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Where Was Lazarus's Soul Before Jesus Brought Him Back?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
March 20, 2024 4:30 pm

Where Was Lazarus's Soul Before Jesus Brought Him Back?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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March 20, 2024 4:30 pm

Episode 1449 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes


  1. What do I do if the only Biblical preachers in my town are women?
  2. What can I do if my spouse chats with women online and refuses counseling?
  3. Where was Lazarus's soul before Jesus brought him back?
  4. Will a Christian who commits suicide still go to Heaven?
  5. Should Christians celebrate Easter?
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Wisdom for the Heart
Dr. Stephen Davey

Where was Lazarus' soul before Jesus brought him back to life? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of Core Christianity. Hi, it's 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. Our phone lines will be open for the next 25 minutes. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Now you can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and feel free to email us at First up today, here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Trish. I wanted to know if it's okay to sit under a woman, a female pastor, that speaks the word when the male pastors in this town seldom say anything using the word out of the Bible, where the female pastor 90% teaches from the Bible. Thank you.

Trish, thank you for reaching out with that question. So there are a couple of things here. The first thing I would want to say is the power of the word, the efficacy of the word of God, is not dependent upon the person who is preaching the word. God works together with the Spirit to accomplish his will. So there are people who preach the word who are hypocrites. There are people who preach the word who are not qualified to preach the word, and yet God can still work in and through them. There was a controversy in the ancient church that sort of related to this question. It was called the Donatist controversy, and it had to do with, well, one, welcoming people back into the church after they had turned away from the Lord, but also just the efficacy of God's word and sacraments when they were in the hands of people who either weren't true believers or maybe they just weren't qualified to be preaching, teaching, and ministering sacraments. And essentially the position of the church was, look, God works with his word efficaciously, powerfully by the Spirit, not dependent upon anything in the minister per se.

And so emphasizing the power of the word first and foremost. But that being the case, it doesn't mean that just anybody should preach the word. Not all people are called to be Bible teachers. And certainly I know that there's debate about this, but certainly my view and the view of the church historically has been that women are not called to occupy that teaching office within the church. I know that more recently that's become more and more of a debate, and there are traditions that are saying, no, we think that women can be called as teaching elders or as elders within the church.

But it seems to me that Paul in his pastoral epistles reserves that office in particular for men. And so again, the two things are, one, the power and efficacy of the word is not dependent upon the person preaching it. And two, not just anyone should be preaching.

And so there's a number of problems here, I would say. One, I'm grieved to hear that you're in a situation, you're at a place where you feel like, hey, there just aren't a lot of churches around that are faithful to the word of God. And certainly the issue of ordination and ordination of the office of teaching within the church, that is a biblical issue. Now there, again, have been people who have differed with regard to how to interpret those passages in the pastoral epistles, but my encouragement for you would be to continue to pray and to seek to be in a place where you know the word of God is upheld and being proclaimed faithfully. And certainly a part of that is who's preaching?

Is this person qualified? Are they called to this office by the Lord, or are they not qualified to be preaching for one reason or another? And so may God give you wisdom and God provide for you and for your community that there would be sound and solid churches that are faithful to the word of God, and that the men in the church would rise to the occasion that they would be qualified, as Paul talks about in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus chapter 1, to take the baton and to preach the word faithfully as God calls them to. God bless. You know, Adriel, I'm struck by the fact that we've had several calls and emails in recent weeks from people who say, in my town, and often these are smaller towns in the Midwest, in my town I can't seem to find a pastor who's preaching the word on a regular basis.

It's a total tragedy. I mean, it's heartbreaking, and for those of you who listen to the broadcast, you know that we're big on the local church. We do hear from many people who feel like, well, there's just no, there's nothing close by to me. And Bill, I've said it before, if there really is no faithful church around you, if there isn't a place where you're growing together with other believers under the ministry of the word, it's worth relocating, I think.

It's worth saying, okay, is this the best place for me? Sure, maybe I have a job here and there are other opportunities, but we have to factor in the importance of growing in our relationship with the Lord. And ordinarily, the way that that happens is in the local church, in the fellowship with other believers where the word of God is faithfully taught.

And so if you don't have that, boy, it's a real issue. And may God, you know, it's like Jesus said, pray that the Lord fends out laborers into the field because the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. And so may the Lord continue to raise up pastors and teachers and people who are going to prioritize this word and be faithful to it in sharing it with others.

Good word. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Love to hear from you. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, we're going to be taking calls for the next 20 minutes or so. Here's our phone number.

It's 833-THE-CORE. Now you may have a question about something going on in your church as this last lady did. Something that concerns you, something that confuses you, feel free to give us a call. Adriel, we'll be glad to talk to you about that as well.

833-THE-CORE or 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Mary who's calling in from Tennessee. Mary, what's your question for Adriel?

Hi Adriel, I appreciate you taking my question so soon. So I have been married for 11 years and about four months and I am a Christian and my husband actually is a Christian. However, he's never been to church with me, which I know that does not make you a Christian. But I found out seven months ago that he has been chatting with several women online and looking at pornography as well. When I confronted him about it, I asked him not to say anything but just to listen because I had a lot to say at that point. I don't feel like he's had a physical relationship with these women.

However, the conversation online has indicated he would love to and he just hasn't met these people. I don't want to divorce but at the same time he has refused marriage counseling. He does not want to talk about it.

The subject is not brought up and if I do say something, he gets pretty angry about it. Cheating is cheating and I don't feel like something this is fair to me. I have been a good wife but it's not about me.

It's about his situation, his problem. So I know y'all can't tell us what to do as far as people go, but as far as biblically, to me, it's an adulterous affair. I have tried, like I said, seven months and I haven't done a whole lot yet because I have been praying a lot about what to do and not to make any hasty decisions.

I want God to be in my answers. I feel like emotionally now I'm a little bit more stable and I have thought about asking for divorce because he has not stopped. He has continued on with his behavior. Mary, I am so sorry to hear about this situation and I'm sorry to hear that your husband, while he professes faith in Christ, doesn't go to church with you. This is where the church really ordinarily would step in, in calling an individual to repentance and saying, brother, you are trapped in the bonds of iniquity and your sin is consuming you and if you don't repent there are going to be repercussions. There's the process of discipline within the church, but if he's not a part of the church, if he's functionally excommunicated himself so that he doesn't have any accountability, well then, I mean, that's a foundational problem there. And add to that the fact that he is living in sin. So, one, in part, I mean I'm, one, just my heart breaks for you and I hope that you do, Mary, have people around you, especially within the church, who are walking alongside of you with everything that's going on. I think that you need that.

I think that you need that care for yourself and for your self. He might not be willing to go and see a marriage counselor, but maybe you working with a counselor within the church and communicating, having a place where you can communicate as well to get the support and encouragement and love that you need from the body of Christ. And certainly, I mean, this is, sin destroys lives and it can destroy marriages. And of course, you know, I think you're wise for wanting to take things slowly in terms of saying, okay, you're calling him to follow Jesus and to walk with the Lord and no longer, you know, to be participating in these kinds of extramarital communication, certainly, you know, pornography, the sin of pornography. But he needs to, he needs to repent.

I mean, he needs to recognize that what he's doing is destroying his marriage, but also destroying himself. His soul is in jeopardy. And so I want to just take a moment right now, Mary, to pray for you and to pray for your husband and ask for God's intervention. Invite our listeners to pray as well. Let's lift our sister Mary up to the Lord right now. Our Father in heaven, we come before you, and Lord, we lift Mary up to you and ask that you would grant her the wisdom and grace of your Holy Spirit. God, as she wrestles with these feelings of betrayal, having been sinned against, Lord, in a grievous way, I ask, Lord, that you would strengthen her and uphold her and that you would help her in all things, Lord Jesus, to continue to honor you and to be faithful to you and to be faithful to her husband, even as she calls him, Lord, to follow you. I pray, God, that you would give her wisdom about the next steps and that you would surround her with a multitude of counselors, godly counselors, Lord, who could encourage her and give her solid guidance, people who know her well.

And I pray in particular for her husband, Lord Jesus. Might he come under the conviction of your Holy Spirit, maybe for the first time ever in his life, Lord, but might he come under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, seeing how empty his sin is, seeing how desperately he needs your forgiveness, Lord, and his wife's forgiveness too. Would you humble him, Lord Jesus?

Would you draw him to yourself? Would you bring healing, O God, in this situation and genuine repentance? And would you be again with our sister in these circumstances? We lift her up to you in Jesus' name. Amen.

Amen. Wow, our heart breaks really for Mary. And Mary, thanks so much for your call.

We'll be continuing to pray for you, and we appreciate you so much and just want to pray that that situation resolves itself in a positive way. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Easter is just around the corner, and we actually have a resource that we'd love to get into your hands. It's absolutely free, and it has to do with Jesus' ascension after the resurrection.

That's right, that's right. Yeah, the resource is called The King is Crowned, 10 Ways Jesus' Ascension Matters for You. And if you've never thought about the theological implications of the ascension of Jesus Christ, get ahold of this resource. It's a free download over at forward slash offers. Get your free digital copy of The King is Crowned. You know, when you go to our website, check out some of the other free resources. We have some great core guides and core questions and, of course, our core Bible studies on books from both the New and the Old Testament. If you lead a small group or teach a Sunday school class, these Bible studies would be excellent, so make sure to check that out. You can find them all at

Well, we do receive voicemails here at the core, and here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Don. I was wondering there's a passage in the Bible where Lazarus died, and Jesus was four days yet getting to where Lazarus was. You know, Jesus said he was dead, and he was really dead because Jesus wept over it. I was just wondering, where was Lazarus' soul? I can't seem to find it anywhere in the Bible. And I'm thinking, surely if he was in heaven, he'd have been one grouchy dude when Jesus brought him back here to this earth, because heaven's got to be a super glorious place. But that's just my question. I was just kind of wondering.

Thank you. Yeah, hey, yeah, because heaven is a super glorious place, and it does make you wonder. Now, the passage you're referring to is in the Gospel of John, John chapter 11, where Lazarus dies. Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, he dies. You know, they go to Jesus, trying to get Jesus to go and to heal their brother before it's too late. Jesus tarries. He doesn't go. He allows, essentially, Lazarus to die, and then he comes a few days later and heals him or raises him from the dead.

I mean, more than a healing. And says, Lazarus, come forth. And Lazarus walks out of the tomb with all the grave clothes on, and it was this mighty miracle that the Lord accomplished. It's in that context that Jesus says, I am the resurrection and the life. He's pointing people to the fact that he is the Lord of life. It's just an amazing, really an amazing miracle.

One of the most amazing miracles in all of the Gospel. And we read in John chapter 11, verse 45, many of the Jews, therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him, but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, what are we to do?

For this man performs many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation. So they're really concerned. The chief priests, the Pharisees, they're really concerned about this Jesus who is raising the dead and performing all of these miracles. I mean, they're not thinking about the fact that like, hey, maybe this is the Messiah. He's doing all these amazing things. They're concerned with themselves, with their own position.

They don't want to lose their power and authority. And so there's a real spiritual blindness that we're seeing here. And the reason I bring all of this up is because, look, we can't really speculate. I mean, we just don't know specifically what was he in heaven, in the presence of the angels there, in the sort of intermediate state that we sometimes talk about. For believers, when we die, we enter into the presence of the Lord, our souls are in the presence of the Lord, perfected in holiness. Is that what Lazarus experienced?

No, I don't think that that's what he experienced. Although, in another passage, Jesus tells a parable about the rich man and Lazarus. And of course, he's just telling the story. But there do seem to be some interesting parallels because Lazarus is a guy who died. I'm talking about Luke 16, the story of the rich man and Lazarus. Lazarus is this poor man who dies, and the rich man who was around him also dies. And Lazarus is in Abraham's bosom. He's in this place of paradise, and the rich man is in this place of torment. And he's begging God, essentially, saying, hey, you know, send Lazarus to my family members so that they might believe.

Because, you know, I can't believe that I've made this terrible mistake. He says, for I have five brothers, so that they may warn them, lest they also come to this place of torment. This is Luke chapter 16. And then in verse 29, Abraham said, they have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them. And he said, no, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent. And he said to him, if they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.

It's really interesting there. Here you have a guy named Lazarus. We're talking about Lazarus rising from the dead, and yet the people not repenting, even if they see him. And that's certainly what happened with many of these chief priests and Pharisees. They're seeing this amazing miracle, and yet they don't believe.

Their hearts are hardened. And so, look, can we make a tie there between John 11 and Luke 16? I mean, there do seem to be some parallels. Would that indicate that Lazarus, you know, for that period when he was dead, went to this place of paradise?

I don't know that we can read too much into that specifically. To be honest, we just don't know for certain, you know, what he was experiencing during that time. But you're right, had he been in heaven, it would have been a rough wake-up call. But certainly, God used Lazarus to draw many to the faith as well, and so it's really a remarkable story. Such a powerful story, and of course it really gives us just a hint of what's about to happen with the crucifixion and the resurrection just days later, or a very short time later.

That's absolutely correct. Yeah, I mean, you're seeing here, you know, the power of Christ with all these miracles. Of course, the greatest is going to be his own resurrection from the dead. But also the fact that, you know, we can experience great and mighty acts of God and still not believe. A lot of times people think, if I just saw a miracle, then I would really believe in God.

Don't, you know, don't bet on it. The fact of the matter is, is we have the word of God, we have the holy word of God, and so many people who have seen these mighty miracles, they still didn't believe. And Jesus says, you know, after he's raised from the dead, blessed are those who have not seen and yet still believe. And so God help us to take that, you know, the Holy Word of Jesus, to take God's word to heart and to truly believe it.

Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, you can always leave us a voicemail. And when you do, let us know your name and where you're calling from. We'd love to get your question. The phone number is 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Jan calling in from Indiana. Jan, what's your question for Adriel? Hi, thank you for taking my time. I have a good friend who committed suicide, and I'm not sure if she'll go to heaven or not.

Is there any scripture that relates to that? Jan, I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. And let me just say a couple of things. Again, you know, it's not my place to speculate with a question like this. I can say a couple of things. One, we're saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It's not the strength of our faith that saves us, it's Jesus. Jesus is the one who saves. And so for the person who's trusted in Jesus Christ, that person has eternal life. They've already passed from death to life, Jesus tells us in John chapter 5. And so the hope of our salvation is not on our own righteousness, on how victorious our Christian life was, but the victory of the Lord Jesus Christ who suffered and died on the cross and rose again from the dead for us.

And so we're saved by Jesus. Suicide is a sin, it's self-murder. It's not ever pleasing to the Lord, it's devastating. But I don't believe that it's the unpardonable sin.

I know that there are believers, genuine believers, who wrestle with severe depression, and it was a part of the effects of the fall, and some who have even and some who have even succumbed to that depression. And again, I wouldn't say that that's, you know, it's sin. Suicide is a sin, and yet, as I said, I don't believe that it's the unpardonable sin. And so our hope is in Jesus and the gospel, and the fact that He holds us even in and through our sin. And all of us, every day, we sin in thought, word, and in deed. And of course, some sin is worse than others, you know, not all sin is equal, but I think our hope, the anchor of our hope, is Jesus and His resurrection from the dead.

And so, Janet, I don't know all of the details about this situation. I didn't know your friend personally where your friend was trusting, but I can say that Jesus is able to save to the uttermost all those who have put their trust in Him, even those who battle with severe thoughts of hopelessness, I believe, and so may God be with you. May God bring comfort in this situation, and may God be at work in the lives of all those who are involved, family especially and friends. May God be with you. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to James in Arkansas.

James, we've just got about a minute left. What's your question for Adriel? So the question is about Easter and whether or not we, as Christians, should be celebrating that with, you know, the name of it being derived from pagan gods and all the symbolism and everything else being from pagan rituals, and of course, Christ, you know, passing on Passover.

Great, great question. Yeah, I mean, a lot of Christian traditions refer to the Easter celebrations, just the Paschal celebrations, so I don't know, in terms of the etymology of the word, how significant that is per se. Certainly from very early on, Christians, the Christian church was celebrating the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, there was a time, you know, every year where they were doing this, but the reality is every Lord's Day, every Sunday, is a celebration of the fact that Christ was raised from the dead on the first day of the week, on Sunday, on the Lord's Day. With regard to the question of, you know, should Christians be celebrating Easter, are we obligated to pick one specific day out of the year to celebrate it?

No, I don't think it has to look like that. The reality is every Sunday is a celebration of the resurrection of Christ, and that is something that we ought to celebrate, not just every Sunday, but every day, and not just once a year, but throughout our whole life. Hey, God bless, James. Thanks for calling. Thanks for listening to Core Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, go to forward slash radio, or you can call us at 1-833-843-2673.

That's 833-THE-CORE. When you contact us, let us know how we can be praying for you, and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-20 21:08:58 / 2024-03-20 21:18:55 / 10

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