Episode 190

Disciple Up # 190
False gods & the Church at Odds
By Louie Marsh, 12-16-2020

 Intro. What’s coming up for the next two weeks.

Link to the Article Read:

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/december/idols-worshiping-false-god.html

QUOTE:

Our hearts still fall into that same satanic groove, quickly moving from confessing “I believe in God” to talking about “the God I believe in,” to making the most dire and pretentious utterance of all: “I could never believe in a God who…”

The problem of idolatry

 23Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 24And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139:23–24, ESV)

Grievous way = way of an idol.

 21Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” (1 John 5:21, ESV)

 5Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5, ESV)

I do not believe that the big problem for the Bible believing church in the United States and around the world even, is legalism.

Yes, these idols are problems for sure. But there are far larger ones and more dangerous ones in our current era. As would be expected these idols flow from the culture we live in. You can see them slowly, almost imperceptibly in many cases worming their way into the church and our beliefs and practices.

I’m thinking of people who have somehow arrived at the conclusion that God is on their side politically and that whatever changes their party makes, God suddenly has always been behind that even when they themselves believed something different just hours or days earlier!

Take for example the huge shift in public opinion when Barak Obama said he had “evolved” on the issue of homosexual marriage. Now it was good where as before the election it had been bad. Immediately this was seized upon as the only right and moral position you could have, even though most of those doing the seizing had held the older positions mere moments before!

Many of these people would self-identify as Christians and yet they immediately jumped into this new moral standard with hardly a moments hesitation. (Yes, I’m aware many struggled with this choice, but the vast majority of those who changed did not. And of course all of us who didn’t change our beliefs because of what one politician said didn’t hesitate either.)

I don’t want to get off point here which I may already have by bringing up that topic. My point is if you are going to pontificate upon moral issues and you want your opinion to carry some weight you ought to be really seeking to live out what your belief system teaches you to do and not do.

If you don’t, then here’s what you can expect from me.

In the United States you have the right to speak. However you do not have the right to be listened too. In other words you can’t demand that I, or anyone else, pay attention to what you are saying or give it any weight at all in our lives.

If you aren’t active in a church, and at least seeking to find a ministry, and aren’t prayerfully trying to share the Gospel and live out your faith in everything you say and do then say what you will, I won’t be paying much attention to you.

After all, why should I?  If you don’t know and seek to live out God’s Word then all your professions of spiritual wisdom are simply an expression of hypocrisy. Nothing more and nothing less. That doesn’t mean you might not be right – even a stopped clock is right twice a day. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to be paying much attention to it!

There’s a term for this – virtue signaling.

Virtue signaling is hypocrisy.

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Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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Episode 183

Disciple Up # 183
When God Speaks…Listen!
By Louie Marsh, 10-29-2020

Intro.  Thoughts on last week’s episode – No Place for Repentance? Sad that many leave their hidden sin as their legacy.

There are at least three times in the New Testament when God seems to have been rude to the Apostle Peter.  Three times when God interrupted and silenced Peter to make a point.  What was so important that God decided to act like this?  Let’s find out.

I) The Content of Christianity

 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.
Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.
Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters–one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.)
While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.”
When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves, and told no one at that time what they had seen. Luke 9:28-36 (NIV)

 A) The Three Figures

1, Moses = the Law

2, Elijah = the prophets

3, Jesus = the New Covenant

  1. B) Peter Vs. God

1, Peter saw all three as equal and valued them that way

2, God set Jesus above them all

16“The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it.” (Luke 16:16, ESV)

The law and the prophets—till John; from then on the kingdom of God is being preached as good news, and everyone is energetically pressing into it[1]

  1. C) Christianity’s Content

1, Christ is superior to all and everything

a, That’s the whole point of the book of Hebrews!

2, To be a Christian is to realize and confess that Jesus outshines and rules over everything!

II) The Foundation of Christianity 16:13-23

 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”  They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.  And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.
From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”  Matthew 16:13-23 (NIV)

  1. A) The Divinity of Christ

1, Jesus was either Who He claimed to be – God

a, Or He was a liar or insane!

  1. B) No Compromise!

1, Compromise is a good way to solve problems!

a, But there are some things that you can’t compromise!

2, You cannot compromise on Christ’s identify

a, If we lose this – we lose the entire point and meaning of His life and teachings!

  1. C) Living This Truth

1, Obey Him!!!

a, If He really is God that’s the least we can do!!

2, Don’t argue so much!

a, It’s good to let it all hang out with the Lord.

b, One sign of spiritual growth is when I argue less and trust more!

III) The Sphere of Christianity  Acts 10: 41-48

 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen–by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.  He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.
All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.
The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles.
For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”
So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.
Acts 10:41-48 (NIV)

 A) Not An Exclusive Club!

1, Not just for Jews – or the spiritual

2, But for Everybody!

  1. B) God Love Everyone

1, There can be no place for bigotry in the Christian faith!

2, That includes all types of bigotry – racial, cultural, educational, religious, etc.

  1. C) We Are All One In Christ

1, the more we realize this – the quicker the world will be won!

[1] Lenski, R. C. H. (1961). The Interpretation of St. Luke’s Gospel (p. 839). Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House.