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How Do We Explain Death to Our Kids?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
September 7, 2021 6:30 am

How Do We Explain Death to Our Kids?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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September 7, 2021 6:30 am

Episode 788 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

1. I was reading my Bible and I am wondering why the books are not listed in alphabetical order. Why are the books ordered the way they are, because they’re not easy to find?

2. My mother was recently diagnosed with a terminal illness and doesn’t have much time to live. She is very close to my young son. We have never experienced anything like this before, I am not sure how to even tell him that Nana will not be with us anymore. What should I say or do?

3. To what extent do I have to forgive someone?

4. My husband left me and remarried. If I get remarried am I committing adultery?

5. Should I leave a church if it only talks about politics instead of the gospel?

6. My wife has a hard time believing that the Bible is God’s word. I’m always hearing that the Bible is the Word of God, but I know that the Bible was also written by man. How do I make sense of these two points?

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HOW CAN CHRISTIANITY BE TRUE IF GOD ALLOWS EVIL AND SUFFERING?

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How can we explain death to our kids? 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 Adrian Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day.

We pray you had a wonderful three-day weekend. You can call us right now with your question at 833. The CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. We'll be taking your calls for the next 25 minutes or so. So hop on the phone right now.

833 The CORE. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and you can always email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to a voicemail we received from Steve. Hi, Pastor Adrian. I just had a question about the Bible. I was reading my Bible this morning, and I'm wondering why the different books aren't listed in alphabetical order. It makes it a little tougher to find when you have to use the table of contents, but if it was in alphabetical order, it'd be easy to find. So I'm just curious about that. Thank you, Pastor Adrian.

Hey, Steve. Thank you for that question. Yeah, they would be easier to find, wouldn't they, if it was just in alphabetical order. The Old Testament in particular, you have what's sometimes referred to as the threefold division of the Old Testament. Actually, I think that this is something that Jesus himself speaks to in Luke chapter 24.

You have the first five books of the Old Testament, sometimes referred to as the law or the Torah, and then you have these writings, the Ketuvim, the stuff that follows that, and then you have a bunch of prophetic literature, the Nevi'im, the threefold division of the Old Testament. It testifies to God's redemptive acts in history, how God met with his people. As I said, Jesus alludes to this in the Gospel of Luke, in Luke chapter 24, verse 44. He's speaking to a couple of his disciples after his resurrection, and he said to them, these are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses, there's the first five books of the Old Testament, and the prophets and the Psalms, Jesus is pulling from each of the other two divisions of the Old Testament, must be fulfilled, and he opened their minds to understand the scriptures and said to them, thus it is written that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead. The ordering that we have now, I think it dates back to prior to the time of Christ, probably when the Old Testament was translated into Greek, known as the Septuagint, but there again, you still had these major divisions, those three divisions of the Old Testament, and so that's kind of how our Bible is put together today. The main thing, I think the big takeaway is that the entire document, if you will, all of the Bible, as Jesus says there in Luke 24, testifies of him, is pointing to him, and so that's the main thing.

That's what we can't miss. May the Lord bless you, and thank you for that question. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez. Our phone lines are open for your questions about the Bible or the Christian life.

Nothing is off limits. Whatever you'd like to ask Pastor Adrian, he's more than happy to dive into it. So here's the phone number again. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to a voicemail we received from Scott. We received news not too long ago yesterday that my mother-in-law is diagnosed with a terminal cancer, as sad as it is for my wife and even myself. My question is about my three-year-old son, who enjoys a very special bond with my mother-in-law, and they play together, they laugh together, they just have a very special connection. I have no idea how to tell him where Nana is going, and that they won't be able to play again, dreading this moment. I don't know if you can reply to that on a theological basis, if there's an answer there at all, or just as a father.

He's never experienced anything like this in his life. Thank you very much for your time and being able to answer this question. I appreciate it.

Wow, Scott. I definitely want to take some time to pray for you and for your family after I answer this question. The first thing I would want to say is, this is really complex. You're going to have to think through how to have this conversation in particular with your son.

A couple of things to keep in mind. One, death is horrible. We don't want to minimize the fact that death really is this monster in Scripture.

That's how it's portrayed. Jesus, throughout the Gospels, in particular, it's very clear that he came to deal with the problem of death. I think of John 11, for example, where you have the death of Lazarus, and of course Mary and Martha are devastated as they're talking to Jesus. We get to see the heart of Jesus there as well as he weeps with Mary and Martha, really confronted by the suffering, the pain that we experience in this world. Recognizing, understanding just that, Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 says death is the last enemy to be destroyed.

I think too often in our culture today, Scott, we try to airbrush death. We talk about people passing on and minimize the strong language that the Bible uses. We can talk about death as a horrible thing, and we can talk about mourning and sorrow.

We don't have to pretend like everything is fine because we're Christians. Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4 talks about the fact that we do have sorrow because of death, because of the death of loved ones, but we don't sorrow as those who don't have hope. That's where I think it's really, really important to fix your eyes and your son's eyes on Jesus and what he's done to conquer death for his people. In fact, in John 5, Jesus says there in John 5 that the one who believes in him does not die, has entered into life already.

The idea there, and you see this especially when you look at John's writings, is that for the believer, death has been transformed. It's an entering into life, if you will. I think that's one way that you could talk about it. You can talk about grandma in Christ entering into life.

Now, there's sorrow there. There's sadness because of death, because of the effects of sin, and you can talk about that as well. But you can also talk about the comfort, and you need to talk about the comfort that we have through the gospel and the hope of the resurrection of the dead.

The challenge is articulating that to a three-year-old. I want to pray for you that the Lord will give you wisdom and just the perfect opportunity to have this discussion in a way that is honest about what death is, but also holds fast to the hope that you can have through what Jesus has done. Father, I lift Scott up to you and his wife, his mother-in-law, his son. I pray, Lord, one, just for your hand of healing to be on his mother-in-law, Lord.

Would you be with her? Would you grant her your peace, your presence, your healing hand in these days? Would you be with the whole family, Lord, comforting them and giving them wisdom? Give Scott especially wisdom as he thinks about how to talk to his little boy about this, Lord. Would you be with that little boy, Lord, giving him even at a very young age a sense of your love for humanity and sending your son into the world to deal, Lord God, with our sin and to deal with death? That in you we have the hope of eternal life and in you, Lord God, we don't have the sorrow as those who have no hope, but we look to Jesus and what he's done and we have hope in him. So would you fill Scott and his family with this hope in this very difficult time and all those who are suffering, Lord, in this way, would you grant them that hope that you give us through your word? We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

Amen. Scott, thanks so much for your call and we'll be continuing to pray for you in this situation. I want to mention a wonderful Christian children's book that would be helpful to any parents who are going through a situation like this. It's called Someone I Love Died by Christine Tangvald and it really does provide, I think, a really hopeful and theologically accurate perspective that parents, when they're talking to their kids, can actually discuss that again.

It's called Someone I Love Died. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez and we want to say thank you to a very special group of people. We call them our inner core. These are people who support this program on a monthly basis and make it possible to do what we do every day. Yeah, we love answering your questions every day and if you're blessed by Core Christianity, one of the ways that you can help us is by praying for us. Certainly, we need your prayers as we take these questions.

Pray that God would give us wisdom and that the Lord would be at work in the hearts of all those who listen, drawing them closer to himself and grounding them in the scriptures. You can also support us by becoming a member of the inner core. As a member of the inner core, you'll receive a number of exclusive things, including a devotional that I do every month for inner core members. You'll also get a copy of this book, Core Christianity, Finding Yourself in God's Story, a wonderful book that dives into the core doctrines of the Christian faith, doctrines that I think every believer really needs to know. I would love for you to be a part of the inner core.

It's a monthly donation of $25 or more and it really helps us out. If you've been blessed, would you prayerfully consider joining the inner core? You can learn more about joining the inner core by going to our website corechristianity.com forward slash inner core. Again, corechristianity.com forward slash inner core.

Or, of course, you can call us about that particular offer, any one of our offers at 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to Roy calling in from North Dakota. Roy, what's your question for Pastor Adrian? I have a question about forgiveness. I've been just dealing with this for a few several years, and I have been going through it for quite a bit, but how far are we willing to go if we forgive somebody willingly and respect them through these whole times in these years?

But the problem still remains in me. Well, Roy, the first passage of scripture that comes to mind is the words of our Lord Jesus in Matthew chapter 18. He gives a parable there, the parable of the unforgiving servant.

He begins there in verse 21. Peter came up and said to him, Lord, how often will my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times. Peter thinks he's being generous. Seven times, obviously, Lord. It can't be more than that, right? And Jesus said to him, I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.

Wow. Seventy-seven times. That is to say, continue to forgive your brother if he keeps sinning against you. Now, I know that that might come as a shock to you, and I think it's really important that we differentiate here between forgiveness, which we're always called to extend, Roy. We're called as believers to forgive those who sin against us, and reconciliation. If somebody is sinning against you, you're called to forgive them, but if there's going to be true reconciliation in the relationship, they need to realize what they're doing.

They need to confess and come, and there needs to be some reconciliation. So you're always called to forgive, and you're called, we're called to pursue reconciliation, especially within the body of Christ as much as we're able, but that's not always possible. Now, how can you forgive someone who keeps on sinning against you?

I think that's the big question, and for many Christians, you're not alone in this, Roy. For many, many Christians, this is a huge struggle. There was a study that I think the Barna group did not too long ago that found that many believers have someone in their life who they simply say, I just can't forgive that person. And yet forgiveness is at the heart of the gospel, and the way in which we forgive those who sin against us is by focusing less on their sin, their offense, and more on how gracious God has been to us, even though we sin against him every single day in thought, word, and in deed.

You have to be grounded, Roy, in the gospel, in the forgiveness that God has given you through his son, Jesus Christ, and continues to give you every time you go to him. And it's only as you're resting in, receiving that great grace from God that you're able to extend forgiveness to people, even people who continually sin against you. And so my encouragement to you is forgive. That's Jesus' encouragement to you. It's what Jesus taught us to pray in the Lord's Prayer.

Earlier in the Sermon on the Mount, in the Gospel of Matthew, this is recorded. He says, every day we're to pray, God, forgive me my debts, forgive me my trespasses, as I forgive my debtors, as I forgive the people who have sinned against me. We constantly need to be forgiven and to extend forgiveness as well. And so, Roy, may the Lord give you grace to be able to do that.

And as I said, you can only do that. We can only do that through the gospel and the grace that we have received. And so meditate on that. Meditate on God's great love for you and his forgiveness for you.

And let that be the fuel that you run on in terms of forgiving the people around you. And may the Lord be with you, brother. Great counsel. Thanks for that, Adriel. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Just a reminder that some of the radio stations that air our program air at a later time in the day or even in the evening. But if you want to call in live to the studio and have your question answered by Adriel, here's the time to call.

It's 11 30 a.m. Pacific, which translates into 12 30 Mountain, 1 30 Central or 2 30 Eastern Time. For that 30 minutes, we take your calls. And if you have to call outside of that time, just call our voicemail. Leave us a voicemail. We try to get to all of our voicemails each day. And here's that number.

It's 833-THE-CORE, 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Carolyn from St. Louis, Missouri. Carolyn, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Hi. Can you hear me? I can hear you, Carolyn.

Okay. God bless you. My question is that I was divorced probably back in 2004 to a minister who happened to bring me to Christ by the way. It wasn't because I committed adultery or anything like that.

But someone told him that he could do that because the Bible said that he did not wish to dwell with me anymore. So he went ahead, divorced anyway, and remarried. On my part, I have been stuck all these years thinking I could never ever remarry unless he passed away. So I'm trying to figure out in my mind, not that I want to get married right now or anything, but I just want to know where I really stand with that because he's still alive and I did not commit adultery.

Hi, Carolyn. Oh boy, I'm so sorry about this situation. And it sounds like this is something that is really heavy on your heart as you think about your own life and potentially the desire to be married. A couple of things. One, usually when we get questions related to marriage and divorce on the broadcast, I always try to be really careful as a pastor not just to say, well, this is black and white and really easy and here's a simple answer because I know that these things are so complex and it's so important for us to be in solid Christian communities where there are other people around us who know us, who know our situation better that can speak into it, providing godly wisdom and counsel. And it sounds to me like, as you were saying, that this individual that you were married to was the pastor, and so that throws a whole other wrench in this, but I do hope that you've been able to get plugged into a solid Christian community since then.

A couple of things. One, I think according to the scriptures, there are two grounds given for divorce that are permissible. One is the case of adultery or sexual immorality. Another would be abandonment, if one spouse abandons the other with no intention to be with them. And I think you get this from 1 Corinthians 7.

Both of these things are very grievous. I don't know your situation, again, and so I want to be really careful. It could be, though, that you were in a situation where essentially your husband abandoned you and then got into this other marriage. If that's the case, then I would say that it is permissible for you to be married, for you to be remarried, that you're not bound to this individual anymore. It sounds like he's left the marriage and now he's entered into another marriage, and just based off of what you said, the reasons that he gave, not wanting to dwell with you anymore, that's not a legitimate grounds for divorce in the Bible. So I'm not sure where that idea was coming from, but just with the little bit of information that you have given me, I would think that, yes, it would be permissible for you to be remarried before the Lord, so long as the person that you marry is in Christ.

And, of course, that's another word that the apostle Paul gives in 1 Corinthians 7, being free to be married to whoever you want, so long as they're in the Lord. And so may God bless you and give you wisdom as you think about these things, but again, make sure that you're getting the encouragement also from godly Christian community that's in your life and around you. Thank you for your call, Carolyn. Carolyn, thanks so much for calling and for being a regular listener to Core Christianity.

Tough situation there, Adriel. Well, let's go to a question we received through our YouTube channel. We want to mention one of the ways that you can join our program every day is watch us live on YouTube, see Pastor Adriel in the studio, and you can message us through YouTube as well.

Mike asked this question. He says, people are leaving the church because it's so political right now. The pulpit is all about politics. Is it okay to leave the church because it's being so hypocritical?

Well, I mean, if you go to a church where it's all about politics and not about Jesus, I would say, yeah, it's okay to leave that church for sure, because at the end of the day, your pastor, a minister of the gospel, is not an ambassador for some political party here on earth. We are ambassadors for Jesus Christ and for his kingdom. It's what the apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5, verse 20. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake, he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. That's the message that pastors need to be bringing Sunday by Sunday by Sunday.

That's what we need to hear. We need to hear about the forgiveness of our sins every single week. We need to have the word of God rightly explained, exposited, so that we might grow in our relationship to the Lord, Mike. I am very concerned with the politicization of everything, and in particular that creeping into the pulpits as well, where you get the sense that the main thing is no longer Christ and his kingdom, but the kingdoms of this world. That's not to say that we don't speak the truth of God's word to the kingdoms of this world, that we don't have this quote-unquote prophetic voice as the church calling the nations to faith and repentance.

But we do that as ambassadors of Jesus Christ. Personally, I would not attend a church. I couldn't go to a church where that was the focus, because it's just a huge, huge issue there, and a real misunderstanding of what our job is as pastors and what the role of the church is in society if that becomes a focus. Just to say, one of the things we frequently talk about on this broadcast is how do you know what a true church is to begin with? Well, it's where the word of God is being faithfully preached, taught, the gospel is being proclaimed week in and week out, where the ordinances that Christ gave to the church are being administered rightly, God is being worshipped in the right way, and where there's godly discipline, the encouragement of the saints, where sin is taken seriously. That's what you want to look for in a good church, and it seems to me that churches that begin to sort of get into the politics too much, where that becomes the focus, well, they're starting to lose sight of that first mark of the church, the right preaching of God's word, because they're no longer preaching the scriptures, expositing the word of God, but the newspaper, their own political opinions, and if that's the case, well, then I would say find a good church.

Thanks for that. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We have an email question from Tom, and Tom says, My wife has a hard time believing that the Bible is God's word. I've tried to tell her of the various stories of the Bible being backed up or proven by science. I'm always hearing that the Bible is the word of God. She's right, and that the Bible was written by man, so how do I correlate those two points? Yeah, she is right that the Bible was written by man, but we believe that it was men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit, that God was working in them to communicate his revelation, and that's the key there. And this is precisely what we hear in the scriptures themselves, what Peter talked about.

I love the way he puts it. He essentially says that holy men were moved by the Holy Spirit, the prophets of old. And so that's how we understand divine inspiration. It's not that God was just sort of possessing these individuals.

It's that God was using them, even their normal faculties, but through them was speaking to us, revealing his word. And there are so many things that we could point to to, I think, prove that the Bible is God's word, if you will. We can point to the prophetic testimony. We could point to just the majesty of the scriptures, how they fit together so perfectly. But at the end of the day, here's what we need more than anything. We need the Spirit of God working in our hearts, and so I would pray that the Lord opens her eyes to see that this isn't just the word of man. It's the very word of God, and that she would read the scriptures and recognize it as such. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-02 18:30:35 / 2023-09-02 18:40:43 / 10

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