08 Jun 2016

Xpress – Part 1B


Xpress - Part 1B

Recorded on 08 June 2016

Sermon Transcript

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Randy Pope - Part 1B

I will walk through the diagram and then we're going to show a little quick testimony and on the video and then I'm to get into book 1 and will see if we get through book 2 by the time we close okay. We'll see how much progress we make.

Now I understand when I write this up that you cannot see that in the back so you do not have see it. This is page 15. You’ll find the same material on page 15. Is this being shown on the screen? ['Yup" says one from congregation] Oh, good! You want me to pull it back? Pull back? ['Yeah' says one from congregation]. Now, am I gonna stand back here now? You want me to stand back here now? You want me to stand back here? Okay? Alright. Uhm, here's the way the diagram, just to give you the bigger picture to the flow, alright? We're gonna start with the progression of boxes, alright? I am going to put up some boxes and this is what the boxes look like. There's gonna be a number 1 box that goes right here. It's going to be followed with a (I'm gonna to explain that box) and then I'm gonna to put a little squiggly line right there right, alright? Then we're gonna turn to a second box here - I'll explain that box. So this is gonna be box number 1, number 2 and we're gonna come here and we put a box number 3. So very simple - 1, 2, 3. At the end of the third box I am going to put a little stick figure man here. I'm just going to draw a little stick figure. Now I want you understand that I have seen a very close connection between the number of salvations that I see when I present this diagram and how well you draw a stick figure. So if you do something like this, people just don't come to Jesus. It just doesn't work. So I'm just, I'm just warning you right now. Okay? So we are gonna talk 1, 2, 3 and then the progression of the box is going to go up here to box number 4. Alright? It's not to be here, It's gonna be up here, number 4. I am then going to put another little stick figure right here and then I'm going to put in box number 5. So everybody understand the progression, progression of boxes? I'll explain what we're gonna put, all of this is in the material. It's all written out for you. You can go back and review and I will make it really, really, really simple for you because I'm gonna model doing it, show you how I do it, then you will be able to go on, on,, if God, and you will see on the front page, you will see me standing in front of a whiteboard and I will actually do it as if I'm doing it with a non-Christian. So you can go back and kinda hear how I do it and then the pickup how you might want to do. Make it your own. But er I'm just gonna show how the progression goes now. So remember 1, 2, 3, stick figure, squiggly line 2, 3, stick figure, 4, stick figure, 5. Now, at this point, when I draw this last fifth box I’m gonna be saying this, 'how does a person get from here to here?" That is the transition that takes me to number 2, the primary question, that is the primary question; how does a person get from here to here? We're building curiosity in their mind at this point. So how does a person get from here to here? Wrong approach. I'm gonna first give the wrong approach then I'm gonna give the correct approach. Then I'm gonna end the whole discussion, talking about the importance of investigation and I'm gonna tell them how they would not want to go about investigating compared to the best approach that I'm gonna invite them into. That's the logic of the flow - you get the bigger picture now? 1, 2, 3, stick figure, 4, stick figure. How does a person get from here to hear? Box 5. Wrong approach. Correct approach and then the investigation, alright? Now let me erase this now. Now what I'm gonna do is I use this er diagram. I'm going to from time to time want to stop and explain why I've done what I do and when I do that I'm just going to use the word parenthesis. That means I'm no longer talking to John. Let's say that I'm, I'm sharing this with a man named John and I will stop and say parenthesis and I'll talk to you and then I'll go back to John. You with me?


Let's do it. I've just asked John, "yo, can I share little diagram with you?" and he says, "sure, go ahead" and I said, "well John, I'm gonna use this box here to represent mankind and from the beginning of time, John, I believe that God has designed us with different drives. Now John this is according to the Bible which everybody has their own opinion about the Bible but, and er, er, that's you know, whenever you think about, I just want to tell you the source from which I come with these these beliefs and that basically we have three, (I want this little bit bigger, you can see it) that basically man has three drives; he has a spiritual drive which is a quest to find out is there a God and what’s that God like, which by the way John, did you know that every culture in the history of mankind has had religion, isn't that interesting? Innately within us. Everyone has religious beliefs. They have a spiritual drive. They also have intellectual drives. That's a quest to find out what's true and what's false what is what's not. We also have, I'm gonna put physical here, physical drives that are very normal to all people for food, for drink, to sex, very natural, normal drives that you notice John how I have the strongest of the three is the spiritual? That's the way, according to the Bible and again everybody has their opinion about the Bible but, according to the Bible this is the way God designed man to be and that when the spiritual drive is stronger than the physical, here she has purpose in living. When I talk about purpose, I'm referring to a reason to live, a purpose.


Also, freedom, I put a little 'F' there. Freedom is simply not the license to do anything we want to do, freedom is really the ability to do what we should that's what everybody is looking for and then 'A' stands for assurance. We want to know that we are going to be okay in the next life. Those are the three great commodities of life, in my opinion John. But here's the problem. According the Bible again, right or wrong, but the Bible tells us that everybody has gone against God. Parenthesis.

This is the fall of man. There may not in their mind understand that; that's okay. But I'm saying everybody is gone against God. I don't use the word 'sin' yet because I don't want to get in a controversy, "what sin is a sin?", I just say we've all gone against God. Now, as a result John what's happened is there is an inversion of these boxes, of these drives and now the spiritual drive is less than the physical and as a result we no longer have the purpose, freedom, assurance to the degree that we want to have it. Something's missing in life and we know it. You know what we do, John? What I did, what most of us do is, we add on what I'm call a pseudo-spirituality. Parenthesis.

I'll put a little dotted line here to refer to that.  A pseudo-spirituality, religion, morality, whatever it may be, but you know what I found John and I think everybody seems to agree that that really doesn't make a difference. It doesn't give us more purpose, freedom and assurance. John, this could be a continuum of 100 boxes but I'll put one more box down here and what happens if something doesn't turn this around, what happens is the spiritual begins to going into decline where people begin to question, maybe even the existence of God, but certainly the knowability of God and as a result with that, what happens is that physical gets so strong it becomes central, and the drive becomes so central now, food, drink, sex begins to drive us instead of us controlling it. Now everybody finds himself somewhere on this continuum, John, somewhere. Now John, let's assume that a person finds themself (sic) maybe at an extreme down here at this box. Parenthesis.

You notice I didn't say, "John let's assume you're down here at this box". That would be very offensive. I say, "John, let's assume that a person finds themself (sic) maybe down here at an extreme, at this lower box. You with me? End of Parenthesis.

John what often happens in life is somewhere along the line we meet someone who says, at least, that I used to be somewhere down in here and something's happened to me now and as result, though far from perfect, I now have a stronger spiritual drive than physical and have re-found purpose, freedom and assurance in a new way. John maybe this is a person that that someone meets at work, maybe it's a relative. John actually something maybe like me, I mean, this truly is my story. I'm far from perfect. But I used to be down here and I found new purpose freedom and assurance that I'd never had. Now this person sees this person, is kinda questioning, "aeh, I don't, I don't buy it".  And then you sort of see them go through some extreme, extreme trial of life, maybe the loss of a child or loss of a spouse or something. And you see a piece of the inner strength that is unusual and you begin to say, well I don't know, maybe there is something. Maybe they have found something and they began to ask the question. Parenthesis.

Primary question. They begin to ask this question. If it is real, how does a person get from here to here. End of parenthesis, alright? Paren.. ah..parenthesis.

Now is where I say, how do we get from here to here. I'm gonna transition down my little outline in my mind I'm gonna outline through this I'm gonna say the wrong approach in the and the right approach. End of parenthesis.

So John that is the big question. How does a person get from here to here? Wha.. what is it? Well I'm gonna tell you what I think the wrong approach, John. I think the wrong approach is when people answer well you gotta go to church or better yet, you gotta walk down the aisle of a church and better yet you pray a prayer at the end of the aisle or you get emotional - you hear all those things. John, that I'm convinced that's not the answer, that is not the answer. So now they're ... Parenthesis.

Now they're saying, what is the answer? Seem like it would be church. I thought you were going to talk about church or... something like that praying a prayer. No John, I think answer is really found in the person of Jesus. Now John I know that that is the big big big question. Parenthesis.

I will now put the word Jesus up here and I'll say very quickly, I think the answer is found in Jesus, but let me tell ya that's the big question John. That is the really, really big question. End of parenthesis.

John, I don't know if you've ever heard of a man name CS Lewis. Have you ever heard of him? Parenthesis.

Do most of you know the name CS Lewis? ["yes" answer from congregation]. Alright. Er, do most the people in Singapore, would they know? Would educated people know the name CS Lewis? Probably not. Would they know the Chronicles of Narnia? Would with they know the movie at least the Chronicles of Narnia? Alright. Well, I will want to at that point because about 50% of the people I'm talking to in the US know his name and the other 50% no. So if they know his name, I'm not, when I say you know, have you ever heard of the name CS Lewis. I frankly have to be aware that they may say yes and not really know who he is or I've heard the name but I can't tell you, so I will point out you know that, you know they were, he wrote the Chronicles of Narnia and so forth. By the way, did you know that there was a movie named Shadowlands on his life? So .. End of parenthesis.

John, CS Lewis was a great intellect. He passed away in the 1960s, but he was an Englishman who was known for his brilliance. Just incredible brilliance and er he was an agnostic, at least even call himself an atheist in his, in his 40s. But he was good friends with a man named J.R. Tolkien. Do you know that name John? And John goes you know, yes or no. Well Tolkien wrote the Lord of the Rings. I bet you heard of Lord, yea, yea Lord of the Rings, well he wrote that, a brilliant man. By the way, Tolkien was a Christian and he believed in Jesus and he told CS Lewis you need to investigate Christianity and CS Lewis did. At the end of his investigation he actually began to be a follower of Jesus, and he wrote a book that is known now as one of the great books of all time in Christendom. This little book, what's the name of it? You tell me. {congregation murmurs and answer] Huh? Mere Christianity, that's it. So I say, it's called Mere Christianity, written for intellectual oriented people but, small little book but just gratefully in insightful and this is what he said. He said he believed that everyone should have an opportunity to investigate, but he said if you did investigate, to be intelligent in your investigation, you can come to only one of three conclusions, most of us have heard this. Either he was a, what? - liar, he claimed to be God, and he knew that he wasn't which would make him a liar, or he was number 2, a what? - lunatic. He was a lunatic, he claimed to be God and he thought that he was, but if he weren't that would make him a lunatic, right? I will say to John. For instance if I were to say to John, "Hey John, can you imagine if I were to introduce myself the first day we met and say, oh by the way I'm God. (Unintelligible sound) He'll be gone. You'd say, where's John gone? He wouldn't be around. So people think you're crazy will maybe was a lunatic or Lewis said, if not, you have to conclude he was Lord of the universe. The only three intellectual responses. Here's my thinking, John. If I investigate. Parenthesis here.

Listen to this. This is, of all the things you can say anything you want you can introduce this, form your own diagram, however. But I will say this. This is so critically important what I'm about say right now. End of parenthesis.

John here's the way I look at it. If I investigate, right or wrong and I conclude that he is a liar or lunatic than I think I'm a fool if I follow him. Who would follow a liar or a lunatic? However, John, right or wrong, if I conclude that he is Lord of the universe who he claimed to be I would be a fool of fools not to follow him. Now.. Parenthesis.

I'm simply using reason, just reason. Fallen man still has the ability to reason, to some degree. I want to utilize that and I'm using it saying, fool if I believe he’s one of these two. If I investigate, right or wrong, and believe he’s Lord of the universe, I'm a fool of fools not to follow him. Now last the question. Well, the importance of investigate. How do you investigate? So let’s say well, let me give you the wrong approach to investigate John. I believe that the answers are found in the Bible, very controversial book. I think answers are found in the Bible. You could investigate Christianity, I could hand you the Bible. You start reading. You say Genesis ah? Interesting. Exodus, hmm, okay. Leviticus, Numbers, Deutero…mmmmm. Man you would never get very far and you’d say if the answers are in the Bible I'll never find it. You know what I think, John, I think you need a little booklet; that's the stuff. Five or six pages that answers the most critical importance to investigate. And you know there are really only four questions that have to be investigated and once you've investigated the four questions you really have completed a good investigation. You know what those four questions are John? The first one, "How can Christians believe the Bible is God's word without error? That's what Christians believe. Why would they believe something don’t it make sense, does it? Number two, they’d have to, and they'd want to investigate the question, how can Christians believe all people, including more religious people outside of Christianity, deserve eternal punishment? Number three you'd want to find out how can Christians believe that of all the religious leaders that have ever lived, Jesus is the only way to God? And then lastly, you probably say, "Well if I found merit in the in the answer those three questions to the Christian faith, what does Jesus say is required to have eternal life?

Now I have finished the diagram now. I'm simply going to turn him and say John. I don't know if you're interested, but I have four little booklets, they are about six pages each that answer each of those four questions. I don't know about you, I'm the type of person that if I want investigate I don't I don't want it to be a long lengthy thing, neither do I want it to be something that, that I'm preached at, and pushed at. I just want privacy and brevity and I would just want a few pages I could take home each week and read those 6 pages or so and interact, think about it and then come back and have someone I could meet with to talk about it. And that's what I love to do with people. And to help people investigate. All I know is if I help people by the end of, when we finish about a month time or so, they are able to say I'm glad I've at least investigated Christianity when they're on the deathbed, they’re gonna say I'm happy at least I have investigated.


John I don’t know if you’ll like to do it, but I'm happy to do it. The way I do is just one one time, one book one little booklet one week and then we evaluate whether we want to go two. I don't like see anybody commit to four weeks 'cause you may not like. It may not be beneficial, but if after one week you think it is beneficial we decide to go week two, then decide if you want to go to week three. And just take as much as you want. Is that something you might be interested in, John?

And I listened and John said, "aeh I'm not sure I am really interested" Well, fine. That's good. I don't want you to do this for me. I just if it's helpful you, I'd love to help. (unintelligible) are interested let me know. Because I'd love to help people investigate. John, let's talk about your family, whatever you know. Fine if they don't want to. Most people I'm finding now are saying I would really like to investigate. They'll at lease start it and see what happens. And that's when you have an opportunity to expose 'em to what? That's what's going to make the difference, because in each of those booklets you are going to see five chapters of John. And if he says you know I like to do that, I said John here's how it works; there are five, about 6, 5 or 6 pages that answer each question and I actually take the first booklet and I'll hand it. I'll opened it up actually to him at that point and I will say to him, John, here's, here's the first little booklet and if you notice there's about six pages that answer that question this one has to do about the Bible being God's work. And er, I love you to read through that just one time, you don't need to read through it more than once, but you notice the margins? I have some pretty big margins and John as you are reading this, when you read something that you disagree with or think how in the world could somebody think that's that's accurate. Then, just know this John, I believe what's in here, right and wrong. I believe it. So you may forget, when we meet for lunch or whenever we're meeting, you may forget what you were thinking when you read it, so just make a note to yourself and put in the margin right beside that thought put, "Pope-idiot". That will remind you what you're thinking. If you’re saying if Randy believes that, he's crazy. Put something. He laughs and I say just really just note whatever you like, if you have a question, anything. What we'll do, we meet together, simply just interact and talk about what you wanna talk about. If there's not much to talk about, that's fine. Interested to trying it for one week? Good.

John, can I ask you to do one thing? And I know this may not make sense to you but it will later, I think. You see, John is in the back, there's five chapters of John. You notice there's little questions in the margin? I like to ask you to read through John over this next week or two until we meet again. And John, you might like to read, you may not like to read. But I don't care if you read two minutes, one minute a day and it takes us three weeks before we meet together that's okay. But I would like to ask you if you would read a little bit every day. Instead of reading all at one sitting, I'd like you to read a little every day and then if you get finished before we meet then start reading it again. I want to read John, every day, a little every day. Would you do that, would you commit to do that? I've just found out it's not really worth our time unless that happens, you'll be amazed what a difference that will make. Would you be willing to do that? And if, if he says yep, then I go well let’s let’s do it, alright? Let's plan a time, then we get back together next week. That's how we go in to the booklets. Make sense?


Alright. What I'm gonna do now, again you go to you can see it, if you’re an auditory/visual learner, you know, you can go there, you can get you in your booklet if you like this read in your er your book. What I'm gonna to do now is I'm gonna take a quick minute break and let you watch a video. It's a testimony that I'd actually, just saw. It was used in our church Sunday morning and it was recommended to me by my wife when she saw it and she said what this might really benefit the folks here. It's just about to three minute little story testimony. So give your attention to the screen.

[Voice in the video]

Few years ago my friend invite me to a Buddhist temple and I, I like there, I like there. Nice people but I just can't find my purpose, my meaning. And so I decide (sic) not to go to there. And then one day I was on the way to there and I made a U-turn, and that U-turn changed my life. Somehow I end up in the Dunkin' Donuts and er, that's how I met er Chip. I was talking to my son and mine my own business, eating donuts and I was overheard this two table side. And I turn around and I start to talk to them. Then, it was funny, I was ask them, do you guys start any church around here, good church? And er Chip give me a business card. He said er come to our church. One day Chip call me for lunch and he show me diagram and read a first (unintelligible) booklet. It took me about a year to realise I was a sinner. I always thought I'm a good person and I go to heaven anyway. I regret (unintelligible) the for (unintelligible) lavish and I start to realise I am a sinner and I need the repentance and this the only way to repentant and to accept that Jesus as the only Saviour in my life. And that moment I just feel so, so happy, so joyous. There's no way for me to use a human's language to express the feeling. You only have to be there. I mean, if you believe God is in your heart, then you know what I'm talking about. All I want to do then is, if God gave me so much, give me so much - and I need to give. I even so (unintelligible) that I call Jeff and the person who, and my friend who took me and brought me to the temple. And I started to tell him about Jesus Christ and I tell him to come to church and he always ask me, show me a sign, show me if there's a God. And sign is right here, it's me. God changed me. If he can't see it. I am changing, so that's the sign. And he really understand that, he believed that. He saw my family, me, Tony and Samuel, how we changed. He feel like he want to go to church because he want to be happy like us. Since I finded (sic) er Jesus, and our family are changed and we er we read the Bible together and we pray before we sleep. I really truly believe God is good. And only God can change us and only God can lead us through this life.

[End of video]

Good story, Good story. Just to again show you how the diagram and the booklets can, can actually come into play. I want you to take your book number one and I want you to open it, we'll kinda walk through it very briefly. I want you to see how the gospel plays out through these booklets. It’s going, there're three basic, there are three basic thoughts to the gospel. The first is what's called the problem and who can tell me what the problem is that everyone has? It's called sin, right? People have to understand their sin problem. There is a solution to the sin problem and it's not an "it". It's a "who" and who is our solution to the sin problem? Jesus. Now just because a person believes they have the sin problem and Jesus is and is a remedy, even the remedy to the sin problem, it doesn't mean that they are a Christian. There's got to be a response to the realities of our sin and what Jesus does and that is called faith and repentance. The primary response is faith and repentance. The two are inseparable. They go together. Now, if you look at the four booklets what you gonna see is this is a very gradual way of walking through the gospel. If you look at book one, if you look at book one, book one is on the Bible basically, right? It's just understanding what is the Bible and why would we think it's true. You see everything we're going to talk about from sin, Jesus and the response is coming from the Bible. They may not agree with the Bible, but they need to know where it's coming from and why we would believe it and remember it still sharper than any two-edged sword, and that's the beauty that little illustration I use. Remember the [sound]. Well the Bible says of itself in Hebrews. It says in the Bible is the word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword, right? Did, I mean literally piercing and dividing us. You know, if it does that, well we want to know about the Bible.


So that's book number one. When you look at book number two, what's number two? How can Christians believe that all people, including moral good people outside of Christianity deserve eternal punishment? It’s because of sin. Look at this. This is book two, book number two, Sin.

When you come to book number three - Jesus the only way to God. There it is, Jesus. When you come to response, what is the response? That's book number four. That's going to be talking about faith, faith and repentance. So you kinda understand why these four books are used the way they are used. Kinda introductory point here book one then we get to two three and four - are the final books. Okay? So that takes you through the gospel little bit by little bit by little bit piece by piece. Okay? Now when we come to the Bible, I'm going to erase this, when we come to the Bible as God's word, I'm going to have, let him read now book one. We get back together, maybe it's over lunch. And the way I typically do it is I sit there for the first 15 to 20 minutes and just talk about his family, if he has a family, his life, his interest, just getting to know him, relating to him and ordering our meal if it's over lunch and we go somewhere where it's quick, we get a quick, you know, food, we eat quickly and it's not going to leave us about 25 minutes at best to be able to talk, maybe 20. So I'm not gonna have a lot of time to be able to walk through this. So it's gotta be done somewhat briefly. So I'm banking on what? [inaudible response from audience] Good, alright that’s what I’m banking on. So I’ll have only got 20 minutes. 25. I can't answer every question. That's okay. But one thing I really want to do is I want to make the first few minutes, very helpful and interesting to my friend where he'll say I want to meet again next week, why? It's another week of...? [inaudible response from audience] Exactly! So I'm gonna say a little bit about the Bible to him and I'll say, John, what you think about this book one, about the Christian view of the Bible? And I just listen to whatever he says it doesn't matter to me what he says. I’ll listen. Very good, thank you. And then I'll ask him this question. And I’ll say, John, as we enter into this discussion, what is your opinion about the Bible? What do you think about the Bible? And I listen to that. And this is what I typically hear, I think it is a good book. I think it's a helpful book. So I don't hear many people say I think it's the word of God. I think it's infallible. I think it's what? So I say, very very good. Now the Christian is banking on the belief that the Bible is without error, that is really accurate and can be believed in every word. Now, I'm sure anyone would have to ask the question, why would you believe that? Let me explain what we say when we say the Bible is without error. John, a lot of people in churches today don't even know this. And by the way, I bet a lot of us don't know. If I were to ask you this question right now. How do you say that the Bible is without error written that many years ago. We don't even have the original, the autograph. We really don't know what the original said, because we don't have it. And we say it's infallible. Christian, how can you believe that? Do you know what many of us would say? Uh huh, uh huh, I don't know. Well, once we now know that makes us far less inhibited to talk to someone about that, right? Because most of us dread that question. What if it is asked?

Here's how you answer that question. John, did you know that when the Bible was originally written, there are 66 books, by the way, in the Bible. So there are 66 autographs, the autograph is the original writing of each book. Okay? But John, we do not have any autographs today. There are all lost, gone, destroyed, we don't know. There's no autograph anywhere. Now interesting, John, you know what we were saying when we say the Bible's without error, we're saying that the autograph is without error. That really does make it sound weird that we would believe, ‘cause we don't even have a copy of it, which by the way, John, it it makes sense to me that God wouldn't want us to have an autograph around because we'd make shrines and worship it and [unintelligible] worship stuff like that. We don't have the autograph. The autograph was written in original language, most of all of which was either the New Testament Greek and the New Testament Hebrew. This is some Aramaic...but the important thing to know that it's in a different language, and the original languages were Greek and Hebrew basically, alright? So each of the autographs were there. Now, I put on a piece of paper. I keep little piece of paper beside me and I say, let's let this be the autograph of one of those 66 books. Now, what we're saying is that is without error. Now what makes us say that? Well this had to be copied and so it was taken to people known as scribes. John, ever heard the word scribe? A scribe was someone who would, it's actually copied, it's copyist, someone who copies. And they would be very meticulous and they would take that first and they would copy it multiple times, but it would take forever and ever and ever to make one copy. You know why? Because of what was called the law of the scribes. Do you know the law of the scribes, which I had to study at length when I was in graduate school for theology. I can't tell you the detail of it now, but I can give you the the general idea. Do you know that the way it worked is the law the scribe had the scribe go over it so many times that it was viewed that you couldn't make a mistake. That we know mistake still could be made. But this is the way it would be it would be like if you are writing the words, "The boy went the store", you would have to say T-H-E, T-H-E, T-H-E, T-H-E, T-H-E, B-O-Y, B-O-Y, B-O-Y, B-O-Y, T-H-E, B-O-Y, T-H-E, B-O-Y. All the way to the end. And then you go back and you would do it in reverse and you had to do it over and over and over and over again. So long that took you forever and ever and ever to make one copy. Why did they do that? Because they did not want there to be any errors, right? Now do you think John there probably still were errors? Well, of course, we’re humans we make mistakes, we're fallible. So there would be some mistakes but they will be very minimal wouldn't they? Then by the way what happened, John, is each of these once they were completed they’d be taken to maybe a different community and a scribe there would copy it and this just keep going on and on and on until you get hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years later that you have thousands and thousands of copies. By the way, John did you know this? Did you know that of all ancient literature, there is no literature of anytime, anywhere that are coming close to the number of copies we have in the Bible. The Bible. Hundreds and hundreds more times copies than the Iliad, the Odyssey, any other old, ancient, that we have thousands and thousands of copies.


And so what we have is we look at this period where we have thousands and thousands of copies. And let's say that we find that same book and let's say it's the book of John. John 3:16. John, have you ever heard of a little, it's kind of a famous verse in Christianity. For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son whosoever believe in him .. yeah, yeah. I say, you know, if you take that interesting verse and you look at these thousands of copies down at this time in history do you know that you might find 3022 of 'em copies of which 2000 or 3001 of 'em all say the exact same thing? But the other 21 are called variant readings. So instead of it saying, God so loved world, you have 5 of them that said God so loved the Jewish person. Or you may have five that say God so love the Gentile, that he gave his only begotten friend. And so there some variant readings, but you can actually see where those things cropped up in history because these are all in the same area of the world, these are the same area of the world. And what we’re saying here is we can tell pretty scientifically what the original was because 3001 of 3022 say the exact same thing. So when we say that this is infallible, what we’re saying is we can figure out what the original said, and by the way John what you read in book 1 and I know you guys haven't read, you haven't read the book yet, have you? It has the story of the finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which by the way, Christian, took us back 1000 years in history. As it's been said, the archaeologist is the Christians best friend because it keeps supporting what we believe and I have it written in the booklet there about what they found a thousand years previously, oh it’s going to be so different, it wasn’t, just a few little variant readings. Therefore, we know what the autographs said. The last thing I will say to him is this. I say, by the way, that's the autograph, up here. Autograph. And to get anything past the autograph you have what's called a Transcription. It's being transcribed. John, don't be confused when you find two Bibles and you look at them side-by-side in the English or in your language, whatever language you want to use, that they don't say exactly the same thing. You know why?

It's because somebody translated the transcription and when they translated they put it into their own words, but they did translate it word for word. We don't say the translation is inspired and without error. We say it is the autograph, with me? And by the way some people go to another version, or they go a step further and they go to what's called a paraphrase. And a paraphrase is somebody like you or me who doesn't even know the original language and what we're doing is we say we put in our own language to make our kids be able to read the Bible better. That's okay too, but that's a paraphrase. We’re talking the autograph is inspired. Any questions John? No. Okay good, good. Just want you know that. I don't ever hear John say, “oh, then I believe it's true.” But you know what they are saying here? This, here's what they are saying. They are thinking it, they are not saying it. They're saying, you know Randy, I used to think anybody that believe the Bible was without error was shelving their brain. And now for the first time, though I don't necessarily agree yet, maybe never will. But I can understand how you can believe that it is the word of God without shelving your brain. That's all I wanted to accomplish. It just gave Christianity a pass in the sense to go to book number two, with me?

Book number two is where all of the heart damage, in the right sense, is going to take place. Number two is gonna rip the heart out. This is what's going to get 'em. You good? Alright.


I love to go to Q&A, but our format didn't give us enough time so, I'm going to go to book number two. I will tell you this, I will have it this time. My luncheon in book number one. I would say John, let's look at a few of these questions and I'll pick out 3, 4, 5. I might even have time to do all of them. And I walked through these questions you would be amazed to hear how the questions themselves share the story of the gospel. They're very carefully picked. And because of time, I'm going to skip that right now. If we have time we’ll come back to these questions and I'll do a few of these questions, I want to go to book two now.

So I tell John, John all right you keep reading, read little bit every day alright? Okay let's go to number, let's go to book number two. When I come to book number two. I will hand it to him and say John, this book number two is going to be a brain stretcher. I want to prepare you. This is going to be some very, very, very challenging thinking, okay? Just read the six pages and we’ll talk about it. Write down any questions you have in the margin, continue to read through John a little bit every day. But I want you to uh, I want you to know this that these next six pages are going to be kinda challenging, okay? I just kinda setting them up, okay? That's all I'm doing.

So he comes back at lesson number two and he says okay let's meet, so we meet the next week. We sit down together and I say, John, what you think about book number two? Here's what I'm gonna hear. Woo, this was a little bit different then book one. I said, in what regard? Kinda hard, a little challenging. I said, it is pretty interesting though, ain't it? Yeah, it was interesting that's for sure. Okay, good. Do you want to talk about it? Yah, let's do. I say John, I want to make it easy to talk about because of some things I really want to make sure that you kinda get and so let's do this. Let's take our time on this and let's take the four major headings that are in book number two and let's address each one at a the time, okay? Let's just talk about for a minute.

And John, I want, any questions you have, I wanna talk any way you want to talk there's no deadline and if we don't get through to any of the questions in John, we'll just make this 2A and 2B and we'll put another lunch in there or another meeting if you want. I'd say 50% of the time that happens, 50% of the time we do it all at once. You know depends on how much you want to share. It depends on them how much they want to ask and interact. Again this is relational. So you flow with them as they investigate, are you with me?

Now this is going to deal with the questions such as, how can God let good people perish forever? It's really bridging on the question that many of us here ask all the time. How can a good God that so many bad things happen to good people? It really is an issue for people. We got a friend in our church right now who for 10 years, is in bed. 9 maybe 10 years. This is a woman who's just in her 40s, early 40s, now. Her last baby, she got an auto-immune disease and her feet are eating themselves up. Toes have been amputated now. She hasn't been off her back. I mean, she has, she has not walk for years and years. And the feel that she experiences most the day is if somebody were to have a match and lit it under her feet and it's burning. So they have to keep ice packs. For years they've had this ice around the clock. People work with her just to keep her, the pain and agony. Often screaming in pain, sleeping two hours maybe one to two, three hours a night. This has gone for years and years and years. And now it's starting to creep up her fingers. It's just starting up her fingers. You see her legs and how they have decayed and how the flesh is just falling off and what she has to go through every day in terms of pain. You cannot help but naturally say, “..and that's a good God?” Who allows her to go through that? What in the world is He thinking? She is a very, very nice person. God shouldn't allow that to happen.

You don't believe that everybody's asking that question? Sure they are. And that's what we have to be prepared to say, let's address the hard questions. This is the  hard question, okay? And so I'm going to perhaps push you in theology just a little bit. You're a well-trained church. Not, you won’t be pushed like a lot of places where I share this, but I want you to think through what we’re about to say. So I'll do this. John, take your booklet and look at that first major heading. It says, ‘Good people are not necessarily righteous people. There are no innocent people.” What you think about that, John? Do you see how I was questioning? What do you think about that John?


John now is going to give me his response and once he's given me his response, I want to add a little of interest to help him. And this is what I want to say to him. I say John, do me a favour, I'm gonna put down four options. And I like for you to tell me which option that you think is probably most accurate. Four options. One, use black, where is it? One, two three, four. And I just do this on a piece of paper. Here're your four options.

Man is good. Man is good with a little bad. Man is bad. Man is bad with a little good or, man is bad. Now I want you do me a favour. I want you tell me what do 99.99%, and the reason I say that because I'm sure somebody told me something other, but I can't remember when they did. What do basically everybody tell me which one do they pick? In the Psalms said there is none good, not one. In fact, the Apostle Paul in the book of Romans chapter 2 quotes him and this is what he said there is none good, no not one. There are none who seeks for God, no not one. There's none good, no not one. John sounds like to me the Bible is pretty consistent. Jesus the great teacher the old David, our person of the old David, the great teacher of the new Paul. Everybody seems to agree that man is not good, he's actually bad.

By the way, how many of you here, I know there are not a lot, how many of you here are golfers? Few golfers? Everybody knows golf, right? You're familiar with the sport of golf? I had a professional and I'm talking about the top professional, you know, this guy’s as good is about anybody you ever see play golf. And he gives me a call and said would I meet with him? He wanted me just to meet with him. He said I need some personal help in life, and I heard you, you kinda work with people. What he’s heard is I’m meeting with them helping them investigate Christianity. He didn’t know that. He's heard I'm helping coach men. And he said I need some help. I said okay, so he comes to meet with me. We sit down and he said now Randy, I don't want you to get this wrong 'cause it could be misleading what I'm about to say. So I want you know that I am a very, very good person okay? But I am an alcoholic right now and I'm about to lose my career to my alcoholism. I can't quit drinking. It's going to destroy me. Number two that my wife doesn't know this. I'm having an affair on her right now. And she is a wonderful woman, wonderful woman. I have a wonderful family. But I just can't quit the affair she just got me in a grip, I can't I can't get out. Now don't get me wrong, Randy. I'm a good man. I really what you know, I am a good good man. So he goes to tell me all these bad things he's doing but how good he is.

So finally I stop and say okay. I said, I hear you're a great golfer, one of world's best golfers, okay? That being the case, is it true or false that if a person has a perfect grip, how they hold the club, they have a perfect posture over the ball and they have the perfect alignment, you know, down the line where they're hitting the ball. If they have those three perfect and you don't know anything about how to hit a golf ball but somehow you can keep a perfect grip, posture, alignment and just started practicing swinging, without any other knowledge you would become a very good golfer. True or false? You know what he said? True. I knew he'd say that. I said is also in the reverse true? If you have a bad grip, a bad posture, bad alignment and you get out and you practice all you want to, you will never become a good golfer. True or false? He said, true. I said ain’t it interesting that the grip, posture, alignment determine how good a golfer you can become. Did you know this, that the same is true in life? We have a grip, posture and alignment in life and unless you have a good grip, posture, alignment in life you will never ever be able to quit the bad things and be good as you need to be.

He says, really? I said yeah. I said now I could come to you as one who is not the world's best golfer by any stretch of imagination and say, hey can you look at my grip my posture my alignment? Now I don't know if you're perfect. You're not perfect but I could probably trust you, you would know a lot more than me right? And he goes, yeah. And I said, you know what, I could do the same with you. I can check out your grip, posture alignment in life, if you're interested. And tell you whether you can never become a good person. He said really? Yeah I said, you want me do it? He said, sure.

This is what I put up. I said let's look at your first let's look at your grip, that is your view of yourself. You got have the right view yourself. So which do you think is correct? What did he say? Number two. And I said well, hate to tell you but you got a bad grip. Your grip's no good, okay? Let me just check your posture. I gave him four questions as related to the view of God and I said pick one and you know what he picked? He picked the wrong one, I knew he would. And I said do you know what? Your posture is not good either. Your posture is way out of line. Do you, you want me to finally, do you want me to check your your alignment? Yeah. I put up my four options. He picked the wrong one again, I knew he would. And I said okay you got a bad alignment. No wonder you're trying, you say you trying so hard to be better. You can't get better. You gotta have the right view of yourself, your right view of God, the right view of the world in the life in which we live - which was the last four questions, I gave him four options. Which by the way, any of you that are in the journey, that you're doing discipleship, watch how much of the whole curriculum is about grip, posture and alignment. Without, all of you know, we helping people get the right grip, the view of yourself. Right posture, the view of God. The right alignment, their view of the world in life in which we live. It's called a world and life view. When you get those three right, wow. Cause you gotta the right heart. God's gonna, but if you get those right, let me tell you something really good starts happening, right?


So anyway this was the beginning and I'll just do this part, I'll just do these four questions with, with my friend. I gave you a little extra there, I wouldn't necessarily through all that with with him. But, but basically understand this, John, understand that, according to the Bible there really aren't good people. Now John, I bet that's going to raise for you a question. Well, what what about these very good people? There are really good people that aren't Christians. And then I respond to that by saying this. Imagine I grew up in a, with a grandparent who owned a funeral home, okay, can you imagine? I grew up in a funeral home environment and I saw dead people all the time. Now you don't have that to share your stories, so you could just tell the, but I'll tell it my way from the funeral. I used to see people come in, brought in that were young, you know, strong looking young males that just died of a heart attack. And I look at them and they look alive to me. They didn't look dead, they look just, maybe like they're asleep. I couldn’t tell the difference. But then they might bring someone in who'd been found in the woods from two, three months ago dying or died months ago and they found their body, oh the stench! The sight, uhhhh, I say, John which is most dead between the two? Well they're equally dead. I said, d’you know what? There are a lot of people that smell good and look good and there are people who smell bad and look bad, morally all over the book. But that me tell ya, dead is dead. And the Bible describes all people is dead without God. Isn't that interesting? All are dead. That's all I'll say. Just, I'm I just, put in their mind the idea that man is not necessarily so good that man actually has a problem, it's a sin problem.

Right, now let's look at the second headline. If you have your book, turn to it. This one now gets a little bit more interesting because it says, everyone has an opportunity. Now you've not read it. It's just one page, about a page and a half, two pages. But you've not read that yet. So, but I will ask them, what did you think about what you read there? Everyone has an opportunity. Now that's coming out of Romans chapter 1. And I say to them, here's the issue; people are confused about what people are guilty of. If we are guilty before God, we say everyone has an opportunity, what do we mean? And, I’ll say John, do you think everybody has an opportunity to hear about Jesus? What's the answer to that question? No, they're not. They're people who live through their entire life, die, never, ever and ever hear the name of Jesus Christ. Never know a thing about Him.

So I'm going to ask you a question as a church. Why are people sent to hell? Do you know what the common answer is? I asked this to a group in the Philippines this, this this week. I said why, and these are Christian people, all parts of church, I said why are people sent to hell? Do you know the first thing I heard come out of the mouth? “Because of rejecting Jesus.” Do you know that's not why people are sent to hell? Not at all. In fact, you know what that would require? It would require that Jesus must send Jesus, our God the father must send Jesus, for him to be fair. Right?

So let me put it this way. What if God had never sent Jesus? Ever. And the story mankind is the same as it is, never sent Jesus, what would happen to all of mankind? What would happen? What? Perish, in hell forever. Bad people and good people, right? As we commonly think of them. The best of the best with everyone. Everyone, would God be unfair? Not at all unfair. And see it's not that it was an act of justice that God sent Jesus, it was an act of grace. It was an act of mercy that He sent His son Jesus, right? And by the way, think of it this way, church people. If it were true that people are sent to hell because of rejecting Jesus, why would Jesus say, go therefore and make disciples of all nations tell them about Me? What he'd say is, hey, don't tell people about Me, then they might go to hell. If they never hear about Me, they go to heaven. It's not what he says. Go to people because they perish. Well then how is everyone have an opportunity?

Here is the real issue. The reason people are sent to hell is not because they rejected Jesus, that may be added to the list if they heard of Jesus they rejected but the real reason that people are sent to hell to perish forever is found in Romans 1:18. And it says for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who, hear this, suppressed the truth of God in unrighteousness. You hear that? That's why people perish. It's for suppressing the truth of God. If the idea of, the word is the idea is someone at the helm of a, of a ship and the winds are pushing against them and is driving toward it, pushing away. That's idea, it's resisting as much as possible. That's what mankind does because we are bad people. We push away.


What do we mean when we say everyone has an opportunity? Meaning this, that everybody has an opportunity to know that there is a God. There is a, there is a God. Innately we know that. And if, without knowledge of Jesus, we quit pushing away from God, then God will give us the truth. I've been in Iraq. I've been to Iran. I've been to, of course Egypt, er several times. And lemme tell ya, story after story after story after story is you know better than me, of visions and dreams of people that learn about Jesus and hear of him and it's like, where they hear about him? Well, apparently in God's own sovereignty, these people quit resisting and God says I'm going to give you the truth. Doesn't the Bible teach where light is received more light is given where light is rejected, the life you have is taken away. Well what's happening is, everyone has an opportunity, that is Romans chapter 1. That is basically Romans 1.

So I just want to basically say that to him, say, everyone has an opportunity to quit resisting God. Alright? That's the key, we have to quit that. Well that's not gonna happen until, I'm telling them, that's not going to happen unless God opens the heart and they receive Jesus, right? But that's going to happen if they quit resisting God, alright?

Now it takes us to the third piece and that is God does not deal only with individuals. This may be one of the most important issues in all of Christianity. I think it might be one of the most important. You haven't read this but they would've read about one page of material that's gonna introduce them to a concept called corporate personality. You need to know about corporate personality. I will say to John, you know John, if I had one question as a non-Christian, you know what I'd be asking a real Christian? Explain to me according to the Bible how it can be that because there was a person named Adam who lived, first man according to Christian belief, because of what he did in rejecting God, every person through history is brought into this world in the condition of resisting God.

I don't see that it's fair that one person whatever he did affects me, but if you go to Romans 5 you know that's the story the Bible that we are represented by, who? Adam. We are represented by Adam, and therefore when Adam sinned, it says that we sinned too. Lotta people go to wrong conclusion that we are all together, all humanity was in every person was together in one person and then Adam sinned, we sin at the same time and that's not true. We didn't exist. Adam existed and he was our representative and Adam sinned and what happened? We all come in this world as sinners. Condemned because of our sin based on what Adam did. Now you tell me, does that seem fair to you? Really does it sound fair? Honestly it doesn't, does it? Let me tell you Christian, it's the greatest news of all the Bible. It is the greatest of all news. Now I'm gonna simplify that with John and I will say, hey John, do you know what, you know that is true that Adam represents all people and because of his sin, we all die. But do you know that's really about as good a news as man could ever have? He goes, really? Why's that? I said let me explain it this way. Let's assume that there was no corporate personality. And I explain corporate personality, it's in the book, but it, it, in the corporate personality is the idea that God looks collectively at a group of people, and he deals with them as one people. The classic story, there are many episodes in the Bible, the classic story is the story of Achan. Do you know the story of Achan? I will tell John, John you probably don't know that Achan but there was this, you heard maybe about the the fall of the walls of Jericho? And a lot of people huh, I heard that before yeah. Well, it was at the battle of Jericho that God said to Joshua, who was the commander, you can't take any of the spoils at all. You can't take any of them, it’s against the rules. And so God let them just supernaturally take down this huge city of Jericho with the fortified walls but there was one man named Achan who took some of the spoils. So now Joshua has to have another battle, a campaign is come up against little town called Ai, just down the plain and it's a little easy city to win. No big deal. Nothing like Jericho. And they go in to whip, to take over Ai and they get defeated by Ai and all these Israelites dying. Joshua says to God, God what happened? You know we, we didn't win, wow why why. And he says it's because there sin in the camp. And he said who? He said bring the people before me and so he brings the whole nation of Israel and he says dismiss these 11 of the 12 tribes. Here's a tribe left. He says now tribe is made up of clans. He said all the clans but one be dismissed. He's left with one clan. Clan is made up of families. He said dismiss all the families except one family and that would include, you know, aunts, uncles and nephews - now this of the family, alright? And then he says it's Achan.

Now imagine that Achan maybe had a first cousin named Levi and they hated each other, just assume. And Levi says, uh, oh, I didn't know he stole the goods. And God says yah, he did. By the way, kill the whole family, the whole family has to pay for this sin. They all have to die. What would Levi say? Wo, wo, wo God. I don't even like him, I would have told him. I promise, I don't want him. Don't kill me. He says no, you die too. Why? What did I do? I didn't even know about it. No, you're part of the family - corporate personality.


Now the eastern world, your part of the world understand this better than I because the Western’s so individualistic, but the eastern world understood corporate personality. You deal with a whole corporate gathering as one identity, one identity.

That's the way God works with mankind. In Adam, we all like one person die. He's our representative. So now I say to this, doesn't sound very fair, does it? It's the best news, you want to know why? Assume that Adam, assume that Adam, we know he sinned, right? Now imagine that his [unintelligible], so he's going to perish. Imagine that there is no corporate personality at all, just assume there's no corporate personality. Adam sins, he dies, he has a child, he dies, next child, next generation. Let's say that somehow that person doesn't sin which would never happen. I said to John, John can imagine going through life and never sinning. We all sin, don't we? So anyway let's assume he didn't, so he lives. And this person next to, under him, he does sin and so he dies. So maybe get a few people who live, which would never happen. The reality is, everyone would die without corporate personality. That's the reality. So it doesn't change anything. But because of corporate personality, guess what, there is a second Adam, right? Who's the second Adam? Jesus, and if you're in His family at all, anybody who has fallen can come into His family and is represented by Jesus and we, though we still sin are considered as righteous as Jesus. Is that not amazing? That's the greatest news of all that, there is corporate personality.

And I then close with the last point. I say look this last one. God would not be right if sinful man were not punished. God says that whatever He says is going to do. Well He said if you sin you will die. He's not going to say, okay, I'll go against my word, I won't be faithful to what I've said. I like you. You're so nice, you come on into heaven. No, He says if I said I'm going to do it and so sinful man must be punished. John, what you think about that? John's going, wow! I said, lots to think about, ain't it? But I wanna read over those few pages again, just give it some thought, but let it kinda, sim.., assem.. just assemble in your thinking and just think about it for a while. See see what you come up with, just don't, don't let it be too much but just, I want you to be introduced to that, okay?

Book number three. 'Cos we’ll go through some questions. Maybe then another time. Now I gave you the full load. I wouldn't give that much to every person. But I want you to get and understand and then you can go back and you look at it, read the answers, and know how to simplify. But you want to know the answers, at least in your own mind and heart, okay?

So that takes us through book 2 and it is our appointed hour in four minutes. So I think rather than dip into anything more, we'll just close there. We'll go through three and four. I might get into some of the questions in John but that will definitely do some support tools and some follow-up tools to close out, okay? We'll do that tomorrow.

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