Monday Morning Coffee with Mark

If you don't believe in hell....

October 16, 2023 Mark Roberts Season 3 Episode 48
Monday Morning Coffee with Mark
If you don't believe in hell....
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Welcome to the Westside church’s special Monday Morning Coffee podcast with Mark Roberts. Mark is a disciple, a husband, father and grand dad, as well as a certified coffee geek, fan of CS Lewis’ writings and he loves his big red Jeep. He’s also the preacher for Westside church.

Speaker 1:

Hello, and welcome to the Westside churches special Monday Morning Coffee podcast on this podcast, our preacher Mark Roberts will help you get your week started right. With look back at yesterday's sermon so that we can think through it further and better work the applications into our daily lives . Mark will then look forward into this week's Bible reading so that we can know what to expect and watch for. And, he may have some extra bonus thoughts from time to time. So grab a cup of coffee as we start the week together on Monday Morning Coffee with Mark.

Speaker 2:

Good morning. Good morning. Welcome to the Monday Morning Coffee podcast for Monday, October the 16th. Little bit of fall weather seems to be arriving here in the D F W Metroplex. There's crazy amounts of sports going on, all kinds of things with the Cowboys and the Rangers. We had a great day yesterday at West Side . We're making some adjustments in our Bible reading schedule. Hope you picked up a new reading schedule yesterday and now we're ready to think about yesterday's sermon and putting that into our life. We're talking about a new book of the Bible in our reading schedule. Wow, this podcast is loaded. Let's get started. So lemme grab a little bit of coffee here, which I just spilled. Wonderful, wonderful. That's not a great start on a Monday, is it? But this is great coffee. This is a Texarkana blend from a coffee roastery in Texarkana, and I really am enjoying that. And I really liked the sermon yesterday. I hope that you did too. It was very different because it requires a consistent train of thought and it talks about linking ideas together. If this is true, then this follows, and if that follows, then that follows. And then this follows. It's kind of like one Corinthians 15 where Paul deals with, Hey, you wanna say there's no resurrection? Okay, that's great you say that, but do you realize that would mean this? And then that would mean this and that would mean this. So you know, saying that there's no resurrection, that's really not so great. And if we decide that there is no hell, there are enormous consequences to that. And if you think through it, you can see through it pretty quickly. But more and more people just announced what they believe and that's it. They expect us to accept that belief and to accept them in that belief, even though there are gaping holes in their thinking. Flat Earthers can say whatever they want , but the world would be very different than the way it is if the world was indeed flat . And Christianity gets very, very different when we decide there is no hell. Now you can't bulldoze the globe and make it flat, but an awful lot of people have bulldozed the Bible and gotten rid of hell. And you need to know, and I need to know, I need to understand. You need to understand that fundamentally changes everything about the Bible, about salvation and about God. It even as I said yesterday, changes us hope. You'll continue to think on that and maybe share that lesson with somebody who needs to, who needs to do some consistent thinking on the most important kinds of issues, the matters of life and death eternity and where we will be in eternity. Hope that's helpful to you. Now let's think about Bible reading and yes, a big change. So welcome to Monday's daily Bible reading. And if you're looking at your reading schedule and saying, wow, we're gonna read half of Ezekiel chapter one. We're gonna read the first 14 verses of Ezekiel then, then you need to know you're holding the old reading schedule and you need to replace it. You're holding reading schedule version one. What you need is reading schedule version two. And the way you can tell the difference is version two is printed in red, that big green logo's gone away. Now everything is red and there's a lot of reasons behind all of that. The main reason being I just didn't like where we were going next in the old version. We were gonna spend only one week in the book of Ezekiel reading three chapters. That's just not nearly enough. And there just was not any Ezra and Nehemiah to help us get the context of Haggai and Zacharia's prophecies. And it's extremely cool to read in the book of Ezra. And then it says, Hey, these two guys showed up, Haggai and Zacharia , and they started preaching to us about how we need to do things different. And then we go read what Haggai and Zacharia said, but if you don't read the stuff in Ezra, Haggai and Zacharia just kind of showing up out of the blue and I don't think we'll understand their message as well. So I had to make some adjustments, gonna read a little faster in Zechariah for example. And we're moving out of the little chunks reading into into bigger readings. We're going to be reading a chapter a day for pretty much through the rest of the year. And that was necessary to get some of that in. And I just think we're gonna be helped by having a little bit more history. And I especially think more Ezekiel is a huge plus. I'm really appreciative. My wife of course helped me tremendously. Dina always is such a tremendous help in all those kind of things. Jonathan go lightly . And I talked about this at some length and he was very, very helpful. I was actually gonna do some reading in one place in Nehemiah and Jonathan was like, really? Maybe you ought to think about. And when I looked at it I was like, oh, he's completely right about that. So got some great help. We've got a new version, it's not really a new reading schedule. We had a new version, the red version version two different question in Q two. You might notice that on the back of your reading schedule as you're working with these chapters now. And instead of reading half of Ezekiel one, we're reading the whole chapter today. The reading's pretty straightforward this week. We're just gonna read the first five chapters of Ezekiel one per day for this week. So let's think about Ezekiel chapter one. So Ezekiel one verse one begins in the 30th year in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the exiles by the Kibar canal, the heavens were, and I saw visions of God on the fifth day of the month. It was the fifth year of the exile of King Jeha. And the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel, the priest, the son of Booza in the land of the Chaldeans by the Kibar canal. And the hand of the Lord was upon him there. So as we began in Ezekiel, it is clear that we are backing up chronology chronologically. We are going back to the beginning of the Captivities Daniel's book took us all the way through the 70 years of captivity. So get ready to go backwards. We're starting over. Daniel went into captivity in 6 0 5. Ezekiel is part of the captivity from 5 97 under King Jehan. That was the second deportation to Babylon, very large major deportation. And Ezekiel goes in that group. So verse two is dated 5 93, 5 92, somewhere around there. And of course that means when Ezekiel's writing here and seeing these visions, he still is looking back at Jerusalem because Jerusalem still stands, the temple is still there. That's a huge part of the book of Ezekiel. The temple won't be burned till 5 86. So this is 5 93, 5 86. Temple's got about seven more years before the Babylonians show back up because Judah's rebelling, it's not like they just decided, hey, let's just go burn their temple down. No, they rebel again despite the words of Jeremiah. Remember what we read in Jeremiah and the Babylonians do come and raise Jerusalem, burning the temple and Ezekiel will have a lot to say about that and why that's going to happen. Because the purpose of the book of Ezekiel is to inform the exiles why they were in Babylonian captivity and what God wanted them to do about that. The conventional wisdom was we are here for a short period of time. Remember Jeremiah dealt with some false prophets who were saying, Hey, we're coming home really soon. They broke the yoke and all of that. Ezekiel says, we're not coming home soon. We need to repent. That's why we're here. We need to learn that we were wicked and sinful and God has put us here so that we will be disciplined so that we will learn the lesson of faithfulness and holiness and treating God as holy, giving God glory as he and he alone deserves instead of worshiping and serving all these false gods. That's what the book of Ezekiel is all about. In fact, more than 60 times in the book of Ezekiel the phrase, you will know that I am the Lord is used. And you can't read that over and over again without realizing. Apparently some people don't know the Lord, do they? That's why Ezekiel has to keep saying this and this and this is gonna happen and then you will know that I am the Lord. So the book does open with a wonderful, wonderful introduction. These first three chapters really just get Ezekiel going, help him see what he needs to see to start with. And that opens with an incredible vision. It's like something outta the book of Revelation. Uh , check that revelations like something outta the book of Ezekiel. It's incredible vision of the throne of God. So verse four begins that as I look, behold a stormy wind came out of the north. Notice the imagery of storm and God riding on the clouds. And then here come these four living creatures. These are God's chariot bearers and they carry the throne of God. They are carrying God wherever he wishes to go, to see and to do whatever he wants to see and do. And the temptation here, of course, is to break down each of these four living creatures and talk about this represents this and that represents this and bronze means this and this means that. And we don't wanna do that at all. Don't do that at all. Think about it. Ezekiel didn't get to do that. Ezekiel does not get to hit pause on the D V R so that he can look at this image and think about, oh, look at that detail, look at that. Oh, I'm gonna look up and see what wings stand for. I'm gonna look up and see what Crystal verse 22 is. No, no. And absolutely not. He's taking it all in, in just this overwhelming vision. I would encourage you to do exactly the same. Just read it. Just read it and try to stand in Ezekiel sandals and think, what would I be saying? What would I be doing? I wouldn't be looking at every detail. I'd be falling on my face before God because the appearance verse 28 is of the glory of the Lord. God is coming. Look, it is the Lord, it's the Lord. That is what we need to get out of this. That's what we need to see. Note particularly verse 22, that the writer is separate from the chariot. These are God's chariot bearers if you will. And so God is above, he is not them. They are his servants. They're doing his bidding to bring him to Ezekiel where he can charge Ezekiel and commission Ezekiel to do his work. Just let this vision wash over you with its power and with its might. And if you come away with this falling on your face, verse 28, you got to the right place. His vision has been terribly misused. All kinds of things get cranked out of this. There's a guy in East Texas who used the wheel within a wheel to construct a flying machine. I am not making this up. Shout out to all of you who are from Pittsburgh, Texas and you know who you are. And he had this flying machine and it was the Ezekiel flying machine, the Ezekiel airship it's called. You can Google it. And he claims that he flew before Orville and Wilbur Wright. Well, I don't know if he did, but I know this. That is not what Ezekiel chapter one is about. It's not about how to construct an airplane, it's about God the Almighty comes to Ezekiel and is ready to speak to him. We'll read that tomorrow. Chapter two. Welcome to Tuesday. And we are reading Ezekiel chapter two, really short chapter here. This is the commissioning of Ezekiel very much in concert with how prophets are often commissioned throughout the Old Testament. I'm thinking about Jeremiah, I'm thinking about Isaiah. They have an encounter with God. God gives them their marching orders and that starts with verse one, son of man. This is the normal title for Ezekiel. It's used 80 90 times to refer to him. It's not used elsewhere in the Old Testament except for Daniel's usage in Daniel seven in verse 13. We talked about that Daniel eight in verse 17 as well. We talked about that when we were in the book of Daniel. It becomes Jesus's favorite designator. He loves to call himself son of man because in in that phrase, Jesus gets both his humanity and his deity, he steps into the figure of Daniel chapter seven and says, that's me. But Jesus is also fully man while being fully God. I think here it's just re referencing for Ezekiel that he is a human. That that he , you know, man person, this is who you are in. In contrast to the greatness and awesome glory of God. He's not an angel, he's a son of man. He's a human. The spirit enters him. Verse two, notice that the spirit empowers him to proclaim the message. So often the filling of the Holy Spirit in the, in the Old Testament and in the New Testament has to do with being given the power to accomplish God's word. Think about that. The next time somebody wants to talk about being spirit filled and they're getting crazy and doing silly things, that's not how that works biblically. And so I'm sending you verse three to the house of Israel and that's interchangeable terminology for Judah and Israel to use that way throughout the Old Testament. Of course at this time the 10 tribes, if you wanna get super specific about that, the 10 tribes are gone. This is just the House of Israel referencing the tribe of Judah in Babylonian captivity and they are in rebellion. Hard for me to put my, hard for me to put my mind to that. How can you be in rebellion when, when, when you are in captivity? What is going wrong with these people but they are impotent. Verse four and stubborn. You would think they would be broken and humble. They are not. And Ezekiel's gonna see that in spades. Notice especially the term rebellion here. It's gonna be used a lot in the book of Ezekiel and it describes people who are openly defiant of God. Don't think for a moment that these people are in Babylonian captivity because they made a tiny mistake. They transgressed the fine print, they didn't read all the little bitty caveats and somehow they missed it a little bit. And so next thing you know, wham, they're in Baab . No, these people chased idols and profane God's temple and they are verse six going to persecute Ezekiel when he brings them the true word of God. And they're not verse seven gonna want to listen to him. In fact, his words, maybe this is why they don't wanna listen to him, are going to be words of destruction due to their wickedness words. Verse 10 that cause lamentation and whoa , more on that in chapter three, which we'll read on Wednesday, if you're part of the West Side Church and you're listening to the podcast, I hope you'll join us tonight on the zoom call where we'll work with chapter two, we'll work with the questions are on the back of your reading schedule. These zoom calls, these zoom states have been incredible as people share and we pray together. Don't miss that. And you can go to the West Side family page and get the zoom links and so forth. If you're not part of the West Side family and you're thinking, I would love to be a part of that. Oh , we kinda like to have you two but, but that's really a family thing because we begin with some family news and family notes and praying for things that are going on among the west side congregations. It is really just for us. But if you are a member of the West Side Church, don't Miss Tuesday Zoom. Call at seven. That said, let's get ready for Ezekiel chapter three and more of this eating of the little book. See you tomorrow. It is Wednesday, it's hump day and we're reading Ezekiel the third chapter. The commissioning of Ezekiel continues here with the eating of the book and that reminds us of Jeremiah. He ate the book in Jeremiah 15 and verse 16. And it does remind you of the book of Revelation, doesn't it? Because John does the same thing in Revelation chapter 10 verses eight, nine and 10. I think I said recently that brother Homer Haley often would say, we need to spend our time, our first 50 years reading Ezekiel and Daniel. And then once you've done that for the first 50 years of your life, then you can go read the book of Revelation. Of course he did not mean that literally. But the more you read Daniel, and the more you read Ezekiel and the more you get comfortable with this and instead of being hyper detailed and trying to make something out of every little bit of detail, you just let these visions happen in front of you and overwhelm you the way they do, Daniel, the way they do Ezekiel, the more prepared you are when you get to the book of Revelation, say, oh I've I've , I've seen this before. I know how to read this stuff. You , you just let it energize you and just let it pour over you to see the big picture, to see the big thing that God is doing. And what God is doing is sending Ezekiel to people verse seven, who don't want to listen, who don't want to repent. That's why they are in captivity and they are going to be hard hearts, hard hearted people verses eight and nine. But Ezekiel still needs to speak the truth. He gets lifted up and transported then in verses 12 and 13 and you just can see he's overwhelmed. Verse 15 with the call of God. This is not something that he takes lightly. He's so impressed with the glory of God and the message of God. And so he begins to be the watchman. Verse 17, he's gonna speak like a watchman, warning people of their iniquity, warning the wicked of the judgment of God. That's gonna be his role. And if he doesn't do that, then God's going to hold him accountable. He has to deliver God's message. The hand of the Lord is a pawning in verse 22 and he sees the glory of God again, verse 23. That's a reminder of the vision, a reminder of the commissioning. And then we get this odd little bit verse 26 about being mute. What do we make of Ezekiel's Muteness? I don't think it means total speechlessness. He's unable to speak. I think it refers to Ezekiel remaining mute except when God gave him a message, he's only gonna speak what God tells him to speak. It's not Ezekiel making this up, it's what God has given to him. When I speak, I will open your mouth for 27. You have a message from God, you need to speak my message and nothing else. That doesn't mean that when Ezekiel goes to the coffee shop, he's unable to order. He can't say, I want a latte when when he goes to Chick-fil-A. Of course not on Sunday. Um, he can't order a chicken sandwich. It just means he's gonna speak God's message and God's message alone was Chick-fil-A closed on the Sabbath in Ezekiel's day. I'm thinking about that tomorrow. We'll read in Ezekiel chapter four as we continue the beginning of this mesmerizing and dramatic book. Welcome to Thursday, and we're reading chapter four, and it's time for Ezekiel to get down to business. Let's hear this message or maybe more appropriately, let's see this message that these rebellious captives in Babylon will not welcome and the message will be done with a visual aid. Chapter four verse one. Son of man, take a brick and lay it before you and engrave upon it. A city even Jerusalem. Put siege works against it. Verse two, build a siege wall, cast a mound, set camps, plant, battering rams. Place an iron wall between you and the city. Verse three, and set your face toward it. Let it be a state of siege. Press the siege. This is a sign for the house of Israel. So despite the fondest hopes of the people in captivity and the words of the false prophets in Jerusalem and the words that they sent to Babylon, Jerusalem would be attacked. And besiege over and over Ezekiel carries out this acted out message, this visual aid to try to hammer home the point the people back there in Judea are wicked and God is going to bring another wave of judgment, a devastating wave of judgment in which God's house itself will be burnt to the ground. And so he's going to act out this battle scene, the siege warfare for 430 days. I don't think that means that Ezekiel is laying there 24 7 for 390 days and then 40, I know maybe Ezekiel comes out and does this for an hour or two and and every day Ezekiel's doing this over and over again and people are passing by and what are you doing? And then he has a chance to give the message of destruction. That message of lamentation, mourning and wo God is going to bring judgment on the holy city. So there's 390 days and then there's 40 days verse six. It's very difficult to know exactly where we're going with that and and different scholars have proposed different ideas. The Sept version actually uses different numbers, 190 and 150 and you can add 'em and subtract 'em. And assy carried away Israel in 7 22 and and Judah was carried away in 5 97, or maybe you want to carry 'em away in 5 86 when the city was burned and then they come home in 5 39. It gets, it gets difficult. I really like the idea that one writer proposed that if you get three 90 and 40 together, you get four 30 and 430 years is the time that Israel was in in Egypt. And there's lots in the prophets about a second exodus when they come home from Babylonian captivity. So maybe that's where that's going. Then of course there's some special verse nine. There's a special diet that Ezekiel is going to be on as he's doing this. This is about a half a pound of bread and two pints of water. And in a revolting, terrible way, verse 12, you bake your barley cake with human dung . That would just be absolutely stomach turning to someone like Ezekiel who was a priest. Remember, he is a priest. There's no way that he could possibly do that, that would make the bread unclean just the way you prepared it. So Ezekiel begs, please, I've never defiled myself. Uh , can we do something different? And God graciously relents in verse 15. But the point of this is that during siege, people don't get to eat the way they want to eat. There's never enough food and there's never enough firewood and people end up doing terrible things like cooking, using human dung , which would defile the food that you are eating. The scene in chapter four is a terrible scene, a terrible scene of dismay, verse 17, and people who are being punished more on this as it continues into chapter five. We'll talk about that on Friday. It is Friday and we are reading Ezekiel chapter five. We made it through the week. And now we're reading in Ezekiel the fifth chapter. Once again, Ezekiel uses a creative method, a visual aid. I love this, I love this. This idea that the only way to teach people God's word is to stand perfectly still never raise your voice, never use any kind of interesting illustrations that's completely done away with. If you come to the book of Ezekiel, Ezekiel's always doing stuff to get attention. Hey, look at this. What is that guy doing? He's shaving his head. You can't shave your head if you are a priest. Leviticus 21 verse five, that probably represents mourning going into captivity. And then the hare is used in verse two to show one third are going to die inside the city. That Jerusalem's being besieged, one third's gonna die by the sword and then even that last third's gonna lose part of its people as they head off into captivity. This is all explained in verse 12 specifically, but God's accusation against the people is clear in verses six and seven, Jerusalem has responded to being blessed by God, by rebelling against God. And now verse eight helps us see that the judgments of the law of Moses, the covenant of Moses is going to be executed against these people. That's where we began the year. Deuteronomy chapter 28, that's what we read to start everything. I'm so glad we began there. We read everything in Deuteronomy chapter 28, 29, 3, 31, 32. We read all of that to get set for a year when we would see God's people fulfill exactly what Moses said they would do. And then God do exactly what he said he would do when his people went into apostasy. Note is well verse 13, you shall know that I'm the Lord. I think that's the first time that phrase is being used here in Ezekiel and it's gonna be used a gazillion times. In fact, more than 60 times it will be used in the book of Ezekiel. Notice verse 15. I want the nations around you to see what happened to you so that they will know that I am God. Verse 17, I am the Lord. I have spoken. This is not seeing and be happy by any stretch of the imagination, but it helps us know God and draw close to God 'cause it helps us take sin seriously. It helps us think about repentance. That's what Ezekiel's all about. We're gonna continue in the book of Ezekiel. I'm so glad we've already read five chapters and this is just tremendous material. We're gonna keep going in the book of Ezekiel. It's gonna help us draw closer to the Lord. Well thank you for listening to the podcast. If you love the Monday Morning Coffee podcast, we certainly would like for you to follow or subscribe to the podcast rate and review it as well. That helps more people find it. And I hope that you would tell somebody else about the podcast that's a help to them and a help to the show. So until next week, may your coffee be delightful. I hope your Friday is wonderful and I hope that the Lord will be with you today all day. I'm Mark Roberts and I want to go to heaven and I want you to come to see you on Monday with a cup of coffee.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to the Westside church of Christ podcast. Monday morning coffee with mark . For more information about west side , you can connect with us through our website, just and our Facebook page. Our music is from that's upbeat with two P'S UPP , B E A T , where creators can get free music. Please share our podcast with others. And we look forward to seeing you again with a company coffee, of course, on next Monday.

Sermon Notes
Monday Ezekiel 1
Tuesday Ezekiel 2
Wednesday Ezekiel 3
Thursday Ezekiel 4
Friday Ezekiel 5