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Does God Appoint World Leaders?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
November 2, 2020 1:00 am

Does God Appoint World Leaders?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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November 2, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 566 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

1. Should pastors preach on current events more? I have seen some pastors not mention current events in their sermons and others seemingly construct their sermons around what is happening in the news. What are your thoughts?

2. The parable of the unjust steward in Luke 16 is difficult for me to understand. Is God applauding the unfaithful servant’s shrewdness?

3. How can Christians sometimes be so unkind?

4. I know that God is sovereign, and in light of the upcoming election I know that he will not be surprised by who wins. My question is about if God really chooses who is going to win. Daniel 2:21 says that, “He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.” It seems here that God appoints rulers over nations, but was this specific to the kings of the nations only during the time of the Old Testament, or does this verse apply to the world and its rulers today?

5. Is Allah just another name for God?

 

Resources

Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Devoted to God: Blueprints for Sanctification by Sinclair B. Ferguson

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In the Old Testament, the Bible says that God appoints kings over nations.

Does he still do that today, or was that just for Israel under the Old Covenant? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of Core Christianity. Hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel 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. You can also post your question on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts, or email us at questions at corechristianity.com. While politics can be a ruthless business, but Utah's candidate for governor just made history in an unexpected way. While Democrat Chris Peterson and Republican Spencer Cox would both like to win the gubernatorial election, they'd also like the people of Utah to accept the results of the presidential race, no matter what the outcome. So they banded together for a TV ad encouraging just that. It could be the first time two opposing candidates appeared in one ad so close to an election. In the ad, Mr. Cox says, We're both committed to American civility and a peaceful transition of power. And Mr. Peterson encourages Utahns to be an example to the nation. Isn't that cool? Yeah, that is pretty cool. Hopefully there were no fighting words, you know, when they were making that commercial.

They sound like good guys, so I don't think so. Yeah, well, you know, and it really is important, I think, for us to be able to highlight those kinds of stories, especially at a time, like you said, Bill, where there's a lot of tension. And it seems like just the opposite is happening, you know, people who are unwilling to come to the table and just have a cordial discussion with each other. And so I think that that was awesome. Well, we'll be praying about that in the days to come with the election tomorrow and what our responsibility is as followers of Christ in a time of a lot of tension in our country. Well, let's get to our first question of the day. This one comes from Tim, who posted on our Twitter account. He says, Should pastors preach on current events more? I've seen some pastors not mention current events in their sermons at all and others seemingly construct their sermons around what's happening in the news. What are your thoughts on this? Hey, Tim, thanks for that question.

And, you know, I think that there are a couple of dangers here that we have to watch out for. First, we need to understand that the main job of the pastor is, at least in the context of, you know, what's taking place on Sunday is happening. The primary job is to preach the Word of God. This is what Paul charged Timothy with doing in 2 Timothy 4, verse 1. I charge you, Paul said, in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead and by his appearing and his kingdom, preach the word.

Be ready in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, and exhort with complete patience and teaching, for the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions. The main job of the pastor when it comes to, you know, the Sunday service is to proclaim God's Word, is to give people God's Word unfiltered. And I think that this is really important because, you know, when we talk about, you know, should pastors preach on current events more or less? Well, they shouldn't preach on current events, they should preach on the Scriptures and apply the Scriptures to the things that are happening all around us.

And I think that there's a subtle but very important distinction there. And so we focus on God's Word, we let God's Word speak to us, but we apply the truth of God's Word to the things that are happening around us. And so I think, you know, we have to be careful that we're not preaching the newspaper, we're not coming to church on a Sunday morning and say, Hey, did you see everything that happened this last week?

Well, let's talk about it. No, you know, preach the Scriptures, go through the Bible, verse by verse, line upon line. I mean, it's just so important.

That's what people need. They need to hear God's voice speaking from heaven on a Sunday morning. So if one danger is, you know, just preaching the things that are happening and not preaching God's Word, another danger is not applying God's Word to the things that are happening around us.

I think this is really important. Think of 9-11, for example, I remember hearing a pastor who was in New York City at that time, ministering to a congregation saying, you know, after 9-11, I basically had to just from the pulpit, using God's Word, apply the truth of Scripture to the questions that people had related to everything that was taking place. And this particular pastor talked about how their church just grew significantly around that time because people were coming because of that fear, that anxiety.

I mean, they just experienced this terrible terrorist attack. And I think this pastor did an excellent job really just applying God's Word to the fears and the concerns of the people, not twisting the Scriptures, but using the Scriptures to speak, to allow God to speak to the needs of the day. Imagine how crazy it would have been had 9-11 happened and all these people show up to church on Sunday there in New York City, and it's not even addressed.

The Scriptures aren't even used to speak to the pain and the suffering that people were experiencing. And so I think we have to have a balance here. We have to make sure, one, that we're preaching the Scriptures, and two, that we're applying the Scriptures to the cares and concerns of people today, not twisting the Scripture, but allowing God's Word to speak to us where we are right now. Now personally, Tim, I do expository preaching, so I like to preach through books of the Bible, because I think that that's the primary need.

We need to hear all of God's Word, the whole counsel of Scripture. But even there, as you're preaching through, as I'm preaching through books of the Bible, I'm able to apply it to specific things, to the idols of today, to the needs of my particular congregation, and I think that's just what we're called to do as pastors. And so thank you for your question, Tim, and especially at a time like this where we need to be comforted from God's Word.

You know, one of the things I appreciate about you, Adriel, is that you always try to point things back to Jesus, and that's what every pastor should be doing. Whether we're talking about current events, life situations, a particular Old Testament book, we always want to point to Jesus, and that's what our faith is all about. Yeah, and if we're faithfully preaching God's Word, that's precisely what we'll do, because Jesus Himself said that all Scripture points to Him. I mean, you think of the discussion He had with His disciples on the road to Emmaus, where He met those two disciples, and He opened the Scriptures to them, and He showed them how, you know, all of it, everything written in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms, how it all pointed to Him. And even in John chapter 5, when He's speaking to the religious leaders, and He says, you know, you search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life, but these are the very Scriptures that speak of me, that testify of me. If you believed what Moses wrote, you would believe in me because He spoke about me. And so all the Scripture does point us to Jesus, and pastors who are faithfully preaching God's Word, like Paul called Timothy to do, are going to point us to Jesus as well. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and if you have a question for us, you can call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-THE-CORE. Hi, my name is Maria.

I am from Abilene, Texas. I have a question. On Luke chapter 16, the parable of the unjust servant, I do not understand.

Is God applauding the unfaithful servant? Could you explain that to me? Hi, Maria.

Thank you so much for your question. Let me just read Luke 16, the first part of the chapter, the parable of this dishonest manager, the unjust steward. It begins like this. He also said to the disciples, There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. And he called him and said to him, What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager. The manager said to himself, What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg.

I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from the management, people may receive me into their houses. So summoning his master's debtors, one by one he said to the first, How much do you owe my master? He said, A hundred measures of oil. He said to him, Take your bill and sit down quickly and write fifty. Then he said to another, How much do you owe? And he said, A hundred measures of wheat.

He said to him, Take your bill and write eighty. The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness, for the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. And I tell you, Make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails, they may receive you into the eternal dwellings. One who is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust you with true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

And Maria, the reason I read sort of a longer section there is because I think it's all related. Now, one thing you need to know is Jesus is not commending here the fact that he was dishonest or unjust in the way he was dealing with his master's affairs initially. Actually later, after he sort of, you know, lowers the prices and he gets some money for his master from these people that owed him money.

I don't know that that was the particular act that was unjust. The reason he's described here as unjust or dishonest is because of the way he had been living. And when he hears that the master is basically coming to hold him to account, he's afraid. And so what he does is he begins to, instead of just sort of throwing in the towel, he begins to try to get money for his master. And he goes to these different people and he basically says, okay, how much did you owe?

Okay, well give me 50% of that or 80% of that. Now, there are differences of opinion about, you know, what exactly is going on there. Some people think he's just lowering the price in order to get some money for his master immediately. Some people think that there was interest that he was charging, maybe taking a little bit off of the top.

And so he was removing that added price in particular, you know, there are differences. But the point is, Jesus is commending this individual, not because he was dishonest, but because of his shrewd behavior when essentially he had been confronted with his dishonesty. And then Jesus sort of brings it home in verse 8. The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness, again, that's why he's been commended, for the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. He's talking about how the sons of light, now in this context, it's probably the religious leaders, those who had claimed to be the people of God, he's talking about how they didn't prepare essentially for the future, but this dishonest manager did. And so he's being commended, but then he also says, you know, the one who is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and the one who is dishonest in very little is dishonest in much. And so Jesus is not commending dishonesty, he actually says, you know, if you're dishonest in little, you're probably going to be dishonest in a lot more, and you cannot let yourself be controlled by money. We cannot serve God and money, but we should be shrewd with our dealings, in our dealings, wise. And that's what Jesus is commending here, so hopefully that unpacks us a little bit, but definitely what you can rest in is Jesus is not saying, hey, dishonesty is a-okay, no, not at all.

You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Some Christians get confused about the promises that God makes in the Bible. Some may claim that the promises God made to Israel apply to individual believers today. Well, today we are offering a great resource that will help you understand the promises of God. Yeah, Bill, today we're sharing a really helpful resource. Sometimes, you know, it can feel like the Lord has let us down.

You know, the reality is it's often our own expectations that need to be adjusted. So we have a four-week study called What Did God Promise? that will guide you through the biblical foundation for understanding what God has actually promised to his people and how he continues to keep his promises throughout the ages. You can find it on our website, corechristianity.com, and it's free when you sign up for our weekly newsletter. Head over to corechristianity.com forward slash offers to download What Did God Promise? You can also call us for that offer or any one of our offers at 833-843-2673. That's 833-THE-CORE. Just a reminder that Core Christianity is listener supported, so we count on people just like you to keep our program on the air.

Well, here's an email that came in. Adriel, this is from Charmé, and she says, How can Christians sometimes be so unkind? Short and to the point, Charmé, I don't know why you specifically are asking this question, but I hope that it isn't because you've experienced the bite of someone who claims to believe in Jesus or does believe in Jesus but has acted in a way that is not in line with their faith in Jesus Christ. And the fact of the matter is, Charmé, we can all do that. We can all, as followers of Jesus Christ, live, act, do things that really don't fit with what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. And that's why, day by day, we're called to repent, to humble ourselves before the Lord, to say, God, help me, and God, fill me with your Holy Spirit.

You see, because loving others, our neighbors, our enemies, it's not necessarily something that we're naturally good at. It's the grace of the Holy Spirit in our lives. And I think of what the Apostle Paul said in the book of Galatians when he talked about the fruit of the Spirit. In Galatians chapter 5, he says this, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such, there is no law, and those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.

Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. You know, at the very beginning of that section in Galatians chapter 5 verse 16, again, Paul exhorted, I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh, for the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit. And the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other to keep you from doing the things you want to do. Why is it that we oftentimes aren't kind like we should be? Well, it's because we're not walking in the Spirit.

It's because we're not living in a manner that's in line with what God has called us to do. And the fact of the matter is, I said, each and every one of us can fall into this, and that's why Paul's exhortation here is so important for all of us. We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Now, you might be wondering, well, what does that look like? How does that happen?

It's not rocket science, actually. You know, when Paul in Ephesians and in Colossians talks about being filled with the Spirit, he really associates it with being filled with the Word of Christ. As the Word of Jesus Christ fills your heart and mind, you are filled with the Spirit. That is brought under the control of the Holy Spirit so that you're guided by, led by the Spirit, and that's something each of us needs.

And so, again, getting to your question, why is it that we can sometimes be unkind? Well, is the Word of Christ filling us? Are we sitting under what we call the means of grace, hearing the preached Word, receiving these gifts that God gives to us? Are we studying the Scriptures? Are our hearts being opened to the teaching of Jesus?

That's what we all need. And as that happens, more and more as we grow in the grace and the knowledge of Christ, in the Word of Christ, we're also growing in that kindness and that love that Paul described in Galatians chapter 5. And so, thank you for that question, Maria, and I pray that the Lord blesses you, and I pray that God fills you with His Spirit. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

And, Adriel, here's an interesting question that came in from Deborah, and given that tomorrow is election day, this is particularly appropriate. She says, I know that God is sovereign, and in light of the upcoming election, I know He will not be surprised by who wins. My question is about if God really chooses who's going to win. Daniel 2 21 says, He changes times and seasons, He removes kings and sets up kings, He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. In that verse, it seems like God appoints rulers over nations, but was that specific to the kings of the nations only during the time of the Old Testament, or does this verse apply to the world and its rulers today?

Absolutely, Deborah, it does apply to the world and its rulers today, and frankly, I think that this can be such a great comfort for us. One of the things that we're seeing there in Daniel chapter 2, and you see this over and over throughout the book of Daniel actually, is that God is absolutely sovereign. I mean, Daniel is about these Hebrew youth that have been taken into captivity to Babylon there. They've been exiled from their land, and yet God is the one who's been caring for them, watching over them, protecting them, even in the fiery furnace. And the kings of this world who think that they're in control, kings like Nebuchadnezzar, well, no, Nebuchadnezzar in the book of Daniel is humbled. He's made to see that God is the ultimate king, the Lord of heaven and earth, who rules over all things, and it's the same today, it's true today. God is on the throne, God is ultimately king, and frankly, I think in this season, that's something that we can each rest in, because there's so much tension right now.

There's a lot of anxiety about who's going to be the next president, and there's fear that if the person who we want to be in office is not in office, that everything is going to go down the drain. Well, we need to remember that no matter what happens, God is ultimately the king. God already knows and knew long before we were ever born what this upcoming election was going to hold, and so we can trust in him and we can rejoice in the fact that he is sovereign and that he does appoint world rulers. Now, sometimes that's a judgment on a nation, frankly, but we can, as the people of God, continue to cling to the sovereign Lord. Paul said in Romans chapter 13 verse 1, Let every person be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Paul says it very clearly there in the New Testament, and frankly, you know, the authorities that were in power around the time that Paul was writing the book of Romans were not the most kind and gracious authorities, especially not to Christians. I mean, Peter said the same thing. He said in 1 Peter chapter 2 verses 13 and 14, Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be the emperor as supreme or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. What we're not saying, what I'm not saying is don't be engaged in these discussions. Don't participate in your civic duty to try to seek to do good to your neighbor, to be engaged with the kingdoms of this world in a way that honors Christ, in a way that recognizes that ultimately your citizenship is in heaven.

No, we do engage. But at the end of the day, our hope, your hope, my hope is not in the kingdoms of this world. It's in the kingdom that God is building, and actually in the book of Daniel, Deborah, in Daniel chapter 2, you have a picture of that kingdom.

It's this stone that's cut out without human hands that fills the whole earth. It's the kingdom of God not built by coercion or human power or human wisdom. It's built by the power of the Holy Spirit, and that's the kingdom that's being built right now. I think we need to hear that so much these days, and I think we need to rest in that. And frankly, our resting in that truth, our receiving it and rejoicing in it is a witness to the world around us. It's a witness to those who are putting their hope in this present age. And again, I'm not saying we don't engage and we don't have positions and ideas, and we aren't seeking to bring about good for our neighbor, but man, our hope is Jesus Christ.

Thanks so much for that. This is Core Christianity, and Adriel, here's a question that came in through our website at corechristianity.com from Eli. He says, is Allah just another name for God? Eli, that is a really good question, and it is kind of a controversial question, because there are some people who say, well, yeah, it is. It's just the Arabic name for God, and so even in Christian worship and in Christian liturgies, in some places they'll use that word because they're talking about God, and so what's the big deal? But in other places, and I think with this discussion, the reason it's controversial is because if what you mean by that is, is Allah, the God of Islam, the same as Yahweh, the God of the Bible?

Well, then we have to say absolutely not. One of the big problems that we see today in terms of how many people think about God is they just sort of assume, well, all the religious beliefs out there are the same. They're equal. They're all basically saying the same thing. Love God, love your neighbor, that kind of a thing. All paths lead to the one God, and these different religions like Islam or Christianity or Buddhism are just different expressions of the one truth that ultimately are all going to align in eternity or something like that.

Well, that's not the case at all. In fact, Islam teaches that Jesus was not God, that he wasn't the son of God. They say he was a prophet, and the way you answer that question has eternal significance. Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God, the king who is on the throne, the one in whom we placed our hope, and any other Jesus is not the Jesus of the Bible. For today's special offer, visit us at corechristianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar, or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-THE-CORE. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this podcast, and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-31 00:24:48 / 2024-01-31 00:34:56 / 10

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