My singleness feels more like a curse than a blessing.
What should I do? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can call us right now with your question. For the next 25 minutes or so, we'd love to hear from you.
Again, it'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 questions at corechristianity.com. Well, it's Friday, and just in case you think that Pastor Adriel is all about theology and sermons and all that, no, tomorrow he's going fishing. I hope so, but most of the reason I do that is to try to get sermon illustrations, Bill, so it's all, you know, fishers of men kind of stuff. I am hoping, I am hoping, though, to, I mean, we'll see how the family is feeling if I can drag them out to the pier. I do like to go out from time to time and see what we can get. We caught an octopus once, which was pretty wild.
Really? Here in San Diego, but a lot of stingray and a small fish, and I mean, we never take anything home to eat it. We wouldn't know how to do that. But you got to be careful with the stingrays, though, right? Because, I mean, they could, they could zap you. They can. They do. They have zappers. And so you have to watch out because if you're not careful, you can get into trouble. But Bill, what do you got planned for this weekend?
Work, work, and more work. No, actually, we're teaching Sunday school on Sunday. My wife and I teach Sunday school third through fifth grade, so I'm going to be preparing my lesson plan tomorrow. Honestly, Bill, I think that I've mentioned this to you before, but I think that that's so wonderful and just an encouragement to all of you out there in churches. Man, volunteer for your church's Sunday school. What a privilege it is. And really a high calling, if you will, to teach and encourage the children of the church in their relationship with Christ and their walk with the Lord.
So, Bill, just praise the Lord for that, and thanks for doing that. It's a huge blessing. We love it.
We love the kids and love working with them. And my wife is awesome at leading a small group discussion, too, so it's fun. Well, let's get to one of our calls, and we do have several voicemails. We heard one from our listener named Tim, and here's what he had to ask. I'm calling in regard to family and their spiritual awakening. My son is a non-believer, agnostic. My daughter basically just believes whatever I tell her that I believe.
They both grew up in the same household. Mom's a Christian. Mom decided she wanted a divorce after 22 years. Our family's been through a lot the last five years, and I've been somehow trying to kind of keep it together. But my daughter basically just acting in ways that are very ungodly. She's recently taken a pregnancy test and shows pregnant, and yet she goes to church. And I think in her spirit she believes in God, but I'm concerned about her. How can I get across to her, and how can she lead a more godly life? And my son, being an agnostic, non-believer, I guess the question is, how can I bring my kids closer to God? Thank you. God bless you.
Enjoy your show. Tim, man, it sounds like you guys have been through a lot in recent days, between the divorce and your son being agnostic now and some of the struggles that your daughter is going through. We've said this on the broadcast before. Parents, we are the number one influence on our kids and their faith. I'm speaking from a human perspective here. Of course, I know we know that it's the work of the Holy Spirit, that it's the grace of God. But in God's providence, he uses us and the example that we set.
That's the most important thing. And so I think for you, Tim, being stable and solid in your relationship with Christ, and exhibiting the fruit of the Holy Spirit as you engage with your son and your daughter. Here your daughter is in a situation right now where she needs a lot of support and a lot of grace and a lot of love. And so coming alongside of her and bringing the truth and the grace of God to bear in her life, it sounds to me like maybe there's certainly a disconnect. You mentioned that she just believes whatever you believe. Of course, we know that faith is something that's very personal. Our faith doesn't save our kids. Now our faith, as I said, is an example. It's something that the Lord uses in the lives of our children and of our family members.
But each of us are called personally to believe in Jesus Christ. And so I would say for you, prayer, being stable in your own walk with the Lord, exhibiting the grace of God to your children, being committed to the local church, enlisting others to pray for you and for your family members, for your children as well. And having those honest conversations I think that are so important in terms of getting to the root, the hard issues that are behind, the questions maybe that your son has or the pattern of behavior that you're seeing in your daughter.
Really, really going deeper and trying to understand what some of the root causes are there and addressing those things with the truth of God's word and with the grace of Christ. And so, Tim, may the Lord be with you and give you wisdom. And I do hope that you're plugged into a solid church where you're getting the support and encouragement that you need. And I hope that your daughter is able to be a part of that community of faith with you where she can be encouraged in this time of great need for her as well.
You know, I'm reminded of something that Josh McDowell said years ago, Adriel, rules without relationship lead to rebellion. And I'm not saying that that's the case in this family, but it is so important. You talked about extending grace and you think about the parable of the prodigal son. And, you know, our response as parents to when our kids are prodigals, when they go astray, they make the wrong decisions.
And that is so key. It's something that every parent needs to really think about and pray about. And I would also add, you know, I think your advice to this gentleman was great, but I think family counseling at this point might be something. Going to a Christian therapist who is a specialist in working with families, with parents, with, you know, teenage or young adult kids and kind of maybe going through some of the stuff. They've been through a divorce.
They've got lots of issues right now, and that might be helpful to them. Thanks, Bill, for that. Well, this is Core Christianity.
Oh, you bet. Sorry, didn't mean to interrupt you. Let's go to an email that came in from one of our listeners. This is from Justin, and he says, Hi, I'm a pastor in Arkansas, and one of my members asked me a question in which I'm having trouble answering. Before he was saved, he turned against God and rejected Christ. He blamed God for losing his wife and child and thought that if God was truly real, he wouldn't have allowed such a horrible, tragic event to happen. He was an atheist for years.
What advice can I give him to let him know now because he has finally started a relationship with Christ, his sins have been forgiven, and he will be welcomed into heaven? Well, I mean, there are many people, Justin, who, many genuine Christians who think back to things that they've done in their lives, even turning away from the Lord. You know, I knew better, and I still turned away from God, and I did this, that, or the other, who think, well, maybe I'm eternally condemned, totally cut off from God.
So, a couple of things. One, there's only one unpardonable sin that's described in the Bible, in the Gospels like Matthew and Mark, and that sin in particular, I would say, is hard-hearted unbelief, the rejection of the Gospel. The fact that this individual in your church is truly coming to the Lord, is concerned for his soul, wondering about whether or not he's going to be saved. I mean, in my mind, that's indicative of a heart that's being moved by the grace of God, of someone that the Lord is working in.
That's a sign, in and of itself, of the grace of God, this awareness, this conviction over sin. And I think what we have to focus on is the greatness of the Gospel itself, the potency of the blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse our sins, to forgive our wanderings. Because when we look at our sin, it's not that our sin is small, we don't want to minimize it, and you don't need to minimize this individual sin, you know, the atheism, the anger that he had towards God.
No, we don't minimize that. We don't say, it's not that big of a deal, God can forgive you. We say, no, those sins are serious sins when we turn away from God, but your sin is not greater than the blood of Jesus Christ and the power of Christ to forgive. The problem is, so often we have too small a view of the Gospel and too great a view of our own sins, and so it's flipping that around. It's having a greater view of the Gospel and the power of Christ to forgive, while not minimizing our sins. And what this does at the end of the day is it highlights even more the love of God for us, because it's not that God loved us because we weren't that bad or because we deserved his love. It's that no, actually we were great sinners, enemies of God in rebellion, and yet it was there in that state of rebellion that God demonstrated his love for us. And so maybe one passage that you can walk this person through is what the Apostle Paul says in Romans chapter 5, specifically when he's talking about the love of God for us while we were still weak. Verse 6 of Romans 5, while we were still weak at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. 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 in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since therefore we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more now that we are reconciled shall we be saved by his life.
Think of the language there. We were weak, ungodly, sinners, enemies. We were enemies, and yet the blood of Christ was sufficient, powerful enough to cleanse us and to make us a part of the family. Justin, God bless you in your ministry. Thanks for calling.
Love that. Thank you for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open if you have a question about the Bible, Christian life, doctrine, or theology. Maybe you need prayer for something going on in your life.
Maybe you're struggling in some way. Hey, we are more than happy to talk to you. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. We'll be taking calls for the next 15 minutes or so, so give us a call right now. We also want to take a moment to say thank you to a very special group of people. We call them our Inner Core. Yeah, if you are a frequent listener to Core Christianity, if you've been encouraged by the broadcast, would you consider joining what we call the Inner Core? It's a group of people that gives us a monthly gift of $25 or more.
It helps us to continue to do the work that we're doing, and we just so appreciate your support. Thank you for signing up for the Inner Core. We will send you a copy of the book, Core Christianity, Finding Yourself in God's Story, by Dr. Michael Horton, a wonderful resource that dives into the core doctrines of the Christian faith. Love to have you sign up for the Inner Core. You can find out more by going to corechristianity.com forward slash inner core. That's corechristianity.com forward slash inner core. Really do appreciate those faithful supporters of our ministry because we don't play commercials.
We don't get money from a church or denomination. We count on people just like you to keep us on the air. Well, we do receive voicemails here at the core, and some of them come from other countries. And here's one from Jazz in the United Kingdom. I just wanted to say I really, really love your radio show. I listen to it a lot and I really enjoy it. So thank you for the ministry that you're doing.
It's helping a lot of people. My question, basically, I'm single, but I really, really struggle with it. I don't want children for various reasons, and I currently can't actually have children anyway. So am I allowed to pursue a relationship? Because I know there's the gift of singleness, but I feel like people have said to me that if you have the gift of singleness, then you find it easy to be single. Like it doesn't bother you being single, but it does bother me. So I'm like, well, I can't have the gift of being single because I don't want to be single. I'm feeling a bit sad about it.
So yeah, if you could just answer, give me some biblical insight, that'd be really great. God bless you. Jazz, thanks for reaching out to us. Let me just take a moment to pray for you right now.
Father, thank you for Jazz. And pray that you would grant her wisdom, that you would fill her with your spirit, that in this season, Lord, you would give her contentment and rest in you. But that Lord, if she does long for a spouse, Lord, that you would bring the right person into her life, someone who loves you above all else and will encourage her and love her, O Lord, as Jesus loves his church. And so would you please be with our sister?
Would you encourage her and strengthen her in her faith? And Father, I ask these things in Jesus' name. Amen.
So a couple of things. We are made in the image of God. You are a whole person as a single person, whether you're married or not, right? And so called to image God, called to reflect his glory in the world. And God gives us the gift of companionship, of relationship, as well as the gift of children. It sounds like you recognize, you know, what we read in the early chapters of Genesis. It's not good for man to be alone. There's something that we long for. And for some people, right, there are people who are called to singleness and are serving the Lord there. And that's just how the Lord is working in them. That doesn't mean that it's easy, by the way, or that it just comes easily.
I know that there are particular challenges there. But as you said, you know, there's this longing to be married. And your question is, is that okay?
Is that something that is okay? It sounded like you were asking that, especially because you don't want children. Now, specifically, you said that it's not possible for you naturally right now to have children.
So I think in one sense, that clears it up. If God has not made this a possibility, I don't think that you would be prohibited from being married or, you know, like there's some sort of requirement on you to have children when you just actually can't have children. I think in our society today, we ought to critique and I want to critique. What I see is a growing devaluing of the family and of children, of the blessing of children. We know, of course, that one of the purposes in Christian marriage is the raising of godly children. But that sounds like a door that the Lord has closed. That doesn't mean for you that you can't and shouldn't pursue marriage. And so that's why I prayed that the Lord would bring the right person into your life and that in the meantime, that God would fill you with contentment and that you would be able to continue to serve him and to walk with him in this season as you're waiting upon the Lord to bring the right person into your life. And look, whether we're married or whether we're single, that contentment is something that we're always needing to fight to have as the followers of Christ, not longing for or looking for something else or someone else.
Coveting, as God's law talks about, but resting and saying, okay, Lord, you know my desires. You know my desire for a spouse. I am trusting you. I'm going to follow you and be faithful to you and pray that you would bring the right person into my life. And so I think that it's something that's totally good to pursue and just remember that according to scripture, when we're thinking about marriage, we're called to marry in the Lord. And so not compromising here, but finding someone who, as I said, loves Christ and is going to encourage you in your relationship with the Lord. And certainly, you know, who is on the same page with regard to family and recognizes, okay, this is just not something, children is not something that is in the cards for us.
It's not possible for us. But that doesn't mean that we can't serve the Lord and have a fruitful life together in other ways that are truly pleasing to God. And so, Jazz, may the Lord bless you. Thank you for your encouragement. And we will keep you in our prayers.
God bless. Some good counsel there, particularly hard in a place like Great Britain, where the number of evangelical Christians is fairly minimal. And we pray that, Jazz, if you're not plugged into a good church, that God will lead you to one very, very soon. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. In fact, you can call us over the weekend as well and leave a voicemail. Here's our number. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Brian calling in from Indiana. Brian, what's your question for Adriel? Yes. Scripture says that we're not allowed to make graven images, images of God. And I was just wondering, is it a sin to have statues and pictures of Jesus in your church and not in your home?
Hey, Brian, thank you for that question. And you're totally right. Scripture and God's law forbids the making of images. And so making images of God or venerating those images, you know, the law of God goes on to say not to bow down yourself to them nor to serve them. So worshiping or venerating those images, I think there's something really problematic about that. And historically, especially early on, this seemed to be something that the church really, I mean, was sort of unanimous on, clearly recognized.
And so, yeah, I take issue with the making of images or the venerating of images for the very reasons that you've mentioned what God has said in his word. In John, in first John chapter one, verse one, John said that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and have touched with our hands concerning the word of life, Jesus, the life was made manifest and we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us that which we have seen and heard, we proclaim to you. In other words, the job of preachers and of churches is to proclaim the word of life. The apostles, you know, John says we saw it, we felt it, we touched the Lord, but they didn't go in, you know, start drawing pictures. The thing that they did is they went and proclaimed the message of the gospel, Jesus. That's the way in which the church, if you will, paints a picture of Christ, of the gospel, placards Jesus for us in the forgiveness of sins through the preaching of the word. And so I think that's what we should do as well in following the apostolic example. Appreciate your question. Thanks for that, Brian.
This is Core Christianity. Let's go to Adrienne calling in from Tennessee. Adrienne, what's your question for Adrienne? Yeah, hello.
Hi, Adrienne. Hi, how you doing? I'm doing well. How are you? I'm good. Good.
What's your question? Yeah, my question is this. I don't believe in God, I believe in Jesus, but I need to know how do we know that the Bible is strictly the word of God? How do we know this, and how do we know that man put their own two cents in the scripture to make it what they want it to be? Yeah, I mean, this is such an important question because we're talking about how to receive the word of God confidently knowing that this is not, you know, it's not mixed with error. That is to say it's inerrant, which we would say is one of the attributes, if you will, of scripture. But how can we know?
Well, there are a couple of ways. One, I mean, we can look at the things in scripture that testify to the fact that it is indeed inspired by God, the prophetic testimony, the unity of the whole thing. You know, Genesis to Revelation focusing on the work of Christ in the gospel through the Old Testament and types and shadows and the New Testament and the fulfillment of so many prophecies. I mean, I think these are all things that testify to the fact that there is the divine hand behind the inspiration of Holy Scripture. Paul says in 2 Timothy chapter 3 verse 16, all scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. And Peter says in 2 Peter chapter 1 verse 20, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of scripture comes from one's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
So this is what the scriptures say of themselves. Of course, Jesus himself confirming this quoting from the Old Testament and saying this is the word of God. And so because it's God's word, we know that it's true, that it's not mixed with error or with lies. But we can also, as I said, see those miraculous fingerprints all over the scriptures in the prophetic testimony that they give to us. And at the end of the day, I believe it's also the work of the Holy Spirit, Adrian, as we're reading the scriptures. It's as if the Spirit of God illuminates them for us so that we see and realize that they are truly God's word for us.
It's the internal testimony of the Spirit as we read scripture. Jesus said, my sheep hear my voice and they follow me. Brothers and sisters, read the word of God, study the word of God, and as you do, by the work of the Holy Spirit, what you hear is the voice of Jesus saying, follow me. May God give you grace to follow him as you hear his voice speaking to you from Genesis to Revelation. God bless. 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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