January 30, 2023

Ep.1266: Why Doesn’t God Just Destroy Satan?

Satan’s history and God’s righteous reasons for keeping him alive

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CHAPTERS

[00:14:20]
How did such an evil being get so much power?


[00:30:07]
How much is enough time for God to know whether one of His creations will be eternally loyal or rebellious?


[00:47:31]
How long until Satan is destroyed?


Theme Scripture: 2 Corinthians 4:3-4

There are some questions that are just plain difficult. One of those questions that many believers in God may wrestle with has to do with God seemingly allowing Satan to run the show. Let’s face it, evil stinks and we just want it to go away. Yet, God has continued to let Satan's influence dominate our world for thousands of years! Most Christians believe God is absolutely capable of destroying Satan but begins to fall short when asked why it has not yet happened. Answers touch on God creating all of His spiritual and earthly intelligent beings with free choice, and this is a great start. The key factor in all of this is seeing HOW God gives each being a free choice and the ability to have fair and just choices.

Continue Reading

Unbelievers incapable of seeing the gospel

In 2 Corinthians chapter 4 the Apostle Paul is talking about unbelievers. He describes them as incapable of seeing the gospel. Why are they incapable? In verse 4 he says they have been blinded by Satan, the "god of this world." He is not saying they blinded themselves, or purposefully ignored the gospel. He is clear that they can’t see it because Satan has made it so. When Jesus spoke the Parable of the Sower and the Seed, he made a similar claim. He interpreted the birds eating the seed by the roadside as Satan taking the gospel message before it could be appreciated.

Is Satan in control?

Seeing both Jesus and the Apostle Paul making such plain statements about Satan’s ability to control the gospel’s reach can raise questions. Who is really in charge here? Why hasn’t God stopped - or at least diminished - Satan’s reach, especially regarding the gospel? The answers are simple. God IS in charge. Period. He hasn’t thwarted Satan’s influence because it is not yet time for that part of His Plan. While these are simple answers, they certainly need detailed reasoning and scriptural support to reveal their logic and harmony.

Let’s begin to open the door to those important details. Consider that God’s continued allowance for Satan to keep on living is an integral part of His Plan to benefit ALL of His created beings. Satan’s rebellion actually serves God’s plan in two ways:

  1.  Satan’s continued existence and influence serve as an undeniable and unavoidable example of what rebellion against God’s righteousness unfolds.
  2. Satan’s continued existence and influence serve as the basis for testing each and every one of God’s created beings. Every intelligent created being will ultimately choose to stay loyal to God’s righteousness OR ultimately choose to follow the darkness of Satan.

Check out our January 30, 2023 podcast, “Why Doesn’t God Just Destroy Satan?” for more. We provide strong scriptural reasoning to support these two reasons for Satan’s continued existence. We do this by tracing how Satan initially got the power he now abuses. Next, we trace how this power grab exactly fits into God’s eternal purposes and what its end result will be. Join us for an eye-opening journey that helps us see the wisdom, power and love of God!

 

 

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January 23, 2023

Ep.1265: What Sins Can Never Be Forgiven?

Identifying what unforgivable sins are and their consequences

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CHAPTERS

[00:11:11]
Why did Jesus tell the Pharisees that blasphemy against the holy spirit would not be forgiven?


[00:30:14]
What does the book of Jude tell us about the unforgivable sin?


[00:49:13]
What is the sin unto death, and is it the same as the unforgivable sin?


Theme Scripture: Matthew 12:31

Everybody sins. We can’t help it because we are imperfect, and therefore we will inevitably fall. As Christians, we can and should claim the amazing advocacy of Jesus, ask forgiveness, make right what we did wrong and move on. But are there sins that go beyond what Jesus can help us with? Are there "unforgivable" sins? Are there sins that once committed doom us to eternal death? The Scriptures do say such sins exist. The good news is the Bible is specific about what they are and how they work. The difficult news is that some verses are hard to understand, and that can lead to confusion. So, what are sins that go beyond forgiveness, and how can we stay far away from them?

Continue Reading

What if I accidentally commit this type of sin?

First and foremost, we need to understand that according to the Bible, no one can commit a sin that dooms them to eternal death by accident. Many seem to walk through their lives with this fear hanging over their heads. What if I said this or did that without realizing it? Or, what if I did something as a joke or out of immaturity or a whim in the past – does that doom me to future eternal death? The answer here is no. Sins with no resurrection are not accidental. Remember, God is just and not vengeful. He is wise and not emotionally driven. He is powerful, not reactionary, and He is love but not weak.

However, this is not to say that being foolish about or disrespectful to God and His eternal power is ever advisable. It never is, as we all bear responsibility for our thoughts, words and deeds. The primary principle that needs establishing in this whole discussion has to do with “who.” Who is liable to committing a sin that leads to eternal death? The Bible unequivocally speaks about a resurrection for all of humanity that brings them an opportunity for reconciliation. This one fact tells us that all of humanity therefore does not have such liability here in this present age. If they did, they obviously would not be raised out of death.

Not all Christians are in this category

The liability to a death with no resurrection falls upon Christians, but NOT on all Christians. Once again, you look at this and think, what? The explanation for this is clearly laid out in Scripture and really is a must see. Check out our January 23, 2023 podcast, “What Sins Can Never Be Forgiven?” for more. We systematically go through the three sets of scriptures that always seem to come up when talking about sins with no resurrection. What we find is a deep subject that has been muddied in its understanding and application over time. Phrases like “speaking against the holy spirit being unforgivable,” “the second death,” “for whom black darkness has been reserved forever” are all put in order. Join us as we attempt to separate out all of the mystery and leave just the plain statements of biblical truth to learn from. You don’t want to miss this!

 

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January 16, 2023

Ep.1264: What Does God’s Grace Do For Us?

Defining, applying and profoundly appreciating the grace of God

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CHAPTERS

[00:13:20]
What are some characteristics of God's grace?


[00:33:28]
What does God's grace do for us? What about for those who aren't Christians?


[00:48:00]
How do continually appreciate God's grace to us?


Theme Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:3

The Bible is full of examples of God’s love, justice, wisdom, power and plan. It is a fountain of mercy and foresight, and a treasure trove of prophecy. Understanding the magnitude of all these things helps us see God as the Sovereign Creator and Father that He really is. But wait, there’s more! Running through ALL of the descriptions we just mentioned is another facet of God’s character - His grace. The word for "grace" in the Bible has many shades of meaning. When we understand how this word is applied to God in both the Old and New Testaments, we are given a profound glimpse into the depth and breadth of His character. God’s grace is and always has been a game changer. Let’s see how!

Continue Reading

A gift

God’s grace is often and accurately described as His unmerited favor. On a mere human level, this concept can be exciting and fulfilling. Suppose you know someone who has a favorite sports team. You decide one day that you will buy them two tickets to an important game their team will play in. You buy the tickets not because you are returning some favor, but simply because you want to give them something that was previously out of their reach. Finally, you give them the tickets and they are stunned in their joy and surprise.

This is a tiny example compared to the magnitude of God’s grace. His grace is expressed in many ways at many times under many circumstances. Think of the gift of Jesus. The Bible says God gave us this gift as an expression of His grace. This means that we are ransomed from death because God wanted to give humanity the unmerited gift of an opportunity for eternal life. This gift changes everything about the futures of every human being who has ever lived. It’s a pretty big gift! So, is our reaction to it as joyful as receiving tickets to a big game?

What if they are just paper?

How would you feel if your friend you gave those tickets to never went to the game and instead just stared at the tickets and loved the fact that they had them? Your reaction would be that they missed the point of the gift. You wanted them to be at the actual game and not just appreciate the fact that they could go. It is the same with God’s grace, only on a massively larger level. He doesn’t want us to simply appreciate the opportunity for life; He wants us to live in that opportunity, to change and grow as a result of its presence in our lives. God’s grace always seeks an active response!

Check out our January 16, 2023 podcast, “What Does God’s Grace Do for Us?” for more. We reveal the countless ways His grace is described, give examples of how it works and lay out what it does for us. God’s grace is bigger and more powerful than we think. Do yourself a favor and join us for an awe-inspiring look at the grace that changes the world!

 

 

Watch Our Episode Preview


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January 16, 2023

Ep.: Why did Job’s friends tear their clothes?

Job 2:11 Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him…

(The loss of his children and his possessions and then being smote with sore boils from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head.)

Job 1:13-19, 2:7-8 they came each one from his own place…and they made an appointment together to come to sympathize with him and comfort him.  

When Job’s three friends saw Job in his affliction and his complete covering with boils, they did not recognize him, and they cried aloud in grief. 

Job 2:12 When they lifted up their eyes at a distance, and did not recognize him, they raised their voices and wept.

They also tore their outer robe and threw dust in the air which would have landed on their heads.

Job 2:12 And each of them tore his robe, and they threw dust over their heads toward the sky.

Both of these gestures were very obvious and noticeable. In that culture and time, these were common ways to express intense emotions of sadness and grief. The action of shaving of the head or beard was also a common way to express grief or regret. It was an outward way to show for his friends how affected they were by Job’s intense experiences in the loss of family, wealth and loss of health. 

(Note: Job also expressed his personal, deep grief by tearing his robe and shaving his head. Job 1:20: Then Job arose, and he tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped.)  

Tearing of the robe can be similar to how the heart can be broken and torn in grief. 

Ashes or dust thrown over their heads – the Hebrew word for “ashes” is the same word as “dust” in Genesis 3:19 when Adam was told some of the consequences of his disobedience to God: By the sweat of your brow you will have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made.  For you were made from dust and to dust you will return. 

So, this use of dust or ashes can be associated with an outward sign that signaled to everyone absolute grief, desolation, and ruin.

There can be a lesson for us in these outward expressions. When we see the devastation and difficulty in the experiences of our friends, especially our spiritual family, it can be important to express our loving sympathy in a way that can be seen, and further in a way that can be helpful and supportive. 

Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

Romans 12:15

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. John 11:33-35 

Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Hebrews 13:3 

Heartfelt thanks be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ – the Father who is full of compassion and the God who gives all comfort. He comforts us in our every affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction by means of the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 

To learn more how to comfort those in grief listen to, “How Do You Find Your Way Through Grief?” 

For more thoughts on grief visit our resource page: Relief From Grief

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January 09, 2023

Ep.1263: Does My Life Have a Motivating Vision?

Learning how to make the driving vision of our lives reflect God’s vision

If you do not have a password, please subscribe to our FREE Premium Content for the Full Edition version of CQ Rewind. The welcome message will contain your password, and a reminder will be sent each week when the CQ Rewind is available online for you to read, print, or download.

CHAPTERS

[00:15:38]
How do we find a clear and godly vision for ourselves?


[00:32:12]
Why do we look to the prophet Habakkuk as an example of accepting God's vision as our own?


[00:47:45]
How can we rejoice even when everything around us appears to be crumbling?


Theme Scripture: Proverbs 29:18

We all know people who are visionaries, you know, the kind of people who change the world around them. They see things others don’t. They imagine possibilities others can’t. This often results in them taking risks in ways others won’t. While we appreciate these trendsetters, most of us are not that kind of visionary. However, we can and should be visionaries for our own lives. So, where do we find the inspiration and guidance for our life’s vision? As Christians, the obvious answer is to look to the Bible. The only problem with this is, we often see the Scriptures through the eyes of our own limitations. Today, let’s look more closely to see if we can find a biblically motivated vision for our lives that we can really invest ourselves into.

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The prophet Habakkuk had a problem. His vision of the world around him focused on the ever-increasing power of the surrounding heathen nations. He was struck with a fear of Israel being overrun by them. He brought his fearful vision before God in a very forceful and straightforward manner. God answered his fears in a straightforward manner as well. He told Habakkuk that his fears would be realized but that also, God’s will and way would win in the end. God told him that his job as a prophet was to be a watcher. Habakkuk was to write down the message so others could understand how God would eventually prevail. His job was to relay God’s vision of the future to the people.

Habakkuk's problems are our problems

We often have the same kind of problems as Habakkuk had. We too can be easily overwhelmed by our immediate circumstances and future. We too can feel lost when it comes to how to cope with the big unknowns of life. Like Habakkuk, we too can find peace and direction with all of this, but only if we do what Habakkuk did. Habakkuk found a powerful and compelling vision for his life. Finding this vision required him to abandon his old ways of thinking and adopt an entirely new perspective. That perspective was only available to him when he thoroughly committed himself to acting not in fear but in faith.

How can we adopt the same kind of powerful and motivating vision for our lives? Check out our January 9, 2023 podcast, “Does My Life Have a Motivating Vision?” for answers.

Five specific steps

It turns out that there were five specific steps Habakkuk followed to change his vision. The first of these steps was to put his fears and questions before God. He requested answers. He not only requested, he also put himself in a position to hear and accept anything that God would reveal. We’re not prophets like Habakkuk, so we won’t literally hear God’s voice. We can, however, see God’s will through a Bible-based approach to our experiences. Join us as we uncover the steps Habakkuk laid out and learn how to find and follow our own life-motivating vision!

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