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Are Mormons True Christians if They Deny the Trinity?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
July 12, 2022 1:30 pm

Are Mormons True Christians if They Deny the Trinity?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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July 12, 2022 1:30 pm

Episode 1008 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

Questions in this Episode

1. What does it mean that Jesus will come to "judge the living and the dead"?

2. Who will be included in the FInal Judgment from Revelation 19 and 21?

3. Are Christians allowed to get tattoos?

4. Which covenants in the Bible are still in effect?

5. Are Mormons true Christians if they deny the Trinity?

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Are Mormons true Christians if they deny the Trinity? 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. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. If you get our voicemail, feel free to leave a message. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and you can email us anytime with your question at First up today, let's go to Isabel, calling in from Fresno, California. Isabel, what's your question for Adriel?

Hi. I recently lost my sister about four weeks ago, and I have a question. There is a prayer, and I can't think of the name of the prayer, so I'm sorry. But it says that God will come in glory to judge the living and the dead. And so my question is, what does that mean? Okay, I understand we'll come in judge the living, but the dead? Like, I thought that maybe when you died, you went to heaven. So I'm confused about that.

Yeah. Well, Isabel, first, let me just extend my condolences to you. I'm sorry to hear about the death of your sister. I pray that the Lord comforts you in this time. And yes, we do have the language in prayers, but also, I mean, it's rooted in Scripture. You see it in 1 Peter 4, verse 5. You see it in Paul's letter to Timothy, that God is going to judge the living and the dead. And the dead there just refer to the departed, those who have gone to be either with the Lord in paradise, in heaven, referring to the time of the final judgment, the last day, if you will. It's what Jesus spoke about in John chapter 5, verse 26, for as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself, and he has given him authority to execute judgment because he is the Son of Man.

Do not marvel at this. For an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs, that is the dead, will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. And so you have here the language of the second judgment, or excuse me, the language of the last judgment.

There's one judgment, final judgment that's being referred to there. Now with regard to our loved ones who have died, we do have the hope that God gives us in his word that all those who have died in Christ, that is the baptized, the faithful, those who believe in Jesus, are immediately brought into the presence of the Lord, and their souls are perfected in holiness. So our loved ones who have died in Christ are right now perfected in holiness in the presence of Jesus around the throne of God, worshiping him in perfect peace. There's a picture of this in places like Hebrews chapter 12, where the author of the Hebrews paints a picture of heaven, if you will, and the worship that's taking place in heaven with the saints who were there, those who have been perfected, the souls of the righteous, made perfect, you have the angels there. It's what the apostle Paul himself looked forward to when he thought about his death.

In Philippians chapter one, he said, you know, I want to depart and be with Christ. And in Second Corinthians, he said to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. And so for Christians who die, for those who believe who have died, they're immediately in the presence of the Lord, waiting for the day of the final judgment, which for believers is going to be more of a vindication. It's not like they're going to be in heaven now, and then they're going to be condemned on the last day. No, they're in the presence of the Lord, waiting for the resurrection of the body, the resurrection unto life, as Jesus described there in John chapter five, verse 29. And so that's the best way to understand that language of judging the living and the dead is that all humanity, those who are still alive on earth and those who have died, who have departed over the history of humanity, are going to be judged. They're going to hear the voice of Jesus.

Some are going to be raised to the resurrection of life, others to resurrection of condemnation there. John or Jesus is echoing the words of the prophet Daniel at the end of Daniel in Daniel chapter 12. Isabel, again, may God be with you and comfort you and your family and give you the hope that is found in Jesus Christ and his conquering death for us and for all of our loved ones who are in him.

Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We have produced some great Bible studies here at the Core, and we have a new one to tell you about today. Yeah, it's a 10-week Bible study on the book of Ruth. And as we've said before, Ruth is one of those books of the Old Testament that's kind of underestimated, right?

It's sort of tucked away. When we think about the Old Testament, we think about Genesis or the prophet Isaiah or the prophet Daniel, who I just mentioned, but we don't often talk about Ruth. And we want to help you understand why Ruth is so important.

I mean, she's part of the lineage of King David, the Messiah himself. And so this resource is going to help you trace the promise of the gospel throughout the Bible, including in the book of Ruth. And so we hope you get a hold of it. It's great for individual study or for group study. If you want to get together with a group of people in your church to study this wonderful book, the book of Ruth, this resource is yours for a donation of $20 or more. You can learn more about that by going to forward slash studies.

By the way, these are available in bulk quantities as well. So if your small group is looking for a new study or maybe you're looking for something to plan for a Sunday school class this coming fall, this would be a great one. Again, go to forward slash studies. Let's go to Gail calling in from Iowa. Gail, what's your question for Adriel? Well, hello there, fellows.

Hello, Gail. I have been listening to your program for well over a year now. And first of all, I want to thank all your listeners who call in with some absolutely incredible questions.

And of course, every question spawns a whole slew of new questions, so I don't know how you can keep up. So I also want to thank you for this wonderful ministry where people can get these kind of questions answered with just a simple phone call. So thank you very much. Thank you, Gail.

What's your question? Well, back to Revelation. I'm going to jump a little bit from 19 to 21. Basically where the multitude is gathered for the great battle against Israel, and then of course the appearance of the Lord, the battle's over with one word, and then all who are slaughtered in the blood up to the bridle of a horse type thing. But then we jump to 21 at the very end with the second death, the judgment. All those people who were slaughtered because they were against God, are they then part of that judgment at that time? And what becomes of them? It's not entirely clear. Yeah.

Well, thank you for that question. You know, part of the trouble I think that people often have with the Book of Revelation is we just sort of assume that it's just chronological, right? You're beginning in chapter one, you get to chapter 22, and then each chapter sort of builds on the previous one, and you have this sort of linear timeline moving forward to the very end, to the river of life in chapter 22. But there's a lot of repetition in the Book of Revelation, so it's almost like we're looking at the same event over and over again through these different lenses or vantage points. This is something that you see in apocalyptic prophetic literature. You see it also in Daniel, for example. You know, you have the kingdoms of the world described as a great statue earlier in the Book of Daniel from the perspective of man.

You know, this great glorious statue made of precious metals. But from God's perspective, those same kingdoms are described again as terrible beasts. And so you see this kind of thing. It's sometimes what's called recapitulation, just sort of over and over again, the story recapitulating, given these different visions that Daniel has of these events. And so understanding that helps us to realize, well, okay, it's not all just linear chronological.

Sometimes we're looking at the same event over and over again. And in particular here, when you have in Revelation chapter 19, you have these two great feasts, the marriage supper of the lamb, but then you have the feast of the birds, if you will, feasting on those who were judged in this last battle, if you will. And what happens to them? Well, they all are judged, again, to go back to the language of the final judgment, Jesus judging the living and the dead. They're all standing before the Lord at the great white throne in Revelation chapter 20, verse 11. Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it.

And from his presence, earth and sky fled away and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne and the books were opened. And another book was opened, which was the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books according to what they had done.

And it's really, this is all encompassing. He goes on to say in verse 13, the sea gave up the dead who were in it, death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them according to what they had done. And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire.

This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. And so that's what becomes of those who reject the gospel, the enemies of the Lord. It's that final judgment, standing before the judgment seat of Christ, if you will. And I take it that those who are described as judged in Revelation chapter 19 are there, are a part of that judgment. Again, I think the language is all encompassing. All of the dead, great and small. John is being very careful here to make sure that he lets us know there isn't anybody who's exempt from this final judgment.

And that includes those in Revelation chapter 19 as well. And so thank you again for your encouragement, sister. I'm grateful that you've been listening to the program for a year. I pray that it continues to bless you and encourage you. Hey Gail, thanks so much for being a regular CORE Christianity listener. We really do appreciate you.

By the way, Adriel, I wish you hadn't mentioned that part about the birds eating them because that was really bad. Hey man, it's just what the Bible says. And so yeah, you got to stick to the word. There you go. This is CORE Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Kim who's calling in from Cunningham, Tennessee.

Kim, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, I would like some clarification on if it's okay for Christians to get tattoos. Because I know the Leviticus law speaks about that, but then I think that's paganism. Great question.

And you're right. In Leviticus chapter 19 verse 28, it talks about not cutting your body, marking your body for the dead. Specifically there, this is God's call to Israel to be distinct from the pagan nations. It probably was something that was associated with pagan idolatry for the Canaanites, for these nations that Israel was around and the area where they were called to inhabit. And so Israel is God's people.

Just like us today, they were called to be distinct, to be holy. But I don't think that Leviticus 19, 28 prohibits tattoos just generally. That is to say that if a Christian was to get a tattoo, it would be sin. It's a wisdom issue, and I think we have to ask ourselves, okay, what is the reason for me doing this? Why do I want to get a tattoo?

What am I actually tattooing onto my body? I think there are probably some things that people can tattoo on their bodies that are indeed not honoring to the Lord, not pleasing to the Lord. In that case, I think you just say no. But then if somebody is saying, well, I want to get a tattoo of a sunset on my arm because I like sunsets, I don't think that that's an issue of sin. It's just an issue of wisdom.

And so that's what it calls for is wisdom individually. I think there's freedom of conscience here to make a decision as a believer and asking yourself, really, really thinking through what is the reason behind this decision. But it's not something I would say that's prohibited by the Bible outright as against God's law. And I think that the text in Leviticus 19, 28 doesn't prohibit it specifically for us as believers.

Thank you for your question. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez. By the way, if you have a question, you can always email us at questions at John wrote in with this question, he says, which covenants in the Bible are still in effect?

That's a great question. Which covenants in the Bible are still in effect? Well, you have the covenant that is sometimes referred to as the Noahic covenant in Genesis, which is this sort of God's promise to sustain the world, not to flood the world again, leading all the way to the new creation, if you will, and the final judgment. We would say that that covenant, sometimes referred to as a common grace covenant, is still in effect today.

It's made with the entire world, all of creation. In terms of covenants that are no longer binding today, I think specifically of the Mosaic covenant. The covenant that was made with the children of Israel through Moses in places like Exodus chapter 20, you can read about it. In fact, Paul says very clearly in the book of Galatians, in Galatians chapter 3, that that covenant was given for a time.

That is, it wasn't going to be binding forever, but it served a very specific purpose. He says in Galatians chapter 3 verse 19, he's contrasting the Mosaic covenant with the promise that came through Abraham. He says, well, why then the law? And he says, it was added because of transgressions until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. Now, an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one. Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Paul asked.

Certainly not. For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. But scripture imprisoned everything under sin so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Now, before faith came, we were held captive under the law imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then the law was our guardian until Christ came.

That is, there was this terminus, this end. The law was our guardian until Christ came in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. That is to say, we're no longer under the Mosaic law. For in Christ Jesus, you are all sons of God through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ Jesus, put on Christ Jesus, there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring heirs according to the promise. And so the Mosaic covenant for the Christians is no longer binding. We're not under Moses, we're under Jesus. And so it's really important that we don't, in our preaching, in our teaching, in the way that we live, try to go back to the Mosaic covenant.

Sometimes, I mean, this is one of the errors that you see in the church today was the error that you saw in the book of Galatians, and it compromises the gospel. In terms of other covenants, I think of the new covenant. We are under the new covenant as believers in Jesus Christ.

You can read about it in Jeremiah 31, in Hebrews chapter 8, even here in the book of Galatians as well. Jesus ratified this covenant in his own body and blood. He gave us the sign of the covenant, baptism, the Lord's Supper. You think of him having that meal with his disciples there in the upper room saying, This is my body. This is the cup of the new covenant, shed for the forgiveness of many.

Take, eat, take, drink. And so that covenant is still in effect right now for us as Christians. We are under the new covenant. And so there's a few that I could mention there, and it's helpful to have this discussion.

A book that I oftentimes will recommend is a book called Sacred Bond, which is an introduction to covenant theology, a helpful resource. You might want to check that out, and I appreciate your question. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez. Let's go to a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners earlier this week.

This one is from John. I had a question. I'm really surrounded by a lot of Mormons up here in Utah, and I'm wondering if Mormons are safe too. They're really nice people, but I just don't know if they'll be safe or not.

Hey, John, thank you for that question. Well, I can agree with you that Mormons are very nice people, delightful people, many of the Mormons that I've had the privilege of getting to know and befriend over the years. Of course, we're not saved by our works. We're not saved by how nice we are.

We're saved by the gospel of Jesus Christ, by the work of the triune God for us sinners. And so just because a person is really nice or moral doesn't make them a Christian. Christianity is rooted in the reality of what God has done for us and our reception of that by faith. And if you reject the truth of the gospel, the God of scripture, who he is, how he's revealed himself, or if you have a totally different conception of who that God is, who Jesus is, what he did for you, then you might have a sincere faith, but that faith can be misplaced. It's the object of our faith that saves us. It's not you believe whatever you want to believe so long as you're sincere and a nice person. I know that's what a lot of people think today, but that's not the truth. People can believe all sorts of things sincerely that lead them to hell.

That's just the reality. It's the object of our sincere faith, Jesus Christ and him crucified, the eternal son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity. It's knowing him and receiving him and his gospel by faith.

That's what saves us. Now, I think people can be really confused. For years, I had a dear friend who was raised in the Mormon church. He died a few years back.

He was in his 80s. I met him because I was doing just street evangelism in San Diego, and he overheard me talking to an atheist and gave me his card and said, Hey, I'd like to chat more. Come to find he's a Mormon. He's been a Mormon, as I said, his whole life is great. He would tell me his great grandfather was converted by Joseph Smith himself.

This is going way back. We would talk about the Bible and theology. He would even come in my house for Bible studies.

At that time, I was hosting a Bible study at my house, and we'd have pizza and open up the scriptures together. One of the things he said to me that was really interesting is we don't do this in the Mormon church. We don't get together and open up the scriptures and study them like this and ask questions and dig into the text and work through applications.

Doing theology is just not something that we do. It's really struck me as odd because it's so much been a part of my own experience as a Christian, but I think he was attracted to that, and he had all these questions. We would talk about Jesus. We would talk about the gospel, and he would say, Okay, I believe that.

I'd share the gospel with him. Again, a lifelong Mormon, and he'd say, I believe that. I'd say, Well, friend, if you really believe that, doesn't that contradict what the Mormon church teaches about who Jesus is, about the gospel, about even the church as an institution? I mean, Mormonism, when it started, basically said all the other churches that are out there are heretical, are false churches.

The lights have been turned off, and that's why we have to recover another gospel of Jesus Christ is just to restore the truth of God's word because it was so bad. I said, If you're a Mormon, you should believe those things, and how can you say you believe what I'm telling you? He would always respond by saying, Don't tell me what I believe as a Mormon. I've been a Mormon longer than you, he would say, and so don't tell me. We'd go back and forth, and I don't know. He died.

We were having conversations. I would share the gospel with him. I think he really felt tied down by his Mormonism in one sense. This was just everything in his life, his family, how he had raised his family. I mean, he would work in the temple. He would go and do baptisms or be baptized on behalf of the dead there I think every week or every month or something like that, and so I know it was a real tension that he felt because I think as we opened up the scriptures together, he could see problems with the Mormon church, but he was still wrapped up in it so much. Is it possible for him to be saved? I mean, could he really have exercised faith in the true God in Jesus Christ and been conflicted, deeply conflicted?

I hope so. I mean, I hope that I'm going to see this guy in heaven, but the fact of the matter is if you believe what the Mormon church teaches about Jesus, about who he is, about the church, about salvation, about so many things, you don't have, I would say, a biblical understanding, a Christian understanding of the truth. Again, love Mormons, so many, as you said, John, wonderful, nice people, sincere people, hardworking people. I think we should commend those things, but it's not our sincerity. It's not our niceness.

It's not how hard we work that saves us. It's Jesus. He's our only hope. It's the true Jesus of scripture. It's knowing him. It's calling upon his name as he's revealed himself to us in his word. And I just want to say, if you're a Mormon and you listen to this broadcast, man, we want to hear from you. We want to talk with you about this Jesus because there's nothing more important than knowing God truly, than answering the question correctly that Jesus asked his disciples, who do you say that I am? Not understanding who Jesus is, not getting this question right is of eternal significance. And the Mormon church does not get it right. I'll just say it very bluntly, the Mormon church does not get it right, and so we need to return to the scriptures and find in them the true Jesus who is for us and for our salvation and for our forgiveness. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at 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 / 2023-03-25 15:44:00 / 2023-03-25 15:53:52 / 10

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