Should my sin keep me from taking the Lord's Supper? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi, we pray that you have 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. You can call us right now with your question. Here's our phone number. 1-833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. As always, you can post your question on one of our social media sites, and you can always email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com.
First up today, here's a voicemail we received from one of our callers over the weekend. Hello, my name is Simone, and my question is John 1633. I understand everything except the end of that verse. I have overcome the world. We may have great tribulation, but I have overcome the world.
I don't understand what Jesus is referring to there with all the tribulations that we continually have, so I appreciate your understanding about this verse. Thank you. Bye-bye.
Hey, Simone. Thank you for that question. Now, this comes at the end or towards the end of Jesus' upper room discourse. In this section of the Bible, Jesus is preparing his disciples for his departure. He's about to leave. They're worried.
You look at chapters 14 and 15. You can tell there's some concern there because their Lord, their Master, is going away, and they don't know where he's going. He's providing comfort for them in this discourse, in particular, promising them the gift of the Holy Spirit, saying, I'm leaving, but the Spirit of God is coming.
I'm going to send the Spirit. I'm not going to leave you as orphans. Then you get to verse 32. Then he says, Behold, the hour is coming. Indeed, it has come when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone, yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart.
I have overcome the world. Isn't that just an important word for us today? In Jesus, you can have peace. Yes, you may and will experience tribulation in life and in the world. Christianity does not promise us that we're not going to have difficult times, that we're not going to face tribulation. In fact, just the opposite at times in the Gospel.
Jesus says, You will be persecuted for my name's sake, but you can have a peace in the midst of those trials and tribulations. That peace is found in Jesus, who has overcome the world. How is it that Jesus overcame the world? That word overcome, it's a word that John really likes to use, both in his Gospel, in his letters, and also in the Book of Revelation. The strange thing is we think about overcoming and being victorious as a triumphant victory. The mystery in John's writings is that Jesus overcame the world through his suffering and death.
What does that mean? It means that what he was actually doing is accomplishing the forgiveness of our sins. That's what Jesus came to do first and foremost, to put away our sins once and for all. The good news for us is that Jesus is the one who has overcome, that through him we have forgiveness of sins, and we have peace even in the midst of a world where there's tribulation. Actually, in Jesus, you and I also are overcomers. This is a theme that we see in the Book of Revelation, but it's also something that John makes very clear in 1 John 5, verse 4. He says, Everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world, and this is the victory that has overcome the world, our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? We participate, if you will, or are a part of that victory that Jesus has won for us. By faith, we are victorious in him.
That's what Jesus is getting at there. Simone, thank you for that question and for giving us a call. Amen. Great explanation there, Adriel.
Thank you so much for that. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open if you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, or maybe you have some doubts about the Christian faith. Maybe you belong to another religion and you're wondering, what's all this Christianity stuff really all about?
I'm not sure I buy it. We're happy to talk to you as well. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673.
Let's go to Frank in Abilene, Kansas. Frank, what is your question for Pastor Adriel? Hey, I was just wondering, when Jesus was talking to the disciples and he said, this is how you pray, our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, and so on, he gets to the point where he says, and lead us not into temptation. Now, I was thinking, why would Jesus, the God rubbed in flesh, be telling disciples that praying to God, not leading us into temptation when the book of James says that God doesn't tempt any man. So the kind of a, it's a quick little, I don't want to say a contradiction, but it's a play on words there.
How would you make sense of that when he, because why would God be praying to the Father and saying, hey, lead us not into temptation? That's a little confusing. Yeah. Hey, Frank, thanks for that question.
Yeah. So you're bringing together two passages in the New Testament. Of course, Jesus's instruction on prayer there from Matthew chapter six, where he says very clearly in verse 13 that we are to pray saying, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, or we could say the evil one from Satan. Well, when you think about Jesus's words there, and then you turn to James in James chapter one, verse 13, James said very clearly, let no one say when he is tempted, I am being tempted by God. For God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire, then when it is conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. There are a couple of ways of thinking about this. First, it's clear, I think according to the New Testament, that when we're thinking about temptation, that word can be temptation, it could be trial.
There are different ways to translate that word, and typically the context is what helps us to determine how to understand a word. God does not tempt anyone to sin. He's not putting stumbling blocks, if you will, before us trying to get us to sin or something like that, but God is sovereign and in control of all things. Here, Jesus, I think in Matthew chapter six, is teaching us to pray in such a way that one, we recognize that and realize ultimately that it's the Lord's hand in our lives that keeps us from harm and even from trial. And so we're going to the Lord humbly, submitting ourselves to him as the sovereign king, the ruler of all things, not saying, God, I know you're trying to get me to sin here, that kind of a thing.
No, in fact, just the opposite. I mean, we're praying for growth and grace, for sanctification to be made holy. That's the will of God for us. That's what Paul tells the Thessalonians. This is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus, your sanctification.
So we know that that's God's will for us, and we can pray accordingly. We can pray confidently. God, deliver me from the evil one. Don't lead me into temptation or into that trial, the hour of trial, if you will, but strengthen my heart.
Fortify me. I know that you're in control of all things. And so there really is an attitude in the Lord's prayer of submission, of humility, of recognizing that God is the one who is in control of all things, and God is the one who gives every good gift, even down to our daily bread, the food that we need to survive that comes from the Lord. And so that's what Jesus is emphasizing. I don't think that there's any contradiction because, as I said, I think that there are different ways to understand that word temptation. You see that played out throughout the New Testament.
The same word can have a broad semantic range, we say, meaning it can be understood in different ways, or we could translate it even in different ways depending upon the context and what's being emphasized in the context. And so thank you for that question, Frank, and for giving us a call. Hey, Frank, thanks so much for being a regular listener to Core Christianity and for searching God's Word, and we always appreciate that when our listeners are acting like Bereans and really looking at God's Word closely. This is Core Christianity, and we have a very unique resource that we want to offer you today.
It's something in particular that if you're a parent, you will enjoy. Yeah, Bill, we have a new offer that combines some of our best questions and answers that we've gotten here on the show related to faith and family. And I think it's fair to say that kids ask some of the best questions, biblical questions, theological questions, and if we're honest, we're not always ready to answer those questions as parents. But we need to understand that our families can be and should be training grounds for growing together in the faith, especially when we think of the next generation. So whether you're a parent, a grandparent, an uncle, an aunt, or a sibling, we can help each other face the difficult questions that involve our faith and families. That's why the Core Christianity team has created a new resource on faith and family, and it's available on our website for a gift of any amount. This collection includes questions and answers from the show, articles, and bonus materials about marriage, parenting, sexuality, and dating relationships, how to answer kids' questions, and how to care for aging parents. Core Christianity exists to help answer tough questions about the Bible and the Christian faith, and when you get these important resources, you support us to continue to produce and broadcast the show. So we want to encourage you to get ahold of this resource, and thank you for your support. It is such a solid resource. We'd like to get that in your hands again for a donation of any amount.
You can find it by going to corechristianity.com forward slash family, again corechristianity.com forward slash family, and look for the Faith and Family collection. Well, let's go to a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners. This is Marilyn. My question to you is, when a person has sinned, if they take communion, will their soul be condemned? The preacher said over the intercom that if you sinned and take holy communion, your soul will be condemned.
Is this so? If you could answer this for me, I would appreciate it. Thank you, and God bless you all. Hey, Marilyn. You know, it really is important that we examine ourselves as we come to holy communion. I think oftentimes in the church, people have just a low view of worship, of what takes place when we're gathered together, of the sacraments of God's grace, baptism and the Lord's Supper. We sort of treat them as these empty signs.
That's not the main thing. What really matters is my personal faith and relationship with Jesus. Well, yes, those things are important, but these are signs, tokens of God's love, His goodwill, His grace, His gospel for His people. Think about it like a gift. Think of baptism and the Lord's Supper like a gift that God gives to His people. When you love somebody and they're giving you a gift, you want to be respectful. You want to receive that gift with joy, in this case, with faith, with hope, with true worship. Oftentimes, I think that we don't.
I think I want to just start there by saying that. There is a warning associated with taking the Lord's Supper in a way that is faithless, not addressing the issues in our lives that we should, but just sort of coming in a sacrilegious manner without faith, going through the motions, not believing. If an individual does that, yeah, there is serious spiritual danger, even physical danger, Paul seems to say in 1 Corinthians 11.
Listen to what he said there as he's writing to the church in Corinth and a group of people that were struggling with this. He says in verse 27, whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself then and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill and some have died.
But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. So there is a serious peril associated with worship and in particular with taking the Lord's Supper. If we're coming in a way that is sacrilegious, if we're clinging to our sins, shaking our fist at God and showing up in worship and just saying, I'm going to do this, it doesn't matter that I'm living in this way or whatnot, just sort of going through the motions, that, friends, is dangerous. And there's a warning in scripture associated with it. When Paul tells the Corinthians, this is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died. He's saying God's judgment is falling on the church because of how you're treating worship and in particular how you're treating the Lord's Supper, Jesus' body and blood by faith.
So there is a serious warning there. But what I also want to say is the Lord's Supper is for sinners, repentant sinners. That is if you've struggled with some sin during the week or even that day as you're preparing to go to church and you're grieved and you're saying, Lord, man, I've failed again.
I keep struggling with this same thing over and over again. God, forgive me. The Lord's Supper is for you. It's not for people, I think, who are under the discipline of the church and who are not believing and are clinging to their sin and shaking their fist at God and yet coming sort of haphazardly to the table, going through the motions.
No, that's dangerous. It is for you if you're broken and weak and struggling. And you can say with Paul in 1 Corinthians 7, man, the things I want to do, I don't do. The things I don't want to do, I find myself doing those things wretched, man, that I am.
Help. The Lord's Supper is a help to you. It's God's grace.
It's his love. It's his good will extended to us in these concrete ways through the signs, these gifts that Jesus gives to the church. And so I would say even if you've sinned or you're struggling with some sin but you're looking to the Lord in faith and clinging to his mercy, you need to go to the table and receive the mercy of the Lord that's for you there. God bless.
Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines will be open for another seven, eight minutes or so if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life or how your Christian faith intersects with what's happening in our culture today.
We'd love to hear from you. Here's the number. 833-THE-CORE.
You might want to make a note of that for future reference. 833-843-2673. Let's go to Kenneth calling in from Kansas City, Missouri. Kenneth, what's your question for Adriel? Yeah, afternoon, Pastor, here in Missouri. Good afternoon, Kenneth. Thanks for giving us a call.
What's your question? Well, the question is, well, I hear youth and they're asking, why do bad things happen to good people? And my response seems to upset a few, but I understand that from what I've read in the Bible that I'm not wrong in what I'm saying, but it apparently offends people. And so I'm trying to find a better answer. My answer is, well, there are no good people on the earth. The only good person I heard of was falsely accused, beaten, scourged and then put to death on a cross. So we can't really say that we're good people because we're not really good people as as what I was taught, which is now I'm understanding offending people. So now I'm trying to figure out maybe a more friendly answer that is still true, that won't be hurt by, as some of my family called, tender people.
Yeah. Hey, well, Kenneth, I love thinking through these things and wanting to communicate the gospel in a way that's true, obviously faithful to the word of God, but also sensitive. We want to just stick to what the scriptures teach, but I think that there are ways that we can communicate the word of God that are abrasive and not helpful. You think of people outside of the church who really don't have an understanding of what the Bible teaches. If you just say, oh, you guys are all the scum of the earth kind of a thing.
Well, obviously that approach is probably not going to be very helpful. But the reality is the Bible does teach that everyone has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. And that's just the reality that in terms of justification, there are no good people. This is what Romans chapter three spells out really clearly.
It's part of the argument that Paul makes early on in the book of Romans. And I'm sure you know this, Kenneth, but Paul quoting in Romans chapter three from the Psalms, he says, None is righteous. No, not one. No one understands.
No one seeks for God. All have turned aside together. They have become worthless.
No one does good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave. They use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.
Their feet are swift to shed blood and so on and so forth. And what Paul is doing there is he's emphasizing the universal sinfulness of men so that he can platform the grace of God in Jesus Christ. You see, I think that the approach that you can take that's really helpful, and this has worked for me in conversations with people, is not just, you guys are terrible, everyone is sinful, stop complaining that bad things are happening to you because you're just a sinner. Obviously, we don't want to do that.
This is not helpful. And the reality is, even though we're all sinners, people experience terrible suffering in this world and we want to be able to be compassionate and gracious and speak the truth to those individuals who are going through difficult things in a way that's going to be helpful. And I think where I like to focus is, yes, each and every one of us have sinned and fallen short of God's glory. God's love is magnified in that he sent his Son into the world, not for a bunch of people who deserved it.
We don't deserve it. And the reason we suffer in this world, the reason bad things happen, is because sin is a reality. Death entered the world through sin.
And so, here's what we do. We magnify the love of Jesus Christ for sinners. It wasn't anything in you or in me that caused God to send his Son into the world to save us. And what I mean by that is, it wasn't that we were righteous. It wasn't that we were pursuing God. It's Paul's point later in Romans.
In Romans 5, God demonstrates his own love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. And so, instead of focusing so much on, gosh, people need to just stop complaining because we're all sinners. That's why bad things happen.
You need to get over it. And I don't think that you're doing that, but I think that's how sometimes people can take it. We focus on the fact that, yes, each and every one of us have sinned, fallen short of God's glory. Because of that, there's this terrible pain and suffering in the world that we all experience.
And yet, God sent his Son into the world for people who did not deserve it. God loved us, and in loving us, he made us lovely too, if you will. And as a result of that, we experience peace, salvation, grace, and the beginning of the restoration that God is bringing to this whole world.
And so that's the good news. And so I would say, going to the good news of the Gospel and magnifying the love and grace of Jesus Christ is always what you want to do in those conversations. God bless. Great way to have a conversation with a non-believer, so thanks for that advice, Adriel.
This is Core Christianity. Let's go to Ella from Oklahoma. Ella, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Hi, guys. Thank you for taking my call.
My husband and I love you guys. My question is, for myself and others that I've talked to, how do you explain that the Bible, which I've read three times, seems like a fairy tale where God is all powerful, all things good and great and wise come from God, but then all the bad things and all the hurts and deaths are of a different choice they made, or Satan doing it, and God comes in to save the day. I am a complete, faithful believer. I just have the doubt, and I'd like an answer, please.
Ella, thank you for your encouragement and for your question. How do we know? Is it just sort of tall tales, fairy tales, things that we like to look at to give us hope and to make us feel good about ourselves or give us the hope that maybe one day after we die, we're going to be in heaven floating around in peace with our loved ones, that kind of a thing? That's not what Christianity is. Christianity is not a fairy tale to give people a hope for the afterlife, that kind of a thing.
It does give us true hope for the afterlife and the life of the world to come, as we often say, but that hope is rooted in reality, not in tall tales, not in myths or fairy tales, but in what God has actually done, accomplished in history. We have the eyewitness testimony, Ella, of the apostles themselves. Read 1 John 1.
John says that which we have seen, that which we have heard, that which we have looked upon, which our hands have handled concerning the word of life, Jesus, we saw him, we touched him. We know that this is true. These same men who made those claims, Ella, many of them were willing to die for these claims. In other words, if they thought it was just a fairy tale, if they thought they were just making it up, or if they knew they were just making it up to try to get power and persuade the masses, if they knew it was all fake, would they really have been willing to lose everything, social status, resources, their own lives, for a message that they knew wasn't true? The reality is it is true.
They did see it. This is what Peter says in 2 Peter 1 verse 16. We did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. We have the testimony of the apostles, and we have the prophetic word, God's holy word, scripture, confirmed for us so that we can embrace this not just as a bunch of fairy tales, but as the very truth of God for us that grounds us in a world that's full of trials and tribulations, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians chapter 15. If Jesus didn't really rise from the dead, oh man, we're of all people the most to be pitied. What are we doing with all this religion stuff? But in fact, Jesus did rise from the dead. And Ella, because Jesus rose, you can know that it's true. As we explore the truth of God's word together.
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