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How Do I Discuss the End Times Without the “Doom and Gloom”?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
February 23, 2022 1:30 pm

How Do I Discuss the End Times Without the “Doom and Gloom”?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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February 23, 2022 1:30 pm

Episode 909 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

Questions in this Episode

1. In Mark 16:15-18, Jesus talks about the signs accompanying those who believe and mentions tongues and snake handling, it seems. This seems very odd and today's skeptic could point to this and say, “here, Christian, drink this poison and you should be fine, right?” What is the context and explanation I should be aware of here?

2. As a follower of Christ I run across many others who believe we are living in the last days. For some, this gives them hope and others it gives them a sense of "gloom and doom." How do you communicate this to non-believers without making it seem like its a message of “gloom and doom"?

3. If God cares about his creation, why does he allow humans to tortue and mistreat animals every day?

4. Are our good works proof of our faith and salvation?

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Core Question - What Are the Main Views of the End Times?

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Core Question - Why Do You Talk About the Difference Between Law and Gospel?

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How do I discuss the end times without the doom and gloom? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of Core Christianity. Well, hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, 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 25 minutes or so. Here's our phone number. It's 833-843-2673.

You can spell it out, 833THECORE. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites. And of course, you can always email us your question at By the way, Adriel is live on YouTube right now. If you check out our YouTube channel, you can also send us a message that way if you have a question, so you can interact with him right there in the studio. Let's go to a voicemail we received from one of our listeners.

This is from Scott. They will place their hands on sick people and they will get well. This just seems very odd and like today's skeptic could point to this passage of scripture and say, here, believer, drink this poison and get bit by this snake.

You should be fine, right? I would just like some clarification on this passage and maybe the context and a better description. Thanks and God bless. As you're a Christian, what are you going to do?

I do not recommend trying to play with that thing. So a couple of things with regard to this passage here in Mark chapter 16, the ending of Mark. This is actually a controversial text for a couple of reasons, the reasons that you mentioned, but also because some scholars will point out in the earliest New Testament manuscripts, we don't have this longer ending of Mark.

And so there's some debate among textual scholars about whether or not this should actually be here. Now, the good news is there's nothing here that contradicts the teaching that we see in scripture, even with regard to what we see in verses 15 and verse 16 as well. And he said to them, go in all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes in his baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. Then on to verse 17, and these signs will accompany those who believe. In my name, they will cast out demons. They will speak in new tongues. They will pick up serpents with their hands. And if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them. They will lay their hands on the sick and they will recover. And so the question is, how do you respond to the skeptic who says, well, how is this fulfilled today or in your life?

Can you drink poison and be fine? Well, what I would probably say, Scott, is actually all of these things set you up really well for the book of Acts, which is coming after the gospels, describing the ministry of Christ through the Holy Spirit in the church. There in the early church, you have the disciples of our Lord laying hands on the sick and healing them, speaking with new tongues. You think of the day of Pentecost, even an example of Paul being bit by a serpent and being fine, not getting sick or dying. It was part of this miracle that allowed him to preach the gospel to people who didn't know the gospel. You see that in Acts 28, verse 3.

And so there was a fulfillment to these things. I don't think that we should be presumptuous as believers today and say, well, based on that text in Mark 16, I should be able to drink poison and, boy, why am I not able to heal my friend who's sick with cancer or something else like that? No, God ordinarily works through means. He does sometimes work in extraordinary ways, miraculous ways, even healing someone who's sick.

But typically, he works through means, through doctors, medicine, surgery, those kinds of things. And we give thanks to the Lord for those things as well. And so there's no reason for you to be ashamed of this text of scripture or to feel like, oh, how do I square this away with my Christian faith?

As I said, all of these things did actually happen, and it's recorded in the book of Acts. Hey, Scott, thanks for your question again, and God bless. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, or maybe you're a skeptic, maybe you have some doubts about Christianity, we are always open to getting calls from people who might consider themselves an atheist or agnostic and really has a challenging question for Pastor Adriel. So jump on the phone right now. We'll be taking calls for the next 20 minutes or so. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. By the way, we have a great Bible study available we want to tell you about today. This is one that Adriel wrote himself on the book of Galatians.

Yeah. I was able to put this together after having preached through the book of Galatians, and it's a 10-week study on Paul's letter to the Galatians that really talks about the distinction between the law and the gospel, that talks about what the gospel is. Really, if you're familiar with the book of Galatians, it's one of Paul's letters in the New Testament. At the heart of that book was theological controversy. A church, the church in Galatia, was being led astray by agitators, Paul calls them, false teachers who were compromising the gospel and the doctrine of justification by faith.

We get into that in this 10-week study. Great for you as an individual if you want to study through the book of Galatians or for a group of people studying through the book of Galatians. You can get a hold of this resource for your gift of $20 or more over at As Adriel said, these are great for a group Bible study, so maybe if your small group or your Sunday school class is planning ahead for studies and could use this particular book, this would be a great one for you to dive into.

You can learn more by going to forward slash studies, again forward slash studies, and look for Adriel's Bible study on the book of Galatians. Let's get back to the phones. Here's a voicemail we received from one of our callers named Jessica. I love this question, Jessica, because you're right that there's a lot of talk about living in the last days, living in the end times, and for some Christians, you could just be this sort of dark cloud over everything. Like, oh man, everything is going downhill. The Lord is going to come back any moment now, better sort of shut and lock the doors and hunker down and sort of isolate, that kind of a thing. I've seen this among some Christians who, because they're concerned about things that are happening in society, because they think this is just the end, were living in the last days, they sort of cut themselves off from the outside world.

It can be really negative, even this negative view of outsiders of our neighbors. That's why I love to go to Peter's exhortation in 1 Peter chapter 4, because he gives us very clearly, Jessica, how it is that we should live as believers in light of the last days, if you will, in light of the situation that we're presently in and have been in since the ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ. We could call the days in the book of Acts the last days. In fact, Peter does on the day of Pentecost when he quotes Joel's prophecy from Joel chapter 2. But listen to what Peter said in 1 Peter chapter 4 verse 7.

The end of all things is at hand. Therefore, be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God's varied grace. Whoever speaks as one who speaks the oracles of God. Whoever serves as one who serves by the strength that God supplies, in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and dominion forever.

Amen. You see there Peter's words, really words of comfort, words of guidance. He says the end of all things is at hand.

We're living in the last days. Therefore, here's what you should be committed to, sober-mindedness for the sake of your prayers so that you can have that communion with God. Love, love for each other within the body of Christ, love for those outside of the church, hospitality, and the kind of hospitality that isn't stingy, but hospitality without grumbling.

It's almost as if he's saying, yeah, we're living in the end times. You guys should really love each other and be hospitable to your neighbors and open your hearts to those around you. Why so that they might know the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. Note that his advice here is not flee, run away and start a Christian commune and basically stockpile ammunition, that kind of thing. He says, continue to pray, continue to be steadfast in your faith and continue to love and show hospitality. I think when we think about the end times and the judgment that is coming, it should give us a sense of urgency with regard to the advancement of the gospel, sharing the gospel, wanting others to know who Jesus is. Second Peter, when Peter talks about the coming of the Lord, he says that the Lord is not slow according to his promise.

It's not that God is just taking his time with regard to coming back. It's that he's patient towards us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. We should have this heart, this longing to see others come to know Christ in light of the fact that the Lord could return, that we're living in the last days. In our hearts, I think we should, by the grace of the Spirit, have cultivated within us this desire to see others know and love Jesus. That should cause us to be a hospitable people. I would say, as opposed to being anxious, nervous, afraid, suspicious of our neighbors, cutting them out of our lives, saying, I don't have time for you, it should be just the opposite. We should be confident in the Lord, in his grace, in the deliverance that he's going to bring at his coming, and we should be eager to share the love of Christ and the hope of the gospel with the people around us. Thank you for your question. That is some great advice, Adriel, and it reminds me of when you look at the apostles during Acts and what they experienced and how bold they were in proclaiming the gospel and how passionate they were about sharing Christ with others, and that should be exactly our attitude, so thanks for that.

That's right. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open right now if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Also, we're open to questions about doctrine or theology or maybe how your Christian walk intersects with what's happening in our culture today.

Some people finding it really challenging to be a Christian on the job or in their school situation. We'd love to hear from you as well. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Carol in St. Louis, Missouri. Carol, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Hi, can you hear me?

Hey, Carol, I can hear you. Hi, my question really is just a simple one. It would be where is God for the animals? If God created humans and he gave them dominion over animals, why would he give a creation of humans, which are clearly, unfortunately, lacking compassion, I guess would be a great word in many ways, or they don't mind inflicting harm on others. So if God created humans and then gave them dominion over the animals, why would God not be compassionate to the animals, which can have feelings and suffer just as any other living being? I think that would be a great way to say it, because animals every day, all of them, the one that's sitting on your fork at dinner, or whoever's fork or plate at dinner, they're suffering at some point and they don't get a choice. So why would, I guess, if God created the game and he created the players on the board, then why would the animals be constantly the victims and at the mercy of humans when he knew humans were going to be this way?

Hey, Carol, thank you for that question. I do believe, and Christians do believe, that God created the world and everything in it, including the animals, and you do have early on in Genesis this call or this charge given to Adam and Eve to exercise dominion over the earth, including the animals. I guess the question here is, is that dominion supposed to be cruel? Is that what God intended? We could even go a step further with your question, not just cruelty to animals, but cruelty to one another as human beings, as those created in the image of God. I guess the first thing that I would say is we're responsible agents as human beings, as those whom God has created. We do bad things. We're cruel to each other, to one another, to God's creation. God is not to blame for that.

God is good, and he created the world good, and he calls us to be good, to love his world and our neighbors in it. But oftentimes, we go against what God has called us to, and that's what the Bible calls sin. Now, there are a few passages of scripture that talk about, I mean, thinking about this idea of dominion over the animals, that talk about actually caring for the animals that you're exercising dominion over in your life. You think of what we read in Deuteronomy chapter 25 verse 4. This is part of God's law. You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain.

That is to keep it from eating as it's doing its work, if you will. There was this call to not be cruel to your animal. In fact, in the wisdom literature, in the Proverbs, in Proverbs chapter 12 verse 10, we read, whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast or his animals, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel. So I think you're absolutely right that when we think about, from a biblical worldview, we think about the creation, God's world that he made and making everything good, that the kind of dominion that mankind was supposed to exercise was not a cruel dominion, but a kind and good dominion.

Dominion, I'm sure a lot more wrapped up in your question, but I would just say we wouldn't want to lay that cruelty, I wouldn't lay that cruelty at God's feet as it were, metaphorically speaking. That's our issue. That's our sin.

The cruelty that's in our own heart, the murder that's in our own heart, that's our problem. That's why we need God's forgiveness and the grace that he gives. We should give thanks for the world that God made. We should give thanks for these gifts that God has given to us.

And we should honor the Lord with how we treat his creation, but especially with how we treat each other, fellow image bearers of God. And so, Carol, again, really appreciate your question. I want to say thank you for it, and thanks for listening to Core Christianity. By the way, if you're a regular listener to Core Christianity, you know that we have some great Bible studies available. One of those we're making available today, it's on the book of Galatians, and Adriel wrote this himself. It is really excellent for personal study or for your small group, maybe your Sunday school class. And we also can make those available to you at a group discount if you want to buy some for your small group or for your church.

You can find out more by going to forward slash studies, forward slash studies, and look for the Bible study on the book of Galatians. Let's go to Brian calling in from Columbia, Missouri. Brian, what's your question for Pastor Adriel?

Not so much a question. Thanks for taking my call. I just wanted to send you a note of appreciation. I've been listening off and on and have heard your responses, Pastor Sanchez, if I can say that right. And I'm encouraged because all my life as a believer, I've heard from pastors, hey, you know, if you have a dilemma or if you have a question, you know, what does the Bible say about that? And I think that, you know, as Christians, as I want to say commoners of the lay people, I think it's so important that every time we come up with something that troubles us, you know, I think God wants us to look to his word for the answer. And I think you do a great job of doing that.

I've, I've multiple times I have been on the edge of my seat going, okay, how's he going to answer this? And I every time you've answered it, I've been like, man, that is so good. And everything from political viewpoints to the COVID thing to the end times that I just heard, I'm just really encouraged because, you know, as believers, as people who are not pastors or not in the ministry as followers of the leadership within the Christian community, we really know we can find the answer. And it can be tough at times, but it is really encouraging to hear you reference scripture and provide those answers to people who, you know, may not get it at times, but in our discouraged, but the answer is always there. So I'm really, I just want to send you a note of appreciation because that's, that's really what our lives are about is looking to the word. Brian, amen to everything you said.

No, no, I just want to say thank you for your kind words and, and you're right. That is what it's all about. We want to go back to the word and encourage people with the gospel of Christ and, and you're, one of the things that you touched on is just how we oftentimes in our walk with the Lord have questions.

I know I certainly have throughout my life. And it's so important for us to seek out the answers to those questions, not just to sit on those questions. Oftentimes that's, that's how, you know, unbelief begins to fester in our own hearts is, is we have these serious questions about God and the Bible.

And instead of looking for an answer and searching the scriptures, we just sort of sit on them and sometimes even assume that, well, maybe there is no answer. And certainly there are, there are difficult questions out there, but one of the things I so appreciate about God's word is how it speaks to so many of the questions that we have and the needs that we have. And so I pray that the Lord continues to bless you, Brian, and to be with you.

And again, thank you for your encouragement. Brian, we'd love to send you the book Core Christianity as well. If you'll hang on the line for just a second, give us your address.

That's a wonderful book that will help you in your own spiritual growth. Let's go back to the phones. David is on the line from Kansas City, Missouri. David, what's your question for Adriel? Thank you for having me on air the last time.

I called in, my phone call abruptly ended, and I apologize for that. I had a question regarding salvation. So a lot of churches teach that, grace alone or faith alone, save a person. And I was wondering if that works have to be like proof to show that someone has faith, like due to certain passages, like when Jesus withered up the fig tree that had no fruit. And like when, I believe it's in James, where they talk about faith without works is dead. What is the relationship, it sounds like, to faith and works? And certainly the passage that you bring up in James is an important one for us to go to, and it's one that oftentimes comes up in this discussion. And there in particular, James says in James 2, verse 14, I think getting right at the heart of your question, David, what good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? Now, I think that the way that James asked that question is really important. He's talking about a particular kind of faith, what we might call a historical faith, meaning an individual just says, oh, yeah, I believe in Jesus, and we've seen this, we've heard this.

Before I believe in Jesus, and the same way I believe that Abraham Lincoln existed or George Washington existed, but it doesn't really affect the way that I live my life. Faith is not just sort of the knowledge of the existence of Jesus. It really is trust, laying our faith on Christ, leaning on him, trusting in him for the forgiveness of our sins. And the fruit of this, there is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We know that we're justified by faith alone. Faith alone grabs a hold of Jesus, if you will. And we're saved by that. But one of the wonderful things is God continues to work in the individual who is justified so that he might sanctify that person, growing in grace day by day in the Christian life. And so I think one of the things that James is highlighting in his epistle is that that's going to take place.

That's going to happen. If you believe in Jesus, yeah, the Spirit of God is at work sanctifying you, transforming you, making you more and more into the image of Christ. But we don't want to confuse justification and sanctification.

And I think that's really important as well. Faith is this saving grace. It's laying a hold of Jesus. It's an empty hand that comes to God, grasping the righteous robes of Jesus Christ for our salvation. 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 / 2023-05-31 18:16:49 / 2023-05-31 18:26:07 / 9

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