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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » John Bradshaw » John Bradshaw - Once Saved Always Saved, Tithe on Gross or Net, and Jesus in Hell

John Bradshaw - Once Saved Always Saved, Tithe on Gross or Net, and Jesus in Hell

John Bradshaw - Once Saved Always Saved, Tithe on Gross or Net, and Jesus in Hell
TOPICS: Line Upon Line, Salvation, Calvinism, Tithe

John Bradshaw: Thank you for joining us. This is "Line Upon Line," brought to you by It Is Written. This is where we answer your Bible questions, questions that have been submitted to us at It Is Written. We have a great time doing it. I'm hoping you will be blessed. I'm John Bradshaw. With me is Pastor Wes Peppers from It Is Written. Great to have you here.

Wes Peppers: Always great to be here, Pastor John.

John Bradshaw: So we're gonna get into this now, where we'll try to move with not indecent haste, but my hope is that we'll answer a good number of questions. So let's see how we go.

John Bradshaw: Absolutely.

John Bradshaw: First question is from Leona: "Is it true...God is going to withdraw His Spirit in the last days? If so, is it just for the nonbelievers"? The note here, she says, "I"! Here's what happened back in time. God said in the time of Noah, "My Spirit will not always strive with...all flesh". So He worked with people, worked with people, worked with people, the end came, and really His Spirit was withdrawn, but it rested upon the believers. There was Noah and his family. We can expect to see the same thing happening down at the end of time. Now, look around the world. There's a lot that's going on in the world today that you struggle to understand, and I think we understand it best when we recognize the Spirit of God is being withdrawn, and evil is having more sway, being given more rope, if you like. So I think the answer is yes, but God won't take His Spirit from His faithful ones, the believers, He won't do that.

Yeah, that's right, and, y'know, Jesus said in Matthew 24, "The love of many will grow cold"...

Yes. the last days. There's many other verses that speak to that as well, but God's Spirit is gonna increase in the lives of His people...

That's right. we get closer to the soon return of Jesus.

Yes, that's right. In fact, the Bible indicates there's gonna be a massive outpouring of the Holy Spirit...


...the latter rain. So the believers will always have access to the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit isn't going away, but is being withdrawn from the world. This is, I think, helping us to understand how lives can be so totally given over to the enemy of souls.

The ultimate withdrawal for the wicked is at the end of time when Jesus says there'll "be weeping and gnashing of teeth" at the very end of time. They realize that the presence of God is finally withdrawn right before, but comforting to know that we can always have that Spirit.

Yeah, amen.

Our next question is from Joe; he asks, "My son-in-law is trying to convince me that once you are saved by faith, all the Bible requirements are no longer in effect. This is a very popular belief, but something about it doesn't seem to ring true with me. Is there any biblical evidence that this is wrong"?

Oh. Have mercy. So once you're saved, you can live like you're lost?

Wes Peppers: Yeah.

Now, the Bible says in Ephesians, "For by grace are you saved through faith;...that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast". Verse 10: "We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works". You're saved by grace through faith and unto good works. We put away the deeds of the flesh. You're born again. You are led by the Spirit. "Be not conformed to this world: but be...transformed by the renewing of your mind". Everything about coming to faith in Christ says that you are remade. Now, you may not serve only aces the day after you come to faith in Jesus, there may be the odd fault or a foot fault, but your life is now trending in the direction of the life of God. This is being made new. So a person is advocating here coming to faith in Jesus, being saved but not being made new. None of that makes any sense.

I think of Titus, chapter 3. Paul says here...


..".This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God", which is exactly what Joe was saying, "should be careful to maintain good works. These...are good and profitable to men".


It didn't say they were for salvation for ourselves, but they are for the salvation of others.

Yeah, and we need to be clear. We are, you cannot help live a new, "If any man be in Christ he's new a creature," right?


"Old things are passed away; behold, all things...become new". We're not saved by our works.

Right. Mm-hmm.

We're judged by them, as they give evidence of the reality of our salvation. So we do need to be careful that we're not sounding like we're advocating salvation by works. That's not true, but good works will be in the life of the person who's come to faith in Jesus because God will make you new. Imagine the experience. You're some old wretched sinner. You come to Jesus, and He doesn't change you.

That's right.

What would be the point?

There is no point. And the point is that we wanna have a new heart, which is what God does give us.

Yep, amen. What's the next question we've got?

All right, our next question comes from Alvin. He asks, "I have a question concerning the devil. He is aware of what will happen to him in the end. Is it just that he's too headstrong to seek for forgiveness, or was his fate sealed from the time he was sent away from heaven, no matter what he does, he still perishes"?

Yeah, isn't that baffling? The devil knows the Bible better than any of us. He knows that he is going to perish in the lake of fire. He knows that he will be reduced to ashes. He has read Ezekiel, chapter 28, and yet he persists in rebellion against God. He has committed the unpardonable sin. There's nothing in him that will respond to God now. God's not trying to get him to repent. I'm sure He tried way back then when the seeds were being sown in his own heart by himself. When he was drifting away from fidelity to God, no question God suffered long with him, and bore with him very, very patiently. Now it's too late. The die has been cast; the concrete has set. This fallen angel is bound for the lake of fire. Nothing anyone can do to change any of that.

So why does he persist, then?

Because that's what evil does.


He's completely devoid of the love of God.


We know people, you may have somebody in your family or a friend or whatever, "Why are you living that life, man"?


Let me share this as an illustration. Some people get very frustrated working with addicts, drug addicts. They say, "Why don't you just snap out of it? Why don't you just start making better decisions"? Well, they don't because they cannot. Their brain chemistry has been altered, and that child of yours who's an addict is frankly not the same person anymore. And the devil is the same. He's just not the same person anymore; he's a devil. He is totally opposed to God. Why doesn't he change? He cannot; he does not want to. And let this be a warning to anybody dabbling in sin. I don't believe in the beginning the devil thought, "Well, here I am in heaven, but I to perish in the lake of fire and take people to perdition with me". It starts gradually. That's what sin does. Don't let it do that to you. Our only safety is in Jesus. As Proverbs says, "The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe". Our safety is in Jesus.

Amen, that's right. Patricia asks, "I recently heard a pastor say that aliens were probably demons or fallen angels and that they abducted people. He also said that they are the 'Sons of God' ... that were the Nephilim, in Genesis 6. Do you think there is a connection"?

I think some of what the pastor said is correct. I think that aliens are probably demons. I think that some aliens aren't aliens. Some aliens are just confusion in the mind of people who think they see something, or they see something that they cannot explain, but if you have any of this crazy stuff, that would more than likely be a deception, and I have no problem saying that. But "they are the 'Sons of God,' or the Nephilim"? No, no, no. In Genesis 6 you read about giants. That's what they were; they were giants. Big people lived back closer to Creation. There are some people who believe that these Nephilim were fallen angels who had intimate relations with human beings.

Wes Peppers: Right. Never happened.

John Bradshaw: Never happened.

Wes Peppers: How could it happen?

John Bradshaw: No.

Wes Peppers: And Jesus said there'll be no marriage in heaven, for we'll be like the angels. They don't do those things. They don't engage in those acts. And the reason they were larger people is because they were closer to Creation, and everything was larger in those days.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, so let's be careful that we don't get caught up in what's ultimately fantasy...

Wes Peppers: Yeah. That's right.

John Bradshaw: ...fiction. Stay with the Bible. I might have said this in another program. There's plenty in the Bible that's strange enough.

Wes Peppers: Right.

John Bradshaw: Jesus carpeted the ground with manna.

Wes Peppers: Mm-hmm.

John Bradshaw: You know, water came out of a rock. An ocean opened up so people could walk through. The sun went down in the sky. The river just kind of stopped; this stuff all flowed on; they crossed over. But we know that that's true.

Wes Peppers: Humanly impossible...

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Wes Peppers: ...but divinely possible.

John Bradshaw: Possible with God. But you don't need to veer over into the just flat-out weird.

Wes Peppers: Mm-hmm. That's right.

John Bradshaw: Let's keep it reasonable. I think that's far better. I have a question for you from Arlene. Arlene asks, "How does the Bible describe the way angels really look? It seems their appearance is nothing like we're used to seeing in pictures (for example, [with]...wings and halos)". But angels do have wings, according to the Bible.

Wes Peppers: Absolutely. There's two varieties of angels, and one has two wings, and one has six wings. And they're certainly beautiful, and the Bible talks about that. It even says that the devil himself can transform himself "into an angel of light".

John Bradshaw: Yes.

Wes Peppers: And he appeared that way to Jesus in his temptation. And so angels are certainly beautiful. They can also appear in human form.

John Bradshaw: Yup.

Wes Peppers: That happened many times in Scripture. I've heard stories of that, but one thing I look forward to: seeing them all coming in the clouds of heaven.

John Bradshaw: Ooh! imagine that.

Wes Peppers: The most glorious day.

John Bradshaw: An innumerable company of angels. Now, halos? No, no halos.

Wes Peppers: No.

John Bradshaw: That's a creation...

Wes Peppers: Tradition of men, yeah.

John Bradshaw: ...somebody concocted that. Cyd asks, "I'm having a hard time understanding forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors.' If I feel a political leader is destroying my country and my life, should I not strive against that kind of ideology? It's hard to care about people in power who are abusive. Does this mean God will not forgive me my trespasses"? Yes. The Bible says that if we don't forgive others, God doesn't forgive us, bottom line. Christians are called to allow Jesus to operate in our lives. And if you're hanging on to malice, that's not Jesus, that's you, and you're asking Jesus to just get out right now so you can be malicious. Now, there are gonna be politicians that you disagree with if you're halfway human because that's kind of how we are wired and how we do. You don't have to love them.

Wes Peppers: Or agree with them.

John Bradshaw: Or agree with them, exactly. You may resent certain policies, if you want, but it doesn't mean you're not gonna forgive people or you're gonna withhold love. I can disagree with people and love them at the same time.

Wes Peppers: That's right.

John Bradshaw: You don't need to be un-Christian, unkind, un-whatever-it-might-be, so let's understand this. Acceptance and forgiveness doesn't mean warm fuzzy feelings and that you're sanctioning anything and everything, just getting on with the business of being a Christian and letting Jesus be seen in your life, so...

Wes Peppers: Jesus vehemently disagreed with the Pharisees and others in the Scripture, but obviously He still loved them. He still would've been willing to forgive them. So we can follow that example as well.

John Bradshaw: Loved them enough to die for them.

Wes Peppers: To die for them, that's right.

John Bradshaw: Bob asks a question that may take us a while, so either we'll start it and continue it after the break, or we'll see how we do. "What does a person need to do in order to be ready to be baptized? Don't they just need to accept Jesus as their Savior"? Well, first, you do need to accept Jesus as your Savior, but what do we find in the Bible? I think we can do this. In the Bible there's some teaching that happens before a person is baptized. You have Matthew, chapter 28?

Wes Peppers: Yes, it's a great chapter, and it talks specifically to that issue. This is Matthew 28:18. "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'" So you see there an order, Pastor John.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, that's right. Philip pulled up to the Ethiopian eunuch, baptized him, but they had a Bible study first. The man in Philippi, the jail keeper, "they spoke to him the word of the Lord... and to all that were in his house". Doesn't mean you need a doctorate in theology or some such thing like that, but you need to understand the basics of faith. That's why people prepare for marriage so they can understand how to handle marriage. Many marriages fall apart because people just weren't geared up to get into it. And some people fall out the church 'cause they just never really figured out what this thing was, how to make it work, how to "use" it, if I can put it in those terms...

Wes Peppers: Sure.

John Bradshaw: ...and how to have a successful relationship with Jesus.

Wes Peppers: That's right.

John Bradshaw: So some things you wanna give up. If baptism is marrying Jesus, then you wanna stop dating the devil. Get some things right. We don't wanna tell you where to draw that line. Only the Spirit of God is able to do that perfectly. All right, more questions in a moment with Wes Peppers. I'm 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. John Bradshaw with Wes Peppers. Wes, a question for you from Jordan: "How do you know if God is calling you"?

Wes Peppers: Well, He said he was. He says all through the Bible that "I'm searching for you". "You will...find me when you search for me with all your heart". The question is not, is God calling us? But, are we responding to that call?

John Bradshaw: Mm. Mm-hmm.

Wes Peppers: And so there's no question at all. Now, God may be calling us to different things in our life.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Wes Peppers: But if you're speaking about generally, is He calling me to a relationship with Him? The answer is yes. Is He calling me to receive His love, His grace, to believe in Him? Always, there's never a doubt that He's calling every person. The question is, are we responding to that?

John Bradshaw: Maybe Jordan is saying, how do I know if God is calling me to a life of ministry?

Wes Peppers: Yeah.

John Bradshaw: A number of things you want to do is pray like mad, read the Bible, look for evidences of God's leading. You wanna counsel with others. If you think God is leading you, then follow and see if the doors continue to open. This really is a question about discipleship and following God in any experience of my life or your life. So be a student of the Word, a doer of the Word. Follow where you see God leading. Be open to His leading. Pray and claim the promise: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart: ...lean not unto your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall", that's a promise, "direct your paths". God will lead. Ask Him to do so, tell Him you're expecting Him to do so, and He will. Here's a question from Jobi: "Please tell me where was Jesus in between His death and resurrection"? You wanna tell us?

Wes Peppers: Sure. He was in the grave sleeping. And just like the Bible says, when we die, we go to our sleep. There are some passages where people believe that He went down to the depths of hell.

John Bradshaw: Which He didn't do.

Wes Peppers: He didn't. There are other passages that clearly state hell was not taking place at that time.

John Bradshaw: I've heard some great theater.

Wes Peppers: Yes.

John Bradshaw: Sermons where pastors, they play this thing up.

Wes Peppers: Oh yeah.

John Bradshaw: "Went into hell, and the demons fled, and He walked right up to the devil and snatched the keys right off his belt, and...'This is my place now!'"

Wes Peppers: You notice when they start getting into that, they're often setting their Bible on the pulpit.

John Bradshaw: They have to.

Wes Peppers: They have to; they just step away from it 'cause it's not there, friends. The Bible is very clear. You know, what's interesting to me, Pastor John, is that Jesus did the work of dying for our sins on Friday. He went into the tomb. He rested in the tomb on the Sabbath day.

John Bradshaw: Yes.

John Bradshaw: And then He rose. He did another work that first day of the week, the work of resurrection for us...

Wes Peppers: Amen.

John Bradshaw: ...very, very powerful.

Wes Peppers: Beautiful. Shasta asks, "I'm studying the Bible, and starting with the shortest book and working my way up to the Psalms. My question is about 2 John 1, verses 10 and 11. It says to not even greet them. How are we to share the truth with them"? And I wonder who "them" are...or is. So that's 2 John, verses 10 and 11. There's only one chapter in the little Johns.

John Bradshaw: Sure, let's take a look at that real quickly here, 2 John, chapter 1, verse 10 and 11. It says, "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds".

Wes Peppers: Yeah.

John Bradshaw: Let's look in verse 6. I'll start in verse 6.

Wes Peppers: Sure.

John Bradshaw: "This is love, that we walk after His commandments. This is the commandment, that, as you've heard from the beginning, you should walk in it. For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist". Verse 9: "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son". So here's somebody pushing a false doctrine, pressing a false teaching. Their aims are insidious. They have an agenda.

Wes Peppers: Yes.

John Bradshaw: He's saying, "Just don't greet them".

Wes Peppers: That's right.

John Bradshaw: You don't wanna be fraternizing with those people. Well, how do you reach them with the gospel? Another way.

Wes Peppers: Yeah.

John Bradshaw: But not by opening your home and allowing them to come in and proselytize the flock and preach their error. That's not necessary, nor is it wise.

Wes Peppers: That's right, and you don't want to be engaging with them. You might share a book with them. You might share even a video from It Is Written or some type of literature with them, but you don't want to be fraternizing with them. They tend to confuse people. And I've engaged these people before, and you have too, and oftentimes they're obsessed. They're very obsessive and very militant over a certain issue.

John Bradshaw: Mm-hmm.

Wes Peppers: And nothing you say will convince them. So you want to just stay away from that type of situation.

John Bradshaw: Yep, amen, there is a time for that. Blessing has a question: "I was wondering if you could help me understand about the number 40 in the Bible. Does it have any significance"? Okay, a little caveat first. Some people assign way too much significance to numbers.

Wes Peppers: Yes.

John Bradshaw: The number 40 is in the Bible well over 100 times. I think somebody said 146 times. It doesn't always stand for or represent or mean the same thing every time. What you do see often is a time of testing followed by deliverance.

Wes Peppers: Mm-hmm.

John Bradshaw: Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days; then He was triumphant. The children of Israel wandered for 40 years; then they went into the Promised Land. It rained for 40 days and 40 nights; then the rain stopped.

Wes Peppers: Moses also.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, so we do see that, a time of testing followed by deliverance. But I'm a little reluctant without solid science to start making too many claims about too many numbers, 'cause, y'know, some people can get a bit weird about that.

Wes Peppers: Some people have tried to say there's certain special messages in the Bible based upon numbers and codes.

John Bradshaw: Nope.

Wes Peppers: We wanna avoid that type of thing.

John Bradshaw: Absolutely right. Emma asks about families. She has children "that are going through some relationship issues... It makes them...difficult to satisfy... Any advice that she could share to help them"?

Wes Peppers: I would look at several of the marriages in the Bible. There's a lot of those, Isaac and Rebekah, and several different ones that you can pull principles of love from, you know, just the general principles of Christianity. You may wanna think about getting a professional counselor, and sometimes people will come to you with issues that you're not quite qualified to deal with, so that may be a consideration as well. Any thoughts you have about that?

John Bradshaw: Yeah, you wanna pray.

Wes Peppers: Yeah, for sure.

John Bradshaw: You want to show great love to your son and your daughter going through the relationship issues.

Wes Peppers: Yes.

John Bradshaw: Sit down and talk with them...graciously, no point trying to straighten them out, but you could love them and listen to them and make suggestions to them. Children are so easy to deal with when they're, like, 3 years old. "You will wear these shoes and be happy," and they will wear them, and they'll be happy.

Wes Peppers: That's right.

John Bradshaw: And then they turn, you know, I don't know; is it 8 or 9 or 10?...and they wanna wear some other shoes, and then they turn 15 or 16, and they're just wearing the other shoes; that's just it.

Wes Peppers: That's right.

John Bradshaw: And then when they, you know, they turn 20 or something, they'll say, "Hey, what shoes do you think I should wear"? Suddenly your opinion matters again.

Wes Peppers: That's right.

John Bradshaw: Parenthood is simply preparing your children for the time they'll make their decisions for themselves. Your children are adults. They're making their own decisions now. Love them, guide them, pray for them, and I like your suggestion; it's often wise to get a counselor, someone who can bring skills to the situation you don't have.

Wes Peppers: And, you know, I can imagine that your heart is very troubled, Emma, that your children are going through this. Be encouraged by the promises of God. Claim those for your children. Trust God. Pray for them daily. Ask Him to bless them. And like you said, listening to them is one of the most important things. You don't even always have to have a response.

John Bradshaw: That's right.

Wes Peppers: Very important to remember that. Just being willing to be there for them means more than anything else.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, encourage them in a relationship with God.

Wes Peppers: That's right.

John Bradshaw: Because if your adult children begin to take their concerns to God, He's got them, and He can grow them and bless them.

Wes Peppers: That's right.

John Bradshaw: Question for you from Edward: "What happens in the believer when they are baptized in water"?

Wes Peppers: Oh man, that's a beautiful question, and what a joy to answer that. You look at the life of Jesus; when He went down into the water, He came up out of the water. The Bible says that a dove came and landed upon Him. You read about this in Matthew, chapter 3, Luke, chapter 3. And that was a symbol of the Holy Spirit. So one of the things that happens to us is we receive a special portion of the Holy Spirit.


God equips us to walk the Christian life in victory. The next thing that God said was, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased". And so we may not hear that voice from God personally from heaven. It may not be that we hear an audible voice, but we can know that God is speaking that from His throne, and we can sense that voice in our hearts. One of the things that Jesus did is He wasn't baptized in private; He was baptized amongst the multitude, so it was a public example of just that, the example that God had given Him. It's a public testimony for us when we do that, that we're following Christ, so it can actually lead others to Jesus. You know, in the book of Acts it also says that as many as were baptized that they joined the church.


And so being a part of a church family is important, having that fellowship, the discipleship, finding a spiritual mentor. But baptism is one of the most joyous things that we can do.

Absolutely, and brings joy to the heart of God.

That's right.

He said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased". Forgiven, cleansed, you're a child of God. It ought to set you alight. One more question, maybe. Richard asks, "My question is do we pay tithe on the...gross or net"? What about tax returns and so forth? Gets "sort of confusing," he says. Yeah, it can; it can get confusing. Doesn't need to get confusing, but it can. If it's increase, tithe it. That's it. Tax return? Thank God for it. Tithe that. A gift? tithe that. Your tax return...I mean, I'm not asking you. What did somebody get back in a tax return? Did they get $500?



Did you get that?

You gave God 50.


Ya still have 450. It's not like it was a hardship for you. You got back $2,000. Well, you weren't expecting that, maybe. You give God the 200...that's the tithe; I would encourage offering as well. You still got 1,800. I wouldn't try to shortchange God at all. He has never shortchanged you. He's blessed you in ways that you will maybe never even know. You pay tithe on the gross and not the net. The tax you pay is just a bill. That's a bill to the government. Well, you then might say, "I'll tax after", "I'll tithe after tax and after my rent and after my utilities and after food and after gas and after my car payments". You're gonna end up tithing... y'know, you earn $1,000 a week; you're gonna end up tithing on $1.50. You can't out-give God. Don't withhold from God.

Wes Peppers: That's right.

John Bradshaw: Be as generous as you can. I'm not saying be reckless. But when it comes to tithe, gifts, tax refunds, just tithe it.

Wes Peppers: Here's something that someone shared with me once. They said, "When I think about tithing before or after taxes, or anything else before, after rent or whatnot," they said, "Who do I want to pay first"?

John Bradshaw: Oh yes.

Wes Peppers: "I don't wanna pay Uncle Sam first". We should pay our taxes. Jesus made that clear.

John Bradshaw: Amen.

Wes Peppers: "I don't wanna pay my landlord first. I wanna", and it's not that we're paying God.

John Bradshaw: No, that's correct.

Wes Peppers: We're returning that which is His, and that's the blessing.

John Bradshaw: That's right.

Wes Peppers: And He blesses us for that. We're giving; we're returning. And every time I give, it's a testimony of faith that He has blessed me, and I'm trusting that He will continue to bless me.

John Bradshaw: No question. It's only money.

Wes Peppers: That's right.

John Bradshaw: If you're faithful with God...

Wes Peppers: That's right.

John Bradshaw: God, who is faithful, will bless you abundantly.

Wes Peppers: Mm-hmm.

John Bradshaw: Thanks very much for being here today, Wes.

Wes Peppers: Great to be here always.

John Bradshaw: Great to see you. Thank you for joining us. We're looking forward to seeing you again. With Wes Peppers, I'm John Bradshaw. This has been "Line Upon Line," brought to you by It Is Written.
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