Loving Your Enemies

Loving Your Enemies

Date: 09/13/2015 
We've all heard the expression "fighting like cats and dogs" because normally, dogs and cats don't get along very well, but that's not always true. Take for example the story of a dog named Jenny, a Siberian Husky Schnauzer Mix that had a real affection for felines. It began in the 1990s, when a landlord first discovered Jenny locked in a closet of an abandoned apartment building. The abused animal had been left without food or water for several days. After workers of the animal shelter nursed J

Assurance: Justification Made Simple (PB) by Doug Batchelor

Assurance: Justification Made Simple (PB) by Doug Batchelor
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Pastor Doug: Hello, friends, this is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? We've all heard the expression "fighting like cats and dogs" because normally, dogs and cats don't get along very well, but that's not always true. Take for example the story of a dog named Jenny, a Siberian Husky Schnauzer Mix that had a real affection for felines. It began in the 1990s, when a landlord first discovered Jenny locked in a closet of an abandoned apartment building. The abused animal had been left without food or water for several days. After workers of the animal shelter nursed Jenny back to health, she was adopted by Philip Gonzalez, a man who himself had nearly lost all interest in living because he had suffered an industrial accident and was disabled.

From the moment that Gonzalez first saw Jenny, he knew there was something extraordinary about this little dog. No one's exactly sure why, but for some reason, Jenny was obsessed with finding and rescuing stray cats. Gonzalez said she'd spend her days sniffing out alleys, abandoned buildings and construction sites near where they lived in Long Island. She'd find orphaned kittens in construction pipes or starving cats in abandoned cars. Normally, when feral cats see a dog, they spit and scratch and run like mad. But, for some reason, cats were not afraid of Jenny. They'd walk right up and rub alongside her, purring. Gonzales said she had a peaceful air about her that just put cats at ease. They act as though they've known her all their lives. It's estimated that over the course of her 17-year life, she helped locate and rescue over 900 ill, injured or abandoned cats.

A number of books and articles were written about Jenny's cat saving adventures and in 1998, she was even named the cat of the year by the Westchester Feline Club, in honor of her lifelong heroism. When Jenny died in 2005, over 300 cats attended her memorial service. If God can put it in the heart of a dog to love cats, then maybe he can put it in the heart of Christians to love their enemies. Stay with us, friends, we're going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

Advertisement: Welcome to Bible Answers Live with author and evangelist pastor, Doug Batchelor. Is understanding God's word a challenge? Are there passages and scriptures that are a mystery to you? Maybe it's difficult to reconcile what you've read in the Bible to what you've always believed. If you have Bible-related questions, stay tuned to get honest, practical answers straight from the word of God on Bible Answers Live. Bible Answers Live is a production of Amazing Facts Ministries, dedicated to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire world. Our lines are open so call us now at 800-GOD-SAYS, that's 800-463-7297. Now, here's your host, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Doug: Welcome, listening friends, to Bible Answers Live. This is my favorite thing to do. It wasn't until I read the Bible, it just changed my life and gave me a purpose for a living. I can't think of anything I enjoy more than talking about the Word of God and how it can transform us and the wonderful hope and promises that it provides. If you have a question about the Bible, that's why we do this program. We don't claim to have all the answers, but we've got a lot of Bible resources, most of them on our computer here, at our fingertips. We'll search the word together and if you call in now, good chance you'll get your question on tonight's broadcast. The number 800-GOD-SAYS, that's 800-463-7297. One more time, call now because lines are open with your Bible question, 800-463-7297. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Ross: My name is John Ross. Good evening, listening friends. Pastor Doug, as usual, let's begin the program with a word of Prayer. Dear Father in Heaven, we thank you. Begin this program by inviting Your presence to come and guide our hearts and our minds. View those who are listening, Lord, wherever they might be and lead us together into a deeper and a fuller understanding of the scriptures. For we ask this in Jesus' name, Amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Ross: Well, Pastor Doug, you opened the program by talking about, well, cats and dogs and historically, they've always been enemies. But here was a unusual dog that really had an interest in the well-being of cats and it seemed that the cats recognized that because they responded to this dog differently than they did to the other dogs.

Pastor Doug: Yes. Some of their veterinarians wonder if Jenny, when she was abused and abandoned, there may have been other cats in the apartments, that she had become very grown up with her been sensitive to. They say that if a baby duck is around dogs when it grows up, it kind of thinks it's a duck and it could be that Jenny grew up surrounded by cats or even cared for by a cat and it just resonated with cats and it seemed to have an instinct. Jenny could find cats that were in distress, for some reason, just sniffing them out and found them everywhere.

It was just uncanny, so they wrote several books about it. I just thought about -- some people think I could never -- I'm just so different than this person. Our chemistry doesn't work, we can't get along. Even in marriages, sometimes people say that. How could I ever love my enemy, when I have trouble loving my neighbor? Well, maybe, friends, you'd like to know about what the Bible says about that power of love and how you can be transformed. You can not only forgive and love your neighbors, but God says He can even put it in our heart to love our enemies. You remember from the cross, Jesus prayed, "Father, forgive them. They don't know what they're doing." We have a book that I've read before and it is very inspiring and it's a true story, called The Drummer Boy's Prayer. Tell us about it, Pastor Ross.

Pastor Ross: It's written back during the time of the civil war, but it's really a testimony of a young man and his demonstration of true godlike love, even to his enemies. It's just a real inspiration and wonderful encouraging story and we're going to send that to anybody for free who calls and asks our resource line here. Actually, for ordering the book, it's 800-835-6747 and the book is free. All you'll need to do is just give us a call at 800-835-6747 and ask for the book, The Drummer Boy's Prayer. We'll be happy to send that to you. If you have a Bible question, the number here to the studio is 800-463-7297. Again, that's 800-463-7297. That'll bring you here, to the studio, with your Bible question. We have a few lines that are open, so this is a good time to pick up the phone and give us a call.

Pastor Doug: Pastor Ross, just before we go to the phones, maybe we should mention to people that something very interesting and exciting is coming with Amazing Facts. About once a year, we do a satellite broadcast around the country, well, actually, all over the world and we're partnering with Three Angels Broadcasting, that has a satellite system around the world. It'll also be on Amazing Facts Television. We're doing a program for families, where families can bring their children, it's like a ten-part of Angelistic program, taking Bible stories and teaching the foundational teachings of Christianity and it's called Heroes of Faith.

Heroes of Faith, we take some of the great epic stories in the Bible that people know and we draw out the theology that is in these stories in an interesting way, so that parents are enjoying it and children can understand. We believe it's just a wonderful way to bring families together, provide something spiritual for the children and yet be redemptive in helping people recommit their lives to the Lord. If they want to know more about the Heroes of Faith program, it begins October 2nd, goes through October 10 and you can just go to the Amazing Facts website and you'll see in the top right corner, there's a little peel down ad that'll tell you all about it or you can type in theheroesoffaith.com and find more information.

Pastor Ross: Again, if you want to learn more about the Heroes of Faith, just go to the Amazing Facts website. That's amazingfacts.org and in the top right-hand corner, you'll see Heroes of Faith. Go ahead and click on that link, it'll take you to the website. It'll tell you where you can watch it and the times and how you can share this information with a friend. Also, there are some resources that you can download absolutely for free that'll help you in your study of God's Word. Again, amazingfacts.org and then click on the link that says Heroes of Faith. Well, we're ready for the phone lines. Our first caller this evening is that Kent and he's calling from New Mexico. Kent, welcome to the program.

Kent: Thank you, How are you all doing?

Pastor Doug: Doing great. Thanks for calling and your question tonight.

Kent: My question tonight it's about the thousand-year reign, when Christ returns to the second time and as believers in Christ, we will be caught up with him and reign with him for that thousand years is my understanding. Then, Satan will be locked away and at the end of that thousand years, sometime Satan will be let out and there will be people that are deceived and that sin against God. My question is -- I plan on being there, that thousand-year reign, but what's to keep me from falling and sinning, when God lets Satan back out of that, back out of the --

Pastor Doug: When Satan's loosed from his prison? Everyone who is saved when Jesus comes, they are sealed with the Holy Spirit. They've already gone through the worst trials and temptations that the devil can throw at them. They're not going to be deceived. For one thing, they have no interaction anymore with the devil. When Satan is briefly loosed from his prison, he goes out to deceive the resurrected lost and who have come forth for the judgement The saved that are in the New Jerusalem, the Bible says in Revelation 21, I saw the New Jerusalem come down from God and you can read in Revelation 20 about the thousand years.

When the New Jerusalem comes down, all the saved are in the city. They’re with Christ and the good angels. The devil and the bad angels, they are all on the outside. They come to bring an attack against the City of God and you can read about that in Revelation 20, verse 9. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the Saints, the beloved city. So where are the Saints? They are in the beloved city. The devil surrounds them. They’re not being tempted because the next verse, it says then fire comes down from God out of Heaven and devours them, as the great judgment is executed.

We don't need to worry about falling again during the one thousand years. Once a person is resurrected and when Jesus comes and we're caught up and we get our glorified bodies, we will never be tempted to sin again.

Kent: Okay. Then, these people that are turned against God, they are --

Pastor Doug: They're all the lost from all the ages, that this is --

Kent: The what?

Pastor Doug: Well, Gog and Magog is a term, they were enemies of God's people in the Old Testament. It's a generic Old Testament term. Gog was an enemy of God's people in the ancient tribes, I think it's Genesis 10. Magog means the children of Gog or from the matrix of Gog, Gog and those who came out. It's like when you read Babylon and her daughters uses these terms and prophecy frequently. It's just a generic term for all of the wicked who've ever lived. It says the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. This is the resurrection of the wicked because you can read in Revelation, it says the rest of the dead -- all the righteous are caught up to meet the Lord, when Jesus comes. Says the rest of the dead don't live until the thousand years are finished and that's in Revelation 20, verse -- what is that? Three? Yes.

The rest of the dead, if all the righteous are in Heaven, the rest of the dead are who? It’s the wicked or the lost. We have a lesson that we'd like to send you on this and we will send it to you for free, Kent. I think you'll really enjoy it. It thoroughly covers the one thousand years.

Pastor Ross: The lesson is entitled A Thousand Years of Peace and to receive it, just give us a call on our resource line, it's 800-835-6747. You can ask for the study guide called A Thousand Years of Peace. Next caller is Brandon, listening from Amarillo, Texas. Brandon, welcome to the program. Brandon, you're on the air.

Brandon: My question is when I was a young boy, over the 19 years old, my parents basically asked me if I wanted to be saved, if I believe in Jesus Christ. I said yes. I did the whole -- went before the church, said that I believe in Jesus Christ, they baptized me. For the next 12 or 13 years, I lived, basically, however I wanted to. My question is when I was 24 years old, I had an encounter with Jesus Christ at work, actually. It happened between me and another person. He opened my eyes and I truly encountered Jesus Christ. My question is was I saved from the time that I accepted Him in my heart or because I lived as a fair saved Christian from the time I was young until 24 years old. I had judged everybody. I truly saw and my eyes were truly open when I was 24 years old --

Pastor Doug: What do you say during those first --

Brandon: Was I living in a state of grace or --

Pastor Doug: First of all, I can't -- because I don't know the heart, but based on what you're saying, Jesus said you'll know them by their fruits. If you just went through the mechanics of a prayer, then you really hadn't surrendered your heart to the Lord because part of praying that prayer is surrendering your heart and asking Jesus to be the Lord of your life. If you hadn’t really done that, then a lot of people can say, "Yes, well, I don't want to be lost, so I'm going to say this prayer, but I'm still not going to give my heart to the Lord." There's a lot of people that say, "Lord, Lord," but they don't really love him. I don't know if you're in that category. I can't judge you, but based on what you're saying, praise the Lord, it seems like you've had a genuine encounter now and that's what really matters.

Brandon: That was the question. It seemed very counterintuitive for the church to be continuing that process of "Hey, you know what? If you just say this prayer, you’re saved," but in my experience, a lot of times, you’re not really saved. What good is the church?

Pastor Doug: Yes, well, you know what? Again, I want to be careful to say I can't really judge a church or what they were doing, but churches and pastors, Pastor Ross and I are pastors and we pastor church, there's a temptation for pastors and evangelists to count people as members, even before they're really converted, so that we can brag about the success of our church and say our church has this many members and we had this many baptisms. I don't know if that's what happened with you, but it has happened with a lot of people, where they'll say yes to all these kids. They usher them into the church and the baptistery like cattle going through a branding stall.

There's no real genuine evidence of their conversion, but they get to count them as a conversion, so it looks good on the reports. I don't know if that's what happened, but we need to really work on people's hearts and make sure that they’ve really given their hearts to the Lord. Thank you very much for your question and it may be we have another person named Brandon light up, as well.

Pastor Ross: Yes, we've got Brandon from Mount Vernon, Illinois. Brandon, welcome to the program.

Brendon: Yes. I was going to ask about why they left certain books out of the Bible and concerning the giants in the land and things like that.

Pastor Doug: The verse about giants in the land is in the traditional Bible. You find that in Genesis 6. It talks about that in numbers 13 and talks about it in Joshua, so there are places in the regular Bible that talk about giants in the land, but there are some what they call apocryphal books. These are books that were written long after the Bible was complete. Then, someone said, "We discovered it and it should be added to the Bible in there." There's all kinds of -- what we would call doubtful or dubious books that have appeared. People say "Oh, we've found the missing Gospel of Mary Magdalene," or "We found the missing Gospel of Judas or Thomas or whoever it is," but none of the other Bible writers and none of the other history refers to these books.

They just suddenly appeared because someone claimed to find it. They haven't really passed the test of authenticity. The books that are included in the Bible have gone through a very precise test of cross-examination from other books from history, that they are authentic. The apocryphal books, they're doubtful and that's why they were left out. We have a book that we can send you on that, that talks about the Bible.

Pastor Ross: The book is called The Ultimate Resource and Brandon, if you'll call our resource line, it's 800-835-6747, you can ask the book on the Bible, called The Ultimate Resource. It'll give you a little bit of a history about the Bible, tell you a little bit about the original manuscripts and so on. All you'll have to do, give us a call. It's 800-835-6747, ask for the book The Ultimate Resource and we'll be happy to send that to you or anybody who calls and asks.

The next caller is Rick and he's listening from Fort Lauderdale in Florida. Rick, welcome to the program.

Rick: Very good evening, pastors.

Pastor Doug: Evening.

Rick: I wanted to ask you, what are your thoughts on gun ownership? Jesus said he who picks up the sword shall perish by the sword. Are you allowed to have a gun for a wild animal or even protecting your home and family? What are your thoughts on that?

Pastor Doug: Well, Jesus, when he talked about "He that lives by the sword will die by the sword", living by the sword is different than having protection because then, Paul goes on and says that the officers in the country do not bear the sword in vain. Otherwise, they’re God's messengers, Paul goes on to say. Most of us want to live in a country where police are armed better than the criminals. A gun is not really the issue, a gun is a tool. Pastor Ross has been to our cabin up in the hills and we got wild animals. We've had bears trying to get in our house.

Rick: [laughs] Oh, God --

Pastor Doug: While we’re there. You can have a rabbit, skunk or rattlesnake or -- there's a number of reasons that it might be practical when you've got a ranch to have a gun. Heaven forbid you would ever have to use that on a human being, like for a home invasion. The first thing I'd probably do is shoot in the air and scare him off. I think most of us agree if someone was threatening the lives of someone we love or anybody -- If they were going to be lethal in what they were doing, we might be lethal in our response to protect.

No one wants to be in that situation. I hope that people aren't taking what I'm saying as a statement on gun control or arming yourself to the teeth, but I've always just seen a gun as a tool. People get killed with knives and it’s hard to outlaw knives. We use them in cutting our tomatoes, you know what I mean? It's a tool that can be abused. I don't know that people need bazookas [laughs], and artillery. Some of the artillery that people have, it's gone a little far for a farm. I don't know. Does that make sense, Rick?

Rick: Is it okay to have some protection without having to turn the other cheek? If someone's coming to hurt you or your family.

Pastor Doug: Absolutely. I think that if you're looking at it as a tool of protection, then Heaven forbid you'd have to use that, but --

Rick: Exactly.

Pastor Doug: In some parts of the world, it's more practical and needed than others. You know what I'm saying? You can even just look on websites and find there are some communities that are very safe and some that are very dangerous. My son ran into a bear once with her cubs. He was out walking in the woods. He had a gun with him at the time because we knew there were bears. He just shot in the air and then they ran off. That was it. It was very useful for that. I think the first line of approach is to use it defensively instead of use it to kill somebody. Hey, thank you --

Rick: Very much.

Doug: Appreciate that, Rick. Thank you. There's a statement sometimes people look at when Jesus said, "He that has a sword, take one," and people think, "Well, that's Jesus was saying 'arm yourself'.'" Then, they said, "Lord, we've got a sword here," and he said, "Oh, that's enough." Not that one sword was enough to protect him the night he was betrayed. He was just saying, "You guys aren't getting it. I'm speaking about the sword in a spiritual term." Because in the Bible, the Word of God is compared to a sword in three places. That's, I think, what Jesus meant there. Thank you for your call, Rick.

Pastor Ross: Our next caller is Elio, listening from Long Island, New York in WMCA. Elio, welcome to the program.

Elio: Good evening, Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross. How are you guys doing today?

Pastor Doug: Good, good. Thank you.

Elio: First of all, before my question, I want to tell you that in my church, we are doing a one-hour prayer every Saturday morning now. We have you guys included and your ministry and your event starting October 2 to the 10th. We thank you for that.

Pastor Doug: Thank you. Praise the Lord. We really appreciate you doing that. It means a lot.

Elio: I'm doing a research. My question is more about the role of women in the church, but more to see if you guys have or know of any research that can help me out with this? I think I'm pretty defined, but I wanted to hear you one more time, elaborate on it. If you guys have a good research that I can use for reading and continuing my search.

Pastor Doug: In case we run out of time, we'll tell you about the resource first.

Elio: Okay, that's great.

Pastor Doug: There's a book that we can send you. You can either read it for free on the Amazing Facts site or we'll send it to you. It's called The Women in Ministry: A Biblical View of Women in Ministry. You can, like I said, download it for free or read it or we'll send you a copy. Just very quickly, God has called every believer to use their spiritual gifts in serving Him. There are different roles in the church, and of course, voted roles are different than spiritual gifts.

I'd like to point, right at the beginning, to a Levitical couple named Amram and Jochebed, actually lived long time, lived over about 180 years, I think. Back during the Exodus, they had some children, named Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, three children, during the slavery of Egypt. All three of their children were prophets. Miriam, girl. Two boys, all prophets, and Aaron and Moses. But only the boys would serve in the capacity of priests. The priestly role in the Bible -- Today, the equivalent would be -- you look in the Bible, when it's pastor, priest, or apostle, they were all men, so that's a role that is reserved for men.

Men are to be the servant leaders in the families. In the Bible, it was always the male that offered sacrifice for the family. He served as the intercessor because he was a type of Christ, who was a male. There are differences in roles, but God uses men and women in evangelism, mission work and as missionaries in the broad spectrum of spiritual ministry. Send for that book, Elio. We'll be happy to send it to you and don't forget to keep us in your prayers. We sure appreciate it.

Pastor Ross: The number to call is 800-835-6747. That is the resource line and you can ask for the book called Woman in Ministry. We'd be happy to send it to anybody who calls and asks. You can also read it for free online at the Amazing Facts website, amazingfacts.org. Our next call is Rudy, listening from San Bernardino, California. Rudy, welcome to the program.

Pastor Doug: Rudy, are you on?

Rudy:

Pastor Doug: Evening. Get real close to your phone.

Rudy: Yes. I'm glad to have you take my call. My question to you is it tells you in the Word that it will give you the desires of your heart, and you were talking about the dog who had an affinity for cats. My dog was a real people puppy. Loved everybody, he loved rabbits, he didn't hurt kittens and all that. This is going to sound like I'm missing my meds, but he was more people than he was a dog because of the fact that my dog used to talk. He used to call my mother grandma.

Pastor Doug: He kind of had a voice for him, huh?

Rudy: My niece used to call my sister mom. The grandkids used to call her mom. He picked up on them, he used to call her mom.

Pastor Doug: That's amazing. They're very smart. Now, we got to turn this into a question before we run out of time. What would the question be?

Rudy: If we have animals that were absolutely intelligent, absolutely incredible, are we going to have them in Heaven?

Pastor Doug: All right. "Will animals be in Heaven?" The first part of the question is yes, there will be animals in Heaven. You can read it or as Pastor Ross says, where it says and I think it's Isaiah 11, "That the wolf will lie down with the lamb and the kid. All those, was it? A kid and the wolf will feed together and the child will play on the hole of a venomous serpent?"

Pastor Ross: Yes, that's Isaiah, chapter 11, verse 6. Actually, it's Isaiah 65, verse 25.

Pastor Doug: Yes. I think there's also one in Isaiah 11. There's two places. There's definitely going to be animals in Heaven, Rudy. The question is will a specific animal be resurrected? There's no verse that says that a pet is going to be resurrected and be in Heaven. I certainly hope they will be. There's no verse that says they won't be because the Lord has all power. I don't think it's beyond the Lord to -- when we get to the mansions that Jesus has prepared, to have a big surprise for us and have our beloved pets.

You wonder, God spoke through Balaam's donkey. [laughs] Will they? [laughs] The angel actually said to Balaam, "If it wasn't for the donkey, I would have killed you." Kept the donkey alive. Then, there's another bad prophet that died, the donkey lived. If God can show mercy on a donkey, he can probably resurrect a dog.

I can't. I wish I could. I can't point you to a specific verse that says your pets will be in Heaven. Principally, we know that Jesus died to save humanity, but God made man to care for the animals. There is a verse that says, "That the righteous man regards the life of his beasts." I can recommend a book by our friend, Steve Walberg, and it's called Will My Pet Be In Heaven? You type that title into Google or Yahoo and you'll see that book, Will My Pet be In Heaven by Steve Walberg.

Friends, we're listening to Bible Answers Live. We're going to take a quick break.

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Pastor Doug: Just in case you're wondering what it is you're listening to, this is Bible Answers Live. It's a live international interactive Bible study. For those that joined us along the way, if you have a Bible question, you can call. Free phone call if it's in North America. We'll do our best to answer your question. We have lines open right now. Here's the number, 800-GOD-SAYS. That's 800-463-7297. One more time, 800-463-7297 with your Bible question. I'm still Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Ross: My name is Jean Ross and we're going to go to our next caller. We have Aaron, listening from Michigan. Aaron, welcome to the program.

Pastor Doug: Aaron, hi.

Sharon: Can you hear me? This is Sharon.

Pastor Doug: Sharon. Sorry. I guess the screeners maybe misheard your name.

Sharon: No problem.

Pastor Doug: You don't sound like Aaron, but there are Aarons spelled differently. Your question tonight?

Sharon: My question is bring up the 10 virgins. Five of them let their oil run out. Five of them kept them full and I was wondering, does that represent the Holy Spirit or does that represent something else, where they became believers, but they didn't get close enough to the Lord to keep a relationship with him? I'll go ahead and hang up and then you can explain that if you've heard me.

Pastor Doug: All right, I did hear you, Sharon, and thank you for your question.

Doug: For our friends that are listening, the parable of the 10 virgins, I could be wrong, Pastor Ross, I think it's only in Matthew 25, it is. Some parables Jesus repeats other Gospels, but this is only found in Matthew 25, first few verses. He shares the parable right on the heels of the Matthew 24, where he talks about the Second Coming. He says that his Second Coming will be like 10 virgins waiting for the bridegroom to come and this wedding to begin late at night. They got their lamps burning to welcome the groom and lead everyone into the wedding procession. They get tired of waiting, they dose off, but they had not bought -- five of them were foolish, they've not bought a little extra reserve of oil to hold them through an unpredicted delay.

Oil typically is a symbol of the Holy Spirit in the Bible. You're correct about that, Sharon. You can't really store up Holy Spirit, but what you can do is just to fortify your faith through storing the Word of God, through having a relationship with the Lord, through being faithful in trials. You strengthen your muscles spiritually by enduring temptation and -- in other words, if we develop an experience now, then we make room in our heart for the Holy Spirit, so that He can fill us and it keeps us during that time of trial. There was a time of delay when God's people will be tested. You remember perhaps when Moses went up the mountain to get the Ten Commandments and he said, "I'll come back," but he didn't say exactly when he was coming back. After 40 days went by, they thought "Well, he just forgot. He's never coming back," and they made a golden calf.

In the same way, during the delay, they got discouraged, some of them, and they made a golden calf. God's people may be tested in the last days. Jesus said in Matthew 24, if that evil servant says in his heart, "My Lord delays his coming", and he begins to eat and drink with the drunken and smite his fellow servant, the Lord of that servant will now come in a day he's not looking for and an hour he's not prepared for.

Christ, in the parable of the 10 virgins, is telling us, among other things, be prepared to hang on if the Second Coming is later than you think. He warned us, do not get discouraged. Secondly, he said you need to have an experience that will sustain you.

Pastor Ross: It is noted that all of these 10 maidens or 10 virgins in the parable, they were looking for -- waiting for the bridegroom to come. The bridegroom is a symbol of Christ, so these are professed followers of Christ. These are Christians, and they are all anticipating the coming of Jesus. The difference is five had that Holy Spirit within them. They had received the Word and applied it to their life. Whereas perhaps the others had more of an intellectual understanding of truth, but they hadn't allowed that truth to actually make a difference in their hearts.

Pastor Doug: That's right. Now, we have a lesson that --

Pastor Ross: We have a book dealing with the subject of the Holy Spirit, called Man's Flicker or God's Flame and we'll be happy to send it to anybody who calls and ask. Again, in the parable, the oil represents the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is the fuel often used for a lamp and especially in Bible times, symbolizing the Holy Spirit. We'll send you this book for free if you give us a call on our resource line. It's 800-835-6747. You can ask for the book called Man's Flicker or God's Flame and we'll be happy to send it to anybody who calls and asks.

Pastor Doug: Thank you, Sharon. Appreciate your call.

Pastor Ross: Next caller is Larry, and he's listening from North Carolina. Larry, welcome to the program.

Larry: Thank you. I'm wondering whatever happened to the Samaritans in Northern Israel in Jesus's day. It seems like they'd faded bum away up around the Sea of Galilee.

Pastor Doug: That's a good question. For our friends that are listening, we've all probably heard the parable of the Good Samaritan and it talks about the Samaritan woman by the well. There's a number of stories where Samaritans appear in both the Gospels and in the book of Acts, they went into Samaria. You just got to give you a little bit of history.

During the days of the Kings, everybody was united under King David and King Solomon, but then, there was a civil war and the Kingdom split. The northern 10 tribes in the north that split off from Israel, they ended up compromising with the pagan nations, they got involved in idolatry. They were eventually conquered by the Assyrians and carried away to Assyria.

Some of the Assyrians moved into the country. The capital was a hill called Samiar and they named it Samaria. The Samaritans were the people that came back from Assyria. Some of them, they had some Jewish blood, but they were mostly Assyrian. They believed the five books of Moses, but they didn't believe a lot of the other scriptures and. They were half and half Jew, half Assyrian. They were Semitic people, but they became real enemies of the Orthodox purebred Jews through history. Most of them have disappeared right now in the northern area of Israel.

Pastor Ross: Another interesting fact about the relationship between Samaritans and the Israelites, after the 70 years of Babylonian captivity, read about that in the Book of Daniel, the Jews returned and began rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem, and the Samaritans, they asked if they could actually help build the temple. They said, "Well, we worship the same God that you worship," and the Jews said, "No, you don't," because they had incorporated idolatry into their worship.

For a while, the Samaritans tried to hinder the building of the Temple in Jerusalem. They eventually went up and built their own temple on Mount Gerizim. By the time of Christ, that temple had been broken down, but you'll notice when Jesus is talking to the woman at the well, she said, "Our Father say that on this mountain we ought to worship." It's referring to that temple that had been broken down, but you Jews said that you need to worship in Jerusalem.

There was some connection in the history, but by the time of Christ, they were bitter enemies and couldn't stand each other. The good Jew would have to go way out of his way and go around some area to get to Galilee or from Galilee to Jerusalem. They just refused to go through Samaria and of course, Jesus helped to break down that prejudice.

Pastor Doug: Yes. They thought they'd get contaminated, but when Jesus sent them out preaching, he said, "Go preach in all the world's, beginning in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria." He even said, "You need to preach to the Samaritans." We appreciate very much your question on that, Larry, and hope that's helpful, just give you a little history on that.

Pastor Ross: Next caller is Steve and Steve is listening from Wisconsin on Sirius XM. Steve, welcome to the program.

Steve: Gentlemen, thank you for taking the call. I'm gonna put this in a question format but it's on a couple of calls you had earlier. First, the gentleman who said he thought he might be saved when he was 19 and then 24 had an enlightenment experience. Where in the scriptures would you find -- I know it says that he who hears the Word and accepts the Word, which just means to repent and to live under Christ's law. Where is that found? Secondly, I believe -- where would you find where Christ refers to the Book of Enoch, which I believe is what the other caller was talking? I'll take the call -- the answer out here.

Pastor Doug: All right. Thank you very much for your question, Steve. On the first part of your question, there are passages that talks about whoever repents, confesses, and turns from his sin, the same shall be saved. Repentance is a very big part of the Christian conversion experience. You don't hear much about it these days. People just say come and say this prayer and say you're sorry, but repentance is deeper. Do you have that verse, Pastor Ross?

Pastor Ross: I'm looking at Peter when he was preaching in Acts chapter 2, verse 38. The people are convicted and said, "What shall we do?" He responded -- as Peter said to the people, "Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Repentance was mentioned right there and, of course, repentance is the turning away from the world and a turning towards God, and so that accompanies salvation, along with baptism.

Pastor Doug: Yes. I think it's in Proverbs. It says "Whoever confesses and forsakes his sin, will have mercy". There's not just a repentance and confession and then continuing to do everything the same way, which I think this gentleman was referring to, he just went through the motions at church, but his life didn't change one bit.

Pastor Doug: That's not really what conversion is about. It ought to make a practical difference in your life.

Pastor Ross: I think the verse you're referring today is Proverbs 28, verse 13, "He who covers his sins, will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them, will have mercy."

Pastor Doug: That's the there. The Book of Enoch. Jesus actually doesn't quote the Book of Enoch, Jude does and Jude says, as Enoch says the Lord comes with 10,000 of his Saints to execute judgment on all the ungodly for their ungodly speeches that they have done in their ungodly deeds. That would be in the Book of Jude, there's only one chapter in Jude. The Book of Enoch probably wasn't written by Enoch. It was considered inspired poetry and Jude quoted from a segment that was actually true. Periodically, there's a flash of inspiration that comes in every culture. Benjamin Franklin said some things that everyone quotes because they're just truisms, but it doesn't mean they were scripture. That's the difference.

Pastor Ross: The verse you're referring to there is Jude 14.

Pastor Doug: Okay, Jude, verse 14. Thank you very much and we appreciate that call.

Pastor Ross: Our next caller is Mary Ann and she is listening on the internet. Mary Ann, welcome to the program.

Mary Ann: Hi. We won't go to hell if we eat pork, will we?

Pastor Doug: First of all, will there be people in Heaven that ate pork? The answer is yes. I should add to that, there'll be people in Heaven that own slaves. There will be in Heaven that had multiple wives. There will be people in Heaven that did all kinds of things. The bigger question is, when it comes to the will of God, does God, in His word, make a distinction between what is clean and unclean food? The meats that God described as clean needed two characteristics. They needed to have a cloven huff and they needed to chew the cud.

Then, there were animals that are out there that are not clean to eat or clean for sacrifice and that would be everything from a skunk to a buzzard and all kinds of things. Most people don't have a problem with that because people wouldn't think about eating most unclean animals.

There is one very popular animal that the Bible describes as unclean and they are scavengers, right along with dogs and they're pigs. Because someone decided to kill and eat a pig one day and they thought it tasted pretty good, they got in the habit. We know now from science that it is probably one of the most unhealthy meats a person could eat. Not only the risks from but it is the most nitrate salt-laden, fat-laden meat. They had a big advertising campaign calling pork the other white meat. Well, it might be white, but it's got serious problems.

God knew what he was saying and that's why Jews around the world, followers of Islam, a lot of Bible Christians, they don't eat pork because God is very clear, Old and New Testament, about not eating things that are unclean. Peter, when he had his vision, he said, "Lord, I've never eaten anything unclean." That's Acts chapter 15. I think it's a clear teaching in the Bible. Pastor Ross?

Pastor Ross: Yes, we do have a study guide dealing with this subject and I like the name. It's called God's Free Health Plan. It's really dealing with how we can live a healthy life. The Bible tells us our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and how can we treat our bodies the best way that we can, in order for us to provide maximum service to God and our fellow man. We'll be happy to send anybody this study guide filled with scripture. Its called God's Free Health Plan. The number to call for that is 800-835-6747 and again, you can ask for the study guide called God's Free Health Plan. If you have a Bible question, our phone line here at the studio is 800-463-7297. Again, that's 800-463-7297. That'll bring you here, to the studio, with your Bible question.

Pastor Doug: Thank you, Mary Ann. I appreciate that and have your husband look at that list and I think he'll enjoy it.

Pastor Ross: Our next caller is Doug, listening from Bismarck, North Carolina. Doug, welcome to the program.

Doug: It's actually North Dakota, but that's fine.

Pastor Ross: I've read it wrong. You're right.

Pastor Doug: We believe you, you really are in North Dakota. We don't think you're trying to fool us.

Doug: My question is, I've been studying this for 40 years. When Jesus said to the disciples that they should -- when the abomination that makes desolate is in the most holy place, then flee to the mountains. Whenever Jesus said something, it usually had to do with the end time as well. At least that's what I understood, but anyway, in 70 A.D., the Roman army surrounded Jerusalem and split it to siege and then pulled away because the Christians knew that, understood that not one Christian perished in Jerusalem during that siege. Now, I just want to know what it was, the abomination that makes desolate and if we need to look for that in the end time.

Pastor Doug: First thing, we're going to tell you that we will send you a book called The Abomination of Desolation. Can't miss it, that's what the book's about. Second thing, for our friends that are listening, the reference is coming from Matthew 24. When Jesus is telling them about what's coming in the last days and about the Second Coming, he says when you, therefore, see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel, the prophet, Christ is quoting back to or referencing back to this abomination of desolation foretold by Daniel several places in his book. Stand in the Holy Place, let him that reads, let those that be in Judea flee in the mountains.

Now, in Luke, when he says when you see Jerusalem encompassed by armies, and that's in Luke 21:20, let those that be in Jerusalem or Judea flee into the hills. This is what they call a dual prophecy because they asked Jesus two questions. They asked Him about the destruction of Jerusalem, and it was true, that they saw armies surrounding Jerusalem. That was a signal for them to leave the city, that desolation was coming to the city and the temple. That the Roman power would desolate and they brought all their pagan practices in. It would also happen just before the Second Coming. When God's people would be surrounded again by this Roman desolating power and there would be laws that would be made that would force them to break the law of God.

That would be a signal that Christians need to head for the hills. It's a big study on The Abomination of Desolation, that's why we just wanted to give you a little taste of an answer. Do you have any more to add to that, Pastor Ross?

Pastor Ross: It's interesting. Luke 21 speaks of it as being the Roman or the army surrounding Jerusalem. We know that to be the Roman armies, but there are two phases of Rome, if you look from a prophetic perspective in the scripture. There is a pagan Rome, which, of course, ruled by the emperors, destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A. D., but there's also a religious component to Rome, sometimes referred to as papal Rome. Papal Rome is very much alive even today and very influential in the world. There is this dual application to the prophecy that I think it's important for Christians to understand today. The book that you mentioned, Pastor Doug, The Abomination of Desolation, will be a great study for anybody wanting to learn more about these important prophetic truths.

Pastor Doug: Thank you very much, Doug. Appreciate your call and make sure and send for that book.

Pastor Ross: The number to call is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the book The Abomination of Desolation. We'll be happy to send that to anybody who calls and asks. You can also read it for free online at amazingfacts.org. Our next caller is John and he's listening from International Falls. John, welcome to the program.

John: Hello.

Pastor Doug: Hi, how are you doing?

John: I'm doing just fine. I hope you guys are too.

Pastor Doug: We're doing great. We appreciate your calling.

John: My question is, I gave my heart to Jesus in Sunday School class at age four. That was 60 years ago, but now, I read in John chapter 6, verse 44, "No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent Me. Draw Him and I will raise Him up at the last day." I just accepted Jesus when my Sunday School teacher told me about Him and I just have been living the Christian life now for -- it'll be 65 years in January. Now, my question is, and I don't mean to sound stupid or whatever, but am I truly saved because I didn't feel God drawing me at all?

Pastor Doug: Well, the Lord doesn’t expect us to understand as a 20-year old when we’re five or six or four. With whatever capacity you had in your heart to invite Jesus in when you were a child, I think the Lord accepts you at whatever stage you are in life. The bigger question is, you might be asking, am I genuinely converted? The way that you answer that is you look at what the fruits of the spirit are and you find them listed in Galatians. Jesus said, “You’ll know them by their fruits,” in Galatians chapter 5, which is, of course, love, joy, peace.

What we want is we want to see the evidence of a changed heart. Are we seeking to live the kind of life that Jesus lived, where we love and we serve God and we are witnessing for him, we’re faithful in doing the things that he commands because we love Him? Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” The main thing is, do we love him? Jesus is not forcing people to Heaven that hate Him. God is love and He invites us to love Him. The great commandment, love the Lord with all your heart and love your neighbor. That’s what I’d ask, John, is do you feel that you love the Lord and that you surrendered your life to Him?

John: Some things I tell you and I’m still dedicated to him. I haven’t fallen back.

Pastor Doug: Oh, bless your heart. Well, it sounds like you do love Him. Sometimes, even in a marriage, the husband or wife will say, “Well, I don’t always feel loved, but I’ve got the commitment of love to my spouse.” You may not always feel warm, buzzy feelings, but that doesn’t mean you don’t love God. If you have dedicated your life to serve Him and to follow what you know to be His will, that I think is the best evidence.

We’ve got a book, John, we’ll be happy to send you, that goes through an outline of what salvation really is. It’s called Three Steps to Heaven. We’ll send it to you or anyone that wants to know what are the steps that determine that we have everlasting life and how do you take them.

Pastor Ross: The number to call is 800-835-6747 and the book is called Three Steps to Heaven. Again, 800-835-6747. We’ll be happy to send it to anybody who calls and asks. Our next caller is Steve and he’s listening in California on 1640 AM. Steve, welcome to the program.

Steve: Thank you for taking my call. My original question was about the inheritance of the sin. But as I was listening, may I change my question please? I have a very important question, if I may.

Pastor Doug: Yes, we've only got about two minutes before we’re going to run out of time, so we got to do it quickly.

Steve: Sure. You have a choice, for example, to live in America and you have a choice to live in another country, like in Canada. If you choose to live in America, you have the right to have a job, to buy a house, to start a family, the whole nine yards. If you choose to live in Canada, you have the same rights. You have the right to have a job, buy a house, start a family and live your life. My question is, if we choose God and obey Him and pray for Him and be saved, then He promises Heaven. If we choose not to obey God, we’re going to go to hell. That’s not a choice, actually. That’s not democracy. That’s dictatorship. Again, another example --

Pastor Doug: Well, you got to make a question out of this. We’re going to run out of time. Is the question, do we have freedom? Is God a dictator? Is he running a democracy?

Steve: My question is, why there’s a punishment if we choose not to obey Him?

Pastor Doug: Well, because God is not a democratic president. He is the king. It’s a theocracy and a monarchy and God is the Creator. He's saying, “Look, there are laws to the universe. If you want to enjoy everlasting life, you need to do it within the laws of love that I’ve given you.” God is love and His laws are all love. Anyway, we have a lesson that talks about that. We’ll send you. It’s called Written in Stone. If you'd like that, Steve, it tells you a lot more about the laws of God’s government and His love.

Friends -- boy, we’ve just gobbled up our Bible answer time. We hope you’ve been blessed and encouraged by the program. Keep in mind, go to the website, pray for the Heroes of Faith meetings that are starting October 2nd. Tell your friends, sign up your church and Lord willing, we’re going to get together again next week and study His word just like this. God bless.

Advertisement: This has been a pre-recorded broadcast of Bible Answers Live, a production of Amazing Facts Ministries. If you would like to order the materials mentioned on this broadcast, call 800-835-6747 from 8 AM to midnight Eastern Standard Time. That’s 800-835-6747. If you’ve missed an episode of Bible Answers Live, you can find it on our website, amazingfacts.org. You’ll also find our online sale catalog of books, tapes and other materials, as well as numerous free resources on nearly every Bible topic, putting the answers to your Bible questions right at your fingertips. If you’ve been blessed by this program, let us know. Write to us at P.O. Box 909 Roseville, California 95678. Be sure to tell others about the program and join us again next time for more Bible Answers Live with Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Male Speaker: I grew up in a church-going family. We were at every meeting. I sang in four of the choirs there. I directed three. Very involved, very active. It almost seemed like busy work sometimes. I went to Sunday School. I knew about God. I knew about Jesus. But I didn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. My senior year in high school, I got the news that my father had been murdered. I played it off well. No one really saw that I was struggling with it.

It just really felt that there was a hole that needed to be filled. I tried to fill it with drugs, with alcohol, with partying. After college, I just stopped going to church altogether. One day, on a Sunday, because I didn’t feel like going to church with my mom, I thought I should get a little bit of work. She had the satellite system hooked up and I’m flipping through channels and then the logo pops across, Amazing Facts Presents. I’ve listened to a lot of different ministers, but this was the first time that he’s actually saying something where I had to grab my Bible, actually pick it up. I’ve never heard this before. Let me look through and find this.

I went through all the historicals. I went through all the study guides and I just couldn’t get enough. Then the Sabbath came up and He’s going through the appeal and I’m just going, “Lord, I hear you. I have to go to the church.” So I show up. It was funny, I didn’t feel like I was going to be judged, anything judgmental, anything. I walked in the door and I just felt at home. But there's still a problem, I’m still partying. I was still going out to the bars. At this time, I was selling cocaine to pay my rent. Sixteen days later, I find myself in a life-or-death situation.

I just came back from a liquor store and I grabbed the bottle of vodka. There I am, high off cocaine, with my Bible in hand, trying to do a Bible study. I heard an audible voice, “Just look at yourself,” and I did and I was like, “What am I doing?” I got on my knees and I said, “Lord, if you do not take this away from me now, I’m going to kill myself. I was going to continue this lifestyle and I was going to end overdosing, having a heart attack, whatever it was. You have to take this away, all of it.” That day, He lifted all of it away from me. It was all gone. When God does something in your life, He does it complete.

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