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Who are the 144,000 in the Book of Revelation?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
September 30, 2020 1:00 am

Who are the 144,000 in the Book of Revelation?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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September 30, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 543 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

1. I have a coworker who is an atheist. I invited her to church, but she said that she had bad experiences as a child because she is also lesbian. She said Christians told her God hates gay people and gay people aren’t welcome in church. How do I continue to show Jesus to her without seeming too pushy or turning her off to God even more?

2. I struggle with my salvation and the fruits of obedience. I used to think it was as simple as just trusting in Jesus, but it doesn’t seem that way anymore. How do I know that I have the right fruit or enough evidence to prove that I’m saved?

3. Who are the 144,000 in the book of Revelation?

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In the book of Revelation. Who are the 144,000 who have the father's name written on their foreheads. Best is one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity this is Bill Meyer along with pastor Adm. Sanchez and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day.

Would love to hear from you. You can call us right now with your question. At 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 and you can post your question on our Facebook or Instagram account or email us with your question at questions at core, Christianity.com first up today we have a good news story for you. A Spanish triathlete did something amazing during a race last week. He stopped at the finish line to let a fellow runner who had taken a wrong turn overtake him and claim third-place British triathlete James Teagle was on the course to finish third at the 20 $0.20 tender triathlon in Barcelona over the weekend, but he inadvertently ran in the wrong direction just a few meters from the finish line well runner Diego meant Rita passed Teagle but after noticing his error.

He stopped and allowed him to cross the finish line 1st for his kind gesture. Diego was awarded honorary third-place by the race organizers and given the same prize money as the British runner medical that is cool you know I think if I ever ran triathlete.

I probably would end the wrong way to I'm just now to think I was thinking of signing you up for the running of the bulls.

Yeah, I'm talking about a way to get in shape. I feel like that. There's no stopping edible chasing you stuff you really want the motivation admit we gotta have something like that here in the state to initiate blister through our first question of the day. Austin emailed us and he said this, I have a coworker who's an atheist.

I invited her to church but she said she had bad experiences as a child because she is lesbian. She said Christians told her God hates gay people and gay people aren't welcome in church. I told her that my church would welcome her with open arms and I told her God loves everyone. She says she isn't interested in church because of what those people said to her when she was younger. How to why continue to show Jesus to her without seeming too pushy or turning her off to God even more yeah hostile.

I love the way you put that how do I continue to show Jesus to her and I think that really is the most important thing. There a lot of people who have negative experiences in churches under maybe abusive leadership. Or maybe it was bad theology.

Whatever it was, but their perspective on God Christianity the church is skewed that they really don't understand who Jesus is and so I think it's it's what were called to as followers of Christ to help people know the truth and to know who Jesus is and I just I'm continually amazed it is going to the Gospels and looking at how our Lord conducted himself among sinners among people who were viewed as outcasts. People who weren't allowed around the temple. People who weren't respected by the religious authorities and that you think of the scribes and the Pharisees sort of holding their noses up high in and looking down upon everyone around them.

And yet Jesus didn't do that.

He was accused of being a glutton and a wine paper because he would sit with sinners and eat with them and have a relationship with them and he never compromised Debbie, he was often rebuked by the religious leaders because they took offense at him but he never compromised and he says I've come to seek and to save the lost piece.

The good physician who wants to minister to people who are broken, who are captivated by sin, and certainly we would say, and I think according to the teaching of Scripture very clearly in places like Romans one throughout the Old Testament is the Bible sexual ethic, we would say that that is a sin and we don't want to compromise what the Scriptures teach regarding that and yet at the same time.

Jesus didn't State Farm sinners. He called them to follow him and he extended his love to them, and he ate with them and so Austin I would say you know continue to to build a relationship with this person with with your friend to show her that you care about her, to model for her that love of Christ.

It's as I'm I'm not can it State Farm you are nothing to treat you like your less than me, you're like you're disgusting or something like that. Not a sit down together. Let's have coffee let's have a meal. Let me invite you into what the Christian community looks like. I think if we can model as the body of Christ that love that Jesus talks about me.

Jesus said in John 13 verse 35. The world is good to know you're my disciples by your love for each other we can model that it really creates cognitive dissonance, and in people's minds. People who think they know what Christianity and Jesus is all about you. There so many people today who they assume that all Christians are bigots there. They are not educated their judgmental they're not loving and yet when they experience.

I think the love of the Christian community defected that were not a bunch of dummies we actually have thought through these things we care about each other. We have respect for one another.

We love each other and we love all people as were called to and yet at the same time we don't compromise on the truth is, I think there's something that we we have to do here what we have to show you have to show that you're knocking to treat your friend spitefully or that you're going to be judgmental in the sense of you know, treating her like you're better than she is. Or something like that. We recognize that we are all sinners and yet at the same time you want to hold fast to the Bible's teaching on sexuality and look you probably know this.

The Bible's teaching on sexuality is to make us popular in a culture that treats sex like a casual thing. You often hear today know what does God care about what I do in the bedroom that kind of a thing. Well God cares because he loves us, and because he knows that these kinds of things. Sexuality in particular have have a huge impact on our lives. On the way we view the world and the sad reality is that in society today so many people are being objectified sexually were treating sexuality is either that the main thing you will people find their identity in the fact that I identify as gay or lesbian or or that kind of a thing is the essence of who I am, will that's wrong that's a wrong understanding or they just treat it like it's not that big of a deal.

You have the sort of casual sex type of the thing out there in society. So we have to model something different.

That's what you're gonna want to do with your friend and let me to say there are a lot of good resources out there on there's a little book by guy named Sam Albert.

He called his God and Highgate and he can get into passages of Scripture. A lot of some practical wisdom there that could be a helpful resource for you. Also, Rosario Butterfield.

She has a couple of books that I think can be really helpful. Maybe something that your friend would even be interested in.

She has one called the secret thoughts of an unlikely convert and another book called the gospel comes with a house key, which is all about hospitality in the Christian life and how we as followers of Jesus should be loving our neighbors. Our neighbors were different than we are.

Our neighbors who are gay and lesbian and what that looks like for us to love them while also continuing to hold fast to the truth and and there's one article over court, Christianity.com. After that I wrote that you might be interested in is called by you still need the church. Even if you have been hurt by it and it sounds to me like your friend has been hurt by the church that she needs to understand who Jesus really is because it sounds that she didn't get a good understanding of who Christ is, from her previous experiences and so may the Lord bless you as you seek to extend the love of Christ to her while holding fast to the truth of Scripture better let me ask you what is your perspective on churches that tell people that God has blessed them because they're gay or transgender. Or that they should even celebrate that as a God given gift to them. Boy you know. It reminds me of Bill.

It reminded me in the Old Testament.

Often times when God would talk about the false teachers the false prophets.

He says that one of the things that they would do is they would say peace peace where there is no peace. They wouldn't deal or address the sins of Israel.

They would just tell them what they wanted to hear. And God said, look, you guys aren't speaking on my behalf, and frankly would win churches or church leaders say oh yeah do whatever you want. If that's what you want to do no big deal.

I think that's false. And those are false teachers or "false prophets were saying peace peace where there is no peace. What we need is the love of God and the truth of God's word and you have to have both of those together.

If you don't have the truth of God's word. You really can experience the love of God, because the love of God doesn't just leave us where we are because it's up to himself to know him to turn away from our sins and churches that are unwilling to do that to say that wife your interest like that get out of that church, because that kind of a church is going to lead you down the wrong path and ultimately to be harmful for your soul.

We need people who are going to be faithful to the Scriptures and yet who are going to reveal to us the love of Jesus. The fact that there is hope for all sinners. His blood is sufficient to cleanse all of our sins, and that no matter what it is that we wrestle with.

We can cling to him. He will be with us and so that's what we need Bill your listing to core Christianity with pastor Adm. Sanchez and we actually have a resource that would like to offer you today on this very topic, yeah, I'm glad you mentioned that bill because it's hard to cover a topic this big in the span of just a few minutes. And so there's more that we want to say about this, and there's a resource we have over core, Christianity.com called 10 things you need to know about the Bible and homosexuality written by by my friend and previous cohost Dr. Michael Horton and it's over there core Christianity.com you can get it for her. She had a.com/offers and you don't want to make sure you get your hands on that as you wrestle with this question once again the title is 10 things you need to know about the Bible and homosexuality.

And it's yours for a donation of any amount by going to core Christianity.com/offers or calling us at 833-843-2673. That's 833, the court, it will. Here's a question that was posted on her Facebook page from Amber and this really reflects what a lot of people ask us on a regular basis. Your core Christianity she says. I struggle with my salvation, and the fruits of obedience.

I used to think it was as simple as trusting Jesus, but it doesn't seem that way anymore. I feel lost. How I know I have the right fruit or enough evidence to prove that I'm saved I'm so lost. I don't know where to start. Please help me Amber.

I know how you feel and so the first thing I want to do is pray for you.

Father left Amber up to you and not just Amber but everyone is listening right now who they wrestle with this question, we know that there are so many people who they struggle with assurance.

They wonder, am I truly saved God for your children, for those who know you by faith. I pray that you would grant them peace. Think of what your word says in Romans that that the Spirit of God bears witness with our spirit that we are your children and so would your spirit bear witness with Amber spirit that she belongs to you and may she rest Lord in the simplicity of the gospel in the fact that you do receive her by faith you forgive all her sins through your son Jesus and that as you're working in her by your spirit, you're going to sanctify her lawyer that that's a process that takes time. It's not never completed this side of heaven, Lord, but but you're at work in her and so would you give her the comfort in that knowledge, would you help Robert to just rest in and receive what you have accomplished for her in your son Jesus in his name we pray. Amen. Both just thinking about this is last week Amber because preaching through first John right now, and in first John chapter 2 verse three just as this and by this we know that we have come to know him. If we keep his commandments. That's an interesting there because you know that they commandments that he's referring to. I think in particular refers to the commandment for us to love his children.

The body of Christ, his people. I think this because you in places like John chapter 13 verses 34 and 35 Jesus said a new commandment I give to you that you love one another, even as I have loved you, so you ought to love one another and then the thesis by this, so people will know that you are my disciples, by your love for each other or in John 15. I think verse 12 unit again.

Jesus, to reiterate the same thing. This is my commandment that you love one another to his disciples and then and then in the next chapter. First John first John chapter 3 verse 23 John said, and this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his son Jesus Christ, and love one another.

So it one of the defining characteristics of a Christian is love the mark of a Christian ought to be. Let me think about what Paul says in Galatians the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Love begins with love and I think this is important because a lot of times were were trying to find confidence in some sort of mystical experience. We had no I said a prayer. Years ago at summer camp or maybe the fact that we have all the right knowledge about God which John says very clearly. By this we know that we have come to know him. We keep his commandments, what commitment will the commandment to love. Now there's a challenger and I think you understand it. You've articulated it is that when we as Christians we look at our own lives. We take stock. It was okay.

How well do I love immediately. I think each of us has to confess will Lord I want to love your people and I want to love you and I strive to do it. You note to the best of my ability, but I fall short.

I fall way short.

I have a hard time letting the people who were were similar to me, much less the people that are different than I am. Within the body of Christ and then much less loving might my enemies is Jesus commands me to you and in the sermon on the mountain so love his defining marker of a Christian and yet all of us Amber even as followers of Jesus we fall so short and I think that's what's really important that we understand this. John doesn't stay there and in first John chapter 2 verse three.

By this you know God by your love for each other were not saved by how well we love each other.

Amber, you know were saved by how well Jesus loved us and what we need to understand what you need to understand this is where assurance comes from its looking outside of yourself to Jesus and laying hold of his great love for you.

The fact that he himself Amber is your advocate is that exactly what John says a little bit earlier there in first John chapter 2 my little children, I'm writing these things to you for that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propitiation for our sins and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And so what we need to grasp is as we wrestle with this question as you wrestle with this question of assurance.

What you need to understand. Amber is you can be confident you can rest because you have an advocate and have been Jesus, the righteous one whose blood was the propitiation for your sins. And even when you send now even when you fall short and we all do we fall short of that command to love God perfectly and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Even when you fall short. He still your advocate that that's precisely why we need him why he is right because we need him to plead our case and he does and I think in that sense immediate use editing in your question to us Amber you know I used to think it was as simple as just trusting in Jesus while it is when you trust in Jesus by faith. You are united to him and he is your advocate, your high priest and that's what gives us confidence and the sweet thing is, he promises never to leave you or forsake you. So were all as followers of Jesus who have trusted in him were justified by faith that gives us confidence that should give you confidence and now day by day by the grace of the Holy Spirit. He's renewing you he's drawing you closer to himself. He's transforming you as you grow in grace as you grow in the gospel and apprehending his great love for you.

As I said, I know exactly how you feel. I remember feeling the same way that the essence of and I feel lost.how can I be sure that I look at the evidence in my own life and I feel like it fall short. What's going to fall short until the day that were in the presence of the Lord because were never to be sinless this side of heaven. So your confidence can't be in yourself and how well you do look to Jesus, have confidence in the fact that he is your advocate and that his blood was the propitiation for all your sins and me to say one more thing. Propitiation that kind of a big word it refers to the fact that his sacrifice for you removed the wrath of God from over. You Jesus has propitiated for you so you can rest in him.

No Israel, I'm struck by the fact that this is not just Amber's question, but we have so many listeners I know who struggle with this on a regular basis that so much is based on how we feel at a given time or our circumstances rather than the truth of God's word and that we even though God doesn't condemn us, we condemn ourselves on a regular basis and we need to keep turning back to those promises that you just mentioned, because otherwise we can really get stuck in even feel depressed about our Christian walk. You are absolutely right Bill and I like the way you put it there. I think there the temptation for all of us is to rely on how we feel and guess what that's going to change every single day, every hour you know, just like men, there are times where I feel really close to the Lord. There are times where I don't feel the presence of God. Like maybe I have it.

Other points in my life. This is the part of Christian maturity with the learn to rest, not in our feelings. I mean that that's to be exhausting because they're knocking to give you any rest is to be a roller coaster if that's what you're looking to we have to rest in God's word and his promise and and and so it that's so important because God's word.

Unlike our feelings is stable. So when God says to us you're forgiven by faith in my son we cling to that we hold fast to it and we can rest their regardless of how we feel. Your listing to core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez we have time for one more question. It deals with one of Israel's favorite books of the Bible, Revelation, this one from Jasper. He posted this on our website or core, Christianity.com/radio.

He says, who are the 144,000 mentioned in the book of Revelation, you will there mentioned in a couple of places there mentioned in the book of Revelation chapter 7. There also mentioned later. I believe in chapter 14 and there are differences in different interpretations as to who these people are there some people think of this is kind of an end time group of Jewish people who are remnant two are going to go out and evangelize. During this time of great tribulation. There are others, and I tend to be in this camp who believe that the hundred and 44,000. Refer to the fullness of God's people. God's people throughout history and yet remember that the book of Revelation there are so much symbolic imagery in the book of Revelation even numbers are often used symbolically in the book of Revelation mean John talks about the seven spirits of God, even the number 12 throughout the body of the 12 tribes of Israel. You have the 12 apostles. Here you have 144,000 followers of the Lord is give this the sort of multiple of 12, but it states magnify.

It seems that John is referring to the whole of God's people throughout history. So that's how I take it one thing I'll say is I remember hearing we're just talking about you know how many of us in many people who who call into this program have wrestled with her or are wrestling with this question of assurance. I remember when I first heard about the hundred and 44,000. I thought I just assumed that meant that only 144,000 people are gonna be in heaven.

Actually, that that's something that some groups teach and think of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

For example, so I remember thinking, goodness only hundred and 44,000 people, it's gotta be like the best of the best Christians I remember of resolving the newer Christian Gautama to do whatever it takes to be among the hundred 44.have to be like a super Christian to make it into heaven, will I can assure you that that's not the right interpretation of who the hundred 44,000 are no there aren't to be 144,000 people in heaven.

The beautiful thing is this to be this innumerable group of people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. That's of the book of Revelation tells us, and it isn't on the basis of of whether or not we were elite super Christians.

It's on the basis of the fact that we are washed in the blood of the Lamb. And so I think Jasper what God is giving us your John is giving us here in this in this vision that he has of the very end, is the picture of the people of God throughout history on the fullness that the whole of God's people.

It is not meant to be taken as you know exactly hundred 44,000 people know it's this multiple of 12 that the number of the people of God, but the 12 tribes of Israel, 12 apostles, and I think that's the best way to taking a limit to say one more thing about the book of Revelation, because it really is confusing for a lot of people.

You do have all of the symbolic imagery. This is apocalyptic literature, but you know at the end of the day.

It was written to comfort persecuted believers and to fix their eyes on Jesus, and the fact that he rules over the whole world is that something we need to be reminded of right now with everything going on around assuming the election season, the pandemic everything Jesus Christ right now is on the throne. He rules over all things, and no matter what we experience the church and I will face.

Guess what can be comforted by the fact he has conquered all things and met in him to our victors. 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 core 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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