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Does Going to Church Make Me a Christian?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
March 28, 2022 6:30 am

Does Going to Church Make Me a Christian?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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March 28, 2022 6:30 am

Episode 932 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

Questions in this Episode

1. Who are the 24 Elders in Revelation?

2. Does going to church make me a Christian?

3. Are altar calls a mark of a true church?

4. My wife and I got married before we became Christians. Is our marriage valid in God’s eyes?

5. Will we see our pets in heaven?

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Those going to church, make me a Christian. 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. We would love to hear from you, and 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, Instagram or twitter accounts. You can check out our YouTube channel and messages that way at a course you can always email us with your question at right now.

Let's go to a voicemail from one of our listeners. This is Mike yeah the only you have ever heard anybody tell anything about them except what we read in Revelation. Who are these 24 elders and who were they older than always been fascinated by this.

And I'm not being sacrilegious when I say this, but it always puts me in the mind of when you see the Greek gods looking down on Hercules or whoever I just don't understand it. Michelle, thank you for that question might you're referring to vision the apostle John has in the book of Revelation chapter 4. He says after this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven and the voice the first voice which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet said come up here and I will show you what must take place after this.

Once I was in the spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven with one seated on the throne and he was sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald around the throne were 24 thrones, and seated on the thrones were 24 elders clothed in white garments with golden crowns on their head or on their heads and so there's been a lot of question about who are these 24 elders seated on these 24 thrones. Remember that the book of Revelation is apocalyptic prophecy that is visionary prophecy. So often you have symbols and I think here that that the 24 thrones, with the 24 elders are probably symbolic of all of the people of God, the worshipers of God.

If you will, around the throne of God in the book of first Chronicles is sort of interesting you have David as he ordered the priesthood in Israel.

There were 24 heads of priests, if you will first Chronicles chapter 24 versus three through 19 and also 24 Levitical worshipers worship leaders you see this in first Chronicles chapter 25 you get this or division of 24, 24 there in first Chronicles related to the worship of God. Another way that we can take this though and I think that there there is corroboration with with this idea here. Elsewhere in the book of Revelation is that the 24 thrones, with elders are symbolic of the patriarchs in the Old Testament the 12 patriarchs, the sons of Israel and the 12 apostles brought together encompassing once again all the people of God. The whole covenant people of God. You see them mentioned in Revelation chapter 21 in Revelation chapter 21 verses 12 and following it says it had a great high walls and speaking of the new Jerusalem, with 12 gates, and at the gates 12 angels and on the gates the names of the 12 tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed. That is that the 12 patriarchs, the names of the 12 patriarchs on the east three gates and on the north three gates on the south three gates on the west three gates and on the wall of the city. That and the wall of the city had 12 foundations, and on them were the 12 names of the 12 apostles of the Lamb. So you have the 12 apostles 12 patriarchs brought together and I think that that's the best way to understand this picture of these 24 thrones, with 24 elders could be the apostles and the patriarchs, nor it could be symbolic of all God's people throughout history. Thank you for that thoughtful? May the Lord bless you as you continue to study the Scriptures and I'm reminds us that we have a wonderful new Bible study on the book of Revelation and we get so many questions about Revelation here core Christianity. What about the end times are we in the last days and this Bible study will help you understand that book, which tends to trip a lot of people off Hydro yeah it is the book of Revelation does tend to trip a lot of people up and that's what I'm really excited about our offer for today. Not just because I think it's important for you, our listeners to understand the book of Revelation, but because of who wrote this study actually Prof. that I had in seminary amending Dennis Johnson, who has written on the book of Revelation is a New Testament scholar, and it is able to answer right you know about deep theological issues but in a very pastoral way in a way that I think speaks to the heart and so would you get a hold of the site is a great resource to go through on your own or with a group of of Christians who want to learn more about the book of Revelation. It's yours available for a gift of $20 or more. Be wonderful for a Sunday school class or small group and we actually have a discount on the Bible studies if you order several for your class or small groups. Check it out by going to core or you can call us for that resource or any one of our resources at 833-843-2673. By the way our phone lines are open right now. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, doctrine and theology. Maybe you have a doubt about the Christian faith. Maybe you consider yourself to be an atheist or agnostic and nearly stumbled on this program in your thinking. I don't agree with that stuff were happy to take your calls as well. Or maybe you're wondering how your Christian walk intersects with what's going on in today's culture plate. Please feel free to give us a call. Here's the number again 833-843-2673 or you can spell it out on your phone, 833. The core let's go to a voicemail received from one of our listeners earlier this week.

This is from Francis will catch up to me at hi Francis, thank you for that question and I think it boils down to something that's that's really important is going to church make you a Christian does showing up on Sunday and sitting in a pew. Is that what makes you a Christian and here I'm thinking specifically about you know someone who has of vital relationship with God, with Jesus Christ as their personal savior and and I think we have to say you just being in church just going to church on Sunday morning doesn't mean that an individual necessarily hats that sadly I think that there are many people who are in churches maybe who even grew up in churches who don't understand and embrace the gospel may be for them it you know it it's just a sort of tradition. Maybe it's a way of feeling good about themselves and yet they dated they've never really understood the message of salvation. Smithers gets at the kinds of things that are being preached in churches today. Unfortunately there there many churches where the gospel is just nothing faithfully taught and so the answer to your question.

Quite simply is no just going into a church to pray or or to visit more, even you spending one's entire life in a church if they don't believe in Jesus and receive the gospel by faith then then in terms of you having that vital saving relationship with Jesus Christ that they don't have that I think of one of the books in the New Testament that that addresses this. Specifically, the book of Hebrews because the author the Hebrews is writing to people who were in church who experienced you know that the rituals of the church. Baptism probably the Lord's supper, but he's really concerned for their souls because they're beginning to drift away from Christ. There begin to leave, even the church to abandon what they what they at least once professed to believe, and he says you know. While this is Hebrews chapter 4 verse one therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands.

Let us fear let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it for good news were to use their sword gospel for good news came to us justice to them. But the message they heard did not benefit them because they were not united by faith with those who listened and so Francis, here's here's the question for you.

I hope you're listening to this right now is have you united the gospel that you've heard with faith. What is the gospel. It's the fact that we were sinners we can earn God's grace, mercy, love, forgiveness, salvation, and yet he sent his son Jesus into the world so that through him we might have life through his death and resurrection from the dead. Our sins would be forgiven.

Do you believe that. Have you received that message for yourself for the forgiveness of sins.

Have you placed your trust in Jesus, and if if you have it you should be in a church because when we are united to Jesus by faith. He also unites us to his people's body, the church, and so we should be in churches as Christians.

But just because you're in a church doesn't mean that you've really received the gospel that your believing in Jesus and so we have to ask ourselves do I believe in Christ by trusting in him.

If I am in my in the church and a part of the church is Christ calls me to be a blessing. Francis great! On the question. Thank you for that Israel. This is core Christianity with pastor Averill Sanchez. Our phone lines will be open for the next 15 minutes or so. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Feel free to hop on the phone right now course you can always leave us a voicemail as well.

Our number is 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 let's go to call to calling in from Missouri called what's your question for pastor a drill. After taking the kind answer my question. I wanted to ask you real quick.

I had just relocated from Southern California out to the Branson Missouri area and have been going to harvest Christian Fellowship with pastor Greg Laurie for probably the last 30 years of my life finding a new church is been difficult and I'll try to replace Greg very awkward to do, but I have found a nice church look like to go to out there and I believe it's I feel like it's a very good Bible teaching church. The pastor that's there seems to be right on with Scripture-based teaching and I just noticed we've been gone for about the past three months over here and I have not seen any type of an altar call, or even leaving anybody in the type of prayer to accept Jesus into their heart and I'm just curious if that's not always in every church that that goes on, or if it's just at certain times and maybe I haven't gone to an evening service or a Wednesday night service that they do it but I just know on Sunday mornings that I haven't noticed that are seen that happen yet. The first Colts I just praise God that you've been in church for so long and that this is such a this is an important thing for you that when you guys relocated away from Southern California. By the way, we miss you because I'm here in Southern California and always hate to see faithful believers go elsewhere. But I'm I'm I'm grateful for the fact that you've gotten plugged into another church and that you're growing there and that it's it's a Bible teaching church that there faithful to the word now with regard to your question about altar calls and you know this church not not inviting people up after the sermon or at another point in the service to receive Jesus, or to say something like the sinners prayer that sexy not something that we necessarily even see in the New Testament in the New Testament worship was typically centered around the preaching of God's word, the singing of Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, encouraging each other in the Lord that the ordinances of grace.

The sacraments of the church baptism and the Lord's supper mean those of the things that you want to look for the other things you know that having an altar call that actually is the sort of later development, a tradition that arose out of what we refer to as the second great awakening, so that wasn't something that Jesus himself instituted. Now certainly on as people are hearing the preaching of the word colt and as they're being convicted by the Holy Spirit.

They should be encouraged to call on the name of the Lord. It's it's what the prophet Joel says it's what Peter says all who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved, but you don't have to have someone lead you in a prayer in order to do that, and frankly at the spirit of God can work that an individual's are, even if they never say anything like the sinners prayer. The apostle Paul said in Romans chapter 10 verse nine if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved with the heart one believes and is justified and with the mouth one confesses and is saved, and so is as the word is bring preached Colton in the church and in the church that you're attending right now the spirit of God is and work together with the word to work. Faith into people's hearts and is as that faith is worked in their hearts. That's where salvation comes from, it's that gift that God gives. And so I don't think you need to be concerned that that this church that you're going to now doesn't do altar calls or or note that the sinners prayer that can rethink and that's a later sort of tradition that the developed out of out of some evangelical churches but but certainly not something that I think is descriptive of four or as described in in Scripture is that something that's prescribed for for churches to do and so may God bless you and and be with you as you continue to to seek the Lord and serve the Lord and I hope that you guys can get really plugged into this church and that is the word is faithfully taught there. You continue to be edified in and to grow in your faith and so thank you and God bless you all. Thanks so much for listening to core Christianity or we are so thankful that you have found a good Bible believing church there in your new town. This is core Christianity with pastor Averill Sanchez, a reminder we have that revelation Bible study available to you today of the book of Revelation is something that's always caused you a little bit of confusion, or you're wondering about some of the symbolism there what's going on with the last days and times would love to get that in your hand. You can find that by going to core our Bible study on the book of Revelation back to the phones Ken is on the line from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Ken, what's your question for pastor. Israel, all Christianity programs but my question has to do with marriage and wrote it when you are concerned about.

I married my wife and my question has to do I understand correctly about the husband know why God might be concerned.

I actually make it out with daughter was more of a legalistic marriage can praise God that you and your wife are now in Christ costs such as this is a joy for me to hear that you guys are walking with the Lord now after after a while a lifetime. It sounds like of atheism. I want to I hope you stay on the line want to send you some resources for free that we think will help you continue to grow in your Christian life and with regard to your question, I would say that you are truly married even even before God even though you weren't a Christian when you got married I think about what the apostle Paul said in the book of first Corinthians chapter 7 where he was writing to a group of Christians. In some ways newer to the faith as well.

They hadn't really matured very much and in their walk with Jesus and and he's writing to them. He's addressing the question that they had related to merit some of them were were married to nonbelievers and that they had gotten converted in their spouse had not yet been converted and there wondering what we do.

Are we actually married where we actually married and Paul says in first Corinthians chapter 7 verse 12 to the rest I say I not the Lord that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever and she consents to live with him he should not divorce her.

None of me is presupposing there that that there actually married right that that the divorce would be a real thing. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever and he consents to live with her she should not divorce him for the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is they are holy is Paul makes it very clear there that this marriage that that they were in him was a real marriage.

Beat before God.

He calls them to continue to to walk together into and to seek to honor the Lord bless you for it for the believing spouse that they might have a positive impact on the unbelieving spouse is overly true for for Christians in in that situation where you had a mixed marriage, a believer and unbeliever than it's certainly true for you and for your wife, both now in Christ. Walking with Jesus. And so you should be encouraged and confident in the fact that that God is brought the two of you together that you are one flesh to use the Bible's language and that you're called now to reflect the love of God for his people through your marriage. This is what the apostle Paul says in the book of of Ephesians that the husband is called to love his wife is Christ loved the church and so can. May God bless you as you do that and I hope that your your plugged into a good church that you're surrounded by people who are encouraging you in your Christian walk and I were here to encourage you as well and help in any way that we can God bless Ken hang on the line would like to send you a copy of core Christianity. The book that launched this program by our founder Dr. Michael Horton would love to send you a complimentary copy of that for both you and your wife to read together with the core doctrines of the Christian faith. This is core Christianity with pastor Gabriel Sanchez were still have time for a couple calls. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Give us a buzz 833. The core let's go to Melinda calling in from Oklahoma blood what your question, that and current carrier and now are kept small, that there such a part of our family and I don't want to just tell right now so yeah they got a haggard parent my family that there's no better like that you know Melinda, I know that this is such a such a difficult thing and I'm sorry to hear about the spread by being being sick and may the Lord grant you comfort and in peace.

And we know that God cares for all of his creation, that the reason there is in the world is because of sin. I'm now now Patsy and OR our animals aren't art made in the image of God, like human beings are and they're not the objects of redemption in the exact same way we are in the get their sins forgiven that kind of the thing and typically more talking about salvation and being in the presence of God. The divine judge were thinking about that that atonement that Jesus has provided for us, but another thing you know, related to the work of Jesus in his redemptive work is that it isn't just about me to my personal salvation, but that it's it's cosmic that is the entire creation has been affected by sin and brokenness in the world. Death and Christ on the last day is going to restore all of that. Paul in Romans eight talks about the creation and groaning. Now what that means is that this created world is going to be restored. We don't know if our our pets. You know that that the that the dog or the cat that we had that we love so much of if they're going to be there in heaven, but we do know that God is going to restore all things. When I think of of the new creation that God is bringing about.

I imagine it is is a place where there are animals and immediately in the profits frequently. You know what when you're given this picture of the new creation the of the kingdom of God sometimes and of the prophets refer to it as as this place of perfect peace, even peace between animals in a predatory animals and so so I think that there is reason for us to be hopeful that God's new creation is going to be filled with animals and plants and all all things restored.

Whether or not that means you know our pets. My specific pet is going to be in heaven. A part of the new creation.

I don't think that we can say, would we be speculating, but I do know this.

I know that the Lord loves you and I know that he loves his creation, and I know that he wants to comfort you and be with you in this time and so may the Lord bless you and may it may just need the struggle that you're experiencing right now point you to the hope of what Jesus has done a right it's it it's a taste of what we feel this this way. It's a taste of the effect of sin, the consequences of sin on the world death coming through sin, and so it should point us to Christ, the one who conquered death and the one through whom all things are going to be restored. God bless you Melinda, this is core Christianity, we have time for a quick email from Robert and he says in regards to predestination. Romans three 1011 says there is no one righteous, and nobody has the ability and their sin nature to seek God and do good if Adam and Eve before the fall were innocent and free of evil and how are they able to do evil by disobeying God. They were left to the freedom of their own choice, the freedom of of their wills and this is what we see all over the place God called them to obey his word, especially the command you know pertaining to not eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil mean if they were there were forbidden from doing that, but they were called also to be fruitful and multiply to take care of the garden. They had a choice in the matter but they turned away from the Lord.

And as I just said through that death entered into the world that we have hope in Jesus that all things will be restored. Paul says in Romans chapter 5 it's a check out that chapter.

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