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Does the Church Need to Address “Christian Nationalism”?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
July 13, 2022 1:30 pm

Does the Church Need to Address “Christian Nationalism”?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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July 13, 2022 1:30 pm

Episode 1009 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

1. Can a Christian lose the Holy Spirit?

2. Is the bronze serpent in Numbers 21:8 a picture of Christ?

3. I’ve heard politicians recently say it’s God’s will they be elected and make America into a Christian nation. What do you think about this, do you think pastors have any obligations to address “Christian Nationalism”?

4. Does the Bible tell us how to respond to racism?

5. In 1 Timothy 5, is Paul contradicting his teaching about grace and struggling with sin in Romans 7?

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Does the Church need to address Christian nationalism? 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.

You can always leave a voicemail at that number 24 hours a day. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and feel free to email us with your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to Dwight calling in from Nashville, Tennessee. Dwight, what's your question for Pastor Adriel?

Good afternoon, Pastor Adriel, and God bless you, God bless this program. My question for today is, does the Holy Spirit always dwell, no matter what, within a believer, one who has accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior? I have been told that the Holy Spirit does not always dwell with us. So I'll stop and listen to you.

What do you have to say, sir? Dwight, thank you for that question. Yes, I do believe that when a child of God is filled with the Holy Spirit, when we're baptized in the Holy Spirit, Paul says to the Corinthians, by one Spirit we've all been baptized into one body, that the Spirit of God never leaves us. Now, we can grieve the Spirit of God in our lives as Christians, in sinning, in certain ways, where we don't have that same sense of God's presence, but the Spirit never abandons us. And I think this is part of the reality of the promise that God gives us under the new covenant, that the entire Christian community, covenant community, is going to be filled with the Spirit of God, as Joel prophesied in Joel chapter 2.

And, well, when does that happen for us as believers? Paul says in Ephesians chapter 1, verse 13, in Him, in Jesus, 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, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it to the praise of His glory. In other words, the filling of the Spirit, the gift of the Holy Spirit, is like this down payment that God has given to us as His people, an advancement, if you will, and guaranteeing that God is going to follow through on what is purchased, our redemption, if you will, until we're in the presence of the Lord in glory. And so we have the Spirit of God now, and the Spirit is a seal for us, this down payment, guaranteeing our future inheritance.

We're already, as the children of God, believing in Jesus' new creations in Christ. And so, yes, the Spirit of God is always with us, and I think this is one of the distinct realities of the new covenant. In the Old Testament, under the old covenant, it seemed like things were different. You know, the Spirit of God would come upon the kings, for example, like Saul or King David or the judges, you think of Samson. And there were times where the Spirit of God would come upon them powerfully and then leave, it seemed like. But for us, we have this special promise of the indwelling and sealing of the Holy Spirit that seems to be, in some ways, unique to this situation that we're in under the new covenant, so that for the believer, we don't have to be afraid of the Spirit of God abandoning us or leaving us.

But we should be concerned about grieving the Holy Spirit, which, again, is what Paul goes on to say that we can do through sin. And so there are times in our lives where we don't feel the presence of the Spirit as much as we had in prior times. And sometimes that's just because God gives us those special moments where we can really sense His presence, and that's not the ordinary Christian life.

We're not always feeling that. Other times it could be as a result of sin or taking our eyes off of the Lord, not fellowshipping with believers. But for the true child of God, the Spirit of God never leaves us, Dwight. And so we have that promise from the Lord. This is 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. Feel free to call us anytime at 833-THE-CORE, 1-833-843-2673, or shoot us an email at questionsatcorechristianity.com. Let's go to Jerry in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Jerry, what's your question for Pastor Adriel?

Yes. Everyone stands before Christ to account. When is that? As soon as you die, or is that Judgment Day? I think in Scripture it's referring specifically to the final day, the day of judgment. Paul said in Acts 17, the times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead. I think that this last day, the final judgment happens at the same time as the resurrection, the quote-unquote day of the Lord, the ultimate day of the Lord described in Scripture. So I would say it's taking place at the very end. When Scripture speaks of the final judgment, I don't think it's something that's talking about what we experience individually as soon as we die, per se.

I think it's talking about that final day contemporaneous with the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come, as the creed says. So thank you for that question, Jerry. God bless. Thanks, Jerry. Appreciate you listening there in Fort Wayne. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and yes, this is wedding season all summer long, and we actually have a special resource for those who are thinking about marriage or even if you're already married.

Yeah, that's right, Bill. You know, a large amount of the questions we get at Core Christianity is about marriage, dating, engagement, marital conflict, divorce. The list goes on.

If you've listened to the broadcast, you know this. And as we answer these questions, it's absolutely vital for all of us to ask, why did God create marriage in the first place? Is marriage just a means to meet our individual needs and desires? Is the biblical view of marriage itself outdated? There are a lot of people trying to redefine what marriage is today. So we seek to answer these questions and many more in our booklet, Why Would Anyone Get Married? A Case for the Beauty and Goodness of Marriage. Now more than ever, Christians should be able to answer difficult questions about marriage and relationships rooted in what the scriptures teach. And so we want to help you do that with this resource. Be sure to get a hold of it. And as you purchase any of our resources, just a reminder that you are supporting us and doing the work that helps us create more resources and Bible studies that help Christians around the world answer those tough questions, whether it's about marriage or other important topics.

You can get a copy of The Case for the Beauty and Goodness of Marriage for a donation of any amount by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Again, corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Well, we do receive voicemails here at Core Christianity. And here's one from one of our listeners that called in earlier this week. Yes, number 21-8, the bronze snake on a pole. Is that a foreshadow of Christ? I'm just curious. Thank you.

Yes, it is. I mean, I just love this, right? Like when we're reading the Old Testament, so many times people think, boy, why read the Old Testament? You know, I want to get straight to Jesus, straight to the Gospels. But the reality is the Old Testament also takes us straight to Jesus through the types and shadows through the way God dealt with his people under the Old Covenant in various ways. You know, you think of the temple, the sacrifices, or that scene in the Book of Numbers where you have this bronze serpent that's constructed and the people look to the serpent and are healed or experience healing. And so I think it's a clear picture of Christ elevated on the cross, looking to him, us, by faith and receiving healing.

That is the forgiveness of our sins. And actually, this is something the Bible itself teaches when you go to the New Testament. You know, one principle of Bible interpretation is that we let scripture interpret scripture.

Let the Word of God provide for us the interpretations. And when you go to John 3 and in verse 14, we read, As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. What saves us?

What heals us from the serpent bite of sin? It's looking to Jesus by faith on the cross for us, for our forgiveness. And so you're right on, brother. Looking at that story and saying, boy, is this pointing me to Jesus? Yes, it is. And that's made absolutely clear in John 3, verse 14. Thanks for that. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Dave.

Hi, Adriel. I've heard politicians recently claim that it's God's will that they get elected and that God has chosen them to make America a Christian nation and that sort of a thing. And I'm wondering if you think that pastors or church leaders in America have any obligation to address Christian nationalism.

Hey, thanks for that question. And, you know, it depends on how we're defining this. There's so much, gosh, I've seen so many debates online. People saying, oh, you know, what's wrong with being patriotic and loving the country that God has placed me? And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, by the way, being grateful for the gifts that God gives to us. But there is a problem when we give the earthly kingdoms of this world a position that God has not given to them. There is one holy nation, one holy Christian nation.

It's called the church. It's the kingdom of God manifested on earth today, spread abroad throughout all the nations of the world. And as the kingdom of God on earth today or a manifestation of God's kingdom on earth, we're called to be like kingdom outposts, heavenly embassies that engage with broader society for the good of our neighbors and for the glory of God. But we're not transforming these earthly temporal kingdoms and societies into what only the church is. And so I think that there's a concern of, sometimes I think when people talk about the United States, for example, they talk about the United States sort of like the Old Testament talks about Israel under the old covenant as the very special people of God, called by God, put in covenant by the Lord. The Lord has entered into this special covenant with us as the chosen ones.

And we need to recover that. And that's just a confusion of what the Bible teaches. That's just a misunderstanding of redemptive history.

I think a misunderstanding of the place of the church in the world today and the place of the temporal kingdoms of the world today. And so where that's happening, where people are trying to say or politicians are saying things like, which, by the way, just sounds totally manipulative, right? You need to vote for me because I'm going to make us God's kingdom on earth again today. And if you don't, then we're in big trouble. I mean, that's just manipulation and bad theology.

And so, I mean, there's some serious issues there. And so I think if that's happening, if you're seeing that, I'm thinking as a minister of the gospel, if I have people in my church who think in that way, then, yeah, I want to address that. I want to help people to understand what the Bible actually teaches related to these things, which, again, it's not that we can't be patriotic, that we can't be grateful for the blessings that the Lord has given to us here, that we can't seek to, that we shouldn't seek to pursue that which is the best for our neighbor in line with what God calls us to, just based on his law and what he's revealed even in creation.

All of those things, good, wonderful. But the moment you start saying we are the special people of God, the United States of America is the special people of God, like Israel was under the old covenant, you have a theological problem. The special people of God today under the new covenant, it's the holy nation, the church. That's what we're a part of in the body of Christ. And that body consists of people from every tribe, tongue, and nation of the world. And we engage with the kingdoms of this world as that holy nation, as the embassies of God on earth today. And so we have to have the right understanding, the right balance, I think. And where we don't, then yes, I think ministers, pastors are obligated to say, hey, there's a theological error here that we need to address because we don't want our people falling into that error. Thank you for your question.

Well said. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We have a YouTube channel, by the way, and you can check out Adriel on YouTube every day at 1130 a.m. Pacific time. Just translate that into your local time zone, 1130 a.m. Pacific for that half hour. We're on YouTube and you can message us through our YouTube channel as well. Rita is watching on YouTube and she says, how does the Bible tell us how to live in this world where racism exists?

Hi, Rita. Well, I mean, it's just sort of like asking how does the Bible tell us how to live in the world where sin exists? I mean, as believers, as Christians, one, we're called not to participate in the sin of the world and society around us, to expose, as Paul says in Ephesians, the unfruitful works of darkness. And so the first question we have to ask ourselves is to what extent, if any, has the sin that's out there penetrated into our own hearts? So that's a question. I mean, where do we need to confess and repent of sin when we need to?

So that's a part of it. And you're not letting, whether it's racism or anything else, right, not letting that take over and begin to influence us and so that we begin to reflect more of the world instead of being the holy people of God called out of the world to proclaim the excellencies of our Lord. So I would just say, you know, as God's people, we're called to be distinct, we're called to be holy, and we're called to pursue that which is good and just for our neighbors.

That's how we're called to live. And so to the extent that we can, as individual Christians, pursue that with the people around us, in our societies, we should stand up for those who are oppressed, those who are mistreated. This is something that you see all over the place in scripture, and it's precisely how God is. God is the God who cares for those who don't have a voice, for those who are oppressed, for those who are mistreated. He is the defender of the widow, the orphan, the stranger, and he calls us, as his people, to also care for those who are in need. And so you have one, the not letting the sin of society and culture, the world, penetrate into our own hearts so that we begin to reflect it, and two, pursuing that which is good and right and just in accordance with God's law in society, in the church as well. And so those are two things that I would say to your question.

Thank you for reaching out to us on YouTube. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Just a reminder, we have this wonderful resource on marriage available to you. It's called Why Would Anyone Get Married? A Case for the Beauty and Goodness of Marriage. And this could be for somebody who's engaged, somebody who's already married. Maybe if you're a parent or grandparent, you have some young adult children or grandchildren who are thinking about marriage or maybe wondering, is it worth getting married in today's world? Well, this would be a great book for them to have.

Again, it's called Why Would Anyone Get Married? You can find that by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. We'll make that available to you for a donation of any amount. And you can find other great resources at our website as well. Just go to corechristianity.com and browse around a bit. Well, we do receive emails here at the core, and you can email us anytime at questions at corechristianity.com.

Here's one from one of our listeners named Joe. He says, at the end of First Timothy five, it looks like Paul is shaming people in the church for their sin in front of other people. I thought that Christians as new creations, we would be treated with forgiveness and grace rather than behavior like this. That seems to contradict what Paul says in Romans seven about continuing to struggle with sin, but still finding mercy and grace.

Joe, thanks for that question. You know, sometimes we talk like all sins are equal, but they really aren't. Some sins are more heinous in the sight of God than others. It could be just by virtue of the sin in and of itself. It could be the person who's committing the sin. It's one thing for someone who's ignorant, who doesn't know very much to sin in a certain way.

It's another thing for a person who knows better. Think of a teacher, for example, a religious teacher, a pastor, a theologian to sin in the exact same way and to do so knowing clearly that what they're doing is wrong and heinous in the sight of God. I think that's what we have there in First Timothy chapter five because specifically it's not just Paul talking about shaming people for their sin, people Christians struggling with sin in the church. He's talking specifically about elders in the church, leaders who are held to a higher standard. He talked about it earlier in First Timothy chapter three where he was bringing up the qualifications for overseers in the church.

And he says in chapter five verse 17, I think that this is the portion that you're referring to. Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. For the scripture says you shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain and the laborer deserves his wages. Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all so that the rest may stand in fear.

Okay, so what are we talking about here? We're not just talking about somebody who's struggling with sin. We're talking about someone who's been convicted of sin, and not just anyone, but a leader in the church. An elder, a pastor, it's clear that they've sinned, but instead of repenting, they're continuing to sin.

They're hard-hearted. They're not wanting to let go of their sin. Now this is a huge problem because this person is supposed to be an example to the church of godly behavior, but they're setting a bad example, so the fear, the danger here is other people are going to follow suit. They're going to begin to live in an ungodly way or reject God's law. And so for that reason, Paul says, look, if an elder in the church, a pastor, has been convicted of sin, has been called out, and this is very clear, and yet they continue to persist in sin, and don't just turn a blind eye. Don't overlook that.

If you do, the consequences are going to be devastating. This was part of the issue, not exactly the same, but you think of when Paul was rebuking the Corinthians because there was clear examples of sin in their church, sexual immorality, and the church wasn't doing anything about it. And he says a little leaven leavens the whole lump. If you just let this go, what's going to happen is that sin is going to spread. It's going to infect the whole community, and so you can't do that.

You have to cut it off at the source, if you will, and that's what he's saying you have to do. With this person, with this elder, this spiritual leader who's persisting in sin, rebuke that man in the presence of all so that the rest may stand in fear, so that the church will see, hey, we're not going to put up with this. This is not okay.

This is not the kind of behavior that should be exhibited by an elder, and it's going to be addressed if indeed this is taking place. And so I think what we're seeing here is not this attempt to shame somebody who's struggling with sin. The picture of Romans 7, that battle with sin and daily fighting to walk in the Spirit, to put to death by the Holy Spirit the deeds of our body, the sinful deeds of our body. We wrestle with that. It's not Paul saying go to that person and expose their sin before the church and rebuke them.

No. He's saying for the elder, for the pastor who persists in sin, call him out. They're in the presence of all so that the church will see that it's not permissible behavior, and so that they'll be afraid and will walk in holiness and repentance. And so it's really important that we understand the context there, and when we do, it highlights, one, I think the high calling of elders in our churches, the qualifications that are set before us in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1, but also just how seriously we should take sin within the church. Oftentimes, and you might have heard this before, but what can happen is churches can take very seriously the sins of others outside of the church, but not very seriously our own sins, the things that we battle with within the body of Christ. We really have to begin by taking our own sin here at home seriously, and especially when you have Christian leaders who are walking in stubbornness and unrepentance. That needs to be addressed, and there needs to be a stern rebuke in the presence of all, Paul says, so that God would be glorified.

Thanks for your question. So well said, and of course in some cases there are churches and even denominations that have not been taking those steps. We've got some pastors who have been living outside God's will, and that's really tragic. Yeah, you know, we say that discipline is a mark of the true church, really caring about each other and caring about sin within the community. It's important for all of us, friends, to be in churches that care about the truth and care that God is honored, that His word is kept, and so I hope that you have that. Join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-25 07:44:00 / 2023-03-25 07:53:41 / 10

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