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What Does It Look Like to Love My Political Opponents?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
June 27, 2022 6:30 am

What Does It Look Like to Love My Political Opponents?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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June 27, 2022 6:30 am

Episode 997 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

1. In 1 Peter 3, what does it mean when Peter talks about proclaiming the gospel to “imprisoned spirits”?

2. Where does the idea of purgatory come from?

3. What does it look like to love political opponents who I don’t trust?

4. Where in the Bible can I show my Catholic friends that only God answers our prayers?

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What is it look like to love my political opponents mess with one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity will hi there, I'm Bill Meyer with Pastor Israel centrist replay pray that you had a great weekend. This is a radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. Our phone lines are open and you can call us for the next 25 minutes or so. Here's the phone number is 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673. By the way, we have a YouTube channel and you can watch Israel live right now on YouTube in the studio and send him a message.

That way you can also email us your question at questions at core, Christianity.com first up today let's go to Terry calling in from St. Louis, Missouri Terry what your question for Pastor Israel hello I'm calling concerning first Peter chapter 3 verses 19 to 20 or reach after being made alive. He went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits to those who are disobedient, long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built, and my question Ariel is your thoughts and comments on this Terry, thank you for that question. First Peter chapter 3. There are a few different interpretations that have been put forward.

What is it mean that Christ went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison for some people say well maybe it was that that the spirit of Christ was preaching through those Old Testament prophets like Noah, if you will.

If you look back in chapter 1 in verse 11 it says inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. In other words, guys like Noah in the Old Testament as they were preaching about the judgment to come, but they had the spirit of Christ in them, which is really a remarkable thing.

It's a sometimes people will point to that. Maybe that's what is being referred to here, you know that that proclamation that happened back then other people think will businesses preaching that took place in between the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ where he's going and delivering the quote." Saints who are in imprisoned assertiveness this place of limbo.

Still others in this list is to be work where I lean is usually when you look at the context of first Peter one of the things that Peter is doing throughout this epistle is encouraging Christians in the midst of their suffering.

The persecutions that they're going experience for being followers of Jesus, and he wants them to realize that even through their sufferings, you know, God is still with them and ultimately they're going to be vindicated. They're going to have victory and that's precisely what happened with Jesus. He suffered, died, but then he proclaimed to the spirits in prison which I think is this sort of message of victory proclamation to the spirits in prison being not that that you know people in limbo waiting to be released per se, but those ungodly chained to evil wicked spirits that are described in places like Jude chapter 1 verse six or 26 and even in second Peter chapter 2 verses four and five. This is this is Christ part of his victory lap, if you will, over overall things. Having died on the cross going to be raised from the dead, proclaiming victory over the power of evil and of the evil one specifically and this would have given hope to the Christians that Peter is writing to their in first Peter because they're looking forward to. Also this this victory.

This vindication yes were going to suffer when he goes on to say in in chapter 4 verse one.

Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking. This is this is something it's going to happen don't get it don't get strange verse 12 in chapter 4, first Peter, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you as though something strange were happening you, but rejoice in so far as you share Christ sufferings that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

Such really an encouragement here for the saints to persevere in the midst of their suffering no matter what you face to know that Christ Christ is conquered. He is victorious and that in him we too will be vindicated. Thank you Terry for your question. A Terry, thanks so much for listening to core Christianity and for a great question will believe it or not this coming Thursday, June 30 core Christianity will be airing its 1000 1000th episode. If you can believe that. And to celebrate we are offering a very special giveaway package for you yet a time really has flown by, has in it build and every we've aired you know coming up now is as Bill says thousand broadcasts. And like you said to mark this occasion were going to send three listeners, a gift basket, a gift package that gives passage a gift package that includes our three latest Bible studies on Ruth. The parables and the book of Philippians, a brand-new coffee mug with core Christianity's logo.

I know you're really excited about that and a bag of San Diego's finest coffee to go with the mug also on top of all that, you'll get a pair of Sony Bluetooth headphones and so you can listen to core Christianity all day long with the best quality headphones.

We really are thankful for our audience and and the way you can enter it back to when is really quite simple. Bill, would you let them know how sure just to go to our website and you can enter to win those three Bible studies the core coffee mug. The San Diego coffee and the Sony Bluetooth headphones at core, Christianity.com/giveaway again. Core, Christianity.com/giveaway would love to have you want to win one of those goodies and had a drill bill. Our producer just handed me this coffee mug on hold.

I hope this is mine.

I hope he he handed me this is a gift so I can take it home, but it looks great and so you're really gonna want to enter to win this coffee mug and the other things as well.

Thank you guys for your support. You should go on to our YouTube channel right now so you can see the coffee mug in person. Skyler that's right well. Our phone lines are open right now.

If you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine and theology coffee were open to it. Here's the phone number it's 1833 the core and will be taken calls for the next 15 minutes or so. Again, it's 1833. The core 833-843-2673 let's go to Brian calling in from St. Louis, Missouri Brian, what's your question for a drill question of how to bring us together is generally believed in paradise of the Bible.

But why do people believe in purgatory is a great question. I think that the simple answer is no there there are some traditions that say yet you know when you die while you might still have quite a bit of sin that needs to get dealt with it needs to get purged before you can enter into the presence of God.

So you're sort of in this waiting area. This holding tank. If you will undergoing this period of purgation of cleansing prior to entering into the presence of God and of the part of this gets at our understanding of salvation also to reality. Even our doctrine of justification if if you believe that an individual is you know justified, but that that means that they aren't necessarily declared perfectly righteous before God's sight that there still to be some other things that need to get dealt with before they can stand before God with confidence. You know it in the presence of the Lord will will then you might have that to come up with an idea of of purgatory or cleansing after death. My view is this was the view of the Protestant reformers that went when somebody turns to Christ when they believe in him there immediately justified. It's this definitive act of God active his free grace whereby there forgiven of all of their sins and their credited with the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ, so that our standing before God on the day of judgment and the confidence that we have on the day of judgment isn't so much based on our inherent righteousness. You know how good we do every single day brothers and sisters, we sin against God and thought, word, and indeed our confidence on the day of judgment is something John gets out and in first John has to come from the love of God for us in the declaration of God over us in his son Jesus, that we are justified declared righteous in his sight.

Even though we still struggle with sin, and so because of that we can have. We can have confidence that we can enter into the presence of the Lord, and it seems to me like throughout the New Testament.

You know when Paul talks about death or he talks about will believers await when they die was never this idea of you, then you're going to go through this time of purgation.

Of cleansing before your with the Lord know he says in second Corinthians 5, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord into the Philippians in Philippians chapter 1 he says he will. He wants to depart and be with Christ because that's far better than anything that this world has to offer.

That's what he was looking forward to and I think that's what all those who trust in Jesus Christ could look forward to as well. Again, not on the basis of our own righteousness, but on the race. On the basis of the perfect righteousness of Jesus that is been given to us. This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez if you got a question about the Bible or the Christian life. We would sure love to hear from you. Here's the number 833 the core and if you get a voicemail. Feel free to leave that there and you can also email us your question anytime the questions at core, Christianity.com here's a voicemail that came in from one of her listeners earlier this week. This is from Jerry Inderal-really fighting with a lot of spiritual thing. The way our current leaders are running our country and who are blaming many people put themselves and I'm hating them every day felt like I don't need them anymore. How connected with hate. It is hard for me to deal with hating these people. I know Christ said don't hate the mention of one of your shows love one another man like that. I'm finding it very hard to even think of these people who are running our country currently as people think you will thank you for giving us a call sister. It may have been. I don't know what broadcaster listening to, but not too long ago and I pointed someone to Jesus's words in Matthew chapter 5 in verse 43 I think an important reminder for all of us, especially in light of the discussions that are going on and some of the tension you know as people get into political debates and and so forth. Jesus said, you have heard that it was said, you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.

For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have do not even the tax collectors do the same if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others do not even the Gentiles do the same.

You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. See Jesus as anybody can can love and be good to the people that love and do good to them. You don't need a that they see this you know amongst non-Christians, people of all different religions you to love those who love you me that that's not too difficult to do were grateful for the way that they treat us what's what's distinct about us as the followers of Jesus Christ.

What should be distinct about us is that we love even those who persecute us.

We seek even their good think of Jesus's words on the cross, father forgive them. They don't know they don't know what they're doing. Think of Stephen as he was being martyred in the book of acts and don't hold this against them. Think of the saints were praying for the apostle Paul when he was still Saul of Tarsus persecuting the church there is this call that we have, to love, not just those who love us, but to have this distinct kind of love will we love even those people who frustrate us.

And even those people who make our lives more difficult as I think that this is really important now. Not all anger is bad. This is this is key here. Paul said in the book of Ephesians in Ephesians chapter 4 be angry but do not sin.

And certainly there were instances in the Gospels were our Lord Jesus was angry where he exhibited anger. I think of the gospel of John. For example, in John chapter 2 when Jesus cleansed the temple. Verse 13 the pastor of Passover of the Jews was at hand. And Jesus went up to Jerusalem and the temple, and he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons and the moneychangers sitting there and making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple with the sheep and oxen and he poured out the coins of the moneychangers and overturned their tables and he told those who sold the pigeons take these things away. Do not make my father's house a house of trade and his disciples remembered that it was written zeal for your house will consume me zeal brothers and sisters for the house of God for the true worship of God should consume us. And when we see the Church of God come under attack whatever that looks like or the worship of God come under attack and the strange thing here and in John chapter 2 is that it was under attack from religious people specifically but but however we see that happening that should anger us we should be zealous for the things of the Lord and for the worship of the Lord.

But don't let that zeal or that anger over sin deterrent turn into bitterness and resentment.

And that's where we have to be very careful sisters. We think about these discussions in a one of the problems I see.

Is it too often when people talk about how to engage. You know their political opponents. It seems like the goal is always let's let's just make the other side look as foolish and as dumb as we can. Let's let's paint them out to be as bad as crazy as as we can so that we can almost dehumanize them in and here's the reality is, as sinners, we dehumanize ourselves in it it it really is heartbreaking in terms of our rebellion against the Lord and Paul talks about this in Romans chapter 1, but we don't want our hearts to grow bitter and jaded and and to begin to view people as our enemies that need to be destroyed, as opposed to the objects of Christ's redeeming love people that we need to pursue addressing the issues of sin, being angry about the sin calling them to repentance and faith but holding out the hope of the gospel and this is why were encouraged throughout the New Testament to pray even for for civil authorities, even those who disagree with the church and come against the churchman pulse assisted Timothy you see this in Peter's epistles as well. Don't buy into the lie that we so often hear we did.

We just need to we just need you don't own the other side with with our arguments make them look like they have no egg on their face that kind of a thing and then just sort of you know, shake our hands of it in and and then we've done our duty know we want to expose bad teaching. We want to expose inconsistencies wicked ideologies that are destructive to the church and to our neighbors. I think that we have to do that while also longing to see the spirit of God work in the lives of those who disagree with us, and even are against us to pray for them as Jesus said, realizing knowing that the gospel is big enough to transform even even their hearts and in the way we know that is because it's it's worked in our hearts because God has worked in us forgiving our sins. Even though we were rebels at one time, perhaps in turning away from the Lord, wanting nothing to do with Jesus and yet it was the grace of God that brought us sin, and so I think the way you go about this the way we only go about this is knowing the grace that Jesus has shown us resting in it receiving it rejoicing in it so that we might extend that same grace to others who desperately needed and so may the Lord be with you and grant you peace in your heart. We should again be angry about things that happen about abuses about wicked ideologies that that deceive people. It's it's okay to be angry about that.

You should be angry about that but be angry and don't sin hold out the hope of the gospel for those who are captive to these wicked things knowing that Jesus is able to save that's a great answer it or let me ask your follow-up question on this is something I've always wondered about him. In Matthew 10 when Jesus is telling the disciples as they go out and and share the good news if if if someone will not welcome you or not.

Listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that house or town. How are we to apply that to a situation like you just addressed bill that's a great a great question. I'm glad you brought that verse of Scripture in because there does come a point, I think, where as were engaging with individuals with people we write. They might respond in the just hardhearted want nothing to do with the gospel and and we have to ask ourselves the question of my just casting my pearls before swine.

My concern is that in so much of our discourse today I'm registered of jumping there registered of abandoning all hope for whoever our quote unquote opponents are you the people that we see on social media that believe things differently than than we do, and in many times. As for some of those people. It may be very well be that they're totally hardhearted and have turned away from the Lord be think of somebody like Saul of Tarsus and persecuting the church and and and it went. When we grasp. I think that the depth of God's mercy and the power of the Holy Spirit to work in an individual's life. I think it should help us to be long-suffering and patient as well. And so we really have to exercise wisdom as were engaging with people with real people you know that having conversations talking with people.

It is this individual really want to listen are they just trying to fight and if it's clear that they're just trying to fight in time will either you say okay I might my time is better spent elsewhere. Sharing Christ with with others.

But let's not draw that conclusion early to early certainly let's let's pursue our neighbors with the gospel and with hope because we believe in the power of the Holy Spirit great counsel.

Thanks for that Israel. This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez.

Let's go to Cindy who's been waiting on hold for a while from Kansas City, Missouri Cindy what your question for a drill, I'm yes I do have a question several friends who are Catholic and I'd like to show them Scripture that shows that only God can answer prayers. Contrary to them praying to saints are to marry are whatever what Scripture can I show them that shows only God can answer prayer Cindy that's an excellent question, and I don't know that I would point to one passage of Scripture per se because I feel like throughout the Bible in the Old Testament in the New Testament God is always the one who is being addressed in prayer and we know especially under the new covenant that we come to God through Jesus the son, our mediator, so we have. You have direct access to the Lord in prayer through Jesus our great high priest, and this is one of the main points debts reiterated time and time again in the New Testament book of Hebrews and so I guess if I was an essay go to one place I would say maybe maybe consider spending some time in the book of Hebrews and and and focus there because it really touches on Christ is our perfect mediator, the one who intercedes for us. Also without ceasing. We read this in Hebrews chapter 7, but also the one that gives us direct access to the father so that we can come boldly to God boldly to his throne of grace and pray, asking him for help in our time of need in in in Roman Catholic theology know there's this idea that well the the Saints were departed on. They're not dead like we often think of them there, alive and in the presence of God serving him worshiping that that part is true, our brothers and sisters who have died before us there in the presence of the Lord worshiping him, but I think they go a step further when they say what we should also beseech them to pray for us, just like you know you talk to your your Bible study group and say would you guys pray for me. We should also beseech them the departed saints to pray for us, so that so that God might hear our prayers when you don't see examples of that in in the Scriptures. I believe it undoubtedly seen examples of that in the New Testament, so there's nothing in the Bible that would either lead me to believe or should lead us to believe that that's a practice that we should be doing. And of course we know that the significant dangers with that. I have friends who are Roman Catholic, who I think are are are afraid to approach God directly on the other just like a man. It's that that's why I'm not there yet. I need to go through the Saints.

I need to go through Mary or or so on and so forth, but brothers and sisters we have. You have that great mediator, Jesus Christ, and so I think I think that they they really miss out on the centrality of Christ as our as our mediator and the access that we have to go directly to God in prayer were not denying that the Saints are in heaven with the Lord worshiping him were dissing that there is no indication in Scripture that we should be asking them going to them and praying to them or asking them to pray for us and so I think I think that's what I would I would want to say and having a conversation with with friends who are Roman Catholic and you for your question Cindy, this is core Christianity let's go to Wes in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. What's, what's your question for pastor.

Israel on letter program that last call. I would even add the curtain was torn in two from the top to the bottom so we have 100% access to God the father go to him directly in prayer I waited Material thing. But if you my wife and I been having this unit is natural quick disconnect trivial, but she keeps saying that that as a matter how I to be the one to make the coffee in the morning and she's got Scripture back it up. She says in Hebrews yeah will Wes thank you for that.

That inside don't know that I wouldn't necessarily see that as though the right way to use the book of Hebrews II prefer focusing as I said on Christ mediator ship mediator Shippen and his perfect righteousness fulfilling the law for us, but you need to make the coffee go ahead. Thanks for listening. Christianity request your copy of today's special offer. Visit us at core, Christianity.com and click on offers and the menu or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833 when you contact us. Please let us know how you been encouraged by this program and be sure to join us next time. As we explore the truth of God's word together


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