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When Is it Appropriate to Rebuke Someone?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
August 16, 2022 3:58 pm

When Is it Appropriate to Rebuke Someone?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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August 16, 2022 3:58 pm

Episode 1033 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes


Questions in this Episode


1. How should a church practice communion?

2. Is the victim of adultery in a marriage free to remarry after a divorce?

3. In the Bible, we are told to encourage, exhort, reprove, rebuke, etc. But how do we discern what is appropriate, when dealing with different relationships? Especially between casual church goers, spouses, or someone we see online?

4. How should we understand Isaiah’s portrayal of Satan?

5. Does 1 Corinthians 5 tells us that we should shun Christian family members for living in sin?

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When is it appropriate to rebuke someone? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of Core Christianity. Well, hi, this is 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. We would love to hear from you.

Our phone lines are open right now, and we'll be taking calls for the next 25 minutes or so. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Now, we also have a YouTube channel, and you can watch Adriel live in the studio right now on YouTube. Go to Core Christianity's YouTube channel, and you can message him your question that way, and he'll see that. Also, you can email us anytime at First up today, let's go to Reddick, who's calling in from Kansas City, Missouri. Reddick, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Good afternoon.

Thank you for taking my call. Yes, my question is on the topic of communion. I've been to a number of different churches where communion is practiced either every Sunday, on special occasions, and sometimes not at all, depending what church I visited. And I'm curious to know, you know, what your position is on communion.

Also, I will add that I've also been to a church where there have been multiple cups, and then one cup where everybody drinks out of the same cup. And so I'm just, again, I'm not sure what I'm saying. But again, pondering, you know, what is right, what's wrong, those types of things, I'm certainly allowed to get your view. Mm-hmm.

Well, Reddick, thank you for that question. Communion is, the Lord's Supper is one of the elements of worship, the preaching of the Word of God, prayer, singing to the Lord, the offering. I mean, these are things that we find in Scripture, and certainly the Lord's Supper, partaking of the bread and the wine. This is something that Jesus gave to his disciples.

So it's an element of worship. There are some parts of our observance of communion that are more circumstantial. You know, I'm thinking of, you know, well, what kind of wine do we use?

Do we use a port? Do we use a cabernet? Many churches use Welch's grape juice.

I have feelings about that. But there are some circumstantial pieces here as well. And so I would say, you know, whether or not we're doing a common cup where there's just one cup or chalice and everybody drinks out of that, or there are multiple little cups, which is what we use at my church, so that would be more circumstantial. The focus needs to be on the fact that we're gathering together for what? This is what the Apostle Paul says in First Corinthians, chapter 10, verse 16, the cup of blessing that we bless. Is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? That is through this sign, this bread and wine, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, we have a special, unique communion with the very body and blood of Jesus Christ by faith.

That's where we need to focus. And because that's the case, it's my view that we should frequently observe the Lord's Supper. I think it's good when we take communion on a weekly basis.

Many people think, well, boy, doesn't it just get old? Can't we just go through the motions in this sort of rote way? And that's always a danger. That's always a danger when it comes to hearing the preached word as well. And so we do have to be cautious about this, but the fact of the matter is it's here around the table that God is extending to us his gifts, these visible signs of his grace for his people, these means of grace. And so we receive them with joy, with faith, with thanksgiving, being encouraged and built up in our faith.

So that's my view. I think it's something that it's good for churches to do frequently. We need to recover, I think, a high view of the things that Jesus left to his church. You say, well, those are empty symbols, empty signs, things like baptism, things like communion. It's really more about that sort of personal experience.

Well, we don't need to pit those two things against each other. Jesus left us these things for a reason, and so we should honor him, worship him, and cling to worship as he's delivered it to his church. Redick, may the Lord bless you as you seek to honor him and as you seek to faithfully serve him in your own life. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, maybe church ordinances like he did, or perhaps you've got some doubts about the Christian faith. Maybe you consider yourself to be an agnostic or an atheist.

Maybe you practice a different religion and you've got some questions about Christianity. Feel free to give us a call. Our phone lines will be open for the next 20 minutes or so. 833-THE-CORE is the number.

That's 1-833-843-2666. Let's go to Brian from St. Louis, Missouri. Brian, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? This is a very touchy subject, not only in the secular world, but also in the Christian world, and that's the subject of adultery. I know a lot of churches kind of shy away from that and don't even like talking about it, but I've known some people that were Christian couples. Husbands cheated on his wife. They tried to reconcile and repair their marriage, but he went ahead and remarried another woman. Now, if I read the Bible correctly, he's living in adultery. The woman he remarried is also living in adultery, but does that also penalize the woman that was his original wife can never remarry again? No, John, I think that the woman who was sinned against here, she was cheated on by her husband, and there's been this breach in the marriage covenant.

Maybe she wanted to restore the marriage, but obviously based on the example that you gave, this man went off with somebody else. Is she then still bound? Can she not go and remarry in the Lord?

No, I don't think so. I think that she is free to remarry only, as the Apostle Paul says, in the Lord. I think that's clear from Jesus' teaching in Matthew 19 related to divorce. It is absolutely heartbreaking when we have situations like this, and of course in situations where there is adultery doesn't mean that the couple has to get a divorce. I've seen it where couples continue to pursue each other in the Lord, and there's forgiveness, there's reconciliation through a lot of help. That's something that God can work, but that's not always the case also.

In a situation like that, I think that the woman who was sinned against would be free to remarry. God bless. Thanks. Thanks, Brian.

This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We are really excited about a new resource that we are offering you today. This is something that we think will answer a lot of tough questions for you.

Yeah, Bill. It's called Tough Questions Answered. It's a resource that we made after our one-year anniversary of answering questions on the broadcast. It's a short booklet.

It's just about 50 pages, but we tackle some of the most common questions that we've received on the broadcast in a little bit more of an extended form, written form. Questions like, doesn't science make religion unnecessary? Why is Christianity so exclusive? A lot of people have a hard time with the exclusivity of the Gospel. Jesus saying, I am the way, the only way, the truth and the life.

No one comes to the Father but by Me. We get into some of those things. I think you'll find this helpful. It'll answer many of the questions that you've probably had on your own. You can get ahold of this resource for a donation of any amount. Give what you can over at

This is really a fantastic resource. As Adriel said, it covers topics like science and faith, sexuality, different religions, a whole bunch more. You can get Tough Questions Answered by going to forward slash offers.

Again, that's forward slash offers. And by the way, if you've got a question for us about the Bible or the Christian life, feel free to pick up your phone right now and call us. Our phone lines will be open for the next 15 minutes or so at 833-THE-CORE. We do receive voicemails as well, and you can leave a voicemail anytime 24 hours a day.

Here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Steve. My question is, we have in the Scriptures a spectrum of interaction as we see things that could be improved in our brothers' lives. So we have encourage, exhort, admonish, reprove, rebuke. And we're instructed to do all of these things for one another. But how can we discern what is an appropriate kind of intensity on that spectrum or which side of that spectrum we should be on when dealing with different relationships in our lives?

For example, a wife or close Christian brother, maybe just another churchgoer that we see face-to-face, and then the last kind of category would be something like somebody online, just in a comment section or on a forum or whatever. So yeah, I'd love to know the answer to that. Yeah. Well, wisdom.

I think the online comment sections can be pretty rough, and so you want to be careful there. But this is an excellent question. The first passage that comes to mind is what the Apostle Paul said in 2 Timothy 3 verse 16. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. Now, you do have these repeated exhortations in the New Testament that call us to speak the truth in love with gentleness. And one concern that I have is that a lot of times people today are just, they sort of say, well, you think about Jesus flipping over tables and those strong rebukes that John the Baptist or Jesus gave to the religious leaders, the Pharisees, and they almost use that as a sort of baseline for how we talk about the truth.

There are times, I think, where we do need to use very strong language. And one indicator would be, is the Gospel being compromised? Paul's strongest rebuke of a letter, I think, is the book of Galatians. And why does he have such strong rebukes in that letter? Because the Gospel of Jesus Christ was being compromised. You had Christians who were being deceived, led astray by agitators, by false teachers, away from the true Gospel. And so it's almost like he's grabbing them and shaking them and giving them these pretty strong rebukes because he cares for their soul. And the strongest rebukes are against the agitators, that is, those teachers in the church, or at least people who claim to be teachers, who lead people astray. And so I think that there's one, a tenderness that we need to show to each other within the body of Christ, a gentleness, especially for the church when people are struggling with things, when they're struggling to understand, when they're struggling with sin. That's not the time to come in with a hammer and just bring that down with the harshness, with the lack of care, with the lack of gentleness.

No, that's not what you see. That's not what the apostles did oftentimes to the people they ministered to. But when you have so-called Christian leaders, maybe think about Jesus' strong rebukes or John the Baptist's strong rebukes to the Pharisees, people who should know better and yet are hypocrites, fools, leading people astray.

Well, yeah, that calls for the woes that Jesus pronounced, woe to you brood of vipers, woe to you hypocrites. And so there are instances, but we have to differentiate between, is this somebody struggling who just needs compassion and care and gentleness and somebody to come alongside of them? And again, typically, that's how we need to act with each other within our families, especially with our spouses, within the church, brothers and sisters who are seeking to honor the Lord and walk with Him. That's where we want to go, but in those situations where somebody is being led astray or deceived or the gospel is being compromised or people are just not clear on the gospel, well, then there, I think we sound the alarm and we need to sometimes use more forceful language, especially against hypocrites and false teachers, wolves, as Jesus calls them. And so the question is, are we talking to sheep here or are we talking to wolves? And that takes discernment.

That takes wisdom. And we want to be very careful that we're not going to be, we don't want to be gentle to a wolf and harsh to one of Christ's little lambs. That's dishonoring to the Lord. We need to be firm against the wolves who are compromising the truth and leading people astray and gentle and merciful towards Christ's little lambs, the sheep, who may be struggling to understand or struggling with sin, but we're coming alongside of them with the truth of God's word and care and gentleness. So thank you for that question. Just a follow-up question for you, Adriel.

You mentioned social media at the beginning of that answer. How should a Christian respond when, let's say they have a strong difference with someone on a political issue, it seems to me that I'm seeing a lot of rebuking that should be more of a gentle response. What's your thought? Let me say something. I think right now there are a lot of people who feel like the culture is just going in such a bad direction. We really need to make a stand. We really need to be firm and stick it to them, stick it to the people that are just causing a havoc in society.

Typically those are the people who disagree with us on any number of things, at least in our own minds. We have to be careful though that the ways of the world and how the world interacts does not creep into our hearts and into the church so that we begin to fight against the quote-unquote evils of the world in the same way that non-Christians who are mocking and arrogantly just sort of pushing back against culture. We want to be careful. We want to exhibit the charity of Christ and the fruit of the Holy Spirit in all of our interaction. That doesn't mean that we don't have strong stances against certain things, but let's not let the world and the way the world speaks creep into the church. That's one way I think that many Christians today are compromising, and they're doing it because they just think these kinds of desperate times call for desperate measures.

Well, no. If we're using the weapons of the world, if you will, to try to bring about positive change, we've already failed. We've already failed. It only comes through the grace of God and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in the lives of others. So we depend not on flesh and blood and the weapons of the world. That's not what we rest upon. We rest upon Christ's holy gospel and the faithful preaching of that gospel and the charity that we can exhibit to each other in the world and in the church.

I think that is far more productive than the sort of arguing and fighting and rebuking that goes on in social media. Some great counsel. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We still have time for a few calls if you have a question for Adriel about the Bible or the Christian life, doctrine, theology. The number is 833-843-2673.

That's 833, the core. Let's go to John in St. Louis, Missouri. John, what's your question for Adriel?

I'm a supporter. I want to know what does it say in Isaiah where the devil said that he will ascend above the stars and to the north of the mountain, ascend over God with his throne. What is that pertaining to? He was trying to replace God with his throne that God assigned him to. Another thing is also I think in Isaiah they talk about people running to and fro seeking wisdom or knowledge and never seeing the truth. Is that the times we're living in now with all the technology and all the rapid changes that are occurring and people are just being deluded by what the world is giving them rather than what Christ, God's Word says? Hey, thanks, John. Well, Paul does tell Timothy that in the latter days people are going to be always learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

This is a serious issue. We reject the truth. Yeah, there is this blindness that comes upon us. I think in Isaiah's context when Isaiah speaks about this, he's talking about a particular judgment on the people there at that time, but it does have implications for us today. And then with regard to the text you were referring to, it's Isaiah chapter 14 where we read in verse 12, How you are fallen from heaven, O day star, son of dawn, how you are cut down to the ground. You who laid the nations low, you said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven above the stars of God. I will set my throne on high. I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds.

I will make myself like the most high, but you are brought down to Sheol to the far reaches of the pit. In its context it's about the haughty king of Babylon, but by extension there's also a picture here of the fall of Satan. Jesus alludes to this text in Luke chapter 10 verse 18, speaking of Satan's fall. And so we see here, you ask, what is this referring to?

What is this pertaining to? What is the sin beneath the surface? Well, it's pride. And that's clear because the apostle Paul says in 1 Timothy chapter 3 verse 6 that that was the sin of Satan.

It was pride. It was this desire to be like God, to be greater than God. And of course Satan is a creature. He's not the creator. We are creatures. And so there is this difference between God, who made all things, the creator, and us.

This substantial difference. There's no way we can ever be God like God is. And so you just think about the deep pride, the haughtiness, the sin that leads a person to say, well, I'm better than God or I'm going to be better than God.

That's satanic. And this really highlights, I think, for us why pride is such a destructive sin, why it needs to be mortified, why it needs to be put to death, why it's displeasing to the Lord. God resists the proud, we're told, but gives grace to the humble. And so may God in His mercy help us to be a people who are characterized, His church characterized by humility in the world today.

That's, again, something we don't see a lot out there. And so this is one of the ways that we as Christians can shine as lights in the world. God help us to be marked by humility, the humility that your son Jesus exhibited. God, the eternal Son, when He came to earth, assumed the form of a servant for us and for our redemption. Let that shape us, Lord, in how we interact with each other. That is so counter-cultural, Adriel, as you said. Every voice in our culture is screaming out to us, you've got to get ahead, you've got to be on top, you've got to climb the ladder, push the other guy down.

And it's all about puffing yourself up. And yet what does Jesus call us to? Just the opposite, as we saw, even with His rebuke to His disciples, right?

Absolutely. I mean, you think about that beautiful hymn in Philippians chapter 2. Many scholars think it's a hymn about the humiliation of Jesus Christ. Equal with God, but taking the form of a servant. And if God, the eternal God, loved us like that, exhibited His love for us and caring for us, washing us. I mean, you think about Jesus in John 13, washing the feet of His disciples, then boy, and what if you say to them there, I've given you an example that you should do this as well. Lord, help us to wash each other's feet.

I mean, I think metaphorically speaking there, you know what I'm saying? But help us to serve each other and to care for each other and to have that humility that Jesus had. Amen. This is Core Christianity.

We have time for one more call. Linda is on the line from Missouri. Linda, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Yes, the question I have is one of my relatives who is a professing Christian has decided to have a boyfriend move in and they feel this is the one they're going to marry. And my husband and I have spoken and told her that we feel it is not God's word for them to live together until they get married. And she has chosen to say, well, we've been through divorce and we want to make sure. And we have said, well, if God has chosen you to be together, then living apart and then getting married, God will work it out. And I think of the scripture in James when it says, if you who know what is right to do and don't do it is sin. So my husband and I have taken the stance from Corinthians 1 5 11 not to be involved with them going over to their house or having them come over to our house until they get married.

And I just would like your opinion. It's a family matter and it's difficult, but I know we need to stand on God's word. Well, Linda, you had it very difficult. And Father, please give Linda grace, the filling of your spirit and wisdom as she interacts with this family member and give the family member Lord who professes faith in your name, conviction, conviction of sin, trust in you, Lord, not feeling like they have to figure this out to make things work, but trusting in you and seeking to honor you in all that they do. Amen.

Linda, you're right. First Corinthians chapter five beginning in verse nine does talk about not having fellowship with believers, those who are professing faith in Christ, but are living in ways that are contrary to God's word. And especially the challenge here is this is within the family. And so you're connected in a very real sense, in a very tangible sense, but there is this breach because of your faith in Christ and what you want to call your family member to. And so I think it's good that you had the boldness. I mean, hopefully in charity and love, you were able to speak to her and it sounds like that was the case. You had the boldness to say, hey, this is not honoring to the Lord.

This is not okay. And it sounds like there was a disagreement there. I mean, think of what Jesus says, you know, even within family, following Jesus sometimes leads to division in family. But I pray that there can be reconciliation and that ultimately this family member recognizes and sees. The most important thing for us and for our marriage, hopefully if it gets started, is honoring the Lord.

And so may the Lord be at work in that situation and give you grace and love for her, but also boldness. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833, the CORE. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-10 01:48:43 / 2023-03-10 01:59:21 / 11

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