The Heart of the Gospel: Serving Others with Love

Episode #371

Published: March 4, 2024

Transcription

Connor:
You’re listening to The Bible Guys, a podcast where a couple of friends talk about the Bible in fun and practical ways.

Chris:
Good morning. Hey, good morning. My name is Chris. This is Jeff. We’re The Bible Guys. And we just think that you are our privileged guest. You’re the honored guest today.

Jeff:
That’s right. That’s right. Well, you make it worthwhile. That’s right. That’s why we get up and come into the studio.

Chris:
Yes. Into this studio. That’s right. Well, hey, today we’re going to kick off one of my favorite segments. Yes. Which is Dad Joke Competition. Okay. So, uh, how about if I, I’ll just go since I start, I’ve just got a dad joke competition.

Jeff:
Here goes. And these are, these are important. We take them seriously.

Chris:
So I’ve never, I’ve not read these. Okay. So I’m reading them as I’m reading them. Okay. Okay. What do you call it? Oh, excuse me. What do you call it? When Batman skips church?

Jeff:
I don’t know.

Chris:
Christian bail.

Jeff:
No, no, terrible. Nope. Not laughing. I’m going to, I’m going to refuse to smile on that one. That’s Desiree sort of clever though. It’s clever, clever. What do you call a lonely cheese? Provolone.

Chris:
Provolone. Yep. Oh, that’s funny.

Jeff:
Okay.

Chris:
Uh, okay. Uh, when your wife comes Christian bail. Yeah. You ready? When your wife comes home in a white suit covered in bee stings and smelling like honey, you know, she’s a keeper.

Jeff:
Oh no. Oh no. Uh, have we done this one before? Once upon a time, there was a King who was only 12 inches tall. I don’t think it was a terrible King, but made a great ruler.

Chris:
Oh, geez. I’ve not done that before. That’s the best one.

Jeff:
That’s really good. I recently, somebody gave me a dad joke thing and I think that was in that one. So that’s funny. Yeah.

Chris:
Okay. Ready? I saw a man standing on one leg at an ATM. Confused, I asked him what he was doing. He said, just checking my balance.

Jeff:
Oh no. That’s terrible. Not laughing at that one either. You’re O for today, let me just say. Okay. Why did Adele cross the road? I don’t know. To say hello from the other side. Oh my word, wow. I thought you’d appreciate that one.

Chris:
Yes, I do.

Jeff:
I like Adele. Adele. I saw Adele in concert. Did you? I did, yeah. I believe you.

None:
I believe you. Okay.

Jeff:
What are the last two concerts you went to?

Chris:
Adele and Lady Gaga.

Jeff:
Oh, no. Oh, no. I shouldn’t have asked that question.

Chris:
Hey, I got news for you. I’ve been to a lot of concerts. I know you have. Lady Gaga was one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen in my life. Okay. She’s a performer, buddy. Okay. All right. Here we go. Number four. I smeared some ketchup all over my face. Nope. Sorry. I smeared some ketchup all over my eyes once. It was a bad idea in hindsight. Oh jeez.

Jeff:
Okay. That’s your best one so far. Okay. Uh, why do bananas need to use sunscreen? Why? Because they peel.

Chris:
Ooh, that was pretty bad.

Jeff:
Yeah, that was pretty bad. Okay. That’s my worst one. Okay.

Chris:
That’s my worst one. What would the Terminator be called in his retirement?

Jeff:
I don’t know.

Chris:
The X-Terminator.

Jeff:
X-Terminator. Okay, I like that one. Clever. That’s a clever one. See, turn on words. It’s funny. What do you call the knight who loves to scare people?

Chris:
I don’t know.

Jeff:
Surprise.

Chris:
Oh my word. Surprise. That’s rough. That is rough.

Jeff:
That’s funny though. When you don’t laugh, but you go, it’s funny though, it’s not that funny.

Chris:
Okay. All right. I usually don’t laugh out loud at most of these. Yeah. I just, I just enjoy them.

Jeff:
Yeah. I like the 12 inch tall King. He was a terrible King, made a great ruler. That’s funny.

Chris:
Yeah. You could picture people picking him up and using it as a ruler. That’s right.

Jeff:
That’s funny. Chasing him around. Well, that was a quick segment. Okay. Yeah. Yeah.

Chris:
Yeah. And so today we’re going to start a brand new passage and Matthew. Well, in terms of, you know, it’s not parallel. We’re not a continuation. We ended that last week and it’s Matthew 25, one through 46. Wow. That’s a lot of verses.

Jeff:
It’s a, I have here 25, 31 through 46.

Chris:
Oh, you’re right. I didn’t see the three. It’s 31 through 46.

Jeff:
Yes. So that’s not nearly as bad. No, not even nearly. We don’t have to listen to Jeff read 46 verses.

Chris:
By the way, that is 30 less verses than what I thought.

Jeff:
Yes. It’s a good thing I’m here, folks.

Chris:
Yes. Otherwise‚Ķ It’s early. This is 9am. That’s right. We just walked in.

Jeff:
I’m drinking my coffee. It’s rare that Chris is wanting to read more Bible verses. Right.

Chris:
So we’ll tell everybody why.

Jeff:
Because you hate the Bible.

Chris:
That is not why. No, no. That’s the implication. That’s what people thought when you said it. It’s because you have to decide what to tackle in a 20 minute podcast.

Jeff:
That’s right. It is. It’s so hard. So I’m just joking. Chris loves the Bible. That’s why you do this show, right? That’s exactly right. Okay. So Matthew 25, 31 through 46, one of my favorite passages on what kind of life should I be living, right? This is one of my favorite passages. So here’s what it says. But when the son of man comes in his glory and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in his presence and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He’ll place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, come you who are blessed by my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, you fed me. I was thirsty and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, you invited me into your home. I was naked, you gave me clothing. I was sick and you cared for me. I was in prison and you visited me. Then these righteous ones will reply, Lord, when do we ever see you hungry and feed you or thirsty and give you something to drink or a stranger and show you hospitality or naked and give you clothing? When do we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you? The king will say, I tell you the truth. When you did it to one of the least of these, my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me. Then the king will turn to those on the left and say, away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. For I was hungry and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, you didn’t visit me. Then they’ll reply, Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison? Can I help you? And he’ll answer, I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these, my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me. And they’ll go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life. Wow.

Chris:
Yeah, this is one of those passages that can really get you thinking that he’s stressing that good works get you to heaven.

Jeff:
Sure.

Chris:
I mean, that is obviously the first, there’s no way that anybody can read that and not think that immediately. Sure. In my opinion, right? Do you want to tackle that? Yes, go ahead. Well, I mean, first of all, it’s a parallel. It’s a metaphor, right? So he’s talking about lifestyles and oftentimes what he would, what Jesus would do, and he’s done it actually, whereas he classifies Gentiles. And what he does is he’s not classifying like individuals. He’s not saying Peter or Bobby or, you know, Larry. He’s not saying those things. He says, well, you know, if you live like, and he’ll use a class of people, you know, if you live like those, anybody who lives like that surely will not inherit the kingdom of God. And on the surface, you’ll say, well, wait a minute. That means that If I do those things, I’ll not inherit the kingdom of God.” But that’s not what he’s saying. He’s saying that people who live their entire lives, because he’s classifying an entire people group, he’s saying people who live their entire lives and don’t have a heart change or refuse to do these things or live like pagans and they go and they live their lives and they die, which is what the Gentiles, by the way, were known for, right? He’s saying that that way will not get you to heaven. He’s saying that that lifestyle in general will not get you to heaven. And that is what I learned. And so, again, he’s not talking about individuals. He’s not talking about specific deeds getting into heaven. He’s saying that, you know, the metaphor is, you know, a class of people. And the class of people who live their entire lives, and in this case, die. Eventually come in front of the Lord and what he’s really saying is he’s saying there’s no heart change. There’s no repentance There’s no kindness. You lived your whole life obviously without me and And and therefore we’re gonna say depart from me for I never knew you. Yeah And then, of course, you know, those who did have compassion, they have compassion for one reason, because Christians do. Christians are the ones who have the hard changes. And that’s not every time. That’s not true every time. Right. But for the most part, the class of Christians, right, are the ones who have taken care of the world.

Jeff:
Yeah. So James, the author of the book of James, was Jesus’ brother. And James’ whole book kind of is built around this, this idea, right? So James says, some people say, we’ll talk about their faith without works, but I’m going to prove my faith by my works. Right. Right. Jesus said, the two greatest commandments, love God and the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself. So Jesus is saying you can’t separate love for others from your faith in God and your love for God. James is saying, dude, you talk about it all day long, but it doesn’t prove anything. You prove your faith in God by the deeds that you do. And it would be the same thing here. Because you’re a Christian, a real Christian, you’d really do these things. Pretenders don’t. right? Pretenders live self-centered lives. Pretenders really don’t love God with all of their heart and all of their soul and all of their mind and all of their strength. Pretenders don’t love their neighbor as themselves. Pretenders tend to like the words Jesus said. Boy, those make me feel warm and fuzzy. I love that. Wouldn’t that just be wonderful if people actually did some of those things? That’s what pretenders do, as opposed to Jesus going, actually, when it’s all done, you’re actually going to be judged by that. That’s a, you want to know what you’re gonna be judged by? So, but that’s not the gospel, right? Serve it, feeding hungry people, that’s not, that’s not the salvation-based gospel. Jesus has already said, the kingdom of heaven is near, repent of your sins and turn to God. That’s what Jesus said the gospel was, right? So the good news, salvation is you repent of your sins, you turn to God, right? Because God’s kingdom is here. But then his kingdom is a part of the gospel and his kingdom is that now his priests, that’s you and me, his holy nation, they go and because they’ve been changed by Jesus, they visit the sick, they care for the hungry, they clothe the naked, right? And so it’s not for, it’s because of. And one of the proofs, do you remember when Jesus said, by their fruit you will know them? Yeah. Right? This is what he’s saying here. So if you want to just separate the pretenders from the real followers of Jesus, just look at how they live. Lots of people go to church, lots of people say Jesus’ words, but they don’t actually live a life that is loving God and loving others. And so, this is one of those things. But we know, based on everything else Jesus said about how to go to heaven, that you’re not getting to heaven because you went to the prison and visited somebody.

Chris:
Right. And just like James says, faith doesn’t require works to get to heaven, but what he is saying is true faith will always have works. Always produce works. It will always produce works. It will always produce fruit.

Jeff:
Right. Well, so when Jesus said, you know, by their fruits, you’ll know them. Orange trees produce oranges. Right. Period. Right. And matter of fact, remember that one time we were reading a while back and Jesus comes up to fig tree. There’s no fruit. He gets mad and he curses it is never going to bear fruit again. Jesus expects fruit, not that he’s hoping for fruit. He expects it. And then and then whatever the tree is, is going to produce that kind of fruit. So if if everything that my body produces, everything that my life produces, is always bad and I’m never living for others, I’m never serving others, well then guess what? Maybe I’m not producing the kind of fruit that real repentance produces.

Chris:
So movie quote, you will always get a peach. You may wish for an orange, but you will always get a peach.

Jeff:
It sounds like Kung Fu Panda.

Chris:
It is Kung Fu I mean, it’s not an exact quote, but it was really close, but holy cow! I can’t believe you got it!

Jeff:
Well, so that sounds to me like a master teaching a student. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And then I know that probably you’ve watched more cartoons than actual Kung Fu movies.

Chris:
No, that is not why! That is not why you guessed Kung Fu Panda!

Jeff:
You guessed it because you know it! No, no, that’s not true. I didn’t know it.

Chris:
Yeah, that is so funny. You’ve never seen it?

Jeff:
I’ve seen Kung Fu Panda, I just didn’t know that that was the phrase.

Chris:
And then remember, uh, uh, uh, Mishu says, uh, yes, but you can control where it goes. And he grabs that seed and throws it in the ground. Okay. Yeah. That’s really funny. Good, good movie.

Jeff:
That’s hysterical.

Chris:
So, uh, Hey, I’m just proud of you that you got one. Good job. It was a total guess. I’m totally proud of you. So, hey, so let’s talk about the idea that a lot of churches seem to, some, well, let me say it differently. In my experience, I think that there are not enough churches that focus on caring for orphans and widows, visiting people in prisons, helping the poor, feeding the poor, right? So there was a book that I read called, have you ever heard of The Hole in Our Gospel? Yes. So I forget who the author is. Stearns. Stearns, okay.

Jeff:
And I read that. He was the former CEO or president of World Vision, I think.

Chris:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. Yep. That sounds right. And basically what he’s saying is the hole in our gospel is, is that, you know, Jesus over and over talks about, you know, doing these things, taking care of the least of these. Right. And, and sometimes in our gospel, we don’t, the church does not take the responsibility of doing so. Right. So, and it really is truly convicting because, you know, you think about it.

Jeff:
Let’s unpack that a little bit. Why, why doesn’t the church do that? I have strong opinions about this, so don’t take too much time.

Chris:
I think it’s because we’ve gravitated toward letting our government do it.

Jeff:
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s a big part of it.

Chris:
Yeah. So, and I think that, I think that maybe, uh, you know, uh, the church would say, Hey, that’s, you know, maybe it’s also that whole Charlie Brown, uh, starfish illustration, which is, you know, uh, he throws the starfish back and there’s thousands on the shore. And Linus says, uh, you can’t save them all. And he says, yeah, but I can save this one. Right. Right. And so maybe it seems overwhelming.

Jeff:
Yeah, we feel like the little bit we do doesn’t matter. Right. That’s right. Here’s my strong opinion about this. I think if you pulled all 5,000 people that were part of Heritage Church this weekend, 4,999 of them would say the church should feed naked people. The church should feed hungry people. I mean clothed naked people should feed hungry people. The church should visit people in prison and should take care of the sick. They should, right? And what they mean is the teacher on stage should. And the teacher should hire some staff to do that. And it’s because the devil sold us a bill of goods, and as the church, we tend to believe that clergy does ministry, and that the laity benefits from the ministry of the clergy.

Chris:
And as opposed to understanding‚Ķ We’re talking about a Western mindset.

Jeff:
Yeah. As opposed to a gifts-based faith and a gifts-based church. The Bible says, you know, the Bible mentions, the New Testament mentions, depends on which lists you put together, 20-something spiritual gifts. So there’s a spiritual gift of leadership. There’s a spiritual gift of apostleship. There’s a spiritual gift of leadership, I mean, of teaching. all these things. There’s also a spiritual gift of mercy, and there’s a spiritual gift of helps. Now, what we know, based on a lot of research and based on basically how the Bible talks, there seems to be a narrow number of gifted Bible teachers, right? There’s a narrow number, a smaller number of gifted, spiritually gifted leaders. That’s why you can have a church of 5,000 and have a couple of leaders, right? That’s wise because God does that. So then the flip side of that is we know the huge majority of Christians do have a heart for somebody should care for them. Somebody should do that thing. You know why? Because you’re probably gifted to be the one to do it. But what you want is you want the organization of the church to do it. Because you’ve been convinced that’s what happens, as opposed to understanding you are the church and you are here for the world. If you’re a follower of Jesus, you are the church. You don’t go to church, right? You are the church. And so then if there’s how many, how many leaders do you need in an organization? Just a couple. How many people to do the work of that organization do you need? All the rest. All the rest. Right? So it’s not about, so people talk about going to a church service and really they’re going to the church to serve us. There you go. Right? And instead what he’s saying is, no, no, no, no, you are here, you are the church, and you are here for the world. So if the church people would say, would not wait for somebody to go to the jail and visit, and instead just go, nobody’s doing it, I’ll go do it. Because that’s what Christians do. Instead of the people at the church waiting, you know what, you should open up a bigger food pantry. Instead of that, how about just feed hungry people. Right. Because every one of these things can be done regardless of budget. You don’t have to be rich to go visit people in the prison. You don’t have to be wealthy to go visit the sick. You don’t have to be super rich to be able to provide a jacket to somebody who doesn’t have a jacket, right? You go to Goodwill and do that. So he does not say the elites or the super organizations or those that have more, instead he says everybody should be doing these kinds of things. And so when the church really gets a vision that they’re not waiting around for an organized ministry to begin, but instead just start doing it, then the world will change, right? And that’s it. So that’s my my little soapbox on that.

Chris:
And I love it too, because that’s actually a hard thing to learn. When I went to church for quite a while, you know, I mean, I really started seriously going to church when I was like 16 or 15, something like that. And then I would say I was in my 20s. maybe even mid-twenties, before I understand the priesthood of every believer. You know, the idea that like every person is a pastor and a minister, right? And so, you know, the idea that like ministry should be up to the people was not something that was necessarily talked about, especially in the denomination that I was a part of. We just always sort of viewed the pastor, it was actually the downfall of of that mentality is we view the pastor as the person who should do everything. He should go to the hospital, right? He should lead the church, you know, so we expect him to be a leader, a good business mind person, a good speaker, a good counselor, right? Have all the time in the world to marry, bury, and visit people, you know, all these different things. And it’s like, well, that’s impossible. which is why the Bible says, no, you know, even in, even in the leadership structure, when he says in Ephesians to some, he gave the gift of apostleship to some prophets, to some evangelists, to some pastors, some teachers, you know, even in that leadership mindset you know, most pastors only operate in the top two. Right? I mean, like, maybe three. Maybe, right? But you need another staff member to come up on your last two. So you can take that test. It’s called the APEST test, right? Because they use the S for the word shepherd as opposed to pastor. And so the APEST shows that I am a teacher first, then I’m an evangelist, and then I’m an apostle, right? And then I am a pastor No, no, no, then I’m prophet, then I’m pastor. So pastor, which is the gift who cares, is actually my fifth out of five.

Jeff:
It’s mine too.

Chris:
Do you know your order?

Jeff:
Yeah, it’s apostolic first. Evangelist. Yeah. Evangelist second, teacher third.

Chris:
And then prophet and then pastor. Okay.

Jeff:
Oh, no, no. Prophet. Prophet is fourth, is third.

Chris:
Oh, prophet’s first. Teacher’s fourth. Oh, teacher’s fourth. Okay. So, um, yeah. So, so that is, uh, so that’s great. So you and I compliment each other at the same time. We’re sort of in the same vein though, right? Cause our, our bottom two are going to be,

Jeff:
Yeah, but that’s why God has so many Christians in the church. That’s right. We make up where others have deficits and then they make up where we have deficits. Not staff, just the church in general. All the people in general. So anyways, hey, look for somebody to feed this week. You’re looking for a ministry go start visiting find out how to start visiting in the in the jail if you live in our county Macomb County, Michigan One of the guys that Heritage Churches is one of the key leaders at the county jail You know you want to start visiting and serving he can help that bill is my friend. Let us know You can visit in the hospital you can clothe people right? That’s that’s important. So I

Chris:
Yeah. So that’s great. And so obviously Jesus is commanding us talking about, uh, you know, think about it. If you, if you think that maybe the task is too great and you think that maybe it’s too overwhelming and you think that nobody’s seeing you and you’re not making a difference, Jesus himself is saying, I see you every time.

Jeff:
Well, he says, when you do it, that was me.

Chris:
That was me. You did it for me. You did it to me. Yep. Right. And so literally what he’s saying is he’s saying that’s his heart. He’s not saying that that’s him in the flesh. He’s saying that’s where his heart is. Right. So, That’s great. That is a great topic and we will see you next time on The Bible Guys.