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  • October 21, 2017
    9:30 AM

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At this time we're going to have a question and answer panel and if the panel would like to come up here basically what we're going to be doing is we're going to be going through some of the questions that were submitted at previous meetings. Doug actually or did not have time to answer all of them and so we will be trying to answer as many as we can this morning now just something I want you guys to realize. The panel does not know what the questions are and so have mercy on them they they're going to do an amazing job but they don't know what the questions are so let's see what we can do. First if I could just have each of you introduce yourselves your name where you're from what you do that kind of stuff. My name is Michael hostle I teach here in the School of Religion at Southern Methodist University. I'm a coal faculty sponsor G Y C self East also serve on the board of directors of G Y C and I love this movement and love young people. My name is TAYLOR HINKLE and I'm a pastor in Michigan currently serving your Great Lakes Academy as chaplain Bible teacher I also serve as the general vice president for. The board. My name is De Casper I work with an unseen Media Group and our burden is to equip young people to reach young people through media and personal ministry in evangelism. California I'm. Here at saw their. Bible. Alone My name is I'm a student a pre-med student here at Southern I'm from Southern California and. I'm not as cool as the rest of these people I don't know. Well as you can see we have a variety of people on our panel this morning both students faculty pastors whatnot so. So the first question that I'm going to ask this morning is I was sent in last night it says after an altar call how do I prevent myself from losing the conviction that brought me to respond to the call so in other words you know we feel a lot of like as it were when there's an altar call we want to give our lives to Christ but often we find that that dwindles over time how do we prevent that from happening how do we stay on fire. I remember standing for many appeals. And one of the most vivid altar calls in my life was a group of friends and I were at a week of prayer and at the end all of our friends went up for the appeal and my friends were drug users and drug dealers and things of at the time and I remember seeing them go forward in there crying and I thought man praise the Lord something's actually going to happen and I remember after that time we were walking out of the parking lot and my friend said Hey do you want to smoke a joint now where later and it was really confusing to me like what we just stood for an appeal how do you actually go back to just the life of sin after that but I think the question is pointing out the problem that that's the reality for most people is that usually when you stand for an appeal that what happens after that there's two things that I think make a large difference number one is Why did you make that decision in the first place it was usually because of an increased amount of time in the Word of God on the preacher was preaching from the Word of God and as you're hearing the Word of God spoken you're inspired and as you're praying at the time of commitment you realize this is what's going to keep you so if you want to continue a decision that spiritual Why don't you keep doing the things that lead you to that decision like reading the Bible praying and sharing your faith and I think that's exactly what Paul is talking about if you have your Bibles in Philippians chapter two. Libyans Chapter two Paul is talking to a group of people who made a decision at his altar call and then he left and he was not able to be with them anymore and he hears that they start in selfish. Yes and all of these things and you can look throughout that this church has started to become disrupted with this unity but if you notice Philippians Chapter two verses one through eleven is Paul focusing on Jesus and what Jesus has done for them and gee this is sacrifice for them and immediately and verse twelve pieces there for my beloved brother and in other words because of what Jesus has done for you. As you have always obeyed not as in my presence only but now much more in my absence work out your own salvation with fear and trembling in other words Paul saying hey I want you to understand something your obedience is not based upon the preacher being there or being at the week of prayer that led you to the decision of the Jew I see event whatever it might be but it's the therefore that it's based upon and that's Jesus in the sacrifice that he's made for you and unless we're daily thinking about that our decisions are like ropes of sand and will easily erode away and I think when we recognize that and we takes personal responsibility that Dr hostle or any other person can't save me but only Jesus can save me and then I need to work out my own salvation and I'm not talking about legalism here but just taking responsibility and then he gives us hope and verse thirteen for those who are discouraged after that message he says for it's God who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure in other words no one can save you except the choice that you make yourself I mean Jesus Saves you don't don't get confused but no one can cause you to come into a saving relationship unless you make that decision but it's gone who's going to empower you to do that. And then. Some of the best advice I got was from Taj A.S.I. this year I said you know I'm going through this process of like more people knowing who I am kind of freaks me out what's your advice and he told me the story they manage on Chapter five he didn't answer my question he told me a story which answered my question which is relevant to this he says when Jesus comes up to the man in John Chapter five he asked him Do you want to be made well and then he gives him a command he says Rise take up your mat and walk and he says two of those things make sense to me one of them doesn't rising make since walking makes sense but what's with the mat like the mat is just this reminder of thirty years of rejection abandonment of just loss of failure everything you can imagine this is why you tell him to take the mat but that's precisely the point it's a reminder of where he was and he says what Jesus is basically telling this man is to not forget where he came from that not only is he restored in him but he's also giving him the charge to not remember what you've left and I think when you make a decision at the altar what you're really saying is I want something better than I currently have and one of the ways in which you can keep from backsliding from that decision is continually reminding yourself of what it is that God has delivered you from and what he's called you to and so I would recommend first of all that you document your decision this is actually mention the G Y C Jason slider mentioned this right that in your Bible I made this decision on this date and why write it in that moment and remind yourself continually where you came from and where you're going and then you know in Philippians chapter three Paul reminds us to forget those things which are behind but at the same time if you look at the life of Paul he did not completely forget where he had come from he talks about the fact that he used to persecute Christians he used to do all these terrible things and so his focus was not on his past but there was a realisation they God brought me from there to here and from that he could find hope and Thank you Pastor Kasper anyone else. I would have said don't give up I'm going to smoke and long for this but it's just a burden on my heart because of the multiple decisions that I made and the struggles that I had to assume it's often discouraging when you realize that you're falling after you've made the commitment but I would say that Jesus is faithful flip in Chapter one Verse six talks about that Jesus will diminish the work that he starts anew in other words the only reason you responded to that appeal is because the Holy Spirit got through your heart and you stood up it wasn't a selfish motivation type of thing and you know you might question your motives later but really the reality is that Jesus was the one causing you to make that decision and if you led you to make that decision whenever it was that he's going to be faithful to carry it out and complete that work in your life and so don't give up pursuit gone as much as you were pursuing the world before that decision and I believe that as we spend time in the world of gone and as we spend time in prayer the Lord is going to do amazing things that we wouldn't even have imagine and then you know the story of the disciples always brought courage to me because they had spent three years with Jesus and then when Jesus went to be crucified and Jesus said watch and pray that she enter into temptation they failed to do so they fell and failed miserably but did Jesus reject them you know he he said meet me in Galilee and so I think that that's so encouraging don't give up we will make mistakes we will fall continue pressing on to the prize OK Our next question is more of a question that deals with the Odyssey I guess you could say. And the question said I'm a fourth generation Seventh Day Adventist but I'm struggling with the question of why does God allow his faithful people to suffer for example I have a relative who is struggling with all timers God has the power to heal them why doesn't he why does he remove his love so we see. The person here who is really struggling with how is God loving in this situation how is God permitting this terrible thing to come upon my family member who is faithful to him you know I've been faithful to God. What is this all about that's always the big questions that we wrestle with and suffering is such a huge part of our lives because we live in a sin whole world I'm just going to tell a personal story and how God helped me through this personal story and there are many passages we can go to you'd find throughout Scripture there is no one almost in scripture that hasn't gone through terrible suffering. From Joseph who Nothing negative is said about but is thrown into a dungeon and is and is in a dungeon for a long time before God a lift them out of that and puts him in the place that he's prepared him for I remember. I grew up some of you have read the book A Thousand shall fall so you've you've read some of the stories of my family and what they went through and how they were delivered again and again miraculously during World War two Both both my mother's my grandmother's. Side of you know when they were back in Frankfurt and my grandfather who was on the front lines in Russia and growing up with those stories I grow up with a sense of very strong sense of God's deliverance and how he could deliver his people I heard those stories from my father I heard them from my uncles and aunts I heard them from my grandparents and they always gave me a sense of of security and knowing that God is with us no matter what we go through terrible terrible times. And yet I still remember one time. One time my sister had just gotten married we were all at home and very in springs I was in the middle of doctoral studies in Arizona but was back at home for a couple of weeks for that wedding I had taken my father to the airport that morning to deliver a paper on creation in Utah a general conference committee that he was going to my dad was a theologian and a pastor and that afternoon as we were opening up presents my sister had come back from her honeymoon and as we were opening up presents a police car drove into the to the to the house and. I went down to enter the door he asked if my mother was here I brought her down the first thing I thought was I had gone to the airport twice that morning and and I had been speeding because I was late to pick up my sister from the airport I thought somebody had reported me and they were coming back you know to get me my ticket what I deserved you know I wish it had been that. But the officer shared with us that my father had just been killed in a car accident in Utah. And that was probably the biggest shock the biggest situation that I had ever faced in my life I was twenty four years old you know twenty five years old been married for two years my sister my youngest sister had just been married off by my dad. And so and he was coming home the next day the last thing I heard my dad say was See you tomorrow because I was going to pick him up at the airport the next day after he delivered his paper that that experience was a horrific experience for a family to go through and yet. I remember flying back one day from Arizona for a second memorial service that the cemetery at Andrews University was going to have for the students because it happened during the summer none of the students were around and they wanted the students to be present my dad had been the dean of the seminary for many years and was a professor there at Andrews for for over twenty years and so as I was flying back across the country thirty one thousand feet I was I was I was flying over this really really really. Kind of flat state I don't know which one it was it was like I don't know Nevada not you know about it but Oklahoma are some really flat state that doesn't have any hills and it was a crystal clear day and I remember sitting I had got my dad had a lot of upgrade certificates so sitting in first class at the window he was looking down over the fields and I was like What am I going to share because I was going to share at the memorial service what I'm going to share with the people there personally about my dad and and the question kept going through my mind at that point why why at this time why at the peak of his career why at this point in time God could have stopped that other car God could have stopped my dad from pulling out in the intersection a lot of things could have happened and then I looked down. And I was praying I looked down and I saw this road just go off into the horizon like forever. And in that road just continued off into the horizon to the point where I couldn't see it anymore even from my vantage point and it suddenly struck me that we serve a God who even though we live in a world of sin. Knows all things knows our path knows our journey and knows what is coming around the corner even before we do and is able from his perspective. To to have that knowledge and be with us during those moments and not only that but he sent his own son to suffer and die for me and have the experience the experiences that we have his best friend Lazarus died you know to have the experiences that we have so that he can fully understand what we go through every day here in this and sinful world and that's was such a a moment of comfort that just swept through my my heart as I looked down I realized you know from God's perspective I don't have his perspective I'm just down here I don't know what's around the next corner I don't know what's around the next mountain but I serve a God who does and even though I may not have all the answers I can trust him because he knows and I never forget one year we were here at at Southern and I was giving a golf cart ride to two elder Falcon Byrd who was at that time G.C. present and he mentioned my father and the passing and and what a travesty that was and he says you know Michael we don't know the answers today but that's what the thousand years are for where we can sit at the feet of Jesus and look over the lives of others and see those things so to me to me God is in control and while we may not understand all the hardships that we go through ultimately he is in control and he helps us through those difficulties and anyone else. I think in light of that you know it's just also you know the question says why would God allow this I think it's just helpful to remember that God never wanted it just because God allows someone something to happen doesn't mean you want to go back to Genesis one and two whenever you're struggling with why is God allowing bad things and remember what God's ideal really was for this world no pain no suffering no sickness no heartache no disease no and so why does it happen Jesus says it very clearly an enemy has done this he doesn't take any responsibility for it as though God just had a hick up and forgot about you know your own personal well being and God relates so much to our suffering you know Hebrews Chapter five Verse eight tells us that Jesus learned through the things that he suffered and the question was saying how could God allow someone so you know righteous or upstanding to suffer but there is no one more righteous than Jesus and Jesus went through that most ultimate suffering that I can imagine not just physical suffering but emotional suffering and spiritual agony but yet God was allowing him to go through that to teach us lessons for him to learn lessons and sometimes God allows suffering like Romans eight verse twenty eight says All things work together for good he allows it to actually be a blessing to us just like Dr hustled mentioned Joseph what Joseph brothers had intended for evil God to use for good and I think God can do that with any situation our lives we don't have God's vantage point God never wanted it but he can use it to end up being our blessings. And then go ahead I'm reminded of a quote regarding the situation of John the Baptist if you haven't read that chapter when you go through situations like this I think Chapter twenty five is called The Death and imprisonment of John in the desire of ages there's beautiful bomb from heaven there is want to read a brief quote from them not Enoch was translated to heaven not Alija who ascended in the chariot of fire was greater or more on earth than John the Baptist who perished alone in the dungeon unto you it is given in behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him but also to suffer for His sake Philippians one twenty nine and of all the gifts that heaven can bestow upon men fellowship with Christ in his sufferings is the most weighty trust and the highest honor and she closes that chapter by saying that if we could see the in from the beginning we would not choose any other way than the way in which our path leads because we would see the glory that God will bring out of the process and it was a very very consoling chapter in the midst of. Trying to make sense of difficulties like this and then anyone else like to share some thoughts so when I think about this question. I'm also not actually a fourth generation I've been is to fifth generation I've been to so I kind of come from similar background and I thought about the question myself. When I asked this question I realize that it's probably one of the oldest questions in the book I've met a lot of people with this question and I would have to say that I think that the oldest book in the Bible has the answer to the oldest question in the book and that's the Book of Job and we realize that at the beginning of this situation we as humans don't see the first part you know we don't see the conflict between God and Satan arguing over us why is he obeying you why is he praising you we don't see that part all that we see is the part where all the bad stuff starts to happen because that's where it's tangibly revealing itself on this planet and. The reality was that the question was job is just following you because you give him good things and think about it I mean it doesn't matter if you love God or not it doesn't matter if you love his character or not it doesn't matter if you want to emulate him or not if he gives you good things you're going to follow him I mean that happens all over the world today it doesn't matter I mean you've got people in the Middle East that are following ISIS because they give them food and clothes you know but does that mean that ISIS is some noble group to emulate No it just means that these people are getting what they tangibly need from ISIS because ISIS is handing it out to them so then they'll follow or listen to them so there had to be a bit of a differentiation between the following of God and the following of anybody else you can get your material needs taken care of and the question was Satan was saying he's only following you because you give him stuff and then God says no he's so in love with me and with my character and with my way and with my purpose for his life that no matter what happens to him he's going to be faithful to me. And so then of course everything in the Book of Job went down and at the end Satan was proven wrong because God's follower job was following him not because well I'm getting free stuff out of it so I might as well just be along for the ride he was genuinely following God because he understood his character and he understood his love and he wanted to follow him no matter what happened and it's interesting to note that the bad stuff that happened a job none of it came from God it was Satan that was specifically inflicting it upon him and it's the same way for us it's not that somehow God is inflicting it God will let it happen to prove a point in the great controversy and I think that the same reason the job went through suffering is the same reason that so many of us go through suffering is because Satan is attacking God and His character and his law and his purposes for humankind before the whole universe and it's our privilege to help in the process of proving say in a LIAR and proving God a just and loving God that he is. You know I I really I really think there is a lot of shoes to the fact that we are responsible for helping to vindicate the character of God But even beyond that there's an aspect of this that I think we often overlook in that is the fact that God can and will not override free choice we see that in the beginning he allowed Satan to choose the way he wanted to go he allowed Adam and Eve to choose the way that they wanted to go and because God does not and will not and cannot override free choice I believe many times there are circumstances and situations that occur. Because of your choice or because of someone else's choice. They God would not allow otherwise simply because he cannot override the free choice to each each and every one of us have. So I think it's a very good question it's a very deep question I personally resonate with whoever asked this question the reference to all timers because my grandmother actually had all timers and she ended up wandering off into the woods about eight miles away from where we lived and we found her body three months later so I can completely resonate with whoever asked this question but as was stated earlier. God does everything he can. To work out the ultimate best good in this great controversy and I think that that's comforting and reassuring. Our next question we're going to move to a slightly different style of question and this will hopefully include like some of those who have science background what is the difference between a creationist and evolutionists because both are based on faith so we were asked this is assuming and I think it's a fair assumption that both. Worldviews a creationist worldview and an evolutionist worldview require a certain degree of faith and the question is why choose one above the other if they both require faith in something that we cannot see. I would say the first simple answer is the fact that one immediately attaches value to you and the other completely removes any value connected to you if you're just some mistake that happened that won't matter once you're gone that lifestyle itself awakens no intrinsic motivation to do anything of a lasting good because you don't really matter in that sense one of the most appealing things to me about the creationist worldview is the fact that there's not only a creator but a creator the values me so highly that he not only will honor the choices I make above what he wants even though he obviously has. More understanding than I do but to he was willing to come and suffer and die as Dr Hauser mentioned earlier to ensure that I could be redeemed that I wasn't just created I was also reading and by the same one who created me and so I just think from a world view of something that makes sense that provides a value that provides purpose you're not going to find that in the theistic mind frame and so that's the first answer that I would give let alone my own experience but comparing the two I think values is something I don't hear mentioned anough in that topic so I've thought about this question a lot too because I'm a science major so I have dialogue with a lot of different scientists and you know some are creationist some are evolutionist and just purely looking at the facts we know that both sides readily admit that there are gaps in the theory there are things we don't know on the Christian side God hasn't come down and physically revealed Himself to us and prove that He exists but then on the evolutionist side there's a lot of gaps missing links various other quirks in issues with the theory that don't always add up and that's to be expected with anything that scientific because we don't know everything there is always going to be spaces where there's stuff we don't understand and. That being said what's what's better about creation or what's better about evolution of course creation maybe makes you feel more valuable and that's value that's a good thing but specifically looking at the facts. The reason that I came to be as strong of a believer of creation that I am is not so much by looking at the scientific evidence although that's definitely part of it there's a lot of scientific evidence in support of it. More than anything it's actually come from looking at the Bible and evidence for its validity because if we accept the Bible then we have to accept creation and that there is no other option I don't care who tells you that there is another option and that if you accept the Bible you have to accept creation the Hebrew is very clear as Dr hussle taught me in his Hebrew class. So if we're going to accept the Bible we have to have a good reason for doing so why do we accept the Bible well we've got a lot of beautiful things called predictive prophecies in the Bible that are extremely accurate and extremely powerful and they're it's interesting that the basis of historical critical attacks on the by. Will is that predictive prop prophecy doesn't exist because there is no God that comes in interacts with people that exists that knows the end from the beginning that can share these things so as soon as you find that there is actually evidence for predictive prophecy that Daniel predicted things hundreds of years before they happened that revelation predicted hundreds of things to well hundreds of things hundreds of years before they happened. It makes you realize there's something valid about the Bible that it holds up under scientific as investigation when you compare Scripture with Scripture the Protestant way. You realize that there's something really credible about the Bible and when you make that decision that there's something really credible about the Bible you're led to the decision that there's something very credible about creation and I would also include that as Adventists. The reason given for the three angels messages is to worship God because he's the creator and there's multiple things over and over and over again throughout the Bible that point to the creation as God's right to be worshiped so if we take away the creation we're taking away God's right to be worship because he's nothing more than another random being off in the universe that has nothing to do with us so I think looking at it that way. This is assuming that we accept the Biblical paradigm based on the things we see in the Bible and the evidence as we see there though both require faith I would say that creation is by far the better choice for anyone who claims to go by the Bible claims to be a Christian and honestly two in the science if you look at it there's a lot of stuff that they don't tell you about that are holes in their theory that you'll learn the higher you get up in science once you go through your undergraduate your master's degree your doctorate The higher you go up the more you'll realize that nobody really knows anything and it's all subject to change. And I mean you get that when you read scientific journals one year one may come out saying one thing the next year something says something else they keep the textbooks relatively consistent because they don't want people to doubt them too much but in reality at the higher ups things are changing all the time. But then from what I recall the story of creation hasn't changed since creation so. That's kind of how I like to look at it. You know as I was saying. Come to just a moment but it's color saying there is a little there's a degree of uncertainty in anything dealing with that which we cannot tangibly you know test and experiment upon so both both require faith but the evidence does definitely seem to support and lean towards a creationist worldview and I really like the point that Carl made that a biblical worldview and an evolutionist worldview are in no way compatible Bible does not allow in any way shape or form for long periods of slow change by means of death and natural selection so very good point. Two things that really helped me to. Really accept the Bible as a rule of faith and a guide in life for me and one thing as righteousness by faith but also by historical backing up of the Bible and how God has revealed himself throughout history and in studying creation I had a class when I was out watching to hills on creation and evolution and I didn't really know all much of either or both of how there can be evidence for both so studying up on each part of evolution and creationism I came to the conclusion that you know when it comes to science science is very relative or. History. Science is a very relative of history not relative but like it coincides or works together or history works with science and. Look at the looking. Something like evolution how can we really look back one billion years ago about that kind of evidence which I'm thankful for the Bible is has given us some history can we definitely improve the ark came through that there was a worldwide flood is very possible because we have some kind of evidence to back it up we can use the Bible as a hypothesis and something that with evolution is we're just kind of making it up as we go but for the Bible because we can use that as a guide to help us to make scientific explanations of evaluations and you know we don't really have to be in darkness and I am just in my studies US While I have to agree like with Kyle that creationism is the best way to go because we have a backing up in historical evidence for a lot. Like you're saying. We can use a creationist worldview from which to study nature and to study science a lot of people say well that's not objective Well then neither is using an evolutionary worldview both or both are assumptions and both are neither one is absolutely you know undeniably proved but a creationist worldview has for many years served as a very stable platform for scientific research and I think that's a great point anyone else really really quickly like they say evolution is if someone tells you that evolution is a fact it is not it's a theory because it's called an evolution. Theories not fact it's an ongoing process of learning so. And just like with creation on people call it a theory well we're so learning to have creation us well so. It's a time to continue to grow and just as science has you know your own over the years many other many people have come to an acceptance of. You know atheist atheism and everything else. Very quickly a couple of items. This is a huge question right now I think that. Christians in general and young people in general this is this is one of the biggest issues that we wrestle with because it's everywhere it's the worldview is is predominant it's in it's in media it's in the movies you watch it it's everywhere you know you just think about the giraffe Park series and you think about all this stuff. And there's a whole bill multibillion dollar push for people to believe in evolution for people to believe in this in this process. And it's been very interesting to watch things like you know when the Creation Museum multimillion dollar creation museum was opened up in Kentucky just the the media attack on that on that museum and the Ark Encounter you know which is part of that now and this Connex month the Museum of the Bible is opening up in Washington D.C. On November seventeenth it's a five hundred million dollar museum on the Bible in the the authenticity of the Bible it's opening up right near the mall area where you have the National Gallery of Art in the Smithsonian and and the Air and Space Museum in a police museums and if you look at the media and what they're saying about that they're just they just can't stand that this is happening where is the freedom of speech and the freedom of thought and the freedom to explore isn't that what science is really about to look at all kinds of different alternative theories and to and to look at what fits in the best way with the data that we have and I'm a scientist seminar he ologist we are all working with data but data always needs to be interpreted and how you interpret that data will depend largely on your worldview Now that sounds like a very relativistic thing to say but it's not because it also needs to be interpreted in the best light possible and I think the. But you know over the years as I've worked in archaeology and worked as a scientists in the Middle East the evidence that I see for the history of City of the Bible for the fulfillment of prophecy in the Bible is incredible it's just incredible and you see this again and again again why are other people not convinced because because maybe they don't they don't have that that same that same world you maybe they're honestly fighting against something but there have been people that have been converted to the other side and I remember flying some years ago to fight the faith and science conference in two thousand and three glacier view and I was sitting next to Dr Lee Spencer who was a biologist still is on staff here at Southern Afghanistan or versity and he was a scientist who was an evolutionist and then became a seventh the administration and he said Michael what it came down for me was this either what God wrote with his own finger in the fourth commandment was true that the seventh day sabbath was based on a literal seven day creation or God is a liar and I have to give all of that up. He says that was what it came down to to me and he says as a scientist I made a decision to follow God in His word and he says I have never regretted it I have seen things through the lens of scripture as a scientist that I could never have seen before through any other lens and this is what he said in this is what I try to share with my students if God exists if he is out there. And that we believe he is that's why we're here we're shipping on Sabbath today but if he exists and if he is out there why limit yourself and close your mind to a naturalistic worldview that is only based on the laws of physics and the laws of science that leaves God completely out of the purview. Of reality if God really exists and is part of that reality in the Bible tells us that he acts in history that he himself spoke life into existence on this work planet that He Himself has been over the years working through his people directly and intrinsically if that god exists and you're leaving him out of the picture are you not closing your mind to a greater reality that Scripture gives us whether it's through job where we see behind the scenes of what's happening but this gives us this great controversy perspective of a God who is active in history and if that god exists the evolutionary worldview excludes him completely and then excludes the whole reality that's out there sometimes Christians are said you know you guys are closed minded because your folks in the Bible know the Bible if it's the Divinely Inspired Word of God opens our minds to a greater reality that includes God and when God comes in the picture everything everything changes by the way one more plug. To two weeks ago I was sitting in the office at the General Conference of Clifford Goldstein the editor of our seven school quarterlies and I was in his office I think for an hour and a half and we were discussing some of these issues when you get into. Cliff Goldstein's office you don't get out very easily We're He loves to talk and he loves to share things and so he's just finished a book by the way on evolution which he has worked on for three years and it's just been published by Pacific press and it goes into the philosophy behind evolution and he is convinced and he's a he loves studying philosophy if you know Cliff Goldstein he's a he's a Jewish guy who converted to Adventism and Christianity was a complete atheist he's got an amazing story but he loves philosophy and he goes into the philosophical background to all of all of this stuff and he says evolution is no. Science of evolution is a philosophy first in which Then you plug data into creationism and biblical Christianity is a philosophy as well but it's more than that it's a theology with God at the center and when you plug the data into that you come up with different conclusions so I think we have to be very very careful and we have to understand that this is the Word of God and we can have good faith so by the way he's giving a seminar G Y C in Phoenix on this topic so if you guys are to bear attend his his seminar and then we will ask just one more question to close and I know our time is very short. This last question is how is it possible to stand for Christ and have a close relationship with him when no one else around me is making that same stand so when I feel like I am the only one you know who's making this stand this commitment this decision for Christ there's no one to support me how do I not only make that stand but stay firm and rooted as it were in that stand something that was helpful for me when you see the life of me shakin Abednego when you see them standing on the plain of Dura you just wonder like how did those guys muster the guts to all the sudden that one day stand for Jesus and what I came to better understand when you read some prophets in prophecy Kings it kind of gives some additional insight but. It wasn't that they just all the sudden decided to be faithful for God one day it was their day to day decisions of fidelity that made them into a person who would stand then as it makes sense and so they didn't and neither did Daniel they didn't magically become someone different they seem to have placed a higher value on their day to day decisions maybe than we do and that by honoring East decision you have to God Where they be the things that you eat right the things that you say the things that you think by beginning a process of willfully and intentionally making decisions for Jesus one step at a time you're building a revenue of faithful you're building like this resume if you will you're building this track record of this muscle memory these neurological pathways that train you to be someone who just knows to stand for Jesus with any decision that comes your way so it makes sense I would start with making your individual decisions rightly by understanding the value of our individual decisions. And so when you first come to see you need to Jesus start there make that stand make that decision and give him each decision that you have and I've found that it makes the next decision easier saying yes is the first part continue saying yes is the next would be the first recommendation I would give him and that's that's a very very good answer you know not only does what Caspar said apply to. The Christian life we see it applying in almost every other area of life as well when you are being trained to interact under a stressful situation whatever it may be in the medical field whatever. You know if you're a musician you learn to do what you do over and over and over again to where it's second nature you know I play violin and I'm not an expert by any means violin but I enjoy it and. When I first started playing I had to you know really think about playing I had to look at my fingers you know all that stuff. But now I don't even have to think about playing I can like hold a conversation while I'm playing although that's kind of hard to do like chin rest is you know have the violin but the point is it becomes second nature and so as as you cast Bruce was sharing. It is the same possibility that we have in our Christian life we can become so used to and in the habit of surrendering to God and standing for what we know is right that when a intense or. Trying situation comes our natural response is to choose the right anyone else. I just think the question of how can we stand when no one else's is the reality as we can't. I mean how do any of us become faithful to God on our own you know there is absolutely nothing that we possess as humans that gives us moral stamina or the ability to stand up for what's right or to follow gone and I just remember when I was first coming through the experience and I shared with you the decision that my friends and I went forward to and they went back out smoking a joint the parking lot and these are the types of friends that I was surrounded with continually and these were my. Peers and this is that was normal life to me running from the police and using drugs was like all that I knew from people and so when I started thinking man I need to surrender my life to God I thought where the support come from and I realized a lesson that I think is really valuable that my support doesn't come from anyone that I can see but just like Paul was saying when you're reading through Philippians is that my support to be obedient to the Lord comes from the. Lord Himself and I can't be faithful to God I mean I knew the addictions I was struggling with I knew the problems that I had in my own life and I was messed up and there was no way I was going to stand for right even if I was surrounded by a thousand others who were doing it but then when it came to being alone I realized man the only way that I can be faithful to gone is pleading with the Lord to do something different and I would encourage you if this is a struggle for you this is where devotions become a real and a lot of times we talk about having devotional life as though it's a checklist and something to make us holier or you're like a good admin to serve bad admin to save you spend time in the Bible but oftentimes how many times do we come to the Bible pleading with the Lord to give us a grace and mercy for the day because we realize how messed up we all Oftentimes I feel like devotions are just a passive experience to get something done but I remember those times I would go to the Lord in prayer and just crying almost the entire time multiple years on end I mean I would take breaks the stuff like that but you know I just had I had I had normal life but it was just like every time when I came to the Lord in prayer I I knew that I was so messed up and I think if we were to see gone like that every day what difference would be in our lives and I'm thinking back now as it's been ten years since that experience happened there's this this complex where we start to become comfortable and think that we don't need to be as dependent upon but I need to be just as depend upon gone today as I was ten years ago coming out of drug addiction and I think the reality is if we saw it gone and we prayed and we started our Bible like we actually needed it not like we had to that we would realize that we're partnering with a God who knows no failure and there are gods never messed up and let anyone down and that's the greatest support you can ever have a lot and then him and him and any other closing thoughts so with respect to the question on how do you stand if you're the only one. Now I think part of it have to do with our fundamental understanding of what it means to be a Christian and what your purpose is of course we've already talked about the fact that our Strength doesn't come from humans and should it come from humans the humans that do strengthen us and help it should be pointing us back to the Bible and pointing us ultimately back to God But even aside from that. What are we told to do of course pray and read our Bible but there's one other thing and that's to witness and if we find ourselves as the only one instead of feeling discouraged no one's here to help me no one's here to support me realize yes there is it's God. And I have a job to do to manage these other people if I'm the only one because if we start thinking of ourselves more along the lines of I'm a missionary I'm reaching out to these people I'm helping these people I'm here to offer them something as opposed to I'm going to piggyback on their spiritual ride then it changes the perspective completely We're no longer the people that are bastards here I'm going to leech my spiritual life off of his powerful sermons or something it's. I'm surrounded by a bunch of students that still don't know God and I'm going to use whatever resources I have whether it be powerful preachers like Doug batchelor or whether it be nothing but my Bible and an opportunity to pray to God whatever it may be I'm going to use that to reach other people not I'm going to expect for other people to continuously give things to me because God has given us the power God has given us the strength we have so many Bible promises or God says that he'll be with us and it's about time that we take our faith over our feelings has nothing to do with what we feel has nothing to do with. What it seems like based on our emotional situation it has everything to do with what God has promised to us what God. It is doing for us and through us and offers to do through us to reach the people around us so I think that's kind of something that we have may have lost over time in the administration used to be if you were the only one it was a blessing because it's like look at all these people I can reach look at all these people I can teach Look at all these people that are going to be so excited when they hear the truth now we say Oh there's no one here to support me I don't have a powerful preacher I don't have a local church I can go to I don't have whatever and then we drop off the radar we stop going to church we stop being admin it's just because no one's there to hold us up when in reality if we're the only one it's our job to hold others. You know welcome to just a moment I think it's it's very interesting that I see there's like two pitfalls that we often fall into when we feel like we're the only one and one is that we are trying to find someone to lead spirituality off of the other pitfall is to start thinking OK I'm the only one who spiritual here I need to start building like boundaries around myself to isolate myself from the evil that I might bump into if I contacted other people and we become very like I don't know almost we think of ourselves as victims and preserving ourself more than actually going out there and being a blessing to others now don't get me wrong there there are things we can do to prevent you know coming in to excess contact with evil as it were but it's very important when you feel like you're the only one or one of the few in it in an environment or an area to recognize God has placed you there has said to be a missionary and to reach other people. This reminded of the story of a why did you like the whole reason we're literally told that he stood his ground whenever he heard of the death row to just build the second one when he ran the just about would have been judged that would have been converted in the nation would have been brought to reform and he made the wrong choice but the amazing thing is how. Dealt with them in the midst of their failure he chased him down he asked him What are you doing here I still need you the nation still needs to go back and the commentary given him in Chapter. Chapters eleven twelve and thirteen of prophets and King she says in chapter thirteen that many of us drop out of the work because two main reasons worldly ease or. Opposition difficulty and she says the angels have been commissioned to go before us and we're angels go and none need fear to move forward and I think that's something that we lose sight of a lot that we you know even when I talk about Michigan Abednego like. Understanding our power source is incredibly important in this situation God isn't asking us to do something that we can't do he's asking us to lean upon one who cannot fail and when we do lean upon God in those situations what's found by the people around us is that Jesus is actually standing with us and that's the story that you see and Abednego is that there were three people of fire there were four and when they chose to stand by the strength given them by God God got glory out of it God was seen in it and more people came you may be amazed that you being the only person could actually do more for the glory of God and for the advancement of the kingdom than you having fifty people with you to do something. In your workers are the ones that see a lot of the miracles because all they have this god and sometimes is actually the best place to be doesn't seem like it but it actually can be in the eyes of God and then well thank you each and every one of those of you who served on the panel and each of you who are here this morning it was a blessing and I was inspired in enriched I want to remind you that this afternoon we're going to be meeting at two thirty over the College Hill Church see here Doug Batchelor speaking again then at four fifteen will be having our breakout sessions and then six thirty back in the main chapel for Pastor Bash there thank you all so much let's close with a word of prayer a Father in Heaven Lord we thank you so much that this morning you've given us an opportunity to not only dig into your word but to gain a verse about how it's applied to our lives to make it practical to understand how we can live lives dedicated and committed see you in a world that seems to draw us away from you. I pray that you'll give us the strength to stand even if we feel like we are the only one or if we feel like you know there are very few around us who who really hold to the same truth that we do. And I pray most of all father that you will make as missionaries wherever and whenever. You find us ready to use Thank you in Jesus name we pray that this media was brought to you by audio from a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about the universe or if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W.

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