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July 24, 2020 1:00 am
Episode 495 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.
Key questions answered in today's show:
1. The COVD-19 crisis has touched every aspect of our society, including those in the church. Our church has kept its eyes on the Word and promises of God through this, but there is an attitude with some members that perplexes me. Some people have been openly ribbed for not wanting to shake hands by those who don’t think the virus is very dangerous. Others seem to mock members’ caution and cooperation with civil authorities by staying home and wearing masks, even though we all agree that the Lord is in control. Where is the balance of following our civil authorities’ orders with faith in the Lord? It seems like some Christians think that, since we are people of faith, we should not fear the reality of the danger of the virus at all.
2. How should modern-day Christians respond to those events in the past where people were killed in God’s name, or leaders have used the Word of God to crimes or take advantage of others? Things like the slave trade, the crusades, the Spanish conquistadors in South and Central America. Is murder not the greatest sin? Is this a stain on the image of the church?
3. Why do I find myself constantly asking for the Lord to save me? It is very important to me. I do believe. I believe I’m a sinner, and that Jesus paid for my payment on the cross, a debt I couldn’t pay. I’m just wondering, why am I always looking for that assurance?
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How should modern day Christians respond to those events in the past where people were killed in God's name or were leaders use the word of God to commit crimes or take advantage of others. That's just one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity hi this is Bill Meyer along with Pastor Israel 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 core that's 1-833-843-2673 course you can always email us your question at questions at core, Christianity.com first up today and elderly tamale vendor in a wheelchair has been helped by a beautiful act of generosity shown by a total stranger 94-year-old Don Joelle sells tamales on the street in Santa Ana, California.
Kenya Berrigan is a 28-year-old good Samaritan who met Don Joelle on the street. He told her that because of his age, no one would hire him as a result, he has to work selling tamales for a woman who gives him a bit of money at the end of each day well Kenya went on social media to describe her encounter with Don Joelle in hopes of getting him a little help. She ended up raising more than $80,000. She also purchased him a new wheelchair and got him a new pair of shiny black shoes and Don Joelle describes these gifts as life-changing LOI Batman what a heartwarming story and boy there's nothing like a good time.
I let Bill. Are you a fan of good tamale. I'm sure he has some of the best I feel I was sorry and I thought we don't know if if Kenya the good Samaritan is a follower of Christ but what a beautiful example she sets for the rest of us just befriending this older gentleman and helping him. And obviously he's willing to work and she threw the goodness of her heart does something so sweet and so compassionate just blew me to tears when I read that story so thanks for sharing your bet let's get to our first question of the day. This is an email we received from Patricia and she says the code 19 crisis has touched every aspect of our society, including those in the church.
Our church is kept her eyes on God's word and his promises. Through this, but there's an attitude with some members that perplexes me.
Some people have been openly ribbed and mocked for not wanting to shake hands by those who don't think the virus is very dangerous. Others seem to mock members.
Caution in cooperation with civil authorities by staying home and wearing masks.
Even though we all agree that the Lord is in control. Where is the balance of following our civil authorities orders with faith in the Lord. It seems like some Christians think that since were people of faith. We should not fear the reality of the danger of the virus at all yeah Patricia, thank you for that question and you're right and this is really impacted the church in a significant way for all sorts of different reasons and one of the one of those reasons is just how people in the church are interacting with each other. There is a lot of difference of opinion on this issue in many churches you like to do, where mass do we not wear a mask how significant and dangerous is this virus there are some people that are just terrified I was talking to someone not long ago who was saying I live in constant worry so they're trying to control the circumstances around them and make sure that everybody's wash their hands and had done this, that and the other is wearing a mask, they just feel crushed by this burden. By this way of feeling like I have to control everything around me that there other people who are single.
What's the big deal I don't understand what the big deal is.
This is just a big conspiracy or something like this. There's so much room for division right now in the church and that's one of the things that concerns me as a pastor. One of my big prayers Patricia during the season for our church and for other churches as well has been God help us come through this pandemic stronger as churches more committed to you more committed to your word more committed to each other in love instead of growing distant and that's been one of the great big dangerous threat because many of us are isolated. Many churches are not gathering together as they were before and so people grow distant from each other and and that's a huge fear of minus a fear of a lot of pastors not growing apart and not dividing over these kinds of issues now. It sounds to me like there are people in your church that is you say you know were mocking others who don't have their same view on the coronavirus and mocking is never a good thing especially mocking someone who doesn't have the same conviction in an area will wrap the liberty to think differently. This is not like sin issues that your perspective on on the coronavirus how dangerous it is that there's a level of of liberty and wisdom that we have to use your I think of what Paul said in first Corinthians chapter 8 as being helpful for this discussion listen to what he said this is in the context of food being offered to idols and whether or not Christians can and should eat it. He says concerning food offered to idols, we know that all of us possess knowledge. This knowledge puffs up, but love builds up if anyone imagines that he knows something he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God. Therefore asked the eating of food offered to idols, we know that an idol has no real existence and that there is no God but one. For, although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords for us.
There is one God the father from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. However, not all possess this knowledge but some to former association with idols eat food as really offered to an idol in their conscience, being weak is defiled food will not command us to God, we are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do but take care this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak were talking about two different things are Patricia but I think there's an application that we can draw from first Corinthians chapter 8 what Paul is talking about matters of conscience and not mocking people who have a different view as as we do with regard to things that are gray area issues, but loving them. Loving them. You might feel more freedom to act in one way more freedom than someone else does, but that doesn't mean that you should treat them poorly or diminish them or mock them. Certainly not. I think one of the ways we can love our brothers and sisters, is by being sensitive to the those fears, dare I say is by wearing a mask.
I think you know were so caught up oftentimes with these discussions been thinking about our rights and what what I should be allowed to do in and in a people trying to take those things away for me like I get that.
But the fact of the matter is this, there are some minor inconveniences that have been posed to us as churches but were not being kept from worshiping the Lord entirely for stately's not here I met in California recently.
We were told that we ought to worship outdoors, not inside.
And a lot of people were saying what worship is being canceled here in California. How dare the government do this. The fact the matter is worship is not been canceled. We don't have to be worshiping the Lord in a building in order for it to be legitimately called worship.
I just recently I made a video of this or about this on my social media talking about the importance of understanding the distinction between the elements and circumstances of worship. What makes a worship service. A worship service.
It isn't that were meeting in a nice building with stained glass abuse unit. You can only worship God in that kind of a place no question we ask ourselves is, is the word of God being preached are the ordinances that Jesus gave to the church being administered baptism and the Lord's supper are we doing this stuff of worship.
You can do that in a beautiful cathedral, a beautiful church building or in a parking lot or in a field now have there been challenges hindrances that have been posed to us because of the pandemic. Yes, but I think we as believers in Jesus Christ can meet those challenges head-on because God is worth worshiping and your brothers and sisters in Christ are worth loving and even sacrificing for and didn't Jesus model that for us perfectly laying down his life for us so that we worshiping so that we would know him, but you should. I understand where you're coming from, and the frustration I want to encourage bicyclic it's never okay for us to mock each other when we disagree. Especially on on issues where there's some freedom. We want to focus on loving each other and loving each other well with humility and sometimes that even means being willing to sacrifice for my neighbor and that's okay.
It's a beautiful picture of how Jesus loved us. Thanks for your question. Thank you for the federal this is core Christianity were Pastor Israel Sanchez would love to get your question you can call us anytime at 833-843-2673. That's 833 the core or you can email us your question at questions at core, Christianity.com, Sean sent us this email he says how should modern-day Christians respond to those events in the past were people were killed in God's name or leaders of use the word of God to commit crimes or take advantage of others things like the slave trade, the Crusades, the Spanish conquistadors in South and Central America is murder, not the greatest sin. Is this the stain on the image of the church totally Sean.
It is a huge stain on the image of the church, but I can't tell you how many conversations I've had with people who have told me. I think the church is full of hypocrites and then they'll appeal to some of these things that have happened in the history of the church, even in more recent days and they'll say yeah no thanks not interested now.
Sometimes I think it can be a smokescreen in a people who actually don't really care and are interested, no matter what will point to those things and say yeah I'm that's my excuse for not engaging but for some people, especially people who have been directly affected by the sinful actions of believers. There is a lot of hurt.
There's a lot of pain and broken his neck that that's something that we as Christians need to be sensitive to, as were having conversations with people and I think Jesus would have been sensitive to that as well. God condemns the sinful actions of his people. We think about Jesus when he showed up at his earthly ministry whose he rebuking Lucy calling out who see condemning on several occasions. It's not just the people who are struggling with sin, calling them to repentance and faith. He sees eating dinner with them and say hey I'm a good physician come to heal you is pointing out the sin and the hypocrisy in the religious system that existed in his day.
It's part of the reason that the scribes and the Pharisees hated him and so I think we can be like Jesus. John, I think we can call it out and you see this everywhere I was just noise as I was thinking about your question right now in Isaiah chapter 1 verse 15 listen to how God rebuked Israel under the old covenant. He said when you spread out your hands.
I will hide my eyes from you even though you make many prayers, I will not listen. Why your hands are full of blood.
They were guilty of sin, even the sin of murder if you will, some guy doesn't okay that we need to point people to. Sean is not the sinful actions of believers, but the God who is sinless and who calls us to love our neighbors would point them to the what the Scriptures actually teach is it what what people are saying. A lot of times is to contradict the sink believers who aren't living in accordance with what the Bible teaches us.
We want to point them to what the Bible actually teaches.
Years ago I remember being in a coffee shop here in Southern California. I think I was studying for a sermon may be asked at the time it was. I was an intern. So maybe studying for class that I was taking, and someone came up to me so that I was reading theology textbooks and he's an eight year in theology and I said yeah week we started to have this discussion and I could tell this person sounded like he'd been raised in the church had a knowledge of the Bible was able to quote Scripture and finally he said you know I don't go to church anywhere so why not.
So I look at all the churches and none of them are like Jesus, they don't care for the poor.
They don't love their neighbors that these people are not like Jesus.
I don't need to be in church because the church is full of hypocrites that I think it was kind of caught off guard because when I responded to him.
I said friend I actually don't necessarily disagree with you that the church has all sorts of serious problems that we often don't do a good job living like reflecting Jesus and his love, but you know it's so beautiful about Jesus. You see all the warts the stains on the church and you use that as a justification for why you don't need to be in the church why you can abandon her peers was so beautiful about Jesus as he knows all of those stains and warts better than you do, and he has not abandoned the church yet. He's continuing to pursue her in love to cleanse her to wash her to call her to faith and repentance and I need that and you need that because all of us are sinful are broken so Sean would when people raise this objection. We point them away from the sinful actions of the church which we can condemn we can say to God condemns that and we recognize that that's sin that's wrong. We point them to the one who is sinless to Jesus, who shed his blood to cleanse the church. Thanks for your question. This is core Christianity by Bill Meyer with Pastor Israel Sanchez and we have a special Bible study that we have created just for you. Yeah that's right Bill, we created a new 100 page softcover workbook for the gospel of John. We designed this Bible study with Sunday school classes, Bible study groups and even individual students in mind.
Each weekly lesson includes selected passages from John's Gospel reflection questions and explanations of the key lessons every Christian should know about passages from John's Gospel.
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This studies can help you gain a deeper understanding of the trauma of Scripture. The relevant historic Christian doctrines and the key themes of John's Gospel you want to miss this so at a record, Christianity.com/Gospel of John to get your copy of our new Bible study today know one of our longtime supporters are core Christianity received this Bible study, and he was so encouraged by it, but he said we've got to get this out there more people so he gave us a special gift to do just that.
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So go get your copy firstname.lastname@example.org/Gospel of John, or you can call us at 833-843-2673. That's 833. The core mark on the farm so Lydia of the Lord decided very important to believe believe almost fairly good grandmother will also benefit on the law, was written for that assure six all, thank you for your questioning and this is one that we often get on the program's people longing for assurance assurance that they belong to the Lord and I think that the fact that we have that question that you have that question is it is itself a sign of the work of the Holy Spirit in your life you know people who are concerned about their soul about whether or not they know Jesus made it is those people typically that I'm I'm more worried about we just sort of assume everything is good I'm I'm I'm fine right like it doesn't matter how I live or what I think or what I believe. Even I was baptizes that as a kid, I was baptized as a teenager I asked Jesus into my heart. Several years ago I got my fire insurance and and yet they don't know the Lord by faith. And that's I think the real concern and yet I know for a lot of us for a lot of believers who have trusted in Christ to, as you say, you know you're a sinner you trust that Jesus paid for your sins that we can still have that question in the back of our minds. I really belong to the Lord, especially because we know ourselves better than anyone else we know.
You know, the sinful thoughts that we have the sinful inclinations the things that we do that aren't pleasing to the Lord. We have that knowledge in a way that nobody else has that knowledge. And so we think really and might really truly say you might be looking for an experience some sort of supernatural revelation that you truly are. Save God because that the heavens to open up its want to hear your voice say this is my beloved son, Mark, with whom I am well pleased to know that kind of a thing, but assurance doesn't come that way. Assurance comes first and foremost from confidence in the gospel are assurance actually isn't rooted inside of us.
Hebrews chapter 6 refers to Jesus as the anchor of our soul whose entered into heaven, he seated at the right hand of the father. He's gone before us. He's paved the way we know one day that working out rise again just like him. Paul talks about that in first Corinthians 15 on the basis of what on the basis of his resurrection and the fact that were united to him by faith. The anchor of our souls, what anchors us in the Christian life will gives us assurance that my faithfulness is not my perfect obedience.
The anchor of my soul and of your soul, Mark is Jesus Christ who lived the perfectly obedient life suffered in died in our place so that we might be justified so that we might have eternal life that I actually don't think there's anything wrong with with the same God please save me because in one since we are saved to definitively say we've been justified. That's a once for all active definitive declarative legal work in Jesus Christ. Mark God has declared you righteous giving you Jesus is perfect obedience is what we call the doctrine of imputation. It's as if God has credited to you.
Jesus is very righteousness by faith, the perfect life that Jesus lived so that you can be right now even though you're still a sinner justified but you know what throughout the Christian life.
We are being sanctified were continuing to be saved. In that sense, were growing more and more into the image of Christ. And as far as that's concerned you can and should still pray every day. God sanctify me, make me more and more into the image of Jesus because you were to dwell in my heart so that I might be transformed by your word and reflect your love to the people around me and were also looking forward to that future day that future day of salvation or the consummation of our salvation when our bodies are raised again from the grave will work glorified. There's no more sin. There's no more struggle were in this perfect existence with God in the new creation is that you have all of that you have the fact that we been justified by faith in Jesus that were being sanctified, saved right now.
In that sense every day to submit to the Lord as we so to the spirit as Paul said in Galatians chapter 5.
God is at work in you. Paul says in Philippians both to will and to do for his good pleasure. Great God save me today and we have the confident hope that we will be saved on the last day because we have been justified that were to be raised bodily with Jesus because were united to him, brother. There's so much reason for you to have confidence not in yourself but in Jesus and in his work, and it's as you look away from yourself and look to Jesus and fix your eyes on him and what he's done and you begin to have assurance if our assurance is primarily rooted in us in me and what I do in my faithfulness again.
It's it's a spiritual roller coaster and I think we've all experienced that there are some days where you feel like I really feel safe today and there other days you think I really don't know about the struggling and so we have to look away from ourselves.
That's what we look to Jesus and put our hope in Jesus. That's my encouragement to you Marcus continue to look to Jesus you are saved justified by faith in Jesus Christ.
He who began a good work in you is not connect with that work can continue to bring that work to its final fulfillment.
He's gonna sanctify you every single day by the grace of the Holy Spirit. That's a slow process. It's like you know by watching corn grow in you knocking to see that the results may be that you want to see immediately or it this week or this year, even over time though God is working in you and you will be saved. We have that blessed hope that God has given to us in his son Jesus Christ.
And so you cling to that and for all of you right now listening for you, listening right now you wonder if I saved I think about my life.
IIII know that I'm not perfect. I know that I don't perfect love Jesus. Sometimes my faith just seems so fickle. I have a hard time believing what here's what you need to know even a mustard seed faith even a small faith can lay hold of a strong Savior is not the greatness of your faith that saves you is not that you have a superabundant amount of faith, even a little bit of faith that reaches out to Jesus like an empty hand is able to lay hold of him and were saved not by what we do by hand by what he's done by his grace and that's what gives us confidence lay hold of Jesus today. Thanks for listening to court Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer. Visit us at court, Christianity.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.
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