What do I do if my employer wants me to display pride flags in the workplace? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, 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. You can call us right now with your question at 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on our Facebook or Instagram account, and you can email us with your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, here's a voicemail we received from one of our callers earlier this week. How you would deal with bad thoughts. I heard that you said run from temptation, but how can you run from your thoughts, or how do you set your mind on everything else if it's a reoccurring thought?
Thank you. How do you deal with bad thoughts in the Christian life? Well, first, I think that you need to remember that we could distinguish between, you know, a thought that enters your mind, which is, oh man, I can't believe, why did I have that thought, and then also meditating on or dwelling on things that you really shouldn't be dwelling on as a Christian. I mean, we're told that whatever is good, whatever is pure, noble, praiseworthy, those are the things we need to dwell on, meditate upon. Psalm chapter 1 talks about night and day meditating upon the law of the Lord, and so that's what we're called to meditate on, and if we're focusing on other things, if we're entertaining other thoughts, well, then there's a problem there, and we confess that to the Lord. We say, God, help me, give me strength, give me wisdom, but I think part of the issue is what is it that we're filling our minds with every day, and certainly, you know, right now in the age of social media, we're taking in so much information, so many images, and I wonder if that's not part of the problem, and so you want to ask yourself the question, you know, what is it that I'm focusing on?
What is it that I'm meditating on and thinking about throughout the day? Is it the Lord, his word, that which is good and true and beautiful, or is it all of these other things, and if it's all of these other things, then we're going to have a hard time with our thought life. I do think about the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans chapter 8, verse 5, for those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit set their minds on the things of the spirit, for to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the spirit is life and peace, for the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law.
Indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, Paul says, are not in the flesh but in the spirit, if in fact the spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the spirit of Christ does not belong to him, but if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is life because of righteousness. See, brothers and sisters, you have the spirit of Almighty God living in you through the grace of God, through the grace of the gospel, and so as those who are filled with the Holy Spirit, we're called to set our minds on the things of the spirit, to meditate upon God and his word and to seek how we can serve one another, and so I think that that's what's at stake here. When you have a thought that enters your mind that is just, boy, where did that come from? Well, you don't entertain it. You don't continue to dwell on those thoughts.
You just confess it to the Lord and move on and pray that God would give you a mind set on the spirit, and so thank you for that question, and may the Lord bless you. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Here's our phone number. It's 833-843-2673.
That's 833 THE CORE. You can also email us your question. Here's our email address. It's questions at corechristianity.com.
Here's an email from one of our listeners named Deandra. She says, I believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but how do I know if I've received the Holy Spirit? Is belief in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross proof that I indeed have the Holy Spirit?
If not, then how am I able to believe in the gospel at all? Can you please help me understand this in scripture and pray that God gives me peace about my salvation? Yeah, well, let me do that right now, Deandra. Pray for your peace. Lord, I thank you for my sister who has sent us this email. Lord, we know that she's not alone in wrestling with this question, wanting assurance, wanting to know that she has your Holy Spirit, that she has believed in you and in your son Jesus. She's received the forgiveness of her sins. I pray that you would help her not to doubt that, Lord, not to question the sure promise of your gospel for all those who turn to Jesus Christ and that she would receive comfort from that gospel, that she would have, Lord, a true sense of your presence in her life by the grace of the Holy Spirit. And instead of questioning your forgiveness, Lord, that she would be able to rejoice in it as she's turned to you, as she's clinging to Jesus Christ, and to press on forward in the Christian life with that assurance. And so would you be with Deandra, Lord, and bless her today in Jesus' name.
Amen. So how do you know you have the Holy Spirit? Well, what you said is the fact that I believe in Jesus, you know, in his resurrection. Is that a sign that I have the Spirit?
Well, absolutely, I would say. Paul tells the Corinthians that no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. Even confessing faith in the gospel is the grace of the work of the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul said in Ephesians chapter 1 verse 13, getting more directly to your question, in him, you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. In other words, when you heard the gospel and you believed the gospel, you were at that moment sealed with the Holy Spirit, baptized in the Holy Spirit. Paul says in 1 Corinthians chapter 12 that by one spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jew or Greek, slave or free.
All of us were made to drink of one spirit. This is one of the things we've been talking about, I think, you know, this last week on the broadcast is just the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, the fact that we are the temples of the true and the living God. And so I would say to you, you know, if you've received Christ, if you believe in him, in his resurrection from the dead, you have the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is at work in your life. Now we can be more or less filled with the Holy Spirit, and that's why Paul is going to go on to say in Ephesians chapter 5 in verse 18, do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart. And so as one who has the Holy Spirit, you've been sealed with the Holy Spirit from the moment you believe in the gospel, you're called daily to walk in the Spirit, to be filled with the Spirit through the word of Christ. And the way we see the Spirit working in our lives is what Paul refers to as the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians chapter 5.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control. A lot of times people are thinking, you know, if I have the Holy Spirit, I should be able to work wonders and speak in tongues and do miracles. Those aren't the primary signs of the Spirit. The primary sign or signs of the Spirit are the fruit of the Spirit.
And of course that's, you know, an area where we can all grow. And so we're turning to the Lord and saying, God, fill me with your Spirit and help me to be directed by, guided by, controlled by your Spirit. And may the Lord do that for you, sister.
I thank you again for your question, and pray that you're encouraged and comforted and that the Lord just gives you His grace to continue to pursue Him. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Summertime is just around the corner.
A lot of kids are already out at school and families thinking about, how do I keep my kids busy this summer? Well, one of the ways to keep your kids busy is to get them into God's Word. And we actually have a wonderful free resource we'd like to offer you today. Yeah, a brand new resource called Ten Verses to Memorize as a Family This Summer. Friends, hide God's Word in your heart. The psalmist said, your word have I hidden in my heart that I may not sin against you. I mentioned earlier, Psalm chapter one, where David says, you know, blessed is the man who day and night is meditating on the law of God. Well, how can you meditate on God's law?
Well, memorizing scripture is one of the ways I think that we meditate on the Word of God, on the law of God. And we want to encourage you to do just that, not just on your own, but with your family. And so this resource will give you ten verses to memorize, but it'll also give you some background context, some explanation of what these verses are all about. And again, we hope that you get a hold of it over at corechristianity.com.
This is such a great resource for families, so check it out. Go to corechristianity.com forward slash offers, and then look for Ten Verses to Memorize as a Family This Summer. Well, we do receive emails here at Core Christianity, and we'd love to hear from you if you have a question.
In fact, you can email us over the weekend with your questions about the Bible, the Christian life, theology, doctrine, you name it. Here's one from one of our listeners named Angela, and she says this, My employer, a police department in California, is pushing for pride flag stickers to be placed on all town vehicles. I drive a town vehicle.
How do I appropriately and respectfully refuse to comply? Well, Angela, thank you for that question. And, you know, the dilemma that you're in is something that I'm hearing more and more. Questions—I'm even getting these questions from people in my church. And the first thing I'll say is, I just want to commend you in terms of just the decision to say, look, this is not something that I can do with a clear conscience as a Christian, as a believer in Jesus Christ. This is one of the areas, frankly, where we're going to be challenged more and more as Christians, I think. Just thinking about the trajectory of society when it comes to ethics and in particular sexual ethics and the way we think about sexuality and gender, what the Bible has to say about those things is very different than what broader culture has embraced and celebrates. And so I think a part of faithfulness for us as Christians in the world and being faithful witnesses to the gospel of Christ is not capitulating, not saying, yeah, believe whatever you want, do whatever you want, it's all good.
No, we don't do that. And there are a couple of passages of scripture first that I want to mention, Angela, that I think speak to this. The first one, I've already been in the book of Ephesians a little bit, but in Ephesians 5, again, in verse 11, Paul said, take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible. For anything that becomes visible is light, therefore it says, awake, oh sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise. We're commanded as Christians to take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness. It doesn't matter what everyone else around us is doing. That's not what drives us. What drives us is faithfulness to the Lord and to His word. Now, the other passage of scripture that I wanted to bring up, considering your question, is what Peter says in 1 Peter 4. Beginning in verse 2, he says, to live for the rest of the time in the flesh, no longer for human passions, but for the will of God.
For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this, they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you, but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. Angela, you may be maligned and thought less of because you're choosing not to do this, but the whole world is going to give account to the Lord, to the God of heaven and earth. Now, in terms of the way you go about this, how do I appropriately and respectfully refuse to comply?
I don't think that you need to make a big scene. I don't think that you need to say, I'm not going to do this because I have contempt in my heart for people, for the gay and lesbian community, but that's not what it is at all. You shouldn't have that in your heart as a Christian. The LGBTQ community is not our enemy.
It's our mission field. It's the people that God has called us to love and to pursue with the grace of the gospel, but doing that doesn't mean affirming what they want you to affirm. No, we have to stick to what the scripture says, and so I think you can respectfully and lovingly choose not to comply. And so I think that's how you go about it, is this is a part of who I am, the core of my identity as a Christian, what God calls me to, and so I can't in good conscience do this.
That doesn't mean that I hate gay and lesbian people, and of course, again, that would be wrong. That's foolish. That's a sin. That's not what Christ calls us to do, but he also calls us not to take part in that flood of debauchery, that ideology that has so many people captive to sexual sin and sexual deviancy, and so may God be with you, Angela, and give you wisdom. May he give you courage and boldness, and may he fill you with the sense of his presence as you choose to live your life in a way that is honoring to the Lord and faithful to your convictions as a Christian. God bless you. That is so well said, Adriel, and I particularly like what you said, that the gay and lesbian community is not our enemies.
They are our mission field, and I think it's something that all of us need to remember and be praying about in those opportunities we might have to interact with those, especially maybe in our workplace, who have that ideology. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Lynn calling in from St. Louis, Missouri. Lynn, what's your question for Adriel?
Hello. My question is, when is our name written in the Lamb's Book of Life? Is it when we become a born-again Christian, or exactly when is our name written in the Lamb's Book of Life?
Yeah, Lynn, that's an excellent question. Well, let me just give some background to this idea of a book of life. I think you first hear about it in the book of Exodus, in Exodus chapter 32 verses 32 and 33. This was immediately after what took place with the golden calf, and then in the book of Revelation you have references to this book of life.
Jesus, when he's writing to the church in Sardis, says, the one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my father and before his angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the spirit says to the churches.
Now your question is more specific. When is our name written in the book of life? Is it the moment you're baptized?
Is it the moment that you profess faith in Jesus Christ? With regard to the when question, it's sort of interesting because there are two passages in the book of Revelation that I think speak to this, Revelation chapter 13 verse 8 and Revelation chapter 17 verse 8. In chapter 13 verse 8, it says, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, and this is speaking of the beast, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the lamb who was slain. And it's really interesting there that names written in the book of life, when were they written? From before the foundation of the world, and then I mentioned also Revelation chapter 17 verse 8 where this is repeated.
The beast that you saw was and is not and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction, and the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast because it was and is not and is to come. Now so what I think is being highlighted here with regard to the book of life and just salvation in general is God's sovereignty, God's absolute sovereignty. It isn't like the book of life is just you're in and you're out, sort of he loves me, he loves me not, that kind of a thing.
No, God who is absolutely sovereign from the very beginning has known those who are his. And I think that's one of the things that's being indicated there in Revelation chapter 17 as I just read. And so those are the two passages that you're going to want to look at in terms of the when question as to when our names are written in the book of life. God bless.
Thanks, Lynn. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Just a reminder, we have that great resource for families, perfect for some summertime activities, maybe around the dinner table each evening to really help your kids get into God's word. It's called 10 verses to memorize as a family this summer.
It's absolutely free. And you can find that by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers again, corechristianity.com forward slash offers 10 verses to memorize as a family this summer. Let's go back to the phones. Olithia is on the line from Tennessee. Olithia, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Hi, yes, thank you for taking and answering my call. My question is, is prophesizing. I know it is a spiritual gift, but I was wanting to know, is it relevant today? Because I had a woman just tell me that she was a prophet, and she could tell things about me. But in my mind, I was thinking, okay, Satan knows how to speak through people to tell you things that you want to hear. But I want to know if prophesizing is relevant today.
Well, Olithia, thank you for that question. And it opens up sort of the broader discussion of spiritual gifts described in 1 Corinthians 12 through 14, and which gifts are ordinarily given in the church today. There's a position which is referred to as continuationism, which is essentially that God is giving all of the spiritual gifts that you see in 1 Corinthians 12 in the church today. And the healthy churches have people who are exercising the gift of prophecy, the supernatural gift of prophecy, gifts like the gifts of tongues and interpretation, gifts like the gift of healing, and so on and so forth. And there are others, not continuationists, but this would be what's referred to as the cessationist position, who say, well, those gifts, specifically those sign gifts, were given for a period in the history of the church, really to help advance the gospel at the early stage of the church as the gospel was going out through the apostles. But that ordinarily today, God is not giving those gifts in the same way that he was early on.
Now, I think that there's some evidence for that in places like Hebrews chapter two, I believe it's verse four, where the author of the Hebrew speaks to the church about these gifts, the various gifts of the Holy Spirit that were being given in effect, again, to confirm the proclamation of the gospel. Now, look, God can do whatever he wants. I mean, God can give people a word from the Lord to share.
He's free to do whatever he wants. Ordinarily, he works through means, the preaching of the word, faithful ministry, so on and so forth, but God is free to work apart from means if he so chooses. The question is, how does God ordinarily work today? And is it typically through people who are prophets in the church? Under the old covenant, the office of prophet was very important because it was this group that was a part of Israel, and in particular, a part of the theocracy in Israel, the kingdom. And the prophets, what they would do is they would essentially call the kings in Israel, once they had rebelled, to repentance, to live in line with God's covenant.
They were sort of like this attachment to the kingdom there, and advisors, if you will, to the kings in Israel. Well, we don't have a theocracy anymore in the church today. We have the church, a manifestation of God's kingdom on earth. And I would say that ordinarily, if you want to grow in your spiritual life, Olythea, that the way that that happens, typically, ordinarily in the Christian church is through the faithful study of God's word, the faithful preaching of the word of God, growing together in Christian community, encouraging one another, speaking the truth and love to each other, as Paul says in Ephesians chapter four, speaking the truth and love to each other so we might grow up into Christ who is the head of the body. And when somebody comes along and they say, well, I'm a prophet, I can tell you secrets about your life or what's going to happen or whatnot, I think that we should be, well, a little concerned, frankly.
I wouldn't, I would ask a lot of questions there. I mean, we don't make ourselves prophets in scripture. This is a calling that God gave. So I can't decide, an individual can decide and say, I'm a prophet used by the Lord in that way.
And I mean, that's a very big claim. And so I would just be cautious. And the other thing that we have to be careful with is there are a lot of people who are saying I'm a prophet, or I'm a teacher even of the word of God, and yet they're contradicting what God has said in his word in various places.
And so you have to consider those things as you're having these conversations. And I always just encourage people to say, look, if you want to go somewhere where you know God has spoken, where he's speaking clearly, it's in and through Holy scripture. It's there that God speaks today by his spirit. 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 / 2023-04-06 16:01:08 / 2023-04-06 16:11:04 / 10