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October 15, 2020 8:00 am
And welcome to the radio broadcast my name Steve Greg in life for an hour each week afternoon taking your calls.
If you have questions you'd like to call and I discussed about the Bible about Christianity that you're not a Christian like to talk about why you're not a Christian. I was eager to hear those kinds of calls. II can't imagine why anyone who has also taken any trouble to inform themselves of the evidence would not be a Christian but maybe you haven't if you're not in maybe you'd like to tell us why I be glad to hear it. If you're Christian. That doesn't mean you can agree with the host.
Although I am a Christian too.
There are many issues that people disagree about even who are followers of Christ.
And so if you want to talk about something and go where your view is different than mine. We always welcome that the number to call is 844-484-5737 that's 844-484-5737 and tonight, as I've been announcing this week I'm going to be speaking actually having a Q&A in Indianapolis and that's where I am at the moment in the home of our hosts.
Whoever set this meeting up and it's tonight at 7 PM and if you're interested in joining us. I would assume that means your listening somewhere near Indianapolis you're certainly welcome to fly in from wherever you live. We welcome you, but you have to call ahead, do it early and then on Sunday a few days from now. I'm also speaking in Battleground Indiana and that's with the Battleground Bible church in West Argus, West Lafayette, in Indiana, and so these are a couple of Indiana and things happening just in the next few days. Not next week for our Oregon listeners and we have a lot of our original audience going back 23 years.
When we first started this program are in Oregon because our first patient was in Oregon and we got people been listening that long.
I'll be speaking in the Albany area in Oregon next Tuesday night.
And if I'm speaking anywhere else in Oregon right now besides the youth with a Mission school in Salem not aware of it yet. That might get set up. Anyway, those are some of the things coming up for anyone who's interested and in you accessible to those areas.
We got people waiting on line although there's one line open right now. If you'd like to grab it. It's 844-484-5737 Scott from Fort Wayne, Indiana. Not too very far from where I'm sitting, how you and Scott and while I know I thank you for taking my call. Anyway, I have a question about verse get I want to give University first and then and then sitting the question on John's Gospel chapter 8 verse 24 and on others rated I may have the ESV and I think these are the talking to the Jews, and he said I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he, you will die in your sins.
And I had presented to me in the path to say that Jesus is saying that it you don't believe that he is God that that really means I that I am he that you will die in your sins and therefore it is required that you have meet that understanding that Jesus is God in order to be saved, and I think that I've heard you argue that that you don't have to have that kind of clarity necessarily in making you, leaving you Jesus disciples as an example, maybe not all of them have that clarity. So help me understand this verse in light of invited IDD plan: I do. In fact, I have to say I used the argument that those people have used argues that myself when I was younger and I say that I thought I'd I'm afraid I sound condescending. I have I have looked at it differently since I've grown older, but I just tell you what I thought at the time, and with it now.
In the Greek when it says I am he that he would normally be in italics in most Bibles because they were to he is not in the Greek text, the phrase I am he, in the Greek is a go. Amy, that's two words I am and that's the same phrase he uses later at the end of the chapter and verse 58 when he says before Abram was a go.
Amy, I am in almost all translators render that I am rather than I am. He but in verse 20 4G so if you don't believe that I am a go any translators usually add a the work he now the reason this this is so is because a go.
Amy literally means I I am he, a go means I and Amy the word by itself. This means I am so you can have emphasis I am but the words he is not in that phrase so it's simply IM and of course when this term is used by Jesus, or at least by John and translating Jesus. Aramaic in John 858 and he says before Abram was I am. I think all Trinitarian's at least like myself believe Jesus was making a claim to being God.
The IM so why would you not do so in verse 24, also now there are some reasons not to do so, but one of the things is that the term Aco Amy literally means I am. It also is used in connection with the phrase I am he evens word. He is not included. It is implied. For example, in the next chapter of John and John chapter 9 and verse nine.
Jesus has healed a blind man and his friends a number course. It is this the one who usually blinded and others and not hit since some of looks like in and amazes I am he, and he says, Aco Amy the same phrase that Jesus uses both in John 824 and 858. So in other words, it's the normal way of saying I am he, and you wouldn't normally translate. I am elicit some special reason to do so that the special reason to do so. In John 858 which he said before Abram was, I am.
I am a go.
Amy is because he's making a statement about his ego, his eternal existence and so it is he saying something more than I am he, because the he wouldn't really refer to anyone in particular.
Obviously, however, in verse 24.
He says if you don't believe that I am he. He could be simply me and if you don't believe I'm the Messiah, which is what they would be expected to recognize they have asked him very recently in the passage how how long will you keep us in suspense.
If you're the Messiah, tell us plainly.
Now they're asking if he's the Messiah and that was the question on everyone's mind. No one was really asking was he God because even the disciples at this point and fully grasp but he was God.
That's a pretty strange concept for a Jew to accept that a man would be God. It's like the opposite of the Jewish theology. God is not a man that God can appear as a mentor become a man. No one would deny but but the Jews and expect that answer. No one was thinking Jesus is God and even the miracles he did from God could have been interpreted as zinc in America is it Elijah did her Elisha and they weren't.so Jesus has actually at this point never announced plainly that he is God. Frankly, he had never really announced publicly that he was the Messiah. Even he wanted that to be discovered by those who, to whom the father revealed it. Jesus never made any real public declaration of in the Messiah, though he did privately tell his disciples. On one occasion and he told one of the well and he told Caiaphas when he was on trial, but when you not preaching the message and sat on the Messiah or in God. This is not what Ashley was making a specific claim that but the people were wondering, not whether he is.
God is the Messiah… If you don't believe IP then you'll die in your sins. Now, in all likelihood he when he says if you don't leave I am he.
He needs if you don't believe I'm the one claiming to be the light if I who I say I am you not leaving me your counting me to be a liar and an' don't if you if you think me an imposter yield on your sins so it is true that in that verse John 824 he it does in the Greek say a go. Amy, which means Encanto and campaign and sometimes does mean I am but it's the same phrase that would be translated where speaker was intending to say I am he and and we find it translate that weight probably more often in the Bible so your friend who saying that has probably the Aco Amy phrase in mind races. Jesus is saying you have to believe I'm God you have to believe Aco Amy, I am but no one took up stones to stone them there because they didn't understand him to be claiming to be God. Later in the chapter is a before Abram was a go Amy. They took up stones to stone him because they recognize who claim to be God. He was that he didn't speak Greek. In all likelihood, so term Aco Amy was not probably the words he used.
He was speaking Aramaic, but when John translatable Jesus into Greek.
He chose the typical Greek phrase for both eager to say I am one that was appropriate, or to say I am he in this case. In John 824 I believe I am he would be better and it probably has the meaning of you know I do it if you don't believe that I am who I am presenting myself to be. Then you can design your sins, why because I got the way of life for you.
I got the way to prevent you from dying your sins. If you don't accept who I am, you miss it. In this I think you said I don't think he saying if you don't sign a a a post-Nicene doctrinal statement saying that you believe that Jesus is the second person of the Trinity vineyard on your sins that some of your friends think, but I'm pretty sure that's not what Jesus meant. Very good.
They're not all right.
Scott, thanks for your call – Richard from seal Beach, California.
Welcome to the narrow path is for calling Luke 18 it hurt many nations of this. What exactly is your definition of the eye of the needle and I will listen to the radio.
All right, while in thank you Jesus is recorded as having said it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God and that sounds pretty radical and it sounds pretty amazing, because frankly the Jews thought that Richmond were rich because God is blessing them and now he says you yeah maybe. But but the doctor did a good kingdom if if a lesson on camel to go through GABA needle now.
This bothers some people so they've a standard interpretation that has come to be given by many commentators is that there was a certain date in the walls of Jerusalem s smaller date than the average gates and at night when they closed up all the gates for the defense of the city. This gate was still something that you're a late arrival After Dark could still get through their is it obsolete, easily defensible small gate so they would let people come in Dr. it was too small for camel to walk through and so they say if you really wanted your camel to go through that gate. You have to unload it and make it have to get down on his knees and screwed on his belly but he could barely do it and they say that this little gate was called the eye of the needle in Jesus time so there suggesting that what Jesus is saying that as it's difficult for camel to get through that gate. It's difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. Now there's a couple problems here. One is that historically there is no documentation that there was ever such a gate in Jesus time in the wall of Jerusalem called the eye of the needle there migrant small gate, but there is simply no confirmation from history that they called us and gave the eye of the needle so it would not be natural for the hearers to simply associate with that gate. The claim that there was such a gate netted for such a title is so I don't know who made it up but it sure has been a welcome one to a lot of rich Christians and so they have repeated it. The problem is that it is not impossible even on that explanation for a camel to get through a gate like that it's difficult but not impossible. But Jesus when he said of the disciples, who then can be saved.
He said, with God's impossible.
I'm actually with Mohammed's impossible with God. He said nothing; possible so he was talking about something that was clearly an impossibility as impossible as a man to stay alive in oil for three days and be vomited out in good shape. These are miracles that God can do and you don't see that chimerical all the time but God is capable of doing it. So this is you know I believe he started all of real needle and a real camel. Now there is an alternative understanding which has some merit and that is that they save in Aramaic, the language that Jesus spoke the word for a rope or cable is very similar to the word for camel and that we might have a textual variance. Here are textual. No flaw that somebody translating Jesus original statement substituted his original word which was for a rope or cable and put in the word for camel it in on that view Jesus and it's easier for a rope to go through GABA needle than for a rich man to advocate of God. I have no idea whether this is likely to have taken place in the manuscripts, but if it did, instills an impossibility. You can't put a rope through the needle that actually that imagery makes a measure of sense, because what you normally do put through a dive needle is a strand of something of which a rope is a much larger sample so you know he might be same.
I'm not saying he was this just an expiration. Some of given that Jesus originally said it's easier for a cable or rope to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to King of God, but wouldn't change the impossibility of the point is he saying with man this is an impossibility with God nothing; possible all right appreciate that.
Call James from Santa Rosa. Also California.
Welcome to the neuropathic for calling soaps push the button but didn't get the right color. Larry R hi James you there because that is your call it in the don't forget to just be Loudly exerted because you're not very loud, and I'd love to hear we have the cigarette all right, all right better so the longer Christianity was realized. Most people most of the denomination needed people about denominations have sold what they believe will come to realize that it's not so much more doctrine longer inquiries and now on, like blogs, newcomers listen to all pastors through Qatar my problem. Going to like to David Wilkerson was one of my favorite shoes and these done tremendous principle diminished with water become a Christian. But God is actually like she's actually like in the more Lord of the Lord about like the more white even charge up on my physical lot want to see these men of God, like David Wilkerson Romans. But how is the total place work going to miss God. Or choose them forever and ever and ever. I can't come, come. How could this not actually the man cheating.
I need you believe that your creator is of the certain quality in nature pocket that not affect every aspect of your life from the dog because I hear you saying I yeah I love David Wilkerson of the late David Wilkerson and many other preachers who taught you know this eternal torment view of how that you've raised a good point and actually II bring it up in my book on the three views of how one of the arguments that some people raise against the traditional doctrine is that how can you believe God sees every human being unless they jump through the right hoops and become a Christian that every human being is worthy to be tortured endlessly eternally. If you believe that how can you not summit pick up a bit of a hatred for those people of God hates them that much.
I mean, when the idea is God certainly must hate them, or else he wouldn't do that.
And if God hates him. Then we are hidden is said that the Queen Mary Mary Queen of Scots.
It was, it might imply. He merit the other Queen that day I get them confused, but one of them persecuting Protestants and burning them at the stake.
Someone asked how she could do that as a Christian she said well if God sees fit to burn them in hell forever never knowing how lice are not imitate the divine justice and did so myself and and that's a reasonable thing to think really I mean if God hates them that much. My loyalty to him should cause needed to take the same position about them. He takes if he does, and I think that this idea of eternal torment has caused many Christians who would otherwise be more loving to assume a much less charitable view of the unbeliever then then I think God has ugly God is a very charitable view of the unbeliever God so loved the world, which was by way mostly comprised of unbelievers so much that he gave his only son to actually die for the world so sounds to me like God had an immense love for sinners. Jesus said, greater love has no man than this, then, that he laid on his life for his friends but he also redone his life for his enemies. Paul says that about us. He says we were God's enemies. In Romans chapter 5 and Christ died for us so Jesus died for his friends and and his enemies.
I think he died for his enemies and orbiting my claim from among them friends and obtain friends. That way, but he died for everybody because he loved everybody and he would. He's not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance of God's God doesn't want anyone to go to hell, but if God doesn't want him to go to hell. But let's just say some must because they have free will and he is not to interfere with the free will. Then he at least could make hell be whatever is consistent with what he thinks they ought to receive is a we shouldn't assume that somehow God who is sovereign was under obligation placed upon them by someone above himself that hell had to be a certain way, whatever hell is this exactly what God wanted to be. There is no way to get around. I don't know. He gave instructions or orders to God he created hell to say okay here's what Scott beats out of eternal torment. If it is eternal torment. It's because God chose it to be that, despite other options open to him and the three views of how I buy but I point out that there are other options. He could choose he could choose not to torment people forever. He could choose to annihilate them and be much more merciful be like putting down your rabid dog. You love the dog but again it's not to get a better so you just and it's existence that you much more merciful than keeping them alive to torture and by the way, when I was preparing my book on the three views of how I actually read probably a dozen commentaries from the traditional view by some of the best authors and best evangelical leaders who advance and defend the traditional view and many of them admitted that they believe that people are not naturally immortal. I didn't realize is Chris when I was promoting the traditional view.
I thought people are naturally immortal and therefore God had no choice in other records either can't either immortal, so you either have you live somewhere. Peter withdrawn away from God. That was my rationale for but most of the pleadings and theologians in the evangelical camp. Don't believe that man is naturally immortal. They believe that God prolongs their existence eternally just so they can continue to suffer… Horrendous stunning to me when I believed in the traditional Dr. I thought it kinda got didn't have a choice in the matter.
People he made him immortal again you can't kill something that's immortal, so he did.
They just got to be somewhere else, which is a lot worse than if they been with him but I mean when I got older, I rethought the site will I could wear God to do whatever he wants to pay for can make a camel go through the eye of a needle. He could cause a soul, even if it were immortal, to cease to be immortal. He can change things of you wants to live. The truth is that hell is what God wants it to be, or else he would have made it something else he could have annihilated sinners who didn't receive them or he could continue to deal with them after they died in and give them further option to repent. If he is really committed to their salvation and frankly have to say Jesus dying for people. Sounds like God is pretty committed to people salvation. So if he wanted he could do that. I don't know which thing he did, but I will say this, given three options that were clearly open to God to choose from for him to choose eternal torment to punish people for billions and billions of years and that's just getting started because they spent 70 years or less rebelling against him. I mean he can do that. Don't let any Calvinist room say that I'm saying that God doesn't have the right he's got the right to do whatever he wants.
The real question is what does he want and why would he want to what I want you know for my enemies. Frankly, if I wanted to torture my enemies forever. I think that some amount tell me I'm sending. Not that I'm being like God I'm sending Jesus said we should love our enemies, and do good to those who persecute us and bless those who curse so that will be like our father in heaven. God loves his enemies he blesses those who curse, and so forth. He punishes because that's got to be done. Justice requires punishment for evil doing, but then we have asked what kind of punishment does God find necessary and it is a very strange thing. I have to say if God chose to torture people forever and ever and they never have a chance to repent or to die.
Then he never resolves the problem of sin in the world because there will always be people hell, cursing him there always be people in hell who deserve to be there.
There will be there be people who have done things in this life that deserve endless torment and if they deserve endless torment. Then it can never be satisfied because it the right penalties. Endless and therefore it resolves nothing except to ventilate God's eternal wrath against people that were had the chutzpah to do not believe in him, not tell you what I have children who don't know who don't follow my ways and and although I'm on good terms with them.
Now some of them have rebellions in the past. I never would've thought wife I get Jessica to burn them you know if I get a chance. I have torment them. It's the furthest thing from my mind and I seriously doubt that a more loving and God's effect on no, I'm not more loving the got it so you very simply sit whatever hell is this truly what God wants it to be and whatever he wanted to be tells you exactly whatever person is because I wanted to torment my rebellious children of my enemies I do certain kind of person I wanted to forgive them, or just see that justice happened to them suffer as little as possible that the is a different kind of person we have gas) versus God and what we have an answer in Jesus to save your scene leaves and the father and so we might have to rethink some of our traditions. This I take a break and this morning I appreciate your call brother and you raise some interesting points. We have another half-hour coming were not going away don't you go away. The narrow path is listener supported. You can go to our website. The narrow path.com you can support us if you want or you can just take stuff. Everything's email@example.com. I'll be right back stated as you know, the narrow path radio show is behind the radio that has nothing to sell you everything to give you do the right thing and share with your family and friends. Tell them to tune into the narrow path on this radio station narrow path.com where they will find topical audio teachings blog articles and diverse teachings and archives of the radio shows you know listener supported Nero With Steve Greg share which you now welcome back to the narrow path radio broadcast. My name is Steve Greg and we are live for another half-hour taking your calls. If you have questions about the Bible of the Christian faith, or different view from the host and you'd like to talk about those things. Feel free to give me a call in the next half hour. The number is 844-484-5737 that's 844-484-5730 700 announces again because it's tonight that it takes place, we don't were not on the air in Indianapolis.
But I'm here broadcast from Indianapolis because I'm going to be speaking tonight, but it's a very small gathering because we don't have many listeners in this area and therefore we got room for more. If you're interested in joining us. The meeting is going to be held in a business office Suite a at the address I'm about to give you it's it's called what's called my my agent real estate okay company there is my agent real estate the address if you want to jot down is 7855 S. Emerson Ave., Suite a in Indianapolis.
That's 7855 S. Emerson Ave. Suite 8 so that's tonight at 7 o'clock.
It's just a Q&A and if you'd like to join us. It's very casual. You're welcome to do so. You do have to RSVP the and or not anymore. Okay, looks like it looks like you we don't have RSVP anymore. All right, good. And all I have another announcement I almost forgot, and that is that some of you know that I've written a couple of books on the kingdom of God.
Just this year, and that the first comes out today or maybe yesterday I got a notification by email by email from Amazon that the copy I ordered was shipped, I guess. Yesterday we we been told it was going to come out on the 15th which is today. The Kindle version came out go a week or so ago, but if you have already preordered this book. I assume it's in the mail now if you weren't aware of the book, you can get it at Amazon or Barnes & Noble online. You just have to look at my name really do a search for my name Steve Greg.
The lesson is GRE Gigi and and and in the first of these two books is now in print now available. It's called empire of the risen son. And this is about the kingdom of God. It's the first of two books on the subject, both of which bring the same title empire of the risen son.
The first book has a subtitle.
There is another king. The second book when it comes out has another subtitle. All the kings men in the second book is about discipleship on the first one is simply about expounding on what the kingdom of God is and understanding what Jesus was talking about. Okay, enough of those things. Let's go to the phones and talk to who's been here the longest. It is Harold from Fort Worth, Texas Harold, welcome to the narrow path. How are you I'm fine thank you a question about a brief comment you made last week about the book of Revelation is our memory. I think you should work.
Most of the aliens occurred is that generally correct in stating that is correct that the correct representation of my view there are four different use of Revelation mine mine is that most of those events occurred in the past. This yet. Okay. And I'm not a predator or predators not understand the idea.
If you would mind staying what's to come close to what occurred in the past and I thank you very much and I hang up. Most okay mom, thank you for your call Harold. Well, what I believe is yet to come is the actual second coming of Christ you when Jesus ascended into heaven in acts chapter 1.
The angel said to the disciples the same Jesus, whom you have seen ascend into heaven, will come again in like manner as you saw him go.
So Jesus finally visibly physically into heaven.
He's going to come back in the same manner.
Paul said in first Thessalonians 4 of the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them to meet them him in the air so there's the rapture and the resurrection that will take place when Jesus himself comes now the reason I emphasized the Lord himself will come since that's the best passage is that there are passages in the Bible the old and the New Testament speak of God coming or Jesus coming but which are not necessarily referring to the second coming, it's not. They're not referring to him literally and personally coming in those passages but rather the coming of the Lord in some passages is a poetic way or symbolic way of speaking of God bring it about some event and on earth.
Usually the destruction of the nation at the hands of another nation and war. But because the Bible assumes that this destruction is something that God has brought about as a judgment on the defeated nation and the Bible writers old and New Testament speak in terms of it, that the Lord comments the Lord is come that is in the person of these are invading army to find many examples of this in the Bible, but, but, of course, in those cases not literally talk about God coming is not her. Jesus personally returning it's talking about an army being calm due to God's arranging of matters and demagogues arrange it because he himself is judging the invaded nation and so it's figuratively that he's coming in the person of these armies, but there are passages and says this same Jesus will come in the same way that you saw him go, or the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shot it where it's making it clear were not talking figuratively. Here were not talking about an army that were symbolically referring to God coming. This is the Lord himself. This is the same Jesus coming the same way they left and these are passages that clearly are arguing for something that has not yet happened.
Jesus has not come back in the way that he left. He has not raised the dead.
He is not rapture the church. He is not burned up his enemies in flaming fire. He is not melted the cosmos and replace with a new heaven and new earth. These are all things that I think the Bible says he's going to do so.
Let's face of the book of Revelation doesn't make very many references to that, but I think it does make some. I think there are some references in Revelation to the second coming of Christ. If you wonder which ones I think are known as obligated to agree with me but I would say that the seventh trumpet. In Revelation 11 and verse 15 is describing the second coming of Christ.
I personally believe that Revelation 20 verse nine where Satan and his hordes are surrounding the beloved city, but fire from heaven comes down and consumes them. I think that's the second coming of Christ. It agrees with the language of Paul in second Thessalonians, who said that Jesus will come in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who don't know God, so I mean I personally don't see everything in Revelation is fulfilled in 70 A.D. there are people who do. There are people who are called full predators and they do they do believe that everything happened in 70 D. There's nothing else that they believe the new heavens and earth has come. Resurrection took place, the rapture, to place the devil is in is gone.
Now he's so there's no devil on the earth because he's in the lake of fire. This is the view of people called full predators which means they believe everything that is predicted in the bottle has been fulfilled a long time ago this to my mind is not a responsible exegetical position of said why for many reasons in the past and have debated full predators, but a partial predators which is what you should probably call me is someone who believes that part of those prophecies.
Some of the processes, not all of them have been fulfilled in the past and that's not really a radical position for a Christian to take it might be an unfamiliar position. Think about the book of Revelation. If we've been taught that it's all about the end of the world, but all Christians are partial predators in the sense they believe. Some prophecies have been fulfilled in the past. That's what the word predators means predators means that you believe it, a prophecy was fulfilled in the past rather than something awaiting fulfillment in the future so all Christians.
For example, believe that many messianic Old Testament prophets were fulfilled when Jesus was here, so that's we take a predators view to his prophets was the Jews reject Christ physical futures who think the Messiah still going to come in fulfilled prophecies.
We say no, they were fulfilled in the past that for Christians that's not controversial but vis-à-vis our conflict with the Judaism that would be controversial, but we know that many things that were predicted, Jesus, for example, saying that Jerusalem would be destroyed and not one stone would be left standing on another. We know that happened in 70 A.D. so we recognize that as a prophecy that has a past fulfillment, just like the Old Testament part prophecies of the fall of Babylon or Assyria or Edom or more levels.
Nations have fallen. The Philistines are all gone and they were predicted.
So we see those fulfillments as past fulfillment, so that's a predators view of those prophecies. It's just that while all Christians recognize a past fulfillment of many prophecies, many Christians do not see a past fulfillment of the prophecies in the book of Revelation, which by the way, there's nothing in the book of Revelation says there's a future fulfillment that his future from our point of view.
John several times in the book of Revelation told his readers the things he's describing will take place shortly that these are about to take place. He said the time is at hand. He said, and so certainly if we take his wording more or less literally in those statements, then he's saying to his readers, who lived 2000 years ago that the things he's describing what happened not so very far off and if he was not mistaken. Then we who do live pretty far off from that time would be wise to suggest okay if those were describing things that were not very far off.
When John wrote them, then they must of been fulfilled by now and that would be the argument for a predators view of the book of Revelation. So I appreciate that call very much, Carl from looks like La Mesa, California height, welcome to all the family. In the course explicitly of famous irregulars and removed yet often often used in evangelistic situation to go through a lot of your work heaven. However, in the first four have an individual is God is a pleasant thing to God yeah yeah wondering you know should should we really be using it, using it as needed or searching that way. Absolutely not. It is true that we are sinners and it is true that we fall short of the glory of God. It is true that we are condemned by our sin unless we find forgiveness through Christ. Those things are all true and we make those points when we evangelize, but there are certain verses that we ought not to use because they're not applicable.
One of them is the passage in Isaiah you mentioned where it says all of our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Not a very common usage of is to say, Isaiah started out every one of us. Every human being, no matter what good works we do. Their offensive together, not just not good enough.
It's not just that we can't be good enough to remember when we try to do good works were actually presented to got something absolutely filthy, and some pastors attempt to be very graphic in sight.
The term used in the Hebrew actually refers to a soiled menstrual cloth which would be very offensive to the Jews, and that God was trying to be very offensive to all. All of our righteousnesses are as soiled menstrual clause. I mean you don't present some like that to God and so is a very strong statement that Isaiah is making to his generation who were in fact practicing Jewish ritual religion, offering sacrifices, and in doing the things that Judaism externally called for but their hearts were far from God.
Isaiah earlier said in his book speaking for God. These people draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me in Isaiah chapter 1 he told them I hate your sacrifices in your new moons and your holy days, and all that stuff. He says these are abomination to me, not because he didn't like religion at all, but because the people themselves. This is your heart, your hearts are wicked. Your hands are full.
The blood of innocent people learn to do righteousness learn to do justice come let us reason together. He says in verse 18. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as wool. God is through the prophet Isaiah, God is rebuking the nation of Judah and Israel until Israel fell in the middle of his ministry than he only dressed Judah but he saying you guys are very religious. All these righteousnesses you're doing which is a reference to their very road temple observances and so forth like filthy rags to God. Now that's true they were, because, frankly, if you're a hater of God, or if you're at least a lover of his rivals and worshiping idols. For example, will you're if that's very offensive to God. And if you pretend that you love God at a time when you certainly don't and you offer alleged worship actions to him. It's incredibly offensive to him. He hates hypocrisy and you know it that's what Isaiah is telling them now. There would no doubt be cases of people today in exactly the same position it says in Proverbs 3 times that the sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord. Now the sacrifice is an act of worship in the temple if it's offered by all persons wicked somebody who lives out on us and of a life of sin and rebellion against God, but they show up on the Sabbath and often animal Cypress. That's not only not good enough. It's an abomination to God.
Just like filthy rags. Isaiah speaks of.
So Isaiah is saying the same thing that proverb says numerous times that of those who are offering these sacrifices all these righteousnesses are presenting to God vigilant their abominable there like filthy rags to God. And I'm sure there are very many people throughout history and and in our own day, to whom that would apply, but is not making a statement about all human actions that are intended to be good. There are people who are being good. It's not good enough to be saved, but they are trying to be good because they do care about God or not there are people in other religions in Atlanta have no religion at all, who really are seeking after God and that's why they find you mentioned Cornelius. Cornelius in acts chapter 10 was a pagan. He was a Roman his ancestors and in his upbringing was worshiping the Roman deities the Roman gods.
This is total paganism and he had not yet converted he had been impressed with Judaism and become a God-fearing Gentile, and therefore he had apparently been attracted to Israel's God, but he still didn't know that Jesus and yet the good things he did trying to please Israel's God were pleasant and outside because God is not against good works. He's for good works through but it's a question of whether doing good works is good enough to atone for our sins.
It is not we all sin.
We can't atone for our sins by good works, but that doesn't mean that God is offended when we though very inadequately tried to do it works, it will please him. He sees the heart now seem many evangelical say, yeah, well, he sees the wickedness of every person's heart, and therefore, even when they do good deeds he sees is all hypocritical well your reading something into that if you say that because the Bible doesn't say that the Bible doesn't say that everybody who does good deeds is a hypocrite shortly. Cornelius wasn't viewed that way. He wasn't a Christian he was doing good deeds. Also the sintering that they came to Jesus with the sick servant the Jews. The Jewish leaders of all people who hated Gentiles came to Jesus and said this man is a good man he is. He's built us a synagogue. He's he's help the poor. You should do something for him, which is interesting.
Jesus didn't say don't you realize him building a synagogue habitable. That's all filthy rags know it was not a filthy rags. Jesus didn't say would save him and this will record distinguish between what are good works will save you're not is one question.
What are good works are better in the sight of God than bad works is a different question.
Of course God is more offended by evil works, then by sincerely attempted good works, even if they're not adequate.
God is not offended all of our righteousnesses. That is every good thing a person tries to do is not necessarily like filthy rags to God, but certainly there are people there were in Isaiah's day, and there are today. People who pretend to be lovers of God and their very ill. They do a lot of philanthropic work and they they do a lot of religious things, but their hearts are far from God, and that love got all the effect they love wickedness and have secret sin in their life and so forth rather wicked and their sacrifices to God are an abomination to him. That's what Isaiah same. He's not making you remember when you find this kind of statement in Isaiah or Jeremiah said that you can a leopard change of sponsored youth Ethiopian change his skin. He says then may you who are accustomed to doing evil turn into righteousness. Now this kind of statement is often quoted by people trying to demonstrate the doctrine of the total depravity in the cc area you are. You can't change you any more than a leopard can change his spots. Your heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked who can know it. Your righteousnesses are like filthy rags will all those things were in fact true of the people that the prophets are speaking to with remember that the prophets were not writing a systematic theology and this is the chapter on anthropology showing that human beings are all this way. These people are not writing theology for their prophetic denunciations of their gender option explaining what it is that's offensive to God in their generation but it doesn't mean that's true of everybody. In fact, you know, sometimes it is a well the center Bible says that there thoughts and intents of the heart are only evil continually know it doesn't say that about all sinners and says that about the people that had to be, and wiped out in the flood they they have become so corrupted every thought of theirs was evil is not saying again, Genesis 6 is not trying to give us you know a proof text for our books on systematic theology about the sinfulness of man basically is describing actual people and giving the reason why they had be wiped out if everyone was like that.
Got have to repeatedly wipe us all out and floods, but he's hasn't done that there are people seeking God who don't yet know him and they are seeking him like Cornelius did is not offensive to God.
It may not be adequate to save them, but it's it's something that as an Cornelius case God sought he honored it.
He respected and he revealed to Cornelius a way to become aware of the way of salvation. In this case, he told how to get in touch with Peter but he did it not because he was finding Cornelius's actions like filthy rags use EE like them but he wanted that man to know more about himself because he looked like a good man. That's what I think the Bible says in second Peter came and preached to Cornelius, he didn't preach the way that our modern preachers to hear he comes into the house of a pagan uncircumcised so and and for all.
Peter knew there had never been a believing uncircumcised man into Jewish Christian I was a very offensive thing any comes into a man who is not hurting nor knowing by Christ and instead of coming up saying listen you are you pagans you all your righteousnesses are like filthy rags. He came in he said you know as a Jew. I've always been prejudice against people like you, we had as a Jew are not even allowed to come in your house because God has shown me that he's not a respecter of persons, but that everyone in every nation who does good and what is pleasing to him is acceptable to him now acceptable him doesn't mean you saved, necessarily, but it means that that attempt in every nation on the part of people to do what's right in the sight of God. He recognizes that favorably and no doubt that's one of the reasons he allows missionaries to be sent to them or allows of further revelation to be given to them, but we have this idea that every human being who tries to do a good thing or just recently God's offended by some them I will not try the muzzle got loot and residential people want will you. What difference does it make that would be filthy rags to go to but so are all their attempts at good deeds, the Bible does not teach that. And unfortunately, people who have a particular doctrine are trying to prove often will take a verse way out of context and act like it proves a point when in fact it in no sense does great things look all right. Carl appreciate your call brother Alice talk to Mark from West Hartford, Connecticut. Mark welcome to the narrow path you but not for long even speak up because I'm gonna be off there here, about three minutes so I am here, but I'll be gone for minutes. So go ahead okay I get it you're not there. Okay, I'm sorry. I wanted to talk to you.
Let's talk to Milton from Pasadena, California. Welcome to the narrow path.
I am here are you will. Time is short so all the kind of bring your own like that the final judgment for nonbelievers is the ideal eternal torment.
I think it's more mental, emotional and physical. It's something we don't fully realize the schooling understand I'm unconcerned, stating that we are human mind.
We don't even have car resurrected bodies. So we don't know that the totality of what the God of the Bible really means. I think we have to be very cautious in concluding a negative assessment on what is clearly taught in the Bible is the ultimate out there.
Let me know. Let me know if I'm hearing you right here I you can hear me let me know if I'm getting it right. I think what you're saying is since we don't know whether the torments of hell is really physical torment in such a sale might be inflicted by torturers or whether it really refers to something like some psychological regret will be tormented by you know wishing you hadn't done what you did in fully realizing the magnitude of your sins and it's that kind of torment, and that fires of hell are simply a symbol of that. Okay that's what I think your same and that some good answer.
Since I don't have much time you could be right. I mean, you could be right that that the fires of hell are symbolic and that they may refer to the burning of regret and remorse that people may feel once they've gone to hell, and they recognize how horrible their deeds were that they had that they taken lightly when they are alive and they realize how glorious God is and how offensive it is that they rejected him and ignored them or whatever that could be the nature of the torment I won't I won't rule that out I I'm not one who believes that God inflicts torture on people, even if there is eternal torment. It would not be my view that God is inflicting it about that. People now see things as they are. Perhaps they now realize how evil they were raised. They have regrets or whatever that would be that be sensible and and it sounds like maybe that's what you're suggesting. And I think it may be calling because I was talking about how you know how unloving it would seem, for God to torture people forever and ever and ever and and and perhaps I think your point is this give you more time to make it except under to be healthier earned by the minute. I think what you're saying is, even if torment is forever and ever self-inflicted. It's not really something God is inflicting on the and you know I can. I can see value in that position. I don't think you're necessarily wrong bugs.
There are other views to that may be more substantial substantiated Scripture but my positional alloys of the Scripture is not as clear as we could wish it were on the matter of hell and I appreciate you sharing your alternate view listening to the narrow path radio broadcast. My name is Steve Greg and we are listener supported. You can write to us at the narrow and have PO Box 1732 macula CA 92593.
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