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God's Not Mad at You
“How can I talk to people about Jesus when they don’t want to hear?”

“How can I talk to people about Jesus when they don’t want to hear?”

SEPTEMBER 11, 2020

/ Programs / Key Life / “How can I talk to people about Jesus when they don’t want to hear?”

Steve Brown:
How can I talk to people about Jesus when they don’t want to hear? Let’s talk about that on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
Key Life exists to communicate that the deepest message of Jesus and the Bible is the radical grace of God to sinners and sufferers. Life’s hard for everyone. So grace is for all of us. But there is a lot of confusion about how grace applies to real life. So here’s seminary professor and author Steve Brown and Pete Alwinson to answer your questions.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. Hi Pete.

Pete Alwinson:
Hey man. Happy Friday.

Steve Brown:
Happy Friday.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
You know, used to be, back in the olden days when you and I were pastors, Friday was not a happy day,

Pete Alwinson:
[Laughing]

Steve Brown:
because you’re beginning to move into that really hard, difficult, depressing monkey on your back kind of thing that never goes away. You got to, you know, I have a friend who used to say that the profits were better off than us. Cause they spoke when God spoke.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. They didn’t have to,

Steve Brown:
Thus sayeth the Lord.

Pete Alwinson:
They didn’t have to prepare.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. We have to speak whether God speaks or not. That’s a hard place to be. So it is a happy Friday.

Pete Alwinson:
You know it is, it really is.

Steve Brown:
Pete, as you know, comes in on Fridays, we’ve been doing this for more years than we even know. And Pete comes in because I love him and we love each other and we kinda sharpen each other by answering some of these questions. So, by the way, I’ve said this before, but you’ve never listen to me. ForgeBibleStudy.com go there, and you’ll be glad I told you about it. By the way, we do like to get your questions and we take you and your question seriously, you can send your question to

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794

If you live in Canada, it’s

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

You can email us your question at Steve@keylife.org or you can just pick up the phone when you have a question and record it, it’s easy to do. And then sometimes we put your voice on the air. And all of those places are touched places where should God’s spirit move. You could help us financially. We understand when you can’t or not called to support this ministry. But when you do, you make a difference in other people’s lives, you become, as it were a champion, only about 10% of the people who benefit by this ministry are able to help us financially. So when you do. You will help the other 90%. So if he can do, if you can’t say a prayer, Pete, why don’t you say a prayer? And then we’ll answer some of these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
You got it. Our gracious Father, to pause in your presence is to be embraced by the sovereign God. What a joy to be your children. And right now we just remember who you are as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The one triune God. Eternal, immortal, invisible God only wise. And we lift up praise to your name. And when we lift up praise, we are comforted. We are encouraged because we know that you’re sovereign and that you’re gracious toward us, that you’re merciful and that our prayers are heard. Hear our prayers, Lord. You know we need you, you know that we can’t function without your mercy and power in our lives. So we ask you to meet our needs, to give us perspective, to give us hope, the help us forgive, to help us to love the unlovely. All those things we need, we pray you would do in our life. Lord, we have a lot of questions. And even right now we ask in during this time of Q & A, that you would begin to answer some of the questions we have. Your grace would satisfy our soul. Pray for our pastors and church leaders this weekend, as they lead us in worship, be with him Father, use them in our lives. So we commit this time to you now in Jesus name. Amen

Steve Brown:
Amen. All right. This first question is an email. How can we lead family members and friends to Christ who aren’t even open to talking about it? Well, there are two answers to that. First is create questions and the second is answer questions properly.

Pete Alwinson:
Ooh.

Steve Brown:
And you said something back in my study that was just so good. That if I had, if you had said it before I wrote that book, How to be Right Without Being Insufferable, I would have included it. You talked about how we listened to questions that challenge us with a smile and then turn it.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
Talk about that a little bit.

Pete Alwinson:
I do think we’re so insecure often, but what grace does is it gives us that firm foundation of we know who we are, we are the deeply beloved redeemed daughters and sons of the most high God. That’s identity. So I don’t want, so my identity is not attacked when people differ from me.

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
And so I just think we need to smile and, and, and, and we say, yeah, shake our head, listen to what they have to say and, and say, yeah, I hear what you’re saying. Um,

Steve Brown:
Let me ask you a question.

Pete Alwinson:
and then turn it and then turn it. You know, and, and. And then say, well, what about, what do you think about this? And get them talking, really people want to talk about themselves and they need to process. We need to build a relationship, particularly when we’re dealing with very controversial subjects.

Steve Brown:
Oh, that’s so true. And we don’t do that very often.

Pete Alwinson:
I know.

Steve Brown:
We join the fight because we have to be right. We don’t have to be right anymore.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
We are right.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
But we don’t have to be.

Pete Alwinson:
That that is, that is a very challenging but important point. Isn’t it?

Steve Brown:
It really is.

Pete Alwinson:
In the gospel.

Steve Brown:
And then the other thing that I was saying, you gotta create questions, you know, pagans have us figured. They really do. They wear the same clothes and we use the same cliches. We read the same books. We listen to the same music. Break out of that mold, do something that surprises people.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah, that’s right.

Steve Brown:
I had a mentor one time when I was a pastor on Cape Cod, said don’t tell people you’re a pastor, but if they find don’t let them be surprised. And I get that, but I’d put a different spin on that. Let people be surprised when they discover that you’re a Christian.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Yeah.

Steve Brown:
Because that’s a question that you create and that you can answer. And Peter said, Be ready to give answers.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. And I think that’s so good. What you said. I think today, a lot of people who are, most people are not Christian and they don’t even, they’re not, they don’t know what a Christian is,

Steve Brown:
I know.

Pete Alwinson:
so if we model that we are actually pretty reasonable people who understand issues, and it goes back to the First Chronicles thing, the men of Issachar, who understood the times. I think we, we need to understand the Bible, but we also need to understand the times well, and to know what the trajectories of thinking are of the average person we run into, they’re fearful, why? Or they, they, they want to over, uh, you know, some people really want to undo our country. They want to do different things here. We need to know the thinking patterns of, so we can be ready. With, uh, questions.

Steve Brown:
You know, a number of years ago, I was speaking at a conference where the other speaker had written a book called The Gospel According to the Wall Street Journal. And I don’t remember his, Dr. Calian I think was his name, but, uh, And I’m not even sure who he is or where he is, but this has been years ago, but I remember him standing before the conference with the Bible in one hand and the Wall Street Journal in the other, and I thought that image is a good image. It means, as you said, we gotta discern the times as well as discern the scriptures.

Pete Alwinson:
Yep. And it’s surprising the number of Christians that really don’t want to do the deep dive on what’s energizing our culture.

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
They don’t like the conflict. They don’t like the news. They don’t want to know. And then there’s others that love it so much, cause they want to win the argument.

Steve Brown:
It becomes an idol.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. That’s right.

Steve Brown:
Okay. Listen, let’s go to our phone lines.

Caller 1:
I just wanted to say that the guest pastor whose on Fridays to answer questions mentioned the opioid epidemic. And I wanted to let him know that a lot us Christians are suffering in pain from the way they’re handling that, a lot of us are not getting the medication that we need.

Steve Brown:
I hear, there are two problems that you talk about there. And I mean, that wasn’t a question, but I get what you’re saying and I agree with you. I think we’ve got to recognize that there are medications that are absolutely necessary for some who are dealing with awful pain, and but we have to be careful there and see if we can find alternatives for them. But another question too. And the reason for the changes in medication, I have two friends whose children both died from addictions to opioids, and one has a ministry now speaking at conferences about this particular problem. The other is a pastor and his wife. And interestingly enough, their son was named after me, his name in which Steven.

Pete Alwinson:
Wow.

Steve Brown:
And I loved him and I love them. And they’re going through awful dark times. This thing is bad. There is a need for pain medication, and there’s a need that we develop alternatives that are not destructive.

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
But there’s also a need, to caution and be careful in our culture. This thing is demonic and it’s awful and it’s killing people and I agree, and we will, and I do pray that God will intervene.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. I think both of them just feel the sense of this. We know pastors that have had addictions in this area.

Steve Brown:
That’s right.

Pete Alwinson:
And it came out and they were able to deal with it. And praise God that they were. In the church we simply have to understand that we have the full range of sinners in the church, sinner saints.

Steve Brown:
Every sin you can name

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
if you’re a pastor is sitting in front of you. And sometimes standing in the pulpit.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. That is so true. And so our churches, we can’t have this. Oh my goodness. You’ve sinned in that area. Like there are some sins that are not allowable in the church. Well, we don’t, we don’t want them, but they’re there because we’re there.

Steve Brown:
That’s right. You know, I think the is beginning to,

Pete Alwinson:
I do too.

Steve Brown:
I really see a major change in the church. There was a time and I can remember it. When we just didn’t allow sin in the church and the purity of the church became the standard of the discipline

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Yeah.

Steve Brown:
of the church. And it’s good to see that people are beginning to understand. And to cut slack for sinners, because if you don’t cut slack for others, you don’t get it for yourself.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Addictions are all hard because

Steve Brown:
Every one of them.

Pete Alwinson:
Every one of them, because they’re progressive and they’re deep rooted. And so whenever anybody says they’re addicted, we need someone to have that kind of compassion to come alongside.

Steve Brown:
And most of us have an addiction.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. Addictions come in pairs with spares, one counselor said.

Steve Brown:
That’s right. Guys, we gotta go. And, by the way, I don’t say it very often, but we very much appreciate you taking your time to be with us. Got to go. Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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