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How Do You Know When a Person with Mental Illness is Saved?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
February 18, 2021 1:00 am

How Do You Know When a Person with Mental Illness is Saved?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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February 18, 2021 1:00 am

Episode 645 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

1. How would you explain the doctrine of the Trinity to a young child?

2. I know that the Lord forgives us but I often feel regret and have memories of my past life and previous sins. When I think of these past sins and feel condemned, does that count as spiritual warfare?

3. What do you think of the New Apostolic Reformation movement? Is it biblical or potentially heretical?

4. My brother has schizophrenia. He has read the bible, he prays, and believes that he is born again, but he has a hard time understanding the bible. How do you know when a person with a severe mental illness is saved?

5. Why did God need blood sacrifices in the Old Testament in the first place?

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Resources

Broken Pieces and the God Who Mends Them: Schizophrenia through a Mother’s Eye by Simonetta Carr

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One of my family members at the mountain and be sacrificed for our sins. And so, you know, and I asked her, do you know who this is? And she said, God. And I said, of course, it's Jesus. And so she gave me a confused look like, well, I thought there's, you know, Jesus was the son of God. And I said, yes. And there's also God, the Father, God, the Son and God, the Holy Spirit.

And she gave me this confused look. So I just wanted to get your input and Bill's input and to see how would you explain to a child, to a six-year-old child, the Trinity? I love that question. And we definitely need to be teaching our kids the faith. And I've wrestled with this question as well with my own kids.

I got a nine-year-old, a six-year-old, a four-year-old and a two-year-old. And we've had conversations about the Trinity. In fact, I remember one day, Ed, we're all around the dinner table, and I think it was my daughter. She just asked the question in the middle of dinner, you know, if God lives in me and in mom and in my siblings, you know, how can God be one? But he lives in each one of us.

Like that doesn't make any sense to me. So kids, I feel like oftentimes ask some of the best questions that I think at least as far as the Trinity is concerned, what we want to do is use biblical language. So the Bible teaches that there is one God, Deuteronomy chapter six, verse four, hero Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. But the Bible also reveals to us that this one God is three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And I think the temptation for us when we're trying to explain the mystery of the Trinity is to say too much.

You know, sometimes you get these analogies that people will use that oftentimes I think actually end up muddying the waters. And so I would say just stick with the biblical language and with the confession that the Church has had over the last two thousand years, essentially, that there is one God in three persons. There's no contradiction there because he's one in essence and three distinct persons. He's not one essence in three essences. He's not one person in three persons.

He's one essence in three persons. And so I would say you just use biblical language. And one thing that's been helpful for us is praying to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, worshiping the Trinity. That's really how we begin to grasp, if you will, as much as is humanly possible, these great mysteries of the faith is in the context of worship. And so I would say pick some good hymns, some good songs that sing praises to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and immerse your children in that kind of language, the Trinitarian language.

And I think that's the best thing that we can do for our kids as they're thinking about these great mysteries. Lord bless you, brother, and keep up the good work in discipling your children. Thanks so much for your call, Ed.

We appreciate you being one of our regular listeners. Oh, I guess we lost Ed. Hey, you know, I was thinking, Adriel, there are those analogies that people try to use, and you're right. Oftentimes they can lead us astray or it can be even harder to understand the Trinity. You've heard the one about the egg or that, you know, water can be either liquid or vapor or ice or one that I remember hearing back when I was in high school was, well, the Trinity is like an apple. You've got the skin and then the flesh and the core.

And those just, I think, cause more harm than good. Yeah. And I mean, we're talking about the God who is transcendent. I mean, He's otherworldly. He's not of this creation. And so, yeah, we can use, you know, language and analogies and the best ones to stick to are the ones that God gives us in His Word.

But we want to be careful that we don't go into all this speculation. The Trinity is the God that we adore, not the God that we speculate about. And so I typically avoid a lot of those sort of analogies, illustrations for the Trinity. Just stick with the biblical language. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Here's the number. If you have a question for us about the Bible or the Christian life, it's 833-THE-CORE. By the way, you can also call us if you can't call us this half hour.

You can call us any time and leave a voicemail at that number 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to James calling from St. Louis, Missouri. James, welcome to Core Christianity. Hi. Hey, James.

Welcome to the broadcast. What's your question, brother? Thank you. I gave my life back to the Lord in June, and I was just wondering, I know it says in the Bible the Lord puts our sins behind us and forgets about them, but I was just wondering when the devil attacks, sometimes to me is what I'm thinking it is, that he puts these my past sins come up in my mind just out of nowhere sometimes, or I might hear somebody talking or somebody say something, and I was wondering if that's how the devil is one way that he attacks us, and can we ask for forgiveness for those sins again or just for them being in our mind or coming into our mind like that? Yeah. Well, James, I know a lot of people have this same question.

What do you do? How do you deal with... We've been forgiven. We've confessed our sins to the Lord. We're walking with Jesus, but yet the memory of our past sins still plagues us and puts us under this load of guilt, sometimes even the feelings of condemnation.

Am I really forgiven? Could God really forgive all of those things? I think that is one of the ways that the devil continues to attack believers to accuse them. Satan wants to convince us that we're beyond the grace of God, that our situation is hopeless, that the Lord really doesn't want to work in us and through us, and that we're not forgiven.

That's one of the ways he does it. Sometimes it may not even be the devil. It might just be as we are reminded of things that we've done or just the memory pops in our head, that kind of a thing, that we feel that guilt, that shame. That's why, brother, we have to... This is how you fight that battle. We flee to what the word of God says, and we cling to Christ, to his cross, to his blood. There are two passages of scripture that I think can be really comforting to you.

They've been comforting to me in those moments where I'm wrestling with those thoughts. Hebrews 9, beginning in verse 13, listen to what the author of the Hebrews said, "'For if the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.'" You know what purifies your conscience? Not the fact that we've done really good in the past, that we're perfect, that we're sinless.

Not at all. All of us come to the Lord weighed down by our sins, but we're cleansed by the blood of the eternal Son of God. That's what purifies our conscience.

Actually, in the very next chapter, in Hebrews 10, in verse 22, the author of the Hebrew says, "'Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance.'" James, that's what God wants you to have, full assurance, draw near with the true heart in full assurance of faith with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. So yes, sometimes the memory of our sins plagues us, it comes up, and that's when we go to the cross. That's when we cling to the blood of Jesus, and it's that promise that God gives to us in the gospel, that our sins are forgiven solely by faith in Jesus Christ, that helps us to be free from that load of guilt and condemnation. So when you're feeling that, when the devil is trying to put you back under that load of guilt and shame, to say you are too far gone or God really didn't forgive you, no. You point to Christ, you go to the cross, and you rest, brother, in what Jesus has done for you. May the Lord bless you. Amen. Thanks so much, Adriel, for those reassuring words. That's just so, I think for all of us who deal with those sort of issues and those maybe past sins that come up in our mind or that people remind us of, it's so refreshing to go back to God's truth. Let's go to MC who is calling in from Nashville, Tennessee.

MC, welcome to CORE Christianity. Hey, thank you so much for taking my call. I love your show, and I just appreciate what you guys are doing. Thank you so much. I appreciate you calling us.

What's your question? Well, I have a question regarding the New Apostolic Reformation Movement. I'm wondering what your thoughts on it are. Is it biblical? Is it, you know, I think I have a couple of young Christian friends who are caught up in it, and I was just wondering, I mean, my take on it is, you know, it is what it is. I mean, you guys know far more about it than I do, so I was just wondering, you know, if you had some, and if it isn't biblical, is there advice you can give on helping them out of it?

Yeah. Well, this is a great question, and you do have from time to time in the history of the church, you know, these groups that pop up, and they're oftentimes claiming to be restoring something that was lost, that the church lost. I mean, you see this especially with a lot of the cults. I mean, you think about Mormonism, for example, and, you know, Jehovah's Witnesses, people essentially, these groups that have said the gospel was lost or the primary teaching of the church was lost and it needs to be restored, and I think that's what you have here with groups like the New Apostolic Reformation, sort of associated with the Signs and Wonders movement trying to restore the offices of apostle and prophet within the church, those kinds of things, and I would say, no, they're not biblical, and a lot of times these movements, what they get us away from is the core of the Christian faith, the gospel of Jesus Christ.

You know, we're so quick to run to movements, signs and wonders, the stuff that's exciting. What we need to go back to is the ultimate sign of the Christian faith, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and the greatest miracle of all, the forgiveness of our sins, and that's what we grow in and out of in faithful obedience to the Lord, and so what concerns me about some of these movements that crop up from time to time is that they take our eyes off of the main thing, off of core Christianity. Now, I don't know, MC, if you were thinking about a specific doctrine that you're hearing about from your friends or a teaching in this movement, was there something specifically that they were saying that you were curious about? Well, it was a lot of, you know, God told me this, God told me that, and things that I know specifically in the state of Tennessee, I don't know where you are, but it is unlawful to drive a vehicle without car insurance, and they were basing their notions of, I don't need to have car insurance that God told me to, and so that was disconcerting to me.

Yeah, well, it's always convenient when God tells us we don't have to pay for our insurance. It really, the thing is, what I would point to, so Hebrews chapter 2, beginning in verse 1, listen to what the author of the Hebrews said, we've been in Hebrews quite a bit this program, therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it, for since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? And then he says it was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by the gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. The purpose of the signs and wonders in the scripture was primarily to point us to the message of Jesus, the message of the Gospel, and again, what's so concerning about many of these movements is they're focusing on these quote-unquote signs and wonders and miracles and apostles, and yet they're taking us away from the apostolic message of the forgiveness of sins. They become an end in and of themselves, and they take our eyes off of Jesus, and that I think should cause us to question it, and certainly, if somebody says, you know, God told me this or God told me that, and it contradicts God's word, well, we know that God isn't the one who's speaking to them. And so there's a lot of room here for danger, for confusion, and I would encourage you, you know, just go to the scriptures with your friends. I would be concerned about, you know, friends of mine who were getting caught up in this because so often in these movements what you also have is a lot of spiritual abuse, someone who's taking to themselves, you know, the authority, the name of an apostle, and then they're trying to make rules and regulations for the people under them.

It's just sort of, it's the wild, wild west in terms of theology, and so what we have to do is get back to the word of God, where we know that God has spoken, and challenge beliefs that are contrary to the word of God, and it seems to me that it's very clear that the New Apostolic Reformation movement, whatever you want to call it, has a lot of beliefs that are contrary to what God has already revealed in his word, and it leads people away from the simplicity of the gospel. God bless you, M.C. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Here's our phone number if you've got a question for us, 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Now if you are brand new to this program, we have something we'd like to send you called our Core Kit. Yeah, we're excited about this Core Kit that we're offering you for free, and it basically will expose you to who we are as a team, as an organization wanting to help people grow in their understanding of the core doctrines of the Christian faith, of what it means to follow Jesus, and I just know that these resources that we have for you are going to be helpful. We have CDs with teaching, a number of articles, some of the most popular questions that we answer on this broadcast, all sort of brought together in one place for you to benefit from it, and so get ahold of this, the Core Kit, and Bill, can you tell them how to get ahold of this resource? It is so simple, all you have to do is go to our website at this special link corechristianity.com forward slash kit. That's corechristianity.com forward slash kit, and you can sign up. You can also call us for that resource or any one of our resources at 833-THE-CORE. By the way, if you want to call us and leave a voicemail, you can call that number anytime 24 hours a day.

You can also go to our website and click on the microphone icon, leave a message there, and yesterday, we received this voicemail from one of our listeners. Hi, my name is Nicole, and I'm calling from Richmond, California, and I have a brother who has schizophrenia. I've shared the gospel with him, and we have read the Bible together, and we prayed together. He believes he's a born again believer, but he struggles with understanding the Bible. How do you know when a person has mental illness if they are truly born again? That's my question.

Thanks. Bye-bye. Hey, Nicole, thank you so much for that question, and certainly, a lack of understanding when it comes to the Bible or the doctrines of the Christian faith, some of the deeper doctrines. That doesn't necessarily mean that a person isn't saved when we're talking about fully understanding the Bible.

I mean, no one comes to the Bible with a full level of understanding. We're all learning more and more about the mystery of who God is and how he has saved us. There are two passages in scripture that come to mind when I think about your question. The first one is in Matthew 11 verse 25, where Jesus himself prayed, and he said, I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children.

Yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. Now, these things, he's talking about the truth of the gospel, the truth of his kingdom, which the scribes and the Pharisees, those with understanding, quote, unquote, rejected, didn't see, were blind to, and Jesus says, you know who's getting it? You know who's understanding these truths, the gospel?

Little children. The people who were tempted to sort of set aside, the people who we think, oh, they don't have understanding. And then a little bit later in Matthew's gospel, in Matthew chapter 16, when Peter confesses Jesus as the Christ, do you remember what it says there? Matthew 16, 16, Simon Peter replied, you are the Christ, the son of the living God.

He confessed Jesus, and Jesus answered him, blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. Now, the point is, salvation comes through the gospel, and the gospel is something that God can reveal to anyone, regardless of age or mental illness. It's not so much dependent upon our capacity, but on God's spirit. And what a comfort that is as you're praying for your brother, as you're encouraging your brother, then you can encourage your brother and say, look, it's okay that you don't understand everything. We don't understand.

I mean, that's just how it is. We're dependent upon the Lord and his spirit, and we're not saved by our perfect understanding of how salvation works. We're saved by Jesus. Now, how can you know he's saved? Well, you say that, you know, you pray with him, he's confessed Jesus, he says that he's born again, right?

And that's, it's as simple as that. Does he trust in Jesus? Romans chapter 10, verse 9 says, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. And so, sister, be encouraged, and may the Lord bless you as you continue to encourage your brother as well, and open up the scriptures and pray with him.

That's where the power is. The power is in the word of God, and God's spirit works together with the word as you're reading it, as you're studying it, as you're meditating on it, keep that up, because that's where we get understanding. May the Lord bless you. You know, Adriel, I know there's a book that you would recommend for people who have family members who are suffering from mental illness that can really be helpful to them. Yeah, you know, there's a book in particular, I mean, thinking about schizophrenia, we have a friend, her name is Simanetta Carr, she wrote a book called Broken Pieces and the God Who Mends Them, Schizophrenia Through a Mother's Eyes. And that's a helpful sort of first person account of working with and caring for a family member who battles with schizophrenia. We know that this is, you know, thinking about mental health issues, such an important thing for us to navigate this well as a church, and so I'd recommend that book.

If you go to today's show notes on our webpage, corechristianity.com forward slash radio, you can find that particular reference mentioned, and any of the references that we mention on this program, as well as our offer today, the Core Kit. Well, let's go to Michael calling in from Sioux City, Iowa. Michael, welcome to Core Christianity. Good afternoon, brothers. How are you? Doing well, Michael, thank you for calling us.

What's your question? I kind of get the concept, and I understand that God needed a sacrifice of blood to atone for the sins, and Christ being the ultimate sacrifice. But when I was talking with my daughter, she asked the question, why did God need a blood sacrifice, and I didn't really know how to answer that. Well, it really highlights the fact that sin leads to death. It takes life, and in the book of Leviticus, Moses said that the life is in the blood. That's why the Israelites weren't allowed to drink blood or eat food with the blood in it, and it was the blood essentially that made atonement, and it was this picture of a life for a life, of the fact that sin takes life, and so we need that substitute, and that's one of the things you see so clearly portrayed in the sacrificial system of the Old Testament. Again, spoken of so clearly in the book of Hebrews, and the author of the Hebrews said in chapter 9, verse 20, this is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you, and in the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. Indeed, under the law, almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins.

So with these types and shadows that we had in the Old Testament, Michael, we had this picture of the need for atonement, and the fact that sin is serious. So often in the world today and even in the church, I think we can minimize how serious sin is. Paul says the wages of sin is death. Sin leads to death. That's what God told Adam and Eve in the garden.

The day you eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall surely die. That's what sin brings forth, is death, and that's what was so clearly depicted with the blood and the blood sacrifices, and you're right that ultimately, this is why Jesus was sent into the world. You think about what John the Baptist said about Jesus in John chapter 1, behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, and how did he take away the sin of the world? Through the shedding of his holy blood. Peter says you've been cleansed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. So what we see here is that God takes sin seriously, but that he's provided for us perfectly.

He's made a way for our salvation, and all the types and the shadows of the Old Testament under the Old Covenant pointed to the reality of Jesus, of his shed blood for the purifying of our conscience. Thanks for listening to Core Christianity. To request your copy of 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 program. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-23 19:53:30 / 2023-12-23 20:03:46 / 10

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