things. So make sure you get my email. Go there. Just sign up. Take your 30 seconds or less to sign up for the emails. If you have our app and you don't get my emails, just on the Ask Dr. Brown Ministries app, just click on subscribe and you get them. All right, with that, we go over to John in Wilmington, Delaware. Welcome to the line of fire. How you doing Dr. Brown?

Very well, thank you. So this is probably an odd question for you, but I'm going to try to condense it real fast. I grew up religious all my life. I grew up in a Catholic school from kindergarten to high school. Always believed in God, always loved God. And then in my 20s, I came across a Protestant couple who challenged me. And for sure enough, I definitely had a different view than them. But then as the more I read, I believe that they were right. And I would say at that time, my life when I was 26, I became born again and started reading scripture every day.

And then for the next, I'd say, uh, 15, 20, 15, 26, 7, 43. So what's that? 18 years. I've never stopped reading. I've read church history. I've read every scholar you can think of when it comes to commentary and scripture. And I've gone to every denomination from Protestant to Messianic Jewish.

I've been to a mall. I've tried to really filter, uh, you know, how each way they all think. Um, my question is, uh, I, there is still a comfortability that I've always felt in the Roman church. And I think that's because I grew up in it.

Now. There are a lot of disagreements I have with them. Don't hold to the Marian dog was anymore. I mean, I don't even really believe in the proprietary aspect of the Eucharist, but I love the liturgy.

I love the songs. Like when I hear the songs, like it makes me want to worship more. And I don't know if that's because it was from my childhood. So my, I guess my dilemma is, do you think it's probably not kosher for me to stay in that type of setting? Even though I know that a lot of the doctrine is not true. Like I might, I've always been Jesus-centered ever since I was 26.

And I'll never leave that. My counsel is this. Obviously God has to lead you. And I have Catholic friends, I'm sure they're Catholic supporters who are listening right now. They know I'm not a Catholic basher.

But I don't want to be anywhere where I cannot affirm all the fundamentals. That's the biggest thing to me. You get used to other stuff. You get used to other Christian culture, other expression, other songs. Maybe you really lean towards the liturgical service. So there are Protestant, Messianic, Jewish services that are more liturgical. But to me, wherever you are, whether it's in a Presbyterian church or a Pentecostal church or a Messianic congregation or a Roman Catholic congregation, you need to be able to affirm the basics and the fundamentals. If you don't affirm the fundamentals of the authority of church tradition, if you don't affirm the fundamentals of the adoration of Mary, of the role of the pope, of transubstantiation in the Eucharist, as you mentioned, in the authority of Catholic dogma, in the mass, then that's not the place for you.

If you did, that'd be another subject and another debate to have. But no, I couldn't do that even if something, look, many years ago when we were between congregations, I was traveling a lot, some talking about now in the mid-90s, and Nancy started going to a really good church in our area, and they were becoming Calvinistic. They ended up being super-Calvinistic, but it was in their earlier days. And I'd been a Calvinist for five years, but I wasn't anymore at that point. I was very much not one at that point, having recently left it. And our daughters loved it because they had friends there, but the one service I was there, I counted five different times that they emphasized Calvinistic theology. And I just said, Hunt, I'm not at home here.

We gotta laugh, so where does it work? But it was becoming so major to them. So the same way, maybe you really like preaching in a Pentecostal church, but you're not at home with other practices or whatever it is, you've gotta go somewhere, you gotta work it out for yourself. But to me, if I could not affirm things that are very sacred and dear and foundational to the leaders, that's not the place for me to be. And it's not the place for me to get my primary nourishing, nor is it the righteous thing to be somewhere where you have fundamental disagreement on different points.

So whatever you can do to take some of the liturgy that you enjoy to some of the songs to do that at home, or to join in like on YouTube for a few minutes, some community doing it, but I would wanna plant myself in a place where I affirm the fundamentals where I can grow under those and where I can give myself to serve without reservation, and then the secondary things let them fall into place. All right, that's just my counsel to you. No, that's great.

I mean, that's where I am currently. Like, I haven't done it, like I haven't jumped back into it. I've just been thinking about it, and I've listened to you since, you know, for like I guess the last 18 years. I've always taken what you say very seriously. Yeah, well, I appreciate that.

Look, major on the majors, the fundamentals, the key themes that you see in Scripture that are important, and then if there are a couple things like, yeah, I really like this in the Roman Church, I really like that in this church, but this is where I'm in most fundamental agreement, can throw myself in, I can grow under the teaching, and I can serve, go for that. Hey, thank you, man. God bless you, buddy. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Bye.

All right, 866-348-7884. Let's go over to Los Angeles. Gianni, welcome to the line of fire. How you doing, Michael Brown? Very well, thanks.

Dr. Michael Brown. Doing great. Good, good.

I just have a quick question. For someone like yourself who doesn't hold to eternal security and believes that you can forfeit your salvation, my question is, what security can anyone truly have in salvation if ultimately it depends on our free will and not the holding of the Father? Yeah, well, number one, I put all my confidence in God's keeping power.

That's where I start. That's all my confidence is in Him. But let me ask you a question. Are you worried that before the end of the day you're going to murder someone?

Is that like, you're not? But you have free will. Hang on. Well, hang on. Do you want to go to a bank?

Are you worried you're going to rob the bank? No. But you have free will. Right. Okay. What's more important to you, serving God or not robbing a bank? Serving God.

Right. So, why are you worried that when God's promised to keep you, when He keeps us in all of our weakness, when it takes overt rebellion against Him, why would you be worried? I never think twice, I haven't thought about, quote, forfeiting my salvation. And thanks for stating it correctly instead of losing your salvation, which can be misunderstood. I haven't thought about the possibility of forfeiting my salvation for a split second in decades.

I mean, I literally can't remember the last time the thought crossed my mind anymore that it crossed my mind that I want to rob a bank, you know? Right. Right. And the next time I'm on a plane, I want to grab the emergency door in mid-flight and jump out.

It's like, who would even think of that? Right. Right. And I guess what I'm trying to probe on that question, I think the reason why you don't think that way is because the Holy Spirit indwells you and protects you from problems like that because you're going to fall away. And I guess the question again is, if we can ultimately forfeit it, why don't we? Because we're born again too.

Why aren't we? Because we want the Lord. Because we want the Lord. That's why.

Right. We want the Lord. Why in the world?

The reason I haven't left my wife is because I love her more than anything in this world. Why would, look, what do you do with explicit warnings? Many, many, many, many explicit warnings in the New Testament warning us not to depart. Why are they there if it's impossible? Yeah, I mean, I would talk to a buddy of mine. I conversate a lot with one of my buddies at work, and he says their means, you know, just kind of like warning signs, like, I'm an electrician, and there's warning signs, and, you know, obviously if it says you're going to die with a thousand bullets, I don't go near it. But if you knew that it was impossible for you to die, then you wouldn't really care, would you? Yeah. In other words, the Calvinist says it's a means, it's a warning, but it's impossible for him to fall away if he's truly saved, correct? Yes, yes. So it's just a warning, right? Yes, yes. So it's just, it doesn't really mean anything.

Yeah. Yeah, and I guess it just, yeah, it just, because if it is up to our free will, I think it just goes back to the point of the free will to leave, free will to come in, free will to go out. God doesn't force us to stay in his house. That's why we have all these warnings.

But here's the other thing. So salvation is dependent on our free will, then? That's the way God set it up.

That's the way he set it up. Whoever comes to me, I will in no wise cast out. I mean, it's throughout the whole Bible. Come, let him who hears say come.

If anyone's thirsty, let him come, right? And John 12 32, if I'm lifted up, I'll draw all men to me. So Jesus is drawing all people to himself. We preach the gospel. Faith comes through the word of God as people hear it.

They can receive it or reject it. That's the way God in his sovereignty set it up like that. I mean, you read the whole Bible, and he's pleased when we receive his grace. He's displeased when we reject it. He doesn't judge us as if we're pre-programmed to do a certain thing. No, he judges us as if we had that freedom. I mean, it's the whole testament of the Bible.

That's what helped draw me out of Calvinism was just the whole testament of scripture. Choose, choose, choose, choose. It's a, I said before your life and death, choose, choose, choose, choose. Jerusalem, Jerusalem. How often Jesus says this, I long to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you weren't willing. I long to gather you, but you weren't willing.

Behold, your house is left to you desolate. But here's the other thing. Did you ever sin? Yes.

All right, same with me. But we have a new nature. If it's a new nature that keeps us perfectly, why doesn't this keep us perfectly from sin? Well, we're in this world.

We're not perfect. God's promised to keep us, but we can willfully walk away. That doesn't trouble me in the least because I want the Lord more than anything in this world. Nothing matters to me more than knowing Him, loving Him, and He's the strength of my life. He's my confidence. He's my strong tower.

Isn't that enough? His promises to keep us. I want to be kept.

That's all you need to know. I want to be kept. So on that point right there, on that point, He's promised to keep us, but He can't keep you without you freely choosing. He can do whatever He wants. He's God, but He's chosen to give us a choice. He's God. He doesn't force us to stay in His house. But look, right now, I'm sitting here in my office. There's no danger of me driving my car off the cliff because I'm sitting here. That's how it is in the Lord.

You have to willfully depart from the living God, and be careful that you don't let junk come in your life that could open the door. Hey, got to run. God bless, man. Thank you for the call. God bless you.

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And 100% of your first order will go to the support of Line of Fire. Go to or call 800-771-5584. Again, 800-771-5584. It's the Line of Fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the Line of Fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH.

Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. For the Line of Fire, 866-34-TRUTH. Let us go over to David in Manitoba, Canada.

Welcome to the Line of Fire. Are you there, David? Make, uh, regarding Zechariah, the woman in the basket? Yeah, you just cut off at the beginning.

Could you repeat that, please? Oh, just calling to, um, give my comments regarding the woman in the basket in Zechariah. All right, do you have a question or no? Um, just my thoughts regarding it. I'm not sure with all this, you know, with all this talk of Egyptian color and, and, uh, Cleopatra being on Netflix and all this, I'm just wondering if you've had a chance to watch any of it or?

Nope. No, I mean, there's, there's, the Egyptians by and large would have been a mixture of brown skin, uh, black skin people, and then some others, uh, you know, mixed in among them. Cleopatra would have been more white skin based on, on her background, um, you know, so, I mean, just we know the things that we know historically, um, but how does it, how's the time with Zechariah 4? I'm curious because it's a very, it's a very obscure passage and one that I'm not dogmatic about in terms of that vision, but what are your thoughts, sir?

Yeah, it's, uh, it's definitely Cleopatra in my, you know, in what I've found in the timeline, but yeah, if, if you look at her deathbed, you'll find her two servants, you'll find a basket and you'll find a snake. Got it. So, so you're advocating that it's Cleopatra that's their individual.

Have you seen any commentaries that agree with that? No. Got it. Okay. Hey, I, sir, I appreciate you weighing in with that.

Uh, thank you. We got a little, uh, feedback here, some, some fuzzy noise, so I'm just going to drop, drop this here, but thank you for the call. We had some Hebrew questions waiting for me, Hebrew language, Hebrew culture, but I guess you couldn't wait anymore. So I've got some time for some calls.

866-348-7884. So I just want to speak to you from the heart for a moment. Uh, the, the issue, the issue for all of us, regardless of our upbringing, regardless of our nationality, regardless of whether we are Jew or Gentile, whether we are, are Asian, whether we are native American, whether we are black, whether we are white, the issue for all of us are, is are we in right relationship with God? That's the issue. The ancient Israelites could have been pink or blue.

Jesus could have been black or white. None of that is the issue. The issue and, and the color of my skin does not save me or damn me, and it doesn't save you or damn you. What matters is are we in right relationship with God? All of us have sinned. Every single one of us has fallen short. I don't care who you are. On your very, very best day, you fall infinitely short of the standard of God.

And the same with me. If God revealed his holiness to us, we would all die of heart attacks on the spot or of something else. We would just collapse and be dead on the spot, for sure, because of his holiness. And if we got what we deserve, we would all be damned forever.

Simple. God sent his son in his mercy and his son took on his shoulders all of our sin, all of our guilt, suffered in our behalf so that the payment for our sin could fall on him and God could say, I've poured out justice on him. He suffered what you deserve at the hands of sinful men. And if you'll come to me, I'll give you mercy. What he deserved, you get. It's the most extraordinary, mind-boggling message.

That's what we need. We can differ on other points. We can differ on a million other points, but that's what matters most. I urge you to get in the right relationship with God through Jesus, regardless of your religious background or ethnic background or political ideas. Put first things first.

All right, let's jump right over to Jeff in Georgia. Okay, good afternoon, Dr. Michael Brown. I appreciate listening to you and your stance.

I agree on 99.9%, but I'm not sure. I have a friend that's recently gone into Christian Universalism, and he likes to use those anthropomorphic phrases that are general towards all, you know, bow, every knee shall bow, every tongue confess. I was hoping you'd do a podcast on that eventually. Yeah, so I had a scholar on... And I'm having a hard time hearing you. Okay, so just best thing to do then is just listen, as you're listening, I'm not sure why you have a hard time, but just keep listening wherever you are, whatever connection that you have there. So, Christian Universalism, the idea that the Bible teaches that all people will ultimately be saved. There's a general Universalism that says that everybody gets in, that there's one God, and that all paths lead to God.

So, Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, Judaism, Islam, Shintoism, whatever, whatever the faith, the Sikh religion, Druze religion, everybody gets in. It's all different paths to God. And that even the Atheist, the Agnostic, they're on their own path that ultimately everybody is somehow saved, etc. There is Christian Universalism that says ultimately through the cross the whole world will be saved. That Jesus died for all, therefore all will be saved. The first Adam all died, the second Adam all will live. And that he will reconcile everything heaven and earth to himself. These are some of the verses, passages, concepts people would hold to.

Many would say that there is a period you go through of suffering and purging or purification. But then out of that there will be ultimate salvation. Some, like Origen, would even go as far as saying the devil himself will be saved. Rob Bell in his Love Wins book advocated for that. And there were early church leaders, among them Origen and some others, who held to different forms of Universalism.

Origen's was so radical as part of what he got rejected in centuries that followed. But if it were true, wonderful. Because if that was the reality, if there was no final hell, if there was no final judgment, if there was no final separation, if everybody ultimately got in even after a time of suffering and purging, that would be wonderful news if true.

Right? It would also be wonderful if true that no one suffered in this world, but that's not true. A lot of things we think would be wonderful, but they are not real. Why didn't God create a world in which there would be no suffering?

Obviously in his wisdom he knew that to create a world in which there would be free beings that could make moral choices, that there would have to be consequences, etc. In the same way there are eternal consequences. So, yeah, it's something I should revisit.

It's making a bit of a resurgence. A number of books have come out in this. I found out that one of the really good readers of my books on audio actually holds to Christian Universalism, George Sarris. He very kindly sent me his book. I've only been able to glance at video presentations. I've only been able to glance at them, but of course I have very profound differences with him over this.

He's as gracious and respectful and interacting as could be. David Bentley Hart has a book on this that's gotten attention recently. Others have put it out. The overwhelming testimony of Scripture to me is plainly against it. Beginning with the history of Israel, while you can even go before that, God having to wipe out the world in Noah's day, it seems to be an absolute judgment.

Not that there's going to be a future restoration that comes out of it. And then the blessings and the curses on Israel. That was meant to demonstrate something in this world that reflected things in the world to come. Paul saying, knowing therefore the terror of the Lord be persuaded men in 2 Corinthians 5. And the final destiny that's spoken of over and over.

I just can't get away from it. What I have to do is interpret passages that might be obscure with passages that are clear. So does Daniel 12 to plainly say or not that many who sleep in the dusty earth, meaning that those in the dusty earth they're going to rise.

There's a lot of people, right? Many that sleep in the dusty earth will arise, some to everlasting life and some to everlasting shame and contempt, right? There is a final separation. Everlasting, everlasting, a final separation there. Jesus in John 5, that those who are in the graves will hear his voice, some to the resurrection of life, some to the resurrection of damnation.

And that's the finale. 2 Thessalonians 1, the Lord returns with flaming fire, taking vengeance on those who don't know God. They will be punished with eternal destruction. You don't come back from eternal destruction.

And even if it's metaphorical language and visionary language and revelations, you know, speaking about Satan and the angels being tormented day and night forever and ever, or the smoke of the torment going up forever and ever. Even if people's bodies are not burning in an ongoing hell, but in other words, there's un-eternal conscious torment, it's forever. The wicked have no acherit, they have no future hope.

The end is blackness and darkness. Whoever doesn't believe will perish. Even Matthew 25, 46, these will go into eternal life, the others into eternal punishment. The word for punishment, contrary to what Rob Bell, those would argue, is not a redemptive kind of thing, like a purging, pruning, and you come back.

So overwhelming testimony. Whoever's name was not found written in the book of life was cast to the lake of fire. There's nothing redemptive about the lake of fire. There's nothing that you now are purged and purified and come out of it. It's the fire of judgment, the fire of destruction. So every knee will bow things, and heaven things, and earth things under the earth, confess Jesus as Lord to the glory of the Father.

That will be a mandatory thing. It doesn't mean it's salvation. They will all confess it. He is Lord. And part of that confession is confession leading to judgment. He's reconciled all things. So through the cross, God has made the way for reconciliation, and there is, among all peoples, a reconciliation to Him. Just like Colossians 1 said, the gospel has been preached to every creature under heaven. It didn't mean that every last person had heard it, but it's been preached universally to everybody.

In any case, yeah, I still cannot see how possibly anyone can make a biblical case for Christian universalism. I take very seriously future punishment, future separation from God. May God have mercy. May He spare us from judgment through the cross. All right, back with you, live on Monday.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-20 13:51:42 / 2024-02-20 14:13:28 / 22

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