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Am I Really Saved If I Struggle with Alcoholism?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
October 12, 2021 6:30 am

Am I Really Saved If I Struggle with Alcoholism?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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October 12, 2021 6:30 am

Episode 812 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

1. How do I know that God hears and answers my prayers?

2. I have been an alcoholic and struggled with addiction nearly all of my life. Can I still be a Christian if I struggle with this? What do I do?

3. Did Pharaoh’s magicians perform actual signs and wonders, or were they allusions?

4. If my family member is an addict, what should I do? How should I counsel people in these situations?

5. Jesus often uses the phrase “outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Is he referencing Hell in each of these cases?

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Hey pastor, a drill here and we want to hear from our podcast audience specifically, it was a call at 1130 Pacific time 833-843-2673. That's 833 the court with your question about the Christian faith. My really saved if I struggle with alcoholism best is one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity why this is Bill Meyer along with pastor Adm. Sanchez and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can call us right now with your question here is our phone number it's 833 the core, you might want to jot that down 833 the core and our phone lines will be open for the next 25 minutes or so. You can also post your question are Facebook or Instagram page and you can watch us live on YouTube and send us a message.

That way you can also email us your question at questions at core, Christianity.com burst up today let's go to Paul in Johnston Rhode Island Paul what your question for pastor.

Israel will pay Paul.

Hello, what's your question radically. Play that I know he lay in my plan.

Hey, thanks for that question. Well, you could go to the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples in Matthew chapter 6 the Lord's prayer our father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil to me that that's how Jesus taught us to pray, and we know that when we pray according to the will of God, and I think this gets to the heartier question that the Lord hears us and answers that prayer now. It may not always be in in the timing that we would like, but we know that God listens to our prayers and that he doesn't answer those prayers is what John said in first John chapter 5 verse 14. This is the confidence that we have toward him that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us and if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him that the big question is, is what I am praying in God's will. Now course are some things that we just don't know whether or not this particular request is the will read it over to the Lord's will to heal me in this situation or to give me this particular job, but there are other things that you can know for certain, are God's will.

Paul tells the Thessalonians. This is the will of God for you, your sanctification, which we pray to be sanctified that we might grow in the grace and the knowledge of Jesus grow in holiness. That's a prayer that God will answer to according to his will and so if you want to have confidence sure confidence that that what you're praying is going to be answer that the Lord hears you pray according to what the Scripture teaches pray according to God's will and by the way, this is just a really huge encouragement for us to know the word I think a lot of times people don't know if there praying God's will because I just don't know that the Bible they don't read the Bible you don't study the Scriptures is a one of it. One of the benefits of knowing God's word of studying the Scriptures's were able to understand what God's will is for us, as is revealed in his word.

We can pray. Accordingly, God bless. So it's not God's will for me to have a Maserati. I don't know if you do get that is also free to share with the rest of us, like me, so just check it just to visit his coworkers to show they were pestering drill Sanchez would love to hear from you. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life Your phone right now.

Call us at 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 here's a question from one of our listeners named Earl here Christian teenager. Paul enjoyed also write Earl thank you for the questions as it sounded like which which are saying there is you are an alcoholic but you've been sober for for a couple of decades now, but that you struggle with other addictions. Your Christian believe in Jesus you received his grace and yet you still struggle. How can you be saved.

Can you be saved will first let me just say God bless you. I thank you for listening to the program if if the question boils down to. Can people who struggle be saved. The answer is yes and then the fact of the matter is that's that's each and every one of us every day were in the fight against us in the flesh, the devil, it's a fight that I think is described in the New Testament in places like Galatians chapter 5 of the battle between the flesh and the spirit or also Romans chapter 7. Think about what the apostle Paul says there in Romans chapter 7.

So now over 17.

It is no longer I who do it with the sin that dwells within me just going a little bit before there he is talking about this battle that that he's having. He says it in and with relationship to the law and how the law condemns him. He says did that which is good, then bring death to me by no means it was seen producing death in me through what is good. That is God's law and order that sin might be shown to be sin and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. For we know that the law is spiritual time of the flesh, sold under sin, for I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want to do, but I do the very thing I hate. If I do what I do not want.

I agree with the law that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. I know he says nothing good dwells in me that is in my flesh, for I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.

That sounds to me like like this is the very battle that you're talking about now.

It's one thing to say. I'm an alcoholic and I my mind. Identifying in this way and I you know I just have no problem getting drunk and and throwing away all my money to booze and that kind of the thing we hope Paul is very clear about that kind of person that kind of lifestyle in first Corinthians chapter 6 is don't be deceived, drunkards will not inherit the kingdom of God. But for Christians who struggle with sin. There is hope, there is grace and that's just the reality of the Christian life were all going to struggle. I am honestly so encouraged by the story of Samson in the Old Testament. Talk about a guy who struggled who made one foolish decision after another and you read the story of of Samson in the book of Judges and just think how can this guy be so foolish when you look at your own life and you realize and what we were just like that so often and yet you you turn to the New Testament in Hebrews chapter 11 and Samson is included in the hall of faith even after experiencing a tragic end. And so there is hope brothers and sisters for strugglers if you struggle with sin. Don't let that don't let that be assigned to you or convince you that you will. You must not have the grace of God you must not really belong to Jesus know you do belong to Jesus in the spirit of God lives in you and that's why there is a struggle even there to begin with. So what we do when we struggle with, we turn to the Lord.

As Paul goes on to say that passage and in Romans chapter 7 and beginning and in chapter 8 he says who will deliver me from this body of death thanks be to God through Jesus Christ.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

So if you're in Jesus Christ Earl by faith. You have a new identity.

You have a new identity bite bite by faith through baptism. You are a child of the true and the living God. You've been justified by faith now are called to live in light of that reality. May the Lord to be the grace to do that.

Thank you for forgiveness.

A call your listing to core Christianity with pastor a drill Sanchez you know, we often receive questions about spiritual warfare on this program and today were offering a special resource that delves into that topic in a very creative way. It's a wonderful fictional book by claim Christian author CS Lewis. Yeah, we are offering the book the Screwtape letters, by CS Lewis perfect time of the year to be offering this as much as we been getting questions Bill about the supernatural demonic activity goes even spiritual warfare really and so that's what we we made this resource available to you. It's a classic work.

It's I believe the best work written on spiritual warfare. If you want to understand some of the ways that the devil comes against us in our faith get a hold of this resource. It's yours for donation of any amount over it.

Core, Christianity.com you can find that by going to our website. Core, Christianity.com/offers again core Christianity.com/offers and you can call us for that resource or any one of our resources. Here's the phone number it's 833. The core let's go to UX calling in from New York City.

You ask what your question for pastor a drill question him in good timing but would have along the same lines as the spiritual warfare. I think somewhere in the Old Testament. Maybe Exodus, Moses, when he had confronted Pharaoh and Pharaoh's magicians she had done miracles in the wake of Colby's miracles included turning the waters" into blood, and I remember watching like I remember watching like a cheesy TV you replicate. But she is a TV commercial, like a TV show and Pharaoh's of factors magicians you don't.

The output like put sand and water than it kind of turned around what you note describes these things will actually like being real. So I was wondering whether you thought that these were actual spiritual powers going on or if these were like you.

Note both replication a great question and I think the passage of Scripture that you're referring to is Exodus chapter 7 Exodus chapter 7 verse 11 to then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they and they the magicians of Egypt also did the same by their secret arts. In other words there replicating some of these miracles that that are done at the hand of Moses out by their by their secret arts and so the question is, are they just faking it in. Are they putting on a magic show or is there some sort of sinister demonic power at work behind these magicians. These sorcerers my view is that it's it's the latter that there is this sort of demonic power that's that's at work here, deceiving, and we know that those who worship false gods ultimately mean it's it's the worship of demons, Paul talks about this in first Corinthians.

I think also of something that we read in Deuteronomy chapter 32 verses 16 and 17. Listen what it says there they stirred him to jealousy with the strange gods with abominations, they provoked him to anger.

That is the true and living God or provoking him. They sacrificed to demons that were not gods to gods they had never known other words, they would with some of these idolatrous systems you think of what was going on there in Egypt with Pharaoh and it's not just that there there was nothing behind these demonic deities. They were demonic deities. There is this supernatural power at work there that we have to be have to be cautious of EDC was also in the New Testament there is of the passage of Scripture that I often go to in the book of acts where you have a young woman who were told was possessed by a spirit of divination and she would bring her masters much profit by fortune-telling and then and that after after some time, you know she's she's rebuked and what would it basically results it is you people are upset because she no longer has power of foresight or power of fortune-telling and it it just goes to show that there was some some demonic power at work in this young woman to just read the text.

There is acts chapter 16 but beginning in verse 16.

As we were going to the place of prayer. We were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, crying out, these men are servants of the most high God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation, and that she kept doing for many days.

Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit never to get the something supernatural going on here.

I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her, and it came out that very hour. And so what were seeing in. I think Exodus chapter 7 these other places of the Bible is that there is this very real demonic power at work in the world today is not it's not equal to the power of God. It it has to submit to the sovereign will of God.

We know that Christ is all powerful, but nevertheless you get people involved in the occult in some of these demonic practices get there something there that we need to be cautious of and realize that there's a strong deception there.

You ask, and so that's I understand what's taking place there with with Pharaoh's magicians and hopefully that shed some light on on what the Bible says about this. God bless.

Thanks much for your call, you can appreciate that and love the fact that you are delving into God's word on a regular basis. This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez, the quick thank you to all of the folks that are part of our inner core. That is a group of people that support this program on a monthly basis. They make it possible for us to be on the air doing what we do every day. We can do without them if you like to learn more about joining the inner core and some of the special resources you'll receive as one of those members just go to our website. Core, Christianity.com/inner core that's core Christianity.com/inner core Vivian in Oklahoma. She is has a question for submitting what your question, we can hear you Vivian great.

My daughter and very much been married for five years and has been started, her father-in-law later and check enabling almost like her husband, ER and detox back to rehab to get out Rahab, another week, and she is quite nervous about how that's going to turn out because she does not believe.

The last five years that she had parents court helping her help the children helping him to stay clean and sober. I do not know how else do it by. I have given her your argument heard by mother are given hard by in every way that I know how. I don't know what else to say to her to give her help.

Well I think one of the things we can do. Venus is pray for your daughter and the situation. It sounds like a very, very difficult situation. Anytime you have addiction, alcoholism and especially when you when you have just it. Being able to sounds like there's a situation where there some enabling going on here with with the father about one thing that I would say is your daughter is responsible to love her husband.

She's not responsible for his decisions and so often we can try to you know carry that burden on ourselves and and she just needs to be freed from that free from that burden that he has to is a man take responsibility for his actions for his addiction.

Part of that is getting help and and it sounds to me like even though he's in rehab it. There's maybe been a pattern of this where it things don't get better and so that's it, just in terms of wisdom, something that they're going to have to determine what is it actually look like for us to take the steps that are necessary.

Would like for you to take the steps that are necessary to get the help that you need and not just go through this cycle of self-destruction. And you know there can be honest conversations. I think with the father-in-law and in his famous sounds to me like there's a very serious issue here as well. But again, she's not responsible for their shortcomings or their enabling. I think she can pick and speak to them and say hey this is wrong.

What were doing here what you're doing here is wrong. You need to love your son better by helping him to take responsibility but but again she can't.

She can't force them to change it.

So why don't we first. Right now, pray just asked for a miracle from the Lord and for grace for your daughter Vivian heavily father our hearts break when we hear about situations like this and we're just aware of the pain that alcoholism causes addiction causes Lord abusive relationships, even Lord and we look to you as the God of all comfort is the God of all wisdom is the God who loves us and is with his people. I pray that you would be with Vivian and her daughter and I asked that you would give them wisdom. Lord, in this situation do pray for Vivian's son-in-law as well, which you and in the same way, Lord, that you turn the lights on for Saul of Tarsus, would you turn the lights on for him, which would cause him to see the pain that that this addiction is is doing is causing and the damage that it's doing to his family, his need Lord for your grace and repentance and would you give him the help that he needs in in the grace Lord just to take responsibility for Vivian's daughter.

Lord I pray as she continues to seek your face to draw near to you that you would give her wisdom about what what would be the wisest thing to do in this situation. What we don't. We don't know. I just with the limited amount of information that we have right now but we do pray that you would give her Lord God wisdom that you would comfort her that he would uphold her with this heavy burden that she carries and that for the very burdens that she doesn't need to carry that you would just lift those off of her shoulders and so would you be with this family would you extend your grace. I am would you work a miracle in the situation we pray in Jesus name, amen Bill, I wanted to just maybe ask you when you're when you're working with a family and there's there's in a situation of addiction is a sort of this pattern we see this right they were. Maybe you know an individual goes to rehab.

It comes out. It is the same thing over and over and over again what what what you think are some wise steps to take in this situation when you know if you talk about setting appropriate boundaries and that's one of the very most important things that Vivian's daughter and one of the most important steps you can take the Bible says to let your yes be yes and your no be no end in a case like this. Now we don't want to presume that this rehab was not effective. Let's pray that it was and that this young man comes out and he turns his life around and that there is true repentance and true change.

And if that's the case that something for all of us to celebrate. On the other hand, as you said, if this is a pattern that's continuing I think it's so important for Vivian's daughter to get support and that can be from her own church, but also suggest that she join a chapter of Al-Anon and Al-Anon as a group that's for the family members or loved ones of someone who struggles with alcoholism or other forms of addiction and in an Al-Anon group you are taught how to set effective boundaries with that individual.

And sometimes that involves family intervention. Sometimes that involves know taking real steps to cut yourself off from that person until they really turn their life around you want to be loving but at the same time you want to be firm.

So I think all of those things are important. Doesn't trouble me that if what Vivian is saying that this young man's father. Parents are enabling him to continue with these destructive patterns and his ministry leader that that's very troubling and something that you know you you hope and pray that will be addressed at some point in the future, but it's kind of out of Vivian's hands. I think you do see examples of this in the Scriptures. I think of you know first Samuel chapter 2. You have Eli's sons and Eli was this great priest of the Lord, but not so great. He had these sons that were rebellious in and they continued engaging in this unit a terrible behavior part of it was you know that I think some of it was the responsibility of Eli there to rebuke them, which he did seem like there's a pattern of not doing that not addressing the issue and things just got worse and worse and so part of it is, you know, we have to be willing to have these hard conversations as spouses as parents just as friends in the Christian community is so important for any healthy that we have people around us were honest with us so well said this is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez quick email question to answer before we him today. Joe asks this, he says, Jesus often uses the phrase outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth is he referring to hell in each of these cases yeah my my view. When you have this kind of language is that yes she is referring to the place of of perdition. We might refer to that as hell that the Greek word in the New Testament Gehenna. It was this is place of suffering action in the it's taken from from this place in the Old Testament, the Valley of Hingham where the Israelites practiced idolatry. They sacrifice their children. It was this this trash heap if you will.

Was this horrible, horrible, horrible place associated with darkness and smoking in Jesus uses that as a sort of illustration for what the place of judgment, the place of perdition. Looks like you think of a barren wasteland where where to sin and everything dark dwelt that's that's what it was. So you do have these warnings you note from those people today want to do away with the doctrine of hell in a goddess is meaner that kind of thing were talking about brothers and sisters, a holy God, a perfect and pure being. And when we sin against his holy God. There is a judgment that the incurring so we need God's grace. 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 bar 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. Thanks for listening to today's episode of core Christian Israel and I love our podcast audience, and we'd love to take your questions, give us a call Monday through Friday at 11:30 AM Pacific time at 833-843-2673. That's 833.

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