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Is It Healthy to Question If You're Really Saved?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
February 8, 2023 6:16 pm

Is It Healthy to Question If You're Really Saved?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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February 8, 2023 6:16 pm

Episode 1159 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

 

Questions in this Episode

1. Can spiritual entities like angels or demons communicate with Christians?

2. Is the gift of tongues still active today?

3. Is it dangerous to presume that I am saved?

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Core Guide - 6 Things You Should Know About Spiritual Gifts

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Is it healthy to question if you're really saved?

That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Hey, 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. Our phone lines are open right now. If you have a question, here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833- 843-2673. Of course, you can always post your question on one of our social media sites. In fact, you can watch Adriel live right now on YouTube and see what he's wearing today, which is quite attractive.

Or you can email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. This flannel that I got on, I don't know that it's that stylish. It's kind of the Minnesota look today. Minnesota in San Diego. I like that.

It's just changing up my style. Let's go to the phones. Lisa is on the line calling in from Indiana. Lisa, what's your question for Adriel?

Hi there. I'll start with my question. And the question is, is there such a thing as spiritual telepathy?

And if so, can other entities also access a human mind via that measure? And to give you a little backstory, and it's a funny little story in telling how different men and women are from one another. My husband and I have been praying before bedtime. He snores and has snored for 25 years.

And we're just desperate for some sort of hope in this regard. And we prayed before bed one night. And just before, you know, getting out of bed, we're laying there and our eyes are closed, but we're fully alert. And we both received a message. And I've studied Ayurvedic medicine. And so when I heard the word bakapa, I thought, hmm, it may reduce inflammation. Maybe that is something, an answer. Whereas my husband heard baklava.

He loves baklava. So I thought it was kind of funny. That's what I would have heard. Yeah, we both received a message.

And of course, it was the same word, but he didn't know baklava. So there's my question. Wow. Lisa, so I mean, it sounds to me like you're saying in terms of getting spiritual insider messages, is it possible for that to be implanted in our minds by something, by some spiritual entity? I think that the answer is yes. And I think that there are all sorts of spiritual forces at work out in the world. I certainly had an interesting experience.

Maybe I'll share it later. But what I would say in terms of, you know, as Christians, first and foremost, it's understanding that God speaks and is speaking and that he primarily speaks through his word. The first thing that he is speaking, I think of what the author of the Hebrews says in Hebrews chapter three, verse seven. Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion. God speaks to us today. Now, how is God speaking to us? How's the Spirit speaking to us today?

It's primarily through the word. The Spirit speaks in and through the word that comes to us. This is why just a little bit later in Hebrews chapter 12, verse 25, the author of the Hebrews could say, see that you do not refuse him who is speaking. And so first I would just say, as a Christian, God speaks to us now, presently, through his word. And we are called to receive that word by faith, not to resist that word. Now, God can speak in other ways, extraordinarily, you know, through providential circumstances.

And sometimes he does. There's also other spiritual influences, as I already said there. And so, I mean, I couldn't tell you, you know, you feel like perhaps this is an answer to a prayer that you've had for a long time.

I just don't know. I mean, obviously, I don't know if that's, you know, a message that God was giving you providentially, uniquely, as a way of maybe dealing with your husband snoring. But what I can say is, confidently, God is speaking. And if we want to hear the voice of the Lord, it's going to Holy Scripture. It's looking to the Scriptures.

And so maybe I could just follow up with you really quickly, Lisa. So you got this sense that maybe you were being directed in a certain way, and it was some kind of a treatment, you're saying, for your husband's snoring? Well, we both didn't know why we received the message, but we want to make sure it's grounded in our Christian faith, and not to listen to anything but, you know, God.

Yeah. Well, again, the challenge is, you know, we're not talking about something that's clearly articulated in Scripture. We do believe, I do believe, that God is free, I mean, ordinarily works through means, but he's free to work apart from means, so that God could, if he wanted to, plant something in our minds like that that could be helpful. But at the end of the day, I think we have to ask ourselves the question with whatever it is, you know, these experiences that we have, are they bringing us closer to the Lord? Are they in alignment with what he says in his word? I mean, obviously, sometimes we're not even talking about, you know, a specific doctrine or law that God has revealed in Scripture, so it's not calling anything like that into question. And if that's the case, then maybe just, you know, okay, saying, well, that was interesting, and rolling with the punches, but my concern, and I'm not concerned with you in this situation, my concern oftentimes when I have conversations with people who are talking about some spiritual experience that they've had is, I've seen it also where you have situations where an individual is led away from the truth of God's word, or they have this experience, this quote-unquote spiritual experience, it contradicts Scripture. And so, Lisa, I appreciate your question, and I do pray that the Lord guides you and gives you wisdom, and continues to bless you and your husband as you seek to honor him in your life. Bill, can I just say, I mentioned, you know, I recently had an interesting experience, sort of in line with what Lisa said, can I share that?

Sure. I just had gotten done meeting, my producer's looking at me like, what are you doing? I just finished meeting a member of our church, and I was walking out of the meeting, I'm walking down the street in San Diego where I live, Southern California, and as I'm walking, I'm not even paying attention, a guy came up to me and stopped me in the middle of the sidewalk saying, I can see your aura. And, you know, I just, at first I was sort of caught off guard, I had no idea what was going on, I didn't know this person, but he said, I can see your aura, and then he began to share with me, basically saying, you know, oh, you're this and you're that, and you're stressed about this, and I can see this about you, just sort of going on and on, rattling off all these things.

It actually was really interesting, because at first I thought, hey, this guy can kind of see, I don't know if he can see my face that I was stressed out or tired or something like that. But I was caught off guard at first, especially because it seemed to ring true a lot of the things that he was saying. And eventually, you know, I tried to use it as an opportunity to share the gospel with him, and he was not at all interested, and left basically that conversation, and I went home and I just thought, boy, that was so strange. But there are, of course, those passages in scripture that talk about those other spiritual forces that are at work in the world. You think of the woman who was possessed with the spirit of divination, who brought her master's much profit by fortune telling, so that stuff does happen. But the very next day, it was sort of interesting, Bill, I hosted a community group at my house, and my neighbor, I mean, I live in a neighborhood saying he was probably 30,000, 40,000 people.

My neighbor had met that exact same guy earlier, and we sort of connected on this, and come to find everything that the guy said to me, he also said to my neighbor. And so it really wasn't that, as I think spiritual of an experience as maybe, but it's interesting because a lot of times I think it just highlights the sort of power of suggestion and the fact that we have to be vigilant, we have to be cautious, and there's just so much deception out there that if we're not careful, we can be led astray so easily. What you said is so key, if it contradicts scripture, it's not from God. I mean, that's so clear, right?

Yeah, I mean, that's really basic. In fact, even in the Old Testament, God said, look, these false prophets that come along, maybe they say something that comes true, but the reality is there's going to be a mixture of truth and error, and this is how you're going to know that it's not the truth, that it's contrary to what I'm doing in the world today, and so we have the sure word of God that we need to stand upon. Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

If you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, hey, we'd love to hear from you. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Ensel calling in from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Ensel, so great to hear from you. What's your question for Adriel? Hey Pastor Adriel, thank you for your show.

Thank you for all the good you have done for your show. Okay, first of all, my question is, so my wife and I used to attend a one-a-some kind of church. It was, it sounded like we were unbelievers. She, on her third time of service, she became a believer, she professed faith in Jesus Christ, and she became sick. What she's actually wrestling with, now that we're out of that church, we're now in a Reformed afterchurch, is that that same day that she died, she got to speak in tongues.

And with us having a study about cessationism and all that stuff, she has been very confused asking if what she feels that was the case was genuine. She, like I said, it was her third day, so she hadn't gone through all the steps to pretty much be baptized, you know, like how they believe that you kind of get saved and baptized and brought her and always prayed. But she felt like when she was speaking in tongues, she felt like she was speaking another language instead of what almost nowadays is a religious church.

She didn't know what she was saying about Latin or something, but she was able to understand some of the words properly, and she was telling me that even when she would hear other people listening, she would feel like they were being gibberish. I had a little bit of difficulty hearing you there, but it sounds to me like you're saying, look, you and your wife were in a church, different theology than you have now, you're in a different church now, but when you're at that church, your wife had this experience where she spoke in tongues. And just to get some clarity, you're saying she was speaking in tongues and she was speaking this real language she felt like. Did she say that when she was speaking in tongues that it was interpreted or this was just a spiritual experience that she had? Well, she felt like she was able to have some kind of interpretation for herself, but the problem is that, then again, because the church believes the way that they believe it's speaking in tongues, I think in that situation, there was no one to interpret for her to see what was going on. And I feel like that because the church that we were going is mostly Hispanic, it's almost all the people are Hispanic, so I don't think there was other people from let's say.

Okay, so I think many people can look at their lives and say, how do I make sense of this experience that I've had? What was that? Was that of the Lord? Was that not of the Lord?

Was that just in my mind? And especially, I think believers who are in charismatic churches or coming from charismatic churches, and I've got many friends who are in charismatic churches who believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, particularly the sign gifts like tongues and prophecy for today still. That's not my view, and I've talked about that on the broadcast before, but it sounds like she's really wrestling with how do I make sense of this experience. First, let me just say, so you guys were in a oneness Pentecostal church, theologically, especially that oneness theology, that is contrary to core Christianity. That is a rejection of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, who God is and how he's revealed himself to us.

And a lot of times in some of these churches, you have a bunch of other things, not just the doctrine of God, but in terms of ecclesiology and church structure and what worship looks like, I think you also have some other significant issues. Now, we know that the gift of tongues was a biblical thing, and in the New Testament, in places like Acts chapter two, first Corinthians 12 through 14, it seems like the gift of tongues was a real legitimate language that was not learned. The person who's speaking tongues had never learned this language, was used in part as a sign of judgment. We see that early in Acts chapter two, but also as a way of advancing the gospel there in the first century church. Peter preaches this amazing sermon on the day of Pentecost. People hear the people speaking in tongues, declaring the mighty works, the wonderful works of God, and that's used as an opportunity to get the gospel out. So a lot of times those sign gifts, I think it's important that we realize that they weren't an end in and of themselves.

They were used in particular for the purpose of advancing the gospel. This is the case also with Jesus in Mark's gospel, when he heals the paralytic. And he says, son, your sins are forgiven. And everybody's shocked. And they say, well, we wanted you to heal the guy.

And he says, okay. And then he heals the guy, but he says, I'm healing this guy so that you can know that I have authority on earth to forgive sins. And so the ultimate miracle, the main miracle is always the gospel, the forgiveness of sins. I don't think that God is ordinarily giving the gift of tongues today for some of the reasons I already stated. We're in a different time, if you will, in terms of the advancement of the gospel. That doesn't mean that God can't work and doesn't still work miraculously, but just ordinarily, if we're looking for the Christian life, our present Christian life to look like the book of Acts, or Jesus walking around in the gospels. I think we're not understanding that unique period of time in redemptive history with Jesus binding Satan, with the advent of Pentecost, and so on and so forth.

So there's an issue there, but that doesn't mean that God can't and doesn't work miraculously today. And I think for you and your wife having grown in your understanding of the scriptures, I think being able to just rest in that. Look, we focus first and foremost on the word of God.

That's our foundation for everything, our foundation for life. We know that in scripture, when somebody had a gift of tongues, it was called to be interpreted, 1 Corinthians chapter 14. Paul says, let the person who speaks in a tongue pray that he may also interpret. If there's no interpreter, nobody's really edified there. That's one of the big issues, I think, with a lot of what you see in churches that do practice the quote-unquote gift of speaking in tongues. You don't often have an interpreter or an interpretation, so that's an issue.

But I think just being able to take a step back and say, look, I don't really know how to make total sense of that. I don't know fully what was going on there, but I do know that as I continue to dig deeper into the word of God, I'm maturing in my Christian faith, in my relationship with the Lord, and understanding what the ordinary Christian life looks like. And that's where we're focusing, and that doesn't mean that God can't do miraculous things. That doesn't mean that God wasn't at work there in that church, even with all of the other sort of questionable theological things going on there.

God is free to work wherever and however he wants, and he does. And so I think just being able to rest in that, but focusing again, as I've already said on today's broadcast, focusing again on growing in the core doctrines of scripture and being established in those things as you continue to pursue holiness, a love for the Lord, and the worship of Christ in all that you do. Sorry, I can't say, yes, that was for sure good or whatnot, but with regard to personal experience, I don't have the insight there.

It seems to me like there were some issues, frankly. But again, I think resting in God's word, and I pray that the Lord blesses you guys in your marriage and in this new church that you're at as well. Good counsel. Thanks for that, Adriel.

This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. By the way, when our live program is here in a few minutes, we're going to be recording a second episode of the Core. So if you have a question weren't able to get through, you can still call us for the next 35 minutes or so. We'll record your question, use it on a later episode of the show. Here's the phone number to call. You can call right now or call in a few minutes. 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. By the way, we want to take a moment here to say thank you to a special group of people. We call them our inner Core. Yeah, if you've been encouraged by the broadcast, then the inner Core is one of the ways that you can partner with us to continue to get the word out. It's a monthly donation of $25 or more. And I hope that you view it as a way that you can partner with us to encourage others in their walk with the Lord. If you've been again blessed and encouraged by the work that we do, help us encourage others by joining the inner Core. And as a thank you, we'll send you a copy of the book Core Christianity by Dr. Michael Horton. It is such a great book and it really will introduce you to the core doctrines of the Christian faith.

And especially if you're having a conversation with someone who maybe is new to Christianity or doesn't really understand the Christian faith, this book would be awesome. And again, it's our gift to you if you join the inner Core. You can find out more by going to CoreChristianity.com forward slash inner Core. Again, CoreChristianity.com forward slash inner Core. Well, we do receive voicemails here at the Core. You can call us 24 hours a day and leave your question on our voicemail system at 833 the Core.

Here's one that came in from a listener named Grant. My question is, how would you describe the difference between assurance of salvation and presumption of salvation? Because for both me and some Christians that I've mentored, we come from a background where there's kind of a lot of warnings against presumption, you know, kind of drawing on Jesus saying things like, you know, not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, we'll enter the kingdom of heaven. When we try to think about being assured, the doubt creeps in as, oh, well, how do I know I'm not presuming? How do I know I'm not self deceived? What would you say is the difference between a Christian who has true assurance of salvation and somebody who's falsely assured and presuming salvation?

I envision the person who's just being presumptuous as saying, I mean, I've asked Jesus into my heart and, you know, said the sinner's prayer, that kind of thing. But I live however I want, totally irrespective of God and his word. I don't have a vital relationship. I mean, of course they wouldn't say this, but the reality is I don't have a vital relationship with Jesus Christ. My Christian faith doesn't shape anything about how I think about the world, about how I live. It's a quote unquote historical faith. That's sometimes what we call it. It's not a true living faith, a true faith, but it's just, you know, I give maybe a cent to these things. I say that I'm a Christian when in reality I'm not. And I think that's obvious.

And the sad thing is there are many people who do live like that and who need to be warned, frankly, right? They've totally rejected the gospel. They rejected God's word. They've embraced this title, this sort of nominal Christianity. And maybe in their minds that's a comfort for them.

They think, well, you know, I'm a Christian, so when I die I'm going to go to heaven because I said this prayer at some point or something like that. Well, that's an issue. My concern is, the other side of this is there are many sincere believers in Jesus Christ who wrestle with sin, who need the comfort of the gospel, the sure word of God's forgiveness, and instead what a lot of times pastors can give to them and what they give to themselves is just condemnation.

It's the weight of the law. It's I don't do enough. You probably don't do enough. You're probably not really saved because if you were really saved you would have more affections for Jesus and more of a desire to read the word and you'd be more passionate in worship. And the fact of the matter is we all fall short there. No one loves God as perfectly as they should. If you're looking within at your obedience, at how faithful you are to the Lord, how much you desire the Lord and your affections for God and for holiness and so on and so forth, if you're looking within you're always going to see need and lack.

And so it's really easy to get discouraged. I think what we need to do is point people to the sure promise of the gospel. And so for Christians who are burdened, their conscience is burdened, they're wrestling, they're struggling, they need to be pointed outside of themselves to Jesus, to His grace, to His forgiveness.

We're told that we ought to have confidence. John says, I'm writing these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. It's as we know that God has accepted us in His Son Jesus, that He's received us into the family, that we don't have to work for His love, for His embrace, but that He's already given it to us in Jesus Christ. It's only from that place that we're even able to serve and love God in the way that God wants. If we're doing it to try to earn something or merit something from God, that's not going to be good. That can't even be a truly good work before God because the motivation is not proper. It's not done out of a heart of love and faith towards God. It's done out of fear and unbelief and even this sense of I can actually merit or earn my own salvation.

Of course, we wouldn't say that, but deep down inside that's what so many people think. That's a trap that they fall into. It just depends on who it is that we're talking to, who it is that we're addressing. We're talking to somebody who, as I said, they may be fed a prayer. They were baptized many years ago, have no relationship to the church. They call themselves a Christian, but it's very clear that they have no interest in Christ at all. They don't go to church. They haven't been to church in years.

I think we warn that individual. We help them to realize, hey, actually what it means to be a Christian to follow Jesus is different than what you're doing. But when we're talking to those who are burdened and tired and weary and hate their sin and are trying to find ways to fight against it but feel like, man, I keep falling into this thing and the struggle is real and it's there, we don't heap condemnation on those individuals. We lead them to the cross and to the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Many of you know, if you've listened to this program, you've heard us do that again and again and again because we know that it's there at the foot of the cross where we embrace the grace of Christ and we receive his love that we're enabled to go and live as Christ calls us to live, honoring him and serving him by the power and the grace of the Holy Spirit. 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.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-08 21:07:18 / 2023-02-08 21:17:48 / 11

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