If Jesus has saved us, why will we still be judged on the last day? 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. We pray you had a great weekend. This is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day, and we would love to hear from you.
You might want to jot that down. As always, you can post your question on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts. You can send us a message through our YouTube channel, and you can always email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com.
First up today, here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Sarah. The question I had was how to talk to somebody about the Gospel if they are Jewish and they just lost a loved one. I recently found out that the mom of a family that I used to marry four years ago passed away. The family is Jewish, and I do not think the mom believed in Jesus before she passed. How can I talk to them about the Gospel when their loved one just died? Thank you. I appreciate your time.
Yeah, thank you for that question. Of course, right now, with everything just having happened, I think it's important for you to come alongside to offer condolences and prayer and see if there are ways that you can serve and just be present. I know especially with a loss right away, probably not the best time to just sort of jump in. It could be that they're open and wanting to talk about that, but a lot of times, as an individual or individuals are processing the death of a loved one right away, I think right now would probably be a good time to just come alongside and minister to them through your compassion, your love, your prayers. And then as time progresses, being able to get into conversations about Jesus and the Gospel, ultimately, whenever we're confronted with death, whether a person is a Christian, a non-Christian, Jewish, as you said in this situation here, we're brought face to face with the terrible reality that we live with, the fact that we're all going to die and that death is this great monster.
That's something we can all agree with. There are sometimes people who try to minimize death and the pain of death. It's just a natural part of life, but deep down inside, I think each of us knows that there's something very unnatural about death. In fact, that's what the Bible teaches, that God did not create the world with death in it, but that death came into the world because of sin. As people taste the bitterness of death, I think it's an opportunity to get into conversations about Jesus, the one who conquered death. Of course, I don't know to what extent they're practicing Jews. I know that there are many people who will say that they're Jewish and it's a very cultural thing for them, not so much a religious observance, but just a part of their ethnic identity. I'm not sure where they are there. I know that you can go to passages in the Old Testament like Daniel chapter 12 verse 2 that talks about the resurrection and the hope that even Jews had related to this idea of resurrection from the dead.
Maybe that's a question you asked. As a Jewish person, do you believe that there's a resurrection? Because Daniel talked about that and there are other indications in the Old Testament that there would be life after the grave or resurrection of the dead. From there, going to Jesus, the one who rose again from the dead for us.
By the way, you might find this interesting. There was a guy named Pinchas Lapid who was a Jewish man who actually believed in the resurrection. He looked at the evidence and he even wrote a book discussing this. He never embraced Christianity. He continued to practice Judaism, I believe, but he just said, look, the evidence, when you look at the New Testament evidence and the things that were going on is Jesus probably did rise again from the dead.
He tried to process that and what that might mean for him. Of course, he didn't end up embracing the Christian faith, but the evidence is there that Jesus really did rise from the dead. Maybe in time, praying that the Lord would give you an opportunity to talk about Jesus, the one who conquered death, as you seek to encourage them and ultimately point them to the hope that they can have that we have in Christ of eternal life. God bless you.
Sarah, thanks, and thanks for your care and concern for this Jewish family. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We've got Easter coming up here in just a couple of weeks, and we want to tell you about a wonderful free resource that we have just for you. Yeah, we have a brand new Easter devotional that we want to offer to our listeners today called Meeting the Risen Christ. I'm just talking right there with the previous question about the resurrection and the centrality of the resurrection to the Christian faith. The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15 that if Christ is not risen, our faith is basically worthless. You might as well just eat and drink for tomorrow we die.
What's the point in following God and going to church, all of these things that Christians do? But the reality is Jesus did rise from the dead, and because he rose from the dead, we have the hope of eternal life and the resurrection of our own bodies. This is so important for us, and it's something that a lot of Christians misunderstand, the doctrine of the resurrection. I hope that you'll get ahold of this free resource, this Easter devotional over at corechristianity.com. This resource really gets at the heart of why we do what we do here at Core Christianity.
Again, it's absolutely free. You can find it by going to corechristianity.com forward slash Easter. Again, corechristianity.com forward slash Easter to get this wonderful resource, Meeting the Risen Christ. Well, our phone lines are open, and we're taking your calls about the gospel, about the Christian life, about doctrine, theology, you name it. We would love to hear from you. Here's our phone number to call.
It's 833-THE-CORE. You can spell that out on your phone or 1-833-843-2673. We'll be taking calls for the next 15 minutes or so, so jump on the phone right now. If you want to get in with your question, let's go to Johnny in St. Louis, Missouri. Johnny, what's your question for Adriel? Hey, thank you for taking my call. How are you doing Pastor Adriel?
I'm doing well, thank you. My question is, so it says that you can sin against the Father and be forgiven. You can sin against the Son and be forgiven. If you sin against the Holy Spirit, it can't be forgiven, and I'm trying to figure out why not if they're all one and the same. Yeah, excellent question, and of course we would say that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one in that they are one in essence, equal in power and in glory. God, we believe in one God, the Holy Trinity.
Now they're distinct as to their personal properties, we might say. The Father is unbegotten. The Son, Jesus, is eternally begotten of the Father, and the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son. Three distinct persons, so in terms of personhood they're not one and the same, but as far as God, one in essence and undivided, we would say that they are one. Now with regard to this question pertaining to the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, we can read about that in Matthew chapter 12 or in Mark chapter 3. I'm going to read Mark's account in Mark chapter 3 to give you some of the context and then to answer your question. Verse 22 of Mark 3, And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, He is possessed by Beelzebul. They're saying Jesus is possessed by Beelzebul, and by the prince of demons he casts out the demons. And he called them to him and said to them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand, and if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand but is coming to an end.
But no one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods unless he first binds the strong man, then indeed he may plunder his house. Truly I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness but is guilty of an eternal sin. For they were saying he has an unclean spirit. Now the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit here that the religious leaders were on the verge of committing had to do with what they were saying about Jesus. They're saying he's casting out demons not by the power of the Holy Spirit, which is how Jesus did it, but by the power of Satan. In other words, they were calling the Holy Spirit and even Jesus himself in another sense of the evil one, satanic. And the emphasis here is upon denying the work of God, really a denial also of the gospel, just rejection of Christ. It's this hard-hearted unbelief that doesn't just say, I don't believe in Jesus.
It even goes a step further. It says Jesus is evil. He's demonic. And Jesus says, look, if an individual has that idea, if that's what they're concluding, if they're rejecting the truth and the work of God's Spirit that they see right in front of them, and they say, Christians are just drinking bathwater. That's not real. They're demonic. Well, be careful.
You're on dangerous ground. If you reject the gospel, if you just don't believe it and associate it with evil, with Satan himself, there is no hope of forgiveness for you in that condition. Now we do know, sister, that many of the scribes and the Pharisees, the religious leaders, did believe in Jesus.
I don't think that this is referring to you say something on one occasion, you think something for a period of time, and they're lost because of that. This is this continual, persistent unbelief that goes as far as to associate the work of Jesus with the work of Satan. And an individual that's that confused, that hard-hearted, in this situation, Jesus says, God is just going to give you over to that. Paul talks about something similar, I think, in Romans chapter 1. So it's not that there's confusion here about the persons of the Trinity. The idea is just rejecting the work of Jesus and associating it with evil.
If a person does that, well, they're not saved and they can't be saved unless they repent. God bless you. Don't want to go there, do you, Adriel? That's definitely not a place you want to go. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and we'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, maybe about how your Christian walk intersects with what's going on in today's culture.
There are some some attention points there. So give us a call. 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Greg. If you're saved, why would you have to be judged at judgment time when it comes? Bye. Hey, thank you, brother. And of course there are a number of passages in the New Testament that talk about believers experiencing the judgment, being judged.
Now, why is that? And when I say there are a number of passages in the New Testament that refer to this, I'm thinking of places like the book of Revelation, where in Revelation chapter 20 in verses 11 and following, John says, I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it from his presence. Earth and sky fled away and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne. And the books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done.
This is a judgment that's all-inclusive. This is clear, again, throughout the New Testament. Acts chapter 17 verse 31, 2 Corinthians chapter 5 verse 10. Those are passages that bring this up, but we need to recognize that for believers, the judgment is going to be very different. We are not going to be condemned.
In fact, in Christ, you have already been justified. And that's why Jesus can say in John chapter 5 verse 24, Truly, truly I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. Now, when Jesus says he doesn't come into judgment, I don't think that what he means by that is that we're not going to be at the judgment.
I mean, those other passages make it clear. It's that we're not going to be condemned, that we in Christ don't have to be afraid because we have been justified. In fact, in the book of 1 John chapter 4 verse 17 and what follows, John says that we can have confidence in the day of judgment.
Why? Because of the love of God. Now, let me just ask you a question as you listen to this. Do you have confidence before God on judgment day? I mean, if you do, let me just say that it's not a confidence that you have or can have because of how good you are in and of yourself. If you have confidence because you're like, I'm pretty good, well, there's a problem because when we stand before God, before his perfect law, we realize how short we fall. The confidence that we have on the day of judgment is not first and foremost found in us.
It's found in Jesus. And that's why, again, we go back to his word, the one who believes in me has eternal life. You will not enter into judgment.
You've already been justified in me. And so for us, for believers, the judgment is a vindication, the revealing of the sons of God, as the apostle Paul says in Romans chapter 8. Not a time for us to be condemned and cast away. A time for our vindication and our celebrating the goodness of God and the glory of Christ in his people.
Thank you for that question. God bless. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Just a reminder, we have that free Easter devotional available to you. It's called Meeting the Risen Christ.
It contains five scripture readings and reflections surrounding Christ's post-resurrection appearances. Just what a great devotional this would be leading up to Easter in the next couple of weeks. And you can get that by going to corechristianity.com forward slash Easter.
Again, it's absolutely free. It's called Meeting the Risen Christ. Go to corechristianity.com forward slash Easter.
Well, let's go back to the phones, and Joanne is on the line from Kansas City. Joanne, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Hi, Pastor Adriel. I have a question about, you always hear preachers say that tithing is not a New Testament command or concept. It's just Old Testament. When you read in Luke 11 42, where Jesus had been speaking with the Pharisees about how they tithe their teeny tiniest rule, everything, Jesus says, you should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things. So Jesus is saying, yes, you should tithe. So why do pastors or preachers always say that it's not a New Testament thing?
Hey, Joanne, thank you so much for that thoughtful question. Let me just read the verse that you bring up, Luke 11 42, where Jesus is really laying into the Pharisees here. He says, woe to you Pharisees, for you tithe mint and ruin every herb and neglect justice and the love of God.
These you ought to have done without neglecting the others. So it sounds to me like you're saying, look, Jesus doesn't condemn tithing. He says, you guys, you should have done that, but you shouldn't have neglected love and justice. Now, certainly, what's interesting about the ministry of Jesus here is he is establishing the new covenant in his body and blood, instituting it in one sense when he gives his disciples the Lord's Supper and, of course, ratifying it there on the cross as he sheds his own blood. And so we're in this sort of unique crossover phase of redemptive history where the temple is still there, and there are a number of things associated with the temple and the festivals and the worship of the people under the old covenant, the Passover and so on and so forth, and the Pharisees, and people were called to observe those things. Now, for us as believers under the new covenant, the reason I say, and other pastors will sometimes say this as well, but there's no real prescription in the New Testament for us to give a tenth of everything. And under the old covenant, it wasn't just what you brought home from your job. It was, as you see here, they're tithing on all sorts of different things. So even in terms of following the tithe as it was followed under the old covenant, it's something that even people who believe that the tithe is for today, they don't follow it the exact same way they couldn't. There's no temple to tithe to.
But I don't discourage, and I don't think in saying that, we should never discourage generosity and giving. I think a tithe is a wonderful thing. I think Christians should give to their local churches, and it can be a tithe. It could be more than a tithe.
We don't have to say 10% is what everybody has to give. I think under the new covenant, when we consider God's goodness to us in his son, Jesus, the forgiveness of all of our sins, his generosity to his people, we should be a people who give generously out of that great goodness that we've received from the Lord. And that's what's encouraged in the New Testament, in particular in places like 2 Corinthians 8 and 2 Corinthians 9 as well. And so, yes, sometimes people I think can hear you say as a pastor, well, you know, tithing is an old covenant concept, and so they think, okay, good, I'm off the hook. But the reality is we are called as Christians to be generous, not to be controlled by money.
And I think especially kind of in the United States, this is one of the biggest idols for a lot of people, is they're controlled by money and possessions. And Jesus had no problem talking about these kinds of things. He said, look, where your money is, there will your heart be also. And so we should be encouraged to give generously to our churches, to the work of missions. And if people want to do that as a tithe, I think that that's great. It's helpful to sort of commit to something and then stick with it, just as a way of being persistent and faithful in that and cultivating generosity in your own life.
But it doesn't have to stop there. Just giving generously to the church, to the work of missions, to the needs in among the body of Christ around us. And so, yeah, that's what I would say. Just going back to your question initially, we have to recognize that even there in that context in Luke chapter 11, this is a unique moment in redemptive history where we're about to cross over from essentially the way worship was being conducted under the Old Testament times with the types and the shadows and the sacrifices to the time of the new covenant in which we're living right now, Joanne. God bless you, sister. Hey, Joanne, thanks for your call. Thanks for listening to Core Christianity and for digging into God's word. We always appreciate that when our listeners act in a Berean way and really search the scriptures. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.
Let's go to Ed from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Ed, what is your question for Adriel? Yes, I'm Pastor Will. My question is, what does the Bible say or what do you think about alternative forms of sex within marriage? I know the scripture says, you know, some men were condemned for going after strange flesh. Was it strange because it was a homosexual relationship or just because it was outside the parameters of, you know, those specific areas of the body?
Hey, Ed. Wow, thank you for that question, brother. You know, the scripture does—look, in the church, we want to be careful that we don't, when we talk about marital intimacy, we don't treat it as taboo or gross or icky or something like that. And I think that can happen sometimes, brothers and sisters, within the church. You know, God gave us, in the Old Testament, the book of the Song of Solomon or the Song of Songs, which is a poetic depiction, if you will, of marital intimacy, among other things. I mean, ultimately, I think it points us to Christ and his relationship to the church. But you have this—I mean, it was erotic love poetry, you know, in the Hebrew Bible.
Now, it's not over the top. You hear sometimes, I think, pastors talking about the Song of Songs in ways that are not good and in ways that are crude or crass. And that's not what the Song of Songs is. It's this picture of marital love, of marital intimacy. And so I think—and I preface, you know, my comments with that just to say we need to be able to have these conversations within the body of Christ in a healthy way so that we don't communicate to people that, oh, this is just a bad thing, especially talking about it, you know, in terms of families.
I think sometimes parents can communicate to their children, like, oh, that's bad. Don't talk about intimacy or marital intimacy, and you're just going to get yourself in a lot of trouble. And this is really a negative emphasis instead of viewing it as a gift that God gives to his people in the context of marriage. And even within marriage, I think it can be abused. We often talk about intimacy as abused outside of marriage, but even within marriage, if it becomes something that's selfish, if it's a way in which we're just using another person and not thinking about their needs, right? There are ways in which I think it can be a not good thing. And I would just say this is really a conversation that you have to have with your spouse and be sensitive to your spouse's needs and also, you know, certainly not ever doing something that would make another person uncomfortable. I mean, I think there needs to be a lot of communication here.
And so it's not something that I would say, you know, you would ever want to try to force someone or to do something that they were uncomfortable with. And so we have to think about that, you know, how are we caring for loving each other within marriage, our spouse specifically? And I think I'll leave it at that. So God bless you, Ed, and thank you for giving us a call. You know, Adriel, as a follow-up, I was just thinking about the importance of talking to our kids about God's design for sexuality and starting early because I think there's so much confusion in our culture these days. It really behooves us as moms and dads to talk about how God has designed sex, how beautiful it is, and why he has designed it for marriage.
You're absolutely right, Bill. And that's one of my concerns is if we just treat it as this sort of taboo subject as we talk to our kids and just give all these warnings, they can have a skewed understanding of marital intimacy. And so we don't want to do that. We want to give them the truth and make sure we're helping them understand it as opposed to the culture trying to teach them what it's all about.
No, we want to help them understand it as a gift that God gives to his people, and it's a good thing. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at corechristianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar. Or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-The-CORE. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
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