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Is America a Christian Nation

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
July 5, 2021 6:30 am

Is America a Christian Nation

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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July 5, 2021 6:30 am

Episode 742 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes


Questions in this Episode

1. Why do pastors so often neglect Jesus's command to get baptized in their preaching?

2. I have always been told that America is a Christian nation built on Judeo Christian teachings. But I recently heard a pastor say that America isn’t a Christian nation and that we shouldn’t refer to it like that. What do you think?

3. Where is the tower of Babel in the Bible and what does it mean? What am I supposed to take away from that story?

4. I grew up Catholic and a couple years ago started going to a protestant church. My question is, what are the names of the Apocryphal books and why don’t protestants use them in their Bibles?

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Is it accurate to refer to America as a Christian nation? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity.

Well, Happy Independence Day to you. I'm 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. This is where this barbecue started. I wanted to make room for that. And you can call us with your question at 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts.

And you can email us at What are you cooking up today, tri-tip, or are you going to put some carne asada on, or what you got going there? Oh, Bill.

Actually, today it is tri-tip. Now, the carne asada, I do love that as well. Typically, I go and see what's on sale. And whatever's on sale, that's what I go for. I got one of those old just Weber grills, the sort of round charcoal grill.

Pretty basic. But I just love the charcoal grill, man. I feel like I can't beat it.

So that's what we're looking forward to. All right. How about you? You know, I'm probably going to let my wife do the cooking, but probably burgers.

I wouldn't want you to cook anything for me. Oh, thank you so much. Yeah.

All right. Let's go to our phones. We have a call from Ken in St. Louis, Missouri. Hi, Ken. What's your question for Pastor Adriel? Hey, how you doing?

Doing well. Yeah, I'm with you on that charcoal barbecue stuff. Can't beat that.

No, you can't. Anyway, my question is, first off, I just want to say I respect and I honor what you guys are doing on the air and trying to enlighten people and give them a better knowledge of God's Word. My question is, however, is I've listened to various pastors and preachers throughout the brotherhood, and my question is, is why do they often tend to ignore key scriptures in the Bible of obeying the gospel? I ask them, well, would it obey the gospel? And they say, well, that's obeying His Word.

Yes. But Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15, 1 through 4, as we know, you are saved by the gospel that Christ died, buried and was rose again. How do we reenact that gospel?

He tells us in Romans 6, 3 through 6, we are buried with Him in baptism, and we become a new creature. So often when I listen to these preachers, they will give great lessons and they will get right to the point of if you're not saved, you need to right now ask Him in your heart, which I admire, that's good, or the sinner's prayer, or just believe on the Lord. But they ignore, why do they ignore key scriptures as Acts 2, 38, when Peter says repent and what? Be baptized for what? For the remission of sins that you may receive, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and they're already saying on the air, you're getting the gift of the Holy Spirit before you're even baptized. Galatians 3, 27 says, or 2, 27, yeah, all those that have been baptized in Christ have put on Christ. Jesus says, if you let Me, you will keep My commandments. And what did He say? He said, in Mark 16, 16, He said, He that believeth and is what? Accepting in My heart?

No. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. So these are key scriptures they tend to ignore. Why do they ignore these scriptures and not emphasize them in their lessons, or wherever they may be speaking?

Hey, Ken. Man, I appreciated that string of Bible verses. I don't know if you had all those memorized, or if you just have a list in front of you, but kudos to you, brother, and all very important passages of scripture. And I tend to agree with you that we, especially with regard to things like baptism, tend to minimize the significance of baptism in the church today. There are a lot of churches where it's just sort of this thing that you do in order to show forth your faith, but it's not really that important. But you do, when you read the scriptures in Romans 6, Galatians 3, the great commission that Jesus gave to the church, you know, go in all the world and make disciples, doing what? Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you.

And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Now, I think in this discussion, as we're talking about obedience and the gospel, it really is helpful to clarify our terminology. First, you referenced 1 Corinthians chapter 15, where Paul gives a very clear description of what the gospel is. And you'll note in that chapter and in those verses beginning in verse 1, the gospel is not something that we do. The gospel is something that has been accomplished by God, not by me, not by you. God is the one who accomplished the gospel by sending his Son into the world to live, to suffer, to die, and to rise again from the dead. That is the gospel that we preach, Paul says. This is what was delivered to me.

This is what I deliver to you. It's of chief importance that Jesus Christ died and rose again for our sins. And so the gospel, we have to be real clear about this, is the proclamation of God's victory over sin and death.

That's why it's good news. If the gospel was, here is a list of things for you to do, then it wouldn't be that great of news. Because the fact of the matter is, when it comes to obedience to God's law, you and I fall short. And we will for our entire Christian life, even filled with the Holy Spirit and striving to live lives of holiness. Day by day, we sin against God in thought, word, and in deed.

And if we're looking to ourselves for confidence, well, we're not going to have very much. And so the gospel is secure, it's sure, it's what God has done for us in Christ. But you do have language of obeying the gospel at times.

I'm thinking of 2 Thessalonians chapter 1 verse 8, where it talks about the wicked, those who reject the gospel of God, who do not obey the gospel of God. And the question is, well, what does it mean to obey the gospel of God? I think quite simply, if the gospel is what God has done for us in Christ, then it's a reference to receiving that by faith. Embracing it, trusting in what Christ has done for us. And in fact, Jesus in John chapter 6 verse 29 is asked by the crowds, you know, what do we need to do to do the works of God? And Jesus' response is, this is the work of God that you believe in me.

Believe, have faith, trust. Now, in light of that, in light of our new identity in Jesus Christ by faith in him through baptism, and this is what Paul is getting at in another text you mentioned, Romans chapter 6, we are called to walk in newness of life, not as a way of doing the gospel or fulfilling the gospel, it's been done, but as an implication of our new identity in Christ, as those who are filled with the Holy Spirit and day by day growing into the likeness of Jesus Christ by that same spirit. Sometimes we distinguish, and I think it's really helpful to distinguish between the imperatives and the indicatives in scripture. The imperatives are those commands that we find throughout the Bible, even in the New Testament.

The indicatives are those truths that are true of us, and typically in the Bible, especially as we're thinking about this conversation in particular, those imperatives are rooted in the indicative realities of the gospel. Let me give you an example from Paul's letter to the Ephesians. Ephesians chapter 5 verse 1, Paul says, therefore be imitators of God. Now there's an imperative, there's a command, imitate God, but now note the indicative. This is rooted in another truth, the imitators of God as beloved children. In other words, here's who you are, here's who I am in Christ, we are the beloved children of God, and as such, we are called to imitate God, to follow him. Walk in love as Christ loved us, and gave himself up for us a fragrant offering and a sacrifice to God. And Ken, the reason it's so important that we make this distinction is because there are a lot of Christians out there who are trying to do the gospel, and be the gospel, and earn God's love, earn salvation, and they think, if I'm doing good, God is pleased with me, and if I'm not, well maybe I've lost my salvation, maybe I haven't fully fulfilled the gospel, I'm in big trouble, that kind of a thing, but typically, when you have these commands, these imperatives in the New Testament, they're rooted in what God has already done.

And so we first and foremost have to rest in and receive God's gracious work for us, that is the gospel described in 1 Corinthians chapter 15, and from that place, live as the new creations that we are, as the baptized, as the redeemed, as the beloved children of God. Hey Ken, thanks for your call, I hope you have a wonderful day, and great barbecue. God bless.

Thanks Ken. That was a great explanation, Adriel, and also I want to mention one of our great core questions that's available on our website. It's what's the difference between justification and sanctification, which really gets into some of these issues of how do we grow in Christ, and what does it mean after we have trusted in Christ, where do we go from there?

What's the difference between justification and sanctification? You can find that by going to forward slash questions. And by the way, you can always email us your question at questions at, questions at

Here's one from one of our listeners named Mike. He says, I've always been told that America is a Christian nation built on Judeo-Christian teachings, but I recently heard a pastor say that America isn't a Christian nation, and that we shouldn't refer to it like that. What do you think? Yeah, I've heard both as well, and what an important question around this time of the year, and one that many people are bringing up and wondering about. Has Christianity had an impact, an influence on this country in particular? I think we'd have to say, well, yes, absolutely. In many ways, it has.

Not enough of an impact, I think. But does that mean that we are a Christian nation? And this is where I think, again, we have to distinguish and be very clear with regard to the language that we're using. Under the Old Covenant, in the Old Testament, Israel was a, quote, unquote, Christian nation. That is, that was God's nation through which he was working in the world. And I think a lot of times, people today sort of look at those passages in the Old Testament, and they want to sort of carry those over into our present reality, our present existence, and say, now on earth, we need to strive to be like Israel was under the Old Covenant. Or we are.

Maybe people would go even that far. I think that is kind of a crazy claim, but I think some people would say, we are a Christian nation just like Israel under the Old Covenant. Well, that is a bad application of the Old Testament, and certainly a misapplication of the covenants that we see in scripture. One, we're no longer living under the Old Covenant. We are living under the New Covenant. One of the things I just said recently on another broadcast is that one of the things that's unique about the New Covenant and distinct about it is that the church on earth isn't made up of one nation. There isn't one Christian nation.

And so in that sense, we say, no, America is not the Christian nation or a Christian nation. Really, the only Christian nation that we see in scripture now under the New Covenant is the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ over which he reigns as king. That is the kingdom of God on earth today, and it has outposts, embassies in every nation of the world. And you and I are ambassadors of that kingdom, citizens of heaven, as Paul says in Philippians chapter 3. Note what Peter said in 1 Peter chapter 2 verse 9. He's writing to believers, Jews and Gentiles alike, and he says, You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Now there Peter is quoting from the book of Exodus in Exodus chapter 19 verse 6, words that were directed to Israel where God says, This is what I'm going to make you, a holy nation, a royal priesthood, this kingdom.

Well, now they're applied, those words, to the church on earth today. Brothers and sisters, we are on earth through faith in Jesus Christ, the temple of the living God, the holy nation of the Lord, called to proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. Now that doesn't mean we can't be grateful, as I've said before, for the many blessings that God has given and does give to people in this nation in particular and the other nations of the world. We are called in 1 Timothy chapter 2 to pray for earthly rulers, whether they're Christians or not, that we might live peaceably as a church to serve the Lord. And in many ways, there have been freedoms that we've enjoyed here that other countries certainly don't have and that the church doesn't have in other places of the world, and I think we ought to give thanks to the Lord for that and praise him for that. But our king is Jesus, and the holy nation that we're a part of is the church, and the only holy nation on earth today is that body of believers around the throne of God brought together through the blood of Jesus.

That's our heavenly citizenship that we have, and we praise God for that above all else. Thank you for your question. Amen. Thanks, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. And by the way, if you are a parent or a grandparent, we have a brand new free resource we want to tell you about. Bill, I have four children and one more on the way I might share with our audience. And I'm amazed by some of the questions about God that I get from my children. And if you're a parent, you know that you're not always the teacher in your household, that we learn a lot from our kids as well.

And we've created a new core guide, a resource that sort of gets into some of this, Seven Things Children Teach Us. One of the things actually that I'm so struck by in reading the New Testament is how often children understood the things of the Lord more than even adults. When Jesus was cleansing the temple in the New Testament, the Pharisees and the scribes, they were getting all upset because the people were crying out, Hosanna to the Son of David, and yet the children, they understood it. The children recognized Jesus. Jesus said at the end of Matthew chapter 11, Father, I thank you, Lord of heaven and earth, that you've hidden these things from the wise and the prudent, that is the message that he was bringing.

You've hidden it from the religious leaders, and you've revealed your message, your gospel, to the babes, to children. Get this resource, Seven Things Children Teach Us. It's a wonderful resource, and Bill's going to give you more information on it. It's absolutely free, and all you have to do is head over to forward slash offers to download Seven Things Children Teach Us. Again, forward slash offers to look for that great resource. You can also call us for that or any of our resources at 833-THE-CORE. By the way, you can also leave us your question via voicemail 24 hours a day or go to our website, look for the little microphone icon on the radio page, click on that and record your question that way. Here's an email or voicemail that came in from Jeff in Florida.

My question is about the power of babel. Where does it appear in the Bible, and what am I to learn from it as a Christian? What did God do and why, and what does it mean? Thank you. Appreciate you.

Bye. Yes, the Tower of Babel found in Genesis chapter 11 was probably this great big ziggurat. Now, ziggurats were these sort of temple towers all throughout ancient Mesopotamia where people would gather to worship their gods, their deities. It was sort of like ascending into the heavens as you'd climb this tower. In the ancient world, something you may not know is that people sort of had this assumption that the higher you were in elevation, the closer you were to God. That's why oftentimes in the Bible, even in the Holy Scriptures, you have worship taking place on the tops of mountains. Think about Moses going up Mount Sinai or even under the new covenant, Hebrews chapter 12 says, and we gather together for worship, we're going up to the heavenly Mount Zion.

It's this picture of an ascent up into the presence of God. If in the ancient world, people thought that to be higher up was to be closer to God, well, what the people of Babel were trying to do was to reach heaven on the basis of their own strength, their own ability, their own righteousness, even if you will. Genesis chapter 11, the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plane in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.

And they had brick for stone and vitamin for mortar. And they said, come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens and let us make a name for ourselves lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the children of man had built. Verse 5, there is actually the central point in the passage of scripture there in Genesis 11, 1 through 9. God's condescension is coming down to see the tower of Babel. I'll talk about that in just a second, but what are they trying to do?

Well, verse 4 makes it clear. They say, let's build a tower, a city with its top in the heavens. They're trying to reach God or divine status, if you will, by their own wisdom through technology, through the science of the day, if you will.

And the purpose is their own pride so that we might make a name for ourselves and so that we may not be scattered abroad throughout the whole world. Now, this was in direct disobedience to God. And one of the ways we know this is because back in Genesis chapter 9 in verse 7, God said to Moses and to his children, be fruitful and multiply, increase greatly on the earth and multiply in it. In other words, mankind was to spread out throughout the whole earth. But the people of Babel say, no, we don't want to do it God's way.

We're going to build a tower. In fact, we're going to reach heaven on our own, in our own strength with our own wisdom. And the fact of the matter is, and I think this is one of the big things we learn from this, is there are many people who are trying to do this today, both inside the church and outside of the church. Now, outside the church, it's the idea that we're going to reach the heavens, if you will, through science and technology, that as we advance, we're going to grow more and more as human beings and maybe even one day conquer things like death.

There are a number of writers, even atheist writers, who have suggested this in recent days. But it doesn't work because the bricks with which we build are made of mud and we can't reach the heavens in that way. And within the church, I think a lot of times people try to build with their own good works. They think, I'm going to stack my good works up higher and higher and I'm going to build a stairway into the heavens.

And that too is futile because our bricks as well are made of mud and they have cracks in them and we quickly realize that we don't have enough to reach the heavens. And so God has to come down. And that's precisely what he did in verse 5 of Genesis 11. He came down in judgment to judge the people there. He confused their languages.

He confounded their efforts and he sent them out throughout the whole world and they spread out, which was the very thing that they were hoping wouldn't happen. We can also say that God has come down in other ways. He's come down in his Son, Jesus. We couldn't reach the heavens, but God came down from heaven, the second person of the Holy Trinity, Jesus, the eternal Son of God, so that in him we might be brought to heaven. We have been by faith in him, seated in the heavenly places, Paul says.

And so I was sorry to go long there. I just recently, not too long ago, preached on Genesis 11. There's so much for us to learn, but one of the big things is we can't build our way up to heaven. Heaven came down to us in Jesus and we are brought up, raised up with him by faith. Amen. Great discussion there, Adriel.

Thank you. This is Core Christianity, and let's go to a voicemail we received from one of our listeners named Gladys. I am raised as a Catholic until I was about a teenager and then left the Church for years, and in 2012 became a non-denominational Christian. What are the names of the supposed extra books in the Bible in the Catholic Church that Christianity does not use in general? What are these books about? Yeah, there are a number of books, sometimes called the apocryphal books or the deuterocanonical books, that are in the Catholic Bibles, for example, Orthodox, that is Eastern Orthodox Bibles, but which are not in Protestant Bibles. Books like Tobit, Judith, The Wisdom of Solomon, the Maccabees, there's a number of them, and typically they're describing that period of time between Malachi, the last minor prophet in the Old Testament, and the time of the New Testament, what we sometimes refer to in Protestant circles as the sort of silent years.

But we don't embrace those books as a part of the canon because they're not quoted as canonical in the New Testament, and also because the Jews, the Hebrews, didn't treat them as canonical, and so those are the books of the Apocrypha, and we don't accept those as inspired by God. Thanks for your question. Thanks for listening to Core Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at 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 / 2023-09-24 16:44:58 / 2023-09-24 16:54:48 / 10

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