Is progressive Christianity truly Christian? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. We'd love to hear from you. And here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.
25 minutes or so, so jump on your phone. 1-833-843-2673. Now, as always, you can post your question on one of our social media sites. You can also watch Adriel in the studio right now on YouTube and send us a message through our YouTube channel. And you can always email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com.
First up today, let's go to Anthony in Turlock, California. Anthony, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Yes, I wanted to hear his take on blasphemy. I was battling with this for about a year real bad because I had gotten really mad at God, and I kind of cursed out God, and I cursed out Jesus, and I cursed out the Holy Spirit, and I kind of said some things that I regret. And it pretty much consumed my life for a good year before I ended up telling somebody. And I just kind of wanted to see what your opinion was on how that affects you.
I mean, can you verbally just condemn yourself in that instant by saying those things, or is it something that you can be forgiven for because it's an unforgivable sin? Mm-hmm. Hey, Anthony, I'm grateful that you gave us a call.
And I guess just one follow-up. So this was a period of your life where it sounds like you were very upset at God, and you said some things that now you regret, that now you're concerned about. Does this mean that I'm forever lost? Is that what you're saying?
Yes. Well, I kind of had an event happen where at that instant, you know, things went dark for me. And it was daytime, you know, it was like two, three. I was with my dad, and we're in the truck, and everything went dark, and I kind of seen a darker image kind of like right in front of me kind of look down and shake his head. And I just kind of went through this horrible period of time thinking, you know, did I just commit blasphemy?
Because I was just really mad, and I said things that I regret. Yeah. Well, let me read the passage in the New Testament that mentions, talks about, one of the passages that talks about the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit in the Gospel of Mark, Mark chapter 3, because you mentioned blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
And then I want to get to your question. It says in verse 22, and the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, he is possessed by Beelzebul, and by the prince of demons, he casts out the demons. And he called them to him and said to them in parables, how can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end.
But no one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods unless he first binds the strong man, then indeed he may plunder his house. Thus I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin, for they were saying he has an unclean spirit. Now right there, Jesus makes it clear, doesn't he, that there are blasphemies that people commit that are and will be forgiven by the Lord. And blasphemy is a sin. It's sacrilege. It's a sin against God, his worship, his name.
It's cursing him, as you said. But Jesus here makes it clear that all sins will be forgiven the children of man, whatever blasphemies they utter, but there is one kind of blasphemy that cannot be forgiven, and that is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. And we get calls from time to time, Anthony, with people wondering, have I committed that sin?
Am I eternally lost? And they're gripped by fear, by just concern, deep concern for their souls. And usually when someone calls in like that, I say, look, if you had committed the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, you wouldn't be calling core Christianity, you wouldn't be concerned for your soul, regret what you had done. The people who did this in Jesus' day were people who had seen his signs and wonders, had experienced in one sense his powerful working, even his grace. They're seeing it on display all around the countryside and the city as Jesus performs miracle after miracle as he's teaching and preaching, and yet these people say he's demon-possessed.
He's filled with the spirit of Beelzebul. In other words, they so reject Christ and his work and the work of the Holy Spirit that they identify it as the work of the evil one. And when a person rejects Jesus, when they're so hard-hearted and unbelief that they identify him as Satan, right, that's unforgivable in the sense that these people are not believers. And if we don't believe, if we reject the gospel, if we reject God's grace, well, there is no forgiveness because it's only through the gospel, what Jesus has done for us, that we have salvation. And so I would say to you, you look back on that dark time of your life and you realize, God, I sinned. I sinned greatly in cursing you, but I trust in your mercy and I cast myself upon you.
God, be merciful to me, a sinner. And I just want to say to you, Anthony, when you call out to the Lord like that, weighed down by your sins, by what you've done, you will find him to be gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. When we go to him, confessing our sins, repenting of them, he doesn't cast us out. He doesn't reject us. He receives us and he cleanses us. He washes us of all of our sins. And so I hope, brother, that you have done that, that you've gone to the Lord after this dark season and that you've said to him, be merciful to me. And let me just tell you, he is merciful to us when we call upon him. Some great words of assurance. And Anthony, thank you so much for your call. We appreciate you being one of our regular listeners.
This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. It's now officially November. That means Thanksgiving is just a couple of weeks away and we have a special free resource for you just in time for that holiday. Yeah, it's one of the resources we're really excited about as you prepare for Thanksgiving with your family. And we want you to give thanks to the Lord for his goodness to you, for his grace to you, for the blessings that you have.
Boy, the season that we've just gone through, many of us over the last couple of years, it's easy to grow ungrateful, to be bitter, to be cynical. We really, as Christians, as Paul says, ought to be a people who give thanks always and in all circumstances. And so we have a resource called Five Biblical Reminders for Thanksgiving and it's yours for free over at corechristianity.com.
Be something great to share with your family or your small group at church. Just go to corechristianity.com forward slash offers to find out more. Again, corechristianity.com forward slash offers and look for Five Biblical Reminders for Thanksgiving. Well, our phone lines are open. If you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, theology, Christian doctrine, maybe how your faith walk intersects with today's cultural issues, give us a call right now. Here's the phone number.
It's 833-THE-CORE, 833-THE-CORE. And you can always email us at questions at corechristianity.com. We've got this email in, Adriel, this is from Caitlin, and she says, I was raised in a Christian household. After going to college, I lost my religion because of problems with the way that Christians around me acted.
It wasn't in a loving way. I've now started to reintroduce Christianity into my life in a new light that some people would consider progressive or liberal. I'm pro-choice and I believe in LGBTQ rights. I really just believe it's all about loving one another no matter what and protecting others right to be happy. Is this actually Christianity the way the Bible states it or should I try to find a religion that better suits my beliefs?
Well, thank you for giving us that email, Caitlin. The first thing, I mean, just based on what you said there at the end, is this actually Christianity the way the Bible states it or should I try to find a religion that better suits my beliefs? Well, Christianity doesn't bend to our beliefs and wants. What is the core of the Christian faith? It is what God has accomplished for us in history.
It's a reality. It's a fact that God sent his son into the world to save sinners and that his son died for sin and rose again on the third day. That is the essence, the core of Christianity. And Jesus, risen from the dead, ascended, is at the right hand of the Father and he commands all people everywhere to repent.
What does that mean? Repentance is, in the New Testament, a change of mind. It means we're turning away from ourselves, our sins, our wants, our desires even at times, those desires that are disordered according to God's word, and we're saying, Lord, I'm heeding the call to follow you, Jesus. It's not Jesus, you know, just let me do whatever I want and you give me the stamp of approval. That's not Christianity. Now, progressive Christianity or liberal Christianity, and I'm thinking in particular of the, you know, you think of the 20th century liberalism that was growing in some circles. There was a guy named Adolph von Harnack, a German historian and theologian, who basically said, look, the core of the Christian faith, the kernel of Christianity is not the miracles, it's not the death and resurrection of Jesus, it's loving one another, kind of like what you said there, Caitlin.
And boy, isn't that just something that's easy for everyone. We can all accept that, we can all embrace that, let's just love each other and be good to one another and be kind to one another. Well, that's not the essence of the Christian faith.
The essence of the Christian faith, as I said, is the gospel, what Christ has done. Now, he calls us to love one another. That's the law of God. And so as believers, united to Jesus Christ, redeemed by his blood, we should be a people who are concerned about the world around us, about social issues, about how we can love our neighbors. That's a part of God's law.
And so I'm sorry to hear that your experience was, and I know that you're not alone in this, that you had these friends who were Christians who were just maybe not so loving, maybe not gracious, maybe not caring for the people around them. But we need to go to Christ and what he says in his word, we need to follow him. And we can find examples of Christians who have done bad things, terrible things. That's when we need to go back to the word and back to Jesus Christ and what he said. And what he says is, follow me, follow me, believe in me, receive me, receive my grace, which is for you. And it doesn't just say, hey, live however you want, do whatever you want, believe whatever you want.
It says repent of your sins and receive my grace and know me. And so I would say, don't go looking for another religion that will just sort of suit your needs and what you want. At the end of the day, if you're inventing a religion on your own and it's just however you feel, whatever you feel, you can rest assured that that's probably not true.
Because if everybody did that, I mean, it's just certainly not true. If everybody did that, if we're just inventing religion for our own, we're treating it as this sort of crutch, if you will, that makes me feel better about myself. That's not Christianity. It's the work of Christ for us objectively. And so I would say the Christian faith as it is is so much better, greater, more awesome than you're assuming right now. Jesus rose from the dead so that you can have life in him.
And I would say go to him and go to his word and receive him and follow him. Wow, what a great explanation of God's truth in the gospel. Thank you for that, Adriel. That's something that I think we should be sharing with all of our friends who are questioning what Christianity is all about and what we believe. And again, that's what we're about here at this program at CORE Christianity. So thanks for that explanation. If you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, or theology, here's the phone number to call.
It's 833-THE-CORE. You can also watch Adriel live in the studio on YouTube right now and message us through our YouTube channel. Here's a question from one of our YouTube viewers. Are there any examples in the Bible of someone losing their salvation? No. Next question.
I'm just joking. Well, look, this is something obviously that Christians have debated about for a long time. And there are passages of scripture that really, at least for some people, they seem to suggest that you can certainly lose your salvation. That is, you might be a child of God, you belong to the Lord, you've been justified, and yet you do something or you continue living in a way that causes God to remove his grace. You went from being a child of God to no longer being a child of God. And you've been left, if you will, or you've left the Lord and thereby lost your salvation. Now, I don't think that that's the case, and so oftentimes people will go to passages like Hebrews chapter 6 or Hebrews chapter 10.
What I would say is this. Individuals can have a really close relationship to the church. They can see and experience the working of Jesus in a powerful way. They can be a part of the Christian community, hear the truth of the Gospel over and over again, be able to articulate it, maybe even have this sort of Reformed life where they used to do all sorts of bad things, and then because of this sense of God and this new community, these experiences, they've changed their ways. And so there seems to be this dramatic shift, and yet I think people can have all of that and still not truly believe the Gospel.
That is, not receive it for themselves personally by faith. And I think this is precisely the problem that the author to the Hebrews was addressing as he writes to them. And I mentioned that it's in the book of Hebrews that oftentimes people will go to point to certain texts to say you can lose your salvation. But really the issue there was you had people who had seemingly embraced the Gospel, they were a part of this Christian community, but they were going back to the old covenant, to the types and shadows of the sacrificial system. And in doing so they were essentially saying Jesus, His blood, His work is not sufficient for my salvation. And the author of the Hebrews says the real problem here is it's an issue of faith. It's an issue of truly laying hold of those Gospel promises that God extends to His people. Hebrews chapter 4 makes this very clear, verse 1, Therefore while the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For good news, Gospel, good news came to us, that is the church that he's writing to, just as to them, speaking of the wilderness generation, but the message they heard did not benefit them because they were not united by faith with those who listened. For we who have believed enter that rest. That is, these people in the wilderness, as they were coming out of Egypt, they saw the powerful working of God, they had the law delivered to them, but the problem was, they had good news preached to them, the problem was it didn't benefit them because they didn't mix that word with faith. And so what I'm saying is there are people who can, it looks like they've been in the church, they're blessed in one sense, they're participating in the rituals, the ordinances of the church, and yet they haven't laid hold of the Gospel for themselves by faith. And so I think that a person can lose those things, but that's not losing salvation, that's not losing our born again status, if you will, that's losing the externals. And so I'm convinced, based on what Jesus says in places like the Gospel of John, that when we belong to the Lord, if we're born again, he's going to raise us up at the last day.
We have that promise, we're not going to be abandoned, we're not going to be snatched out of the Father's hand, out of his hand, Jesus says in John chapter 10, and so I think he keeps all those who are truly his. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Just a reminder, we have that free offer just in time for Thanksgiving. It's called Five Biblical Reminders for Thanksgiving. It's absolutely free, and you can get that by going to our website corechristianity.com forward slash offers.
Well, let's go to a voicemail we received from one of our callers earlier this week. Why do Christians believe that the only spiritual sexual union could be between a man and a wife? I'm almost 33 years old, and I have never met a man who wanted to get married before they... Yeah, I think I know what you were going to say there. What's the big deal with essentially the Christian sexual ethic, where we say on the basis of what the Bible teaches in the Old and New Testament, that people should not be having relations prior to marriage, that marriage is key. You see this in various places, from the lips of Jesus himself, but even prior to that in the book of Genesis, in Genesis chapter 2, where God brings Adam and Eve together, verse 24, Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother, and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
The man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. Jesus quotes from this in the Gospel of Mark in his teaching on divorce. Mark chapter 10 in verse 8, Jesus says, The two shall become one flesh, so they are no longer two, but one flesh. The sexual union is in one sense the actualization of that one flesh bringing together, coming together by the grace of God. And so we believe that you shouldn't be doing that apart from that one flesh union, that this is just too important, this is too serious, and we have a high view of sex and what God made it for. Truly, we don't have to have a negative view of it. This is something that God created. It was his idea, if you will. The problem is, just like with so many of God's good gifts, we twist them. We use them in ways that are harmful to ourselves and to others.
And I love what C.S. Lewis said long ago, I mean not too long ago, but in his book Mere Christianity, on this very question, he's answering this question about, you know, outside of marriage, and he says in Mere Christianity, in his chapter on Christian marriage, the monstrosity of sexual intercourse outside of marriage is that those who indulge in it are trying to isolate one kind of union, the sexual, from all other kinds of union which we were intended to go along with, which were intended to go along with it, and make up the total union. The Christian attitude does not mean that there is anything wrong about sexual pleasure any more than about the pleasure of eating. It means that you must not isolate that pleasure and try to get it by itself any more than you ought to try to get the pleasures of taste without swallowing and digesting, by chewing things and spitting them out again.
Lewis just has such a way with words, but he's saying look, that's the problem, is you think about society today and how many people think about sex, and we just sort of treat it as this willy-nilly thing, but it's a part of that one flesh union, and apart from the one flesh union, we shouldn't be doing it. And the reality is within marriage, why did God give us this? It's to have children, to start families, to serve each other, and yet so much of it in our culture today is the exact opposite. It's a way of taking from another person, of objectifying people made in the image of God for our own sexual gratification, and we see the damage that that's doing all around us in society, in culture, in people's lives, their wreckage. But the good news is there's a God who's gracious, there's a God who heals, there's a God who calls sinners of all sorts, people who struggle with sexual sin and who have pasts, to himself to receive his grace, to walk in purity and to walk in holiness.
And so I'm sorry to hear that in terms of your interaction, you've not met very many guys who are interested in waiting until marriage. The thing is we need to pursue people who are going to prioritize God and his word more than their own sexual pleasure. The apostle Paul said in the last days men would be lovers of themselves, lovers of pleasure, and we see that all around us today. We need to be a people and in our relationships pursue others who prioritize God, his word, purity, walking in the light, and in doing so are loving us well, caring for us as well. And so may the Lord bless you and be with you, and I really appreciate that question. Thank you for giving us a call here at CORE Christianity. as we explore the truth of God's word together.
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