Is it heretical to believe in human evolution? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of Core Christianity. Well, hi there. I'm Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.
We pray that 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 we would love to hear from you.
If you're on social media, you can post your question on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter account. And you can always email us your question at questions at corechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to Paul, who's calling in from Rhode Island. Paul, what's your question for Pastor Adriel?
Hello? Hi, Paul. Yes, my question is, when we pray, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, they hear us, we know that. When we pray, can Satan hear what we say?
Paul, thank you for that question. So, we have to understand that Satan is not infinite, that he doesn't have omniscience. He's a finite being. He's a created being. I don't see anything in Scripture that would indicate that he hears every prayer that's prayed.
He's limited in his abilities. We are encouraged in light of the spiritual war that we're in, because there is a very real spiritual war that's taking place right now. We are encouraged to pray. And when we're encouraged to pray, there's no indication there. I'm thinking of Ephesians 6, that Satan hears our prayers. I think God is working in and through them to bind Satan and to advance his kingdom further and further. One thing that Jesus accomplished in his earthly ministry is the binding of the evil one. He shared this parable, if you will, or this story about plundering the strong man's house. And the strong man in the context there is the evil one, is Satan. Well, Jesus, by his life and ministry, and in particular by his death on the cross and resurrection from the dead, has triumphed over the evil one and the armies of darkness. So Satan is limited.
He's bound. He doesn't have the power or the ability to hear all prayers. And it seems to me like that's something that's fairly clear from Scripture. And so if you're concerned that when you pray, oh no, is the devil getting the inside scoop?
That kind of a thing. I don't think that you have to be concerned about that. No, you need to be encouraged to pray in light of the spiritual battle. As I said, the text that I was thinking of is Ephesians 6, verse 18, where Paul talks about putting on the armor of God. It says in verse 18, praying at all times in the Spirit with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints. And so may God bless you as you continue to pray, and thank you for giving us a call. Hey, Paul, thanks so much for being a regular listener to Core Christianity. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, give us a call right now. The number is 833-843-2673.
That's 833, the Core. You know, there's a lot of uncertainty in our world today, so here at Core Christianity, we want to offer you a helpful book that is really written for times like these. Yeah, it's tempting to hunker down in our bubbles with people like us and be cynical about everything that's going on in the world today. There's a lot of fear, a lot of confusion, but not a lot of wisdom out there, it seems. And so we're offering this excellent book written by Hannah Anderson. It's called All That's Good, Recovering the Lost Art of Discernment. It's really going to help you give thanks to the Lord for all that's good and to be discerning. And so get a hold of this resource over at corechristianity.com. It is such a valuable and needed book for these times, and you can get a copy by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers.
Look for the book All That's Good. You can also call us for that offer or any one of our offers. Well, let's go to a voicemail that came in earlier this week. This is from one of our listeners named Dave. My question is, is the belief that human evolution occurred a heresy? Thanks, guys.
Hey, Dave. Thank you for that question. Is belief in human evolution a heresy? I think it's important first to understand what heresy is. Sometimes we throw that word around, I think a little bit too loosely in the church, just accusing people of being heretics. The word heresy comes from a Greek word in the New Testament. Actually, it's used in the Bible, and it's usually used in the context of divisions that were taking place or sects that were breaking off from the church, from an orthodox understanding of the truth, we might say. Think about what the apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11 verse 18. He says, for in the first place, he's writing to the Corinthians, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and I believe it in part, for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.
That word faction there, it comes from the Greek word heresy. It's sort of parallel with this idea of divisions, people being schismatic, breaking off from that which was received, from the truth that was received. In Galatians 5, heresy is talked about as a work of the flesh, a fruit of the flesh, if you will. In 2 Peter 2 verse 1, it's associated with false teaching, with false and destructive teaching.
That is the kind of teaching that will lead an individual to hell. The question is, is the belief in human evolution a heresy? Over time in the history of the church, that word heresy really came to have a technical meaning. This idea of breaking off from that which was established truth, from orthodox Christianity. This idea of rejection of things like the deity of Jesus Christ, the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, an orthodox understanding, a right understanding of the doctrine of salvation. If we don't have those things, we've veered into heresy. We're no longer a part of the body of Christ.
If we don't repent, if we don't get those things right, then we're in serious spiritual trouble. There are a number of things that don't necessarily constitute heresy, which are still, I think, not true biblically speaking. That is, things that people can believe that aren't biblically accurate, but it doesn't mean that they're not going to be in heaven because they've embraced that view. In the technical sense, I don't think that I would say that the belief in human evolution is a heresy.
That is, if a Christian believes in human evolution, that they're no longer a Christian, that they're not going to heaven, even though I disagree with that understanding. When you look at the book of Genesis, in Genesis chapter 2, in verse 7, very clearly we read, the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living creature. Adam is a historical person. This is something we see throughout the Bible. Jesus made it clear in Matthew chapter 19, where he gave his teaching on divorce.
God made them male and female. He's set up by the apostle Paul in Romans chapter 5, verses 12 and following, as the head of the human race, the representative of all humanity through whom sin entered the world. If Adam was real, this is where we get our doctrine of original sin from, our understanding of the fall in our current state as human beings. That's contrasted in Romans chapter 5 with Christ, the second Adam who comes, through whom we have grace and the forgiveness of sin. I think it's really important that we affirm a historical Adam, that we recognize that God made all things from nothing, including the whole world, everything that was made. That's what we have to affirm on the basis of scripture. My view is not that we have this animal ancestry that we evolved into what we are. There are some people, one of the views that's out there, which again I think is not necessarily, I wouldn't say it constitutes heresy, but I don't think it's true.
I think it's maybe heterodox, but not as far as to say that it's heresy. It's this idea that God just sort of infused his spirit. He created the soul of man in this evolving creature, this person who was evolving over a long period of time. Then God just sort of created the soul or the spirit. That's one interpretation that people will make to try to fit evolution together with Genesis chapter 2, but I don't take that view. That's I think the best way to go about it.
I wouldn't call it a heresy, but also wouldn't say that it's the proper view, that it's faithful to scripture. Thanks. Great explanation. Thank you so much for that, Andrew. I appreciate that. This is Core Christianity, and let's go to Tom who's calling in from Missouri. Tom, what's your question for Adriel? Hi, I'd love your guys' show, by the way.
It's really cool to have this on the radio. My question for you is, I have a friend who is really struggling with the story of Jacob and Esau, and specifically he says that it seems a little far-fetched that Esau would lose his birthright. He kind of wants to know what the significance is of the giving up of his birthright for a bowl of stew, and then how Isaac can be mentioned as a faithful father in Hebrews 11, since even though Isaac was deceived, he did wind up blessing Jacob and kind of put the family into turmoil. Honestly, I mean, so I am right now... Well, Tom, thank you for your encouragement.
Love being on the air, and glad that you've been blessed by the broadcast. I'm in the middle of just a sort of Jacob story as I'm preaching through the book of Genesis right now at my church, and you read this story, these accounts in chapters 25 and following of the book of Genesis, you're just sort of like struck by the fact that these people were sinners, that God is using these people who are imperfect and who, frankly, I mean, you just think about this story. There's deception.
There's lying. I'm thinking in particular of when Isaac blesses Jacob through Jacob's deception. I mean, Jacob in that story, he takes God's name in vain. He lies.
He steals. I mean, he's breaking like half of the Ten Commandments just there, and Isaac is deceived and blesses him, passes the blessing on to him. This was something that was prophesied earlier, essentially, when they were told about having these children, that they were going to have these children. This was a part of what was anticipated, that the promise was going to be carried through, not Esau, but through Jacob. Now, let me just say this.
Maybe if your friend is having an issue, how can this be? How can this guy Jacob, who is such a deceiver, be blessed? One thing that's kind of interesting, I was just preaching on this yesterday in Genesis chapter 29 where Jacob marries Leah and Rachel. It's fascinating because there in Genesis chapter 29, you have this sort of great reversal where Jacob, the deceiver, is deceived in his relative, Laban. We're reading there, he's given Leah in marriage even though he had been working for Rachel, and he says, why then have you deceived me? It's the same word that's used earlier to describe his deception of his own father.
Laban said, it is not so done in our country to give the younger before the firstborn. A lot of irony there in those two verses of Genesis chapter 29. The idea here is you reap what you sow. Here you have this deceiver, Jacob, who took away the blessing from his older brother, the firstborn, and now here he is just a little bit later being deceived himself and being reminded of the fact that the firstborn should have the priority with regard to Leah and Rachel. Even though God has called him, has used him, he's still responsible and there are still consequences for his behavior. He's this deceiver who is now reaping what he's sown. What these stories show us is that God uses sinners, but that there are consequences for our sin.
Really our hope is ultimately not in how good these guys are, whether or not they deserve these blessings and these promises that God made to them, it's in the fact that God is faithful to his covenant and that he uses people like Jacob, like me, like you, to bear his promise and to carry his promise through. And so, Tom, I just want to follow up. Was that your friend's primary concern or is it something different? Well, I think he just, in general, I think he's looking for things to nitpick. I think he'll find anything that he can to delay the decision, but he just said that the whole story seemed a little far-fetched to him that Esau would give up his birthright to Jacob for some soup. So that's kind of how he put it to me.
Yeah. Well, here's what I would say. I mean, you think about what, Tom, think about, and this is maybe a good way to go to Jesus and to the gospel. Jesus said, what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and yet forfeits his soul? And yet there are many people all around us today who are chasing after the world, if you will, who choose that as opposed to Christ and his gospel.
See, it's not very far-fetched at all to me. Esau, one of the things that's highlighted, especially in the book of Hebrews when it's talking about this expectation given for us not to be like Esau who despised his birthright, who sold it, the idea here is we have something so precious put before us and yet we choose a bowl of stew, if you will. And you know what? I mean, it's such a, I think, a pertinent picture of what we feel around us today. You have the promise of the gospel, the hope of eternal life, God saying, follow me, have communion with me, here is my son, embrace this, and yet we choose everything else, a bowl of porridge, if you will. We don't want to follow the Lord. And that's what Jesus is getting at.
What if it profit you, if you gain everything, if you have everything and yet you forfeit your soul? That's essentially what Esau was doing. That's what a lot of people around us are doing as well.
It's not far-fetched at all. We have this beautiful thing before us and yet we turn away from it. That's what Esau did and that's what we're called not to do. So may the Lord open your friend's heart and give you wisdom as you speak with him.
You know, it's really easy to get bogged down if somebody just wants to argue in sort of, you know, peripheral issues, if you will. Go to the gospel, go to who God is, what he's accomplished for us in his son Jesus, and why we desperately need the grace of God in our lives. And so may the Lord be with you, Tom, as you have those conversations. Tom, thanks so much for your call and thanks for your concern, for your friend, your willingness to share with him and try to answer these difficult questions from God's Word. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. There is a lot of pain and conflict and uncertainty in our headlines today. And we have a wonderful book that really addresses a lot of that and helps us to find a more hopeful view. It's called All That's Good, Recovering the Lost Art of Discernment, written by author Hannah Anderson. We're making that book available to our listeners, and you can find out more about it by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. That's corechristianity.com forward slash offers and look for the book All That's Good. Let's go back to the phones.
Danny is on the line from Morton, Illinois. Danny, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Yeah, this sounds like a stupid question probably for you guys, but I know there's no scripture on it. But since we're eating in heaven, will there be restrooms? I know there's no scripture on that. Yeah, the golden toilets. You haven't read that verse? No, I'm just joking. Thank you for that question.
I love getting these. It's interesting to think about some of these things. So to be more precise, when we die in the Lord, our souls are immediately in God's presence. They're made perfect in holiness. Our bodies go down into the ground waiting for the resurrection. And at the resurrection, the new creation, the consummation of redemption, if you will, new heavens and new earth, we're going to be glorified on a glorified earth. We're going to fellowship.
We're going to eat, I think, good food. I think of that passage in Isaiah chapter 25 about God's kingdom, Isaiah 25 verse 6. On this mountain, the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food, full of marrow, of aged wine, well refined. This is the bone-in steak, the best bottle of wine, if you will.
You think of Jesus in John 2, Cana of Galilee. It's going to be a feast. That's what the new creation is pictured as, this great celebration, this great feast with the people of God and with the Lord himself.
Are we going to need to use the bathroom afterwards? I don't know. There's no Bible verse that speaks to that. Maybe, I mean, it's just going to be perfect, so maybe there just won't be any waste. The food is going to go straight to nourishing and strengthening us, and we'll still have that perfect figure. I'm not sure.
The Bible doesn't speak to that. We know that we will be eating, maybe, and so that's the best you're going to get. Danny, thank you for giving us a call, and may the Lord bless you. Hey, thanks, Danny.
This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Marcy in Illinois. Marcy, what's your question for Adriel? Hi. Are you there? Yeah, I'm here, Marcy. Oh, I'm so sorry. Okay, I'm on a headset, and it went to the regular. Anyway, I am wanting your take or your thoughts on, right now, and since 2020, there have been tons and tons of prophets, people saying that they're prophets.
They are on YouTube, and I mean all over, right? I understand. I mean, I've been a Christian a long, long time, and I understand that we're supposed to test the spirits and all of that, but this, to me, is like getting out of hand. I'm just like freaking out, thinking, who am I supposed to listen to? Because some of them are, you know, saying all these catastrophes are going to happen, which, you know, we know there are going to be catastrophes and stuff at the end time, but I don't know. I guess I just want to hear what you, what your take is on it, and are you aware of all of the things that are being said out there that people are actually listening to every day?
I mean, it's really hard to not be afraid. Marcy, thank you for that question. Generally speaking, I would say, you know, somebody who's putting themselves out there as a sort of end times prophet, and saying, you know, thus saith the Lord, these things are going to happen in this way, and creating fear and concern and whatnot. I, you know, YouTube prophets, I would say, steer clear of them. You brought up that verse in 1 John 4, where we are, you are encouraged to test the spirits. Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. For many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God. Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and now is in the world already. Now, I think, right, one of the things that John is getting at here is prophets, so-called prophets, that take our eyes off of Christ, who he is and what he's done.
We should avoid them. The prophets in the Old Testament, what was their job? I mean, they were a part of the theocracy in Israel, and they were pointing out God's judgment, but they were also pointing forward to the coming of the Messiah, of the Christ. Jesus has come, and now anyone who is a preacher of the Word of God, we have to focus on that reality that Christ has come, that God has spoken definitively in his son Jesus, and that's actually what the author to the Hebrews says, Marcion, in Hebrews chapter 1. I think a wonderful verse for you to just meditate on as you feel just weighed down by the things that you're hearing on the internet or on YouTube or whatnot. Listen to what the author of the Hebrews said in verse 1 of Hebrews 1. Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature. He upholds the universe by the word of his power after making purification for sins.
He sat down at the right hand of the majesty on high. God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but he has spoken finally, definitively, now in his son Jesus, and we are called to hear Jesus. And where do we hear Jesus' voice? In the Scriptures, searching the Scriptures. Jesus makes this absolutely clear in John chapter 5.
So here's what I would say to you, sister. Don't pay attention to or listen to these self-proclaimed prophets. They call themselves. They say they get a vision from the Lord.
I don't think so. There were false prophets in the days of the apostles and in the days of Israel. We're called, you're called, to fix our eyes on Jesus. And if they're not doing that for you, then avoid them and fix your eyes on Christ through the Scriptures and through faithful Bible teachers. God bless. 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. .
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