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If God Doesn't Need the World, Why Did He Make It?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
August 10, 2021 6:30 am

If God Doesn't Need the World, Why Did He Make It?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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August 10, 2021 6:30 am

Episode 767 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

1. Why don’t protestants make the sign of the cross before praying, and why are crosses in protestant churches bare, without the body of Christ on them?

2. If we are new creations in Christ, should we still refer to ourselves as “sinners”?

3. Why did God make the world?

4. Did Jonah die in the whale and then resurrect like Jesus?

5. Is it ok to pray for God to provide for me financially?

6. I have a question about Philippians 4:19. I’ve heard that verse being used as a promise that God will meet all of our physical needs if we have enough faith in Him. Does God actually promise that somewhere in the Bible? In 2nd Corinthians chapter 11 Paul talks about his sufferings and how he experienced lack of food, water, and clothing and I don’t understand why God allowed that.

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HOW CAN GOD USE ALL THINGS FOR OUR GOOD?

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If God doesn't need the world, why did He make it in the first place? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi there. This is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Welcome to the program.

This is where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day, and we would love to hear from you. You can call us right now with your question at 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. We'll be taking your calls for the next 25 minutes or so, so jump on the phone right now.

Again, it's 833-THE-CORE. Well, let's go to a voicemail we received from one of our listeners. This is Steve calling in from California. Yes, my name is Steve.

I'm calling from California. My first question is, I was born Catholic. I was always taught to bless myself in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Before I prayed. Why don't Christians do that? Is there a significance to making the sign of the cross? The other question I have is, why is there not a body on a Christian cross that you go to a Christian church, but there are in the Catholic churches? Thank you.

Steve, thank you for giving us a call. I love talking about the cross. When I was in college, I read this wonderful book written by John Stock called The Cross of Christ. I would actually recommend that book for Christians because it just highlights the fact that the cross is central to the Christian faith. You cannot have a crossless Christianity.

The sad reality is, I think, that there are many churches that do have a crossless Christianity. It is central for us in Jesus Christ. This is what was central to the message of the apostles. Paul, writing to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 1, verse 18, said the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved is the power of God.

He goes on to tell the Corinthians, when I came to you, brothers, this is chapter 2, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom, for I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. That is, the message of the cross is central to the apostolic preaching, and it should be central in our preaching today. That is the way in which we get the point across.

I think that is really important, Steve. There are other traditions that have cropped up in the history of the church, like making the sign of the cross. I think one of the reasons why a lot of Protestants do not do that is just because you do not have a clear command in Scripture to do that. There are some Protestant traditions that do still make the sign of that kind of a thing. The main thing that we need is the message of the cross permeating our hearts and minds, the message of the gospel.

That is where we should focus, I would say. With regard to having a statue of Jesus or a cross hanging in the church with Christ on it, I would just go to the second commandment of the Decalogue, not to make images of God, not to worship those images. The ancient Christians, the earliest Christians, did not have images of God.

That is another reason why Protestants, especially the Protestant Reformers, men like John Calvin, rejected this idea of making images of God rooted in the Ten Commandments. That is the second part of your question. I appreciate your questions.

Here is what we can all agree on, what we all should agree on. That is the centrality of the cross, not just as this symbol, but as the message of the gospel. Thanks for giving us a call. Thank you for your explanation, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question for us about the Bible or the Christian life, you can call us right now. 833-843-2673.

That's 833, the core. Let's go to Viola in St. Louis, Missouri. Viola, what's your question for Pastor Adriel?

Good afternoon. Thank you for taking my call. Pastor Sanchez, I've been over this with you before, and I consider myself a child of God slash saint Christian. That's all one in the same, but someone brought it to my attention the other day that we are no longer sinners. And I said, well, you know, I'm a little confused with that because all is saying it comes short of the glory of God. But as I thought about it later, and some scriptures came to mind, I thought, you know what? I'm not going to be saying I'm a sinner saved by grace. I'm going to say I'm a child of God, you know, a Christian, because even God says, I've called you, even Jesus said what?

I've called you friends. And in Romans 8 16, it says that the Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. So I'm not going to go around and say, no, I'm just a sinner, because I don't want to give myself an excuse for, you know, the things that I do. I want to live above that, not saying above people, not saying that I'm better than anyone, but that, you know, I've been changed. I've been born again. Okay, thank you. Yeah. I'm very glad you asked this question, sister, and thank you for bringing it up.

Because I think this is a really important one for us to cover. How should we view ourselves as Christians, as those who are born again? Is it still, you know, appropriate to call ourselves sinners in some sense? And I think that it is, not so that we can make an excuse for our sins, but it's just the recognition of the fact that we still, even as those who are born again, have what we call indwelling sin.

And this is why the Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 1 verse 15 could refer to himself as the chief of sinners. There has been this theology floating around in the church as this sort of idea of sinless perfectionism, that as Christians here on earth, this side of heaven, we can get to a point where we're so sanctified that we just don't sin anymore. But the reality is, sister, each of us sins every day against God and against his law in thought, in word, and in deed. That's why we can only be justified by God's free grace, because none of us are perfect. And John, I think, the Apostle, speaks to your very question in 1 John chapter 1. He says, look, verse 8, If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. Now, he gets to your concern. We don't want to make excuses for our sins.

Listen to what he says in the beginning of chapter 2. My little children, I'm writing these things to you so that you may not sin, but if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And so, this side of heaven, as we're being sanctified day by day by the grace of the Holy Spirit, we're still going to experience indwelling sin and its effects. And so, in that regard, it's okay to refer to ourselves as sinners still, saved by grace. Martin Luther, the great Protestant reformer, he said, you know, we're simultaneously at the same time just because we've been justified by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, and yet still sinners. We can say with Paul in 1 Timothy 1 verse 15, I am the chief of sinners. So, we want to make sure that we don't deceive ourselves and others into thinking that the Christian life, if you're really a Christian, you're going to be just without sin.

No, that's not the reality at all. We're daily repenting of our sins and saved by the grace of God. Thank you for your question. Yeah, well, thanks so much for being a regular listener here at CORE Christianity.

We really do appreciate you. Let us know if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. One of the ways to do that is to send us an email at questions at corechristianity.com.

Or, of course, you can call us and leave a voicemail anytime 24 hours a day at 833-THE-CORE. Now, one of the things that we want to tell you about today is we have a special new Bible study. This is one that Adriel actually wrote himself, and it's on one of his favorite books, the book of Galatians from the New Testament. Yes, it's our study on the book of Galatians.

It's a 10-week study. We were just talking about this idea of sinless perfectionism and the fact that we are, as Christians, going to battle with the flesh every day of our lives. This is a real battle. Paul actually talks about that battle in the book of Galatians. There's so much practical information in this book, written by the Apostle Paul, very important for us as Christians to understand the distinctions that he makes in the book of Galatians, the distinction between faith and works, the law and the gospel. Get a hold of this resource. It's a 10-week Bible study.

You can go through it on your own or with a group of friends just to be encouraged and to encourage one another. Get a hold of this resource. It's yours for a donation of $20 or more. You can find it by going to corechristianity.com forward slash studies. That's corechristianity.com forward slash studies. Look for the new Bible study on the book of Galatians. And of course, you can always call us for that or any one of our resources at 833-843-2673.

That's 833, the core. Let's go to a voicemail we received. This is from one of our younger listeners. Her name is Hannah.

Hi, this is Hannah. I wanted to know why God made the world. Thanks.

Bye. Hey, Hannah, that's a wonderful question, and thank you so much for giving us a call with that question. The very simple answer is God made the world and everything in it, including you, for His glory because He's good, because He's abundant in glory. God didn't have to make the world. It wasn't as if God needed the world.

God, the Holy Trinity, existed from eternity past in perfect communion, and yet out of an abundance of His goodness and glory, He chose, decided to make the world and everything in it to display His glory and His greatness. There are a few passages of scripture, actually, that I think we could point to to demonstrate this. There's one, Hannah, in the book of Isaiah. Isaiah is an Old Testament book. Isaiah was a prophet, and God spoke to him. On one occasion in the book of Isaiah, in Isaiah 43, when God was speaking about His people and restoring His people who had sinned against Him, He says, But now, thus says the Lord, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel, fear not, I have redeemed you, I have called you by name, you are mine.

And then if you go down just a few verses, Hannah, to verse 6, God says, I will say to the north, give up, and to the south, do not withhold, bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the end of the earth. God is restoring His people, and He says, Everyone who is called by My name, whom I created for My glory, whom I formed and made. God made His people, God made you, Hannah, for His glory, so that He might display His goodness, His love, in and through the created world and in and through you. Another wonderful passage, and it shows us that Jesus is central to this creation of the world for His glory, is in the book of Colossians, in Colossians chapter 1 verse 15, the apostle Paul, speaking of Jesus, said, He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, for by Him all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities, all things were created through Him. And then Paul says this, all things were created for Him, that is, for His glory. And so everything was made for the glory of God.

God is displaying His greatness through the created world and through His people, through humanity made in His image. And so thank you so much, Hannah, for giving us a call. And may God fill you with His Spirit and help you every day know Him better and better so that in your own life you might glorify God and enjoy Him. God bless. Love hearing from our younger listeners.

It's so cool. And I know some of them are listening with their moms and dads. And what a great way to learn more about God's word and how He wants us to follow Him. So thanks, Hannah, for that.

This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Janet in St. Louis, Missouri. Janet, what's your question? Hey, Janet, are you there? Janet, are you with us?

Oh, hey, Janet. Yes, I am. Thanks for your call. What's your question, sister?

I don't have a question. I just wanted to tell you that I love you guys. You are just great and doing such a fabulous job for the Lord's work and the kingdom of God. I am just amazed and waiting every day at one thirty.

And I am so full right now. I just thank God for the word and for you and Bill and what you're doing for the people of God. And I want to continue to contribute as God gives me to help in the ministry. And I just thank you all for all that you're doing. We love you so much. Be encouraging.

Keep giving those answers that are right on point. Hey, Janet. Well, God bless you, sister. You don't know how much your words mean to me, and I'm sure to Bill as well. And may the Lord bless you richly and encourage you in your faith every day. Thanks for being a regular listener.

God bless. Wow, Janet, thank you. In fact, Janet, we would love to send you a copy of our book, Core Christianity. If you hang on the line for a second, we'll put that in the mail to you. And thank you for being a regular listener. We appreciate you so much. Let us know if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life.

You can call us at 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to Carrie in Millington, Tennessee. Carrie, what's your question for Pastor Adriel?

Thank you. My question is, I heard a speaker say, based on this scripture, even as Jonah was three days and three nights in the well's belly, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Can you tell me, in your opinion, if Jonah died? He said Jonah died. I disagree with that statement. I don't think that he died and was raised again as Jesus was. And that's my question for clarification.

Yeah, very straightforward question, Carrie. And I would agree with you that Jonah did not die while he was in the belly of the whale. By the way, there was this news article several months ago, I think it was just a couple months ago now, where a guy actually got swallowed by a whale.

I don't know if you guys saw that, but I just thought, see, it still happens even today. But no, Jonah did not die. In fact, when you look at the book of Jonah in Jonah chapter 2, it says that Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, saying, I called out to the Lord out of my distress, and he answered me. Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice. Now Sheol is the picture of the grave, death. And so Jonah, as he's praying to the Lord, he's saying, it's as if I'm in the grave. I'm in the belly of the whale.

I'm in the depths in Sheol. Oftentimes, the psalmist will also speak in this way, Kerry, as a lamentation, crying out to God. But Jonah, he's in the belly of the whale. It's this picture of death, this type of death, but he didn't actually die and then get resurrected when he was spat up on the shore of Nineveh. No, he was alive and praying to the Lord, seeking the Lord, and God heard his prayers and brought him where he didn't want to go. He left him there in Nineveh, and Jonah preached, and there was a great revival that took place. So I agree with you, and I think the scripture is clear about that.

Thank you for your question. And I do remember that news story about the guy who was swallowed by the whale. You just got to watch out swimming in the ocean. This is why I don't go too far out there, Bill. I don't want to have one of those Jonah experiences.

This is Core Christianity. Let's go to Raul in New York City. Hi, Raul. What's your question for Pastor Adriel? Hello.

Hello, Raul. How are you doing? Good, good, good.

I just arrived at Coney Island, so bear with me. My question is, is it improper to ask God for money so I can get an apartment? Hey, thank you for that question. A very practical question, you know, related to what are the things that we should pray for. And is it okay to say, Lord, I need some money to pay my bills, that kind of thing. I'm going to say, yes, it is proper to pray for that, so it's not improper. And I get this in particular from the words of Jesus himself. When he was teaching his disciples, Raul, how to pray, he said, pray in this way. Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven, give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

And that petition there, right there in the center, give us this day our daily bread. Jesus indicated that God does care about, you know, the provision in our lives. And that we ought to seek God for that provision, for our daily bread, for a place to live, for his provision so that we might have the means to live and to serve him. Now, you know, can this be taken too far?

Absolutely. And I think that there are a lot of people who seek God and pray to God, you know, for him to make them rich and to bless them in all sorts of ways, to give them money and so on and so forth so that they can just be, you know, happy, at least in their minds. But the reality is, you know, we're called first and foremost to set our eyes on the Lord, to seek him above all else.

The psalm is said in Psalm 73, whom have I in heaven but you and on earth there is nothing I desire besides you. Our focus needs to be the Lord, but God also does care about our day-to-day needs. And so, Raul, I think it is important that you do pray and say, God, help me, provide for me so that I can live and serve you and take care of the people around me. And, Raul, I'm imagining that this is a need that you have right now. Is that accurate?

A hundred percent, yes. Amen. Well, look, let me just take a moment to pray for you.

Is that all right? Let me pray for you. Father, we lift Raul up to you right now, and God, thank you that you care about the details of our lives. Lord, that Jesus taught us to pray, give us this day our daily bread. Father, that you care about the needs that we have, not just the spiritual needs, but also the physical needs, Lord. And so, our friend Raul has a physical need here, and we ask, God, that you would open the doors for him to find the employment that he needs, or just the resources, wherever those resources are, Lord, that you would open the doors for him to have enough to be able to live and to serve you above all else, to draw near to you.

God, would you reveal yourself to him in this and be with him, and God, just as you care about the physical needs, we know that you also sent your son into the world for our greatest needs, for our spiritual needs, for the forgiveness of our sins. And so, I pray for my friend Raul that he would know that too, that forgiveness, that grace, and your love for us and your son Jesus. I ask these things in his name. Amen. Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

We received an email that actually kind of ties in with Raul's question. It's from Lori, and she says, I have a question about Philippians 4.19. I've heard that verse being used as a promise that God will meet all of our physical needs if we have enough faith in him. Does God actually promise that somewhere in the Bible? In 2 Corinthians chapter 11, Paul talks about his sufferings and how he experienced lack of food, water, and clothing, and I don't understand why God allowed that.

Yeah, this is a great question. So, Philippians chapter 4 verse 19, My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus to our God and Father, be the glory forever and ever. Amen. This is Paul's encouragement to the people of Philippi. Of course, Paul is writing his letters from places like jail. You reference 2 Corinthians where he talked about the times where he was without a place to stay or food to eat. Yet, still, Paul was able to say, God gave me contentment in everything. I think what we can be comforted by is one, generally, the words of our Lord Jesus.

He says, seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So often, we're upset, not because we don't have what we need. We do, in fact, so oftentimes have the things that we need, the clothes on our back, food for today. We get upset because God hasn't given us more. Paul says, we should be content with food and clothing. We didn't bring anything into this world.

We're not going to be able to take anything out of it. I think, as Christians, we really have to have this firm conviction that God cares about us and about our needs, and that he will provide for our needs. I think we really need to work hard at distinguishing the difference between what it is that we need, frankly, and what it is that we just want and would prefer and think that God owes to us. We need to be very, very careful with that because it does seem, throughout scripture, both from the words of Jesus and also from the Apostle Paul in that passage in Philippians chapter 4, that God does provide for us. I don't know about you, brothers and sisters, but I look back at my own life and I can say, amen. There have been difficult times, but it's amazing to see how the Lord comes through for his people, for them, that daily bread that he calls us to ask for. And so you need to know God cares about that. God feeds us with that daily bread from heaven, if you will. But even more than that, he sent his Son the true bread of life so that we might have eternal life. And that's what we cling to more than anything else. Together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-16 11:34:39 / 2023-09-16 11:44:33 / 10

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