If Jesus is God, then why did he pray to the Father? 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, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can call us right now with your question. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-THE-CORE. Of course, you can always post your question on one of our social media sites, and you can always email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to Jacob, who's calling in from Kansas City, Missouri. Jacob, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Talk about and show that Jesus is the only way, I guess, and how he's right there. I guess what I'm saying is when I see anxious or anxiety people, the answer is him, I guess.
How can I publicize that and get that out there? How can you encourage the people around you who aren't in the church, who maybe don't believe in Jesus but are struggling with fear and anxiety, to look to Christ as our hope and as the only way? Of course, that's what Jesus says.
I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. You know, this is one of the things, Jacob, that a lot of people, as I'm sure you've recognized, they have a hard time with this idea of the exclusivity of the Gospel, the fact that Jesus is the only way, that there is no other name given under heaven by which men must be saved.
They think, well, gosh, that doesn't seem right. It can't always lead to God. That's just not what the Bible teaches. I think part of the way that maybe we can address this or broach this subject when you're having conversations with people is just talking about the fact that we need forgiveness for our sins.
Everybody agrees, we all agree, that the world isn't what it should be. At least, I mean, you talk to even atheists, right, and there's agreement here that there's bad things that happen in the world, that there's death and pain and sorrow. Where does that come from?
We think that comes from sin, death entered the world through sin. I would say one thing you can try to do is get some common ground on the idea of there's evil in the world, we're imperfect, we do bad things, what the Bible calls sins. Well, what do we do with that?
How do we deal with that? What you don't find anywhere else except in Christianity and in the Gospel is a way for our sins to be put away through the blood of Jesus Christ. And what this emphasizes is the great love of God for humanity, for sinners. So you're focusing on, hey, we agree that there's something wrong with the world. Well, look at what God has done in His love to solve this problem, to deal with our sins.
And that's why it's so wrong, why it's such a big issue for people to say, oh, no, there are other ways, right? No, because God has exhibited His love for us, sinful humanity through the cross of His Son, Jesus Christ. And to try to find some other way is to reject that, is to say, no, I actually don't need the forgiveness of sins through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, I can handle things on my own.
And that's a great offense. And so I think focusing on the problem and then highlighting God's love in dealing with that issue is a good way forward. And of course, as I often say, brother, you want to pray because it's the Holy Spirit that opens the hearts of those who hear the word. And so when you're having conversations with atheists or with friends who are skeptical of the Christian faith, pray for them that the Spirit would be at work in their hearts as you communicate the gospel to them.
God bless you. You know, Adriel, one of the things I often hear or read from atheists and agnostics is that the problem is not sin, the problem that we have evil, the people are evil is because society is evil or because their upbringing was evil. And then I guess that begs the question, well, where did that evil come from? Yeah, I mean, and that's something that we can ask, you know, where do you even get this idea of evil if we're just, you know, the product of the material world, if you will, this great accident? Well, then, you know, the sense of morality, the sense of right and wrong, of evil, beauty, all of these things, right, we think this is rooted in a world that has God as its source.
And so I think that's key. And then also, you know, when people talk, this is one of the big issues today is everyone thinks that the problem is outside of them. It's people who think differently than I do or vote differently than I do. That's the main issue in the world. And I think Jesus speaks to this. He says, you know, it's not what, talking about the religious leaders in this context, it isn't what goes into your mouth that defiles you, it's what comes out of your heart. Our hearts are idle factories, as one theologian said.
We have sin that proceeds just from our hearts, and so we need God to work first and foremost in our hearts to cleanse us because that's the primary issue, the first issue, to remove the log from our own eyes so that we might see clearly to help the people around us and to care for them. And so, yeah, very important stuff, Bill. Thanks, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and our phone lines are open if you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, maybe doubts about the Christian faith. We're open to hearing from you as well. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE, and our phone lines will be open for the next 20 minutes or so. So jump on the phone right now. 1-833-843-2673.
That's 833-THE-CORE. You can also leave us a voicemail anytime at that number. And here's a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners named Mark. I left you all a message a couple of weeks ago.
I think it was July 14th on my son and the Jehovah Witnesses approaching him. And I got to listen to this podcast portion just yesterday with my son while riding in the car on the, you know, the podcast. So I got to pull it up for him to listen, which he hadn't paid any attention to, even though I fed him to him.
His comeback was, or his question was, I got a feeling this might be one of the angles that they came at him with, was that when Jesus prayed to God, how could he be praying to himself if he's God? Anyway, I was just hoping if you could kind of help me with that explanation to him, that would be great. But anyway, it's great listening to you guys. I really do appreciate and love you all.
So, bye. Thank you for that, Mark. I'm glad to hear that you guys have been having these conversations. And it does sound to me like this is probably something that the Jehovah's Witnesses did say. They kind of have a script that they go off of oftentimes when they're talking about the deity of Christ or the doctrine of the Trinity. I've spoken to many Jehovah's Witnesses, and that's one thing that they'll bring up is they'll say, well, how can he be God if he's praying to the Father? Isn't he praying to himself then?
And so there are a couple of issues here. One is just not really understanding the doctrine of the Trinity. We're not saying that the Son is the Father, that they're the same person, that the Holy Trinity is, that there's Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and that these three are one person. No, we're saying that God is one in essence, power, glory, but that this one God has revealed himself as three distinct persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And so the Son, Jesus, prays to the Father. You think of his earthly ministry as well in his humiliation, the incarnation coming to earth, praying to the Father, doing his works dependent upon the power of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit working in and through him. It doesn't take away from his glory or his deity in any sense. He's God, true God and true man, but he's distinct from the Father.
And so we have to be very careful. There was an ancient heresy known as modalism. And it was this idea that God was just this one person who revealed himself throughout history in different ways. You know, the Father, the Son, the Spirit, the same person, just these sort of different masks that the one God is wearing.
And if that was the case, then the objection that these Jehovah's Witnesses are raising might be legitimate. But that's not the case, and that's not the doctrine of the Trinity that the Church embraces. In fact, they condemn that as heresy, that idea that God is just this one person that's wearing these different masks, if you will, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Nope, God is one in essence and undivided. The Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of Scripture teaches, and these are three distinct persons. And so it's no contradiction or issue that Jesus, the Son, prays to the Father. God bless.
Thanks, Mark. Appreciate your hanging in there, dialoguing with your son about this, and hopefully that will help answer his question. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you are a parent or a grandparent, we want to tell you about a great free resource that we have available for you today. Yeah, Bill, as fall is now fast approaching and our kids are getting ready to go back to school, we want to help parents bolster the faith of their children, and that's why we've made this free resource. As you say, Bill, it's called Six Ways to Help Your Kids as They Go Back to School. This resource helps parents think through how to give our kids courage as they face peer pressure, how to remind them of their standing before God when they're tempted to measure their worth by their performance, and there's a lot of other helpful things in this resource. And so now more than ever, we need to be teaching our kids both what we believe and why we believe it, so that they can stand firm amidst the shifting sands of our culture.
And so get ahold of this resource. Again, it's called Six Ways to Help Your Kids as They Go Back to School for free at corechristianity.com. This is really such a helpful and practical resource for our families. So if you have children, grandchildren, we'd encourage you to go to our website and get this. Go to corechristianity.com.
Look for Six Ways to Help Your Kids as They Go Back to School. You can find it at corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Well, let's go back to the phones. Denise is on the line from Iowa. Denise, what's your question for Adriel? I was wondering, I was talking with someone that told me that Mary Jesus's mother was sinless and that she is still alive. So they talked to her and ask her to pray for family members and things like that. And I just always thought Jesus was the only sinless person ever. And I know that it was an honor to be Mary's, Mary being, you know, Jesus's mother, but I never thought of her as sinless.
And just wonder what you thought about that. Yeah, my view is that Mary was in need of a Savior just like we are. I think you go to Luke's Gospel in Luke chapter 1 verse 46, Mary's song, oftentimes called the Magnificat, she said, My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. For He has looked on the humble estate of His servant, for behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name, and His mercy is for those who fear Him from generation to generation. That's such a beautiful song, this song of praise that she sings. We should sing it too. We should join her in singing it really, but what is she doing here? She's pointing us to Christ, her Son, the Savior, the Word who took flesh from her womb as the Savior of mankind, as the deliverer of humanity. And so I think, you know, the focus needs to be on Jesus. And as you said, Denise, it's not that we want to minimize Mary's role or set it aside in the history of redemption, if you will, that God used her mightily and that He, through her, you know, the Jesus or the Son taking flesh from her womb, is accomplishing redemption for all people. But we join her as worshipers and as those who are praying to God and thanking Him for His great mercy. Now, of course, you know, there's a theology that the Roman Catholic Church has and other traditions as well that we can ask the saints who have died to intercede for us, to pray for us. And so that's why many of them will say, I go to Mary and ask her to pray for me.
But I just don't believe that that's something that you find evidence for in Scripture. And my concern is that people can lose sight of the fact that Jesus Christ is the sole mediator between God and man. And He's the one who's given us access to the Father.
We don't need others who have gone before us to be our primary mediators. We come to the Father with confidence through Jesus, our great high priest. And there's nothing, I think, in the New Testament that would lead us to believe or give us a sense that God is commanding us to pray to the deceased saints who are right now in the presence of the Lord, worshiping Him.
I think that's what they're doing. They're alive in Christ, if you will, in God's presence. But nowhere are we told that they're receiving our prayers and praying for us.
That's, I think, something that the Scripture just doesn't give to us. So, God bless you, and I hope that you can continue to have some good conversations with your Roman Catholic friend. And thank you for the call. Denise, thanks so much for being a regular listener to CORE Christianity.
Appreciate you. If you have a question for Adriel about the Bible or the Christian life, our phone lines are open right now. In fact, we're going to be recording a second episode of CORE Christianity after this one ends. It'll be a recorded show, but if you still have a question and weren't able to get through, you can actually call us for the next 40 minutes or so. At this number, it's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673.
Again, our phone lines will be open for the next 40 minutes if you want to call in with your question. Well, we do receive emails here at the CORE, and this one came in to our email address, which is questionsatcorechristianity.com. It's from Doug, and Doug says, But I have to question why it's been so difficult to believe something so simple and basic. When I was in the hospital with this disorder, the nurse told my parents that even though you can have factual evidence about something in front of you, people with this disorder will still lean toward believing the delusions. I can't understand why God allows me to suffer from unbelief when I really want to believe.
Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with this problem? Well, Doug, I want to pray for you first, and then Bill, I also want to get your insight here just from the perspective of a therapist, but let's pray for our brother Doug, who is longing for assurance to be able to rest in the Gospel but has not been able to get that. So, Father, Lord, we thank you for your Word and for the promises that we see in Scripture, the promise that you give us of eternal life through your Son, Jesus Christ. God, we know that that's a promise that's repeated throughout the Bible. I think of 1 John 2, the promise of eternal life, and, Lord, for so many, for our brother Doug, it's hard for us to really grasp, to really believe that that promise is for us. We think of the times we fail, the things that we struggle with, our sins, and it's hard to imagine, Lord God, that you love us even though your Word says that you do so clearly. And then for Doug, our brother who struggles with this disability as well, Lord, and that creating more issues for him, I ask, gracious Father in heaven, that by the power of your Holy Spirit you would help Doug to rest in the forgiveness of sins through Jesus your Son, that he would cling to your Word and that he wouldn't just understand it cognitively, Lord, but that deep in his heart he might know that he belongs to you as Romans 8 says, that the Spirit would bear witness with his Spirit, that he is a child of God. And so, Lord, be with him and through your Word and through your Gospel give him comfort and assurance, I pray, in Jesus' name. Amen. And, Doug, let me just say that that's the key for all of us when we're struggling with assurance, is going to the promises of God, going to the promises of his Word, reminding ourselves that it's not because we're righteous, that God loved us.
Right? Romans chapter 5. God demonstrates his love for us and that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
And so it wasn't something that we did, something that you did. It's the promise of the Gospel for sinners, and it's for you. It's for us as sinners to cling to, to embrace, to say, God, I'm taking you at your Word and I'm believing that my sins are forgiven, not for anything that I've done, but solely for the sake of Jesus Christ and his work for me. And praying that the Lord, by his Spirit, gives you that comfort and that assurance.
But go back to those promises again and again and again as you've been doing, and may the Lord grant you peace. And, Bill, with something like this, are there other practical things, just from the medical perspective, that Doug might benefit from? I think Doug is doing the right thing, and with schizoaffective disorder, it's basically a combination of a psychotic disorder and a mood disorder. So people are familiar with schizophrenia. They're maybe familiar with bipolar disorder, someone who has a manic phase or depressive phase. Well, unfortunately, with schizoaffective disorder, those two things seem to be combined, and the delusions and the hallucinations can be really hard to deal with.
And the way that it's typically treated, as Doug probably knows, and hopefully he's pursuing this, one is medication and the other is what we call cognitive behavioral therapy, and that's challenging those delusions and hallucinations when they occur. And I love what you said about just, and he said himself, saturating himself in those promises in the assurance of salvation. Doug, I would say to you, and I'd say to any listener who is trying to base their faith on feelings, and we've talked about this many times on the show, Adriel, that it's not based on how you feel on a given day.
It's not based on your circumstances. It's based on the finished work of Jesus on the cross. So, Doug, write those things down, maybe even record your own voice saying those things on your phone, and then when a delusion pops up, play it back to yourself, saying, I know this is a delusion right now.
I know that Christ died for me and that I'm secure in him, and that no delusion can overcome that, can defeat it. Amen. Well, thanks, Adriel, and thank you, Doug.
We'll continue to pray for you here at CORE Christianity. We do receive voicemails, and if you have a voicemail that you'd like to leave us, here is the phone number to call. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 833-843-2673. You can leave us a voicemail 24 hours a day.
Let's go to a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners named Sam. My question is in regards to kind of how you, what you would do in this situation. I have a friend who just kind of recently came into my life. We've talked about faith quite a bit and whatnot, but one thing that kind of scares me and has troubled me with sharing the whole gospel with him is on his response to what I would believe about hell. Because I think, you know, it's a really real thing and a big part of the gospel. He recently, like probably a year ago, lost his sister through just excessive alcohol use. What made it tough for me is that his response to thinking, okay, so my sister didn't know Jesus. If she's in hell, then how can he be a good God? How would I comfort someone? If he was to come to the realization that Jesus is Lord, and then he ends up believing in hell, how would I, you know, help comfort him with him knowing now that his sister could potentially be in hell? Thanks.
Yeah, super practical question. I love to hear, Sam, that you're having these conversations with your friend. But, of course, when we talk about heaven and hell, then all these other questions are raised. Like, what about my deceased loved ones? Are you telling me that God is just rejecting them? Look, here's the thing. We know God is perfectly just and good. That, you know, on the day of judgment we stand before the Lord and, you know, the books are open. There's not going to be anybody that says, God, this isn't fair. This isn't right.
This isn't good. I think everybody is going to realize, no, God is right here in what he does. And the other thing is, you know, we know that with regard to the judgment, we're judged more severely on the basis of what we know and have, the knowledge that God gives to us. And so I don't know exactly what that's going to look like. We don't know entirely what that's going to look like on the last day.
And I don't know also that this needs to be the focus of your conversations right now. You said, you know, I know hell is a big part of the gospel. Well, it's a part of the bad news, right? The fact that we've fallen short of the glory of God. But focusing on the gospel looks like focusing on the fact that Christ has conquered sin, death, and hell for those who trust in him.
And we don't know, you know, on the last day what it's going to look like entirely. We know that there is, the Bible speaks very clearly about hell, this place of perdition, this place of judgment. We know that the Bible makes it clear that there are varying degrees of judgment based upon what an individual knows. And we know the Bible makes it clear that God is perfectly just and good. And so we might struggle with that as finite creatures, in part because we're finite creatures and because we don't have full knowledge. We don't understand God and his greatness and his holiness and his justice. But that doesn't make God evil.
And so I think if you get into that conversation, it's going in that direction. But for now, really focusing on, you know, as you're having conversations with your friend, the promises of the gospel, the hope of the forgiveness of sins, the fact that sin brings death, and your friend knows this. I mean, the situation with his sister, tragic situation, you know, heartbreaking situation, when we're confronted with death and sin, things like addiction, alcoholism, we've tasted the bitterness.
Well, Jesus came into the world to drink that cup for us, that bitterness of death and sin, if you will, by bearing it on the cross in the judgment that he received in our place. And so there's hope. There's hope for those who are in Christ and those who trust in him. And I would just encourage you, brother, to focus on that. And may the Lord bless you in your conversations with your friend. Appreciate the work that you're doing, Sam. God bless. God bless.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-13 07:45:31 / 2023-03-13 07:55:38 / 10