Pre-Millennial, Post-Millennial, or Amillennial?
Which one is right? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi there and happy Friday. I'm Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. This is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can call us right now with your question. At 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites. And of course, you can always email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. Well, before we get to our first question today, we need to acknowledge that today is a very special day. It's the birthday of our host, Adriel Sanchez.
Thank you, my Venmo. Just joking. Yes, it is my birthday today and excited to celebrate with my wife tonight. We're going to go out to dinner and I got a babysitter. So yeah, grateful to the Lord for His goodness and kindness another year.
Oh, that's great. Well, thank you, Mrs. Sanchez, your mom, for giving birth so many years ago today to this wonderful little boy who grew up to be our pastor, Adriel Sanchez. Yeah, thanks, Mom, if you're listening.
Went through all that pain, but it was worth it. Hey, let's get to our first question of the day. And this is a difficult one. This comes from one of our listeners named Michelle.
Hi, my name is Michelle. I have a question. Can the mentally ill be saved? I have schizophrenia, bipolar 1, and PTSD, and I've been saved 15 times. Thank you.
Bye bye. Well, sister, the answer to your question is yes, absolutely. Those who battle with mental illness can be saved because we're saved by the Lord through His grace, the power of the Holy Spirit. You know, it isn't our physical ability or condition that makes it so that we can be saved.
It's the work of the Holy Spirit. I think of what Jesus Himself said in Matthew 11 when He prayed in verse 25, I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise in understanding and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. In other words, you know, you don't have to be a biblical scholar. You know, the wise in understanding to grasp the gospel.
Even a childlike understanding can lay hold of saving faith. And so those who are young, those who, you know, struggle with mental illness and battle with things like depression, the gospel is for them. The gospel is for you. And God's grace and mercy extends to you.
And it's so important for you to understand that. Now, you said you've been saved 15 times. Well, let me just say God is the one who saves. And I don't think we go from, you know, being saved to not being saved.
He loves me, He loves me not, that kind of a thing. When you trusted in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit and welcomed into the family of God. Now, we can struggle with sin and sickness and have times in our lives where we feel distant from the Lord, but God does not let go of His sheep. And if you've trusted in Jesus Christ, He's not going to let go of you either. And so may God be with you and bless you.
Sister, thank you for your call. We'll be praying for you, Michelle, that you will really experience the assurance of your salvation because it has been done once and for all, as Adriel said. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. And, you know, we do get a lot of calls here about the end times, the last days and the book of Revelation, which can be kind of a stumbling block for a lot of people when they get into that book. And we've actually produced a wonderful Bible study on the book of Revelation.
Yeah. You know, a lot of people ask questions today that are answered in the book of Revelation. You know, should Christians discern the signs of the times? Why hasn't Christ returned yet? Questions related to the coming of our Lord, but also one of the things I love about the book of Revelation, so many people miss this, is that it was written to Christians who were suffering.
I mean, they were being persecuted. The book is supposed to be a comfort to believers. What a practical purpose the book serves, and yet oftentimes we don't study this book because we're intimidated by it. And so I want you to receive the comfort that the book of Revelation gives to the church and to those who are struggling as believers. Get ahold of this resource over at corechristianity.com, available for a gift of $20 or more, and thank you again for your support.
And by the way, if you'd like to get the Bible study for your small group or your Sunday school class, we do offer a group discount on those, so feel free to check it out, corechristianity.com forward slash revelation. You can also call us for that resource or with any of your questions. Our phone lines are open right now. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. We'll be taking calls for the next 20 minutes or so, so hop on the phone right now with your question for Adriel. Well, here's a voicemail we received earlier this week from one of our listeners named Chris. I thank you for your ministry.
I'm here in New Jersey. I've been listening to you for some time. And I just wanted to say I've been a Christian for about 30-some years, and I wanted to know what your consideration is of fulfilled eschatology. I have been coming to that acknowledgment, leaving Amillennialism, and seeing basically Christ has fulfilled it all. I'd like to know your view on that.
Thank you. Yeah, so eschatology is the study of the last things. We're thinking about the end times here, and there's a lot of confusion about this specifically. We just talked about the book of Revelation and our Revelation study.
I think that could shed some light on this. But let me say a couple of things first. There are differences that Christians have with regard to the end times, but those differences don't determine whether or not we're believers. So somebody who disagrees with you or with me on this specifically, that doesn't make them not a Christian. This is something that we can, as we approach Scripture and study the Bible, have differences on.
Now my view, where I lean, it sounds to me like this is where you're leaning to as well, is the Amillennial view. The Amillennial view, when we're talking about the millennium, where you go to in Scripture is Revelation 20, where John says in verse 1, I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit, and a great chain. He seized 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 until the thousand years were ended. So the thousand years, the millennium, that's where that talk comes from. It's from here in Revelation chapter 20. The Amillennial view, which is the view that I take, is that that thousand years described in Revelation 20 is a figurative number, symbolic. It's not a literal one thousand years, and that right now Jesus Christ is presently reigning as the gospel is advancing in the world.
His kingdom has been inaugurated. It's already here in one sense, and yet there's a sense in which it's not yet. It has yet to be consummated. It will be consummated at the second coming. And so the Amillennial view believes or understands that Christ comes after that millennial reign, if you will. Same thing with the postmillennial view, a little bit different there from Amillennialism. The postmillennial view of the end times believes that Jesus is going to come back after a reign that he executes here on earth, a time of peace and prosperity where the gospel is advancing throughout the world. And the premillennial view differs from both of those, and there are many, many Christians who embrace the premillennial view, which is the view that Jesus is going to come back prior to the millennial reign. So he's going to come back, and then he's going to establish his kingdom on earth and reign literally here on earth for a thousand years.
And so those are some of the differences. Again, Revelation 20 is the key text. I lean towards the Amillennial view. If you're looking for a book that would be helpful in learning more about that, there's a book called A Case for Amillennialism, Understanding the End Times by Kim Riddlebarger. I would recommend that book and appreciate you calling in and digging into the scriptures. And of course, we have that Bible study on the book of Revelation, which will be helpful to you as well. And you can find that at our website, corechristianity.com. Let's get into our phone calls. If you have a question for Pastor Adriel on the Bible, Christian life, doctrine, theology, or maybe what's going on in today's world and how your Christian life intersects with that, we're open to your questions.
If you consider yourself an agnostic or an atheist, if you have doubts about the Christian faith, Adriel will be happy to take your question as well. Here's the number, 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Chrisandra in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Chrisandra, what's your question for Adriel?
Hi, Adriel. Thank you for taking my call. I'm a Christian and my husband is as well. We have children, adult children, and we've been trying to witness to them. One of my sons, he has said that, you know, he believes in God, but he has a problem with the Christian faith. One of the things that he mentioned was that if God, well, he knows that God created the world, creator of heaven and earth, he's the beginning and the end, and he is all knowing. And with that said, since he's all knowing, why did he not stop Satan in the beginning?
Yeah. Well, first, sister, I do want to pray for you. I know that you're not alone, that there are many other listeners right now who are wanting to see their children love the Lord and walk with the Lord and they're thinking through, you know, how do I answer those difficult questions?
I want to pray for you and for your adult children who you're sharing Christ with, for your son specifically. Father, I do pray for this sister, for Cassandra, and ask, Lord, that you would be with her, that you would give her wisdom. I pray, Lord, that you would help her to just clearly articulate your grace, your goodness, who Jesus is, the power of the Gospel, Lord, as she has conversations with her children. Would you bless her? Would you fill her with your Holy Spirit? Would you be specifically, Lord, with her son? God, we know that you're the one who opens hearts, and I pray that as he hears your word, that your spirit would work together with your word to open his heart, that he might see the goodness of Christ, the glory of Christ, and be drawn, Father, to your son, Jesus, in whose name we pray.
Amen. This question is one that many people have asked, you know, if God knew that Adam and Eve were going to fall, I mean, why did he allow this to happen, you know, in the first place? Why did God permit that the devil could tempt Adam and Eve?
And we have to say, right, like, from our perspective as finite human beings, sometimes we're just not going to have, you know, the perfect cookie cutter answer that we want to all the questions that are asked. One of the ways that many great thinkers and theologians have responded to this question specifically is by saying, God did not permit or allow anything that he had not already purposed to resolve. So while God allowed Satan and sin to enter into the world, God had already determined how he was going to fix the problem that we created for ourselves through, you know, the freedom of our own choice, thinking back there in the garden to Adam and Eve, and God gave them freedom of choice to choose to love him or to reject his law and to sin against him. And, of course, they sinned against him, but we have a very clear and beautiful picture of the gospel, even there in those early chapters of Genesis, as God clothed the naked couple.
This picture of grace, this picture of sacrifice as well, you know, he clothed them with animal skins and then gives that great promise that we often refer to here on this broadcast in Genesis 3, verse 15, that the seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent. And so right here we already get a picture of how God is going to resolve the problem, resolve the issue. The blame, you know, for sin, you know, is on us. We sin. We choose to turn away from God.
We reject his holy word. That's not God's fault. We're responsible for our actions, but he's merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, even when we had turned away from him, sinking down into sin, lower and lower, he pursued us in Jesus. And so it's an opportunity, I think, sister, to talk about that undeserved grace that God shows to sinners. Yes, God allowed us to fall into sin, but he didn't leave us in this condition.
He sent his very own Son into the world to live the perfect life of righteousness so that we might be justified by believing in him and experience the grace that comes through his death and resurrection. And so, sister, I just want to encourage you to continue to pray for your children, to have these conversations with them, and to focus on that grace of God in the gospel through Jesus as you have those conversations. God bless. You know, Adriel, I'm so glad you said that, because oftentimes we can get caught up in kind of secondary arguments or philosophical speculation when really we need to keep bringing it back to the finished work of Christ on the cross and that it's available and it's a free gift. And that's where we start, I think, with anyone, especially with someone who maybe says, well, I can't believe because of this. Yeah, there's going to be challenging questions, but my oh my, that's where you have to go, right back to the gospel.
Yeah, totally. And I think that there is, right, we've got to find the balance between, we do want to respond to the questions. You know, we don't want to brush the challenging questions under the rug, because that sends the message that, well, maybe there's just not a good answer. Maybe Christianity can't deal with these kinds of problems, when the reality is there really are answers. And sometimes we have to do a little bit of digging to find them, but that's okay. And so we want to pursue the truth, dig into the scriptures, think about what Christians for the last 2,000 years have said, you know, some of the great minds that have thought about this, and respond to the questions that people have, the struggles that people have when it comes to faith, while also getting to the gospel, and that has to be primary, because you might resolve somebody's dilemma with regard to a particular passage of scripture, and that doesn't mean that you shared the gospel with them. The gospel is the message of Christ's victory over sin, that we can have life in Him, through Him, and so we want to make sure that we're responding to those difficult questions, but not stopping there, also going further and sharing the glorious message of God's grace.
Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez. We're taking your phone calls. In fact, our phone lines will be open for the next five minutes or so, if you have a burning question about the gospel, the Christian life, doctrine, or theology, hop on the phone right now, 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also leave us a voicemail.
24 hours a day, we do try to check our voicemails daily, and here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Linda. How do I witness, prove the Bible is real, and explain that Jews are not bad people, because I'm trying to witness to my son, he has gotten unfortunately with a political group that believes that Jews are not people to believe in, or they're good people, so he thinks that Christianity is a Jewish religion, so we shouldn't follow it and believe in it. So how do I prove to him that the Bible is real, when he doesn't even want to believe in God, I hope it can help me. My heart is broken. I'm trying not to lose his soul.
I know God can lead someone to him, but I've been talking to him and talking to him, and it's very hard, so if it can help me, I greatly appreciate it. Thank you. Bye-bye. There's another one, right, Bill, with wanting to share the love of Jesus with your son. Sister, may God be with you and bless you, and give you wisdom as well as you have these conversations. You know, the first passage that I thought of as you're talking is what Paul says in Colossians 2, verse 8. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit. According to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world and not according to Christ, it sounds to me like your son has gotten caught up in some political system, philosophy, that's empty and deceitful.
And so, you know, how do you respond to that? Well, the first part of your question is, how do I tell him that the Bible is real? How do I show him that the Bible is real? There are all sorts of things that we can point to there. We can point to the prophetic testimony of scripture, the fact that the Bible predicted things related to the coming of Christ, the Messiah, things related to world history, with clarity, with accuracy. And that's one of the ways, I think, that God Himself does.
This is how you know that this is real, that this is not just, you know, made-up stuff. In Isaiah, chapter 46, verses 9 and 10, God said, I am God and there is no other. I am God and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done. In other words, God Himself points to that prophetic record. But at the end of the day, it's only by the work of the Holy Spirit that anyone truly embraces that the Word of God is in fact the Word of God. And I think that comes through hearing the Word of God, hearing the scripture.
So I would just encourage your son to read the Bible for himself, not to listen to what other people are saying, you know, what the folks in this political group are saying, but to pick up the Word of God Himself and to read it. And so often the Spirit works together with the Word to convict our hearts. You know, Paul said in Romans, chapter 10, faith comes by hearing and hearing through the Word of Christ. And so I would say you can point to all the evidence, you can point to the fulfilled prophecies, you can point to just the majesty of the Bible and how it's coherent and how it's this book that was written over a great long period of time by multiple authors and yet it has this uniformity in terms of the message of the Gospel being central.
You can point to all of those things, but at the end of the day, it's the work of God's Spirit and God works through His Word. So expose your son to the Word, to Scripture, share Scripture with him and continue to pray for him, that the Lord would deliver him from this group that he's gotten caught up with. And just as an encouragement to you, you know, I think of the story of St. Augustine and his mother, Monica. St. Augustine was caught up in these weird groups, you know, these sects with beliefs that were ungodly and untrue and his mother prayed and prayed for him and the Lord did a great work in his life. And I say that to you just to encourage you so that you would know that God is able to work in this situation, continue to pray and continue to share the Scriptures with him.
Great encouragement. Thank you for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Hardy calling in from Illinois.
Hardy, what's your question for Adriel? It's Harvey and I'm from Illinois and I have a question about predestination. How does that affect Christians and how is predestination determined before we are ever born?
Harvey, hey, thank you for your question. So, yeah, the word predestination is a Bible word. We see it in places like Ephesians 1 in Romans chapter 8.
It's the Greek word pro horizo and it refers to the fact that, I mean, really it helps us understand the sovereignty of God. In Romans 8, for example, since we were predestined to be conformed to the image of God's Son, that is Jesus, in Ephesians 1, it says that in love, he, God, predestined us in choosing us before the foundation of the world. And so it sounds to me like part of your question there is what is the basis for that predestination? And some people will say, well, God predestines us on the basis of the fact that he foresees that, you know, we're going to choose him, we're going to do good things and that's why he chooses us.
That's not my view and I don't think that that's the view of the Scriptures. God's predestination, his choice is made, like Paul says in Ephesians 1, prior to the foundation of the world, but it's not on the basis of our merit or our righteousness. Anything that we do, it's really rooted in God's love. Again, what he says there in Ephesians 1, verse 5, well, actually verse 4, the end of verse 4, in love, he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace. It was in love and according to the purpose of his will. And who was it that he predestined? Well, later in the book of Ephesians, in Ephesians chapter 2, Paul is going to say it was those who were dead in trespasses and sins, those who were walking according to the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air. In other words, it's not something that was in you that God saw. Oh, well, this person is pretty spiritual, pretty righteous. I know it was purely God's grace and God's mercy, so we give thanks to him for that. We give thanks to him for that. Thank you.
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