Unity and Broken Relationships

Scripture: Romans 5:10, 2 Timothy 4:11, Romans 5:8-11
Date: 12/08/2018 
Lesson: 10
"How can we learn to forgive those who have hurt or disappointed us? At the same time, why does forgiveness not always include a complete restoration of a previous relationship? Why does it not always need to?"
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Good morning, friends, and welcome again to Sabbath School Study Hour here at the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church. I'd like to welcome our online members, and our friends who are joining us across the country and around the world, very warm welcome to all of you as well as our regular church members, our Sabbath school members, and those who are visiting with us right here at the Granite Bay church. It's always nice to be able to gather together Sabbath morning, open up our lesson, and study together. Now over the past few weeks we've been studying through the theme of unity in the Bible, and today we find ourselves on lesson number 10 which is entitled "unity and broken relationships." Of course, in any family relationships, sometimes things get broken. How do we maintain unity even when they are broken relationships? So that's going to be our theme, our study for today.

But before we get to the lesson, we'd like to lead our friends, who are viewing this program, know about a free offer that we have. It is a book entitled, "the surrender of self," very important key to mending broken relationships. And this is our free offer today. If you'd like to receive it, all you'll have to do is call 866-788-3966, and ask for offer number 153. We'll be happy to send that to anyone who calls and asks.

If you'd like to receive a digital copy of our free offer today, the number to text is 40544 and you want to text the code "sh087." If you'll send a text with that code to the number I just gave you, you'll receive an e-mail, and you'll be able to download this free resource, a very important book called "the surrender of self." Well, before we get to our study this morning, we like to begin our Sabbath school by lifting our voices in song. I'd like to invite The Song leaders to come forward. Thank you so much for joining with us, and we will sing more favorite Christmas songs next time. At this time though, Pastor Ross is going to have our opening prayer. Dear Father in Heaven, thank you once again for the opportunity for us to gather together and open up Your Word and study this very important theme of unity, especially in the church and in the home.

Father, we ask for the Holy Spirit to come and guide us and help us to understand and also to implement these biblical principles in our relationships, for we ask this in Jesus' Name. Amen. Our lesson study today is going to be brought to us by our family life pastor here at Granite Bay, Pastor Shawn brummund. I'd like to invite you to open your Bibles to the Gospel of John 13:35. And while we're turning to that, I would like to do a quick survey for us here as we get into our subject in our study, which is a very important one in regards to our personal relationships.

Has anybody here ever been hurt by any other church member? Any church members here today that have ever been hurt by another church member at some point, not right now, but at some point in the past. All right, put your hand up. Raise them high, so I can see it. Okay. Everybody look around.

Okay, everybody look around. Keep your hands up. All right, okay. For those of you who are looking and maybe have a camera on the people that are with us here today in Granite Bay, there was a number of hands went up, at least half, maybe even over half of the hands, and I know that that some of the people who didn't put their hands up, they just didn't want to be bothered, I know how that works. And some of you that didn't put your hands up also have been hurt by other church members.

Now when I put my hand up, I wasn't just putting up as a model this time like I did at last study when I asked a question, but I've been hurt more than once by another church member, both before I entered the pastor calling that God had given me as well as since. And this just is part of the reality of bringing a number of people together even born again Christians that are growing in the grace of Christ, that are learning sometimes by our blunders, by our mistakes. And sometimes we say things that we regret, sometimes we make decisions and actions that we regret that not only do we have to ask the Lord for forgiveness for, but also each other, other people that we have hurt. And so this is one of the things that we carry through our Christian experience and through the church, and I am just so thankful that the Bible gives us some examples of some of the most prominent, most spiritual, most devout Christians that we have in all of history, some of them Bible prophets and apostles that also found themselves either being hurt or hurting other fellow Christians as they also were growing in the understanding of God's love. So if you were in your lesson study, lesson study number 10, you would have already known that the text that I pointed as to, which is John 13, is also found at the bottom of page 80 on the first day, and first page of our lesson study for this weekend.

And so let's go ahead and read that. You read it silently, I'll read it out loud. In John 13:35, we have the powerful statement of Christ where he says, "by this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." Now I know even as we read that, for those of you like myself that have been in the church 20 plus years, you've been in the faith many years, you've heard that statement more than once, haven't you? In fact, it's one of the most repeated statements of the words of Christ. And so I've heard it read many times by their pastors, and Christians, and Bible studies, and sermons and such. Why? Because it's a very important and powerful statement by Jesus.

Now one of the dangers that takes place though is that the more we hear it, the more it can kind of just roll off us because, oh, I said, "oh, yeah, I've heard that before." I've heard it a million times, and, of course, one of the dangers of that happening is that we can be in danger of forgetting how important it is for us to have love for each other. And that's the point that Jesus made, wasn't it? Is that Jesus is reminding us that one of the most important elements that we bring to the church is the love that we bring when we walk into the church doors. And not only into the church doors, when we come together on Sabbath for worship, but when we walk into each other's homes, and we walk into different events or we go on mission trips together. And every time that we're walking and meeting each other, God has called us for a love, one for another. Quick question, what is the opposite of love? Okay, somebody said selfishness, hate, okay, that was the first one that came to my mind, probably most of you thought of hate right away.

With think love and then hate. And that's certainly a fitting opposite. Selfishness also is very fitting as well. Anything else? Okay, what about some others? I had some more time to think about, of course, as I prepared. What about betrayal? Betrayal, when you betray somebody that has trusted you, betrayed their trust, that would be the opposite of what true love is.

What about violent acts? Violent acts, of course, is the opposite of love. What about jealousy? When you're jealous of someone else, what if you're bitter towards someone else? What about resentment? Of course, there's condemnation or judgment. Sometimes we find ourselves acting in the opposite of love when we condemn or judge somebody in a way that God has called us not to. What about being rude to a fellow person, a fellow member. Is that the opposite of love? Sure it is, yeah, Jesus tells us that love is kind and is not rude.

And I think we talked about that over the last couple of studies that we've been together. And so these are all fitting words that can be found on the other side of the track. We have love on one side, and then we have a number of these other sinful realities that we grow out of that. We are called to be able to put behind us as Christians. And when we fall into one of these things that are in the opposite of love.

Why, of course, then we find ourselves threatening in our relationships with each other. Because if there's one thing that I've learned by experience is that once I hurt somebody because of my non loving act towards a fellow Christian church member, you know, that relationship becomes strain, doesn't it? And sometimes depending, of course, on the magnitude of my act or my words, will also be directly relational to the strain that it brings on to that relationship. Maybe we won't talk to each other for a time, maybe we'll avoid each other, maybe, you know, well, you know, there's all kinds of different reactions or, you know, or maybe I'll just be strained for an hour, and an hour later, we're, you know, we're sharing some special memory together or something. So it depends, it depends on the breach and, of course, the magnitude of the offense. Well, I had the privilege of teaching lesson number seven about, throughout, it would be three lessons ago when it was entitled, "when conflicts arise.

" And how conflicts between groups of church members take place. It took place in the early church, it takes place today in our church, sometimes it's small groups within a local congregation, sometimes a local congregation will kind of be divided right down the center and needs to be able to work that out. And so we looked at some healthy ways that we can… that God gives to us to be able to make our way through that and bring ourselves back into unity once again. And then last week, as we came together in lesson number nine, our witness to the unbelieving world was looked at, and that witness reflects the statement that Christ has given to us at the beginning of this lesson's, this week's lesson study, and that is, "the unbelieving world is watching us and seeing how we have one love for one another." And so having that love for one another is a big part of our witness, isn't it? It's not only the message of the Bible, which is also important and powerful, but it's also living out the principles that we have found in the Bible as transformed spirit filled Christians loving each other in a way that the world knows that they don't love each other outside of the borders of the church. And so that's important for us to look at.

Now today we're going to look at personal relationships in the church, and how they're broken. We're going to examine some principles, some different counsels that God gives to us in the Bible to give that relationship the best chance of being healed, the best chance of being restored. Sadly, sometimes those relationships are never restored, but we want to prayerfully look at the Scriptures today and say, "Lord, how can I preserve and maintain or restore all my relationships with my fellow church members as best as possible. And so my number one favorite day of this week's lesson study was found on Sunday. And Sunday's points us to two very important individuals.

And those two important individuals… well, the first one is very famous. In fact, the first one is so famous that over the last 2,000 years, there's been thousands, maybe millions of baby boys that have been born to Christian parents, and the Christian parents have decided to name their son after the apostle Paul. And so we have many Pauls even in our generation here in America today because of that. And so Paul is one of the most famous individuals by far in all of history as well as in the Christian church and Bible. Now the second individual is just as essential, but it's interesting that he's not nearly as famous.

Has anybody ever ran into a barnabas lately? Okay, all right, no barnabases. I can't recall, maybe I have, but if I have I can't recall ever running into a barnabas. And yet how many have known a Paul? There might be a Paul in our midst today or watching on the program here today. Lots of Pauls but no barnabases, why is that? Well, that's a whole other discussion. Well, barnabas's name actually.

.. His parents didn't name him barnabas, by the way. His actual original name was a Joses or a Joseph depended on what manuscript evidence you look at. So we know that his birth name actually was something totally different. You may not have known that barnabas was the name that the apostles gave to him.

And so his name was changed. Saul's name was changed to Paul, and so Paul's original name was not Paul, it was Saul, and it was changed to Paul. And here we have barnabas's name was changed to... Joseph's name was changed to barnabas as well. We also have Simon, one of the apostles, his name was changed to Peter, okay? So it's interesting how God has moved upon some of the early leaders of the church and gave them a new name.

Now what does barnabas mean? It means son of encouragement. Son of encouragement. What an honor to have your name changed to son of encouragement. Now the Bible tells us that one of the Spiritual gifts is encouragement or edification to minister and lift up our fellow Christians. And so some of us have been endowed like barnabas with a spiritual gift that when somebody is discouraged in the church, you kind of just are one of the most natural people to just kind of run in there and help encourage that person through a difficult time that they may be going through in their faith or perhaps some challenges in their life and such.

Well, barnabas lived out, and lived up to his name as you look at barnabas through the book of acts, at least through the first 15 chapters where he's talked about. And so we're going to spend some time just kind of tracing this beautiful relationship between these two very important individuals. In acts chapter 9, we find that Saul is converted as he's making his way up to the north, the far north of Israel to damascus. And as he's almost at damascus, of course, he has this encounter with Jesus. To make a long story short, we find that he eventually is born again in the city of damascus.

And rather than persecuting, and trying to arrest, and imprison, and even kill some of the Christians as he had planned, now he's fellowshipping with them and he's praying on his knees with them, he's standing up and he's preaching for them, and he's just excited on fire for the Lord because his eyes have been opened, and he's a different person. All things have been made new, and now he realized that the very message in religion that he was fighting against is the very message of truth that God has for mankind and for Paul. Now when he returns back to the city of Jerusalem where he had first started and such, he naturally wants to find and share with other Christians that his eyes have been opened, to tell them that he's now full of the Holy Spirit, and that he's a converted believer in Christ just like they are, so you can imagine Paul's excitement when he gets back into Jerusalem because he just wants to find all the Christians he can find now, but his motive is completely the opposite now, isn't it? And so when he's out looking for the Christians, he can't wait to be able to share with them. But now we have to put ourselves in the shoes of the Christians because when he left Jerusalem, it had been many weeks, maybe months now that he had been searching out imprisoning, torturing, and killing Christians. And so the more that the word got out that Paul was trying to find them, the more they kind of went into the woodwork and try to hide from him.

And when the word got to them that Paul was converted that he was now a Christian, they had a hard time believing that, and the Bible tells us so in that particular chapter. And so they were filled with fear, and disbelief, and naturally so. Now we don't know how long it would be before Paul was finally united with the Christians in Jerusalem if it wasn't for barnabas. But we do know that the Bible tells us that barnabas was the key mediator that went and sought out, found Paul, heard his story, checked out his genuineness and so on, and then took him and introduced him to the very heart of Christianity. He didn't just bring him to mary's house where there was a group of Christians, but no, he brought him.

.. Maybe it was mary's house where the apostles were, but we find there that the apostles is the first people that barnabas introduces Paul to. So he brings them to the very heart of the Christian church, to the apostles themselves. We find that in verse 27. It says, "but barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles.

" And so barnabas finds himself as a mediator. Now this is the spark of the beginning of a lifelong relationship between these two men. You can imagine how special barnabas immediately became to Paul because barnabas was the key to bringing Paul and introducing him to the very heart of the Christian church. Well, Paul's still excited for the Lord, and so he is standing up before different Christians, and synagogues, and on the street corners, probably in the open courts of the temple, and he's preaching Jesus now, he's preaching the very message and the very person, Jesus, that he had been persecuting and working against so strongly. And so it took the jews, the Jewish populations a while to kind of come to grips with what happened with this 180 change.

And, but it tells us that eventually the heat rose to the point where word got out to Paul and the Christian church that they were going to kill Paul. And so the Christian church wisely then kind of took Paul probably in the night, and brought him over to caesarea, which was a port city nearby the main port city that they could find, put him on a boat, and sent him back to his home city of tarsus, where he can get some refuge and safety until he kind of settled down in Jerusalem. And so this was the beginning of a lifelong relationship between these two men that were instrumental in developing a network of churches throughout the roman empire. These are no small individuals in regards to God's plan to spread and network his church throughout the known world. When we come to acts 11, we find that God leads barnabas again to take the lead.

Well, how does he take the lead this time? Well, barnabas visits the city by the name of antioch. Now antioch is not in Israel, but it's just north of Israel. And if you were to follow the eastern mediterranean sea that Israel kind of lines, you'll find that almost at the very top of that eastern shoreline, you'll find another port city by the name of antioch. Now antioch is a roman city, but because it's close enough to Jerusalem or anti-Israel, we find that there's a substantial population still of Jewish people there living as well. And not only that, but there's a lot of hEllenists that are living there.

And hEllenists are kind of jews that have adopted the Jewish... The Greek language, the Greek culture in a large way. And some of them had intermarried with Greeks as well. And so they were referred to as hEllenism. And a lot of them weren't recognized as complete jews by the purists down in Jerusalem and Judea.

And so word got out that there was, the word was being spread out there, and the Gospel's being accepted by hEllenists. These kind of half jews, almost like a samaritan type. And so the brethren in Jerusalem had decided to send barnabas up north to antioch, and to give them a report. Well after he gets up there, he's just so excited, he encourages the church, he sees the hand of the Lord there and such, and then after a time after he's finished his mission, we find there is that that barnabas decides and was moved by God, I'm sure, to go and get Saul and bring him back to antioch. Now, barnabas, I'm sure was acquainted with the geography of the time.

And as it turns out, when you look at a map, antioch is just a short boat ride across the top eastern corner of the mediterranean sea to get to the home city of Paul, tarsus. And that's where, of course, where the Christian church last sent him. And so barnabas leaves the city of antioch. Now the city of antioch is a fascinating city as we'll continue to see here because antioch was the most fitting port city that was as north as you could get from Israel without entering into the full blown gentile world of the western empire. And so we find there that Paul is.

.. Or not Paul, but barnabas and Paul eventually become sponsored from this, and antioch becomes the kind of bridge city, the kind of the missionary outpost to the gentile world that God had intended for them to reach. Well, after barnabas goes to Saul, tarsus, he finds Saul, and sure enough, again as he did before in Jerusalem, he takes Saul back to antioch, introduces him to this key church, and God is working through all this, of course, to be able to establish this church as the missionary outpost, but also Paul and barnabas as the key missionaries. And so the Bible tells us that they spent a year there together. And so Saul and barnabas are Paul and barnabas, spent a year working hand-in-hand preaching, teaching, evangelizing the great city of antioch.

It is in the city of antioch that we are first called Christians by the way. And so that's an interesting key trivia and point there as well. And so the people outside of the church started to call as Christians, those who are followers of Christ. Now antioch now becomes the missionary outpost center. And in acts 12, Paul and barnabas finish.

.. After they finish delivering some food to the city of Jerusalem, there was a famine that had been prophesied, and predicted, and sure enough it came in Jerusalem, the land of Judea and such and other parts of the known world. And so they, Paul and barnabas, were sent by antioch to bring a number of generous donations to be able to feed those particular hungry Christians that were back in Jerusalem and in Judea. And after they finish their business, the Bible tells us in acts 12 that they return back to the city of antioch, and when they return, they bring with them a young man, a promising young man for ministry and his name is John, John Mark is his full name. Now he is famously known as the author of the Gospel of.

.. Not the Gospel of John, but the Gospel of Mark. Now some of you may not know this, but Mark is not his first name. If you're to address him formally, you would call him mr. Mark, and that is because Mark was his last name, it was his surname.

His first name was John. Now why they decided to call him Mark, I can't find any Bible verse that tells us for sure, but I would put my money on the fact that there was a very prominent apostle by the name of John already, and so in order to avoid confusion, they decided to call Mark, Mark, or John Mark, Mark by his last name, so they could have an easy distinction between the two. And so they bring this young man by the name of Mark. Now Mark was The Son of a key figure in Jerusalem. And that key figure's name was mary.

Now, no, this is not the mother of Jesus, not mary, the mother of Jesus, but rather this is mary who is a prominent figure and a prominent Christian in Jerusalem that hosted the church quite often in her home. And so I'm guessing she was one of more privilege, had a larger home, had more room to accommodate worship services and so on. Many of us are familiar with the story when Peter was imprisoned, and he was on death row. King herod was going to kill him the next morning. God delivers him with an angel through the night, Peter comes and starts to rap on the door of mary.

And all the Christians, and all of them, but there is certainly a substantial group in there that were praying on their knees, you know, "Lord, please deliver Peter. Don't let him die tomorrow as planned." And God answered their prayers, didn't he? And so it was mary's home. And so inevitably, John Mark or Mark as we know him would have been in that group praying for Peter's deliverance. And so now we have Paul, and barnabas, and Mark perhaps had approached them, perhaps they approached him, we don't know the details but somehow there was a sense of the calling that God had called Mark to be a minister and a missionary for the Lord. And then we come to acts 13.

In acts 13, God tells the antioch church now as he leads through a number of different prophets. He says, "I want you to ordain both Paul and barnabas, and I want you to send them out as the first sponsored missionaries that the Christian church has ever officially sent." And so this is an exciting story because these are the first official sponsored missionaries. And so after the ordination, of course, they begin to make their plans, and they jump in a boat, and they sail out to a substantial island towards the western mediterranean sea called cyprus. Now I want just to stop for a moment, and imagine how close these two Christian brothers are at this point. They've spent several years together, they've traveled, they evangelized together, they've sat in people's home giving Bible studies with people that are learning the truth in the Gospel for the first time.

These are close, close brothers in the Lord. All right, chapter 13 in the same chapter verse 5, it tells us that John Mark is taken as an assistant. And so we find that the first missionary team was actually made up of three, we have Paul, we have barnabas, and then we also have Mark or John Mark as his full name is. And it tells us very clearly that he's recognized as an assistant, so he's not ordained at this point, but he's coming along as kind of as an assistant to get his feet wet a little bit in the ministry, he doesn't have the experience of Paul and the barnabas both have in preaching, and evangelizing, and such, and so he comes along as an assistant. Let's read that in.

.. Read more about that in acts 13:13. Let's go to acts 13 now. Acts 13:13, because we find here after they had gone through about... Now the first missionary tour that took place was the shortest one that Paul and barnabas went on.

And so the three main tours or missionary trips that Paul went on, this was the shortest. But half way through that particular missionary tour, we find here that John Mark kind of falls short. Let's find that, acts 13:13, and we have a volunteer that's going to read that for us. Go ahead kindly. "Now when Paul and his party set sail from paphos, they came to perga in pamphylia, and John, departing from them, returned to Jerusalem.

" Okay, so here we find that the party is going in one direction, that's Paul and barnabas, and Mark kind of bails out. And we don't know all the details, but we can only guess, you know, being a missionary, my hat goes off to missionaries, can you say amen to that? My hat goes off to missionaries. I have done some short mission trips to some of the caribbean islands, and so on. And when you've been brought up in the standard of living that you have in America, and my years that I grew up in Canada, and you go to some of these developing countries, you realize how blessed you really are. And so the rigors of missionary work is a great sacrifice.

And God calls very special people to be able to make that sacrifice and continue to bring the Gospel to all points of the planet. And so... But it's a very rigorous. And in the travels back then, of course, were very primitive compared to today, they didn't have nice seats, we complain about the little seats that are shrinking in our planes, well, they would love to have those seats, you know, compared to being on a ship and throwing up over the edge of the sea, and it didn't smell too good all the time, they didn't have the sanitation and sewer systems that we have on our ships today. And so it was rough.

And, of course, their lives were in danger all the time. And we read about Paul, and barnabas, and silas, I mean they had a lot of scars on their back because of some of the different whippings, and beatings, and stonings that they had been exposed to. And so Mark goes home, and he gets on the ship, and he says, "sorry, I just can't take this anymore, I've got to go home and kind of regroup." And so he goes home, and Paul and barnabas goes on, and they continue and finish their tour. Well, Paul was not happy about this. Barnabas was a little bit more discerning, he was a little bit more sensitive.

Paul was a go-getter, he was a real accomplisher, and God needed an individual like that to be able to accomplish the very vigorous plan that God had for him. And... But one of the shortcomings sometimes with that kind of personality is that you don't have very much tolerance for those of you, for those who aren't quite as rigorous as you are, and quite as thick skinned as you are perhaps and such. And so Paul apparently writes off Mark, and he just writes him off, and says, "well, obviously he's not cut out for the rigors of missionary life." And so that's the end of Paul, I mean the end of Mark in Paul's mind. Well, how do we know this? Well, we find it in acts 15:36.

Let's go to acts chapter 15. Acts chapter 15. In acts 15:36, we'll read right to the end of the chapter there. It says "then after some days Paul said to barnabas, 'let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing.' Now barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark." Well, there it goes. Okay, "but Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work.

" And so Paul completely opposed and is not interested in cooperating with Mark coming along. Verse 39 says, "then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so barnabas took Mark and sailed to cyprus," which was retracing the same route that they did on their last tour, the first tour. "But Paul chose silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God. And he went through syria and cilicia, strengthening the churches.

" And so it turns out that Paul chose another partner. He said, "listen, barnabas, if you're going to take along Mark, I'm not going." And barnabas said, "listen, if you're not going to let me take along Mark, I'm not going." And so they both had... There's two key words in that one key verse there, around verse 40, what was that? Contention and sharp. Does that sound like a good conversation? Okay, all right. So this is more of an argument, isn't it? Okay, and so they're butting heads, and they're not moving, they're both putting their heels in, and they're saying we're not moving, and so finally Paul says, "well, that's it, I'm dropping you and Mark.

I'm going to take silas. And I'm going to take silas and we're going to go up and we're going to do a different missionary trip." And so they took the land route around the top of the mediterranean sea to get into the west, and as we just read, we find that barnabas took Mark and went back to their original tour, the first tour at cyprus. I want to read something here from lesson, from the lesson we're looking out on page 81. And so if you have your lesson books, you can turn there with me if you wish. And I'm going to read a quote from one of my favorite books, it comes from the Acts of the Apostles, page 170.

The Acts of the Apostles written by Ellen white. And it says this, it says, "this desertion caused Paul to judge Mark unfavorably, and even severely, for a time. Barnabas, on the other hand, was inclined to excuse him because of his inexperience. He felt anxious that Mark should not abandon the ministry, for he saw in him qualifications that would fit him to be a useful worker for Christ." And so thank God for barnabas in this case, right? Then it goes on as the lesson study reflects on that. It says, "although God used all these men," and I like that.

God is still using each of these men, isn't he? Even as they departed with different partners in mission, God is still working through them in spite of them, and I take encouragement in that that God can work through me in spite of me. "Although God used all these men, the issues between them needed resolution." That was not to be ignored. "The apostle who preached grace needed to extend grace to a young preacher who had disappointed him. The apostle forgiveness needed to forgive. John Mark grew in the affirming mentorship of barnabas," acts 15:39, "and eventually Paul's heart was apparently touched by the changes.

And so this broke, two key relationships. Paul now has two broken relationships. He has a broken relationship with a longtime companion and friend by the name of barnabas, and he also has a broken relationship with a new found relationship and friendship that he had with another upstart by the name of Mark. And so barnabas is not mentioned again for the rest of acts. You know, I started to look at the concordance and I said, "well, barnabas must come up later, there must be some kind of reconciliation, something.

" Well, but there's nothing. Barnabas just disappears off the map for the rest of the book. And so then I thought to myself, "well, maybe God just wants to leave it open-ended. He just doesn't tell us that they reconciled one with another." But as I looked at the concordance, I found that there was one more time that barnabas is mentioned, and it's mentioned by Paul himself as Paul is writing back to a church that he had planted in corinth on his second tour. And come with me to 1 Corinthians 9:5-6.

So let's read it together. It's the last mention of barnabas. Okay, we're going to 1 Corinthians 9:5-6. And we have a volunteer here. Seth is going to read for us, thank you.

Corinthians 9:5-6, "do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and cephas? Or do only barnabas and I not have a right to refrain from working?" Okay, thank you. So here we have poor Paul as he is so often, he's defending himself by false accusers and false accusations that are taking place while he's out of town. And how often that happens, say they're taking advantage, that the accusers are waiting till Paul's out of town, and then they start running him down. And, so Paul here is defending himself, and he says, "do we not have the right to bring along a believing wife as also the other apostles." And so here we find some interesting evidence that reveals that most of the apostles traveled with their wife. And it's interesting that the only apostle that is mentioned by name is cephus.

Now, cephus is another name for Peter. And so Peter is on record of traveling with his wife. Now this doesn't work very well with a roman church tradition that tells its people that, that Peter is the first pope, and that both the pope and its army of cardinals, and priests, and so on are forbidden to marry and have a wife. And yet we have Peter, who's claimed to be the first pope is sleeping with his wife every night. Isn't that interesting? It's almost like God put that there on purpose, I'm not sure.

But anyway that's a sideline. Okay, so 1 Corinthians. Now, what we need to pick up here is that on the first tour that Paul and barnabas went on, they never made it to the city of corinth, they never made it to the city of corinth. So when Paul is writing back and mentioning barnabas, that gives us very clear evidence that barnabas had reckoned, not only reconciled back with Paul, but had joined hands with Paul and his crew, and on the third missionary trip, inevitably traveled with Paul as well as individuals, now we have Mark, who is also with them now as well, and then we also have Luke, who is with them and named as well, as well as some other individuals. And so the crew has built itself up a little bit bigger by the time they get to the third missionary tour, and we find that barnabas is part of it again.

Isn't that good news? Why? Because it tells us that barnabas and Paul worked out their differences and their hurts, and they restored their relationship, and a working relationship, and friendship one back with another. And so I found that very encouraging as I continued to do some investigation there and work that out. Okay, let's go to 2 Timothy chapter 4. We're going to go to 2 Timothy. And when we go to 2 Timothy, every time I go there, I go there kind of solemnly because 2 Timothy is kind of the last words that Paul is writing to his fellow worker by the name of Timothy and fellow missionary.

But it's just kind of his last words if we could say it. He's about to lose his life, he's about to be executed by the roman authorities. And so God inspires him to write this last word, this last letter. And we would come to the last chapter, we come to verse 11, and we're going to ask our last volunteer, dianna, to kindly read that for us. Timothy 4:11, "only Luke is with me.

Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry." Can you say amen? All right, so he's saying, listen only Luke is with me. And Paul is writing from his prison at home and such in the city of rome, and he's saying, "oh, make sure you bring Mark because Mark is useful to me." Do you see a restored relationship there, friends? There's a beautiful restored relationship that is found there in that powerful verse. Thank God for that verse. And so Mark is very obviously on record of becoming a very valued missionary and accomplished minister of the Lord. And Paul recognizes that, and already has some very good experiences on the road and in the field with him in the years passed.

In fact, God saw Mark is so powerful and so important that he actually gave Mark the privilege of writing one of the four Gospels on the life teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus. And so Mark becomes a very prominent important individual in the early Christian church. Well, you see that we have a few minutes left, and I want to spend the last few minutes just running through a very important subject that is found in the later days studying our lesson, and that is the subject of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a huge subject, and I wish we had a whole session just to look at that, maybe we will in the future some day. Did barnabas need to forgive Paul for Paul's overly harsh judgment of Mark, and also not trusting at barnabas' discernment? You know, barnabas said, "listen, this is my take on Mark.

I really think there's a lot of potential. Yes, he kind of had a bump in the road there, but we all do. So let's just take him under a wing and give him another shot." And Paul said, "absolutely not, you know. I'll go a different way, and I'll pick somebody else if it takes it. Did Paul need to.

.. I mean did barnabas need to forgive Paul? Yeah, he did. Sure there were some hurtful words, and some hurtful stands that Paul had made. Did Paul need to forgive Mark for bailing on them in the first mission trip? Sure he did. Now we don't know if he forgave him before he went on that second mission trip and refused to bring Mark with him.

He might have forgave him but still judged him and said, "listen, I don't think that you're cut out for the mission field." Did Mark need to forgive Paul for writing him off so quickly? Sure, you think Mark was hurt by that? Of course, he was, yeah, maybe even overheard some of those conversations between Paul and barnabas, and poor Mark's maybe in the room, and he's heard them argue over whether Mark's going to come or not, and Paul says, "no way, that guy's not cut out for it, I don't think he has it. I don't believe in him." And so was Mark hurt? Sure he was. And so Mark had to forgive Paul for writing him off so quickly. You see, friends, forgiveness is at the very heart of the Gospel. It is a permanent attitude of God's heart, and that's why when we see The Son of God, and we have to remember when we see Jesus on the cross, Jesus had said just hours before that, he said, "when you see me, you have seen The Father.

" And so when Jesus cried out to his opposers, to those who were spitting on him, and mocking him, and cheering on his death and his suffering, he said, "forgive them, for they know not what they do." Is that the heart of The Father? Sure it is. You have seen me, you have seen The Father. And so we find that at the very heart of God's existence, in the very heart of God's heart, there is an attitude that is a permanent attitude of forgiveness. God desires and wants to forgive us. And so because of this, because we're called to reflect the heart of God as Christians, our personal spiritual and emotional well-being depends largely on having that same attitude, the same attitude that God had as well.

What is forgiveness? What is forgiveness? That's important for us to stop and just pause for a moment. Forgiveness is letting go. It's letting go of a wrong that is against you. Somebody has offended you, and you have chosen not to hold that against that person, in case, it's very important for us to understand what forgiveness even is. Now this is the most common question that is asked by many people.

Many people that have sat down with us Christians have asked this question. Does forgiveness tell the offender that what they did was okay? If I choose to forgive somebody that has offended me, am I telling that person, it's okay? There's a certain part of us, and I've heard this over and over that have a hard time separating the two, and they say, "well, if I forgive that person who has done such a serious offense against me or a loved one that I know or friend, if I forgive them, then it's like condoning what they did, it's like approving what they did." And that's not just true. For those of you who may be watching on program here today or in the future, those of you here today, I want to put it in a way that might help you to understand. Have you ever... Has anybody here ever forgiven somebody for doing something good to them? Anybody ever came up to somebody and said, "you know, John, you know, the other day you just did such a kind act to me, you know, when you help me into the car there, when I couldn't get in, I broke my leg, I just want to forgive you for that.

" Okay, all right, some of you are chuckling. We don't forgive people for doing good, do we? The very act of forgiving is actually confirming that what that person did was wrong, okay? So I hope that helps a little bit 'cause sometimes we hesitate to do what God has asked us to do, which is forgive. By the way, the Lord's prayer says, "forgive us our sins, even as we forgive those who sin against us." And so God has called us to have a continual attitude of forgiveness toward our fellow man, and toward our fellow members, and so that's important. And so to forgive somebody is actually the opposite. You're confirming that what they did was wrong, you're saying to that person, "even though you did what was wrong, I choose to let it go, I choose not to hold it against you, and it both frees my heart and my spirit, and it also frees your heart and your spirit," and gives the offender a much better opportunity to be able to change and do what's right in the future.

And so not only are you liberating yourself, but you're also giving opportunity to liberate the offender as well. And so that's very important for us to be able to understand in regards to forgiveness. And I see here that we're on the very last minutes of our program here, and I just want to ask you a question. Did everyone at Christ's crucifixion repent? No. Okay.

Did Jesus ask for the forgiveness of all that were in the crowd? Yes. Okay. As Christians we are called to have an attitude of forgiveness even if the person chooses not to repent because that's another question some people ask me as a pastor. "Pastor, if that person hasn't repented, if they haven't given any indication or demonstration that they are changing their offending ways, should I forgive them?" And the answer is yes. Okay.

Why? Again, because you're liberating your own spirit and your own attitude in your heart, but you're also giving them a bigger opportunity to liberate their spirit as well because now they're not rocked with guilt every time they see you, and they know that you're holding something against them. And so that's important as well. And so love, forgiveness, this is all part of healing and maintaining our broken relationships. I hope for those of you who are watching, I know that some of you have tuned in after we already offered our free offer. We'd like to offer that just one more time before we say goodbye today.

And today's offer is "the surrender of self." Now that may sound a little bit confusing, you're wondering, "do I want to surrender myself?" And the answer is, if you want to be liberated, yes. And so, you just have to call into 1-866-788-3966 and ask for offer number 153, and we'll be happy to send that out to you if you're in America or North America I should say in American territories. If you'd like a digital download, you can text on your phone to 40544 and you just text the code "sh087," we'll be happy to send you a digital download for free and help you to study, continue to grow. So until next week, don't forget, we're praying for you, we love you, we look forward to seeing you again. God bless.

Don't forget to request today's life changing free resource. Not only can you receive this free gift in the mail, you can download a digital copy straight to your computer or mobile device. To get your digital copy of today's free gift, simply text the key word on your screen to 40544 or visit the web address shown on your screen, and be sure to select that digital download option on the request page. It's more easier than ever for you to study God's Word with Amazing Facts wherever and whenever you want, and most important to share it with others. Can't get enough Amazing Facts Bible study? You don't have to wait until next week to enjoy more truth-filled programming.

Visit the Amazing Facts media library at aftv.org. At aftv.org, you can enjoy video and audio presentations as well as printed material all free of charge, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week right from your computer or mobile device. Visit aftv.org. Amazing Facts changed lives. Early 1980, all the baby boomers were turning 21.

The night club scenes were exploding and I started an entertainment lighting company. I was the president, and there were six divisions doing the raves in the '80s and '90s, you know, in some warehouse, where you're setting up lighting, and fog, and, you know, who knows what's going on in there, and nightclub, nightclub installations, I loved it, and it was who I was. Bought a new house out of town, and we moved about two, three times, but we were always going to different churches. We're in a lutheran church, then we are in the methodist church, and then we went to three different baptist churches. My wife was raised catholic, I was raised methodist.

Currently, I've been out reading all the helen zille books, and watching all the left behind movies. So I really wanted to understand what the book of Revelation was all about, but nothing really ever made sense to me. One day pastor lloyd logan came knocking, and he had that net 99 flyer. We were preparing for an evangelistic series. And different people were going different directions with those handbills to invite people to the meetings.

I saw that coming at me, you know, all the colors, and I thought, "oh, no, this is some kind of cult thing." And she said, "thank you very much, I'm not much interested myself, but my husband like that kind of thing." Then lloyd said, "would you give it to him please?" And I said, "okay, I will." So I took the pamphlet and I put in on the counter. Gary came home and he walked by it. Ran to the kitchen to quickly eat, and take a shower, and go back out, and work a show. Two, three days went by like this, and I moved that brochure from the counter, put it on the dining table, put it back on the counter, in fact I actually threw in the garbage. As I threw it in that garbage can, I could hear him, and see his face saying, "would you give it to him, please?" And I actually took the garbage out, and that night lying in bed, I kept seeing his face and hearing his voice and thinking, "oh, boy, I got to get that brochure out of the garbage.

" And I took that, and I put it right underneath remote control, bright colors, he'll see it. I finally sat down in my living room, and I picked up the remote, I saw that angel holding up that scroll. Wow, cool, what is this? And I was in the kitchen cooking, I thought, "oh, no." And I looked at it, and I turned it over, and then I saw a little building, little church building, and it wasn't too far away, it was about six houses down. And it said, "Friday night." And I certainly wasn't going. I mean, it wasn't my intention to go.

I didn't have any shows going on that night. And so I thought it was a one night deal, and I went, and as I heard about the millennium man, I was just blown away. I didn't want it to end, I knew what I was hearing was all from the Scripture, and it wasn't based on hollywood movies or other books that were written. They said, "come again tomorrow night." And I thought, "wow, great! Two nights. So I tried to tell my wife about it, and she still wasn't interested, and then she decided to come.

I started to hear the truth, you know, I started to get fed. Every night after the seminar, he would hand us an Amazing Facts study guide. I couldn't do those fast enough. The business kept us going seven days a week, and it was night and day. Crew working all around the clock, and so when we finally heard the Sabbath message, you know, so far everything has been true, that's from the Bible.

Church on Saturday, no work, anyway it all clicked. Both our heads turned at each other, our jaws dropped open. I said, "we can't do that." And the first thing that came out of my mouth was, "we have to." I knew that it would be a sacrifice, and I was in fear about it. We didn't know how we're going to do it, but we talked to the pastor about it, and the pastor said, "we'll just pray about it, and God will open door. I didn't want to give up all the connections I made, all the networking, all the money, all the investment.

We went to the board and asked them if they would consider closing on Saturday, and they agreed to. So we closed the store front on Saturday, but we were still doing productions, and that kind of bothered us. So a couple of months later, God opened a door for my wife, she exited the company, I prayed about it, and God opened a door for me too. Gary, shortly after, was offered a job being paid more money than he made as an owner of the company. He said, "I will give you a $1,000 raise, and you will never work another weekend.

" And we were able to keep the Sabbath and enjoy the wonderful blessings that God had for us on the Sabbath day. And my kids never again had to say, "quit talking about work." After the seminar, we'd go over, my wife and i, and my children were all baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Even if I gave up everything, I knew that God would have something better. I have much more understanding, and there's much more depth in my Christian walk with the Lord. We started an Amazing Facts Bible school at a church that allows anybody to understand the Scripture, to understand the end times.

Church changed my life dramatically, and I'm very happy and excited to be a part of it. Did you know that Noah was present at the birth of Abraham? Okay, maybe he wasn't in the room, but he was alive and probably telling stories about his floating zoo. From the creation of the world to the last day events of Revelation, Biblehistory.com is a free resource where you can explore major Bible events and characters. Enhance your knowledge of the Bible and draw closer to God's Word. Go deeper.

Visit the amazing Bible timeline at Biblehistory.com.

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