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Does the Bible's Teaching of "Forgive Us Our Debts" Speak to Student Loan Forgiveness?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
August 26, 2022 6:30 am

Does the Bible's Teaching of "Forgive Us Our Debts" Speak to Student Loan Forgiveness?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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August 26, 2022 6:30 am

Episode 1040 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

 

Questions in this Episode

 

1. President Biden is planning to cancel a significant amount of student debt in America. In light of that, some Christians are frustrated that taxpayers are being made to pay off these loans, and some Christians are pointing out that since a huge part of the gospel is about us being forgiven our debts, that we should be celebrating such a decision. What do you think? Does the gospel impact the way we approach student loans and debt?

2. Why was Uzzah killed for simply trying to save the Ark of the Covenant?

3. How should we understand Satan being bound and released in Revelation 20?

4. Do Roman Catholics of a true understanding of salvation?

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Does the Bible's teaching of Forgive Us Our Debts speak to student loan forgiveness? 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 at 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. By the way, we also have a YouTube channel. You can watch Adriel right now live in the studio on YouTube and send him your question that way. And of course, you can always email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. And Adriel, before we get to our calls today, I've got a question for you about something that's been in the news this week. I know you have heard that President Biden is planning to cancel a significant amount of student debt in our country, and some people are going to be getting ten thousand dollars of their student loans forgiven. Now, I know there are some Christians who are frustrated with this. They're frustrated that taxpayers are basically going to be footing the bill for this, while others are saying, well, we should celebrate this decision, because a huge part of the gospel is about us being forgiven our debts.

So I'm wondering what you think. Do you think the gospel should impact the way we approach things like student loans and debt? Well, I mean, I think that the gospel should impact the way we approach everything in life.

So let me just start by saying that. But one thing that I want—this is maybe one of the most helpful pieces of advice that I ever got as a pastor. Somebody told me, you know, pastors are not omni-competent, meaning they're not experts on everything. I mean, we should be experts on the word of God, on scripture, exegesis. We should know theology, church history. But if you're looking for, you know, your pastor to have hot takes on every political issue that's happening, everything that's happening in broader society, that's not something that you should expect, because just the fact of the matter is, if you're invested as a minister of the gospel in faithfully preaching the word of God and shepherding the people that God has brought into your church, you're not going to have the time or the capacity even to fully be able to unpack every sort of issue that's going on. So I just want to say that at the outset, because I think sometimes we put a lot of expectation on our pastors to be able to comment on all these things.

And frankly, sometimes we just don't know the ins and outs of every issue specifically. I think I can say, I mean, Jesus does speak about forgiving debts. You know, I'm thinking about the Lord's Prayer specifically, and it sounds like that's what you were referring to, Bill.

But we want to be careful. I think a lot of times when people get into these these discussions about politics and policy, we can use the Bible in a sort of cheap way, where we're appealing to certain verses, you know, almost as just these sort of proof texts for whatever policy or idea we want to be implemented. But we're not actually handling the word of God with care, with the care that it deserves, that we need to give to Holy Scripture. And so the Bible should shape the way we think about everything that happens in the world and in society and how we relate to our neighbors. But let's not use the Bible in a cheap way.

And I see this happening so often in political discussions, both on the right and also on the left. Canceling debt is central to the gospel, the forgiveness of sins. It wasn't just made to disappear, though, right? Jesus Christ himself took our debt upon himself, right, when he went to the cross. He said, you know, right before he died, it is finished, paid in full. Jesus paid our debt. And this is where I think the analogy sort of falls through. And you mentioned, Bill, that people are getting upset because it is not a one-to-one correlation, certainly not, between Jesus forgiving us our sins and what we're seeing in society today. And so we want to, again, want to be careful that we're not using the Bible in a cheap way. And so there are people who, I mean, I'm seeing this on social media, people who are really upset about this, frustrated, you know, thinking, well, I finished paying my loans already, and now all of a sudden, you know, other people are getting forgiven, and that doesn't seem fair, and so on and so forth.

I think people who are upset, and I can understand that there are also other people who I think are going to benefit from this immensely. And the reality is, is both of those groups are within the church. Both of those groups are within the body of Christ. And so we have to learn how to relate to each other with charity and love and grace as well. I think that we read in Scripture in the New Testament where James says in James chapter 1, beginning in verse 9, let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation and the rich in his humiliation, because like the flower of the grass he will pass away.

For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass, its flower falls and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits? And so the Gospel does, I think, shape the way we think about resources, money, the amount that we have or that we don't have, right? The Gospel does inform us here and ultimately helps us to see these things as not ultimate, as not the main thing, which I think helps us in our relationships with each other and people who differ with us on this in terms of being able to engage charitably and with love and with respect. And so I think if we can be grateful for your brothers and sisters maybe who are going to benefit from this, for whom this is something that's like, man, I really need this and things have been so difficult with the economy lately and we're just struggling. I mean, you can be grateful for them and for that and for them specifically, but I think we also understand that many people are frustrated and I can understand some of the frustration too. So I mean, being charitable with each other, Bill, is something we always try to encourage on this broadcast and being united around core Christianity. So thanks for bringing that up.

I mean, kind of a complex issue. Well, no, and I think you answered it really well. So thanks for that, Adriel. Appreciate that. If you've got a question for Adriel about the Bible, the Christian life, theology, doctrine, we are open to all of your questions.

Maybe even you have some doubts about the Christian faith. We're open to hearing from you as well. Our phone lines will be open for the next 15 minutes or so. Here's the phone number to call. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners. This is Marcus. I just had a question coming out of Chronicles when they were carrying the ark the incorrect way and the gentleman that was trying, that was, you know, carrying it on the cart and it said the ox had stumbled and the guy's name was, I don't know, I can't remember his name, but anyways, he tried to save the ark. God struck him down right away. I mean, how could that be okay? I mean, was that a sin when a man in some versions said that the ox had gotten shaken or shook? Like it might have been a first reaction in my mind to save the ark. That's my question. I don't get it. Why did God kill him on the spot? Thank you for your time and have a great day. God bless.

Hey Marcus, thank you for that question. Kind of a wild scene. We see it in 1 Chronicles also in 1 Samuel, but you reference 1 Chronicles, so I'm there right now. 1 Chronicles chapter 13 verse 9. Here's what it says, when they came to the threshing floor of Kidon, Uzzah, that's the guy's name, put out his hand to take hold of the ark, that is the ark of the covenant, for the oxen stumbled and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah and he struck him down because he put out his hand to the ark and he died before God. And David was angry because the Lord had broken out against Uzzah and that place is called Perez Uzzah to this day. And David was afraid of God that day and he said, how can I bring the ark of God home to me? So David did not take the ark home into the city of David but took it aside to the house of Obed-Edom, the Gittite.

So a couple things here. I mean, God does strike Uzzah down for reaching his hand out and seeking to stabilize the ark. The oxen stumbled, but he reaches out and he grabs a hold of the ark of the covenant. David is upset about this, but he also has this fear.

The fear of God sets in on him and probably on the others as well. And what you need to know, Marcus, is at least with regard to this, God had been very clear that the people were not to touch the ark of the covenant. I mean, the way it was constructed, it had these poles attached to it so that you didn't have to touch the ark of the covenant when you were carrying it around. Numbers chapter 4 in verse 15, we read, when Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, as the camp sets out after that, the sons of Korath shall come to carry these, but they must not touch the holy things lest they die. And so there's this barrier of separation between man and a holy God. We can't just waltz into God's presence. We can't just touch the holy things, the ark of the covenant being this picture of God's throne, the place where God resides. And so what Uzzah had done, regardless of his intentions, what he had done was directly contrary to what God had commanded.

And I think specifically the big takeaway here, I mean, there's a couple takeaways. One, our intentions don't change whether or not an act is right or wrong. Frankly, when we're talking about God's law, sometimes people say, I just didn't mean to do that.

That wasn't my intention. But the reality is sometimes we are still sinning, specifically breaking God's law. And so we need to take account of that. But the other thing here is that God is just really serious about the fact that he's honored, respected, worshiped rightly. And this is what we see throughout the Bible. That's why Hebrews 12 says we need to worship the Lord with reverence and awe. And I think so often today, Marcus, we have this very low view of God, of his holiness, of his law. And so we read stories like this. We can.

And I'm not trying to accuse you of this. I think this is something we all struggle with. We read stories like this and we think, boy, that just seems like too much. But I think part of the reason so many in our society have that reaction is because we've minimized the holiness of God as he's revealed himself to us in scripture.

And so that's what we need to recover. And I think as we do, we realize God cares about not just the fact that he's worshiped, but how he's worshiped as well. And we as sinners, as I already said, we can't just waltz into his presence.

It's only through the blood of Jesus Christ that we have access to God. And so those are all things that you want to factor in when you're reading those kinds of stories. And hopefully that's helped you unpack what happened there in 1 Chronicles. Thanks for your question. You mentioned this before, Adriel. I think it's Job that at one point he's questioning God, and God basically says, who are you to question me, right? Yeah. I mean, you think about all the suffering that Job experienced, and he's looking for answers.

Why? I mean, the same question that we're asking when we experience great suffering, God says, hey, hold on a second. Were you there when I created the stars and tamed the Leviathan and all those things? We need to realize that there's a distinction between us, creatures, and God the creator. And again, that's something that I think is lost on so many people. We have such a low view of the divine, of the Lord, of his holiness.

And as a result of that, we have a low view of sin and a high view of ourselves too often, and so we need to recover what the Bible teaches on these things. Really well said. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. I want to let you know about a resource that we have available today, and it's something that will help you answer some of those tough questions you may get asked by, let's say, a friend or relative, somebody who maybe has doubts about the Christian faith, or even one of your kids when they come to you with a tough question. It's called Tough Questions Answered. Yeah, Tough Questions Answered is a booklet.

It's about 50 pages long, and we dive into some of those difficult questions, Bill, that you're referring to. Doesn't science make religion unnecessary? Why is Christianity so exclusive? I mean, we're talking about the fact that Jesus says he's the only way. Well, why is that, and how do we talk to our neighbors who maybe don't embrace the gospel about that specifically? What about other religions? What about Buddhism? What about Islam? How do those religions factor? What do we think about those things? So these are some of the questions that we talk about in this resource, which I think will be a real blessing to you, and so get a hold of it for a donation of any amount over at corechristianity.com. Again, it's called Tough Questions Answered.

Love to have you pick that up maybe this weekend and start going through it, and it'll help you definitely when you get asked some of those tough questions. Go to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Again, corechristianity.com forward slash offers to find that. Well, our phone lines are open.

If you have a question for Adriel about the Bible or the Christian life, we would love to hear from you. Give us a call right now. Here's the number, 833-THE-CORE.

That's 833-843-2673. We'll be taking calls for another 10 minutes or so, so hop on your phone right now. Let's go to John in St. Louis, Missouri. John, what's your question for Adriel? Yeah, I'm a frequent listener and caller, but I want to know, what is it saying in Revelation when the devil is thrown into hellfire or into hell for a thousand years, and then he's released to get the nations to attack God and Jerusalem? In between that, is that when Jesus is going to reign for a thousand years? Is that before, after Jesus reigns, or when the devil is cast into the lake?

There is a lot there, John. So you're talking about Revelation chapter 20, which is really at the heart of a lot of discussions around eschatology, the study of the last things, and so there are three major groups here. You have premillennialists who approach this passage one way, and so the idea is that Jesus is going to come back prior to this millennium that's described here and reign on the earth for a thousand years, many of them say a literal one thousand years. You have post-millennialists who say, well Jesus, actually what's going to happen is, so this is kind of the opposite view, is after a reign for one thousand years, and maybe that's literal, maybe that's not literal, this sort of golden age of the victory of Christ on the earth, we're going to usher in the return of Jesus.

He's going to come back to a Christianized society, if you will. You have amillennialists who also take this millennial reign differently, a heavenly reign typically associated with the time that Jesus ascended into heaven, you know, reigning at the right hand of the father throughout the entire church age. So we say Jesus has been reigning now for quite a while, and the thousand years there isn't supposed to be taken literally, but it's just a long period of time leading up to the final battle, you know, the revelation of the antichrist and the destruction of all evil and the resurrection and so on and so forth.

But let me just read the text, because this is an important passage. John says, and I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain, and he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent who is the devil and satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit and shut it and sealed it over him so that he might not deceive the nations any longer until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while. And so when he's released there, that's the the sort of last gathering of evil, the last sort of attack of evil on Christ and on his kingdom, and it's ultimately squashed.

It's destroyed. But again, with regard to the thousand years here, one thing to note is that there's a purpose clause here in verse three. The reason the devil is bound is so that he might not deceive the nations any longer. Well, this seems parallel to what Jesus said in John chapter 12 verse 32. Speaking of his death, he says, when I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all people to myself. And right before that in verse 31 he said, now is the judgment of this world, now will the ruler of this world be cast out. In other words, there's something that Jesus did very definitively at the cross in conquering Satan. We might say in binding Satan.

So that what? So that the gospel would spread throughout the whole world. And that's exactly what we've been seeing. Christ was lifted up and he's drawing all people to himself. The nations that once were in darkness now have had the light of the gospel penetrate in and through them.

And Jesus himself during his earthly ministry talked about binding the strong man, binding Satan through his miraculous works, through the exorcisms that he was performing. And so it seems to me like what's being spoken of there in Revelation chapter 20 is this visionary depiction of Christ's victory over the evil one so that the gospel would advance throughout the world during this church age leading to a final rebellion. What scripture talks about is a great apostasy and battle between good and evil where we know who wins that.

We know that Christ comes out on top. And so I appreciate your question, John, and hopefully that helps to unravel some of the question about the millennium there in Revelation chapter 20. But you need to realize, again, there's a lot of differences of opinion on this text and on the book of Revelation. And so you're gonna have to dig into the scriptures and study up on this and come to your own conclusion, brother. And by the way, John, we have a great Bible study on the book of Revelation. You can find that by going to corechristianity.com forward slash studies. Just look for our great Bible study helping you unpack the book of Revelation. Let's go back to the phones. James is on the line from Missouri. James, what's your question for Adriel?

Hey, thanks for having me on. As a little child, I grew up with my grandmother and they're Catholic. My aunt is a nun and the whole works.

As I grew older, I became Christian, became a believer. And now I'm concerned about my Catholic family, since they don't preach salvation and repentance and they have idols on their cars and everything. Do they go to heaven? Do they go to heaven? Do Catholics go to heaven since they don't really push salvation and repentance and it's just being good enough gets them to heaven? And that bothers me. Do my family members that are Catholic, do they go to heaven? Hey, James, thank you for that question.

I can hear your concern. Of course, I have friends and family members who are Roman Catholic as well. And so this is something that I personally have thought a lot about. First, let me just say that with regard to salvation, it isn't our perfect understanding of doctrine and theology, even the theology of how salvation works that saves us. We are saved by Jesus Christ himself through faith. And so individuals can have a really faulty understanding even of salvation and still be saved if they're placing their trust in Jesus.

Now, there might be a lot of other elements there that lead to confusion and to struggle in life because there's confusion about assurance or confusion about the role of works and so on and so forth. But our hope is that, look, individuals, even in churches that don't preach like they should, if they're hearing the word of God, and we know that the Spirit works together with the word, that there's that hope that God is illuminating the mind and the heart and that individuals are coming to faith. And so this is why it's important, I think, and an opportunity for us with our friends who are Roman Catholic to talk about the gospel, to talk about who Jesus is and what he's done. And I have family members who are Catholic. We've had great conversations about Jesus, about the gospel, and they'll say, man, I believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of my sins. I'm trusting in him. Now, if an individual says, no, I don't actually.

I think that I'm going to make it based on my own merit. Well, I would be very concerned because there's a real fundamental misunderstanding of the gospel there and of Christ's work. And so I just think that we need to have these kinds of conversations. And there's an open door in so far as they confess faith in the Holy Trinity, faith in the deity of Christ, his redemptive work, a belief in the Bible. So there's an open door there to have those conversations.

But I wouldn't say yes or no just as a blanket statement to your question, because I think we have to dig deeper. There are many people in Protestant churches and Protestant churches where the gospel is not clearly taught or faithfully taught. And I wouldn't want to ask the same kinds of questions. I would want to say, well, what are you trusting in? Are you trusting in yourself to justify yourself before God, or are you trusting in Christ and his perfect work for you?

And so I think that we can't just paint with a broad brush here. We have to recognize, again, that it's not our perfect understanding of salvation that saves us. It's Jesus himself. And then have those important conversations about what it means to believe in Jesus and to trust in him. And so may the Lord be with you. And let me just offer a prayer to the Lord right now for you as you have these conversations with your family members. God, I thank you for James and for his heart, for his family members who I know he loves, I'm sure.

And he wants to know that they know you and love you. And I pray that you would be at work in their hearts, in his heart, that you would give them fruitful conversations, Lord, that center around you and what you've done for us, and that you would draw my brother James together with all of his family closer to you, closer to your word, closer to the truth, and that he would be encouraged as he has these discussions with family members and that they would be encouraged, Lord, and that they would grow also as a result of these conversations that they have. So bless them and be with them, I ask in Jesus' name. Amen. Amen.

Hey, James, thanks so much. Boy, it really just shows the importance of all of us being clear about the gospel when we're talking to others, whether it's friends or family members, huh? Yeah, I've once heard, you know, somebody say, you just never want to assume the gospel.

And we can't do that. We go back to the truth of the gospel time and time again on this broadcast because people need it, we need it, and the world needs it 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.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-05 07:36:46 / 2023-03-05 07:46:57 / 10

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