How should I respond to the judgment of other Christians? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of Core Christianity.
Well, hi there 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. Here's our phone number and our phone lines will be open for the next 25 minutes or so. 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. Now you can also post your question on one of our social media sites and you can always email us at questions at corechristianity.com.
I'm going to start off with an email today. Pastor Adriel, this is from Angie and she says, I have two questions. First, if God is triune, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, why did Jesus teach the disciples to pray by saying our Father who art in heaven rather than to pray to the triune God? And second, why do Christians pray to the Trinity and each person of the Trinity individually rather than just praying to the Father as Jesus taught the disciples?
Thank you for that question, Angie. Of course, you're bringing us to Jesus' sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6 where Jesus has some instruction on prayer and he says in verse 9, pray then like this, our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Now your question is why do we address the whole Trinity in prayer at times? Why can I pray to Jesus or to the Holy Spirit?
Well, a couple of things. First, we do ordinarily pray to the Father through the mediation of the Son. Jesus is our great high priest.
He's the one who has made our prayers and offerings acceptable to God. So we come through Christ. This is why we pray in Jesus' name.
And by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses, Paul says in Romans in the context of prayer and offering up our own prayers. And so we do and we ought to pray to the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit, but there is nothing wrong with praying to the Son or to the Spirit as well as persons of the Holy Trinity. And this addressing God as Father, many theologians have said throughout the history of the churches that this immediately brings us to the doctrine of the Trinity, because how can God be a Father unless He has a Son and who is His Son is only begotten or eternally begotten Son? It's the Word, the eternal Son of God. And so to call God Father is to assume that He is the Father of the Word, the Son of God. And to call Him our Father is to assume that we have been adopted into the family of God, that Jesus, the eternal Son of God by nature has made us the sons and daughters of God by grace, the grace of the Holy Spirit. And so it's through the Holy Spirit that we can call upon God as our Father. And so just those two words right there at the beginning of the Lord's Prayer, our Father does bring us into contact with all the persons of the Holy Trinity. And so again, it's not that the Son and the Spirit are not included in this, they are.
And I think that's something that we see. And so appreciate your question. Once again, Angie, pray that you're encouraged and that you do pray to the Father through the Son and in the Holy Spirit. God bless. Great explanation. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Cora Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.
Our phone lines are open right now. Maybe you have a question about the Bible, about a passage in the Bible that really confuses you. You've always been stumped by it. Well, now is the time to ask the expert. Give us a call right now. Or maybe you are a person who has some doubts about the Christian faith. Hey, we're open to hearing your doubts, your questions as well. The number is 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to a voicemail from one of our listeners named Michelle. I was just wondering, what do you do in a situation when you don't belong really in a church? Not so much a church setting, but just a particular church where, you know, instead of being welcomed, you're judged by the behavior of your children or maybe that they're young and wild and doing young, wild children things.
Anyway, love to hear your answer. Have a blessed day. As a father of some young children who can be pretty wild, at times this question, your question Michelle really speaks to me. My heart breaks when families show up to a church and there are little kids and the kids are sort of pushed away. You know, in many churches we just say, well, don't bring the kids to the worship service. We have another class for them, Sunday school class. And, you know, I have my own feelings about this, but I do think it's so important for us in our churches to welcome people and to welcome families.
Why? Because that's what Jesus Christ did. And the church serves Christ.
Pastors are ministers of the gospel and servants of Jesus Christ. You remember what we read in Matthew chapter 19 verse 13, then children were brought to Jesus that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, let the little children come to me and do not hinder them for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven. And he laid his hands on them and went away. And Jesus lays his hands on these children, blesses them, prays for them in a society.
I think that oftentimes, right? Viewed children is not able to contribute, not really worth our time, if you will. Jesus took the time to stop and to bless the children, to welcome them, to say, look, if you want to enter the kingdom of God, you need to humble yourself.
You need to become like one of these little children. So the church should be a place that welcomes and disciples children. And so I would say to you, Michelle, I'm so sorry to hear that you had that experience. I think you want to find a church that does value you, your family and your children and sees you all as the objects of God's love and grace and the people that God calls us to teach and to care for and to bless. And so I think if you go to a church and it's very clear, well, we don't want you here. What a terrible thing again.
I mean, it's just heartbreaking. Maybe it's an opportunity to talk to some of the leadership in the church and just say, hey, you know, I visited your church on this last Sunday or earlier this month. And let me just tell you kind of my experience as I went. That could be helpful, Michelle.
Frankly, maybe they don't realize what they're doing. And so sometimes having that kind of feedback can be really helpful. But at the end of the day, you do want to be in a place where the Word of God is faithfully taught and where your family is welcome to worship Jesus.
So important. And I'm grateful that you said, you know, it's not that I don't belong in the church. I didn't feel welcome at this church because we all belong as Christians, as believers in Jesus Christ in the church, in a local worshiping body.
And so it's important that we find good churches, faithful churches that preach the Word. God bless. You know, speaking about active kids, I know one of your sons is a really good swordsman. Has he ever like run up the aisle in church and like try to attack you during your sermon? No, that hasn't happened yet, Bill.
But I hope he doesn't hear this particular broadcast because it would give him ideas. The kids are always trying to bring, you know, trinkets and weapons that they've created, my boys, at least to church. In fact, the other day it was funny, just this last week, Bill, we were camping not too long ago and I bought my oldest son a pocket knife. And I come to find he brought it to church and was showing other kids. So I had to talk to him about that because it was just like, okay, you can't whittle in the pew.
You need to be paying attention. And so... Or whittle the pew itself. No, no, yeah, carve your name into the pew. It's, I love, I mean, we have a lot of little kids in our church. And I mean, I hear the noises, the cries, the talking attempts.
I love it. I love hearing their voice. I mean, this is the future generation, the people we want to be investing in and talking to about the Lord and Christ's love for them. And so, so important that we value the children in our church and that we seek to disciple them in Christ.
Great words. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, you name it, now is your time to call. Our phone lines will be open for the next 15 minutes or so. So jump on the phone right now at 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Sue calling in from Mankato, Minnesota. Sue, what's your question for Adriel? Well, hello.
Hi, Sue. I got a good question. What does the Lamb of God mean? I mean, what does the Lamb have to do with anything? Hmm. Yeah.
Hey, Sue, thank you for that question. So in the Gospel of John, in John chapter 1, verse 29, we read, the next day, he, John the Baptist, saw Jesus coming toward him and said, Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Now, you have to understand some of the Old Testament background here. This is why it's so important for us as students of the Bible, as Christians wanting to know more about what God has revealed to us in His Word to study the Old Testament.
The Old Testament really helps us to understand the New Testament because so many of the references, I mean, the New Testament is so often going back to what the prophets said and what was happening in the temple. And that's essentially what's being alluded to here is those sacrifices in the temple under the Old Covenant, those sacrifices of atonement for sin, offerings that were made, burnt offerings, sin offerings that were made to put the worshipper in a position where they could come before God, even though they were sinners. And so you see that relationship there in John chapter 1 verse 29, John the Baptist saying, this, he sees Jesus, he says, this is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. This is the ultimate burnt offering, if you will.
It's going to be Him. He's pointing to the fact that this one Jesus who he sees is going to be the ultimate sacrifice for sin so that our consciences can be forever cleansed. And if you want more information about that specifically in the New Testament, a great place to go, Sue, is the book of Hebrews because it talks so much there about Jesus' once for all sacrifice to put away our sins forever. You get that, especially in Hebrews chapter 10.
And so when the New Testament refers to Jesus as the Lamb of God, it's picking up on that imagery from the Old Testament, those customs, those rituals that they had in the Old Testament is applying it to Jesus as the fulfillment of that sacrificial system there in the Old Covenant. Sue, thank you for that question and appreciate it. And pray that that was helpful for you. Hey, thanks, Sue, so much for listening to Core Christianity.
We really do appreciate it. Phone lines are open right now. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, the number is 833-The-Core.
That's 833-843-2673. Hey, we do receive a lot of questions about spiritual warfare on this program. People wondering, can demons oppress me?
Can somebody be possessed? Well, we actually have a wonderful resource on that topic we'd like to offer you today. Yeah, the resource is called, Can the Devil Read My Mind?
Have you ever had that question? We do get a lot of questions about spiritual warfare here at Core Christianity, and it is a very important topic. The Bible says that we are in a spiritual battle, a spiritual war, that we need to put on the armor of God every single day. This is what Paul told the Ephesian church. And so we want to help equip you for that battle.
This isn't something that we can just sort of coast through. And that's what this resource is going to do. It's a 70-page booklet that gives you a thorough understanding of what the Bible says about Satan, demons, and spiritual warfare. And it's yours for a donation of any amount over at corechristianity.com.
That's a great resource. If you've had questions about this, or maybe somebody you know has questions about, you know, Satan or demons, here's the number. Here's the website to go to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Again, corechristianity.com forward slash offers.
Look for, Can the Devil Read My Mind? Hey, just a reminder that Core Christianity is a listener supported ministry. So we count on people like you to help us pursue our mission of sharing the gospel, equipping believers, and also answering the questions of non-believers. And if you'd like to make a gift, you can easily do that by going to corechristianity.com, just clicking on the donate link. You can also learn more about becoming an ongoing supporter by joining what we call our inner court. We'd love to have you check that out.
Well, we do receive voicemails here at the core, and let's go to a voicemail from one of our listeners named Lynn. I have a question about the unpardonable sin. I have a older child who, this breaks my heart, but she keeps saying that Jesus is Satan. Is this considered the unpardonable sin?
I'd just like an answer. Thank you. Well, Lynn, I am so sorry to hear that. I want to just take a moment right now to pray for you and for your older child, Lord. Pray for Lynn, Lord, whose heart breaks for this child who is saying these things, Lord, that we know are not true. And Lord, I pray for Lynn that you would fill her with your Holy Spirit and give her wisdom to speak the truth to this son or daughter. And Lord, I pray for this person as well, that you would open their heart, that you would bring them to repentance and faith, Jesus, that they would lay hold of you and the grace and the love that you have for us, that they would experience and receive the forgiveness of sins through the work that you've done, the blood that you shed. And so please be with Lynn and her family. We ask, O God, in Jesus' name.
Amen. In the New Testament, Jesus says that there is one unpardonable sin. And a lot of Christians struggle with this. They think, well, did I commit that sin?
I struggle with a particular habit. Does that mean I've committed the unpardonable sin? There are many believers who are afraid that they've sinned away the grace of God. And when believers professing Christians come to me with that fear, I say, no, you have not committed the unpardonable sin. What's happening in the Gospels is you have the religious leaders who are rejecting Jesus in unbelief and attributing his miracles to Satan. And that is why Jesus says, you know, if you do this, if you continue in this unbelief, hardening your heart against me, you're never going to have forgiveness.
You can't die in that state and be forgiven, be okay. You've rejected the gospel. And so the core of the unpardonable sin is unbelief and not just sort of ignorance, but this hard-hearted rejection of Christ and seeing him as the evil one, the devil. You know, there are some people who say, oh, I don't know that people can even commit the unpardonable sin today because right there, you mean you have Jesus there doing these miracles in the presence of the religious leaders, the scribes and the Pharisees who knew better. But I do think that there are those who reject the gospel and continue to harden their hearts against the truth, even though they hear the preached word, even though they've seen the changed lives, and yet they continue to reject the work of the Spirit. And God gives them over to that. Now, if your daughter who is saying these things and you're saying that she keeps saying that Jesus is Satan, is that the unpardonable sin?
Well, look, I don't think we ever want to give up hope on someone, Lin. I think that Jesus can penetrate into that heart. And so I think you want to continue to pray and you want to continue to speak the truth to your daughter. And I don't know if she's just doing this, you know, to get a rise out of you because she, you know, she sees that it hurts you.
I don't know what the, if she actually really, truly believes that. I mean, that was the thing with the scribes and the Pharisees. They really believed that Jesus was performing these miracles by the power of Satan. I've found that a lot of people who make these kinds of statements today, they're just doing it for a sort of shock value, which is again blasphemous and heinous and wrong. But I think even that is a little bit different than what was happening with the scribes and the Pharisees in the gospels. And so I would say continue to pray, continue to speak the truth and may the Lord open your child's heart and bring them to saving faith.
Thanks for your question. You know, one follow up for you, Adriel, and I'm not presuming this is the case with Lin's adult child, but sometimes there are people that have mental illness that have these, what we call spiritual delusions. You sometimes see this in people who have psychosis, schizophrenia, where they believe, let's say they are Jesus or they are Satan, or maybe even that Jesus is Satan. And again, I'm not presuming that that's the case here, but that is something to be aware of when someone makes claims like that, that are so outlandish. Sometimes perhaps they believe that because of some kind of mental illness. I think that's a great addition.
Of course, we don't know specifically with Lin's family or what's going on. But again, these are complex issues. And so I think having all the information before us is helpful as we think about how to really minister to people. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go back to the phones.
Asher is on the line from Oklahoma. Asher, what's your question for Adriel? Hey, yeah. So I was wondering, listening to you earlier, I was thinking about something that's kind of a general question. Does God have the same mercy or, I guess, grace to the non-believer as to the believer? Kind of a general... Yeah, I mean, well, there is a sense in which through Christ, the believer stands in grace, having been justified by faith. Therefore, Paul says in Romans chapter 5, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through Him. We have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Now, the beautiful thing is that grace, that mercy is something that's offered to the whole world, to non-believers, those who rejected it. And Paul makes that very clear as he continues in verse 6, for while we were still weak at the right time, grace died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person, though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die, but God shows His love for us, and that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Now, what is grace?
It's demerited favor. It's us getting the opposite of what we deserve. What do we deserve? Well, Paul says elsewhere in the book of Romans that the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life. So we deserve judgment, curse, death, but God through Christ has given us eternal life and that's something that's offered to all people indiscriminately.
The preaching of the gospel should go out. So in that sense, I would say that there is this grace and mercy that is extended to the whole world, non-believers and to us, right, prior to coming to faith in Jesus Christ. And it's by faith that we stand in grace and can continue to pursue the Lord.
But if what you mean is, does God just sort of overlook the sins of non-believers and you know, everybody is just sort of accepted and goes to heaven, whether they believe or not, well, no, I would disagree with that. The free offer of the gospel goes out to the whole world. We are called to lay hold of the mercy of God by faith in Jesus Christ. Thanks, Asher, for your question. And what a blessing, what a gift that that grace, that mercy is offered to us by God and it's never taken away.
It's always there every day, every moment where it's available to us. Amen. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Donnie's on the line from Tennessee. Donnie, what's your question for Adriel?
Hello, Adriel. My question is, in our church, in our life group, we have some people who grew up in the Catholic Church and through sharing their childhood with us, they say that they never really read the Bible as they went to church. They didn't study the Bible.
The priest interpreted the Bible to them. And my question is, if you grow up and they were stopped when they came to our church, and we are a Bible-studying church, and everybody studies on their own and at home in life groups, and we study as hard as we can, but they were shocked that other faiths do that. But my question is, if you grow up in a Catholic Church, are you truly going to go to heaven if you've never accepted Christ as your Savior?
Hmm. Donnie, thank you for that question. I would say, look, let's not put our confidence in the particular church that we're a part of, but in Christ. And of course, if an individual grows up in a church, and maybe they have, you know, a lot of the smells, bells and whistles and external ceremonies, but they've never been taught the faith.
They've never laid hold of Christ by faith for the forgiveness of their sins. Well, no, it's not just, you know, I, you know, I have this sort of association with this group that has all these beliefs. I'm not really sure what those beliefs are or how they apply to me, but I guess, you know, that makes me a Christian. This is sort of more of a nominal Christianity. Faith, true faith, genuine faith is laying hold of the promises of God that we see in His Word, in particular, the promise of the gospel for us personally.
And so, I do believe that there are those who are in the Roman Catholic Church who have done that and who do do that. Of course, I disagree with some of the theology, a lot of the theology of the Roman Catholic Church, especially as it pertains to the doctrines related to faith and justification. But one thing that we have said on the broadcast before Donnie is we're not saved by our perfect understanding of salvation. It's not that we fully, totally, perfectly understand how justification works or the mechanism of our salvation. It's that we're saved by Jesus Christ. He's the one who saves us and we can have a weak faith, a faith that still struggles to grasp to understand the mystery of God's grace and goodness to us that still lays hold of a strong Savior, Jesus. And so, I am delighted to hear that you are a part of a church that takes the Word of God seriously where you together with the members are studying the Bible.
I mean, that's how we all want to be. We want to be Berean as the New Testament speaks and study the Scriptures to understand what they say and what they mean for us specifically, particularly in our own lives so that we might enjoy and embrace those promises that God has given to us. But again, you can be raised in all sorts of different kinds of churches. The question is, do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ by faith?
And I'm grateful that you do, Donny. May the Lord bless you. 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 A-3-3, 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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