Lost At Sea

Lost At Sea

Date: 12/05/2010 
How about an amazing fact? On October 5, 2010, three teenage boys from Atafu, a remote South Pacific Island, made a reckless decision. Without talking to their parents, they decided to attempt an epic journey across 50 miles of Open Ocean in a 12 foot aluminum boat to visit some girls they had met from a neighboring island.
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Pastor Doug: Hello friends. This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? On October 5, 2010, three teenage boys from Atafu, a remote South Pacific Island, made a reckless decision. Without talking to their parents, they decided to attempt an epic journey across 50 miles of Open Ocean in a 12 foot aluminum boat to visit some girls they had met from a neighboring island. They never made it to their destination. After weeks of extensive searching, the two 15 year olds and a 14 year old were given up for dead. Hundreds gathered with their families to grieve and to eulogize them in a memorial service. Then on the afternoon of November 22, 50 days after they first disappeared, a tuna boat spotted the 3 boys waiving frantically from their tiny vessel. The craft had drifted 800 miles to a desolate part of the Pacific Ocean Northeast of Fiji.

The teenagers who were also cousins were dehydrated, exhausted and sunburned and very thin but otherwise, they seemed okay. They related that soon after they began their adventure, their outboard motor died and they began to drift. They had no freshwater with them, only a handful of coconuts. And they told the rescuers they survived by catching rainwater on a tarp, eating sushi and catching a seabird that they also ate raw. A few days before the rescue, they started drinking water because there'd been no rain. This would have ultimately killed them. The boys were brought to a hospital in Fiji and they're expected to fully recover. Can you imagine the rejoicing of their families when they discovered their lost sons were found alive? The Bible says this is how God feels over one sinner who repents. Stay with us friends. We're going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Doug: Hello listening friends. Welcome once again to Bible Answers Live and we'd like to encourage you if you have a Bible question, lines are open. We've got several lines free right now. Pick up your phone and call. It’s a free phone call, 1-800-God-SAYS, 1-800-463-7297. And if you'd like to add a Bible question to tonight's program, this program is especially focus and dedicated to understanding the word of God. That phone number one more time 1-800-GOD-SAYS, 1-800-463-7297. And my name is Doug Batchelor.

Jean Ross: My name is Jean Ross. Good evening friends. Pastor Doug, let’s begin the program with a prayer.

Dear father, we thank you that we do have this opportunity to study Your word and we ask Your special blessing upon this program. (Inaudible 3:38) those who are listening, wherever they might be, and lead us into further truth. For we ask this in Jesus name. Amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Jean Ross: Pastor Doug, that was a fascinating fact that opened the program, these three young men who survived about 50 days at sea.

Pastor Doug: Incredible.

Jean Ross: And yet, they have seem to have fully recovered (all their?) will have a full recovery so that's really a miracle.

Pastor Doug: Yeah and then of course you just think about the families and how they grieved and they're probably already adjusting to the idea that their sons and brothers and cousins were gone and then to really hear this news 50 days later was like a resurrection for them. And it makes me think of the story in --it's a parable that Jesus gave-- the prodigal son in Luke 15 verse 32. And the father, when his son came back, they hadn't heard any word from him in years. They had no internet or phones back then. For all they knew, this wayward? Prodigal boy was gone and when he returned home the father said "For this your brother was dead, and he is alive again. He was lost and he is found." And if a person is living without God, they really are lost in more ways than one and they're spiritually dead. And the only way to have that new life and that rescue is by surrendering our lives to the Lord. And it begins really with a gift of eternal life. and we're trusting that there are some who are wandering out there right now that would like to know how to find forgiveness for their sins, how to have peace and joy and to live forever, we have a free offer tonight that we'll send you just for asking that. We’ll get you on the road to eternal life, peace and happiness.

Jean Ross: It's a book entitled "Three steps to heaven.” “Three Steps to Heaven," it's free if you call our resource line. That’s 1-800-835-6747. What do you have to do to have that saving relationship with Jesus? 1-800-835-6747. Asks for the Book "Three Steps to Heaven" and we'll be happy to send that out to you. Pastor Doug, we got an email question that came in from Maxine in the UK and I thought we could start the program with a question.

Pastor Doug: Sure.

Jean Ross: The question is why were the people of Israel punished after King David outnumbered them. The story is in 1 Chronicles 21.

Pastor Doug: Yes. I think you'll also see the story in 2nd Samuel 24 but someone might wonder... all right so David outnumbered the people and there's nothing wrong with taking the census that were several times when Moses took a census and others in the Bible, basically to understand how the movement of the people and how to accommodate their needs but David, it was very different. David had gone into battle all through his life, totally outnumbered, and he trusted in the Lord from the time he went against Goliath and the Philistines and many other subsequent times. David went into battle just saying, you know, "I’ll trust the Lord. It doesn't matter what the numbers are." And now all of a sudden, David had become successful. The nation had grown greatly during his reign 40 years. This was towards the end of his reign, and now he was trusting in his size. And he began to say, "Oh, look how big our army is. Look how big our kingdom is.” And there was a pride and when that census was taken... The people also joined in to this pride, instead of just praising the Lord that he had blessed them. They're starting to trust in their might and their power. And so it was a national judgment really that came on the people. And David was the instigator.

Jean Ross: You know it's interesting, the Bible also told --God spoke to Israel and said "Don't put your trust in Horses and in chariots, in your might, in the numbers, in your army. Put your trust in God."

Pastor Doug: That's right. Absolutely.

Jean Ross: All right. Thank you, Maxine, for that question. We gotta go to the phone lines. Sandy is calling from Illinois. Sandy, welcome to the program. Sandy, you're on the air.

Sandy: Thank you Pastors. Is there a biblically accurate way to discern between Aacon and the camp versus Job or Joseph or Daniel's time of testing?

Pastor Doug: So you mean if there's somebody going through a trial and they're wondering if I am being punished by God or am I being tested because the devil's just coming after me?

Sandy: Yeah. How do you discern?

Pastor Doug: Well, that is a good question. First of all, Jesus said you'll know them by their fruits. You can look for the fruits of the spirit in the person's life. If a person's life is out of harmony with God's will and they're going through a trial, God might be a disciplining them to save them. Job, the Book of Job begins by saying that this is a perfect and upright man that feared God and (hid?) at evil so when he was going through his trial, we know that he was really just you know suffering for the glory of God. And that makes me think of the story--I believe it's in John chapter 9--where there is a man who is blind from his birth and the disciples said "Lord why is this man blind? Is it something he's done wrong?"--because he was born blind--Or maybe they thought it was something God knew he would do wrong.

Or was it the sins of his parents? And Jesus said neither but that the glory of God might be manifest. And so some people go through trials like Job because in the end, they are able to witness through their trials or God will be glorified somehow by it. And sometimes our trial also keeps us humble as when Paul said he has this thorn in his side and he says you know God finds it to help me avoid being exalted because of all the Revelations I've had, he's allowed Satan to test me like this or humble me with this physical affliction. So you know applying the Bible principles of you'll know them by their fruits and is a person's life in harmony. Aacon, of course, was involved in a high-handed disobedience. God had told them not to touch any of the spoils of Jericho and he just disobeyed.

Jean Ross: You know in Job chapter 23 in verse 10, Job says, "But He” ---speaking of God—“knoweth the way that I take: and when I am tried, I shall come forth as gold." So trials have a way purifying the heart. It strengthens our faith that leads us to a deeper devotion so there are benefits at times with trials.

Pastor Doug: And then I forget where it is in 2 Peter--it might be 1 peter--"Don’t be amazed at the fiery trials that will try your faith as though some strange thing has happened to you. “And so all believers go through variations of trials.

Jean Ross: That's 1 Peter chapter 4 verse 12.

Pastor Doug: Thank you.

Jean Ross: Sandy.

Sandy: Okay. Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Thank you, Sandy. Appreciate your question.

Jean Ross: All right. Our next caller is Martin. And Martin is calling from Brooklyn, New York. Martin, welcome to the program.

Martin: Hello there.

Pastor Doug: Evening. And your question.

Martin: Well, praise the Lord that I call. And the reason for that call because I, you know, I heard about the Psalm you know, even though I'm blind but a friend of mine told me that the verse says, "Blessed is the man that walks not at the council of the ungodly." What do they mean by that?

Pastor Doug: Yeah that's Psalms 1 verse 1. "Blessed is the man that walks not at the council of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord."

Martin: What do you mean?

Pastor Doug: That's telling us that when we receive the general council of the world, it's often against the council of God. I mean even in our world today, you know, there's a lot of emphasis on things that are ungodly. People say "Oh, marriage isn't really necessary. If it feels good, do it." There's a lot of principles that are thought to our culture that are ungodly. But the Lord said he'll bless the person that doesn't follow the ungodly or the worldly council that we have in this life. And we follow instead the word of God, that person will be blessed.

Jean Ross: You know it's all interesting in this verse that you got the three verbs that begins by bless is the man that does not walk in the council of the ungodly, godly standing the path of sinners, and then sit in the seat of scornful. It’s almost steps in progression towards the world to the ways of the world. First walking and then standing in to consider and then sitting down...

Pastor Doug: becoming comfortable.

Jean Ross: That's right.

Pastor Doug: Good point, yeah. I appreciate your question Martin. And it looks like Martin may have dropped off.

Jean Ross: Let's see, we have Darley who is calling from New York. Darley, welcome to the program.

Darley: Good evening pastors.

Pastor Doug: Evening. And your question.

Darley: Yeah, my question is that the Bible talks about that no one knows the hour that Jesus will return. However, you know, there is a particular pastor who's actually you know been mentioning that Jesus is coming back at 7 days and the Rapture is gonna take place sometime of next year. So then, you know, I mean how do you feel about that?

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, Jesus is pretty clear in Matthew 24 that no man knows the day or the hour. God is not giving us in his prophecies a specific date where we're supposed to set our watches according to the second coming. Jesus consistently says, "In such an hour as you think not"--I'm trying to remember what that verse is--"In such an hour as you think not the son of man will appear," and he said that to the disciples. So he was basically saying be awake, be ready because it's gonna take most of the world by surprise.

Jean Ross: That's Matthew 24 verse 44.

Pastor Doug: Verse 44. And you know the parable of the 10 virgins, which is Matthew 25, is part of the same discourse. They were all sleeping when the announcement was made "Behold the bride groom comes." So I think the whole world is gonna be taken by surprise. You know God only told Noah 7 days before the flood to get on the arch. And with Lot, he only knew the night before the end of the world that (inaudible 14:10) Sodom and Gomorrah, I should say, that judgment was coming. So they were given just a little bit of advance notice but it was just enough to really flee as far as someone knowing the day and the hour.

Jean Ross: You know in Mathew 24 verse 42, Jesus is speaking to his disciples. He's speaking to us. He's speaking to his people and he says, "Watch therefore: For you do not know the hour when your Lord is coming." So speaking to the Church, speaking to his people, he says you need to watch because you don’t know the hour. So for somebody to say, "Well I'm a Christian, I know the hour when Christ is coming," well, that disagrees with Jesus.

Darley: Why do you think someone would be actually making reference to a specific date? Why would that be? What do you think?

Pastor Doug: Well, I maybe a little bit cynical on the subject. I think sometimes ministers do that just to be sensational to attract attention to their ministry. It usually stirs people up a little bit. You probably speaking of the minister that I'm thinking of. This is not the first date that he set. Obviously the Lord didn’t come the first day either. So it usually generates a little bit of buzz. It may increase offerings. This pastor's also telling people not to go to any organized church but they can keep listening to his radio program. That’s the only organized church that's really condoned, which means they must support it. So it's just a very self-centered interpretation and philosophy. And I think most people see through that but I’m sure some are being deceived. I appreciate your question, Darley. And by the way we do have a lesson on the second coming and it's called "Anything But Secret." It talks about signs of second coming. We can know when it's near but no man knows the day or the hour, "Anything But Secret." We'll send it to you for free.

Jean Ross: The number is 1-800-835-6747 and asks for the book "Anything But Secret." We'll be happy to send that out. Our next caller is Cathy and she's calling from California, (inaudible 16:04). Cathy, welcome to the program.

Cathy: Hi.

Pastor Doug: Hi.

Cathy: I listened to a Pastor today on television whom I really respect. He made a comment about what the lady was just talking about in the previous call. And he claimed that if somebody predicts the day like this man have, that is considered blasphemy. And I'll hang up and then I'll just listen to you on the phone.

Pastor Doug: All right.

Cathy: From the radio.

Pastor Doug: That's okay. I think Cathy, you know, blasphemy really is when a person puts themselves in the place of God by definition. Jesus was accused of blasphemy at least 2 times, I can think of. Once when he said before Abraham was I am. They took up stones to stone him for blasphemy because they said, "You, being a man, make yourself God." and then another time he took prerogatives of God when he said he could forgive sin because God and God only can forgive sin. Well, of course, He was God the son. He can forgive sin. So it would be heresy when a man... And he's going directly against a clear statement of Christ. I don't know blasphemy would be the right definition for that.

Jean Ross: You know any time somebody rejects the Holy Spirit, there comes a point in time where the Holy Spirit cannot get through.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, that would be blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

Jean Ross: That's blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. So if the Holy Spirit is speaking through his word and when he's not listening to that or turning away from that, there could come a point where there are actually blasphemy in the Holy Spirit or turning against the Holy Spirit.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, that's true. And of course, only God can really look in our heart.

Jean Ross: That's right.

Pastor Doug: So I mean there're probably some people out there, very sincere, they maybe been given the wrong approach to the Bible that think we're supposed to set dates but some people go against their conscience cause they're just seeking popular, unique interpretations to get a crowd. I appreciate your question.

JEAN ROSS Let's see, our next caller is Andrew and Andrew is calling from Detroit, Michigan listening on WMUZ. Andrew, welcome to the program.

Andrew: hey, how you doing?

Pastor Doug: Doing well.

Andrew: I got a question. I think in the Book of Jeremiah, it talks about some kind of like a tree or something and then a decorated tree and that's the way the heathen. And I was wondering if my Christmas tree is a bad thing to have. I'm not sure if that's what it was talking about.

Pastor Doug: Well, I'm glad you called. Andrew, we usually get this question every December. And it's a good question. Let me read the verse to you. It's Hebrews chapter 10 and I'll start with verse 2, "Thus saith the Lord: learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven for the heathen are dismayed at them." Let me see, "The customs of the people are vain: one cuts a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman with the axe. They deck it with silver and gold they fasten it with nails and hammers that it does not move about. They’re upright as the palm tree but they do not speak. They must needs be borne because they cannot go." They're speaking really here about what the pagans when they make idols. They use to make their idols out of wood. And then they would overlay them. Very few of them were pure gold. They would overlay them with gold or silver or bronze but wood was at the core of them. And then they'd carry it around. It says they can’t talk. It would be an idol that look like a person or it would look like some animal. So people have tried to make this into a (inaudible 19:31) verse against Christmas trees because it talks about the idle begins by cutting the tree down. Well, it's just saying, you know, they started using wood and then they'd overlay that with gold. They played it with gold and it would be a statue of some pagan deity. It's not talking about the Christmas tree.

Andrew: Okay.

Pastor Doug: And you know the bottom line is, of course, idolatry is forbidden.

Andrew: Okay.

Pastor Doug: I'm hoping there's no one out there that's praying into the Christmas tree. There's probably some 5 and 6 years olds that are praying they'll find something under the Christmas tree. [laughs] but I don’t see too many people worshipping the tree. It’s just a tradition that doesn’t really violate any biblical principle. So anyway... You know what? But I would add you know if there's a family that have a conviction about this, the Bible says if anything is not of faith, it's sin. Don’t do it. There's certainly... you don’t have to do it. [laughs]. It's just a custom or tradition. Go ahead.

Andrew: Okay. Can I add another question? I won't bug you again but...

Pastor Doug: You're not bugging me. That’s why we’re here.

Andrew: Okay. Now, there's... Is it the (inaudible 20:35) case where they discovered like the Dead Sea (scroll?)?

Pastor Doug: Yes, the caves of Qumran.

Andrew: Qumran. And the question I have about that is do they have--now, the Book of Enoch was in there and I guess (Jude?) quotes Enoch so--and I read the Book of Enoch and it actually points to Jesus of some of the chapters-- is that because the Jews, they want put in the whatever that their Old Testament thing? That’s... I just don’t understand all this.

Pastor Doug: Well, the Book of Enoch is considered something of an apocryphal book.

Andrew: Okay.

Pastor Doug: It does not appear in older Scripture. There's really not a lot of history where it came from. It was believed it was may be written I think during the Babylonian captivity to encourage the Jews about the coming of the Messiah and they just kind of gave the name the Book of Enoch. I don’t think too many people believed that Enoch wrote a Book and put it in the arch and Noah brought it, you know, from one side of the flood to the other. Back in the days of Enoch, they didn't write. They had such powerful minds, all the word of God was given orally. It wasn't until Moses that minds began to get where they couldn't remember everything and they started to (inaudible 21:42) things. So it's doubtful it was written by Enoch. Most Bible scholars did not feel it was of an inspired nature, the whole Book. There were statements in it that Jude felt were inspired and he quoted from that but even Paul quoted from a Greek poet. That doesn’t mean that all Greek poetry is inspired but there was a verse that Paul quoted from. So yeah, I don't believe that it was a mistake that the Book of Enoch is left out of the (inaudible 22:10) of Scripture. Is that your understanding, Pastor Ross?

Jean Ross: You know I'm just looking at the verse that you were referring to that Paul quotes ex chapter 17 verse 28, he says , "’For in him, we live and move and have our being.’ As also some of your own poets have said."

Pastor Doug: So, yeah, Paul was quoting from a statement of truth that you know God gives elements of truth to people (all?) or the places. So he drew that out trying to create a bridge. Appreciate your question. And who do we have next here?

Jean Ross: All right. Let's see, we have Rick who is calling from Fresno, California. Rick, welcome to the program.

Rick: Hi.

Pastor Doug: Hi and your question.

Rick: Well, I've heard some Christian’s say that they don’t believe in God punishes. And I was curious about that because I've read that verse somewhere--I don’t know exactly where it's at--where it says "Him who he loves, he chastises," or something like that.

Pastor Doug: I believe that's in Hebrews.

Rick: (Inaudible 23:07) that verse.

Pastor Doug: "He whom the lord loves, he chastens every son."

Rick: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: Yes

Rick: What does that word ‘chasten’ mean exactly?

Pastor Doug: (Inaudible 23:16) know what chasen really means He disciplines. Chasten is different than, you know, just a judgment. Chastening is really redemptive. It's like if you've got a child that's wandering out in to the streets and ignoring your command to stay out of the street and they just you know keep just strutting right off in to the street, well you can you know paddle them or something to get their attention and say "Look, I wanna save you [laughs] cause I love you."

Rick: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: And if you disobey that ... Yeah, so that’s the idea. I come from the generation where that wasn't considered child abuse if you were given appropriate swat on the posterior. I'm still alive it must have worked.

Rick: Yeah. [laughs] Thank you.

Jean Ross: By the way, the passage that you're referring to is Hebrews 12 Hebrews 12 verses 6 and 7. It talks about the chastisement of the Lord for those He loves.

Pastor Doug: And, of course, there's some Proverbs that also talk about that. Well, thanks for your call, Rick. And who do we have lined up next?

Jean Ross: We've got John in Bronx, New York. John, welcome to the program.

John: God bless you.

Pastor Doug: Evening, John.

John: (inaudible 24:23).

Pastor Doug: And your question.

John: Oh yeah. (Inaudible 24:55) predestination. I understand that we were predestinated for the foundation of the world, right? To be saved. But we still have (inaudible 24:32) teaching the bible. He say that we must know, learning the bible that we're supposed to read. But you know do you think these people they don’t repent? These was teachers. They don't repent. Are they predestinated to a (guy?) like this (inaudible 24:48)?

Pastor Doug: The Bible tells us back in Peter, God is not willing that any should perished. And we know that the Lord is willing that all should be saved. So if we know--you know of course Jesus said "Who so ever will let him come and take the water of life," in that great Scripture John 3:16. That who so ever believes in him, whoever chooses to believe, it's like Joshua has choose you to stay. So God has provided salvation where when by our seeking and by his Grace, you know we see what the principles of truth are and we choose to believe and accept and follow we can be saved. God is not arbitrarily up there in the sky creating creatures that do not have the capacity to be saved then if he punishes the creature that don’t even have a choice, God really becomes accomplice to their sin. So does that makes sense, John?

John: Yes, of course, (a lot?). He's just like he's preaching the scripture. Every time he preaches, he (inaudible 25:51) the scripture. You (inaudible 25:55)?

Pastor Doug: Yup. I...

John: So I think he (will repent?). He's gotta (got?) help.

Pastor Doug: Yeah of course, it's very dangerous to understand the truth and not respond to it. By the way, we have a booklet that talks about "Can a save man choose to be lost?" You're gonna say something.

Jean Ross: Yeah, I'm just gonna add the Bible does speak about the redeemed being predestinated to be conformed to the image of Jesus so it's the father's purpose that those who trust in Christ is to be transformed in to the image of Christ, to reflect his character but the idea of one predestined to be saved and another predestined to be lost and they have no choice in that situation you know, that raises a whole lot of questions about God's love.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, God's love and do we have a choice. And I think a lot of people have been discouraged by this idea of predestination and to think "Well, if I'm supposed to be saved, I will be" and they don’t participate in God's... cooperate in God's grace. And others who think "Well I am saved so I can keep on sinning because I was saved back when I was 12 years old." And that’s another danger. It presumes on God's grace. And the third thing what it does, it give us this idea that God is up there saying "I'm gonna make these creatures that are sinful and then I'm gonna punish them. I'm not gonna allow them to be saved. I'm gonna punish them for being sinful." Which you know makes God out to be a little bit of a tyrant.

Jean Ross: We do have a Book entitled "Can a Save Man Choose to be Lost." I guess is what it is. And if you like to receive that, call our resource line. It's 1-800-835-674 and ask for the book "Can a Save Man Choose to be Lost." Our next caller is Wilford also calling from Bronx, New York. Wilford, welcome to the program.

Wilford: Yes. Good evening.

Pastor Doug: Evening. We’ve got about 2 minutes before our break. Wilford, how can we help you?

Wilford: The word advent refers to the... (Inaudible 27:45) is in reference to the second coming of Jesus Christ. Why is advent season at Christmas time?

Pastor Doug: Well, actually the word advent means 'the coming of.' It's like you get the word adventure. It means the coming of new venture. So it is appropriate during the Christmas season to speak about the advent. They're talking about the first advent or incarnation when Jesus came the first time as a human. So Christians now that speaks of the second coming, the second advent of the Lord, that's the future one. So there's really not a conflict. It's just which advent are you talking about, when he came the first time as a baby, when he came as a lamb or when he comes the next time: he's coming as a (inaudible 28:26) he's coming as the King of Kings. Listening friends, you can tell we're getting ready to take a brief break but this is only giving you a break so you can pick up the phone and tell your friends to call and tune in to the second half of Bible Answers Live. Get a pencil ready and you can also go to our website at amazingfacts.org, lots more information there. We'll be right back.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug: We are back. And we trust that you're still with us friends and expect that some have tuned in along the way. If you have a Bible question, we do still have a couple of lines open. That toll free number for your Bible questions is 1-800-GOD-SAYS the numbers are 463-7297, 1-800-463-7297 for your Bible questions. And keep a pencil or pen handy because we'll also be giving out a separate resource number. We often offer free Books and studies for the various questions that come in to give you more information. We can only budget about 2 or 3 minutes per question and try and cover as many as we can while dealing with the subjects as well as we can in the short time. So we give these additional study materials to give you more depth. Pastor Ross.

Jean Ross: Pastor Doug, it is that time of the year. We you know we can’t miss it. You walk in the store and all the Christmas decorations are up and people are talking about gifts. And children are getting excited.

Pastor Doug: I noticed right after Halloween. [laughs]

Jean Ross: They started coming in. that's right. But you know this is the time of the year where when we try to get our budget together for the end of the year for various Ministries and Amazing Facts really is operating based upon the generosity and prayers of those who hear the program and respond.

Pastor Doug: You know, we were talking before the broadcasts we've been on doing this program now for a whole 16 years now. And every day that goes by that Amazing Facts exists, it is only by the grace of God. We lived from week to week based on donations that come in. We never know from year to year, the Lord has always managed to provide but the last couple of years had been (lean?). In the past, we have had to cut some programs because funds were just not there. If you have been blessed by this program, the reason you're hearing it because there are people like that say "Hey, you know, I really appreciate this program" unfortunately, most people listen and they never really think "Well, maybe I could help keep them on the air." We would love for you to consider doing that with Amazing Facts. Would you please pray about it? As a matter of fact, now's a good time to act upon that impulse. You can simply go to our website where it says amazingfacts.org and you'll find the link that says 'Donate Online.' You can donate right there on our website or you can write us at Amazing Facts. And the address is there online as well. We'll give it again during this broadcasts but we are behind for the year and it's gonna take all our friends working together to help us not only maintain all our programs but to continue doing this Gospel Ministry and spreading the good news. So we'd love to hear from you. With that heartfelt appeal, I think we got to go back to the questions.

Jean Ross: [laughs] Our next caller is Bob and bob is listening in Arizona. Bob, welcome to the program.

Bob: Thank you very much. First of all, pastor Doug, just to say that I really appreciate your teachings. I watch you on TV every week and you've really opened my eyes to--

Pastor Doug: Well, thank you.

Bob: --many biblical truth from Rapture, to tongues, sleeping to your (death?), etc. I do have a question regarding the Sabbath though that I can’t wrap my head around.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Bob: [clears throat] In Acts, when Paul was sent to teach the apostle... to the gentiles, they go to--virtually all of Acts 15--talking about (inaudible 34:12) we couldn't bare ourselves (unto our new?) disciples.

Pastor Doug: Right.

Bob: But instead we should tell them about abstaining from adultery, sexual immorality and it even says in 20, 15 to 20, that (34:29) proclaim was they wouldn't allow to the synagogues every Sabbath but they don't say to keep the Sabbath. so my understanding from that is that [clears throat] of course we say by grace and faith but being Gentile would not under the law other than what you know they-- if you think they (inaudible 34:48) out to the church there. Can you clarify that for me?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, I'll do my best. If you read in Acts 15:20, there were a few specific points of contention that the Gentile Christians were squabbling over with the Jewish believers of Jesus. And some of the Jewish believers were saying that they needed to keep the pass over and keep some of the ceremonial laws. And the apostle--there wasn't just Paul--the apostles all got together and they told Paul and Silas and Barnabas to go back to tell the Gentiles that from the Levitical laws and the Mosaic Laws, they needed to keep the health laws. That's why he said avoiding things strangled in from blood. That’s very clear. Of course, I almost never hear any New Testament pastor preached on that verse. It doesn't go through all the 10 Commandments because it was understood they were keeping all the 10 Commandments, in other words, it doesn't include in this verse tell them not to use God's name in vain. Well, that was understood. As a matter of fact in the next verse, when it talks about Moses commanded that these (inaudible 35:54) be read in the synagogue every Sabbath, that would have been a good place for the apostles to say they don't need to keep one of these commandments but they didn't say that so I think their silence is really evidence that the 10 Commandments are still intact. I agree with you entirely, Bob, we are all saved by Grace and Pastor Ross and I don't believe that we're saved by keeping any one of the 10 Commandments. We believed that we are saved by Grace but when we are saved, we will want to keep God's law. So you know in most Protestant churches, they stand up and say you know we should honor our father and mother and don't steal or kill or go through the other Commandments. They all say amen to those sermons. We just think that to be a consistent Bible Christian, we should also say amen to remembering the Sabbath, keeping God's day holy, resting that day that it's just part of the moral law.

Bob: Right.

Pastor Doug: So the 10 Commandments is in a different category than the Mosaic Law. Acts chapter 15 verse 20 is really dealing with the components of the Mosaic Law. Moses wrote a number of laws on paper, 10 commandments were written on stone. And there's a distinction, as a matter of fact, I think it's in Deuteronomy--where is that Pastor Ross?--chapter 4 verse 9 to 13 where he said, "God gave you the 10 commandments on two tables of stone. And he commanded me at this time to give you statutes and judgments." so the point of contention wasn't the Sabbath. The point of contention was the other Levitical and Mosaic laws.

Bob: (inaudible 37:33).

Jean Ross: You know there's an interesting story also if you follow along with that in Acts 13, it talks about Paul travelling on his various journeys and he goes to the synagogue and he preaches. And on one occasion, it says, "so when the Jews went out of the synagogue--this obviously was a Sabbath-- the gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath." So here you have Gentiles interested in Christianity. And one of the things that they are doing is they're observing the Sabbath. They gather together to learn on the Sabbath.

Pastor Doug: (inaudible 38:01) that verse.

JEAN ROSS That one was Acts 13:42.

Bob: 13:42 (inaudible 38:07). Well, thank you, that's been a big help, Pastor Doug. And once again, I really appreciate your teachings. I'm driving the Pastors at my church crazy and...

Pastor Doug: [laughs] Well, I bet they're gonna love us.

Bob: [laughs] well actually one of certainly and it’s funny because I teach in Christianity 101 class there and the one pastor say, "Why don’t you go be a seventh day Adventist?" All right. I just want the truth. That’s all I want.

Pastor Doug: That's the thing. You know in the last days, God's calling all those people just back to the word. And hey you know by the way, we do have a study guide... well you know what, there's a website that you can go to. It's called Sabbath Truth. It's probably one of the most popular websites dealing with issues about the Sabbath and what the Bible says, sabbathtruth.com. I think it even it's covered under a sabbathtruth.org. ORG But type that in, Bob, I think you'll find a lot of information there on that or anybody whose listening. You want to find out what the Bible really says on the subject on the 4th commandment, God hasn't done away with it the 10 Commandments. that's really kind of strange when you think can a Christian now lie, kill or commit adultery or use God's name in vain, nobody believes that. But when it get to the fourth Commandment which happens to be the one Commandment that begins with the word remember, it seems to be a lot of inconsistencies in people's response. I appreciate your question and the call, Bob. Who do we have lined up?

Jean Ross: Next caller is Danilo from Florida listening on the internet. Danilo, welcome to the program.

Danilo: Hello. Good evening pastors.

Pastor Doug: Evening. And your question.

Danilo: My question is in regards Romans 9... And before, I just like to say that I don’t actually believe on the Doctrines of the predestination. I strongly believe that we have our free will. I watched your sermon Pastor Doug Batchelor about predestination. Also, I read the book "Can a Saved Man Choose to be Lost." And those were very good for me to understand it (inaudible 40:05).

Pastor Doug: Well, praise the Lord.

Danilo: Actually so Romans 9, this is... I feel it's a difficult passage for me and I need some clarification on about it. Is Romans 9 verse --we can start at verse 18 through verse 23-- where Paul speaks about God creating vessels for good and for destruction?

Pastor Doug: Well, let me read it real quick so we can try and give you a concise answer. In Romans 9:18, "Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy and whom He will He hardeneth. Will thou say then unto me, why does he yet find fault? For who has resisted His will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that replies against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, why have you made me thus? Has not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel to honor, and one to dishonor? What if God willing to show His wrath and make His power known endured with much long suffering the vessels of wrath fitted for destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory and the vessels of mercy, which he has a foretime prepared unto glory." You know, let me give you an example of where I think Paul would be applying this kind of verse. The Amalekites had attacked the children of Israel from behind when they came out of Egypt. And God told Moses, He says, "Look, I'm going to show mercy to them for a period of time but eventually their judgment will come." Well, the judgment that was coming on the Amalekites was based on their behavior. God shows to extend Mercy to them longer than to some others. Now according to the Bible, the penalty for sin is death. Are you with me?

Danilo: Yes.

Pastor Doug: So if the Lord wants to, we could justly all be executed for our sins at any time. But the Lord in his mercy extends grace to people. He extends variant degrees of grace. Sometimes God, He goes to a greater effort to some than others in saving them. Sometimes it seems he's more patient but he is saving everybody by grace. None of us deserves salvation. And so, yes, God does have his choice about what he wants to do with the clay, how much grace to show or how to intervene. I don’t know if that... Am I saying that right?

Jean Ross: Well, you know Pastor Doug, it's also if you look in the Old Testament, we have the example of Pharaoh. The Bible says that God hardened his heart but the Bible also tells us that Pharaoh hardened his own heart. So the way God dealt with the Pharaoh is a microcosm? Perhaps with the way God deals with the lost, with the wicked. He gives them opportunities, time after time for them to come to realization of the truth. And it's God's desire that all men be saved but yet He's the one who chooses how much grace, how many opportunities to give. He's really the one that's doing everything He can to save men but ultimately our destinies in our own hands, what we do, what we decide.

Pastor Doug: How we respond.

Jean Ross: How we respond.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, see God sends different circumstances and we all can respond differently. I hope that helps a little bit Danilo.

Jean Ross: Again the book that we have mentioned earlier dealing with the subject. "Can a Saved Man Choose to be Lost?" deals with this passage along with many others that people have reference to. Where does free will come in when it comes to man's salvation? Our next caller is Jaden and Jaden is calling from West Palm Beach, Florida. Jaden, welcome to our program.

Jaden: Hello.

Pastor Doug: How are you?

Jaden: I'm well. Pastor Doug...

Pastor Doug: And your question.

Jaden: My question is, is there any hope for someone who has committed the unpardonable sin?

Pastor Doug: Well, can I... before I answer that question, can I ask you are you thinking of yourself right now?

Jaden: Yes, sir.

Pastor Doug: I don't mean to put you on the spot but I always want to just clarify. Typically people who call in with a Bible question, I don’t believe they've committed the unpardonable sin. They may...well, we all sin and they may have felt like they have worn out God's mercy. Usually God is more forgiving and he is a better savior than we are sinners but if a person has indeed committed the unpardonable sin, then the very nature of it being unpardonable means that there is no forgiveness for that. But what would make you wonder if you've committed that, if you don't mind? I'm not asking for a specifics on your sin, I'm just saying does it make you feel like God is not speaking to your heart anymore that you've lost your conscience and...?

Jaden: Not there. Well, (inaudible 45:07) maybe as of the moment I wasn't thinking of myself...

Jean Ross: Well, let me just give you just one verse on that as you think, just to kind of give us a little bit of bearing here. Let me share verse Matthew 12 verse 31, this is Jesus speaking and he says, "Therefore I say unto you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven now, but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven." So there is nothing that we can do that God cannot forgive even blasphemy God can forgive. the Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, reject the Holy Spirit to the point where we have no desire to turn to God, no desire for repentance, no desire for eternal life. There’s nothing more God can do.

Jaden: But there's also the one about saying anything against the Holy Spirit.

Pastor Doug: Well, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit isn't breaking out in to a fit of rage, shaking your fist at God, and cursing the Holy Spirit specifically. Typically the Bible is teaching that in the God head--God the father and God the son, God the spirit--God the Spirit is usually mentioned last and so you would think that the unpardonable sin would be to blaspheming God the father as a Supreme authority.

Jaden: I...

Pastor Doug: So the reason it's blaspheming against the Holy Spirit is called unpardonable is because it's grieving away the spirit by refusing to listen to the drawing of the spirit. And if we don't respond to the drawing of the spirit, then what more can God do? The reason that it's a--

Jaden: Wow.

Pastor Doug: --sin that you can't forgive is it's one we won’t repent of.

Jayden: That would be something that I would want to repent of. I was, actually, this night listening to something about the unpardonable sin. It was a video on the Amazing Facts website. It was a heavy subject. There... Are you saying that if you say an exact word something against it--not it, Him--would that be able to be forgiven? Because if you know that it's unforgivable, it kind of makes it hard for you to serve God, even though it was supposed to (inaudible 47:30) him.

Pastor Doug: Right. Well, there's some examples in the Bible. I'm sorry, Jaden. In the Bible you got Peter, he denied he knew Jesus 3 times. And the 3rd time, he did it with swearing and cursing. And the first thing Jesus said when he rises from the dead is he tells Mary the Magdalene to tell the apostles and Peter, he forgave Peter. Peter went out and wept bitterly. He was sorry about what he had done. Now I know you mentioned that you had watched an Amazing Facts presentation on this, there's also a good Book--It's not a long Book--that we can send you, as a matter of fact, anyone listening. You can read this online or we'll send this to you, Jaden. It's called "Point of No Return." You know I really hope that you would ask for the Book because we want people to have encouragement. What does it mean to grieve away the Holy Spirit? In this Book actually explains it, "Point of No Return." It tells what the danger is and it tells what the hope and the comfort is as well.

Jean Ross: The number is 1-800-835-6747. Asks for the book "Point of No Return." Well, our next caller is Tony. Tony is listening in Florida. Tony, welcome to the program.

Tony: Yes, am I on?

Pastor Doug: You're on.

Jean Ross: You're on.

Tony: Yes, I'm calling because I'm wondering if there's a Bible answer to... if there's any... if it's okay to may be time to work on the Sabbath. because I work at a hospital and I work on the front desk. I'm not a nurse or a doctor but I have to work every other weekend so I'm just wondering. I just don't feel right doing that but is it okay since it's a hospital to work on the Sabbath.

Pastor Doug: Well, there are certain necessary functions. Usually there are emergency things. Now, I don’t know... Are you working on a Christian hospital or is it just...

Tony: Yes, it's a Christian hospital in an emergency room at night.

Pastor Doug: Well, that sounds like a crucial position. But the danger is if every week you're there or you say it's every other week, you don’t wanna get where you are, you know, missing out your time, your quality time with God so it's great to rotate your schedule. But let’s just supposed that every believer said we're not going to assist the sick or you know, emergency rooms will not be staffed, that becomes a great opportunity for ministry when people in Christ come in like that. And you've always got the choice to take your income from those sacred hours and say I might dedicate that to God's work somehow and just really make this an offering, make my service here an offering. You know Jesus did Jesus heal on the Sabbath?

Tony: Yes.

Pastor Doug: And I'm sure the disciples assisted him in doing that ‘cause he sent them out preaching. So you know that would fall on the category of an emergency work. Certainly working in a hospital emergency room is an emergency. But if you can, you know, if there's others who can do it for you and you can schedule out of it, then you know it's great for you to be with your family and worship God.

Tony: Yes, ‘cause I like to be in church every week but of course when I work at night you know 7PM to 7AM.

Pastor Doug: You don't feel much like going to church there.

Tony: Yeah. (inaudible 50:52).

Pastor Doug: I worked as a security guard. I know how it feels when the whole world is waking up and you've been up all night.

Tony: [laughs] Yes.

Pastor Doug: Well, I hope that helps a little bit, Tony. And we do have our study guide that talks about the subject of Sabbath. It sounds like you might be acquainted with that but we'll be happy to send that to you. Is that the "Forgotten day in History?"

Jean Ross: That's right. It's "The Last day of History." and anyone wanting to know more about that, give us a call at 1-800-835-6747 and asks for the "Last Day in History." It deals with the Sabbath. We'll be happy to send that to you or take a look at the sabbathtruth.com website. sabbattruth.com. Our next caller is Dino and he is calling from Carmel, California. Dino, welcome to the program.

Dino: Good evening gentlemen.

Pastor Doug: Evening.

Dino: Pastor Doug, Pastor Ross, I want to say also how much I appreciate your website, amazingfacts.org and amazingfacts.tv.

Pastor Doug: Well, praise the Lord.

Dino: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: Thank you for giving us an on-air endorsement.

Dino: Yeah, I love listening to them both and watching both. But my question is in Proverbs in chapter 8 and there's a number of verses. You don’t have to read them all. There's actually... It's referring to verse 22 through 31.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Dino: And I wanted to know if that was a true representation of the relationship between Jehovah God and Jesus himself.

Pastor Doug: No. And that was a short answer. [Dino laughs] This verse is often been used. People... The point of it is in Proverbs, Solomon begins with this beautiful poetic soliloquy of wisdom and he uses all kinds of language about wisdom. He refers at one point to wisdom as rubies, gold. He refers to wisdom as a woman. He refers to wisdom as a parent. And here he refers to wisdom as a son. It's not talking about Jesus. It's just saying that wisdom has always been with me. By wisdom, everything has been done. Some have tried to make an attachment between this poetic languages here saying, "Oh, this must be when Jesus was created." And so instead of believing at Christ as everlasting to everlasting, they use this verse and say this is really talking about Jesus and he had a beginning. And you know you can read in Proverb 8:23, "I was set up from everlasting from the beginning and wherever the earth was." and so they're using it in a (lude sense?) to say this must mean that Jesus had a beginning. Is that how you are understanding it?

Dino: Yeah, ‘cause I was also comparing it with John 17:5, where it speaks about where he is glorifying the father before the world began.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Well, there's no question that, you know, Jesus when He came to earth as a man, well He had a new beginning as a human at that point. but you know Revelation had identified him as the first and the last, from everlasting to everlasting. And you know what really kind of nails it down for me--and I studied this with an open mind--the subject of the Trinity. If the Bible tells us that all things, all things that were made, were made by Him, Christ. If Christ was made by the Father--that verse isn't true--it would have to say all things except Himself. But if he's not been made, if he's everlasting... and then the other thing is God is love. He's always been love. Would you agree with that?

Dino: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Can you be love and not have anybody to love? You see what I’m saying?

Dino: No (inaudible 54:42).

Pastor Doug: And so God has always had these three persons because they are love. And they demonstrate that love perfectly in their midst between the father, son and spirit, alas? Endorsing and glorifying one another. There’s a love there, Love of a father for the son and love for the son of the son for the father. And so just the very nature of God always been love. To me is I think a great support for His eternal nature. But, hey, we do have a Book that covers that. I did a study on the Trinity, I'll be happy to send it to you. It's contained in a small Book but I think it covers the basic and it's called "The Trinity, Is It Biblical?"

Jean Ross: The number is 1-800-835-6747. And again the book is entitled "The Trinity, Is It Biblical?" it deals with this very important subject. Well, Pastor Doug, I'm looking to see if we have time for one more question. We got the 2 minute mark. What do you think?

Pastor Doug: I'm seeing doubt on our engineer's face. We don't want to cut anyone off.

Jean Ross: We hate to cut somebody off. That's right.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, you know what? If folks don’t mind, don’t all hang up and change the channel yet. Just let me make one more appeal. If you've been blessed by the program, we'd love to hear from you. If you can help us stay us on these stations especially if you've never done it before, just go to the Amazing Facts website and you can make a donation on the line, on line there and it helps out as we planned the New Year's budget. We not only to stay on the station and continue with Bible Answers Live, we'd like to add stations.

Jean Ross: You know you mentioned the website, Pastor Doug, not only do we have our Books and various study guides online, but there's also an online store and Amazing Facts carries a host of great Christian materials that will be an ideal gift for someone at this time of the year.

Pastor Doug: That's right. We’ve got Bible series, video series, audio series, wonderful study Books, children's program, and teenage programs. And I don’t have time to tell you everything that's there. So follow Pastor Ross's advice and go to amazingfacts.org. That’s so easy to remember, amazingfacts.org. programs to watch, programs you can listen to and great products. Anything you get there, not only make a great spiritual gift to help someone else find eternal life, but it also helps our Ministry continue to produce good Christian material and share the Gospel around the World. Thank you so much friends for tuning in and don’t forget the family of websites. You've got amazingfacts.org, amazingfacts.tv. You can watch the new aftv program, that's on 24 hours a day. And past these things on to your friends. God bless you. We’ll be together again next week.

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