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Do I Have to Go to Church to Connect with God?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
August 27, 2021 6:30 am

Do I Have to Go to Church to Connect with God?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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August 27, 2021 6:30 am

Episode 781 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

1. Ephesians 2 says that the prophets and apostles were the foundation of the church. If these offices are just for the foundation of the church how does prophecy operate today?

2. I am wondering if we connect with God through the church or within yourself. Do you have to go to church to get that or does it only depend on your personal relationship with God?

3. Since the Bible tells us to submit to our governing authorities, and they’re telling us to get the vaccine, if we don’t get the vaccine are we sinning against God?

4. My daughter has a hard time worshipping on Sunday instead of Saturday since the law of God tells us to keep the sabbath on the 7th day of the week. How should we think about this?

5. Between now and the resurrection, what happens to our bodies when we die?

6. Why does the bible use symbolic numbers in scripture? In Mark 5, Jesus heals a woman who had been sick for 12 years. Then he goes on to raise a 12 year old girl from the dead. These constant numbers used in Scripture make doubts creep into my head about the authenticity of the story.

7. Some pastors call cremation “sub-Christian,” what do you think?

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Do I have to go to church to connect with God.

That's just one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity hi this is Bill Meyer along with Pastor Israel Sanchez and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. Would love to hear from you, and you can call us right now for the next 25 minutes or so at 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 also post your question on our social media accounts and you can email us at questions at core, Christianity.com first up today let's go to voicemail received from one of our listeners named Austin off to church.

How you get here also are sure the church operates really excellent question. I think you're actually referring to what Paul said in the book of Ephesians in Ephesians chapter 2 verse 20 where he says that we are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone in whom the whole structure verse 20 1B joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the spirit now.

Paul does have an extended discussion on spiritual gifts in first Corinthians chapters 12 through 14 that might be why you were referring to first grade and in particular in chapter 14 he spends quite a bit of time talking about prophecy and the way it was functioning there in the apostolic church. But I am of the opinion that the office of the prophets is no longer around today. In particular, you don't have prophets walking around like Jeremiah and Ezekiel were in the time of the old covenant.

Those profits were were really a part of the theocracy. They were attached to the theocracy in Israel. They were called to prophesy to the Kings in Israel, bringing God's covenant case against the Kings and they would sin against Israel, and they would sin, but also to the nations, and so win-win that theocracy essentially was, was set aside. You know God's God's kingdom is not ruled in the exact same way today I were no longer under the old covenant, but now under the new covenant and God's kingdom on earth is the church which is what the apostle posting Ephesians chapter 2 verse 24.

Prophets don't function in the same way under the new covenant as they did in the time of the old covenant. So it's really important to recognize that it's also helpful to note that when when Paul talks about the ordinary offices in the church he mentions in first Timothy three and in Titus chapter 1 elders and deacons and I think that's telling he doesn't give a list of qualifications for new covenant prophets that kind withing the expectation was that churches were going to be ruled by governed by a plurality of elders working to teach God's word preach God's word and that's what we focus in terms of ministry today is on the faithful teaching of the Scriptures and so can God in in this sort of extraordinary way.

Give people the sort of providential guidance are leading through a special word well yeah but that's extraordinary that's not what we look for what we expect. We focus on the preaching, the faithful preaching of the word of God and so I know that there are differences of opinion on this and we were talking about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and in particular the sign gifts the miraculous gifts and so if you want to follow-up. Feel free to give us a call to give me a call here at the core. Thank you for that question. Listing to core Christianity with Pastor Israel Sanchez and if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. No question is too challenging for April so give us a call right now at 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 we received a call from Travis saw one of our regular listeners and Travis.

What's your question wonder or so guard over something that you have to do is go to church: really good relationship with a Travis this is is a huge question and you know I think a lot of Christians professing Christians today would say well you don't really need the church you sometimes people you sometimes hear people say things like, you don't go to church. You are the church IN the church now, that's not entirely true understand what people are trying to say there but no individual is the church. The church is the body of Christ, and we are individually members of that body is what the apostle Paul makes very clear in first Corinthians chapter 12 and there he teases out this idea that the reality is we need one another in the body of Christ in your hand or a foot right now uses that the the illustration of a body and not one member of the body off on its own is is healthy at all. We need each other to function properly and so I as a pastor just just emphasize yes we need you need the local church if you're Christian but you're not a member of a local church. There is a problem. I'll just say it and you have these expectations all over the place in the New Testament excitations to fellow shipping to being under the word. The assumption was that believers were baptized into these local bodies into Christ and into the local bodies. These these communities of faith where there was accountability where there was governance, a plurality of elders is, as I said earlier I think about the expectation that we read in Hebrews chapter 3 verse 12 so poor interested to hear this. Take care brothers, lest there be an any of you when evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day as long as it is called today that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. The other the Hebrews is making it very clear. You need each other. You need the body of Christ. You need that expectation that comes from Christian fellowship and that's wait a little bit later in Hebrews chapter 10 verse 24, it says let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near brothers and sisters. We need Christian fellowship.

We need the church.

Now you can have it and you have to have a personal relationship with Jesus you personally have faith in him, but it is in a private relationship with Jesus that is it isn't you by yourself on your own living the Christian life. We can't do that sin is so deceitful were so prone to wander, we need the body of Christ. Now there is no perfect church and that's one of the reasons why a lot of people just avoid church altogether. They will there's no perfect church.

I do know where to go but the fact of the matter is, is Jesus promised to build his church and he is wherever the gospel is being faithfully preached and people are gathering around his word to to receive the gifts that he's given to his people so you need to be in a church brother and I and I hope that you do have a a good local church that you go to that you attend. And that's how God intends for you to grow and to continue to mature in the Christian life. And so for all of those listening right now. You don't have a good local church make that a priority get plugged in and be under the ministry of the word where you can continue to flourish as a Christian great counsel.

Thank you Israel you're listening to core Christianity with Pastor Israel Sanchez.

If you have kids or grandkids want to tell you about a wonderful book we have available, one that will help you answer some of the tough questions they may have about the Christian faith that more and more refining that it's so important that we help our children and our grandchildren know how to defend the faith right and not just understand what they believe, why they believe in. That's what this book is can I help you do. I told how do we know that Christianity is really true, it's a it's a helpful book written for ages 9 to 13 in mind but just just getting to the heart of the Christian faith and why we believe and know that Christianity is true and so get a hold of this resource for yourself or for your children or grandchildren. It's really wonderful book. You know I'm over 13, but I still like the books it's readily helpful. I would strongly suggest you get this you can get a copy of the book for your gift of any amount@corechristianity.com/offers again core Christianity.com/offers look for. How do we know Christianity is really true.

Let's go to Dan in St. Louis, Missouri Dan what your question for Israel. My question is I already said that getting vaccine is not you know a a precursor to the market would be for even the mark of the beast, but what I'm wondering is if we don't get it, we're told, you will be government are we saying God, yeah, thanks for this question sort of the opposite side of the question we have to exercise wisdom and God calls us to exercise wisdom in these kinds of decisions and we have to consider one our own health and the good of our neighbors. Well that's what were called to to pursue as Christians love for God first and foremost, and love for our neighbor.

Now for those who are concerned about the vaccine and then there really wrestling in their conscience. You know I am not sure if this is the right thing for me to do and that's that's that is a personal choice. I wouldn't say that there is sinning against God by choosing not to get the vaccine. That's not does not an issue that's clearly defined in holy Scripture. In that sense right what we think about God's law, the 10 Commandments what what God calls sin. We have to be very careful that were not just inventing things to be sin that may not necessarily be so I would say this is this is a wisdom issue.

I personally again, I'm just speaking personally, I think I think probably the wisest decision would be to get the vaccine, but I would not say that someone who did not get the vaccine was sinning against God. And so Dan appreciate your questions.

You want to follow up from that, I would like to get the vaccine muddied.

People that don't know what our mail is that if we don't, we are told, obey governments in the Bible is that the it is that what that's what I meant by sin.

He just got yeah so and like a Romans 13 since we were called to submit to governing authorities. Why don't know that it's it's at the place yet where they're saying you have to do this. I think that there are really strong recommendations and they're trying to do everything that they can to recommend people take to get the vaccine and to make it available, and so on so forth.

So in that regard, I would say no.

You know the still, it's not an issue of sinning against God.

It's it's it as far as I can tell.

Still this this personal decision. It's being strongly encouraged and that does have a significant impact on on us and on the people around us, so it is.

It is an important decision of thinking to consult your doctor and have have important conversations as you make this decision. Exercising wisdom but I think that there is also some some freedom here in terms of just your own your own conscience and trying to think through this for yourself and for your family.

Dan Gray question Dan, thanks so much. Obviously a very a controversial topic right now in our culture and within the church and so yeah, something we need to get Scrabble with and I love your advice Israel that it really is a matter of personal conscience here, not clearly spelled out biblically.

Let's go to Lori who is calling in from Omaha, Nebraska Lori what your question for Pastor Israel.

Good afternoon and thank you for taking my call in every day on my way home from work. Wonderful. My question specific length and in particular to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.

I know we worship now on Sunday but I have a daughter a hard time reconciling because it is a commandment given by God. She just she can't understand it now just hoping for a little bit help for her yeah will thank you.

Yes. How do we reconcile this right because you look at the Decalogue, the 10 Commandments and were commanded to to observe the Sabbath. You know that that the day of worship that did the Israelites observe the hubris observed under the old covenant on on Saturday resting in the first time you hear about this. The Sabbath really is in the early chapters of Genesis, Lori, and it was a picture of God's eternal rest. Many of the ancient rabbis you know that they were they they saw the seventh day, not just as it is just the day of worship but is a picture of heavenly rest on.

That's what the Sabbath is ultimately about and in fact the author of Hebrews makes that clear in the book of Hebrews and the early chapters of the book of Hebrews that the rest that is being extended to the people of God and Jesus made it very clear that that rest was something ultimately that could only be found in him. That's why Jesus the jetway Jesus could say in the Gospels come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and so it's arrest this the Sabbath rest is arrested. We can only ultimately find in Jesus and we enter into that through our union with Christ in his death and resurrection, and one of the reasons why the early believers began gathering together on on Sundays, was as as assigned in one sense of having entered that rest in Christ in Jesus. Sunday was the day of the resurrection. And so what I oftentimes lays people say, well, well, you know, how can we justify this essay look were following the example of the apostles of our Lord Jesus himself because when they would gather together for worship they would gather together on the first day of the week and I think people who who say what we have to worship on on Saturday. The Sunday worship thing is this a problem with this is the corruption the you know that came later into the church will know you have to you have to grapple with the fact that the apostles themselves were gathering together to break bread to take a collection breaking bread there probably a reference to the Lord's supper. I did take a collection for the needs of the saints on the first day of the week that is on Sunday on the Lord's day, and so that's what I would point to.

I would point to that reality that that that's when Christians were gathering together and Paul says in first Corinthians chapter 16 now concerning the collection for the saints as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do on the first day of the week. Each of you is to put something aside and stored up as he may prosper. That's that's when the church was gathering. That's when the church was was essentially having their their service of worship. And so thought I would. I would encourage her with with that and then ultimately and in and realizing that the Sabbath was pointing us to that rest, that heavenly rest that is found in Jesus Christ primarily and so it leads us to Christ and and that's how we experience the true Sabbath of God in Jesus, and we worship him on the Lord's day banking great explanation, Israel.

This is core Christianity with Pastor Israel Sanchez and one of the ways you can access our program is by watching us on YouTube live every day at 11:30 AM Pacific or 1230 Mountain 130 Central or 230 Eastern time for that half-hour were on Facebook live and you can actually send us a message through both our Facebook live and our YouTube channel.

We have some people right now watching in the United Kingdom and New Zealand on YouTube and Facebook. Thanks so much for joining us. We really do appreciate that you can also call us with your question. At 833-843-2673 let's go to Gary and Fort Wayne, Indiana Gary, what's your question for Pastor Israel came after church. This church did I know about is what what bodies do we have now in McGoldrick to heaven. That's an excellent question, and right now when we die when we're in the presence of the Lord, we don't have a body. We don't get new bodies until the resurrection. It's what Paul referred to in first Corinthians chapter 15 verse 42 so is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown perishable.

What is sown is perishable. What is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor dishonored is raised in glory is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

If there is a natural body, there is also spiritual body.

Thus it is written, the first man Adam became a life became a living being the last Adam Frank Jesus became a life-giving spirit and that their polished talking about this. This resurrected glorified body that working to receive as believers. On the last day, but between now and then when we die we enter what's called the intermediate state. That's we call it makes it that time between our death and the final resurrection and were in the presence of the Lord in the spirit in the presence of the Lord in heaven gathered with the rest of the believers, and even the Angels worshiping around God's throne you get a picture of this in the book of Hebrews in Hebrews chapter 12 Paul told the Corinthians to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. And so we do have this the strong indication in the New Testament that we are going to be in the presence of God when we die, but not not in bodily form or not you have bodies yet until the resurrection.

And so were looking forward to even. Even after our death when you're in the presence of the Lord in the intermediate state were still looking for to something else and that is the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Thank you for your question. I for one, I'm looking for that new body. John's got a little bit yeah yeah I think we all are Bill were looking forward to you getting a makeover.

So this this is Gorgas disability with Pastor Israel Sanchez and that we want to go to an email question. By the way, you can email us anytime.

Here's the email addresses questions at core, Christianity.com. Christie asks this a drill. She says why does the Bible use symbolic numbers in Scripture. In Mark chapter 5 Jesus heals a woman who'd been sick for 12 years. Then he goes on to raise a 12-year-old girl from the dead, these constant numbers used in Scripture make doubts creep into my head about the authenticity of the story. Yeah, well, great question and actually this is probably my favorite scene in the gospel of Mark because you're right, you have that the healing of this little girl who is 12 years old and you also have a woman who has a discharge of blood for 12 years were told Mark chapter 5 verse 25. So you have this this 12-year-old problem in both cases, if you will what's what's interesting to me. I think it's been what's been highlighted here in particular is the fact that here Jesus is ministering to two people who run the sort of opposite ends of the social status. One is a synagogue official someone is really respected in the community probably is fairly wealthy, just, you know, everyone goes to him and and like them and thinks highly of him and he has this problem his daughter who is 12 is very sick she's she's dying and he doesn't know what to do and so he cries out to Jesus and then this other person. This woman doesn't have a name is that the synagogue official. He was named.

His name was gyrus and so if you got this Meetup prominence.

But this other woman. The woman with the flow of blood. She's unnamed.

She would've been ceremonially unclean. In that time because of because of her condition. She is she's basically at the bottom of the social status and an would've been looked at, probably very negatively by the people in that society.

And yet, here you have two people opposite ends of the spectrum with the same problem and what is that problem. It's the problem of death.

It's that the problem of sickness. It's the problem of human mortality.

It doesn't matter how rich you are or how poor you are.

We all have the same issue. Ultimately it's sin and death, and our need for redemption. So I think one of the things that is been highlighted there in Mark chapter 5 is is despite the you know the fact that there opposite ends on opposite ends of the social spectrum if you will, social status wise, they have this common problem in Jesus is able to, and does minister to both of them. The rich and the poor. Those with no high position and those at the very bottom and so it really is this this beautiful thing and I think just in God probably said I think this is you know being made abutting God's providence.

It's one of the things it's been highlighted in this story just you know providentially. They both have this 12-year-old problem if you will, and so Chris you think that you need to you need to be worried about that is is if it should call call this account into question. We do know that in other places numbers are used symbolically and in apocalyptic literature. In particular you think of places like the book of Revelation were oftentimes numbers are used symbolically and so as we understand that the particular genre of Scripture that were looking at.

It helps us, it helps to inform us to do know how to how to take those particular numbers and how to understand them but I appreciate your question and thanks for for opening up helping us to open up Mark chapter 5 this is core Christianity let's go to Mark from Kansas City, Missouri. Mark what your question call. I have a question about creation. I'm getting conflicting all commentaries from pastors, one classified creationist and anything in the Scriptures being cremated. Let me just say got just a little bit of time, but let me just say no I don't think there's anything the Scriptures that would would make it so that you could it would be a sin for you to to Nino B. Cremated that kind of thing the Bible does have a very high view of the body, but in terms of burial in our hope in in the life of the world to come is not based on how we were married. It's based upon who we believe is I think there's freedom for Christians on this issues issue to determine what they want to do that ultimate hope. The reason we know any racist.

Jesus himself was raised.

Thanks for listening to core Christianity request your copy of today's special offer. Visit us at core, Christianity.com and click on offers and the menu or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833 when you contact us. Please let us know how you been encouraged by this program and be sure to join us next time. As we explore the truth of God's word together

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