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Seeing Through the Fog

The Steve Noble Show / Steve Noble
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August 11, 2022 9:09 pm

Seeing Through the Fog

The Steve Noble Show / Steve Noble

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August 11, 2022 9:09 pm

Seeing Through the Fog

Steve talks to Billy Gotcher for Theology Thursday about seeing through the fog of this world. How do we get through?

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And now, here's your host, Steve Noble. Okay, well, let's reminisce, if you will, for me for just a second. Let's just reminisce. Let's just go back in a little bit of time to simpler days, easier days, and the less confusing days.

I would say that would take us back to what? January of 2020. And then, of course, February and March of 2020, we get into COVID. We get introduced to this thing called COVID and these people called Birks and Fauci. And then, Memorial Day, we get Minneapolis and George Floyd. And then we have the BLM that summer and everything going on. And then we have the election that fall, followed by election concerns.

And then we roll right into January 6th. And so over the last two and a half years, in terms of like what I do, not only here on the radio, but in teaching students, high school students, predominantly, I would say that the number one thing that I've needed and asked the Lord for, as I've engaged all these topics, is discernment and trying to understand what is true and what is not. And of course, everything, kind of what we see in the natural world, I liken that to a glacier. You see what's above the water.

That's what we see when you turn on the news or what have you. But everything has got spiritual underpinnings and spiritual reality underneath and inside everything. So that's the rest of the iceberg that's under the water. The top of the iceberg is what you can see. The rest of it underneath is spiritual.

And it's hard to tell spiritually for a lot of people, for a lot of us, because we need discernment. And that's certainly something that is a big deal for me. It should be a big deal for you.

I think it's a big deal for all of us, perhaps more now than it has been in any time in my adult life as a Christian. And so today on Theology Thursday, back with Dr. Billy Goacher, who is at the BJU Seminary down there in Greenville, South Carolina. And we're going to be working on our way through just an excellent blog post, which I shared on my social media pages just recently, seeing through the fog a lesson on discernment, because this is something that we all need. Last time we talked to you, Billy, you guys were in the middle of the tail end of a road trip, driving back from Detroit. So it's good to see you again. How are you?

We're doing well. It's a pleasure to be with you. And thanks for having me. You're welcome.

It's great to have you. And this is a really important topic. We're going to work our way through this. But wanted to start off with this is a really kind of a powerful and a sad example of a lack of discernment involving a very famous person who actually died as a result of this. But let's start there. And then I know you have kind of a personal story on the same basic subject. Yeah, I mean, that tragic event that took place in terms of with a decision to fly or no fly in a foggy situation that ended up with the death of what I think was 11 people. Yeah. And that just that that decision to fly in that terrain in a visual situation in that fog.

And we know the horrible outcome of that decision. And it just illustrates at times how we we can get disoriented. And I guess I make the analogy back to we have so many people speaking right now, especially with, you know, just voices loud and saying very contradictory things. In a sense, it creates a major fog about where's truth found?

Yeah, that's exactly right. Where's the truth teller? Or for that pilot's sake is where's the ground? I mean, he wasn't trying to fly the helicopter to the ground. He thought he was climbing.

Right. And the only reason any of us even know that story is because one of the people on board that died that day, which is January 26, again, back in 2020, was Kobe Bryant. And then, of course, the question is, how can this experienced licensed helicopter pilot crash into the mountains surrounding L.A.? If you've ever been out there, yeah, there's mountains around there, but they're pretty obvious. But then that's a question of discernment, whether they were to fly or not to fly. And I know that one was kind of a little confusing that day.

Yeah. And then to run into that fog bank and then having spoken with I mean, we were it was probably not long before this happened that I was scheduled to take a flight and a small aircraft, go to a conference and everything was good. And the night before a cold front rolled in. And so that next morning, the pilots faced a major fog bank and they called me early in the morning, said, we're not taking this trip. And they could fly instruments.

They didn't have to depend on visual. But they said the conditions for flying were at such a level they they were saying we're going to be safe and they canceled the trip. Yeah. And I would just say at that moment, I was more disappointed than happy that I really wanted to go. And I was excited about the trip and the conference and all of that. And then it was gone.

And then this happens a few months later. And I'm like, I praise the Lord for the wisdom of these men to say we're not risking life for a conference. Yeah, because discernment, well, in that case, can save somebody's life.

It could lose somebody's life as it did with Kobe Bryant. But for us, just making the wrong decisions, having the wrong opinion, creating a stress and attention in your life that perhaps doesn't even need to be there. And when Paul was writing in the Book of Colossians and you write about this extensively, Billy, in today's blog post, which I'll share on Facebook Live here in a second, that's what was going on. You mentioned fog.

There was a whole bunch of fog there for the people in Colossae. Yeah, I mean, you got to think it's a fledgling church. You've got, you know, new revelations being given. The apostles are writing, you know, but then you have a perfect environment for people to move in and claim to be a source of authority. And they're offering other opinions about the gospel and life. And Paul's having to write into that and say, well, what do we do when there's confusion, there's fog?

How do we navigate? And I think that's where Colossians chapter three gives us such a beautiful answer, a biblical answer to the confusion and the fog we face is pointing us to the direction we all look. Yeah. And you mentioned in the blog, the battle of ideas waging in our culture is the biggest threat to Christianity in your lifetime. I would agree in my own and especially for our younger people.

You guys deal with this down at BGU Seminary and it's obviously at Bob Jones University. And I deal with it with my own students that they have so much coming at them. They have so many ideas, so many philosophies, so many truth claims coming at them through this iPhone that I'm holding up on the screen right now or through your MacBook or PC or whatever. If you don't have discernment and our young people are getting so much information and at their age, they lack wisdom and discernment.

It's really dangerous. Yeah. Especially when every source of authority is under attack. Yeah. And so it's basically and then philosophically, they're being taught that you are your source of authority. That's right.

That the great value in society is to be authentic, be the authentic you. And then as you identify with whatever that authenticity looks like, I'm told that my only right moral response is to affirm you. Right. And if I don't affirm you, somehow I'm now, you know, I'm hurting that person. That's right. I'm harming them.

That's right. Because I didn't affirm their identity. And that's why the first point that we looked at is you got to really answer the question.

Who are you? Yeah, we're going to get into that on the other side of the break. And this problem of identity, which is the lack of discernment.

I just watched a video of Boston's Children's Hospital and I'll tell you about that. Welcome back to Steve Noble, The Steve Noble Show Theology Thursday with our friends at BJU Seminary down in Greenville, South Carolina. By the way, we're referencing as we do every week.

And I mentioned this and you're like, yeah, yeah, I know, Steve. But I want you to go check this out for yourself because we always have each week our guest from BJU Seminary, sometimes from the university, writes a blog post. This is under the Seminary Viewpoint that we use as kind of the outline as our main points of going through this conversation every Thursday. So it's very rich content. We do it in a very conversational way. But if you want to read the blog, which also has links, scripture references, all kinds of stuff.

And you should share these things because like I mentioned and Billy Goacher is here with us today as well. We both mentioned discernment is one of the chief things that we all need today because we have so many truth claims, so many philosophies, so much stuff coming at us that it's kind of harkening back to the old days of the Secret Service because their job originally was to deal with counterfeit money. And what they did was studied real money all the time. So when the counterfeit stuff showed up, they're like, oh, that's fake. I can tell that. Well, if you have a robust Christian worldview, when all this garbage is coming at you, which is obviously not dressed up as garbage, it's dressed up as good and wholesome and loving and kind. Billy, you mentioned the whole gender confusion issue, and by affirming somebody, you're being loving and kind. Some people would go so far as to say that's good Christian characters, of course, being loving and kind. And you want to build people up and love them right where they're at and validate their authentic self. Well, that all sounds nice, and it has emotional pleas, but is it based in truth? And so that's where when you have a Christian worldview, discernment will help take you through.

It's the filter by which everything comes through to your brain. And we've got so much stuff coming at us, which is why this is so important, especially with our younger Christians. And I'm talking college, high school and below because they've got a ton of information coming at them every day that is not godly.

It's not biblical. Their source of authority is themselves or it's TikTok or whatever. And so discernment is a real, real big deal. So that's why we're working our way through this today, seeing through the fog, a lesson on discernment.

Billy Goecher, again, thanks for being with us today. The first main point we get into here with the blog post is discernment begins with identity, knowing who you are. And we're looking at the Book of Colossians here. And that's a big deal. When the fog of unbelief makes you doubt truth, stop and remember who you are. And I think sometimes we forget that.

Yeah, I love the way Paul begins that section just because he really stops with the Colossians because he's already laid out in the chapters some of the issues they're facing and the influences. And then he just stops and he says, well, if you've been raised with Christ and he's not trying to say if and I don't think you have. He actually is trying to say if and I believe it.

Yeah. But he does use the if on purpose because it is meant to make us stop and say, is this true? Is this who I am? Have I been raised a new life in Christ? And that's that's the first thing that rings throughout this chapter.

He's saying, who are you? You're raised in Christ. Now this is how we live. This is how we know truth. This is how we discern.

Because if you're new in Christ, this is who you are. Right. So this now is how you live. This is how you know the truth or you discern from the unbelief or the fall.

Yeah. And I'm going to be talking about this tomorrow with a bunch of young men that are starting school at a private school here in town called Iron Academy. And they have I'll always conduct myself as a gentleman, live pure, speak true, right, wrong and follow the king. I'm doing I'm doing the follow the king part. And that's why this is so important in Colossians three one. If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above. OK, if you're a Christian, then you're in a different kingdom now. You're not in the world's kingdom. You're not in the little K kingdom. You're in the capital K kingdom, which means you have a different operating system, as I referenced earlier, Billy.

And so that that then tells you and you mentioned this before. What's your source of authority? Is it yourself? Is it the world? Is it the popular opinion?

Is it the Republican Party, the Democrat Party, whatever? But for us as Christians, our source of authority, really our only source of authority, our ultimate source of authority is the scriptures. It's the word of God. And it's Christ who's king.

Right. I mean, it's like you're saying, living for the king. So here's that you've been raised with Christ. You're new. You're new.

And that's just it's such a blessing. I mean, for me to be reminded constantly by myself, I was raised from spiritual death. I was raised from a place where I was blinded by sin. That's not who I am anymore.

Yeah. Because my eyes have been opened to truth. The king of glory who is seated at the right hand of God, who has been the approval of God, which is what I ultimately really want. That one who has it has set me free from blinding. And if I set my eyes on him, I actually that's really what he's called me to do. And in doing that, I can discern my next step in the midst of all the fog. Yeah.

And especially knowing who you are is such an important point. Have you ever have you ever been to foreign countries, Billy, where English was not the primary language? Yes, I've been overtraining national pastors in several different countries. Yeah. So a number of times. So it's amazing how obvious it becomes to yourself that you're an American. Right. Because you're like, I don't fit here. This culture is different.

The language is different. I don't know where I'm going. I have to ask for directions. Maybe I'll trust. Maybe I'll trust Google.

Maybe I won't. But it's really obvious when you go to a foreign land that that's not your home. I think one of our challenges here is to this point, if we say, oh, yeah, I know I'm I know I'm in Christ. I think Galatians 2 20. I get it.

I'm in Christ. But you forget that even here in America, this isn't your home. Yeah. And we get way too comfortable, way too comfortable roundels. Yeah. And all I mean, it offers constant nonstop. I mean, it's a nonstop voice of options, of opinions, of affirmation, of things that are not true or not healthy or holy.

Yeah. And it's nonstop. So you've got this onslaught of information that's bombarded at you that actually does have not neutral intentionality.

That's why Satan's called the prince of the power of the air. Right. And we've got this onslaught of information. But praise the Lord, we've got truth tellers, too. And we actually can get truth through a lot of the same sources are given as air. Yeah.

We actually have a lot of truth tellers, but we do have to know the word of God to know the difference. Right. Exactly right. And we have to be bathing our minds in saturating our minds in that work and the word of God, which has ultimate authority because it's the word of the king. Right.

It's a true game. Right. Yeah. And when we have that right authority, now we start seeing through the malaise of all the garbage being aimed at us.

Yeah. I mean, I don't get confused much anymore at this point in my life. I'm 56.

I was born again when I was 28, started getting serious about my faith about 2002. So it's been 20 years now. I mean, the lies of the world, the culture, the spirit of the age, the prince of the power of the air at this point in my life, Billy, are pretty obvious.

They're all like all caps, flashing red lights. I'm like, that's bogus. But I don't think that's... And I'm not pumping myself up.

I just think because I've been inundated in this stuff for such a long time, that allowed me to build discernment. But I think your average Christian, as we were talking about earlier, you're going to church once a week and that's about it. That's not enough in this world.

No. And like I said, the pressure of our culture has really pushed churches to do less rather than more. And everybody's busy. I mean, we are busy, but I mean, I think that's one of the subtle things the devil's done.

We've all gotten... We feel busier than we think we are. We don't have time. And what we end up not having time for is to actually be in the Word of God, the one source of truth that will never lie to you. And we don't spend enough time with other believers in a community of faith, discerning how we ought to live.

And we wonder why we're a mess. Yeah, that's right. Yeah. And you're swimming in the culture all week and you think 45 minutes or an hour on Sunday is going to be enough and it doesn't. I was leading our son and five or six of his buddies were over. They come over on Wednesday nights. We do a little Bible study in the summer. And somehow the topic of screen time came up yesterday.

None of them knew. So I'm like, OK, everybody, pull out your smartphone, go look at your screen time. The lowest was five hours a day. The highest was 11 hours a day. Screen time on a smartphone. And I couldn't blow them away with my own number.

But that's the problem. Do you have discernment to deal with that? We'll be right back. Welcome back at Steve Noble, The Steve Noble Show Theology Thursday, as it is each week with our friends at BJU Seminary today, talking to our buddy Billy Goecher, who is a professor down at BJU Seminary. We're working our way through just an outstanding blog post that you all need to read and we all need to share this because the issue of discernment is something that is such a premium now.

As Billy wrote in the blog post, our culture, like colossae, he's talking about the book of Colossians that Paul wrote, has lost its ability to discern which direction we are going. A dense layer of fog has descended upon the American consciousness and making everyone more morally disoriented than ever before. You see that all over the place. Just a few minutes ago, uh, before the show, I shared something on Facebook, which was, appeared to be this nice, educated young woman speaking on behalf of Boston Children's College.

And Boston Children's College, you know, it's well set up, it's well done. And she's basically explaining how they perform hysterectomies for young women who are looking for gender reassignment. And so as a way to affirm them, she's talking casually, uh, ergo, I mean, I would go so far as to say she's attempting to be loving and kind and compassionate about removing, uh, her, this woman's a young girl's uterus, her fallopian tubes, her ovaries, in order to affirm, uh, her new gender identity as a boy, as opposed to a girl. And that's why discernment is such a big deal. And we swim in this stuff and these lies all day long.

We watch it, whether it's CNN or Fox News, I don't care what source you want to go to. None of them are pure as the wind driven snow. And so discernment, especially for younger Christians today, is such a big deal because there's so many contrary philosophies and truth claims coming at us literally nonstop from the minute you wake up to the minute you go to bed, uh, and go, go look at your screen time on your phone. And you'll see, we mentioned that before the last break, but talking through discernment, discernment begins with identity, knowing who you are. You're in Christ, which means you're part of a different kingdom.

You have a different way of thinking, you have different operating system, as I mentioned. And then this one's really important. Discernment grows through engagement, doing what I was created to do.

Again, Billy, thanks for your time and helping us through this today. So what were we created, us created to do if Christ is our King? Well, I mean, I think Christ, but, you know, he would call people and he would say, follow me. And then that call to follow is a call to engage. And that is ultimately, you know, we sometimes talk about what love is. And most of the time we'd speak in terms of what love does, but God is love. Christ is love. If we want to know what love is, we really have to know Christ.

And then we see what love is and what love does. And so we're called to follow Christ. And that looks like actually taking the truths that he has taught us, living them and sharing them, that it, that I am to live out the truth that God has given me. That Jesus came to rescue me from the penalty of sin, but also a life dominated by sin, a life of moral chaos and confusion. He actually has put me on a path, a path of righteousness where I can discern the difference between right and wrong.

I can make those discernments in a confusion cultures with a lot of voices. I do have a source of authority who has spoken, who has died for me, who has lived for me. And then he calls me to follow and engage and take those truths to live them, but then to share them, to share that life saving story of the gospel with others so they can be rescued from the confusion as well. Yeah, it's such a great point. And it's right there in Colossians 3.

One, if then you have been raised with Christ, know who you are. Seek the things that are above. And like I mentioned, Screen Time Billy, we talk about what, I'll often ask people, what are you striving after in the biblical language? What are you seeking after? And oftentimes I think what we're seeking is probably not the things above, it's the things here on earth.

Right. Well, we're going to seek somebody's affirmation. Are we seeking people's affirmation?

Are we actually seeking the approval of our King? I mean, the one who loved me enough to die for me. There's not many people in the world. I mean, there's no one like Christ, ultimately. I mean, that level of love and that sacrifice and that rescue. And so he's rescued me from having to live in the chaos in the sense of being confused by it. I mean, I live in the chaos, but I'm supposed to live as a light in the middle of the dark.

I'm actually supposed to live as one who could be followed. So I could be like Paul and say, follow me, not because I have my life all figured out, but because I'm following the King. And if I'm following the King, you can follow me because we can cut through the moral chaos and actually give truth.

And that's what we're trying to do to all these issues. I mean, that's why a universe like Bob Jones exists, why a seminary like BJ exists. We're trying to train young people to know how to cut through the fog, but then help others lift them out of the fog and see the truth. Yeah, because, you know, and the truth will set us free and people go, how, you know, how, I didn't know I was a slave. Well, you are if you're following the world system. And even if you're a believer and you're not seeking the things above, you're seeking the things below, you're living a very worldly life. This is what I was talking to these guys in their early 20s about. Just last night to be friends with the world makes you an enemy of God.

And I'm like, how does that language make you feel? And, you know, they weren't comfortable with being an enemy of God, especially since they all claim to be Christians. But that's the reality of it. And as you kind of, and it's a really interesting point here, just in the subtitle of this section, discernment grows through engagement. So as we seek the things above and try to live that Christian life and follow after Christ, your discernment gets stronger, doesn't it? Absolutely. I mean, it is ultimately in the test of what you believe. I mean, if what I believe doesn't change the way I live, do I really believe it?

Right. I mean, if Christ is my king, then there should be a level, there should be some evidencing that I actually believe that he is the Lord and I am following him and he's worthy to be followed. I mean, he really, as Paul said earlier in Colossians, is to come first, right?

First place and everything. And as I, as Christ really has first place, he does. The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. We actually can trust Christ for the next right thing.

We can discern in the middle of the moral confusion and not be swallowed by it. And that's the blessing of being in Christ. If I've been raised with Christ, I'm new. I can live that new life. I can.

Not because I'm smarter than anybody, I'm not. I'm just a sinner saved by grace. And by God's grace, I can follow Christ and live a new life. Yeah. And then once that regeneration occurs, then the big trick here is you can have a Ferrari, but without gas, it's worthless.

It's just a doorstop. And so also, and we talked about this last night, so what enables you to try to pursue the Christian life? Because you're not going to live it perfectly, but you should be pursuing it. You should be after that. You should be seeking the things above. And these young guys and these young guys, you know, I have to I have to prod.

They all grew up in church and I have to prod them more than I wish I had to. But I'm like, what? What do you get when you become a Christian, when you're born again? Well, you get salvation, you get heaven. Yeah.

What else? What's going to enable you to follow hard after Christ and actually do what he says? And then finally, oh, it's the Holy Spirit. Right. So now you have the ability to do it before you didn't.

And now you do. And Paul actually wrote, we know the spiritual truths are spiritually discerned. So without the power of the Holy Spirit, you can't discern anything.

That's true anyway. Yeah. And we're either going to walk after the flesh or the spirit. Right.

Take your pick. And the fruit begins to evidence that really quick. We live in a culture who's celebrating the fruit of the flesh as if it's a victory and all the chaos that it's creating, the anger, the vision, the animosity, the hatred. I mean, we're seeing that all over our culture. And it's the fruit of flesh that is just flowing out yet being celebrated as some kind of progress.

It's no progress. And so when we actually begin to actually recognize doing what I've been created to do is the place of greatest joy. There's nothing more frustrating than actually existing to serve Christ, know Christ and experience the joy of that and try to do something else. Well, you mentioned something earlier on the break that I wrote down about a puddle versus an ocean, which I think is a great example of what you're talking about. It's a beautiful thought.

But unpack that real quick for everybody. Well, I like to say it in an analogy. I think the world offers us continually puddles of pleasure. I mean, we generally don't send out obligation. We send because we think it's going to bring us pleasure, right? It brings us some measure of temporal whatever fleshly, fleshly indulgence. And all these puddles are all around us. But what is sitting on the other side is an ocean of joy, an ocean of actually living for what you were created to do, knowing and enjoying God now and then forever.

And that's a vast ocean that will never end. Yeah. And I just like to remind myself when I'm tempted to get sucked down and find my pleasure and stuff.

Yeah, I'm playing in a puddle. Right. And I did that as a kid. I grew up, you know, that was our entertainment.

I didn't have all the screen time issues. Right. You played in puddles.

Yeah. But if I had a puddle to play in and an ocean to play in, I sure hope I'm choosing the ocean. Yeah, it's such a great point. And in a puddle, you're pretty much just going to get a mess. But that's a powerful way of looking at it, Billy, that you're surrounded by all these puddles. The world's throwing you these little puddle opportunities all the time. And something I've said for years, it's amazing what you can get used to.

It's amazing what we'll settle for in the moment. And then because we all know, if you're a believer, you know, on the other side of your little puddle of pleasure is guilt and shame. You feel it immediately.

You should. And versus God's on the other side going, hey, I've got an ocean of joy over here for you. But you got to quit messing around in the puddles.

Absolutely. And, you know, he's cleansed us from the guilt of that sin. And he will continue to cleanse us from the very power of that sin now. And one day we'll not be from the presence all together. So it's the joy that will then know no sorrow. Praise the Lord. But, you know, in this day, we don't, we're not trapped in those puddles. The good news is if I'm in Christ, I'm new. Amen. And one day in the new heaven, in the new earth, where heaven is right now, but in the new heavens and the new earth, no more puddles. That's an awesome thought.

Only an ocean of joy, as opposed to these stupid little puddles of pleasure that we tend to jump from one to the next far too often. This is Steve Noble talking to Billy Coacher today on Theology Thursday, working on our discernment. We'll be right back.

Welcome back. It's Steve Noble, The Steve Noble Show Theology Thursday with our friends at BJU Seminary and sometimes Bob Jones University. We get all kinds of great access to incredible teachers and leaders down there, great thought leaders.

And so it's always a blessing every Thursday that we get to jump into the deep end of the pool and get help with that. We're always going to be referencing on Theology Thursday what one of the professors down there has written to kind of guide us in our conversation. Those are all called seminary viewpoints.

And every single one that we've done almost for the last year is available. You can just scroll right down the page. If you just go to backslash radio, it's going to land you on a page that has all of this plus a bunch of other links and great interviews and more blog posts and the different authors, the different professors that have been on and help us so you can kind of dig deeper. That's a great kind of gateway to levels of deeper learning and understanding like a discernment like we're talking about today with Billy Goacher. But again, that's backslash radio, and that will land you right on that page. And you can check out all these things. And then you go, hey, I wonder what this conversation was like. Well, you can go check that out on the podcast.

You can go to my web page,, or you can get the podcast wherever you get your podcasts. We're on all the major platforms. So you can access it that way as well because you get a lot more because we do this in a very conversational way. It's back and forth, reacting to one another, but always based on the blog posts. So make sure you check that out today talking about discernment.

The title is Seeing Through the Fog, A Lesson on Discernment. We talked about discernment begins with identity, knowing who you are. We're in Colossians three here. You've been raised with Christ. Okay, so now you have a new king, you have a new operating system, you have a new call on your life.

We talked about that. And then discernment grows through engagement, doing what I was created to do, seeking the things above, right? And then discernment matures out of right affections. Now we're talking about what's going on in our heart, valuing what really matters again in Colossians in this time. And we started a little bit on this, Billy, Colossians three, too.

But you wrote this in the blog. The contrast in the text is meant to remind us that the trinkets of this world are not eternally valuable. You are mentioning puddles of pleasure versus an ocean of joy. They do not matter beyond this life. Doing what pleases God does. Discernment allows us to lay up treasures in heaven instead. If you've been raised a new life, then you must not waste God's gift of life on things that are earthly bound. And boy, do we have an invitation to not spend our time on godly things pretty much all day, every day.

Oh, yeah. I mean, we had a culture of entertainment. It has made a lot of money doing it, and it offers entertainment on a nonstop basis. So there's always things to distract you. And there's, I mean, the devil's really good. He's called one of the most subtle on the earth.

So he's good at offering distractions, even distractions that look like they might be good things. And that's why discernment is so important in the day we live. And why a good, you know, just a good theology. I appreciate you doing Theology Thursdays, being able to think right, biblically, having an anchor and authority on which we can rest and begin building out truth to live, but also reminding ourselves that the truth I live flows out of an affection. Out of values, genuine heart affections. And that's why the first great command is love God with all our heart. And so out of that heart affection grows then real maturing discernment. Yeah, that's right.

And one of the aspects of this, you know, that our audience is very much in our age range, Billy. And so one of the things that's so important and incumbent upon us is go, well, I'm not a teacher. Yes, you are. You're not called to a pulpit. Okay. You're not called into a classroom like me or Billy. Okay.

But you're still teaching. And the biggest, I think one of the biggest challenges we face and we started the show at this today is the lack of discernment in young people, particularly young Christians. And so it's incumbent upon us that we get this right and then we don't hoard it. We pass it on. So we have to engage younger Christians in conversations in order to help them grasp discernment, which is taking them into a biblical worldview. But you mentioned affection. So how do we kind of get our affections right?

We had four points here at the end of the blog post that I think are really helpful. Yeah, I mean, that's part of I think one author put it this way, you talk to you more than anybody else does. Oh, man. Yeah. And so I talk to myself in terms of even as this bombardment of information comes, I'm processing it. And as I process it, I begin to repeat it. And now I begin shaping my affections by these things that I start accepting to be true. Yeah. And that's why even as you said, in our generation of our to be teachers, part of that is to to push back against a lie that says, if I love somebody, I affirm them in all they do.

Right. Well, no love tells the truth. It tells the truth in love, because I genuinely care about you. I'm going to care enough to speak truth. Then that means I affirm you as a person.

Yes, you're a person who I love deeply. But that doesn't mean I affirm your choices, because if you're making choices that actually are going to damage you, destroy you that aren't true, if you're allowing your affections to be bent by a lie, if I love you, I need to be able to speak truth and say, no, no, no, no, that that's just not true. And I have the Bible to back I mean, I can, I better be equipped with the Bible to speak truth into these young people's lives to say, look what God has said.

There is an authority about these issues, like who you are. And I mean, whether it's gender and all these other sexual issues, I mean, the Bible actually is given by God who loves you. And it gives you truth. And then our lives being shaped by that truth means our affections for people need to be shaped by that truth. Yeah, which is why takes us into one of the earlier points in the conversation. But it's the first point here about setting our affections. Rightly towards Christ, we set our affections by continually speaking these truths to ourselves.

And that's where I've mentioned that before. I think I came up last week when we did the show and you guys were on the road is you have to kind of continually preach the gospel to yourself because there's so much noise coming at us. And so many lies, you have to continually I think in a show recently, Billy, I was like, it's the little engine that could, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, you have to continually pour truth back into your head. And this first point, the old earthly oriented hell bound slave of sin that I was died the day I was raised to new life with Christ. I think that's something we need to be reminded of.

Absolutely. I like we've, you know, that's like I said, that first verse in Colossians one, since they haven't memorized that should memorize Colossians three one, because if you've been raised with Christ and that should just keep ringing in my head all day long, I am new in Christ. I've been raised, I have a new life. That means having a new life means I've been rescued from this earthbound life where my perspective is simply shaped by that, which is just around me.

I actually have my life shaped by Christ who is seated at the right hand of God. That gives me discernment. Amen. And that actually encourages my heart in the middle of a dark day. I've been raised a new life.

Yeah. Such a great point. And so that truth is something I, I, you know, these truths are meant to be something I need to repeat to myself over and over again, because I come back to who I am. Then what am I doing with who I am and why am I doing it? Which is my affections.

And those are really what that's where discernment is all about. That's right. And nobody can take that from me.

You mentioned that in the second point. I was raised eternal life in the presence of God, and no man can take it from him. No one can take it from me. And so if I have 30 FBI agents, for example, show up at my house on a Monday, they can search my house, but they can't take, they can't take that eternal life from me. They can't take the bond of Christ from me. They can't take my eternal reward from me.

They can't take the Holy Spirit from me. That's an important thing. Cause it reminds you again, back to who you are.

Yeah. And it reminds you what I have. I've been set new in Christ.

And that also means I glory, we've talked about that, the glory that's coming. And that means the life that I now have is not something people can ever touch. So while the world can make it difficult for us, they might, they could throw me in prison. They can take stuff away from me. You can confine me, but one of the things you can never take from me is the joy that I have in Christ. Yeah.

You can't touch that. That's right. Because it didn't come from this temporal stuff.

It came from Christ. Yeah. And that abides in me as a Christian and always will, only will get fuller and fuller. And so part of getting back to why we have to be so word saturated and affection concerned is when my affections are set on the right things, they don't get destroyed by the temporal circumstances. Yeah.

Which is so important, especially when the temporal circumstances, you just look at the last two and a half years as I started the show with, can really become all-consuming if we let it. Yeah. And there's, I mean, they're real issues. Sure. Absolutely. They're difficult.

They're hard. We're all in the middle of them. Yep. But if all we see is the circumstances, then we lose sight of our king.

Yeah. And then we forget why we're here and we don't live for why we're here. And we're always trying to self-protect or look out for what's the next crisis or what's the next pandemic coming and how I'm going to, you know, I've actually been called the abundant living in the middle of a difficult world because I've been set free in Christ. And so I actually can live above the chaos and actually spend my life well, even in the midst of the chaos.

And, you know, at the end of my life, when I give an accounting to Christ, I want to spend my life well. Yeah. And I believe that brings joy right now. Yeah, absolutely. And joy forever.

Yeah. That's such a great point. Well, you know, I think you talk about a life of abundance. I think way too many of us, Billy, are just trying to survive. You're like, no, I mean, I just can't wait till Jesus comes back or I go home to be in glory. And in the meantime, I'm just going to hunker down.

I'm just going to survive. There was a huge nationwide study back and a pastor used this one, which was the same sermon that kind of changed my life. But he talked about it as a Time magazine, huge nationwide survey, like ten, twenty thousand people. And I was asking them basically how they view their lives. Ten percent of them said that they were an absolute failure.

Ten percent said that they succeeded beyond their wildest imagination. But 80 percent of them described their lives as simply enduring. I'm just making it. I'm just getting by.

I'm enduring. And that's not what Christ died to give us. That's that abundance versus just survival. And I think we struggle with that one, too.

Well, when life gets difficult and temporal things get hard, we're like, well, this can't be abundant life. Right. Well, but where's the source of my joy? If my joy is in the world, then it's going to get taken from me.

That's right. My joy is in Christ, and you can't touch it. Amen. And then when I can share actually new life with others, when life is about Christ, I get to share the greatest truth about it. When other people are rescued by that truth, there's a joy that abounds from it. Yeah, what a great, great point.

Great, great point. Billy, thanks so much again for your time. Thanks for sharing this important topic with us and leading us through it. And it's always great to have you on. Thanks so much. It's great to see you. Stay right there.

We'll pray together as we finish up. But man, do you have discernment. You've got to work on it. Check your heart. Remember who you are. Check your affections. And then let's make sure we're teaching this discernment to the younger generation because they need it now more than ever. This is Steve Noble on The Steve Noble Show. God willing, I'll talk to you again real soon. And like my dad always used to say, ever forward. Another program powered by the truth network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-12 19:23:20 / 2023-03-12 19:41:06 / 18

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