Episode 16

It’s Time for Christians to Get Serious

Eric Metaxas makes it abundantly clear: “If you really love God, you’ll not be able to shut up about it.” All of us are called to seek and save the lost, just like Jesus, in the midst of our chaos.

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Show Notes

“If you really love Jesus,” guest Eric Metaxas says, “you will not be able to shut up about it.” Be encouraged to believe what God says and to seek and save the lost like Jesus did — even in the midst of our nation’s current craziness.

Host Barry Meguiar is a car guy and businessman who hosted the popular TV show, Car Crazy, on Discovery Networks for 18 years. He loves cars, but he loves Jesus even more!

Hear from guest Eric Metaxas:

Eric Metaxas is the New York Times #1 bestselling author of Fish Out of Water, Martin Luther, If You Can Keep It, Bonhoeffer, Miracles, Seven Women, Seven Men, and Amazing Grace. He has written more than thirty children’s books, and he is the host of the Eric Metaxas Radio Show — a nationally syndicated radio program heard in more than 120 cities around the U.S.

Learn more about:

Visit Why Share on IgniteAmerica.com to learn why it is important for every believer to faithfully live God’s Great Commandment as a means to help move everyone, every day closer to Jesus. Faith Sharing Stories are video stories of people just like you having fun sharing their faith and helping to provide the spark of revival. Sign up to receive emails that will bring you practical faith-sharing tips and powerful inspiration.

Episode Transcript

Barry Meguiar 

Welcome back to this episode of Ignite. We like having this guy next to me, Eric Metaxas. We get together once in a while. And it’s always profound. And it’s always I mean, I always end up having rib sores from laughing so hard when we’re off camera. You were one of the silliest guys. I know.

 

Eric Metaxas 

Thank you.

 

Barry Meguiar 

And you know, that’s true.

 

Eric Metaxas 

Yeah.

 

Barry Meguiar 

You enjoy having fun and Jesus enjoyed having fun.

 

Eric Metaxas 

Well, listen, you know, let’s, let’s, here’s a little secret. God invented fun. He invented humor. This is not like some side thing. Like the most wonderful things in the world, he, he didn’t just create them, he invented them. And so let’s stop kidding ourselves. If there’s something that’s wonderful, like, like humor, it’s from God.

 

Barry Meguiar 

We can’t beat people into heaven, folks, we just can’t do that they see us as religious that were so holy, would you just, he said they’ll know your’re my discipled by your love, and when you love on people, and you experience God flowing through you, it’s going back to Scripture, you’ve heard me mentioned many times, but Isaiah 4310, most Christians don’t have faith today they’re worrying. Over 80% of all Christians are worried today. If you’re worried you don’t have faith. And if you don’t have faith, you can’t share your faith. So how do you have faith? You know what he said? He said, I appointed you, Isaiah 43:10, he said, you’ve heard this many times, I can’t say it enough. He actually defines why we’re supposed to share our faith. And Isaiah 43:10, and look it up. He says I appoint you as my witness, so that you will believe because when you share when you love on people, you can’t orchestrate those conversations. You can’t pull off recitations or three points or whatever, every conversation is different. So when you rely on Luke 12:12, who’s which, which says, My Holy Spirit will give you the words to say when you need them. And you find yourself in these conversations, all of a sudden, a scripture comes to mind that you hadn’t thought of for years, or a life experience or something. And it’s usually what’s in your database that you wouldn’t normally remember. But God supernaturally brings it gives you the right word at the right time you walk away, say, Wow, God just orchestrated that conversation. You just use me, you spoke through me, there, I don’t think there’s any other way in the human existence to have that kind of fellowship of intimacy with God. And when you have those experiences you can have on a daily basis, that’s what you have real faith and joy.

 

Eric Metaxas 

If you don’t, if your faith is not flowing out of you, you don’t have much faith, let’s I mean, we can only lay it down, right? There’s a scripture many people know this. And think of the gift that God gives us in this scripture, he says, Be anxious for nothing, but in all things by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, make your question, okay? What God is saying to us is that if you’re worried if you have anxiety, you’re sinning, you’re out of my will, period. He says the moment and you’ll have many reasons to worry and to be anxious, he says, that’s fine. But the moment you experienced that, worry, that anxiety, take it to me immediately. Do not allow yourself to worry, to be anxious, as soon as you are anxious, as soon as you worry, take it to me immediately. Knowing that I love you, knowing that I want you as my beloved child to bring it to me bring it to Daddy, don’t don’t worry about it yourself. I think we have to remind ourselves of that constantly. Because the temptation to have fear in people’s head, they’re all these reasons. There may be reasons, but God still says it’s a sin. He still says I don’t want you to do that. If you care about what I want. And I’m God, and I love you. And then I’m telling you, Be anxious for nothing. So the moment you have your good reasons to be anxious, it’s like fine, take them, bring them to me in prayer and say, Father, this is this is killing me help me with this, but do not be filled with anxiety or worry or fear. The moment you you, you allow yourself to do that you’re out of God’s Will you you, you know, we break his heart. We forget he loves us so much that we can break his heart by by completely ignoring what he says. And so he gives us that scripture. I mean, it’s kind of funny, because this ties into what you wanted to talk about. Right now in our country we’re going through a tough time. And I think a lot of people, including Christians, they don’t know how to respond to it. They don’t know what’s going on. And because I wrote a book about Germany in the 1930s and what happened to the church in Germany in 1930s. I feel like I have a perspective on it. And I believe that let’s be hinest, God wants us to learn from the past.

 

Barry Meguiar 

Can I jump in? Can you hold that thought just for second?

 

Eric Metaxas 

Yeah.

 

Barry Meguiar 

Fear over 80% of Christians are in fear. Okay. I think that’s Satan’s number one tool. Yeah, against the church.

 

Eric Metaxas 

It is.

 

Barry Meguiar 

Because if you have fear, you don’t have faith. If you if you don’t have faith, you can’t share your faith. So it occurred to me a little while back, that it’s really his way of sterilizing us. So we can’t reproduce. The church is not reproducing itself. We’re dwindling in numbers. And we’ve gone silent. And why is the church gone silent? I’m not talking about the church I’m talking about us. I’m not talking about the organized church, I talking about us we’ve gone silent. Why? Because we’re in fear. If you’re in fear, you don’t have borders. You don’t have faith and without faith, it’s impossible, please God. And that is where people back in, I think there’s a relationship between what was going on in World War Two, Germany and what’s going on now. So I hear you’re going there just there’s sterilization. Does that make sense?

 

Eric Metaxas 

Well I, I think that it’s what you’re saying earlier is that if you really believe in Jesus, you will not really be able to shut up about it. You will, it will come out of you. It’s okay. So you can’t fake it. You can’t say, Well, I believe it up here. If you really do believe it you will behave as though you believe it. You won’t just say well, I believe it up here. But I’m having a hard time. If you if you know, he defeated death on the cross if you know he loves you, if you know that what he writes to us in the Bible is true. If you really do know those things, you’re going to live differently. It doesn’t mean you won’t have hard times. But when you have hard times, you’ll respond differently. I think, right now. We’re going through unprecedented strangeness in our culture, unprecedented difficulty, unprecedented madness has been unleashed in America, and I think most people don’t know quite where to turn. And so I think the first thing we have to say is listen, folks, God is not caught by surprise. God is even allowing that craziness. No, he’s allowing this to drive us to him.

 

Barry Meguiar 

Yeah, absolutely.

 

Eric Metaxas 

This scripture says, and again, when you know, when you save the scripture says this is like math. This is like, you know, this is not optional. This is fact. The Bible says all things work together for good for those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. Now, why does God say that? It’s the same thing where why does He say Be anxious for nothing, but in all, the why he says that for us to say, no matter what is happening, I’m here to tell you to promise you that no matter how bad it is, and you can take this to the bank, I will use it for good for you. And and if if you’re walking with me, and you are looking to me, in the midst of the difficulty, I will use the ugliest thing you can imagine. To bless you, to bless people through you. Now we need to know that’s true. We can’t say oh, that’s a nice idea. No, that’s actually blasphemous. You need to know that’s what God says. And it’s what is it? Romans 8:28. Right?

 

Barry Meguiar 

Romans 8:28 A feature by saying if you live for my purpose, everybody knows there’s no there’s no disagreement by any of the theologions about what God’s purpose was, he came to seek and save the lost. And so when we live our lives, to seek and save the lost, we will live our lives to move everybody to everyday closer to Jesus, that’s just a way of life. And when you really love the Lord, you do it automatically. It just it’s like breathing. When you’re in that zone, you’re living in the fog. You’re living in the favor of God. And it’s so simple. But wouldn’t you do that? Well, there’s there is a cycle, isn’t it? I mean, you, you do that? You share your faith that you have more faith, and He blesses you more, and you’re more excited. You can’t keep it to yourself, it gets bigger and bigger. And

 

Eric Metaxas 

That I mean that scripture again, I think I think how God must love us. It’s overwhelming that he gives us the scriptures to say no matter how bad things get. He says, Look, all things work together for good for those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. So if you’re walking with God, and sharing your love of God with others, and if you’re doing all those things, no matter what happened, God will use it to bless you to bless people through you. But But the thing is Barry, we need to know this. We can’t say it’s a nice idea. I hope that’s true. The Bible says it so unless God is a liar, let’s break it down. Unless God has liar. That’s true. And to not believe it is really to be sinful, it’s to hurt. It’s the break God’s heart to say like, I don’t know, that’s a nice idea. I don’t know. So I kind of feel like things are, when things get crazy it’s one way of God driving us to choose, do I really believe this? Or don’t I? So a lot of people who are today maybe they’re being silent, or they’re hanging back, I’m here to say, God has allowed these difficult things to happen, to drive us to, to actually believe to stop hanging on the edges of belief, and to believe and to start to do that, and to start sharing our faith as though it’s true. Because here, here’s it’s true.

 

Barry Meguiar 

It’s just we have, we have about 30 million, about 10% of America are already God loving Christians like us, okay. And Muslims are so close, have a victorious life. But God is sterilizing you with fear is good you were you just have a hint of doubt. And you just you want more you know, you want more in your life, you want to have victory, you want to have fun and, you want to have an adventure, but you don’t quite know how to do it, share your faith, living for God’s purpose, opens the door. And he says, When you share your faith, I appoint you as my witness so that you will believe and when you believe you can’t hold it back. And that’s what this whole thing about the whole ministry of Ignite is about. And Eric says a better far better than me, you’ve lived it. You you open it up. And you know, it’s true. And it’s so wonderful to have. That’s what I guess one of the reasons we get along so well. We share a common

 

Eric Metaxas 

We need to encourage each other in this stuff. And I think that, listen, I really understand that people are wondering what’s going on. And I think that in history, and this is why I think my Bonhoeffer book has resonated with people because they, they think, look at this, that God allowed this madness, to come into Europe and all this evil and all this. But it gives you a picture of what would it look like to believe in Jesus in the midst of that madness? What would it look like? Well, I’ll tell you what it would look like it would look radically different than the way most people most so called Christians live, live their lives. And God wants to inspire us and to say, I want you not just to say you believe or to hope you believe, but to know these things are true. And to walk in that with no fear of death with no fear of anything. With the joy of knowing that God loves me and God wants to use me in the midst of the craziness. I really think sometimes people do look at circumstances, the circumstances should drive us to Jesus. We shouldn’t let the circumstances drive us away from Jesus and into this paralysis.

 

Barry Meguiar 

Yeah.

 

Eric Metaxas 

So I would say I believe revival is already happening in America, because there are people who, because of the craziness are finally saying what’s going on? Right. That’s right.

 

Barry Meguiar 

There’s millions, that would not have been would not be praying now had things gone differently. And they were at peace and tranquelity.  So I’ve not heard you say this specifically on your programs. It’s easy for me to say specically, and we haven’t talked about it personally, but is there a relevance between World War Two German Christians?

 

Eric Metaxas 

Yeah.

 

Barry Meguiar 

And 2022? American Christians, is there a relevance?

 

Eric Metaxas 

Well, there are, there are many parallels, but the central one is this. Bonhoeffer, you know, who was a German pastor in the midst of this, the madness of the Nazis taking over Germany. He was trying to wake up the church, he was saying to the church, Hey, Church, if you do not live out your faith now, right now, tomorrow, you won’t be allowed to. So you’ve got to live out your faith. Now live it as though it’s true today. Stand up to the tyranny, stand up to all of these things without fear. But if you don’t, then tomorrow, you won’t be able to, so it’s kind of like somebody says, like, spend your money for God’s purposes today. Because tomorrow, the government will take it away from you, you you won’t even have the choice tomorrow. So you better get serious now. The freedom you have today, you better use that freedom to speak truth or tomorrow it will be taken away from you the so the story of what happened in Germany in the 30s is that the church basically did not heed the prophetic call that Bonhoeffer was was giving to them. And they experienced what it’s like to say not yet. We’re gonna keep silent. Just a little more. We’re not ready. We’re not ready. We’re just gonna hang back, see how it goes, and then suddenly the window was shut and the opportunity to do the right thing had passed. I believe God gives us the story of Bonhoeffer and the German church in the 30s as a warning to us, and when I say a warning, I mean a warning folks, meaning that he’s basically saying exactly what happened to them exactly what happened to them will for sure happen to you, and to the church in America, unless you learn this lesson, and don’t do what they did. If you use your voice today, as though you won’t have it tomorrow, because you won’t. If you use your money, your talents, your energy, all of these things, for my purposes today with zero fear, then I will bless you, and you’re going to see things you can’t imagine. If you don’t, if you say not yet, not yet, not yet. In a moment, the opportunity will go away. And you will realize that there was a window, the window was now shut. And now you have to deal with the consequences. The German church in Germany has for 80 years been hanging its head in shame, for failing to believe God and to act as though he had defeated death. And as though he wanted them to speak out. And there’s only one way to live. That’s the way to live. But God doesn’t enforce us. And so he gives us these warnings from history and the story of Germany in the 30s, to meets the ultimate warning, because the parallels with today are so dramatic, I won’t go into them. But there’s so dramatic, that if you pay the slightest attention, you will see, God is speaking to us through the story.

 

Barry Meguiar 

That this is a definitive message for American Christians today. The Bible makes it very clear that unbelievers are blinded by Satan. And 80% of America is blinded, it is spiritual deception. I mean, how else can you can write otherwise bright intelligent people want to promote all the crazy stuff that’s going on today. And politics can’t change that. It just can’t. Well, as much as I’m a political junkie, and we do our things in that world. But that’s not going to really change this. You can’t fight a spiritual war with politics in the minds of man and, and, and you and I, we can’t change the world. But but we can change our worlds. Each of us has influence. And it’s not a political thing. I would say that the most patriotic thing we can do today is to lead people to Jesus. Because every time we lead somebody to Jesus, the scales come off their eyes. Until we do that, they have scales on their eyes, they see evil for good, a good for evil. The scriptures actually say that, even to the church. We’re seeing things going the church, we can’t believe that in the last days, there’s a great falling away. I mean, we’re, I mean, we see all this stuff going on this is this is a spiritual attack. And I believe what you believe revival is starting because of it, not in spite of it, but because of it. And we’re asking for revival to start in you. Okay. And it’s not about getting on a soapbox and preaching. It’s not about, well, you can support all the political stuff, that’s fine, but the fact of the matter is 80% of the people you’re with every day are lost. And they don’t know there’s a God who loves them. They just they don’t know. I was with a star from a television series. It’s very popular right now that she is just despicable. And I have breakfast with my wife and and I said I’m a Christian I watched your show. And and I amazed by your role. She says, everybody tells you I’m evil. And I said, Well, yeah, but you’ve also told the story of how broken you are. And there’s reasons that’s coming out and as that the role you’re playing that person doesn’t know that there’s a God who loves them that has that wants to be in heaven, she says to be Wow, you’re a Christian I like to spend time with. We need to be Christians that people want to spend time with. And it’s not about getting their scalp or getting saved today. It’s it’s just loving on them. Just love on them. And when they see your love is real they open up and they tell you things they won’t tell their best friend. And then God Luke 12:12, God speaks to you. His Holy Spirit speaks to you says the most wonderful thing I gotta tell you unless, how are they going to know unless somebody tells them? And who how are people going to tell if they’re not being sent and they’re not being sent. Our churches aren’t preaching this. They’re not sending us very few, my pastor is Jack he is, but very few pastors are doing that. So we need to do that where we’re we’re just lay people say we need to get ourselves into the game. Let’s rise up troops. We can make a difference. We may be able to change the world. We can change our worlds and you hit it right on the head. We can’t be quiet any longer. You can’t sit on the sidelines anymore. We got to get off the bench into the game. And when we do that our joy returns, our faith returns and every day is an adventure. I mean, it’s fun. And the worse it gets, the better gets, the worse it gets, the easier it is to share faith because people are terrified. When they’re in fear they’re open to the Gospel, you know, over 80% of all the unchurched are wishing there was a God right down at a lucky for somebody to tell them, the food is ripe, The fields are white for harvest, but the laborers are few we need to change that you need to change that, at least in your own life. You need to change that. That’s what this is all about. And you say it so very well. Well, we’re so we have different diction, different perspective, but it’s the same truth. It’s the same truth. Thank you, Eric. I love you, brother. I mean it so much.

 

Eric Metaxas 

Thanks for having me here.

 

Barry Meguiar 

We’ve gone way too long. I’m sorry, folks. But this is such a unique opportunity to have Eric with us to talk with him from the eyes of somebody who’s really study what happened and post, not post, in German.

 

Eric Metaxas 

Oh, God gave us that story and I’m convinced to encourage us today. I don’t have any doubt that’s a fact. So let’s take advantage of the encouragement.

 

Barry Meguiar 

God help us. God help us. This is a very special, thank you Eric.

 

Eric Metaxas 

Thank you.

 

Barry Meguiar 

See you next time.

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