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Should Churches Meet Indoors Despite Government Restrictions?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez
The Truth Network Radio
February 19, 2021 1:00 am

Should Churches Meet Indoors Despite Government Restrictions?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez

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February 19, 2021 1:00 am

Episode 646 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

1. With how long the Coronavirus pandemic has gone on, is it time now for all churches to open up in defiance of the government orders?

2. In 1 John 4, John says that we should “test the spirits.” What does this mean and look like?

3. How was David a “man after God’s own heart” when he was also a murderer?

4. How was Jesus in the line of David when he was not biologically related to Joseph?

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9 Things Everyone Should Know About Worship

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Well it's been almost a full year since coronavirus restrictions began is a time for all churches to open up and begin meeting even if it's in defiance of government orders. That's is one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity hi this is Bill Meyer along with pastor Averill Sanchez and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day and we would love to hear from you if you got a question for Pastor Israel. You can call us right now at 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 also post your question on our Facebook, Instagram or twitter accounts. You can watch us on our YouTube channel course you can email us with your question at questions at core, will first up today we have a voicemail question from one of our listeners that came in earlier this week Richard from Sacramento about the church during the pandemic will gone on for your now been open for a long time and there's still a lot of restriction hard to know what to recommend all churches should do I get a monogram after such you know it extended periods of time. Is there coming a time when the church or just say we're going to meet indoors and worship again. Despite the restrictions, and despite the advice and suggestions of certain civil authorities and I'm wondering if that time is approaching sooner why that what you have to say about that thing which I really appreciate your question and this has definitely been a really difficult time for many churches, certainly was has been little time for our church start navigating how to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and what it looks like for us to shepherd the people of God. Well, to care for them to care for the souls that have been entrusted to us and I don't think that it's my job or the job of any individual pastor to tell all churches what they should be doing in response to a situation like this because each individual churches is governed hopefully by a group of elders, a plurality of elders who are called to care for that flock and make the wisest decisions for the good of the people there and and the fact of the matter is, is were all in different places. We all have a little bit of a different context.

And so we have to be willing to exercise wisdom patients early on there were some some really prominent pastors.

I think were saying it. We really need to just defy these government orders and start meeting indoors you know.

Note no masks, no social distancing that kind of thing and asked her to spearheading this charge and I spoke to a lot of pastors of smaller churches congregations like that.

The congregation that I pastor who really had a hard time with this because the people in their church. Especially me know that the people who respected these prominent pastors were made to feel like oh maybe my pastor is not being faithful maybe maybe were not really worshiping God the way were supposed to be worshiping God because were meeting outside and and you know were observing this mass mandate, or people or social distance that kind of a thing. What it did, tragically, was it helped to create frustration, confusion, even division within the church and so again I don't think it's the job of any individual pastor to say. Here's what everyone needs to do because that assumes that you know what's best in each particular context.

And frankly, you don't. As a pastor you have to exercise the wisdom that God is given you to care for the flock. The people that are in front of you and to be obedient to God's word and for us. We've continued to do that over the last you know several months many months. Throughout this pandemic. It's been difficult and the circumstances of our worship have been made more difficult, but were still able to glorify the Lord week by week.

Now there's a really important distinction.

I think that needs to be made here and one of the things that this entire this season has has shown me is that there's a lot of confusion about worship. In particular, there's a lot of confusion about the difference between the circumstances of our worship and the elements of our worship is the circumstances of worship. It has to do with where were meeting are we meeting inside or outside. What time are we meeting at are we sitting in pews or you know seats, you know, that kind of thing.

Those are all circumstantial pieces of worship, the elements of our worship are what make a worship service. A worship service is the word of God being preached faithfully are the ordinances that Jesus gave to the church being administered are we gathering together as the people to pray and to worship the Lord. Those are the elements of worship.

Jesus made it very clear and in John chapter 4 when he spoke to the woman at the well that Christian worship isn't relegated to a particular place. It's not on this mountain or that mountain or in this building or that building. You can worship the Lord outside is that you can be faithful we can be faithful as pastors worshiping the Lord leading our congregations and worship outside or inside. It really is up to each individual congregation as they navigate these these mandates and what's best for their congregation to to really come to it a decision with a clear conscience before the Lord and and I think of what the apostle Paul said, and I think this is an important word for all of us, as we've been thinking about these things in Romans chapter 12 versus 17, 18.

He said repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all that I just don't just defy because you're inconvenienced it or for the sake of defying that kind of a thing were seeking to live peaceably with all men and to worship the Lord faithfully and you can do that outside her and say it again I let me just say a church that worships outside it is observing you know mass mandate or social distancing is not less faithful because they're doing that.

The question is, is Jesus Christ being preached. That's the primary question we need ask ourselves, not you know what well are we inside or the outside is Christ being preached. If he is not whether you're inside or outside. God is not being honored and he's not been worshiped.

The way he needs to be worshiped. And so I think that has to be the priority of and we need to be patient with each other. Look instead of putting pressure on one another is churches. Let's pray for each other and try to help one another. Think wisely about what's best for each individual can't congregation in their context and so really appreciate your question and that's how I would approach this issue. Good counsel Richard, thanks so much for your question.

Thanks for listening to core Christianity. Here's the number.

If you have a call for pastor a drill. It's 1-833-843-2673 if you want to spell it out. It's 833. The core let's go to Kirsten who was calling from Mineola, New York hi Kirsten looking to core Christianity. I believe my questions last week actually really help so I love messing with chronic say no. I'm just glad to hear that Kristin what's what's your question today so I was reading first John chapter 4 and I saw that John exhorts us to test every spirit to see whether from God or not and I tread hybrid a lot of people using this phrase all the time, but I'm just a bit confused as to what this actually looks like you really, really great question important for us to to parse this out. So first John chapter 4, John said, beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world by this you know the spirit of God.

Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. So first, what does John mean by test uses a Greek word here that the word is Doak Emad.

So it means to prove the genuineness of something to get the sort of thorough examination and he gives us the test right there and in the following verses by this you know the Spirit of God never tears.

Here's the test every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and I think what what John is highlighting for us here is that the spirit of the antichrist in the world today, noting what he wants to do more than anything else is minimize the person the person and the work of Jesus Christ is person first who he is.

That is, he is the eternal son of God who came to earth for us and for our salvation is so those groups that minimize the person of Jesus. His deity is true humanity you think of the Jehovah's Witnesses you think of the Mormons you think of many who minimize that the identity the true identity of Jesus Christ by saying he see something other than what the New Testament tells us that he is what the Bible reveals to us.

He's the God man, but also his work. Those who minimize what he came to do, and even even that language there again by this you know the spirit of God. Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. Now why did Jesus come while it was to do something to live a perfect life in obedience to God's law as the second Adam, so that we might have eternal life through his work and his atoning sacrifice for our sins and so people who deny the person of Jesus and the work of Jesus. That is the gospel what he's accomplished for us salvation by grace through faith right that's that's the spirit of the antichrist is minimizing those things and the fact of the matter is, like John says here he was at work then and he's at work today that spirit that sinister spirit is at work in the world today and so we brothers and sisters each and every one of us needs to do what John says here test the spirits and know who Jesus is and what he's come to do, Kristin, Kiersten, thank you so much for your question. May the Lord bless you. You're listening to core Christianity and by the way, if you have a question forcing can't call during the program. You can always leave a voicemail message or go to our website and record a message right there. Now the program airs at 11:30 AM Pacific time.

1230 Mountain 130 Central and 230 Eastern time.

If you want to call and live again. The number is 833. The core let's go to Michael calling from St. Louis, Missouri. Michael welcome the core Christianity hello Sir on question. I am a born-again believer. All of Jesus. Auto all passage of Scripture that I'm struggling with them. Second Samuel chapter 11, I believe, but all talked about David and Bathsheba and all. I wonder how in the world. The Scripture say there he was a man after God's own heart when he was in the Baltimore. He was a murderer are and always things you know I understand the Scriptures are, but I don't. I can't correlate how that you'll know the Bible serve man after God's own heart, but he killed he he he killed a man after he how do we how do we reconcile this, Michael.

That's that set that's that's what your question is you know last year. Family Bible reading with my children we are reading to first and second Samuel and the kids were just, you know they were riveted as were talking about the story of Saul and going through this whole thing and then David and David was really this this hero you know the kids are cheering David on because as you said David was a man after God's own heart, we read that in first Samuel chapter 13 and so David is is he's coming and he's going to be faithful to the Lord in the areas were.

Saul was unfaithful. He's going to pursue the Lord with all of his heart that kind of thing.

But then you get the second Samuel chapter 11 and what happens here you have this man is described after as a man after God's own heart committing adultery and murder. And when I read this story for my kids. They were shocked me. You should've seen the look on their faces because it is like. How can this be in one of the things I love about the Bible. Michael is it doesn't minimize the sinful humanity of people or the fact that everyone every single quota" hero. In the Old Testament failed miserably. On many occasions to give Moses you think of David.

You think you even in the New Testament. Men like Peter who denied the Lord Jesus that when Jesus was being crucified, but that even later in his life, and a Paul talks about how he had to rebuke Peter in the book of Galatians is all of these people we realize is that these people are there sinners God Michael uses sinners, and even though David was a terrible sinner. He was still someone who repented who turn to the Lord. Now he needed a little bit of prodding and that's why the prophet Nathan had to come to him, but you can read about David's repentance. In Psalm 51 on it really is this beautiful Psalm of repentance where David basically outlines everything that was going on in his life and then him calling to the Lord. Psalm 51 David when Nathan the prophet, went to him after he had gone into Bathsheba verse one, have mercy on me.

Oh God, according to your steadfast love, and according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. You see to be a man after God's own heart does not mean that your perfect. None of us is only Jesus was perfect to be a man or a woman after God's own heart means we turn from our sins we know were sinners and we go to the Lord and we cry out to him and we say, have mercy on me. Oh God, according to your steadfast love blot out my transgressions and and I think that's why the Scripture can faithfully speak as to David as a man after God's own heart.

Again, one of the things I think I think that we see your brother is that all of these heroes in the Old Testament are people that were not ultimately called to put our trust in just like were not called to put our trust in pastors and church leaders today were called to put our trust in the only perfect person to ever live, Jesus Christ the son of God and and so that's where our focus is in all of these people.

David, Moses, the other quote" hero. Heroes of the Old Testament think of Samson. They point us forward to Jesus to the need to think of David. In particular, the need of a perfectly righteous king who was going to come and care for his sheep protect them and guard them and live in perfect purity. David was not that perfect king but Jesus Christ is and so we we worship him and we draw near to him and and I really appreciate your question brother because I know that there is this great tensioning that we read about these heroes and we thank you know how can this be, but the reality is they were sinners and so are we in so we cry out to the Lord and say as David did in Psalm 51 wash me thoroughly from my iniquities and cleanse me from my sin. We do that every day and that's what it means to pursue the Lord. Michael, thanks so much for your question. And boy federal.

The key is repentance isn't meaningful if we make a mistake even a terrible mistake even a terrible sin like David that the fact is that he and his heart was repentant and fell on his face before God and that's what we need to do when we blow it. Yeah, that. That's right, not not to minimize our actions or to pretend like we are perfect, you note that that's I think that's another thing that we see here with all the stories in the Old Testament Bill estate. God uses sinners. Now that doesn't justify their sin. That doesn't make it okay we don't minimize it. We just we identify it we call it what it is and then we repentance it we turn from it and so there is something that really here gives us. I think each of us hope knowing that the Lord can use us despite the fact that we we fail and throughout the Scriptures. You see that over and over again. You're listening to core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez and today we have something very special to offer you, especially if you are a new listener to core Christianity. It's called our core kit. Yeah, the court kid is basically a kit of introductory material that will will help you understand what it is that were doing. Core Christianity it and it will really bless you. It will edify you will build you up in your faith.

We have articles we want to put in your hands, mother, the most popular questions that we get on a day by day basis answer to those questions answers to those questions, and also a DVD teaching series by Dr. Michael Horton and Nancy Guthrie, Bible teacher that really focuses on on our purpose here on earth you know if you're someone who struggles your searching for meaning in life, you know, why am I here what does God have for me.

This resource will be really good for you especially this this teaching series on this CD because it's all about the story of God and how we fit into that story. How were brought into that story through Jesus and so get a hold of this resource. The core kit would love to send that to you and all you have to do is go to our again. Core, sign up and you can also call us for that resource or any one of our resources at 833-843-2670 3X833. The core let's go to Joshua from Orlando Florida. Joshua welcome to core Christianity pastors. Thank you, thank you for taking my call. I just want to say I'm a little nervous to ask this question.

I don't want this to, long way. I'm not trying to be condescending this is and how gotcha question, I'm just I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that Jesus is Lord and I just want to have a better understanding of the Scriptures to help me with my walk with God and my question is if the contextual question that I have here in the book of Matthew. So beginning of the Matthew.

It traces the ancestry from Abraham all the way down through the line of the Judah through King David until we all get down to Joseph who end up being the father are the husband of a Virgin Mary and actually have my Bible here in front of me from the top and this is the record of the ancestor of Jesus the Messiah. Defendant gave Nate and of Abraham not understand from the Old Testament, the prophets had prophesied that the Messiah would come through a specific genealogy through God's people and we get here to believe it is first 18 this how Jesus the Messiah was born, his mother Mary was engaged to be married to Joseph before the marriage took place while she was still a virgin. She became pregnant to the power of the Holy Spirit, Joseph, to whom she was engaged was a righteous man did not want to disgrace her publicly. So we decided to break the engagement quietly and then this is your question. How can Jesus be from the line of David is Joseph was in his biological father yes okay I really appreciate your question honestly just the way you asked that question and I want to be able to encourage you and and just say man I love that you are digging into the word that you want answers to these very specific questions. I think that's what we have to do as were setting the Scripture and and there's something that confuses us that that the typical approach.

I think it's been given by scholars with that question in particular and and theologians is simply that legally he was the son of Joseph and and therefore as the son of Joseph, still air to the Davidic throne and of course in the Old Testament where talk about David earlier. You know the man after God and hardly sin grievously but you had this promise given to David that essentially that the Davidic covenant in second Samuel chapter 7 were God promised it to put an air on his throne forever.

This King was going to rule essentially the whole world and you see this expanded in places like Psalm chapter 2, where God talks about the king that he's established on on his holy Hill was going to rule over the whole world, and so the reason that that Matthew is focusing here in particular on on that part of the genealogies because he showing us that Jesus is that divine king who is come in the lineage of David. Yes, he was not David's biological offspring because Mary was a virgin, were told in Luke chapter 1 that the Holy Spirit overshadowed her and she was found with child by the Holy Ghost.

I think it's Luke chapter 1 verse 35 but he was still legally, the son of Joseph and and as the legal son of Joseph. He was the rightful heir to the Davidic throne. Now what does that mean it means that Jesus is the great King who rules over the whole world. He's ascended into heaven at the right hand of the father. We see this in in acts chapter 2 in particular and right now Joshua. He rules over the church. He subdues us to himself by his word and spirit. He defends us by his gospel by his grace.

He is the great King that was prophesied about way back in. In second Samuel chapter 7 and in Psalm chapter 2 it really is. I think just as this beautiful picture. But again, the key there is he's Joseph's legal son even though he's not Joseph's biological son.

He's Joseph's legal son, and therefore the heir to the Davidic throne. I love the fact that Joshua really dug into God's word there and had that's a great question.

I think a lot of people have yet it really is a great question Frank. That's what we want right now. More than anything is in it. King I just ruler who's going to care for us and we have that in Jesus Christ the King laid down his life for the forgiveness of all of our sins. Thanks for listening to core Christianity request your copy of today's special offer.

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