Does God speak to us in our dreams? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi and happy Friday. I'm Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. 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 you can call us right now.
Our phone lines will be open for the next 25 minutes or so. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and you can always email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to Chris calling in from Lebanon, Tennessee. Chris, what's your question for Pastor Adriel?
Howdy, y'all. I'd like to ask an explanation a little bit about the fourth chapter of Philippians verses 6 and 7, which says, Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made unto God, verse 7, and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. The thing I'm mostly focusing on is when it says in everything, so do we need to pray about every little decision that we face in our day, and do we need to pray about every little detail, or what exactly does he mean here? Thank you.
Yeah. Well, it's good to pray at all times, and with regard to everything, I think we are called to come before the Lord, and we can do that through Jesus boldly, we're told in the book of Hebrews. Here specifically, though, Chris, I think one of the things that the apostle Paul is highlighting for the Philippians is he knows that the Christians there in Philippi are experiencing suffering. He was suffering. Actually, he wrote this letter while he was in prison, and he's trying to encourage the Philippians by saying, look, even while I'm here, the gospel is continuing to advance. I'm clinging to the Lord.
I'm trusting in him, but they were also struggling. He says back in chapter 1, verse 21, for it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ, you should not only believe in him, but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have. These Christians there in the first century, they're engaged in this conflict, in this spiritual battle, but he doesn't want them to be overwhelmed by this reality.
He wants them still to continually come before the Lord. When you have these challenges that they had, he's saying, look, bring those challenges to the Lord. Make your prayer known to him, and don't be anxious, verse 6.
Don't be anxious about the difficulty that you're in, but in everything by prayer and supplication. In other words, when you're experiencing these tribulations, you Christians in Philippi, come before the Lord still with thanksgiving, and let your requests be made known to him, and his peace will cover you. The peace which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus, so it's this very practical encouragement, and I think the takeaway for us is, look, as believers, we do experience trials and tribulation in our lives.
Jesus said it very clearly in John 16. In this world, you will have tribulation. You will have trials, but I have overcome the world, and so we take those struggles that we have, the disappointments that we experience in life, and we bring them before the Lord in prayer, and we trust in him, and we rest in him, and we can make our requests known to him, but in the midst of that, we even give thanks to him for all things, knowing that he's in control, that he's sovereign, and that he cares for us. So it really is meant to be an encouragement to the Philippians, not, hey, just make sure you're praying for every little thing.
He's saying, as you struggle, as you face these challenges, come before the Lord in prayer, and let his peace, the peace which passes all understanding, fill your hearts. Thank you for that question. Let me ask a follow-up question, Adriel. I've heard some people say, when it comes to being anxious for nothing, that being anxious, having anxiety, can actually be a sin or be disobedient.
What's your perspective on that? Yeah, well, it's a much more complex discussion, isn't it, Bill? You know, as someone who has worked with people with anxiety disorders, that it's not as simple. You can't just say, well, anxiety is a sin, because there is, I think, a mental health component as well, but there are ways in which I think we can be so consumed with the cares of this world, overwhelmed with anxious thoughts about this present age, if you will, because we're not fixing our eyes on Christ. I think we do need to hear the words of the apostle Paul there, and I think that's what Paul is speaking about. When he says, don't be anxious about anything, I don't think he's referring to the sort of disorder, anxiety disorders. In those situations, I would say it's important to see a medical professional and get some help. But at the same time, I think we want to be careful that we're not just justifying the anxious cares that we have that can be sinful at times, where we're so consumed with the cares of the world that we're not trusting in the Lord and resting in His goodness toward us. So it is a larger discussion.
I think it requires wisdom for us to unpack it and to know what it is that we're dealing with specifically. Great counsel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.
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We've got all kinds of great stuff on our website, so browse around when you get an opportunity to do that. Well, we do receive voicemails here at Core Christianity, and here's one that we received from one of our listeners named Margaret. Pastor Adriel, I heard someone talking about a prophecy about something that they dreamed about, and I guess they were telling us about it. How do you know if it's a real prophecy or something that is made up?
Thank you. Yeah, well, certainly, Margaret, in the Bible, you have examples of dreams that God gave to people, and these are prophetic dreams where he's communicating something to them about the world, about his will. This is something we see throughout scripture.
I don't know that we should ordinarily expect. In fact, I don't think that we should ordinarily expect for God to communicate to us in these ways. Certainly, we have the scriptures. I mean, one of the things that we continually go back to here on this broadcast is if you want to know God's will for your life, don't wait for a dream from heaven. Dig into the scriptures.
Exercise wisdom. Be a part of a solid church community where you have good people investing in you and counselors that you can go to because often God uses these sort of ordinary means to communicate guidance to us, his will, and again, first and foremost, being the word of God. I think too often people will read the book of Acts or the history of redemption that we have in scripture, and they'll say, well, I'm expecting this as the sort of ordinary Christian experience, and then they feel really discouraged because God is not audibly speaking to them or giving them dreams. You see, we have to recognize where we are in the history of redemption. Christ, the ultimate prophet, priest, and king, has come revealing to us the will of God for our salvation.
We need to go to him. We need to look to him, and so when people say, oh, God has given me this special revelation. I had a dream. I don't want to knock that, but I'm cautious, especially because there are people who will come and say those kinds of things, and the dream or the vision or the prophecy, whatever it is, doesn't line up with what we see in scripture, so we have to test everything according to the word of God. I would say if somebody comes to you with this claim, I've had this vision. I've had this prophecy or this dream. I think you test everything on the basis of scripture, and then I would just say, you know, you don't need to be rude, but I would just say, well, you know, ordinarily, God isn't revealing himself in that way today, and this is just the common experience of all the people of God.
It has been for the last 2,000 years, and I think the reason is because he wants us to sink our teeth into something stable, something that doesn't change. It's his word, and so we go to the word over and over again. I remember when I was in high school, a newer believer, I was in a Bible study one time, and afterwards, there was a woman there in the Bible study who came up to me and said, you know, I really feel like the Lord gave me a word for you, and I'm a new Christian, right? I'm eager to learn about Jesus. I'm excited about Jesus, and she said, I just, you know, I was praying for you, and I had this vision or this thought in my mind that you were hanging out with all the bad kids, and everyone in the church was saying, boy, you know, it just seemed like it was so, you know, he seemed like he was on fire for Jesus, but then all of a sudden, you know, he started doing bad things, and I remember listening to her and just thinking, like, lady, you don't know me at all. What are you talking about? And it was so discouraging because at that time, you know, I'm a new believer, I have a really sensitive conscience, and she's coming to me with this prophecy that one day, you know, I'm going to be with all the bad kids in high school, and boy, it's just going to be a sad thing, and I thought, again, you don't know me, and praise God, you know, what she said did not come true and wasn't true. It was just her feelings, and so, I mean, it could just be so unhelpful and even destructive.
Go to the word. That's the encouragement. God bless. You know, I had this dream that you invited me over for carne asada at your house. I don't know if that's like a prophetic dream or if that's just a hopeful dream, or what do you think? Bill, you're just dreaming about the carne asada that I make because you have come over for carne asada, and it was good. I know, I don't want to brag about it, but it was good. So it doesn't surprise me that you would be dreaming about more instances where you're, you know, coming over for dinner and I'm barbecuing some food.
So I think that's what that is, Bill, just natural sort of longing for barbecue. Thank you. Okay. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. By the way, we're also open to calls from people who may have doubts about Christianity, or maybe you consider yourself to be an agnostic or an atheist and you've stumbled on this program and you're thinking I don't believe in all this stuff.
Well, we'd love to hear from you as well. Here's the number. It's 833 the core.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Evan called in with this question, Adriel. He says, is it okay if a pastor doesn't have accountability or an elder board and he wants to know if you have any scriptures to support your answer? Yeah.
Yeah. Well, the New Testament churches were governed by a plurality of elders. And so, I mean, that's just you see that all over the place in the Book of Acts, you know, you have the apostles going back to, you know, places where they planted churches in order to install elders there. So you can just typically have ordinarily have just one person ruling the roost, if you will. There was this accountability structure.
There was this leadership team, the elders called qualified competent men who were serving the church. And so, no, I would say it's not okay. It's certainly not ideal, but it's also not okay ordinarily speaking.
There are instances, I think, especially in the context of church planting where you might have one evangelist go out and begin to plant a church and it takes time to build up, to train up that group of elders who are going to labor alongside of you. And so there are instances where even though I think, you know, we would say it's not okay, there are instances where you do end up with that kind of situation. But I would say, you know, if you're in a situation where you have a pastor who just doesn't want any accountability, who doesn't see himself under any authority, but just sort of says, oh, I'm the pastor, I'm the boss, the sort of Moses model of ministry.
I'm gonna do it all and I don't answer to anyone. I think that that's a problem. That's a recipe, frankly, for disaster. And we've seen this over and over again in Christian churches. And so, simply put, again, it's not okay. It's not in line with, I think, the example that we see in scripture, what's prescribed by the apostles themselves as they were planting churches. But there are instances where you do end up with just one pastor evangelist who's serving the church and hopefully working towards building up and training and installing new elders in the church.
But that can take some time. And so, yeah, that's your answer, Evan. Thank you for the question. Thanks, Evan.
Appreciate you being a regular listener to CORE Christianity and digging into God's Word. Here's our phone number if you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, or maybe about your Christian walk and how you can live it out during today's world and some of the different issues that we face in our culture. Here's the number to call. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Christina calling in from New York. Christina, what's your question for Adriel? Yes. Unfortunately, 43 years ago, I didn't get a chance to explain, but I was in a Catholic church and I went to confession and I told him, you know, I had an abortion and he screamed, you know, and somebody got out and he excommunicated me. But I went to another Catholic church and I repented all my sins and I don't know if that counted or not. So did it count? Or I have to, like, you know, count as far as, you know, did it count towards God to be forgiven? That's what I mean.
Okay. Well, Christina, thank you for giving us a call. Whatever our sins are, when we come to the Lord brokenhearted, recognizing that we've sinned and we confess those sins to the Lord, he forgives us. And when we truly repent, he forgives us. We see examples of this throughout the Bible, Christina. I think of King David, for example. He committed adultery with Bathsheba.
He murdered Bathsheba's husband, Uriah. And for a period of time, he lived with the guilt and shame of his sin, unwilling to confess it until he was confronted by the prophet Nathan. And he's confronted by the prophet. And finally, he repents. He confesses his sins. And you can read his confession, actually, Christina, in Psalm 51. You know, when David was confronted by Nathan the prophet after he had sinned with Bathsheba.
And he says, Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love, according to your abundant mercy. Blot out my transgressions. And the Lord forgave his sins. Yes, they were heinous.
They were terrible. Murder, adultery. But when we go to the Lord, and we say, Have mercy upon me, O God. Man, the blood of Jesus Christ is sufficient to cleanse us of all our sins. And it grieves me to hear that you went to confess your sins, and instead of being met with the truth of the gospel, the strength of the gospel, and the blood of Jesus Christ, you were just yelled at. I don't think that that was the right response. Yes, sin is terrible, heinous.
It's destructive. And yet, our sin is not greater than the blood of Jesus Christ. If you've gone to Christ, truly confessing your sin, then know that you are forgiven. And I would say you need to get plugged in to a solid church that preaches the gospel, that's faithful to Jesus, where you're going to be cared for, and you're going to be reminded continually of the forgiveness of Christ so that you can grow in the grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ. But our hope, again, our hope is in the forgiveness that Christ gives to us through what he's done for us at the cross, that his blood is sufficient to cleanse us of all of our sins when we come to him confessing those sins. And maybe one encouragement to you is go to Psalm 51 and read those words. It sounds like you have repented, like this is something you've brought before the Lord, but make this prayer your own prayer, and know that just as the Lord forgave David, so too he forgives you when you go to him. And get plugged into a solid church, sister. God bless you. You're listening to CORE Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Norman calling in from St. Louis, Missouri.
Norman, what's your question for Adriel? Hey, Adriel, I've been listening to you for about two months now, and I find you very, very mannerly, very Christian-like, and very spot on with your theology. My question is that I've been a Christian since I'm 17, I'm 63 now, I've seen all the trends and whatnot, but I follow like stats and eschatology and whatnot through the years, but recently I looked up on Google and it said like 87% of Americans believe in God and or a higher power. So I guess I could be Allah, but 63% I think are Christians, and then they said there's 2.5 billion Christians on the earth right now.
And I'm like, every day of my life I turn on the news or I go out driving around, people cuss me, they try to drive me, you know, road rage over petty nothing stuff. We have a mass shooting almost every day now, which that means four people or more are shot and are killed. And it's hard for me to accept the fact that 63% of Americans are Christian and there's 2.5 billion, they sure don't act like Jesus to me. I hate to be hardcore, but it seems like we're, the Christians are kind of dwindling, so we say. Yeah, I mean, well, if your question is, right, are there really 2.5 billion Christians in the world, wouldn't the world be a better place? I mean, yeah, I mean, you do have a lot of people who profess faith in Jesus. You do have a lot of cultural Christianity, I think, throughout the world, people who were baptized and who maybe went to church for a time or do go to church, but it's really just a sort of nominal religion, and that's how I was, to be honest with you, for many years. I would go to church or go to mass and would probably answer.
If you asked me, are you a Christian, I probably would have said yes, but I didn't really know the gospel. I didn't really have a personal relationship with Jesus at all. I really didn't like going to church.
I thought it was the most boring thing on the planet. I remember early on praying when I was really convicted of my sin and realized, okay, I need Christ. I need the gospel. I remember praying to God and saying to God, Lord, I know I need your help, but I really don't want to go to church. Is there some kind of a loophole for me? Can I be a Christian?
Can I accept you? Can I have my sins forgiven and just not have to go to church? Because it just seemed like the most boring thing in the world to me, and I think there are a lot of people out there who identify as Christians, but that's how they feel. They don't really understand the gospel. They don't spend any time thinking about God's word, what he says, how he calls us to live. They don't have that personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And so it's so important for us when we think about these things that we focus on the truth, that we communicate the gospel in very clear ways. It's not just being, quote, unquote, conservative that makes you a Christian.
It's not where your parents went to church. It's having that living, vital faith in Jesus. It's walking with Christ and having been justified through what Jesus did for us.
It's that reality. Jesus said in Matthew 7, verse 13, Enter by the narrow gate, for the gate is wide, and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many, for the gate is narrow, and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. I wonder if we've really grappled with his words there. We've really transformed the call of Christ, and specifically the gospel, into something that's not faithful, I think, to what we see in the New Testament. And most people, if you ask them, even in Christian churches, what is the gospel would have a very difficult time articulating it to you.
Most people, I think, Norman, this is something I've seen, go straight to the law. They say, well, you know, be a good person, love your neighbors, don't cheat on your taxes, that kind of a thing. I'm a Christian because I'm a good person. But no, that's not what makes you a Christian. We're Christians through the blood of Jesus Christ, through holy baptism and faith in the gospel, recognizing that we were dead in trespasses and sins, but through Jesus Christ, we've been made alive. And as those who have been made alive, we do want to love our neighbors well, imperfectly as we do it.
It's what we're called to. And so may the Lord really bring about a revival throughout, you know, his church in all places, you know, all over the world. That only happens through the faithful preaching of God's word. So that's what we need to recover, I think, more than anything else, Norman.
Really good counsel, Adriel. And I know in many cases, people are just kind of checking a box that says, you know, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, whatever. They're not really living out or they haven't really made that decision and trusted Christ as their savior, as you said.
Yeah. I mean, if for you, Christianity is just checking a box, there's a real problem. Brothers and sisters, Christ calls us to embrace his grace and to follow him.
That's not checking a box. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at corechristianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-THE-CORE. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
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