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Does God Judge Those Who Take Communion Without Repentance?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
September 17, 2020 1:00 am

Does God Judge Those Who Take Communion Without Repentance?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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September 17, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 534 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

1. If only the Father knows when Christ shall return, why does Revelation say that the Bride has made herself ready for Christ?

2. When Paul warned the Corinthians that “whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord” in 1 Corinthian 11, does that mean we need to prepare ourselves ahead of time so that we can take the Lord’s supper in a worthy manner?

3. What did Jesus mean he said, “Woe to the Pharisees for they devour widow’s houses”?

4. I was wondering in what order should the third use of the law be preached in a sermon? Does preaching it out of order risk turning the gospel into law? 

Resources

How We’ve Misunderstood “Do This in Remembrance of Me” by Adriel Sanchez

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

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Does God judge people who take communion without truly repenting? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of Core Christianity. First up, today we have a good news story to share with you. When electrician John Kinney of Woburn, Massachusetts entered the home of an elderly woman named Gloria, he said the house was in such bad condition he couldn't believe his eyes. John and his brother Dan own and operate the Kinney Electric Company. Gloria called them and said that sparks were shooting out of her light fixture. But as soon as John arrived, he saw a million other problems that needed fixing. Well, after repairing the light, he said he simply couldn't walk away from the house knowing that Gloria was living in such poor conditions.

After talking to her more, John discovered she has no family and very little money. So he decided on the spot he was going to reach out to his network of contractors and colleagues to see who might be willing to help. Then he asked for donations of time and money. Well, the community of Woburn responded big time.

In fact, the next weekend, an army of plumbers, carpenters, and landscapers showed up ready to work on Gloria's house. Wow. Talk about going the extra mile, huh?

Great. You know, I just love it when you hear these stories about people who it's not just about the money, it's really about serving others. I don't know where this guy is at spiritually, but what a beautiful gesture to this sweet older woman. Yeah, I'm sure she was extremely blessed. And there's no more spark shooting out of her light fixture, which is probably the best. Yeah, I hate when that happens, don't you Bill?

Yeah, me too. Well, let's get to our first question. Beth posted this on our website. If only the Father knows when Christ shall return, why does Revelation say that the bride has made herself ready for Christ?

Hey Beth, thanks for that question. Yeah, you're referring to Revelation chapter 19. The context is what's called the marriage supper of the Lamb. And in verse 6, John wrote, he said, Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters, and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, Hallelujah, for the Lord our God, the Almighty reigns, let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory. For the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.

It was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure. Now, just because the bride has made herself ready doesn't mean that she knew or knows when Jesus was coming as if, you know, Jesus said nobody knows except the Father, I don't even know, but the bride knows. No, even Jesus is described as preparing his bride for marriage. I think about what the Apostle Paul said in Ephesians chapter 5, verses 25 through 27. This is like the classic text for husbands and wives and what Christian marriage is supposed to look like. It's a reflection of the marriage that exists between Christ and the church. And listen to what Paul said there. Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor without spot or wrinkle or any such thing that she might be holy and without blemish. You see that there, Beth? Jesus himself has prepared the church so that he might present his bride to himself.

How has he prepared her? He's washed the bride of Christ with the water of the word. You see, we don't know when Jesus is coming, but the repeated call in the New Testament is to be ready. Now, I remember there was a time in my life, years and years ago, before I was really walking with the Lord or even would call myself a Christian, where I had this sense of, you know, yeah, I think God is real, maybe the second coming is a real thing. But I remembered there was this verse, it's in the book of Revelation, and I had heard it and it says that he comes with the clouds and every eye will see him. So I remember as a young man thinking, if it's not a cloudy day, Jesus isn't coming today because it says he comes with the clouds and talk about, you know, not interpreting the Bible the right way. But in my mind at that time, I was sort of thinking, hey, let me just live for myself and do my own thing. And then after I've had my fun, after a long period of time, then I'll get ready for the return of Jesus.

I was so foolish. And I think a lot of people today, that's how they think, they think, you know, I'm going to live for myself, I'll get into religion or God or that kind of spiritual stuff later in life when I'm ready to sort of let go of the things that I want to hold on to right now. The reality is living for yourself is so empty. We're called to know and to love God and we're called to be ready for the coming of Jesus because while we don't know when he's coming, we know that he is coming. He's promised that he's going to return. And so the question for each of us, Beth, is are you ready? Am I ready? Have I been prepared by Jesus, washed by the blood of the lamb? And the way in which the church has prepared herself is through that washing. And so the text that you're referring to there in Revelation chapter 19 doesn't mean that we knew and Jesus didn't know when he was going to come. It just means that the church was waiting, just like Jesus said, prepared, washed by the blood of Jesus.

This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez and our website is corechristianity.com slash radio. If you have a question for us, Noel posted this on Facebook when Paul warned the Corinthians that whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Does that mean we need to prepare ourselves ahead of time so we can take the Lord's Supper in a worthy manner?

I think that we definitely should prepare our hearts as we approach the Lord's table, Noel. And I'm so glad that you asked this question because one of the things I love to talk about is the church and the ordinances that Jesus gave to the church. I think that so often today, in many of our lives, we sort of downplay their significance in many churches.

Also, they downplay the significance of things like baptism and the Lord's Supper. But these are the holy means through which God promises to meet his people, to minister to us, to extend his grace to you. And so it's so important that we understand baptism, the Lord's Supper.

And so, as I said, I'm really glad that you asked this question. And I think we should just read the section that you're referring to in 1 Corinthians 11. I'm going to begin in verse 23. Paul said, For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me. In the same way, he also took the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood.

Do this as often as you drink it in remembrance of me. For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup, for anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.

That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.

Wow. You talk about a high view of the Lord's Supper. Paul is saying something that I think would shock many people today. He says, unworthy participation in the Lord's Supper leads to God's judgment.

He said it to the Corinthians. This is why many of you are weak and sick, and some have even died. It's because they're not judging the sin in their own lives, and they're coming before the Lord's Table, and they're taking the bread and the wine, the body and blood of Jesus flippantly, unbelieving without faith. And that's really at the heart of what it means to worthily partake of the Lord's Supper.

You see, we got to be very careful that we don't confuse this here. Paul does not mean that we're righteous in and of ourselves. You know, you've lived a pretty good week this week. You didn't fall into that old sin that you struggle with on a regular basis. You're worthy to take the Lord's Supper today.

No, not at all. Actually, the Lord's Supper is for broken sinners. It's for people who have struggled all week, even that day, and who are coming before God humble and saying, God, I need your mercy. I need the body and blood of Jesus.

I need your cleansing. I need your grace. That's who the Lord's Supper is for. If you recognize that about yourself, if you come before the Lord broken and needy, hungry, boy, God feeds you with His grace in this sign, the breaking of the bread, the giving of the cup.

But what we're warned against here is coming in an unbelieving manner. That is, holding on to our sins, being prideful about them, not wanting to part ways with them, and then coming before the table and thinking, yeah, no big deal. I'm in communion with Jesus. I said a prayer a long time ago, or was baptized many years ago, and yet we're not aware of the significance of what's taking place when we come to the table, and we're not judging the sin in our own lives by saying, God, have mercy upon me.

It's so important that we recognize that this meal, the Lord's Supper, Noel, isn't just like our Tuesday night dinner. This is a holy ordinance given to us by Jesus, and above all else, it's a gift. It's a means of grace. What I mean by that is it's one of the ways, one of the tangible ways that God communicates His love and His mercy to His people.

That's why we can't be flippant about it. You know, imagine if somebody was extending to you the most precious gift in the world, and you just sort of laughed, slapped it out of their hands, or took it but didn't take care of it. What a travesty. In the Lord's Supper, Christ extends to you His love, His benefits, His body and blood by faith. We should receive it with joy and thanksgiving and with faith above all else, as I just said there. And so, yes, there is a preparation, and I think that preparation just looks like humbling ourselves before the Lord and saying in honesty and in truth, God, I need you. Nourish me.

I believe in you. I cling to Jesus. And we should do that every time we gather together as the people of God and every time we take the Lord's Supper. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez. I'm Bill Meyer, and if you or somebody you love has been struggling during the COVID-19 situation, we have an important resource to offer you today.

Yeah, thanks, Bill. We're offering our listeners a wonderful little book by Harold Sankbeil called Christ and Calamity. And it's easy to think that God has forgotten us when things get tough or that He doesn't care about us when we continue to cry out to Him in the midst of our suffering. Well, this book is going to remind you over and over again that God is faithful and that you can trust Him.

No matter what calamity you're facing, what difficulty you're going through in life, God is merciful and good. You can turn to Him. So take advantage of this offer. Head over to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. You can reserve your copy of that book today for a donation of any amount. As Adriel said, just head over to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. You can also call us at 833-843-2673 for help getting any one of our offers.

That's 833-The-Core. Hi, this is Darlene from Sacramento, and this is a question for Adriel and Bill. What did Jesus mean when He said, Woe unto these crabs and Pharisees, for they devour widows' houses.

What does that mean? Thank you very much, and I enjoy your program. Have a God-blessed day, both of you. Bye-bye.

God bless you too, Darlene, and so good to hear from you. Why don't you open your Bible, if you have a Bible, to Mark chapter 12, beginning in verse 38. The passage that you're referring to, I think this is one of the most helpful in the Gospels places to go to explain this. Mark chapter 12, beginning in verse 38. And in His teaching, Jesus said, Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces. They have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at the feasts, who devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayers.

They will receive the greater condemnation. And then He tells this story right after He mentioned this, Darlene. He said this, And Jesus sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums, and a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins which make a penny. And He called His disciples to Him and said to them, Truly I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box, for they all contribute out of their abundance.

But she, out of her poverty, has put in everything she had, all she had to live on. Now, I think that it's really important that we read those two passages together in order to rightly understand what Jesus means when He says, Woe to the scribes or Pharisees who devour widows' houses. Now, what was happening probably is they were taking from the most vulnerable, whereas the religious leaders were called to shepherd the flock, care for the flock, feed the flock, and especially to be tender toward the widow, the orphan, to take care of them. What was happening in Israel at that time, and this just goes to show you how corrupt the system of religion was, instead of caring for the flock, they were taking from the flock, consuming the flock. And even the poor widows, they were devouring their livelihood, their houses, so that they might have for themselves. Now, what an indictment that is against religious leaders today who don't truly care for the sheep, who don't sacrifice for the sheep, give to the sheep, but instead take, take, take, I'm thinking in particular, Darlene, of the prosperity gospel and those preachers that you see on television who, you know, they talk about how God wants you to be blessed and all you have to do is give to me, you know, sow your big seed of however much money I'm asking you to give to me, and then you're really going to be blessed.

Well, they're devouring people's houses, and oftentimes, here's the sad thing, the people whose homes get devoured are some of the most vulnerable in society. You know, the prosperity gospel has gone out throughout the world into some of the most poverty-stricken nations of the world, and you have poor people who are giving to the charlatans, giving everything that they have, like this poor widow. Now, it's interesting because in the passage here, the widow is commended, and she has faith, she's trusting in God, she's relying upon Him, and so God looks upon her with compassion, with love. He sustains her, He takes care of her, but these false shepherds, these scribes and these Pharisees, they were called to take care of that poor widow, and instead, what you have happening?

She's giving everything she has to the temple treasury to help them build these bigger storehouses, and Jesus, in sort of one fell swoop, He rebukes the scribes for taking advantage of this poor widow, and He praises the poor widow for trusting in God and being someone who gives sacrificially. Now, nowhere in Scripture does it say that widows have to give everything that they have. As I said, actually, in Scripture, the people of God are called to is caring for orphans and widows. You see this especially in the New Testament under the New Covenant.

One of the things that the church is called to do is care for widows. Paul talked about this at some length when he was writing to Timothy. And so, what's being highlighted here, Darlene, is that the religious system at the time of Jesus' ministry was so corrupt that instead of caring for the sheep, taking care of the vulnerable, they were devouring their homes, taking their livelihood, consuming the sheep, if you will. The scribes weren't true shepherds.

You know what they were? They were wolves. And the sad reality is there are a lot of wolves in the church today, and that's exactly what the Apostle Paul said would happen. And that's why we need to cling to the chief shepherd, to Jesus, and to people who are faithful at following His word and caring for the sheep under Him, under the true shepherd, by serving them, by nourishing them with the word of God. I hope that that helps to really highlight what Jesus is getting at there for you when He rebukes the scribes and the Pharisees for devouring widows' houses.

Give us a call back if you have any more questions. You know, Adriel, it's so sad you mentioned this, that in some of the most poverty-stricken areas of the world, third-world countries, there are people who are abusing the poorest of the poor in Christ's name. And boy, that is something that God is going to judge very harshly. I tremble when I think about it, Bill.

You're absolutely right. I mean, this is why James 3, verse 1 says, Don't let many of you become teachers, knowing that we will receive a stricter judgment. And there is a judgment coming, a severe judgment coming, on those who are in the ministry to take advantage of the vulnerable, who are preying on the weak, who are using their positions of power to abuse the flock. And it really is heartbreaking, and that's why we have to be on guard. And the fact of the matter is, it's one of those warnings that you see, as I mentioned, over and over and over again in the New Testament, because the disciples knew, Jesus knew, hey, this is coming. We have to be watchful, we have to be vigilant, and we have to know God's word well so that we can stand against, whenever it's twisted, or people who are coming and teaching things that are contrary to it. And so we've got to know the word, Bill.

So critical in this day and age. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and Brett posted this on our Instagram account. He says, I was wondering in what order should the third use of the law be preached in a sermon? Does preaching it out of order risk turning the gospel into law?

Okay, Brett, well, there's a lot to this question. I'm guessing that a lot of people don't really have those categories in their minds, the third use of the law, first use of the law, and so forth. And so let me just explain that to you. If you're unfamiliar with that phrase, here's what I mean by that, what a lot of pastors and theologians mean by that. The law of God, God's commandments, it's helpful to differentiate how it's used throughout scripture. And it's one of the things that we see actually in the Bible, is the law being used in different ways. So when we talk about the first use of the law, we're referring to the fact that God's law exposes our sin. It's like a mirror that shows us that we're sinners, and ultimately it drives us to Jesus.

It condemns us. Paul said to Timothy in 1 Timothy 1, verse 9, Understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers. The law of God exposes our sin.

It's like a guillotine that puts us to death and shows us that we need Jesus. And so I think that's a helpful way of thinking about the law. And in the first use, think of the law as this guillotine that puts us to death because of our sins. But there are also other ways in which the law of God is used. The second use of the law is that the law functions not just as a guillotine putting us to death, but as a guard in broader society, in the whole world. Because the law of God in one sense is written on everyone's heart. We have this sense of right and wrong.

We typically don't have to argue with people to convince them that murder is wrong. And that's because the law of God is written on the hearts of all people in one sense. And because of that, the law of God functions in the broader world, in broader society, as this guard, as this restraint to evil. Now, the third use of the law, so the law is a guillotine, it puts us to death, it shows us our sin.

It's also a guard in broader society, but it's also a guide for believers. You see, the law, it kills us because it shows us our shortcoming, that we fail to obey God, leads us to the gospel. And now, for us, the law is no longer over us to condemn us.

We're dead to the law, alive to Jesus Christ. Now, for the believer, the law is a guide. And it guides us, it helps us to know what God calls us to, to love God and to love neighbor.

Paul said in Romans 8 verse 4 that by the Spirit in Christ, we fulfill the righteous requirements of the law. As far as preaching is concerned, you know, that third use of the law, the law is a guide. Is it okay to preach that in the sermon, and where do we do it? Well, I think that we do, and we preach it as an implication of the gospel. The main thing, I think, in our preaching is that we have to keep the cross central. Paul said, I declare to know nothing except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. In Galatians 3, he talked about placarding Jesus before us. We have to keep the cross and the gospel central, because, brother, that's what transforms people's lives. And through that message, we're called to love and obey God's law. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-12 13:14:12 / 2024-03-12 13:24:07 / 10

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