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The Jeremiah Johnston Show

Finding your calling with the Kendrick Brothers

October 12, 2019

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How God is moving in Russia and beyond

 

International evangelist, pastor, author and faith leader Rick Renner shares how the Holy Spirit drew him and his family to move to Eastern Europe in large part through letting Renner find a Russian Bible. Renner spent hours reading over it and comparing it to the Greek he knew, utterly captivated.

He says, “God had put a hook in my heart. I knew for some reason, I was supposed to learn the Russian language.”

It didn’t take long for God to confirm the calling on the Renner family, and Rick Renner ultimately established the Moscow Good News Church. He describes starting a new life on the other side of the world as an adventure.

“Rather than talk about how hard life was, we decided to turn every day into a scavenger hunt. When you’re in the will of God, you never lose,” he says. “You’ll flourish when you’re where God wants you to be.”

Just like a Bible was pivotal in confirming his calling, the Bible is paramount in carrying it out for Renner. Host Jeremiah Johnston and Renner both emphasize the importance of keeping Scripture central. Renner says, “The Bible is God’s sword. It is what slashes open the human heart and brings conviction. It brings encouragement. It brings everything we need. In fact, we’re told in 2 Timothy 3:17 that it equips us for life: ‘…so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.’ The Bible truly is the answer for every human need. I’m committed to the teaching of the Bible. It is the power of God, the music of God and the perfume of heaven. We have a responsibility to earnestly contend for the faith; we have a responsibility to maintain the purity of the faith.”

When it comes to unanswered questions from his own life, Renner says, “God is so clear in His Word. When He asks me to do something, my job is to say, ‘Yes, sir.’ When we say ‘yes,’ and we get in line, things usually become pretty clear. And the things we need to know, we eventually begin to see as time passes.”


Rick RennerRick Renner is the senior pastor of the Moscow Good News Church in Moscow, Russia, and the founder of Rick Renner Ministries. He teaching has reached searchers and believers throughout the world. Renner is known for drawing out rich meaning from the original Greek language and for tying in personal insights. He has authored more than 30 books in English and Russian, many of which have been translated into other languages.

 

The Best of Biblical Archeology

 

Christians have much more than faith to rely upon in standing on their beliefs. Dr. Jeremiah Johnston puts it simply: “We are truly living in the golden age of Christianity. Unlike any other religion or ‘ism’ in the world, Christianity says that it is verifiable with history. The first historian, Dr. Luke, begins his gospel this way in Luke 1:1-4:

‘Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who, from the first, were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.’”

Israeli archeologist Eli Shukron, who is credited with several major finds including the Pool of Siloam, says that, while archeology can’t prove the entire Bible, it does line up with the biblical narratives.

Dr. Craig Evans, who has taught and authored extensively on the historical Jesus and the New Testament, says, “To deny the existence of Jesus, not only do you deny literature – Christian, Jewish, Greek and Roman – but you have to ignore archelogy as well. If the writers of the gospels didn’t know what they were talking about, how did they get so much right?”

Archeologists themselves rely upon Bible passages, knowing that the places, historical figures and event accounts are reliable; they would not heavily reference the texts if the writings were myths, Evans emphasizes.

Dr. Scott Stripling adds that archeology further illumines Scripture. “We can’t deny the relationship once we’ve excavated the material,” he says.

“We have a faith that is rooted in evidence,” says Johnston.


Eli ShukronS.StriplingCraig Evans Special guests Eli Shukron and Dr. Scott Stripling, archeologists, and historian and professor Dr. Craig Evans, are each experts in biblical history.

David Limbaugh shares how he went from skeptic to committed Christian

 

Coming to faith was the culmination of the work of the Holy Spirit and his own research for author and attorney David Limbaugh. With a legal background, Limbaugh says he mined for evidence around him and in the Bible itself. The messianic prophecies of the Old Testament helped convince him that the Christian faith is valid.

“It’s so amazing when you see that the Bible is integrated. The Bible is internally self-proving. There’s such an overwhelming body of evidence confirming the truth of Christianity, that even if I do have some lingering doubts from time to time, I know the body of evidence is so strongly in favor of the reality of Jesus Christ being who He says He is,” he says. “So, I don’t ultimately have doubts I can’t reconcile.”

While it has been claimed that “man made God in his image,” rather than the other way around, Limbaugh says, “Christianity is grounded in history; it’s not just some idea that man made up. The Bible is accessible to all of us. I think we have a duty in obedience to minister in whatever area we can.”

Dr. Jeremiah Johnston affirms that, as believers, we are instructed to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others, as written in Romans 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.”

Lee, a show listener, asks, “How can I overcome the fear of sharing my faith?”

Not only does God tell us to share the Gospel, but He empowers us to do it, Johnston says, referencing Acts 1:8: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Once a person comes to faith, he or she can still struggle with condemnation from others or with internal guilt. Johnson replies to Cole, who asks, “How can I get over my past that still haunts me?”

Johnston says, “We learn from the past but we don’t live there. We build for the future.

Make sure you forgive yourself because God has already done it.”


David LimbaughDavid Limbaugh is the author of several New York Times bestsellers. His most recent work is “Jesus Is Risen: Paul and the Early Church.” As a lawyer, nationally syndicated columnist and political commentator, he has shared his expertise on hundreds of national and local television and radio shows. Limbaugh has practiced law for more than 30 years.

The Jeremiah Johnston Show

Greg Laurie and the Jesus revolution

 

Greg Laurie writes about the Jesus Movement in his latest book, which he entitles, “Jesus Revolution,” as a nod to the 1971 Time Magazine cover of the same name. The move of God that brought about so many conversions to Christianity can be learned from and its lessons applied to current evangelistic outreach, Laurie says.

Speaking with show host, Dr. Jeremiah Johnston, he outlines the main characteristics of the Jesus movement:

  1. A sense of anticipation; expecting God to move
  2. Heartfelt and passionate worship
  3. Bible exposition
  4. Evangelism
  5. A readiness for the return of Jesus
  6. An openness to the move of the Holy Spirit

“Revival is restoration. If you want to see revival, do revival-like things,” Laurie says.

Johnston and Laurie iterate that sharing the Gospel must be done in a way that is winsome, and with terminology that listeners can understand. Whether the conversation is one-on-one or is an address to a stadium crowd, the speaker should empathize with the perspective of listeners.

Ultimately, even as culture changes and worldviews change, the message of the Bible and of the Gospel carries power that reaches every generation. While we cannot control God’s Spirit, Laurie suggests believers can “pre-prayer” for revival, as outlined in 2 Chronicles 7:14:

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

A new believer named Daniel asks, “What’s the first, most important step in my Christian journey to be a good witness?” Johnston replies that he should live for Jesus Christ, and then maintain relationships with others who also need to hear the Good News. He says, “Make no mistake, the world would be a far different place if there were no Christians. Don’t allow the cultural confusion to confuse your spiritual life. There is more evidence available today to prove the validity of Christianity than at any other time in history.”

 


Greg Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian FellowshipGreg Laurie is the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship. His sermons, crusades, devotions, books and ministry advance the Gospel and inspire the next generation of truth-seekers and truth-speakers. His latest book is “Jesus Revolution: How God Transformed an Unlikely Generation and How He Can Do It Again Today.”