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What is the Biblical Definition of Apostasy?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
September 19, 2022 4:10 pm

What is the Biblical Definition of Apostasy?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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September 19, 2022 4:10 pm

Episode 1057 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

 

Questions in this Episode

 

1. Did Adam have both a body and soul before he sinned?

2. Can someone believe in Jesus but not be saved?

3. Is the “Angel of the Lord” in Luke 2:9 Jesus?

4. Will those who apostatize go to heaven?

5. Was Jesus omnipresent during his earthly ministry?

6. My cousin recently transitioned, should I use their preferred pronouns?

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What is the biblical definition of apostasy? 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 pray you had a great weekend. This is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. CORE, we'd love to get your question.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Now you can also post your question on one of our social media sites. In fact, we have a YouTube channel. You can watch Adriel live in the studio right now on YouTube and send him your question that way. And of course, you can always email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to Scott, who's calling in from Michigan. Scott, what's your question for Adriel?

Hi, Adriel and Bill. My question is, if our soul and body are separated due to sin, was Adam's body and soul together as one prior to him sinning? Scott, thank you for that question.

No, I don't think that... So we're one person, and in terms of the elements that make us up as people, human beings, you do have the soul and the body. And our souls are separated from our bodies at a point when we die. Our bodies go down into the ground. Our souls, the souls of believers, at least, are made perfect in holiness.

They're in the presence of the Lord at what we call the intermediate state. And so, yeah, death is the result of sin. But I don't think that prior to the entrance of sin in the world that Adam wasn't soul and body, or that they were sort of melded together in some sense.

And so there's my answer to your question. Yeah, you know, sin doesn't cause us, at least right now. I mean, when we sin, we sin in soul and in body now. I mean, sin affects every part of us. And so it's important to understand this is part of getting into the doctrine of total depravity. Not that we're as sinful as we can be, but that sin has corrupted every part of our nature, human being.

And so some helpful distinctions there, but Adam was, even prior to the fall, soul and body. You know, I experienced my own total depravity last night. My wife made brownies for some of our guests and I had three of them. Yeah. Oh, Bill, you're terrible. Come on.

Just three. That sounds like self-control to me. That sounds like the fruit of the Holy Spirit, not depravity. Because my problem is when the brownies come out, it's the whole tray that I'm tempted to take. So quit bragging, Bill. Come on.

Temptation gets the best of us. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, give us a call right now. The phone lines are open. 833-THE-CORE is the number. That's 833-843-2673.

Let's go to a voicemail that came in from one of our callers last week. Hello, my name is Leanne and my question is, it wasn't until I was 38 that I was born again. I wasn't in the church, but then I was baptized in the Spirit.

I felt that experience. My eyes were opened and it took me right to the Bible and it's just like an enlightening that happened and my life changed and I had power over the sin in my life. And I'm just questioning and how there's some people who believe and don't live in sin, there's some people who believe who do live in sin.

To me, it felt like a different experience because I did believe previously, but I didn't have that power to live that out in my life until God gave me that power. So the question is, is there belief without salvation? All right, that's my question. Thank you very much.

Hey Leanne, thank you for that question. So in terms of genuine faith, no, I don't think that there is belief without salvation. Now sometimes we can talk about faith in different ways.

Sometimes you'll hear people talk about what's called a historical faith, meaning not really trusting in Jesus, but just sort of having the facts in your mind, you know, this sense of belief, but it's not biblical faith at least from how we define it based on the New Testament. So when it comes to saving faith, truly understanding the gospel and laying hold of it personally, trusting in Christ, you don't have that apart from salvation because faith is what lays hold of salvation, Jesus Christ and his benefits. Now you were talking about a separate experience you had, you know, you're born again, you believed in Jesus, but a separate experience you had in the Christian life that you felt like gave you power or victory over the sin in your life. And sometimes, you know, in some churches and Christian traditions, they'll talk about a baptism of the Holy Spirit, a second baptism, if you will, not with water, but where you, you know, you have hands laid on you and you pray for the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of God comes upon you powerfully to put to death the sin in your life and so on and so forth. And the argument is made from Acts chapter 2 and the Day of Pentecost and the Spirit of God falling on people, but I would see that experience as being the same as the born again experience. We're always sealed with the Holy Spirit as Christians, this is what Paul says in Ephesians chapter 1, but we can be more or less filled with the Holy Spirit if the Spirit is not controlling our lives, if we're not being influenced, led by the Spirit as Paul talks about in places like Galatians 5 and in the book of Ephesians. Well then, yeah, sin can really become a serious issue. We can get into these patterns, if you will, of sin, grieving the Holy Spirit, bringing the discipline of the Lord, and that's why we're called to walk in the Spirit, Galatians chapter 5 again.

And so I don't know that there's a separate experience that we need to look for in the Christian life. If you're born again, you have the Spirit, now you're called, we're all called to walk in the Spirit. And so I praise the Lord that the Spirit of God has been at work in your life in giving you strength and even victory over some of those struggles with sin. And may God help all of us to walk in the Spirit and by the Spirit to put to death, as Paul says in Romans chapter 8, the sinful deeds of the body.

May the Lord bless you and thanks for reaching out, Leanne. Just a follow-up question for you, Adriel. When James talks about the fact that even the demons believe, he's doing that in the context of faith and works, and he's saying they tremble, but they believe, but in their case, belief doesn't do anything for them. So how does that apply to us in getting back to her question about belief versus fully trusting Christ? Yeah, well there again in that passage in James chapter 2 where James gets into faith and works and he says, what does it profit if somebody says I have faith but they don't have any works, can that faith save him? Well, I think he's talking about a specific kind of faith.

We might call it a demonic faith, right, just this sort of assent to the truth or an understanding, a knowledge of these facts. But biblical faith, saving faith, is more than just knowledge, it's more than just assent, it's trust. It's that personal, I am trusting in Christ for my own forgiveness. It's not enough to just believe that God is forgiving. The question is, has Jesus forgiven your sins? Are you trusting in him? Have you turned to him and repented of your sins? So yeah, when James talks about even the demons believing in tremble, he's highlighting the fact that there's this kind of demonic definition, if you will, this faith that is not genuine biblical faith, but just what I mentioned earlier, a historical faith, having the information but not truly trusting in Christ, which is what we each need to do. Great explanation, thanks for that. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

Let's go to Don who's calling in from Kansas. Don, what's your question for Adriel? Yeah, my question is Luke 2, verse 9, and it talks about the angel of the Lord at the birth of Christ. When that was preached yesterday in church, it never occurred, something clicked. And in my mind, I always thought the angel of the Lord was a representation of Christ.

Would that be right? Yeah, that's great. And I think that that is right, oftentimes in the Old Testament, where you have this figure, the angel of the Lord, appearing throughout the book of Genesis. Specifically, I'm thinking I've preached through Genesis, and you have the angel of the Lord there in various places. And usually this figure is associated with God himself. And so that's why many people will say this is a pre-incarnate appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ, or this is God revealing himself in this special way, in this unique way. And I think that that's true, but it's not always the case necessarily that we have to see Christ there, because as you bring up here in Luke chapter 2, where you have the angels appearing to the shepherds. We read in verse 8, in the same region, there were shepherds out in a field, keeping watch over their flock by night, and an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And so I think you can distinguish between the angel of the Lord as this figure who appears throughout the Old Testament in many places, and then an angel of the Lord. That is one of God's messengers that he sends out to accomplish his purposes in the world. So no contradiction there. And I do think that when we're looking at the angel of the Lord in the Old Testament, many times we are seeing a picture of Christ.

So thank you. Hey, Don, thanks so much for your question and for listening to Core Christianity. Well, we receive a lot of questions on this program about worship, such as what exactly is worship, and what should worship look like in its full sense?

Well, today we'd like to offer you a free resource on this topic. Yeah, the topic of worship is one that I'm passionate about, Bill. You know, as a pastor, something we've thought through a lot at our church. We can often feel confused as to why we do the things that we do in worship, and sometimes things go on in worship services at church that we're not totally comfortable with. And so it's really important for us to understand biblical worship. What is worship according to the Bible? What should we be devoting ourselves to as the people of God? And so that's why we've created this resource again, Nine Things Everyone Should Know About Worship. It's a free downloadable resource at CoreChristianity.com.

Answer some great questions. Who should we worship? How should we worship? We'd love to get that in your hands. You can go to CoreChristianity.com forward slash offers to download it.

Nine Things Everyone Should Know About Worship. You can also call us for that resource or any one of our resources. Here's the number. It's 833-843-2673.

That's 833-THE-CORE. Well, let's go to a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners a couple days ago. Yes, Pastor Adrian.

My name is Dan. And my question is, in the Bible, apostates are people that came to the faith and eventually left the faith. Are they going to heaven or beings that they rejected the faith or are they not going to heaven? Thank you.

Yeah. No, apostates are not going to heaven. In fact, I think that they are going to experience an even more severe judgment because one of the things with apostasy is they know the truth. They have an intimate knowledge of the truth, and yet they turn from it. They trample Christ underfoot. There are a number of passages in Scripture that speak of apostasy. I think one of the books that you could go to that has a number of warnings with regard to false teachers and apostates is 2 Peter. 2 Peter 2 specifically. And here's how Peter describes these apostate teachers, in particular, these false teachers.

He says in verse 17, These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them, the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. For speaking loud boasts of folly, they enticed by sensual passions of the flesh, those who are barely escaping from those who live in error.

They promised them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. For if after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it or after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.

Well, there's your answer. Peter says it would have been better for them never to actually have known the way of righteousness to begin with. I mean, they had it. They knew it.

There was this intimate knowledge of the truth. But then they committed apostasy. They turned away from Christ. They trampled him underfoot. Now, the other question that comes up here was, does this mean that they lost their salvation?

And I think that the answer is no. You can have an intimate knowledge of the truth and the things of God without ever truly embracing those things by faith. And this is what John is getting at, I believe, in places like 1 John 2, where he talks again about a group of people who had abandoned the church. There was this schism among the Christians to whom John was writing, a division in the church, and some of them had left, abandoned the faith. And he says in 1 John 2, verse 19, They went out from us, but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out that it might be complained that they all are not of us.

And so, there's your answer. It isn't that they accepted Jesus into their heart and then they totally turned away, but because they said a prayer one day, they're going to be welcomed into heaven. No, they knew the truth. They knew about Jesus. They had the holy commandment delivered to them, but then they totally rejected it.

And they're going to be judged for that. And so, the warning for us is it's not just enough to hear the truth of God's word. What do you do with that truth? Do you believe it?

Do you embrace it? Are you resting in the gospel, or are you rejecting it? This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez. Our phone lines are open if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life.

The number is 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to David calling in from Albuquerque, New Mexico. David, what's your question for Adrian?

Hi, Pastor Adrian. My question is about the omnipresence of God. We know that God is omnipresent, and being that Jesus was God, I was wondering, how does that work out after his incarnation when he was on earth? Would he still be omnipresent, and is there any evidence that shows us this? As well as, when he goes back to heaven, being that he's still on a body, would the second person of the Trinity still be considered omnipresent?

David, what excellent questions. We're getting into some Christology here, and this particular question is one that has been debated by different Christian traditions. But one thing I think that we can say, and this goes way back to the church fathers, and I think it's faithful to the teaching of scripture. They talk about the incarnation as this great mystery, that this one who was at the breast of the Virgin Mary, being nourished, if you will, is still simultaneously nourishing all creation, circumscribed in one sense, confined, I mean he confined himself by assuming humanity, and yet in his divinity somehow still upholding all things.

And so there's this great mystery here. But when we talk about the incarnation of the word, and the relationship between the two natures, one divine person, two natures, it's important that we don't talk about the incarnation as, you know, all of a sudden Jesus is no longer truly a human. He's got this sort of like God flesh. No, he's a true human, just like us, so that he could represent us, and he's true God. I don't like using the language of 100% God, 100% human.

I think that is confusing. I think it's better to just say he's true God and true man, one divine person. And in his humanity, in his flesh, he's in a particular place, right, like while he was on Earth. It's not that his body, his physical body, was everywhere present.

And yet simultaneously as God, the creator of all things, he's the Lord, and he's upholding everything. And so we can talk about his omnipresence in that sense, but we wouldn't say that his flesh is omnipresent right now, even after the Ascension. Now we do have communion with Jesus' true body and blood.

How? By the grace of the Holy Spirit. And it's the Spirit who unites us to Jesus in his body and blood, where he is at the right hand of God, the Father. And so again, this is something that Christians have debated about, and there is, I think, certainly mystery here when we're talking about the incarnation and what theologians refer to as the hypostatic union, the relationship between the two natures and one person. But we don't want to suggest that somehow Jesus' humanity is changed so that he's not truly a human and he's got this omnipresent body, because that would call into question his true humanity. And so I appreciate that question, really getting into some deep Christology there. But let me just say this. Oftentimes, I've had conversations with people about the hypostatic union, and we're talking about the two natures of Christ. People think, well, boy, why do we got to go down into the weeds here?

What's the big deal? Well, it really relates to our salvation. If Jesus isn't truly man, well, then he can't be our representative, our mediator. But if the Word is not the divine person, truly God, he couldn't atone for the sins of the entire world. And so Jesus is the perfect mediator in his humanity, in his divinity for us to redeem us from our sins. And that's why these questions are so important, so practical.

This is why I think early on in the history of the church, some of these debates that were had about Christ, about whether he was divine, about his relationship to us, why the evil one was trying so hard, especially at that early stage in church history, to corrupt the doctrine of crisis, because it has to do with our salvation. And so, again, I appreciate your question, and thank you for giving us a call. Thanks, David.

I appreciate you. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Abby, who's calling in from Georgia. Abby, what's your question for Adriel? Hi, yes. Pastor Adriel, I love your show. Thank you so much for taking my question.

I have a family member who just recently told us that he is transitioning into a woman, and he's already changed his name and all those things, and so I'm just looking for some guidance about whether we should use the new name, also new pronouns. I don't feel comfortable using them because I feel like it's lying, but I'm just wondering how we love but not affirm. Thank you. Yeah.

Abby, so difficult. And so, look, I agree with you, and I feel you in terms of just not wanting to participate in something that you feel like this is not true. There is a great deception here, and indeed there is. When we think about these discussions that are happening around transgenderism and this idea that we can just decide what our sex is, right?

This is obviously not biblical. It's the result of this sort of cultural movement that's been going on for hundreds of years as sort of the way we think about personhood, the way we think about sex and gender. There's been so many shifts in society and the way we view ourselves that have led to where we are right now, but they're not rooted in truth.

They're not rooted in reality. They're not rooted in what God says in his word, and so I also feel that tension of just not wanting to affirm that while at the same time you love your family member, and you see that they are caught up in this deception, and so I'm just going to say pray. Get on your knees and pray and say, Lord, give me wisdom, and give this family member a soft heart, eyes to see where they've bought into this lie that is just so easy to buy into because it's what you're hearing everywhere in the media, the people around us, social media as well, but open this person's heart to see that they are created in your image, but broken and fallen, and that's all of us, right, in need of your grace, and so I think if you can have maybe just a candid conversation, a very open conversation and say, look, I love you. Man, I love you so much, but I'm concerned because I feel like what we're seeing around us right now is not good, is not healthy, and I see that you're embracing this, and I don't think that this is the best thing for you, and having those conversations candidly and praying that the Lord would give you wisdom and, again, also just that soft heart for your family member and not ending the conversation there but continuing to have interaction and maybe just saying, look, I don't feel comfortable saying this or calling you by these pronouns that you want to be called by because I feel like it's not true and I feel like it goes against my convictions.

That does not mean that I don't love you, and so can we still have interaction and be in each other's lives because I want to have that, and I think we should. Sadly, I think a lot of times people will, when we don't go with them in this, they'll just sort of cut us out of their lives. That's not what you want, and so pray and stand firm in your convictions and pray that the Lord opens this family member's heart to hear you and ultimately to receive the grace of Christ and to experience the grace of Christ in their life.

Father, would you be with Abby, and would you be with this family member? We ask that you would fill her with your Holy Spirit, that you would give her wisdom, and I pray four fruitful conversations between her and this family member, Lord, that they would be able to still be involved in each other's lives and that your light and your gospel would shine through. 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 / 2023-01-23 11:28:45 / 2023-01-23 11:38:40 / 10

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