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My Friend Says They're Suicidal. What Should I Do?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
April 8, 2021 6:30 am

My Friend Says They're Suicidal. What Should I Do?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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April 8, 2021 6:30 am

Episode 680 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

 

1. The government in Ireland still lists churches as non-essential. Other churches are able to meet outside, but my church has refused to even meet outside. What should I do?

2. I am having trouble reconciling what Paul says in Romans 9 about predestination and 1 Timothy 2 where he says that God wishes that “all would be saved.”

3. What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit? I know some speak of this as when you are given the gift of tongues, but what do you think it means?

4. Recently a friend of mine shared that they have been having suicidal thoughts. I was taken back and wasn’t sure how to respond. What should I say to my friend?

5. I am wondering when it is and isn’t appropriate to share the gospel with my friends and family who don’t know Jesus?

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My friend just told me they're suicidal.

What should I do? 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 also post your question on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts. You can watch us on our YouTube channel, and you can email us with your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. Well, first up today, we have an international call that came in. Actually, one of the ways our international listeners can leave a message is by going to our website, clicking on the little microphone icon, and leaving a message there.

This one came in from Michael in Dublin, Ireland. Hi, I'm Michael from Dublin, Ireland, and I thank you for your faithful biblical ministry. In my country here, the government has said that the church service is not essential, so my own church has stayed closed for the last year. I see other churches in Dublin open, and some going outside and doing church service outside, which I'm very happy to see. I find myself very discouraged that my church has not taken this approach. I feel like I'm let down by my pastor.

Any advice is appreciated. God bless your ministry. Hey, Michael. It really has been a difficult time for many, many churches, and I too am glad to hear that it sounds like some churches out there in Dublin are doing whatever they can to gather together and worship the Lord, while also trying to be respectful to governing authorities. I think there has to be a balance. First and foremost, we're called to obey God, and God does call us to gather together for worship on the Lord's day. I think of that text in Hebrews 10, verses 24 and 25. The author of the Hebrews said, Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near. Earlier in the book of Hebrews, the author of the Hebrews talked about how we have to really exhort each other day by day while it is called today, lest we're hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. The fact of the matter is, if you're a Christian, you need fellowship with the body of Christ. We have to have this, and so gathering together is something that is essential, and yet at the same time, we want to do it in a way that is safe and wise. I know for our church, for many months, we were meeting outside, and I live in Southern California, so it really worked out for us, but I know other places, it's been really challenging to figure out how are we going to be faithful to the Lord, honor the Lord, and also make sure that we're taking good care of our people.

A couple of things, brother. One, I would say you want to approach your pastor on this with humility. I think it's fair to express your concerns to your pastor. You know there have been times, Michael, in the history of the church where faithful members of the church, faithful laity, help to keep pastors really in check, help to keep them faithful in line with the teaching of the word of God. I think, lovingly, going to your pastor and saying, hey, we desperately want to gather together. God calls us together, Hebrews chapter 10, to gather together, having these kinds of conversations. Paul said to Timothy in 1 Timothy chapter 5 verses 1 through 3, I think this is just some good guidance here as you think about this conversation, do not rebuke an older man, but encourage him as you would a father. Go to your pastor and encourage him.

Don't go with a rebuke, but go with humility and expressing, I think, what is something that's on your heart, and it's really important. Ultimately, it's the desire to be faithful to what God calls us to in His word. There are times where Christians did disobey governing authorities, in particular when they were being asked to do things that were contrary to God's word and God's law. You think about that passage in Acts chapter 4, for example, where the disciples are cast into prison for preaching Jesus. They're stirring things up, and the counsel basically says, don't speak to anyone else in the name of Jesus anymore, and the disciples respond by saying, look, it's more important for us to obey God.

God's law trumps your law, your rules, your regulations. We want to be faithful to the Lord, and we also want to be wise and humble, and it sounds to me like you're approaching this the right way. I would say, sit down with your pastor. Pray for your pastor, but sit down with your pastor and have this conversation.

Maybe he just needs some extra help in terms of getting the ball rolling for an outdoor service or something like that. Encourage your pastor, but yes, it really is so important for us to gather together as the people of God, especially in difficult times like the ones that we're living in. Thank you for your question, and may the Lord bless you and give you wisdom, brother. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

We love hearing from our international listeners, so if you tune in somewhere overseas, by all means, send us an email or go to our website and record your message right there by clicking that little microphone icon. Let's go to Benjamin who's calling from Wichita, Kansas. Benjamin, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Yes, so I believe that God loves those who He's created and wants them to be saved, but I have trouble with Romans 9. It seems like God has created some people as vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and I'm wondering how predestinating some people for damnation is compatible with 1 Timothy 2, where it says that God wills that all should be saved, and I'm wondering how to properly interpret this scripture.

Yeah, excellent question. Now that word predestination, it's the Greek word prohorizo, and it's used throughout the New Testament in different places. It's actually just about a handful of times to refer to individuals. Paul says in Romans 8 we've been predestined to be conformed into the image of Jesus Christ. Also, events in the book of Acts, for example, talks about essentially God predestining, foreordaining the things that took place surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and then you also have this idea of God's sovereign choice of nations.

You think of the nation of Israel. This is recorded all over the place in the Old Testament, and even individuals. Here it seems to me in Romans 9, this passage that you brought up, that Paul is talking about individual election. He's talking about God's sovereign choice, and it is, I think, a jarring thing when we first encounter this passage of scripture because we're trying to square it away with, as you said, these other texts we find in places like 1 Timothy 2, where it says that God desires all people to be saved, and so I think we just have to take these passages at face value. We know that God is good.

We know that he loves the whole world. We know what you have there in 1 Timothy 2. Now, there are a few different ways of interpreting 1 Timothy 2, where Paul talks about praying for all people. He goes on to basically define what he means by all people there. He says kings and all those who are in authority and high positions because God desires all people to be saved, so some people have taken that to mean. If you just look at the context, it seems like Paul is talking about God's desire for all kinds of people to be saved, different kinds of people.

It doesn't matter who they are, even government officials who are persecuting the church. I mean, you think of Saul of Tarsus, for example, an individual who is persecuting the church, but who Jesus called to himself. But what we get in Romans 9 is a very clear picture of the fact that salvation is all of grace. I'm going to start reading in verse 6. It says, but it is not as though the word of God has failed. And here, in the context of Romans 9, Paul is talking about the fact that it seems like God's word has failed because Jesus came, he preached the gospel, and his own people rejected him.

It seems like the promises of God are not being fulfilled. And so Paul is saying, no, it's not as though the word of God has failed, for not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring. But through Isaac shall your offspring be named. This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. For this is what the promise said, about this time next year I will return and Sarah shall have a son, and not only so, but also when Rebekah has conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing, either good or bad, in order that God's purpose of election might continue.

Not because of works, but because of him who calls, she was told, the older will serve the younger as it is written, Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated. What shall we say then, Paul says? Is there injustice on God's part? And Benjamin, it sounds to me like that's what we're wrestling with as we read this, God's sovereign election, we're prone to say, well, gosh, that doesn't seem fair, Lord.

You know, how come you get to pick? And Paul anticipates this, he says, okay, is there injustice on God's part? By no means.

By no means. For he says to Moses, I will have compassion on whom I have compassion, so then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God who has mercy. And then he goes on to say in verse 19, you will say then, why does he still find fault?

Who can resist his will? And the response, the divine response is, but who are you, O man, to answer back to God? You see, Paul makes it absolutely clear here that God, when it comes to salvation, is absolutely sovereign. There's mystery here because we know that humans are responsible.

We're responsible for the decisions that we make. We're called to believe in Jesus Christ. We know what the scripture says, and yet at the same time, faith is a gift. Paul says this in Ephesians chapter two.

And so I don't think, Benjamin, that there's any contradiction. I think that we have to look at these passages in their context. I think that we can affirm that God desires all people to be saved in one sense, certainly thinking about what Paul said there in 1 Timothy 2. We can affirm that God loves the whole world, John 3.16, but we also have to affirm the clear teaching of scripture on this issue as well, and that is that God is absolutely sovereign when it comes to salvation. And what that should do is humble us and cause us to say, Lord, it wasn't anything in me that caused your grace to come to me.

I turned my back on you time and time again, and yet you still pursued me and drew me to yourself. Praise your holy name. That's what this doctrine should do. It should lead us to worship, and actually that's what happens later in Romans here in this section, 9 through 11. Paul ends with this great doxology, praising God for his mercy. Wow, we should wake up every day thanking God for his incredible mercy on us.

Isn't that just an amazing promise? Yes, Bill, we should. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

Let's go to Bill from Southern Illinois. Bill, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? I was listening to another preacher just about an hour ago, and he was speaking on the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which made me think about some controversy I've heard other Christians talk about. So I'd like your opinion on, you know, when does the baptism of the Holy Spirit happen? How does it happen? How does it manifest in our life? But most importantly, I know there's some denominations that believe that you can't be filled with the Holy Spirit unless you have evidence of speaking in tongues because of that scripture.

I know that's a lot. Yes, I'm glad that you know that that's a lie, brother, because it is. It's not the case that unless you speak in tongues, you're not baptized in the Holy Spirit. And there are groups that do teach that, and it really leads to spiritual abuse.

I mean, people trying to sort of, you know, fabricate or create these miraculous phenomena, it's just not really happening there. And so we have to be really careful that we understand what the baptism of the Holy Spirit is. Now, where does that language come from? It comes from Jesus and the Gospels. It also comes from the book of Acts. In Acts chapters 1 and 2, Jesus said prior to his ascension, you're going to be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. And what he was referring to there in Acts chapter 1 was the day of Pentecost. Now, what happened on Pentecost?

I'm going to read Acts chapter 2, beginning in verse 1. When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place, and suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting, and divided tongues as a fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

And so this is a miracle. On the day of Pentecost, prophesied way back in Joel chapter 2, the prophet Joel foresaw this day that was coming, and all Christians, Bill, are baptized in and by the Holy Spirit. Paul said in 1 Corinthians chapter 12 verse 13, by one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body. You can't even say, I can't even say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.

Again, Paul says that in 1 Corinthians. So you can't be a Christian, confess Christ as Lord, without the Holy Spirit. We are filled, sealed with the Holy Spirit. We are called to be continually filled with the Spirit. That's another thing that you see in the Bible in places like Ephesians 5, but I would say that there's something distinct there. We're called to be filled with the Spirit, but all Christians are baptized in the Spirit, and then called subsequently to walk in the Spirit, to be filled with the Spirit through prayer, through the word of Christ dwelling richly in our hearts.

That's really how it happens. A lot of times I think we sort of make this out to be more than it needs to be. It's as we're meditating on Scripture, growing in the grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ through his word, that we are being more and more filled with the Spirit, by the Spirit, controlled by the Spirit.

There's a couple of other things there. When you think about the day of Pentecost and what was going on, this was really a picture of new creation. We so often miss this. We talk all about the gift of tongues and these miracles, but what's happening there on Pentecost is new creation, the breath of life as it were, breathing in on the church. Finally, there came from heaven the sound like a mighty rushing wind. Now that word wind there, it's the same word that's used in the Greek translation of the Old Testament way back in Genesis chapter 2 verse 7, where God breathed into mankind the breath of life. It's almost as if God is breathing onto mankind once again.

This is new creation. It's also a picture of God's new temple dwelling here on earth. You think about fire as a sign of God's presence throughout the Old Testament, the fire that burned there in the tabernacle.

It's one of the things that we're meant to gather from this. You have these tongues of fire over the disciples. It's as if God is saying, this is my new temple. And we are, of course, Bill, according to the Bible, the temple of the Holy Spirit.

God lives in us. That's another thing that God wants us to see here in this passage of scripture. And we're called to proclaim the excellencies of Christ.

That's ultimately what the disciples did there on the day of Pentecost. They build with the Holy Spirit. They begin to speak with new tongues.

And what are they speaking? They're declaring the mighty works of God. Essentially, it's an opportunity for them to get to share the gospel.

These miracles, like the gift of tongues in the first century church, they weren't an end in and of themselves. They were always meant to lead people to Christ so that people might embrace Christ for the forgiveness of sins. Everyone who is a Christian is baptized in the Holy Spirit. They've experienced that new birth, that new life that's pictured here in Acts chapter two. They are the temple of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit lives in them. And we're all called to share the excellencies of Jesus with the people around us. Now, are there subsequent fillings of the Holy Spirit throughout the Christian life? Yes.

And how do those happen? Well, they happen through the context of Christian community, growing in our understanding of God's word, studying the scriptures, singing to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, as the apostle Paul says. And so I think the Bible is really clear on this. And so that's how I would approach this whole question of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. And I trust that was encouraging for you, brother. Thanks for calling us. Bill, thanks so much for taking the time to call.

Great question. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. And today we have a very special free resource for you that Adriel created himself. It's called Seeing Jesus. Yeah, if you're looking for a short read, it's just four chapters, but something that's devotional and is going to help you better understand the ministry of Jesus Christ while he was here on earth and who he is for us today. It's about getting to know Jesus better, seeing Jesus get a hold of this resource. It's free for you. All you have to do is go to our website corechristianity.com forward slash Jesus. You can also call us for this resource or any one of our resources at this number 833-843-2673.

That's 833 the core. Well, let's go to an email we received from Emily, and she says, Hi, Pastor Adriel. Recently a friend of mine shared that they've been having suicidal thoughts. I was taken aback and wasn't sure how to respond. What should I say to my friend? Well, I think that the first thing that you need to do, Emily, is listen, certainly.

Don't brush that under the rug. You want to take this very, very seriously, and ask questions. Begin to have a dialogue with your friend. Even specific questions can be really helpful, like is this something you've thought about before? Have you thought about how you're going to do it?

Those kinds of things. A lot of times when people have an encounter like this where somebody says something like this to you, I think we freeze. We don't know what to say. We're afraid of even bringing it up.

We just try to avoid it, but that's actually the least helpful thing that you can do. What you really need to do is begin having this conversation. That can be helpful as this individual is able to share what's going on. As they really feel cared for, a lot of people feel so lonely, like they have no one that they can go to or no one who really takes interest in them or their lives. So what you're doing is you're taking interest.

You're saying, hey, what's going on? If you really believe that someone is going to attempt suicide, you need to get immediate help, maybe even driving them to the hospital. There are some suicide hotlines also that you can call or encourage them to call. You need professional help. There is a lot of hopelessness right now in the world.

So often I think that's one of the causes. As people think about their life and they feel hopeless, there's this dark gloom. A lot of it can be depression also, clinical depression. But one thing that I think is really important for us to understand and to be able to communicate, and maybe you listening right now, maybe you feel that hopelessness. With Jesus, there is always hope.

He's the risen Savior. I don't know what you're going through specifically in your life that makes you feel hopeless. I do know that sometimes when we look within to ourselves, we can feel hopeless.

When we look around us at our circumstances, the suffering that we see around us in the world, we can feel hopeless. We can even feel like God doesn't love us because of our failures, because of the way our lives have gone. But let me just say to you, with Jesus, there is always hope, and God does love you. And here's how you know that He loves you. Here's how He showed you His love for you. He showed you His love for you by sending Jesus. This is what John says in 1 John 4, verse 9. He says, in this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world so that we might live through Him.

God loves you so much that He sent His Son Jesus into the world so that through Jesus you might live. By the way, we should also mention to you, Emily, if you want to pass along this number to your friend. There is a National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number, and he or she can call that 800-273-8255. If anyone's listening today who is feeling severely depressed or maybe like taking their own life, please do reach out for some help with that number. Again, it's the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800-273-8255. We also have a resource here at CORE Christianity. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, it's nine things you should know about depression. You can find that through our website at corechristianity.com.

Just look under Resources. Let's go to Christine calling in from Toledo, Ohio. Christine, what is your question for Pastor Adriel? Hi, Pastor Adriel. My question is in regards to sharing the Gospel. I know as followers of Christ, that's what we're called to do is to tell others the good news that is Jesus and to make disciples. So my question kind of is with my concern is who and when should we remember to do this? I feel like with family, with strangers that I interact with every day, my heart aches for anyone who may not know Jesus and may not know the truth of who he is. So when should we and when shouldn't we?

Yeah. Well, Christine, I know that a lot of believers, they feel crushed by this sort of burden of I just have to share the Gospel with everybody that I meet, you know, the person that I'm sitting by at the bus stop or on the airplane or wherever I'm at. Like if I don't get this out, I feel this intense guilt that I have. I've talked to believers like that and I used to feel that way too. I think we should always have the prayerful intention of being able to share Christ with the people around us, not just with how we live our lives, but with our words. You know, you sometimes hear people say preach the Gospel and if necessary use words. Well, you have to use words to share the message of the Gospel, but we want our words and the way that we live to match up. And so I would say, Christine, pray for the people around you, the people that God has brought into your life, friends, family members who you have relationships with, and pray that the Lord opens the door for you to be able to share the message of the Gospel with them and look for opportunities. And you might be surprised as you pray those prayers to see how the Lord answers those prayers and begins to open doors for you to share. I would say pray and then share. 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 / 2023-12-03 16:45:42 / 2023-12-03 16:55:49 / 10

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