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Lose Life..To Gain Life

Truth Talk / Stu Epperson
The Truth Network Radio
August 16, 2023 7:00 pm

Lose Life..To Gain Life

Truth Talk / Stu Epperson

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August 16, 2023 7:00 pm

Stu interviews Dr. Abidan Paul Shah, pastor of Clearview Church in Henderson NC. Listen as he shares his powerful testimony of God's providence in his life.


This is Sam from the Mask on Journey Podcast, and our goal with the podcast has helped you to try to find your way in this difficult world. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just seconds. Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and choosing the Truth Podcast Network. Dr. Avanah Shaw preached and speak from that text to a bunch of men who were really spellbound by you, Dr. Shaw.

They were just hanging on every word. But that scripture has a lot of personal meaning to you. Your pastor, Clearview Church, Henderson, North Carolina. Your national radio host, podcaster, author, doctor of New Testament studies, and college professor. I mean, all these things we could spend the whole program giving all the accolades that God's just blessed you with. But that verse, something about that verse is a little countercultural, even to American Christianity. Yes.

I mean, definitely. You know, I came from India. My dad was a former Muslim, gave his life to Jesus Christ. And when he did, the first thing to go was his own family. You know, and he lost his family, he lost his loved ones.

And then life was a series of losing for him, in a sense, if you look at it from the earthly perspective. Right. And for us, living in the Western world is very hard to understand, because usually our families are happy to be there. They're happy to celebrate with us.

But in his case, that was not the way. And so I shared with the men, and thank you so much to you. You're a blessing to us. We appreciate you and what you mean to us. And John, my associate is here as well.

You've given us the opportunity to be on the air. We thank you for that. And sharing with people that on the other side of the world, there are people who lose everything when they follow Christ. And we tend to think, come to Christ and you gain it all.

No, you gain Christ, you gain eternal life, you gain forgiveness. But there's a lot of losing as well. Yeah, and that quote you opened with this morning, I'm still trying to process it. John, it may take me a few days.

It's working on me as well. It's heavy. Can you share that with our listeners? You caught me off guard. You talked about the evil versus the good. Right. It's easier to give up the evil for Jesus. These are things that we are discarding, the old life, the life of sin, the life of selfishness, the life focused on old habits and addictions and things of that nature.

It's easy to discard those things, but it's much harder to give up the good for Jesus. There are things in our life that on one hand are wonderful. Marriage is wonderful.

We need to honor our wives or husbands or children. Love your children, raise them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. What a blessing to have kids and then to see them grow up and flourish and all that. Health is wonderful.

It's great to get up in the morning and have the energy and the stamina and motivation to keep going. All these things are great, but sometimes if we're not careful, those things begin to take the place that only belongs to God. We begin to love them more than we love Him. And so the solution begins with the understanding that God is a jealous God.

And it's not like He is mean and hateful over there saying, it's all about me. No, He knows that He has created us for Himself. So as we grow in Christ, the ultimate thing is to come to Him and love Him more.

And when you love Him more, you realize all these other things are good in their place. But do you love them unto God, not love them for themselves? Children are a blessing from the Lord. The scripture says that. But if you live for that blessing, if you live for that fulfillment through your children, you will be sorely disappointed. You'll be hurt.

They will disappoint you. They will choose a different path. I mean, not that they'll stop being believers, but they'll do things and you go, oh, wow, wait, wait, wait. But in the process, God is getting you to a place to realize it's Him. Our ultimate allegiance goes to Him. So you love them with a sense of moderation, reserving our true heartfelt love for Him.

And with that understanding, not only are we loving Christ, but also loving others in the right way. Wow. So your father learned this firsthand. He came to Christ out of a Muslim home. Yes. And then his dad gave him an ultimatum that night to tell everyone what happened.

Yes. I mean, he told his dad, expecting for this miracle to happen and his dad to go, wow, we've been waiting on someone to bring us Jesus. To the contrary was either you change, recant, renounce all this Christian stuff, or else tomorrow morning when I get up, says his dad, my grandfather, who I barely met as a baby, told him you're out of the house.

And if you don't, and this is not a radical Muslim home, they're educated people, they're successful, they're business community, but it was not going to be good for my dad, which means more than likely an honor killing. Wow. And that same passage in Matthew 10, Jesus talks about hating your father, hating your mother. Right. But you share with the men at the New Canaan Society, great, great job this morning speaking at the lodge, great group of men.

But you share with them about, hey, I'm not here to tell you to literally hate your folks. As you know, we got to understand the hyperbole with which Christ was talking, but there is a very real sense to, you come to these points in life where what's really valuable? Right. What's really important?

Right. And that was a calculus that a young man, your dad, before he was even born, had to make. And talk about how that impacted your life to this point. I mean, you grew up in India and then coming over here and now you're pastoring and all. Well, there was another part of my dad's story. You know, he went through seminary. I think I shared this with you, went through a lot of struggles because he didn't have a church sponsoring him. He had a missionary who helped him. But again, he was alone. So went through struggle after struggle until it came time for him to graduate. And even there, they held him back a year. Not sure this Muslim guy is for real.

Right. What is his motive? Why would an educated person seem so smart hitting the best ranks in the seminary? Why would he want to be in ministry?

So they held him for one more year. So he does that. At the end of that, Kerry Baptist Church, one of the larger churches in India, in the Al Calcutta, called him to come be their pastor. And so he still having that understanding that, you know, you suffer, but ultimately you gain, not gain Christ, gain stuff. So he was ready to go. He had gone, preached a trial sermon for this church. The existing pastor at the time was kind of sort of mentoring him and kind of talking to him. You know, how the church is going to be, how he's going to come alongside and then eventually take over as a pastor in a year or two.

All these plans were being made. And he went back to the seminary the year after when he was supposed to graduate, but now he's graduating and he's ready. He's ready to be rewarded. Rewarded for his sacrifices. And as he's walking by this bulletin board, notice board in the seminary, we had that job, you know, appointments listed there. He saw this one little note that said, small church, 40 or 50, something like that, members, we can only pay this much. If no one comes in another two months, we will shut down.

Wow. And so he in his mind, he says, this is for those other guys who didn't make it or not as good as I am. And that night, because next morning he's leaving. That night he didn't have any peace. He couldn't sleep.

He's tossing and turning. And at the end of that, he says, God, what do you want? I'm not I'm not going to that small church.

That's not going to happen. I have served. I have left everything. This is my reward. And that's when God told him in his own way, in his heart, you are you are saved, but you're not consecrated.

Wow. So some of these lessons we I have learned later in life, what it means to love God above everything else, even what we think is a reward for serving him. And he learned it early on. So it was I grew up really blessed.

And you you were a product of that commitment your dad made because he would not have met your mom. No, that's right. You're right. Marriage in here.

Good memory. Here comes this little guy who's now setting America and the world on fire with your writing and your teaching and your preaching at the church. And I know this guy, Pastor John, here, you're left in the studio with us at Truth Talk. I'm Stu Everson talking to one of our wonderful friends, partners, Truth Network pastors, Dr. Abinashaw Clearview Church in Henderson, North Carolina.

If you haven't been, go there. They have conferences on marriage. They have apologetics conferences. They've just got a just a God is working in Henderson, people from all over the triangle.

You've got people driving from NC State, Carolina, all the way to come to church there. But Pastor John, you hear your pastor say all this. Aren't you glad that his his daddy chose Jesus over family, which heaven forbid none of us would ever have to choose. But he did make that choice.

And look what happened. Glad. I mean, glad is an understatement. Sometimes it keeps me up at night for real. I think about it. I think about the way that God works. This man in India forsaking his family, sacrificing a life that that was, you know, that was set out before him. A life of luxury and comfort and status. And because he did that, some kid in Henderson, North Carolina, is going to be blessed by it and is going to be the path for his life is now altered.

A kid that he would never meet, a kid that he had no clue of. And then my children and then the people who are influenced by Dr. Shah's preaching in the church. It through one man's decision and through one man's faithfulness and obedience that I think about that a lot. And I think about how what decisions am I making that are going to impact hundreds of people that I'll never meet or what decisions Dr. Shah is making, the messages he preaches, the shows that he does, the impact. See, I feel like we a lot of times judge our success by just what we see. You know what I mean? Like I see the fruits.

So that's how successful I am. But God doesn't measure it that way. The impact that we're making a lot of times we may never see. But his faithfulness goes beyond what I can see or what I can perceive. I'm so, so thankful for this man. I never got the chance to meet him, but he has changed my life. Well, you're in a sense you're you're one of his grandkids spiritually.

I see it that way. Yeah, and I see on the Facebook and I see the youngsters being baptized in your church and I say, wow. Has your dad had any idea that the Lord had that impasse in his life? Where in India, I guess the prominent religions are Hinduism and Islam. And your family growing up was Islamic. Or your dad's family, rather. On my mom's side, a couple of generations back, they were Hindus.

So we've had a little bit of both. And Muslims as well on the mom's side. Hey, give the website real quick for the church so folks can hear Dr. Shah's preaching and hear the program that you're on as well. Sure, sure. So our first website is That's our church website. You can find all of the sermons there.

Abaddon Paul Shaw on YouTube. All of the sermons are there as well. And then you can also hear our daily radio show at Wonderful. Yeah, and I encourage you to listen to that.

You'll enjoy that because they jump into pop culture. And this guy, he's got quite an imagination, doesn't he? John is awesome. When we began this Clearview Today show, thanks to you, Stu, and Mark Reed as well. John, I looked to John for that, you know, to spearhead this thing.

And he took it and ran with it. And I'm so grateful. And Ryan as well.

And then David and Nicholas. It's a great team. Amazing.

I'm really blessed. You can't do it without Dr. Shah's leadership as well. I appreciate what you say, but if it weren't for his content, if it weren't for the message that I'd wholeheartedly believe in and his vision, then there would be no joy in it.

You know what I mean? But knowing that this is a man who not only loves the text but knows the text and wants to get that text out there makes doing the radio show and doing the daily show worth it. That's so encouraging. As we transition into this next segment, I want to talk to you all about the importance of sharing the truth. You're listening to The Truth Network and God has invested this great mind that could be used for all kinds of things. I mean, you could have gone into science, medicine.

I mean, you were tagged to do a lot of things. But God, somehow, Dr. Shah, will you talk about your journey to where you are now in terms of, like, you're in the ministry now. You're preaching. So many folks are like, this guy needs to be a physicist or a great... He could run a giant laboratory or something or work in the government. Head of state, you've got great leadership skills, but God's got you pastoring a church in Henderson, North Carolina. And we've been there 25 years now.

How about that? And I am so grateful that the Lord has given me this opportunity. Initially, when I was called in the ministry, I was kind of reluctant, not sure, is this really me?

Is this really what I need to do? And thank goodness. Thank God for the Holy Spirit who guided me and worked in my heart. And my wife, Nicole, has been a blessing. Her dad was a pastor who mentored me. So I'm grateful for people like them and, of course, like you who have come into my life and have encouraged me and been a source of inspiration to me.

That's been a blessing. So I'm grateful to a lot of folks, a lot of folks. So the ministry today, you all have a real missiological bent.

You see Henderson as a place, a sending place, a mobilization place. You're trying to send, you're trying to plant churches. Can you talk a little bit about that and your vision for sharing the truth? Absolutely. One partnership that we have built is with some of the African American pastors in the area.

Great. So we wanted to do something like that. And I prayed, for years I prayed, I said, God, help me to befriend some of the pastors, some of the brothers who are in the community who are doing what they can.

And it would start and then it would stop and it was not consistent. But in the past, would you say maybe four or five years, it has really taken on. Praise the Lord. And through the pandemic, we connected with some of the pastors and helped people in their churches. So we were making gift bags. Gift bags, care packages, going, handing them out. Along with these pastors to their congregations and to their community.

So this built in network. And just recently we've started a network and I didn't start it. Some of the African American pastors did of Pastors United. And they called me to come preach revival in their church. And I got up there and I preached on the churches in Revelation and what went wrong with them.

And it was amazing the way God worked. And so now we're looking at possibly training the younger pastors in the black community. And hopefully make a difference in their lives.

So the impact is growing in a whole different way that we never imagined. Yeah, Pastor John, speak to that because we hear a lot of negative and confession coming from this network. Coming from, you know, maybe the many affiliates that are brave enough to carry Truth Talk. We talk about, oh, so few Christians are sharing their faith. The church is dead. The church is lazy. The church is confused. And, you know, probably the church is deserving of some of that criticism. But talk about the good stuff God's doing in the church, John.

Pastor John, I mean, we got a front row seat. Everyone listen to that. Listen, I've been able to follow.

I've been working for Dr. Shaw for 10 years. And the only thing that I've seen is impact. The only thing that I've seen is positive and positivity.

I mean, you look at what the churches are doing in Henderson and the surrounding communities. And anybody who would talk negative, I don't think is looking. I don't think is looking closely. You can't. I don't see the negativity and I don't see stagnation in our community.

I just don't see it because it isn't there. When Dr. Shaw is involved and when other pastors get behind it. And like you said, take initiative to start training other pastors, discipling other pastors, building this network of pastors who are united in sharing the truth, there's really not any room for.

I mean, of course, there's always ways that we can improve. But there is no stagnation in our community because God, in a sense, won't allow it. When you're baptizing people, leading people to Christ, baptizing them, mobilizing them, flipping them, sending them out. How important is that into life?

If you're not going, you're not growing. You talk about that pastor and you refine yourself in the middle of that in a clear view. I preach expository messages. I preach, you know, get into the text, study the word of God, apply it to your lives. But every message has the evangelism part to it. Get saved.

Come to know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. And if you are saved, who are you reaching for the gospel? That's why I enjoy being around you because everywhere we go with Stu, somebody is going to hear something about the gospel. He's going to hear about, or they're going to hear about 97.7. They're getting a card. There's something.

We just hit Biscuitville. The name of our order was the Christian Radio Station in Winston-Salem. It carries truth talk. They called it out. They were like, ah, 97.7. And Stu's like, that's my favorite radio station. And I said, hey, leave it up there for a little bit so that food can get cold, but people can still hear about the radio. You know, they call it out again. That's right.

But you're trying to create that culture. And is the many churches listening, Dr. Shaw, Pastor John, the many churches listening right now who they feel like they need a wake-up call? Is there any greater wake-up call than just going and sharing the gospel? That's it. Creating a little revival. Talk about that.

Absolutely. You know, we hear a lot of negative about how churches are dying and this and that. Don't buy into all that. It's time for you to recognize the gospel has power. It is changing lives.

And those churches that are willing to step out of their comfort zones, share the gospel, invite people. We've got to go back to that. Somehow we bought into this, I don't know, woke-ism.

We bought into all the garbage in the past three, four years. We're fighting all these other battles. Instead of standing for the truth, preaching the word, and getting people saved the old-fashioned way, which is invite them to know Jesus Christ. And that has been the secret of our success is the gospel.

I love it. People that have never heard your program or your podcast, Pastor John, what can they expect? Set the table for folks. Is there another way of sharing the truth? Yeah, definitely.

Are you talking about Clearview today specifically? Oh, it's a ton of fun. We love to have fun. We have a lot of fun. Yeah, we have a lot of fun. So we start out.

Ryan, who is our other co-host, he's traveling today. But he and I will start out and we'll share a verse of the day. And then we'll banter for a little bit. We'll goof off, you know, oh, did you see this movie?

I didn't see it. And then we bring it back. And a lot of times we get user-submitted questions. So people will be like, you know, what are you going through in your Bible study right now? Or sometimes they'll be like, how do you like your eggs?

Or something. They're just interacting with us. Then we bring Dr. Shah in and we talk about it a little bit. And then we start getting deep into the word. You know, sometimes we'll talk about inspiration. Like, what does it mean that the Bible's inspired?

I don't know. Let's say that I have no clue what that means. Does that mean it just got God motivated his people to write?

No, of course not. Inspiration means this. Well, look, what about inerrancy? Do we really know? I mean, there's so many different manuscripts. But we're talking to a New Testament critic. So dealing with manuscripts is what he does. So what does that mean? If I lay these manuscripts out and there's differences, that means that the authors made mistakes, right?

No, not at all, because of X, Y, and Z. So the program is really centered on getting to the truth in some form of another, but having a good time while we do it. It's supposed to be centered around a conversation between friends. What's your challenge out there to pastors and to people looking for a good church?

Maybe they're not getting fed. Maybe the pastor listening needs to become a feeder, become a shepherd, become a real teacher of the word, and study, spend some more time in the chair studying. What's your challenge real quick, Pastor Shaw? I just met with a young pastor in our community. He just came eight, seven, eight months ago. And he sent me a text saying, hey, we need to get together.

Can you let me know if you have time? I was like, absolutely, just call me anytime. So he calls me a couple weeks ago.

We set up a time this week, and we sat down. He asked me my story, how did you come to be here, what happened, on and on and on. And he was just amazed at how long it took and all the ups and downs of ministry.

And then he asked me the question, what do you suggest I should do? I said, let me tell you, number one you need to do is get into that book. I said, put your nose in that book, dig in there, study it, understand it, get to the accuracy of your interpretation, make it clear, and teach it to the people. Apply it to their lives. Make every message come down to that point of decision, not just a great exposition, but come down to that point of decision.

See, he was expecting a strategy. So what you do is you get your deacons together or your elders together or your this, no, no. Your most important thing is get into that word. Get your people into that word. And then after that point, get to know people. Get into their hearts. Love them, but always have an agenda, and the agenda is to bring them to Christ. So my challenge to pastors is the same thing. Get into the word. Teach your people. Don't assume that they are somehow getting it somewhere.

They're not. Wow, and you have a whole congregation of people that every week you get together at Clearview Church in Henderson, North Carolina. Pastor John, talk about how you're weaponizing your congregants, your members, your people, to go out and reach the world. Talk about how important that is real quick for everyone, especially folks that are passionate about sharing the truth, which is what every believer is called to do.

We actually just recorded a bit on this yesterday, which is going to air on our Friday episode. A lot of times you see in churches congregational care or evangelism or getting the word out. All of that stuff will fall on the lead pastor's plate, all of it, 99% of it.

In most churches that you see, it all will fall on the pastor. The pastor is going to go visit people. He's going to be the one preaching. He's going to be doing the Wednesday night Bible study. Then he's going to make phone calls, and he's going to reach out to people who are sick. He needs to hear about it secondhand.

It's all going to fall on his plate. What I appreciate about Dr. Shah and Clearview is that the bigger you get, there seems to be this threshold where, okay, we just can't do it anymore, so it's just all going to cease. But at Clearview, that can't be the culture, because we are still a church in a small town, and so people expect that. They want to be taken care of. They want to know their pastor. They want to be able to trust their pastor. So what Dr. Shah has done is set up care group leaders within the church.

That is their job, and so they go out and they aspire people. They take care of people, and then that enables them to go out and spread the word even further. Through Kindle events, which are outreach ministry, through Clearview Today show, there's lots of ways that we're getting the word out there rather than just go, hey, knocking doors. Hi, I'm Dr. Abbadan Shah. Can you come to?

There's just not enough hours in the day to be able to cover that community. Yeah, we even have a vibrant, with John, a vibrant music ministry, wrote a song kind of dedicated to a Henderson's fire chief who just passed away with cancer. And in his last moments, he and I were talking, and I asked him, I said, Chief, what is God showing you? And he said, just turned his head and said, power and mercy.

God's power that he is sovereign, he's in control, and if he chooses not to heal me, that is still his mercy towards me. And so John, myself, David, we wrote this song, and this Sunday morning at 11 o'clock service, the entire fire department, county departments will be in church. So they're there to hear this song, but in the process they'll also hear the gospel.

That's right. Best website for folks to learn more about you guys. It's or I like that. Check out all the great resources, learn about the radio program, listen to them, be encouraged. Come see them if you're ever near Henderson, and go out and spread the clear message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-16 20:19:25 / 2023-08-16 20:30:55 / 12

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