265: Towards a Biblical Reaction to America Today

Disciple Up #265
Towards a Biblical Reaction to America Today
By Louie Marsh, 6-29-2022

What Actually Happened:

What Should Our Response Be:

  • How much of a difference will this make?

What Should our attitude & response be?

 We should Lament all this.

1How lonely sits the city that was full of people! How like a widow has she become, she who was great among the nations! She who was a princess among the provinces has become a slave. 2She weeps bitterly in the night, with tears on her cheeks; among all her lovers she has none to comfort her; all her friends have dealt treacherously with her; they have become her enemies. 3Judah has gone into exile because of affliction and hard servitude; she dwells now among the nations, but finds no resting place; her pursuers have all overtaken her in the midst of her distress. 4The roads to Zion mourn, for none come to the festival; all her gates are desolate; her priests groan; her virgins have been afflicted, and she herself suffers bitterly. 5Her foes have become the head; her enemies prosper, because the Lord has afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions; her children have gone away, captives before the foe. 6From the daughter of Zion all her majesty has departed. Her princes have become like deer that find no pasture; they fled without strength before the pursuer. 7Jerusalem remembers in the days of her affliction and wandering all the precious things that were hers from days of old. When her people fell into the hand of the foe, and there was none to help her, her foes gloated over her; they mocked at her downfall.” (Lamentations 1:1–7, ESV)

 

16He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes; 17my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is; 18so I say, “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord.” 19Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! 20My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. 21But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: 22The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” 25The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. 26It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:16–26, ESV)

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Episode 260-Uvalde – WHY?

Disciple Up #260
Uvalde – WHY?
By Louie Marsh, 5-25-2022

“2Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.” (Proverbs 21:2, ESV)

“18Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood, who draw sin as with cart ropes, 19who say: “Let him be quick, let him speed his work that we may see it; let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near, and let it come, that we may know it!” 20Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! 21Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight! 22Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine, and valiant men in mixing strong drink, 23who acquit the guilty for a bribe, and deprive the innocent of his right!” (Isaiah 5:18–23, ESV)

“5For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:5–8, ESV)

“30take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?—that I also may do the same.’ 31You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods. 32“Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it.” (Deuteronomy 12:30–32, ESV)

“7“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. 8He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” 9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? 10“I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”” (Jeremiah 17:7–10, ESV)

“28And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” (Romans 1:28–32, ESV)

“1I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1–2, ESV)

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Episode 256-Silly Things that Christians Say & Believe

Disciple Up #256
Silly Things Christians Say & Believe
By Louie Marsh, 4-27-2022

Intro. Just to show you we aren’t the only ones acting very silly if not downright disgusting sometimes: https://sheershanews.net/men-gang-rape-kill-and-eat-endangered-monitor-lizard/

“Christlikeness is a journey, not a destination. The joy is in the journey.” – Charles R. Swindoll

https://directors.tfionline.com/post/more-jesus-reflections-christlikeness/

https://www.wisefamousquotes.com/quotes-about-journey-not-the-destination/

By saying Christlikeness – is to admit that this is the goal! Example of me going to Texas.

Becoming like Christ is both a journey and a goal, and we won’t be done with either one in this lifetime that’s for sure. If it’s not a goal why did Paul write this?

7But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:7–11, ESV)

12Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16Only let us hold true to what we have attained.” (Philippians 3:12–16, ESV)

8By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.” (Hebrews 11:8–10, ESV)

“Love Always Wins” –

Probably taken from what Gandhi first said which was…” When I despair, I remember that all through history, the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murders, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall.”

The movie about his life ends with this quote.

16“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” (John 3:16–19, ESV)

13“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matthew 7:13–14, ESV)

1First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1–4, ESV)

8But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:8–9, ESV)

30“Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. 31Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? 32For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.”” (Ezekiel 18:30–32, ESV)

10“And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, Thus have you said: ‘Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we rot away because of them. How then can we live?11Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:10–11, ESV)

Love always ends makes perfect sense if you are a universalist, but if you take the New Testament seriously, then you believe that Hell is real and awful beyond belief and that means God’s love doesn’t always win. And if His doesn’t then mine sure won’t either!

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Episode 236

Disciple Up # 236
God Silences Man
By Louie Marsh, 11-10-2021

Intro.  There are at least three times in the New Testament when God was 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 rude?  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 CovenantB) Peter VS. God

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

2, God set Jesus above them all

a, “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)

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!

  1. 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)

A) The Divinity of Christ

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

a, Or He was a lair or insane!

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!

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!

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.

C) We Are All One In Christ

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

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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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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.