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God's Not Mad at You
“‘If I’m not called, do I have to go?'”

“‘If I’m not called, do I have to go?'”

MARCH 26, 2021

/ Programs / Key Life / “‘If I’m not called, do I have to go?'”

Steve Brown:
If I’m not called, do I have to go? The answer to that and other questions 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:
Hi Pete.

Pete Alwinson:
Happy Friday

Steve Brown:
Happy Friday, and it is. You know, you remember those days when Friday was not happy. When we were pastors and that’s when the hard work was going to begin. Well, no, you drove me nuts when you were my pastor. You wrote your sermons eight weeks in advance?

Pete Alwinson:
No, I didn’t.

Steve Brown:
Yeah, you did. You used to go on a retreat and work.

Pete Alwinson:
I knew where where I was going, but I didn’t finish him till Friday noon, if I didn’t get interrupted.

Steve Brown:
Listen, I’m sometimes sitting there at one o’clock in the morning saying, Lord, this page is blank, do you know what time it is? That is Pete Alwinson. And, we’ve been friends and walking together for a whole lot of years, and he’s been coming in on Fridays to share the guilt with me as we answer questions. Check out ForgeTruth.com. I keep telling you that. And if you haven’t, I’m going to keep saying it, until you do. And you’ll thank me for telling you about it. We, as you know, Friday’s are question and answer times. And we really do love your questions. 1-800-KEY-LIFE. And you can call that in each time and record your question. And sometimes we would put that on the, your voice on the air. Or you can write to

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

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

Or you can e-mail us at Steve@keylife.org. And I only recently found out, and by the way, you can help us financially with those places. Or just a question. Either one would be fine. If you’re going to give something to Key Life and we will rise it up and call you blessed, if you do. You can do that on your phone. You can text Key Life at 28950 and just follow instructions. And by the way, I mean it, if you don’t feel like you’re called to help us financially, or you can’t, we get that. But if you do, you become a champion to a lot of other people, and I promise we’ll be faithful, Pete lead us in prayer, and we’ll get to these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
Alright. Our great God, we do come into your presence today on this Friday, and we recognize, with a bit of an exhale that it’s been a long week. And we come to you, we’re grateful as we think about the fact that you are in charge, you have been in charge and you always will be in charge. And yet, sometimes we lose sight of you and we, we grow weak and weary and some of us are on this Friday. And so we come to you and ask that by your Spirit, you would rejuvenate us, that you would cause us again to see your greatness and your mercy. And father, we ask that you would help us as we think about this week-end and worship and it can be easy to put it off and do other things. But Lord, we pray, you’d get us into that family of God and that you had enabled us to worship and to hear a message. Be with our leaders who are preparing and putting the finishing touches on the worship service. We need their leadership. We thank you for them. Pray that you’d bless them and pray that we would hear what you want us to hear, that we would be set free to glorify you and to advance your kingdom, Lord Jesus. Now we pray these things in your name, Jesus, and asked that you would give us wisdom and strength as we do Q&A, where we pray in your Holy name. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Amen. Pete, let’s go to our phone lines.

Caller 1:
According to Ephesians 4, verse 11. The Lord has called certain people to be pastors, teachers, preachers, evangelists, but according to the Great Commission in Matthew 25, Jesus said, go. So my question is, how do we know when we need to be called to do something? Or can we just go?

Steve Brown:
Good question.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Yeah.

Steve Brown:
But you know, there’s, you know, there is a general call, that is universal for the people of God. And it is go.

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
Make decision, we’re called, we don’t get to vote on that. It’s a part of who we are. So don’t duck. I mean, don’t try to get out of it. There are some particular callings, that Paul was referring to and Ephesians. What is that?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. You know, I think, this goes back also to, was it two weeks ago, we talked about spiritual gifts.

Steve Brown:
Yeah it does.

Pete Alwinson:
So there’s a sense in which your spiritual gift is a calling that the Holy Spirit gives you and how to do ministry and where to do ministry. Not that you, you know, if you don’t have the gift of service, doesn’t mean you can’t serve, in a particular way.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
But your spiritual gifts are a calling. And then we think in terms of vocation, sort of in terms of the mission field as a full-time or a pastor as a full-time calling. And I think the Holy Spirit does give certain callings for those areas.

Steve Brown:
I do too, but I don’t think that’s an, that, you know, you’re woken up at two o’clock in the morning and a voice deep, like mine says, go preach.

Pete Alwinson:
Right. Right.

Steve Brown:
I think it has to do with the church. I think we determine callings within the context of the community of God’s people.

Pete Alwinson:
Well put and that’s exactly what Paul says to Timothy. He said, Hey, listen, fulfill your gift, fulfill your calling, when the Presbytery, the elders laid hands on you, man. And you gotta be doing that.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. So, so if we’re all going and we are, in a thousand different ways.

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
Because, you know, you can’t just sit around all the time, as God begins to honor it. And the people of God begin to take notice, that gets honed in sharpened a little bit better.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
And as the elders, said to Timothy. You’re it. Go do what God told you to do.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
And, in our particular denomination, that’s not just one congregation, that’s a whole bunch of Christians who affirm the call into particular ministries. That’s a good thing.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Yeah. And I love, I love that. There’s sort of that internal call too,

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
that sense that the Holy spirit wants you to maybe become a pastor. Let’s say for instance, or to start a para-church ministry of some sort and then others affirm it. Yeah. I can see you having that gift. And that would be a great thing for you to do.

Steve Brown:
That’d be, that’d be a good thing. Alright. Let me, let me go to, this is an e-mail question, Pete,. Did you hear that sound?

Pete Alwinson:
I did.

Steve Brown:
That was kind of a pretty sound, it made me feel comfortable. I don’t know where it came from, but listen.

Pete Alwinson:
Did you hear it, Jeremy? No.

Steve Brown:
It was kind of a musical sound. Maybe, maybe Jesus is coming back or something, you think?

Pete Alwinson:
I don’t know?

Steve Brown:
I don’t know whether,

Pete Alwinson:
Are we going to “X” this out, or is this going to be in?

Steve Brown:
No, we’re going to leave it in, if they didn’t hear it, then we’re the spiritual ones. Okay. Can faulty thinking related to how we view God lead to depression?

Pete Alwinson:
Yes. I think faulty thinking about how we view God, lead to depression. Yes.

Steve Brown:
That’s why it’s so important we get, that’s why theology, Biblical theology is so important.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. Speak the truth in love, but it is truth that sets us free, John 8:32. So the reality is as though yeah, faulty thinking, you and I want sound doctrine, sound teaching, it shapes our mind, gives us hope.

Steve Brown:
That’s so true. And I agree with you. This is an e-mail too. Why can’t churches across the country band together and do something to stop our country’s values, traditions in Christianity, etc. from being destroyed. It seems to me, that ought to be what we should do, and do it together.

Pete Alwinson:
Powerful. Huh?

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
And a lot of people are saying this and very disturbed about the course of our country and you and I are.

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
One of my observations in, is that churches are divided, now politically more than ever. Bible believing Christians differ on political issues much more today than they used to.

Steve Brown:
That’s really true.

Pete Alwinson:
And, so when you say, why doesn’t the church come together? Well, the church itself is not together.

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
And so it’s really impossible to draw the churches together, to do this.

Steve Brown:
And we’re sinners and you know, we’re porcupines trying to hug each other and do ministry together and we get stuck and hurt. But back to what you said, and we talked about it before we came in here, just you and I talking about our concern for the church. Does that mean we just give up or do, or what should we do?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah, I really think that we have to redouble our efforts in discipleship and teaching, worship has gotta be good. Yes. But we have got to teach the word and search the Scriptures, like the Bereans, together. And we have got to be living it, and we’ve got to be telling the gospel to others, boldly and freely.

Steve Brown:
I one time heard a district superintendent of the Methodist church, say to a Bishop in the South during the civil rights movement, when people were leaving their church. He said, Bishop, we’re just getting down to the muscle in this church. And you know, there may be a weaning, a kind of thing that’s going on, even in the church now.

Pete Alwinson:
Yup.

Steve Brown:
That is getting us down to the muscle.

Pete Alwinson:
I think so. I think so, a winnowing of those that really are sort of just hangers on, and they’re not super committed to Jesus, persecution pressure will tend to bring out who you really are.

Steve Brown:
This is an interesting question. The church should be the place where people go for assistance, both spiritual and physical. I’m wondering if you think that the church offering assistance. Say like giving out money for food or rent to people in need, while telling them about Jesus and praying for them, is what you call mixing the message in your book, Talk the Walk.

Pete Alwinson:
Wow. What do you think? Steve.

Steve Brown:
I think it can be, I think we’ve got to be natural

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
and I think sometimes we’re not. I think when people are hungry, we ought to feed them. If they ask questions, tell them why we’re feeding them. I think if people have broken hearts, we ought to bind them up. And if they have a question about why we even bother, we ought to tell them. But it’s very hard to say I’m feeding you because once or I won’t feed you, unless you sit down and listen to what I have to say about Jesus, that’s mixing the message. I think we’re called to be compassionate people. And our compassion is called, is the very thing that ought to create questions.

Pete Alwinson:
I think you’re right. I think we live in a culture where there’s a lot of mixing of the message. The secular world has adopted giving a lot of things away. And if we don’t tell them why we’re doing it, we’re no better.

Steve Brown:
That’s right. But don’t do it, just so you can, do it because you’ve got love.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
Guys. We’re out of here, before we go, one other thing. Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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