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October 17, 2022 6:00 am
The world can talk you out of your belief walk you out of your sales are bad inflammatory things or tweak nasty things in Guam on create a controversy sign is blocked, you, your faith in today's were pressured into signing but there are times when God calls us to speak today on connect with skip-Skip shears about the heavy cost for obediently following Jesus. The priceless ultimate reward when you do so. But before we begin, we want to share about a resource that will nourish your soul with God's amazing trips rotate around crucial moments in decisions where everything changes. We call them pivot points here. Skip, I think in this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while if need be.
You have been grieved by various trials.
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Please call 892 1888, or give online securely connectwithskip.com/offer. Thank you for partnering with us. Okay let's get into to the exchange Matthew chapter 14 as we begin our study Skip Heitzig to say.
Don't try to remove the offense you try to remove the offense of the gospel you are doing the devils work.
People need to know why the good news is so good, and the danger therein without Christ, so I'm not saying you should try to be offensive.
Don't do that.
Try to be respectful.
Try to be nice recovered that last week but listen, just even with a smile on your face and a hug. The message of the gospel itself is offensive right the Peter call Jesus a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense and Paul said the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, so just living in a secular culture bringing the good news of Jesus Christ as being the only means by which a person could ever be saved. Gonna rock people's world to get people uncomfortable. They're not gonna like hearing that they're bad off and need him.
But here's what I want you to see what you notice something your John the Baptist does not confront Herod with a salvation message. He confronts them with a moral issue. Adultery again verse four. It is not lawful for you to have her now just hold that thought. Why does he do this we carry stock into a king. A monarch saying you usually have other women working doesn't have other women is what kings did, especially in ancient times there a whole slew of women at their disposal so so why does John the Baptist at the risk of his own life confront a political authority with a moral issue about his personal life that is the affair that he had the marriage that he had to her rodeos and I asked the question sincerely because I said it so many times I I never expect unbelievers to live like believers.
I don't. I want them to become believers but I don't expect their moral behavior to match that of a believer. I expect believers who say I'm a believer can have a biblical stance, but I don't expect unbelievers to live like believers. I don't expect centers to act like saints will. Here's why I think I think this is why John Nelson the Herod family claimed to have an affiliation and an affinity for Judaism. In fact, even the Jewish his great-grandfather converted to Judaism. His father, Herod the great, though hated by the Jewish nation largely claimed to uphold Jewish laws.
They try to sort of walk the line of really man week. We practiced Judaism week. We love Jewish people infected you know, wrong called Herod the great, the king of the Jews was their title from the king of the Jews know whether he was upset when one was born in Bethlehem.
Somebody was taking his title but it's because they claimed to be believers in a sense claimed to be Jewish that John the Baptist said all right it's not lawful.
According to our laws Jewish law that you claim to live under to do what you are doing so he's speaking out against the man's hypothesis. I'm raising this because it it takes us to the larger issue. When should we as Christians speak out on moral issues.
When should we be silent when should we speak.
When should we think okay these are unbelievers. They do what they do or what this person is claiming a walk with Christ.
But when do we start speaking out about these things. What I want to get a little but help answer that question from somebody who did just that. His name was Martin Luther King Jr. and he believed that he should speak out about the issue of civil rights for two reasons. Number one because what he was saying squared with the biblical mandate and number two because what he was saying squared with what our founding fathers believed in that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness because those two issues squared with what he was saying. He spoke out in his famous letter from the Birmingham jail he wrote this, how does one determine whether a law is just or unjust.
I just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law of God, and unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas and unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal and natural law.
I find that very very helpful. So John the Baptist felt that's happening spoke out very courageous. Now that takes us to the last little segment I want to look at and consider review and that is what that will cost you so that we we've looked at the guilty conscience of a politician and and the gutsy courage of a prophet. I wanted taken out to the great cost for God's people. John's honesty got in trouble. John's outspokenness cost him a lot.
First of all, he was arrested, apprehended, was incarcerated. Verse three says Herod laid hold of John that's the apprehension found him and put him in prison that see incarceration for the sake of her rodeos, his brother Philip's wife. According to Josephus, the Jewish historian John the Baptist was kept in prison for about a year at a place called Beccaria's just east of the Jordan River and Dead Sea in present-day Jordan, one of the palaces of Herod kept in a hole in the ground until he was executed, which takes us to verse 10. The other cost, and so he sat and had John beheaded in prison. Forgive me if when I read verse 10 on this particular weekend. My heart is especially broken when I read about John being beheaded it scary to read because I know that the Taliban and to whom we have ceded an entire nation does exactly that they have had a history of brutality for years as Islam us and extremists. Now if you were to follow Josephus, the Jewish historian. I keep referring to. He said John the Baptist was killed by Herod because Herod feared that John had such influence over the people that he would be able to mount an insurrection or a rebellion to overthrow him. So according to Josephus, he said that the reason he killed John is to hold onto political power. I don't doubt that. But I look a little bit more carefully at the Scripture and I realize it was also because of the provocation of his wife Herodias because she's part of the equation. It's not lawful for you to have her. She's the her so she's part of it and he was henpecked by her pushed by her and he caved in when he read that the account you in Mark chapter 6 is two verses for John had said to Herod, it is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife, therefore her rodeos held it against him and wanted to kill him, but she could not now.
I just again just straight so you understand a little bit of the history.
I think you have a worse match of two people ever. Then antipasti in her rodeos dance of us had his own issues his own family background but but them together like a match made in hell because she had also her family history was a history of brutality. She had an ancestor by the name of Alexander genius who crucified 800 men at a dinner party. That is, he invited guests to come and watch the entertainment of 800 men dying on crosses and just to add to the entertainment he brought in the families of the wives and children of those crucified men killed them in front of their eyes so that the last memory they would have in their excruciating pain as they left this world was that of their families dying first welcome to dinner. What's for dessert.
So that's her background so you get him and her together and John the Baptist calling them out and you get an execution. Now here's what's weird. Herod Antipas like John, he liked him sort of is like. I like his got no I don't hate. I love this guy.
I hate him, but let me explain. Mark chapter 6 verse 20. Listen carefully, Herod respected John knowing that he was a good and holy man and so he kept him under his protection. Herod was disturbed whenever he talked with John, but even so, he liked to listen to him I mean is that conflicted or what. I hate this guy. Boy can he preach well. John was executed in that prison and faithful men and faithful women throughout history, Old Testament and New Testament.
Those who stood up for God love God singularly, who spoke out to their generation spoke up in their culture suffered consequences is the history.
It is the spiritual history of our belief system.
We incur the consequences. All those who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution you want to promise from the Bible. There's one you go get it. Jeremiah proclaimed judgment king Zedekiah put them in a muddy pit Isaiah the prophet faithfully preached to the nation of Judah, King Manasseh had him sawn into Zechariah rebuked the people for worshiping statues and he was stoned to death in the temple, Shadrach me shack and Abednego refused to bow and they were thrown into a fiery furnace.
Stephen in the New Testament spoke up in the synagogue.
They drug him out of the synagogue, and stoned him to death. Matthew that the author of the book were reading was killed with the sword.
Peter was crucified upside down. Thomas went to India where Lance was thrust through him, and he died early Christians were fed to the lions burned at the stake had to export over them use as living torches until their bodies incinerated to light up the gardens of Caesar Nero in Rome. That's our history and I know some of your thinking us Skip you're not helping her because if you think a message like this is in the get more recruits to Christianity.
Wrong message and and I would say back to you. That's okay because will get the right ones will get the real ones you'll always have the fake ones go let them go. Schaff separated from the week but the real ones will come in the real ones will stay read something that I found it was given to me. Actually this was posted by somebody a couple days ago. There will be Afghan Christians who will die this week because they have chosen faithfulness over safety. There will be American Christians who will Skip church this week because they have chosen safety over faithfulness. Please accept that in the spirit in which it was offered, not meant to be a guilt trip that if you are immunocompromised or you need to be alone say please do that, but still this is true, what we consider more important folks.
This is a time for boldness. This is not a time for timid souls. This is not a time for the fainthearted. This is time for believers to rise up and come out of the closet. Everybody else's. Everybody else is proud to be them.
Should we. But it will be easy.
Jesus spoke about the end of days.
The end times Matthew chapter 24 give a list of signs things you can expect in the last days. One of the things usually disregarded by those who love the study, eschatology, and I love to study eschatology, but those who talk all about the end days in science to leave this part out. Jesus said, and many will be offended because of me.
Many will be offended because of me that were used to scan the lid so it means they will fall away from the faith. There will be believers who will jump off the bandwagon so quickly. They'll abandon ship to be offended because we used to call them Alka-Seltzer Christians you get the picture right. They bubble up quickly and enthusiasm and they fizzle out just as quick. I'm reading a book by Erwin Blitzer. My friend was smoking here a number of occasions: we will not be silent. I recommend it to you. He wrote this boldness comes easily when you're in the presence of someone who agrees with you. It is difficult when you are standing alone in the midst of people who seek your demise boldness behind a pulpit is one thing, boldness and the city Council meeting is another boldness is seen most clearly when you have burned the bridge that would have enabled you to retreat.
It's like, you know, I meant to say this might cost me a lot might cost me a job that might cost me a relationship some cases it might cost me my life. You are willing to do what is right and say what is right when you speak up and you should speak up on certain moral issues like abortion, a blight on our nation.
The millions upon millions of babies that have been slaughtered and the he does hear about it. And there's controversy about edges week you get inundated daily with it is is like you okay it happens, we should speak out against that there are moral issues. We should speak out against sexuality issues, gender issues, pronoun issues, but be ready for arrows to come your way when you do, be ready for that and be ready for the cancel culture warriors to mount up and say you don't have a right to say that funny because they have a right to say anything it's it's freedom of speech for me but not for the so they'll just try to cancel you off their platforms altogether see if the world can't talk you out of your belief, but try to mock you out of your belief to sales or the bad inflammatory things or tweet nasty things and glom on and create a controversy and sign petitions and just lock you for your faith. You can also expect hate speech legislation to be more rigorous than ever. It's coming. It's can accommodate soon when it will be illegal to preach the gospel to God in the street to go in your office and say this is how you get to heaven's sake. It's a they'll be called hate speech in the tell you to stop like they did to the disciples in Jerusalem to which they replied we must obey God rather than men started happening 30 happening in Canada in Canada. Christian pastors are forbidden to speak against same-sex marriage on television the illegal can do it. You can't speak out against another faith in that country when pastor Mark Harding was sentenced to 340 hours of sensitivity training by a Muslim imam for speaking out against Islam hate speech on a close of the story that you should know. Anyway, I should note this is a Christians a part of your heritage comes from the great Reformation the British Reformation Reformation. By the time it hit England was well on its way to success but is having problems in England. One of the great reformers was Hugh Latimer, Bishop Hugh Latimer, a fiery preacher and that he was to give a message one Sunday at a church, but he was told that the king was gonna come to that church service of the king in question was King Henry the eight you know your history. King Henry VIII had a fondness for decapitation much like Eric like to cut people's heads up his mood for his so imagine being the preacher with that guy in the crowd you think a black cannot see anything that will offend him, so Hugh Latimer gets up to preach in the as he spoke he struggled and he he said and he said out loud as if talking to himself. He said Latimer Latimer.
Do you remember that you are speaking before the high and mighty King Henry VIII.
Be careful what you say, for he is able to take your life so that I love the pause for a moment, gathered himself again and continued and said aloud, Latimer Latimer, do you not remember that you are speaking before the King of Kings and Lord of lords before him, at whose throne, Henry VIII will stand and before him to home one day you will also have to give an account of your self. And then he finally said Latimer Latimer. Be faithful to your master and declare all of God's word and he did. He he and boldness preached a clear, compelling gospel of repentance and faith in Christ and oddly, King Henry spared him his life. But the Queen did not Queen Mary.
Also known in history as blood.
He Mary gave the orders for his execution to be burned at the stake and on the day when Hugh Latimer was burned at the stake. And there's a marker in the street you can see it in England, where he died. He was tied up to the wood poles put on that wooden stick prior started lighting the flames next to him was another clergyman also dying the same fate very nervous, scared to calm him down and give them assurance Hugh Latimer said to him today. We will like such a candle in England that will never be put out. That's how he saw that burning at the stake were light the candle will never be put out, and that candle was lit in the fires of Reformation started across England and made it over here.
May we catch some of that flame and states fired up burning strong, being bold, unashamed, nicely smile love this pump whatever you do, be nice to be don't shy away from truth that concludes Skip a text message from the series hunting giants you Skip to share how you can keep this broadcast going strong connecting you and many others to God's word. The world tries to silence us whenever we stand for Jesus and his truth.
But that's all the more reason we should speak out and share the gospel as much as we can and we want to encourage and equip you to do just that with Bible teachings to build up your faith and your knowledge of Scripture and through your generosity. You can help share these messages you love with even more people around the world. Here's how you can give today visit connectwithskip.com/donate to give a gift that's connectwithskip.com/donate or call 800-922-1888, 809 two 218. Thank you for your generosity and come back tomorrow. Skip Heitzigs of shares when you must avoid becoming indifferent to God working in and through all said it is high time to awake out. In other words, can you hear the alarm clock time to wake up, it's time to get out of bed place, time, make our lives