Participants: John Bradshaw
Series Code: IIW
Program Code: IIW001410A
01:30 ♪[Theme music]♪
01:40 ♪[Theme music]♪
01:49 >>John Bradshaw: This is It Is Written.
01:51 I'm John Bradshaw.
01:52 Thanks for joining me, in Zimbabwe, Africa.
01:55 And today you're not only joining me,
01:57 but the presenters from It Is Written Canada, Chris Holland,
02:01 and It Is Written Oceania, Gary Kent.
02:03 Gentlemen, thanks for joining me today.
02:05 >>Chris Holland: Glad to be here, John.
02:06 >>Gary Kent: Pleasure to be here.
02:07 >>John: I think this is the first time we've done anything
02:08 quite like this.
02:09 >>Chris: I think it is.
02:10 >>John: So, so thanks for making a little
02:11 It Is Written history today.
02:12 >>Chris: Yes.
02:13 >>John: Now, we're here for a purpose.
02:15 We want to open up the Bible together and, uh,
02:17 discuss one of the great chapters of the Bible.
02:20 Now, before we do that, the reason that we're in Zimbabwe
02:23 and not the United States or Australia or Canada
02:26 is because we've been here conducting Bible meetings
02:28 in the city of Gweru.
02:29 It's been a blessing, hasn't it?
02:30 >>Chris: It has been a tremendous blessing.
02:31 >>Gary: What a privilege.
02:32 >>John: Yeah, fantastic. But while we're here,
02:34 we'll open up the Bible and we'll discuss a subject
02:36 that I think's going to be a real blessing.
02:37 >>Chris: That sounds great.
02:38 >>John: Great chapters of the Bible.
02:40 Let's start with Matthew, chapter 5,
02:42 where we find the Beatitudes.
02:45 Matthew, chapter 5 and verse 7. How about reading that for us?
02:49 >>Gary: Blessed are the merciful,
02:51 for they will be shown mercy.
02:53 >>John: Okay. How do we apply that to contemporary life today?
02:56 >>Gary: It's, it's, it's interesting, John,
02:58 because here we are reminded of the reaping and sowing,
03:04 or sowing and reaping concept, that, uh, Jesus speaks about.
03:10 We're also reminded here that those who show mercy
03:15 will receive mercy.
03:17 And I think that the, the, this is also true that those
03:21 who know mercy will show mercy.
03:25 Those who've experienced forgiveness, mercy, compassion
03:29 in their life will be those who will share that with others.
03:33 >>John: Now, what we see here is that mercy
03:36 is, is obviously highly prized in the eyes of Jesus.
03:40 But mercy, or being merciful, is a characteristic of God Himself.
03:44 The Lord God, merciful and gracious.
03:48 So in the beatitudes Jesus is saying,
03:50 “Here's how to live,” saying, “Here's how to be.”
03:53 I think what he's saying is not go do this,
03:54 but this is what will happen when the presence
03:58 of the Holy Spirit is in your life.
04:00 God's plan is to remake us in His image.
04:03 And He says, this is a big one “be merciful.”
04:06 You touched on forgiveness.
04:07 Chris, talk about forgiveness for a little bit.
04:10 >>Chris: Well, you know, it's interesting.
04:11 Forgiveness, mercy, this, these are
04:13 just like we're talking about,
04:14 you know, big chapters of the Bible.
04:16 Mercy is a central theme of the Bible,
04:19 where God gives to us that which we do not deserve.
04:22 And in the context of forgiveness,
04:25 when we talk about forgiveness,
04:26 forgiveness means we're giving up our right,
04:28 so to speak, to retaliate.
04:31 And so the bible is quite clear, the wages of sin is death.
04:34 And so from a practical standpoint, we are deserving,
04:38 or the reward we've earned,
04:40 because we have all fallen short of the glory of God,
04:42 we've all sinned, is death.
04:45 But God in His mercy, according to Romans 5,
04:49 sent His Son while we were yet sinners,
04:51 so He would die for us.
04:53 God paid the penalty for us, giving us not what we deserve,
04:58 but rather, giving us what He desires in our life.
05:01 >>John: We're looking in Matthew 5,
05:02 and over in Matthew, chapter 6, Jesus was really clear.
05:06 He said, “If you don't forgive others, God won't forgive you.”
05:09 >>Gary: Yes
05:10 Now, that's, that's time to sit up and take notice.
05:13 This is, this is real Christianity.
05:16 This comes down to, why, this,
05:18 this rubs my fur the wrong way.
05:20 I want to retaliate.
05:21 I want to strike back.
05:23 God is talking about mercy and saying,
05:25 “No, no, show mercy, show grace to those who don't deserve it.”
05:28 There's a story that deals with this in Matthew, chapter 18.
05:31 And this is where Jesus said: The Kingdom of heaven,
05:33 is likened unto a certain king
05:35 who would take account of his servants.
05:36 You remember, there's this fellow who owed the king
05:38 an, a gargantuan sum, 10,000 talents.
05:42 It's a ludicrous debt that he has.
05:45 And he can't, he can't pay it,
05:47 but he falls down and worships the man,
05:48 and he says: "Lord, have patience and I will pay it".
05:52 The man was moved with compassion.
05:54 And he loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
05:57 A gargantuan debt.
05:58 >>Gary: Yes.
05:59 >>John: And then the same servant went out,
06:01 found one of his fellow servants that owed him a hundred pence.
06:04 Comparatively just nothing.
06:07 And he forced him to pay it.
06:08 The man said, “I cannot.”
06:09 He cast him into prison until he paid the debt.
06:12 Jesus was not impressed, as you might expect.
06:16 Now, now we've tied mercy to forgiveness.
06:19 I don't think that's wrong.
06:20 I think that's accurate.
06:21 But are there other ways to talk about mercy?
06:23 How do we show mercy on a daily basis.
06:25 Okay, somebody backs into your car in the parking lot,
06:27 and what are you supposed to do?
06:28 Hey, it's okay, I'll have mercy on you.
06:30 You could, right? You could.
06:33 >>Chris: Yeah, you know, you could have mercy by saying,
06:35 “Hey, this is okay.” And, and you know,
06:36 we have to understand that,
06:38 that sometimes you need to take the rightful course with things,
06:41 and exchange insurance.
06:43 But if somebody backs into your car and leaves a minor scratch,
06:48 do we really need to involve all that?
06:49 Can we just say,
06:50 “You know what? Hey, accidents happen. It's not a big deal.”
06:54 And so I think we can exercise mercy on a daily basis.
06:57 Let's bring it very close to home.
07:00 Our spouse says something unkind to us.
07:04 Do we kind of put that in our back pocket,
07:06 to be used in a later confrontation,
07:09 or do we exercise mercy and say,
07:12 “You know what? I'm gonna just leave that behind.”
07:15 >>John: Yeah, it's, it's, we look at God and we say,
07:18 “How did God treat people?”
07:20 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
07:22 slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
07:25 The concept is repeated in that one verse in the Psalms.
07:29 So it's important to God; ought to be important to us.
07:32 This is a character, characteristic of God.
07:35 This is a characteristic of God that God wants to see
07:37 demonstrated in our lives.
07:40 Sometimes you just got to swallow and move on,
07:42 or, or be big, and not make a big deal out of something small,
07:47 and let it go.
07:48 >>Gary: I think it's a, it's a, a personality trait,
07:52 a characteristic that is developed.
07:55 And as we understand the mercy we have been shown,
08:00 as told in that parable,
08:03 we are really under an obligation
08:07 to demonstrate a similar mercy to those
08:11 we come in contact with in everyday life.
08:14 Uh, if we've known mercy, we should show mercy.
08:18 >>John: So where do we find mercy?
08:19 If you want to know mercy, you go to the Bible.
08:22 You read the word of God.
08:23 You say, this is how God treated people.
08:24 This is how Jesus treated people.
08:27 There was a lady caught in the midst of sin,
08:30 dragged to the feet of Jesus.
08:31 They caught her in the act.
08:33 They, they set her up, really.
08:34 It was, it was a test to see how Jesus would handle her.
08:37 She was as, as guilty as sin.
08:40 And Jesus said, “I don't condemn you.
08:42 Go and sin no more.”
08:44 Man, we can be quick to condemn, can't we, people?
08:46 >>Chris: You know, and it's interesting,
08:48 in that story we often talk about the woman.
08:50 But there's another group that Jesus shows extreme mercy to,
08:53 and that is the Pharisees that bring her,
08:55 the religious leaders that bring her.
08:57 You'll remember, he ends writing in the sand.
08:59 And, and we can conclude that he
09:01 was writing their sins in the sand.
09:03 And I, I emphasize that word, sand, over and over again.
09:06 Because Jesus did not write their sins in stone.
09:08 He wrote them in sand.
09:10 The assumption is later the wind would blow that away,
09:13 and he exercised mercy because he was trying to reach them.
09:16 And ultimately, when Jesus was hanging on the cross,
09:20 he shows that mercy and that forgiveness by saying,
09:23 “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
09:25 >>John: Think of what Jesus did.
09:28 Man, he suffered long with Judas.
09:30 He could have tossed him out long ago.
09:33 God could have, could have scrunched up the planet
09:36 and tossed us in the universe's wastepaper basket
09:39 right back at the beginning.
09:40 Instead, he said, “No, my love for the human family is so great
09:44 that my Son will come and die so that they might live.”
09:47 This is just a huge concept, isn't it?
09:49 >>Chris: Absolutely.
09:50 >>John: And so God says to us:
09:52 Blessed are the merciful: and they shall obtain mercy.
09:56 It's a Bible truth and it's a, frankly,
09:59 a challenge to most, if not all of us.
10:02 With Gary Kent from It Is Written Oceania
10:05 and Chris Holland from It Is Written Canada,
10:07 I'm John Bradshaw.
10:08 We'll be back with more on one of the great chapters
10:10 of the Bible in just a moment.
10:19 >>John: Today, our free book offer
10:20 is for one of my very favorite books,
10:22 “Steps to Christ.”
10:24 Please call or write us, and
10:26 “Steps to Christ”
10:27 will be on its way to you.
10:29 There's no cost and no obligation.
10:32 Just call 1-800-253-3000,
10:35 and ask for the book “Steps to Christ.”
10:38 You may also request this free book by writing to
10:41 It Is Written, P O Box 6, Chattanooga, TN 37401.
10:47 And we'll mail a copy to your address in North America.
10:51 For immediate access,
10:52 you can download a free electronic version of the book
10:54 “Steps to Christ”
10:55 from our website,
10:59 It Is Written is a faith-based ministry
11:02 made possible by viewers like you.
11:05 If you wish to help the worldwide outreach
11:07 of It Is Written,
11:08 your tax-deductible gift may be sent to the same address.
11:12 Or you can make a gift online at
11:19 >>John: This is It Is Written.
11:20 I'm John Bradshaw in Gweru, Zimbabwe,
11:23 with Gary Kent of It Is Written Oceania
11:26 and Chris Holland of It Is Written Canada.
11:28 Together, we're taking on one of the great chapters of the Bible
11:31 at least a part of it.
11:32 We're looking at the Beatitudes.
11:34 And it seems to me, gentlemen,
11:36 that we are down to Matthew, chapter 5, verse 8,
11:39 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Chris?
11:42 >>Chris: You know, “blessed are the pure in heart,”
11:43 this is a very interesting thing,
11:45 because Jesus here is clearly not talking about somebody
11:47 having a clean heart with clean arteries,
11:50 but he's getting to this, this concept of the heart being the,
11:54 the inner man, the very essence of who someone is,
11:57 the very character.
11:59 And as you said earlier,
12:01 Jesus isn't saying this in a sort of works-oriented way,
12:05 but, rather, this is what someone looks like
12:08 who has received the grace and mercy of God,
12:11 and the Holy Spirit is actively transforming them
12:15 into the likeness of Christ.
12:16 >>John: Today, purity is not a virtue that too many people
12:18 hold up as being particularly important.
12:20 And we could run through the list of things in society
12:23 today to, to suggest that what we might call traditional values
12:28 basically gone out the window.
12:30 To be morally pure in this modern age,
12:34 um, how do I say this, seems to me might be a greater challenge
12:38 than years gone by.
12:40 Although if somebody wanted to be morally impure,
12:42 there's certainly many avenues for that, then.
12:46 But today, um, lax moral standards,
12:50 impurity, it's just everywhere.
12:52 What do you do to protect yourself against this,
12:56 this avalanche of impurity in the world today?
12:58 Gary, what do you, what does a person do?
13:00 >>Gary: Well, you're right,
13:02 Jesus is getting to the real heart of the matter here.
13:05 Our, our thoughts, the seats of who we are, what what drives us,
13:11 how do we build a,a wall, a fortress against this,
13:15 this flood that you've, you've been referring to?
13:18 I think it comes back to our relationship with Jesus Christ.
13:23 And, uh, that's, that's where it's centered.
13:25 And we've got to spend time with the Lord,
13:28 and we've got to build up a, a strong relationship,
13:33 which is our only defense, a relationship with Jesus Christ.
13:36 We've got to be covered by Him,
13:37 we've got to be dependent upon Him.
13:39 >>John: We've got to be careful about
13:39 what we're putting into our mind.
13:41 That, that's really important.
13:43 Think about that.
13:44 And then, what do you do when temptation comes?
13:45 Because it's going to come.
13:46 And you can do nothing and get swept away by it.
13:49 You can fight it in your own strength,
13:51 and you'll get swept away by it.
13:53 Or you can call on Jesus and say,
13:54 “Here's a temptation bigger than me.
13:56 I need your help.”
13:57 And that's that moment-by-moment dying to self
14:00 that's living by faith,
14:02 living by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
14:04 That's a constant connection
14:05 and a turning to Jesus in times of temptation.
14:08 But surely when
14:09 he's talking about purity in heart,
14:10 he's not just talking about moral purity,
14:13 but you can go deeper.
14:14 Motives, intents, how you treat people,
14:18 what you think when somebody crosses you, right?
14:22 These sorts of things.
14:23 >>Chris: And I was going to say, you know,
14:24 it's very interesting that the promise there is,
14:26 is “blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
14:29 The very original sin, from the devil to Eve,
14:34 is partake of this fruit which you've been instructed
14:37 not to partake of, and your eyes will be opened.
14:42 And, in fact, what that actually did is it
14:45 prevented Adam and Eve from any longer enjoying
14:50 fellowship with God face to face.
14:53 So sin actually does the very reverse
14:56 of opening our eyes to see God.
14:58 It closes our eyes from seeing God,
15:01 and so, as Gary was stating,
15:03 it is so vital to spend time in the Word.
15:06 You know, there's the verse that says,
15:07 “Resist the devil and he will flee you.”
15:09 How do we resist the devil?
15:11 By, by every word.
15:12 By studying God's word.
15:14 By filling, you know, there are some religions in the world
15:17 that talk about emptying yourself.
15:19 >>John: Mmm, that's right.
15:20 >>Chris: But the biblical reality is that we need to not
15:24 empty ourself but, rather, we need to fill ourselves so full
15:28 of the Word of God that nothing else can come in,
15:32 and that will lead to this purity in heart,
15:35 that we might commune with God.
15:36 >>John: Gary, you had a thought on this.
15:38 >>Gary: We we've been discussing the practical side of this,
15:41 the importance of resisting temptation
15:43 and finding the right way to do that, the biblical way.
15:46 And you've mentioned that well, Chris.
15:48 I believe that there's also a spiritual side to this.
15:51 As we are forgiven, we are cleansed.
15:54 We are purified through Jesus.
15:57 And it is when we are covered with his righteousness
16:01 that we will see God.
16:02 >>John: Mmm, beautiful thought.
16:04 Yeah, appreciate that.
16:05 Okay, let's look at the next, the next beatitude,
16:07 the next blessing.
16:08 Blessed are the peacemakers:
16:10 for they shall be called the children of God.
16:12 The peacemakers.
16:13 Who are the peacemakers today?
16:14 >>Gary: Well, if ever there was a time that we need peacemakers,
16:17 it's now.
16:18 And who is it that can bring peace,
16:21 not just to our personal troubled hearts,
16:25 but to our world?
16:27 It's the Prince of Peace, Jesus.
16:29 >>John: Jesus is the Prince of Peace, that's right.
16:31 Now, now, there's a,
16:32 there's a great lack of peace in the world.
16:35 Talking globally, in communities, country to country.
16:38 Just in our own lives, right?
16:40 Conflict everywhere.
16:41 And it seems, it seems,
16:43 maybe I'm just going after the low-hanging fruit here,
16:45 but it seems that, that people have a much lower threshold.
16:50 You know, we talk about road rage today.
16:52 That's really real.
16:53 People are very ugly and angry online, on the Internet.
16:57 Uh, day to day, daily lives,
17:00 man, there's just a lot of conflict.
17:03 Conflict at home.
17:04 And you talked earlier, Chris, about storing things up,
17:08 maybe for a later conversation with your spouse,
17:11 because that person crossed you.
17:12 Just better to let it go, right?
17:14 >>Chris: Yeah, and it's, and it's an amazing thing,
17:16 because we seem to be living at a time where peace is,
17:21 as you said, is this lower and lower standard.
17:23 And I actually believe we're actually seeing the fulfilment
17:26 of Matthew 24.
17:27 It's a verse we often overlook when we talk about
17:29 the signs of Jesus' coming,
17:31 but it talks about “lawlessness will abound.”
17:34 And then it says this:
17:35 and the love of many will grow cold.
17:38 >>John: Right.
17:39 >>Chris: And so what is the ultimate peace that can be
17:42 brought into someone's life?
17:44 And that is the experience of the gospel message
17:47 and true transformation into being like Jesus,
17:51 which is what the beatitudes are all about.
17:54 And so the peacemakers are those that don't just preach
17:58 the gospel but, rather, they live the gospel of Jesus
18:02 by encountering people,
18:04 and bring this level of peace espoused in the kingdom
18:09 through personal interaction.
18:11 >>Gary: As we experience peace in our own lives through Jesus,
18:16 by knowing Jesus and experiencing the peace
18:19 that comes with the removal of guilt, sin from our lives,
18:24 we're in a position then to share that peace.
18:27 And I think that's what Jesus talks about as he continues
18:29 and talks about his followers as being the salt of the earth,
18:33 the light, and so forth.
18:35 We are called upon as Christians
18:38 to bring peace to troublous situations.
18:41 And we can only do that if we've experienced
18:43 the peace of Jesus in our own lives.
18:45 >>John: And so part of that means if you're holding a grudge
18:47 against somebody, you've got to let it go.
18:49 If you want to wade into a situation,
18:51 straighten everybody out,
18:52 it's better to just suck it up and move right on.
18:55 If you want to right all of the wrongs in everybody's life
18:59 around you, eh, that's not what God has called us to.
19:01 He's called us to be like Jesus.
19:03 And the beatitudes are promises.
19:06 When Jesus comes into your life, you'll be like Him.
19:09 We'll be back with more in just a moment.
19:18 Announcer: In Matthew 4:4, the Word of God says...
19:20 "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone,
19:23 but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'"
19:27 “Every Word” is a one-minute, Bible-based daily devotional
19:30 presented by Pastor John Bradshaw,
19:33 and designed especially for busy people like you.
19:35 Look for Every Word on selected networks,
19:38 or watch it online every day on our website,
19:43 Receive a daily spiritual boost.
19:45 Watch “Every Word.” You'll be glad you did.
19:48 Here's a sample.
19:51 ♪[Theme music]♪
19:56 >>John Bradshaw: We know that God is holy, perfect, righteous.
20:00 And we know that God has big plans for us.
20:02 After all, Jesus told a woman one day to go and sin no more.
20:06 But how does a holy God relate to sinful people,
20:09 wicked people, even.
20:11 Look at Mark 16, verse 9. It says:
20:13 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week,
20:16 he appeared first to Mary Magdalene,
20:18 out of whom he had cast seven devils.
20:20 To have seven devils cast out of you means you've had to have
20:22 lived a pretty fearful sort of existence.
20:25 And yet, how does Jesus relate to a woman whose life
20:28 is marinated in sin?
20:30 After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to her first of all,
20:34 which says so much about how Jesus relates to sinful people.
20:37 If you've veered off the course into the rough of life,
20:40 know that God isn't finished with you.
20:43 I'm John Bradshaw for It Is Written.
20:45 Let's live today by every word.
20:55 >>John: Welcome back to it Is Written.
20:57 I'm John Bradshaw, with Gary Kent from It Is Written Oceania
21:00 and Chris Holland from It Is Written Canada,
21:02 and we're discussing the beatitudes.
21:04 And, gentlemen,
21:05 we're down to a very challenging passage of scripture.
21:08 Let's read through this one, three verses,
21:11 starting in Matthew, chapter 5, verse 10, says:
21:14 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness'
21:16 sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
21:19 >>Chris: Verse 11 continues:
21:20 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you,
21:24 and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
21:28 >>Gary: And verse 12 continues:
21:29 Rejoice and be glad because great is your reward in heaven,
21:34 for in the same way they persecuted the prophets
21:37 who were before you.
21:38 >>John: The Bible's a challenging book, isn't it?
21:41 And if you really want to think about this, this is a challenge.
21:44 >>Gary: Well, it deals with the nitty-gritties of life.
21:46 >>John: It really does. And look what Jesus said:
21:48 Blessed are they
21:49 which are persecuted for righteousness' sake
21:52 Now, I think we need to be careful here.
21:54 Persecuted for righteousness' sake.
21:56 A lot of people bring trouble upon themselves
21:58 because they act like fools.
22:00 And they cause trouble themselves.
22:02 That's, that's not what Jesus is talking about.
22:05 But how is that?
22:06 So you're persecuted
22:08 and you ought to be kind of happy about that.
22:10 Think about persecution in the world today.
22:12 In the western world,
22:13 not a great deal of religious persecution.
22:16 There's some, though.
22:17 But around the world, there are people really suffering
22:21 for their faith in God, aren't there?
22:22 >>Chris: You know, it's interesting, John.
22:24 When we talk about this issue of persecution,
22:25 its something that ought, also need to be careful of
22:28 is the idea that persecution is a requirement
22:31 for entry into Heaven.
22:33 We've talked about this with all of the beatitudes,
22:35 that the beatitudes are not necessarily requirements,
22:38 but, rather, what happens when a person is coming into
22:44 relationship with Jesus and being moved by the Holy Spirit.
22:48 Jesus says, to your question of the person
22:51 who is experiencing real, genuine persecution
22:54 and there are many places in the world where Christians
22:57 face persecution and death on a daily basis.
23:00 Jesus says, you can be happy.
23:01 This is not happiness that I ate a cookie and, oh, I feel good.
23:05 But, rather, this goes to the point of when we are with Jesus,
23:10 when we are following the ways of Jesus,
23:12 even when persecution comes, we can enjoy this,
23:17 this internal happiness, this internal joy
23:22 that we are in a relationship with Jesus.
23:25 And even though we're being persecuted,
23:28 God has an inheritance for us.
23:30 >>John: Yeah, there's an assurance, isn't there?
23:32 There's an assurance that we've got to carry
23:33 into every situation in life, Gary.
23:36 >>Gary: The other thing of interest as we come
23:38 to the last of the beatitudes,
23:40 the final blessing here, is that it's present.
23:44 When Jesus talks about, “Blessed are those who
23:47 are persecuted because of righteousness,
23:49 for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
23:51 Not something in the future,
23:52 but it's something that I think brings that assurance
23:55 that you've just spoken to.
23:56 Those who are being persecuted for Christ's sake,
23:59 for righteousness' sake, can experience the kingdom
24:02 and the blessings of Heaven in the here and now.
24:05 >>John: Yeah, that's a significant point, isn't it?
24:07 There are some people battling.
24:09 Uh, friends told me my father was baptized.
24:13 If he goes back to his home country
24:16 and practices Christianity, he will be killed.
24:19 That's pretty significant.
24:21 And when Jesus was talking about this back in his day,
24:23 persecution, the fires of persecution were just about
24:27 to start blazing, you understand.
24:29 >>Chris: Well, I mean, and I have pastor friends in Canada,
24:32 when they converted to Christianity,
24:35 the brother was beaten severely and cast out of the home,
24:39 totally disowned.
24:41 And this is not a hundred years ago,
24:43 this isn't fifteen hundred years ago.
24:45 We are talking in the modern time,
24:46 in the last 20, 30, 40 years.
24:48 And as you pointed out, Gary, theirs is the kingdom of God,
24:53 which is what the gospel does.
24:55 The gospel is not just a promise for hope in the future,
24:59 but it gives us hope now that we can experience the true presence
25:05 of Jesus in our lives every day,
25:08 even when we're persecuted such as what happens in countries
25:12 where people can be killed and things like that.
25:14 Or, you convert to Christianity,
25:17 you change your life, and your friends say,
25:20 “I don't want to be friends with you anymore.
25:21 I don't like your new ways.”
25:22 >>John: Right.
25:23 >>Chris: That, that, now, that's a minor persecution compared
25:25 to someone who's going to die.
25:26 >>John: That's tough to go through, though.
25:27 >>Chris: But it's still a practical reality
25:29 that people deal with.
25:30 And Jesus says, you can have peace.
25:32 Oh, and by the way, you can have joy.
25:34 You can have happiness by enjoying fellowship with me.
25:37 >>John: Now, we like to be liked.
25:38 Not too many people like to be hated.
25:40 And Jesus says you are “blessed when people revile you,
25:45 persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you
25:49 falsely for My sake.”
25:51 Who wants to be slandered?
25:52 You know, that's, defamatory.
25:55 We want to get up on our hind legs and defend ourselves.
25:59 Comes back to the question, where do you get your assurance?
26:02 Where do you find your comfort?
26:04 Um, where's your source of inner strength?
26:06 If it seems like the world is against you,
26:09 you've still got God.
26:10 See, this needs to become real in our lives,
26:13 this idea that, okay, they hate me, but I have hope.
26:17 The world's against me, but it's okay.
26:19 When is it okay?
26:20 It's okay if you know Jesus in a personal way.
26:23 >>Chris: And you know, John,
26:23 you and I share a bit of a same story
26:25 in that we were living outside of that,
26:28 that reality of being in Christ and having that internal joy
26:33 no matter what the circumstances.
26:35 >>John: Yeah. So where do you get it?
26:37 In Christ.
26:38 And if you look in the beatitudes,
26:39 Jesus is saying, if you come to me,
26:41 yield your life to me,
26:42 this is what's going to happen.
26:44 And with Christ living in your heart,
26:46 these characteristics of, of God,
26:48 God's character will be demonstrated in you.
26:50 You're going to live a life that exemplifies joy,
26:53 peace, happiness, uh, the blessing of God's presence
26:57 in your daily experience.
26:58 Gentlemen, thanks for being here.
27:00 Really glad we had the opportunity to do this together.
27:02 It's been a lot of fun.
27:03 >>Chris: Enjoyed it immensely.
27:04 >>Gary: Pleasure to be here, John.
27:12 >>John: Today, our free book offer
27:14 is for one of my very favorite books,
27:16 “Steps to Christ.”
27:18 Please call or write us, and
27:19 “Steps to Christ”
27:21 will be on its way to you.
27:22 There's no cost and no obligation.
27:24 Just call 1-800-253-3000
27:28 and ask for the book “Steps to Christ.”
27:32 You may also request this free book by writing to
27:34 It Is Written, P O Box 6, Chattanooga, TN 37401.
27:40 And we'll mail a copy to your address in North America.
27:44 For immediate access,
27:45 you can download a free electronic version of the book
27:47 “Steps to Christ” from our website,
27:52 It Is Written is a faith-based ministry
27:55 made possible by viewers like you.
27:58 If you wish to help the worldwide outreach of
28:00 It Is Written, your tax-deductible gift
28:03 may be sent to the same address.
28:05 Or you can make a gift online at
28:18 >>John: Matthew 5 is one of the great chapters of the Bible.
28:20 We looked at the beatitudes.
28:21 There's no question that God wants us to be blessed,
28:25 and he wants to shower his blessings upon us.
28:27 We've got a lot to be thankful for.
28:29 Gary, how about you pray for us.
28:30 >>Gary: Let's pray.
28:31 Dear heavenly Father, we thank you for the privilege
28:34 of being able to study your word here
28:37 in the heart of southern Africa.
28:39 And we thank you for the assurance,
28:41 the promises found in your Word, the Bible,
28:43 particularly here in the beatitudes that we have studied.
28:47 We thank you for the happiness that you bring into our lives.
28:51 Bless us now, we pray,
28:53 and be with each one of us,
28:54 we ask in Jesus' name,
28:57 >>John: Amen.
28:59 It's really been good.
29:00 Thanks so much, Gary Kent from It Is Written Oceania,
29:03 Chris Holland from It Is Written Canada.
29:05 Let's do this again sometime.
29:06 >>Chris: That sounds great.
29:07 >>Gary: Sounds good.
29:08 >>John: We're looking forward to seeing you again next time.
29:10 Until then, remember:
29:12 “It is written,
29:13 man shall not live by bread alone
29:16 but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
29:20 ♪[Theme Music]♪