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Watch 2022 online sermons » John Bradshaw » John Bradshaw - Sin, Skydiving, and No More Sea

John Bradshaw - Sin, Skydiving, and No More Sea


John Bradshaw - Sin, Skydiving, and No More Sea
TOPICS: Line Upon Line

John Bradshaw: Welcome to "Line Upon Line," brought to you by It Is Written, where we answer your Bible questions. If you have a question you'd like answered, I'm encouraging you to get it to us. Email us: [email protected] I'm John Bradshaw. With me is Wes Peppers from It Is Written. Great to have you here, Wes.

Wes Peppers: So good to be here, Pastor John.

John Bradshaw: Kind of fun answering Bible questions, and I know over your many years in ministry and evangelism, you've asked a lot.

Wes Peppers: Been asked a lot of questions, given a lot of Bible answers, and neither one of us have all the answers, but we know the Bible does.

John Bradshaw: So what if you don't know the answer?

Wes Peppers: Well, we just say, "We don't know," and we do our best to look it up and find it and give people what they're looking for.

John Bradshaw: All right, so let's start with question number one. I'm gonna ask it of you and see if you know the answer.

Wes Peppers: Sure, all right.

John Bradshaw: The question is... it comes from Chandler: "Was it God's plan for sin to enter the world He created? Why did God put Satan in the Garden of Eden"? So, was it God's plan for sin to come? Why did God place Satan in the Garden of Eden?

Wes Peppers: Well, certainly it wasn't God's plan. From the beginning, everything was perfect. Sin entered because of human choice. And we find that clearly spelled out in the first couple chapters of Genesis. And the reason sin entered the world is because it ultimately began in heaven with Lucifer. It began in his heart, and then it spread through the rest of heaven, and God removed that. And in that great battle for good and evil, Satan was sent to the earth. And God created the earth perfect. He put Adam and Eve there, and then ultimately the devil began to tempt them, as we see in the book of Genesis.

Now, let's zero down. Did God say to Satan, "I want you to go to the earth," or did he find his way? Is this where he was sent, given a one-way ticket? How do you think that worked?

Well, the Bible says in Revelation that he "was cast to the earth". And God, when He created Adam and Eve, He created them with a freedom of choice, and He put that tree of knowledge of good and evil in the midst of the garden to give them that choice. And God warned them, "If you eat from that tree, you're gonna die". And Satan was right there. He was permitted to tempt them, to give them that opportunity for choice. And, of course, God always wants us to choose good, but when we choose evil, it brings the consequence of sin and ultimately death.

Mm-hmm. Thank you, Chandler, great question. And, by the way, just to reiterate, all these questions come to us from It Is Written viewers. So these are legitimate questions that we've received here at It Is Written, and we are sharing 'em with you. Okay, let's take a look at this next question from Mekina: "Jesus said in Matthew 12 in verse 40 He would [spend] 'three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.' Friday to Sunday does not equal three days and three nights. Can you explain this"? And the answer to your question is, yes, I can. Mekina, let's think about this. We know that Jesus died on the day we call Good Friday, the day people refer to as Good Friday. He died on the preparation day. The Bible makes clear the day following the death of Jesus was the Sabbath. That's the seventh day; that's Saturday. So He died the day prior to the Sabbath. He died Friday in the afternoon. We know, according to Luke 24 in verse 1, that Jesus rose on the first day of the week. That's Sunday. So it's a Friday to Sunday. Jesus said "three days and three nights". So what you're saying is, "That's not 72 hours". Granted, it's not. If you look at the time period that Jesus spent in the tomb, the way it's described in the Bible, you find it described in multiple different ways. It is said that He would rise "the third day". It is said "three days and three nights". It is said "after three days". So what's "after three days"? Three and a half days, four days, five days, six days, seven days? "After three days"... very open-ended, right?

That's right.

So you have the same time period described in multiple different ways. So what you do is you look at it, you go, "Yeah, clearly Friday, clearly Sunday". If you have a mathematical problem, problem isn't likely with the math, it's with the person on the other end of the pencil trying to figure this thing out. So, let's share something with you, and that's the principle of inclusive reckoning. The Jewish mind would call part of a day "a day and a night". Now, I've known people who've been sentenced three days in jail.

Mm-hmm.

They went in on, let's say, Monday night, spent an hour there, all of Tuesday, and they were let out just after midnight on Tuesday night. That's part of Monday, all of Tuesday, part of Wednesday... three days. That's three days in jail. That has happened. Maybe it happens with some frequency; I don't know. So I would encourage you not to get too hung up on the "three days and three nights, that has to be 72 hours". It doesn't have to be 72 hours. And when you look back and you go, "Mm, inclusive reckoning, ah! That's how the figure of speech was applied in that day," you might then say, "Okay, that resolves it for me". Wes, you've met people for whom this question... I'm not saying this is true for Mekina... is a hill on which they must die.

That's right.

And they wouldn't be happy unless other people die there also.

That's right.

Is it necessary to take a question like that and make it like a... and again, again, I'm not referencing my questioner... but is it necessary for us to make this a test question or a test of orthodoxy?

It's not a test of salvation. It's not a test of church membership. Really, it's just a matter of words. And in several places in the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, often they say, it says, "On the third day He rose".

Yeah.

And I think the bigger picture here, the bigger point is that Jesus rose from the dead.

That's right.

And that's good news for us. That's good news for you, Mekina. We're thankful for that question, and Jesus rose, and He provides salvation for each of us.

Fantastic. We've got a question from Leona. I'm gonna ask you to read the question.

All right, the question from Leona says, "I remember reading in the Bible about a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath in the days of Moses. God told the people to stone him to death. Is God still that strict with us today"?

Listen, the Bible says, "God is love," and we're saved by grace through faith. But, here's the question: "Is God still that strict"? I'm gonna replace a word here. Has God changed? Now, let's read about the story about the person being stoned for gathering sticks, and then I'll ask you to comment on this. It says here in Numbers 15 in verse 32, "While the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the Sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron, and to all the congregation. And they put him in ward", they imprisoned him, basically, "because it wasn't declared what [they] should [do] to him. The Lord said to Moses, 'This man shall surely be put to death: all our congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.'" That wasn't a pretty way to die. Why in the world would God say, "This requires death"?

Mm-hmm.

Seems severe to us today.

Sure, it does.

But why? Now, let's keep the context in mind.

Yeah, absolutely. They had just come out of Egypt, the children of Israel, and God was trying to reinstate in their minds the importance of His law, the importance of obedience, the importance of the life that the commandments really bring. And so they had been used to pagan practices, disregard of the Sabbath, disregard for all of the commandments, really. And God had to instill that, and part of instilling the law in their mind was instilling His character in their mind.

Mm-hmm.

And so the law represented something deeper, that which we see Jesus bringing out when He talks about that in the New Testament. And so, there was some extreme circumstances. But not only that, they had already been warned, and this man was just in total rebellion.

Yeah.

He was just doing his own thing, disregarding what God had said.

We notice it wasn't long before this that the children of Israel were dancing around a golden calf with blatant apostacy. God had to keep them from going back there.

Mm-hmm.

And He needed to help people understand two things: One, this isn't good for you.

That's right.

And that eternal principle that "the wages of sin is death".

Mm-hmm.

Now, the question that we were asked is, "Is God still that strict today"? Now, if you mean, "Does God ask the leaders of the church to stone someone to death for breaking the Sabbath"? No. But if you mean, "Does the Sabbath still carry with it the same importance, or has God sort of lightened up on Sabbath-keeping"? What's the answer to that?

Absolutely. He's still... the 10 Commandments are still in effect. They never change. The importance of them stays the same forever.

Yup.

And the Sabbath is a reminder of God recreating our heart.

That's right.

And He wants us to have our focus on Him on that day.

Yeah. So, I would not say, "I'm not gonna get stoned to death for this, so it's open season; I'm breaking the commandments". It's really not. The wages of sin, and sin is the transgression of the law, the wages of sin: death. So, nothing's changed. It's just that that death sentence gets extended. And keep in mind... extended? Delayed. It's not God's will that anybody should perish, you understand? God's not the God who's just saying, "Oh, this guy put a toe over the line. I'm gonna blot him out". God is doing everything He can to save us and win us and to draw us to Jesus. This is what God wants. So, don't charge God with undue severity. I think that would be a mistake. Look at the culture, look at the times, and say, aha! This is what God deriving at.

He's merciful. And if we confess our sins, He'll forgive us.

He's always merciful. Whereas, Gerry asks, "The Bible says when Jesus comes back we shall see our loved ones again. When Jesus returns, will my wife still be my wife in the New Jerusalem"?

That's a great question. I can tell that, Jerry, you're asking that question because it's close to your heart. Maybe you've lost your wife recently, and we're very sorry for that, but the answer is certainly you will see her again. But Jesus also says in Matthew 22:30 that when we get to heaven, we'll be like the angels. There will be no marriage or giving in marriage. So there won't necessarily be marriage, husband and wife, but the relationship that we'll have with one another will be very close.

Yeah.

It'll be very intimate, not in a sexual way, but in a spiritual way.

You can't imagine that you're gonna be married here to somebody for 5, 10, 50, 70 years...

That's right.

...get to heaven, bump into them on the streets of gold, and say, "You look familiar to me".

Yes.

Or walk by 'em on the streets and as though there was never anything there...

That's right.

We can only imagine this now, but that relationship has gotta be strong in heaven.

It'll be strong. Just like the angels, the relationship that they have is strong. Our relationship with God will be strong, face to face, we'll be close to one another, and there won't really be a need for marriage.

That's correct. And here's what people have a hard time understanding. Whatever it is, it's going to be better in heaven than it is here on earth. I know, I know, I know. My wife is married to me, and she can't imagine how anything could ever be better.

That's right.

I have to remind her, "It'll be heaven, dear. It's better in heaven". What could be better? But in heaven it'll be better. So don't fear. Don't look at this thing in an overly human way. Give God the benefit of the doubt and know that He's got something better. We got one more question before the break. I can't wait to see what you say about this. It comes from Ron: "Isaiah 41:10 says, 'So do not fear, for I am with you.'" All right. So, "Does this mean that we should not fear skydiving or the pandemic"?

Well, I'm gonna fear skydiving if I don't have a parachute.

Amen.

And so, you know, I think about the temptation of Jesus, where the devil tempted Him to jump off the temple. We don't wanna do anything foolish and expect that God's going to just protect us. The Bible says presumption is a sin. So we have to be very careful about that. But, you know, if, in general life, in the things of daily life, should I fear? No, because God is my courage. He is my strength. In the pandemic, there's a lot of fear in the world. There's a lot of people that are afraid. And certainly, for the Christian, we understand that Jesus said these things are gonna happen in the world.

Yeah.

But we can trust in Him. We don't have to be afraid. But we don't want to be foolish either.

Fear is good. I mean, if you see a rattlesnake or a pit of vipers, and there's something that says, "You know, I wouldn't walk through that if I were you," that's healthy.

Wes Peppers: That's right.

John Bradshaw: You don't wanna leap off a tall building without there being a net way down there. There are times that fear is good, but undue fear... what does the Bible say? "Perfect love casts out fear". So we should be able to face each day confident, secure, happy in Jesus. And the assurance we can have is that whatever happens in this world, even it happens to be a nest of vipers, I'm gonna live in the land one day where there'll be no more sin, no more sickness, no more sorrow, no more tears, no more nothing. So we don't need to live without that undue, unnecessary fear. This is "Line Upon Line". Got a question for us? Email us: [email protected] He's Wes Peppers. I am John Bradshaw. This is "Line Upon Line," brought to you by It Is Written.

John Bradshaw: Welcome back to "Line Upon Line," brought to you by It Is Written. I'm John Bradshaw. I have Wes Peppers with me from It Is Written. We are answering your questions. And if you have a Bible question for us, email us at [email protected] Now, if you'd like to study the Bible, I want to recommend to you an outstanding series of Bible studies, the It Is Written Bible Study Guides. You can study 'em online. Go to itiswritten.study, itiswritten.study. And if you have Bible studies you'd like to share with people in other languages, we've got 'em available in Arabic and Turkish and Chinese and German, a raft of languages. So, contact us at It Is Written if you wanna share Bible studies with others. Wes, I have a question here I wanna bounce off you. It's from Mary. She writes, "In Matthew 12:32, Jesus says the unpardonable sin 'will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.'" Now, she says, "Does 'the age to come' mean it's nonreversible"? And I don't know what she means by that, but let's talk about the unpardonable sin, because maybe what she means is, does this mean it just cannot be pardoned? It's unpardonable. Take it from here.

Wes Peppers: Sure. You know, a lot of people... and, Mary, maybe you're curious or concerned that you've committed the unpardonable sin. A lot of people think, oh, it's murder, or it's abortion, or it's homosexuality, whatever it may be, but, very simply, you find from a good study of Scripture is the unpardonable sin is the one that is not confessed. 1 John 1:9, God says, "If you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive [them]". And so if our sins are confessed, it doesn't matter what it is, there's no "buts" about or insertions or anything like that in the scripture, but if we confess our sin, He will forgive.

Think about some of these characters in the Bible.

Yes.

David was guilty of just about everything. Solomon, I think, was guilty of everything. This is a guy who got carried away. Manasseh sacrificed his own children to the devil. There are very few people in the Bible... Daniel might be about the only one... where there's no folly charged to their account.

That's right.

And that's encouraging, frankly. I think if I was writing the Bible, I would want to airbrush it so that it's, it all looks squeaky clean.

Mm-hmm.

God allowed us to see the foibles and failings of people. If God forgave them...

Mm-hmm.

...He can forgive Mary, me, you.

That's right.

Okay, but the unpardonable sin, why is it not, why is it not pardoned?

Well, because, A, because it's not confessed.

Okay.

But, B, because every time I say no to God, the Bible says I grieve the Holy Spirit. And does that mean that the first time I say no to God or I rebel or I refuse to obey, does that mean that He's cut me off? No, but it means that I may hear His voice a little bit less and a little bit less until I can eventually place myself in a position where I'm not hearing the Spirit speak, even though He still is speaking. And so God is always speaking to our hearts. He always wants to forgive us, but we can place ourselves in a situation by continual disobedience and rebellion where I can't hear Him anymore.

And we've met people like that.

Yes.

I mean, everybody has. This person was on the front row in church every week. And then something happened, and he was a little less faithful in his relationship with God, and he stopped reading the Bible, and he took up some bad habits, and he drifted.

Yeah.

And now when people talk to him, he says, "I'm not even interested. I'm cold".

That's right.

I don't know if he is unpardonable, I don't suppose so, but what I'm saying... if he confesses...

That's right.

But people will get to that place, and they really do. So I wanna appeal to you: Don't make that mistake. You know, if you're drifting from God, come on back. If you feel bad about something you've done, and you probably do, because who doesn't, confess that and then believe that God forgives you. God doesn't hold a grudge. God's not keeping you at arm's length 'cause you did something foolish, no matter what that is. "Oh, but, John, you don't know how deep in sin I am". No, I don't, and let's keep it that way. God does, and He's willing to save you anyway. So, the Bible says that God delights to forgive sin. He delights to pardon people for their sin and...

You know, Pastor John, I wanna add something here that if you're concerned about your sin, if you're concerned that you've committed the unpardonable sin, that's actually good news.

It is.

Because it means your heart is open and sensitive to the Holy Spirit, and it's unlikely that you have, and so if you have a sin in your heart and you are concerned about it, confess it to God. There's probably not a sin that's recorded in the Bible that people haven't committed today. But there's also probably not a sin today that people have committed that isn't in the Bible.

I think that's right.

And so, friends, put your trust in the mercy of God and the compassion of God, and don't trust in yourselves.

I wanna say this, just to lengthen the question for no good reason, but people will say, "Oh, but I feel so bad about what I've done," and they'll say, "But what I find"... and I've said this before, I've said this before... "what I find is that the hardest part is forgiving yourself". Hold, hold on, hold on. I'll take a moment while you read the Bible and find the part in the Bible that says you must forgive yourself.

Mm.

That's mumbo-jumbo. There's nothing biblical about "I have to forgive myself". What you mean is, "I've gotta learn to live with myself after I backed over my neighbor's child in the driveway, or after I had an affair and destroyed my family, or after I dealt drugs and spent 20 years in prison. I gotta figure out how to live with myself". Yeah, yeah. Forgive yourself? Forget it. God's the one who forgives. If you go around forgiving yourself, you put yourself in the place of God. So, accept God's forgiveness. We understand what you mean: "How do I move forward with my head in a good space after what I've done"? Well, you do that by going to God and confessing to Him and then saying, "God forgives me, and I can move on in a healthy way now".

That's right.

And that's how that works. Okay, I've got one for you here.

All right.

This comes from Jody, and Jody asks, I think, what could be a fun question; let's see how this goes. "If we are going to eat meat, should it be prepared according to the biblical laws of slaughtering"? Now, Jody says, "That is, kosher-type preparation". Jody, you need to know that the Bible doesn't talk about kosher. That's Jewish traditions. "And if so, is it a sin therefore to eat meats that are not prepared in that manner"? So the Bible talks about if you're gonna eat meat, it ought to be prepared a certain way. Is it a sin to eat meat that's not prepared in that way? Well, I don't know if we don't wanna make everything a sin, but take that and talk about this eating meat. If you're going to eat meat, should you eat it in the way the Bible says it should be prepared?

That's right. And a lot of people associate this with just Old Testament laws that are done away with, but what you find is you have the ceremonial laws, and then you had the health laws.

Right.

The health laws are eternal. I mean, if it's unhealthy to eat something 1,000 years ago or 5,000 years ago, it's still unhealthy today. And so, the principles of health were given for the good of God's people. And they're still given to us today. We still use many of the health laws that were given in the Old Testament... covering our waste, and sanitation, washing hands, and those things. And so, what many people don't realize is that right in the New Testament, it addresses this issue.

That's right.

In the book of Acts, chapter 15, the disciples, the apostles were meeting together in a council, and somebody actually had this, a similar question. So I'm gonna read the reply here from Acts, chapter 15, that, in verse 19 and 20, he says, "Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, but that we write them to abstain from things polluted by idols"...

Right.

"...from sexual immorality", still good today...

Yeah.

"...from things strangled"...

Right.

"...and from blood".

Right.

And so, right there in the New Testament, under the new covenant, it talks about refraining from eating those things. So I think the answer to this question would be, yes, if we're going to do it the healthy way, God's way, what the Bible says, that we should prepare it in the way that the Bible describes.

So in the Old Testament, they would drain the blood out.

Yes.

And we know that that which gives meat its taste, really, is fat and blood.

That's right.

Yeah. How much fun would it be to eat a chunk of meat that's been drained of all the blood?

Yeah, it tastes like cardboard.

Yeah. And it'd probably be as chewy as rubber.

That's right.

Yeah, so enjoy that.

That's right.

Enjoy that all you can, but that's the biblical way, and few people will talk about that. Now, the question is, "Would it be a sin"? blahdy-blah. Look, I don't know. I don't wanna be the one who goes around telling you every last move you make is a sin, but God spelled out His will. And it's hard to do something other than God's will in a way of faith, and if it's not of faith, then it's sin. So, you figure that part out. But what we've done is shaken somebody's world who said, "It's okay for me to eat meat". All right, you be that determiner of that. But if you wanna be biblical about it, don't eat the blood. The Bible in the New Testament, Acts 15, very clear about that.

You know, Pastor John, real quick, it also says in Genesis that Adam and Eve, they ate fruits, nuts, grains, and vegetables. In heaven, it says the same thing. We're gonna eat from the tree of life and all the trees that God has prepared, and we'll have gardens and vineyards and those types of things. So those are the healthy foods that God has given to us as a gift. And really, they're a real blessing to the body.

You know, I don't wanna take too long with this, but maybe I do. Science shows again and again and again that when you look after yourself by taking care about what you eat, you prosper.

That's right.

You just do better. Does it matter? Yes, it matters. You want to live your fullest, healthiest, most productive life with the clearest mind you have in connection with God. So look after yourself. "Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit". Question for you, Wes: "Revelation 22:1 says", and this is a question from Terry, "there'll be no more sea". So, "What does that mean"?

It's a very interesting question. And I think... you know, in the very beginning, it talks about this, that there was a sea at the beginning when God created, but it says in Revelation that there won't be sea. I think much of the sea that we understand today was caused by the Flood. And so, I think, in a sense, God is insinuating that at the end of time, when the earth is created new, the results of the Flood, that the damaging, destructive results won't be visible. Well, does that mean there won't be any water on the earth? I don't think so.

Gotta be water, right?

There's gotta be water.

Yeah.

And so, you know, there'll be the river of life and those types of things. So, you know, in that sense, I just think it's talking about part of that curse that will be removed from the earth.

Another thing I wonder is right now the water's covering the earth. There's far more sea than land.

That's right.

And maybe what this is saying is that we're not gonna see the vast oceans that we have now. Maybe there'll be more land and less water.

Mm-hmm.

One thing for sure: We get to find out one day.

That's right.

So make sure you're there, Terry, and you can find out with us. Hannah asks a question: "Genesis 1:6-8 says there were waters above the firmament and below the firmament at Creation". Okay, Pastor Wes, "What does this mean"?

Yeah, that's a great question. And actually my kids have asked that question before.

Oh yeah?

And they... my son reads, and he's very thoughtful, and he says, "What does this mean"? Very simply, it actually says that the waters were separated. So, the water that's in the air, or the firmament, is really just the atmosphere. There are actually water droplets in the atmosphere that make up the different layers. And so, very simply, it's just talking about that. It's describing that, how God, the very steps he took in creation in Genesis, we see those, and really, amazingly, all the Creation story in Genesis is very clearly supported by science. And many times people say, "Well, the Bible says this, but we see this," but you give enough time... not talking about evolution...

Amen.

...to give enough time for research, and it's been discovered that, biblically speaking, the Bible is a very scientific book.

John Bradshaw: It is.

And we find support for that. So, separation of the firmament, atmosphere, and then with the water we see on the earth.

Outstanding. Hey, thanks for joining me on "Line Upon Line". This has been fun.

A blessing.

Let's do it again.

Absolutely.

And we are grateful that you have joined us. Now, if you'd like to study the Bible a little more deeply or would like to share a Bible study opportunity with somebody else, point 'em to itiswritten.study. Now, our outstanding It Is Written Bible Study Guides are available for you to study online for free: itiswritten.study. More questions next time. With Wes Peppers, I'm John Bradshaw. This has been "Line Upon Line," brought to you by It Is Written.
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