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Why America is Not the Promised Land

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
November 3, 2020 1:00 am

Why America is Not the Promised Land

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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November 3, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 567 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

1. As a pastor during COVID and an election year, what are some of the biggest challenges facing the church right now? How are you facing these challenges?

2. In Ephesians 2:8, is it grace or faith that has been gifted by God?

3. Is there any truth in the idea that “the ends justify the means”? If so, does it every apply to the Christian life?

4. Based off of Israel invading Canaan, were the colonists justified to conquer the natives in the Americas?

5. If you are without transportation, is it acceptable to baptize oneself?

 

Resources

The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb: Searching for Jesus’ Path of Power in a Church that Has Abandoned It by Jamin Goggin

Introducing Covenant Theology by Michael Horton

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Request our latest special offers here or call 1-833-THE-CORE (833-843-2673) to request them by phone.

Want to partner with us in our work here at Core Christianity? Consider becoming a member of the Inner Core.

     

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In the Bible, God commands Israel to go into Canaan and claim the promise land is their home so much that this parallels the colonists to displace the Native Americans in our country but is there really a parallel between ancient Israel and America. That's just one of the questions will be answering on today's edition of core Christianity will happy election day.

I'm 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.

You can call us right now with your question. At 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 and you can email us your question at questions at core, Christianity.com yeah Bill.

A lot of people have been looking forward to this day for quite a while.

I got ask you, did you go to your polling place. Actually, I did the absentee ballot thing this year because my polling place tends to get really crowded really busy with longline so I thought you know all this, do it in the comfort of my own home know my wife on the other hand, she really likes that the buzz of being there in person or getting her little. I voted sticker so she's she's abrading our polling place here in Minnesota later today. Well good for her. Yeah, I mean I just a reminder to pray for our nation to pray for the church that God would give her peace and that the gospel would continue to advance no matter what happens in and that's something we can be confident in a man. In fact, our first question today Israel comes from Colin who posted on our website and it ties in with that, he says as a pastor during covert and a difficult election year. What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges facing the church right now and how are you facing those challenges and thanks for that question: I really appreciated this has been a wild year has in it and I think I think your pastor could say the thing they made about a wild year for all of us for a number of reasons, and certainly a challenging year for the church of Jesus Christ for congregations, local congregations that are seeking to navigate the difficult days in which we've been living. I think that the primary challenge right now facing the church and there are all sorts of things that I think one of the things that really just keeps coming up again and again is the threat of division. They were singing all over the place. It people Christians who are dividing over some of the issues and and opinions about things related to coronavirus opinions about things related to a lot of the racial tension that we've seen in our nation over the last couple of years. In particular, and also the election right there so many things right now that threaten to divide us in our our nation as a whole is extremely divided and one of my concerns for the church is that those divisions will begin to seep into the body of Christ and lead to fragmentation and that people will be uncharitable that will act in ways that are not befitting the congregation of the Lord Jesus Christ. I think that's been one of the biggest challenge I can just say, speaking as a pastor for myself. You know with the coronavirus pandemic started navigating all of that and thinking about what does worship look like what does it look like to continue to pastor and to shepherd the flock of God, especially early on right when everything was just online.

You know how do you minister to people when you really can't be with people that was a huge challenge figuring out you know how to continue to encourage the people of God and then also you can just think of all of the, the other really heavy things that we've been experiencing in our country. Think of the the racial tension. The fighting was just as so much room right now. Again, for divisions and then courses already said the election.

However, I sought to respond to these things as the pastor of a local church. One thing is in terms of the issue of division. I've let my congregation know flat out right. We need to be on the lookout for these divisions that I see creeping it all over the place to me. I've named this issue in particular in sermons we've talked about it, I and other kinds of communication to our church because I think it is needs to be on their radar. All of us can fall into the trap of letting how we feel personally about the particular issue create tension between us and other Christians. But here's the second part and I think that this is really important as well: discipleship. Are we growing up into the image of Christ so that we have the maturity to love and to weather the storm that were in. We really can't do it unless were growing up into the image of Christ in the way that happens is through the Scriptures that I think with this we need to help people to be less driven bipartisanship and fear me think about this as so many people today, and even Christians are driven by fear, fear of the other side. Fear of what's going to happen next. We need to be less driven by fear and more shaped by the word of God. I recently have heard of several stories of pastors who were basically asked to step down from their churches or who simply left because they tried to address certain issues.

Maybe the issues of racism. For example, and then because they did this they were treated as liberals were no longer preaching the gospel work or because the church was becoming so hostile over controversy about wearing masks and whether or not we should do that in worship or not, but they just felt like they couldn't handle detention anymore so they stepped away really tragic. Many churches while they're willing to call out some sins and society may be unwilling to address others like racism. For example, despite the fact that it's biblical to do so because we've been so shaped by the political narratives around us that we immediately associate things like racism and in the talk of it with progressive agendas. This is another challenge that I see facing the church today: pastors are going to have a harder time saying certain things because it will get misconstrued when in fact there only preaching the biblical ethic what God calls of his people.

What God calls us to as his people and so your bottom line is we need to be less shaped by the world around us and more shaped by the word and we need to see how the word should guide us into addressing the issues of the world today and so that's one of the things that we sought to do it be your preaching the Scripture you're seeking to apply the scripture to your people, us as we think about these various issues. These challenges that are facing us and were praying that in the midst of everything God keeps us united in a in a world that seems very divided. So I want to encourage all of you pray, pray for your pastor tell you so many pastors are just exhausted right now.

Pray for your pastor and the leadership of your church as they as they seek to navigate these difficult times and encourage them and encourage the people of the church piping charitable by being loving by fixing your eyes on Jesus and encouraging others to do so as well. Some great counsel and we pray for every pastor who was listening to every person who attends local church. Again, please do pray for your pastor and support them in their role. This is core Christianity with pastor Pedro Sanchez and let's get to a question that came in through our Instagram account.

This person says in Ephesians 28.

Is it grace or faith that is been gifted by God.

Yeah man I love that passage in Ephesians chapter 2, I just want to read it and then get to your questions. Ephesians chapter 2 verse eight for by grace you have been saved through faith and this is not of your own doing, it is the gift of God.

Verse nine, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

So you're not saved by your works, which are saved for good works are saved by grace through faith and that is the gift of God. Paul says so that we might serve the Lord and do good works, it really is a beautiful how that all works together.

I think Paul is referring to the whole package when he says it is the gift of God, of course, grace itself is treated as a gift in Scripture a minute.

Think of what Paul says in Romans chapter 11 verse six he says this is in reference to the salvation of God's people, and in particular the doctrine of election.

He says if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

In other words, grace is about a free gift is not about something you earn or that God owes you because you've worked for it. It's a gift now faith to is also described as a gift and I think that's one of the things it's been reference to, as well.

It's given to us by God. There are other passages of Scripture that also make this absolutely clear think.

Ephesians 28 is clear enough but you think of another text like second Peter chapter 1 verse one.

Simeon Peter, a servant, and apostle of Jesus Christ to those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with hours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. The Greek word obtained their means to receive something by allotment. God has allotted to us. If you will, faith in what this means is that faith isn't something that you mustered up it's it's not something that you created something that God creates in you and this is so important. You can't conjure up your own faith.

Only God can create faith in the heart of his people and how does he do that well. If you look again in the book of Romans. In Romans chapter 10 you have this wonderful passage beginning in verse 14.

Listen with the apostle Paul said, how then will they call on him in whom they have not believed, speaking of Jesus Christ how they call on him in whom they have not believed and how will they believe in him of whom they have never heard and how are they to hear without someone preaching and how are they to preach unless they are sent.

As it is written, how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news, but they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us so verse 17 faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

God creates faith in the heart of his people through the word of the word of the gospel through the word of Christ. That's why it's so important for us to be under the ward to saturate ourselves with Scripture to read it. If you want more faith in your life and study God's word because it's the means that God uses to build and strengthen our faith and it's the means.

The preaching of the gospel that God uses to create faith in the heart of his people, so faith is a gift that comes to us from God that God creates in us through the word, thanks for your question.

This is core Christianity with pastor Pedro Sanchez. We are a listener supported ministry which means we count on people just like you to keep this program on the air in one of the ways you can help us do that is by joining what we call our inner core. Thanks Bill yet.

We want to invite you to consider coming alongside of us is a member of the inner core one. I just want to say thank you to all of you who have already joined the intercom and it really is so encouraging for us and I your your truly helping us to continue to share the good news of Jesus Christ. People all around the world. We can't continue to do this without your support. So if you've been blessed by core Christianity. If you're encouraged by this program. Would you consider partnering with us as well with the monthly donation of $25 or more, you too can be a part of the team and and as I said, it really is such an encouragement for us. We do covet your prayers ultimately want to see Jesus glorified.

We want you to partner with us to consider joining the inner core head over to core Christianity.com/inner core. To learn more or give us a call at 1833. The core and right now if you join our inner core. We have a really special gift for you bill it is actually the book that really helped to launch this radio program it's core Christianity by Dr. Michael Horton, our founder and much like a radio programming of the book unpacks the essential beliefs that Christians share in a way that is easy to understand and it shows why these beliefs are so important for our lives today. Would love to send you a copy of that book and have you join our inner core.

Again, you can call us at 833-843-2673. That's 833. The core federal here's a question that came in from Diana, who posted on her Facebook page she says in my faithfulness to God to the means matter as much as what I am working toward, and with the means be defined as things that make me more or less like Christ.

For instance, if I have to live or justify sin or hate grows in my heart that I assume that's the wrong way to a good and even if the end is very very good. It seems that you understand Diana that God is able to use even our sins to fulfill his sovereign purpose menu to see this all over the place in Scripture. What I think about that passage in Genesis chapter 50 verse 20, where after everything that Joseph had experienced them in being sold into slavery by his brothers and how horrible that must've been. Being able to speak to them.

This moment of of reconciliation. This moment of healing.

He says to his brothers. As for you, you meant evil against me having this was sent in a heinous Senate that, but God meant it for good to bring it about that many people should be kept alive as they are today, God is able to take the sinful actions of people even of his people and to use them for good.

I mean ultimately this is this is most clearly exemplified at the cross try to meet at the cross.

There were all sorts of horrible things that were taking place. I mean the murder of the only truly innocent person to ever live Jesus the son of God without sin, Peter says. For truly, in this city.

This is acts chapter 4 verse 27.

For truly, in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate along with the Gentiles and all the peoples of Israel to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. You think again about Herod and Pontius Pilate and the people of Israel. The Roman soldiers, but a lot of what they did was sinful.

Pilate was was spineless and allowing Jesus to go to the cross and when Jesus was crucified by these Roman sent there at the hand of the Jews.

And yet Peter is able to say God I know that you are sovereign, it somehow you will working all of this together for the good. But Diane, I think this is really important that doesn't justify or make any of these sinful actions. Okay, in and of themselves. It doesn't mean that they were pleasing to God as sins in some sense, and so we have to be very very careful. Yes, God is able to take sinful actions. Even our own failures and stands and work them together for the good, and we praise God for that. That should be a great comfort to us, but that doesn't make them okay were still responsible for our actions and and we still face the consequences of our sins.

And yet we rest in the fact that God is greater than our sins, and that he's able as he promises in his word to make everything work together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose know I drilled Diana's question reminds me of that passage in Romans six, Paul is talking about the law. He asks that rhetorical question is this. Basically, shall we go on sinning so grace may increase and then he says, by no means yet was basically kind of addressing that confusion. Yeah, that's a great passage to bring into this discussion, Bill. What shall we say then Romans chapter 6 verse one are we to continue in sin that grace may abound by no means how can we who died to sin still live in it and so just because God is great at forgiving sins, and it magnifies is the mercy, does that mean we should welcome Dive into the pool of sin so that God gets more glory by forgiving us know that's not how it works process by no means, that shouldn't be our position.

How could we with died to sin, live any longer in it. And so, really, really wonderful text to consider. This is core Christianity would love to hear from you. If you have a question.

Our number is 833 the core that's 833-843-2673. That's 833.

The core Dell my credit violence from time to time. I've wondered were testifying to the land and take over the Americas and displace the Indians.

The American native kind of way.

The people that came into Canaan had to conquer the people. Granted, there were godless people, but I just wanted to say or parallel, there.

Thank you very much for listening to my questions.

God bless you both by bless his little Ruth and ominously know the answer is there isn't parallel there. And this can be something that's very dangerous.

First, Canaan was a picture of Eden. It was to be like God's new garden dwelling and the expulsion of the Canaanites echoed Adams call to cast out the serpent from the garden. Canaan was to be purged of all serpentine worship all idolatry because it was going to be God's dwelling that it would be in. This is why think you know this can be a dangerous idea night and I've heard this idea as well articulated in different ways, but it would be a misinterpretation of Scripture to take the commands God gave to Israel as a political body during the conquest.

The conquest of Canaan and to apply them to the United States of America. I love our country, but we aren't the new Jerusalem were or not the new Israel actually Israel in the Old Testament isn't the type of America.

It's a type of the church that the church is God's temple on earth today. Look at what Peter said in first Peter chapter 2 verses four through 10. As you come to him a living stone, rejected by men but in the sight of God, chosen and precious. You yourselves like living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture.

Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious. And whoever believes in him will not be put to shame. So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone in a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, they stumble because they disobey the word as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation of people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light to see who Peter is speaking to hear he speaking to the church and again he says it so clearly in verse nine. You are a chosen race of royal priesthood, a holy nation.

He takes these promises these titles that work for Israel under the old covenant. He applies them to the church to the people of God today that we may proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people. Once you would not receive mercy, but now you have received mercy know people sometimes today talk about the need to rebuild God's temple in the Middle East. The book of Hebrews says that's actually a bad idea. We don't want to do that and they fail to realize that God has been building his temple for 2000 years. It is in America is the church and guess what, Ruth, and you listening right now. If you have faith in Jesus Christ. You are one of the living stones of God's dwelling place your living stone in God's temple in the conquest right now looks like the gospel advancing in the love of Jesus Christ permeating the world as we wait for the second coming of our Lord. And so we have to be very careful when we look at these Old Testament passages that were applying them the right way would want to look at these Old Testament texts the goal of this is must be speaking about America, God's people know what it's talking about in its context is talking about Israel as a political body there under the old covenant, but those promises are applied to the church of our war Jesus Christ today you are a royal priesthood, a holy nation, through faith in Jesus Christ.

No Israel. Ruth question brings up another issue. Sometimes in the church today, I've I've heard pastors of the Christian leaders take Old Testament promises that were specifically for Israel and applying them to the church and to Christians today can you talk about the danger of doing that.

Yeah a huge danger in their different ways in which people can fall into this trap is certainly 11 of the ways as you have things like the prosperity gospel were people will look at promises of blessing for obedience or for following God under the old covenant and they'll apply them to Christians to people today so the idea is if were faithful to the Lord. If we if we do our part.

God is just gonna bless us and use it to make us rich and healthy and wealthy, but there actually applying promises related to the old covenant to the new covenant Church in a way that they weren't meant to be applied. Actually, that old covenant through Jesus Christ right that's been set aside were no longer under the old covenant. Now, through the blood of Jesus Christ were members of the new covenant we need to understand how those promises in Christ are to be understood and so often we just seek to apply them in ways that that really are unhelpful and frankly can be destructive and and they have been destructive for so many people throughout the world to apply them in ways that that they weren't meant to be applied. So this this raises the larger question of just faithfully interpreting the Scriptures and this is why it's so important to read the Bible in context to understand the flow of redemptive history where we are where we fit in God's story is not all about us. I know we like to read ourselves and even our nation at the center of the Bible, but the reality is the center of the Bible is Jesus. It's about the redemption he is bringing about in the family that he's creating the preaching of the gospel in the church and that church is meant to be a blessing for the whole world. And so it really is good news that we have to make sure that were understand getting context of the good news of the gospel isn't turned into something but it was never intended. 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, the court when you contact us.

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