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Is There Historical Proof That Christ Was Really Born?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
December 23, 2021 1:30 pm

Is There Historical Proof That Christ Was Really Born?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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December 23, 2021 1:30 pm

Episode 865 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

1. How do I love my family members who have invited me to their same-sex wedding while maintaining biblical teachings about sexuality?

2. I wanted to know if there is any other historical evidence that Christ was really born other than the Bible? I have heard some atheists claim that he might have entirely been a myth.

3. I am old now and can’t go to church. Why does my mind bombard me all the time with the things that I have done wrong with things I have done in my past? I know I am saved, but how do I stop this?

4. I have many friends in the Charismatic Church who delight in giving me books about the prayer of faith for healing and everything else in life. I see so many verses taken out of context in their teachings. My question is: do I attempt correcting my friends, or do I just say, "thank you," pray for them, and move on?

5. What do you think of Messianic Judaism?

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Resources

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Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

This new episode of CORE Christianity was prerecorded.

Is there historical proof that Christ was really born? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi and Merry Christmas to you and your family. I'm Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel 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 with your question at 833-THE-CORE.

833-843-2673. As always, you can post your question on one of our social media sites, and you can always email us anytime at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to Terry in Wichita, Kansas. Terry, what's your question for Pastor Adriel?

Good afternoon to both of you gentlemen. I just had a question. If you have an invitation to go to, I guess you'd call it a celebration or a wedding for someone that has a different viewpoint about marriage, so that would mean homosexuality or lesbianism, and you don't share that belief. How would you tend to direct someone to make a decision or to write maybe a card or a letter stating how you feel?

What would you do? Yeah, Terry, I mean a complex question, because obviously oftentimes family is involved or people you grew up with, people you're close to, which is why you're even being invited to the wedding in the first place. So you're wrestling with two things. You're wrestling with one, how do I love this person, this family member, and express my love to them while also not compromising what I believe according to scripture related to the Bible, sexual ethic related to what the Bible says about marriage. So it's this difficult thing in that regard. Now in terms of attending the wedding, there is this sort of sense in which I think you go to a wedding and you're a witness and you're celebrating, and so does that get perceived as an affirmation of what's taking place? You saying, yes, I too am celebrating this marriage that maybe I don't even agree with at all. Maybe I don't even think it's a real marriage, at least not according to what the scripture teaches with regard to marriage being between a man and a woman.

So that's some of the complexity. I think there is a sense in which we are going as witnesses, and so I think we'd have to be real careful. I would not just, if I got invited, I would not just go and pretend like I agreed with everything and everything was fine and this is just so good. I think if I went, what I would want to do is I would want to have some sort of communication with the family member or the friend that invited me and express, hey, this is where I am on this, and while I love you and want to support you in your life, I don't necessarily support this decision in particular.

And that's where it gets really hard. At that point, they might just say, well, we don't want you to be a part of this at all then. If you can't support me in this decision, then I don't want you there. Or maybe they say, hey, look, I know that you're Christian. I know that you believe differently than me and that you don't agree, but I would still want you to be there just because I love you and I want you to go.

And maybe in that situation I could conceive of being able to go, it's clear kind of where you are, but you also want to love this individual. I've mentioned before on the broadcast, for us as believers in 1 Corinthians 5, Paul makes it very clear we're not obligated to cut ourselves off and cut off all the relationships with non-Christians who practice sexual immorality or who live in ways that we don't agree with. On the contrary, we can't do that. We live in the world.

We live in the world, but we're not of the world. And so we have relationships with people, friendships with people who think differently than we do, who have a different sexual ethic than we do. And we're called to shine the light of Christ through the Gospel, through the good deeds, through the charitable deeds that we do, with the hope that they would come to see the glorious light of the Gospel of Christ and that they would turn from whatever sin it is that they're engaged in and entrenched in. And so I think that this is a wisdom thing, Terry. Generally speaking, I would say we don't just go as witnesses and celebrate, but I think that there is the potential for, you know, you have a conversation, you have these relationships already, these friendships already, they know where you are on this issue. They know that while you may not agree with what they're doing, you love them and want to be there for them and want to be a part of their life and want to continue to be a Christian influence.

And so I think you really have to exercise wisdom. You pray, you do what is right according to Scripture in line with your own conscience, and you have to determine whether or not going would be a compromise or whether you could do it with a clear conscience knowing that you're still holding fast to what you believe according to the Scriptures, and the people there know that as well. God bless, Terry. Terry, thanks so much for your call.

Tough question. We appreciate so much you calling CORE Christianity to grapple with that particular issue. This is CORE Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez, and every day on this program, we receive calls from people who are wrestling with tough issues like that one. People often call in concern that they've done something to jeopardize their standing before God. Well, here at the CORE, our mission is to help answer those tough questions, but you know, we can't do it without your support.

Yeah. We, one, just want to say appreciate your support so much. Thank you for the way in which you've prayed for this ministry and even contributed your financial gifts. And we want to continue to produce helpful content that's going to encourage you in your walk with the Lord, content like the Philippians Bible study that we just finished up, a walk through the Book of Philippians. Great for individuals if you want to study the Book of Philippians on your own, or even for a group Bible study, getting together with other people in your church to go through this book. We'd love to get this resource in your hands, our brand new Philippians Bible study. It's yours for a gift of $20 or more. It's a great study, and we'd love to make it available to you.

You could use it for a small group or in your church as well. For your gift of $20, we'll send you that Philippians Bible study. To find out more, just go to corechristianity.com forward slash new study. That's corechristianity.com forward slash new study.

You can also call us for that resource or any one of our resources at 833-843-2673. Adriel, let's go to an email question. This came in from Emilia. She says, hi, I wanted to know if there's any other historical evidence that Christ was really born other than the Bible. I've heard some atheists claim that he might have been entirely a myth.

Emilia, thank you for that question. You know, that's not a very popular view even among atheists, this idea that Jesus didn't really exist, that the whole thing was just a myth. The reason it's not a popular view among atheists or agnostics or people who reject Christianity altogether is because of the weight of the historical evidence. The Gospels themselves are historical documents. Now, we can say, well, we don't want to accept the Gospels because they're biased, that kind of a thing. But the reality is we have so many New Testament manuscripts of these writings, the Gospels, what we see in the New Testament Epistles, and that carries weight. We don't only have the testimony of the apostles, the writers of the Gospels. You do have extra biblical sources, non-Christian sources that talk about the existence of Jesus. Sources like the Jewish historian Josephus and others, there's the Roman historian Tacitus. So I think that we have plenty of reason to believe with confidence that Jesus really existed.

So much so, in fact, that it's not really something that's debated. Even some of the harshest critics of the Christian faith would not go as far as to say that Jesus was just a myth or that he didn't really exist. Bart Ehrman, for example, he's a New Testament scholar. He's known for being pretty critical of Christianity.

I disagree with him on so many things, but he's written about this. He just said, look, the idea that Jesus didn't really exist, that it was just a myth being made up, that just is not supported by the data, by the evidence. We have not only these historical documents, but you also think of the testimony of the early church, the early Christians who claimed to see Jesus, in fact, eyewitnesses to his resurrection.

You read about this in 1 Corinthians 15. And so many of them were willing to go to the grave for this message, for this claim. In other words, if they were just making it up, if this whole thing was just a myth, we didn't really see Jesus rise from the dead, would they really have been willing to lose everything?

Friends, family, money, homes, their own lives. So many in the early church were persecuted, were killed even, for this profession of faith, for claiming that Jesus Christ was alive. That he rose from the dead and that there's salvation and no one else except him. Would they really have gone through all the trouble if it was just a hoax, if they were just making it up to get power? I've heard this before, this objection to Christianity. This was the invention of a group of people who wanted control, who wanted power, who wanted to make money.

I mean, you think of those televangelists that you see on TV these days, just sort of peddling religion in order to make money and to take advantage of people. That's what this was in the first century. But the reality is, here's the truth, the historical reality was, the early followers of Jesus, those who proclaimed the gospel of Christ, really didn't gain much at all. In fact, they lost so much for that claim. This is why Jesus said, if anyone would follow me, let him take up his cross and come after me.

Let him deny himself. That's what happened. That's what we're seeing.

That's what we continue to see today. There was all this historical evidence and also just the fruit of what took place after everything there, Christ's death and resurrection. We have a lot of reason for confidence, Amelia, and hopefully that bolsters your faith as you continue to go to Jesus in prayer, who is alive right now, interceding for his people. God bless. Amen. What a great way to wrap that up, Adriel.

So key, especially this time of year when we are focusing on the incarnation and all that that means. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and we do receive voicemails here. In fact, if you call us and leave a voicemail at 833-843-2673, 833-THE-CORE, we try to review those voicemails once a day.

Here's one that came in from Annette. Why, at 79 years old, that I'm old and can no longer go to church, does my mind bombard me all the time with the things that I have done wrong way back in my past? And I know I'm saved. I have no doubt about that. How do I stop it?

Thank you. Sister, I can tell that you are plagued by these thoughts. I don't know if it's regret or just conviction about things in your past that you did that you wish you would have done differently.

And I think we all struggle with that to a certain extent. We look back on our lives and we say, Lord, why? Why was it like that?

Why did I do that? I wish I would have done things differently. Now, how do you cope with that?

How do you deal with that? One passage of scripture, as you were talking there, that my mind goes to is in Philippians chapter 3. The apostle Paul said, beginning in verse 12, he says, Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect. Not perfect yet. Not in the presence of the Lord yet.

Restored fully yet. But he says, I press on to make it my own. It's what you're pressing on towards right now as you continue to seek the Lord. I press on to make it my own because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own, but one thing I do, and here's what we're called to, one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. And let those who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that to you also. I think also what the author of the Hebrews said, you know, we lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and we look to Jesus. We run with endurance, the race set before us, looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Yes, we look back on our past at times, sister, and we think, gosh, I'm so sorry, Lord.

I'm so sorry. I wish things would have been different, but here's what God doesn't want. God doesn't want you to wallow in the past. He doesn't want you to beat yourself up, you know, this sort of self-condemnation, this cycle of despair because of what could have been but was not. He does not know that the Lord knew everything.

He knew everything that was going to happen. He knows you, and you're His. You belong to Him. You believe in Jesus.

So what do you do? You press on. You look forward, forgetting what was behind, laying aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares, and set your eyes on Jesus. So every time you begin to despair because of what was, I want you to look up, to look to Christ, the author and finisher of your faith, the one who's going to be with you all the way to the very end when you cross that finish line, sister. He's there for you now, and He'll be with you then. You look to Him, and you cling to Him, and you receive the grace and the forgiveness that He's already given to you.

And those things in the past are covered. He's forgiven you. If you've confessed whatever it is, you've turned to Him, man, that's been blotted out. There's no more reason for you to wallow in it, to despair.

You look to Him, and you rest in Him. God bless you. Great counsel. Thanks for that, Adriel. You're listening to CORE Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Merry Christmas to you and your family. We pray that this weekend is a wonderful holiday for you.

We do receive emails here at the CORE, and I've got one from Carolyn I want to share with you, Adriel. She says, I have many friends in the charismatic church who delight in giving me books about the prayer of faith for healing and everything else in life. They talk about things like Glory Now and Heaven on Earth. I see so many verses taken out of context. My question is, do I attempt correcting my friends or just say thank you, pray for them, and move on? A bigger question, it seems that God is not worried about the charismatic church with all of its errors because it continues to flourish all over the world.

Why is that? You'd think that He would correct everyone. Two questions there, right? Of course, what some people would say is if a movement is flourishing, it's because they have the blessing of God. But that's not entirely true. In fact, there have been all sorts of false doctrines and teachings and movements throughout the history of the world that have flourished, that have gotten a lot of attention, a lot of followers. I think, for example, of the prosperity gospel movement, so contrary to everything that we see in the scriptures, that the true gospel of Jesus Christ, this sort of minimizing of sin, this exaltation of the self, of pleasure now here, this side of heaven being rich and wealthy and healthy, oftentimes very much associated with some charismatic movements as well. And yet it's grown.

It's just taken off like wildfire in various parts of the world and even in the United States. And you think, well, how can that be? Doesn't God care? Isn't God concerned? And I'm going to just say, yes, the answer is God does care, and God will not be mocked. God is going to judge all the false teachers. We may not see that judgment right now, but all of these people are going to be held accountable by the Lord. This is why James said in James 3, let not many of you become teachers, brothers, knowing that we will receive a stricter judgment. James 3, verse 1. It's a sobering thing to teach the word of God. It's a sobering thing to be a pastor, to be a guy on the radio who is answering questions about the Bible.

Pray for me, because it really is. When you think about it, we're talking about the matters of utmost importance, and we never want to misrepresent the Lord because God is zealous for His name, for His glory, and there is a severe judgment for those who misrepresent the Lord. God does care, and God will judge. Now, with regard to your friends who are bringing you these books and wanting to have discussions with you or talk to you about the prayer of faith and heaven invading earth and so on and so forth, I think if there's an open door to reason together according to the Scriptures, I would say go for it. Humbly and graciously raise some of the concerns that you have. That's what I would do if somebody was coming to me and they were saying, hey, I want you to read this book about heaven invading earth and how everyone should be healed, and if you just have enough faith, you'll be healed.

I'd say, look, that's baloney. That's not what the Bible teaches. Maybe I wouldn't say it like that, but that's what I'd be thinking in my mind. But that's not what the Bible teaches, and what really concerns me about that is it puts a burden on people who are suffering. You think of the individual who hasn't been healed of cancer or whatever it is, and they're just being told, oh, you just need more faith. You just need to pray a little bit harder. God would heal if you just believed more.

That's abominable. That's a theology that really needs to be taken out to the trash, because what does that do? That just continues to crush people who are already suffering.

God can and does miraculously heal, but we're not in control of that, and we also know that God can use suffering and does use suffering in the life of the believer, so that if God should choose not to heal, we can't blame that on the individual and say, oh, you just don't have enough faith. There must be some hidden sin in your life, and oftentimes that's what you see in some of these movements, that kind of a thing, which in the end I think is abusive to the church and to the sheep and leaves people burnt out, exhausted, not comforted by the gospel, but feeling like they just can't do enough and they need to do more when they're already crushed by illness. So I would say raise some of those concerns and go to scripture. Open up the scriptures and say let's reason together, because ultimately we want to get this right. We don't want to misrepresent God. Here are some passages of scripture that you can look at that very clearly indicate that not everybody who prays to be healed is going to be healed. Think of even Paul's discussion with Timothy. Timothy had these frequent stomach ailments, and Paul didn't tell Timothy, Timothy, you just need to pray harder.

You just need to believe more. You know what he told him to do? He said take a little bit of wine to help settle your stomach, because I know you have these terrible stomach aches. He gives them this sort of just common wisdom advice.

It'd be like saying, well, you should go see the doctor, that kind of a thing. And so look, the Bible is really clear about this, and there are so many people that are just really crushed by bad theology, bad doctrine, and it's important for us as Christians to know the truth and to be able to address the error that's out there. And so may God give you wisdom as you have conversations with your friends, as they bring you books. Maybe do a book exchange.

Maybe get some other books that they can look into that are going to be more solid, more biblical, and that will help the discussion get going, and hopefully I think bringing people out of a view, a theology that is really destructive, because God cares about it and He is concerned. So God bless you, and thank you for that question. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez. Let's go to a voicemail we received from Juan Carlos.

I'm in San Francisco, California. My question is, what is your observation of Messianic Jews who first believe in Jesus, still observing the Sabbath? Thank you.

Hey Juan Carlos, thank you for giving me a call. I have friends who have gotten into the Messianic Jewish thing. They're not even Jewish, but they'll go to the synagogue, the quote-unquote Christian synagogue, and they'll worship on Saturday. It's essentially, in terms of the theology as far as I can tell, a lot of it is evangelical theology with some of these Hebrew traditions sprinkled in, like celebrating the Passover or referring to the apostles and the disciples by their Hebrew names. It's very much the Jewish roots, if you will, of the faith.

I believe that these people are Christians, that they believe in Jesus the Messiah, but I am concerned about the over-emphasis, if you will, on this sort of, well, maybe just those Hebrew roots. One of the things about the New Covenant that we know and believe is that the church is not defined by its sort of cultural background, if you will. This was part of the issue in the early church with the Galatians and Ephesus as well. You had these Jews who were now welcoming Gentiles, non-Jews, into the church.

You had this sort of cultural clash, and so much about the culture, if you will, the Jewish culture. Paul, for example, says that's not central to the Gospel. These people, for example, don't need to go and get circumcised and observe these different festivals and food laws, so on and so forth, in order to be a part of the church.

That stuff is fading away. It's the focus on the Gospel and the reality of what Christ has done, and that's what we need to focus on, brothers and sisters. We need to focus on the Gospel. Paul said, let no one pass judgment on you in question of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.

Colossians chapter 2, verses 16 and 17. The substance, friends, is Jesus, and that's where our focus needs to be. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at corechristianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar. Or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-THE-CORE. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-05 09:55:53 / 2023-07-05 10:05:54 / 10

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