How should we apply Paul's teaching on excommunication in 1 Corinthians 5? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Hi, 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. And we would love to hear from you. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THECORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. We'll be taking calls for the next 25 minutes or so. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites.
You can shoot us a message through our YouTube channel. And of course, you can always email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. And Adriel, first up today, here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Judith. I would like to know, a passage from the Bible referenced that two will be in the field and one will be taken. Is the one that's taken the Christian or the one that's left behind is the Christian? I heard a pastor said people would be surprised that it's the bad one that's taken. However, he went on to say that the pastor will be in church the following Sunday and see the pews empty. And to me, that's contradictory. Because if the bad one is taken, that means the Christian will be in church. Thank you. Bye-bye.
Hey, thank you for that question. And the passage of scripture that you're referring to is Matthew chapter 24, where Jesus is talking about the time of the final judgment, his second coming. And in that context, what we read is verse 38.
It says in those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage until the day when Noah entered the ark and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away. So will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field. One will be taken and one left.
Two women will be grinding at the mill. One will be taken and one left. Therefore, stay awake for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. I think sometimes, you know, people read this passage and they take verse 40 out of context.
So two men will be in the field. One will be taken and one left. And they think, well, this is the sort of idea of being left behind the rapture. The Christian is going to be taken and the non-Christian is going to be left behind.
But what we do, you know, if we go that route is we're just reading a bunch of things into this text. It's talking about judgment specifically. And my view is in the context, the one who's taken is the one who's judged. You think of just what was said in the previous verse, in verse 39, where it talks about the people during the flood. They were unaware until the flood came and swept them away. They were taken.
They were taken out, actually. And so it's this picture of judgment. You know, there are people that will debate about, you know, is it the Christian or the non-Christian who's taken? But that's not even the focus of Jesus here in Matthew 24. The focus is on the fact that when the Lord comes, there's going to be this sharp distinction between those who belong to him and those who don't. This separation, you think just in the very next chapter, in Matthew chapter 25, where Jesus talks about the final judgment in verses 31 and following, and you have the separation between the sheep and the goats.
Right there, right? It's this picture of separation, distinction, and that's what's being emphasized in Matthew 24. And so that's the best way to understand that text specifically. Thanks for that explanation, Adriel. Appreciate that. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez Easter coming up here, like, less than two weeks away.
It's hard to believe. And we have a wonderful Easter devotional for you. It's absolutely free. We'd love to offer you this. It's called Meeting the Risen Christ.
Yeah. And by the way, especially because this time of the year, you know, your friends and neighbors might be more open to visiting church with you. Great opportunity for you to invite them to church.
And this is something that maybe you can give to them, share with them. Isn't that what we want for ourselves and for the people around us to meet with the risen Christ, to know him and to have a relationship with him? So this resource contains five scripture readings and reflections surrounding the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus Christ to help you reflect on the scriptures, on what they mean, and on what the resurrection of Jesus is all about. And so get a hold of this free resource over at corechristianity.com. Once again, it's called Meeting the Risen Christ. And this resource really gets at the heart of why we do what we do here at Core Christianity.
As we said, it's absolutely free. You can find it by going to corechristianity.com forward slash Easter. Again, corechristianity.com forward slash Easter. You can also call us for that resource or any one of our resources. And you can call us right now with a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Our phone lines are open, and here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 833-843-2673. Let's go to John in St. Louis, Missouri. John, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Yeah, I like that. I appreciate your guys, your show. It's really enlightening and I think it helps other people.
Hey, let me ask you a question there. I just talked to your narrator there about Jude, about how people in the last days will become boasters and just reject the word altogether, you know, reject God's word. And they'll be blasphemers. They'll even condemn, even they'll think that they'll slander even angelic beings. So I was wondering in that last time, are we in that period now where people are just boasting and they think, you know, they can say whatever they want to with their, you know, evil hearts. And are they, when they say slanderers of God's creation, is that referring to current people or, you know, people that don't believe in the word of God or is that people that already heard the word of God and now they reject the word?
Yeah, all excellent questions. And so a couple of things. Jude and also Second Peter, if you read Second Peter, there are a lot of parallels between Second Peter and Jude. And in Second Peter chapter two specifically, Peter gives this stern warning.
He says, False prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. So these are, I would say, non-believers. But in Second Peter and also in Jude, I think that they're individuals who had a real knowledge of the things of God, if you will, and rejected that. In fact, that's what Peters and Iguana say in chapter two of Second Peter. They basically, they turned from the knowledge of the truth.
After having received it, they abandoned the holy commandment that was given to them. And there's a similar group, I think, that's being described there in the epistle of Jude. So I would say that's part of the issue there.
And the question of are we living in those days now, I mean, I would say yes. I oftentimes will point people to First John where it talks about the fact that the spirit of the antichrist is already at work in the world. The great apostasy that the scriptures talk about, it's something that we have been seeing and I think continue to see today. People turning away from the truth, abandoning God's good word, good and holy word.
And so that's also what's happening there. In Jude, verse eight, Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. One of the themes that you have in both Second Peter and Jude with these false teachers is a life of sensuality, a life of greed, and a rejection of all authority.
So you have pride, arrogance there as well. And so it's helpful, I think, for us to look at those passages and consider some of the characteristics that are mentioned by Peter and Jude so that we can be on the lookout and we can be discerning. And John, it sounds like that's precisely what you're wanting to do. And so God bless. Thank you for giving us a call. Hey, thanks, John. Appreciate you listening to Core Christianity. We'd love to get your question if maybe you've got some doubts about the Christian faith.
Maybe you consider yourself to be an agnostic or an atheist. We're open to your calls as well. Here's the number. It's 833-843-2673. That's 833 The Core. Here's a voicemail that came in from one of our callers earlier this week.
Hi. When dealing with a parent who's living a lifestyle that does not line up to being a follower of Jesus Christ and using the scripture 1 Corinthians 5, verses 9 through 13, how does that work when dealing with a parent who's been very involved in our lives and our children's lives? You know, they haven't openly said, oh yes, I'm a Christian, but they have mentioned, oh, you know, I pray to God and they believe in Jesus, but their lifestyle just isn't one that reflects that of a true believer. Is the child of that parent, and again, an adult child, are they to cut off contact with these parents? And if so, how does that not violate the scripture that says to honor your mother and father? If it does violate the scripture of honoring your mother and father, how would one go about having a spouse who is very adamant that we must cut off contact because of what 1 Corinthians said? Thank you so much.
Yeah, thank you for that question, very practical question. First, no, and I think I can say that definitively to you, 1 Corinthians 5 does not mean that you're to cut off your parent in this situation. 1 Corinthians 5 is referring to severing relationships with people who profess to be believers, and here, in the context of 1 Corinthians, these are members of the church.
They've been baptized, they've confessed faith in Jesus Christ, they've been through the new members class, if you will, and they've been a part of the community. And yet, in the midst of that church community, among the quote-unquote people of God, this so-called brother continues to live in ways that are totally contrary to the word. Well, in that situation, Paul says, yeah, you need to judge this person, you need to help them recognize that they're living out of accord with the truth of God's word. And so don't even eat with that person, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 5, but then he makes it very clear. He says, look, I'm not telling you not to associate with the sexually immoral people, meaning the sexually immoral of this world, verse 9, or the greedy or swindlers or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. Because look, you're still going to have relationships with non-believers, including non-believing family members and parents, and just because an individual says, oh, I pray, and maybe they even say, I believe in Jesus, but I think the situation in 1 Corinthians 5 is more than that. It's an individual or individuals or members of the church who are part of the church community that are being spoken of. I would say in this situation, what you're going to want to do or what this individual will want to do is continue to have a relationship, a good relationship with your parents, one that honors them, as you said, and ultimately is a good witness of Christ and his love, his grace, his goodness.
Not abandoning them. In fact, that's one of the things that Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for, the religious leaders in his days. They basically justified abandoning their parents, not caring for their parents, and they blamed it on God. They said, well, everything I have is devoted to God, so I don't really need to focus on you or pay attention to you or provide for your needs. Jesus says, actually, what you're doing is going against God's law.
You're invalidating the law of God with your traditions, you religious hypocrites. In this situation, I don't think there's a justification for cutting them out of your life. I know that there are people who say, well, they're not the best influence, we might say, on my children, and maybe it's just hard for whatever reason the relationship is strained.
I think it's okay at times to have barriers, especially as you're thinking about raising your kids. You want to continue to love and honor and respect your parents and to point them to Christ and to his goodness and pray that the Lord would open their hearts so that they would truly come to faith and apprehend the grace and mercy of God for them through the testimony of you or the children in this case. Thank you for that question and God bless. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We would encourage you to let your friends at church know about this program if they've never discovered it before. And we are live on the air every day at 11 30 a.m. Pacific Time, 12 30 Central, 1 30, I'm sorry, 12 30 Mountain, 1 30 Central and 2 30 Eastern Time. You can also catch our program online at CoreChristianity.com. We do receive emails if you'd like to email us a question.
Here's our address. It's questions at CoreChristianity.com. This one came in from Rhonda and she says, How should I respond when a person says that Gnostic books were left out of the Bible so that Christians could make it say what they wanted to? Why were those books left out of the Bible? That's a great question. This is an argument that people were making quite a bit.
I feel like not. Well, I mean, several years ago now with The Da Vinci Code, that that book that came out that was creating quite a stir. And there were people that were saying, oh, boy, there are these other gospels and and they were left out of the Bible.
And boy, if they would have been included, they should have been included in that would have just changed everything. But what people don't understand is that those those Gnostic gospels, gospels like the quote unquote Gospel of Thomas, really have no bearing or similarity on the inspired word or with the inspired word of God. What we find in the New Testament, they were written later after the fact. They're almost incoherent. You read them alongside of the actual gospels and you just think, OK, that was the two different things. Very, very strange. In fact, it just pulled up the end of the Gospel of Thomas.
Just listen to this. This is the ending of the quote unquote Gospel of Thomas. Simon Peter said to them, Mary should leave us because women aren't worthy of life. Jesus said, look, am I to make her a man so that look, am I to make her man so that she may become a living spirit, too? She's equal to you, men, because every woman who makes herself manly will enter the kingdom of heaven.
This is like what in the world is going on here? There's no there's no similarity to these Gnostic gospels will try to quote Jesus. But you read it and you're just like, OK, this is this is not the Jesus of the Bible. And so when it comes to the New Testament books, you know, oftentimes what we say is that they were not so much chosen by the church, but that the church received them on the basis of a number of things. Their relationship to the apostles. Apostolicity is one of the things that we sometimes refer to as written by an apostle or someone associated with the apostles.
Antiquity, meaning they were they were ancient documents. The Gnostic gospels were written later than or after the original gospels were written. Catholicity we sometimes refer to, which just means to which just means that these are books that the entire church received for the most part. So it wasn't like there was, you know, churches in one region that were embracing these as scripture and then churches in other other regions weren't. But that the entire church was saying, yes, this is the inspired word of God.
We're receiving this. You even see this in the New Testament. I mean, Peter can refer to the writings of the apostle Paul as scripture. And so people who say, you know, the church was just sort of willy nilly picking what they wanted to pick to be in the canon of scripture don't understand the way in which the history unfolded. And they also don't realize or grasp just how different these other gospels are from the real deal, from the original.
And so that's why we reject them. And frankly, didn't Jesus himself say that there were going to be many people who rose up after him, false teachers, false prophets, others who would come and say, I am he, you know, I'm Jesus, I'm the Savior, I'm the Messiah, and in seeking to lead people astray. And I think that's precisely what you had with some of these movements, with some of these other writings. It really is a distortion of the truth. And so we always have to be, I mentioned this earlier on the broadcast, we always have to be vigilant. And the best way to be vigilant, friends, is to know the real deal, to study the scriptures, to familiarize yourself with God's voice speaking to you by the power of the Holy Spirit through his word, because as you know and hear that voice, you're able to discern the counterfeits that are out there. And there are many, Jesus said there would be, and that's what this is. We have to be seekers of the truth and be Berean in all that we do in searching God's word and not listening to those counterfeit voices. So great, great counsel there. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open for the next five minutes or so. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, the number is 833-843-2673.
That's 833 The Core. And a reminder, we have that great free devotional for Easter available to you. And if you go to CoreChristianity.com forward slash Easter, you will find that it's called Meeting the Risen Christ. Well, let's go to a voicemail from one of our callers.
This is from Alexandra. Hi, I'm struggling with prayer and I'm asking if God will forgive me for that. I am also struggling with depression and having trouble repenting to the Lord and seeking for help.
Then again, I'm struggling through fear and anxiety trying to find out if God will forgive me even though I know He will never leave me or forsake me. But thank you. Well, thank you for giving us a call, sister, and I'm sorry to hear about these struggles that you're going through right now.
So I just first maybe want to open up and invite others also. I want to pray for you. I want to invite others to pray for you right now. We lift this sister up to you right now, especially with that question, Lord, wondering, you know, can I be forgiven?
Longing to repent, longing to walk with you and to honor you, Jesus. I pray that you would be with her. I pray that you would give her a sense of your presence in her life. And God, that you would help her to embrace with all of her heart the promises in your word that instead of looking inside, Lord, to herself for hope, that she would be able to look up to you and your sure word, the word that you give us in the Gospel, that all who believe their sins are forgiven. God, that you wash away all of our sins. Would you give her that sure knowledge that her sins are washed away through faith in Jesus' name?
And Lord, I just ask that you would comfort her and encourage her and surround her, Lord, with brothers and sisters who can be an encouragement to her as well. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen. Amen. One thing I want to say is a couple of the things that you mentioned there, I'm struggling, I'm trying to repent of these things like fear, anxiety. There is a kind of anxiety, I think, that we need to repent of at times.
We're just not trusting God and we're consumed with the cares of this world. But then, you know, there are real anxiety disorders and there are fears that we don't need to repent of. So I just want you to be careful here because I want to make sure that you're not seeking forgiveness or asking for forgiveness for things that you don't need to be forgiven of.
We're not talking about sin when we're talking about fear or anxiety in every instance. Even struggling with prayer, you know, I think everyone who's listening to the broadcast right now could say, you know what, yeah, I'm with you. I don't pray as much as I should.
I wish that I prayed more. And so I just want you to be encouraged in knowing that, one, you're not alone. Two, that ultimately what you can sink your teeth into is the promise of God. And this is one of the things that I think is important for all of us to understand as Christians. Often we base so much of our spiritual life on our feelings, on how we feel.
I mean, the way we feel is significant and important. But I think God wants us to stand not on our feelings but on His word, on what He has said so that when we're struggling and when we're questioning and wondering, can you, do you forgive me instead of basing our forgiveness on how we feel. And oftentimes we don't feel very good and so we think, well, maybe I'm not forgiven.
No, go to the word, sister. Go to the promises that you see in scripture, promises like the one that we read in 1 John. If you confess your sins, God is faithful and just to forgive you and cleanse you of all unrighteousness.
John doesn't say, you know, if you feel like you're cleansed. He says, if you confess truly before the Lord and you come before Him and say, God, have mercy upon me, a sinner, for the sins that you actually have committed, that God is merciful and gracious and that He does forgive you. And so all of us, we need to make sure that we're standing upon the word of God. And oftentimes what we find in life, isn't this the case, that when we do the right thing, when we pursue the Lord the way we're supposed to, when we're clinging to His promises instead of our feelings, over time as we continue to embrace, grasp those promises of the gospel, the feelings will follow. Not always, but oftentimes I think that's what we find when we do the things that we know God is calling us to, even when we don't feel like it, when we bow before the Lord in prayer and pursue Him. It's there that we begin to experience the presence of God more and more. And so, sister, if you've trusted in Jesus Christ, if you've turned to Him, you are forgiven. And may the Lord give you strength and assistance, help from others as well in your community, church community, maybe even therapy counselors, and God be with you. 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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