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Why Are End Times Teachings So Confusing?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
September 8, 2021 6:30 am

Why Are End Times Teachings So Confusing?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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September 8, 2021 6:30 am

Episode 789 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

1. When Christ was tempted, it says that he was “led up to the high place.” Was he physically taken to a high place to look at the kingdoms of the world?

2. In 2 Peter 2:4, he talks about fallen angels being locked up until the final judgment. What does Peter mean by that?

3. Why are teachings about the rapture and the end times so confusing?

4. In my Bible study someone brought up the idea of Calvinism and predestination. What do you think of these things?

5. Over the past 18 months I went through an extreme amount of physical and emotional pain. So much so that when I read about the sufferings of Christ I think that I suffered worse than he did. I know this isn’t right and could be a demonic attack. But it is really frustrating my connection with God. Could you talk about Christ’s suffering and help remind me of how insignificant my suffering is in comparison?

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Why are the teachings about the rapture so confusing. That's is one of the questions will be answering on today's edition of core Christianity why 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.

Our phone lines will be open for the next 25 minutes and you can call us with your question. At 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 also post your question on our Facebook, Instagram or twitter accounts. You can watch a drill right now live in the studio on YouTube and message him that way course you can always email us a question at questions at core, Christianity.com first up today let's go to Scott in Memphis Tennessee Scott's, what's your question for Pastor Israel hey Scott, I am doing well how are you doing, sir morning all will will use or site you showed them all the world and the glory of taken better with thinking of Matthew chapter 4, the temptation of Jesus does seem like Jesus is in the wilderness using this this real place up on a high mountain, you know, seeing the glorious kingdom is the will doubt how did that happen were not entirely sure is not that he could see every kingdom of the world from the top of this mountain, where he was at, but there's a sense in which he was given a picture of.

If you will, the kingdoms of this world and being tempted by the evil one. Matthew chapter 4 beginning verse one then Jesus was led up by the spirit is the spirit leading Christ into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil and after fasting for 40 days and 40 nights, he was hungry and the tempter came and said to him, if you are the son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread and and yet the beginning of the temptation. There is so yes we can say that that Jesus was really truly in the wilderness. I think that the big take away from this in an Scott. This is something that a lot of people miss is here in the early chapters of Matthew Jesus is being portrayed to us as the new and faithful Israel, if you will. You think about the Israelites in the Old Testament coming out of Egypt going through the wilderness through the waters and depth to the waters and into the wilderness where they were tempted for a period of 40 years in your member what happened you know during their wilderness wanderings.

They they failed.

They gave into temptation.

They embraced idolatry, sexual immorality, all sorts of things in Jesus here is walking if you will, in the footsteps of Israel. He leaves Egypt.

You see this in chapter 2 verses 13 and following he goes through the waters, if you will. He's baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River and then he fled into the wilderness for a period of temptation 40 days.

But whereas Israel under the old covenant succumbed failed in the temptation Jesus stands up to the evil one. He conquers the evil one bite by resisting him according to the word of God. And so Jesus is being depicted as the true and faithful Israel here and that's I think part of the point that Matthew is is making for us in these early chapters of Genesis. This is the true son of God who is always obedient art, but we thankful for that because like Israel under the old covenant we fail we we we fall out we struggle with temptation and so we set our eyes on Jesus, the one who conquered the evil one in the wilderness who did not succumb to temptation and that that's one of the glorious things about these early chapters of Matthew, thanks for your call Scott, thank you Scott and all the other encouraging thing about that passage Israel is that Jesus is actually calling upon God's words himself in responding to Satan's temptation is something that we can do if we have written Scripture on our hearts. When were tempted yeah I word have I hid in my heart that I may not sin against you. The psalmist said how important it is for us to have the word of God hidden in our hearts for the day of temptation is, as you said that you know it's Satan there is twisting the Scriptures. He's quoting the Bible Satan quotes the Bible all heretics quote the Bible but Jesus responds with the right interpretation. If you will a right understanding of Scripture and so we have to be vigilant.

I meant you're listening to core Christianity. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Give us a call right now. Here is our phone number it's 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 go to John in Tulsa, Oklahoma. John what your question for Pastor Israel yeah that is in second Peter 24 he talks about all of the fallen angels or demons being locked up until the day of judgment, and it seems like all you know everybody thinks that the demons are out running around causing havoc you in your answer that one yeah okay so second Peter chapter 2 verse four for if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness, to be kept until the judgment that's second Peter 24 and then there's a parallel in Jude verse six and the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day. It seems to me John that that both in Jude and in second Peter you have a specific group of fallen angels that are being described. Some people will say these are even the Angels were involved in the early chapters of Genesis where you had the that the sons of God going into that the daughters of man, and so so it doesn't necessarily have to take. This is all the fallen angels if you will. It could be a subset a specific group within the fallen angels that are being spoken of here as experiencing this judgment, but that the broader point that Peter is making in second Peter here is he saying look the judgment of God is going to come on false teachers and he uses these examples.

The example of the Angels there in verse for the example of Sodom and Gomorrah as a text continues to demonstrate that God will indeed judge those who sin against and that's the point that Peter is trying to make here and he says in verse nine, the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment and of course we know that Peter says elsewhere that the evil one does go about as a roaring lion, seeking to devour and so Satan is very much active in the world today in a different sense that he was under the old covenant, I think, but he still active, trying to tempt trying to deceive, trying to lead people astray. John talks about the spirit of the antichrist. It's at work in the world. Even now, and so we have to be vigilant but but the point that Peter is making in second Peter is judgment is going to come on these false teachers that are plaguing the church to bless you brother. Thanks for your questions on appreciate that this is core Christianity with Pastor Israel Sanchez. What can we learn from the life of Jonah in the Old Testament while Israel has written an excellent Bible study on the book of Jonah and would like to offer that to you today yeah Jonah sometimes called the reluctant prophet you know he doesn't want to to listen to the Lord in years ago I preached through the book of Jonah. It's one of my favorite books of the Old Testament, and so we've we created this resource of help to create this resource on the book of Jonah. It's a Bible study to go through and I really think it will encourage you. It's 10 weeks long and it's yours for a donation of $20 or more.

Perfect for for group use or for personal use. If you just want to study the book of Jonah on your own and benefit from that book. So get a hold of this resource would love to offer that to you. Just go to our website. Core, Christianity.com/offers and look for the new Bible study on the book of Jonah.

Let's go back to what one of our voicemails. We actually received a couple of voicemails this week. These are interesting. They both have to do with the rapture in the book of Revelation. Let's hear those right now. The church is believing a lecture you my brother is on the book Revelation about the rapture say in the word I have told just heard about that all creation, will be all description rapture can find it in my mom Bible anywhere in the evolution of the show. I love that we played both of those voicemails back to back because it just goes to show that you know the diversity of thought out there and we really have a broad audience here at core Christianity which we love. At the end of day. We want to dig in the Scriptures of the question is, is an idea theology, biblical estate rooted in the text of Scripture. Now Christians have differed on this question of the rapture and the idea of her love of the rapture is is just that God is going to snatch up if you will. Believers prior to you know the great tribulation.

The seven year tribulation described in places like the book of Revelation. And then there's gonna be a period of havoc on the earth. Also of revival on the earth and then at the end of that.

There's going to be the second coming of Jesus and so you kind of have two comings of Jesus there in in that idea, one where Jesus comes for believers for his people for the elect.

However you want it you wanted the phrase it in another where he comes back in judgment. The second coming after a period of tribulation that's it's a really popular idea today, but it that idea that there these two separate comings actually was not so popular in the history of the church.

It's it's really been popularized more recently by a number of books on the end time stories about the end times and again the question is is this idea that the idea of the rapture in Scripture, will the word rapture is not a word that you can find in the Bible. What proponents of the rapture will point to is a verse in first Thessalonians chapter 4 in verse 17, where Paul said, we who are alive, who are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air that were caught up is the Greek word heart pod so it means that the snatch away or to steal away and so people settled. That's the idea of the rapture right there now.

My personal opinion that they got I think this is the view of the majority of the church throughout history is that you don't have these two separate comings, but that there is one coming of the Lord Jesus Christ like a thief in the night on the day of the Lord. So you have you have that the second coming, the final judgment, the resurrection of the dead, all taking place at the same time.

Do these are contemporaneous events. If you just look a little bit further in first Thessalonians chapter 5 I think this is very clear. Paul said now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you for you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night that day of the Lord that coming of the Lord Jesus referred to back in chapter 4 verse 15 as well. The coming the power to see on Jesus talked about this in Matthew 24.

The appearing of the Lord that happens on the day of the Lord that the final day of judgment, and so there's confusion about this.

I think because because people are coming to conclusions about these these various words and in trying to see in this. I think two distinct events. When I I would say clearly, the apostle Paul is referring to one event, the coming of the Lord like a thief in the night on the day of the Lord. That is his second coming. And so that's that's my view and so I don't talk on the rapture is it's often popularized has been popularized and in the same sense. But again, we want to dig into the Scriptures and understand what they say and so I would save if you want to know more about this two things that read first and second Thessalonians because that's what Paul focuses on the coming of the Lord or also get a hold of our Bible study on the book of Revelation there was that question there on the book of Revelation. So we gotta resource your core Christianity to a 10 week study through the book of Revelation, which you will also find helpful. Thank you for those questions. The great study, we recommend that anyone in the book of Revelation can be confusing to us. There's some symbolism there but there's also real events described in that book and you can learn more by going to core Christianity.com/Revelation to get that particular study.

Let's go back to another one of our phone calls. This is Nick in Memphis, Tennessee Nick, what's your question for Pastor Israel.

Not familiar with that group. I believe that they were predestined to enter. We will also I don't understand that. I've never been taught that of been taught differently. You your opinion and talking about but hey Nick, thank you so much for for you question and this is something the Christians have wrestled with for 2000 years in the name you know Calvinism right we were.

We don't want to associate ourselves with with the person we want to be focused on the teaching of Scripture. I think even theologians like John Calvin would've would've wanted that the focus has to be on the word of God and the first thing I want to say to you is there is talk of predestination in the Bible of God's election, God's choice. He certainly sought in the Old Testament with regard to Israel. God told his people in Deuteronomy and you were chosen because you were greater than any other nation you were more numerous. It was because God set his love on you because he wanted to be faithful to his promises. Moses told the people of God. There she of God's God's choice there.

I got sovereign choice, but also in the New Testament.

You see this language as well.

And, of course, as I often say right. There's all sorts of controversy about this, but let's just open the Scriptures. Ephesians chapter 1 verse three Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before him in love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace with which he has blessed us in the beloved. Another passage of Scripture where the apostle Paul really unpacks this idea is in the book of Romans Romans chapter 9 in the context there. Nick Paul is is lamenting the fact that many Jews when Jesus came his kinsman balls, kinsman according to they know the nation of Israel rejected the Messiah and he's he's heartbroken about this is I wish that I was cursed so that they might be saved. But then he goes on to say it's not that God's word has failed and he begins to talk about God's sovereign choice and you have this great mystery. Sometimes we call it in Scripture where it's very clear to us. According to the Bible that God is sovereign and he is the great king on his throne that apart from his grace, no one would even believe it. It's a work of the Holy Spirit, and yet at the same time Scripture is absolutely clear that you and I are responsible that we are called to repent and to believe that we noted that repentance and faith is itself a work of God and yet it's something that worked cold to think about what Paul says in the book of Philippians in Philippians chapter 1 verse 12. Therefore, my beloved is you have always obeyed, so now not only in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

You guys are responsible here, work out your salvation with fear and trembling, but then he adds this verse 13 of Philippians chapter 2 for it is God who works in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure. So I think we have to confess what God is sovereign.

It's the spirit of God works in people who grants the new birth, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, and yet we are responsible that that's I think a great mystery that we experience in in Scripture, but it's true. Let me just say this this one thing I think especially in our culture Nick we we really value autonomy. You know I am in control of my own destiny. That kind of the thing there. There is this individualism this Western individualism that so permeates everything around us and it's it's sort of our our natural bent.

So the idea that we are not sovereign, but I am not on the throne can be very offensive to us and and certainly it was to me for a number of years I struggled with this but you realize quickly that you and I aren't God that were not in control, that we aren't the Lord, that we look to the sovereign King of heaven and earth, we submit to him. We yield to him. And there really is great comfort there.

There is great joy and also great hope we look to the God who is able to open the eyes of the blind and soften the hearts of sinners. And that's what God has done with us and so we we praise God for that for his sovereign grace while recognizing that were also called to preach the gospel to all people to command all people everywhere to repent, not just some people, but the gospel is proclaimed promiscuously. If you will to all people because we believe that it's true that gospel that they come into a saving knowledge of Jesus and so I think that's that's where were Olivia a really big question but keep digging into the Scriptures.

Ephesians 1 Romans chapter 9. Those are some great text to look at him and pray that the Lord would continue to grant you understanding. As you look at those passages that thanks so much for your call. Great question.

This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez is one of the voicemails we received earlier this week from a caller named Eric a girl I am long time listener and really enjoyed your program.

I am really struggling with something likely it's come up with in about the last six weeks and I'm beginning to doubt my belief in the suffering of Christ.

I went for about 18 months of intense mental and physical pain in and whenever I read in the Bible about Jesus suffering. I know it's the devil that is providing me with the thought of you suffered more those 18 months and it's really affected my relationship with God really hoping that you can explain the suffering of Christ and how insignificant my suffering as compared to his. I appreciate your wise words and God bless you, by Eric II definitely wanted to pray for you and so I will I will do that but the first thing I would say is the sufferings of our Lord Jesus are very different in one sense from the sufferings we experience and then also very similar, God the son eternal word of the father assumed humanity clothed himself in human flesh, so that in that flesh, she might suffer for us die for us and and so he took to himself a true body, a reasonable soul heat he suffered in the flesh in the soul. If you will that the mental anguish, the pain that he experienced. I'm sure you've been looking at some of these passages Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, crying out, sweating, droplets of blood there is this great mental anguish associated with the sufferings of our Lord. It sounds like that some of what you've experienced as well and there is also the great physical anguish.

The pain of crucifixion of the lashing of being pierced, crowned with thorns you think of the shame, the mocking just the sort of all-encompassing suffering, but above all of the hatch was what he was carrying. It wasn't just the cross that he was caring, Eric. It was your sins that he was caring was my sins that he was caring he was bearing our curse in his body on the tree. That's what the apostle Paul says in Galatians chapter 3 he says in verse 10, but all who rely on works of the law are under a curse, for it is written curse to be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law to do them.

Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law for the righteous shall live by faith. But the law is not of faith of the one who does them shall live by them. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written curse.

It is everyone who is hanged on a tree that's the suffering that Jesus bore that you don't bear the curse of God's judgment, his wrath for sin, and in that sense that the sufferings of Christ are greater than anything anyone on this world you know any believer will ever experience because he's he's carrying the immense weight of our sins and in every other way rather, Jesus is able to sympathize with you with the mental anguish with the physical pain he can sympathize with you because he assumed our humanity so that he might be a comfort to us and to you and redeem us when we pray for you father pray for Eric. I asked Lord God would comfort him fill them with your Holy Spirit.

Strengthen him in the faith and help them to look to you. Jesus is the one who has borne his sufferings and redeemed him forgiven all of his sins in life. Amen. Thanks for listening to core Christianity request your copy of today's special offer.

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