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Is Soul-Sleep a Biblical Doctrine?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
July 19, 2021 1:30 pm

Is Soul-Sleep a Biblical Doctrine?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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July 19, 2021 1:30 pm

Episode 752 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

 

Questions in this Episode

1. In regards to the 2nd Commandment, I understand that it prohibits us from making images of God the Father. But is it wrong for us to imagine and image of God if the Bible visually describes him?

2. My sister believes in soul-sleep. I wanted to share some scriptures with her to tell her that our family members that have died are in heaven now. What are some scriptures you would point me to?

3. Over the 4th of July weekend I went to a church service where they did an American flag salute. I told my pastor about this and he said he doesn't want to include the American flag in our church services. What do you think about including flags and political statements in our church services?

4. I have noticed that Abraham often practices deceit in his life as it is recorded in Genesis. Why do you think he did this?

5. I have been a Christian all my life. I am now in my forties and I've been dealing with a long illness that has caused anxiety and depression. I've been through many tragedies and other illnesses in my life, but this has caused me to feel such an absence of God and His promises. How do I experience God's presence and the comfort of his promises without these feelings and comfort? Why does God draw himself from people for so long and let them fend for themselves?

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The following is a prerecorded version of Christianity will be back alive again. Tomorrow is soul sleep a biblical concept is just one of the questions will be answering on today's edition of core Christianity will hi there 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. We would love to hear from you. Here's our phone number 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 if you get our voicemail just leave a voicemail and we will go through those later on today.

You can also email us with your question at questions at core, Christianity.com first up today let's go to Selah in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Sheila what your question for Pastor Israel. Thank you so much. When I called dad that day to eat. God. Paul thought that though yeah so you're cutting out a little bit there. Let me let me repeat what I think your question was who sang looking at it with regard to the command related graven images and I get you get how you know we should be making statues of God, that kind of the thing that these were idolatrous practices in the Old Testament where where they would make these images. The statues of their gods and and bow down and worship them in Gaza don't do that. I don't want you to do that for me, but what about like other kinds of images like you know your reading. You know the beginning of the book of Revelation. You have this vivid picture of the risen Christ, if you will, you know.

Was it sinful to imagine that in your mind. I think I could weep. We want to stick to the quote unquote image that the word of God gives to us. It's not helpful to sort of speculate with our imaginations and try to picture God, how we might conceive of him to be and I think one of the reasons why God warns against that in particulars because it's just so natural to us.

We like to imagine God for ourselves. There is one theologian uses our hearts are sort of like a factory house for idols. We just are to create these idols in our own minds and our own hearts. And isn't it the case that with it is so easy for us to make God out in our own image instead of recognizing him for who he is revealed himself to be. According to his word and this is part of the reason why God gave that command because of the nations of the world. They make their gods date they use their imagination to sort of craft the deity that that will fit for them in the fact that matters. People do that today we want to worship even a Jesus who looks like us who thinks like us who justifies our sinful behavior and condemns everyone else that kind of the thing we have to go to the word of God. Let God introduce himself to us. Let him reveal who he is at and that reality confronts us, it confronts our sins. But what we meet, got on his terms and and he comes to us and he gives us the proper words the proper things to think about if you will, were thinking about who God is and so I would say it is unhelpful to sort of off on our own speculating. Try to imagine what what I think of God to be like no let God.

Tell us what he's like to his word, and so I think it in and in a way, yes that it can extend to those sort of mental speculations that people have throughout the world. We need to rest and what God is revealed in Scripture. Thank you for your question Selah. God bless you.

Thanks a lot. This is core Christianity with Pastor Israel Sanchez. Let's go to Tabatha and Kansas City, Missouri Tabitha watcher question.

My phone call and ultimately a little polite and when we lost my mom and she still in the ground and my dad's wake months ago. I know in my heart that God save my mom and my dad and are both in heaven right now and my sister still believes in socially and I quoted the Scripture that absent from the body to be present with the Lord. And sadly, she still doesn't believe that I wanted Scripture to be able back and not be able to share with her and say hey they are in heaven.

Yes will first Tabitha my condolences. With the recent passing of your father.

I'm sorry that he they died.

What a wonderful hope that we have anything though. Paul says to the that the Thessalonians that that we sorrow but not as those who who don't have any hope because we we know that Jesus came that he lived that he died and that he rose again from the dead and and you can be confident.

I think on the basis of holy Scripture that if you got at faith in Jesus that he's in the presence of the Lord. Right now, as you said you quoted from second Corinthians chapter 5 to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord you think of what Jesus said to the thief on the cross he said remember me, Lord. When you enter your kingdoms use it today. You're going to be with me in paradise. But there are two other passages of Scripture that I think are oftentimes overlooked with this discussion that I like to go to in the first one is in the book of Philippians in Philippians chapter 1 in Philippians chapter 1, the apostle Paul is talking about the fact that he's got to die actually very soon and he's going back and forth to thinking about his life and continuing to minister to and serve the people of God that he wants to go and be with the Lord. But he also wants to stick around on earth to continue to serve the churches in into benefit them in this is what he says in verse 21 of Philippians chapter 1 for to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful able labor for me yet which I shall choose I cannot tell I am hard pressed between the two.

My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better but to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account and so convinced of this. I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith.

Boy talk about a love for the church and for the Philippians. There, in particular, you say, look, I I would love to just depart and be with Christ.

But I know it's important for me to be here right now with you to serve you and and to help you grow in your faith. But the fact that he says you know I want to depart and be with Christ, for I know that that's far better indicates that he knows what he died, such as can enter into some soul sleep.

He's gonna be as he said in San Quentin's five in the presence of the Lord and in the New Testament. We also have these pictures painted for us of the saints who have died and are in the presence of the Lord.

I think in particular of another book of the Bible. Again, this one is oftentimes overlooked.

It's the book of Hebrews in Hebrews chapter 12 listen with the author. The Hebrews said as he paints a picture of of worship. He says in worship people. 1222 you have come to mount Zion to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in ftes festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel and that which he sang with those the spirits that the church triumph at the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to be more specific Your dad if he had faith in Jesus Christ. That's where he's at. He's around the throne of God worshiping the Lord together with a host of angels and when we gather for worship in one since were joining the heavenly choir that's there. They're not in some sort of soul sleep no as Paul said there with the Lord and that's far better than anything we could ever imagine for for this world. And so those are a few passages that I think you could use to to explain this. Thank you for your question. Thanks so much. This is core Christianity with Pastor Israel Sanchez. We want to remind you that some radio stations that air our program actually errored out a tape delayed basis later in the day so the time to call if you want actually call into the studio is 11:30 AM Pacific time, which translates into 1230 Mountain 130 Central or 230 Eastern of course you can always leave a voicemail if you call and you don't get through.

Feel free to leave a voicemail at 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 let's go to Joyce in Clovis, California Joyce, welcome to the program. Hi Joyce, hope you're doing well. What your question sister I got through celebrating the fact that for 245 years our country has been a free country and and my belief is because God allowed this country to be the way it is because it was performed on Judeo-Christian principles, but I've had people wreak argue with me about that.

But what happened over the holiday is not aesthetic church and eight had the flag salute and the we sang the national anthem and afterwards I got to thinking.

My church doesn't even have a flag in the church and so I went to the pastor and talk to him and he said as long as I'm here, we will never have a flag in the church because the principal of thing that we need to talk about is about God and Jesus and I don't want to have a case.

It will will never have a flag in our church so I'm struggling with that because it's my belief that because our country is in the terrible situation political situation that we are now, and people destroying trying to destroy our country that it's because the Christians and the church is through the years have not taught the people the right thing and yes, we need to know about God and Jesus that that's our main thing that I don't know. I wouldn't even be here if I didn't listen to Christian but I wrong in thinking this way. Joyce, thank you so much for your question.

Next week we had a recent recent broadcast were somebody asked a similar question is, should flags be in the worship service and I know that there are churches that a special 4 July which which was no celebrated not not long ago by many archers will have whole sort of sellable freedom celebrations. Fourth of July Silvers is a really large church in the area where I live with. I think they actually have fireworks in the sanctuary. I'm not sure how they do that or even if that's legal but there that everything in their flags everywhere.

That is, decorate the whole thing with flags.

I would be on the side of it sounds like the pastor who you currently have and it's not because I think being patriotic or thankful for the blessings that you experience in the country we live our our batting etiquettes. That is really is wonderful. Nobody is saying we ought not to have that kind of thankfulness in our hearts for the peace and the blessings that God has afforded his church here in the United States of America. But one of the reasons why I think it's it's not helpful to have flags in in the church or to do things like thing you know national anthems more salute the flag. It is just because it is your sort of confusing the kingdoms if you will the church is the embassy of God's kingdom on earth.

It it it represents is a sort of United Nations if you will. It represents all the kingdoms of this world united by the blood of Jesus Christ and so one of the things Jesus makes really clear you, Susan John chapter 4 a for example, is that the people of God, the church are not located in just one place one country. The church is we come to Jesus were Catholic. It's universal and it spread about throughout all the countries of this world and so because we want to communicate that to the people who come to our church is the people who are visiting us.

I think it's important that that we we don't sort of mix this sort of nationalism if you will. You have an American flag in the church that kind of thing.

It can be syncretistic if you will. This blending of these things is not what God calls us to the church. As I said is God's kingdom outpost on earth today and so the focus of the church should not be on that United States of America per se, and other founding fathers are one of the focus of the church needs to be the clear teaching of the Word of God. Now, does that mean it's wrong to you know after the service to go to a Fourth of July barbecue and give thanks to got no I mean you totally should and we should be grateful to the Lord as as I said in his and as you. You are for the many blessings that he's given to us, but at that the same time I think we have to be really careful that were not confusing people on this issue and answered if mixing the kingdoms as it were, that we are the kingdom of God on earth and our citizenship is as you know and as you already stated is primarily in heaven. Even what we give thanks for the temporary earthly blessings of the Lord gives us us as citizens of the United States as well. Thanks for your recall. Thanks Joyce appreciate you. This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez. We had a voicemail come in from one of our overseas listeners would like to listen to that now Steve, I'm calling from the United Kingdom.

My question is from the book of Genesis reading chapter 12 about how Sarah go to Egypt and Abram tells his wife to pretend that she's his sister is very beautiful, scanned and killed so he basically gives his wife to Pharaoh by deceit and I'm doing on the niche up to 20 does the same thing again with a powerful kind of 2067 Isaac is the same thing with his wife. What we learn from this repetition of this slightly strange behavior. Asking wife to pretend that she is his sister. If you could just set some items on this committee that would be great to learn more about the gospel from these events causing me.

Thank you so much for everything you do all the hard work.

This greatly thank you Stephen, thanks for your question. I just preached on Genesis 12. Not too long ago and it reminisces really is amazing chapter because the call of Abram and he really exhibits. I think it huge leap of faith in God calls them to leave everything behind and to go to a place that he doesn't even know about a God says I'll show you when you get there sensually and were not all that Abram says anything there which it were just told that he basically gets up and goes and I think is one of the reasons why the New Testament so often Abraham is depicted as this man of faith, because from the very beginning it seems like you trust God like is willing to follow the Lord.

He has faith but he also doubts like like we so often do, and I think that's one of the things that the story especially as Izzy goes down to Egypt because of the famine is in the land that that that story tells us, is he goes to where the Lord had had revealed to him he's even there. You know you're the new Gav in Canaan and and yet there's a famine in the land and so he begins to take things into his own hands and of course he does us a little bit later in his life as well with Hagar and God made him a promise to give you offspring and God was taking his time, so Abraham thought this could make this happen on my own minutes or this illustration I think of how we can through our lack of trust. So to try to take things into our own hands and and typically just ends in disaster and failure, and certainly differ Abraham on a number of occasion it got occasions and it did here in Genesis chapter 12. Essentially, Soraya is taken into the harem of Pharaoh, that they get me to basically what Abram is done is he's given his wife up to save his own skin.

He told her to lie when she lies. She says you know he's not my husband is just my my brother Pharaoh takes her as his wife and they enter into this relationship a minute really is something as you said that Abram needed to repent of. The other thing that's was striking to me, especially in Genesis chapter 12 is that God continue to be faithful to the promises he had made to Abram, even while Abram was doubting and acting in this very sinful grievous way. If you remember earlier in chapter 12 one of the things that God promised was I will bless those who bless you and him who dishonors you I will curse will here's Abram in the middle of Egypt doubting God if you will, trying to save his own skin. He sees basically given his wife up and get in the midst of it were told in verse 17 of Genesis chapter 12, the Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of set. I Abram's wife.

In other words, God is now beginning to curse those who have dishonored Abram God is being faithful to his promises. Even though Abram is not trusting and not being faithful and I guess in terms of learning, you know you you said you know that you how this leads to the gospel. I think that's one way one of these.

We see here and Paul makes it very clear he says when we are faithless, God remains faithful. He cannot deny himself, and so you know throughout the Scriptures we have the stories of individuals who are who are trying to take things into their own hands were doubting the promises of God and and you know it's a tragedy, and yet even through their doubts, and through their failures continues to be faithful, and he continues to be faithful to us as well as the recipients of his promises in Jesus Christ. Those who have received the benefits of the new covenant, the forgiveness of sins, the gift of the Holy Spirit will never leave us or forsake us, and he'll be faithful to us till our very last day. Thanks for your question. We look at those Bible characters in the decisions they make. And we think to ourselves that I would never take things in my own hands rush. I know we like to think that no actually I usually if you think that I'm just greatly encouraged, as I think yeah that sounds like maybe what I might've done to you. This is a humbling but it really is such a beautiful thing.

It's it.I think it's unit stories like these. One, they reinforce the fact that let me know that the goal of the Bible is not just moralism like yeah look at Abram how great he is. The benefit listed be like Abram know were getting a much bigger story here a story of redemption and the reality is, none of these guys were very good. All made terrible mistakes. They all had these moral failings and yet God didn't abandon them and he doesn't abandon us either. There is hope for us yet. This is Gord Christianity with Esther Israel Sanchez. By the way, we have your parent or grandparent.

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Here's the phone number it's 833.

The core 833-843-2673 we do receive emails here at core, Christianity, and you can always email us at questions at core, Christianity.com Jessica wrote to us, and she says this.

I've been a Christian all my life. I'm now in my 40s and I've been dealing with a long illness that has caused anxiety and depression. I've been through many tragedies and other illnesses in my life, but this is caused me to feel such an absence of God and his promises.

I know the truth of the word, but I don't feel his comfort, love, joy, hope or kindness in the past when I would pray for more grace or hope or love.

I've always received what I needed in time to persevere. I want desperately to be found faithful in the end, how I do that without these feelings and without comfort. Why does God draw himself away from people for so long and let them fend for themselves while dear sister, your you're not alone in how you feel.

It is, you know, Bill was reading that that email I thought of CS Lewis's little book, a grief observed where he talks about the death of his wife and how you know during this time of grief eat, go to God and it was as if you he was knocking on the door of God's house and all the lights were turned off and the door was shut.

Close slammed closed and bolted shut and there was no one there and it was this is this feeling of divine absence in this time of great need. And in the people of God do experience this from time to time, and so that's what we can't. You can't miss.

Difficult as it is, place your confidence in your your rest in how you feel when were struggling to believe that God has loved us, or that he does love us. We need to go to the place where he showed us with all certainty that his love is real ensure the cross of Jesus Christ how you know that God loves you even though you're suffering because he sent his son into the world to die for your sins. Jesus hung for you so that you might know that God loves you even now.

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