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Should Evangelicals Observe Lent?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
March 2, 2022 6:30 am

Should Evangelicals Observe Lent?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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March 2, 2022 6:30 am

Episode 914 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

Questions in this Episode

1. If the Bible was written by men, how can it truly be considered God’s Word?

2. With Ash Wednesday coming up, I am wondering why it has become a sort of debate and topic of discussion for evangelicals. Catholics seem to have always observed Ash Wednesday and Lent, and some evangelicals see observing it as cool and hip, while others think it’s entirely unbiblical. What are your thoughts are on the merits of observing or refusing to observe Lent?

3. Where in the Bible does it teach about the sovereignty of God?

4. What is the significance of the cleansing of the unclean animals in Mark 7?

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Evangelicals observe Lent. That's just one of the questions will be answering on today's edition of core Christianity will hi, I'm Bill Meyer along with Pastor Israel Sanchez. This is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. Would love to hear from you, and you can call us right now with your question. At 833 the court our phone lines will be open for the next 25 minutes or so. So jump on the phone right now gets about 833-843-2673.

You can also post your question on one of our social media sites you can join a drill live in the studio right now through our YouTube channel course you can always email us your question at questions at core, first up today let's go to David calling in from Albuquerque, New Mexico. David what your question for atrial drill was related to hear some Christians that believe it or not. Some friends have asked, or whenever I talked about defending the Bible and saying what the Bible says about certain things, some of them will respond that all the Bible was written by man and its outdated how can you trust it you know. And so universal that the price of meat from them but then I just kind of wonder how you might respond to something like that. Yeah, I think that question sounds like there two things that are right that the claim that it's simply written by men. Therefore, it cannot be inspired by God and then number two just that it's irrelevant that the Bible is outdated with regard to the first piece of their it is true that the Bible was written by men that God used men to write the word but these individuals were inspired by the Holy Spirit so that they are communicating to us in God's authoritative revelation and this is something that Peter said in second Peter chapter 1 to read this portion of Scripture beginning in verse 16 he says we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his Majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the father and the voice was born to him by the Majestic glory.

This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased.

We ourselves heard this very voice born from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to what you do well to pay attention to is a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit is you see the distinction there. Yes men were were communicating to us the truth of God giving us Scripture, but they did so as those who were carried along by the Holy Spirit. This is just something that they came up with what Peter is saying here we can follow these just know cleverly devised tales that someone invented. This is the very revelation of God himself. And so it's a false dichotomy to say that because you don't men were involved in the process of giving us the Scriptures that God can't use them know he did it and what wheat we have the word of God. As a result of that, and then with regard to the second part of the question. There, in a will isn't just irrelevant. It was written thousands of years ago.

How can the Bible be applicable to me today I would just encourage people open up the Scriptures read them ask for the spirit of God to guide you. I think what you find as you open up the word of God is just how powerful it is today how much it speaks how God uses his word to transform our lives and it you know, even though there there is a difference in terms of new context and history and background is important for us to understand those things as were rightly interpreting the Scriptures it once we understand what the text of Scripture is saying there are so many applications that we can drop out from it for ourselves today and so just simply not true at all that the Bible doesn't speak to today into the issues of today. Then to our ultimate need RR need of forgiveness are need of me experiencing the presence and goodness of God. The word of God speaks and the spirit of God uses the word of God and to communicate truth to our hearts and so David, I would.

I would just say you know continuing to to point people to the Scriptures, maybe that passage in second Peter chapter 1 would be helpful with regard to the prophetic word in Isaiah, God speaking to Isaiah. Isaiah 46 said I'm God there's no other.

I'm God and there is none like me. I declare the end from the beginning, and from ancient times, things that are not yet done and this is one of the ways we know that God's word is inspired because it reveals to us that things are going to happen. The things that are yet to come, especially the stuff that pertain to the coming of Jesus Christ and so all of that, you know, the things we look at and and they testify to the reality of the fact this is more than just an ordinary human book.

This is a booklet in the Scriptures are inspired by God and relevant for today and so appreciate your question and may the Lord bless you, David, thanks so much for your call and for listening to core Christianity and great response.

Their it drills we look at the world around us. The Bible, the gospel is the only explanation that I can come up with that fits so thank you for that. This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez and we get a lot of calls on this program about the topic of repentance. We've actually come up with a free resource for you that will answer a lot of your questions on that issue.

Yeah, I mean, I know that as a pastor that this is just a question that a lot of people have what does it mean to truly repent to turn from my sin and to cling to Christ. How do I get rid of the sin in my life and I say that I'm truly a Christian if I still struggle with repeated sins. We created this resource.

Seven things everyone should know about repentance. It's a free and it describes what actually means to repent how it is a grace in our life and how it really is an ongoing part of the Christian life world were to be repenting until the day that we die as we as we seek to honor the Lord and to walk with him and so if you're struggling with doubts or insecurities about repentance and sin.

This is a perfect resource to help ground your faith in the work and love Christ would love to get this in your hands and you can get it for free by going to our website. Core, again core and look for seven things everyone should know about repentance. Our phone lines are open. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. You can call us right now for the next 15 minutes or so. Here's the phone number is 833.

The core that's 1-833-843-2673.

We also get emails here and we are perceived one from a gentleman that wrote in this week. His name is Oscar and a drill. Hers is question with Ash Wednesday coming up.

I'm wondering why it becomes a sort of debate and topic of discussion among evangelicals and Catholics seem to have always observed Ash Wednesday and Lent and some evangelical see observing it is cool and hip while others think it's entirely on biblical I'm wondering what your thoughts are on the merits of observing or refusing to observe Lent. What you think you well just just maybe some historical background, I think would be helpful because you know people here about these things. Ash Wednesday and Lent and they wonder what where did that come from. Is this something that Jesus instituted that the apostles themselves did. And the answer that question is simple know Jesus did not institute you know Lent for the church to observer Ash Wednesday Lent probably evolved out of a very ancient practice in the church in the ancient church. There was this. Oftentimes that would be observed.

A fasting that would be observed by people who were to be baptized so as they were preparing for baptism.

They would devote time to the solemn prayer and fasting, and especially around the third and fourth century many people would be baptized on Easter and so you had this this season leading up to Easter where potential candidates for baptism would be fasting in preparation to be baptized, and others even were being readmitted into the life of the church would would also pass during that time as a that the thought is, and what historians is is probably Lent evolved out of that and then over time in the fourth century, and later it became something that not just you know these candidates for baptism but but a lot of people in the church would do.

This is a tradition right.

This is an extra biblical tradition than the idea it would be Ash Wednesday that which again for the later development that didn't really see that until I think around the 10th century 11th century. This this sort of tradition of putting ashes on on people is a is a sign of their mortality is a sign of of death. The reality of death. In light of the coming of Easter so there's this entire tradition was asserted and journey toward Easter and the celebration of Christ's resurrection. That is a lot that could be said about this right in one since we believe that every Sunday is an Easter Sunday. Hmmm.

At least I would say that right because of what why do we gather together on Sunday as Christians is because that's the day that Jesus rose from the dead every time we gather were proclaiming that Christ died and that he is risen from the dead, but again you have these traditions developed in in the church and now are they necessarily a bad thing. Will they don't have to be a bad thing. I think it is important that the church does not impose extra biblical rules on people so churches is that you have to do this and it has to look like this. Otherwise, you're not really following Judaism and I think that's an issue that would be abusing her authority in the church abusing her authority and so I do. I do have an issue with that.

But if if the question is, is it okay for Christians to faster to choose to fast during this period course that there's freedom in Christ.

I think about what the apostle Paul said in Romans chapter 14 verse five. One person esteems one day is better than another one another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind, the one who observes the day observed it in honor of the Lord one eats pizza in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and give thanks to God for none of us lives to himself and none of us dies to himself.

For if we live, we live to the Lord and if we die we died to the Lord, so that whether we live or whether we die we are the Lord's, for to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and the living why do you pass judgment on your brother or you, why do you despise your brother, for we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written as I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me and every tongue shall confess to God so that each of us will give an account of himself to God and my my point in reading that text.

There is just a special Paul says at the very beginning there in terms of passing judgment on on one another and I don't think we to look down on on Christians who do things differently than we do, but I think there does need to be a healthy concern about you know church is imposing as I said extra biblical rules on on their members. And because this is it something that Jesus himself commanded or instituted for the church to observe in terms of the a holy day or holy season because it's certainly something that we we didn't see the apostles doing and no that's not something you see coming out of the New Testament. This is sort of later tradition in terms of practice and piety. I think I think we have to recognize that we have freedom in Christ to fast or not fast and we also have to be careful you don't want one other concern that I have is just the sort of invention of worship practices God really cares about how he's worshiped them with regard to things like like Ash Wednesday and in some of these other traditions of developing other things that you're gonna find in Scripture. I get the symbolism behind it and actually appreciate the emphasis on mortality. I think that something that people today really need to understand we were always trying to run away from the fact that were mortals that were going to die were we don't want you don't deal with that truth, so that I think it is important for us to to talk about those things but we want to make sure that were doing in a way that's honoring to the Lord and in line with what his word says and so is a safe out Lenten Ash Wednesday pray that the Lord blesses you in the season if you're if you're someone who's choosing to so you know what I want to focus on prayer. Maybe it may be fast in preparation for for Easter. I'll save you nice and go for it. Fix your eyes on Jesus and seek to honor him in all that you do and I appreciate so much your little lesson on church history there to drill you often talk about the importance of Christians understanding church history, and I think unfortunately a lot of us don't know a lot about the history of the Christian church and it would benefit us to do a bit of reading and understand some of the context of these things where I and I know not everyone is a nerd like me. I mean I just love leaking out on church history and for me it's fascinating man I love thinking about how Christians have done things and in ages past, and so there's there's a lot to learn and a special work were talking about some of these traditions is important that we see kinda how they developed and and and that gives us some insight into whether or not there rooted in the Scriptures, by the way, we have our core question for anyone who's wondering about Christian traditions or how to live the Christian life. Maybe you're new to the faith. You can find this on our website. Core, downloads. It's called how do I live the Christian life really helpful resource. It's free. Let's go back to the phone.

Steve is on the line from Memphis, Tennessee. Steve what your question for pastor atrial about all through Scripture about God and poverty, and control of the outcome of his creation and clip also includes salvation for man like for your ears go Nabila crotch probably flagged it never bothered me.

In fact, I'm glad I did go that new court. Scripture I would never that would never bundle my all but the church mostly as a whole length for free will analyze the entire play system affected by child cross them off the wearout Scripture plot despite the cross shows the advice they are primarily all my past. I choose for will might come. Can you help us better understand the different point. These two schools of thought and really primarily what you brought Steve you're getting this into the deep waters of the doctrine of God's sovereignty and human responsibility.

And of course this is one of those things that's been debated in the Christian church for many years and will continue to be debated.

I am of the the opinion that conviction on the basis of Scripture that we want to give God all the glory that we can and and emphasize.

I think in this is what Scripture emphasizes our inability to save ourselves as you said Steve Ike. I couldn't done it I can to save myself. It really is all of grace and I think the more and more we open up the word of God, the more we see that the more we recognize Lord you didn't save me because I was righteous because I you know had a lot of good things going for me effect, Paul says in Romans five it was that while we were still sinners that Christ died for us that God demonstrated his love for us and ending. I think just culturally we have a very high view of ourselves of the individual of our power of our autonomy of our sovereignty and so when you open up the Bible and in the word of God says you actually are not the center of the universe, and you're not the sovereign one. A lot of people have a hard time with that.

I think it was Charles Charles Spurgeon that the preacher who said that mankind loves God anywhere except on his throne. Love that we love him when he's Dino in his workshop.

You know, making the stars in the heavens and forming the beautiful mountains and sunsets with all that's so wonderful. You know, that's great, but the moment God sits on his throne, our hearts begin to rage against him because we want that seat we want to be in control.

We want all the power and in the Bible reveals to us that we don't have that position that we are servants of Almighty God desperately in need of his grace that God himself is keying and this is what repeated throughout the Scripture. Think of the Psalms. Psalm 93 the Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty, the Lord is Roby is put on his strength as his belt. God is the great King over all the earth, so that that that's I think in terms of you know why people have a hard time with this Steve this is this is the this is the issue is we want to be the center we want to be the ones who rein in and are in control and the word of God humbles us in and so I think that that's a huge thing read that that that the Scriptures confront us in this area and then again when it comes to the doctrine of salvation. Whether we're looking at places like Romans chapter 9 or Ephesians chapter 1 the word of God makes it absolutely clear that it's all of grace all of grace. Ephesians chapter 1 verse four even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before him in love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will. The praise of his glorious grace in this tradition, humble lesson because the same Lord. It's all you and and you know it. Again we we have a difficult time with this, but Steve I appreciate the fact that your thinking through these things that you have a high view of God and the work of grace by that he's done in your life, and may the Lord continue to bless you as you study the Scriptures and seek to honor him in all that you do.

God bless thanks to a appreciate you listening to core Christianity by the way, just a reminder we have that great free resource available to you seven things everyone should know about repentance and really kind of fits in with Israel's response just now to us. These question you can find that by going to our website. Core, that's core look for seven things everyone should know about repentance.

We do get voicemails here and if you got a question you call us outside of the time. This program is airing.

We do try to listen to our voicemails once a day so you can call us 24 hours a day.

Here's the number it's 833-843-2673.

That's 833. The core is what we received from one of her listeners named Tony. My question about the unclean animals that are in 11 Deuteronomy ever claimed to be unclean and then apparently and Mark 719 Jesus made all things clean, nor made all animal claim on this product and having a problem understanding what that all entailed and then if the animals were made claim that in Revelation 18. Apparently during the time of tribulation there supposed to be unclean animals that, and I don't know if that means that new animal, or are what if I could have clarification on that.

I'd appreciate it thank you Tony, thank you so much for your question just to answer really quickly. The latter part of your question will what about in Revelation where it talks about unclean animals that mean that the clean, unclean dietary laws are going to re-be reinstituted later on in redemptive history will the answer is no. I mean, when were looking at the book of Revelation were looking at the apocalyptic visionary prophecy and the justice this language of clean or unclean. Paul uses it. Also in first Corinthians chapter 7. By the way it is this picture of being near to God are far from God, separated from the Lord that which is unclean was separated from God under the old covenant in the Old Testament, and so you know John is just picking up on that imagery in the book of Revelation that language so it would have to take that to mean as much when you consider that the genre of Revelation that now you know later on. There's going to be these these reinstitution of father clean and unclean dietary laws are brilliant in the Old Testament in places like the book of Leviticus, you know that the clean, unclean thing was it was a picture of life and death, that which was unclean was was closer to death. If you will, closer to the ground, separated from the Lord that would put an individual who you don't touch that, which was unclean in the state of of death.

If you will, of lifelessness and that's why they had to be you know separated for a period of time from the presence of Almighty God and in the worship of of that. The temple and in the tabernacle and soak on that that some of the imagery that we have. But, of course, as you said in in Mark chapter 7, another places, like in the book of acts in the book of Galatians is very clear that under the new covenant that clean, unclean distinctions, but with regard to you in the these dietary restrictions has been abolished in in Mark chapter 7, you know, speaking about what really defiles a person. Jesus made it absolutely clear. He said you know it's it's not whatever goes into a person. But what comes out of the person that can defile him, since it enters not his heart that is that the food that we but his stomach, and is expelled. Thus Mark says and Mark seven. He declared all foods clean this interesting text it to think about and we got that question earlier about Lent and fasting and and boy, if I do this. Is it going to help me in my spiritual walk. Well what these kinds of practices can be helpful, but here's what you need to recognize it's not what you eat, what goes into your mouth that defiles you or makes you clean. It's what comes out of your heart and I wonder this is this is something we should all think about, you know, and in light of this season. If you will are a lot of people who go through these traditions or motions thinking if I if I do this if I fast for this period of time will then maybe I'll be right with God, but it isn't what goes into our mouths that makes us clean or unclean right with God. It's it's a state of our heart and what we need more than anything is God's grace, the forgiveness of our sins through Jesus Christ and as such that's one of the things that that were reminded of their in Mark chapter 7.

So when it comes to these these dietary restrictions.

The clean and the unclean wheat we don't have that anymore. Under the new covenant, which I'm quite thankful for Bill. I know that you are as well. We have bacon shrimp tacos I know absolutely yes. So really, some some good stuff for for us to think about there and just want to encourage all of you as we do every single day to be rooted in the Scriptures. If we want to get our beliefs from is what the Bible teaches. Thanks for listening to core Christianity request your copy of today's special offer.

Visit us at core, and click on offers and the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833 when you contact us. Please let us know how you been encouraged by this program and be sure to join us next time. As we explore the truth of God's word together

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