Can divine inspiration be found in other religions, or could they be inspired by Satan? 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. 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 watch Adriel right now live on YouTube and send us a message through our YouTube channel. And of course, you can always email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. Well, first up today, we received this voicemail from one of our callers, having to do with a verse in Psalm 118.
Yeah, it has in Psalm 118 8, it is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. So I was wondering how you're thinking about this COVID-19 vaccine. Thanks a lot, bye. Yeah, thank you for that question, boy. We've been getting a lot of questions about the COVID-19 vaccine over the last few weeks. So I know that this is something that's on a lot of people's minds. Psalm 118 verse 8, it is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in men. And so does this mean that getting something like the vaccine would be a lack of trust in God?
Well, no, I don't think that that's the case at all. We believe in common grace. We believe that God uses things like science and medicine to help people, that God can work in and through those things. I'm sort of reminded of the encounter that Jesus had with the evil one, with Satan when he was tempted in the wilderness. If you remember in Matthew chapter 4, it says in verse 5, and the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, if you are the son of God, throw yourself down for it is written, he will command his angels concerning you and on their hands, they will bear you up lest you strike your foot against a stone. So in other words, Satan is telling Jesus, the son of God, don't you trust God?
You can throw yourself down and the angels are supposed to bear you up. And the response of our Lord, the wise response of our Lord is again, it is written, you shall not put the Lord your God to the test. And so my concern is that we don't test the Lord by our actions. Now, again, this is a complex question, the question of vaccines, but I wouldn't say that an individual who gets the vaccine is not trusting in the Lord. I think there are many people who are just saying, boy, thank you Lord for the advances in modern technology that helped to deal with diseases like the ones we're experiencing today.
And so it can be just a way of giving thanks to the Lord. It doesn't have to be an issue of I don't trust God, but again, it's complex and feel free to follow up. Thank you for that question. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open right now. If you have a question about the Bible, maybe there's a Bible passage that has confused you in the past and you want some clarification on it. Well, Adriel loves to take those questions, so feel free to give us a call. 833-THE-CORE.
That's 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to Duncan who's calling in from Ottawa, Canada. Duncan, thanks so much for listening in Canada. What's your question for Pastor Adriel? Grace and peace to you gentlemen through God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Don't get a swelled head if I tell you yours is the best Christian call and show I've ever heard. Now, my question, Pastor Sanchez, could you please explain or could you please define the prayer of faith as it's described in James chapter 5 verse 14 and 15? Is there a specific prayer we must pray in times of sickness or misfortune? I love this section in James's letter and it's one that I refer to oftentimes, Duncan, and by the way, thank you for your encouragement, but I refer to this section oftentimes just as an elder, as a pastor in the church.
This is something we do. We pray that prayer of faith for those who are sick and struggling because James says beginning in verse 13 of chapter 5, is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.
Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church and let them pray over him anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord and the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick and the Lord will raise him up and if he has committed sins he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed.
So there's a lot going on there. There's prayer for the sick. There's also confession of sin and a prayer for healing, for healing in the spirit, if you will, and it's something that churches are called to do. If you're part of a church and you're struggling, this is what James says, you're sick, you have some ailment, it's okay to go to the elders of your church. Point them to James chapter 5 and say, hey, I need prayer.
I want prayer that the Lord might heal me. Now, of course, we know, Duncan, that the Lord doesn't always choose to heal. We trust in his sovereign will, but we are called to come before him, looking to him, and it's interesting because throughout James' letter he talks a lot about faith. He talks about praying for wisdom and asking in faith. Let not that man doubt who asks for wisdom. If he doubts, he's not going to receive anything from the Lord, and so I think this idea of the prayer of faith, which you see throughout the book of James, Duncan, is not a particular form of prayer.
It's not this prayer that was floating around in the first century that the disciples were using and reciting. It's praying, believing that the Lord is who he says he is and that he's able to heal, that he hears us. The author of the Hebrews says in Hebrews chapter 11, without faith, it is impossible to please God for he who comes to God must believe that he is and that he's the rewarder of those who diligently seek him, and so we're called to pray believing. Believing what? Believing that God is able. I'm about to preach through the first part of Genesis chapter 18 this week, and there's this question that's posed to Abraham and to Sarah there. Is anything too hard for the Lord?
It's a rhetorical question. Of course, the answer is no, and so the prayer of faith is a prayer offered up knowing that that's the truth, knowing that there is nothing too hard for the Lord and that we can come before him confident knowing that he is able to heal and to restore us. That's the prayer of faith. Thank you, Duncan, again, for your encouragement and for giving us a call. You are listening to Core Christianity, so great to have you tuned in today.
And as always, you can send us an email if you have a question at questions at corechristianity.com. School is starting up for many kids very soon. Actually, in some areas of the country, school has already started. And to coincide with that, we have a free resource we'd like to offer to parents and to grandparents today. We know it will be something that will be really helpful to you as your kids begin the school year. Yeah, this resource is called Six Ways to Help Your Kids as They Go Back to School. And of course, I know that right now a lot of people are going back to school even for the first time in a long time because of the effects of the pandemic. And as your children or grandchildren prepare to go back to school, I hope that you'll get a hold of this resource. Again, it's called Six Ways to Help Your Kids as They Go Back to School. It's going to equip you with encouraging information that you can give to your children or your grandchildren as they get ready to start the school year again.
It's a free download. You can find it by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. That's corechristianity.com forward slash offers.
Look for Six Ways to Help Your Kids as They Go Back to School. Well, we mentioned before that we have a voicemail operating 24 hours a day here. You can call us anytime day or night and leave us your question about the Bible or the Christian life. Here's the number. It's 833-843-2673.
That's 833 the core. Here's a voicemail we received earlier this week from one of our listeners named Marilyn. So I had asked a question about how Buddhism and Christianity. Christianity was a little bit after Buddha's theories and I was wondering if Buddha's theories could still be divinely inspired because I was a practitioner of Buddhism for a long time and it seems like he said a lot of things that Jesus said. I don't know if he got it from the Bible.
That would be doubtful. So I wonder if part of that was divinely inspired or if you think that it... What was it inspired by? Like, satanically inspired? I'd like to see what you have to say about that.
Thank you. Well, thank you for that question, Marilyn. Now, I think that I would first want to say that when it comes to other religions of the world, other world religions or spiritual beliefs, that they are not divinely inspired, that they weren't inspired in the same way that Christianity was inspired or that the holy scriptures were inspired. And yet that doesn't mean that there aren't elements of truth in each of these systems. One of the things that we believe in is that the created world around us reveals things about God. It reveals to us that God is the creator, that God is all powerful. We have this sense of right and wrong deep down inside of us, the sort of moral law that's written on our hearts. And so that's something that's universal.
The psalm is said in Psalm chapter 19, the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows his handiwork. Day unto day utters speech and night unto night reveals knowledge. And so you would expect to find, I think, elements of truth, true teachings, true moral teachings in other world religions and that kind of a thing. And so insofar as that's the case, we can say, yeah, that's real.
That's true. And yet what they're missing is the kernel of Christianity and that's the gospel. That's the gospel and that's what saves us. We're not saved by gazing up at the stars or studying the trees. Those things reveal something to us about God, that he's the creator.
But if we're going to know God personally, if we're going to have a relationship with him, the kind of relationship he intends for us to have, a reconciled relationship, that can only come through God's special revelation, which is inspired by God found in the holy scriptures. Now it is the case, I would say, that the evil one, Satan, does seek to deceive people through these other world religions. And oftentimes, the way in which the devil deceives is not by making everything in these systems a lie, but by shrouding the lie together with truth.
It's sort of a mixture of truth and error. And this is precisely what the apostles said would happen. The apostle Paul writing to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 11 says, verse 14, no wonder even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, their end will correspond to their deeds. And so what does this mean for us? I think one, it means in terms of knowing God and embracing the truth of religion, if you will, stick to what is inspired, that is the holy scriptures, the revelation given to us by God through his son, Jesus Christ. But that doesn't mean we need to look at everything else outside as totally bad, as everything is wrong or false. We can say, oh yeah, you know, there are elements of truth there that we would say maybe were derived just through that sort of common grace, through that general revelation that God gives to the whole world. And so we can affirm that while also disagreeing with the areas that contradict God's revealed word. And this seems to me to be what the apostle Paul did in places like Acts 17 when he was speaking at the Areopagus, encouraging people there by preaching the gospel and affirming certain things that they had believed in or embraced, but correcting and challenging in some ways to lead them further, deeper into the truth based on what God had revealed through his son, Jesus. And so appreciate that question, such a good question and pray that you're blessed. And I'm guessing, Adriel, you'd also say that when we're talking to an unbeliever, let's say we meet somebody in a Starbucks or whatever and we're getting into a conversation, sometimes that's a great place to join them on the things that we find in common. Like, yeah, boy, it does seem like the world is messed up.
Why do you think that is? And then to go from there into helping them understand the truth of God's word. Yeah, I mean, what we find in Scripture is the perfect revelation given to us from God. And so while you might find, you know, certain moral truth in other places, you don't have the whole story. And oftentimes if they take our eyes off of Jesus, there's a big problem. So the goal is always to get to the gospel, to get to Jesus. And oftentimes we can find common ground and then go to Christ from there.
And I think that's a helpful apologetic technique. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Mike in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Mike, what's your question?
Thanks for taking my call, Mr. Sanchez. I'd like to see if you could clarify something for me. I was reading Ephesians chapter five, verse three through five, verse three through five, where it says something about immorality and greed and where there's no place for people like this in the kingdom. Could you clarify this for me a little?
Yeah. Well, you know, right here in Ephesians chapter five, first you have this call, verse one, be imitators of God as beloved children. You know, sometimes we talk about these two distinctions, this distinction between the imperatives and the indicatives in Scripture. You have an imperative here, be an imitator of God. And boy, doesn't that sound like that's a ton. That's a lot. Imitate God.
How do I do that? But then he gives us this indicative truth as beloved children. Here's who you are, those of you who are in Christ, you are the beloved children of God. And so as God's beloved children, imitate him, imitate the heavenly father and walk in love as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. And so you have this encouragement first to love, to serve the Lord, to imitate God in how we interact with one another. And then you have a warning, if you will, in verse three, but sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you as is proper among saints. And then he says this, and brothers and sisters, hear the apostle Paul here, because I think his words are, I mean, we just need to hear this today. He says, let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk, nor crude joking, which are out of place. That's out of place for you as a beloved child of God called to imitate God, but instead let there be thanksgiving. Now he goes on even further in this exhortation, for you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure or who is covetous, that is an idolater, has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things, the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
So really what's happening here, brother, is Mike, the Lord, through the apostle Paul here, is encouraging us to live in light of our new identity in Jesus Christ as the beloved children of God. And he's outlining what it looks like to do the opposite of that. He's saying, don't do that. And let me remind you that those who do do that, the people who live in this way, they have no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. So don't follow with them.
Don't follow suit with them. That's not who you are. He's encouraging us to live holy lives on the basis of our new identity in Jesus, on the fact that we have been saved. How are we saved? Well, he says it in Ephesians 2, by grace you have been saved. Now you note that he's not saying here, do these things so that you might be saved. He sort of gets the cart before the horse. He's saying, you are now the beloved children of God.
Walk as such and don't be characterized by the things that the people of the world are characterized by, that sexual immorality that he brought up. And so really it's just an exhortation there and one that we desperately need to heed today. Thanks so much for your question, Mike.
We appreciate that. This is Core Christianity. Let's go to Mason in Springfield, Missouri. Mason, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Hey, Pastor Sanchez, I have a question about kind of like the age of accountability. Given the biblical command to teach one another in all wisdom and to make disciples, Jesus's command to make disciples of all nations, how should we love and care for and disciple our brothers and sisters or just people, maybe even unbelievers, who have developmental disorders like autism or any kind of handicap like that? Love to know your thoughts.
Thanks. Yeah, thank you for that very important question. And the first thing I would say is our hope for anyone to grasp the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ is not first and foremost on that individual's cognitive abilities. We know that there are many people who, you know, have sharp minds who rejected the Gospel. You think of what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 11 when he was praying to the Father and he said, I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and the prudent and revealed them to the babes. The Gospel is something that we understand by the grace of the Holy Spirit. And I think that should be something that comforts each and every one of us.
Think about this. When John the Baptist was in the womb of his mother, Elizabeth, and Elizabeth was greeted by Mary, we're told in the Gospel of Luke that John the Baptist leapt, or leapt, excuse me, the opposite of wept, he leapt for joy in his mother's womb because somehow even there in utero he was able to realize that he was in the presence of the Christ, Jesus. And so a beautiful thing, and one encouragement that I would have for all of you who, you know, this is your question, is just knowing that Jesus can and does work in our brothers and sisters with mental handicaps, with the autistic, that the Spirit of God can and does work there and that the Gospel is even for them. Now, we don't understand how it's all going to work out, but we know that anytime anyone believes and receives the grace of God, it's a miracle of the Holy Spirit. And so we pray that as well in this situation, and we commit to loving them if we're in the context of the local church, to loving them, to treating them as a part of the body, to caring for them, to helping them in the context of corporate worship and ministering to them. And so I think that's so important, treating them as a vital part of the body, because they are the children of God made in his image.
And so that's what I would say. And Bill, I wonder if you would have anything to add with your background in counseling and therapy as well. You know, I would say I'm so appreciative of those churches that have ministries to the developmentally disabled, because I've been there before. It's a real challenge to, let's say, have a Sunday school class, or maybe you have individuals who are in the worship service who, for whatever reason, might be disruptive.
How do you deal with those things? And I think it's a real blessing when a church goes out of its way to reach out to those individuals and offer them God's love and grace, both, you know, through corporate worship and through maybe a small group or Sunday school class. And I know it can be challenging at times.
It takes the right volunteers, the right personnel, with the right training. But I just commend those churches who are doing that, and I know many are doing it extremely well. Yeah, you know, Bill, there was a woman in our church for some time who tragically, she died. She was older, and she died during the pandemic. And she had a number of developmental issues, just some mental health issues as well. And yet, boy, it was so wonderful to have her in our church and as a part of the body. And, you know, she had a hard time articulating the faith, but when we would talk about Jesus, you know, tears would just well up in her eyes. And she was such a sweet member of the church.
And I think oftentimes it's easy for Christians to sort of overlook what Jesus referred to as the least of these. You know, I felt like every time I had the opportunity to sit with her and meet with her, like the presence of Christ was there in a very special way. And it is our privilege as Christians to get to minister to these brothers and sisters. And Jesus calls us to love them and to honor them and respect them. And so it really is wonderful to see when also whole churches do this, and they have ministries geared towards, as you said, the developmentally disabled. You're listening to Core Christianity.
Here's an email that came in from one of our listeners named Christy. She says, why did God free the children of Israel only to let them wander in the desert for 40 years and then punish them for complaining? That seems cruel to me. Yeah, well, you know, the children of Israel wandering around in the wilderness were not being very kind to God. You know, I mean, essentially what you had was unbelief, doubt, and God, one of the things he was proving over that period of time in the wilderness was his faithfulness. And he provided for them over and over and over again. And yet what did they do? They grumbled against his promises. They didn't believe him when he promised to bring them into the land of Canaan. They were afraid. They tried to take matters into their own hands at times, even saying we should go back to Egypt.
It was better for us while we were in Egypt. In one sense, there is a warning here for all of us, and the apostle Paul talked about that in the book of 1 Corinthians. We don't want to be like them, committing idolatry, turning away from the Lord after his goodness, after his kindness to us. They were responsible for their own wandering in the wilderness, and it was the result of their sin. It wasn't that God delivered them just to cast them into the wilderness and abandon them for 40 years. No, over and over again, God was showing his steadfast love and faithfulness. He was guiding them in the wilderness with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. He was feeding them with manna from heaven. It was a picture of God's love for his people who are so prone to wander, and that's one of the big takeaways for me and for all of us. It's like the hymn says, prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love. Here's my heart, O taken, seal it, seal it for thy courts above. program. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
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