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How Can God Be Sovereign Over Suicide?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
October 5, 2020 1:00 am

How Can God Be Sovereign Over Suicide?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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October 5, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 546 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

1. In Mark 9, after Jesus freed a boy from a demon that his disciples couldn’t command, he tells them that it would only come out through prayer and fasting. Can Christians really get rid of demons through prayer and fasting?

2. If God is sovereign over all things, how can we not also say he is sovereign over the circumstances that push someone to suicide?

3. If God is love, why do so many of his prophets warn about his fierce judgment and fiery wrath? Did they not speak for him?



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Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

If God is sovereign over all things is the also sovereign over the circumstances that pushed someone to commit suicide vest is one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity hi 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. 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. You can also email us with your question at questions at core, first up today for some pet owners. The idea of going without their smart phone is scarier than being without their furry friend. Simple texting and online marketing platform surveyed over a thousand American smart phone users to see what sacrifices they would make to stay connected through their cell phone. Well, it turns out that when phone obsessed pet owners are asked to pick between their pet or their phone close to half say they be willing to part ways with their pet for a full month. If they could just keep their smart phone, but Israel pet still have romantic partners beat the same survey found that 44% of respondents would give up seeing their significant other for a month in order to keep their smart phone in hand. Okay that is depressing Bill terrible then. I mean, I guess. Compared to the smart phone. Your spouse is like yeah Eunice long as I have my smart phone you see in 30 days.

I know know know that many just goes to show that there's this huge issue in society today were one week we put our smart phones before people, and we put dogs before people at ICO than the neighborhood where I live. I mean, they're just so many that I love document against dogs that would not, but it just seems like I don't know sometimes I think we can take it a little bit over the top with the IDF he beat what are these the dog birth announcements you like someone's joining the family that I know about that Bill birth announcements. Okay, let's get to our first question Emma posted this on our Instagram account and she says in Mark chapter 9.

After Jesus breathed a boy from a demon that his disciples couldn't command. He tells them he would only come out through prayer and fasting can Christians really get rid of demons through prayer and fasting. Well, what a transition. There Bill I miss you fill itself listed.

Can we cast it well. I mean if Jesus said it Emma, I want to go with his word. That's kind of interesting because that that passage that you're referring to.

In Mark nine you know there's some manuscripts that don't include the and fasting part. So for example I use the ESV Bible in Mark 929 and he said to them this kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer. There's really no contradiction thereof, and fasting is just a part of prayer. It's in one sense it's intense prayer at Sangamon to set aside food and focus upon the Lord on prayer and I would say that the answer your question is yes and in first let me just talk about the reality of spiritual warfare. It's something that I think we especially in the United States need to realize. I've heard stories that would make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, especially where the gospel is advancing on the front lines you think of missionaries in remote places with there's active spiritual warfare taking place but it's not just there and I think sometimes we can assume is Christians here in the United States is that's where the real battle is happening. It's also here. There's a spiritual war happening right now in your house in your church in your community and you know what the primary battle stance that you're supposed to have as a Christian is it's on your knees in prayer and I think that's what Jesus is saying here in Mark nine prayer when it comes to spiritual warfare is central and it's the exact same thing with the apostle Paul said in the book of Ephesians. If you just want to turn to Ephesians chapter 6 the passage where Paul talks about the armor of God in Ephesians chapter 6 beginning in verse 10. Listen with the apostle Paul said finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand firm stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace in all circumstances take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one and take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God and then Emma listen to what Paul says in verse 18 praying at all times in the spirit with all prayer and supplication.

To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints were called to pray that the that's.

As I said the chief battle stance were praying against the powers of darkness and the Lord's prayer that Jesus gave us.

He thought us to pray deliver us from evil or the evil one. We are in this spiritual battle and prayer is the primary tool and so we direct our eyes to the Lord, you know, we don't fight the devil by trying to note spiritually karate chop know that the powers of darkness or something.

It's not weird and I think sometimes we can kinda get a little bit weird when we think about spiritual warfare, no we stand on God's word on the truth of Scripture and we direct our eyes to the Lord and we pray God let your kingdom come and deliver us from the evil one.

We have the promise in Scripture. The gates of hell are knocking to prevail against the church and the gospel is advancing that's out Satan's kingdom is being plundered today and so we pray for that continued advancement and that's how we engage in the battle and so yes, I think Jesus is as I know he's right. He's the son of God when he says this kind doesn't come out except by prayer except by prayer and fasting and we need to take that to heart. We need to pray to engage in the battle that we are in the battle for our very souls in the souls of the people around us.

And so, let's commit to that sister God bless you man this is Cora Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez and here's an email question that came in from Warren.

He says if God is sovereign over all things, how can we not also say he is sovereign over the circumstances that pushed someone to suicide. I mean he has to know the circumstances he allows in someone's life and their ability to handle it. A mental illness or what have you. I feel like I'm faking it every day and I've lost the joy I used to have in the things I used to love. I cry uncle, but God doesn't let up Warren. Let's begin. Just by praying. I want to pray for you father with foreign up to you, Lord, I ask, gracious God, that you would cause your light to shine upon him in this dark place that he's at right now. I pray that Jesus the light of the world would illuminate his darkness that I asked Lord that you would surround him with a support system with people that he can be encouraged by a pray Lord if he doesn't have helped were professional help even more that you would you would guide and that you would bring the right people into his life. Who can encourage him.

But Lord, we pray just for your mercy to be upon him, and ask God that you would encourage them now even through this answer. In Jesus name, amen. The first thing that came to my mind was, do you have a support system.

It sounds like you are battling with some very difficult things right now. The first houses you just you need to get help you reach out to a counselor or therapist and maybe you have that maybe you don't a lot of people.

They feel this deep sense of shame even though they don't they don't necessarily have to because they feel like there's something wrong with why do I feel so depressed.

I think it might be a wise thing for you if you don't have a counselor or therapist to consider pursuing that and getting some help and and also reach out to your church. I'm assuming that you're in a local church that preaches the truth loves Jesus that wants to love his people. You need people around you who can be praying for you. We need prayer.

We just talked about that battle that were all in. We need the prayers of the saints we need, then people who can encourage you and just help you to know that you're not alone and you're not alone. Just thinking about the what the Scripture teaches you know someone else who cried uncle and felt burdened beyond his ability to do anything.

I think of the apostle Paul and his words in second Corinthians chapter 1 verse eight we do not want you to be unaware, brothers of the affliction we experienced in Asia, but we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.

Indeed, we felt that we had received a sentence of death was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. I've heard people say and I'm sure that you have two God will never give you more than you can handle in those same people when they experience great difficulty. There one either really confusing and wondering what God how could you do this you promise never to give me more than I can handle or there. Assuming that they can handle this because they bought into this saying God is never any more than you can handle. And so they're trying in their own strength they handle whatever it is that they're going through. When in reality that's a misinterpretation of what Paul system world threats is that God will never tempt us beyond were able, but sometimes God does give us more than we can handle. Paul says we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength.

That is to say, God gave me more than I could handle the cells. If you feel like you're there right now.

Paul says why did cut to fit that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. So we turn to the God who raises the dead, even though at times we feel like we're in the dust of death someone else who I think could empathize with you is the psalmist in Psalm 88, the psalmist, there's this old Lord my God, the God of my salvation. I cry out day and night before you. I'm saying uncle Mike prayer come before you incline your ear to my cry for my soul is full of troubles in my life draws near to Shea old near to the grave.

I am counted among those who go down to the pit. I am a man who has no strength like one set loose among the dead. Like the slain that lie in the grave, like those whom you remember no more. When they are cut off from your hand, you have put me in the depths of the pit in the regions dark and deep your wrath lies heavy upon me, and you overwhelm me with all your waves you have caused my companions to shun me. You have made me a horror to them. I am shut in and II cannot escape my eye grows dim through sorrow every day. I call upon you, oh Lord, I spread out my hands to you. Do you work wonders for the dead to the departed rise up to praise you is your steadfast love declared in the grave, and your faithfulness in Abaddon are your wonders known in the darkness, or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness, but I'll Lord cry to you in the morning my prayer comes before you oh Lord, why do you cast my soul away. Why do you hide your face from me afflicted and close to death from my youth up.

I suffer your terrors. I am helpless. Your wrath is swept over me, your dreadful assaults destroy me this around me like a flood all day long. They closed in on me. Together you have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me.

My companions have become darkness. Sometimes that's how the people of God, feel worn someone else who can sympathize with you in your weakness.

Jesus, the author of the Hebrew says he was made like like we are, and always so that he might sympathize with us in our weakness. He knows what it is to be in the dark pit when he was on the cross, darkness covered the land he was bearing the curse, the wrath of God for our sins, he knows what it is to be forsaken by his friends by his love wants to feel that sense of distance from the father. Even my God, my God, why have you forsaken me, quoting Psalm 22 Jesus knows the darkness that you feel so you can turn to him and even if if you don't feel his presence, even if he feels like the prayers that you pray to him or bouncing off of the ceiling like like you're getting nothing. No, this war in the Lord hears you. Why does God give us the Psalms is inspired Scripture for just wants to be comforted by them. Okay, I know I've gone on and on but I just want to read you something.

This was actually written by Charles Spurgeon, one of the greatest preachers to ever live, but also a man who struggled intensely with depression and he tells a story. Listen to what he says.

He says one Sabbath morning I preached from the text. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me, and though I did not say so.

Yet I preached my own experience, I heard my own chains clank while I tried to preach to my fellow prisoners in the dark but I could not tell why I was brought into such an awful horror of darkness, for which I condemned myself on the following Monday evening a man came to see me who bore all the marks of despair upon his countenance's hair seemed to stand upright. His eyes were ready to start from their sockets. He said to me after a little parlaying. I never before in my life heard any man speak who seem to know my heart mind is a terrible case but on Sunday morning you painted me to the life and preached, as if you had been inside my soul by God's grace I say that man from suicide and led him into the gospel light and liberty. And I know I could not have done it if I had not myself been confined in the dungeon in which he lay, I tell you the story brethren because you sometimes may not understand your own experience and the perfect people may condemn you for having it. But what know they of God's servants, you and I have to suffer much for the sake of the people of our charge. You may be an Egyptian darkness. You may wonder why such a horrid shows your marrow you may be altogether in the pursuit of your calling and be led of the Spirit to a position of sympathy with desponding minds Warren I don't know why you're experiencing the darkness that you feel I can tell you that God is sovereign and that he calls us when we feel burdened beyond our despair which we do experience in the Christian life turned to him, the one who raises the dead. The one who gives us hope and so turned to him rather get the encouragement and the help that you need what that's professional encouragement and help with therapist and and also the help of the body of Christ pursue that and rest in the fact that God knows you got knows the darkness that you're in, and God sent his son Jesus into that darkness, for your sake.

God bless you and drill. I know that Warren is not alone. And chances are, we have other listeners who are dealing with depression right now or or even thoughts of suicide we should mention the national suicide prevention lifeline, which is 800-273-8255. That's 800-273-8255.

We also have an excellent resource available here core Christianity that we should let our listeners know about yet. Thanks, Bill. This is so important and as you say, there are so many people right now. We struggle with this you listening, you might be struggling with this is that so we made this resource is called nine things everyone needs to know about depression. It's free when you sign up for a weekly newsletter. We created this resource to give a foundational understanding of what depression is and how Christians can best help someone who suffers from depression. So go to core to download nine things everyone needs to know about depression. You can also call us for that resource or any one of our resources. Here's the phone number is 833-843-2673. That's 833. The core we would love to send that to you even if you're not experiencing depression, chances are you know somebody in your life who is this could be tremendously helpful to them. Let's get back to another question may drill this one came in from Abby and she says if God is love, why do so many of his prophets warned about his fierce judgment and fiery wrath did they not speak for him as a great question and I think some things we can put those two things against each other, but one of the reasons we believe that God does exercise judgment is because of his love because God loves his people, he defends them because God loves humanity. He hates that which harms humanity's sin, and so it we don't have to pick these two against each of the profits they did speak for the Lord.

This is one of the big ways to distinguish between the true profits and the false prophets of the Old Testament actually false prophets were not sent by him and they didn't speak from him. They didn't speak the message that they receive from them but they spoke a message of their own imagination. The true profits were sent by him and he placed his word in them you think of prophets like Jeremiah or Isaiah I get one of the big distinguishing marks between between the false prophets was their message. Note that the false prophets were characterized by their were characterized by being unwilling to talk about the wrath of God in the judgment of God and to call out Israel for her sin. Listen to what God told the prophet Jeremiah Jeremiah chapter 6 this is verses 13 through 15 for from the least to the greatest of them. Everyone is greedy for unjust gain and from prophet to priest everyone deals falsely they have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, peace, peace when there is no peace with a ashamed when they committed abominations know they were not at all ashamed they did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown, says the Lord. You see, the false prophets they they brought a message of hate God loves you and nothing bad can happen everything is fine.

Do whatever you want to live however you want.

Israel was insane from head to toe idolatry and yet these prophets were unwilling to heal them. They heal the wound of my people lightly, they say, peace, peace where there is no peace. You know what to say. This is the the same issue that we have with false teachers today. Jesus just want you to have your best life now. Go ahead, live however you want, think whatever you want your God is kind here to serve you to make you happy to make you rich and and wealthy and and there's no talk of repentance. There is no talk of sin. There is no talk of the Lordship of Christ. There's really no talk of of the gospel of Jesus did not come to make you happy and healthy and wealthy. You know what he came to do to take away your sin, John the Baptist.

When he saw Jesus's behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, he came to deal with the problem of our rebellion against God. The fact that we were justly condemned by God's righteous law that there was nothing she could do to justify ourselves, to save ourselves because we had gone off our our own way. Like the prophet Isaiah says all we like sheep have gone astray, both the Lord has laid the iniquity of us all. Upon him. You see, it's the love of God for us. That drove Jesus to bare our sins upon the cross to redeem us so that we might be saved justified so that we would no longer be under God's wrath. And that's precisely what what John says you know that passage that everyone knows for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son so that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Listen to what else John said in that same chapter verse it's not as well-known as John 316. In John chapter 3 verses 31 and following.

We read this. He who comes from above is above all, he who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way.

He who comes from heaven is above all, he bears witness to what he has seen and heard. Yet no one receives his testimony stop right there. You know why that's that's an interesting statement that what John is doing here is he's telling us Jesus is the true and ultimate prophet of God in Jeremiah 23 verses 16 through 18, especially verse 18 it talks about how the true profits they bear witness to what they see and hear the false prophets. They don't. John is identifying Jesus as the true prophet who came from above to us to give us God's very message whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this that God is true for he whom God has sent otters, the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.

The father loves the son and is given all things into his hand. Whoever believes in the son has eternal life. Whoever does not obey the son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. See God's wrath and God's love. They don't have to be set against it is not like because God has wrath is not loving know he has wrath, precisely because he loves his people and he hates sin, and the good news of the gospel is that in Jesus Christ, our sins are forgiven and the wrath of God has been sacrificed. Jesus for you.

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