Should theological differences keep me from marrying someone? 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. We hope you had a great weekend. This is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day.
We get some great practical questions as well, and we'd love to hear yours. Here is the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. Our phone lines will be open for the next 25 minutes or so. Again, 833-843-2673. Of course, you can always post your question on one of our social media sites.
You can watch Adriel live in the studio right now on our YouTube channel and message him that way. And of course, you can always email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Linda.
Hi, my name is Linda and I have a question. It has to do with a scripture that talks about where there are two or more gathered together in my name, Jesus' name, that he would be there present. It kind of leaves me wondering who's there when only I am praying alone. You know, it just stumps me a little bit because I like to pray a lot on my own. So any help would be great in understanding that, and thank you for your program. It's very, very helpful.
Hey, Linda. Well, the first thing I'll say is God is there when you're praying on your own by yourself, that the Lord is there present as you approach him through Christ with faith. And so you should be encouraged to pray on your own and with other believers as well. Now, the passage of scripture that you're referring to is Matthew chapter 18 verse 20, for where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them. And now this comes in the context of Jesus talking about church discipline and going to your brother when your brother or sister has sinned against you, and then taking two witnesses with you, and then going to the church and bringing them. There's something really official going on here in terms of dealing with sin in the body of Christ.
And so I think that's the wider context of Jesus's statement in verse 20. But you want to remember what Jesus said when he was speaking about prayer, when he was teaching on prayer in his sermon on the mount. Matthew chapter 6 verse 5, when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners that they may be seen by others.
Truly I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And so I want to encourage you, Linda, with those words, that when you are by yourself, when you go into your room and shut the door and you're praying, that your Father sees you and he hears you, and our prayers please him. And so we should all be encouraged to pray to the Lord.
Again, whether we're by ourselves in our prayer closet, quote-unquote, or together with the body of Christ praying in church or praying in Bible study, we ought to be praying and giving thanks to the Lord. God bless. Great counsel. Thanks, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.
If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, doctrine, theology, or maybe even some doubts about the Christian faith, we'd love to hear from you. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE, 833-843-2673. Give us a call right now. We also have a brand new resource that we want to tell you about today.
Yeah, we are excited about this resource. We made it for our one-year anniversary of answering your questions live every day, because every day here at Core Christianity, we seek to answer tough questions about the Bible and the Christian faith. We want you to feel confident, hopeful, and comforted in your faith, and that's why we've made this new booklet called Tough Questions Answered. This booklet is only 50 pages long, and it really helps to succinctly defend your Christian faith. It answers questions like, doesn't science make religion unnecessary? Why is Christianity so exclusive? What about other religions, Buddhism, and Islam? Isn't the Bible just a bunch of fairy tales, or isn't the Bible's view of sexuality and gender overly restrictive?
Again, we get into each of these questions. I hope that you'll get a hold of this resource for a donation of any amount over at CoreChristianity.com. This is really a fantastic resource, and as Adriel said, it covers a lot of great topics—science and faith, sexuality, different religions, you name it. And you can find Tough Questions Answered by going to CoreChristianity.com forward slash offers. Again, CoreChristianity.com forward slash offers.
Of course, you can always call us for any one of our resources at 833-THE-CORE. Well, let's go to a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners. This is from Eddie. Can a Baptist man marry a Catholic woman? Short and sweet, Eddie, and I wonder if maybe this is something that you're thinking about.
Well, a couple of things. First, you know, scripture doesn't give us a lot of specifics in terms of who to marry and who not to marry, except for the fact that we're commanded to marry only in the Lord. That's key. So when a Christian gets married, they shouldn't entertain the idea of marrying someone who isn't a believer, who doesn't go to church, someone who doesn't embrace the gospel. I think that's really important because a lot of times we get into relationships where people get into relationships with someone who just, you know, they don't share the same faith and they're hoping, you know, by means of the relationship to bring this person to faith, but oftentimes it doesn't work out.
And so I think we want to be wise here. Your question is a little bit more specific though, and this isn't just somebody who denies the faith, who rejects the Trinity, the incarnation. This is somebody who's a Roman Catholic, presumably a practicing Roman Catholic. And so is it okay for a Baptist or a Protestant Christian to marry someone who's a committed Roman Catholic?
Well, here's what I would say. If they're really a committed Roman Catholic Church, they're going to want you to get married in the Roman Catholic Church if they're really a committed Roman Catholic, which means that you're going to be committing to being a part of the Roman Catholic Church and presumably raising your children in the Roman Catholic Church. And I think that's a big thing because there are significant differences between Protestant Christianity and Roman Catholicism. And so just in terms of wisdom, I think there are theological differences that would, I think, keep the two of you from wanting to pursue marriage. I mean, you're thinking about raising your children, what you're teaching them about the faith, what you're teaching them about piety, what you're teaching them ultimately about the doctrine of salvation. What does it mean to be a Christian?
How is one saved? That's something where Roman Catholics and Protestants differ. And so there's some vital issues that I think are so significant that, you know, unless you could resolve those issues, and I would say I hope that, you know, this person that you're interested in would come around to embracing, you know, some of the key doctrines that the Protestant Reformers spoke about, some of the reasons why they separated themselves from the Roman Catholic Church or were removed from the Roman Catholic Church, doctrines like the doctrine of justification or a proper biblical ecclesiology doctrine of the Church. And so I would counsel you and say, no, this isn't something that you should pursue in terms of marriage and maybe continue to have a friendship to talk about theology, to talk about Church, these significant things. And then if this person came around, then, yeah, I would say consider moving forward.
But there are instances where there are theological differences that are so significant that I think it would make marriage or relationship hard, especially if you're wanting to raise a family in the Church, in the Lord. And so you need to exercise wisdom there. And I appreciate your question, Eddie. God bless.
Let me ask a follow-up to you, Adriel. I'm sure as a pastor you get this question from young people a lot and maybe even not so young people. Someone comes to you and says, well, I'm dating this guy and he's really nice and he's really moral and, well, he's not a Christian, but I'm bringing him to church.
He has a six-pack too, yeah. Yeah, exactly. I didn't want to mention that part. But this whole idea of missionary dating, of I'm gonna, you know, win them over to the Lord, what's your advice? Yeah, so look, I mean, I've heard stories where it's like, you know, we were dating and this person wasn't really strong in their faith or maybe they didn't embrace Christ, but they really did come to faith through our relationship.
And I think, great. But ordinarily speaking, I think, you know, especially because we're only called to marry in the Lord, we don't want to be presumptuous. And so I think a lot of times people are willing to settle and oftentimes they're willing to settle with regard to the most important thing, right? Like, does this person share my faith or not?
Well, they don't, but, you know, I want to settle for this person because of all the things that you mentioned, Bill. And so I think that that's just, you're setting yourself up for a lot of heartache and pain later down the line, especially if you're someone who is committed to Christ and wanting to walk with the Lord and wanting in marriage to raise a family in the Lord. Again, we don't want to be presumptuous. We don't want to assume that, you know, God is going to save this person through, you know, my friendship, my relationship with them. Now, if two people are already married and one is a believer and the other one isn't a believer, well, Paul has instruction for that in 1 Corinthians chapter 7. He says, look, if this person is willing to live with you and consents to continue to be married, don't separate yourself from them. Maybe God will use you to bring them to the faith.
But I think if we're not already married, that's not something that we should enter into. And so, you know, pray that the Lord would bring that person to faith, but don't get the cart before the horse. Don't commit to someone who isn't committed to Jesus. Great counsel. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Quar Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and we'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian faith, or maybe how your Christian walk intersects with what's happening in today's culture.
There can be a lot of pressure there at times. Let's go back to the phones. Tammy is on the line from Nashville, Tennessee. And Tammy, what's your question for Adriel?
Yes, thank you for taking my call. I've always wondered, when we pray to the Lord and we call him Jesus, should we actually be calling him by his Hebrew name, Yeshua? You know, Tammy, my name is Adriel, and people get my name wrong all the time. You know, they'll call me Adrian or Ariel or all sorts of things. It doesn't bother me at all.
I just sort of, I just sort of laugh. And it doesn't, it's not a big, I mean, my name is kind of strange. I think not a lot of people have this name. And people wonder, with regard to Jesus, the name of Jesus, you know, are we getting it wrong? Should we be calling him Yeshua?
Or even just with the divine name, should we use the divine name? There's an entire religious sect, the Jehovah's Witnesses, who make a big deal about this. And they'll say, well, we've mistranslated the name of God throughout the Bible. His name is Jehovah, and we've taken the name of God out of the Bible.
He's very upset about this. But the reality is, I don't think God, I don't think Jesus is as concerned with whether we're using the English or Hebrew pronunciation. The name Jesus is coming from the Hebrew idea of Joshua, right, the one who led the children of Israel into the Promised Land, into the land of rest. And so right there, you have this picture of what Jesus would be doing. But ultimately, the rest that he gives us is rest from sin and death. Matthew 1, verse 21, she will bear a son, speaking of Mary, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. That's what we need to focus on, who Jesus is. And the name Jesus reveals something to us about our Savior. He's the deliverer, the Savior, the one who brings us into the true Promised Land, grants us true rest. This is why Jesus said at the end of Matthew chapter 11, come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. So I think that's what we keep in mind while we're praying. And whether you say, you know, Yeshua or Jesus, I think both are fine, so long as we recognize who he is. We're not praying to just some person, just some man.
We're praying to the eternal Son of God who came to release us from our sins and did so through his death on the cross and resurrection from the dead. Thanks, Tammy, for your question. Hey, Tammy, thanks so much for listening to CORE Christianity.
We do appreciate you. We'd love to hear from you. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, our phone lines will be open for the next 10 minutes or so. So now is the time to call 833-THE-CORE is the number 833-THE-CORE.
That's 833-843-2673. Now you can also email us your question. Here's our email address. It's questions at corechristianity.com. Adrielle, here's an email from one of our listeners named Hazel. She says, Thank you for what you're doing.
May God continue to bless your program. My question is about sin and heaven. When Revelation 21 4 says, He will wipe away every tear from their eyes and death shall be no more, neither shall there be any mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. Does this include all the sins that we've done? Will we forget all the sins we've committed when we get to heaven, for the former things have passed away? Yeah, you know, we get this question sometimes, like are we going to be able to remember when we're in heaven in the presence of the Lord? Are we going to be able to remember the difficulties of life of this present evil age, our sins, our struggles with sins? And if we can remember that, isn't that going to put a damper on our experience of eternity? And so the question is, you know, is it sort of like, you know, our memories are erased, you know, as soon as we enter into the presence of the Lord and everything that we experienced here on earth, at least all of the bad stuff is just sort of blotted out and everything is positive.
You know, the memories that we remember is all good stuff. Well, I don't know that that's the case, but that doesn't mean that our experience in heaven is going to be, you know, worse off, if you will, in one sense. The pain that we experience, right, in this world is going to be removed fully, every tear wiped away. That's absolutely what John is saying there in Revelation chapter 21. But not in that it's totally forgotten, but in that the glory of Christ and the grace of Christ and the forgiveness of Christ is going to be so real and present, and we're going to be around the throne of God, worshiping him, that the thought of our sin, the memory of the pain in this world is going to be eclipsed by the joy of being in the presence of God. And right now, you know, right now through Christ our sins are indeed forgiven. In fact, the book of Revelation starts off and John says to him, who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, Revelation chapter 1 verse 5. And so the saints experience the forgiveness of sins now because Jesus loves us. He's freed us from our sins through his death on the cross, through his blood.
But we still struggle with sin. We still have the sorrow, pain, death that we experience here on earth, and that's what's going to be removed in the presence of the Lord, in the new creation. And it's going to be absolute joy, Hazel. And so may God bless you as we look forward, as we all look forward to that day in Christ and through what he's done for us.
What a wonderful day it will be. Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.
We do receive voicemails here and you can leave us a voicemail 24 hours a day at 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to a voicemail from one of our listeners named Paul. Thank you for your ministry, Pastor Adriel. My question is, will there still be human authority structures in eternity? I get the sense that most Christians believe that in eternity all human authorities will be dissolved and every individual Christian will become directly and only accountable to Jesus himself. But the parable of the 10 minas in Luke 19 and also the 12 thrones in Luke 22 verses 28 through 30 seem to imply otherwise. Also, if the answer is yes, then how should that inform our submission to church authority now? Again, thank you for your ministry.
Okay, yeah. So, Paul, you know, are there going to be authority structures in heaven, at least for us? I mean, I can think of a few that are going to be dissolved, if you will, specifically, right? You think of the temporal kingdoms of this world, which were called to submit to Romans chapter 13. Well, those temporal kingdoms aren't going to be around. The church, the kingdom of God, the new creation is going to cover the whole world, the entire earth, and ultimately the new creation, and ultimately Jesus is going to be the king. So you do have some authority structure there specifically with Christ as king, us as his subjects, worshiping him, serving him, but it's certainly going to look a lot different. You also think about some of those structures that existed in the world, throughout the world, in the ancient world specifically, that Paul says, no, I mean, they're not going to be there. Specifically, I'm thinking of his words in Galatians chapter 3, verse 27, for as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free. There was an authority structure in the ancient world, specifically there, if he's talking about slave or free.
There is no male or female, for you are one in Christ Jesus, and if you are Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise. And so there's whatever it's going to look like, right? I mean, things are going to be radically shifted, if you will. Now that is indeed the case, doesn't mean that we should neglect authority structures here on earth, of course not, over and over again.
I mean, the language of even the fifth commandment, honor your father and your mother, teaches us to obey those authorities that God has placed in our lives. And so that's a part of the world in which we live, and I think to some extent, in the new creation is going to be also a part of the world to come. But what exactly that's going to look like, and this is one of the challenges with thinking about the eternal state and the new creation, is we don't have a lot of really clear details in the New Testament. We know it's going to be better than anything we could ever imagine, but I think it's, you know, we want to be cautious if we're taking parables, for example, and trying to paint a picture of what our existence in the new creation is going to be like and the structures of authority there, because oftentimes the parables weren't meant to teach that or communicate that specifically, and so we want to be careful that we're not getting ideas from the parables, that they're not necessarily trying to communicate. But all that being said, I think it's safe to say that there's going to be some sort of relationship, even if we're just thinking about Christ as king and us as his subjects in the new creation, well yeah, there's some structure there.
And so I think we can embrace that, but we want to be careful that we don't read too much into it or assume that it's going to look one way or another speculatively. And so I appreciate your question, and sorry I couldn't go into that more, but there's just not a lot that the New Testament says on that in particular. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you if you've got a question about the Bible or Christian life. Leave us a voicemail anytime at 833-THE-CORE.
Here's a voicemail that came in earlier this week. Hi, my name is Cornecia. My question is, one, when is fasting okay for mental health, if at all? And two, what are the different fasts that there are? Cornecia, when is fasting okay for mental health? Now I'm wondering if you're thinking here, you know, if I have a mental health disorder, do I need to fast and pray that God would remove that? And so, you know, I think we should always be praying, and I think fasting is a good thing, a legitimate thing. Typically in the Bible, it's associated with times of great difficulty or times of great need where the people of God are coming before the Lord and crying out to him and saying, please God intervene. And sort of the removal of food for a period of time is a way of focusing our eyes on the Lord and praying in a very concentrated way. And I think with whatever ailment we have, I think it's okay to pray and even to pray and fast and say, Lord, help me with this.
And so I don't think that there's anything wrong with that, but I think it's also important if you have a serious mental health disorder that you get professional help too. God uses means and common grace and doctors to help us with some of these struggles that we have. And so you've heard us say this on the program before.
If you listen, I mean, this is one of the areas where I think we can. We can go to a doctor, a trained professional, and get some help, as well as pursuing the help that the Lord gives through prayer and through his people, through the body of Christ, fellowship, community. And so it's all about the help that the Lord gives us. And so I hope that you're getting all of that. I hope that you're in a solid church where you're being encouraged.
I hope that you're able to get professional help. This is something that you're wrestling with. And then in terms of the second part of your question with regard to fasting, the different kinds of fasts that we see in scripture, you do have examples of different kinds of fasts, which I think emphasizes that there isn't just one way to do it. You think of Daniel's fast where he's only eating vegetables, no meats, no delicacies. You think of other fasts that seem to be more all-encompassing, Jesus' own fast in the wilderness. And so I would say, as you, if you're thinking about fasting, if this is something that the Lord has laid on your heart, you want to pray about something very specifically, don't try to begin with a 40-day fast of everything except water. I think that would be a bad way to start off. I would say, start small, maybe just one meal or one kind of food or something like that, where you're saying, I want to set this aside and focus on the Lord in prayer. During that time, I would usually be having lunch or breakfast. I am going to pray and seek the face of the Lord and say, God, hear my prayer. And I think if you do it that way, you're better chances in terms of success and just not being overwhelmed by trying to bite off more than you can chew. And so, Cornecia, may the Lord bless you, grant you his peace and wisdom and appreciate your question. And it's so important for us to fix our eyes on Jesus.
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