AUDIENCE: Hi, Pastor John. My name is Maria Leech; my friends call me Mia. I wanted to say that all you’re talking that we’re doing right now – and you’ve taught us to be Bereans, so we’ve all been really doing a lot of research about the COVID vaccines and everything that you were just talking about. I’m from Michigan originally and I had four children, home-educated them, and at night we would put six CDs in a player, all your CDs, and we’d go to sleep listening to them, and that’s how I did our evening devotion.
JOHN: I have put a lot of people to sleep.
AUDIENCE: Anyway, I’m guilty sometimes sitting here falling asleep. Anyway, I love you so much; and thank you so much for teaching us to study to show thyself approved and everything that you do. I couldn’t thank you enough. And my family and hundreds of families are very concerned about the vaccine to take or not to take. If you have family out of the country, you know, you have to get it if you want to go see them. They say they’re putting different things in there like human fetuses and trackers and all kinds of stuff you hear. My question is, “In Romans 13, in relation to Romans 13, what should a Christian do if they are against vaccines if the government tries to force us to take them?”
JOHN: Yeah, this is a big question. And let me just make a quick and obvious statement. As it is now, you have a 99.998 percent chance of having no lasting effect from COVID. From what we hear, the vaccine is 94 percent effective. So why reduce your odds?
AUDIENCE: What about going out of the country if you have family and they make it mandatory?
JOHN: I’m being a little bit facetious. That’s the same choice you would have with the flu vaccine. Some of you have taken the flu. I took the flu vaccine twice and both times I got the flu. So there are no guarantees with that except that they’re injecting you with the illness.
So, again, that’s a choice you’re going to have to make. If you’re compelled to go out of the country to visit family, I can see where the airlines may restrict flight to those who have had the vaccine going to other places. Who knows? I mean, any kind of draconian approach could be coming. That’s just a decision you’d have to make as you weight it.
I’m neither for or against the vaccine. I don’t want to play doctor with that. There’s not any record yet of its effectiveness. But we do know this, that we’ve had flu vaccines for years and years and years and years, and the numbers in terms of its effectiveness don’t even approach 50 percent. So it's something that you can choose to do at the point at which it’s required by the government for you to do that, then you’re going to have to make a decision whether the trip is important enough to get that and make that choice.
AUDIENCE: May I be so bold as to ask, “What would you do?”
JOHN: It would depend. No, that’s a good question. It would depend on what I needed to do and where I needed to be. If I needed to go somewhere in the world for the sake of the gospel and purpose of the kingdom and they said, “You can’t come unless you have that,” I’ve had that happen through my travels around the world. I’ve had all kinds of injections before I’ve gone lots of places in the world. I don’t know what they’re putting in me, I have no idea.
So I just have to decide if that’s where I’m going to go and those are the rules, then that’s what I’m going to do.
AUDIENCE: Amen. Thank you. I said to my kids, you know, “You guys are young. You don’t want to do it, don’t do it.” I’m 60, I’m going to Italy, I’m taking it. To live is Christ, to die is gain. I’m going.
JOHN: Yeah. If you’re a healthy person, from all that we know – look, what you have to understand about the vaccine is this: it’s all about money. It’s all about two massive corporations becoming more wealthy than you can even comprehend. I mean, we all get the medical field, don’t we? A tiny little pill like this sometimes $20.00, $10.00; this is a massive – big pharma is a massive, massive industry, and they’ve just hit, they’ve just hit the gold vein literally with this vaccine. If there are going to be millions of vaccines, they are going to be so rich; and that money ends up in the pockets of the people who are behind that kind of system.
So economics drives that. There’s a health element, yes, and I think that’s why there’s a certain required testing so that they can’t unleash on us something that’s deadly; but it’s driven by the economics of it. Again, this is treating COVID the same way a flu shot treated other viruses; so you can make your own choice as to whether you want to use that.
AUDIENCE: Hi, Pastor John. This is Aldo.
JOHN: Hey, Aldo.
AUDIENCE: First, I just want to thank you. I know I speak on behalf of many of us. This year I know God has used you and our elders as living proof of what trusting in the Lord is all about in a very, very practical way. So just want to thank you and the elders for that. We’ve learned a great lesson, at least myself, in that area.
But my question is this. I’ve worked with young people for many years now back in my home country in Guatemala, and now here. Is there a point in which you – and I know some of my friends who are students or counselors from TMU, we’ve talked about this – is there a point in which after you deal with one person over and over and over and you don’t see a lot of fruit in them that you just let go at some point? I say this because I know when I was in the world, Christians were reaching out to me, and good brothers in Christ now. But I guess I needed because of my stubbornness and my pride to fall into the sins that I did. And I think I’m the person that I am today because of the grace of God shown to me through my sinfulness. So is there a point as a counselor, as a, you know, brother in Christ where you say, “That’s it”?
JOHN: Sure, it’s a good question, Aldo.
AUDIENCE: Thank you.
JOHN: The answer is, “Of course there is,” because in the end, any work of God in the heart is the work of God. There’s an end to your exhausting counsel. There’s an end to your exhaustive warnings. There’s an end to the process of trying to pick the people up and call them back to faithfulness. There’s an end to that.
Even God runs out of patience, according to Scripture. But since the work is God’s work anyway, there doesn’t have to be an end to your prayers. So when, in my life, when I’ve exhausted all that I can do – and there are people in my life about whom I can say that I have done everything I can do, I have exhausted every possibility personally and in ministry – I can’t do any more, and I ask the question, “Are they getting closer or are they getting harder?” And if I see the hardness, then I have to move on to ripe fruit, but I don’t have to stop praying; and prayer is the power that moves God.
AUDIENCE: Amen. Thank you.
JOHN: Just put them on your prayer list, and after a certain point, if you feel they’re coming toward the truth, then you continue. If you feel that you’re just reaching the same resistance – and the same sun that melts the wax hardens the clay. So you’re shining the light of God’s truth on some hearts and they melt, and on some hearts and they harden. When you see that, put them on the prayer list and go on to someone else who’s more responsive.
AUDIENCE: Thank you so much, appreciate it.
AUDIENCE: Hello, Pastor John. My name is Dawn.
JOHN: Hi, Dawn.
AUDIENCE: And in a sense you’ve somewhat answered my question through this gentleman here. However, I’m a mother of two adult daughters who are unsaved. Both have significant others who happen to come from Christian homes. I’m not allowed to mention Christ to them at various times. I’ve been informed that I’m not to mention God or I will not be welcomed in their home. Interestingly enough these Christian in-laws are respectful of this request, as my daughter tells me they only have to pray over meals in their homes. Why is this such an urgent burden upon my heart, and how do I resign myself to honoring the requests?
JOHN: I don’t think you have to honor that request. Why would you honor that request?
AUDIENCE: Because they won’t let me in their home if I don’t.
JOHN: That’s their choice. That’s their choice. Where I go, Christ goes. When I open my mouth I speak of Him, I don’t have a language without Him. If you tell me I can’t come into your place and speak to the honor of Christ then I can’t be in your place; and I think that kind of alienation is more stark than you conforming to them. It’s not lovelessness on your part to do that, it is faithfulness. You belong to the Lord; you can’t even live life without speaking of Christ.
AUDIENCE: Where do they got the testimony then?
JOHN: The testimony will come if that is the purpose of God. Their salvation isn’t left in your hands, that belongs to God to save them. You know, Jesus talked about casting your pearls before swine. You just don’t throw away holy things in front of people who tread on them; and to silence yourself about that is to acquiesce to that, and that makes them feel more justified.
I think they need to pay the full price of that kind of demand on your life, and you need to be continually reminding them, “I want to be in your life, I want to be a part of your life, I want to be with you, but I will and I must talk of Christ, because He is the one you need. If you don’t want me to do that, then I can’t be with you. Tell me when you’re ready for me to speak the things that are most important to me.” Okay?
AUDIENCE: Thank you, Pastor.
AUDIENCE: Hi. Good evening, Pastor John. My name is José DeGallo. And with everything that’s going on, how can we pray for you?
JOHN: Thank you, José. Just pray for me all the time. You know, I feel like the Lord has just surrounded my life in amazing ways in this period. It’s hard for me to understand how it is that the city of Los Angeles, state of California tries to shut us down. They’ve been trying to shut us down for nine months, and they can’t do it. And the Health Department fining us every week $500.00, $500.00, $500.00 every week for violation here. And we haven’t had to pay them because until there’s a full trial on the First Amendment, they can’t receive the $500.00. So we just keep dumping it in an escrow account; we haven’t paid any of it.
And now the Supreme Court out of nowhere for some Catholics and some Jewish rabbis in New York rules in favor of us. And then in California, a couple of charismatic churches get a ruling from the Supreme Court that further protects us. And I think this is probably the third Sunday in a row when the Health Department hasn’t been here. Is that true? They don’t come anymore. We actually got an inside message from someone in the Health Department and they said most of the people in the Health Department are embarrassed about how the Health Department is treating Grace Church.
There are some people here on Sundays, have been in the past with the Health Department who were sitting in the back singing hymns with us because they know the Lord. The police sent out a memo in the city a few months ago that said, “In the event that you should take any action to the city fathers against Grace Community Church, the LAPD will not be involved.” So I think we’re having police training here this week; we are. They come all the time. They come all the time. They love Grace Church and we love them.
So the Lord has really protected us, hasn’t He? And you all look better than you’ve ever looked. You look healthy, and, you know, we all feel like a bunch of Daniels, don’t we? Take a look at us, the Lord’s sustaining us.
AUDIENCE: Pastor John, my name is Richard.
JOHN: Hi, Richard.
AUDIENCE: Thank you for signing my book. I know you’re a busy man, I had to send it to you; but thank you.
JOHN: Is that one that I wrote?
AUDIENCE: No, it’s not one that you wrote. So it’s called The Almost Christian by Matthew Mead.
JOHN: That’s what I thought, yeah. That’s a great book.
AUDIENCE: And when I sent it to you I asked for conviction. This is a book of conviction. And so my question is –
JOHN: That was written, by the way, back in the 1600s.
AUDIENCE: That’s right. And so, with that in mind, express the importance of the Puritans in terms of this church, the history back then in the 17th century and where we are now. How important are the Puritans to this particular church?
JOHN: Richard, that’s such a good question. If you go to the bookstore at all, go to wherever the Puritans’ books are and start reading the Puritans.
We had planned – when was the date of the Puritan Conference supposed to be here, October? Joel Beeke was – we were going to have a conference here, a national conference.
AUDIENCE: It was supposed to be in October.
JOHN: Yeah, October, yes. So we were supposed to have the first national conference on the Puritans right here at Grace Church. Joel Beeke, everything he writes about the Puritans is just phenomenal. And COVID ended all that. It was all planned, and you all would have been exposed, mega exposed to the Puritans. So we hope that that’s going to be reinstated as soon as whatever happens is going to happen.
People ask me, “When are they going to stop treating us like this, the government?” and my answer usually, “When you stop letting them.” And until people respond by saying, “We’re not going to do that,” we want to be submissive to the government in an orderly way and in a legal way, but they don’t have laws that allow them to destroy our lives. So, no, you need to go to the bookstore, get some of the – start with some of the paperbacks or Matthew Mead on The Almost Christian Discovered, or Thomas Watson’s Body of Divinity, or any of those.
I think what makes the Puritans so profoundly rich is they live in an uncluttered era. Life was slower, media was nonexistent, and they thought more deeply than people do today in the mad panic of our lives. They thought profoundly and deeply about the Word of God, the things of God.
I just finished a book, an Oxford book on the company of pastors who were part of Geneva during Calvin’s era 1546 to 1609, about 120 or 130 of these men. And all they did all week long in the city of Geneva was exposit the Word of God day after day, after day, after day. It was in the St. Pierre, the great cathedral where I preached in Calvin’s pulpit when they introduced the French Study Bible in then the la de toire, the little auditorium next door. All day long, all day long they’re expositing the Word of God. The book says how devoted they were to the discipling of people, how serious they were about church discipline. The Puritans were so fully engaged in sound doctrine, teaching the Bible, and applying it to people’s lives in a very personal way from house to house like the apostles.
There’s a richness in the writings of the Puritans. It’s uncluttered by the philosophies of modern era. It’s like going back to some pure stream, because they’re not influenced by all the things that have influenced the centuries in between. So if you don’t know the Puritans, look at the bookstore. Find something on the Puritans, start reading, and you will discover a whole new realm of spiritual blessing and joy.
Thanks, Richard. And we’ll let you know when that conference is coming back.
AUDIENCE: Hi, Pastor John. My name is Mark.
JOHN: Hi, Mark.
AUDIENCE: Glory to God for what He’s been doing here, praise God for that. A question about the thief on the cross when Jesus Christ told him, “Today you will be with Me in paradise.” And then John chapter 20, verse 17, it talks about Mary and Jesus revealing Himself to her, and she’s not supposed to touch Him, and He says, “Because I haven’t ascended up to heaven to the Father.” So where is Jesus and the thief in those moments of time in between?
JOHN: I’m trying to figure out exactly what you mean by that. When Jesus said, “Today you’ll be with Me in paradise,” He meant that thief would be in heaven that day and He’d be there, too.
AUDIENCE: And then – sorry. It says in John chapter 20, verse 17, “Jesus saith unto her, ‘Touch Me not.’”
JOHN: Yeah. Well, what He was saying to her really is, “You can’t hold onto Me, I’m not going to stay.” I mean, you know she was horrified that Jesus had died. They were there at the tomb before the apostles were there, and she was crushed beyond imagination; and then she has the conversation about how sad she is, and He reveals Himself to her, and He’s saying to her, “You can’t hold onto Me, I have to ascend to My Father.” So He’s talking about His actual earthly ascension, His actual earthly ascension.
When He died on the cross, the question is, “Where was His Spirit?” His body was on the cross in the grave. Obviously His Spirit was in heaven because that’s paradise, and He met the thief there. And obviously He made a short visit to hell, because He appeared to the demons to declare His triumph over them, Colossians says. So in the time that His body was in the grave, He was in heaven, and then He was announcing His triumph in hell.
In His resurrection, He comes back to earth and says to Mary, “I can’t stay,” and He – Acts 1, right? – ascended into heaven; and that’s what He meant where He intercedes for His own and waits to return. Does that help?
AUDIENCE: Yes, sir. Thank you.
JOHN: Good. Thank you. Yes, sir?
AUDIENCE: Hello, my name is Dillon, and I just wanted to say thank you for your preaching. About seven or eight years ago I was on the East Coast hearing you preach about predestination and almost smashing my iPhone because I didn’t like that. But you’ve – God has used you to correct a lot of wrong things that I’ve thought. So, thank you.
JOHN: Thank you, Dillon.
AUDIENCE: I’ve also – this is probably like my sixth time coming up here without getting to ask you a question, so this is really cool. So I just wanted – so original sin verses transgression of the law. So I’m going to ask the short version of this, and then kind of unpack it a little bit more in a longer version, and hopefully it’ll make sense why.
Is there a difference in the way that God deals with original or imputed sin in our personal transgression of His law? So the wages of sin is death. All sin, so all die. Unbelievers will experience the first death and the second death. For believers, Jesus cleanses us of our sin, and we are spared the second and eternal death, but not the first. So even though death has lost its sting to the believer, there seems to be a parsing of the first and second deaths as different payments.
In your book In the Arms of God, Safe in the Arms of God, you make a case that children who die before the age of accountability can still go to heaven. So is it biblical to say that the first death is a payment for our inherited original sin which would also strengthen the notion that babies born before hearing the gospel can enter heaven?
JOHN: Yeah. Just to give you a short answer: I don’t ever want to see the death of a believer as a payment. I don’t ever want to see the death of a believer as a form of punishment, which a payment would be. Death for a believer is ushering us into the heavens into the presence of God. And you say, “Well, why would you believe that that could happen to a baby?” Because a baby is the perfect illustration of sovereign salvation by God. Jesus said, “You’ll die in your sins because you believe not on Me.” That’s not possible for a baby or for an infant or for a small child.
So the first death is simply the normal end of human existence. In other words, I don’t see that death as a punishment by God as something that takes on some kind of redemptive character. I simply thing you were born, you live a physical life, and part of that physical life is you die: you’re dying through your whole physical life, and eventually it ends. That is just the dealing with the physical reality, I don’t see that as any kind of payment. I think when the believer dies, whether it’s a little one that the Lord gathers to Himself – as I try to prove in the book Safe in the Arms of God – or whether it’s a believer, it is simply the release.
What would we even say? How could we even say that the death of a believer could in any sense be a punishment when you don’t even experience it? You’re absent from the body, present with the Lord. So where’s the punishment? There is nothing. Absent from the body, present with the Lord; far better to depart and be with Christ. Now if you’re a Roman Catholic and you want to fill in some big gap in purgatory, now you’re talking about the death of a person being an opportunity for that person to atone for his own sins, which calls into question the reality of the sacrifice of Christ, which is a full atonement.
So He paid all of the penalty for our sins, and death for us is not a penalty; death for us is a release into His presence. Does that help?
JOHN: Thank you, Dillon. Thank you. Good question.
AUDIENCE: Hi, my name is Isabella. How does a kid know if he or she is a Christian or not? And if they are a believer, when should they get baptized?
JOHN: Okay, Isabella. How old are you?
JOHN: Okay. Tell me something. Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God?
JOHN: Do you believe that He came into the world and lived a sinless life and died on the cross?
JOHN: Do you believe He died there for your sins and mine?
JOHN: Do you believe He rose from the dead?
JOHN: Is Jesus your Lord?
JOHN: You’re a Christian. Do you love Jesus?
JOHN: Do you want to honor Him?
JOHN: How do you know that? Tell me how you know you love Him.
AUDIENCE: Because I know I’m going to go to heaven.
JOHN: You’re thankful.
JOHN: Do you like to sing songs about Him?
JOHN: Do you like to read the Bible?
JOHN: Maybe it’s a little more daunting if you happen to be ten. Do you like to have somebody read the Bible stories to you?
JOHN: Yeah. So see, all of these things are desires that don’t exist in the unconverted heart, right? You know, you’ve expressed to me everything that the Bible says you need to believe to be a Christian; and the fact that you desire to love the Lord and honor the Lord is because He’s made you new and gave you those desires; and they’ll grow stronger as you grow older. Okay, Isabella?
JOHN: Thank you, dear, that’s beautiful.
AUDIENCE: Hi, Pastor John. My name is Steven, and I’ve been coming here since 2007, and I’ve really appreciated your ministry. And I’ve been trying to come up with a question that I don’t think you’ve ever been asked before, and I think I’ve found one. Is there a particular animal that Mrs. MacArthur wishes that Noah had left off the ark?
JOHN: Let’s see, Mrs. MacArthur; it would be any form of a snake, I think. Good question, Steven, thank you. We needed a little relief.
AUDIENCE: Hi, my name is Angela. Wow, this is a bit intimidating. Thank you for doing this week-in and week-out for us, we appreciate it.
JOHN: No, it’s a joy, Angela.
AUDIENCE: Okay, I have two quick questions and then I’ll sit down and you can answer. But my first question is we love coming to church. I get that our church is protected by our Constitution. But my home isn’t, and we’ve had lots of conversations about, “Should we have a gathering? Shouldn’t we? How does that look to our neighbors? What are we saying to our neighborhood?” and that sort of thing. So I’d love some guidance on that.
My second question is I really enjoyed reading through the Old Testament because obviously what we’re going through now is really not a big deal in light of the span of history. But I wanted to get your recommendations on going deeper into studying the Major and Minor Prophets. I just wasn’t sure which resource to choose. So, thank you, thank you, thank you.
JOHN: Well, let’s talk about the first question. We obey the law. I mean, we obey the law. We’re called on to obey the law, a law that is passed, duly passed; and we are bound by those laws. We drive according to the law. We function in terms of the economy according to tax laws, things like that. We live with honesty and integrity. We do what we can to honor the government.
What we’ve all experiencing now is not law, it is whimsy to some degree, because the rules change constantly, constantly. They’re moving the goalpost every day. So I don’t think the Lord expects us to do anything that would be destructive to our families, to our lives, based upon some demagog coming up with some ridiculous idea and trying to hold us to it.
I received the other day a Health Department memo 14 pages long, and it was so bizarre, it was so strange. There were so many requirements. I thought it was from the Babylon Bee because it didn’t even make sense. I think we want to be law-abiding; but we don’t want destruction, and we don’t need to roll over and accept destruction. I mean, you’re asking a question that was asked and answered many times during the second World War: “If you’re Jews living in a ghetto, do you hide when the Nazis come?” Diary of Anne Frank: “Do you hide somebody so the Nazis can’t take the person and execute them?” Do you have a Bible study when Bible study is forbidden? Do you still come together and study the Word of God when things that are not laws, but are being imposed on us have negative effects on our lives, or try to conform us to other lies?
I think there needs to be a sensible resistance: common sense. We don’t protest; I wouldn’t advocate that. We don’t want to be known as open, flagrant rebels. But I think in a gracious way, in a loving way, and not, as we saw this morning, not complaining about what is going on as if God had done something wrong in allowing this to happen, but accepting is as the time and the place and the purpose in His will for us now. I think we live our lives sensibly, reasonably, thoughtfully, and freely, and don’t allow ourselves to get bound up in things that are not law. And even if laws are made, if they impose upon the prior responsibilities for our worship of God and the care of our family, then resistance has been the pattern throughout all of human history: underground churches, people living underground lives. I had many trips, 10 or 11 or 12 trips into the Eastern Europe area, and to Russia and places like that, and I watch a whole culture literally operating underground so that people could survive.
So I don’t think that you can roll over every time some authority tells you to do something when that authority may not have the right to do that. But again, you don’t want to be rebellious. We’ve tried not to be that way. But we will be faithful to the things that are our priorities. Family is a priority. I don’t know what you did on Thanksgiving, but I hope if you have a family you came together for Thanksgiving rather than believe that you were bound before God to follow some ridiculous order. They may get more ridiculous, right?
So with common sense and with joy and with measure of grace, you do what is best for your family and what honors the Lord. Okay? Oh, was there a second question there? No, okay.
AUDIENCE: Minor or Major Prophets?
JOHN: Oh, the Major and Minor Prophets.
AUDIENCE: Which study?
JOHN: I just suggest to you a good way to start is just – and I’m saying this because it’s a simple approach – get your MacArthur Study Bible and read the introductions to the prophets, and then just read the book and go through the notes. So you don’t get too bogged down, start with the Minor Prophets. They’re not minor, that’s a bad term. They’re major messages, but shorter books. And I think it’s great. Read the introduction to each of the shorter prophet books, and then read the notes that help you understand the book, and you’ll be profoundly blessed going through the Minor Prophets. And when you’ve done that, you can tackle the big ones: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel. Okay?
AUDIENCE: Hello, Pastor MacArthur. My name is Trishon.
JOHN: Hi, Trishon.
AUDIENCE: I ask this question on behalf of some others, so I hope they’re listening. So when God created the heavens and the angels, He created them perfect and sinless, and there was no sin in heaven. So the question was, “How then was Satan able to sin against God?” and ultimately the question would be, “Is there anywhere in Scripture that refers to the will of angels?”
JOHN: No, there’s nothing that I can think of that refers to the will of the angels. All the holy angels do only the will of God, so they don’t have a will independent of God; and all the fallen angels’ is basically captive to their fallen condition.
The question of God creating angels and God creating a world without sin is, of course, the ultimate question; and there’s nothing that we can say that would really elucidate it. We can’t say that the sin of the angels came from inside, because they were holy. We can’t say that it came from the outside, because there was no sin on the outside. So that is the ultimate question.
God allowed it because He wanted to manifest His glory in redemption and grace and mercy and forgiveness, and that required sin. But as to the source of that, the Bible doesn’t tell us. But when it does identify that sin, five times you have Lucifer saying, “I will, I will, I will, I will, I will.” He willed to take the place of God, to overpower God.
So we can say then, on the basis of that, that sin did not come from anywhere outside, it came from inside Lucifer and the fallen angels who went with him; and it was an act of will. Somehow God allowed for those angels at that time to have the expression of their will. Once that was done, it was permanently solidified. The fallen angels are locked into their fallenness, and the holy angels are locked into their holiness. But what the Bible would simply tell us is it came from inside Lucifer, and he led the rebellion.
So the angels had a will to fall, and that’s all they will ever know everlastingly in the lake of fire. Holy angels have only the will to honor God. That’s all we know from Scripture. Okay? Good question.
AUDIENCE: Pastor MacArthur, my name is Gina.
JOHN: Hi, Gina.
AUDIENCE: Thank you so much, you and Patricia, for being such a wonderful example of a godly pastor and wife throughout this country and throughout the world. I’m from South America, and my question to you is, “Will the folks that did not have the mental capacity to know our Lord, or the children that have been aborted, will they be back in the millennium?”
JOHN: Sure. Everybody comes back in the millennium. Yeah, we all come back. He comes with the saints and the holy angels. So when our Lord returns at the end of the period of tribulation, comes in His second coming, He comes with His saints; all of the redeemed of all of the ages will come back.
AUDIENCE: Thank you.
JOHN: You’re welcome. Thank you.
AUDIENCE: Good evening, Pastor John. It’s nice to meet you. I’m Eric Molina.
JOHN: Hi, Eric.
AUDIENCE: I’m a Filipino American. And although I’m not a member of your church, I’m a lifetime supporter, because I attend the Santa Clarita Baptist Church in Newhall. And I came here with so much joy and providential, I believe, because I am scheduled to travel back home in the Philippines after 40 years. And I’m very, very active in evangelization. In fact, I want to thank you because I became a born again believer through hearing the gospel from you. I used to live here in 1980 and go to that church St. Genevieve.
JOHN: Oh, yeah.
AUDIENCE: And I became a believer through you. So I just want to let you know it’s like a closure for me coming into full circle. And I am retired, and I am setting up a radio station; it’s almost complete in the Philippines. My question has already been answered when I heard Pastor Sean announce that there is a Master’s Seminary group in the Philippines, because my coworkers, they are asking me, because they know there I’m here right now, and they said, “Make sure you ask if there is a Master’s Seminary contacts that we need,” and because Pastor, I’ve grown up through your ministry, although I’m not a member here; but I do belong as a community of believers in your church.
JOHN: Well, thank you.
AUDIENCE: And so I maybe have an opportunity later on to talk to the –
JOHN: Yeah, you need to talk to Sean.
JOHN: I mean, you’re not here by accident, right?
AUDIENCE: No, no, no.
JOHN: He said he’s – have you been up in this pulpit before, Sean? Not to preach.
AUDIENCE: I’ve been attempting to meet with you, but I know you are a busy servant of the Lord, and so I –
JOHN: If you’re going to the Philippines he’s your guy.
AUDIENCE: Right now. Thank you, Pastor.
JOHN: You’re welcome. Thank you.
Okay. What’s your name, sweetheart?
JOHN: What is it?
JOHN: Ruth. Oh, that’s a beautiful name.
MALE: What’s your question? Why don’t you look at him and tell him your question. You can do it.
AUDIENCE: How do I love Jesus?
JOHN: How do you love Jesus?
AUDIENCE: Or love God?
JOHN: Or love God? It’s the same deal. You know how you do that? Do you know how you love your dad and mom? By doing what they tell you to do, by being obedient. You know what obeying means? Do you know what it means to do what your mom and dad tell you to do?
JOHN: That’s how you love your mom and dad, and that’s the same way you love Jesus. “If you love Me,” He said, “you do what I tell you to do.” That’s how you show your love to Him. So when you read the Bible and you read something that Jesus wants you to, if you love Him, you obey Him. Okay?
JOHN: Okay. There’s some progress there, I think, Dad. All right.
Oh, we’ve got a few more left, huh. Okay, I guess we’re back over here.
AUDIENCE: He told me I wasn’t going to get to do this, so this is really a blessing. Pastor John MacArthur, I can’t tell you how great it is to be here, how blessed I feel, and thankful for your God-given courage to have a church that’s open so that we as believers can fellowship together and love and praise the Lord.
Just real quick: my passion to evangelize, talk to people, share; but I often find it hard to introduce a topic. And I have found that having a mask on, and it says, “Keeping my eyes on Jesus,” and I don’t even know I’m wearing it. So I’m in the grocery store, and people will come up and talk to me. So in some ways it’s turned out to be pretty positive thing.
JOHN: Well, that’s wonderful. You’re taking advantage of the opportunity. I’ve seen every kind of mask, but I haven’t seen that one.
AUDIENCE: Yeah, keeping my eyes on Jesus.
JOHN: Good for you.
AUDIENCE: So my question is – and my friends say I’m very – overthink it, so pardon me for that. When Jesus was buried, He was three days/nights in the heart of the earth, hades, the region of the dead before Christ’s ascension, right? So there’s two parts to hades. There’s paradise where the Old Testament saints are, or Abraham’s bosom, and then there’s a section for nonbelievers on torment. My question is, “Did He visit both sections of hades while He was there?”
JOHN: Yeah, that’s what we were saying earlier. Hades is just a term for the grave.
JOHN: So you have to define what you mean. So we said earlier that when Jesus died He met the thief in paradise; that’s the place where the righteous go. We also know in Colossians that He showed up at the celebration in hell and triumphed over demons in that very moment. They were celebrating His death, and He showed up alive and pronounced judgment on them.
So, yes, I think when He was dead He was with the thief in heaven, and declared His triumph over the demons in hell. That’s not a problem for Him; He is omnipresent, right?
AUDIENCE: Correct, yes.
JOHN: Good question.
AUDIENCE: Thank you.
JOHN: Thank you.
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