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Is It Ever OK to Use Explicit Language in Our Prayers to God?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
April 19, 2022 6:30 am

Is It Ever OK to Use Explicit Language in Our Prayers to God?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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April 19, 2022 6:30 am

Episode 948 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

1. We believe that the OT saints were saved by looking forward to Christ. But were they regenerated, were they what we would call “born again”?

2. How can I put sin to death in my life?

3. Is it ever ok to use explicit language in our prayers with God? For instance, there is a Christian band called Kings Kaleidoscope and they use the f-word in one of their songs. I have heard defenses for using this language because the writer was in a time of grief after the loss of his son. I bought this for a while, until I found a YouTube video of a concert where they sang this song, and there were a lot of young people belting out the f-word. Is it okay to publicize, publish, and repeat an explicative just because it is genuine and heartfelt?

4. If you accept Christ on your deathbed, can they be truly saved?

5. Does Ezekiel teach that the sacrificial system will be renewed?

6. Why didn’t the disciples notice any of Jesus’s other words?

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Is it ever okay to use explicit language in our prayers to God? 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, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. We would love to hear from you and our phone lines are open right now. You can call us for the next 25 minutes. At this number, 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 at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, a voicemail from one of our listeners named Saul. Hi, I really enjoyed the program. Thank you, Pastor Adriel and Bill, for just the work that you do.

Thanks for just making my car ride home from work and to work. Enjoyable. But the question I have is, the Old Testament saints, we believe that they were saved looking forward to Christ and what Christ would do. My question is, were they regenerated? Were they what we would call born again?

So, that's my question. Saul, what an excellent question. Yeah, I mean, there is some confusion out there on this because I think there are some Christians who think, well, you know, people into the Old Testament and the Old Covenant were saved by their obedience to the law, by their works, and then God progressively got more gracious and now in time of the New Testament, you know, it's forgiveness of sins, it's the grace of Jesus Christ, that kind of a thing. But the reality is believers in the Old Testament and in the New Testament were saved in the exact same way. In fact, the Apostle Paul in Romans chapter 4, a text that I bet you're familiar with, he says that Abraham was justified by faith.

That is, he received justification. He was accounted righteous in Christ even, looking forward to the promises of God in the Messiah, spoken of throughout the Old Testament. He was counted as righteous by faith.

And so one thing that we got to be really careful that we don't do is suggest that Old Testament believers were saved one way and New Testament believers were saved another way. If he was saved by faith, then yes, I would say that he was regenerated. Regeneration might be a helpful thing to just define that for a moment because that's kind of a technical word, theological word. Talking about the work of the Holy Spirit in an individual's life, giving them a brand new heart, giving them life, raising them from the dead spiritually speaking, we might say this is the work of the Holy Spirit in an individual's life. And it happens through the word, through the proclamation of the word. And as the word, whether it was prophetically looking forward to the Messiah and his salvific work in the Old Testament or now looking back on Jesus, as that word is being proclaimed, the Spirit of God is at work in the hearts of individuals to raise them from the dead, to bring them to new life. And so Romans chapter four would be the first text that I would go to and I think that it does confirm that believers in the Old Testament were indeed regenerated. Now that doesn't mean that their experience of the Holy Spirit is exactly the same as believers under the new covenant. I think there's something distinct there as foretold by the prophet Joel in Joel chapter two.

But when we're talking about salvation and how it is that an individual is saved, I would say that they were saved under the old covenant through faith in the same way that we are. And so thank you for your questions, Saul, and I'm glad that the broadcast is an encouragement to you. Hey, Saul, thanks so much for listening to Core Christianity. We really do appreciate you. By the way, we receive a lot of questions here about heaven on this program. And to answer those questions, we're actually offering an excellent free resource to you today. Yeah, Bill, we're excited to share a helpful resource on corechristianity.com called Seven Things You Need to Know About Heaven.

I think it was C.S. Lewis who said, you know, there's some people who say you don't want to be so heavenly minded that you're no earthly good. But the reality is that those very people who have thought the most about heaven, about the goodness of God and the world to come are those same individuals who have been used mightily by the Lord to be, you know, agents of change in society today in serving their community and loving their neighbors.

Why? Because they have this heavenly hope given through Jesus Christ. And we want you to understand that heavenly hope for yourself because we know it will have such an impact on your life. And so, again, this resource is called Seven Things You Need to Know About Heaven.

It's created to encourage you in your walk with the Lord so that you can have a biblical view of heaven, too. It's absolutely free, and we would love to get that in your hand. You can go to our website at corechristianity.com forward slash offers to download Seven Things You Need to Know About Heaven.

Again, corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Of course, you can always call us for that resource or any one of our resources. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. Let's go back to the phones.

Robert is on the line from Memphis, Tennessee. Robert, what is your question for Adriel? Yes, I was wondering, how can you truly put away sin in your heart?

Because I'm having a hard time dealing with that part of the cohesion. Well, Robert, God bless you, won in the fight against sin. And it sounds to me, you believe in Jesus Christ, you experience the conviction of the Holy Spirit when you sin, and you don't want to sin, but it's a struggle.

First, you can't do this, right? This is the work of the Holy Spirit. This is why Paul says in Romans 8 that it's by the Spirit that we mortify, that is put to death, the sinful deeds of the body. The Spirit of God is central here in the fight against sin. One text of scripture, and oftentimes when we get these questions, Robert, I encourage people, hey, camp out in Romans chapters 6 through 8.

There Paul is talking about, sometimes referred to as sanctification, growth in the Christian life, the mortification, the putting to death of sin. Those would be wonderful passages for you to look at. Another thing I think that's important is just thinking about God's word. The psalmist says in Psalm 119, your word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you. Or Psalm 119 verse 9, how can a young man keep his way pure?

By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you, let me not wander from your commandments. And again, I quoted verse 11 already, I have stored up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. And so I think, these things are tied together, you know, talking about the filling of the Holy Spirit and how the Spirit of God puts to death the sinful deeds of the body in us. Well, how can we be filled with the Holy Spirit? The filling of the Spirit comes through the word of Christ. As the word of Christ is dwelling in us richly, we are filled with the Spirit. So an encouragement for you, brothers, one, pray with confidence that God would sanctify you, that he would help you in this, because this is God's will for you, brother.

But two, go to the word. Make sure that you're under the ministry of the word, that you're in a good church, where the Bible is preached, where it's taught, where you can sit down and listen to the sermon and you're encouraged, you're built up in your faith. But don't limit your intake of the word to just that, you know, 30 minutes on a Sunday morning.

I would encourage you, man, go to the word every day when the Lord gives you time and meditate upon it. And it's through that, as we're growing in that, that so often the Lord gives us grace in the battle. And one more thing that I'll just say, you know, in terms of strategy for fighting sin, confession is key. Being able to bring your sins into the light. This is why church community is so important.

Having people around you that you trust who are going to speak the truth and love to you that you can go to and say, Hey, I'm wrestling with this or I'm struggling with this. I just need to bring this into the light and ask for God's grace. Would you pray for me? This is why, you know, your pastors, the elders in your church can be really helpful with this. That's so often I think one of the means that God uses to help us as we're walking in the Christian life and seeking to grow in grace. And so, brother, may the Lord bless you in the fight.

Keep fighting the good fight and know that there is grace for you in Christ and through his blood. Thanks for giving us a call. Amen. Some great words of assurance. Thank you for that, Adriel.

It's great for all of us to hear that on a regular basis. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez and our phone lines are open. If you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, how your Christian walk intersects with what's happening in today's world, feel free to give us a call. 1-833-843-2673.

That's 833-THE-CORE. By the way, we do receive emails here and you're always welcome to email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. Here's one from Caleb. Caleb says, Is it ever OK to use explicit language in our prayers with God? For instance, there's a Christian band called King's Kaleidoscope and they use the F word in one of their songs. I've heard defenses for using this language because the writer was in a time of grief after the loss of his son.

I bought this for a while until I found a YouTube video of a concert where they sang this song and there were a whole bunch of young people belting out the F word. Is it OK to publicize or publish or repeat a word like that just because it's genuine and heartfelt? Well, a very practical question and really just one about prayer and the kinds of prayers that God accepts or the kinds of prayers that I think are offensive and that God rejects.

Let me just say something really quickly here. There are prayers that can sound really pious and all the wording can be right. I mean, it could be old King James English, you know, thou, thee, all that. There are prayers like that that God hates. I think about what Isaiah said in Isaiah chapter 1 or what God says to the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah chapter 1. Is he speaking to his people? And this is a heavy word because he's bringing this word of judgment. He says, When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you.

Even though you make many prayers, I will not listen. Now listen to what he says next. Your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves. Make yourselves clean. Remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes. Cease to do evil. Learn to do good. Seek justice. Correct oppression. Bring justice to the fatherless. Plead the widow's cause.

Now why do I bring that up? Because I think that the deeper thing here, if we're talking about the prayers that God accepts, I think God actually is more concerned with the heart behind prayer. We can have a very pious sounding prayer, but if our hands are stained with blood, well, God hates it, right?

This is just hypocrisy. And so the first thing is, I think, coming before the Lord sincerely. Now what's interesting is you have a lot of sincere prayers in scripture that are kind of shocking. When I look at the Psalms, especially the Psalms of lament, they are full of emotion. Sometimes the psalmist even sounds like he's questioning God. God, why have you abandoned me?

Why aren't you being faithful to your promises? I mean, at times it can sort of make us uneasy reading these Psalms and thinking, is it okay to pray like that? But you know what? The Lord is near to all those who call upon Him, who call upon Him in truth. Now I'm not saying it's okay or it's not okay. I'm just trying to get to the heart of the matter here in terms of coming before God in prayer sincerely, with faith, with repentance. Those are the prayers that are honoring to the Lord. The prayer may not sound all that perfect, but you know what? When it comes from a heart of faith, from a child of God saying to God, Father, help. You think of Peter, right? As he was walking on the water and he begins to sink and he reaches out to our Lord, to Jesus, he doesn't say, oh, thou almighty creator of the earth and the sea.

I remember how thou didst make the oceans and so on and so forth. He just says, help. And sometimes, brothers and sisters, that's all we have. Sometimes we can barely even say it. It just is from this deep place in our souls.

And you know what? Even that prayer is honoring to God when it comes from that place of brokenness, that place of need, that place of faith. And so I want to say that there are some prayers that can sound really pious and well put together and whatnot, but still are not pleasing to God. And there are other prayers that maybe don't sound like that at all, but which are pleasing to the Lord. And it's an encouragement for all of us to offer our hearts to God in prayer, to come in humility, in repentance, in honesty. That's the prayer that God wants from you and from me.

Thanks for your question. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you. If you have a question regarding the Bible or the Christian life, you can call us at 833-843-2673.

That's 833-THE-CORE. Our phone lines will be open for the next ten minutes or so, so hop on the phone right now. Let's go to Chris in Missouri.

Chris, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Hi, can you hear me? Hey, Chris, yeah. Hey, how are you? Good, how are you?

Okay, babe. Hey, my question is, my niece is young in the Lord, okay? She just got saved a few months ago, and she came to me, and my dad went through nine weeks in the hospital, but he accepted Christ in the hospital before he died, like on his deathbed. And so did her father. Well, she said that her pastor told her that if you're not baptized until you're filled with the Holy Spirit, you're not going to heaven.

And I said, Denise, that's wrong. I said, because when you're saved, you are filled with the Spirit, and you don't have to be baptized to go to heaven. Yeah, it'd be nice if you are, but if you get saved before you die, my question is, do you get to go to heaven if you're on your deathbed? Chris, the answer to your question is yes, if an individual comes to Christ on his or her deathbed, and the light of the Lord is shining on them, and they realize, man, I've sinned.

I need God's grace. God's grace extends even to that person. Of course, I would say when you're talking to your niece, one place you can show her is just that text, the well-known text in Luke 23, verses 39 through 43, where you have the thief on the cross, on his deathbed, if you will, about to die, and yet Jesus says to him, today you will be with me in paradise. It sounds to me like maybe the church that your niece is a part of has some teaching that's not altogether accurate, suggesting that, well, you have to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.

You're right, Chris. The individual who believes in Jesus Christ is. I mean, this is a work of the Spirit. Paul says to the Corinthians, you can't even confess that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. So all Christians are, once baptized into the Holy Spirit, filled with the Spirit, given the gift of the Holy Spirit, we're called throughout the Christian life to be filled with the Spirit more and more, and that happens, as I mentioned earlier on the broadcast, as the word of Christ dwells in us richly, and as we grow together in grace and God's word and Christian fellowship, but I think it would be wrong to say that this individual who came to faith on their deathbed, well, they can't be saved because they haven't experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit yet or gone through these other things in a situation like this, in an extraordinary situation like this, where maybe even water baptism can't be administered.

I don't think that that individual would be kept from the grace of God because ultimately it comes first and foremost primarily through the word and the preaching of the Gospel. And so that's what I would say to you, and that's what I would say to your niece as well. Chris, thanks so much for your call and a great question. This is Core Christianity. We have this question from Esther. She called in and said, Does the last chapter in Ezekiel teach that there will be a new temple after Jesus that will still have sacrifices?

Yeah. Hey, Esther, thank you for that question. It really is the latter part of the book of Ezekiel that talks about this temple, the ten times temple that Ezekiel has a vision of. And of course when you get to the book of Revelation, the very end of the book of Revelation, essentially the whole world becomes the temple of God and the temple of the true and living God descends upon earth and the world is glorified. And so we are looking forward to that, but there isn't going to be a brand new temple that's built where there are animal sacrifices. In fact, the New Testament is explicitly against that. Read the book of Hebrews. Jesus Christ is the once for all offering for sin. Any sort of attempt to go back to the animal sacrificial system is undermining the truth of the gospel. It's a denial even of the redemptive work of Jesus, and that's what the author of the Hebrew says, and he's pretty strong about that.

And so what we have in Ezekiel is this picture, this prophetic picture, which is highly symbolic, I think, of one, the ministry of the church, which is now the temple of the living God on earth spread throughout the whole world, but also a picture of the new creation and what we see in the book of Revelation as well. And so that's how I answer your question. God bless.

You're listening to Core Christianity. Steve is on the line from Springfield, Missouri. Steve, what's your question for Adriel?

Good afternoon. I was thinking the other day, Jesus, when he reappeared to the apostles and, consequently, Thomas, and he shows Thomas the holes in his hands and the hole in his side. At that time, they don't mention anything about all the rest of his wounds where the crown of thorns had been put on his head and the scourging and things, and I was just wondering if there was any significance to that. Hmm.

Yeah, Steve, excellent question. Well, it seems like, obviously, Christ is still marked by those wounds. The scars are there. He's able to show Thomas in John chapter 20. Even in the vision that John has in the book of Revelation, he sees the Lamb standing as though slain.

He's still marked by death but risen from the dead. And so we do see that, but here's one thing that's really interesting to me, I mean, obviously, coming off of Easter and preaching on the resurrection recently, this is one of the things that I was most struck by looking at John chapter 20 and thinking about the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. How many people saw Jesus but didn't realize it was Jesus initially? You've got Luke 24, right, where Jesus is on the road to Emmaus with a couple of his disciples, and he's talking to them, and they're having a full-on conversation, right, face to face, and yet they don't recognize that it's Jesus. And they don't recognize that it's Jesus until he opens up the Scriptures to them, and in particular, in Luke 24, it's in the breaking of the bread.

Their eyes are opened in the breaking of the bread. And then I was struck by it also in John 20, where earlier, before you have that scene with Jesus and Thomas, Mary Magdalene, she sees Jesus, and she sees him, but she doesn't realize that it's Jesus. In fact, John 20 says that she mistook him for a gardener. She thought he was showing up to the tomb to pull weeds. Here's Jesus, the Lord of heaven and earth, the King of kings and Lord of lords, and Mary thinks he's there to clean up a little bit.

And what strikes me, actually what's interesting in that text in John 20 is Mary realizes that Jesus is Jesus when he calls her name, when he says to her, Mary, and it's there that she gets it. Now, I bring all of that up because you did have, Jesus is there, bodily, risen from the dead. He's still got these marks on him in his hands, in his side.

He says, Thomas, you can feel here. I don't know, did his forehead still have thorn marks in it? I don't know exactly what his glorified, resurrected body looked like entirely. I know that people had a hard time recognizing in one sense that it was Jesus, but here's what I do know.

That's not the most important thing, really. In these passages, what seems to be the most important thing is the ability to hear his voice, to understand his word. It's almost as if the gospel writers themselves are emphasizing or showing us that, look, these people saw him. He even says to Thomas, you've seen me and you've believed, but blessed are those who have not seen and have yet believed.

That's us. We can't see the risen Christ with our eyes right now. He's ascended, seated at the right hand of the Father, but you know what we do have?

We do have the word, and Jesus Christ is still speaking to people today, right now, through his word and by his Spirit, and Jesus himself said in John 10, My sheep hear my voice, and I call them by name, and they follow me. The question is not, for them, the primary question was, do you hear the voice of Jesus speaking to you through the Scriptures, the risen Christ? Bodily risen from the dead, 100%. This is a real appearance, a bodily resurrection. That's why we have the hope of the resurrection of our bodies. This isn't just like some spiritual resurrection or some hallucination that they're having. No, Jesus is physically bodily risen from the dead, but they need to hear his voice, and the risen Christ is still speaking today, and I think that's what's emphasized in these post-resurrection accounts is that we can still encounter the grace, the goodness, the glory of the risen Christ through his voice speaking to us now primarily in the Scriptures, and so the significance of the marks that they see, I think it's indicative of the fact that he's truly risen from the dead along with so many other things, right? Like they're having meals together, and this confirms that Jesus truly has conquered death. That's reiterated by Paul in 1 Corinthians chapter 15, so that's important.

It's central to the Christian faith, at the very heart of the Christian faith, the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and it was a glorified body, and so that could be one of the reasons why some of the disciples had a hard time recognizing that it was him early on there. God bless, brother. 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.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-29 20:04:10 / 2023-04-29 20:14:29 / 10

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