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October 9, 2020 1:00 am
Episode 550 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.
1. When someone becomes a Christian, at what point should they be baptized, immediately after conversion, or should there be a long process?
2. What resources do you recommend I use to share with my friends who are Roman Catholic?
3. Recently people have shared that they are not going to come back to in-person services at church even after COVID restrictions are lifted because they enjoy live-streaming more than going to service. How can I encourage them to come back?
Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God’s Story by Michael Horton
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith by Timothy KellerOffers
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With many churches still not gathering due to cobra 19 some people I know are sharing that even after the coronavirus is no longer an issue. They want to say home and live stream church services from now on. How should the church respond.
That's just one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity hi this is Bill Meyer along with Pastor Israel Sanchez and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can call us right now with your question. At 833, the court, that's 1-833-843-2673 and you can post your question on our Facebook or Instagram account and email us at email@example.com first step today a British zoo is having a little issue with five parrots who spent time together during a coronavirus quarantine. It seems the birds spent their time together teaching each other to shout profanities.
The Lincolnshire wildlife Park says the five African gray parrot named Eric Jade Elsie Tyson and Billy were given to the facility by different owners in the same week so the birds were put into quarantine together before going on display well zoo official Sadie time alone gave the parents time to teach one another. Their favorite swearwords.
The birds were put on public display, but they were soon removed when zookeepers discovered them cussing at each other and zoo patrons. That's got to be a bad apple among the birds are or their owners.
I guess you know that's pretty wild badger generally little kids to the zoo as the parrots heard cusses that the kid and my lawyer that would be embarrassing.
Yeah that would be impaired well I'm glad that they quarantine the birds again. What we need is spiritual regeneration that is the answer for these particular verse yet are really saying is pray for the parrots to illustrate right let's get to our first question of the day.
This was posted on your website from Gerald.
He says when someone becomes a Christian at what point should they be baptized immediately after conversion, or should it be a long process. I was talking with someone who says the biblical model for baptism is immediately after someone professed his faith in Jesus because if you profess faith and wait a few weeks to be baptized. Who knows what could happen to you. For various reasons you might not make it to your baptism. What do you think by testing like in the book of acts. Individuals would be baptized pretty quickly after professing faith in Jesus Christ. Of course, in those days, and with the persecution of the church was experiencing choosing to be baptized was a very significant step identifying with Jesus in baptism, the Jesus who had just been crucified. That was something that you wouldn't take lightly but shortly after this time a set of interesting is that during the days of the early church. Christians began to take a different approach when people would convert to Christ in and seek to be a part of the church they'd enter into a long process of discipleship. Think of it like a new members class. For example, this class would usually take about a year.
So, after being discipled really in the core teachings of the Christian faith you have something that would be the creator of the Lord's prayer talking about those things. Then they be baptized, usually around the celebration of Easter and I think that sex is kind of an interesting point to think about the Christian thing baptized. I during Easter and and the idea there was baptism is all about joining Christ in his death and resurrection out.
Personally I think are converts of Jesus.
It's very important that we try to ground them in the truth. Prior to just dunking them. I've seen people sign up to get baptized what no idea what baptism or the Christian faith was all about. Really, what they were looking for was an experience and churches too often are happy to give people the quote unquote baptism experience because it looks good to be able to say we baptized 12 people are 120 people this year.
Baptism is about discipleship.
Jesus said, go into all the world and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the signing of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you. The question that I have is, are we making disciples. Are we grounding people in the truth of who Jesus is and what the Scriptures teach that if somebody believes in Jesus and they've not been baptized. They need to be baptized and really immersed into the life of the church that we often think of baptism as an individual thing.
It's it's my time to tell people about my faith. But it isn't all about you it's about Jesus and his bride. In baptism, God speaks to us of the washing away of all of our sins by faith in Jesus and God extends his promise to his people and like Paul said, for in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, and all were made to drink of one Spirit. That's first Corinthians chapter 12 verse 13.
So whether we wait a week or a year before we baptized an adult.
My question is do they know and embrace the gospel and they understand that this is an about them but about their union with Jesus and his body and by the way, I think that there are examples in history of people also waiting too long. You know it.
At one point in the ancient church there was a spirit. People were waiting to the very end of their lives to be baptized a right right when they're on their deathbed and the idea there was they had embrace this idea that baptism in and of itself washes away all of your sins. And so they thought will buoy rather than getting baptized early. Having my sins dealt with and then living a simple life afterwards. Why did I wait the very end started, you know, get all mice my sins finish that I'll be on my deathbed and then I'll be baptized and I'll be good to go woes confusion about what baptism actually is and and does a lot of errors here. I think sometimes we can be to quick just sort of baptized someone even though they don't understand what's going on and we do it, you know, because we want to show that were performing baptisms is a church that I think there are other instances were people can wait too long maybe because they're thinking that you know like in the ancient church. I need to wait till I'm very close to my death, or maybe because I just feel like I'm not worthy to be baptized in a minimum it away into life feel like I've grown in my faith enough to merit this this ritual. This baptism while both of those views are wrong.
I think we have to understand the gospel what what's happening and then when that's the case were baptized into the local church and so there's flexibility here, but hopefully that gives you a little bit of insight as to why different people attend different things throughout history.
Gerald enough, I had to wait till I was holding up to be baptized.
I don't think you have me either. This is funny when you think about it you know people waiting till they're on their deathbed. The reality is, though, man I feel like it when I'm there. We sin against the Lord and thought, word and deed. You can tie us up on a better you can go off to the mountains and hideaway in a cave.
The fact of the matter is sin will follow us, because it's inside like these is that it's not what comes into us that defiles us.
It's what comes out of us out of our hearts so we can't run away from it. We can only run to Jesus and he forgives us this is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez. If you have a question for us.
You can call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833. The core counseling down name and a very happy family.
What I ordered from you and praying that I a darling. Thank you for your sweet encouragement there. We send you our love is well and really appreciate the prayers and I think that's a wonderful that you want to talk to this person about Jesus running. I was brought up nominally Roman Catholic, so we would go to mass every every once in a while was in an and every week thing for us, but I spent a little bit of time in the Catholic Church. I sell a lot of family members who would identifies Roman Catholic and of course you know Catholics they hold to a lot of the core teachings of the Christian faith. In terms of the doctrine of God. The doctrine of the holy Trinity, the incarnation, Jesus speaking to God, man, the eternal word of the father, assuming too many things that they get right on, but there are some significant differences between how Protestant Christians and Roman Catholics view the Bible and the church now usually when I'm what I'm talking to friends who they're engaging with their Roman Catholic friends and they're looking for resources I was there.
What depends on who you're speaking with their a lot of Catholics who there are converts to Catholicism.
They are cradle Catholics in a meeting. They were raised in the Roman Catholic Church that describes this friend of yours.
I say focus on something a little bit less argumentative, polemical, that simply introduces them to Jesus is and the core doctrines of the figure. I found that this is the case anyway, even for me. It was the case note spending time in the Roman Catholic Church. I really didn't understand the gospel. It sounds terrible but I just I didn't know the basics of the Christian faith, and I think there are a lot of people who are raised in the Roman Catholic Church who had been there for years and years and years. But if you asked them what is the gospel have a really difficult time answering that look on. I just try to pick on Roman Catholics. The fact of the matter is that a lot of our churches, Baptist churches Presbyterian Church as we sit down with someone you say give me a clear articulation of the gospel week we have a hard time so I think we need to focus on that and so darling you know one book that we often will share on this program is by my cord core Christianity, which is going to be a real helpful basic introduction to who Jesus is and some of the core doctrines that they Christians embrace and and that even your friends. Roman Catholics should be able to embrace another book that might be helpful in terms of just understanding what the gospel this little book by Timothy Keller called the prodigal God, you know, there are some Catholic converts. For example, who maybe had been evangelical Christians for a while and then they began to be attracted by the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and they joined the Catholic Church and I think if you're talking to someone like that and maybe a resource. It's been a be a little bit more dense, focusing on the differences between Roman Catholicism and Protestant Evangelical theology two big differences are going to be the doctrine of justification. Justification is a word that the apostle Paul uses throughout the New Testament. In his letters that you also have it in other places and it's the idea that God accepts us is righteous in his sight, not because of anything we've done, but solely because of the righteousness of Christ that is given to us credit to us and received by faith alone is God, having forgiven all of our sins and counting us right in his sight as of the Catholic Church to do something differently about the doctrine of justification, and so that's one area where you might want to explore and and actually my friends Michael Horton who was on this program with me was that most of me for quite some time. He actually just released an amazing two-volume set on the doctrine of justification. The first volume is all about the history of the doctrine of the second volume really gets into the sort of nitty-gritty biblical arguments why this is just such an important doctrine to understand another set of resources that might be helpful in and again this is can it be more for people who are already familiar with some of the theology.
There was a set that was published by IP was Zondervan publishing called the five Sola series where they unpacked the five solos of the Reformation you grace alone, faith alone, our authority, as the Scripture alone. Our ultimate authority that is Christ alone and God's glory alone at five different books talking about each of those sort of Reformation old principles and that might be another helpful resource to check out those resources. Darlene and and I hope that the Lord blesses you and your and your friendship and your conversations with this person, darling. Thanks much for your call. We appreciate you being a regular listener here core Christianity by the way, we just received some exciting news. You probably know, the core Christianity has a social media presence, and we found out that we have surpassed 10,000 followers on her Instagram account which actually changes the way Instagram works and allows us to offer you something even better. Yeah, I mean this is pretty exciting abilities is another way in which were trying to get the word out so we want to use things like podcasts, social media to help people understand the core truth of the Christian faith and now on Instagram, we have the ability to do with Colts swipe ups so you go to core Christianity's Instagram account, click on our stories and you'll see the day shows and other great articles that we produce. You can see it all directly on our Instagram so check out our our Instagram account and follow us if you don't policy get some some great resources that Avenue as well, but also like to invite you to consider joining our inner core been part of that group of people that supports this ministry on a regular basis and helps us continue in our work and spreading the gospel and empowering Christians to share their faith more effectively For a monthly donation of $25 or more. You can be part of that team and again we are a listener supported programming. If you've been blessed by you the answers to the questions you hear on this program. What you prayerfully consider joining the inner core is that it's $25 a month in and we also make sure to send you throughout the year to meet updates about the ministry. So I do want to invite you to partner with us by going to core Christianity.com/inner core or give us a call to learn more numbers 833-843-2673 would love to have you be part of that inner core team that makes this ministry possible will schedule another question. This is from Jeff who posted on our Facebook page he says recently. People have shared with me they're not going to come back to in person services at our church even after Colbert restrictions are lifted because they enjoy live streaming more than going to the service.
How can I encourage them to come back yet. You know, Jeff.
These really have been strange times we've been living in difficult times.
I know I do for myself as a pastor I never would have imagined that the primary way I would be getting the word out for the season would be to yell online messages that would be giving especially early on when everything was first started picking up with the coronavirus. Most churches that's that's all they were doing now. We've been having an outdoor service then it's been wonderful to be gathered again with the people of God, but there are still quite a few members of my own church who are just streaming online, partially because there and you know compromised or afraid of the coronavirus try to be sensitive to them in that but you know let's look into the future and thinking about you in the next year.
Hopefully, Lord willing, as things begin to settle down and maybe there's a vaccine. What you say to people who know they kinda like being at home on Sunday morning and drinking their coffee and just watching everything on it on a computer screen or on their laptop out. How do you convince them to come back and I really think that they ought to come back because there is something that is missing when we just do quote unquote church online. In fact, personally, and I know that this might be a little bit controversy, but please feel free to call us and in digging a little bit deeper on this question. I don't think that Internet church is church. Now that doesn't mean that we can't benefit from hearing the preached word you know over computer that kind of thing but they gathered assembly. When the church comes together around God's word to receive the gifts that God gives to us. Baptism of the Lord's supper when these things that Jesus himself instituted that we can't receive through a computer screen or on a television out. That's what makes the church gathering the church gathering and when you think about how the Scriptures talk about that gathering and this is Jeff. This is how I would encourage people who still were unsure about coming.
Just think about the wonder and beauty the glory that the Scripture talks about when it talks about our coming together as the people got even in the prophets of the prophet Micah.
For example, he thought a day when all the nations would be flocking to the Lord gathering around Mount Zion Micah chapter 4 says it shall come to pass in the latter days. If the mounting of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains and it shall be lifted up above the hills and peoples shall flow to and many nations shall come and say, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord to the house of the God of Jacob that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his spasm. If this for out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem that try to picture that with this image that the prophet Micah is giving giving to us the thing look in in worship.
There's coming a day in the latter days when the nations of the world are going to flock to the highest mountain to mount Zion where God lives where God resides in the Old Testament throughout the Psalms that Zion was it was the house of the Lord. It was God's address where God dwells in the prophet is forcing a day when the nations, the people of the world all flocking to God's dwelling place will guess what, that's right. Now that's what's taking place right now.
If you don't believe me turn to the book of Hebrews chapter 12 Hebrews chapter 12 in verse 18 is talking about Christian worship.
What happens when we gather together as God's people get this.
The author, the Hebrew said you have not come to what may be touch a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest in the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers bag that no further messages be spoken to them, or they could not endure the order that was given. If even a beast touches the mall and it shall be stone indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, I tremble here is talking about the giving of the law at Mount Sinai this terrifying event right of the people were trembling is that our you've gone where were coming when we gather together for worship are not going back to the Sinai to receive the law if you will. He says this, verse 22. You have come to mount Zion think about again. That passage I just read from Mike and Micah chapter 4, you followers of Jesus.
Right now believers were gathering together for worship. You have come to mount Zion into the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem to innumerable angels in festal gathering into the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all into the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant into the sprinkled blood that speaks of better word than the blood of Abel get this brothers and sisters when we gather together for worship. You know are going you're not going to you know First Baptist Church of wherever it is you live or you know the Bible Church of this note is of the author the Hebrews as we gather together for worship as God's people receiving God's gifts. Where were going, is mount Zion the nations are flocking and so what I would say Jeff to this person you know people who say that.
I just want to stick it out to do the live streaming thing. I don't really want to go to the service as the no no no you know what were missing out on gathering together with the people of God. You just think about in the Bible, the sort of theology that the Scripture gives to us. God himself took on flesh. Jesus, the eternal son of God assumed humanity so that he might come and redeem us to be in our presence to know us and so that we might know him and know God through him the Christian faith is is an incarnate faith if you will, were not disconnected and so I think there's something about us as God's people as the body of Christ, gathering together being in one another's presence to receive these gifts that God has given to us that if were just sort of live streaming, a service or watching preaching online.
We don't get back we need to gather together and we need to be known. We need that kind of fellowship with other believers. What were they know us and can encourage us and frankly hold us accountable and I know that that's another sort of controversial thing you know we we all like the beyond our own and we don't want anyone to question us or to challenge us. One of the beautiful things about the body of Christ is, we should provide for each other. The kind of fellowship that helps us to grow in our walk with the Lord in holiness. The operatively Hebrews again earlier in Hebrews chapter 3 said we should encourage each other, day by day.
While it is called today less were hardened by the deceitfulness of sin and also in in Hebrews chapter 10 speaking I think directly to your question, the off of the Hebrew said verse 24. Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near brothers and sisters we need fellowship. We need to gather together as God's people, and not only do we need it were privileged to participate in to go up to mount Zion together to receive God's gifts is not about you know something were doing primarily it's about something that were receiving God is inviting to receive his gifts.
What are his gifts. The gospel, the shed blood of Jesus Christ for us for encouragement for our nourishment. We need that and so so I want to encourage people positively by saying look when when we can gather together we should gather together and when you realize those great tips that were getting is not a question of you know maybe I just want to sit this one out its boy I can't wait to be there with God's people to receive the gifts that God has from your listing to core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez. Our phone number if you'd like to connect with us, you can call us one 338-4326 70 38334. Thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer. Visit firstname.lastname@example.org and click on offers and the menu for or call us at 1-833-843-2673 that's a 33 core when you contact us. Please let us know how you been encouraged by this podcast and be sure to join us next time.
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