If Satan is bound, then why is he described as a roaring lion seeking to devour someone? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Hi, this is 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. Our phone lines are open right now, and you can call us with your question for the next 20-25 minutes or so. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. By the way, you can also watch Adriel live in the studio right now on our YouTube channel, and you can send us a message that way. You can also email us anytime at questionsatcorechristianity.com. Now, one of the voicemails we received recently has to do with Santa Claus. So, before we listen to that voicemail, just a little heads up for parents. If you've got young children listening, you don't want them to hear this particular response, then you might want to keep them occupied elsewhere.
Here is a call we received from Carolyn in California. My question is, with children, when you try to explain to them about Jesus, they get confused because they've been brought up that, oh, the coot's fairy's not real, the Easter Bunny's not real, Santa Claus isn't real. So they figure, in the long run, they're going to find out Jesus isn't real either.
How in the world do you go about approaching this problem? It's not funny, but it's confusing and it's difficult. Thank you.
Bye. Thank you for that question. I love these questions related to raising our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. The first thing I would say is, if the way in which we talk about Jesus is similar to how we talk about Santa Claus and the tooth fairy, well, there's the first problem right there. If we only talk to our kids once a year about Jesus as this sort of distant individual who's there. We're not talking about Christ, the risen Lord, who is impacting every single part of our lives and every single day of our life. That's part of the problem. Now, you said there's a lot of confusion that kids have about Jesus.
I think that that can be true. One thing I want you to know is that the gospel is for little children. Jesus welcomed the little children to himself. In Matthew 11, when he's praying, he says, I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you've hidden these things from the wise and the prudent and you've revealed them to the little children.
That is the gospel. The message of Jesus, who Jesus is, what Jesus has done is for little children. One of the things that I think is amazing throughout scripture that we oftentimes overlook is how God oftentimes works in and through the littlest among us. I was just thinking about the text in Matthew chapter 21 where you have Jesus cleansing the temple and we read in verse 14, the blind and the lame came to him in the temple and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did and the children crying out in the temple, Hosanna to the son of David, they were indignant. And they said to him, do you hear what these are saying? And Jesus said to them, yes.
Have you never read out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies? You have prepared praise. God is at work in our children, revealing himself to them.
And how does he do that? This is the key here, Carolyn, is through the word. Paul told Timothy, from childhood, you've known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation. And so we need to be raising our children up in the word, exposing them to Jesus through the scriptures, through the gospels, reading the Bible together, going to church together as a family. This should be a part of our everyday life. And if it is, it'll be very clear that this is totally different than the Santa Claus thing, than the tooth fairy. We're talking about Jesus Christ, who is a real person who came to earth, was sent to earth for the salvation of our souls, for the forgiveness of our sins, suffered, died, rose again, and is alive today, right now. We need to be communicating that to our kids so that we can approach the Lord in prayer. One quick story. I remember years ago, when my daughter was four, I was looking at pictures of space on my computer, stars and nebulas.
These beautiful pictures, really, I think they were put out by NASA. And my daughter was looking at the computer screen, and she had this troubled look on her face. And I looked at her and said, you know, what's wrong, baby?
Is everything okay? And she said, how come Jesus isn't in any of these pictures? And it sort of struck me, because we would talk to her about how Jesus ascended into heaven. And so she was imagining, I mean, she so believed that Jesus was real, that he really ascended into heaven, that she's expecting to see him floating by Jupiter or something like that.
And I explained to her, well, that's not what we mean when we say that Jesus ascended into heaven. But there is this childlike faith as we talk about the Word, as we communicate who Jesus is and what he did. God opens the hearts of our children. And so we need to be, I think, persistent and faithful as parents, as grandparents, to model that and to expose our children to the Word of God.
And it's through the Word that he works. Thanks for your question. Great question and great response.
Thanks for that, Adriel. By the way, at the very end of yesterday's program, we had a call from one of our listeners named Mason in Missouri, and he had a question which actually we didn't get a chance to answer because we ran out of time, but I want to repeat that for you, Adriel. He said, my work supports LGBTQ groups and other progressive communities, but never religious ones. How do I remain faithful in this work environment?
Yeah, I'm really sorry. We got that question at the end of yesterday's broadcast, and it was a great question, and we just didn't have enough time to get to it, and maybe Mason will give us a call back. I've talked to a lot of brothers and sisters in the Lord who are in these kinds of work environments, and their concern is, am I going to be asked to do something or to sign something that would compromise my beliefs? Well, first and foremost, we have to be faithful to the Word of God, to our convictions. We're called to love all people and all kinds of sinners, people that disagree with us, to be charitable, but loving people doesn't mean affirming everything that they believe or supporting everything that they believe, and so we have to be wise and discerning here.
I don't want to just paint with a broad brush. I think every sort of example or instance needs to be observed and thought about and prayed about, and certainly anything that would go against the Word of God. If we're being called to disobey God's Word in any way, we always stay faithful to the Scriptures, but it seemed like Mason's question was, hey, there are all these support groups for these different types of, whether it's LGBT or something else, but there's not really a lot of support for Christians and those who identify with the Christian faith, and frankly, this is something that we're seeing more and more in broader society, and so how do we respond? Well, I think we're called in the midst of that to continue to be faithful. If there's an opportunity to start a Bible study in your work or that kind of thing, I think that's great.
I've seen that happen before in some environments, and it can be a real blessing. If they're very much against those kinds of things, having a Christian group, I think it's fair to ask questions and say it sort of feels like some groups are being privileged here, and other groups, maybe the ones that you disagree with, we're not allowed to get together and to talk about what we believe and so on and so forth, and so I think that you can have an honest and respectful conversation with your superiors, but ultimately, we're called to be faithful to the Lord, to be good workers in whatever it is that we're doing, faithful in our vocations and serving not as though we were serving men, but as though we were serving God himself, doing all things to honor the Lord, and so I want to encourage you, Mason, to continue to do that in your work environment, and pray that the Lord allows you to do that peaceably, and if ever there's an instance where you're being asked to compromise your beliefs, well, in that situation, you're called, brother, to be strong and to be faithful to the word, and so God bless you, and may God use you in your work environment. Sounds like you've advanced there in a position, and I think that that's wonderful. May God use you there to be an encouragement to others. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open right now if you have a question about the Bible, Christian life, doctrine, theology, or just like Mason, questions about how your faith intersects with today's culture, some of the difficult points there. We'd love to hear from you. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THECORE.
That's 833-843-2673. By the way, if you have kids or grandkids at home, we have a wonderful book available that will help them understand the richness of God's creation and how he made each of us unique and special. Yeah, man, there is so much, I think, conversation today around the church and just broader culture about what it looks like to talk about issues of culture, diversity, so on and so forth. We often don't know how to approach this from a Christian perspective, a biblical perspective.
We often don't know how to approach this in terms of having conversations with our children. That's one of the reasons we wanted to offer this resource, Creative God, Colorful Lust by Trillia Newbell. It really is a wonderful resource. Getting into the scriptures, the story of the fall, redemption, how God has made us uniquely as human beings in his image and what we're called to before the Lord and before each other, this is a great way. We were just talking about the importance of raising our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. If you're looking for a resource that's going to help you get into the scriptures with your kids and ask some of these questions, this is a great one. Head over to corechristianity.com and get your copy of Creative God, Colorful Lust for a donation of any amount. It really is a fantastic resource that will not only help parents and kids learn about how God created us as human beings to be unique but also how each of us is incredibly special. You can get a copy of Creative God, Colorful Lust by Trillia Newbell at corechristianity.com forward slash offers.
You can also call us for that or any one of our offers at 833-THE-CORE. Well, Adriel, here's a voicemail we received from one of our listeners with a question about Satan. Hi, Pastor Adriel. I am a longtime listener of the show. I've heard you refer to before on the show as Satan being bound and I'm just curious or how would you explain this being in the same world as Satan being described as like a roaring lion that is walking about seeking who he may devour. I'm just curious, is Satan bound like an actual thing? Is it like more metaphorical?
What does that mean and how does it relate to his status right now? Thank you. I love this question and thank you for being a longtime listener. So there are two passages that you're bringing into play here. The one is the text that speaks of the binding of Satan in Revelation chapter 20 verses one through six.
There, you know, John has a vision. Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain and he sees the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan and bound him for a thousand years and threw him into the pit and shut it and sealed it over him so that he might not deceive the nations any longer. Now that verse there, verse three, the second part of that verse, there's a purpose clause there. This is the purpose behind the binding of Satan that John witnesses so that he might not deceive the nations any longer. So you have this language here of Satan being bound and then you also have the other text that you brought into play is in first Peter chapter five where it talks about the devil, you know, roaming around seeking to devour.
Verse eight, be sober-minded, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. And so it sounds like your question is, well, is he bound? Is he on a leash and it's a long leash and he's sort of roaming around, you know, what exactly were to make of this?
Great question. The first thing I'll say is yes, Satan is bound. Now John's prophecy there in Revelation chapter 20, right, this is visionary prophecy. He says, I saw, he's giving, he's being given these visions and oftentimes in the book of Revelation these these visions are highly symbolic.
It doesn't mean that this didn't actually happen in history, it's just painted in a very colorful way for us to get this imagery and understand what's happening. So we have to be careful how we read this, but it's clear that Satan is presently bound. One thing that's helpful for us to think about here is a principle of Bible interpretation that basically goes like this.
We let the clearer passages of scripture help to interpret the less clear ones. Now are there any clear passages of scripture that speak to the evil one being bound here and now today? Well yes, certainly, and we find those passages in the gospels in places like Matthew chapter 12 verse 29 or in Mark chapter 3 verse 27 where Jesus talks about himself as binding the strong man, binding Satan so that he might plunder his house. Jesus made it very clear that through his earthly ministry as he's going about casting out demons and then ultimately culminating in his death and resurrection that he has definitively defeated Satan in this in this powerful way. You see this also in the book of Colossians in Colossians chapter 2 verse 15, Hebrews chapter 2 verse 14 talks about you know the Lord Jesus through his death and resurrection rendering the evil one powerless and so over and over again you have these clear new testament passages that speak to what Jesus has done in his earthly ministry as having dealt this definitive blow to Satan for what purpose so that he may no longer deceive the nations. That's the point there in Revelation chapter 20 verse 3 and so the idea here is that while Satan is presently bound the gospel is advancing in a way that it never has before whereas before under the old covenant was only really Israel that received the light of God now it's it's the nations the gentiles are being welcomed in the gospel is going out Christ by his work has definitively bound Satan if you will if you will doesn't mean that he's not still you know deceiving and working and obviously right under God's rule and authority but there's something unique that happened through the life death and resurrection of Jesus that we have to account for. One other passage parallel passage that I think is really important for us to go to is in the gospel of John and I think again we want to let the clear passages of scripture help to interpret the less clear ones and John also wrote the book of Revelation and in John chapter 12 in verse 31 this is Jesus speaking about his death he says in verse 31 now is the judgment of this world now will the ruler of this world be cast out he's talking about Satan there and I when I am lifted up from the earth speaking of his is you know going to the cross when I'm lifted up from the earth will draw all people to myself that is I'm going to draw the nations to myself Satan is no longer permitted to deceive the nations as he once did now all people are going to be drawn to me through what I've done through my through my cross through the resurrection and that that's a great parallel text to what John also wrote and saw there in Revelation chapter 20 and so so the way we talk about this is is yeah Satan is still real a real force in the world today deceiving individuals you know leading to to tempt individuals and lead them astray but we know that he's a defeated foe that Christ through his work has definitively bound him destroyed him if you will and that now the nations are coming in through the proclamation of the gospel and so that's I understand that thank you for your question and appreciate you listening to the program you're listening to core Christianity with pastor Adriel Sanchez just a reminder we have that great book available for parents or grandparents talking about the richness of God's creation helping your kids understand how God has designed us each unique and special it's called creative God colorful us it's written by Trillia Newbell and you can find that book at our website for a donation of any amount by going to core christianity.com forward slash offers well let's go back to the phone lines donald is on the phone from bakersfield california donald what's your question for pastor adriel hello my uh my question is it's my heart heart so much that there's no hope yeah i've been been consumed with that i don't have any assurance and i i can't like it's real difficult for me to even read the scripture to open it up and pray and talk to the lord i mean i feel like i'm talking to a wall well donald i don't know um all of your story uh i can say that the fact that you're calling in right now concerned about this is a good sign i mean i think individuals whose hearts are so hardened that you know it's beyond repair you know if you will they've totally rejected the lord that they they don't care they're not concerned with the state of their soul and so i would just say one the fact that you're calling i think is a is a positive thing i'm grateful that you have i want to first pray for you and then i want to read a passage of scripture to you so father i lift donald up to you we don't know what in is going on in his life his history his background but i do know he's weighed down by this question of if he's too far gone and uh god i know that there are many believers who have wrestled with this same question wondering if they have extinguished your grace if you're through with them i pray that you would soften our brother's heart that you would give him eyes to see your great mercy and your great love found in jesus and that he wouldn't just see that you know as a general truth but that he would see it for himself he would see god your love for him in jesus your son and that he would receive it and rest in it and so would you please be with donald now in jesus name amen the text i wanted to bring up to donald is in hebrews chapter 3 therefore as the holy spirit says today if you hear his voice do not harden your hearts is in the rebellion on the day of testing in the wilderness where your fathers put me to the test and saw my work for 40 years therefore i was provoked with that generation and so they always go astray in their hearts they have not known my ways as i swore in my wrath they shall not enter my rest and then the author of the hebrew says this take care brothers lest there be in any of lest there be in any of you an evil unbelieving heart leading you to fall away from the living god but exhort one another day by day as long as just as it is called today that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin if we have come to share in christ if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end i want to exhort you brother um to i mean right now as it is called today um to rest in the truth of the gospel of who jesus is not to harden your hearts you know as we hear the spirit of god speaking to us through his word with those promises of the gospel instead of saying that that's not for me i'm too far gone i don't believe brother receive the sure promise of the gospel for all those who turn to jesus christ and believe in him your sins are forgiven if you're turning to the lord sincerely confessing your sin the devil doesn't want you to believe that god would have mercy upon you but i know i know that god is abundant and mercy and grace and that he extends that grace to all who turn to him and so today if you hear his voice speaking through the scriptures i would say receive that word for yourself receive that word for yourself that you are not too far gone uh in and of yourself you might be but guess what we're talking about the lord here who has a long arm to reach down and grab sinners broken people who have sinned and fallen and he can lift you up and when we turn to him he does lift us up and so may the lord grant you that grace to turn to him and i i want to encourage you one book for you to read through and to meditate upon is this book the book of hebrews because it's that question that often comes up in the book of hebrews this question of hardening and trusting in christ clinging to christ who is greater than everything else that's what you're what you need to focus on right now is jesus his grace his mercy his gospel um for you and i pray that the lord blesses you and grants you the grace to do that thanks for giving us a call this is core christianity with pastor adriel sanchez we received this call or this question through our youtube channel from christen and adriel she says this could you explain hosea three two the text says that gomer was worthless yet jesus paid the ultimate price for her what are your thoughts on that yeah well hosea is one of the minor prophets in the uh old testament um and it really is this sort of this story this picture parable almost of god's love for his unfaithful people uh israel hosea chapter 3 verse 1 begins and the lord said to me go again love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress even as the lord loves the children of israel though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins so i bought her for 15 shekels of silver and a homer and a leetech of barley and i said to her you must dwell as mine for many days you shall not play the harlot or belong to another man so will i also be with you so what you have here um christen is it's not that the what's happening here is you know it's not denying that this this woman was made in the image of god and has dignity but but she was a sinner she came to commit adultery against uh hosea this prophet and god is saying this is exactly how israel is with me now one of the beautiful things that we see in the book of hosea is the promises of god to restore his people to call them back to himself his sort of unfailing unending love those who were not his people were going to be called his people once again and so we see here on display the sinfulness of humanity our our propensity to commit spiritual adultery to turn our backs on the true and the living god to go and worship other things to worship idols you know for them back then it was little figurines for us today it could be money it could be sex it could be power position work whatever it is things that we put before god and treat as ultimate we we do it and and because of that we're guilty in sin and yet you you look at the story of hosea and how god is merciful toward his spiritually adulterous people how he calls them back to himself it's precisely what he did for us in his son jesus and so we rejoice in the mercy of god 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 one eight three three eight four three twenty six seventy three that's eight three three 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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