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Can Christians Pledge Allegiance to Both Christ and Country?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
July 3, 2020 1:00 am

Can Christians Pledge Allegiance to Both Christ and Country?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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July 3, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 480 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

Key questions answered in today's show:

1. In the Lord’s prayer, I understand how the Father would deliver us from evil, but why would God lead us into temptation? What is meant by “Our Father…lead us not into temptation”?

2. What are your views on the Lord’s Day, and what are biblical ways to honor God with my Sunday?

3. As Christians, should we pledge allegiance to a flag when our allegiance is to Christ and His Kingdom?

4. Shouldn’t people be looking for Jesus Christ, the church of God the Holy Spirit, and not a man-made church building?

Resources

A Better Way: Rediscovering the Drama of God-Centered Worship by Michael Horton

Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel Of The American Church by Michael Horton

Request our latest special offers here or call 1-833-THE-CORE (833-843-2673) to request them by phone.

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As Christians should be pledge allegiance to a flag when our allegiance is to Christ and his kingdom.

That is one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity while happy day before Independence Day. We pray that you're enjoying this Friday holiday. I'm Bill Meyer along with pastor Pedro 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. At 833, the court, that's 1-833-843-2673 and you can email us with your question at questions at core, Christianity.com. To start off with today we have a sweet story to share with you a pair of girls struck up a friendship thanks to a message in a bottle that traveled 700 miles in just two weeks.

Sophia Wilson is 11 years old and she lives in Clifton Park, New York. She and her family were in Florida during the call would 19 lockdown and she wrote about her feelings in a letter put the letter into a bottle and tossed it into the ocean off the coast of Fort Lauderdale.

Sarah Walters is also 11 years old. She lives in Jacksonville Florida. She and her family were on a trip to Olden Beach, North Carolina when she spotted what she first thought was trash on the beach. It turned out to be Sophia's bottle. She read her letter and the two girls have struck up a friendship using the contact information included in Sophia's note in the girl's family say they now talk constantly and they're working on a plan to meet in person. What a cool way to make a new friend that's great.

I've heard about these my message in a bottle. Stories were. Sometimes they actually go all the way across the Atlantic Ocean. I think some guy in Ireland found something that was tossed in and like Massachusetts you may think. Yeah, I mean who needs things like going out and meeting people at the restaurant or online dating type things you can just do a message in a bottle the old-fashioned way. I think that's probably the best way to get let's get our first question of the day we received this call from Teresa in Connecticut.

On your station about changing the words in the Lord's prayer from lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. That was fine and that was very understandable. But the part that I don't think was explained is lead us not into temptation question in my mind. Why would God lead us into temptation. They were asking God not to lead us into Tim Tatian as though that's a possibility. So that's my question about what is meant by father. Lead us not into temptation.

Thank you very much. Hey Teresa, well I let me just say thanks for listening to the program and for calling in and following up. I love that you did that week. We definitely want people to feel the freedom to say hey you know I didn't understand exactly what you said there can you clarify little bit and so I'm glad that you called in and this is where were talking here about the Lord's prayer and the Pope. I think it was last year 2019 did suggest or actually end up changing some of the words in the Lord's prayer related to lead us not temptation deliver us from evil. So that's what we were talking about the first thing that we need to understand is that God does not tempt anyone.

Scripture makes this absolutely clear Teresa James in James chapter 1 verses 13 and 14, said this, let no one say when he is tempted I am being tempted by God for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires. So God is not the active agent in temptation. It's either Satan or our own sinful hearts. That being the case, however, God is sovereign over everything. And I think that's one of the points we were trying to emphasize when we initially answered this question on on the air that we have this promise in first Corinthians over 20 is chapter 10 verse 13 again related to temptation. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, so that you may be able to endure it.

So one God does not tempt you to receive his attempt anyone and to God can and does protect his people from temptation and that's precisely what Jesus tells us to pray for here that do not lead me into temptation. The sense of God, please don't Me to sin, but in the sense of God keep me from those situations and circumstances where my heart will be prone to wander worse and got protect me, protect us and that's how Jesus told us to pray. So I think that's the distinction that we have to make the Bible is very clear. God does not tempt anyone, but we pray to the Lord because we know how easily we are tempted by our own sinful hearts and were asking God to keep us, to protect us to hold onto us and he will know Israel for our listeners that didn't hear that. First up is that we talked about the Pope and the changes that he made to the Lord's prayer of what was the rationale and what were the words that he actually changed yeah well I think that the rationale was he basically said that we don't want to communicate to people that God is the one who is tempting us for leading us into evil or sin, you know, I understand that. I think that we can all sympathize with Echo Scripture is absolutely clear that God is not the author of sin and that God doesn't tempt anyone as I just read therefrom from James chapter 1, but I think that the way in which he sought to change the prayer actually was not so helpful. I made the text in the New Testament when Jesus says pray in this way, you do not lead me to to temptation.

Deliver me from evil or from the evil one. I think it's a perfectly good translation. I think the emphasis that we have. There is on the fact that we are completely dependent upon the Lord, so that while God does not tempt us or cause us to do evil. We still depend on him for everything that we have been we need him to keep us from temptation to think of the psalmist.

For example, he says, with all my heart I have sought you someone 19 do not let me wander from your commandments that he is not that it's not that it's God's fault if he wonders from the commandments of the Lord is that he knows that God in his providential care can protect us and does protect us when we cry out to him from temptation, and so I think that we have to understand I think that's one of the things that the Lord's prayer teaches us is the absolute dependence that we have on our father on the Lord for all things great clarification.

Thank you. This is core Christianity and we would love to hear from you if you got a question for us.

You can email us at questions at core, Christianity.com that's what Jacob did his email says this.

I've been doing a great deal of study on the biblical view of the Christian Sabbath. I grew up in a church that said the Sabbath was only for Old Testament Israel. So Sunday was just like every other day of the week except for morning worship service. I'm now in a church where the Sabbath is important, although people have different views on exactly how to observe what are your views on the Lord's day and what are the biblical ways to honor God with my Sunday. Yeah, thank you for that question and you know I love getting these kinds of questions Jacob because I think one of the things that we really lost in our society today and in Christian culture in America is a high view of the Lord's day a high view of corporate worship. It seems to me that in so many circles that the focus is on all of life is worship and church on Sundays is great. It's good for community but it's not unique in any way. I mean you can get this kind of Christian community all over the place you go to a coffee shop you can be in a Bible study church is not really a nonnegotiable. The Lord state the Sabbath is not something that we necessarily need to observe and I don't think that that's right. In Scripture the Sabbath way back in the beginning of the Bible and the book of Genesis was this creation ordinance were God commanded his people to rest in imitation of what what you do. Now if he didn't need to rest, but he did at end. The focus here is on the fact that we as creatures are made to work and to rest and into enter into God's rest really so the Sabbath was this really important day in the Old Testament you know Saturday fruit for the Jews where they rested. And here's the focus worship the Lord. It wasn't just like Mina were not doing anything.

It's where going to do what God has called us to do related to the worship of God we have those two things together.

Rest setting aside our our earthly worldly concerns the things that distract us so much. And boy, even if the case Jacob that we were very distracted right now as people are so many things going on. We have TV social media in our phones, setting aside the things that so easily distract us in fixing our eyes on the Lord now. I think that's the focus of the Sabbath. It's doing that there's this wonderful text in Isaiah. In Isaiah chapter 58 verses 12 through 14 were God's speaking to his people about a particular context is fasting and the fast it pleases the Lord. But in that context. This is what Isaiah said your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt and you shall raise up the foundations of many generations.

You shall be called the repair of the breach. The restore of the streets to dwelling if you turn back your foot from the Sabbath from doing your pleasure on my holy day and call the Sabbath a delight in the holy day of the Lord Hon. if you honor it not going your own ways or seeking your own pleasure or talking idly, then you shall take delight in the Lord and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth. Is that a beautiful text now course for us as believers in the New Testament we don't observe the Sabbath on Saturday on the last day of the week but on Sunday, the Lord's day the first day of the week and that's because of the resurrection of Jesus Jesus Christ is our Sabbath rest. I think you get this in the book of Hebrews, or even Jesus at the end of Matthew chapter 11. He says come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Right now he says you're listening you think about your life. I'm sure you're tired.

With everything going on with all of the stuff related to coronavirus and and job security. All of those things will.

Jesus says to you, come unto me and I will give you rest. True Sabbath rest and we come together for worship on Sunday. That's were meant to be experiencing is the rest that Jesus provides for us in his death and resurrection. Have you been experiencing that rest out.

We needed more than ever right now and so I think Jacob is important for us that one have a high view of the Lord's day of saying you know what, more than anything, you know what I need every single week is the rest that Jesus provides for me and you're right, there are different ways that people have gone about this in a what what is that look like for you and for your family but I think fundamentally what it has to look like is this gathering together with the people of God to worship Jesus to draw near to him to hear his word preached proclaimed to receive the gifts the ordinances that he gave to his church the Lord's supper to sing and to pray with the people of God to do that and to fix our eyes upon him. That's what were called to do and that's what I think it looks like to honor the Sabbath if you will for us as believers today. You're listening to core Christianity with pastor Averill Sanchez and we will let you know about a special offer that we have for you today. Yeah, let me just speaking about the church right there, Bill. I'm excited to offer our helpful resource over a core, Christianity.com. It's called a things everyone should know about church.

It's free for you when you sign up for our weekly newsletter at core Christianity. We love the church.

I'm a pastor, I want to encourage everyone to worship and serve in a healthy church that preaches Jesus. This resource is going to help you understand what church is and how to best honor God through your participation in your own local church. So head over to core Christianity.com/offers to download eight things everyone should know about the church. Of course you can also call us for that resource at 833-843-2673. That's 833. The core federal a listener post this particular question on our website at core, Christianity.com as Christians should we pledge allegiance to a flag when our allegiance is to Christ and his kingdom yet. What a relevant question, and we were about to celebrate 4 July. Many of us and I don't know about Bill, how it is for you, but I don't think there any firework shows going on here in San Diego because of everything going on with COBIT. So for many of us that the celebrations are going to be a little bit different and that this is think a great question. Should we as Christians do. The Pledge of Allegiance can't week with a clear conscience. I remember pledging allegiance to the kid in grade school every single day before the day began personally, I think it's a matter of of conscience know if it's something that you're not able to do for some reason you know you may be it may be in your mind is like a this is feels like an act of worship or something like that. Well, then I would say don't do it. Whatever you do, you know you have to be able to do it with a clear conscience.

My mom told me when I was born that I was a dual citizen by mother was born in Mexico I was born in the United States, most of it as a baby. She got me dual citizenship that I think that the paperwork was lost or something because as far as I know. Just a United States citizen but actually is a Christian.

I do have dual citizenship and so do you and others.

This wonderful passage in the book of Philippians in Philippians chapter 3, beginning in verse 17 listener what the apostle Paul said brothers join in imitating me and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us for many of whom I often told you, and now tell you even with tears, walk his enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction there. God is their belly and they glory in their shame with the mindset on earthly things.

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. I think we ought to be grateful for the freedoms we have. Most of all, the freedom to worship without being persecuted, but our ultimate allegiance, and here's what I don't ever want you to lose sight of. As believers are ultimate allegiance is to God and to his kingdom. It sounds like you get that right mean that you said you know should we pledge allegiance to the flag when our allegiance is to Christ in his in his kingdom. I think that you understand our primary allegiance to Jesus are ultimate hope is that in the United States of America. But in the cross of Jesus Christ say that so comforting at least to me right now because you know sometimes we look around us, we think, what is going on. This seems like so many things are falling apart around us. Will you know what Jesus promised that the gates of hell wouldn't prevail against the church, his kingdom now here on earth, but he never said that the nations of this world were going to be perfectly preserved. I don't have any moral issues personally with the Pledge of Allegiance. I think if your conscience is little more sensitive woman okay I and I understand that.

I think that you shouldn't do it, but I think whether we do or we don't need to recognize that our primary identity as citizens is as citizens of heaven bought by the blood of Jesus Christ and as citizens of heaven let us seek to do good to all people and to be faithful in our earthly citizenship as well. Contributing to the good of society were here were God has a sin and being respectful and honorable in all things as witnesses of Jesus and so and as we enter into the 4 July week and I think we can celebrate we can be excited but most of all, let's be just filled with joy over the freedom that we have from sin, death and Satan purchased for us by Jesus Christ in order to drill the other biblical analogy that I love.

Along those lines is the fact that we are Christ's ambassadors, and if you think about the role of the ambassador that the ambassador represents no there kingdom there. Their leader, their king, and as we go forth in this world. What an incredible first of all, opportunity, and also responsibility to be a good ambassador for our king you're so right, you know, one of the ways I like to think of churches, local churches here on earth is as kingdom embassies outposts of God's kingdom where people can, and learn about this kingdom. The kingdom of heaven that's breaking in on this present age that were in right now been through the preaching of the gospel and so you're right you know that the church is this Embassy for the kingdom of heaven and we are ambassadors sent out to represent the king and all that we do.

This is core Christianity and would love to hear your question. If you would like to call us at 833-843-2673. The numbers 833 the core. If you want to spell it out and David called us with this question from Penrose Colorado political Christianity and gallop out aluminum for a better editorial letter church on a policy of locally for the spring so there's only one true charitable illustrated. I will be will be looking for Jesus Christ and will not fill not just another charge diligently with the Holy Spirit. Christ, that's the only church that is a David and really appreciate that question and just opened up to Colossians 124.

Let me read it it says this is Paul.

I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church and seems like that the focus there for your focusing on the second part of that verse them. It's an interesting verse actually here Paul says, you know, referring to Jesus's body is the church and so look when were searching for Jesus you know organ to find if we find Jesus's body, the church, because Jesus is severed from his body, let me the New Testament. Paul and in verse 20.

In chapter 12 says Christ is the head of the church and we individually were members of the body and the church makes up his body the bride of Christ is so important that we understand this because I think I've heard this over and over again and maybe you've heard it as well.

I love Jesus but I don't really care much for the church. I have a relationship. A personal relationship with Jesus.

I don't need the church and I think that there is this great misconception that the church is man-made, that people guys men and women just invented this idea of hey let's come together and have these rules that were going to invent and the structure of this institution that were going to create it to be ruled by man and we totally lost sight of what Jesus is doing and who he is what Jesus is the one who said in Matthew 1618.

I tell you this is him speaking to Peter you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, Jesus is the one who is building his church, and if were close to Jesus were going to be close to his church to because the church is his bride. If you have a personal relationship with Jesus.

Let me tell you, you need to be in a local church. God did not intend for you for any of us to know Jesus by faith and not to know and fellowship with our brothers and sisters in the faith before close to the head. Jesus, we ought to be close to his body as well.

Jesus sent out his disciples and what did they do. They planted churches and established a structure for governing, with elders and deacons. Paul talks about this in first Timothy chapter 3 and Titus chapter 1. The building is not the main thing in a whether we meet in in this great big cathedral or in a warehouse during the school. It's not so much that the space were meeting in is the fact that were gathered together around Jesus that were obeying his call to worship and worshiping him in the way that Scripture commands us to worship him our trust. Our hope is in Jesus. He's the one that saves us, the church doesn't save us. The churches we were sinners were part of the church.

But the church clings to Jesus. And when were united to Jesus Christ by faith were also united to our brothers and sisters together were made one family and that's why I said what I said and I think we ought to all be encouraged to seek out good churches were Jesus is preached faithfully and where we can fellowship with other believers and grow together in our faith, and I hope that you have that David God bless you, David, thanks so much for your call. This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez and here's our final question of the day. This is an email from Kenneth.

He says I believe Jesus Christ died for my sins and was raised from the dead. My life is full of testimony, but I struggle with whether or not I've been made new. I do not have an awe-inspiring origin story of when I initially gave my life to Christ.

I started to volunteer with youth I want to be positive and careful with what light I can shine Kenneth, thank you for your question and I believe that there are so many believers who wrestle with this very same thing.

You know I don't feel like I have a really strong testimony. Where were I can describe all these things that I used to do and now all of a sudden I've I've been radically transformed and so there people that they feel very self-conscious about their testimony, and they wonder you have have I really been changed.

It doesn't matter how you feel is God's word says Kenneth if you believe in Jesus Christ, you are united to him and second Corinthians 5 verse 17 if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation the old has passed away.

Behold, the new has come brother if you believe in Jesus Christ. If you've received him for that. For the forgiveness of your sins by faith. If you're trusting in him, relying upon Jesus and his work on your behalf to sign that the spirit is at work in you and because the spirit is at work in you because you believe in Jesus you are a new creation.

Thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer. Visit us@corechristianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673 that's a 33, the court when you contact us. Please let us know how you been encouraged by this podcast and be sure to join us next time. As we explore the truth of God's word together


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