Can I be sure I'm saved if I keep on sinning? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. We would love to hear from you and our phone lines will be open for the next 25 minutes or so. Here's the number to call. It's 834-9 The CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. Now, you can also post your question on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts.
If you go on YouTube right now to our YouTube channel, you can watch Adriel live in the studio. And of course, you can always email us your question at questions at corechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to a voicemail we received earlier this week. Yes, my question pertains to the 42 months or the three and a half years that is spoken of in both the Old and the New Testament. And the question is, is why 42 months? There's got to be a reason for 42 months, and I'm just wondering if anybody has any ideas for why the judgment was 42 months? Thank you.
Yeah, thank you for that question. And so we're thinking primarily here about prophetic literature in Scripture, the 42 months appear in the Old Testament in places like the book of Daniel in Daniel chapter seven, and in Daniel chapter 12, as well. And there it's referring to this time of trial of tribulation for the people of God and the book of Revelation, written by the Apostle John picks up on a lot of the things that are going on in the Old Testament. The Apostle John picks up on a lot of the things that we see in the book of Daniel, including this language of 42 months or 1260 days. You see this in Revelation chapter 11 and 12. And it describes, brother, a period of suffering for the church, a period of persecution, while the church has this sort of prophetic ministry on earth. Now, as I'm sure you can imagine, there are a number of different ways in which Christians have understood the book of Revelation. So if we're looking at Revelation chapter 11, verses one and two, I'm going to read it and then give some of the ways in which some people who understood this. Then I was given a measuring rod, like a staff, and I was told, Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, but do not measure the court outside the temple. Leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for 42 months, and I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1260 days clothed in sackcloth.
So there are, as I said, a number of different ways people have taken this. Some people understand this to refer to this future event, this sort of a futuristic interpretation of the book of Revelation, where you have a rebuilt temple on earth that is being trampled, and these two literal witnesses that are prophesying for a period of time, so on and so forth. That's sometimes associated with the school of thought that's known as dispensationalism, but it's a literal understanding of what's going on there and of the 42 months. Others have understood this to refer to essentially what took place in the destruction of Jerusalem at 70 AD. That's known as the partial preterist view of the book of Revelation. And so that's also sort of a literal view, but we have to understand that when we're looking at the book of Revelation, there are a lot of symbols, including with the numbers, and 42 is actually somewhat symbolic throughout the scriptures. For example, it describes the period of time that Elijah was prophesying or had his prophetic ministry during a time of great drought, during a wilderness period. James talks about that in James 5 verse 17. Israel camped out in the wilderness at 42 different places.
You see this in the book of Numbers chapter 33. And so that number, 42, is often associated with a time of wilderness wandering, prophesying in the wilderness, that kind of a thing. And so I think it's talking to us about Revelation, speaking to us here about the time while the church is on earth, prophesying to the nations, preaching the gospel from the death and resurrection of Jesus all the way to his second coming. And actually one of the reasons I think this is because if you look at the very next chapter in Revelation chapter 12 verse 5 where it speaks about essentially Christ's birth and ascension, it says that the 42 months or the 1260 days begins at his ascension. Revelation chapter 12 verse 5, she gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne.
And the woman fled into the wilderness, there it is again, this picture of the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God in which she is said to be nourished for 1260 days or 42 months. And so again, we're dealing with the book of Revelation, a lot of the symbols there, and hopefully that background with the number 42 and other places of Scripture is helpful for you. I just learned a lot of stuff I didn't know there.
Thank you for that, Adrian. The Preterist view, I didn't know about that either. There are so many questions that we get about the book of Revelation, and you get it, right? It's prophetic literature, that's why we created a resource here at Core Christianity, a Bible study through the book of Revelation. So if you've got more questions about the book of Revelation, get a hold of that resource. You can find that by going to corechristianity.com forward slash revelation, just corechristianity.com forward slash revelation. Great Bible study, which we'd like to make available to you.
Well, here's the phone number to call if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673.
Our phone lines will be open for the next 15 minutes or so, so give us a call right now at 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to Anita in Phoenix, Arizona. Anita, what's your question? Yes, Pastor.
I so appreciate the opportunity to talk to you, and thank you for what you do. My husband and I are both Christians, and he suffers from a form of Parkinson's, and this disease is not well understood by the doctors. And we obtain paperwork for donation of his body after natural death for medical science research, and I was wondering if you felt this was acceptable for a Christian to do.
Well, Anita, I would say yes. Personally, I do feel that it is acceptable for a Christian to do. I don't think that there's anything wrong with that, with donating organs or your body for scientific research or for someone who needs an organ donor. I think that that's a charitable thing. I think that that's a good thing. Of course, we know that our hope as believers is in what Christ has done in the resurrection of the body and the life of the world to come. That is your hope. That's my hope. That's your husband's hope.
That's your husband's hope. And our bodies are going to be raised because Christ's body was raised by faith in his name. And so whether we're oftentimes on this broadcast, and I'm sure you may have heard if you listen frequently, Anita, we'll get questions about is cremation okay?
What's a proper kind of burial? Is this going to have any negative consequences? Are there going to be negative consequences because I've done this? And I would say no. The question is, and you've already answered it, is do you believe in Jesus?
Does your husband believe in Jesus? And if that's the case, then we have the hope of the resurrection. I think you're free as a believer to choose to donate your body to science or to those who need organs, as I was saying earlier, or not to.
It's a matter of, I would say, Christian liberty. And so thank you for that question. Why don't we just for a moment now pray for Anita and for her husband. Gracious Father in heaven, one, I do ask that you would give Anita and her husband wisdom as they think about this decision in particular for them. But I do pray for her husband also, Lord Jesus, that you would be with him, that you would grant healing to his body, that you would give wisdom to the doctors as they think about this, Lord, and we know that there are a lot of unanswered questions related to this particular illness. Lord, we ask God just for wisdom, for your hand of care to be there with Anita and her husband and blessing them.
So be with them. We ask Gracious Father in Jesus' name, amen. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.
We have a new resource we want to tell you about today. It's absolutely free, and one of the things I love about it is that it really focuses, I think, on one of the most beautiful attributes of God. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. We have a personal relationship with God as our Father through Jesus Christ, and we want to help you come into a deeper understanding of that.
It benefits your own Christian life as you draw near to God, and that's why we've created this resource, Ten Ways God Reveals Himself as Our Father, and as Bill said, it's absolutely free. You can find it by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Again, corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Of course, you can always call us for any of our resources at 833-THE-CORE.
That's 833-843-2673. Let's go to an email question we received from one of our listeners, and by the way, you can always email us any question you have about the Bible or the Christian life. We'd love to get your questions here, and the email address is questions at corechristianity.com. So Adam wrote to us, and he says, I have a question I've been confused about concerning Matthew 5-30. The Bible says we are saved by grace through faith, not of works.
But in this passage, it sounds like works. I'm concerned that if I don't stop sinning by lusting after a woman, I'm going to hell. So do I have to do other things to keep myself from going to hell?
Mm-hmm. Yeah, you know, this is a passage of scripture that actually comes up quite frequently on the broadcast as we think about, well, just the struggle of lust. Jesus said, Matthew chapter 5, verse 27, you've heard that it was said you shall not commit adultery, but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away, for it is better for you to lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.
And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away, for it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. Now here in the Sermon on the Mount, Adam, one of the things that Jesus is doing is he's highlighting the fact that the law of God condemns each and every one of us. He is in particular here, I think, you know, really digging into the Pharisees and the religious leaders who externally look righteous, but internally there is lust, hatred, greed. He's demonstrating that none of us actually can be saved by the law of God because all of us have sinned and fallen short of God's glory. We've all broken the law. We've all broken God's commandments.
And so that becomes very clear here, doesn't it? In Matthew chapter 5, Jesus, even if you just look at someone of the opposite sex with the intent of lusting after them, it's as if you've already committed adultery in your heart. And this should cause us to flee essentially from ourselves, from our own righteousness, from our own ability to keep the law in order to be justified before God and to cling solely to the grace of God. And this is what Paul talks about in places like the book of Romans in Romans chapter 3. We're justified freely by a work of God's grace. And so Jesus is not teaching in Matthew chapter 5 salvation by works. He's highlighting the fact that none of us can be saved by our works. Now, does that mean that it's okay to break God's law?
No. Having been justified by faith, we turn to the Lord. We follow the Lord imperfectly, but day by day, the Spirit of God, Adam, works in us, putting to death the sinful deeds of the body, as Paul says in Romans chapter 8. And so I would say, look, here you see you're confronted with sin. You read a passage like this, Matthew chapter 5, verses 27 and following, you're confronted with this sin struggle with lust.
Well, repent. You turn to the Lord, you lay hold of his grace, the free forgiveness that he gives you, and you also embrace the new identity that you have in Jesus Christ by faith in his name. That you are through faith in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, one who is alive from the dead.
You present yourself to God as one who is alive from the dead. And you pray that the Lord would continue to sanctify you day by day, but you're not saved forever, justified if you will, because of how perfectly sanctified you are. All of us, John says in 1 John, still have sin. If anyone says he doesn't have sin, he's a liar. He deceives himself.
He doesn't practice the truth. We all still have sin, but you can know that you're saved still, even though you struggle with sin, because Christ is the one who saves you, because he's the savior, and because of the promise of the gospel. And that's why John says in 1 John 5, I write these things to you who believe in the name of the son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. And so knowing that, Adam, continue to pursue the Lord and to pursue holiness in your life, and get accountability, fellowship with other brothers in the church that can help hold you accountable, and walking the path that the Lord calls you to walk. God bless. Some great words of assurance there, Adriel.
This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. By the way, one thing we want to mention to you is that if you are listening to this program later in the day, many of the radio stations that air us air it on a tape-delayed basis. So if you want to call in live to the studio, you want to do that at 11 30 a.m. Pacific time, which translates into 12 30 Mountain, 1 30 Central, or 2 30 Eastern time. And of course, you can always leave us a voicemail 24 hours a day, and we'd love to get your voicemails.
When you do call, let us know your name and where you're calling from, and that number is 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to William in Joplin, Missouri. William, what's your question for Pastor Adriel?
Yes, I do. There are several ministries that have lir jets that I understand cost, oh, millions. But anyway, is there any justification for that or need for that when you see so many starving and gospel not being preached in other nations?
Hey, William. So my sense is no, there is no justification for that. You're asking about these famous televangelist preachers who have not just, you know, jets to fly around in, but these, you know, just crazy enormous mansions and all sorts of things, you know. And it's, I think it's a shame, frankly. You go to the Old Testament in Ezekiel chapter 34. This is a really, I think, important passage of scripture to meditate upon as we think about what it means to shepherd the flock of God and to care for the church. And it's actually a passage of scripture that I've been meditating on lately as a pastor as I think about my own role in ministry. Ezekiel 34, this is a prophecy about the false shepherds in Israel.
And listen, listen to what we read there. Ezekiel 34 verse one, the word of the Lord came to me, son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, even to the shepherds, thus says the Lord God, ah, shepherds of Israel, who have been feeding yourselves, should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled over them. And so they were scattered because there was no shepherd. And they came and they became food for all the wild beasts. My sheep were scattered. They wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth with none to search or seek for them.
Isn't that heartbreaking? God is talking about the shepherds in Israel at that time, and he's saying, you know what you've been doing? You've just been feeding yourselves. You've been feasting, if you will, on the sheep, taking advantage of them, stealing from them so that you could have this lavish lifestyle. And I think that's what we see with a lot of these sort of televangelists who will try to justify having this, that, and the other, including private jets, when you're exactly right. There are people who desperately need the gospel. There are churches that need to be planted.
There are the poor and hungry that need to be fed. And yet there are, just as there were then, quote unquote shepherds, false shepherds, who feed themselves and don't care about the sheep. Now, William, it's absolutely devastating. It's heartbreaking.
It's sobering. As I think about it as a pastor and what God calls me to, and every pastor I think should feel that way, the hope in Ezekiel 34, as the text continues, as God says, you know what? I am going to seek my sheep. I am going to gather them in, and I'm going to judge the false shepherds. And you think of the words of our Lord Jesus in John chapter 10.
What did he say? I am the good shepherd. You know, sometimes we look around us in the church today, or we turn on the TV and we see these televangelists, and we can be overwhelmed with the sense of, man, things are so bad. The sheep are scattered, and you have these quote unquote shepherds who are feeding themselves and taking advantage of the flock. Well, look, the good shepherd Jesus Christ is going to deal with them, and he's going to pursue his lost sheep. He goes and he seeks them out, and he brings them back to the fold. You think of that beautiful parable in Luke chapter 15, Jesus going after the one wandering sheep. And so, William, my heart breaks.
It sounds like your heart breaks too when you see these things. I don't think there is a justification for some of these preachers making purchases like that. My hope is in the fact that we have a good shepherd Jesus who's going to deal with that, and he's going to continue to pursue the wandering sheep. Thanks for giving us a call. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez.
We've mentioned before that we are live on YouTube every day at 1130 a.m. Pacific time, and you can send us a question through the YouTube channel. We've got one from Caleb. He says, In the past, before I got converted, I borrowed sums of money from old friends that I haven't paid back to this day. Can God forgive me?
Yes, God can forgive you, and God does forgive when we come to him in faith, turning from our sins. It sort of reminds me of a story in Luke chapter 19 where Jesus met Zacchaeus, a well-known story in the Gospels. I just want to read it. He, Jesus, entered Jericho and was passing through, and behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, and he was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not because he was small in stature.
So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today. So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully, and when he saw it they all grumbled.
He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner, they said. And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor, and if I have defrauded any one of anything, I restore it fourfold. And Jesus said to him, Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham, for the son of man came to seek and save the lost. Friend, Jesus pursues you, despite the things that happened in your past. Here's a guy, Zacchaeus, who defrauded people out of money, and yet Jesus pursued him.
He said, hey, I'm going to stay at your house tonight, you know, that kind of a thing. He came to seek and save the lost. But what's also interesting to me here is Zacchaeus, you know, he's so transformed by the grace of Jesus, by the power of the gospel, that he wants to give back, he wants to make things right. And so I don't know if that's a possibility for you in this situation, borrowing these large sums of money from old friends that you haven't paid back. I mean, maybe that would be quite a witness, quite a testimony of the grace of God in your life, to be able to go back to them all these years later and say, hey, Christ has transformed my life, and as much as I'm able, I want to repay what I took from you.
And I would say that would be the right approach. You think again about this story here with Zacchaeus. And again, that's just what the gospel does. It's not that Zacchaeus was saved because he chose to give back, that kind of a thing.
No, it was Jesus pursued him and extended his grace to him, and as a result, Zacchaeus is transformed. And he's so transformed that he wants to repair the damage, if you will, to do whatever he can to make things right. Now, I recognize that that's not always a possibility, depending on the situation that we're in, but that should be our heart, to want to seek out those who we've sinned against and say, forgive me, I want to try to make things right, even if I can't perfectly, but this is what Jesus calls me to. And so, may God give you wisdom as you think about that, and may the Lord bless you, and may you rest in knowing that he can and does forgive you when you go to him. You know, Adriel, I was just thinking that that really applies to many different situations, maybe something that we've done in our past. We've now trusted in Christ, and we regret those past actions, and sometimes there is an opportunity to make amends, sometimes, as you said, there's not. But boy, doesn't that just challenge all of us to think back, gosh, there's this person I wronged in some way, or I need to ask for forgiveness. It's never too late, is it?
No, it isn't, and we do need the wisdom of the Holy Spirit in each of these situations, because as you said, there are all sorts of different circumstances in which it may be true that we need to go back and pursue someone, but it just highlights the beauty and the power of the gospel in transforming people into the kinds of people who want to make amends. Thanks for listening to Core Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at CoreChristianity.com 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 / 2023-09-14 07:09:39 / 2023-09-14 07:19:49 / 10