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April 6, 2018 2:16 pm
Best-selling author, speaker and advocate for Christian apologetics Dr. Alex McFarland, best-selling author and apologist Dylan Burroughs together bringing you the truth for a new generation. This is TMG radio GK Chesterton the famous leader who was very influential in the life of CS Lewis Chesterton once said man's most pragmatic need is to be something more than a pragmatist welcomed the program. This is TMG radio with the following Dylan Burroughs, Dylan. Good review brother a great connect once again looking forward to our time together today.
We got several things to talk about some current events and some cultural trends were going to go to Ephesians chapter 4 here just a moment of Bible chapter 4 talk little bit about the Chesterton quote man's most pragmatic need is to be more than a pragmatist.
Pragmatism is kind of like utilitarianism, I'm just going to do what works. If it works or if I think it works.
It must be true. While in terms of the Christian church. Many pastors and churches. I think often times assume the kind of preaching and teaching and ministry that they should do is what they feel like will be of beneficial or of perceived benefit to their parishioners.
Now the fact is that were called to preach the word we are called as Christians to make disciples of all nations to invest ourselves and involve ourselves in Christ.
Great commission to preach the good news of the gospel to the entire world and not merely to posture ourselves to what we might think is pragmatic or beneficial from a human standpoint. Case in point. A lot of churches where I go to speak. I will look at what's online or what may be the sermon series has been like and there are many good churches. Don't get me wrong there are a lot of great churches and there certainly are valiant, faithful leaders in the church do their best to pass the faith onto this generation.
However, a lot of preaching is pragmatic in the sense of in a better time management or how to be a more efficient person or how to communicate better with my spouse and it's fine we want to communicate with our spouses, we want to be relatable to our kids, but it is the double-edged sword of God's word that pierces the heart and soul and changes lives, and I fear that will be beginning to reap the benefit or the detriment rather of a couple of decades of pragmatic ministry utilitarian.
How do I become a self-actualized person. How do I become more at peace with myself.
Rather than preaching the word of God and Dylan. I'm going to share a little bit from Ephesians 4 but let me throw to you if I approach ministry with the question what's in it for me does not make me not only a pragmatist but really and narcissist will certainly in the definition of a narcissistic someone has excessive focus on oneself are on one's physical appearance as we see in the social media obsessed generation. It's all about me how I look. How I am perceived by others. And yet, in doing so, we often miss with the Bible calls us to do. We look at Ephesians for the attack. A minute starts out with the apostle Paul calling himself a prisoner for the Lord. This is not figurative.
He was really a prisoner for his faith. This is not something that worked for him this with him serving and what he calls himself a slave of Christ or servant of Christ Jesus, as we see in other places. He was certainly not living a pragmatic life or a narcissistic life but one of a servant.
Absolutely I would get a call about this on the radio show recently on what did Christ do after he died on the cross and it says that he descended into the lower parts of the earth. He preached the spirits in prison and there's a reference to first Peter three and also Psalm 68 about what Christ did and it said he get he ascended to the heavens gave gifts to men. And then it goes on and I really think the quote giving gifts to men. A fully orbed treatment of that phrase would include Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit, the birth of the church and the spiritual gifts that God gives to every believer and by the way, every believer does have some spiritual gift, a supernatural ability that God imparts to you at the moment of salvation for use for the glory of God the edification of the body.
The evangelization of the loss and the fulfillment of Christ's great commission you you as a believer friend have one or more spiritual gifts for God's use for your purpose in life to serve the Lord and no believer has every spiritual gift, but I do believe Dylan. Every believer has at least some one or more spiritual gifts Melanie read Ephesians 411 and following, and it does relate to this theme that we have today of getting away from the pragmatic and getting to the the biblical because if we stay on the path of mere pragmatism, narcissism alone. The results are to be pretty dark. It says this regarding our risen Savior who sent the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit that, by the way convinces of CNS John 15 and 16 convinces converts and really consecrate's us for service. He gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelist pastors, teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the son of God to a perfect body.
A perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ to listen at verse 14. Especially relevant in this culture where dozens of belief systems are competing for the hearts and minds of people.
Speaking of the church that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, and the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but another was on the other hand, speaking the truth in love, that we may grow up and all things into him who is the head Christ see the goal of preaching the goal of discipleship is corporate Christ likeness that the body of believers that this great big tapestry, call the family of God. People from all backgrounds but unique in that we've come through Jesus that we may be corporately conformed to Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. Now there's a lot there Dylan, but really the calling is that all of us allow the spirit of God to shape to grow to guide our lives so that when the parts are conformed to the image of Christ.
The whole is Christlike and that there were a unified body for the glory of God and the fulfillment of the commission. Verse 17 follows up and says that he insists on in the Lord, the you must no longer live as the Gentiles do you meaning that when we come to faith in Jesus, our goal to be different from the world to be salt and light in a dark and evil world. I'll talk more about this in just a moment, stick with this earth for a new generation is here to equip Christians with the biblical worldview through conferences and camps and speaking about camps.
Registration is now underway for the TNG summer youth, apologetics, happening July 22-26 at North Greenville University in South Carolina.
Alex McFarlane will be there along with Tony being the vice president for student services in Christian worldview it in GU will engage your on topics like if God is so good why is the world so bad.
Understanding and applying what God's word says about gender and a whole lot more.
15 apologetic and worldview training sessions and all along with a field trip to the Billy Graham Center, and of course outdoor fun and games. And don't forget about food, great food, enough to fill up and keep going.
Find out more about the 2018 TNG summer youth apologetics camp when you visit truth for a new generation.com. Our country is falling apart, political unrest, social upheaval, the breakdown of the family. The rise of atheism.
The rise of Islam are religious freedoms are under attack. There's gender fluidity gender identity is making a mess of freedom of expression. So we need to put some skin in the game and love this nation. As Christians we are to stand strong.
There has to be some personal investment in the living out in the preservation of stance on American is that you face help you become a champion champion for Christ in stand strong America Jason Jimenez and I lay out the facts about our nation. The current condition and how you yes you, your family, community can be involved in keeping this great Republic stand strong America is a guide for encouraging wherever Christian that liminality is released. The radio truth for a Nguyen of and stay tuned to TNG radio because we got to exciting development regarding the next TNG conferences one and September 1 and October also do a reminder that we have a TNG app if you got whatever your mobile device is if you go to the app store. You can find a truth for a new generation app and we've got really hundreds of articles that I've written and really kind of an apologetics A-Z and so we invite you to follow that and we pray it's a benefit to you right now I want to get back to Ephesians chapter 4 and were talking about the fact that the culture we know the culture is growing dark. We know that there there is violence. Tragically, there just a lot of indicators of our culture in desperate need of Christ, the new life that Jesus offers forgiveness of sin, a change of mind, a change of heart, a change of life. Definitely a change of outcomes and destiny and one of the verses in Ephesians chapter 4 says that we would no longer Ephesians 414 B tossed about by every wind of doctrine, you know, Dylan, in a war without truth always got his subjective opinion, preference, bias, attitude, and so much of social media and the Internet now is really just this white noise justice white noise of everybody shouting their opinion just spouting off their ideas and you know into that mill you, we might ask ourselves what can make a difference. What can be heard above the noise of culture and it's the voice of God and the voice of God is his word.
Scripture now much of preaching today is pragmatic. In other words, if it works. It must be something I ought to preach.
Whereas oftentimes the most pragmatic thing of all is that thing which to our human eyes doesn't look all that beneficial five minutes of the word of God is more beneficial than two hours of the greatest motivational speaker.
The human race could offer up MRI. Certainly there is no comparison because this pragmatism leads to narcissism. Narcissism leads to hedonism. Now hedonism is going to lead to something more will mention in a minute but narcissism is the mindset that it's all about me.
What's in it for me and listen as much as I love young people, and I work a lot with in a millennial's and younger late 20s and younger but but I will tell you the idea that it's all about me me me, which is just pandemic coming so many people think that way. This is one thing when 1/9 grader is like I don't want to go to church desire is boring is no fun. It's gotta be, you know, serving me me me. It's one thing when a middle school or high school or has on the me me attitude, but when adults some of whom have name the name of Christ for two decades. Plus, when we have the mindset of a child, rather than season mature, willing, obedient saint of God.
I we got a problem because the church is not fulfilling what it was called to do. Yes. And historically we saw this in the nation of Israel. The very final words in Judges 2125 talked about the summary of what was wrong and at times that everyone did as they saw fit. And if there is any parallel that you could look at in the Bible with our time. Today I would say it's right there in Judges 2125 everyone did as they saw fit. But what were the consequences of that we saw the divided kingdom, we saw a kingdom where there is rampant sin where there is rampant immorality and like you said, hedonism where people do what feels good to them what feels right to them and because of that attitude, their moral consequences their physical consequences and what results from that our lives that are suffering lies that are breaking down marriages that are falling apart.
Used to be that you would talk about a highschooler he might be playing video games too much and they would get in trouble at school or with their parents. Now I'm running into men who are in their 30s and 40s and their running into situations where they're divorcing with the spouse because they can't quit playing video games. These are the issues that we are facing in our day and age here in America you are in first grade is five verse one Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, which was a very carnal church and he says that their sins named among you, even some types of sins that even the pagans don't do and so think about it folks hedonism to be hedonistic is pleasure at any cost.
My highest good. My Sue mom Burnham in life is just to seek pleasure, but there is a downward slide. As we turn away from Christ, pragmatism, narcissism, hedonism, and finally paganism a darkened culture without God. Now I'll throw the word out here that it might sound like just a pejorative sense. You know slam on somebody but it's really a technical word with a very precise meaning in the word is heathen.
You know, you might've heard people jokingly say will you know so-and-so is just a heathen, as if that's just kind of a slang word for the word heathen really means a people group that is utterly without God and evangelized unreached or he that now in 1908 Chesterton that we reference before Chesterton observed in 1908 he said as much, as we need to win the heathen to Christianity. More and more increasingly Chesterton wrote. We need to win the Christians to Christianity.
Now when he said when the heathen some people nowadays when I share that quote I'll be in a grad class teaching graduate student Sosa or how rude I mean how how insensitive to cosmetic heathen, but what what Chesterton meant was he was using the word really in a scholarly sense. It meant a people group without the true and living God. Dylan, do you think that even in the Christian West increasingly we're becoming a heathen culture, and I don't mean that sarcastically I'm talking are we becoming a culture without knowledge of the true and living God well or seen aspects of that more more where people in the church lacked discernment about right and wrong issues of morality and so you see aspects of it to the degree that we say else. No big deal you people see this all the time and it shouldn't hurt you. But the reality is what we call what is evil good, we are falling into this category of paganism. Emily looked at ancient Israel when I started to worship other gods eventually when God called them to repentance. And they did not. There is a time of judgment and that's what I fear that we do not change as a culture if we do not turn back to God, individually and as families. There will be a time of judgment upon those who fail to turn back to God.
For centuries the Bible has inspired humanity and shape the very world we live but how do we know this book is the word of God, not merely the words of man, what we believe about the Bible is based on what we believe about source.
The God who speaks explores the evidence of the Bible's inspiration and authority to some of the world's most respected biblical scholars have essentially a geolocation source.
True to say that Paul wrote Romans is equally true to say that God's decision. We saw this and that sets the Bible apart from everything else in the ancient world and its religious pantheon of gods and goddesses.
The God who speaks is a feature-length documentary from the American family Association available now with the God who speaks.all first Peter 315 tells us to be ready always to give an answer for the hope we have were instructed to be prepared to defend our faith. This is Alex McFarlane for the life he answers teams students we train at North Greenville University, a leading Christian college in South Carolina. The life answers.
Teams are made up of students who will inspire and equip your congregation. These apologetics teams. We train speaking churches to youth groups and train Christians of all ages to address key issues of our times.
From a biblical perspective like is there a God is the Bible true. What about gender and moral issues.
Call me at 864977 2008 and we will arrange for the life answers team to come to your church and give a presentation that will benefit your people for years to come. 864-977-2000 eight and always be ready, come ye said for adenine AED we add CHF so and a TMG radio and as we get back talk about pragmatism versus lyricism being scripturally faithful. I do want to remind people that I will be at the Cove July 16-18, 2018, the Billy Graham training center in western North Carolina really in Asheville, the most beautiful retreat you've ever seen. It's amazing. Their website is the Cove.org CO VE. The Cove and I'll be teaching the book of Amos pathways to spiritual revival and awakening. Is it possible what can I do to play a role.
I hope to see you at the Cove.
July 16, 17 and 18.
I would encourage you to register and attend Dylan as we record this. The country is is reeling from the news of the shooting at YouTube and you know it's almost like there's that the bloodbath days you're there so much violence and shooting. And here's a lady that had put up some very horrible videos, cool videos of of abusive animals live on video and hate just terrible, hateful messages, and YouTube took her videos down because they didn't conform to their standards of what was appropriate material and she was angry and she went in and she fired a weapon in the offices at YouTube. The police responded either she killed herself or she was shot as we record this, the, the news is a little bit inconclusive but this only it's sad our hearts grieve for any type of violence, bloodshed and death. But this is what happens when we become a culture that has cut itself loose from God and as you read from the Old Testament Scriptures.
Everyone is doing that which is right in their own estimation. Every man for himself.
Every opinion is the law and we are just living as a culture without God or truth. Currently, yes, in this particular episode gives lots of the aspects we've been talking about the see the narcissism where there's a focus on self and blogging and blogging and writing and performing videos that are all about yourself and your own interest which we see very commonly that's that's only one aspect of the problem here but there's also hedonism. What feels good when she felt offended that YouTube took down her videos, and appropriately, what is she do. She took matters into her own hands and went to that extreme step of going to their location to kill other people, and of course of paganism. I don't over spiritual background, but she did come from the Baha'i faith, which is a non-Christian faith that has very different beliefs and so we see someone is worshiping another God and so she has all these elements of paganism, hedonism and narcissism and it led to this extreme situation where she thought the best thing in her life to do was to go after someone who had offended her, and you may not be at that position in your life today, but I think if we were to evaluate ourselves, we would see aspects of that in our own lives where we feel offended too easily. Are we at get something that we don't like and we want to do something vengeful against the other person we see this we don't need to act upon it. We need to reflect upon and see what God's word says in response that is godly and honors him. You know, for those who may not be aware of the Baha'i faith.
It really is an offshoot of Islam and there was a man in the 19th century. He was called the great Babb DAD and he presented himself as a Messiah, but this Messiah figured that the Babb presented himself as didn't rise from the dead didn't do miracles was not prophesied in Scripture as Jesus was, and it boils down to what Christ said that there was he, and all others were a thief and a robber and a liar. In John eight verse 24. Christ said of of his Messiah ship and remember he was prophesied in the Old Testament fulfilled all of the criteria for Messiah ship died on the cross rose from the dead in so many ways his own deity, and his Messiah ship was validated. But Jesus said in John 824 if you do not believe that I am he, you will die in your sins, now Baha'i, and other faith systems. Other worldviews talk about morality or or being good somehow and avoid that which is evil and pursue that which is good quote unquote but only Jesus offers you atonement that is the payment of your sins, your standing before God can be secure and what Christ did that sets himself apart is he rose from the dead.
Yesterday at Dylan. I was with Gary Habermas and have her mass is a highly respected scholar known the world over as the expert on Christ's resurrection and give her have her mass was sharing with me yesterday conversation he had with an Islamic apologist someone trying to defend Islam and the person said you know well.
All religions say I'm right, you're wrong.
He's about you Christians have an unfair advantage because you have something the rest of us don't have. You have the resurrection and have amassed kind of chuckled and he said yes that is what makes us different, our Savior, our figurehead was able to do what nobody else could do.
He ate death a risen Jesus is a game changer. Why should I preach the word of God and he did it rather than just doing my own pragmatic, narcissistic thing, because Jesus said this in John five.
Search the Scriptures for they testify of me and in them you find life that's John 539. Someone 1993.
I will never forget God's words for through them. I found life. Yes, in a world of opinions. There is truth in the. The personification of that truth. Who can give you eternal life is Jesus so well said Alex. And as we wrap up our time together am reminded of recently talking with my own son were going through the youth version of Henry black and he is experiencing God when it talks about knowing the will of God for your life and one of the steps I remember vividly is as following the will of God will cause you to make major changes in your life and we both look at that smile he said, isn't that so true. If you really want to follow Jesus like the Bible says it's not about what works, what helps you look better.
What makes you feel better, or any other gods or any other ways. Only Jesus satisfies, but it requires all of your life. He wants us to commit every part of her life to him and he told us not only can you give us eternal life and abundant life. In John 1010 I came to give them life and life abundantly. So we pray been blessed today is been together a treat for new generation stick with this in her final truth for a new association with Alex McFarland evangelistic ministries exists to equip Christians with the biblical worldview through conferences and camps for information about upcoming events visit for a new generation.com or give us a call at 877 yes God one that's 877 yes, God, and the number one TMG radio is made possible by the friends of Alex McFarland evangelistic ministries PO Box 485, Pleasant Garden, NC 27313 that's PO Box 485, Pleasant Garden Carolina 71. Give email@example.com generation.com. Thanks for listening and join us again next time. As we bring you more true for a new generation on TMG radio