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Will God Bring Justice For Those Suffering in Afghanistan?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
August 17, 2021 6:30 am

Will God Bring Justice For Those Suffering in Afghanistan?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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August 17, 2021 6:30 am

Episode 772 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

1. What happens to those people at the Final Judgment who have never heard the gospel?

2. I was a vet that served in Afghanistan. It’s so heartbreaking and frustrating to see the devastation of what is going on there. And while I wanted to thank you for your prayer on the program that you gave for the people suffering in Afghanistan, is prayer the only bit of hope we can offer these people? We have no idea what it’s like to suffer this way, and I just am at a loss for words. It seems that there is no sense of comfort whatsoever. What do you think?

3. Scripture says that we should not “love the world,” but Jesus said that he came so that we may have life “more abundantly.” Is this a contradiction? Should we hate our life or enjoy it?

4. It seems that if someone receives the Mark of the Beast that they will know it. But after being vaccinated, I am fearful that I accidentally have taken the mark. What do you think?

5. I don’t believe in purgatory, but my Catholic friend does even though she seems very fearful and bothered by the idea of being there forever. How can I respond and what scriptures should I refer to on this matter?

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Will God bring justice for those suffering in Afghanistan? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, 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 call us right now 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 with your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. Well, yesterday we opened the program with a prayer for the situation in Afghanistan, something that I know is just breaking all of our hearts. And I'm so glad we get a chance to address that issue again today with a question we received from one of our listeners. We'll get to that here in just a bit.

First, though, let's go to a voicemail we received from one of our callers earlier this week. How can they be judged fairly? At least that's how the thinking goes. And I do believe that we're going to be judged on the basis of what we do know in some respect.

So I think that the final judgment is going to be worse for some people than it is for others. But what we need to remember is what the apostle Paul said in the book of Romans, in the early chapters of the book of Romans, and Romans chapter 1 in particular, he talked about how everyone knows that there is a God. The very created world around us reveals to us that God exists. We look at the stars above us. It's what some theologians have called the sense of God. You look at the stars above us, the wonderful sunset, that kind of thing.

You're overwhelmed with this sense of there's something or someone greater out there. So we know that there's a creator God. The problem is, here's what most people do, is we take that sense of God and we suppress it.

We suppress the truth and unrighteousness. And that's precisely what the apostle Paul said in the book of Romans. And so everyone, just on the basis of God's revelation in creation, is justly judged by the Lord because we sin against that reality and even against our own consciences. And so everyone is going to be judged justly on the final day. But I do think that God is going to be more generous towards, if you will, or merciful towards those who had never heard the gospel. You think about what Jesus says about the religious leaders, the scribes and the Pharisees, and how it's going to be worse for them in the day of judgment because they made a show of religion. They knew these things. They knew the truth.

They saw the miracles and yet they rejected it. And so I think we have to take that into account as well. But we can rest assured that God is going to be perfectly just on the final day, that no one is going to be judged on that day and say, oh, this just isn't fair.

No. When the heavenly light is shining upon us and all our works are laid before the Lord, we're going to know that God's judgment is perfectly just. And that's why we give thanks to God for the mercy that He's shown us in His Son Jesus Christ, that He justifies us, not on the basis of our perfect righteousness, but on the basis of the work of Jesus Christ. And so that's our hope. Thank you for your question. Thank you so much for that, Adriel, and what a blessing to know that we have God's righteousness right there available to us every day through the death of His Son Jesus Christ on the cross.

What an amazing promise for every one of us. This is Core Christianity, and if you have a question for Pastor Adriel, here is the number to call, 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. Our phone lines will be open for the next 20 minutes or so if you'd like to give us a call. You can also email us your question. Here's the address. It's questionsatcorechristianity.com. We received this email from Michael.

He said, I'm a veteran and I served in Afghanistan. It's so heartbreaking and frustrating to see the devastation of what's going on there right now. And while I wanted to thank you for your prayer on the program yesterday for the people suffering there, is prayer the only bit of hope we can offer these people? We have no idea what it's like to suffer this way, and I'm just at a loss for words. It seems like there is no sense of comfort whatsoever.

What do you think? Yeah, what is the comfort for those who are suffering persecution, and how is God going to deal, frankly, with his enemies, if you will, with those who persecute the Church of Jesus Christ? We know that that's an issue there, but there's also just the broader issue of the suffering that is being experienced by many people there in Afghanistan right now and in many parts of the world. But I want to focus on the Church and the cry of the Church. There are a few passages of scripture that I think are important for us to look at. The first one is in the book of Revelation, and it is the cry of believers who are suffering and who have suffered and been persecuted.

This is the vision that John had in Revelation chapter 6. It says, verse 9, when he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain. For the word of God, they cried out with a loud voice, O sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?

Then they were each given a white robe, and told to rest a little longer until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been. This is the cry of the persecuted Church, of the Christians who have lost their lives at the hands of those who hate Christ and his gospel. It's, God, how long? How long until you judge? How long until you avenge us? And here, how does God respond to these precious saints who have gone to be with the Lord?

He says, wait a little longer. There is a judgment that is coming, and I think that we're confronted with the reality that God is going to judge his enemies, that God is going to intervene one day against those who are persecuting the Church. The passage of scripture, I think, the other text I want to go to is what Paul said to the Thessalonians in 2 Thessalonians in chapter 1. This is in the context, again, of Christians suffering persecution for believing in Jesus. He even says to them at the beginning, we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring. This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God that you may be considered worthy of the Kingdom of God for which you also are suffering.

Now get this, because this is something we don't often talk about, I think, in the Church today. Verse 6, 2 Thessalonians 1, since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. So the first thing I want to say to you, in terms of what comfort is there, I mean, we're praying, we know that God is going to bring about a just judgment, that one day God is going to avenge the blood of his saints. That's not for us to do, Paul says in the in the book of Romans. Vengeance is mine, says the Lord.

I will repay. And so in that sense, you know, this is something where we look to the Lord and we say, God, you are a good God, you are a just judge. Hear our prayers and have mercy upon your Church. And we pray that God would judge in one sense, but we also pray, knowing where we are right now at this stage in redemptive history, we pray not just for the Church and for the Christians who are dwelling there in Afghanistan, that God would would fortify their faith, that God would strengthen them. We also pray for their persecutors.

We pray for the Taliban. We pray that God would reveal himself to them so that they might embrace the gospel. And this is something that God can do, and we should pray knowing that God can do this. Just think about the the book of Acts, Acts chapter 9, where you have the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, this man who was, you know, searching out Christians, trying to imprison them, afflicting them, persecuting them, being confronted with the presence of the risen Christ and saying, who are you, Lord? You know, he heard that voice, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? And Jesus said, I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. God's heart, the heart of Christ, is for his suffering saints.

And when our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan, or anywhere in the world for that matter, are suffering for their faith in Jesus Christ, Jesus himself says, you're persecuting me. And he cares for them, and we ought to care for them as well. As I said yesterday in my prayer, we pray for them.

We remember those who are afflicted, as though afflicted with them, because we're a part of one body. So we do pray. We have the hope of God's just judgment, and we cast ourselves upon the Lord, saying, Lord, hear the cries of the afflicted. Lord, rescue those who are in danger, and reveal yourself to those who are hurting your people. And come, Lord Jesus. And that's the prayer, Maranatha, come, Lord Jesus, and make this world right.

Thank you for your question. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a Bible, a question about the Bible or the Christian life, we would love to hear from you. And here's the phone number to call. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 833-843-2673. If you have kids or grandkids at home, we want to tell you about a wonderful book that we have available, and it's one that will help to answer some of the tough questions they may have about Christianity. Yeah, the book is called How Do We Know Christianity Is Really True? And one of the reasons we're offering this resource again, we offered it, if you remember, a little bit earlier in the summer, just a few times.

And honestly, all it took was a few times, and we ran out, because there's a lot of people that are curious. How can I help my children, my grandchildren, understand the truth of God's word? Why they should believe what it is that we preach and teach? Well, this resource is going to help you. How do we know that Christianity is really true? It really is.

For young children, you know, early teens, that sort of age range, get a hold of this resource. Why? How do we know that Christianity is really true? You can find that book for a donation of any amount at our website corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Again, that's corechristianity.com forward slash offers.

Just look for the book How Do We Know Christianity is Really True? Well, let's go to Elias calling in from Hampstead, New York. Elias, what's your question for Pastor Adriel?

Yes, Pastor Sanchez and Brother Bill, my loved ones. I'm a little nervous now. Bear with me. I have two equally important and vital questions, if I may.

I beg you. There'd be a blessing not only to myself, but to your listeners audience. Please hold your answer till the end, Pastor Sanchez.

Okay, what are your questions? Number one, in 1 John chapter 2 verse 15 to 17, the Lord says to us, if you love the world, the love of the Father is not in you. Personally, I love life in this world. Jesus says that he has come that we may have life and may have it more abundantly. Is it a sin to love life in this world?

I do want the love of the Father to be in myself. And I don't know what the world system is. Somebody says don't love the world system. Secondly, the second question is, in Psalm 139 verses 21 and 22, it says, a Psalm of David, the Lord's God says, Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate you? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with perfect hatred. I count them my enemies. That's the New King James Version. In the New Testament, Jesus says, Love your enemies. There seems to be a contradiction here. I always believed that we ought to hate sin, but love the sinner. Is it ever appropriate to hate our enemies?

Yeah. Brother Elias, thank you for those questions and two very thought out questions. And really, both of them are, it sounds like the question is, are these contradictions? So to your first question from the Epistle of 1 John, where we're told very clearly not to love the world, one of the things you need to understand, Elias, is that John in particular, in the New Testament, uses the word world a number of different ways. For example, probably the reference most people are familiar with, John chapter 3 verse 16, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. So I mean, if John is using the word world in the exact same way everywhere he uses the word world, well, then God would love the world that He commands us not to love. Well, there in John chapter 3 verse 16, it's referring to the world of sinful humanity, that God demonstrated His love towards sinners, towards people in sending His Son into the world so that we might believe and be saved. And so that's how John is using the word world there. In 1 John chapter 2, he's talking about the world as it includes or is about, if you will, the lusts of the flesh, the sinful pride of life. John talks about this in his first Epistle. And so he's not talking about the people, broken humanity in need of redemption. He's talking about the sinful system of this world that essentially is ruled by the evil one, the prince of the power of the air. And so there's no contradiction there at all.

We just have to recognize that John uses the word world in different ways, in his gospel, in his epistles, and that we have to really look at the context in order to see how he's using it specifically. With regard to your second question from Psalm 139 verses 21 and 22, where the psalmist says, I hate my enemies with the perfect hatred. Is it ever okay for us to hate our enemies? We have to understand there that the psalmist is writing in the context of great suffering, but also in the context of God's sort of theocratic kingdom, where the enemies of God were commanded to be cast out of the land, destroyed. Now, we don't live under the theocracy of the old covenant anymore. And Jesus made that absolutely clear. And that's why he said, look, here's what we're called to do. We're called to pray for our enemies, those who persecute us. I know there are a lot of Christians today who think, oh, maybe we should take up arms against our enemies, stand up for what we believe in.

But that's never what Jesus says the church should do. On the contrary, we pray for our persecutors. We don't fight back, no, not as Christians, not for the sake of the gospel, because the gospel does not advance by means of the sword.

And so it's really important that we make that distinction. We look at the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus spoke very clearly, and he called us to love our enemies. As you've heard, that it said, you know, hate your enemy.

I said, you love your enemies. And so again, it's context. Where are we at in redemptive history, and how do we respond to the commands of God, to the word of God?

And once we understand the context, we realize there's no contradiction. Thank you for your questions. Thanks so much for that.

And Elias, thank you so much for your call. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Here's the number to call if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. It's 833-THE-CORE. And of course, you can always leave a voicemail at that number as well, 24 hours a day.

That's 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to Tracey in Oklahoma. Tracey, what's your question for Pastor Adriel?

Hello. My question is pertaining to the COVID vaccine. So as a Christian, I've always understood that if someone takes the mark of the beast, they knowingly take the mark of the beast.

So it's a conscious decision that they make. But having had, I did receive the COVID vaccine. And so now I'm watching things unfold where you have to show your card to travel, you have to show your card to go to restaurants, and etc. And it just seems like it's just kind of steadily evolving from that. And so I really just want some clarity on that because I can't get past that fear, did I take the mark? Yeah.

Well, Tracey, thank you so much for calling, and I hope that I can alleviate some of your concerns and fears. You're absolutely right. The mark of the beast described in Revelation chapter 14 is not something that we accidentally take. It's not like, you know, oh, I was tricked in taking the mark of the beast. And boy, now I want Jesus, I love Jesus, I know Jesus, but maybe now I'm eternally condemned because of some mistake that I've made.

No, no. Sadly, I think there's a lot of misinformation out there related to scripture and how to think about some of these issues. In Revelation chapter 13 and 14, chapter 13, where it talks specifically about the mark of the beast, you know, it's described as this association, this symbol associating one with the evil one, with Satan, with idolatry, with man, that number 666. And elsewhere, God's elect are marked with the name of God. You see this in Revelation chapter 7, verse 3, chapter 9, verse 4, and chapter 14, verse 1. Immediately after this discussion about the mark of the beast, chapter 14, verse 1 says, Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with them 144,000 who had his name and his father's name written on their foreheads. Now again, you have to remember, we're looking in the book of Revelation at apocalyptic visionary prophecy, and oftentimes in visionary prophecy, you have these symbols that are given to us, and so we have to be really discerning as we unpack the scriptures here.

I don't know that Revelation 14.1 is meant to be understood in the sense that God is going to take a heavenly sharpie and write his name on people's foreheads. No, it's associating with the true God or associating with the evil one, embracing the worship of the beast, if you will, choosing that, rejecting the gospel. That's what it means to take the mark of the beast, if you will, and it sounds to me like you don't do that, like you want Jesus, like you love Jesus, like you want to know that you're forgiven. And if you believe in Jesus Christ, Tracy, if you've received the gospel for yourself, you are forgiven. You can rest in that reality. The COVID-19 vaccine is not the mark of the beast, and so we really have to search the scriptures and say, okay, how should this be understood in its context? And when we do, it clears up a lot of the confusion, and so sister, you don't have to worry about that, and I would just encourage you to rest in Christ's goodness to you, and I'm grateful that you're doing well and that you're healthy, so God bless you. Thanks for that, Adriel. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

Here's a voicemail we received from one of our callers earlier this week. Hi, my question is about purgatory. I'm a Christian. I do not believe in purgatory. However, my Catholic friend strongly struggles because of the thought of having to be in purgatory. Could you address that and where it's noted in the Bible?

Thank you. Yeah, well, thank you for that question. I've spoken to people, friends who are Roman Catholics, who have expressed the same fear. You know, I remember talking to one friend who's a Roman Catholic, and he said, what are you most afraid of? And they said, well, this purgatory.

He's spending a long time in purgatory. And part of this, sister, gets at our understanding of the doctrine of justification. What does it mean to be justified before God? And on what basis can we stand before the Lord with a clear conscience on the final judgment, knowing that we're going to be accepted in Christ? One of the reasons why the doctrine of purgatory, I think, developed is because there's this sense of, hey, you know, we're sort of just before God, but we still have sins. And so, you know, we need to have this time even after we die, after we leave the body, to cleanse us, to purge us, to clean us so that we're fully fit for heaven because of our sin still remaining. Well, I just don't think that that's biblical. The author of the Hebrews said in Hebrews chapter 10, verse 14, for by a single offering, he, that is Jesus, has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. That is, those who belong to God, the sanctified, those who have been set apart by the word, by baptism, by the grace of God, by a single offering.

And it's not one that we made. It's the one that Jesus, the eternal son of God, made on our behalf. By a single offering, he has perfected for all time his people, those who are sanctified. And that word perfected in the book of Hebrews, it's used in the context of being able to approach God. And so why can we approach God when we die with confidence? It's because of the work of Jesus, that single offering. We don't have to worry about purgatory if we have Jesus. He's justified us by his once for all sacrifice for sin. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-15 01:00:00 / 2023-09-15 01:09:32 / 10

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