35 Burst results for "Pagan"
Community and isolation with Jennifer Thorne - burst 3
"And, you know, I mean, that's not to say that, like, I'm on the side of the villagers from the Wicker Man, because they were absolutely insane. And I'm not, like, advocating for people being burnt alive in a giant Wicker Man. I just want to make that clear. But I think that often folk horror does set up this paradigm of, group bad, tradition bad, especially pagan. So you have this kind of like pagan versus Christian. You have, like, the city person coming into the countryside. And it's like, you know, the people who are in touch with history and nature and who are sort of a less civilized element are the threat. Whereas, you know, like the sort of Christianized, civilized person coming in is the only sane person that can kind of rally against it. Which again, is kind of a right wing perspective in some ways, you know, like, you know, if people sort of follow the environment and sort of older traditions, that doesn't make them, you know, stupid or wrongheaded or backwards. It's just, you know, a choice.
A highlight from I Will Seek the Salvation of the Unconverted
"Good morning. I counted a privilege to be here today in front of you and pray this would be an encouragement and very practical for us all. If you wanna turn, open in your Bibles to Ephesians 6, familiar passage, Ephesians 6. For most of us, our greatest focus in all the world is ourselves. If we're honest, particularly in the Western world, we spend most of our time and most of our money on earth striving to be healthy and wealthy and increasing our collection of things that help us to become more comfortable here on earth. Our sin nature drives us not to serve others but to serve ourselves first. If I was to ask you this, what does your calendar show and what does your bank statement show is most important to you? God has put us on this earth for a specific purpose. It's to live for Him and to point others to Him. As Pastor Nate said, we're gonna be preaching through our church covenant if you've got one of these. We're on number four and five here. We encourage you to grab one off the table if you get a chance even after the service. Our covenant sets before us the biblical commitments I will bring up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord such as may be under my care and I will seek the salvation of the unconverted. God wants us to bring up our children in the gospel and also share the gospel with the lost. So in Ephesians six where you are, starting in verse one, familiar passage. Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. Honor your father and mother. This is the first commandment with a promise that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land. Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. So we'll continue with the same template that Pastor Nate's been using. First, we wanna make sure that we realize that our church covenant, and if you're not familiar with this is, this is a covenant that members of Omaha Baptist covenant together to uphold as long as you're a member here but it's not just a man -made document that we picked out of the sky. We wanna show that it's biblical and it's root. So the biblical commitment that God wants to keep the gospel first at your home. In the passage here in Ephesians six, we see that raising children is broken down to a couple categories, discipline and instruction. If I was to ask you which one of you desires to be disciplined, who here has ever said, yay, I get to be disciplined today? I'm going to assume no one. My younger brother was the only one who was never disciplined in our home. Because he's sinless is what he would say, that's not the case. The desire not to be disciplined is nothing new though. We see this all the way back to the garden. It's rooted in our very sin nature. If this wasn't the case when Adam and Eve fell in sin and Adam was confronted, he wouldn't have immediately turned to blame his wife Eve and he certainly wouldn't have deflected to blame God for making Eve. So knowing that discipline is not generally enjoyable and it's not something we desire to have, is it negative and should be avoided at all costs? In Hebrews, in Hebrews 12, verse 11, we read a verse that would clear that up for us. For the moment, all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant. So we see the negative. But, as we continue, but later it yields a peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. So what does proper discipline yield? It yields a peaceful fruit of righteousness. Take notice as well the link between discipline and training. Right living is something that's trained into a person through the process of discipline. It's not something that they just organically have when they come into this world. They have quite the opposite. So here we can see how by continually pointing our children to Christ, and when we bring them under the authority of God's word, we're training them in a life through the lens of the gospel. If you look at Ephesians 6 again, we see that it addresses both parties at the home, both the children and the parents. For the sake of time, we won't tackle the children's side of things, but it does start with children. And children, I would just say this, that by honoring your parents, whether you see them as honor worthy or not, you are honoring the Lord who put them in that position of authority. Though it speaks to both children and parents, fathers specifically are pointed out in verse four. It says, fathers do not provoke your children to anger. Fathers are held responsible for leading the charge in the home, just as Adam was specifically addressed in Genesis 3. Though Eve was the first one to sin, God said, Adam, where are you? Fathers are called to discipline their children, but not in a way that causes anger and resentment. The purpose of discipline, and when God disciplines us, it needs to be restorative in nature and never done in anger. It's been said, and this stuck with me when I heard this, I thought, is this not true? It's been said that in a home, if you have all rules with no relationship, you end up with rebellion. But if you have a home that has all relationship with no rules, you end up creating resentment. A father's discipline needs to be carried out in the context of a loving relationship where you have a relationship, but also the clear expectation of what God's word calls us to do. If you find yourself disciplining your child as a hypocrite, doing something that, asking them to do something that you wouldn't do or not modeling it before them, you will provoke your children to anger. But it's not just discipline, and there's also, it speaks to us in Ephesians about the instruction also in home, so gospel instruction we wanna bring in home. I realize that many of you here don't have children, or maybe your children are now out of the home. It's important to think of this call in our covenant not limited only to the child -parent relationship. The exhortation is much broader than that. I think the word it uses here is such may be under my care. It could refer to our relationship for Christ with virtually any relationship that we have. Other people looking to us, whether to raise them physically or even in the spiritual sense. If you wanna turn with me to 2 Timothy 1 .5, I think we see a really interesting illustration of this, how it's played out in scripture. So 2 Timothy 1 .5, this is Paul speaking to Timothy, I'm reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother, Lois, and your mother Eunice, and I'm sure dwells in you as well. Timothy's father's not even in the picture, we're not sure, we're not told why, we don't know what happened to him, but his mother, pardon me, his grandmother, Lois, stepped into the gap and is played a part in Timothy being brought up in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord. The apostle Paul also played a huge part in training Timothy without a father in the picture. Both the books, 1 and 2 Timothy, are letters from Paul to this young pastor, training him in the way he should go, just as a parent would train a child. Paul shows his heart towards Timothy by referring to him as his true child in the faith. So whether you've got biological children or not, we're all called to provide gospel instruction to those that may be under our care. There is, however, special onus on parents bringing the gospel into their own home. You'll notice when we read Ephesians 6 that it's not, it's parent -child language used, it's not Sunday school teacher child used, or pastor child, or government child. It's parent -child. God's design is for a father and a mother to raise their own children and pointing them to the Lord as their primary responsibility, not a responsibility they pass off to somebody else. So if I was to ask these questions, are you modeling the gospel at home before your children? Actions speak louder than words. If I was to ask your children what they see in your home, what would they tell me? Do your children know the gospel? Ask them to explain the gospel to you and then check. Is it on point or is there things they're confused about? This is a great question to expose whether we understand what that gospel actually is. It's quite possible that you can be here thinking you know it and don't, or believing some kind of version of a false gospel. That's skewed. When somebody's sinned against in the home, does the gospel that saved you shape how you respond to that? Do our kids, when they sin against each other, does the gospel speak into that relationship? Does it speak into how we correct that behavior? Does the gospel come up regularly in your conversation at home? If the gospel is the lens that we wanna give our children to see the world, then it should be commonplace in our conversations. Let's meditate on those questions as we move on. God doesn't just want us to keep the gospel first at home. He wants us to keep the gospel first in all of our relationships. You can flip over to Matthew 28, very familiar passage, the Great Commission, Matthew 28, verse 16 is where we'll start. Now the 11 disciples went to Galilee to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when he saw him, they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus said to them, all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I'm with you always to the end of the age. So here God clearly calls us to go make disciples. If you're a follower of Christ here today, I'm assuming that you agree that making disciples is a clear teaching of scripture and you agree that we should be doing it. The million dollar question is, are we doing it? We'll get to some of the reasons why we don't do it and the reasons that threaten us in a minute, but let's look at first what a disciple is. The Greek term for disciple in the New Testament is mathiteus, I'm no Greek scholar, but we're going with that, which basically means student or learner, but a disciple is also a follower, someone who adheres completely to the teaching of another, making them his rule of life and conduct. So if you're a disciple of Christ or if you're to make disciples of Christ, a Christ follower is someone who adheres completely to the teachings of Christ, making Christ his rule of life and conduct. So how do we make disciples? Well, in verse 19, we read that we're commanded to go. We're not told that potential disciples will come and find us and seek us out. No, the disciples were charged with the command to go. Don't just sit around and wait for this to happen. And if you're familiar with the start of the church in the book of Acts, this wasn't something that they were super keen on doing until they were more or less forced to do that through persecution. I was thinking of an illustration of this, and I was meeting with a young man once who was of the age that he'd finished school and was in the workforce now, and he explained to me that he was desiring to find a godly woman, which was a noble desire, so I said, well, how's that going? And it wasn't going well, so I said, well, what are you doing to make this happen? Nothing, just crickets. So I said, well, you realize the chances of a godly woman coming to your house, breaking in, coming into the basement, interrupting your video games, tapping you on the shoulder and introducing yourself, it's not real high. So maybe it would be smart if you went, go, and did something, took some initiative to find a godly woman, and it's the same with evangelism. There is times where the Lord and his providence will literally draw people in our lap, but generally speaking, it has to be something that we're willing to do, to go, a desire that's gotta come from within. Second, we don't need to go, we need to make sure that we're pointing people to Christ and not to ourselves. It seems obvious that this is the case, but it's something that we often miss the mark on. We might feel the pressure of closing the deal, so to speak, as if you're a salesman on a sales call and you gotta close the deal and make that sale. But if we're to make disciples of Christ, we just need to show them Christ. So how do we do that? If you wanna turn, Romans 10, we'll be going through this a little bit here, 10, 17, where's where we'll start, and then we'll step back a bit. Romans 10, 17 says, so faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ. So if somebody's to come to saving faith, they need to first hear the word. Not my words, not the words of Greg and whatever clever thing I can say, but God's word. So that's 10, 17, but if we were to back up a few verses, let's look at the context of what Paul's saying here. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, you notice the Great Commission language here, that going to all nations, both Jew and Greek, everybody. There's no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How will they call on him and who they have not believed, and how are they to believe in him and who they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news? But they have not all obeyed the gospel, for Isaiah said, Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us? So faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ. So we need to point them to the only thing that can pierce their heart, the heart of any sinner, it's God's word, and the only thing that pierces that is the sword of the spirit, and this verse has already come up in previous messages, but Hebrews 4 .12, for the word of God is living and active, sharper than any tumbled sword, piercing through the division of soul and spirit and joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Give the people the word of God and let God's word do the work. But God doesn't just say, go make disciples, he says to teach the disciples. So if the Lord in his mercy does open the eyes of somebody that we're evangelizing, even if that's our own children or somebody outside of the home, in so many ways the work is just getting started. This idea of teaching is an ongoing interaction, right? In verse 20 it reads, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. This is only possible through ongoing fellowship, doing life together. Remember I said, if it's not like the salesman who's closing the deal and then onto the next deal, if that's not what it is, think of it more like a journeyman -apprenticeship relationship, a relationship where you're bringing somebody along, somebody new in the faith, to come and do life together. You're modeling before them what it is to live for Christ and the way that they should go. If you're doing this properly, you should be able to do as Paul did, or that's what Paul was doing with Timothy, and should be able to say, be imitators of me as I imitate Christ. So it's a biblical commitment, but if we move on, it's also a very threatened commitment. So we see this commitment threatened in our own home as far as raising our children in the Lord. We can all be very guilty of just assuming that our children will just organically come to Christ sort of by living with us, maybe coming to church, maybe you generally just hang around most of the time with Christian people, and you might figure that that's good enough. If you want to turn with me to the Old Testament, passage you're probably less familiar with, judges, judges two, we'll see a sobering account here of why this isn't the case. So the Jewish people have, God's people have just come into the land, and the land that he miraculously gave them, the promised land, and a generation, the first generation is coming to an end. We pick up in verse seven. And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had sent all the great work the Lord had done for Israel. And Joshua, the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at age 110. Now if we jump down to verse 10, we read these sobering words. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord, or the work that he had done for Israel. And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals. So we see in one generation, the people of God, God's chosen people, went from following the Lord, and seeing him work in unbelievably miraculous ways, and bringing them into the promised land, to not even knowing the Lord, or even recognizing the work that he had done. I know when I read that, I was thinking, how is that even possible? There's probably lots of reasons why this is possible, and this speaks to our own home. There's probably lots of reasons why our kids can be in the same place that God's people were there. Let's just look at a couple of them. First off, I thought, in my own life, what are the things, it's just, first thing I thought of, it's just easier not to. Parenting is hard work. Life is busy, and parenting is hard. Being intentional in your parenting, and takes discipline of yourself. None of us like to discipline ourselves. It's sometimes easier to discipline somebody else. If you're like me, and you've worked all day, and you come home, the last thing you probably feel like doing is having intentional gospel conversations with your wife and kids. That's probably at war with your own sloth. It's just easier maybe to turn your brain off, and turn the TV on. I think we can feel like, maybe like the Israelites did when they got into the land finally, that the worst is behind us. God's been good, let's get comfortable, and mail it in. But when we do that, we fail to notice that if we're not intentionally teaching our kids, don't be deceived, somebody else is. Somebody else is gonna fill that gap. Joshua obviously felt, that generation obviously assumed that their children would just learn through osmosis, being around them, that they would learn what it was to follow God. And they did learn through osmosis, the scripture tells us that, but they didn't learn from mom and dad, they learned from the pagans around them. They learned to worship Baal instead of the living God. I think another threat we have to this, and again I'm speaking to myself in this, is we're just too distracted. We live in a world that's never had more distractions. This smartphone alone has the ability to take our complete attention at any time. Funny cat videos, need I say anymore? My wife and I often talk about just how different it is as we're looking to raise kids now when we grew up. And I know there's people here with grayer hair than me. But we had no TV or TV with three channels that were all fuzzy. No stores were open on Sunday. The stores that were open closed at five o 'clock. And I could go on and now my smartphone alone allows me to watch more videos than I could watch in an entire lifetime even if I wanted to. I can buy whatever I want from all over the globe and have it delivered to my door in a day or less. The battle for our focus on being intentional in anything in the Lord, especially parenting, is real and it's not going away. And the next generation is gonna face it in a way even more difficult than ours. So I think it's also important though too that some of the distractions that we have as far as being intentional in parenting, and keep in mind when I'm talking parenting, again, this could be discipling somebody that's not your own child. That some of the stuff that's at war with us can be good things. We can be distracted doing all kinds of good things for or people even pouring into other people at the very neglect of our own children and our wives. I think the log spec principle in Matthew 7 where we're to make sure to get the giant two by four out of our eyes before we remove the speck out of our brother's eyes to make sure that we're pouring into our family at home. If you're a father in particular, that's your primary goal to be pouring in at home and not busy fixing everybody else's problem and neglecting your own children. I think you see this, unfortunately, in a lot of pastors' kids who resent the church, I think because dad was never around, busy helping everybody. So it's something that's real, not just for pastors. Another thing that causes real war in this area is parents not being on the same page. And this is a particularly hard one and I'm gonna be sensitive here because I know there's lots of people here that have unsafe spouses. But you can have, we can even be both safe parents at home and we can be just biblically unaware or maybe unconvinced that the scripture has much direction in this area. If this is you and you're not certain what the scripture says about parenting, there's more than just Ephesians that are brought up here. We're actually currently in table time, so after the service, we're doing a parenting class and this is our third time through it. It's not our own class that I dreamt up, don't worry. It's a paltra parenting class, but it's speaking specifically about the heart of the situation. So the heart of the child, which is desperately lost, can only be saved through the gospel. And it's a 10 -week video series and it's been fantastic in growing my own understanding of what it is to be a parent. And my wife and I talk about how it would have been great to have watched this 17 years ago. But I would encourage you to do that. If you're a saved couple here, put the time in and grow in your understanding of this. The Bible's not silent in the errand of parenting, so treat it as such and pour some time into it. But it's possible too that there's friction at home because your spouse isn't a believer and I know that's a lot of people here. And maybe you deeply wanna raise your kids in the gospel, but your spouse is pushing against that. And there's obviously no quick fix, easy answer here. Your first priority is to pray for the salvation of your lost spouse. That's the heart of the issue right there now. And I know there's many of you that have been doing that for years. So continue to do that, but I think what can be more difficult even than praying for a lost person for years is particularly in a home is living in a way that points them to Christ on a daily basis. So to model that devotion to Christ in a kind way before them, 1 Peter 3, this is speaking of wives, but 1 Peter 3, 1, calls on believing wives to live in a godly fashion so that their lost husbands might be won without a word by the conduct of their wives.
A highlight from Episode 70: Halloween: Pagan or Christian? The history, Catholic & Protestant perspectives, + our ghost story!
"Hey welcome back to Let's Talk About It with Jackie and Megan. We like to talk about things that are messy, awkward, hard or controversial and create a space for healing. Hey guys welcome back to Let's Talk About It with Jackie and Megan. Today we're going to talk about Halloween and I'm wearing if you're watching YouTube I'm wearing a very fall feeling sweater so I'm feeling pretty cozy. Me too. If you don't watch us on YouTube you should, just saying. The quality is really great. Yeah everything is really great but that's where you can see our beautiful faces and our facial expressions so you should. But yes we thought we would do an episode on Halloween since when this is released I think it'll be the day before Halloween and this has been like a conversation that has been going on since I can remember existing of there being controversy around Halloween and if as a Christian you should celebrate Halloween and Megan and I were actually celebrating Halloween. Yeah yeah my parents died and not for me that was never a thing that my parents cared about or like were wary of so yeah I mean we celebrated it in a very like just classic American way where we would dress up and go trick -or -treating yeah there was never really any weird I don't know like spiritual side like I don't dangerous spiritual side to things which we'll get more into but yeah what about I grew up just doing like the fun like I don't know as kids you like dress up you know trick -or -treating all of our neighbors were like elderly so they like paid it up they were like yes yeah but because I was very much immersed in American evangelical conservative culture most of my friends did not celebrate Halloween and I got judged like very harshly for it. Yeah I mean I found there's like there is a difference I have seen some Catholics that are of Halloween but there's even a difference between yeah American evangelicalism and Catholic Catholicism when it comes to Halloween which we will get into more with that as well because while Megan and I both do think it is permissible to celebrate Halloween as a Christian we also have different - Spoiler alert! Yeah spoiler alert! I'm just grabbing that. Yeah let's talk about the true holiday Reformation day. Okay you know what that's personally why I don't celebrate Halloween anymore because I'm just like you know what just kidding. You're like I have a problem with the Reformation roots.
A highlight from The Wicker Man (2006), (Horror/Mystery) Movie Review
"What's happening everyone? Kira and Ben back again. This week we are covering The Wicker Man. Now we are doing the 2006 version featuring Nicolas Cage. This is not going to be the original from 1973. Ben, tell me about your history with the film. It's original from 1973. Oh my goodness! Yes! And both of them are based on a book called The Ritual. I knew the book called The Ritual but I did not know the first one. I just knew the one with Nicolas Cage because it had come up and I was like oh well we'll just do that one. Yeah no obviously um I think the Nicolas Cage one is more popular because of course Nicolas Cage. I was surprised because I had seen this movie not like when it had first been released but like back when I was like in high school I had seen it and I forgot how many people were in this movie. Yeah there's a star -studded cast and they're just like underlying. I think it's like they're they're the beginning of their careers maybe. Well not Ellen Bernstein. No Ellen Bernstein's been around a while. She's been around a while. One thing about Ellen Bernstein real real quick I just saw the new Exorcist Believer recently horrible movie please do not watch it. It looked like it had so much potential. It had Ben. It had legit so much potential and it was so stupid it was so bad it was so so bad but Ellen Bernstein was in it she did reprise her role from the original and spoilers they do bring back Linda Blair as well but it's bad please do not watch it I just want to mention that because I saw Ellen Bernstein I was like she's following me around. Alright so back into The Wicker Man so yes this is a film from 2006 featuring Nicolas Cage and it is kind of like a folk horror. I would call this a folk horror. Last week we did cover Midsommar and off air we were kind of talking a little bit about the similarities between the two so I think it's really fun to lead in with this movie. So for those who don't know The Wicker Man is a story about Nicolas Cage who is a cop and he is really he gets a letter from his estranged fiance who just like abruptly leaves him and this letter is like you have to help me come find my daughter I'm on the island I'm on Summer Isle like I need your help I need your help can you come can you come can you come? So obviously he comes and there's a lot of weirdness on the island it's very female led everyone kind of talks in riddles every time he turns around he's like left with more questions than answers and then we get the big reveal so we'll kind of go bit by bit but I do really want to talk a lot about the similar before we begin I do want to talk about the similarities with Midsommar because I do love this like kind of idea of like communes and cults and this kind of like horror and I know we had covered Hannibal Holocaust and then we had watched separate movies called Eaten Alive and in Eaten Alive the version that I watched or the film that I watched they had they had a cult aspect of it as well so I think it's really interesting how cults and horror kind of synonymous sometimes. Yeah yeah I thought I didn't really think it was cultish I thought it was more like medieval traditionalist is that? I could see that but I do think part of I absolutely a hundred percent but I do think that there is some level of like cult and like commune underlying just like with like believing and the coming back and like the way that they speak and their rituals and how they like worship these like pagan gods and like so things like that to me felt very cultish the way that they I love how they treated men in this I thought that was so funny you guys know me I love I love female led horror so I love when women are in power but I did think it was really funny how like Nicolas Cage comes and like he sees all these like like desolate men and he's like I need your help I need your help and then they're just like nah they're like we're just gonna sit here and eat and pretend like nothing is going on so it is interesting I I can see why we are doing this one right after Midsummer what are some of your main similarities that you wanted to discuss? Well I thought a lot of it was like the fertility. Fertility played a big part in both of them. Absolutely.
A highlight from Three Lessons from the Book of Exodus: Charlie's Speech to Colorado Christian Academy
"I want to thank Charlie. He's an incredible guy. His spirit, his love of this country. He's done an amazing job building one of the most powerful youth organizations ever created. Turning Point USA. We will not embrace the ideas that have destroyed countries, destroyed lives, and we are going to fight for freedom on campuses across the country. That's why we are here. Brought to you by the loan experts I trust, Andrew and Todd at Sierra Pacific Mortgage at andrewandtodd .com. Thank you, everybody. Thank you. Okay, please take a seat. I'm going to close this. Okay, so I want to get to question and answer because I think that's actually the most fun, and I have a feeling there's a lot of questions. There's a lot I could talk about. First, I just want to say there's something really exciting happening in the country where I'm getting invited to speak at schools like this all across the country that didn't exist a decade ago, where parents are starting to rise up and start new communities and start new schools. This is exactly what is necessary in the country right now. Because there if is a woke private school and a failed public school, just start a new school. And we are really good at starting new things. We're really bad at preserving our things from getting captured and infiltrated. That's a separate issue. They're experts at infiltration, experts at destabilization. But I just want to compliment and commend the whole team here. Think really big because the demand is greater than you could ever imagine. I Colorado. love I hate what these people have done to it. And you have to think multigenerationally. You really do. And that's why this effort is so incredibly important. And you have no idea the child that you might be helping educate at Colorado Christian, the impact that they might make. You have no idea if they might be a changemaker, an entrepreneur, a senator, a congressman, something beyond your wildest imagination. Or the most important thing, a loyal husband and wife and someone who loves the Lord, honestly, even beyond a massive changemaker. So I'm going to actually talk about my favorite book of the Bible. I don't think you'll really guess it. It's funny. I love the word and I love what it does to you through different walks of life. And because I'm a glutton for punishment, I've decided to go through the first five books of the Bible in original Hebrew and go verse by verse. If you want a really big challenge, do that. Just finished Leviticus. That's no fun at all. It's unbelievably awesome as a Christian to read Leviticus for many different reasons. And it's amazing. But my favorite book of the Bible is the book of Exodus. And it's not quoted enough or understood enough. And I really think that there's more parallels for what we're living through right now in the book of Exodus than almost any other part of the word. I And so was studying and studying Exodus and so much pops out. So I'm going to go three lessons that I think we as believers, we as patriots, can derive from the book of Exodus. And some you say, OK, I've heard that one before. But I guarantee you I'm going to isolate a verse that you've probably never heard any pastor ever isolate. It's just kind of what I call a flyover verse. You know what I'm talking about? Where you just kind of skim. You're like, OK, let's go. You know, it's like the verse before John 3 16, John 3 15 and John 3 17. Does anyone know those? Probably not. Well, maybe in this room. But very few people do, right? It's a flyover verse. So it's first important to remember Exodus in Greek means the way out. Ex hodos, right? And the actual labeling of the verse is Israelites oppressed or the captivity in Egypt. The whole Old Testament, the first five books of the Bible of the word of God is centered around Egypt. Egypt is actually the villain of the Torah. Egypt is tyranny. Egypt is authoritarianism. Egypt is paganism. Egypt is godlessness. Egypt is one size fits all rule. Said differently, Egypt is the Biden administration. And so now if I offended you, you're in the wrong dinner. I'm sorry. Like so and the whole Bible is written even in Genesis. It's written as a refutation of Egypt. And if you know anything, devout Jews will tell you that the Exodus is the most important thing. Creation and Exodus are the two most important parts of Jewish life, right? Whether it be the Passover Seder, whether it be the Shema, whatever it is, Egypt is the whole ballgame, right? And like remember how we were delivered from Egypt and I'll dive into that. So there's this amazing thing and you remember the end of Genesis, right? Joseph does this remarkable stuff. He doesn't do it. God doesn't through Joseph and he's just a messenger. And he basically saves Egypt from famine and from starvation and saves the whole civilization, right? And the first chapter of Exodus sets up the whole, it's what I call the turning point chapter and we're living through this right now in America. And this is why Christian education is so important and why supporting this academy is so important. And it's a verse that you would just kind of read over and like, okay, yeah, whatever. Then rose a king over Egypt who did not know Joseph. Okay, Charlie, what's the big deal? That's exactly what's happening on university campuses across the country. Then rose a generation that did not know George Washington. Then rose a generation who did not know Abraham Lincoln. You get tyranny when you forget the sacrifices that were made before you. You get tyranny when you don't know your history. Right there, the entire book of Exodus gets set up. So here's Joseph that through God saves them from famine, saves them from starvation. The Egyptians should have statues made to Joseph. They should have songs made to Joseph. But all it took was one king who didn't have the memory of what Joseph did before. And then what happens? That king rises and everything changes. He says, who are these Israelites? They multiply like insects. Let's get rid of these guys. If you fail to pass down your values from one generation to the other, you can quickly all of a sudden get authoritarianism, tyranny, murder, genocide very, very quickly. It can happen in one generation. And I don't think we as Christians isolate this teaching enough because we act as if it happens automatically sometimes. Like, oh, I can send my kid to government school and they'll still share my values. You know, we go to church once a quarter and, you know, we listen to Christian music, you know, every so often and, you know, like through osmosis. And even in the cocktail reception, people come up to me and they say, Charlie, how am I supposed to deal with kids that don't share my values? How did this happen? And my question is always the same. You know, what college did they go to? Always. And in this case, it was Northwestern in Michigan, right? So nice selections. But again, I'm not picking on you guys. It's a very sweet couple. But it was just stood out, right? And you're here tonight because you want your children to share your values, that you want your children to live in liberty. And so that verse right there should be our mission statement. We never want to have a king or a sovereign, the people, ever not know the sacrifices that were made before. When I visit college campuses, and I visit college campuses so you don't have to, I am told, Charlie, the founders were a bunch of racist old dead white guys. We're a colonistic, colonialistic, misogynistic, homophobic, terrible country. That's a generation that did not know Joseph. So then all of a sudden they have a willingness and openness for tyranny, for totalitarianism, authoritarianism, because that is actually how we are naturally programmed. I actually didn't plan to talk about this, but it's just a little bit of a side note. The human being wants to be taken care of far more than they want to be free. Freedom is a value. You naturally do not want to be free. And if you disagree, you are not paying attention during COVID. People that were otherwise some of the most rational people that I knew lost their bloody mind masks wearing in a car alone because they wanted to be told what to do. Freedom requires risk. You cannot be free without chance. You can't have both. If you want to have everything taken care of, go commit a federal crime, or just become a conservative, because inevitably you'll end up in federal prison, and then you'll go to jail. There's no freedom, but there is assuredness at prison. Three meals a day, bunk you don't have to pay for, you don't have to work for what you get. Prison is the opposite of freedom. And so here's the Israelites that are living in total totalitarianism because a king came who did not know what the previous generation did. The next verse, Exodus 1 17, one of my favorite verses in the whole Bible, and I screamed this at pastors, and I yelled it at pastors, and I was unsuccessful. And I'll tell you why. But the midwives to the Hebrews, as in the original Hebrew it says this, feared God. Now the verse before it, Exodus 1 16, the king who forgot Joseph was like, hey, murder all the firstborn, murder them all, kill the babies. Now we would know nothing about killing babies in our civilization. We're way more advanced than that, obviously. We would never do such a thing ever, obviously. Look how advanced we are. We have Twitter and air conditioning, right? So this is, I always laugh when people say the Bible is such a medieval text, we've advanced so far. Yeah, right. No, we just do the evil things quicker and better and quieter and more secretly. So of course, we're more advanced than that. But the king or the pharaoh says, kill the firstborn. And I love this. The midwives disobeyed Pharaoh because they feared God. And it goes on to say that the Hebrew is not a great translation. God dealt well with them or God found favor in them. God loves when you defy tyranny for liberty. That is the heart of God. God wants you to reject tyranny if it engages in somebody's life or interferes with their liberty. A regular woke skinny jean -wearing pastor will tell you, no, no, no, Romans 13, man, submit to the rulers and authority because God put them there for your good. And then I say, OK, rocket scientist, constitutional scholar, man, your TED Talk rock concert, a thing you call a church with organized parking and a coffee bar. Let ask me you, since you're super smart, who are the leaders in America exactly? In Romans 13, God put the leaders in authority because they're there for your good. Who are the leaders? And they say the mayors, the congressmen, the senators. No, no, the people are the authority. So when the people's rights are infringed, the mayors and the state senators and Governor Polis should be submitting to us. We don't submit to them. So I love this verse. And God dealt well with the midwives. Let me ask you, is the American church, are we as Christians fighting tyranny the way the midwives fought tyranny in Egypt? I don't think we're doing a good job. I don't. I think you guys are. I mean, there's an exception. But the large part of the American church, American Christianity is submit to the government authority, submit to the cultural tyranny, submit to the pressure of the day. Submit to what other people are saying. That is not what God wants. And by the way, it's not just in Exodus. In Daniel, Daniel disobeyed the king and still prayed his prayers, ended up in the lion's den, right? In Acts, it says we obey God, not man, time and time again. Psalm 97 10 is my favorite, one of my favorite verses of the Bible. I have a lot of favorite verses. If you love God, you must hate evil. I don't think that we as Christians are doing a good job fulfilling that verse. I hear all the time, but Charlie, we must be nice. And I say, great. Right by the other point. Where in the 66 books of the Bible does the word nice appear in Aramaic or Greek or Hebrew? Waiting. Ready, set, go. And they say, well, we have to be loving. I said, yeah, but what does loving mean? Tell me in the original Greek. You know, is it agape, storge, phileo? You know, they say, well, oh my goodness. We kind of had this discourse earlier. But we're not called to be nice. We're called to tell the truth. And honestly, we've done a pretty crummy job of telling the truth the last 30 years here in America. We have allowed the worst of all evil, institutionalize itself, go after our children. And I finally am starting to see a response. This school is evidence of a response to all this institutionalized evil. And the midwives feared God and God dealt well with them. If we want God to deal well with us, maybe we should start fighting for liberty against tyranny. So God delivers his chosen people out of Egypt. And every time you hear Egypt, just think tyranny. Every time, right? And so he delivers them out of Egypt, one of my favorite parts. They're in the desert, you know, God, 10 miracles, the sea is parted. And this is why I always laugh when atheists say, all I need to do is see a miracle and I'll believe in God. Like, no, you don't. Like next Tuesday, you'll forget about God, right? Because you have a heart problem. You are your own God, right? That's not true. The Hebrews saw God move in an amazing way. They get into the desert. Within days, they're complaining. That's all the Jews do the entire Old Testament. They complain and they complain and they complain. It's why God had to let them all die off and, you know, have Joshua generation going. He's like, these people are not ready for Israel. They complained way too much. We want melons, we want meat, we want all the cucumbers. Literally, translation. So they get into the desert and they say, we want to go back to Egypt, because at least we had meat. At least we had melons, at least we had leeks, at least we had cucumbers. They wanted slavery over freedom because they ate better. And God's like, what am I going to do with these people? And I honestly think that's, I agree with Dennis Prager on this. It's one of the reasons why God chose the Jews. If you could do it with this group of people, you could do it with any group of people, right? If you could get this group of misfits to be successful in finance and business and education, there's something to this book, right? There's something there that we can all learn from. Anyway, so God then, God is a God of order. We as Christians don't do a good enough job. It drives me nuts when Christians only say God is love. Yeah, but he's also other things, okay? He's like judging God. Oh, you can't say that. Well, it's true. Jesus will judge the sinners at the end of the age. One of the main reasons why the church has gone woke is you'll never hear the three -letter word that every person needs to hear, sin. How do you know what redemption is if you don't know what sin is? Unknown concept. We just tell people, oh, you're perfect the way you are. Actually, you're not. Like you're pretty crummy in Jesus, like really bad, like really bad. All of us do, all the time. And we're going to keep sinning and we keep on eating Jesus. And so God established order for us. Of course, the Decalogue being the Ten Commandments or the Ten Statements. And of course, it begins, I am the Lord your God who delivered you from Egypt. He reminds them before he gives him the Decalogue. Moses, the Decalogue. Just in case you forgot, I delivered you from tyranny. God's heart is not for people to live in tyranny. That's when it drives me nuts when people say, Charlie, you're too political as a Christian. Look, God calls us to fight authoritarianism all the time. So then, my favorite one of the commandments that comes tonight, that pertains to tonight, is the one that every one of you are vigilant and why you're here tonight. Honor your mother and father so that you may live long in the land of which God is giving you. And I'm going to spend the remainder of my remarks on this and then he'll do some questions. Everything that the culture is doing when it comes to anybody under 18 is about trying to is this commandment the most proven commandment to have a free society. If you were to say, Charlie, out of all the Ten Commandments, what is the one that if you stop doing, you get tyranny the fastest? You actually more so than murder, more so than stealing, more so than not even having any gods before God. If you do not honor your mother and father, and I'll tell you exactly what that means, you 100 % will lose a free society. You cannot have a group of young people that dishonor or curse, which is the opposite of honor, their parents, and also live in liberty. It has never happened in the history of the species. Now, I'm a student of history. I love history. If anyone can tell me an example of a superpower that went out of their way to teach their children to hate the country that they're in, I'm all ears. I think it's the first time it's ever happened in the history of the species, and I've asked many different historians. When a wealthy, powerful, benevolent superpower has decided to teach their young, we actually hate the place that is pretty awesome. It is civilizational suicide. There will be historians 50 to 100 years from now writing books and teaching college classes, trying to try to answer the America question. How could a country that did so much good in World War II be so wealthy, be the beacon of light and liberty, have so much opportunity for so many people, go out of its way? And my answer is very simple. When you are secular and you do not believe in God, you must fill it with fake religions. Don't believe me? Go drive in one of these neighborhoods like I just did. BLM, gay pride, those are the pagan religions of the day. You always have to fill it with some source of meaning, whether it be the false god of BLM or the false god of trans surgeries for kids, whatever it is. They have to feel an attachment to something, and it's out of guilt. If you don't know how to deal with your guilt, because everyone feels guilt at some point, you're going to do some pretty wacky stuff. And boy, are we living in a society that is just ridden with pity and guilt. Pity for ourselves and our own state of affairs, it's rather remarkable. But if you have a strong attachment to the generation that came before you, you can inoculate yourself against that virus. So let's go through it. It's the only one of the Ten Commandments that involves a direct promise and also your nation. So we talk about politics, we talk about our country, we should probably isolate the one of the Ten Commandments that deals with the country. So honor, what does that word mean in Hebrew? It means heavily or to treat with seriousness or intentionality. What does curse mean in Hebrew? Lightly, it's the same root. So if you were to treat your parents lightly, you were to curse them. Now what does that mean to honor your mother and father? It means that when you're at college, you enter college believing that your parents are more correct than your professors. That does not happen. Professors at almost every single university across the country go out of their way to invalidate everything a parent has taught them up until age 18. Your parents are outdated, they're probably racist, they're terrible. Oh by the way, thanks for paying to the tuition to bring you here, but we're going to turn you into little revolutionaries basically. Finally, honor your mother and father so that you may live long in the land of which you are in. Marxism depends on three things. The obliteration of religion, property, and family. Private property, they're doing a great job and they're going to continue to do it. Religion, church rates are going down dramatically and they've infiltrated the American church. But the family was always the one that was able to say no. And you are going to have to, someone's going to have to explain this to me, how so many suburban house moms here in Colorado want their kids to suffer. It is unbelievable to me. This is one of the most radical like trans sanctuaries in the entire country. It's not ISIL, I'm sure you all know families or kids where you have parents that are excited to go get their 15 -year -old's breasts removed. It's amazing to me. And so the family's totally getting obliterated and deteriorated. That's why this school matters so much though, and why what you're doing matters so much, is that a strong nuclear family is a bulwark to any form of tyranny or any sort of despotism that we live through. And is Marxism really the kind of diabolical, and I use that word intentionally, enemy to the American republic and the American project. As it aims to do these things, as it continues to try to put these ideas into the zeitgeist, we ask ourselves the question, how does one fight back against it? And that's why the rise of homeschool and this alternative schooling is so exciting. They want you to just release your kid to the public government school and never ask a question after that. If you actually read their literature, they don't believe that it's your child. It's the state's child. That's not an exaggeration. You might say, Charlie, how did Colorado get so wacky? You know Colorado is the second most educated state in the country? College -educated state? There is your answer. Is that if you are non -stop producing people with college diplomas that believe men can give birth and have degrees in North African lesbian poetry, don't be surprised when your politics go insane. I trust welders, plumbers and construction workers far more than any given professor at, no offense, CU Boulder. I'm sorry, I just have to say it. I'm sorry. And so we must build new things. And I mentioned this earlier, we do not do a good enough job of defending our institutions from infiltration because we let our guard down and they take advantage of our good intentions. How many times do you feel like, well, what's the big deal? I want to be accepting to all people. So here's the playbook. It's so simple. Get a seat at the table. Complain relentlessly till I'm able to debase the leader on fake accusations and then I control the institution. How many times have you seen that? FBI, military, university campuses, major corporations, and they're relentless. You know what they operate? They operate like a bacterial infection that will not go away, that will just gnaw and gnaw and grow and grow and multiply. And we're like, well, my goodness, the CRT, DEI people, they used to have two seats at the table. Now they have 10 seats at the table and I don't want to be called a racist because that's the worst thing that you could be called. And so let's just let them control everything. So how do you summarize CRT? Call everything racist until you control it. That's it. That's what CRT is. Queer theory, call everything transphobic until you control it. It's a means to power. It's not about liberation. It's not about teaching history. It's a means to institutional takeover. And so the alternative is once they take over everything, build new stuff. And that's what you're doing. And so my one piece of advice to you guys, build, be bold, but please be vigilant about them trying to capture your institution. Because they don't build new stuff. That's what's crazy. They don't ever build anything beautiful or bold. They just take over stuff that we have built with our value system. And then we're like, well, we used to have that great thing. We used to have that church and used to have that school and used to have that place and used to have that company. And so they're experts at takeover. And so building new things is quite honestly the only and the best option. So I'll say this in closing. I get asked all the time, Charlie, this is a Christian audience, Charlie, do you think that we're in the end times? And I'm not a pastor, I'm not a theologian. So I'm not equipped to answer that, but I can say this. I'm very concerned that people are being taken advantage of by some pastors out there where they say, Charlie, Jesus is coming next Thursday. I don't have to do anything. I don't have to fight. Look, people ask, are you pre -trib or are you post -trib? I'm pan -trib. It's all going to pan out in the end. So I'm on the welcoming committee, not the planning committee. Okay. So this whole thing is a bunch of, you know, it's somewhat of a distraction. And, but, you know, people say, Charlie, you know, we must look, yes, we must look at the signs at the time. It's important to know what it means in the days of Noah. All that stuff is great and really important. I understand that. However, here's where it drives me nuts and I see it happen. And I want to make sure this might, if this touches one of you tonight, I will have done my job. Okay. Because you might be listening to some of those overly emphasized end times pastors, and you might feel disempowered and you might feel like you don't have to do anything. If I could just reach one of you, I feel I've done my job, which is the right response is if you feel that the world is ending and Jesus is coming soon, is not run to the Hill with the kids, is to occupy till Jesus comes. Is to hold as much turf and must terrain for his imminent return. And that must be our attitude because I'm afraid it has become an excuse. And I mean that very carefully. I've seen it where people say, Charlie, I don't need to donate. I don't need to start schools. I got asked by a Christian the other day, why even have kids? Because Jesus is coming again so quickly. I was like, wow. Jesus said the time or the day and the hour is unknown. It could be five minutes. It could be 50 years or 500 years. I get in trouble for even saying that because people say, Charlie, it's no more than five years. I said, listen, we don't know. It's what you do that matters. The enemy would love nothing more than to have us remain complacent, remain neutral if we are off by 200 years. God wants us to fight for what is good and what is righteous, regardless of what the signs of the times are telling us around us. And the most important thing that we as Christians have done a bad job and we as Protestants have done a bad job of is this. And I have to brag on the Catholics for a second. They have done a much better job than we as Protestants have done, a much better job at building colleges. And they're all woke now, but at building. But that's what happens. We don't defend anything. We build these beautiful things and the bacteria takes over. And so then at K through 12 schools, and I'll prove it to you, how many Bible believing spirit -filled Christians are on the US Supreme Court? There are far more Catholics. It's because they are experts at multi -generational type building and passing down values. I think we can learn something from that. And I think that one of the reasons we haven't done that is that since 1950 there's been a strain of Christianity that has told us we're getting zapped up in the next five minutes. And that might be true, but you have to act like it's not. And you have to act like you could have a lot more time left on the clock. And so if we change that attitude, by the way, the whole ball game changes. I hope you understand. You will ignite one of the most powerful silent majorities if you get Christians that have been waiting for the imminent return the last 60 years and done very little, and you get them into an action phase and realize that they have to try to act, watch out. All of a sudden the enemy is going to be on the run in a very, very big way. Okay, let's do some questions and I'll stay as long as you'll have me. So, okay. Okay, so I have one question and I'm going to turn it out to all you guys. So get your questions ready. The college thing is a big deal. I feel like we've been even asked, do you send your kids to college? My husband's out of the room so I can say this. They're not going to Boulder. For those of you who don't know where my husband went and where he's very involved with right now, but it's a tough call. What do you think the chances are if let's say our kids go through a school like this, make it, get into a college percentage wise, where are we at with dropping off the bandwagon? You'll lose one out of four. Across where that's what you see in universities. Even the strongest K through 12 that I've seen, homeschool, one out of four will be lost. If they have a public school, you'll lose closer to 50, 60 percent. Wow. Okay guys, we've got a lot of work to do. We're going to try to break that statistic. Or just not send them to college. Yeah. Okay. Well, yes. Well, right. Well, that'll be an open thing. Unless they go to Hillsdale or CCU, but yes. But those are the exceptions. Let me be very clear. Yes. That is not how most schools are. Okay. Yeah. Okay. Good. Very good. That was very enthusiastic.
A highlight from A Preachers Disobedience
"Welcome to Gospel in Life. Throughout the Bible there are signs that point us to the Gospel. Today Tim Keller is looking at how we can discover them and what they teach us. Some years ago in my first, my only other church in a small southern town, a man came up to me. He was in my church and he shook my hand and he said, I really want to thank you because up until I met you I thought preachers hardly ever sinned. And I've cherished that fairly clumsy compliment because it doesn't sound very good, but here's what he meant. His understanding of sin had been totally revolutionized by the ministry there basically. He had understood, like most people I think have understood, that basically sin was a matter of the good people and the bad people, the good guys and the bad guys. And his understanding of sin, which was kind of come from a small southern town, was first you have the bad people. They use dirty words. They beat people up. They drink too much. They sleep all around town. They don't go to church. And then there's the good people. Then there's the preachers. And there's the people who don't break the rules and who come and they're very good. And what, now you know, we have backed away from that. I mean that's the old conservative culture and there's a lot of people who have reacted from that and they've created a liberal culture and what they've done is they've taken the line between the good guys and the bad guys and they've just done it like this. They've moved it 90 degrees. So some of the things that used to be bad are good and some of the things that used to be good are bad. So now, of course, I can cuss and I can sleep all around town, but I work for the environment and I work for tolerance and I make the world a better place. But the good guys and the bad guys, they're still there. The line's still there. Sin is still seeing pretty much as following the rules. What this man was trying to say was that till he understood the biblical concept of sin, Christianity made no sense and it had no power. And I've increasingly come to believe that that really is a problem both inside and outside the church. Outside the church, when people hear the word sin, they think they know what it means, but because they don't know really what the word sin means, they don't understand what the Bible means when we use the word sin, the Christianity doesn't make sense to them from the outside. And on the inside, I believe Christians also, Christians, when they read in the Bible, they see the word sin, they think they know what the Bible means by the word sin and they don't either. You see, if you don't understand sin, intellectually, Christianity will make no sense. A number of you, I'm sure, have come to church today with a friend who comes here regularly. And maybe this first time, maybe you've been coming. And this very often sort of happens between friends like this. If you're a visitor, you may afterwards say, or at some point you might say, there's many good things about this, many good things about this religion, this church, and this kind of Christianity and all that. But I don't completely agree. I differ with you on the love of God. So your Christian friend will say, what do you mean? And you'll say something like this. You say, well, I think Christianity is great, but I believe in a more loving God. I believe that all people everywhere, even people who don't believe in Christ or even people who don't believe in God, all good people everywhere can find God. And if your Christian friend understands the gospel, your Christian friend will kind of sigh a little bit and say, you know, you just left me out. You just cut me out of the herd. You just left me without hope when you said that. And you'll say, what do you mean? And your friend, he or she will say, well, but I'm not good. I mean, there's no hope for me then. If you say that all good people can find God, what about me? I'm not good. And you'll be irritated because, A, you will think this person is just exaggerating. Or B, see, just hyperbole, see. Or B, you'll think this person is joking. Or C, you'll think the person is just being difficult. But no, the problem is you don't understand what the Bible has to say about sin. And the real difference between you and your friend is not on the love of God, not at all. It's on the nature of sin. When you hear the word sin, you think you know what the Bible means and you don't. But it's not only true that without understanding sin, Christianity makes no intellectual sense but also has no spiritual power. I also believe that Christians on the inside who pretty much have the same view of the good guys, bad guys that my friend used to have, if you still have that view of sin, you're going to find out that you say, I believe in the love of God, but you have not experienced much in the way of power. Your life has not been that changed. You have not been lifted up. You have not been turned inside out. You have not found prayer and worship stuff that is so transforming you have to pull yourself away at times. You have not found all your memories healed. You have not found that you can face things in the past that you were so scared of and you can face them with joy. It hasn't happened. And you know it hasn't happened. Why not? You've been here. You've been doing it. You've been kind of running through. You know why? I would suggest, I propose, you don't understand really what sin is either. And as a result, the knowledge of God's love and grace doesn't really empower you. Now, how do you find out what the Bible means by sin? And the answer is find somebody who does obey all the rules and look at that person's life. And that's the reason why my friend said, it was great to see a preacher who obeys all the rules of very goody two shoes, who gave me a definition of sin such that I could see his sin. Now, I'm going to suggest that we do that today, but not me. I mean, there's two ways to go. We get Kathy up here and she could tell you all about this and that would be one way to figure out what the Christian doctrine of sin. The other way is to look at someone in the Bible who is a preacher and who was lifted up by the Bible to show us a very religious person, a very righteous person, a person who was a preacher, a person who was a prophet, a person who was called by God, but who falls into terrible sin. And by looking at that, we get a good idea of what sin is. It's Jonah. Now we see Jonah doing four things. Each one of them tells us something about the real nature of sin. We see Jonah running, sleeping, sinking, and rising. Number one, first of all, we see him running. What do we see? The word of the Lord came to the son of Jonah, son of Amittai, go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it because its wickedness has come up before me. But Jonah ran away from the Lord, literally it says from the face of the Lord, from the flesh. Now, why? Get right to this. God said go and preached to Nineveh. What was Nineveh? Nineveh was the capital of Assyria. And Assyria was up to this time in history, the biggest, baddest, most violent, imperialistic power, the biggest, baddest, most violent, terrible, imperialistic power that had ever risen in world history. And they were already eating countries around them, they'd already wiped some out through genocide and they subjugated others and Israel was threatened. And Jonah knows the message, what's the message? That Assyria's violence has come up, it has gotten to the place, it's gotten full. This is a typical way that God talks in the Old Testament, they talk about the iniquity of the Amrites being full, that their violence had gotten to the place where God was about to destroy them. And they were, he was supposed to send, and Jonah was supposed to go, and the message was, he was supposed to preach to Nineveh, God has seen, God will judge 40 days and you will be destroyed. But now Jonah doesn't go, why not? He tells very clearly in chapter 4 verse 2 why. In chapter 4 verse 2, which we didn't read, he says very, very clearly exactly the reason why. He says, this is why I fled to Tarshish, I knew you were a compassionate God who relents from sending calamity. Now here's what, Jonah knows that God is a holy God and a just God. But he also knows that God is a compassionate and merciful God. Jonah knows that if God wants to smash Nineveh, he doesn't need a prophet, he doesn't need a preacher. If God wants to smash Nineveh, he doesn't need a messenger. But if God wants to save Nineveh, he does. And therefore, Jonah knows that the only possible reason that God would have to send a messenger to Nineveh is he wants to give Nineveh a chance. He wants to save Nineveh, he wants to have mercy on Nineveh, he wants to help Nineveh. He wants to turn them from their violence. And Jonah says, I don't want that because then Israel will be threatened, then Israel will be at risk, and so he runs. There's a great irony here in his running, because if you look carefully, you'll see there are two words, in a sense, in the word. There's two messages. The first message, God characterizes as a message against. God says, go and preach against. Doesn't just say preach to, because God is saying the message you're going to give to Nineveh is a message against. Now the reason he uses the word against is because it's a hard word. It's a word that goes against their desires, it's a word that goes against their hearts, it goes against their lives, the direction. It's a word that's very abrasive, you see. Go preach against. But Jonah knows that even though the form of the message was against, the purpose of the message, it was a message for. It looks like a message against Nineveh, but God was absolutely being for Nineveh. And so Jonah knows, and this is why he's so upset, and the reason he's running away is because in spite of all the Hellfire sermon, the Hellfire message, he knows that God is for the Ninevites, and Jonah's not, so off he goes. But here's the great irony, the other message is, Jonah, I want you to go. Now this is exactly against Jonah's heart. It was the last thing in the world he wanted to hear. Just like the Ninevites, it was the last thing in the world they want to hear. But even though Jonah knew that God's so -called abrasive messages, messages against are really messages for, he knew that with Nineveh, but he refused to apply it to himself. Here's what he said. He says, if I do what God has asked me to do, if I obey God, it'll be bad for me, it'll be bad for my family, it'll be bad for my people, I must disobey God. Now here's what we have. We have here a recap of the history of the human race, and a recap of your own life history. In the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve were told, don't eat the tree, they were told don't eat the tree, a voice came to them and tempted them, and that voice sank into their heart, and it had to have sunk into their heart. The voice went like this. The voice said, God has told you to obey, but God, if you obey, you'll miss out. If you disobey, you'll learn new things, you'll become something new, you'll rise, there's great things out there that obedience will hold you back from. You cannot trust God. You cannot trust him to have your best interests in mind, you cannot trust that obeying him is going to really make you happy and fulfilling, you can't trust God. God is against you. His word is against you, and therefore his heart is against you. Now see, Jonah knew that the word was against Nineveh, but the heart was not against Nineveh, but Jonah refuses to believe it for himself. And back in the garden, a voice came to Adam and Eve and said, take the fruit because you can't trust God. That voice assaulted the character of God, it impugned the love of God, it stuck a dagger in the concept of his goodness. Yes, God is a God of power, and you're going to have to deal with a God of power, you're not going to be able to live your life just the way you want, but you can't trust God. You can always have to be wary of God, you have to always watch your back with God around. And I tell you this, Adam and Eve would have had to have believed that before they took the fruit. There's no other reason they would have taken the fruit. And therefore, this is the sin beneath the sin, this is the heart sin beneath all hand sins. And to really throw this into relief, to show you really here now, before I summarize, what is this? What does this mean sin is? Pretty simple in a way, but very profound. I read a book by Harold Kushner who wrote, he wrote some years ago, he wrote, When Bad Things Happen to Good People, it was a best seller, and he's written a new book called How Good Do We Have to Be? And in that, he has a whole chapter on why he doesn't believe Genesis 3, he doesn't believe the story. He doesn't believe in the story, he doesn't think that that was fair, and here's the reason why. He says, I don't believe the garden story, Adam and Eve and the serpent and the fruit, and here's why. He says, this is incredible, God gives them a command and doesn't give them any reason to do it. He says, now something like this, he says, now look, God is setting these people up for failure. He says, all God would have to do is say, now listen, Adam and Eve, I don't want you to eat this fruit, but before I leave you, I'd like to show you a five minute video of the rest of human history if you eat this fruit. So you know, they stick it in the VCR, they're watching it, thank you very much, and he walks away, Adam and Eve would have never eaten that fruit because they would have seen how my goodness, it would have happened to this and this and this, in other words, how dare God give them a command without a reason. If command without a reason is totally arbitrary, and as a result, of course they ate it. I mean, you know, why not? And then why would God punish them for that, what's so bad about that? Just to miss the whole point. You know, I keep going back to this, if you're married or if you ever get married and you're spouse says to you, do you love me, and you say yes, and then your spouse says, what are the reasons you love me? Why do you love me? Be very careful. Now I'll give you some of the reasons that you might give. Well, the reason I love you, the reason I'm faithful to you is you have a great body and we're having wonderful sex. Another possibility is two incomes, I have a much better lifestyle than I have with one. Another possibility is I've always wanted to have a family and I need somebody the opposite sex in order to have a family. Another is that you know what, you're in good shape, I'm in good shape, we love to hike and we love to climb mountains. Now here's the problem. Your spouse, of course, you know, and of course if you hear this, your heart sinks. Because you know what, these aren't reasons why you love him or her. These aren't reasons why your spouse loves you. These are reasons that your spouse loves sex, that your spouse loves money, that your spouse loves lifestyle, loves hiking, loves children, loves family, but why do you love me? Now listen, if you say, well I love you because I love you, you see, there can't be a reason for love except who the person is. You have to say, I love you not because of what you give me, in which case you don't love me, but because of who you are. And God in the garden said, there's really only one command. This is not an arbitrary command, this is not a ridiculous command, this is the command. In fact, if God had given them a reason, it would have been an invitation to sin. He would have been asking him for it. God says, I would like you to do something simply because you love me. I would like you to do something not because it benefits you, in which case you're basically not loving me at all, you're only loving what I'm giving you, I want you to love me. Now dear friends, everybody in this room wants that more than anything else. You know why? We were built in his image. We need it. We want it. We've got to have it. We demand it. We can't live without it. When we find out that somebody is not loving us, but loving us for reasons, those reasons always being benefits, we just go through the room. We can't live like that. And yet, yet Harold Kushner thinks this was an arbitrary command. The essential substratum in our heart was, God says, do something because you love me, and we said, no, I won't. No, I don't trust you. I will only from now on for the rest of my life and for the rest of human history, I will obey you if and only if it benefits me. Only if there's reasons. Only if things look like they're going to try, but, and therefore I have to pick and choose. I have to decide. I'll decide whether my obedience to this particular thing seems to get me where I want it to go. And that's sin. That's the sin underneath the sins. That's the sin at the very heart, and that is, I don't trust God. God is against me. I don't trust God. God is not for me. I will use God. I will do things only if it looks like it's getting me where I want to go, but I'll never do anything out of love for him because I don't love him. And that's the beginning. That's the heart. That's the first. Do you understand, do you see that? You see, one of the, one of the things, test yourselves, test yourselves. One of the things that's so interesting about the narrative is that Jonah just despises these dirty pagan worshipers. You see, they, they all call out to their God in the middle of the storm, ah, he, these Gentile dogs, these pagan worshipers, I'm a monotheist, he says. I don't have this primitive religion, I'm a monotheist. That's not true. Jonah, just like they, does not really have a love base but has nothing but a fear based, a terror based, an absolutely self -centered based religion. If you want to know whether yours is, take a look. Are you like the sailors? They get religious when things go bad. They cry out to their God. You know, there are no atheists in foxholes or little boats in storms. They cry out for their God. In other words, do you find yourself getting religious when things go wrong but somehow all the resolves never stick? That's just, that's a religion of using God. That's a religion of terror. That's a religion of, that's all it is. But are you like Jonah? And that is. Look at what Jonah does. Jonah is with God. Jonah's obedient. Jonah's religion, he's very religious as long as things are going well, he's the opposite. He dumps God when things go bad. The only way you will know whether you, whether you love God and are you, the only way you will know that you're giving God what every person in the face of the earth demands from everyone else, you demand, you refuse to give God what you demand for yourself, which is love for who the person is. And the way you know whether you're refusing that of God, the way you know whether you are arrogating to yourself and saying I know better than God who I should be, I know better than God what I should do, I have more love for myself than God has for me. The way you can know that is you are this way and that way depending on circumstances. Simple as that. You might be the sailor kind, you see, of God user. You only go to God when things are bad or you may be the Jonah kind of God user. You only go when things are good. But one of the things we can see is the big if. If you say I will obey if, there's a good reason. The good reason is the real thing, not God. That is non -negotiable, God is negotiable. If you don't get it, he's out. Doesn't matter if you're religious, doesn't matter if you go to church, doesn't matter if you're a preacher. Or on the other hand, a person who's running all around doing all the, you know, cussing and drinking and beating people up. Don't you see underneath what Jonah doesn't see yet, but he will soon, is you're the same. The essence of sin, God is against me, I don't trust him, I don't trust him, further I can throw him and therefore my obedience isn't really obedience, it's conditional. The second thing we see is Jonah sleeping. Not running, but sleeping. And this is extremely interesting too. I used to think that Jonah was sleeping in the storm because he was so tired, but you know what, when you're anxious and you're guilty and you're so absorbed in your problems, that's not why. I don't know about you, but I find that I sleep more poorly when I'm upset and anxious and all that. Now, if you look carefully, you'll see the storm came up and the sailors did one thing and that is they called on their gods and they started throwing things overboard. But Jonah's response to the storm was to go to sleep. And here's the reason why. This is very interesting to me. Jonah was absolutely at peace in his conscience because Jonah was ready to die for his people. And as a result, he was in absolute peace of conscience, rest of soul. He was able to sleep. You see, he has run, why? He knows that he has given his life for his people. At first, probably he thought, look, I've sacrificed my career. God's gonna deal with me, I'll probably be fired, but I'm being noble, I'm being virtuous, I'm saving my people. And when he saw the storm came, he started to realize, well, that's even better. See, his whole point is, how do I stay away from Nineveh for 40 days? Well, it's even better. It looks like I'm gonna be killed. Fine. You see, how virtuous, how noble of me. I'm willing to die for my people. And then at a certain point, he actually comes up and the sailors say, what must we do? How can we be saved? And Jonah says, well, I got an idea. I got an idea. Throw me overboard. We don't even have to wait for the storm to kill me. You drown me. And all the way along, when you read it, there is absolute calm. Just calm. I think I'll go take a nap. Ho -hum. Ready to throw me overboard? That's okay. Why? Because he is so, he is so absolutely sure that he's doing the virtuous and noble thing. Now what's this mean? One of the biggest obstacles for people to believe in Christianity is that they think they already know all about it. But if we look at Jesus's encounters with various people during his life, we'll find some of our assumptions challenged. We see him meeting people at the point of their big unspoken questions. The Gospels are full of encounters that made a profound impact on those who spoke with Jesus. And in his book, Encounters with Jesus, Tim Keller explores how these encounters can still address our questions and doubts today. Encounters with Jesus is our thanks for your gift to help Gospel in Life reach more people with the amazing love of Christ. Request your copy of Encounters with Jesus today when you give at GospelInLife .com slash give. That's GospelInLife .com slash give. Now here's Tim Keller with the remainder of today's teaching.
A highlight from Grieving Over Perishing Souls
"Romans chapter 9, our portion is verses 1 through 5. These are God's words. I tell the truth in Christ. I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart, for I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom predain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises, of whom are the fathers, and from whom according to the flesh Christ came, who is overall the eternally blessed God. Amen. Amen. So far the reading of God's inspired and inerrant word. What the apostle is describing here is truly an amazing grace. He is not speaking like a pagan speaks, whose yes is not yes, and whose no is not no, and statements in the first verse. He's doing so not because there's any question as to whether or not what he's saying is true. He's speaking as an apostle, and he's writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and he knows it's true, and he knows we know it's true, and that he uses these four oath type statements to communicate the greatness, the amazingness of the grace that God has worked in his heart. You remember what he was like when he was on the other side, when he opposed the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, when he was outside of Christ, although a member of the visible church, and how he was full of hatred and murder. Now he is the object of that hatred, and has many times been the attempted object of that murder, and yet he does not reciprocate in kind. He loves them with profound, great love. He even desires their salvation so much that if it were possible, he would be willing to give up his own. And so he gives us these four statements. I tell the truth in Christ. Number one, I am not lying. Number two, my conscience bears me witness. Number three, in the Holy Spirit. Number four, and we could even make in Christ a fifth component stacking up these statements that this is an actual reality of what God has worked in his heart, and it's a reality that has been produced by the Holy Spirit through union with Jesus Christ, which means it's a reality that is available to us as well. That the God who worked such grace in the heart of the chief of sinners will work by the same grace in the hearts of all of us great sinners. So the first thing to see here is that it is an amazing grace. The second thing to see is what that grace produces, because in an age when there are those who are perishing, in an age when there are those who are opposing Christ and denying the glory of God, and in an age when these are found not only outside the church but even in the church, and in particular at this time in the church that is the visible church constituted at Sinai, Israel, and that is not only covenantally Israel but also ethnically Israel, the Israel that is according to the flesh, the Israel that is biologically inclusive of the fathers, especially Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but not just Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, those other fathers who came from them and were descended from them according to the flesh, and then from whom even the Lord Jesus is descended according to the flesh. Even among these there are those who are perishing in their sins who are currently accursed apart from Christ. This is an age in which grace produces not only joy but also sorrow, where the Spirit produces in us not only joy in the Lord, rejoice in the Lord always, but also sorrow. Mourn with those who mourn and look at the type of sorrow, not just sorrow verse 2 but great grief, and not just great sorrow and continual grief that is superficially displayed but that is from the heart and felt deeply in the heart. If we are looking for an experience of God that does not include great grief and continual sorrow in the heart, then we are looking for a different experience of God than the Holy Spirit produced from Christ in the heart of the Apostle Paul. But it's important that we see what this grief is over, because a man who continually goes around grieved because the creation that is broken is not serving his appetites and his whims like he wished, does not have the grief and sorrow here. The grief and sorrow here is especially over the perishing souls of sinners, and particularly perishing souls of sinners from either A. Covenantal Israel, the visible church, or B. Ethnic Israel, which is no longer now the visible church but continues to be precious because of what God has done through them and who belongs to them. So the first thing we see in verse 1 is the greatness. The greatness of this gracious work. And verse 2, the second thing we see is the grief that is of this gracious work. And verse 3, which we already began to cover the cause or the extent of this grief even. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ, anathema from Christ, under the wrath of God, and separated from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites. Now we're going to get to those for whom he is thus grieved. But you hear what he's saying. He says, I wish I could be damned after having been saved. I wish I could be separated from Christ. And of course, or I could wish, not I do wish. The intensity of his desire is that if it were possible, he would be willing to give up his salvation. He would be willing to be separated from Christ in order for all of the Israel, the Israelites to be saved, which is an amazing thing for him to say because he knows that this isn't God's intention. He can't be separated from Christ. Nothing can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, the love of Christ. What can separate us from the love of Christ? Answer, nothing, because he's God. And nothing can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus. And yet he speaks in this way. So great is his earnestness that they would be saved, that they would not perish. And I wonder how far we could possibly have made it in grace, how far along we possibly could be in grace, in maturing, in conformity to Christ, if that which was in Christ desiring the salvation. Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. That which was in Stephen as he was conformed to Christ, the last verse there in Acts chapter 7, where Stephen prays for his murderers as he dies. And now one of those murderers praying with this intensity and wishing that even he could be accursed for the sake of those who hate him. How affected, how afflicted are we by the lost condition of many in the churches, the lost condition of those whom God has providentially assigned a closeness to us in the flesh, our relatives who are lost, the lost condition of Israel in large measure. Now not all Israel, praise God, just as Paul is going to say in a moment, I too am an Israelite, there are some few who are converted, and yet so many, so many who are ethnically related to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and even Jesus, and yet they are perishing in their sin. They are apart from Christ. They are going to hell. Paul says he wished that he could be accursed for their sake. We can hardly remember to pray for them, let alone making any effort or contributing in some way to an attempt to gather them to send someone as an ambassador on behalf of Christ, announcing, pleading with them to be reconciled to God through the Lord Jesus Christ. And so there is a great intensity here that challenges us and should drive us to look to God the Holy Spirit to provide in us the same earnestness, the same zeal for the salvation of lost sinners, and particularly the salvation of Israelites on two counts. One covenantal, which you see in verse four, and the other one ethnic, which you see in verse five. And so you don't get out of viewing Israel as special just because the natural branches have been cut off from the tree. You don't get out of having a special love for and interest in and desire for the salvation of the Jews just because they have rejected the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus himself didn't set us that example on the cross. But now the double logic of verse four and verse five also do not let us get away with that. So he is referring to his countrymen according to the flesh. My brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh. He's not talking about brothers in Christ. He is describing the Jews. This is what he means when he says my countrymen according to the flesh. He means the Jews, but they are up until this point. The 70 AD has not come yet. They are still the visible church, as it were. And there's this transition that's taking place, of course, because the great prophet and the great high priest and the forever king has come. And if Messiah comes and they reject him, and there are many Jews spread throughout the world who are being given at the time that Paul writes this, the opportunity to acknowledge the anointed, the Messiah, the messiah, the Christ. And some, many, are receiving him, and many others, of course, are rejecting him. And so it's still the church. It's still a covenant entity. And you see that here. Who are Israelites, verse four, to whom pertain the adoption, and this especially is referring to Exodus chapter 4 and Jeremiah 31 and Hosea 11, in which God refers to Israel as his son. And so the first time we heard of God as father, it was not with Christ as the son in whom we know him supremely as father, but it was with Israel as an adopted son. So to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, they are the ones who saw his glory at Sinai. And then also that special display of his glory in Exodus 24, where the glory of God appeared on the mountain and the elders went up and they ate. They saw the Lord and they ate and drank in his presence and they didn't die. And to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, plural, recognizing that the covenant that was made with Moses or with Israel under Moses at Sinai and the implied covenant, which is later referred to definitely as a covenant with David in 2 Samuel 7, are multiple administrations of a single covenant of grace. And so the covenant that was implied in the covenant of grace, even in Genesis 3 in the wake of the fall, the covenant with Noah in Genesis 9, the covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12 and 15 and 17, and later with Isaac and with Jacob, that all of these administrations of the covenant of grace come down to us now in the covenant under the Lord Jesus through Sinai, through Jerusalem. And so to them pertain the covenants, the giving of the law, not only the terms of the covenant in each successive administration of the covenant of grace, but particularly the of expression who God is and what God is like. And so the applications to us of the implications of who God is, the service of God, the only right way to worship God and come near him, which we've been hearing so much about in the second half of Exodus and the first half of Leviticus and the tabernacle. This was the one people among whom God made himself redemptively known and gathered people close to him to worship him. And of course, that way of coming to him all pointed forward to Christ and the promises. Last thing in verse 4. So all of those things that God had said, beginning with Moses ending from Genesis to Malachi, those things that Jesus opened about himself to the people, to the two men on the road to Emmaus. And in Luke 24, the things that Paul showed and proved from all the scriptures, all of those promises of Christ. And so he lists all of these covenant advantages they've had, advantages that we now partake of, but they are rejecting these advantages. He's agonizing over them as those who had belonged to God covenantally and through whom we now have all of these covenant benefits. But they're not just Israelites covenantally, which they are at risk of losing and rejecting at this time and when Romans 9 is written and which indeed would be completed. But they may yet be grafted in and we are to desire and pray and labor that they would be grafted in because they are still precious to us, even just ethnically. And that's where he goes in verse 5. Of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came. So even apart from their covenantal standing, they're precious to us for their flesh connection to the Lord Jesus Christ, for their flesh connection to those believers that we have in that wonderful list and retelling in Hebrews chapter 11. Just like you and I, when we hear about someone who's an unbeliever, we should always be grieved in our heart for them. But when it's someone that is a member of our church, someone that we love as a brother or sister and have a closeness to, there's a greater grief and there's a greater sorrow and a greater interest. Well, the Jews are descended from fathers in the faith who are precious to us. And so the Jews are precious to us for their sake. But there's one who is even more precious to us. And they are related to him in that ethnic and genetic, if we can speak that way, sort of way. From whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, as we heard at the beginning of the book of Romans, the Son of God, but also the Son of David, according to the flesh. And so they are precious to us for Jesus' sake. We have a Jewish redeemer. And so we ought to grieve over and desire, grieve over their lost condition, desire their salvation, have a special love for them that continues, even after they have been cut off. You see, Christ has always been the true Israel. He is the true Israel from Genesis 3, even before there is a quote -unquote Israel, throughout the Old Testament. And of course, now he is all the more plainly so. And yet there are many who have been cut off from him and for whom we should long that they be grafted back into him. This despising or hostility or animosity that many believers indulge towards Jewish people does not come from Jesus, does not come from the Jesus who has reproduced his heart and mind toward the Jews and Stephen. It does not come from the Jesus who has reproduced his heart and mind in Paul. And Paul, whom now by the Holy Spirit writes to us of how we should have great sorrow and continual grief in our heart for those who are our kinsmen according to the flesh, those who are in the covenant but not of it, gospel hypocrites or false professors in the church, and still for the Jews themselves. It is part of what the Holy Spirit produces when he does an amazing work of grace in the heart. Amen. Let's pray. Father in heaven, we thank you for this part of your instruction. We thank you for how it even connects to current events. And we do pray that that which is going on now would be means by which you alarm those Jews who are outside of Christ. We know, Lord, that the way that you bring them to faith is through the preaching of your word and even through jealousy when those from other nations are brought to their great prophet and great high priest and forever king. And we do pray especially for the Christians who are persecuted from both sides in that conflict. But just now, Lord, we pray that your spirit would guard our hearts and minds and that he would produce in us the mind and heart of Christ that we see reflected in the apostle here, that we would so desire their salvation as that we could wish to be accursed from Christ ourselves for their sake. Lord, help us, for we are not so brokenhearted over the perishing from all the nations as we ought to be. And so we pray for your spirit to apply this portion of your word to our hearts. We ask in Jesus name. Amen.
A highlight from An Immigrants Courage
"Welcome to Gospel in Life. This month we're looking at directional signposts through history that point us to Christ. All through the Old Testament from Genesis to Jonah, you see signs that point us to Jesus. Listen now to today's teaching from Tim Keller on Pointers to Christ. Turn to the passage in your bulletin, which is the climax of the book of Ruth. It's the last, virtually the very last verses of the short little book of Ruth. I'll read it. Ruth chapter 4 verses 13 to 17. So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. Then he went to her, and the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. The woman said to Naomi, Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a kinsman redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel. He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age, for your daughter -in -law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth. Then Naomi took the child, laid him in her lap, and cared for him. The women living there said, Naomi has a son, and they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David, and this is God's word. It takes tremendous courage to leave the land you've always lived in and to permanently move to another land, a whole other country, another nation, another culture. It's a death -defying feat. Kathy's, my wife's great -grandfather, sometime at the end of the 19th century, left his pregnant wife behind and went to western Pennsylvania, left Croatia, left Zagreb, or the vicinity of Zagreb, went to Croatia, and there went from Croatia to western Pennsylvania, worked in the mines, and for eight years didn't communicate with his family, couldn't, there's no way to do it. And so she waited and she raised her son, and one day all that came in the mail were tickets and the name of a railway station in western Pennsylvania. And so what did they do? They took essentially a bag, they left everything else behind but what they could carry, and the tickets, and the name of the railway station, and they went to the port and they got in the steerage and came over, came through Ellis Island, and in a series of places on boats and trains, they had pinned to the coat the place they were going. That's all they knew, they knew no language, they had nothing, they had no connections, they had no language, they had no resources, nothing. And when they showed up at the railway station in western Pennsylvania, believe it or not, even though there was no way to make any kind of communication, there was Kathy's great -grandfather waiting with a wagon. You know why? Because every day for three months, he had hitched his wagon up and come down to meet the daily train, because who knows, this might be the day his family came. And he was there, and they came, and they worked in the mines and so on. But now, that kind of story is multiplied many times over today, far more than before, and we live in a city of immigrants, and when you ask the question, why would you do that, why would you courageously risk everything, and the answer is almost always the expectation and the hope of a better life. People don't leave one country for another for a worse life, they expect a better life. And it takes courage, but that's their hope and that's their expectation. And of course, therefore, nothing more poignant in a place like New York and in a time like ours to look at this story, because this is the story of two immigrants, two immigrant women, Naomi and Ruth, who forged an amazing interracial sisterhood, and it's also a story of an interracial marriage, how urban, how contemporary. Naomi was the first immigrant, and you see, before the story starts, we see, we're told in just a few verses at the very beginning of the book, before the story actually starts, we're told what happened, and that is, Alimelech, who was Naomi's husband, moved with her and her two sons to Moab, because there was a famine in Israel, and the two sons' names were Malon and Killian, and there was tremendous tragedy at that point, why? We're not totally sure, but here's some hints. The names of Naomi's two sons, Malon and Killian, are Canaanite names, they're not Hebrew names, and they married two pagan Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth. And therefore, there's every indication that what Alimelech did was he turned away from God to seek safety, to seek, he was afraid of emptiness, he was afraid of poverty, he was afraid of death, and he turned away from God, at least the men of the family did, which is what often happens. And instead, they went to Moab, they went to a foreign land, they immigrated, and they found instead the very thing that they were trying to avoid. Alimelech, Malon, Killian, they all died. They found tremendous poverty and death. We're told that they had to sell their ancestral land back in Israel, and they still were reduced to poverty, and finally, Naomi is left all by herself, a poor and old widow, with two daughters -in -law, Orpah and Ruth, who if they come back to Israel with her, because Moab and Israel were bitterest enemies, it would mean that they would be hated, they'd be scorned why their very lives would be in danger. And so there's Naomi, and she is utterly without hope, she's utterly without economic hope because as you see, as we saw in the little text, old age, here's the problem, how will she survive economically, and there's only four possibilities. One is, you work in the fields, but she's too old to do that. Second is, you get married, but she's too old to do that. Why? You say, what do you mean too old? Well you see, you have to remember this, and we'll get back to this, this is a society in which family is everything. You didn't marry for companionship, you didn't marry for sex, you didn't marry for, you married for family, you married if this person was going to produce a family for you, we were going to have heirs, and we were going to have inheritance, we were going to have cheap labor, and we were going to have, we were going to have a family, because the name and the family, that was everything, family was everything in that culture, and there's plenty of places in the world today that that's still true. And so she couldn't be married, she was too old, she couldn't produce children. Third thing, so you can work, she can't work, she's too old, marry, she can't marry, she's too old. Third, your children support you, but her children are all dead, and her daughters -in -law you see, they're absolute outcasts, they're outsiders. And then last of all, the only other possibility would have been to rent your land, but she, but they had to sell their land, they were gone, they had no land, they had no name, she had no, she had nothing, and so she was not only economically without hope, but she was spiritually and emotionally without hope, because in that society, she was bereft of everything that can give you meaning, she had absolutely nothing, because she had no family, because she had no land, therefore she had no name, she had no significance. And therefore, she comes back, and yet, at the end of chapter 4, as we just read, there's joy why she's been redeemed. You see, in verse 14, the women, the friends around me get around and say that you have been renewed, verse 15, your life has been restored, you have been what? There's been a, there's a, there's a redeemer. But how did it happen? How is it possible that a woman with absolutely nothing, absolutely bitter, you know, when she comes back, and her friends see her, and she's totally changed, they didn't recognize her, even though she's only been away a few years, and she says, don't call me Naomi, which is a Hebrew word for pleasant, don't call me Naomi, she says, call me Mara, for I am now, I have a life of bitterness, I went away full, I've come back empty. But how is it possible? How is she redeemed? And if you look carefully, and I'm going to make you look carefully, there is an ambiguity in the text as to the identity of the redeemer. There's an ambiguity. And the ambiguity points us to the secret of the story, and the secret of our lives. There's three redeemers in this text. There's three redeemers in the story. There's a formal redeemer, there's a surprise hidden redeemer, and then there's a real redeemer. First of all, let's take a look at the three, and then you'll know the meaning of Ruth, and you'll know the meaning of the story, and I hope you'll also know the meaning of your own life. First of all, the formal redeemer, and the word redeemer here, the kinsman redeemer is the word goel, okay, the goel. Hebrew word, the first person who's clearly the formal redeemer is the man Boaz. He is the kinsman by blood, and he is therefore the kinsman redeemer. He's the formal redeemer. Now, how does that work, and why? Well, we have to do a little bit of background, so let's go at it. Ruth does come back with Naomi, Orpah does not, so they come back in complete poverty. And the first thing that Ruth does in order to try to support Naomi and herself is she decides to glean. Now according to Jewish law, according to Hebrew law, according to God's law, landowners could not harvest all the way to the edges. Now this is a whole other sermon, and I'm not getting into it, but there's always question and answer. They were not allowed to maximize profits. They were not allowed to harvest all the way to the edges, but around the edges they had some to leave grain so the poor could come and glean it. Now Ruth decided, I'll go glean, but what's very clear in the story is that for Ruth to go out and glean, that doesn't mean we'll find that there we have a solution, no, because Ruth was a Moabitess. All the way through the book she's called Ruth the Moabitess, the Moabitess, why? Because she was taking her very life in her hands to go out in public and do that. And she just happened, chapter 2 verse 3 says, she happened, you know, taking her life in her hands that first day, she went out and she went into the field of a man named Boaz. She didn't know who he was, she didn't know anything, but she happened to go. And in the field of Boaz, Boaz sees her, goes and learns who she is, and then says, which just goes to show the incredible danger she was in, he comes and he says, my daughter, don't go into any other field, gather yourself among my working women, I have told my working men not to touch you. Very interesting. What that tells us is a lot. First of all, Boaz knows that she could be hurt, she could be raped, she could be killed by his own men. He warns his men not to touch her. She's a Moabitess, she's marginal. The Moabites were the descendants of Sodom. They were seen as horrible, wicked people by the Israelites, and the Moabites, of course, oppressed the Israelites and so forth. And therefore, he knew that she could be really hurt. But not only that, he didn't even want her out gleaning on the edges because the poor that she would be out there with, they might abuse her, they might kill her. So he says, I'll tell you what, I want you to stay with my working women. And so you can glean, not glean, you can harvest. And then you can just take it home for yourself. And she's astounded by the graciousness of the heart of a man who would be open to a poor and racially marginalized woman. And that night she goes home to Naomi, and she doesn't have just a few gleanings, she has an incredible lap full of grain. And Naomi says, where did you get this? This isn't gleaning. And Ruth tells her the story. And Naomi says, oh my daughter, my daughter, do you know who Boaz is? He's one of our Goel's. He's a kinsman redeemer. Well, what's a kinsman redeemer? And the answer goes this way. In Jewish law, there was a formal, an extremely interesting law, which you can read sometime if you want to, in Leviticus 25. When Joshua and the people of Israel came into the land, all the land was divided up amongst families. And God knew that because of the vicissitudes of life and also the variations in ability, that some families would fall into poverty and lose their land. But God made two, very interesting, two provisions in the law that would make it easy for the families to get a second chance, to get the land back. One of the reasons was simply because he was trying, it was a gracious thing for the families. Another is that God didn't want his society to become characterized by incredible divergences of riches and poverty. And so what he said was, first of all, every 50 years, the Jubilee year, every 50 years, all the land goes back. If some people have gotten richer and some people have gotten poorer, some people have bought land, other people have lost land, but if every 50 years the land goes back, you get another chance. The family, in other words, the heirs of the descendants of the people who lost the land get the land and the family gets a chance back. But secondly, before the 50 years, well 50 years is a long time, the land can be bought back but only by a kinsman. The land can be redeemed out of debt. The land can be ransomed. The land can be bought, but it has to be by a member of the family that lost it. This is a way of keeping families together and it's a way of making sure the land stays back in that family. It was God's graciousness to families. And when Naomi realizes that Ruth has happened accidentally, so to speak, to actually find one of the relatives that she has left, she suddenly says, you realize what this might mean? However, the plot thickens, and here's the reason the plot thickens, because the redemption that Boaz would have to do in this case is enormous. First of all, he would have to buy the land. He could, but it would be an enormous debt. But number two, he could take the debt on. But number two, in this case, the family couldn't really be restored because there's no heirs, there's no descendants, there's nobody to pass the land onto. And for the family to really be restored, he would have to marry the last family member, which would be Naomi, and raise up children. Ah, but let's keep going. In this case, you know, and the law provided for that, it was called Leverett Marriage, that you could marry the widow and raise up children who had the name of the dead family. It wouldn't be your heirs, it would be the heirs of the people who were dead. And that would be enormously, who would do that? That's an enormous sacrifice. But then on top of that, you can't marry Naomi. She's old, she can't raise up a seed. He'd have to marry Ruth. He'd have to marry a Moabitess. And Deuteronomy 23 says, no Ammonite or Moabit or his descendants may ever enter the assembly of the Lord, even down to the tenth generation.
A highlight from We've Heard It Ourselves
"And thus the reading, John chapter 4, verses 27 to 42, yes, we've been in this chapter now for several weeks. And after I did the evening Bible study from another part of the chapter, or the same part of the chapter, I should say, our deacon Mike commented, you know, you've got five or six sermons just in this one section, and how true that is. Every chapter in the Gospel of John, in my opinion, is worthy of serious, detailed exposition and study. But here, we're talking about what happens when the Samaritans hear the message of the kingdom. We saw last time how this nameless Samaritan woman was used in the Lord's plan to spread the message of the kingdom. It is one of the great themes of the Gospel of John that Jesus is the Messiah who came to save His people from their sins. And His people are from everywhere, all kinds of people, not just well -placed, educated Hebrew scholars like Nicodemus. Even a Samaritan woman is a recipient of the grace of God. Now all of that is quite in keeping with what John said at the very beginning of this Gospel message. Back in chapter 1, John forewarned his readers that Jesus, the eternal logos, the divine logic word of God, came into the world and His own people did not receive Him. But for all who did receive Him, they were given the right, they were given the privilege to be reckoned as the children of God. And that was one thing among many that made Jesus and His message totally unacceptable to the Pharisees and the other leaders of the Jews. They believed they were the only ones who could be called the children of God or the children of Abraham. And we learn here that not only are they not the children of God or the children of Abraham, but they are very people whom they considered to be the outcasts, the untouchables. They are the ones who become the true children of Abraham and thus the rightful inheritors of all the promises of God made through him and to him. This is further reinforced in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 21 verse 43, where Jesus flat out tells these people, the kingdom of God is being taken from you and given to those who are manifesting the fruits thereof. So in this story, we have seen the progression and how those Samaritan people came to know who Jesus was and is. And as we look closer now again at this section of God's Word this morning, we should be asking ourselves, who is this Jesus to me? In verse 27, Jesus' disciples were sent to go and gather some food and they returned to find Him doing something very unusual. He's talking to a Samaritan woman. Now last week I shared with you something about the history of the mutual animosity between the Jews and the Samaritans. And I told you then that the Samaritans were distant cousins of the Israelites who had intermarried with pagan people. They weren't totally pagan. I guess today we might compare it as the difference between Reformed Presbyterian Christians as opposed to Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses. As much as we disagree and believe that those groups have wrong teachings, they nevertheless are within the wider orbit of, quote, marginal Christianity. They're not Buddhist. They're not Hindus, even though they may have imported some doctors there. That's not what this is about. The point is, the differences between the Jews and the Samaritans were significant, but it didn't make the Samaritans total pagans. They weren't polytheists, for example. And we know that the Samaritans accepted as canonical, as we would say, the first five books of the Old Testament. They considered them inspired, but they rejected the rest of it, and they substituted their own traditions. Now of course they weren't alone in doing that because the Jews, the Judaic people, had done the same thing. They accepted more than the five books of Moses, but of course their Talmudic traditions displaced just about everything else. I saw a video just recently, recorded in Israel, by the way, of a man who was a Christian speaking to another man who was a part of a larger group of Orthodox Jews. And these people were not at all happy with the Christians being where they were there in Jerusalem. And he was having a somewhat reasoned, if not slightly heated, discussion with this Orthodox Jew. And the Orthodox Jew just flat out told him that the Torah, that is the law of God, what we call the Bible, is that it tells me that I should hate you, and I do. I hate you. Now see, what's interesting about that is what that meant was that the Talmudic tradition of his Jewish leaders tells him that the Bible tells him that, because you certainly don't love the writings. Now back in the time of Jesus, Jewish men were forbidden by farseic law from having any friendly contact with Samaritan women. But what made Jesus' disciples marvel at him was the fact that he was talking to any woman at all, because, again, staying with this issue of the Talmudic tradition, the writings of the Talmud, the rabbis warned, and I'm quoting directly here, Prolong not conversation with a woman, even with one's own wife, and especially not with a neighbor's wife. Hence, the wise men say, he who prolongs conversation with a woman brings evil upon himself and seizes from the words of the law, and at the last inherits eternal damnation. So Jesus really is breaking with tradition. But you see, the point is, it is a so -called tradition that needed to be broken, because it had no foundation whatsoever in the Word of God. But notice what the Samaritan woman did. As soon as she realized the gift that she'd been given, that is, aionios zoe, age -enduring life, this gift of everlasting life, she ran to the city, leaving behind her water bucket to tell them in what had happened to her. So there are here, for the rest of this message, I want to, I want us to think about these two things that are a result of what's happened. Let us note, well, what she did, and then what she said to her fellow Samaritans. So first of all, she leaves behind the water bucket. Now I think we can see in that, and this is why I'm saying that's worth noting, this is a symbolic action of turning away from the old and turning to the new way. The water bucket represented the old temporary means by which a person might quench their thirst, their physical thirst. And let's not forget in terms of symbolism, this well is the well of Jacob, the father of the nation of Israel. The woman has turned from that to something far better, because there is a well of living water, the wellspring of life everlasting, which is now given to her by the new Jacob, the new Israel of God, Jesus the Christ. And notice that in her turning away from this, she is turning to do something very specific. She's gone to tell others about it. And I think this is an example for all of us who have received this new life in Christ Jesus, because we too ought to be about the business of sharing what Christ has done for us with others. There are people who think that for someone to become a Christian, they must be dragged off to a church or a revival service somewhere. Now let's say, as our catechism teaches, it's the hearing and the proclamation of the Word of God that is the normal means of informing and encouraging those, especially those already in the faith of Jesus. But even those who do not may well be converted by attending some service or other or hearing the word priest. But the good news of the kingdom, it seems to me at least, is most effectively spread when people ordinary simply share with their friends and co -workers and family members what Christ has done for them. Reminds me of a story of a man who, and this is some years ago in Great Britain, maybe I think back in the 1940s or 50s, he was a non -Christian, and he'd been prevailed upon by a Christian friend of his to attend revival services held by a well -known revivalist preacher. And this preacher gave a tremendous salvation message, and all during the message he exhorted and admonished his hearers to turn from their sins and cry out to God for deliverance. As it was, the man was leaving the great revival service just as lost and in his sins as he had entered it. But just as he got to the parking lot, he was met by another friend who had been at that service, and he invited him to go to the home of yet another man where there was a meeting of the men of the church. Well this fellow was rather curious about what a group of churchmen would be meeting about at someone's house after already having attended a worship service. So he went along and when he got there, he found about 25 men gathered together in a large living room. Now the host of the meeting announced that the group was to spend time sharing with each other what the Lord had done for them in answer to prayer. But there was a condition.
POA8 Know your Weapons pt. 3 Put On The Armor A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D. Discerning Hears Catholic Podcasts - burst 6
"I love how Saint Athanasius in the early church wrote that before the coming of Christ, demonic powers used to deceive the pagans to worship, worshiping them and obeying their oracles. He says, but now, this is writing in the fourth century, but now, since the divine appearance of the word that is Christ, all this deception has come to an end. For by the sign of the cross, if a man will only use it, their deceptions are driven out. And you have Saint John the enemy many centuries later talking about the sign of the cross is a terrible weapon against the devil. And that's one reason why the church has images of the sign of cross everywhere and why we make the sign of the cross. And think about why it would be. It's when we make the sign of the cross, we do it in faith. We are kind of joining ourselves to the faith of the church and receiving the benefits of the prayers of the
A highlight from Encouragement from Paul's Evangalistic Example & Teaching
"Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for Grant and artists and others like them there in Israel serving you, getting the message of the gospel out, and we thank you for looking after them, protecting them, preserving them thus far, and we thank you for helping us to understand some of the struggles that they're currently facing. We do pray for the Christians there in Jerusalem that they might understand that unity in Christ is a remarkable thing. Purchased by the blood of Christ, accomplished by the gospel, and such a powerful evidence of the gospel is that natural enemies could become brothers and sisters, one family of God, and that we pray that that wonderful power of the gospel might be on display in a wonderful way. We continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and your hand upon all your people. We ask that you might also bless our time of Bible study now. Help us, Lord, to learn how we might better reach people for the gospel, people that we speak to. We pray this in Jesus' name, amen. All right now. My first visit to India was in 1997. My task was to teach in Bible college and in some church churches and also to preach at some outdoor evangelistic meetings, and I'd never preached to a group of unsaved Hindus before, and I was quite daunted at the prospect. I wasn't sure what approach to take. I said to Jesus, I said, what do I do? Do I try to prove that Christianity is a superior belief system to Hinduism? Do I try to prove there's only one true God? Should I try to convince them that the Bible is the authoritative inspired word of God? I wasn't sure what approach to take. Do I try to prove the divine nature of the Bible, and therefore it has the authority and we should listen to it rather than anything else? What the Bible says about God and man and salvation, that's what's to be believed. Do we try to man a case to prove the inspiration of the scriptures or the deity of Christ? How do you present the gospel to people who are not monotheists? How do you present the gospel to people who believe in thousands of gods and don't accept the Bible as authoritative? How do you share the gospel with people whose worldview is so completely different to a Christian worldview? I was surprised by Nye's response. He said, brother, just preach the gospel. He didn't intend it as a rebuke, but it was to me. His answer was very instructive and it was also very reassuring. And it does raise some questions. How much does an unsaved person understand about the existence of God? To what extent is he aware already of his sinfulness and his need for forgiveness? Is it necessary to begin every evangelistic message or conversation with an attempt to prove by rational argument that God exists and that the Bible is true? Must we find a way of intellectually convincing people that they don't measure up to God's standards and that one day they'll have to give an account to him? Or can we assume that all people have some awareness of God and that they are indeed already conscious of their sinful condition? Is the knowledge of God and the knowledge of sin intuitive? If so, to what degree? How do we go about sharing the gospel with someone who has no Christian understanding whatsoever? Now as we continue to consider the evangelistic example of Paul, we know that if a city he was entering into had a Jewish synagogue, he would go there first, open the Old Testament scriptures and preach the gospel. But we also know that Paul was specifically appointed to be an apostle to the Gentiles, idol -worshipping Gentiles who believed in many gods, who were highly immoral and had no regard for scripture whatsoever. Their beliefs and their behavior, their whole worldview was totally pagan and it's very instructive to us to see how Paul evangelized such people. Let's take our Bibles please and open to Acts chapter 24. Acts chapter 24 is where we read about Paul's encounter with Felix and Drusilla. And what we find is that Paul assumes that they already knew some basic truths or else Paul's convinced that they would intuitively recognize the truth about what he was saying about God and sin and salvation. Felix was a Gentile, he was an utterly corrupt man. He was the Roman governor of Judea, his wife Drusilla was the daughter of King Herod I, Herod Agrippa I, she came from a very wicked family. Felix himself was steeped in Roman paganism, he had a terrible reputation for greed and cruelty, he had stolen Drusilla from her first husband and both of them were ungodly and in keeping with their pagan worldview. And yet Paul spoke to them on the basis that they could easily understand their obligations to God. Now we need to note that Paul did have a previous conversation with Felix where he explained to him the difference between Jews and Christians. Jews are those who merely pay lip service to God whereas Christians are those who really believe in the inspiration of the scriptures and its message, that's the difference. That had that conversation before and yet in spite of that previous conversation Felix was still a pagan man with pagan understanding and therefore we might think that in presenting the gospel of Felix Paul needed to have a series of conversations with Felix where he would teach Felix that it was wrong for him to believe in the Roman concept of a multiplicity of gods and teach him through systematic teaching that there's only one true God. You might also wonder how Paul would explain to Felix that this one true God is holy and he Felix is sinful, bearing in mind that Felix's sensuality was not only acceptable in Roman society it was actually seen as a virtue and also that such behavior was totally acceptable with the Roman gods. Therefore we might think that Paul would have a hard time raising the issue with Felix about a future day of judgment for his life. So what approach did Paul take to evangelize this corrupt ungodly man lost in the darkness of pagan ideas, idol worshipping, believing the multiplicity of gods, worshipping emperors? Did Paul think it was needful to establish an intellectual reasonableness of the Christian faith? It's fascinating to see that Paul went straight to the point started talking about gospel matters. Verse 24, Acts 24 verse 24, now after certain days when Felix came with his wife Trusilla which was a Jewess he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ and as he reasoned of righteousness and temperance and judgment to come Felix trembled and answered go thy way for this time when I have a convenient season I will call for thee. So the word reason means to lay out a matter, to thoroughly present a matter. What issues did Paul lay out before Felix? The issues of righteousness and temperance, self -control and judgment to come. In other words, Paul gave an extremely direct and challenging address, he proceeded on the assumption that as he laid out these three simple points Felix would have no problem understanding what Paul was saying and Paul also was confident no doubt that Felix's conscience would aroused be by these points. Now we need to say that as far as we know Felix never did become a Christian and yet as far as a faithful gospel witness is concerned, Paul was confident that Felix was able to understand these issues. He was confident that Felix knew these things were true and he was confident that Felix's conscience would be troubled about these things and so Paul reasoned of righteousness he presented God as righteous and God as requiring righteousness and the fact that Felix himself was not righteous especially in one area which Paul laid out to Felix, he spoke about temperance, self -control which is something that Felix certainly did not have. Felix was greedy, he was a violent man, if he wanted anything he would stop at nothing to get whatever he wanted, he would eliminate whatever, whoever was in his way. He's the man in the grip of his central impulsive heart and so Paul focused on that thing where he was most vulnerable and sensitive. Then Paul spoke about judgment to come, a day of future judgment where Felix and everyone else will give an account to God for their lives. You notice that Paul didn't attempt to present an extended apologetic argument for monotheism, he didn't spend time proving or disproving the error of polytheism, he didn't attack the Roman gods, he just ignored them for the non -entities that they are. Paul's emphasis is recorded at the end of verse 24, when Felix heard out of words out of Paul's mouth, these words out of Paul's mouth, what he heard was concerning faith in Christ, that's what he heard from Paul. God is righteous, Felix is a sinner, there's a day of judgment coming where Felix will have to give an account, he's a man in desperate need of forgiveness and the only way to receive that is through faith in Christ, very direct, very effective. Notice in the middle of verse 25 that Felix trembled, despite the fact that Felix's lifestyle was completely consistent with his religious beliefs, Paul's presentation went straight to his heart. Simple gospel challenge didn't just bounce off his heart as we might expect, it penetrated Felix's heart, caused him to fear things that previously didn't trouble him, this simple straightforward challenge had a profound effect upon him. Now there are things here in Paul's approach which are very instructive for us and would serve us, will serve us well in our day and age, we live in a society which is rapidly returning to the paganism and the immorality of the first century Greco -Roman world, we live in a society where people are giving up belief in one true God, we live in a society where people no longer believe that sinful deeds are actually sinful and so they tell us you know why is this message even necessary, how is it even relevant, therefore we might conclude that our best approach with such people is to try to prove them intellectually that God does exist and to prove them rationally that sin is real and is a problem and yet here we see that Paul simply declared the truth about God, simply declared the fact of sin, simply declared the certainty of coming judgement and declared just as directly and as simply that faith in Christ is the solution, gospel is the remedy and he said these things on the assumption that even a pagan mind had the capacity to understand what he was saying regardless of whether or whether not he'd heard these things before, in other words if we think that every point of the gospel must be rationally proved before it can have an effect upon unbeliever then we're wrong, from Paul's example we learn that the simple presentation of the gospel message has a unique connecting power because when we declare the biblical message every human being instinctively realises to some extent the truthfulness of this message and is challenged by it, now it may be that people are resistant to the message, people resent the message, people oppose it or give no hint of being affected by it but according to the scripture as we shall see when we do speak directly to them about righteousness and about sin and about judgement and the need for forgiveness there is something deep inside every single person that says yes I know this message is true, my heart says this message is true, how do we know this? Well for one we see it in Paul's method but is the directness of Paul's method confirmed by his teaching? Does the Word of God give us any assurance that a straightforward gospel approach will have a real impact upon the inner sensitivities of present -day hearers? Well the answer is yes. In Romans chapter one and two Paul shows us very clearly that several aspect of our evangelistic message will be plain and evident to all people partly because they made obvious by the natural world around them and partly because they are indelibly impressed upon each person's awareness. From that which God has created around us and that which God has placed within us it is evident to everyone that there is a God who is invisible and powerful and holy and that everyone is a sinner before him destined for judgment and them to them. They will carry a powerful ring of truth because there is something within them to testify. Yes this is true. Now it is true that some aspect of gospel message are not evident from nature nor are they written within men's hearts for example the way of salvation, the atoning death of Christ, his glorious resurrection, how it is that we can be born again and how it is that we can have righteousness imputed to us. Such truths are revealed only in the gospel message itself however there is great encouragement for us to realize that the knowledge of God and sin and judgment are already latent within every person no matter what class or culture they influence they may be by false religious ideas. Awareness of sin and guilt may be suppressed from someone's conscious knowledge but it's always there in the soul lying just beneath the surface so that the preacher or the witnessing Christian might by speaking about these things stir up of their knowledge these things. Paul makes his point very clear in Romans 1 verses 18 and 19. Oops I better turn there. Romans 1 let's go to Romans 1 verse 18. Romans 1 18 for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness because that which may be known of God is manifest in them for God has showed it unto them the word hold there who hold the truth in unrighteousness the word hold means to hold down or to suppress and what it's saying is that there are many things about God which people do instinctively know and understand because they are evident in the natural world they're obvious from the natural world and they are also affirmed by our conscience within. We don't have to regard unregent people as totally unreachable or totally unteachable as though as though they were creatures from another planet. God has made them inwardly aware of his existence and surrounded has them with the all -pervasive evidence of nature. What do people know from creation? What is obvious from the natural world? That's the word that's missing there. What isn't obvious from the natural world? Verse 20 Paul says for the invisible things of him invisible things of God from the creation of the world are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made even his eternal power and Godhead so that they that is all men are without excuse.
A highlight from Evangelism: Muslims and Mormons
"Of things, looking at how when we speak and reach out to those who are around us, specifically we'll be talking about Muslims, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, and then atheists as well. What are some things that as we seek to point them to Christ, what are ways in which we can engage them well? And so we are going to do those things together here. And with anything that you talk about, especially other world religions, I know pastor has been going through different denominations in the morning and kind of looking at some different aspects of denominations. I thought this would kind of be somewhat in line with that, looking at other religions and ones that are a little bit more common to you and I, maybe some less than others, but how is it that we can engage with them well? And of course, many things can be said about Jehovah's Witnesses, what they believe, Muslims, what they believe. And so the point of this isn't to give an exhaustive discussion about everything in which a Muslim or a Mormon might believe, but just to give us some handles that we can hold on to in our brains as we discuss the gospel with them. I know for myself, sometimes if I see someone on the side of the road and let's say I know they're a Jehovah's Witness, you know, there was times in my life where I would say like, ah, well, I don't really want to engage with them because I don't really know what they believe and I don't know how to answer all their questions, so I'm just going to, you know, I'm not going to talk to them. Whereas with Mormons, I had a lot more understanding of Mormonism and I had talked to a lot more Mormons. When a Mormon would come to the door, I'd be like, ah, come on in guys, like you want to come in? I'll get you some water? I'm like, let's chat. Because I had a better understanding of the Mormon faith and I felt like I was ready to engage them. I felt like I was ready to have an answer for questions and try to point them to the gospel. And so the point of all of this is to equip us as a church, to equip us as saints, as we go out into the world, at your jobs, in your neighborhood, with your family members. We might not all have a Mormon cousin, but you probably have an atheistic coworker. And so being able to engage them with the gospel and feeling that you are equipped, and I know many of us are, many of us are, so I hope this will just be a supplemental help to you in that endeavor. And so we're going to begin working through these notes. And if you look at your notes, the first one is Islam. And I recognize that Islam is not huge in the Midwest, in Omaha, Nebraska in particular. For sure there are Muslims. I've talked to a few since we've been here, walking around different parts of Omaha, but you almost have to go and find them. But I'm sure that even, I know, I'm speaking to Dan Williams and others that there are coworkers even here in Omaha that are, hold to the Islamic faith. And so I want to walk through each one of these religions together, give us a little brief understanding of their history. And because Islam is so big, where we are in Mombasa, a large portion of Mombasa is Islamic. A lot of times you'll have Somalis in particular that we're working with. The father will be here working in America and he will, they'll live here as a family for many years, but eventually as the kids get older, they send their kids back to a place like Mombasa because it's not, you know, a war -torn place like Somalia, but there's a large Islamic influence there and they want their children to be brought under that Islamic influence. And so we'll have a lot of Somali Muslims that are there, the kids in the model are there, and they're being taught and trained in that Islamic culture, and while the dad is here in America working and supporting them. And so there's Muslims here and I hope I'm writing that. I hope, I know a lot of times we can be afraid of Muslims, but there's, for the most part, there's no reason for that theory. So what I want to do is spend a little bit more time on Islam because again, it's something that we have been very, very engaged in, spending many hours talking with Muslims, and so it will be a little bit more in -depth, but I will try to walk through this one quickly. So today for the Sunday School, September 24th, Understanding the Other Side, we're going to be looking at Islam and Mormonism. Just out of curiosity, just out of curiosity, how many of you have either, you know, neighbor, relative, co -worker, whatever, who is Muslim, Mormon, Jehovah Witness, or atheist? Just raise your hand. Just probably raise your hand. So at least somebody, right? There's somebody. Now if he just said Muslim, there might be like two hands that go up, but that's all right. We'll get to the others, okay? So very briefly, I'm going to try and be brief, okay? I was trying to be brief with these notes and they ended up being 11 pages, so not off to a good start, but that is all right. So as you've seen in your notes, Islam, A, the history of Muhammad, early life. So of course, whenever you speak of Islam, you're speaking of Muhammad, and so if you talk to any Muslim, they will talk to you about the prophet Muhammad, and then they'll go on to say, just be upon him and ramble on these Arabic blessings about his name, but Muhammad was born in AD 570 and he died in AD 632. And in his life, living in Saudi Arabia, born in the city of Mecca, he had a rough childhood. His parents both passed away as a young boy. As a six -year -old boy, he went off to live with his uncle, or his grandfather, and then as an eight -year -old, as his grandfather died, he went off to live with an uncle, and so he was kind of moved around from family to family. He joined in the family business of being a camel caravan driver, so he would go on all of these long trips across Saudi Arabia, Syria, with his uncle and others that they were working for, traveling all over the place, delivering goods. At that time, in Saudi Arabia, of course, at this time, it was not an Islamic country as we think of it today, but there was all sorts of Gnostic Christianity, which is no Christianity at all. It taught a dualistic type religion and many, many problems with some Judaism, other pagan religions, polytheism. There's just a hodgepodge of religion going on in Arabia at that time. And so Muhammad would have come across all of these things as he's traveling around, listening to stories, discussing with other people. The Quran itself tells us very little about Muhammad himself. We don't really understand much about Muhammad at all if you've got random passages that don't really connect with anything, and you have to have some sort of grid to really be able to understand that. And you find that grid within the other important literature in Islam, which are the Hadiths, the Sirat, and these other religious important books that give the traditions and the understanding of who Muhammad was and what he did and all of that. And so in the Islamic literature, we discover these things about Muhammad, where he was and what it was like for him growing up and these other things. And so you might think, okay, you know, the pastor's going through Quranicals, and so we don't really want to go through any more genealogies with Muhammad and figure out who his grandpa and all of those people were. And that's not the point of discussing him being moved around and all of these things. But it is important to note that Muhammad was exposed at a young age as he's traveling all over to various religions. He's hearing different stories as he's traveling around. He's hearing stories from Gnostic Christians, again, who are not Christians at all. And if you read and study the Quran, you find that Muhammad oftentimes quotes things in the Quran that he either thinks are biblical excerpts, or he thinks that they come from the Jewish scriptures in the Old Testament. But as a matter like the Arabic Infancy Gospel of Matthew and these other Gnostic gospels that no Christian would have accepted, what Muhammad quotes is that he believes that they are, in fact, the Christian scriptures. And so this happens time and time again. Muhammad thinks he's quoting from the Bible, but he's really quoting from the Jewish Talmud. And this happens oftentimes. And so the understanding that Muhammad had of Christianity is by no means what you and I, and so even if you read the Quran, you see that Muhammad believes that the Trinity, the Trinity that the Christians believe in is God the Father, Mary, and Jesus. Of course, no Christian believes that the triune God is made up of Mary, and not even, if you want to try to point the finger at Catholics or Orthodox, not even Catholics or Orthodox go so far as to worship Mary. And so there's just a, in many ways, a bad understanding, for lack of a better word, a bad understanding of Christianity within the mind of Muhammad. But at the age of 25, Muhammad is employed by a woman named Khadija. He starts running his own caravan. He eventually marries this woman, and then he begins, as we get on to point number two there, Quranic Revelation, Muhammad begins to really seek after God. He wants to worship God. He wants to know God. And Muhammad goes away. He begins to go into a mountain near Mecca. He goes up into the mountain. He goes into the cave, and there he's fasting. He's praying. He's seeking to know Allah, which is just the Arabic word for God. And he wants to know God. He's trying to have a closer relationship with him. And again, for the sake of time, we're not going to go into any lengthy accounts of Muhammad and the experience he had in the cave. But what happened as Muhammad is there praying and fasting is Muhammad says that there is an angel named Jibril, which is Gabriel. And Jibril comes to him and says, Muhammad, read. And Muhammad says, I can't read. And the angel says, well, first the angel squeezes him very hard. Muhammad says it hurts him. It squeezes him very hard. And it says again, read. And Muhammad says, I can't read. And so this goes on. It's kind of like, I don't know, a Three Stooges play. But Muhammad just keeps telling the angel, I don't know how to read. And the angel beats him up a little bit and tells him to read again. And it just goes on and on and on until eventually Muhammad, you know, starts to recite parts of the Qur 'an that the angel Jibril is giving to him. And so this happens, and Muhammad comes home. As I'm quoting, I'm not quoting, but the place in which I'm getting this story from is from the Hadith, it's from the Surah, it's from the Islamic tradition itself. It's not some, you know, angry Christian writing from their seminary office saying like, ah, Muhammad was, you know, this crazy guy who's getting beat up by an angel as he's reciting the Qur 'an. And this is all from the Qur 'anic sources, Sahih al -Muslim, Sahih al -Bukhari, and so on. And so Muhammad then, he runs home to his wife, he hides under their covers, and he is petrified from what has happened. And he tells his wife, he's like, I don't know if I was meeting her with a demon or what happened, but it scared me and it hurt me and I don't know what happened. But his wife assures him, no, no, no, it was God, God is speaking to you, you should go back. And so Muhammad goes back, he continues to go back to this mountain, to this cave, and there he continues to receive revelations from this angel. And Muhammad goes on to say, this is a quote from, again, one of the Qur 'anic, one of the Islamic resources here, Sirah Rasula, says, Muhammad is quoted as saying, I will go to the top of the mountain and throw myself down that I may kill myself and gain rest. So I went forth to do so. And then when I was midway on the mountain, I heard a voice from heaven saying, oh, Muhammad, thou art the apostle of God and I am Gabriel. And so the Gabriel goes on to tell Muhammad, do not kill yourself, you're the apostle of God, you can't do this. But there's multiple times in the life of Muhammad while he is receiving Qur 'anic revelations where he seeks to kill himself, he tries to throw himself off of the mountain. And furthermore, there's other accounts of people saying that at that time, Muhammad was possessed by a demon. So these are just some facts to keep in the back of our mind. As we think about this, even within the Qur 'an, Surah, I had printed off, originally it was going to be in your notes, kind of a glossary of terms, because I know using a lot of these Surah and Ayah and all these type of things, you might not all know what that is, but Surah is just chapter and the Ayah is the verse. And so in the Qur 'an, Surah Adam 1, 22 to 25, 69, 41 to 42, Muhammad is trying to refute the idea that he is demon -possessed. And so he's arguing against the Jews and the Christians and are saying like, nah, we don't think you're demon -possessed, man. And he's like, no, I'm not. And he's trying to argue against that idea. And so this is just kind of a bit of a background as to how the Qur 'an was revealed to Muhammad. And so we might ask the question, well, do you think that Muhammad was just making all these things up? Is he just a total, is this all just a fabrication of his mind? I personally believe that Muhammad was not just making these things up. If you look at the scriptures and you see in the Old or the New Testament, you see various times when angels Abraham, appear to Mary, the Lord Jesus, Isaiah, there's many encounters where angels come and speak. Even the angel of the Lord comes and speaks to people. And many times people recognize that, oh man, like I am speaking to an angel and they are startled and there is awe and wonder that is within them as they speak to an angel. Not always, but we never see an angel of God coming and beating somebody up and hurting them and then causing them to become depressed and wanting to kill themselves and so on. And so what I believe is that as you look at the life and the story of Muhammad receiving the Qur 'anic revelations, his desire lines up much more with, as we read in the gospel, these, and again, not saying this to be crude or rude towards the Islamic faiths, but faith. But you see a herd of pigs when they are enveloped by demons, high -tempered toward the cliff and jumping off. We see Judas Iscariot, when he is the son of Perdition, when he is, it says, the Bible says that the devil goes into him and he betrays Christ and turns Christ over. Shortly thereafter, himself, Judas, killing, many believing, killing himself. And so it just doesn't seem that Muhammad truly had, of course we don't believe that Muhammad is a prophet of God, but it would be much more in line that, yes, Muhammad did have a revelation, but it was not from God, but rather, as we read in 2 Corinthians 11, 13 and 14, for such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.
The Demonic Influence of Marxist Ideology
"Karl Marx in the mid 1800s wrote a couple books that many of you may or may not be familiar with, Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital. Karl Marx also had some involvement in the occult. There's a whole great amount of literature there. But basically, Karl Marx took demonic ideology and ideas from the enemy that all that God created must be challenged and must be criticized. In fact, direct quote from Marxist writings. You must engage in the ruthless criticism of all that exists. Said simply, Marxists are trained, and this is what happens when you send kids to college, to deconstruct, to pick apart, to complain against anything that exists. And that includes the natural law and the natural order. Now, you're probably starting to connect some dots. Like, oh, well, that makes sense. That's why they're always trying to go after why what is a man and what is a woman. Now, I believe that if the American church spoke more about the first 11 books of Genesis, we'd be in a much better place. I believe that there are eternal answers to so many of our problems in the first 11 books of Genesis that the modern cool kid, the skinny gene church, does not like talking about. They say, oh, it's allegorical. It's the word of God. It's the truth. Now, in the first 11 books of Genesis, the distinctions that our entire existence rely upon are set up. I mentioned this briefly yesterday. The distinctions between God and man, the distinctions between holy and profane, the distinctions between man and woman, the distinctions between good and evil, the distinctions between man and nature, the distinctions between God and nature. So let's focus on that one. Every ancient false pagan religion before Judaism, before the Torah and eventually Christianity, God was in nature, not above nature. You worship the river. You worship the sun. You worship the mountain. This idea that God spoke nature into existence was unheard of in the ancient world. Now, these distinctions are important because that's where we get very basic morality.
A highlight from Matthew: The Baptism Of Jesus Christ
"The very last book in the Old Testament, the very last book, the book of Malachi, literally the last four or five verses, it says this. It says, Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. Behold, this is the last verses in the whole Old Testament. Behold, Elijah is coming, or at least his spiritual successor. I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the day of the Lord, the great and dreadful day of the Lord, and he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children of the fathers, lest they come to strike the earth with a curse. The last verses in the Old Testament said keep on the lookout, keep on the lookout. There's one coming, and when he comes, he's going to prepare the way, which is what Isaiah said, too. I'm going to send one, one from the wilderness is going to come to prepare the way for the Lord, to prepare the way for the king, which is something they had to do back in the days. Literally, if the king was going to visit, they had to clear the street and the paths and the like so that the carts or the chairs or whatnot could get down without any issues. Whatever the case is, Elijah was anticipated from centuries past to return, and he returns in the form of John the Baptist as the spiritual successor. Now, what was John doing before we look at verses 13 and 14, before we move into the text, really? What is he doing? Well, we know he's baptizing. He's baptizing individuals here. So what kind of baptism is this? Did they have baptism in the Old Testament? Did they have it? Well, yes, but it was different. They had something called proselyte baptism. Let's say that you're a Moabite, and you say, you know, I really like Israel. I like the food and the culture, and I love their God. Their God seems so much better than the gods we got over here. I think I would like to become Jewish. I'd like to convert. So what was the process for that? Well, the process was baptism. It was called proselyte baptism. If someone from another culture wanted to convert into Judaism, and God was pleased to pull from the nations. If you're a Gentile here this morning, you're an example of this. God was pleased to pull from the nations, and when they pulled from the nations, when people converted, so to speak, to Judaism, the principal action that they undertook was to be baptized or washed as a sign, as a type, of washing away their pagan beliefs and their wicked ways and the like. So they did have something called baptism, but it wasn't baptism in the sense that we might understand it. It was for new converts. Well, this is not what's going on here. John is baptizing Jews. See, this is different. Now, some people say, well, what's going on is ceremonial washings. If you look in the Old Testament, they were washing all the time, which I guess if I lived in the desert, I'd probably want to do that, too. They were trying to wash, and some of it was probably just for the obvious reasons of getting clean, and then other reasons were ceremonial. If you were a priest, and, you know, before you put on your tall, pointy hat, and you did your priestly duties, you might consecrate yourself and wash yourself. So they had ceremonial washings throughout the Old Testament, but that's not what this is either. It's not a baptism of converts, and it's not ceremonial washings. It's something different, and it's something new. So what is it? Let's look. Let's look at verses 13 and 14 now, and I'll work our way through that smaller balance of verses, and we'll try to come away with a better understanding of what baptism is and why Jesus, of all people, underwent it. Verse 13, that Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him, and John tried to prevent him, saying, I need to be baptized by you, and are you coming to me? All right. As verse 13 begins, there's a reference to two very distinct geographical locations. Now, when we read these terms, we just lump them all in together. He went from Galilee to the Jordan. When I first used to read that text, I don't know if that was like four blocks away. I didn't know how to picture this. Having actually been there, I have some understanding, and it couldn't be more stark where Jesus came from to where he was going. He went from Galilee, the Sea of Galilee, and everything around the sea is lush and green and there's rolling hillsides, and it's just beautiful. Whatever you picture to be the land of milk and honey, that's what Galilee is. However, that's not where John was. John was way down to the south. John was to the southeast -ish of Jerusalem out towards the Dead Sea, and it has earned its name. This area is not an area that is attractive. It is not lush. It is not green. There's no milk. There's no honey. This is not the area that you would take vacations to. It's not an area you would otherwise go, and yet all these people were going there because that's where John was. The spiritual successor of Elijah came out of the wilderness, Elijah the Tishbite. Here we have John the Baptist, and God has evidently laid a prophetic mantle upon him. Everyone's coming to where he's at, even though otherwise it wouldn't be in a big hurry to go there. Well, Jesus goes there too. He goes from Galilee from where it's lush, and he travels, what was a number of days at the least, down to Jordan, down towards near Jericho. Now, why? Why did he do this? Well, we see the answer in verse 13. He comes to be baptized. Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized. Now, as we said before, we have to stop and we have to camp out here for a moment. Jesus. Who is Jesus? It starts with a G. He's God. So Jesus is God in the flesh, God incarnate, Son of God, one of the members of the Trinity. If you look at Jesus, you're looking at God, right? So here we see that God wants to come down and be baptized by a fallen man, that God wants to be baptized. What's going on here? Now, if you looked around the rest of the crowd, if you looked at everyone else all milling around, they all needed to be baptized. They needed to be washed clean, and not only be washed clean, but they needed to act accordingly in the days yet to come because their past was filthy and sin -ridden. Everyone there had sins. Even John the Baptist had sinned. And so Jesus comes to him, and to John, it's like, it does not compute. This doesn't make sense why you are doing this. And so he responds and tells Jesus, we're not doing it. I must have misheard you. We're not doing that. You don't need to be baptized by me, but clearly I need to be baptized by you. Now, did John know who Jesus was? I think there's plenty of reason to suspect that. He at least knew him as a cousin. Did he know him as the Messiah? I think the answer to that is clear. I think if you look at Luke, Mary and Elizabeth, they were cousins. Mary and Elizabeth were pregnant at the same time, and Mary goes to visit Elizabeth, and Elizabeth is pregnant. The child's a little more advanced in months, but they're both pregnant. And what does the child in Elizabeth's womb, what does John the Baptist in the womb do just at the proximity to Jesus? He leaps, jumps for joy. I can't imagine that's a lot of fun for the mother, but whatever the case is, there's movement, there's jumping, there's leaping, there's joy. Somehow, in some way, just by the mere proximity to the Messiah, John the Baptist understood, or at least by his nature, reacted to the proximity to this one. Beyond that, he identifies even in this text that one is coming, that I'm not even worthy to tie his sandals. Later, when he sees on the river, he says, Behold, the Lamb of God comes to take away the sin of the world. There's every reason to believe. He knows exactly who this Jesus was. So Jesus approaches him here, and the one who he identifies as the Messiah says, I need you to baptize me. So John, of course, tries to decline that. Jesus will have none of it. Let's look at verse 15. But Jesus answered and said to him, Permit it to be so. In other words, let's do it. Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.
A highlight from Sunday of the Twenty-Third Week in Ordinary Time A Time of Lectio Divina for the Discerning Heart Podcast
"A time of Lectio Divina for the discerning heart. Sunday the 23rd week in ordinary time. As you begin, take a deep breath and exhale slowly. For the next few moments, surrender all the cares and concerns of this day to the Lord. Say slowly from your heart, Jesus, I trust in you, you take over. Become aware that he is with you, looking upon you with love, wanting to be heard deep within your heart. A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew chapter 18 verses 15 through 20. Jesus said to his disciples, if your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone between you two selves. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you. The evidence of two or three witnesses is required to sustain any charge. But if he refuses to listen to these, report it to the community. And if he refuses to listen to the community, treat him like a pagan or a tax collector. I tell you solemnly, whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven. Whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven. I tell you solemnly once again, if two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them. What word made this passage come alive for you? What did you sense the Lord saying to you? What did you hear about this passage and why does this passage matter? I will now give the Lord an opportunity to speak to you. Jesus said to his disciples, If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone between your two selves. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you. The evidence of two or three witnesses is required to sustain any charge. But if he refuses to listen to these, report it to the community, and if he refuses to listen to the community, treat him like a pagan or a tax collector. I tell you solemnly, whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven. Whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven. I tell you solemnly, once again, if two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them.
A highlight from Matthew: Emmanuel (Which Means God With Us)
"You know, there is a world of difference between saying to someone that I am for you and telling them that I am with you. These two things do not mean the same thing. There's a world of difference between telling someone, I'm for you, I'm in your corner, I'm rooting you on, you've got this. There's a world of difference between telling someone that and telling them, I'm with you. In World War I, there was a lieutenant. His troops were getting ready to go over the edge. They were ready to take on the enemy. They were ready to cross the trenches. And this lieutenant, he's anxious. He's nervous about what might happen, and he sees a commander coming down through the trenches. The commander looks at this man, and he can see the anxiety. He can see the nerves there, and so he comes alongside him, puts his arm on him, and he points out. He points out to where they're going. He points out to no man's land. And he tells them, when we go out there, I'm going to be with you. We're going to do this together. And that gave the younger man a sense of confidence. It wasn't the old grizzled veteran just saying, you got this, from a distance, and go do it. Rather, he was saying, I'm going to be with you as you do it. I'm with you in the trenches, and I'm going to be with you in the battle yet to come. As we said, it's one thing to tell someone I'm for you. That's easy. You can do that to anyone. It's another thing to say, I'm going to invest myself in the outcome of what you're going through. I'm going to enter into the crucible of your pain with you, at your side. There's a comfort when a commander or a general does it, but how much more so when a god does that. When god not only gives us a word and says, hey, you got this. I'm for you. I'm in your corner. But rather when he says, I am with you as you face this. There's something encouraging about that. In today's text, it's exactly what we see. In today's reading, the birth of this child, the one who had come from a throne down to a manger. In this text, we see that this one was to be named Immanuel. That this one was the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. And that his name literally means God with us. God with us. Not just God for us, but God with us. Verse 23 of our text will say, behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son. They shall call his name Immanuel, which means God with us. This is one of the primary attributes, one of the primary things that makes our god cool, that makes our god awesome. One of the primary things is because he didn't just create the cosmos, spin it like a top, and then go off and watch us from a distance to see how things would turn out. Rather, from the get -go, from Jump Street, from the garden, that which he created, he dwells with. He creates Adam, he creates Eve, and then he walks and talks with them in the cool of the afternoon. The pagan gods didn't do this sort of thing. They didn't pay attention necessarily to everything that was going on. The god of the deists, the people who think that God is just this aloof god out in the cosmos somewhere that has nothing to do with us, who wants that kind of god? Thank God that's not the god we have. Rather, we have a god who is with us in the midst of everything we're going through. This was true in the garden. It was true at Sinai. It was true in the tabernacle. It was true in the temple. That's true for even us as New Testament believers because where does God reside now? God is with us. Do you know how the book of Matthew closes? Do you know what the very last verse is? Here we see as Jesus is introduced, his name means, I'm with you, God with us, the very last verse in the book of Matthew, the very last block of text in the book of Matthew says the same thing. In the Great Commission, we see this. Go therefore, make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, teaching them to serve all the things I've commanded you, and lo, I am with you even to the end of the age. You see that? There's a bookend. The moment Jesus is introduced in chapter 1, the message is that God has come down from the throne to be with his people. And then prior to his ultimate ascension, he says the same thing because I'm going to leave my helper. Oh, and by the way, I am with you even to the end of the age. That's a God we can love. That's a God we can worship. A God who is not just for us but a God who is with us. All right, if you would, let's look at verses 18 and 19. We're going to talk about the God who is with us as we see of his birth. In verses 18 and 19, we're going to see what was going on with Mary Joseph, and then we're going to work our way through the text as time will allow. Okay, verses 18 and 19. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows. After his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph, her husband, being a just man and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. All right, at the start of this passage, we see something just very ordinary, something as natural as natural can be. There's a woman, an individual who's pregnant, a pregnancy that will lead to childbirth. Very natural, happens all the time. However, in these verses, we see that there's something unnatural or at least unusual that's going to take place. Verse 18 adds an unordinary qualifier. It says that there's going to be a pregnancy, normal, but in this case it will occur without physical union. Now I'm not a physician, but I have studied anatomy and the like, and I know that's just not the way that this works. Well, verse 18, we're seeing the seeds for something that we call the virgin birth, and this is one of the most important things to understand with regards to Christ's birth, with regards to the incarnation, because this is not an average everyday event. Rather, this is a miracle, and it's not just a miracle, but it's a fulfillment of prophecy, because Isaiah said this is the way it was going to go down. Behold, there be a virgin who would give birth to a child. Now verse 18 clarifies it. It's not Joseph's child, and for these verses, we know this much. They're betrothed, but there's been no physical union then. Now if you've seen Fiddler on the Roof, you remember the matchmaker? Remember the matchmaker? Well, they had similar things throughout Jewish history. They would have a season in which people were brought together. This was tradition. They were brought together by matchmakers and parents and others. They were put into a union, and yet there was a year. I know you want to sing it. There was a year of time after they were brought together in which they were sort of betrothed. We might consider it engaged. It's not really a point -for -point analogy, but they were betrothed. They spent a year in this estate prior to physical union. That's what's going on here. It's actually much stronger than an engagement. This is a strong relationship that they have, and yet it has not been consummated physically at this point. And so, all of a sudden, out of the blue, Mary is with child. Uh -oh. Now, we have lost touch with the word scandal. We really have. I mean, dear heavens, everything is a scandal. It doesn't matter what news. Whatever you pick up, there's a scandal on every page from every direction. It seems like every aspect of celebrity or politics or athletics or what have you, scandal, scandal, scandal. We've lost touch with it. In fairness, it didn't always used to be this way. If you're watching a TV show, if Barney Fife stole part of Andy Griffith's sandwich, they can make a whole scandalous episode out of that. There was things in the past that seemed scandalous at the time that now it's absolutely nothing. We've lost touch with scandal to the point we look at this text, and we don't understand what Joseph's going through. And his culture and his time, what he and Mary were just experiencing. She's pregnant, and there's no father. There's been no physical union. He is betrothed to someone who's pregnant, doesn't know what's going on. This was a scandal of scandals. And in his day, based on an understanding of Deuteronomy, this could even have led to her death. This was not a small thing. This is a huge, huge event that's taking place. And so, in verses 18 and 19, we see Joseph in the middle of a conundrum. He's betrothed to this individual who has this situation going on. He doesn't know how it happened. He doesn't know exactly what's going on, but he has concern. Now, he cares for Mary enough that he doesn't want to see this become the public spectacle that it otherwise very well could be. And so he attempts to find some way to accommodate her well -being, but apart from being able to marry her, because he's a just man, and there's obviously been in his mind an infidelity that's taken place that would disqualify that union. Now, before he could act on that impulse, an angel intervenes. Let's look at verses 20 and 21 to see what happens in this intervention. Verse 20, but while he thought about these things, while Joseph thought about all this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she'll bring forth a son, you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. All right. As we said in verses 18 and 19, Joseph and Mary, Mary is now pregnant. Joseph is trying to figure out what to do. And in verse 20, we see that while he's contemplating, which I'm sure this took some time for him to work this through, but while he's thinking about these things, he goes to sleep. He's worried, he's anxious, he falls asleep, and in the midst of his sleep, an angel of the Lord comes to him in a vision, in a dream. And this happens at other intervals as scripture as well. And when the angel comes to Joseph, it's a simple message. It says, Joseph, what you think has happened is not accurate. But let me tell you, you're worried you should take Mary as your wife. You shouldn't be. Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. Now, I don't know what kind of theologian Joseph was at this point. We believe him to be older than Mary, but we don't know what kind of theologian he was. But whatever his theology was, he probably didn't fully understand that last statement. That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. Joseph didn't have John Calvin around to explain all the Trinitarian implications of this. And I imagine Joseph had more questions than answers, even when he hears this news. And yet he knew this much, even if he didn't have all the Trinity figured out at this time, even if he doesn't know what it means for the Spirit to overshadow her, even if he's still going, what does that mean? He at least knew this much, that Mary's pregnancy was not a function of her sin. He knew that there was not some other father in some tent down the street. He knew that the child that she was pregnant with was from God. And some way that he probably couldn't fully articulate, but he knew it was from God. And then God, through the angel, tells Joseph what to name him. Now naming rites in Jewish culture or any culture come from seats of authority. If you think about it in the garden, in the garden, Adam and Eve, you know, they're given the garden and all the animals are frolicking about as animals do. And Adam and Eve had a job, they actually had a couple of jobs. One was to take dominion over that which God had given them, and another thing was to do what for the animals? To name them, right? The greater names, the lesser, right? That's why parents named children are not children naming parents. Kind of glad it doesn't work that way. In this case, we see that God himself, through the angel, takes ownership over the name of his own son. It's not up to Joseph to name. He says his name will be Jesus. His name will be Jesus. We'll see that a little bit more in the verses yet to come. Whatever the case here is, the idea is that as this child is born of the Holy Spirit, this child comes with a purpose. His name will be Jesus because Jesus means what? It means the Lord is salvation. His person is yoked to his work. The angel identifies his person and his origins from God, the Holy Spirit, but he also identifies here's what he's come to do, and we're going to see that a little bit more in the verses yet to come. What we're also going to notice here, just a minute, is that when the angel talks about who will come to save his people from their sins, remember last week we talked about this. The people didn't necessarily have a problem with their sins. You know what the great irony is? You give someone a cure for a disease they don't think they have. If you come running up to someone on the streets of Gulfport with a vial of some cure, some medicine, or what have you, for a disease they don't understand they got, they'll just say, you crossed the other side of the street. They won't care because they don't recognize what you're holding is the cure for a problem that they have. The same is true with sin. The culture around us doesn't really think they have a problem with sin, and if they do think sin is a problem, they do this thing that's convenient. They redefine sin to be something that is external to them, a problem other people have. Whatever the case, when people had no understanding that they need to be saved from sin, if anything that they need to be saved from, it was going to be from Rome, which is what we talked about last week. Their fear, their concern, Joseph's concern, Mary's concern, the people down the street's concern was not so much that, oh, my sin is going to get me. And yet, that was the spiritual guillotine that was over their necks and ours apart from this child that was born. Every man, woman, and child has stood condemned under sin. You read the Book of Romans, the first five, six chapters, as Paul is condemning the human race and saying, well, this is our problem. Then, of course, he introduces the solution. Well, the angel introduced the solution too and says, this one has come not just to make your life better, not just to pour a little Jesus seasoning on things to give you your best life now. This one came to this end, to this object, to save you from your sins, to save you from a problem that you might not even understand that you have and that our culture certainly doesn't understand it has. That's why he came, and here's the thing. That's what the whole Old Testament said he would do. The Old Testament said when he shows up, when the Messiah we've been waiting from since Genesis 3 .15, when the seed shows up, he will come to save people from their sins, not what they were looking for in the first century, not what they were looking for in the 21st century. And yet the Old Testament prophecy said that's the guy to look out for, one who is not what you expect, one who will come to save you from your sins, one who is not going to come down on a red carpet from God, but will be born in a place like a manger. Isaiah 53, one of the most famous chapters that speaks to these issues, says this. This one would be wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement for our peace would be upon him. By his stripes we'll be healed. All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned everyone to our own way, and the Lord has laid upon him the iniquity of us all. The angel got it, and he says in the manger, Joseph, and in the womb of Mary right now is the one that has come to do just that. And the cruel irony is the people won't be looking for that. As he gets older, they'll reject him. They'll reject what he came to do, and yet this is the one. This is the child. All right, let's take a look now at verses 22 through 25 and just kind of build on this case. Okay, verse 22. So all this was done, that it might be fulfilled, which was spoken by the Lord through the prophets, saying, Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son. They shall call his name Immanuel, which is translated God with us. Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took to him his wife, and did not know her until she had brought forth her firstborn son, and he called his name Jesus. All right, as we just said a moment ago, Christ's person is yoked to his work. The great problem in our age is that our culture doesn't do the same thing. At Christmastime in December, you just watch, people don't have a real problem with the person of Jesus so much. They like cute Jesus, even divine Jesus. That's not really the problem. The problem is his work. He came to convict us of our sins, to turn our hearts to God, to cause us to repent, and to rescue us from sins that most of us don't acknowledge that we have. But in this text, the angel spells it all out. He says this is the reason he's coming. This is the reason he's coming, in order to save them from their sins. And as he saves them from their sins, he will be the fulfillment of prophecies that said he would do just that, which is why even the angel quotes the Old Testament here. End of verse 23. Behold, the virgin shall be with child, shall bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel, which is translated God with us. There's a continuity you're supposed to see with that which is written down recorded in the Old Testament and that which comes on the scene here in Matthew chapter 1. God wants us to see that, and Matthew was desperate that his contemporaries saw it. Remember, their problem when they killed Jesus was they didn't recognize him for who he was. I mean, they had other issues too, but that was chief among them. They just didn't know what they were doing. Isn't that what Jesus said? Father, forgive them. They don't know what they're doing. Same idea. They had a Messiah on their radar that they wanted, and it wasn't this one, this guy. So at Matthew, when he's writing chapter 1, when he's writing to the Jews, he started with the genealogies we talked about last week, and he said, all right, this Jesus is going to be a son of Abraham, which makes him a Jew, and it's going to be a son of David, which makes him a king, or in the line of kings. His objective was to tell the Jewish audience who this Jesus was. Well, here, as chapter 1 continues, he gives the biography even more so, and he says that this one, this Jesus, which means God is salvation, is also named Immanuel, which is an Old Testament prophecy that means God with us. Matthew's making the case, even here in chapter 1, clearly in chapter 1, to a Jewish audience, that this is the Jewish Messiah. Now, would that be compelling? Well, to some, yes. To others, not so much. Now, the past 15 minutes or so, we've quoted Isaiah a few times. I think I referenced Malachi as well, but there in verses 22 through 25, we see the reference again to Isaiah more acutely, more specifically, and this is a reference that to the Jewish audience should have resonated with him, but again, as we just said a moment ago, the irony is that it didn't. The reason that's ironic is this. Matthew knew that many of his fellow Jews had rejected Jesus while simultaneously longing for a Messiah, and his objective here in chapter 1 is to say, hey, guys, they're the one and the saint. The one you rejected is the one you were looking for, and that's what Peter does in Acts 2. He tells the Pharisees, you know the one you killed, the one you nailed to a tree, the one you hung on the cross? That was him, and when they finally get it in the book of Acts, when they finally get that, what happens to them? Scripture says they're just broken to the heart because then they understand what they did. They understand that the light of life had come to them. They didn't recognize it, and then they killed them. As we look to wrap up, we're going to build on all these things as we head towards baptism, as we go towards the temptation, and the things that are going to follow in the book of Matthew, but as we wrap up, I want to return briefly to the word Emmanuel, which we've already established means God with us. Now, earlier I used the term, the term deus. Let me explain briefly. I know many of us know it, but let me explain briefly for those who don't. Every culture, when it comes to religion, there's two camps that they fall in. One, assuming that they believe in God at all, one is the camp of the deist. That camp believes God exists, but we can't know him. He formed the world around us, but then he went off and he does his thing and we do ours. That's deism. As Christians, we're not deists. The alternate is what we call theism. Theism posits that God exists, but you can know him, and what's more, he wants you to know him. You and I are theists, and if you drill into that term even more, we're monotheists. We believe in one God. We're not polytheists that believe in a lot of them. We believe that there is a God. You can have a relationship with him. There is a God and there is just one. Now, that's highly desirable because the alternative is you have a God you can't know that doesn't care about you, and that's what a lot of agnostics in our day do. They go, I think there might be a God somewhere, but they really don't think you can have a relationship with him. Who wants that? Who desires that? Well, the picture in Matthew 1 and throughout the book of Matthew, the picture that's painted here is completely different. It's not about a God who formed the cosmos and went away. Rather, it's a God who is ever -present with creation and undergoes the life experiences, the human experiences that we do up to and including birth. You have a God that can relate to you. You know, one of the greatest hardships or plagues on our age is the plague of loneliness. It's this idea that no one can relate to what I'm going through. The life circumstances have conspired in such a way that I'm going through something that no one can really understand, no one can really relate to, and then there's an isolation that comes with that, even a withdrawal. Maybe some people withdraw from us, and then we're left in this estate. Some of us, maybe many of us, are left in a state of loneliness, maybe for a season, maybe for a lifetime, and it's the hardest thing if you've experienced it. If that's you or someone you know, this message of God with us, and this word of manual should hold a special meaning. Others leave might us, others might forsake us, others might let us down, and yet the God who walked with Adam and Eve, when there was just two of them in the cool of the afternoon, walks with us still. Even we're just one of us. God is with us no matter what we're going through. He's not just munching popcorn, watching what you're going through this week. Some of us have a picture of God that He's up there in the clouds somewhere with a long beard, a long robe, and He's just kind of doing this to see what we do, and He's ready to punish us and the like, and He's there and we're here, and there's this distance. That's not the God of Scripture. The God of Scripture is a God who is intimate and close and wants to be close to you and wants your hand to fit in His. He doesn't call you a peon in the kingdom of heaven. He calls you a son or daughter, and that has meaning. What father or mother among us has not held the hand of our child and felt that proximity, felt that closeness, felt that bond, felt that unity that comes with holding your own? Well, that's what God wants with you. And even now, even if we've been fleeing from Him, His arms are open to this. He came as a babe and a manger, the most defenseless thing that you can possibly come. He came from a state of great glory into a state of great hardship, great difficulty. It would ultimately lead to His death, and yet He did it because He loves His people. He's not indifferent to us. He's not indifferent to us. The other problem that we can sometimes verge into is we can think that He's indifferent to me, but He's cool with other Christians, but I've done something that is so egregious or He knows my past or He knows the things I did yesterday because of that there's this gap. If there's any gap in your walk with God, it's not because He's drifted away from you. It's because you're pushing Him away. The God of this book does not withdraw from children, from sons and daughters, but He's like the parable of the prodigal son. His arms are open wide. Matthew 1, God with us. Matthew 28, God with us. Behold, I am with you even to the end of the age. Whatever you face this week, this book is not an abstract thing that just applies to other religious people or you on occasion. It applies to you today. God's with you as you face whatever you're facing, whatever hardship you're walking down, whatever valley you're traversing, God is with you, and that's a great encouragement of Scripture, and no other faith can present it except this alone. God is with us. We see it in Matthew 1. We're going to see it in Matthew 2 and the balance of the book. Let's pray. Join Dr. Toby Holt and Dr. Dominic Aquila for a tour of Israel in February of 2024. For more information, visit fpcgulfport .org.
A highlight from The God Who Keeps His Promises
"Welcome to the podcast of first presbyterian church of gulfport, mississippi to learn more about our church our beliefs And our pastor, please visit fpcgulfport .org Throughout the old testament god made a series of incredible promises Promises that defied his people's expectations And in his time he fulfilled every last one of them in today's study of first kings 8 We'll consider the god who always keeps his promises Including those that he's made to you and I You know one of the very lowest or worst times for god's people Occurred back in the book of numbers is in the wilderness god's people were in the wilderness now Why were they in the wilderness? Well, they're in the wilderness because that's where they chose to be You see if you remember the story god had told them I have made you i've created i've set aside for you a promised land It's yours go for it And so they sent in spies to check it out to see what it was like to see if they indeed could take it However, when the spies reported back the majority of the spies said no way They said the land is great. No problems there. The land is great the problem is There are giants there. The problem is we're just a bunch of people in the wilderness They've got cities like jericho with walls that are high. They've got armaments. They've got soldiers who stand one and a half times above us God may have told us to go there, but we can't because we'll die And so they spent their time in the wilderness. And in fact a whole generation died out Of that level of distrust or lack of confidence what god told them to do So they're wandering in the wilderness. That's what made the book of numbers so sad They're in a place No one wants to go doing things that they shouldn't be doing and they do it for a whole Generation and they did it based on fear They did it on the basis of that. We just can't do what god has told us to do We know god is strong. I mean, of course, he's strong. Look what he did to pharaoh. He brought all those plagues 10 of them and yet And yet he won't do that for us. I mean he did it back then but You know that was then this is now They had enough faith to remember moses. They had enough corporate honesty to know what happened In their recent past and yet they didn't have enough faith to think that what god did in the past had any bearing on What he would do in the future god says go into the land. They say no We'll die despite the fact That one generation earlier god had literally swapped the armies of pharaoh under the red sea that god had brought down all these plagues If you're god, you're thinking to yourself, you know, I think i've made a pretty good case for myself Am I willingness to protect you? What are you doing? But the people were were fearful They're anxious God had made them a promise They just doubted his ability to come through on it Is that where you're at matters of faith a whole generation of israelites That's where they were at They had enough faith to believe god was there Do you believe god's there I hope so The problem was not that they didn't believe he was there And their problem was not that they didn't believe he'd done some really cool things a long time ago. The problem was They didn't think they would come through for them in this particular instance. No matter what he had said. They knew he'd promised They just doubted the reliability of that promise and for some of us That's our concern We don't doubt god exists. We know he's there Sometimes we doubt whether he loves us enough to count us in that promise And other times we just doubt whether he's actually going to do the very things that he said that he was going to do Well today's text we're seeing psalm is stopping the presses. He's taking the people by the lapel He's shaking him and saying dear heavens. Do you see what god has done? Not a word failed Of what he said not a word not a syllable has failed what he said he would do And he made some of the most amazing promises You could possibly make to people who are in no position to believe that they'd ever be received He told abram old abram and old sarah that they'd have a not just a kid But a progeny the more numerous than the stars in the sky It was a promise seemed unbelievable to fulfill and he fulfilled it to a t He's done everything that he would say he would do and the reason that was important for them And the reason that's important to us is because he's made you a promise, too He's made you a promise about your future And the question is can he come through will he come through In today's text psalm wanted to encourage his people and god wants to encourage us that the answer is yes Let's look at the first couple verses. Let's start with verse 54. Then. Let's work our way through the balance verse 54 And so it was when solomon had finished praying all this prayer and supplication to the lord That he rose up from before the altar of the lord from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up To heaven All right. Let's stop there in the verses immediately preceding today's passage The temple was done it had taken a while But the temple is now done and king solomon if you read earlier in chapter eight, he had prayed a lengthy prayer That's okay. He had a lot to say so he praised this lengthy prayer and during this prayer. He'd recounted god's faithfulness Sometimes that's okay, too We pray to god and we thank god and we remind god of what he already knows the things that he's done And by virtue of us reminding him of what he already knows we remind ourselves of what we need to hold on to going forward So he prayed this lengthy prayer and then he rises up and stands but as he stands he swivels And he looks out a bunch of folks whose faith was probably like a sine curve Ups and downs from person to person maybe from day to day maybe from hour to hour Solomon was looking at those who had doubts and anxieties not that different from those that many of us had He's also looking at some folks that he knew to be hard -headed You ever read moses experiences in deuteronomy ministering to god's people just hard -headed people David had had the same experience psalm and already as a young king. He had seen the same thing the people are hard -headed They not only tended to reject a lot of things that the prophets and leaders said But they also tended to reject what god had said, but god had still been faithful That was part of his prayer. Thank you god You've been so faithful we've been such such goofs we've done all the things we shouldn't do we've really messed up But you've never let us down You fulfilled everything to a t meanwhile. We're just staggering around the wilderness Even as they'd come into the promised land It's still their faith was like a sine curve and psalm praises says god. Thank you that you don't operate the way that we do Thank you that your promises are reliable So in verse 54, he wraps up this prayer and now again as he swiveled to talk to the people He wants to both encourage them and to challenge them. Let's see what he says in verses 55 and 56 Verse 55 then he stood and he blessed all the assembly of israel with a loud voice sang Blessed be the lord who has given rest to his people israel according to all that he has promised There's not failed one word of all his good promise which he promised through his servant moses If someone were to make you a promise What's the first thing your brain does? So it makes you a promise. What's the first thing you do? Well, here's the first thing I do You think through and you say well what other promises have you made in the past? Because I think i'm going to adjudicate Your ability and willingness to come through on this particular issue On the basis of whether you came through on other issues If someone makes you a promise you immediately you can't help it you think of the track record You think is this a reliable source? Of information promises and the like we consider a new promise in light of what has been done with the old ones Well in verses 55 and 56 Solomon says look there are still better promises yet ahead if you think that this promised land is cool Just wait till you see what is yet to come there's better promises of a better land. There's a better moses coming down the road There's all sorts of stuff in the future that we have to hold on to By faith and in order to believe those promises of that outcome you need to look back and ask Did god come through and what he already said he would do and in verses 55 and 56 he says yes He says look god said some amazing stuff in the past And he delivered he delivered on things that seemed impossible for him to fulfill and so with a loud voice in verse 55 He basically tells the people he says You are the most fortunate of all people because your god Unlike the gods of the philistines and the canadites and the moabites and the amorites and the hitites and the jebusites and every other Ite he says unlike them your god has an unbroken track record Unlike the pagan prophecies and pagan gods of stone and marble and wood That have failed consistently habitually That have let down the very people who have bent the knee to them unlike those people You have a god who came through on every last thing he told you he would Blessed be you and blessed be the name of the lord And he wanted them to remember some of the things that god had done in fact, that's healthy. That's why we read the book That's why we study the old testament And the new as we understand we remember what god has done and how that applies to us We think about the things he did how amazing they were and if he did those amazing things Maybe yet there'll be a resurrection from the dead. Maybe yet We'll all go to heaven. Maybe yet all the things for the future will be fulfilled if he's done all these things in the past You know, as we said some of the things that god promised Defied expectations and the belief of everyone who heard them at the outset I already mentioned abraham and sarah You take the old couple tell them that they're going to have a child and they've been barren all these years and where time has passed Sarah's reaction. I was just to laugh it seemed utterly implausible God made them a promise that seemed utterly implausible and yet he he came through Psalm looked out and saw the descendants He saw the fulfillment of this one promise Think even further back think of noah god promised to this one guy this one Paragon of virtue and just a sea of apostasy and unrighteousness he says it's going to rain But you're going to make it because you're going to build a boat However, it's not going to be just any boat You're going to build a boat big enough to fit all the creatures within the creative realm within it now dear heavens If there is a promise that just defies expectation and belief that it could ever be fulfilled. This is it Of course noah trusted god and went about building a boat in god's time It was filled with animals and god's time the rain came God made a promise that defied expectation then then he fulfilled it Just after the time of when they entered the promised land they came up to the city that god's people You know, they crossed the jordan they come in. All right, so we're in the promised land. Uh -oh. Uh -oh What's that big city with a big wall just right over there? Oh my stars. We made it across the jordan We're in the promised land, but now surely we're gonna die God says no, I promised you got this you got this I got this i'll take you through this And they're like, well how we don't have any weaponry We barely made it across the jordan. We've been in the wilderness. We don't look at that wall And god says hey and rolls up his sleeves. So this is proverbial sleeve so to speak and says tell you what Just march around the city playing the instruments in the light Do that. Sometimes the wall is going to come down who would believe that? Well, they did And god responded God made a promise and god delivered Back in deuteronomy 12 god had said this he says when you cross over the jordan and dwell in the land Which lord your god's giving you to inherit and he gives you rest from all your enemies all around so that you dwell in safely Then there will be the place with lord God your god chooses to make his name abide in deuteronomy 12 written during the time of moses long time before solomon God says this is going to be a future you're going to have a place and there's going to be a temple and in that temple My name will abide well again Psalms looking out at people who had anxieties about what would god do in the future and he says, please Look what he did in the past Please if you have anxiety about what the future holds if you have trouble believing Aspects of what the future the promised future to the church as a whole or use an individual, please Look at what he did in the past and see how he came through and understand. Nothing's impossible In fact god honestly a hundred percent delights in doing things you don't expect in ways that you wouldn't expect That's just the way he operates So he says here just hear the promises evaluate the promises against promises of old and understand That there is a track record that you can turn to whenever doubts strike whenever these concerns come to mind So in verses 55 and 56, this is what he's saying and he goes even further than that He says not only has god fulfilled all his promises, but not a word of them has failed It's not like he did everything in the abstract that yeah, he delivered, you know largely what he said he was going to do You're at a contractor If a contractor is going to build a house or you know Put up a shed or doing a number of different things and they go out They start to work on the thing and so forth and then when you're done you look and you say well He did largely what he said he was going to do. I mean, I don't love everything It's not all perfect, but it largely honored what he said That's the way most contracts with most individuals and everything work largely they're fulfilled Solomon says the contract the covenant the promises that god has made. It's not just that he fulfilled them largely He fulfilled them to the letter not a word had failed of all the impossible things That god told his people to expect unbroken track record. Let's look at verses 57 through 60 verse 57 And so may the lord our god Be with us as he was with our fathers May the lord god who did all that stuff long time ago to people that generations earlier May he do to us as he is done with them May he not leave us nor forsake us that he may incline our hearts to himself to walk in his ways to keep his commandments And statutes and judgments that he commanded to our fathers and made these words of mine with which i've made supplication before the lord Be near the lord our god day and night that he may maintain the cause of a servant and the cause of his people israel As each day may require god is the god of every day of your life Not just god of this whole thing or god of when you're finally saved and on the other side. He's god now Whatever you're doing today this week He is the god of this day verse 60 that all the peoples of the earth may know that there is a lord That the lord is god and there is no other All right. Let me ask you a different question. I asked one earlier. Let me ask you something different Have you ever had someone that you've loved or trusted? Leave you Have you ever had someone that you've loved or trusted leave you volitionally Have you had someone that you've loved or trusted walk away from you or reject you Neglect you although you needed them There's few heartaches for those who can relate to that There's few heartaches as great as being left by those that we love It can be just heart -rending to have someone's presence in your life there for a season and then in a different season in your Life when you desperately need them They're not there If you've experienced that You may find that even months or years later that the hole hasn't gone away It still hurts With that said notice what solomon said in verses 57 through 60 He said may the lord our god Be with us as with our fathers. May he not leave us or ever forsake us You know the gods of the pagans disappeared at times They went off and did their own thing, which is why elijah mocked bale and the others perhaps your god is sleepy We need to wake him up is what he told on mount karma what he told the prophets of bale The pagans had gods that could go away for a season the greek same deal That gods would be busy up on mount olympus, maybe they'd care for you one day maybe they wouldn't But here solomon tells his people and god tells us That he's with us just as he was with our fathers just as he was with moses Whether you're here your name is bob or stew or frank or fran God's with you. God's with you every bit as much as he was with moses That's an encouraging thought because We don't feel like moses most of the time But his presence is with us his presence is with our church And so solomon says, you know if we understand that and we cleave to him our future is bright It's so bright because the right man is on our side the man king. Jesus The right man is on our side, you know, even if the whole world should turn against you Which given enough time it might Even the whole world should turn against you. God won't even if every other promise is broken If even if every loyal friend breaks ranks with you in the time that they come god won't And when you're hurting in that midnight hour when you feel all alone, he says i'm with you And we got this together I'm with you and we got this. All right, let's look at our last verse verse 61 our last verse So now he's encouraging the people about how to respond to these promises and god's presence and the like verse 61 He tells the people and you can imagine his hands that he says it he says let your heart therefore Be loyal to lord our god Let your heart therefore be loyal to lord our god to walk in his statutes and keep his commandments as it is this day This is a benediction of sorts it's a blessing It's also an exhortation And in this exhortation king solomon tells people what he told them previously He says if we believe all this to be true if we believe there is a god in heaven if we believe that he loves us If we believe he's told us how to live Then the evidence of that belief is not simply what we profess with our mouth the israelis profess things all the time That wasn't their problem It's what they did with it how they acted how they responded Remember, we've talked about the difference between orthodoxy and orthopraxy orthodoxy is the easy part orthodoxy is just accepting propositional theological truth And saying amen. Amen what's harder is going out those doors and acting accordingly So solomon he puts his hands out and says hey Aaa Be careful to be loyal to our god and to keep his statutes his laws and his judgments Let me ask you do you remember you remember what your first car was? I got in trouble. I talked about cars recently What was it pinto? Was that what it was something like that? I got in trouble I called out a car and someone said that was my car. So i'm not gonna do that I'll call out my first car. My first car was a brown mazda b2000 pickup Man alive they were a lot smaller and they're making pickups these days pickups these days or something else You know, I had this little thing going down the road and like so I had this mazda b2000 pickup now I did love the car. It was my first car So of course, I loved it and I waxed it and polished it and shined it and like at first Then I went to college and still had the car and I had other priorities or other things that interested me other pursuits for my time and suddenly it wasn't even just a lack of washing the car Other things like I don't know oil changes just things that you just should do, you know, the common sense stuff I was like nah this This car hasn't let me down before right? I mean, I didn't give it an oil change in the last month So it probably doesn't need this one month. Well kick that forward a while. What happens i'll tell you what happens It ends up with me on i -5 north of eugene oregon on the side of the road having Say flipped a rod. I'm those you know cars better. I don't know what happened bruised a rod broke a rod Whatever there was a rod involved and it stopped working And so the car stopped working and it never drove again. That was it I kissed a goodbye it went on a tow truck and it was and it was gone We tend to prioritize the things that are important to us It's easy to ascend to propositional truth when it's right in front of us the people there at that time With the new temple and the hurrahs and you know the celebrations and the dinner on the grounds They were having back in this day. The people were excited. It wasn't hard to get them excited It wasn't hard for them to get amen and all that the hard part was in nurturing and caring For that which god entrusted to them down the road and for prioritizing the same things through their actions that they prioritize with their lips Right here and the sad thing was that they wouldn't When I say this is the high point of israel's history up to this point i've been it What does that imply? It implies that things got worse Which they did God made a promise I got you I got you in your future And they had made promises to the differences. They didn't keep theirs And so they backslid in the most egregious of ways to the point to the sad point as we studied in our review of ezekiel Last year whenever it was To the sad point that the same god who came to dwell in this temple in first kings chapter 8 would leave it and ezekiel 10 He would depart the temple leave it as ikabat empty of his glory There's things that have been trusted to matters of faith if you're a parent if you're a father There's things that have been entrusted to you to look out after your loved ones to nurture their faith To take care of their faith to take care of your own faith so that it doesn't get broken down on the side of the road When life circumstances throw you a curveball, which is inevitable There's bins in the road. You can't see coming So The way that we grow and sustain our faith is by immersing ourselves in the faith by doing what god has Said all right before we wrap up or in closing here I want you to notice at the very end of verse 61 He says something interesting and at first when I looked at this text a few years ago I missed it, but I don't want to miss it today verse 61 He said let your heart therefore be loyal to the lord our god to walk in the statutes and keep his commandments And then he adds these four words as at this day Solomon knew the people's history He wanted them to have that particular day emblazoned on their mind to do that Which they had promised to do that day in the time yet to come and yet As we said just a moment ago They wouldn't Roughly 400 years later after this text That day would be a distant memory and they would have forgotten it 400 years later there would be no more cheering There would only be what we call lamentation There would only be disaster Roughly 400 years later as we said before god's glory would depart the babylonians would show up. That's a bad trade They gave up the glory of god. They received the babylonians Ezekiel 10 says this the glory lord departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim and the cherubim mounted up from the earth in his sight Same temple look Can that happen to a church to a denomination a nation? Yes, yes, and yes It can happen if we don't keep the first things first It can happen if we don't prioritize that which we're called to prioritize It can happen if we stop trusting god and start trusting ourselves It can happen if we ignore what god has said in his word And start coming up with our own precepts and following the wills and wants of our own hearts In this passage that we've read today Solomon god through psalm is reminding the people that hey, there's some intentionality i've made you a promise and yet and yet There is a degree of intentionality on your part That your future is going to be heavily predicated upon. What will it be? What will it be are you going to be zealous to do the very things that you promised me on First kings 8 that you promised you say you're going to do you say amen. Amen. Are you going to do that? You won't if you're not intentional about it and in time In time the temple might be empty and in time churches or denominations can follow suit and if you don't think that's possible Go to europe Go to new england Just see places that once not that long ago resonated that once With at least a cultural religiosity And all likelihood of something far stronger now be turned to just empty husks of what they once were If it could happen in israel if it could happen in europe if it happened to england it could happen in the bible belt Our responsibility Is to cling to that which god has delivered us once for all through the saints And to champion no matter what the world tells us no matter what's going on in the culture around us Let the culture go to the wind This is what we're called to adhere to and salman put it before the people in an old testament context Said do this and live The same is true for us Let's pray Join, dr. Toby holt and dr.
A highlight from Wednesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time A Time of Lectio Divina for the Discerning Heart Podcast
"A time of Lectio Divina for the discerning heart. Wednesday of the 19th week in ordinary time. As you begin, take a deep breath and exhale slowly. For the next few moments, surrender all the cares and concerns of this day to the Lord. Say slowly from your heart, Jesus, I trust in you. You take over. Become aware that he is with you. Looking upon you with love. Wanting to be heard deep within your heart. A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew chapter 18 verses 15 through 20. The evidence of two or three witnesses is required to sustain any charge. But if he refuses to listen to these, report it to the community. And if he refuses to listen to the community, treat him like a pagan or a tax collector. I tell you solemnly, whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven. Whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven. I tell you solemnly once again, if two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them. What word made this passage come alive for you? What did you sense the Lord saying to you? Once more, give the Lord an opportunity to speak to you. Jesus said to his disciples, if your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone between your two selves. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you. The evidence of two or three witnesses is required to sustain any charge. But if he refuses to listen to these, report it to the community. And if he refuses to listen to the community, treat him like a pagan or a tax collector. I tell you solemnly, whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven. Whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven. I tell you solemnly once again, if two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them. What did your heart feel as you listened? What did you sense the Lord saying to you? What did your heart feel as you listened? Jesus is said to his disciples, If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone between you two selves. As long as you listen to him, you have won back your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you. The evidence of two or three witnesses is required to sustain any charge. But if he refuses to listen to these, report it to the community, and if he refuses to listen to the community, treat him like a pagan or a tax collector.
"pagan" Discussed on Timothy Keller Sermons Podcast by Gospel in Life
"And finally, misses Turpin gets to a place where she says this. She says, when I think who I could have been besides myself, I just feel like shouting, thank you, Jesus for making me who I am. Thank you. Oh, thank you, Jesus. And at that point, Mary grace explodes. First she takes her book, which is actually named human development. And she throws it at misses Turpin and hits her in the eye. Cuts her in the eye. Then she leaps across the coffee table, puts her hands around misses Turpin's throat, and starts to choke her. And then she has an epileptic fit. Why she's there. And as the people restrain her and put her under the ground, misses Turpin gets up all days and practically choke. And she looks down at Mary grace, and she says, what have you got to say to me, young lady? Merry grace looks up and says, go back to hell where you came from you old warthog. And misses Turpin realizes that she's gotten a revelation. And she starts to see herself. And later that day, she goes back into her yard, and she starts with a dialog with God, and she's really mad. She's really mad. And she starts to talk to God. And she says, what? She says, what do you send a message like that for? She snarled at God. How am I a hog and me both? How could I be saved and from hell too? Now, of course, as she understood, the gospel, the gospel is, you're saved by grace not by works, which means that when you receive Jesus Christ, you are accepted and yet still sinful. You're saved and you're a warthog from hell. As Martin Luther King, Martin Luther, the original Martin Luther said in his Latin, he says, when you're a Christian, you're similar just to set packets or you're simultaneously accepted, but sinful. Or he could have said, similar eustace at warthogs. Your simultaneously just accepted loved and a warthog from hell. Pharisees don't believe that. And she's struggling and finally she says, why me? She rumbled. It's no trash around here. Black or white that I haven't given to? And break my back to the bone every day working and do for the church. If you like trash better, go get yourself some trash then. Exactly how am I like them? I could quit working and take it easy and be filthy, she growled. Lounge about the sidewalks all day drinking root beer, dip snuff and spit in every puddle and have it all over my face. I could be nasty.
"pagan" Discussed on Timothy Keller Sermons Podcast by Gospel in Life
"He also says, he was so, he loved you so much. He was glad to die for you. And that affirms you up to the place where power just becomes power. And money just becomes money, not your identity anymore. And you can use it. Do you see, first of all, how the gospel changes people into agents of justice in the world. Number one, number two. Do you see how, oh my goodness, the Christian church is filled with people who otherwise apart from the gospel would never give each other the time of day. And the more you understand the gospel, the more we corporately understand the gospel. The more we're going to be bringing people together here, otherwise would just never we wouldn't like each other. We wouldn't have anything to do with each other. And it's still tough. Because even though even though you're Christianity makes you more like people of other races and other classes and other politics and other vocations, it's hard. And yet as one commentator put it in a very, very classic quote, he said, what binds Christians together is not our common education or common race or common income or common politics or common nationality or common accents or common jobs or anything else of that sort. Christians come together not because they form a natural collection, but because they have all been saved by Jesus Christ, we are a band of natural enemies. Turned into friends who love one another for Jesus sake. We are a band of natural enemies, turned into friends who love one another for Jesus sake. Christian love is mutual love among social incompatibles. And one last thing. So the gospel turn you into an agent of justice, number one. Number two, the gospel will create the most unique human community in the world. It will bring together people who otherwise would never give each other the time of day. Women, pagans, pharisees,
"pagan" Discussed on Timothy Keller Sermons Podcast by Gospel in Life
"I love you. I give myself to you. The father's on the Holy Spirit have been doing that for eternity and guess what? No wonder they, the father, and the son, the Holy Spirit, no wonder God almighty hates the way things are going in the world in America too. In the whole world. Because down here, we are committed to saying everyone has to revolve around me. My needs first. Me, me, me. What about me? What about my needs? But at the very heart of reality, at the very heart of who the God is, God in his very essence is other oriented. See, the father, the son and the Holy Spirit, are not saying, see, the father's not saying, how can the son, the Holy Spirit revolve around me? But the fathers on the whole spirit each person is seeking to revolve around the other two. And when you have three persons, each of which is trying to dance around the other two, you've got a beautiful dance. We talked about this the second sermon on Mark. And now it's the second last term in our mark, so it's appropriate. C. S. Lewis puts it like this. He says, in Christianity, God is not an impersonal thing or a static thing. Not even one person, but a dynamic pulsating activity, a life, a kind of drama, almost if you will not think me irreverent, a kind of dance. In constant movement of overture and acceptance, each person of the Trinity encircles the others. And that's the reason why Jesus Christ left the inner ring to come here. But when he went to the cross, he was centering on us. Yes, you say, well, I was supposed to serve Jesus. Yes, but he himself said it. In Mark chapter ten verse 45. I came not to be served, but to serve and to give my life. I came not to be served, but what he means is the primary thing he came to do is not to be circled, but the circle. To show you how it's done, to sow radically empty himself, of all of his interests and all of his needs to serve us. That we would see that and realize you're paying the penalty for my sin, deity,
"pagan" Discussed on Timothy Keller Sermons Podcast by Gospel in Life
"There's the Roman centurion, the pagan, how does a pagan be his own savior and lord? By breaking all the moral rules doing whatever he wants, right? Sex drugs violence. How does a pharisee be his own savior and lord? By keeping all the rules. And being so good that he says to God God, you got to bless me and take me to heaven and everyone else has to bow before me because I am so good. And both of those are very different, but they are both radical self centered lives. They both are ways of being on the center and making everything else center around you and orbit around you. They're both different ways. There are different ways of making the world a miserable place to live in. And they're both ways of saying, one guy is saying, I don't want anything to do with God. That's the pagan way. The other person is saying, oh, I believe in God, I obey God. And yet maybe in spite of the fact he's obeying God, the pharisee is making himself his own savior because he's saying, I can, if I live a good enough life, God has to save me. And that's the reason why Jesus is saying prostitute, Bible teacher. Pagan, pharisee, you must be born again. You must see you need radical grace. And that must be what had begun. In Joseph and nicodemus life. How do we know? Well, here's the only thing I can show you. Verse 45, when he learned from the centurion that it was so, pilot gave Jesus body to Joseph. There's a commentary on the book of Mark by James Edwards. It's a very good commentary. And in it, when he gets diverse 45, he points out something interesting. That in chapter 14, Jesus had said to his disciple take eat, this is my body. Take my body.
"pagan" Discussed on Timothy Keller Sermons Podcast by Gospel in Life
"Do this. This isn't my job. You there. You're there. Come and do this. I'm an important person. He doesn't do that. He is doing something incredibly culturally inappropriate. He's not standing on his dignity. His dignity is not so important to him. He is his status isn't so important to him. His power isn't so important to him. He's becoming the kind of person the world needs to be an agent of justice. He's losing his lust for the inner ring. Isn't that something? Why? Well, here's my best shot. You have to guess, but it's not too hard to guess. If you go to the book of John, you know that nicodemus and therefore probably Joseph had heard this story. Nicodemus had gone to Jesus secretly at night because he didn't want people to know. See, his power was too important to him, his power was his identity, wasn't just what he had, but who he was. And his money and his status, and he went to Jesus and he said, oh, I'd like to talk to you. And Jesus said, what? You must be born again. To even enter my kingdom, boy, that's radical. Here he's talking to a pharisee, a religious man, a Bible teacher. And he said, if you really want to get into my kingdom, you must be born again. What is that saying? That's saying, you got to start at zero. Nothing you've done is of any benefit if any, nothing you've done achieves anything toward getting into my kingdom. That's weird. Now, because actually, I'm sure nicodemus and Joseph would have said, well, okay, maybe prostitutes have to be born again. They have to start from ground zero. But for us, we thought a little bit, I mean, what do you mean born again? Couldn't we start as toddlers or something? Or is adolescents? See, Jesus is saying no. Prostitute, Bible teacher, pagan,
"pagan" Discussed on Timothy Keller Sermons Podcast by Gospel in Life
"They followed him. They were believing in him. They didn't want anybody to know. But now when it's really dangerous, willing to risk everything to bury him. To come out and show that their sympathizers, to the Roman establishment, the Jewish establishment, horribly, horribly risky, and something has happened. Here's the first thing that's happened to them. Their attitude towards their own power and their own status has changed. Why? Listen, power and money and status tends to become not just something you have, but something you are. That's how you feel good about yourself. That's how you know who you are. Because I can wear these things and I can go to these restaurants, and I know these people. And I live in this place. That's who I am. That's what happens. And that's the reason why people who get power and money very often will say, well, I'm doing a lot of good with it. But there's a limit to how much good they'll do with it. They won't do good with it. If to do the right thing, jeopardizes the power and money itself. They won't do the right thing if it means the possibility of losing some or all of that power, losing some or all of that money. They won't do that. That's exactly what Joseph and Nick and Neymar are doing. They're using their power as members of the sanhedrin. They go in to get the body. So you're using their power to do the right thing, but they are jeopardizing their power. They're risking the loss of everything. And that means something's going on here. They don't have the same attitude toward their power they did before. They were afraid of anyone knowing that they were following Jesus. Why? Because they were afraid of the loss of status or money that they, but now what's happened, their attitudes or their powers changing. It's not as important to them, there's some kind of identity shift going on, something is more important to them than their power so that they're willing to risk it. They're more generous, they're more, that's not all. It's not just that Joseph and nicodemus are getting more bold. They're also getting more humble. Then I only getting more strong. They're also getting more weak, huh? Look at verse 46. What does Joseph do? Joseph bought some linen cloth, and he took down the body. He wrapped it in the linen, he placed it the tomb, cut out of The Rock. Now, and we'll look at this a little bit more next week. In ancient times, in Palestine, when a person died and was being buried, what they did was they wash the body, and they wrapped it in linen, and they anointed it with spices and perfumes. Now, because the Sabbath, because the sun was going down on the Sabbath, you couldn't do anything else like that. They didn't finish the job. And that's the reason that the women went back on Easter Sunday morning in order to finish the job and put on the spices and put it on the perfume. Now, when the Jews did this, it wasn't the way the Egyptians did it. This is not embalming. Maybe you thought that's what it was. It wasn't embalming. It was a simple act of love. It was a final act of devotion to a loved one. But it was dirty. Listen, to take down a dead body, a cadaver that had been beaten and the guts were coming out of it.
"pagan" Discussed on Timothy Keller Sermons Podcast by Gospel in Life
"Now, how are we going to get a world of justice? Now, I was just saying, I don't believe that the only way to get the world of justice is simply to work on the individual human heart. You also have to work directly on systems. I'm not the kind of person that says, well, if everybody's heart was changed, then the systems would be fine. It's not that simple. But you can't, as so many people do, ignore what's wrong with the human heart, and expect somehow politics or government or economics to make things right. Some of you are too young to remember this, but when I was a young man, the head of the Soviet Union, the communists of the union was a man named Leonid Brezhnev, and he was in charge. He was the head of the Soviet Union. He died in 1982, so a lot of you wouldn't know him or remember him. However, there was near the end of the communist regime, and it was a regime, there was a joke that was so prevalent on the streets of Moscow. It was a very cynical joke. I'm so proven on the streets of Moscow. It was so prevalent that it actually Americans actually heard it. We heard it here. And it went like this. That brezhnev invited his mom to visit him and when he got to his mother came and he says, hey, mom, I've made up pretty good. Look at the size of the home I live in. You see all those limousines that are in the garage downstairs, and there's my house on the Baltic, and there's this, and there's that. I've made for out pretty well, haven't I got mom? And his mother turned and says, yes, but the lion, what happens if the communists come into power? Now wait a minute, the communists are already in power. Redistribution of goods, you know, wait a minute. That's not supposed to be.
"pagan" Discussed on Timothy Keller Sermons Podcast by Gospel in Life
"Nobody else would have. What's that mean? Is it just, oh, how nice? God was ahead of the times or something. No, no, no, no, no, no, a whole lot more than that. C. S. Lewis wrote a book called I wrote an essay called the inner ring. It was really an address. Very meaningful to me. And in that address, he says that one of the main desires and deepest desires of the human heart is to get inside. His to get into the inner rings, find the inner rings, a little circles of power. And do whatever it takes to get in there. Go to the right schools, know the right people, get the right jobs. Do whatever you can to get inside those inner rings inside those inner circles. And then once you're in there, then other people have to come to you. Other people will have to center on you. Other people will have to dance around you as it were. So once you get on the inside, that other people have to orbit around you. And that is a terrific metaphor. The fact that we all want that. That's a great metaphor for what's wrong with the human with the world, and human history. I heard a preacher once said, think of it like this. A solar system is only a system because all the planets, as it were, agree that there's only one center and all the rest of them orbit for all the rest of them center. On that center, all the rest of the move around. There's only one. On the inside, and so as a system. But imagine, I remember the preacher said, if every single planet said, no, I'm going to be the center of the universe. And if every single planet got stationary and then used all of its gravitational pull to get everything else to revolve around them. So every planet says, no, I want to be the center. And you all have to revolve around me. And if everybody is insisting that everyone else revolves around them, what have you got? You don't have a solar system anymore. You have a cataclysm. You have worlds colliding. You've got a cosmic version of those interstate car pileups. You had a car wreck. A cosmic car wreck. And that, if you want to know, is human history. That's what individuals and nations and countries have been doing to each other. The lust for the inner ring. Now, ironically, even though that's one of the great passions of the human heart, to be on the inside, to have everyone revolve in center on you. There's another passion of the human heart, and that's a passion for justice. So you go way back into, say, the book of ecclesiastes, centuries ago, and you read this. I looked and I saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, power was on the side of their oppressors. And they had no
"pagan" Discussed on Timothy Keller Sermons Podcast by Gospel in Life
"And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, surely this man was the son of God. Some women were watching from a distance among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James the younger, and of Joseph and salome. In Galilee, these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come with him to Jerusalem were also there. It was preparation day, that is the day before the Sabbath. So as evening approached Joseph of arimathea, a prominent member of the council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God. Went boldly to pilot and asked for Jesus body. Pilot was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. When he heard from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen and placed it in a tomb, cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Joseph, saw where he was laid. This is the word of the lord. We're looking at the book of Mark and we're near the end, and we've come to the burial of Jesus. Look at the three people, or maybe I should say the three classes of people. That the death of Jesus brings together. You've got the Roman centurion. He's a pagan. You've got the women who stay with Jesus all through this time. And then you've got Joseph of arimathea and he's a member of the sanhedrin. He's a member of the ruling party's a pharisee. Women, pagan, pharisees, three groups of people that just don't usually hang out together. They don't hang out on the corner together. And yet something is brought them together. What are we looking at? These are all three people making positive responses to the death of Jesus.
"pagan" Discussed on Murder and Mystery in the Last Frontier
"pagan" Discussed on Open Loops: Conversations That Bend
"That is a really well known spell when she called on hacking That that offended christians. Right was at the idea. Yeah they were years teaching our children real magic and usually they say. It's all made up like sabrina. Moses made up or fairy tales but no this was a real hardcore peace and it was using that way and they have some christian groups as of the white horse media. There's a couple of groups that are very anti wish. The always try yellow yell it out. is harry potter a. Cultic and ruining the minds of the masses harry potter to one thing and every kid. Those trapped in their room under the stairs thought that they could escape and we have a whole generation. Now never gave up the cop costumes. They never gave up their childhood. The harry potter generation is the cause play generation. They never gave up their imagination. So yes harry potter along was Really helped bring out the magic in the world. Even if it's just 'cause play even and people just love it changes people's lives harry. Wow yes go. What were you gonna say already see that i mean people bringing the avatars of those creatures of those entities and try to live their lives and they wear the costume to wear the clothing on the all tried to live to those higher standards. Yes it will act you absolutely and i hope so ed. The pagan i mean. This was like a very fascinating discussion. I i'm definitely going to check out the way. H school dot com. Check that out. Ladies and gentlemen as well as hagen dot world and yeah we're definitely going to put your links. I mean i am. I would definitely Winning this goes so deep. I mean it's like the history of the earth almost beyond You know. I mean like i almost wonder. What didn't we cover that we could have gone. I mean i'm sure there are so many things Is there anything on a talk. Show that you're ever wyche again. This guy had the on the podcast. And i wish she talked about neck romancing like like like like what the topic you wish. We had covered. Actually i think you covered it beautifully. What i'd like to talk about. I talk about the now. I don't really whatever's happening in my world now so this was very much. What's happening now. So i really appreciate all that. Oh good yeah. I don't think i'm too much. I mean the the one that. I think that i don't like to do is to and you did. Do it. try to defend myself against us. Yeah satan as christians say i really appreciate that you allowed me to define. You asked me the question that were necessary. But you allowed me to define what i'm talking about and i appreciate that a lot of host. Don't do that. They tried to fit into their world. And you did a really good job of letting me define what i was saying and i really appreciate that absolutely and you know what look i mean i. I'm i'm going to have to do more research into it. And see if i can have more of these experiences myself because obviously there is a draw. Yeah actually wait a minute your psychic. Do you think. I'm a wizard or witch. Do you think. I have the potential off so i was gonna say yes but For you i ask you to think you're much more from this conversation magician. I look up. Chaos magic and that sort of energy of that. The effective i would. I would put much warned that cow people say this..
"pagan" Discussed on Never Ninety Nine
"Podcast get deeper and deeper but also get dumber and dumber and say. It's like wait. We have the ideas now. But i can't. I can't get them out. It's like you don't like the fisa but like the bible. Whatever is not what it is is what is like. Yeah 'cause like you can't talk about allegories. Yeah you can't talk about because the the bible isn't a cookbook to being god. Yeah we're not. You need to listen to bill donahue. Have that all my thing. Yeah. it's not like a. it's not like about jazz. Depp about treehouse. Where i just disregarded it. But she loved to do in great great. I listened to all time was the first because you told me. I was ellison to check. Remember the one. I told you the newest while the newest one. That's just does this number two treehouse number. Two fire growth and lifted are my jams when we got those album so we saw them. We are friends in tennessee Barn party they headlined like our friends house barn party and like i didn't know who they were and i was just like these folks are fucking good so we bought their cds. You know. I'm all about the support as like hail if you like the people you're like man. Yeah so bought their cd. And then me and sam listen to it. Nonstop those halloween and we listen to it nonstop from maybe five months and then we saw them again at like another place and it was cool because our friends were like hosting them so we got to leave the bar that they just play the sickest show and then we hung out with them around the table and like other guys played pool. Fan girl listen to this shit. Oh you guys the cdc and that was the night. Like i was like a friend had bought me drink. 'cause everyone like i always want to drink when we go out but i always end up deciding and so like someone about me. Drink the like. You're drinking tonight. And i was like i gotta go dance. I was like you hold this. Like i have to go on. I like moved around the entire like the floor was probably as big as like the living room kitchen and this whole area i was all over it will they they. They follow the podcast. Instagram legit. cool. I it's yours like yeah so that was really cool and then i got their other album. We've got a hat all around outside on spotify now but I don't focus about excess. Sam's sam's got it so. I focused by for joe rogan in our with for like gandara white knight spangled entry house. I'll be all you have your dumb. You andrew user your choice of phone. I phones. iphones aren't even that dumb. They don't even fucking ice but after the was in here jamming or whatever. Yeah it was good and it was like man. I was like we were on the same episode. My ass yahoo. Yeah that's shit. That i saw him as good. I saw that changed my life. I missed him going to make it. And then i cried like one of those shows like wednesday. I like his music. But are so who live. And i was like fuck. I'd like you like your soul. Yeah well he's like horror core spiritual do with. I mean he's a fake ray gays like he feels that he's a jew. Yeah not now. I don't think i don't speak for by shy think. He's changed into more of a spiritual being as identifying with like. That's fair. I mean you grow and you feel like that's how it goes well as you grow as spiritual human like you start going okay. Well you don't really need that label. Yes sometimes these boundaries kind of conflict here are the boundaries and nothing. If let's how i. Yeah i'll kill dishes also mishits awesome. I believe this is awesome. This helps me. Think of this. The different way fits my sandbox. Yeah that's where bill donahue really came in for me like. He took some of my like angry thirteen year old like more. No one answered my religious questions and then met me at consciousness. Sarah and i was like okay. All right mr bill create funny because sometimes like whatever eight is when you're angsty or he's wrong word because that's kind of funny but it's like religious spiritual say religious spiritually like. Oh yeah and then no one answering your simple question. Why can't people answer my questions. You bail. Yeah you but people bail did yeah. We'll they're called the nuns funny because like catholic nuns but but none is being an in n e what. Religion are none with which is different than a thesis hardcore. Yeah means we're but we we're. We're chemistry the turn the life somehow and we're gonna die. Nothing means nothing. Yeah that's putting it in a general perspective like when you die lights are off goodbye you know. What if you really dig deep into a theism. It is not a religion because that has a spiritual or like It's barely more of just like a belief system so it is a belief system because it's crazy when you dig fair the easiest books you know what i mean atheist but like i learned about it but yeah but getting to me like you know i like i like i'm like what school did you want to go. He wanted to. I wanted to get my degree in religious studies. What does that called. is that really studies but it. What's the word. What am i thinking. Yeah well. I don't want to be a preacher. I don't have the gift of like. I have too much demons. It means to be the freezer. I'm just trying. I'm trying to walk life with everybody else. I might a leader in an in any way Shit where we need to say recap We drink champagne glasses the bourbon day's gonna go awesome. I do think it's gonna go really good to talk so it's gonna be fine. Yeah a couple of three hours fine. Yeah we're we're we're talking about I was talking about bill donahue People at a certain age they become the none. You've read a lot of atheist books. You're not an atheist a. And so the the thank you so like when you're an atheist that when you're atheist like if you're like people say religion but those folks most people are agnostic Just define them. Well you know what i mean. Meaning like hey. I don't know what the fuck cap but something's going to happen. Yeah that's a general definition of Means we're we're chemicals and biology and it's over lately there's something like there's not like there's a difference agnostic folks agnostic most. I won't say it's because they like not noncommittal to an okay the gasic. It's okay me really but like being atheist is hard core. Once i like is hard core like this one but to be agnostic. If you really dive into what it really means right. Not only for god right voice. Don't they see. yeah right. You really atheists agnostic right. That means that everything is just a since the beginning of time. If you can even fathom that which you can't yeah because no one came at that no one can but this tried to fathom the beginning of time it means every the very first chemical reaction between something in the great question is how does something come from nothing. Yeah i know. That's what keeps me going like when anyone goes to like anything when we learn anything it proves something. I always go cool. That's amazing but how does something from nothing. Yeah so that keeps me spiritual my how did. Because i don't believe something can come from nothing like i..
"pagan" Discussed on Never Ninety Nine
"On the the podcast bourbons kick it. It was i got like hit a fourteen. Different teams of people trying to sell me mushrooms. Different people like do you need some. I got some hydrated. You wanna t them home. Do you want to drive them. Yourself and i was like okay. We're onto something. But i say what the fuck did we talk about. And then episodes. They're going to mushrooms from instagram. they would do that. Yeah so. I don't know what that was not do that. We've got to be a friend. Cal man georgia southern university which is in the middle of fucking we talked about buck know. We talked about last time. No no no statesborough near savannah stuck on milledgeville. It's also fucking nowhere. True is also a little tiny college. Georgia was pre bego Middle georgia state college. Adam would there. okay. That's why i've been there. I've i've had good times good times but excuse me but i did go to school there. Barrel oh yes. Did you know that. I lost my train of thought counts. Guys went the reason that you just recap what we're talking about. That see. i told you were going to be best friends i did. I did for a second. What else she's recap recap forgot. Forgotten back on it. You're ready to be one of my best friends. Yeah right. I mean we already know this cool pals yes so there is cows everywhere fields everywhere outside of the city so like my friends used to go pick mushrooms and then they would. They had these. Jeez were. I never went. Because i was i. Don't i'm scared. I ain't going to someone else's property was he was scared. I was just like fucking. I'll just pay for not worth my time. You know what i mean. That was that. I should say that. It's not worth walking through shit in certain time fun now. Well not for me. It was for the enjoyed the effects of eating them. Yeah but yes. They will have the shakers kicker. She's so their genes from their knees down shit stain. The go out there and it's like fuck pick mushrooms. I get your boots on the waiters. Yeah so that was a big thing. When i was in college mushrooms because they were everywhere easily accessible people go pick it up like shocked like former coming out. Get off my get out of here. Yeah i don't blame him like fuck off my lane going scare my cat or i mean even liability for them like you. Break your ankle on someone else's property and you're like fuck man. I haven't no mushrooms. Is i was in college. I did not against them. I just i like you. I mean like he's got things got to well. There's this fair all the time. it was just like hey. There's this mushrooms everywhere it's not even like a big deal eat mushrooms from the public's all the time yeah they don't fuck you up or whatever but they tastes good. Yeah you eat these particular ones. They make you fucking transcendent reality. That's cool but dropping avail. Yeah but you don't have to go process them or go see creepy dude by. She's like they're just does it right there. Yeah this do. I let them drive for a second this off the florida american flag. The right there. Just pick them and think. Yeah you know what i mean. So it wasn't like very weird Thanks for sarah was on accident talking about that. We got kool aid from. We did either my fridge by my roommate grape. Yes yeah yeah so room. I have been out like hanging out at the bars or at a party or something. Whatever i'm thirsty came home. Drunk became home drunk. Yeah don't judge me. I was in college. I was like twenty something. I want some purple drank. Yeah so i came home. And i was like whatever i'll drink water or a glass of water to open a frigerator. There's like one of those plastic jugs hand kool-aid a roommate me. Kuwait candidates got what was big ass. Plastic cups filled. The medium are playing five grams later. I don't even know yes. This is the first time. So like i was playing tekken which is a fighting playstation game played in pep pep. There's much people around. And all of a sudden these mother fuckers star. that's getting closer put the controller. Alan like unintentional drugged myself. I looked at the hospital bro. Something's wrong with me. he's like what's up. I was like man. Everything looks really cool. Something they write it a right right normal. I look at it and i was like reality isn't right because what i said to me. I was not right but it's not right. I mean he's drink that purple kool aid. I was like i did. He's like you're cool man. He's like dude that was shrew may look like two seconds long pause like pick up the controller. What because i didn't know what was happening. You just have like jello shots. Whatever the fuck you have a college. I don't the night i'll remember the alcoho- river coming home because the rest of the night was just par for the course for beating college coming home. I remember that and then like ask well as free fuck out did expect it and then i was like well. This bill was mass tracers. Yeah yeah it was just like it will be the day when it comes to alcohol the versus being like. I'm going to just throw alcohol in a glass and throw an automatic mixer into it and then you have someone who knows how to make a drink. That's much better way better way better. They have a spiritual experience the first hour mushrooms also unintentional front attention so but it was also had a tech experience. I had a great experience. Those also drunk. Yeah so like you know. it'd be kind of interesting. Yeah it depends on how you use like. You could use a four recreational drugs or you could use them for mind altering experiences like set was set in tension satin setting said setting right setting intention. Yeah so litter had zero attention. Because i didn't know what was happening. Which is that. It knows. I was fucked up points. Whatever lymph another kool aid. Yeah you know what i mean so like. I didn't have like i didn't like see. I didn't see the anything. That changed my life. Except for i was like whoa i was like reality is fucking weird right now i was like. Oh wow yeah so. That was the first time. Was it this ship. If you're watching a ball. I wanted to target and bought a champagne. Glass stay stimulus champion. Yeah yeah it's pretty legit ray. I'm gonna get you one so we can do this. Yes do you have.
"pagan" Discussed on Never Ninety Nine
"Know i think he knows how much i talk about him. He's like i it. S one of the thing that leg. I mean if it's fair to say that causes him anxiety is whenever people meet him. They're like oh. My god heard so much about you. He's like oh god for the podcast just in my life. I just talk about sam lot. What's what i mean. He is a huge chunk of my life. This should be reciprocal. You'll also kind of the way you want to say you know. He's around a smaller group of people than i am because he works with the same people so you know and i've met these people. He works with the most part Like some of the key players and But i'll talk about sam to a stranger. That's beautiful man. Have you met my husband. have you seen. His face is very handsome. Gas beautiful beautiful ship was supposed to be religious. Rose to be one hundred hundred. Yeah so it's been good kind of blew mine because like growing up fifty fifty. Let's a compromise. That means you get half of goodness. Yeah we should all in all in. Yeah sometimes somebody needs all in for three months or whatever that you need all in for three. I'm making that up for a month. Whatever it is never fifty fifty. It's like a one hundred hundred at the same time. I'm in yeah fully in then sometimes you but it sucks. Wouldn't all in fifty. Yeah you know what i mean but supposed to be one hundred hundred read learned. That was like way more sense. I like that much better than old compromise my show that's like no no compromises thing but if you compromise everything. Fifty fifty compromise on like. Hey i want steak dinner hair trampling okay. If you base your relationship or marriage is is is fifty fifty than like it. Sucks like it's half good. Yeah you and me because you not have your half of your self is not there. Represented one hundred one hundred. It is fun to like having that relationship. Go give her that book. I made you read this. Read that one. That's where it came from. bom book. redbook redbook read it right before bed for the morning of shift. Be like fuck. I gotta read this pickle. Rick me and my kids seven so i watched board. But i can't stop seeing route. Larry yeah he's like dad. What's pickle rick. I give him the the. The jury diversion of pickle. Rick and it's there's a i mean. Do you feel like rick. And morty are kind of of Just their visual. It's obviously back to the future. Yes that's amazing. Yeah yeah except for they shit on time. Travel injured dimensional trial. It's funny if you want. Rick shits on time show. Yeah inter dimensional. 'cause i mean good anyways because you create loopholes but he makes fun of time travel on it which makes it even funnier kind of base off of that. Yeah visually look like my seven year. Old girl walks wrong if you like. He's never seen a brick and mortar. You gave him the disney version of. There's a lot of things that he i mean. I know you keep his like visual very age appropriate. Which is smart. I mean these seven-man be seven. Don't be fourteen my my niece. Well yeah we were talking about harry potter because that was what we did we had fun lady night on friday and then dudes came on saturday dudes and we had poker and all the comes. You know truthfully. We didn't really play much. While we were actually in laundry we took photos and drank and danced. The though all the next day was poker and Spades and just tell you just tell me that you guys got laundry on a play chess. Just lie lied. I lied to you won the game. I'm the queen's game it also you realize how dope of an idea that is and you're like yeah. I brought my chessboard. Wanted to voters all be. That's fair. I mean that's the whole point of that was leaked. That's the point and we like we all got a late start. It was like seven eight nine o'clock and then we all kind of got ready. I don't know if you've ever gotten ready with a group of gals. It's time consuming. And then i'm kind of a coordinator. And then i also had my friend maggie who is like when we taking some fucking pictures. I was like about on the bed girl. I'll take a picture and pin right now. It only takes me like seventeen minutes. I took maybe ninety percent of everyone's photos that's awesome. And then i had take mine was fun leader. Tom legit party But we took mattresses down from a and put them in the living room. And i put my tapestries over them so to set the scene. Whenever people came in you know i got all kinds of shit. We had two car loads of stuff of stuff lights and blankets and Flowers and food and stuff to create more of an ambiance. I brought my own fun lights. And i have this laser thing not puts lasers We had a fire going ahead on my flowers around the fireplace. Had my sword. My friend maggie again. This huge cat. She's fucking crazy lights neo flowers and my sword like a normal thing a wind as well. 'cause i didn't know what people wanted to use as props. Oh had i just brought anything. That was fun. Had a bunch of mass. Have you have a wand. And then i have sam. Has this really cool blue fox leather face mask. That's really nicely made. So i bought that and then kelly with a b. She gave this like cat bat with purple rhinestones. I have that But we brought to of their mattresses from stairs so that we cozy spots all over the place because there was a couch. Djing for lounging. There was a couch. there was a kind of a bigger. It was a single seat but it was like a little less than two of these cushions so it was enough for two people to sit in and then another kind of long chair. And then we brought the two mattresses so we had the couch a coffee table and then a mattress and the fireplace and then another mattress people are able to like lounge around and some people are watching harry potter The were in the other room playing poker in spades and we were calling the same area. But i'm gonna books as you get looks. Not let's see. I got five. Sorry i got. I got five bucks for that one spades was fun i haven't played spades in a long time. It's kind of a ghetto. Gay man we got some ghetto. Ghetto raised friends. Have you played tunc. I've played tong. I don't really remember the rules. But i've played. I've played like for real hood Her hood so if you play tong that we can. We can hang out pretty good talk. That's a good one space was fun. Poker was fun bullshitter. And i'll like..
"pagan" Discussed on Never Ninety Nine
"Whatever man so basically she had didn't know this for like a day or two later say congestive heart failure So i just like inhuman we just part of your heart is away and you get fluid build up in your lungs. Our lungs reflects she was drowning and fluid so they treated her for heart. Failure congestive heart failure with that didn't respond and they even they went all crazy so i thought maybe she had some crazy cancer. The shit whatever. And i was like damn it now. What the fuck man. I've i've always been this guy like always like like killing dog. Yeah like world most people will all. We put our dog down. She could walk to well and sometimes inside or she couldn't hear marley was death. I was like fuck it or she was blind in death. Like fucking bartlett. Was blinded carrying this little sauce around. Yeah all just kind of took. I'll take care of like a human a human you know. I don't care if she she has trouble holding bathroom or like can't see. I'm taking her leash. All the things got her barely you know like. I'm not the the terminator of death. Us media male lover like mecca maker. Tail wagged you know what i mean. they did all these things they they you got to come to. The hospital is not good. I'll say okay so. I got to tuesday aware there like we can't. She's not responding at all. She's happy in the oxygen cage. They're like she can't acting kind of normal she's great. She's great but she can't live outside of it because she can't breathe. Well yeah so. They're artificially keeping her alive with his oxygen and they couldn't do anything that wasn't responding. And i was like talked with. I was crying shit. The doctor was really nice. And i was like well. What am i gonna do this. But if i take home tonight. What's going to happen. I would love to happen is for her to fall asleep in waco. Yeah just transitioned over. Like i love for happened to be fucking amazing and be like your ears year hearing to come back and jump and run. That's what i would love. But like realistically i would like for. You know if if she's gonna pass. That's how i mean. That's that's how i wanted die. Yeah you know what i mean. She was like honestly what's going to happen. Is like just went down. This whole course of drowning and spasm. Being going to seizure and suffocating slowly. And i was like fuck. Yeah i was like i don't want that and i fucking want that and there's like this the the basically. There's nothing we can do. I spend jillion dollars order all the money. All the money's there like there's no more things that we can do. Yeah you have oxygen cage. Don't don't let me take yours. Yeah a they didn't actually make a joke by the they're really kind. Yeah i i'm not gonna kill my dog. I'm not gonna do it. I'm not gonna do it but like if she's gonna die. I'll gift her the gift of a peaceful transition. But i was like if she's not gonna die. I'm not gonna do it. Man just like i wouldn't i wouldn't kill you. Yeah i wouldn't kill andrei just because he can't fucking move well mean like fuck it. You know what i mean. She was like okay. And i was like they brought her out and i was like. Can i just spend an hour or two hours with before if she goes into this awful sequeira of death that you described in can we have our peaceful transition over but if not fuck mountain take your home or fuck it man. It's hard to say. Yeah and then like all aspects about our weather. She was looking at me like you could tell us. She knew it was like she didn't eat today. She's ready to transition over. And when she said that i was like fuck man. I don't wanna rob her of that. Like i don't want to rob her of the next step. That's how i look at it. Look at it. i don't look at it. As in like she's she's she's moved in transition. The pain is mind like she into other things hers her spirit and their energies show. I was like. I was like talk to because like i can't kill her as she's gonna die dying in my arms. That's different than like helping her ease. Trent ease the transition without suffering. That's what i would want anyone do for me. Yeah i'm not fucking killing her because it's a slight inconvenience. Yeah now you. What i mean or a big venus. I'll be like she's only personally the first person the love me so i held her and she was just let me start crying like she has hasn't later later shoulder like that like said she was a puppy. Like time taylor. She's start drowning. She started journeyman. And then i had like a little button and they came in and they were very very. I'm going to say funny way probably acceptable. How i avoid healing they were very calm and peaceful and loving the lodge. What's your name. i'll give a shout out. she was. Yeah bill auburn's really got exactly what the doctor in this awful moment in my wife was fantastic and it was like she was dying and then was hit a little bud and whatever they came in and show. You had a catheter hospital for four days. Yeah and they're like. Are you ready. And i was like no She's ready she's dying. He did a thing. And then i was holding. They put her to sleep and they did the other thing whatever she died or whatever but before then was like look. You have to pay for all the fucking weird. That used to be my job. Yeah so it's fucking job was get the paper signed and to take the payment and to see what they wanted to do whether they wanted. Criminals signed all the paperwork. She made me do that before spent the time with her baby. She is better. I did that. And then i was. I look after this is over. I want to leave and she was like you could leave. And i'll do it. I was like no. I'm not gonna leave her in this moment by herself. This is like my best like some people might laugh at me right now but i was like man. This is my best friend like her. Yeah like i literally. I love her more than anything. She's loved me more than any any human has ever loved me. Yeah and i was like i'll be fucking dan. I don't think. I live with myself if i was weak. Enough of big pussy lever. Like when she's gonna die. You are dying and i was like mommy and i believe and i was. I was like after. It's i want to leave. And i was like no need to pay you guys but cutest bill pay you whatever i could get the fuck outta i. I'm not gonna be able to handle this when she was like. Oh yes fine. Whatever she's like that's that's a good way to do whatever and like all of that happened. They beat me out on his fucking book. Yeah it was crazy man as intense. It was hard. I haven't really thought about it. Like it was tough week or the week when she was sick and trying to figure it out. Go through like incisions it. All this shit was hard I kind of like moved over my mind. The thinking like gratitude of having that that soul or the energy my life for so long. And i really do think of it. Like you know about alawites. The week before that we're taught we just talked about like how we think about reality is would like other societies. The reality is smoke. Yeah like it's not israel but that real then you wake from the dream and then you're really in live when you wake up. I was like yes. She woke up for this. So like your true self is like transition whether it's a physical place or different place or just. The energy moved on to smoke up as a southern woman down out. Oh dan whatever it is. I got a chance to talk to. Her is as soon as i said all the stuff i wanted to say to her human. That was done if you're not in. The dogs is very emotional when the one of the most impactful interactions. I've ever had in my life actually like when i was talking to her like. She's a little dog little table and i was talking to her. She's fucking death but a susan said it like she. She has this little puppy. She just put her chin on my sousa talking like she can't hear me. She put her chin like all my shoulder and then like just collapsed with light. Hold me but before she let me talk to her..
"pagan" Discussed on Never Ninety Nine
"Listen to them little while and it was later. Yeah but google. I'll i'll show it to you later but if you're out there at school but i really wanted a cyber i still do. I mean if you don't get truck you get your deposit. You can get it back. Yeah but i'm probably not going to forget. He changed the release date. So i don't know he like he got an email yesterday about a new. You know covid blob stuff being canceled. We're going to go to reggae. Rise up in saint pete tampa so they're gonna do it in march. That's fun we'll just got an email. They don't give any fs down there now. You can still have the super bowl florida thing. I haven't seen any of that. There's a puppy bowl i've seen. I've seen the puppy bowl more than i've seen the super bowl room. I'm a sports fan. So yeah but i've gotten like as i've gotten harmon as i've got more and more adult though. I have less and less time for a sports. Yeah so i just went. All in on the falcons atlanta falcons like. That's my team. I used to watch the goals. Sports costly sports almanac. I can have all of it. It's like i know stats. I did i do all when people do things. Yes like. My son was born like two thousand fourteen. That's when my my sports almanac knowledge stop twenty fourteen done. Yeah yeah the mccain more casual after that because other things became more important yeah. Yeah people won't do that man like though like neglect their family. Just because football game or basketball game. Or whatever i mean i like football basketball wrong but like but oh you bud light down. Put you down to read a fucking quantum physics book man. Our man you can't just can't just call it. The man man the man. The woman's the water also valentine's day open story. It was a holiday. It was hall is right word like a celebration back in the day. He's worse than rhode ancient roman times on how far back by like you know roman ship before stuff before all the stuff. There was no tassels then whenever that was before the cyber trucks so it was like february thirteenth to february fifteenth. Celebration and What happened was it was Men went out and killed animals. And then they got their hides in the women lined up and then they hit them with the hides. Roll up in my brain. When i read this popping. Their butts towel. I have no idea how they actually hit them in the was. Like when you get hit with the right increase fertility then. There was a text message from a friend we had a there is a you say my head do go out and kill animals. They got their hi there smacking negative anyways. But it really did do this. My head is funnier. yeah it was. It might have been brutal. I have no idea who took their idea. Fund was very odd. They would hit them. Hit the women. The men will hit the women with the the hides so they would be fertile then they would have a lottery in my head. They have all the women in a jar in the guys look at name. I'm sure they have jars but it was something to that effect. Which jars but you ought battle so. They got mashed up and it was a lottery. It was random random matchup for men and women did. For those days the thirteenth fifteenth would go out. Do it sex it up sex up out in the woods probably yeah whatever and then it was either over. We're done like good on you. Or if the match was very good they would keep rolling fucking cool. But that's all that's the start of it right and then Later on in years There was a guy named valentine. Valentine valentine that was The one of the emperors. Or popes. Or whatever i think it was emperor killed on february fourteenth. Then three years later just happenstance. There's another dude named valentine or valentim that was killed. They kill executed publicly executed on february fourteenth time. Same day. yeah so sound so. That's what happened to that. Little time in the later on in years when christianity became a thing. The po- this sorry. This is where the they tried to like christian whitewash it. So they did was they. They basically put clothes on. Everyone still fucking close on. Yeah basically i mean it is romance and that's the whole point of romances for fucking reproduction for redemption. But yeah absolutely yeah. You know what i'm saying is is that chocolate but so they made them a martyr that made the to valentine's a martyr valentine's day. But it's really like a pagan celebration fertility. Weird right also. That's where the term like when someone hits on somebody like. I'm hitting on a girl at a bar. That's where they come from to hit him with fucking hides. Yeah isn't that crazy lady didn't increase the remnants. Like i'm gonna hit you to hit on you. Yeah i was thinking about. I'll say where does like go. Hit on a girl or click. That's not what you would say. Excuse me bro. i'm going to those. Excuse me bro. i gotta go those gal term you. I got hit on or whatever that come from and that's where it came from that's hilarious. Yeah fun fact. Facts there yo. Fun facts from the mines. Yeah so i was just like that's crazy. Man the other weird thing you know buttons on like men's dress shirts i'm sure there are limited but like predominantly. Men's dress shirts. Those are remnants of the past where they were on Servants enslave so. They wouldn't wipe their nose on their sleep Became a thing. Because if you've ever wiped your face the button here like fuck that hurt it. Those look great. Don't remember the name but you know you know there were. I've witnessed my niece..
"pagan" Discussed on Magic Self and Spirit Podcasts.
"Of the light. Death and rebirth is a spiritual theme of renewal that cuts across nearly all traditional mythologies the death of the old self and The Rebirth of the New. It's the cyclic regeneration renewal of life and the realization of your potential. The magic of Yule is about contemplation and self-examination. It's a natural Rebirth of self and a physical Rebirth of the seasons. The story of Arianrhod a goddess of Yuletide. In parts of Northern Europe Arianrhod is honored at Yule . She's the Welsh goddess whose Crown is the constellation of Corona Borealis the Stars we circle around the Apparently still Northstar Arianrhod is the goddess of reincarnation and therefore fertility in childbirth she resents the original definition of the concept virgin a woman completing herself not requiring the protection of a man the stars in the northern sky is housed her Palace of Caer Sidi, they are the rotating spiral like an island of healing the Labyrinth which you can follow to the center of yourself. When she Trails a line of red thread to lead you. Caer Sidi is another name for Annwn . One of the Pagan names for the Otherworld. A land of the Dead Arianrhod is the goddess of the silver wheel upon which magic is weaved like a tapestry of new life and manifestation. She's the goddess that ushes our new selves into the world. The Law of Correspondence at Yule the old Pagan Traditions are unlike modern cultures where age and death are fearful things to be avoided at all costs for them the seasons were personified in Divinity and represented the spiritual life of people the Hermetic law of Correspondence States As Above So Below Pagan peoples have viewed the seasonal changes and the stages of human life to be reflections of the same cycle. The wheel of the Year takes them from birth through the stages of physical and personal life the stages of growth and the sacred stage of life. That's death and re-incarnation. Each part of life is honored. As sacred, what is the spiritual and magical history of the Pagan calendar the different forms of pagan spirituality and Magic celebrate the passing of time as spiritual experience. The tradition of the sabbat festivals is focused on sun magic as we traced the cycles of the sun throughout the year. the gods and the goddesses are the forces of nature deified and realized in different seasons human life is seen as a part of this process the seasons of the Year are an expression of humanity from birth to death and onward to rebirth Samhain 31st This is a celebration of the Goddess as bringer of death the spark the stimulates the new cycle of rebirth has new life. For many pagans Samhain is the death of the old year and the birth of the new Yule December 21st on the shortest day and the longest night of the year. The Sun God is reborn it's the Pagan version of the Tibetan Buddhist Bardo where the soul between death and life awaits re birth At Yule we reflect on our lives and what we need to shed to evolve and our spiritual and magical path. imbolc February 1st. This was considered to be the first day within the New Year where you didn't need to light a candle in the day as they were sufficient light. It's literal translation is Ewe's milk as the first Lambs of the year were born although often. The snow was still on the ground. The promise of spring was realized after a cold winter white Snowdrop flowers poked their heads out into the world. Imbolc is a celebration of the God and the goddess as young children. Ostara March 23rd At the Spring Equinox the light and the Darkness are equal at twelve hours. Each. All of the world is alive with new life green is seen everywhere else in Avalon. The goddess is honored as Arta the mother bear who gave birth to the human race the god as The green man is alive and thriving the spirit of nature is Divinity has about himself. The light is on the ascendance. Beltane May 1st The God and the goddess are young adults. This is the time of the Union between the masculine and The Feminine the season of sexuality as the sap rises in the trees and the animals mate Beltane is the celebration of sex and sex Magik. Litha June 21st. The sun is at its height. The land is alive with heat. The light has reached its Zenith. This is the expression of Life at its most physical and external as we celebrate Divinity as fire. Lughnasad August 1st. This is the time of the first Corn Harvest. The goddess is pregnant Divinity as parents loved ones focused on the love of a parent for the child. Mabon September 23rd, the Autumn Equinox light and darkness are again equally balanced in the darkness is on the ascendancy. This is the main Harvest of the grasses seeds nuts and vegetables. This is the time. We celebrate the abundance of the land and Life as we prepare for the winter. Tell me more about the spirituality and magic of Yule now there's two kinds of approaches to this depending on your spirituality and your spiritual approach. There is an approach to spirituality and religion which is we follow a Divine being or Divine beings depending on which religions. And the following of those Divine beings is based on completely believing in their reality is based on surrender to them is based on your path. It's about pleasing them and then there's another path called the left hand path and other independent spiritualities, which is based on seeing those Divinity as forces of nature as energy of which we are apart. We don't take them necessarily literally, but we work with their energies and we honor them at the times of working with the magically in order to build our spiritual path in the order to evolve magically and these are the two sides of the approach. There is also a kind of third place with chaos magic in chaos magic seeds. Everything is illusion and therefore everything is permissible. It's like the law of polarity that we