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When Should I Evangelize or Cut Off My Non-Christian Friends?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
July 11, 2022 1:30 pm

When Should I Evangelize or Cut Off My Non-Christian Friends?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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July 11, 2022 1:30 pm

Episode 1007 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

1. How do I deal with the regret of not helping others before they die?

2. How do I fight what seems to be demonic oppression?

3. I am a person who hates to miss out on things with friends, but I don’t want to be influenced by friends who aren't Christians, and tempted to dishonor God. What should I do?

4. How many Mary's are mentioned in Matthew 27?

5. How can I encourage family members who are grieving a suicide?

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Should I cut off my relationships with my non-Christian friends? 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. We'd love to hear from you. Here's our phone number. It's 1-833-843-2673.

You can also spell it out on your phone, 833-THE-CORE, 833-THE-CORE. And if you get our voicemail, feel free to leave a message. You can also email us anytime with your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to Stephanie, who's calling in from Arkansas.

Stephanie, what's your question for Adriel? Pastor Sanchez, thank you for helping others. I'd like to know why whenever I see someone in need that I feel a twinge of, like, what I should do or say, but I will dismiss it and go on with what I'm doing and don't really respond the way I should. And then, like, if someone dies, I feel so guilty and I'm so heartbroken that I didn't help them and spend time with them when I saw the need, saw life in a situation. I just feel, I feel fear and shamed.

Wow, Stephanie. I think back to a time where my wife and I were able to minister to an older gentleman who, man, just had so many difficulties in his life, so many needs, and we were able to minister to him, to encourage him in various ways. He was a neighbor of ours, and then he became very sick after some time and ended up dying. And I remember thinking back after that, you know, this individual was particularly needy. There were times where my wife and I would look at each other and just say, oh, man, he's calling again.

Okay, how are we going to help in this situation or can we help in this situation? But I remember thinking back, we both thought back and we sort of looked back on our experience with him and thought, man, we could have done a better job loving this man. And of course, we thanked the Lord for the opportunities that God gave us and for the fact that God had done an amazing work in his life, but I think we both sort of felt like we dropped the ball a couple of times there and wish we could have done things differently. Now, I don't know, you know, afterwards we continue to talk about that and the reality is, is that the best approach to say, well, sort of wallow in that feeling of guilt, the feelings of shame? No, we take that to the Lord. And I think one thing we're encouraged to do and we were encouraged to do afterwards is just to consider how we love the people around us.

And when you care about the people around you, when you see them in need, and it sounds like you care very much about the people who are in your life and around you who have needs, then we ask, well, Lord, is there a way that you're opening up a door for me to serve and to help to meet the need that's here? And sometimes you can't. And that's just the reality and that's okay.

You don't need to beat yourself up about that. But sometimes, but sometimes, right, the Lord has put you in a position where you're able to. And so you, you know, by the grace of God and through the strength that Jesus gives, you seek to support, to help in whatever way that you can. And I think that you have to think about each situation and ask yourself the question, Lord, are you giving me an opportunity here? Is this something I'm able to help out with?

And if it is, wonderful. And if you're not able to, you don't need to feel guilty about that. You don't need to feel shame about that. And I think back, you know, I mentioned that story with this individual that my wife and I were able to help out with, you know, we were newly married at the time. And there were a lot of instances, and actually had just had our first child as well. And there were instances where this person was saying, hey, could you help me with this or help me with that?

And we had been up all night with the baby and had to go to a doctor's appointment or something like that. And it was an opportunity for other people in the church to also get involved and to help out. And so we're not alone in this.

We serve together with the body of Christ, with our Christian brothers and sisters, so that when there is a need, maybe a need that we're not able to meet, other people can be roped in to serve and to meet that need as well. But I just want to say, look, where you feel like you've failed, if indeed, you know, God gave you an opportunity, you just didn't take it, well, just take that to Christ and say, Lord, please forgive me. Man, I think back and I wish I would have done things differently there. Please forgive me and receive the forgiveness that Jesus has for you, Stephanie, and embrace it and live in it and say, God, give me the grace to be wise and discerning to know when you are giving me these opportunities and when I can step in and provide help and support, but also the wisdom to know when you're calling somebody else to step in and help and support in this situation, when I just don't have the ability or even the capacity to help.

And in those situations, again, I don't think that you need to feel shame or guilt. And so where we fall short, we take our sin to the Lord, we confess it, we receive His grace, and we pray for wisdom to honor Him moving forward. And I pray that the Lord gives you wisdom, that as you confess to the Lord, you experience His grace and forgiveness and that He gives you that wisdom as you continue to move forward, seeking to love the people around you and to serve your neighbors as our Lord calls us to, Stephanie. God bless.

Some great counsel. Thank you for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We have produced some great Bible studies here at the Core, and we actually have a new one to tell you about today. Yeah, it's a Bible study on the book of Ruth, one of the books that's oftentimes overlooked in the Old Testament.

And a lot of times, you know, people don't understand why this is such an important book. What we've been saying is, look, without the book of Ruth, you wouldn't have the line of David. You wouldn't have the messianic seed, Jesus, the Lord.

You wouldn't have the Gospel. It's amazing how all of these stories that we have in Scripture, even the ones that we often think are not as significant as the other stories, you know, in the Old Testament, maybe the story of the Exodus or whatnot. No, each of these stories plays an important part in the history of redemption.

And we want to help you to understand that. And so if you're interested in studying the book of Ruth on your own, or maybe with a group of people, this would be a great resource, a 10-week Bible study through the book of Ruth, and it's yours for a donation of $20 or more. You know, all of our Bible studies are set up to work well for personal use, but also in a group format, and they're available in bulk quantities. So they'd be great to consider as you plan maybe for a small group or for your Bible study Sunday school class as you approach this coming fall. You can receive a copy of our Ruth Bible study for a donation or $20 or more. Just go to corechristianity.com forward slash studies. That's corechristianity.com forward slash studies and look for the new Bible study on the book of Ruth.

Of course, you can always call us for that one or any one of our resources at 833-843-2673. Let's go back to the phones. Jessica's on the line calling in from Missouri. Jessica, what's your question for Pastor Adriel?

Yes, I do. Hi. I am dealing with a demonic source, a person that's breaking into my home and damaging everything that I own every time I leave. I read the Bible every day, praying that this person will stop. It's been going on for almost eight months now, and it's getting worse by the day. They're putting chemicals on my clothes, on my food. It's just, it's not, I don't feel safe in my own home.

So is there a verse, scriptures I can read to fight something that I can't see? So Jessica, it sounds like, I mean, it sounds to me like you're saying somebody is coming into your house and moving things around and taking things and putting chemicals in places. I mean, this sounds like a serious safety issue. I mean, so if there's somebody who's breaking into your home, you definitely need to call the police and get the authorities involved.

I think that would be the first thing. Change the locks, frankly. I mean, just practically speaking, if there's somebody who is tormenting you in this way, then you definitely need to take whatever steps. I mean, changing the locks, calling the police, maybe staying somewhere else for a time if you're in danger.

I think that's really important. Now, are you saying that this is somebody that you know who's doing these things? Yes, it has to be someone that I know, and I have changed the locks. I have moved, and it seems like they just follow me wherever I go.

Okay. Well, yeah, sister, why don't I just take a moment right now to pray for you in terms of scriptures. And I'm glad to hear that you read the scripture, that you're going to the Lord with these things, but certainly it sounds to me like the police need to be contacted, and somebody breaking into your home, and this is a very serious thing, I'm concerned for your safety as well.

Maybe also getting some cameras set up just to see what's going on when you're not there would be a wise thing to do. But let me just pray for you, because I can tell that this is very heavy, and I'm glad to hear that you're going to the Lord very heavy, and I'm concerned as well. So, Father, would you please keep Jessica safe?

Would you be with her? Lord, don't understand fully what's going on here in this situation, but I pray that whoever it is that's doing this, that's tormenting her, would experience the conviction of your Holy Spirit and come to repentance. And I pray that you would bring people around Jessica who can help her, and support her, and encourage her, and give her, Lord, safe friends and places to go, Lord, if she's in danger right now. But would you please protect her, Lord, give her wisdom, and bring an end to this torment, Lord, whatever the source is, ask that you would be with her in Jesus' name. Amen.

Amen. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. By the way, we do have a Facebook page, and you can post your question there anytime, or you can email us your question at questions at corechristianity.com. Here's one of our Facebook listeners that says, I'm a person who hates to miss out on things with my friends, but I don't want to be influenced by friends who aren't Christians and tempted to dishonor God.

What should I do? Yeah. Well, I mean, the people that we spend time with, they influence us, they begin to shape us, can begin to shape us, or we can begin to influence the people who are around us. I mean, one of the things I love about Jesus in the Gospels is he surrounded himself with people that the religious leaders thought, man, what are you doing hanging out with those tax collectors, with those sinners? But they weren't making Jesus sinful.

No, Jesus was the positive influence. Jesus was the one who was calling them to repentance and to faith, and they wanted to be around him because they experienced his compassion. There was the conviction of our Lord speaking the truth, but also the compassion of Christ toward sinners.

As he exhibited that to the prostitutes and the thieves and the tax collectors, they were drawn to him. I think that's a beautiful thing, and I think that for us as believers, it's something that we should strive for, to be the kind of people that our neighbors want to be around because they can see the grace and the love of Christ in us. Now, when you speak the truth to people, sometimes they have no interest in it. When I was in high school and I came to Christ and, you know, my interest started to change, the way I lived began to change drastically.

I would try for a season to spend time with my old friends. We'd get together, we'd hang out, but we just didn't click like we did before, and part of it was I wanted to talk about Jesus and I wanted to talk about church. I wanted to be in church, and they just were not interested in that, and so over time I think that they also lost interest in me, and we didn't spend as much time together as we had before. Paul says in 1 Corinthians chapter 15 verse 33, Do not be deceived. Bad company ruins good morals. Proverbs also says a lot about this. Proverbs chapter 13 verse 20 says, He who walks with the wise will himself be wise as well. So we want to surround ourselves with people who are going to help us grow in wisdom, to grow in Christ, but also have open hearts towards those who don't know the Lord, don't walk with the Lord, and seek to extend friendship, the love of Jesus, care for and to them as well. And so what I would say to you is if this is something where when you get together with these friends, you know you don't want to miss out, but when you get together you find yourself drifting away from the Lord, compromising what you believe, what you know is right.

Well then I would say take a step back and maybe reconsider your priorities and ask yourself the question, well if I wasn't compromising, if I wasn't doing these things, would these friends want to also be with me and be around me? If you can go and be apart and walk faithfully with Jesus and be a light as we're called to be, well then that's wonderful. And maybe what you'll find is your friends really appreciate the fact that you have these convictions and you want to talk about God and maybe they show interest there.

And I think that's a great thing. I think that's something that we should want and that we should pursue with our relationships with non-Christians is look, we want to be charitable, we want to be loving, but we also again want to have conviction. And so don't continue to build and pursue these relationships if what you're finding is just I'm just really drifting away from the Lord. This is keeping me from being faithful to Jesus.

In fact I'm compromising. And no, that's not what you want for yourself. And so you have to exercise wisdom there.

If this is a stumbling block for you, well then don't continue to pursue it. But let's seek, I think, as Christians to be the kinds of people who are strong and stable in our faith, who know what we believe and why we believe it, so that we can spend time with those who don't embrace the gospel and share the light and the love of Jesus with them and have a good time as we do so. You know, not miss out on the fun, if you will.

Whatever that looks like. Of course I think also of the fact that we're called to be lights. And so may God bless you and give you grace as you seek to do that in your relationships, and may you be honoring to Him in all that you do.

Thank you for your message. Just a follow-up question for you, Adriel. I'm wondering if you would say that as believers our closest relationships, the people we're closest to, should be other believers, or could they be non-believers? I'm talking about the people we spend the most time with, have the most, you know, deep conversations with. What's your thought on that?

You know, that's an excellent question, Bill. I just sort of imagine that if we're engaged in the life of the church, like we should be, and we're growing together with the body of Christ, that our closest relationships are going to be with other Christians. But I've, you know, that may not always be the case. I've got friends who are believers, who I know are solid believers, strong believers, but they're just, you know, they have really close non-Christian friends as well, and they spend a lot of time with them, and they're not influenced by that. Instead what they're able to do, and I think again this is such a wonderful thing, and I think it requires maturity, Christian maturity, but they're able to shine the light of Christ. And they're attractive in the sense that they're full of mercy and the fruit of the Spirit.

And so yeah, I think this calls for wisdom. It depends on where an individual is in their own walk with the Lord. And also just circumstantially, you know, sometimes we get really close to people in the church. Sometimes we don't connect as much with the people in our own church, and we happen to have lifelong friends who maybe are outside of the church, and they know and respect our faith in Jesus Christ and have even benefited from it, even though they're not Christians yet. And we're praying that the Lord opens their hearts as well. And so I wouldn't say it has to be one way or the other, but I do think, like I said ordinarily speaking, that if we are engaged in the life of the church like we should be, that many of our close relationships, most of our close relationships, are going to be with other Christians. And I think we're going to have to strive, and we should strive to do this, to cultivate and pursue relationships with non-Christians as well, so that we might share the gospel, so that we might be good neighbors to the people around us.

And I think that's precisely what Jesus did as well. So thank you, Bill, for that follow-up. Great follow-up. That's some great counsel. Thank you, Adriel.

This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Viola from St. Louis, Missouri. Viola, what's your question for Adriel? Hello. Hi, Viola. Hello.

How are you guys doing today? Thank you so much for your ministry. God bless you. I've learned a lot from from this station and from your ministry. Thank you. Thank you. You're welcome. I have a question in Matthew, chapter 27, verse 56.

I'll actually start at 55. And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him, among which was Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the Japanese children. In verse 56, I'm just curious, are there three women here or are there just two? I know Mary Magdalene is the one who washed Jesus' feet with her tears in her hair. But this other Mary, is that this one Mary talking about James and John's mother, you know, the two disciples who were part of his intercourse?

Hey, great question. Yes, it does get confusing in the Gospels, right? Because there are so many Marys. You have Mary of Bethany, the sister of Lazarus. You have the Virgin Mary, the mother of our Lord. You have Mary Magdalene, who some people think was the woman who washed Jesus' feet with her hair.

Other people say, well, no, I don't know that that was her. You have the Mary that's described here. The point I think that is important for us to take away, and even here the text says that, you know, you have these women who are ministering to Jesus there at the time of his death. And this is something that characterized the ministry of our Lord Jesus, is these female disciples who were drawn in and apart, if you will, of the group of people that Jesus is leading. In fact, some of the most faithful of his disciples. I mean, when Jesus is crucified, and then again when he rises again from the dead in terms of, you know, those who were there at the tomb wanting to anoint his body with spices, it's the Marys. It's these women who love Jesus. I think of what we read in the Gospel of Luke in Luke chapter 8. It gives us a little bit more background with Mary of Magdalene or Mary of Magdala.

It's referring to where she was from. Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God, and the twelve were with them, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities. Mary called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuzzah, Herod's household manager, and Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their means. And so you have these women who are also in one sense supporting the ministry of Jesus, providing for the ministry monetarily. So they play a very important role in the Gospels, and the highlight for us here I think is how God uses men and women in the life of the church. The importance of both men and women as made in the image of God, gifted for the service of the Lord, for the building up of the body of Christ, as we read about throughout scripture. And so here I think again that's something that we see in terms of the people that are around Jesus there at the time of his death.

Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee. And so appreciate your question, Biola, and may the Lord bless you. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. A reminder we have this great new Bible study available for you. It's on the book of Ruth. It is now included in our big Bible study collection.

We have several great ones. You can learn more by going to corechristianity.com forward slash studies. Again corechristianity.com forward slash studies. Well we do have a YouTube channel here at Core Christianity, and you can actually watch Adriel live in the studio every day at 11 30 a.m pacific, 12 30 mountain, 1 30 central, 2 30 eastern time for that half hour period.

Just go to our YouTube channel, and you can send us a message through YouTube. Here's a hard one for us. It's a family. Anna Marie writes this, a family member of my husband committed suicide without any signs or warnings and left her family behind.

Besides looking up resources, what can I do to encourage my husband and her family? I think prayer and being present there during this time of grief and mourning, offering to help support in any way that you can. I mean I don't know what the needs are, what the temporal needs are right now. It could be helping to care for children.

It could be food, meals, those kinds of things. I think those are some of the practical ways that you can come alongside, but I think you know there's a time to weep and mourn and lament with those who are broken and in sorrow, and I think that that time is now in a situation like this, and so coming alongside of those who are grieving and joining them in that process and being present and praying that the Lord would bring his healing and his grace in this very difficult situation. And Bill, as we think about grief and especially this this kind of traumatic experience, what would you add in terms of what they can do to help?

You know I think what you said is so important just to be present, to be available. This is not a time to be you know offering advice or platitudes, but I would especially say these kids probably need to get into some kind of counseling. I don't know how old they are. I don't know if they're young kids, older kids, but boy what a terrible situation, and Anna Maria we will be praying for you and your family. Father we do want to pray for Anna Maria. We ask that you would give her wisdom. We pray Lord that you would fill her with your spirit and be especially with with those who have suffered this loss, this family. Would you minister to them and be with them in Jesus' name.

Amen. 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 1-800-HELP. 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 / 2023-03-25 23:45:49 / 2023-03-25 23:55:57 / 10

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