Why didn't God destroy Lot along with the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah? 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 Adriel Sanchez.
We hope you had a wonderful weekend. This is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. And 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 one of our social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. You can watch Adriel live right now on YouTube and message us that way. And of course, you can always email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to Kelly in Bellevue, Illinois.
Kelly, what's your question for Adriel? I've been thinking lately and I wonder how you could frame this in the correct way. I have always looked forward to Jesus coming.
It's going to be a great day and he's done everything and I get to be in heaven and it's wonderful. And I know some people believe in two comings of Christ. I believe in one.
I didn't think it really mattered because it's not a game changer. I think we'll all be in heaven no matter which way we hold to. But now with all the talk about the end times and what's going to happen and how bad it'll be in the years of this and I find myself scared. I don't have the same sense of security. I know it, but I just I don't have that same sense of joy.
I have a sense of dread and I just wonder what how could you reframe that? How could you help me to see it in a better way? Well, you know, we know that the godly life in Jesus Christ is going to suffer persecution. So we do experience difficulty in this life, whether it's persecution or just sickness, you know, the reality of living in a fallen world. But the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ has always been a great hope for believers because there is relief that's given to the saints at that moment. So it's Christ coming to redeem his people once and for all to rescue them, if you will, from this present evil age. And so it's something that we can look forward to.
Not with dread, but with great hope. And I want to just read what Paul says in First Thessalonians Chapter five, because I think I think he gets to your question there beginning in verse one. He says 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. While people are saying there is peace and security, then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman. And so you have no need to have anything written to you.
But when we look at what Paul says in first the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. While people are saying there is peace and security, then sudden destruction will come upon a pregnant woman and they will not escape. Now, that's the scary part, right? That's the, whoa, okay, thief in the night. But then he says in verse four, but you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. then let us not sleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.
For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we might live with him. Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. That's the encouragement for you, Kelly, is you are not of the darkness. You are of the day, a child of light, because you belong to Jesus Christ by faith. And the world around us might fall apart, might crumble, and yet we belong to the Lord. No one can snatch you out of the hand of the true and the living God, and that's the comfort that we have, and that's the comfort that the people of God have had for the last two thousand years in the midst of the difficulties of life, knowing that Christ is coming back to redeem us, to rescue us, to restore the whole world and put things to right. But that's a comfort that we have, and so may the Lord bless you and fill you with his peace as you continue to look to him, as Paul says there, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. That's yours, Kelly.
Some great promises there, Adriel. Thanks so much for pointing that out. And Kelly, thank you for being a regular listener of Core Christianity. We really do appreciate that. Well, one of the ways that you can ask a question is by leaving us a voicemail, and our voicemail operates 24 hours a day, so if you can't call during the show, feel free to call any time at 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673.
Here's a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners named Josh. My question is, I pretty much book it is then, but two charters are going to stay at this guy's house, and around midnight, the community comes knocking on the door saying, hey, the guy goes, no, no, please don't do that. Take my two charters instead. So everyone says, why was this guy offers two charters, and why did God allow that to happen? You are referring to the book of Genesis, Genesis chapter 19, where you have the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the rescue of Lot, the nephew of Abraham. This is a really interesting chapter of scripture. One, Lot in the New Testament is described as this righteous man, daily in consternation, vexed because of the sensual conduct of the wicked around him, the people of Sodom. But here, when you read Genesis chapter 19, he seems like kind of a compromiser. He's a part of the community there in Sodom, and when the people of Sodom gather around his house wanting to violate the guests, these two strangers, they were angels.
Lot says in Genesis chapter 19, verse eight, behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man, let me bring them out to you and do to them as you please. It's just this really shocking thing, like how can this guy do this? There are some commentators who have tried to justify Lot by saying, well, he has such a high view of hospitality towards strangers that he's willing to sacrifice anything in order to protect his guests, but there's no way of really brushing this up so that it's okay, so that it's justifiable. He's sinning.
He's compromising here. Now, thankfully, in this story in particular, the two angels, they bring Lot back inside, and Lot's daughters are also delivered. The angels strike these madmen outside with blindness, and eventually, Lot and the majority of his family are able to escape from the city of Sodom. So his daughters weren't actually given to these people, but the reality is what we're seeing here is just the danger of compromise, the danger of sin, even for someone like Lot, who is described in the New Testament as righteous. The reality is that the Christian life isn't easy, and it's not perfect. We're not perfect. We sin even in grievous ways. You think of David committing adultery, King David, and so we don't need to brush over those things or try to justify them.
It's just the reality. These people were sinners who God still used. Lot was a sinner who God still used, and why does God redeem him? Why does he save him? Well, purely the mercy of God.
It's so interesting. When the angels are trying to get him out of the city of Sodom, verse 16 of chapter 19 says, he lingered, so the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. In the end of this chapter, towards the end of the chapter in verse 29, it says that God remembered Abraham, who was praying for the city of Sodom, and because he remembered Abraham and the prayers of Abraham, he rescued Lot. It's this amazing picture of Lot, this compromiser, being delivered, being rescued, because he has the prayers of this righteous man, Abraham, being offered up on his behalf. We get to look forward to the true and greater Abraham, who daily lives to make intercession for us, praying for us, compromised though we do at times.
He's in heaven praying for us. There's so much there in that text of scripture, but I hope that that helps clear up this question in particular for you, and it really is just a picture of God being merciful to sinful Lot. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We often receive questions about the topic of repentance on this program, and today we're offering you a free resource that actually answers some of those questions. Yeah, the resource is called Seven Things Everyone Should Know About Repentance. It's a free download at corechristianity.com, and it describes what it actually means to repent, how it is a grace in our life, and how it really is an ongoing part of the Christian life. So if you're struggling with doubts or insecurities about repentance and sin, this is a perfect resource for you to help ground you in your faith and fix your eyes on the work of Jesus Christ.
Again, there's no charge for that. It's a free PDF download. You can find it at our website. Just go to corechristianity.com forward slash offers and look for Seven Things Everyone Should Know About Repentance. Here's our phone number if you have a question for Pastor Adriel about the Bible or the Christian life, call us anytime. And you can, by the way, we mentioned earlier you can leave a voicemail if you can't get through today. The number is 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. We'll be taking your calls for the next 10 minutes or so, so jump on the phone right now.
833-THE-CORE. Let's go to Elias calling in from Hempstead, New York. Elias, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Thank you, Pastor Adriel Sanchez and brother Dr. Bill Meyer. My question is, salvation is by faith in Christ Jesus, not of works lest any man should boast. About the word of God, Jesus says, work out your salvation with fear and trembling and make your calling and election sure. My question, are not these two verses works in contradiction to faith in Christ alone?
Elias, thank you for that question. You're referring to two passages in the New Testament, Philippians 2, verse 12, and then also a text in 2 Peter 1 with regard to the text in Philippians 2, verse 12 from the Apostle Paul. Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Now, if we just stop there, boy, that would be pretty heavy. Work out my own salvation with fear and trembling. Is he saying work for my salvation? Is he saying I have to save myself with fear and trembling, that kind of a thing? Well, no, that would contradict the other passage of scripture that you quoted.
It's not of works lest anyone should boast. But he goes on to say, Elias, in verse 13, 4, it is God who works in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure. In other words, even the willing, the desire is something that God is working in you in your heart. It's a grace of the Holy Spirit. There's nothing good that we do in the Christian life apart from God. In fact, Jesus himself said in John chapter 15, I am the vine, you are the branches.
Apart from me, you can do nothing. So when we're talking about even good works in the Christian life, they're not things that we just sort of muster up in and of ourselves in our own strength with fear and trembling. It's through our being united to Jesus by faith that he bears the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. And so it's not salvation by works, it's being taught there in Philippians chapter 1. And then also the text in 2 Peter that you brought up. Again, another very important passage of scripture, 2 Peter chapter 1 verse 10.
Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities, you will never fail. Now here, you really need to go back to verse 3, and he talks about all of these things that the Lord has given to us as Christians. Verse 3, his divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence. Again, this is a gift. God himself is the one who has given us all of these things so that we, verse 4, might become partakers, if you will, of the divine nature.
It really is quite beautiful. And so again, even that passage, he's not saying you need to call and elect yourself or work to make sure that you're saved by the Lord, called and elected. No, he's saying confirm it by seeing these things, by receiving these promises, by walking in this manner. And so both of these passages aren't teaching salvation by works.
To the contrary, what's emphasized in the context of both of these texts is the free gift of God, his goodness to sinners. And so, brother Elias, thank you for your call. May the Lord bless you. Thanks, Elias, for being a regular listener to Core Christianity. By the way, we want to mention, if you have a friend or a relative or work associate that may have questions about the Bible or the Christian life, encourage them to tune into our program. We air live at 1130 a.m. Pacific time, which translates into 1230 Mountain, 130 Central or 230 Eastern time. For that half hour, of course, they can always listen online after the program or to our podcast. You can find that at corechristianity.com. And you can always leave a voicemail for us, as we said, at 833-THE-CORE. Here's a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners named Jerry.
I have a couple of questions. Number one, I have four or five atheist friends I've been praying for. And I guess my question is, what more can I do or what can I do to bring them to God, to help them to get to know God? One of my sons is not going to church anymore.
I want to know what can I do to help him. Thank you so much. Bye-bye. God bless you, brothers. You seek to share the love of Jesus Christ with the people around you, with your atheist friends, and as you long to see your children also walk in the faith and know and love Jesus.
And I think you're off to a right start, a good start. Prayer is so important. We need to realize that this is a work of the Holy Spirit.
People don't get saved because we twist their arms or are able to fully convince them with our special abilities that this is just totally true. Even being able to grasp, to confess Jesus is Lord, that's a work of the Holy Spirit. That's what Paul told the Corinthians.
No one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. And so continue to fall before the Lord and to say, God, do the work that only you can do and realize that this is a spiritual battle. The apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians chapter 4 verse 3, even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case, the God of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ is Lord with ourselves as servants for your sake, for Christ's sake. And so I bring this up to highlight one, you need to pray because it is a spiritual battle, but two, focus on the gospel because the power is in the word. God uses his word to open the hearts of people, to chip away at the stony hearts, to reveal the glory of Christ. That's what Paul is talking about there in 2 Corinthians chapter 4. So I think those two things are what you need to focus on, continuing to pray, but when you have opportunities, clearly sharing the gospel with them, what Christ has done, who he is, the fact that he rose again from the dead and commands all people everywhere to repent. It's not just about something that they feel or something they gain in terms of, hey, Christianity can help you have a happier life, that kind of thing.
No, we believe that God himself sent his son into the world and his son suffered for our sins and then rose again from the dead and he's alive right now and this demands something of each and every person who is alive on earth. And so it's that gospel message, brother, that you continue to bring forward in the lives of your friends and in the lives of your children and living a life yourself that is in line with that gospel, not contradicting the message that we preach by the way we treat one another, by the way that we live. We can't be the gospel, we're not the gospel, but our lives should be an implication of the power of the gospel, what the gospel does to redeem sinners.
And so those things, that's all that you can do, relying upon the Lord, trusting in him to do what only he can do, which is change the heart. God bless you. Thanks, Jerry, appreciate so much your question. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Steve in Richmond, Missouri. Hey Steve, what's your question for Adriel? My question is on preterism. I have some friends and relatives that have decided to go down this road, and they don't like to be confronted with it, so I thought if they heard it from someone else, it may go further. Okay Steve, you want me to do the dirty work, huh?
You want me to do the confronting here? No, listen, well there are different kinds of preterism, brother. There is, I think, you know, what's sometimes described as full preterism, and the idea there, for those who are unfamiliar with this, we're thinking about the doctrine of the last things. And full preterism is the belief that what we see in places like Matthew 24 and throughout the book of Revelation, the prophecies there, those are all referring to things that already took place in the past.
Preterism really centralized around the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. And in my opinion, brother, when we look at places like Matthew chapter 24, there are references to 70 AD there. Jesus talked about the destruction of the temple, and so we can understand some of this language as related to that, but I think he's also talking about something in the future. And the main problem, I would say, brother, with the sort of full preterist view, is you'll even have people who say, well the second coming has already happened, the resurrection even has already happened, the resurrection of the dead.
And that's just a belief that I think is not sustainable. I think that when you look at these texts, even Matthew 24 and then also throughout the book of Revelation, the prophecies there, there's still yet more to come. Also, the other books that you'd want to focus on are 1 and 2 Thessalonians in terms of understanding properly the day of the Lord. And so we as Christians are looking forward to the second coming of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.
That has not yet happened, but it's going to happen, and so that's the issue with the full preterist view. Appreciate your question. I think continuing to have conversations about the scriptures, and as I said, places to dig in are 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Matthew 24, and the book of Revelation. By the way, we have a Bible study, a 10-week Bible study, on the book of Revelation, and if you stay on the line, Steve, maybe we can get that in your hands. God bless. And it's a great Bible study. If that particular book is confusing to you, or you're trying to really make sense of it, man, this is something you really want to get. Just go to corechristianity.com forward slash revelation to learn more about that study.
Well, one of the ways you can ask Adriella a question is by emailing us. Our email address is questions at corechristianity.com, just the word questions at corechristianity.com. Debbie wrote to us, and she says this, I see so much division among believers who are strong Christians and becoming bitter and angered over current issues. I've heard Christians say the Holy Spirit told them to get the coronavirus vaccine, and other Christians say they felt the Holy Spirit told them to stay away from the vaccine.
Both of them are adamant. How can both say the Holy Spirit led them to or away from the same thing? Well, yeah, it seems like there's a contradiction here.
The first thing I'll say is a lot of times we just need to be more careful with how we use our language. People will say God spoke to me or God told me, and usually what they mean by that is I had this really strong feeling. Now, can God use our feelings providentially to lead us, to guide us? Yes, certainly, but that's not the same thing as God's revelation, as God's speaking to you in the same way that he spoke to the prophets in the Old Testament, to Isaiah and to Ezekiel, or spoke to the apostles in the New Testament. We have to be really careful that we don't suggest that because the reality is when God speaks, it's perfect.
He doesn't contradict himself. It's clear when you hear people talking like this that, well, it's probably not the Lord. I'm not saying that you don't feel really strongly about this in your own conscience, but we can't confuse our conscience with the Holy Spirit.
I think that that's part of the problem here. When it comes to stuff like this, we're called to exercise wisdom, to get the information, the best information that's in front of us, to consult the people who know what they're talking about, not just what we scroll through on Instagram or YouTube or whatever, people sharing their own thoughts, but to talk to people who know what they're talking about in terms of medicine, in terms of immunology, those kinds of things, and using wisdom, the wisdom that God calls us to exercise in his word to make a decision with a clear conscience. But let's not say as we do that, God is the one who's telling me to do this, and then try to bind other people's consciences as though God was speaking to us and is also speaking to them. That's a way of abusing scripture and abusing the quote unquote voice of God.
We got to be really careful. In the Old Testament, God frequently warned the false prophets because they would say, God has said when he never spoke. In fact, Jeremiah over and over and over again says, God says through the prophet Jeremiah, these prophets, they say they're speaking my word, but I haven't spoken to them. I didn't call them into my council.
I didn't give them a word, and yet they're claiming to speak on my behalf. We need to be very careful, brothers and sisters, that we don't misrepresent God or claim that God is speaking through us in that sense, when in reality, it's just our own sort of personal opinions and feelings. We need to have a higher view of the word of God and of the voice of God, and then exercise charity with one another as we're wrestling through these things. There are so many divisions. What unites us is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we need to fall back on that in order to exercise the kind of love and charity for each other that God calls us to. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
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