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December 1, 2020 1:00 am
Episode 587 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.
1. Sometimes I feel like the most inspirational verses in the Bible actually leave me feeling hopeless. Like 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” I’m not always happy, I don’t always pray, and I often forget to be thankful. If this is God’s will for me, why do I have such a hard time living it out?
2. I heard a TV pastor talk about the bible verse, “God is no respecter of persons.” He went on to say that this meant that God does not respect people, only Jesus. Is this correct? I know God loves people, perhaps everyone, but does he respect them?
3. I know the Bible talks about Scripture being God-breathed, but who was the first person that started writing the Bible, and how has everything been compiled into one book?
4. How can I reach out, on a spiritual level, to a friend and fellow Christian who has fallen away to drugs and alcohol and has seemingly lost his love for the Lord?Today’s Offer
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The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith by Timothy Keller
I know the Bible talks about Scripture being God breeze would who was the first person that started writing the Bible and how is everything been compiled into one book that's just one of the questions will be answering on today's edition of core Christianity hi this is Bill Meyer along with Pastor Israel 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 with your question at email@example.com first up today.
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Oh, can you imagine getting on an airplane without a drill feed the snake mask know I made up I feel like I need to step my mask came up II still typically just use those disposable ones, but now it give you walking in the store and they have these really nice ones that they're selling. Like designer masks, you know, I'm hoping that were not wearing mass for the rest of our lives, but holding it out now and I'm pretty simple Bill. How you do the disposable thing to nothing. Nothing fancy here so will do our first question of the day.
This one comes from Bobby and Bobby says sometimes I feel like the most inspirational verses in the Bible actually leave me feeling hopeless like first Thessalonians chapter 5 rejoice always, pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God. I'm not always happy. I don't always pray and I often forget to be thankful. If this is God's will for me why don't I have such a hard time living it out, and Bobby. I think that we've all felt the way that you feel as were reading the Scripture and were coming across these exhortations, these imperatives just that passage you mentioned you like pray without ceasing. What does that even mean that mean you know I'm I start my prayer at the beginning of the data and say amen until I lay down for sleep.
Like, how can we pray without ceasing all rejoice always, but one thing that is clear about that passage and first Thessalonians 5 is that our joy, our thankfulness, our prayers aren't supposed to be dependent upon our circumstances.
First and foremost, so that we can still as believers have joy or rejoicing thankfulness even when things don't go our way, that passage doesn't mean that we just get to be happy all the time but really to your question, how do we handle these texts, especially when they make us feel like we don't measure up. I think one distinction, it might be helpful for you Bobby is the distinction between imperatives and indicative's so you really think like this filled with imperative commands right rejoice always, pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances is God's will for you. You have to understand that those commands those exhortations come in the context of indicative truth. It's not that Paul is saying you need to do these things so that God will love you, or so that you'll measure up as a Christian and you can prove your Christianity to everybody else know he saying you do these things as beloved children of God. In light of your new identity in Jesus Christ is one of the things actually that is highlighted at the beginning of this book.
In first Thessalonians chapter 1 verses two and following Paul said we give thanks to God always for all of you constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers loved by God that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction who are we as the people of God. We are those who are loved and chosen by God redeemed our sins are washed away through the blood of Jesus Christ. That's the indicative. Truth your loved by God, Bobby, your chosen by God in Christ, and it's in light of that indicative in light of your new identity that you can be called to and that you are called to rejoice always. Why not because they know the circumstances of life are always wonderful and and lead to our rejoicing. But we can rejoice in Christ that our sins are forgiven, we pray without ceasing, that is were always offering up our hearts to the Lord.
Sometimes it it's a prayer of thanksgiving of praise. Sometimes it's a cry of lament it saying God I'm having a hard time praying right now I'm having a hard time following you. I think on as I said this the other day, Bobby disposed of what I was talking to. I think sometimes most sincere prayer that we can offer as Christians is Lord.
I don't want to pray and I don't even feel like doing the right thing right now. Help me help me. I think that those kinds of sincere prayers are way better than pretending like everything is okay. Pious prayers will register going through the motions know God wants us to be honest with him and so I would say understand these expectations in light of the indicative truth that there rooted in were called to rejoice, to give thanks to pray without ceasing, as the beloved and chosen children of God and at the end of the day were never going to do this perfectly, nobody obeys God's law perfectly.
We don't love God perfectly. We don't love each other perfectly. And that's why there's the gospel we rest in God's mercy and in what he's done for us in those indicative truth of our salvation in Jesus Christ and his those truths that inspire us to press in and to grow in our walk with the Lord and to pray and to give thanks and to rejoice some right Encouraging Word's federal thank you so much. This is core Christianity with Pastor Israel Sanchez and if you have a question for us.
You can call us at 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 hello brothers or sisters of Bible creatures artists rely on a short question for you. I heard a pastor on television to say Bible verse, God is no respecter pastor said that meant that God does not respect people's address respects Jesus correct. I know that God loves people.
But there is God also respect us yes or no thank you very much of God but social everyone I hail I think that question sounds to me like the past.
You were listening to is maybe a little bit confused about what it means to be a respecter of persons in the context of Scripture when in the Bible it talks about God not being at respecter of persons with being highlighted. There is that God does not show partiality. We use that word respect kind of in a different way. Or at least it sounds like that pastor was thinking of it in a different way like it.
III respect my superiors or my children show me respect as their father here that the focus is on the fact that God doesn't show partiality to certain people to particular ethnicities or you know people in a in a certain socioeconomic bracket that kind of a thing going Peter when he was witnessing the Gentiles, non-Jews coming into the church under the new covenant as he was preaching. He said the he realizes acts chapter 10 verse 34 that God was not a respecter of persons of just read that passage. Do you actually ask chapter 10 verse 34. Think you could go there and it helps to define what's being talked about or what it means. We talk about God not being a respecter of persons. Verse 34 Peter opened his mouth and said truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You see this idea. Also throughout the Old Testament that God is not a respecter of persons. He doesn't show partiality he judges justly Deuteronomy chapter 10 verse 17 and second Chronicles chapter 19 verse seven are couple of the verses you can go to to see that so again the focus here is God doesn't treat people unjustly. He doesn't favor the rich and neglect the poor. He doesn't show preference on the basis of race or ethnicity. God is no respecter of persons.
Not long ago I preached through a text of Scripture in Mark chapter 5, but I think really highlights this point it's in Mark chapter 5 verses 21 and following and were told in that passage not to read about this give you kind of a summary were told in that passage that there was this ruler of the synagogue that came to Jesus, desperate and looking for help. His daughter was very sick. His name was gyrus disguise is probably a guy who's well-to-do, respected, wealthy, and he's a ruler in the synagogue. He's the kind of guy that people go to for advice for for wisdom and yet he's desperate because his daughter is very sick and Jesus goes to heal his daughter but as Jesus is going to heal his daughter. Another woman comes to Jesus, and she too is desperate. She's the woman with the flow of blood was interesting is in in that passage gyrus is named. He's these mentioned by name, but this woman is not named. She would've been in that society considered unclean, she would've been somewhat of a of a pariah another.
The synagogue officially would've been a pillar in that society. So you have these these two people set side-by-side. The third pillar in society and this pariah and yet Jesus in his love and his mercy tends to both. He doesn't cast aside the woman with the flow of blood and and Saturn have time for you. I'm busy tending to this rich synagogue official no we all rich and poor, the pillars of society and the pariahs of society. We all need the grace of Jesus. That's why it's such good news that God is not a respecter of persons, Elias, so that means this is, no matter who you are rich or poor. Whatever your your cultural background is your ethnicity.
God is not a respecter of persons. When you turn to him when you look to Jesus by faith he receives. You and that's great news writer alum also thinking about the section in Samuel where we learned that with David. Oh yeah, we need to make sure, as human beings that we don't start looking at the externals and say what this person is rich or special or handsome or whatever because God looks at the heart and that's what's most important to him. That's right yeah and I think that just reiterates the point that we see all throughout the Scriptures of God not being a respecter of persons, you know people.
We tend to look at the outside and focus on that and give people more attention may be because of that, or less attention because of that will that's how God operates is so good. God is gracious and he looks at the heart as you say, Bill asked to bring that passage in this is core Christianity with Pastor Israel Sanchez and you know here at this program.
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You can also call us for that resource or for any one of our resources at this number is 833, the court, that's 1-833-843-2673 let's go to another question a drill. This is from Zach, who posted on our Instagram account.
Zach says I know the Bible talks about Scripture being God breathed, but who was the first person that started writing the Bible and how is everything been compiled into one book. Yet there are really good questions. Acumen week we talked about the importance of Scripture. But how do we get the Bible that we have today. The first thing to say is you be mentioned. The Scriptures being God breathed and I just want to read that passage of Scripture for those who are not familiar with that text is second Timothy chapter 3, beginning in verse 16 we read all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be completely equipped for every good work.
Paul goes on to tell Timothy and chapter 4 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus was 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, reproof, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching or 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. We have got a warning that have this promise that the word of God is breathed out.
Scripture is breathed out by God and because it's God's word to us. It's profitable to build us up in the faith to extort us to reprove us to strengthen us in our walk with the Lord and that's why we have to be committed to teaching the Scriptures and their people don't want to hear God's word is so it's important for us to understand that there God breathed, not how was it that this whole thing happened while Peter tells us in second Peter chapter 2 verse 21. No prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit is happened throughout the history of redemption. What God was doing was he was by the power of the Holy Spirit, inspiring man. People just like us carrying them along inspiring their writing so that we might have God's word for us in Scripture. Rated the various offers that the first five books of the old testament are typically attributed to Moses.
Some of the books of the Bible were not hundred percent sure who wrote them.
I think of that. The New Testament book of Hebrews. For example, you know there's a lot of speculation, some people think Paul wrote it. Some people think Barnabas wrote it, that there are all sorts of ideas about who's behind the book of Hebrews.
We don't know who wrote every book of the Bible, which is what we do know the same God who carried people along to write the scriptures, inspiring them is able to preserve his word and has preserved his word for us so that we can trust God's word so that we can be confident that how was it that the word of God was preserved throughout the history of redemption throughout the history of the church while it was primarily preserved by the people of God. The church at it under the Old Testament.
You think of the people of of Israel receiving the word of God preserving the word of God, even in the New Testament. You have the Scriptures that had been received by the Old Testament states the you have the New Testament is this being written even being received at that time as the word of God, I mean Peter refers to Paul's writings as Scripture. It's pretty remarkable and then the church essentially embraced the New Testament writings as the word of God on the basis of the fact that they were associated with the written by the apostle in some way they were ancient.
These writings were received by the church. They were universally embraced by believers as the word of God bearing the in the first centuries of the church and so God in his providence. Zach inspired the word of God but also preserved it.
He used men and women in the church to preserve it so that we today might receive it as Scripture.
So, that is, as Paul says in second Timothy chapter 3 verse 16 we might submit to the teaching of the word of God. And that's the most important thing we have the Scriptures do we listen to them. Do we receive the one they placard before us. Jesus, do we know him and follow him. We have God's word. Let's hear it with open ears.
I met some great words there. This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez and April hears in an email question that came in from Spencer Spencer says how can I reach out on a spiritual level to a friend and fellow Christian who was falling away to drugs and alcohol and is seemingly lost his love for the Lord Spencer man what what a heartbreaking situation and I think that many of us have experienced something similar where we have a friend who was maybe in church with us walking with the Lord singing the songs that they were baptized perhaps and then over time they begin to drift.
Sometimes they drift and their devastated.
You know you there sustained. There they don't want to talk about other times people just completely jump ship and they are even hostile toward the Christian faith and want to argue with you, and I don't know what the situation is here specifically with your friend, but your question reminds me of what James says in James chapter 5 verse 19 and 20th the very end of his letter. My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone brings him back let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. You see this kind of thing was even happening in the days of the apostles and in the days of the early church we had to wrestle with this for all of Christian history and and I think that the answer is going to be dependent upon you know that particular situation that you're in, but I will say one thing, make sure your friend knows how you feel. One concern I have is that when this kind of thing happens often. We in the church won't really address the issue of this person might've walked away and they're not going to church anymore and will still hang out with them like everything is okay. Well, that's not okay.
In fact, Paul says in first Corinthians that and when there's a so-called brother whose engaging in open sin, you you rebuke them in and actually in the process of discipline. What you do church discipline. What you do is you at some point you say I'm not can put up with this anymore. I can't just hang out with you. Like everything is fine because your soul is in danger and I care more about your soul and your eternal destiny. Then just sort of everything being hunky-dory and pretending like everything is fine know this is a serious thing and that's why James said what he said there and in chapter 5 verses 19 and 20. Now that doesn't mean that you have a bad attitude toward this person or that you just to give them the cold shoulder know I think in love, Spencer.
You reach out to them in love. You talk about how important it is to follow Jesus the grace of Jesus all that God has done for us to plead with this person. I me obviously from falling away to drugs and alcohol. This is destroying this person probably physically write him and you think about the addictions that people battle with so you warn them in love. You warn them in love and in your honest about the truth of the gospel.
You don't trust this under the rug or pretend like it's not a big deal in and it sounds to me like you are concerned and so I would say reach out to this person talk to them about the pain that it's caused US their brother in Christ and how you long to see them restored restored in their body but restored ultimately to God because there walking in a way that's not pleasing to him there turning away from him from God was the source of life and there headed down a path of destruction.
And so you you need to be honest with this person.
Maybe Bill just really quickly. We can pray for Spencer's friend father. Our hearts break as we think about this individual and the decisions that he's making.
We know probably Lord that there even people listening right now were wandering from you who may be spent time in the church there was a period of their lives with their excited about the faith and now Lord there drifting they don't go to church anymore. They're doing things they know are displeasing to you. Oh God, would you draw Spencer's friend and all those who are hearing right now that describes what you draw them back to you by the grace of your Holy Spirit through the love of your son Jesus would they know the sweetness of your gospel. The goodness of your mercy and would your kindness.
Lord lead them to repentance be with Spencer giving him wisdom as he has discussions with with this friend Lord make you communicate in love, his concern for the path that his friend is taking right now bring this friend back. We ask of God in Jesus name, amen. No Israel, I'm so glad you mentioned that verse about God's kindness, leading us to repentance. And I think as believers. That's the key, and therefore are kindness extended to them our love now of course there's truth in love as well, but it has to start with our love and concern for that person. Thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer. Visit firstname.lastname@example.org and click on offers and the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673 that's a 33, the court when you contact us. Please let us know how you been encouraged by this podcast and be sure to join us next time.
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