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Does Isaiah 45 Teach that God Created Evil?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
April 25, 2022 6:30 am

Does Isaiah 45 Teach that God Created Evil?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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April 25, 2022 6:30 am

Episode 952 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

1. Does God give people a second chance after they die?

2. What does Isaiah 45:7 mean? “I make peace and create evil” does not sit well with me. Can you explain that?

3. Does the Bible every reference something like the rapture?

4. Is speaking in tongues today the same as it was in the New Testament?

5. Can a true Christian lose their salvation?

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Does Isaiah 45 teach that God created evil? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi there. We pray you had a wonderful weekend. 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. And you can call us at 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and you can always email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. And, Adriel, we received a really nice letter a couple days ago, and I wondered if you could share that with our listeners. Yeah, I was just stoked to read this letter this morning when I got in, and I think it'll be an encouragement for you on this Monday. This is actually an individual who was writing us from prison, and he said, I'm an avid listener of your program. I've been tuning into this wonderful show since it began when Pastor Sanchez was still answering questions with Dr. Horton. I owe much of my spiritual growth to CORE Christianity. The questions answered gave me a clear understanding of the Bible and practical ways to apply the truth to my life. This donation is nothing compared to my appreciation for the program. I pray it blesses your ministry to help others hear their questions answered. Wow.

Beautiful. You know, I'm guessing we have more than a few incarcerated individuals who listen to this program on a regular basis. You know, I think so, Bill.

It's really such an encouragement to receive letters. And actually, this individual went on to ask a question. He says, I have a question I hope you're willing to answer. What do I tell someone who is a Christian yet believes that God gives people a second chance to go to heaven after they die? My friend thinks Judas could be forgiven after he died, but I don't think that's correct.

What do you think about this? Thank you for all the questions you answer, Pastor Sanchez, and God bless you and your family, and God bless you as well, brother. I mean, in answering your question, the first thing I think that you should ask this brother, who is a Christian but believes this, is where do you get your view from? At the end of the day, we want to make sure that whatever we believe about God is coming from his revelation, not from how we think or feel things should be.

And so I would ask him, you know, is there something in Scripture that leads you to believe that? Because actually, when we read the Bible, it's very clear. It's what the author of the Hebrews said in Hebrews chapter 9. It is appointed for man to die once, and then what? Well, then comes the judgment. Then we're going to stand before God, and that judgment is described throughout Scripture.

Today, right now, is the day of salvation. If an individual is thinking, boy, I'll get right with God after I die, well, by then it's going to be too late, and that's what the Bible teaches. And so we want to make sure that whatever it is that we're believing about God is coming from what God has said in his word, what God has revealed.

We don't get to make this up as we go along. And so I would ask your friend where he's getting this idea from, and then maybe take him to that text in Hebrews chapter 9 that makes it clear that after we die, then there's the judgment. And so really, just again, appreciate this letter and the encouragement that you've given to us. And as you were saying, Bill, I know that there are many people who listen to the program, who are incarcerated, who are in prison. And you know, brothers and sisters, Scripture tells us in Hebrews chapter 13 to remember those who are in prison, those who are bound. And so we do want to do that, and I just want to take an opportunity right now to pray for our brothers, for our sisters who are currently in prison and yet serving the Lord there.

Father, thank you that your people are everywhere. Thank you, God, that you are at work all over the place, including in prisons, Lord, that you draw people to yourself and that many people come to meet your son Jesus for the first time even while they're behind bars. I pray for our family, for our brothers and sisters who are currently incarcerated, who are seeking to be faithful to you, Lord.

Would you strengthen them? Would you fill them with your Holy Spirit? Would you give them resources, Lord, that are going to help them to continue to walk with you and to be faithful to you and to grow in your word? And I thank you for this letter, Lord. Pray that you would be with this brother in particular who has encouraged us, Lord, that you would encourage him. By the grace of your Spirit, I ask these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

Amen. You know, Adriel, I couldn't help but think for this gentleman about the thief on the cross who never had a chance to go back and make things right. And I'm sure there are those who are in prison right now who regret their past actions and wonder, could God ever forgive me? I have no way of making amends.

I have no way of making it right. But for that thief right there who confessed his belief in Christ, Jesus said, today you'll be with me in paradise with no opportunity to go back and make amends for what he had done. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that's absolutely true. That doesn't mean that we don't seek to make amends or right that which is wrong if it's possible. I mean, a lot of instances it's not possible. And I've talked to brothers who have been incarcerated who, you know, they were in prison for many years because of some crime.

And even then, it just felt like, I don't know, you know, it wasn't enough. But the reality is the hope that we have in the gospel doesn't brush over our sins, doesn't justify our sins, but we do have genuine forgiveness in Jesus Christ because of what he has done. So that even people who've committed crimes and who have been in prison, I mean, so many actually in the New Testament and the Old Testament as well, were in shackles and chains. And yet that didn't stop God from extending his grace to them and also using them in mighty ways. And so what an encouragement that is.

Amen. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open right now.

If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, maybe something that's kind of you stumble through when it comes to theology or doctrine, or maybe you consider yourself an agnostic or an atheist and you have real doubts about the Christian gospel. We're open to your calls as well. Here's the phone number. You might want to jot this down for future reference. It's 833-THECORE. You can just spell that out. 833-THECORE, which translates into 1-833-843-2673.

Here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Viola. I have a question about Isaiah 45-7. It reads, I form the light and create darkness. I make peace and create evil.

I, the Lord, do all these things. Pastor Sanchez, I'm just curious about the part where it says that God creates evil. That's just not sitting well with me. Can you explain that? Thank you. God bless you.

Hey, Viola, thank you for that question. Really, I think it's a translation issue here that can kind of muddy the waters. The word that's translated evil there in your version of the Bible, the version that you're using, can be translated other ways. For example, I'm using the ESV, and that same word is translated calamity.

The question is, what's the proper way to translate this particular Hebrew word? Words in the Bible have what we sometimes call or refer to as a semantic range. They have a range of meaning.

Typically, the meaning of a particular word is determined first and foremost by the context. Should we translate this word as evil or calamity? When we translate it as evil, it seems to suggest that God is the author of evil, that he's doing something wrong or bad.

Of course, that's something that the Christian Church has rejected since the very beginning. God is not the author of evil. He has given mankind freedom. We've gone our own way, and because of what we've done, sin has entered into the world and evil happens. God may allow it, but God is not the cause. He is not the one who's doing the evil.

That's us, and we're responsible for that. Here, what the prophet Isaiah is emphasizing is the sovereignty of God, in particular over this historical situation with the guy named Cyrus. Cyrus was this mighty ruler who was going to be used by God for the benefit of his people. The interesting thing about Cyrus is he's not a Hebrew. He's a Gentile, and yet God is still going to use him. He's demonstrating his sovereignty, his power. Verse 1 of Chapter 45 begins, Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him and to loose the belts of kings, to open doors before him that gates may not be closed. I will go before you and level the exalted places.

I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron. In other words, God is saying, I'm going to use this ruler, this man, Cyrus, to accomplish my purposes through what? Through war, through the humbling of these nations, through calamity. The better way to translate that word in Verse 7 is calamity, better than evil. It could be translated both ways, but again, the context has to determine for us how we should take it here.

In this context, I think that a better translation is calamity, and what's being emphasized is God's sovereign power over the nations, and ultimately the fact that God cares for his people, that he uses even this Gentile king to accomplish his purposes for the benefit of his people. In that sense, it can even be a great comfort to us today as Christians. Viola, thank you for your question, and may the Lord bless you.

Thanks for that clarification. Adriel, appreciate that. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We receive a lot of questions about heaven on this program, and to answer those questions, we're offering you an excellent free resource today. Yeah, the resource is called Seven Things You Need to Know About Heaven, and it is completely free, so get a hold of this. We love giving you guys resources, content that is going to encourage you in your walk with the Lord, and also help you to have a biblical understanding of these important concepts that we see in Scripture, like heaven and what the Bible has to say about heaven. Unfortunately, and I'm sure you've seen this, there's all sorts of confusion out there. People who will say, oh, I died and I went to heaven, and they'll write books about it and sell all these books.

We want to stick with what the Scriptures say, friends. God gives us information in his word about heaven, and we've put together at least some of that information in this resource, again, Seven Things You Need to Know About Heaven. So head over to corechristianity.com to get a hold of this free resource. It definitely will answer a lot of questions that you or maybe a friend or relative have about heaven, and we'd encourage you to go to our website corechristianity.com forward slash offers.

Again, corechristianity.com forward slash offers and look for Seven Things You Need to Know About Heaven. Let's go back to the phones. Tim's on the line from Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Tim, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, my question is, where is the rapture in the Scriptures? I keep hearing people talk about it as the world seems to get more and more out of control, and I've never seen it, so that's my question. Where is the rapture at in the Scriptures? Okay.

Tim, thank you for that question. Now, of course, we're talking here about the study or the doctrine of the last things, sometimes referred to as eschatology, the last things, and in particular, the coming of Jesus Christ. Now, there are differing opinions. There are some who believe that Jesus is going to come to rapture his church away, and then there's going to be a period of tribulation, and then he's going to come again to judge the world after this time of judgment, and that's what's going to usher in essentially the eternal state. There are others who say, well, I don't think that there are two separate distinct comings of Jesus, but that there's one coming, the second coming, and that that's what we see reflected in the New Testament.

Now, this isn't one of those issues that should cause us to say, oh, you have a different view than me. You must not be a Christian. I like to say that because oftentimes people will get into these debates or discussions about eschatology, and it can be really uncharitable.

We don't want to do that. This isn't what we might call core Christianity, the essence of the Christian faith. But people who do argue for a rapture, what they'll do is they'll go to places like 1 Thessalonians 4 where the apostle Paul talked about being caught up together with the Lord in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and to be with the Lord, and the word that's used there is a word that means to be snatched away or to be caught up, and so it's the word rapture in Latin, and so that's where it is in the Bible.

Now, again, there are differences here. There are others, and this is kind of the side that I take who say, well, actually, this is probably just a reference to the second coming because in 1 Thessalonians chapters 4 and 5, it's very clear that the focus is on the coming of the Lord, the parousia, the revealing. This is just a word that means revelation or revealing, the coming of the Lord, and in particular with regard to his second coming. In fact, in chapter 4 verse 15, it says, For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord that we who are alive and who are left until the coming of the Lord will not precede those who have fallen asleep. And then in chapter 5, he goes on to talk about the day of the Lord. That is the day of judgment, the final judgment, ushering in the resurrection of the dead, the life of the world to come, and so that's the text you're going to want to go to and that many people will go to in these discussions, and so I would encourage you to meditate on 1 Thessalonians chapters 4 and 5 in Jesus' teaching in the Gospels and pray for guidance, pray for wisdom. And ultimately, let me just say, throughout the scriptures when the discussion is had about the coming of the Lord, what are we called to do? We're not called to speculate about it, we're called to be ready, to be vigilant, not to be surprised by it, and what you'll find as you're reading 1 Thessalonians 5 in particular, that's exactly what the Apostle Paul says is, hey, walk in the light, continue to honor the Lord and to be vigilant as you look forward to his coming, the revelation of Jesus Christ, his appearing. And so that's what I would say, brother, check out those passages and may God bless you and grant you wisdom as you open up the scriptures. You know, one of the things you've mentioned before on this program, Adriel, is that throughout church history, there was not really a view of a rapture, that it was one coming, one second coming of the Lord, and that's more of a recent phenomenon in the church.

Yeah, I mean, that's just a true historical note, and of course, just because something wasn't in history doesn't mean that it wasn't true. Ultimately, we want to go to the scriptures to determine whether or not something is true or not true, but I think it is helpful to look at how believers, faithful men and women, have interpreted the word of God for the last 2,000 years and see, okay, well, what did they see, and what can we learn from that, and that should help to illuminate our own understanding of scripture as we learn together in the context of the local church, but also taking into account the wisdom of so many who have gone before us and who have sought to honor God through his word. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open for another five minutes or so. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, you can call us right now at 833-843-2673, or you can spell that out.

It's 833-THE-CORE, 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to Lori in Newport, Arkansas. Lori, what's your question for Adriel? Yes. Hello. Hi, Lori.

Oh, yes. I was wondering about the speaking in tongues nowadays, how they have in some of the churches. It's not another language as it was on the Day of Pentecost, the speaking in tongues.

You can't even understand what they're saying. Is this biblical? Hey, Lori, thank you for that question. Of course, in scripture, you do have some phenomenon, right, the speaking in tongues, but it seems like, and you're picking up on this when we look at places like Acts 2 on the Day of Pentecost, and even Paul's discussion in 1 Corinthians 14 that this gift of tongues, which was given by the Holy Spirit to individuals, was the ability to speak in real languages that had never been learned. For example, on the Day of Pentecost, they're speaking in these new languages that they had never learned, and they're declaring the wonderful works of God. They're praising God in these new languages.

As a result, they get the attention of all the people that are there gathered together for the feast, and then Peter has the opportunity to preach the gospel powerfully, and many people come to faith. Similarly, in the book of 1 Corinthians in chapter 14, it seems to me that these tongues that were being spoken were real languages, and Paul says the person who's speaking in tongues should pray that they're able to interpret, because if other people hear this and they don't understand what's being said, there's no way they can say amen. You can't say amen. You can't join in on the giving of thanks, and so there needs to be an interpreter. Let's just say, in terms of the way the New Testament talks about this, it was done decently in order. It was a real language, often interpreted in the context of the assembly so that others could say amen. Now, it seems to me, and this sounds like your observation, but what happens in a lot of places today when people talk about speaking in tongues doesn't look like that at all.

No interpretation, maybe the repetition of these sounds, but not a language per se, and so I think it's okay to be suspicious of that. Of course, we want to take everything, as I often say, to the Word, to the Scriptures, and for my part, my sense is that ordinarily in the life of the Church, God is not giving these miraculous sign gifts today. That was a part of the early preaching of the Gospel as the Word of God initially was going out through the ministry of the apostles and those early churches that they planted, and it was confirming in a very powerful sense the ministry of the apostles, the Word of the apostles, the preaching of the Gospel, and that's what was happening. That doesn't mean that God can't work miraculously today. It's just that ordinarily, my sense is that God is working through the preaching of His Word and faithful church ministry, growing in an understanding of the Scriptures, and that's what we want to be committed to. That's what I'm committed to as a pastor because I believe that that's what really helps people grow in their spiritual life.

1 Corinthians 14 and Acts 2 do seem to indicate that these were real languages, not just sort of babbling, and that they were for the edification of the people once interpreted. God bless. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Just a reminder, we have that wonderful free resource available to you today on Heaven. It's called Seven Things You Need to Know About Heaven, and you can find that by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers.

Again, that's corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Let's go to Kyle in West Plains, Missouri. Kyle, what's your question for Adriel? Yeah, hey pastor, I was curious as to your thoughts on if you were to accept Christ and be saved and become a Christian and then fall away from Christ, is it possible to lose your salvation?

Hey Kyle, thank you for that question. I do not believe that it's possible for a genuine believer who has been united to Jesus Christ by faith, regenerated, born again, that if that person were to fall away, I don't think that they could lose their salvation. Now, genuine believers can sin and sin grievously and come under the discipline of God, but ultimately I believe that God keeps and preserves those who are his own. Now, there are people, I think, who profess faith in Jesus Christ and are in the church for a while, and maybe even exhibit the characteristics of a Christian. It seems like they have peace and it seems like they're doing good deeds and serving the Lord, and then all of a sudden, and maybe you've seen this in your own life.

I've seen it. You know somebody who seems like they're faithfully walking with Jesus, and then they just deny everything and they walk away from it. Does that person lose their salvation or do they prove that they were never genuinely saved to believe with?

That's kind of the debate. I would say I think that that person demonstrates by their departure that they really didn't ever fully grasp the Gospel. They never fully apprehended it by faith.

You can understand it in a cognitive way and still not put your trust in Jesus Christ. Now, I think there's evidence for this view in the New Testament. John, when he's writing in 1 John, is writing to a group of Christians who had just experienced a schism in the church. A number of people that were there in that church that John is writing to had left, had abandoned the church.

There's this question, well, what happened to them? Well, listen to what John says in 1 John 2 verse 19. They went out from us, but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out that it might be plain that they all are not of us.

In other words, their apostasy, their leaving the faith, abandoning Jesus, revealed that they were not of us. Do you remember what Jesus said in John chapter 10 verse 27? My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father who has given them to me is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.

I and the Father are one. We have, brothers and sisters, a kind of security as believers, and the security is not in us. It's not in how faithful I am in and of myself to keep myself perfect and free of sin. Every day we sin against God in thought, word, and in deed. Our security, our hope, our anchor is Jesus Christ, is the fact that no one can snatch us from His hand, and that He holds onto His sheep, and that He doesn't lose His sheep. Now, that doesn't mean that there, again, aren't people who profess faith, who maybe are in the church for a while, and then walk away and demonstrate that they never fully understood or embraced the Gospel, but the fact of the matter is, I believe that as a Christian united to Christ, regenerated, justified, that you will be kept and that God will preserve you for your own good and for His glory and namesake. 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 / 2023-04-27 11:54:30 / 2023-04-27 12:04:55 / 10

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