Episode 223

Disciple Up # 223

Persecution Watch, August 11th, 2021

By Louie Marsh

https://www.christianpost.com/news/hindu-leader-calls-for-anti-christian-violence-in-india.html

 

https://www.christianpost.com/world/american-evangelist-jailed-in-uk-its-getting-very-bad-here.html

 

https://www.foxnews.com/us/portland-antifa-christian-worship-event-clash-proud-boys

 

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2021/august/mozambique-insurgency-attacks-cabo-delgado-pastors-minister.html

 

“When we first arrived, our arms were crossed—we were sad and angry,” said another pastor whose family is still missing. He also asked that CT not print his name out of fear of further attacks. “But because we serve, we’re strong. Because we serve, we’re happy. In a time of difficulty or in a time of ease, we will serve the Lord.”

 

Yet another pastor, who has lost everything, said, “They can burn our houses, they can burn our food—but they cannot burn Jesus out of me.”

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Episode 212

Disciple Up # 212
I’m a Christian NOT a Victim!
By Louie Marsh, 5-26-2021

Intro. Picking up where yesterday’s sermon ends, the URL for it is below.

https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/christschurchontheriver/06_The_Gospel_of_John_1-7_Do_I_Want_to_Get_Well.mp3

I’m going to do some recapping of the early parts and then get into the main point here.

1) Do I REALLY WANT to get well?

  One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.  When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” John 5:5-6 (NIV)

This may be the most profound question in the entire Bible. If it’s not then it’s certainly one of the most important and profound.

It seems like such a silly question to ask. Surely a man who had been disabled for that many years would love to be healed.

But the truth is, that many of us grow so accustomed to being sick or needy and the attention that it brings them that I’m not really sure that they want things to be any different.

Christ’s question to all of us this morning is “Do you want to get well?”

Some of us here today face serious physical illness. But many of us are not physically ill but have allowed other things to ruin our lives. Whether that’s alcohol abuse, drug abuse, sexual sin, pornography, greed, people pleasing, fear, etc. We all have to answer this question – Do I really want to get well, or have I become comfortable in my dysfunction and sin?

I have to move beyond just wanting the pain and discomfort to end. What Jesus wants to know is do I want to be well? Do I want to start down the road to becoming like Christ, the real road to recovery.

 Is THAT what I want? Or do I just want a little relief from my pain?

2) SOME SIGNS I’M NOT SERIOUS ABOUT GETTING WELL.

  • I practice BLAME SHIFTING

 The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” John 5:7 (ESV)

12  The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13  Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Genesis 3:12-13 (ESV)

  • I make EXCUSES.
    • I have NO TALENT OR ABILITY.

 But Moses pleaded with the LORD, “O Lord, I’m just not a good speaker. I never have been, and I’m not now, even after you have spoken to me. I’m clumsy with words.” Exodus 4:10 (NLT)

    • It’s TO HARD/DON’T KNOW HOW.

 Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” Jeremiah 1:6 (ESV)

    • I’m too BUSY.

 21  Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” Matthew 8:21 (ESV)

  • I use the GOD DODGE.

12  And the angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, “The LORD is with you, O mighty man of valor.” 13  And Gideon said to him, “Please, sir, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” Judges 6:12-13 (ESV)

  • I play the VICTIM  (FEEL SORRY FOR MYSELF.)

 And he prayed to the LORD and said, “O LORD, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.  Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.” Jonah 4:2-3 (ESV)

Thinking Biblically about suffering, rejection and all kinds of pain will require a major shift in our perspective.

38So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; 39but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” So they took his advice, 40and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. 42And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.” (Acts 5:38–42, ESV)

18For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” (Romans 8:18–25, ESV)

7But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12So death is at work in us, but life in you.

 16So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:7–12, 16-18, ESV)

21For to THIS you have been called, because Christ also SUFFERED for you, leaving you an example, so that you might FOLLOW IN HIS STEPS. 22He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” (1 Peter 2:21–25, ESV)

31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:31–39, ESV)

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Episode 208

Disciple Up # 208
A Disciple’s Identity Pt. 7: Blessed are the Peacemakers
By Louie Marsh, 4-28-2021

Blessed are the Peacemakers…

 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9 (ESV)

When you think of a peacemaker, what comes to mind? A diplomat trying to make peace between warring parties?

Or maybe it’s you trying keep the peace in your family between certain members who are always fighting

PEACEMAKER, pēsʹmāk-ẽr: Occurs only in the pl. (Mt 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers [eirēnopoioí]: for they shall be called sons of God” [who is “the God of peace”]). We have also what seems to be a reflection of this saying in Jas 3:18, “The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for [RVm “by”] them that make peace” (toís poioúsin eirênēn)

In classical Gr a “peacemaker” was an ambassador sent to treat of peace. The word in Mt 5:9 would, perhaps, be better rendered “peace-workers,” implying not merely making peace between those who are at variance, but working peace as that which is the will of the God of peace for men

The peacemakers (οἱ εἰρηνοποιοί). Should be held to its literal meaning, peace-makers; not as Wyc., peaceable men. The founders and promoters of peace are meant; who not only keep the peace, but seek to bring men into harmony with each other. Tynd. renders, the maintainers of peace

PEACE

But before we can know what a peacemaker is we out to understand and define peace. What is peace? The absence of conflict or something more?

Peace can apply to us in at least three ways:

 

  • External – conflict between individuals or groups of people.

 

  • Internal – a lack of peace within myself.

 

  • Time – a lack of peace over my past.

 BIBLE WORDS TRANSLATED PEACE:

(שָׁלוֹם, shalom; εἰρήνη, eirēnē). A pervasive concept in the Bible that most commonly relates to a relationship of love and loyalty with God and one another.

In the Old Testament, “peace” carries the fundamental meaning of welfare, prosperity, or wholeness as well as the absence of hostility (compare Westermann, “Peace [Shalom],” 20, 44–53). The term is frequently used as the antithesis of harm. – Greever, J. M. (2016). Peace. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Peace in the New Testament

The Graeco-Roman concept of peace held various nuances. For example, the Homeric literature portrayed peace as an ideal state that a hero achieved through war. This led to the common adage, “If you wish peace, prepare for war” (compare Vegetius, Concerning Military Affairs III [preface]). On the other hand, the Stoics conceived of peace as an inward tranquility. The New Testament concept of peace shows dependence on the Semitic understanding of peace rather than the Graeco-Roman conception. In the New Testament, the concept of peace is consistent with the Old Testament in that it refers to prosperity, which climaxes in the peace the Messiah brings. – Greever, J. M. (2016). Peace. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

UNDERLYING IMPORTANT ISSUE:

 Notice how God is always concerned with making us one, helping us become one. Throughout the Bible He continually stresses one!

4There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:4–6, ESV)

14  For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15  by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, Ephesians 2:14-15 (ESV)

The unity God wants isn’t just because it would be nice, but because it grows out of and is a reflection of, GOD’S VERY NATURE.

 21that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. (John 17:21–23, ESV)

 

Because I’m at peace with God I want others to BE AT PEACE with Him.

  • I make peace like Jesus did – inviting people to CONNECT WITH JESUS.
  • Because I follow the Prince of Peace I SEEK TO LIVE IN PEACEwith everyone.

14  Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14 (ESV)

19  So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Romans 14:19 (ESV)

  • CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH is part of peacemaking.

 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. Jude 1:3 (ESV)

34“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:34–39, ESV)

4) I’m called a Child of God because I CARRY HIS PEACE WITHIN me and always seek to LIVE IT OUT.

18  And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:18 (ESV)

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Episode 196

Tales From the Scrypt # 196
50 Most Dangerous Countries to Follow Jesus In 2021
By Louie Marsh, 1-27-2021

Links to articles read from in show:

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2021/january/christian-persecution-2021-countries-open-doors-watch-list.html

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/13/christian-persecution-rises-as-people-refused-aid-in-covid-crisis-report

Next Week – Stay Hungry, Disciple’s Identity

 18“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’” (John 15:18–25, ESV)

 
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Episode 192

Disciple Up #192

Persecution, Disillusion & the End of 2020

By Louie Marsh, 12-30-2020

North Korean Persecution:

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/december/north-korea-persecution-christians-human-rights-report-kfi.html

Ravi Zacharias’ Sin:

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/december/rzim-evidence-confirms-ravi-zacharias-sexual-misconduct.html

https://www.rzim.org/read/rzim-updates/update-from-rzim-board-allegations-against-ravi-zacharias

https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/rzimmedia.rzim.org/assets/downloads/2020-12-22+LMB+Ltr+to+Special+Cmte.pdf

Your Calendar Won’t Save You!

 Don’t set yourself up for failure by expecting things to magically get better just because we won’t be in 2020 anymore!

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Episode 191

Disciple Up # 191
Slaughter of the Innocent
By Louie Marsh, 12-23-2020

Old Episodes About Christmas:

Episode 35: Should Disciples Celebrate Christmas?

Episode 36: Tales From the Scrypt – the Christmas Story

Episode 87: The Non-Pagan Roots of Christmas

Episode 88: Christ IS In X-Mas

Episode 139: The Real Meaning of Christmas and Other Christmas Stuff

Websites Referenced:

 https://www.christianpost.com/news/1202-nigerian-christians-killed-in-first-6-months-of-2020-ngo-report.html

https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/10/09/christian-victims-in-nigeria-fear-future-attacks/

https://www.christianpost.com/news/nigeria-christian-murdered-fulani-extremists-ambush-attack.html

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Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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Episode 143

Disciple Up # 143
The Most Oppressive Countries for Christians
By Louie Marsh, 1-22-2020

Christianity Today Article: https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/january/top-christian-persecution-open-doors-2020-world-watch-list.html

Disciple Up YouTube Page where the video is available: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpLH-5-lQzRDF2RtGe89W6A

Direct Link to the YouTube Video – https://youtu.be/3q89dTMp9iw

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