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February 22, 2021 2:00 am
It's true that Jesus loves people who don't believe in Him or aren't sure what they think about Him. As Skip shares the message "Jesus Loves Atheists," he shows you how you can reach atheists with Christ's love.
This teaching is from the series Jesus Loves People .Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
I'm concerned that large majority of Christians don't actually know what they believe are not precise enough about what they believe or why they believe what they believe John MacArthur wrote any Christian who cannot present a biblically clear explanation of their faith will be insecure when strongly challenged by unbelievers in some cases that insecurity can undermine their own assurance of salvation, the world's attacks can overwhelm them. You know what you believe.
The apostle Peter told believers, always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is today on connect with Skip Heitzig Skip shares how you can be ready for both the positive and negative responses of sharing the gospel without, but before we begin. Here's a great resource that will give you fresh insight about God's extraordinary love. The Bible makes it clear that Jesus loves the devout and the doubters priests and prostitutes. The disease and the depressed Jesus just loves people all people, no matter what their past or their present.
Sadly, sometimes it's the people who need love the most. Feel the most rejected even by the church. But Jesus loves all people, shouldn't we we want to help you grasp God's relentless love for people by sending you the complete for booklet Jesus loves people collection my Skip I think these booklets look to Scripture to demonstrate Jesus's love for people from every walk of life. Yet all four Jesus loves people titles including Jesus loves the broken and Jesus loves addicts when you give a gift of $25 or more today to help expand this Bible teaching outreach to give call 800-922-1888, or give online securely connectwithskip.com/offer okay John chapter 18 today as we get into the teaching with Skip Heitzig. Make ready their hassle.
They wept at the Passover Works.
Jesus otherwise let us be going and led them to the Kidron Valley where he was arrested, and now this.
And, signifying by what death he would die the Romans get involved.
No wonder Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate, not like a shaking leaf, not like the cowardly lion before the Wizard of Oz, but with poise with confidence with assurance. He was an absolute and total control of the situation know you need the same kind of confidence whenever you are face-to-face with an atheist or an agnostic because such conversations can seem to you very intimidating. I know some of you have told me you need to be confident, confident that God is allowed you this opportunity this conversation. This interaction and confident that God is in control when you feeling intimidated by an unbeliever, you need to recognize three things, recognize your inadequacy recognize God's sovereignty and recognize their necessity. They need this.
They need this AW toes are about where every man on earth to become an atheist, it would not affect God in any way.
He is what he is in himself, without regard to any other to believe in him adds nothing to his perfections to doubt him takes nothing away so first quality to exhibit. Be confident. Second be engaging atheist don't have the plague.
You don't have to run away or avoid them.
It was a cynical man cynical secularist who doesn't believe in the Jewish God who was standing before the son of God and Jesus engages him a bit. Notice verse 33 Pilate entered the praetorian again and called Jesus and said to him, are you the king of the Jews, Jesus answered him, are you speaking for yourself about this or did others tell you this concerning me. I think of the question.
The Pilate asked Jesus.
Are you the king of the Jews. In other words, do you plead guilty or not guilty to this charge of insurrection.
It's a it's a perfectly standard question.
I was simply trying to determine the threat level of the prisoner. Are you a threat to Roman rule. Are you claiming to be a king that would be in, in contradistinction to Caesar who is the king of the Empire. It's a simple straightforward question. But then Jesus engages him and he asked the question, are you asking this because you think I'm a political threat or are you asking this because you're just parroting what you have heard others say about it actually reminds me of what it says in Isaiah chapter 1 verse 18, now let us reason together, says the Lord listed out.
Let's talk this over this reason this out. Let's think it's true though your sins are as scarlet, all make them as white as snow to engage in an unbeliever means you listen to them when ask you a question you listen you respond you talk back in a nice way you listen again you you engage them. Now some atheists are very intelligent and they have thought through their position and they have come to their conclusion and honestly I admire anybody who thinks through their position and is thought critically and has come to a settled position based upon critical thought. However, other atheists want to be seen as intelligent and for them in their minds to be seen as intelligent for that to happen. They think that they must tell people there atheists because people look at them in the you're so enlightened you have shed the skin of superstitious religions of the past. You're a freethinker so they sort of take pride in a want to be thought as intellectuals of the sick.
While I am an atheist and then there's another category. There are some people who have chosen atheism as a moral convenience. It's simple really. If you can dismiss God you can do anything you want.
There's no ultimate accountability. There's no moral judge. There's no absolute so you can live any way you want. There is no morality, so just get rid of God, so people conveniently for moral reasons proclaim to be atheists. But here's the hitch. You don't know which is which. That's what you engage them. That's why you ask them and when you have a conversation with them.
Talk with them. Don't talk at them.
The other night. It was downtown with my wife. We were walking down the street and there's a huge line of people waiting to get into a concert across the street were a few people who would set up a megaphone and I think they thought they were witnessing to them and they were broadcasting from one side of the street really loudly. On the other side of history.
Things like you're going to hell. You need God and one even said you need to hug the Bible out over that's all about but I was looking at the side of the street where the concert crowd wasn't just seeing the response. Not one of them was on their knees in repentance. Most of them paid no attention to it at all engage them talk with them. Talk to them don't speak at them actually first Peter chapter 3 verse 15, Peter talks about how to engage in believers. He said always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asked you to give the reason for the hope that you have be ready to engage see the world is like a living, dynamic courtroom people are always on a daily basis.
Deciding to receive Christ to inquire about Christ to move a little closer to that position or to reject them. People in our culture of heard about Jesus. They know about Christianity. They know about those who claim to be Christians and their there always deciding so is what I discovered.
Atheists have good questions.
Make sure that you have good answers for them. Dinesh Desousa, who wrote a book called what's so great about Christianity, said it's precisely because the Christian will usually dock and run that the atheists have had it too easy. Their arguments have gone largely unanswered.
They have been flogging the carcass of fundamentalism without having to encounter the horse kick of a vigorous traditional Christianity, so we need to engage their minds, while praying for their souls.
We need to Employ What William Ln., Craig calls reasonable faith come let us reason together were dealing with smart people who have deceived souls yes even very smart people can be deceived. No, I know some of your thinking. I don't really like to engage these people about these arguments and the last time I tried that. I went south really quick and you're afraid that you won't have the perfectly articulated answer, please know that that's okay even if your answer is in perfect you might be planting a seed and you might think you did a poor job.
You don't know what that seed will produce in time to come.
Here's an example I was reading a book of one-time atheist and he was talking about his journey was a very famous still is a very famous research scientist. He was a doctor. Research scientists in in them DNA and he said he was an agnostic and then he became an avowed atheist has a doctor he was treating patients down in the south southern part of the United States and he said a lot of my patients were pretty uneducated people but I noticed that they had a faith in Christ apiece. A calm and an assurance even when I deliver to them the worst possible news like you're gonna die or you have this lingering disease. And here's the course of an just the kind of peace and calmness and how they would turn it and they would share with me the gospel and he said honestly. I left those encounters very uneasy about what I believed in. I'd gotten so sure about my position but I left very unsure that planted a seed in him that eventually sprouted, so be confident be engaging.
Here's 1/3. Be respectful, not II been guilty of taking pot shots at atheists before as you have. We need to be respectful. Some Christians get into full combat assault mode when it comes to dealing with unbelievers don't attack them. You're not God's guard dog. You're not card-carrying member of the God squad respect them. Don't berate them know do it. JI Packer tells us to do.
Learn to outthink them but don't put them down. Look at verse 36 Jesus answered Pilate, he said, my kingdom is not of this world.
If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews.
But now my kingdom is not from here Pilate are not a threat to you. I'm not here to fight you. I don't have a bunch of soldiers with me to overthrow your kingdom are not a threat.
I have a different kind of picking about the pilot second arrears you think you know what whatever he didn't quite pick up on this.
It sounds ridiculous now we know what Jesus meant by this.
We understand that his kingdom right now is a spiritual kingdom is not here to take over land and subjugate people. One day he will set up his kingdom on the earth.
I believe that we believe that right now. His kingdom is internal to an inside job.
It's a spiritual kingdom as he calls men and women to himself, but he was there to announce the pilot he's not there to find enemies up. He's not to threaten him.
He did, he he's not a threat to them. No wonder Pilate at the end of this encounter will step out and announced to the people I find no fault in him at all and sought to release Jesus. You see, you can win the argument and lose the soul minibus at all. I know some Christians a sort of take pride in the fact I shut them down.
He just walked away, really your problem he walked away yet. I won that argument yeah but he walked away. Be respectful. I just quoted to you. First Peter chapter 3 I didn't quote it all to you and I must now, at this point. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asked you to give the reason for the hope that you have but do it with gentleness and respect that the qualifier do it with gentleness and respect Paul in Ephesians 4 said, speaking the truth in love.
I got many a conversation over the years with atheist some very long and very detailed. I've reason with them and I've always tried to be kind and fair and respectful. I remember one particular guy. He was a Brit and I he had very colorful language in our conversation and he just thought it was grand for him to mock me and every one of our conversations. Marcos stupid. I was in my primitive belief system and try to shoot holes in it, but then he called me one time and he said I've given my life to Christ. I pause. I honestly did not believe it is it is a stony.
He said yeah man, it is stony is Brit that I mentioned and he said I want to thank you because you always treated me with respect and all the conversations that we had you didn't seek to put me down. We need to be winsome. If we want to win some right is all about winning souls if we want to win some, let's be winsome in order to do it. To be confident be engaging the respectful fourth quality. Be clear, be clear.
Verse 37 Pilate therefore said to him, are you a king then Jesus answered you say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born and for this cause I have come into the world that I should bear witness to the truth.
Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.
Notice how clear and unambiguous. Jesus is you are absolutely right.
Pilate I am a king and then to further the clarity. Notice how clear Jesus is about his own nature.
I hear again, these are versus lot. It was just a Skip over this all it's a sort of written Bible talk but look at the Bible talk for this cause I was born and for this cause I have come into the world. Why do you say the first part end is the reason I was born. He says for this cause I was born. That's his humanity, and for this cause I have come into the world.
That's his divinity and applies I've come from another realm into this world were dealing with Pontius Pilate so the second arrears he brought whatever he marginalized it. He shrugged it off. But here's my point. Just as Jesus was clear we need to be clear about what we believe and what we expect unbelievers to do is migrate concerns. I'm concerned that a large majority of Christians don't actually know what they believe they're not precise enough about what they believe or why they believe what they believe John MacArthur wrote any Christian who cannot present a biblically clear explanation of their faith will be insecure when strongly challenged by unbelievers in some cases that insecurity can undermine their own assurance of salvation, the world's attacks can overwhelm them. You know what you believe it would be very helpful to just spend a little bit of time clarifying. It will be helpful to you personally and it will be helpful to your testimony publicly is the fifth and final quality to exhibit be ready be ready for the outcome. It could be negative.
It could be positive.
The let's see what happens. Jesus, that everyone who was the truth hears my voice. Pilate said to him, what is truth and what it said this, he went out and they just set it is a question left it hanging is really a statement and then he went out again to the Jews, and he said I find no fault in him at all. Here's what I don't want you to miss Jesus I've come to this world. I been born to bear witness of the truth and everyone who is of the truth hears my voice. That's an implied invitation to pilot pilot you can know truth.
You can do truth you can hear what I have to say this is the love of Jesus we see Jesus loves atheist. This is the love of Jesus shown to pilot that even to this hardened cynical politician Jesus leaves the door open.
Everyone who hears the truth hears my voice. Everyone who is of the truth will hear by voice now pilot's response was negative. He said what is truth and he stormed out but is his responses been negative all along right.
Verse 35 he says might you in the original it's not a Jew, am I member. He hated Jews. He hated Judaism.
He hated his post in Judea so he's very sour.
He's very negative. He's very cynical. He began that way and he ended this conversation the same way.
However didn't have to turn out this way and all I'm saying is give God room to work and be ready for a positive response as well as a negative. I was surprised when I got the phone call from Tony who said, believe in Jesus. I got say I was shocked. I was a bit surprised when, after Wednesday night a girl who was very skeptical toward Christianity at all, but she did her own research. Afterwards, she came up to me.
Sometime later she said I am now a firm believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. There may be a negative response with there may be a positive response only disclose with what Pilate said is there's a lot of people who feel exactly the same with what is truth.
In other words, if there is truth. Nobody can be absolutely sure what that is because truth is on a sliding scale determined by a number of contingent factors, including what most people say today was how you feel about the truth is how you feel about it will make it true for you or not true for you knives. Gotta tell you, logically, that's absolutely ridiculous. I can't decide what truth is anymore that I can decide to have $1 million in my wallet right now or you can decide to be the world's best golfer you can have a belief about the truth, but you can't decide what truth is. You can choose it.
Here's what's ironic this cynic who says what is truth standing right before incarnate truth, the very one who said I am the way up the truth, the life Jesus left that door open. Whoever's of the truth hears my voice pilot. What is truth. Would you like to know how Pilate died. Truth is we don't exactly know what you want to know what became of them because he walks off the pages of Scripture.
We don't hear anything about them.
Secular history tells us that Pilate was deposed. Recall back to Rome.
He had one infraction too many. So they recalled them. He felt very shameful very angry because of that, and that were not exactly sure how he died. There is 1/4 century historian by the name of Eusebius who said this. Finally he fell in the such calamity that he was forced to become his own murderer and so many scholars believe he actually committed suicide. What a tragic waste on man so hopeless staring hope in the face looking at incarnate truth could have been different. It can be different, so we always want to be open to what God will do and be ready then perhaps escape Isaacs message from the series Jesus loves you. Scripture tell you how your support helps keep these messages coming your way and connects more people to God's truth, I discovered there's lots of things about God in the Bible but the world just doesn't like but it's important to embrace God, full character, and to study the whole counsel of his word found in all of Scripture, and our goal is to help you immerse yourself in the Bible so that your life and faith can be enriched, but we need your support to keep these messages coming to you and many others here, so you can give a gift today.
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Again, that's 800-922-1880 coming up tomorrow Skip by six years of reminder about how God's love abounds for all people.
Jesus said that prostitutes were among those who listened to the words of John the Baptist and repented and did you know that Jesus shot the crowd when he said to the religious leaders, prostitutes and tax collectors are to get into the kingdom of heaven may Skip presentation of connection communication.