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March 4, 2021 2:00 am
The book of Acts records the conversion of a terrorist who became a herald for the gospel. In the message "Jesus Loves Terrorists," Skip considers a biblical response to terrorism, reminding you that God wants to reach even terrorists.
This teaching is from the series Jesus Loves People .Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
Is not the church's job to stop oppression is not the church's job to stop persecution is not the church's job to stop terrorism is the church's job to preach the gospel, and accept. That's what we do. So when evil comes our way. Because we preach the gospel. Overcome evil with good.
Beloved missionary Elizabeth Elliott to and wrong are not the greatest forces in the world. There is nothing eternal in only love is eternal today on connect with Skip HiTec Skip examines the conversion of a terrorist demonstrating the great love God has for all of us instituted after the message is Skip and his wife Linda show encouragement with about those were reaching together with the good news of Jesus. I think the barricades to a person's heart and that we can find them pretty quickly and unlock your heart.
So what are their other interests. What are they like to do what what what are they like to get involved in using natural conversations about things like that to lead to a supernatural conversation. Be sure to stay with us after today's message to hear the full discussion right now we want to tell you about a resource that shows you how the truth of Jesus resurrection transforms your life pretty obvious that this world is filled with imperfect people and that's on her face. God is into restoring human beings he could make perfect people and populate heaven with perfect people, but he doesn't do that. He takes people ordained up and beat up bruised by time damaged by sin, and he does all resto job on complete restoration celebrate the joy and beauty of redemption with the morning. That changed everything with Skip HiTec. This DVD collection of six hope filled Easter weekend messages is our thanks to you when you get $35 or more today to help connect more people to God's word and the redeeming love of Jesus Christ. Restoration is based on redemption and redemption is tied to resurrection to give call 800-922-1888, or get online securely connectwithskip.com/offer is rejoined Skip Heiser put today's teaching we were in acts chapter 9.
It is the job of the state to protect its citizens is the mandate of the Christian to love all people, and forgive even our enemies. Both of them are reality.
This is important because whenever this discussion is raised, someone will invariably take the pacifistic position. The total pacifistic position." The sermon on the Mount and the sermon on the Mount quote is in Matthew chapter 5 verse 38 Jesus said, you have heard that it was said, and I for an eye and a tooth for tooth, but I tell you not to resist an evil person but whoever slaps you on your right. She turned to him the other also.
Jesus said that and I believe that and you believe that Blitzen that is not a foreign policy statement that is a that is a personal strategy statement that's not a national policy that a personal policy. He speaking the kingdom dwellers and telling them how they are to respond to their world.
Why is this important because a century and 1/2 ago, a very famous book was written that still influences people that I called war and peace by Leo Tolstoy the Russian novelist and he read the sermon on the mountain. Those two verses that I just quoted became the seminal idea for the book, war and peace and Tolstoy called for the elimination of military, the elimination of the police force. The elimination of courts. The elimination of judges. Why, because those are the people that resist evil in society again. However, Jesus wasn't giving a foreign policy statement but a personal strategy statement if we were to take that position. The Tolstoy advocates. We are essentially giving a permission slip to every thug who walks the earth to do whatever they want. Go ahead.
Walk all over me. I'm a doormat do everyone to our culture. That's what we need to make the distinction between the individual response is a believer and the national response as a culture so let me show you the difference. Quite simply, actually quite simple. On one hand we are citizens of a nation, and Paul in Romans 13 says we are to submit to our government ordained by God to protect us. Romans 13 I quote governments have been placed in power by God. So those who refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God and punishment will follow.
The authorities are established by God for that very purpose to punish those who do wrong. In other words the state is the divinely ordered institution to punish evil and protected citizens.
However, a few verses before that in Romans 12 Paul writes this, Romans 12 verse 17 repay no one evil for evil, beloved, do not avenge your selves, but rather give place to wrath, for it is written, vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. Now he's dealing with personal forgiveness and acceptance of persecution comes our way. So for society for the state. An eye for an eye is still the law of the land you commit a crime. The state will need out punishment for the crime committed.
That's how citizens get protect when it comes to personal attack. When you are in the line of persecution or even terrorism on a personal level. Vengeance is mine says the Lord, I will repay, listen, it's not the church's job to stop oppression is not the church's job to stop persecution. It is not the church's job to stop terrorism is the church's job to preach the gospel, and accept the consequences of preaching the gospel. That's what we do. So when evil comes our way. Because we preach the gospel weird overcome evil with good. On a personal level, we don't retaliate. We overcome evil, not by personal retaliation by purposeful compassion and that's what you have done so admirably so well you know how you did it, we raised almost $150,000 and we distributed it. You can see where the money is gone at our kiosk you can see how reload love is reached out and found people in that country who are ministering to families were broken children or orphaned to give them that kind of compassion. When I was in Iraq I was on the last day in Beale and in the outskirts of reveal is a camp called the Mara Lee is camp and I was trying it with the man who ran the camp refugees, children, parents starting a new life as displaced people and I never would've known unless he told me himself that this gentle, sweet, loving, smiling man was once captured by Isis and had his teeth kicked in and he escaped and now he is a clergyman running this camp ministering to people and he said this the future.
The answer for Iraq is forgiveness. If we don't inject forgiveness into this culture. He said all were going to do is raise up another cycle of vengeance. Another group of angry young men who take up the cause and go kill another group of angry young men to take up the cause and kill.
He says I want to raise a generation of four givers, and those who love Christ and spread the gospel is that that is the only hope for my country and that's where a lot of the money we raise. Went to that camp now. Terrorism is a reality terrorism demands response.
The third piece to this puzzle. The third reality is the obvious message of our tax and that is terrorists can be reached, and I submit to you exhibit a Saul of Tarsus bursary as he journeyed, he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Many fell to the ground and he heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me and he said who are you, Lord, Lord said, I am Jesus or don't you think you got a lump in his throat about then accident it was a hard swallow and hearing the name Jesus speaking to him I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads and so he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what you want me to do the Lord said to him, arise, go to the city and you will be told what you must do in the manner journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one meant Saul arose from the ground and when his eyes were open, he saw no one but they let him by the hand brought up to Damascus. He was there three days without sight.
He neither ate nor drank. Saul of Tarsus. The terrorist from Tarsus as an experience with the living Christ and later on he shows up. Among believers, and he says I'm saved now I'm converted now. Do you think they were quick to say hello. You let me embrace you with a big Christian hug. Now the Bible tells her they were very reticent, very skittish because Saul was considered an impossible case. People wrote him off. We think would be like to be in the early church are sitting there with your scroll. Peter's preaching and suddenly Saul of Tarsus your archenemy walks in with his scroll and sits next to you and says hallelujah praise the Lord you'd like move a couple rose away when you is what it would be like. Imagine if Abu bought her all bogged.he walked into this church, you know who he is right is ahead by six.
He's the guy he's the Caliph of the caliphate of Isis in the Middle East is killed thousands thousands of Christians mentioned him walk in and sit next to you with a nice little smile on his face when a wise looking to be that way. Or the supreme leader Ali, nay, the chief leader of Iran came in sat next to you. He went on record as saying of Christ were alive today he would fight America so he sits next to you what what unity you move a couple churches down right this is Saul of Tarsus. This is the guy who was in his high school annual in the section most unlikely to convert to Christianity.
That's his picture right there. He's the God who has this incredible conversion leads me to a question what people in your life. Have you written off as impossible case is there in the trash bin. Never getting it saved no hope for that person.
I hope this story gives you hope well bursary and for. I read that and I think God must've really wanted this guy saved. He really loves terrorists because he's going to extreme measures to save 100 glad for the hound of heaven unto God for the Holy Spirit who chases down your relatives not lost son that addicted husband goes after I read the story of a man by the name of Daniel Shea yet say Iranian 30 years ago. Some of you will remember this 30 years ago.
He was part of the coup to overthrow the government of Iran. The Shah of Iran. He wanted to institute Islamic law sharia law.
He was part of that group, he said, and I'm quoting in my background is radical Islam.
When you read the Koran. It says you must destroy other religions.
Christians and Jews. You cannot expect them to value your values will Daniel was put in prison and in prison something happened to him became very disillusioned, disillusioned with life disillusioned with his cause disillusioned with the coup he was staging disillusioned with his religion and one night in his cell, Daniel Shea, etc. had a dream in his dream he saw himself in his father's house and outside. He heard Jesus calling him Daniel. Sort of like Saul come out of the house. It's Jesus come out of the house in his dream he walks out of the house in his dream he turns around in his father's house crumbled to the ground shreds obliterated. He woke up shaken from the dream and in prison, Daniel Shea, etc. gave his life to Christ, you know, many stories like that.
I have read and read and read of people an impossible situation with the gospel.
He preached missionaries can go churches can be built impossible to get to them via a dream or a vision or a semi conscious state like that 32-year-old Isis man. We began the message about I hear about these things happening, Muslims and even terrorists who get saved and and here's the bottom line God can find a way when there is no way and I hope I hope that we will engage this battle, believing that that we will be praying not only for brothers and sisters who are persecuted, but the perpetrators of the persecution and the terrorism themselves.
Imagine some of them are getting save it. Imagine that many more of them came to Christ. How upsetting that would be to the network of terrorists around the world. Well, verse four he heard a voice saying Saul this is Jesus is speaking of Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me you know when I read this I am amazed actually, the Jesus begins talking to them by just saying Saul no I can think of a lot of choice things to say to this guy and none of them are what I read I think of our Jesus out is said hey idiot, you want some of this is so respectful doesn't take away his name Saul. Saul, then the question why are you persecuting me is profitable. What persecuting you who are you, I'm Jesus all your who your Jesus movement Jesus is that he doesn't exist. He's been killed. This is a sham. That's what I believe until like two seconds ago when you just told me her name is Jesus not rethinking this whole thing right that's that's what's going on in his mind he believe Jesus is in the present tense alive talking but is this is where you persecuting me you think that sounded the Saul of Tarsus. He's thinking persecuting you persecuting them and terrorizing that my metric Christians. Jesus know you're not when you touch them. You touch me when you mess with them.
You mess with me. I am so aligned with my people that know below on earth goes on felt in heaven. I am a sympathetic high priest and you are in effect persecuting me this is a great truth for anybody who suffers oppression or terrorism. You never suffer alone.
Jesus takes it personally. And Jesus is with you person and sometimes when you suffer. Just having him there is enough I read a book put out by very prominent Christian counselor who said something happened to him when he was three years old. It made him think that is what the Christian life is going to be like for me to tell you stories that I was three years old is a little boy I thought I need to go to the bathroom.
I think I'm three years old now. I think I can do this on my own so he walked up the stairs to his house.
Close the bathroom door, locked it and went to the bathroom after he was done he couldn't unlock the doors were those stiff locks were you have to twisted without a real force to get it unlocked and opened at the same time, he couldn't do that so is banging on the door and is yelling his mom comes up honey okay. Did you hit your head as you know there are panicking father things very quickly gets out a ladder runs it up the side of house climbs up the ladder prize open the window, jumps in the room was past his son with one movement jerks open the door and locks it and freezes son. Now this boy grows up as a Christian counselor said nope that's what I thought the Christian life is to be like for me every time I have a difficulty God will show up in the room walked past me unlock the door and springy freight set up. Come to find out something differently.
All he comes into my room. All he shows up in my world, but sometimes you just sits down with me there and he is just with me there. He said sometimes being with you in pain seems to matter more to him and getting you out of pain he's with you. He tracks with you. He relates to you, Saul, why do you persecute me and he says it's hard for you to kick against the goats go to worse hers pricks they were sharp and pieces of wood used to motivate oxen and donkeys in a sometimes as animals is one of stand there and so owners have to get work done and they want to motivate them and you can have a therapy session.
You have to poke it when you poke at it. They get the message and they move that those are goats. Saul, it's hard for you to kick against the goats or something pricking his conscience. What is it what is it with goading him with pricking his conscience. What we don't know but I can put two and two together and pretty safely guess he has seen hundreds of Jewish believers in Jesus have their lives changed their happy there say they're being persecuted, but there are free of bothersome ago that I met at pricks. His conscience haunts him and number two he has seen a young man named Stephen just die. He was a guy egging him on. He watched them bleed to death after getting pelted with rocks stone to death. The Bible says he looked at Stephen's face look like the face of an angel's last words are like this and be laid to their charge or Jesus, receive my spirit.
I think seeing that happen.
Nobody's died like that that he remembers that haunted him in the haunting turn in the humbling and the humbling turned into heralding the gospel message.
This terrorist was changed. He was reached by Christ. So terrorism is real terrorism demands a response. The dual response individually nationally and terrorists can be reached on the close of the paragraph I read a whole article will spare you, but it's just a paragraph of a large article that I read in Christianity today very well thought out on a response to this issue and it frames it quite nicely sums it all up beautifully and it's so good I couldn't do a better job on this review. What he said. Mark Galli wrote this, the struggle must be waged on a variety of fronts. Christians praying always and everywhere missionaries and local believers hazarding their lives in sharing the gospel in the most religiously repressive settings relief agencies and local congregations refusing to discriminate in distributing aid to the needy Christian diplomats employing all the wiles of their craft.
And yes, even Christian fighter pilots Navy personnel and infantry insisting that when other options are exhausted and military force is called for that liberty must be respected and justice must be done that wraps up Skip Heitzig six message from the series Jesus loves people. Now you Skip as they share encouragement with you about those will reach you together with the good news of Jesus. Today we learned that when it comes to salvation and find a way into someone's heart when it seems like there's no way chances are someone listening right now who wants to reach a friend or family member with the gospel, but they just don't know how to break through to them Skip when you're trying to reach someone. His heart seems close to God's love where you start to remember that book by Don Richardson and he talked about the keys to a culture and you know that there are certain ways to get into a culture and an and speak the gospel to them and I think that there are keys to a person's heart and that we can find them pretty quickly and unlock the heart.
So what are their what are their interests. What are they like to do what what what are they like to get involved in using natural conversations about things like that to lead to a supernatural conversation. So for me when I was in the medical world in their scientific minds. I used apologetics to to unlock their hearts fulfill Bible prophecy. If you know somebody who's an artist or musician Goodman album you like a Christian song work like when you first met me you were asking about music and you discover manner. Some really great artists out there. Randy Stone Helen Larry Norman takes is no way anybody back and then at some point with a person just get it out in the open and say hey can I have your permission to have a conversation with you about spiritual things. That's on the table and they know what you can Asher not couching it you're saying driver permission to have this conversation with you and then even if you have to schedule schedule event talk it out. Thank you, Skip and lagniappe. The Bible gives you foundational truths about how he works in your life isn't available anywhere across the US around the world by keeping growing facts. Your support is vital to coming away to encourage countless others simply consider helping today to connect with.com/connect.com/donate or you can call 892, 892 to into my Skip talks about the message of freedom. Jesus has tangled by the chains of sin Skip visitation of connection communication through ever-changing time