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Must Christians Always Turn the Other Cheek?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez
The Truth Network Radio
October 19, 2020 1:00 am

Must Christians Always Turn the Other Cheek?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez

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October 19, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 556 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

1. How do I answer objections against the supposed violence in the Old Testament?

2. Do bishops and elders have to be married people, or can you be single and still be an elder or deacon in a church?

3. What would you say to a Christian who has been waiting years for an answer to a specific prayer about pain and suffering? I know about verses like Romans 12:12Psalm 27:14Isaiah 40:31, etc. I know Job probably suffered for years before his trials came to an end, but personally, it’s been 5 years and I am still waiting.

4. I ran across this question the other day: Are Christians always meant to be pacifists? Do we have the ability to defend ourselves from physical violence, or must we always turn the other cheek?

 

Resources

Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God by Timothy Keller

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Jesus said if anyone slaps you on the right cheek turned to him the other also. What does that mean Christian should always be pacifists in the face of physical violence or can we practice self-defense. 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 Gabriel 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 core that's 1-833-843-2673.

You can also post your question on our Facebook or Instagram accounts or you can email us with your question at questions at core, Christianity.com. Well, lots of people are tightening up their budgets this year because of covert, even millionaires, Sean Kohn, the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars is in the same boat and he's selling his yacht. The yacht named kismet is available for the low low price of 199 million. The 300 foot luxury ship includes eight staterooms that can sleep 16 helipad, a sundeck, a swimming pool, a full-service bar and a one-of-a-kind outdoor fireplace and a drill. I know your wife is always wanted her own yacht. So what you think she actually hasn't. She does not like getting on the water at all because her stomach doesn't feel so great so mean, otherwise I would really consider it hundred 99 million that sound like a good deal when you said that number out. I thought your essay hundred $99,000. I can't even imagine. I didn't even know both cost that much. Wow do not want to hit the dock with that baby no bullets get to our first question of the day one of our listeners posted this on or Instagram account and they say hi. I'd like to know how to answer objections against the supposed violence in the Old Testament. Thank you for that question and I I've heard these objections before there was a group called the new atheists for a while and you know guys like Richard Dawkins and others who were who were actually raising this very objection they would talk about the quote "God of the Old Testament being cruel and yeah deck commanding the extermination of the Canaanites and so on and so forth. And there a lot of people that will try to pit God is he's revealed himself to us in the Old Testament under the old covenant with what we see in the New Testament is that you God in the Old Testament seemed cruel and judgmental and then Jesus showed up in talking about loving one another in all of these things and so there really a couple of questions. Your one what we do with the violence in the Old Testament and to under the new covenant in the New Testament did God change will first a while ago I preached through the book of Leviticus and one of the things it was so striking about that book is the blood and has a lot of bloodshed in the book of Leviticus and the reason is because the author the Hebrews says without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness sin demands death. The result of sin is death, and sometimes God brings about his judgment in a severe way against the enemies of the truth. Those who reject him. Those who are plunging headlong into sin and death and that's one of the things you see in the Old Testament, these judgments that are brought against. Sometimes the pagan nation, sometimes even God's own people, where God judges them. And there's bloodshed and I think part of the reason that that's so difficult for us many times is because we don't have a high view of God and his holiness and we have a very low view of our sin, we think, yes, it is not that bad.

It doesn't deserve death while Scripture makes it very clear the wages of sin is death, and so I think that's one of the things that we see in the Old Testament, with all of the blood with all of the bloodshed it's highlighting for us the reality of sin in our culture that downplayed and minimize sin so much. I think it's jarring now in the New Testament.

You really don't have anything different. Yes, Jesus came preaching peace the gospel good news, the forgiveness of sins, but at the same time he's coming back to judge the world. The book of Revelation. At one point depicts Jesus as clothed in a robe dipped in blood now in the context there is no I remember when I first read that passage in the book of Revelation were talks about Jesus being closed in this robe dipped in blood and II just assume will that's that's his blood. I died on the cross that the blood that he shed for us, but it's echoing the book of Isaiah in it's the blood of his enemies Jesus as clothed in a robe dipped in the blood of his enemies that the imagery there is that he's trampled upon his enemies because he is just and holy and righteous God stands against sin, your sin, my sin. Now the good news of the gospel is that what God has done to redeem us is he's taking our sins upon himself. Jesus assumed humanity so that he might bear our sins and our curse pulses. This very clearly in the book of Galatians, so that at the cross. What we see there. This is violence. Talk about violence.

If we ever saw it at the cross we see violence done against God himself.

He's enduring it in our place for us for our sins so that we might be justified and forgiven.

But if we reject the gospel if we turn away from Jesus. If we shake our fist at heaven. Well, we should be warned that you know the book of Revelation is very clear.

God is going to judge the world and and he is even today executing his judgments in the world and that's another thing that we see with these with the stories in the Old Testament with the violence of the Old Testament is as if God is not restraining his judgment anymore. He's he's letting it intrude upon the enemies of his word, the enemies of his truth. You say, okay, fine. I'm bringing the judgment here and now and I think that's one of the things that's happening in the Old Testament when you have the scenes of divine judgment of the extermination of the enemies of God in the land in Canaan, for example, while it's his picture of the intrusion of God's final judgment upon the enemies of God and we can be thankful that right now we were living in this age of grace. Where God is extending his mercy and his goodness to us, but there is coming a day were told in Scripture for the whole world is going to stand before God judged and where there's going to be no more time for repentance. No more time for you. No turning back to the Lord and that's what we preach the gospel now and extends to people the hope of salvation.

Now, because God commands all people everywhere to repent.

As the Scriptures say no Israel. Some people may ask why is God withholding his judgment now against those that are so opposed to his will in this world because we are seeing so many really evil terrible things and yet we don't see any kind of retribution from God. How do we explain that the related question on the book of Romans is says that God is storing up wrath for the day of wrath you think about people who commit these heinous crimes he do things that are just absolutely horrible and they don't experience any judgment that justice doesn't seem to come to them. You just think Josh what are you doing what's happening while we can honestly say God for some is storing up wrath for the day of rapid they're not can it be let off the hook and so I mean it really is a sobering reality. But that's one of the things that the Scripture says but here's another thing that the Scripture makes it absolutely clear is what Peter said in second Peter Rick referring to the day of the Lord.

He says do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day the Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you tell me to stop right there.

Bill and Ann say to you, listening right now and you know you're living your life in a way that's not honoring to the Lord and maybe you used to go to church and you stop going to church.

He stopped walking with Jesus. He just thought that you know what I meant to do my own thing for a while. Listen very closely to what Peter is saying the Lord is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should reach repentance.

See why is it that God carries one of the things that Peter says very clearly is God is extending his kindness, his patients toward you so that you might turn to him and receive the grace that is extended to you in his son Jesus. And if you've been turning away from him. Denying the truth, rejecting Jesus, let me just plead with you right now I'm cut is patient is calling you to himself, but there is coming a day where it will be too late. And that's something the Scriptures make absolutely clear and so today is the day of salvation turn to him. Remember, this is core Christianity with pastor Adm. Sanchez and would love to receive your questions about the Bible and the Christian life.

Here's the number to call its 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 good afternoon gentlemen Duncan from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. I have a question relating to the role of deacons and elders in the church. Time after time I've asked people question, but no one has given me a satisfactory answer to elders have to be married people in. In other words, can you be single and still be an elder or deacon in a church. I would greatly appreciate it if you could shed some light on this. Thank you for that question Duncan in a really important question because the role of elders and deacons in the life of the church is so important.

It's a part of the government that was established for the church by the apostles and you see this in places like first Timothy three and Titus one. It was certainly important to the apostle Paul who he would plant these churches and he would go and make sure that there were solid elders that were there in place in those churches would be able to pass down the faith once for all delivered to the saints by having good elders and good deacons in the church so important, so important and in first Timothy three and Titus chapter 1, Paul talks about the qualifications for elders and deacons. Let me just that one thing oftentimes and we think about these positions in the church week. We immediately think about giftedness Janice person preach.

Are they a gifted communicator.

You know, can they can they keep people's attention and I think that's important.

That's one of the things for elders. It's this listed they need to be able to teach there really is so much more. They are in first Timothy three and Titus chapter 1 as well. Let me just read here there. The qualifications for overseers.

According to the apostle Paul first Timothy chapter 3, beginning in verse one. The saying is trustworthy. If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.

Therefore, an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money he must manage his own household well with all dignity, keeping his children the submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household.

I will he care for God's church. He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.

Moreover he must be well thought of by outsiders so that he may not fall into disgrace into a snare of the devil. You see, there you have competency they need to be able to teach, but you also have other things like character, is this person above reproach do they manage their own household well their children well that you could even say some people might say an elder has to also have children on the basis of that verse that I don't think the my answer to your question is, is no. I don't believe that elders and deacons have to be married people in order to be elders and deacons. I think what Paul is getting at in those passages of Scripture.

In particular, is that if they're married with the family the way they rule their family can qualify or disqualify them for the ministry and so it's one of the things that should be under inspection if you will, as were considering ordaining elders in the life of the church. It really is so important. As I said we oftentimes go straight to giftedness and we don't think about these other things on things that all viewed as very important now in another place in first Corinthians chapter 7 Paul seems to encourage singleness in the life of the church. I think that this is really an important point for us to make because I think sometimes we can treat people who are single in the church as if they are less than you really can it be complete. Once you find a spouse, and until then you know you're sort of on the outside but the fact of the matter is, is just because you're single doesn't mean you're necessarily missing something in the fact of the matter is, as you were created in the image of God and singleness is also described as a gift is a calling that God gives to some people and I think that that's something that we minimize a lot of times in our context and so Paul in first Corinthians 7 seem to encourage some of the Corinthians to remain single because he said it would help to secure their undivided attention. For the Lord and so I don't believe that on the basis of first Timothy three and Titus one elders and deacons have to be married or have to have children. I think that we can look at other passages of Scripture that indicate that that's not necessarily the case in the and certainly think of men like the apostle Paul and others who weren't married as they were doing their ministry.

Answer Duncan. That's my answer for you and I appreciate the phone call. This is core Christianity with pastor Adm. Sanchez and today we are offering one of our popular audio resources. It's one that we know you will find helpful yet.

Thanks, Bill today were excited to share an audio resources on core, Christianity.com called finding yourself in God's story.

We did receive a lot of questions that essentially boil down to this. What does the Bible story mean for me today.

I think about it in your own life.

How does the Bible the story of God throughout redemptive history impact your day to day living well in this teaching series are going to join our good friends Michael Horton and Nancy Guthrie as they help you to explore God's great plan and grand design that includes all of creation, including you and me. So head over to core Christianity.com/offers to download. Finding yourself in God's story. You can also call us for that resource at 833-843-2673. That's 833. The core federal here's a question that came in through our Facebook page from Fabrice. She says hello and real and bill. My question is what would you say to a Christian who's been waiting years for an answer to a specific prayer about pain and suffering.

I know about verses like Romans 1212 Psalm 2714. Isaiah 4031 etc. I know that Joe probably suffered for years before his trial came to an end, but I just don't know personally it's been five years and I'm still waiting. Forgive me if I sound selfish or spoiled. Thanks. No Fabrice I don't think that you sound selfish or spoiled and and I think especially in the midst of suffering is you say I mean that's that's the cry of God's people, so what I want to do right now is pray for you and just ask for the Lord to pour his mercy out upon you and and to guide you and to give you the answer that you long for. And who knows what that answer is that the Lord would open up the Scriptures to you and give you peace and so father I pray for Fabrice and I asked Lord for the grace of your Holy Spirit to be poured out upon her Lord in the midst of the suffering that she's experiencing. Would you give her comfort would you give her hope and what you give her guidance Lord through the Scriptures through your word that she would be able to cling to the promises in your word Lord to have a sense of peace even in the midst of this trial that you've brought to her and I pray God five years and I pray for perseverance for endurance that you would give her hope that she would give her strength to continue Lord to look to you and to trust in you in the midst of the circumstances, so be with her lesser and encourage her now. I pray in Jesus name, amen a lot of passages of Scripture come to mind and I think of Jesus's compassion upon those who were suffering and had suffered for a very long time. I think initially of the woman with that, the issue of blood in the gospel of Mark. She has this hemorrhaged she's been having for 12 years and were told in Mark's gospel that she had basically done everything that she could to get better should guide to all these different people, physicians, and she only grew worse and the end result actually was that she had lost everything that she had. She spent all her money trying to get better and yet she only grew worse were told in Mark chapter 5 and yet she cried out to the Lord Jesus. She ran to him and she lay hold of his garments and she was healed after 12 years of suffering just shows me that Jesus is compassionate that he's full of love and mercy and healing. Now that doesn't mean that he heals everyone.

At least, not necessarily in our timing. We do have the hope that one day in our bodies are going to be raised in working to be made perfectly whole, and that the sufferings we experience now in this present world organ to be done away with so so yes we are all going to be healed, but we don't know if God is going to bring in healing right now in our present circumstances. But I can tell you that God is gracious that he hears your prayer think of Luke 18 verse seven and will not, God give justice to his elect to cried to him day and night. Sounds like that's what you've been doing.

The other text of Scripture that I think of in second Corinthians chapter 12 beginning in verse six he says, though, if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool for I would be speaking the truth but I refrain from it so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me.

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, Hawthorne was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me, but the Lord said to me, my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Look Fabrice, I don't know the suffering that you're experiencing specifically I know is I shared with that story you know Jesus and the woman with the issue of blood.

I know that he is compassionate and I know that healing is promised to us one day for all of us in Christ. On the last day, but I also know, and I want you to know even in the midst of these difficulties, God is still at work in you and that he's able, according to Scripture Romans chapter 8 to make all things work together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose. And I think that's what Paul is getting yet there in that passage in second Corinthians chapter 12 as well and so I'm not saying pull yourself up by your bootstraps are you know God is just getting used to. Sufferings of get over no no no no no I don't want to minimize the suffering that you're experiencing at all, but I want you to hope in your Savior who's able to use the circumstances, whatever they are for his glory and your good. Who cares about you who loves you. Who knows what is best for each of us and sometimes it's hard for us to understand why God allows certain things in our lives.

You can trust him because he's given himself for you and so you can go to him and rest in him and experience his grace and mercy God is still good in the midst of it and you can put your hope in him and you can trust that somehow he's able to work all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose. God bless you. This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez we have time for one more question.

This one came in through our Instagram account, the person says I ran across this question the other day are Christians always meant to be pacifists. Do we have the ability to defend ourselves from physical violence or must we always turn the other cheek yet. Thank you for for this question really is a complex question first. As Christians we do endure persecution for the gospel's sake is that this is something you see all over the New Testament, but is not the church's job to create a militia to fight back against people who were persecuting us or try to take our right to me. Just look at the book of acts, and it seems like the disciples rejoiced when they suffered persecution they were imitators of Jesus.

They didn't fight back that they rejoice that they were counted worthy to suffer for the sake of the gospel as I think for suffering for the gospel sake you for being persecuted for our faith in Jesus Christ.

Wheat we don't defend ourselves in the way that people may be tempted to fight back but not every act of violence is an act of persecution against the church.

There are God instituted structures for helping to stop violence even like the government you think about a Romans chapter 12 were talks about the fact that the government bears the sword. It punishes evildoers to think about police officers and soldiers and so I don't think we can just give this sort of blanket you know everybody is supposed to be a pacifist were supposed to respond to violence in the same way when it's violence against the church because of preaching the gospel. Well, we humbly respond by praising the Lord and by suffering with Jesus for the testimony that we have are there other instances where it is permissible for Christian to defend their faith with them. He breaks into your house or something like that will yeah I think so because you're not in that context. Suffering for the gospel sake you're defending your family has nothing to do with persecution and so I think it is okay for us to defend ourselves.

Thank you for that question. Thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer.

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