Where should Christians draw the line with charismatic worship? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of Core Christianity. And our phone lines will be open for the next 25 minutes, so now is the time to call with your question. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites. Adriel is live right now on our YouTube channel, so you can watch him in the studio as he does the program and send him a question through our YouTube channel. And of course, you can always email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com.
First up today, let's go to Tricia, who called in earlier this week. My question is, how come in the Old Testament when the people obeyed God, really obeyed him, and they were very close to him, they were blessed? In the New Testament, when you obey the Lord and you try to be very close to him, the world hates you and you get persecuted. I don't understand. It went from being blessed to being persecuted.
Thank you. Yeah, I'm thinking that you're referring to Matthew chapter 5, where Jesus gives the Beatitudes. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. And actually, this is something we see the early church doing. In particular, in the book of Acts, the disciples are beat up, and they begin to praise God that He had counted them worthy to suffer for the name of Christ.
Well, what gives? Why is it that under the New Covenant and the New Testament, you have these believers who are obeying God, serving God, and yet they're suffering, being persecuted, whereas under the Old Covenant, it seems like there were these blessings for obedience, curses for disobedience, certainly, but blessings like wealth and land and power. Well, first we have to understand that there under the Old Covenant, you have these types and shadows, these pictures of a greater reality that would come under the New Covenant.
And the land there under the Old Covenant was just a picture of the New Creation, a type of the New Creation, if you will. And so what we receive through faith in Jesus Christ is the reality, the true spiritual reality. And the reason we can rejoice when we're persecuted is because the Spirit of God rests upon us, because we're identified with Jesus both in His sufferings and also in His resurrection. Now, I will say to you, sister, that there are blessings associated with obedience to God and to His law. I mean, the scriptures are absolutely clear that we reap what we sow. And so there is just the blessedness of the life of obedience, faithfulness to God, doing that which is right, right?
I mean, there are just general benefits and blessings that come with that. So it's not all, you know, we're just cursed. But the reality is, as those who desire to live godly lives in Jesus Christ, we will suffer persecution. People will disagree with us and even ridicule us.
Why? Because we believe in Christ, embrace Him, embrace the exclusivity of the Gospel. But we have it better because we have the reality.
The saints under the Old Company, they didn't have the reality. They were looking forward to the promise. We have the reality in Christ and in the hope of the New Creation, the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. And so let us rejoice, brothers and sisters, insofar as we are identified with Jesus and get to walk with Him. And even when others ridicule us for that, I mean, we can rejoice because the Spirit of God rests upon us.
Thank you for that question. So just a follow-up question for you about God's blessings. I heard this TV preacher say that if I tithe directly to him that I would get a new BMW, that God would bless me with a new BMW. What do you think about that? Yeah, I think you need to stop watching TV preachers, Bill. I mean, why? But certainly, I mean, that's just false.
I mean, really, we're laughing about it. But what a tragedy because there are so many people on television, quote-unquote, pastors, who will make those kinds of claims, who will say, if you just sow your seed, your gift to my ministry, God is going to give you this. And often they're pointing to, you know, you're going to be delivered from your debts, and you're going to be healed of your cancer and all these things. And you're going to make people these promises that they just don't have any authority to make. And oftentimes, they're rooted in what we see under the old covenant, you know, this idea that if you do this, God is just going to reward you, and they'll appeal to those passages.
And this is why it's so important that we rightly divide the word of truth, that we understand where we are in the history of redemption, that we understand the context of scripture, because when we don't, people can twist it and lead us astray. And so, glad, Bill, that you have me in your life to let you know. I was hoping I'd get that BMW. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Maybe. Good counsel. Thank you for that. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez.
And if you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, or even God's blessings, we'd love to hear from you. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Edward, who's calling in from St. Louis, Missouri. Edward, what's your question for Pastor Adrian? First, I want to thank you, Pastor Adrian Sanchez, for your ministry.
I really appreciate it. Don't listen all the time, occasionally, but I have a question today. The church we're attending, they have performed gay marriages, and they embrace the gay society. And we don't believe it's biblical, so we're considering changing churches, so want to know what your biblical viewpoint is on that. Edward, thank you for your encouragement, and I'm sorry to hear that this is something that's going on in the church that you've been a part of. I would say that, yeah, when things like that start to happen, it's definitely time to find a new church.
Why? Because the church has to be faithful to the Scriptures. We have to have a high view of the Word of God. The false prophets and false teachers throughout the Bible were characterized by something really interesting.
They often said, peace, peace, where there was no peace. You see this throughout the book of Jeremiah, where these false prophets, these false teachers, they're going to Israel, and they're saying everything is fine. God isn't going to judge you for your sin.
It's all good. Just live however you want, that kind of a thing. And prophets like Jeremiah, God raised them up to say, no, actually that's not the case. And this isn't just okay. It's not just fine. The fact that there are churches who are saying, yeah, believe whatever you want with regard to sexual ethics.
Go ahead and be with whoever you want to be with, embracing these kinds of things. There's a serious issue here. It's a rejection of the Word of God, and it's right in line with what the false teachers and the false prophets throughout Scripture have always done. Minimized sin.
Minimized it. Saying it's not a big deal. God isn't going to judge you because of it.
Do whatever you want. And God says, no, that's just the opposite, in fact. We need to have a high view of sin. And what I mean by that is we need to take it seriously because it's deadly, but we need to also have a high view of the Gospel. That there's no sin that can't be forgiven by the blood of Jesus Christ. That doesn't mean we accept sin or embrace it or celebrate it.
God forbid we celebrate the cross, the forgiveness of Jesus Christ, the hope that we have in Him. And so you need to go to a church, I think, that is going to be faithful to the Scriptures on this point, and where the Gospel of Christ is going to be magnified so that people from all walks of life who are hearing the Gospel and experiencing the forgiveness of Christ are finding fellowship together as sinners under the Word of God, under the authority of Christ, and under the forgiveness that Jesus gives to us. And so again, Edward, I'm sorry to hear that this is going on, but I do think it's time to find a new church. Edward, thanks so much for your call. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. We'll be praying for you as you make that decision.
And boy, oh boy, a tough situation. By the way, we have a CORE guide that relates to this topic. It's called Ten Things You Need to Know About the Homosexuality and the Bible. You can find that by going to corechristianity.com slash downloads. Again, corechristianity.com slash downloads.
Ten Things You Need to Know About Homosexuality and the Bible, a great resource for you there. We also want to tell you about a resource that is just perfect for back to school. If you're a parent or a grandparent, this is something you'll want to get to help your kids as they get ready for the school year. Yeah, the great thing about this resource is it's free, too. So it's called Six Ways to Help Your Kids as They Go Back to School.
Get a hold of this. As Bill said, if you're a parent, you've got young children who are getting ready to go back to school, or even grandchildren who are getting ready to go back to school. There are so many pressures that young children are facing today in school.
Peer pressure, the pressure of needing to perform, to do really well in school. And this resource dives into both of those things and gives some biblical insight and some encouragement for you, for your family. And so we do hope that you'll get a hold of this resource again. It's called Six Ways to Help Your Kids as They Go Back to School for free at corechristianity.com.
Love to have you get that in your hands for your family, or maybe a family that you know who has a school-aged kids. Again, go to corechristianity.com forward slash offers to find that. Well, we do receive emails here at Core Christianity. You can email us anytime, 24 hours a day, and we try to get to our emails as often as we can.
Here's the email address. It's questions at corechristianity.com. Questions at corechristianity.com. Here's a question that came in from Matthew. Adriel, he says, in 2019, my wife and I left a church that began getting into more charismatic manifestations of what they said was the Holy Spirit. There were manifestations such as holy laughter. Is it blasphemy against the Spirit to see such manifestations as being drunk in the Spirit, slain in the Spirit, holy laughter, and things we don't see in scriptures, and then to reject it? I've really struggled with this, and while I was at church, I raised up my concerns biblically with my pastor, which didn't end well. People that either left or questioned the church or the practices were treated like outsiders. Okay, yeah, I mean, this gets at worship and right worship before the Lord and what is permissible, what we should be looking for in worship, and I think you made the right decision.
I'll share a story. I mean, I had some strange experiences going to different churches growing up, and I remember one time in high school, I went to a Bible study group where we were seeing some of these things happen. I mean, I'm probably a newer believer at this point and go to this Bible study expecting to open up the scriptures and to study the scriptures, but there was this guy who was visiting who was supposed to lead the study, and instead he led the people in this kind of charismatic, holy laughter sort of a thing.
I was concerned. I was actually kind of afraid not knowing what was going on, and I'll tell you what, the focus was not on Jesus or His word. It was on these sort of strange, ecstatic experiences, and nobody, I think, was being drawn closer to Christ or to conformity to the Word of God, and so I think we have to be discerning.
We have to be wise. I would say it's not the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit for you to distance yourself from this. On the contrary, in fact, the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is when the religious leaders were attributing the miracles of Christ as He's delivering people from sickness and from Satan. The religious leaders were attributing that to the work of the devil, and so, look, when we believe in Jesus, when we embrace Him by faith, we can't commit the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit because the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is unbelief.
It's the rejection of Christ and saying Christ is essentially Satan. That's what the religious leaders were doing with the stubborn and hard heart. What you're trying to do is be faithful to Jesus according to His word and to follow Him, and so when you see things that are not in line with His word, they concern you, and they should concern all of us. Now Paul actually has a discussion that I think sort of fits with this in 1 Corinthians 14 because he's writing to the Corinthians who were having these charismatic experiences in their worship services, speaking in tongues and whatnot, and he writes to them saying, look, here's what you should pursue first and foremost, 1 Corinthians 13.
You need to pursue love. I know you're eager for these manifestations of the Spirit, but the true sign of the Spirit of God living in us, in the Church, is love, the fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, so on and so forth. And so he says pursue love, and with everything that you do in the Church, this is 1 Corinthians 14 verse 39, So my brothers earnestly desire to prophesy and do not forbid speaking in tongues, but he says, But all things should be done decently and in order. And I wonder if in many churches we're heeding that command from the Apostle Paul, all things done decently and in order, and it sounds to me like, you know, that was not taking place where you were. And so corruptions in worship are serious things. We need to be in places where the Word of God is being faithfully taught, where we're drawing near to Jesus by faith through the Scriptures.
There are enough distractions that we have in our lives. We don't need to be distracted away from Christ and his Word in the context of Christian worship. And so, brother, I'm sorry that after you left you were treated like outsiders and whatnot, but maybe it was just for the better.
Find a church where the Word of God is going to be taught faithfully and where you guys can grow together in Scripture and in your obedience to Christ by faith. God bless you, Matthew. This is the CORE Christianity program. And by the way, after our live show ends today, we'll be recording a second program. So if you weren't able to get through on our phone lines, you can feel free to call for the next 40 minutes or so. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. And we're open to questions about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, you name it. We'd love to hear from you.
833-THE-CORE, which translates into 833-843-2673. You can call us for the next 40 minutes or so. Let's go to James calling in from Eldon, Missouri. James, what's your question for Pastor Adrian? Yes, Mike, I appreciate your show, Adrian. I really do.
It's very informative and I really enjoy it. Thank you, James. My question is about faith. I've read in Romans 12, verse 3, where it talks about a measure of faith. And then you read in Ephesians chapter 2, verses 8 through 10, where, for by grace are you saved through faith. Is there a difference between the measure of faith and saving faith?
Yeah, thanks for that question. So Romans chapter 12, verse 3, for by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think. But to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them.
If prophecy in proportion to our faith, if service in our serving, the one who teaches in his teaching, the one who exhorts in his exhortation, the one who contributes in generosity, the one who leads with zeal, the one who does acts of mercy with cheerfulness. I do think that when we look at Romans chapter 12 and then Ephesians chapter 2, where Paul says by grace you've been saved through faith. I think there's a different idea here in these texts. The focus in Romans chapter 12 is the different gifts within the body of Christ.
How we're gifted in different ways and each of us contributes to the building up of the body through the gifts that God gives. Paul had another discussion about that, a more extended discussion in 1 Corinthians chapter 12. So I don't think he's talking about faith per se here in Romans chapter 12 in the same sense that he's talking about it in Ephesians 2. The context is so key. Sometimes you have the exact same word used in the New Testament, but it has a broader range of meaning or the way that it's used in different contexts.
That's why the context is always key in helping us to understand how a particular word is being used in whatever context it's in. So there in Romans chapter 12 you have the focus on the diversity of gifts according to the faith that God gives, the gifts that God gives, and yet how we're all united together in one body through the various gifts that God gives. In Ephesians chapter 2, I think that the focus is on faith as the instrument of our salvation. It's that empty hand that receives the grace of God through the gospel faith in Jesus Christ. It's not a work in the sense of a righteous work that we do to earn something from God. It's this gift that God gives, and again that's what's stressed in Ephesians chapter 2, through which we receive the mercy and grace of the Lord in Christ. A little bit of a different emphasis in each of those passages, but in both texts you have the reality that these are gifts that God gives to us, and they're for our good and for the good of the body as well. God bless you, James.
Thanks for that question. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and once again we have this wonderful resource for you if you are a parent or a grandparent. It's six ways to help your kids as they go back to school this fall. You can find that by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Again corechristianity.com forward slash offers. It's absolutely free.
Six ways to help your kids as they go back to school. Well, let's go to Robert who's on the line from Wichita, Kansas. Robert, what's your question for Adriel? Yeah, thanks for taking my call. I was injured in a work-related accident and had a toe amputated, and I was just wondering when we're resurrected bodies, will I have that toe? Yeah. Hey, thank you for that question.
I believe that the answer is yes. I believe that at the resurrection we're going to be fully restored. Now some people might point to that text in Matthew chapter 18 where Jesus talks about if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off. If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It'd be better to enter into life maimed than having two hands or two eyes to be cast into hell. I think the focus in Jesus is speaking hyperbolically about how serious we need to take sin in our lives.
Let it out, if you will, not giving any opportunity for the flesh to fulfill our sinful desires. But when we're thinking about the doctrine of the resurrection and the restoration of all things, including our body, that's the focus there. I do believe that if you've lost a limb or you've had a toe amputated, whatever it is, my sense is, I believe, that we are going to get that back, that we're going to be created, recreated, newly created, whole and perfect in Christ, glorified with these glorified bodies. So I do think that that's a hope that we have and a hope specifically that you have, Robert, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Friends, this is why the doctrine of the resurrection is so important. I think it's oftentimes minimized when we talk about salvation. For many of us, we sort of grew up with this idea that Christianity is about going to heaven when I die, and accepting Jesus into my heart is my way of getting to live in heaven for all eternity. I'm going to be released from this body of mine that gets sick and has all these issues and is tempted, can succumb to temptation, I can't wait to be freed from this body and just be in heaven with Jesus floating around for all eternity.
But the hope of the Christian faith is more than that. Yes, when we die, our bodies go down into the ground and we enter into the presence of the Lord into heaven in the Spirit and are with Him, worshipping Him. But we're looking forward to even more. We're looking forward to the resurrection of our bodies, their full and final restoration, their glorification through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and not only the resurrection and transformation of our bodies, but of the whole creation. Paul says in Romans 8, that's what we look forward to. God, who made our bodies and the physical world, doesn't just sort of cast them aside, but that they too, the created world is the object of God's redemptive work and on the last day we're going to be restored, there's going to be a new creation. That's the great hope that we have in the Christian faith.
We can't minimize that. So for you who are struggling right now with sickness, with weakness in your body, know that in Christ we have hope, you have hope. It's not always going to be like this.
Maybe here on earth we experience this leading to death. Yes, even though the inward man, as Paul told the Corinthians, is being renewed day by day, but we're looking forward to the glorious restoration and resurrection of the body and you have that hope, Robert, through Jesus Christ. God bless. You know, Adriel, we often talk about what we can learn from the thief on the cross and I think there's a great example there. Here's a man who's being crucified, yet Jesus says today you'll be with me in paradise and we can just assume that that man's going to be fully restored because of his trust in Christ. He's not going to be walking with a limp in the new creation, you know, and again, that's the hope that we have.
Every tear wiped away all of our sorrows. And brothers and sisters, this is the gospel that we proclaim. We live in a world that is fallen and broken and people, even non-Christians, can see the effects of that brokenness and so we have this great hope that God is going to restore all things through the blood of his Son, Jesus Christ, and so let's share that message with the people around us to give them hope, too. 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 1-833-843-2673. 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.
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