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Does the Bible Teach That There Should Be a Separation of Church and State?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
September 20, 2022 4:36 pm

Does the Bible Teach That There Should Be a Separation of Church and State?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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September 20, 2022 4:36 pm

Episode 1058 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes


Questions in this Episode


1. When will we celebrate the Marriage Supper of the Lamb?

2. Should we still pay for taxes if the money is used for unbiblical services?

3. What does the Bible say about the separation of church and state?

4. How can God be upset with us for our sin if he’s sovereign?

5. How should we understand Proverbs 4:23 and Philippians 4:23?

6. Can a woman lead a Sunday school and teach men and women from God’s Word?

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9 Things Everyone Should Know About Worship

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Does the Bible teach there should be a separation of church and state? 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. This is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. Our phone lines are open right now, and you can call us for the next 25 minutes at 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and of course you're always welcome to email us your question at First up today, let's go to Bill who's calling in from Missouri. Bill, what's your question for Adriel? Good afternoon.

I really enjoy your program. I have a question on the Second Coming. Would you compare 1 Thessalonians 4, where it talks about the dead in Christ shall rise and those that remain will be caught up in the air, and then Zechariah 14 and Acts 1 where it talks about Jesus coming back to earth and landing on the Mount of Olives, and then where does the marriage, supper, and the lamb fit into the Second Coming timeline?

Hey Bill, thank you. Yeah, bringing together a number of passages. Zechariah 14 talking about the day of the Lord, something that you see actually repeated throughout the Minor Prophets, and then of course 1 Thessalonians 4, one of the key texts to go to speaking of the day of the Lord, the coming of the Lord. I think all of these passages are referring to ultimately the Second Coming, so the final judgment, contemporaneous with, that means happening at the same time as the resurrection of the dead, entrance into the everlasting eternal state. We might say this is all happening at the same time, and I think that brings us into that great marriage feast that we see in the Book of Revelation, that celebration of the people of God and the final defeat of Satan. One of the reasons I think that there's at times confusion on this and on the timeline is because when we're looking at the Book of Revelation, not everything is meant to be taken sequentially. That is to say this sort of starts in the beginning and then you're given a linear timeline of events throughout history. What John is doing is he's getting these glimpses of these great events in history leading up to the Second Coming, the final judgment, the marriage supper of the Lamb, and it's what's called recapitulation. That is sort of the same thing, almost think of history repeating itself. This is what is characteristic of human history in this age, suffering, sorrow, pain, the victory of the saints through patient endurance in doing good. We're looking forward to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, the bodily Second Coming of Christ is something that every Christian I think agrees on regardless of your view on the end times. What we're all agreeing with is Jesus is going to physically come back to earth and execute judgment, and that will bring us to the marriage supper of the Lamb. God bless. Thanks for that question.

Hey Bill, thanks so much for calling in. By the way, we have a great Bible study on the Book of Revelation. If you'd like to find that, it's at forward slash studies. It will really help you understand a book that many people find confusing. Now, Adriel doesn't find it confusing because he's preaching through it right now, so every week he dedicates about 40 hours of study to the Book of Revelation, which I'm very impressed by the way. Yeah, right. I know you like the book though, you really are interested in the book and preaching on it.

I am, and it doesn't come as a breeze. I mean, there's some difficult interpretive decisions in the Book of Revelation. Can I just tell you one? I was joking with my congregation a few weeks ago because I was preaching through Revelation chapter 6 where you have a rider on a white horse going out conquering and to conquer, and there are many commentators say, well, that's Jesus riding on the white horse because in Revelation 19, Jesus is riding on a white horse, and so this is Jesus earlier in Revelation chapter 6. And then there are others who will say, no, that's the antichrist. There are great commentators who differ on this, and so you've got to make these interpretive choices like, okay, am I going to say this is Jesus or am I going to say that this is the evil one? And so it's almost like bomb diffusal.

You don't know what wire to cut, the red or the blue wire. So it's stressful, Bill. Pray for me as I preach through the Book of Revelation that God would help me to get it right and to be faithful as a minister of the word. Amen. This is 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 some doubts about the Christian faith.

Maybe you're struggling with a particular issue or maybe a passage of the Bible that you don't really understand. Give us a call right now. 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Kristi calling in from Omaha, Nebraska. Kristi, what's your question for Adriel? Hi, Adriel. Thank you so much for taking my call. I enjoy your show for many years.

Thank you for the encouragement, Kristi. What's your question? Just a quick question. I am referring to Matthew 22 where it states, render to Caesar what is Caesar's and render to the Lord what is the Lord's. And my question as a Christian, how should we respond when we know that our tax dollars paid to Caesar slash the government are going to things that don't align with our faith? For instance, Planned Parenthood.

Yeah. Man, a really good question. You're not the only one to have asked this question because it is quite concerning. And of course we see the government using those tax dollars for all sorts of things that we wouldn't agree with as believers. Look, one, I would say I suspect that as Jesus is making this statement, you think about how Caesar at that time was using those resources. And I am pretty certain that those resources were also being used in ways that, you know, probably the church would have objected to me. The early Christians faced a lot of persecution, suffering at the hands of the Romans. And so, you know, where were the Romans getting the money to pay for those soldiers who were doing those things?

I mean, I think clearly in part, it was the tax dollars. And so this is a tough, a really tough question, but I'm inclined to say, look, Jesus says, render to Caesar that which belongs to Caesar. Now we might have strong disagreements. And I think that we should voice those concerns and do whatever we can to bring about change. I mean, we want to see those resources used not for bad, evil, destructive things, but for good things. And so in so far as the Lord has given us opportunity, I think we speak out against those things and we take a stand. But does that mean that we, you know, should then say, well, I'm just not going to pay my taxes because I think that they're not using those resources the way that, you know, in a way that would honor the Lord? I think that that same objection probably could have been made in Matthew chapter 22 by the people to whom Jesus is speaking and probably was made because you think about the pagan Roman government, this machine, this great beast as it's depicted in various places in the scriptures. It makes sense why this question would even come up. And yet Jesus says, look, render to Caesar that which belongs to Caesar and to God that which belongs to him. And I think that principle still stands today.

And so I think, you know, we can have a clear conscience about that, but we should, I think, as I said, take a stand and be clear that we're against certain things and seek to bring about change where we can as individual citizens. Thank you for your question, Christy. Some good counsel. Thanks for that, Adriel.

A very tough issue. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and we receive a lot of questions on this program about the topic of worship. People call and say, well, what exactly is worship and what should it look like? And it looks different in my church. Well, today we want to offer you a great free resource on the topic of worship. Yeah, the resource is called Nine Things Everyone Should Know About Worship. A lot of people are confused about worship, especially when we think about gathering together as a church to honor the Lord with our songs, with our prayers. What should that look like?

How important is that? Is it important for us to gather together? Can we just, you know, sort of view all of life as worship? And so it doesn't really matter if you're going to church on Sunday, so long as you're living a worshipful life unto the Lord.

Again, there's a lot of confusion on this subject. And so we want to help bring some clarity and illumination for you on the topic of worship. And this is a free resource you can download over at called Nine Things Everyone Should Know About Worship. We love offering you free resources here at the CORE, and you can get that again by going to forward slash offers. Look for Nine Things Everyone Should Know About Worship.

Might even be something you could pass along to your worship leader at your church, which would be helpful. Yeah. Yeah. So, hey, by the way, we get voicemails here at the CORE, and you can call us 24 hours a day with your voicemail question. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673.

Here's a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners named Tim. I just have a question. Isaiah 33 22. It is the foundation for the separation of church and state. It says the Lord is our judge. It is a judicial branch. The Lord is our lawdriver. That's the legislative branch. The Lord is our king.

That's the executive branch. So why is this not being put out from the pulpit more? It seems like this should be a question and a historical fact that most Christians today do not know. Yeah, it sounds like maybe you're concerned with believers who are bringing those two things together, maybe confusing the church and the state or the church with the state. Of course, there was a time in redemptive history where they were one entity. I'm thinking in particular of the theocracy under the old covenant where God was the great king ruling through men like David. He gave his people these civil laws, ceremonial laws, and you had basically the church and the state were one. Now, of course, that theocracy has been done away with.

There's no civil institution anymore. In that sense, for the people of God, now God governs his kingdom through the church, the local church, which is not associated with one particular nation, but with all the nations of the world. This is one of the most beautiful things about the new covenant. This is why we refer to the church as Catholic. What I mean by that is not Roman Catholic. I mean Catholic in the sense of universality. The church is a part of and in all the nations of the world because it's not connected to one particular race or people group.

This is how God is always intended to be, his salvation to spread out throughout the world. Where there's confusion on this, you say, why don't pastors talk more about this? Let me just say, speaking as a minister myself, I think we all have things that we would like to hear our pastor address more. Often it's those issues that we're really tied to, that we're really passionate about, but the job of your pastor is to say, thus saith the Lord, and to preach holy scripture, and to go through it, preach through books of the Bible, exposit the text of scripture. There are times where you're going to cover those things, maybe those passages that speak to these kinds of issues, but that's not always the case. What you should be hearing continually from your pastor is the message of Christ, the forgiveness of sins, the hope that we have in the gospel. That's what you want to hear every single week.

Let me just encourage you in that way. Then with regard to the distinction of or between the church and the state, that's something that we see in the Bible. There are some who say, and I tend to agree with this, that the state as this common institution in the world almost made a thing, if you will, through God's covenant with Noah, this common grace, universal covenant where God promises to preserve society, and order, and justice.

One of the ways that he does that is through the state. We see this in places like Romans chapter 13, for example, where Paul has a discussion about obeying, submitting to civil governing authorities, because they come to us from God. They're these legitimate authorities who are accountable to God and to his law. They're going to be judged by the Lord, but they're also common and provisional, meaning they're not to be confused with God's redemptive kingdom, the church, that's always going to be around. This is the kingdom that's going to cover the whole earth in the new creation, that's going to replace all the kingdoms of the world. This is what the prophet Daniel saw in Daniel chapter two in this great vision that he had. It is important that we keep that distinction clear, that we don't confuse the church with the state, but that we also recognize the legitimacy of both for the purposes that God has given them. Thank you for that question.

Great question. Thanks so much, Tim, for calling in. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Sam in Nebraska. Sam, what's your question for Adriel?

Good afternoon, Adriel. I've been struggling with this question with a friend of mine for a while, and I was wanting to know if maybe you could help out with it. It's about the sovereignty of God and our sin, and what I mean by that is, if God knows us from the beginning, now, to the end of our time, and I'll just throw this example out as like a sin of homosexuality. If we choose, someone has chosen that. The argument and whatever that I get back from it is, well, God knows my heart. I know the Bible or Scripture, but God knows my heart, and they believe they're still going to go to heaven. And I don't want to be a judge. I don't want to judge anybody. I know that God is going to judge us in His time when we meet before Him. But I don't know how to explain or to answer, and it's a struggle with me on this sovereignty, because God knows everything. He knows what we're doing, He knows what sins we're going to make, so on and so forth. But yet, I'm just, it's a quandary.

Does that make sense? Yeah, it's tough, and you know, I appreciate, brother, that this is something that concerns you, is you have conversations with your friends. So let me just say a couple of things. One, with regard to the relationship between God's sovereignty and human responsibility, yes, God knows all things. And all things happen according to the counsel of His will, as the Apostle Paul says in Ephesians chapter one. But that does not make God the author of sin, that does not excuse our sins, because we're still responsible before the Lord. And so while the Lord knows all things, you know, according to His laws revealed, He calls us to follow Him, to obey Him, to turn from our sins, and to lay hold of Jesus Christ. And when we don't, if we don't, that's on us. That's not God's fault.

We can't blame God. And so for our part, we call all people everywhere to repent, because God has revealed in His word that that's what we should do. That free offer of the gospel goes out promiscuously to all people, and it's a real offer of salvation. And so we extend that to people calling people to turn from their sins. And I understand that today, that's such a difficult thing for so many people, because we say, well, I don't want to judge another person.

And we individually don't. It's the word of God. It's His law that we're held accountable to.

And so this is where we have to be careful. I mean, Paul says in First Corinthians chapter six, verse nine, do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Yes, God is going to judge, but He tells us very clearly, the unrighteous are not going to inherit the kingdom of God. And then He says, neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. But here's hope, the hope of the gospel. Verse 11 there in First Corinthians six, and such were some of you, but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the spirit of our God.

That's the hope that we have, Sam. Look, all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. So you can talk to this person and say, look, I'm coming to you as a fellow sinner who has experienced the mercy and grace of God.

And I want you to know that this is for you. So don't cling to your sin, because when we do, we're judged justly by the Lord. Don't cling to your sin, repent of it and turn to the Lord, confessing that sin to Him and know that He receives you and forgives you. Sam, thanks for that question. May the Lord bless you as you have these conversations. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We're going to be recording a second episode of Core Christianity today after our live program ends here in just a few minutes. So if you weren't able to get through, now is your time to call. In fact, we'll be taking calls for the next 35 minutes or so at 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. And we'd love to hear your question. Again, we'll be recording a second program. It won't be on the air, but we'd love to answer your question.

That show will be airing at a later date. Let's go to Russell who's calling in from Kansas City, Missouri. Russell, what's your question for Adriel?

Good afternoon, I'm Dr. Adriel. Please explain Proverbs 4.23, keep your heart from all vigilance, from it flow the springs of life, and Philippians 4.23, please. Two passages, Philippians 4.23 and Proverbs 4.23. Well, let me see, Philippians 4.23. It is the benediction that Paul gives to the Philippian church where he says, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Is that the verse that you were talking about, Russell? That and also Proverbs 4.23, please.

Okay. Well, those benedictions given to the church, or I mean, just really the apostle Paul there speaking in a powerful way, the grace of God over the people of God. It's something that I do each Sunday at the end of our worship service. We give a benediction from places like this or from Numbers chapter six, the Lord bless you and keep you and make his face to shine upon you. It's God communicating his goodness, his grace to his people through his minister. And so that's what Paul is doing there in Philippians, closing out the book.

And of course, it's what we see so often in those salutations, those early greetings in the New Testament letters. I think a big takeaway for believers is that's what we want to be trained up in is the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ growing in the grace and the knowledge of Christ. And then with regard to the book of Proverbs, you said Proverbs 4.23. Now, just to give some context, Proverbs is a part of the wisdom literature in the Bible. And so you're given these statements, these principles of wisdom here, and verse 23 says, keep your heart with all vigilance for from it flow the springs of life. Guard your heart, in essence, is what wisdom says here.

Why? Because it's from the heart that proceeds springs or from it flow the springs of life. I think this is very similar to what our Lord Jesus said when he gave a warning about sin.

At one point, Russell, he was questioned by the religious leaders about how come he and his disciples didn't wash their hands like they did, why they didn't keep to the tradition of the elders, why they didn't eat in the same way. And Jesus said, look, it's not what goes into your body that defiles you. It's what comes out of your heart.

That's what defiles you. From the heart proceed all manner of sinful thoughts and inclinations. And so, again, just the importance of the heart being central to who we are as people and from our hearts flowing, those deeper memory, the sin even. And this is why we need, Russell, new hearts given to us by the Lord through his grace and by the power of the Holy Spirit. That's why we need to be born again.

And so, here, again, what we're getting is this call to care for and guard our hearts because of the importance of the heart. Thank you for the question that you've called in with, and I hope that clears up both those passages for you. God bless.

Thanks, Russell. Appreciate you listening to Core Christianity. We do receive emails here at the Core, and here's one from Debbie, and she says, can a woman lead an adult Sunday school class and teach men and women from God's Word?

Yeah, I know that there are some people that disagree with this, but I don't see any issue with this. And we're not talking about preaching on the Lord's Day before the congregation as God's minister. I think that that's something that's reserved for called, qualified male elders, pastors. But we're talking about teaching, right?

Not in the context of corporate worship, but just for the edification of the saints and encouragement of believers. I don't see anything wrong with this. I don't think that that's prohibited. I think this is something that can and ought to be done. Of course, God has gifted each one of us in unique ways, and teaching is a gift that the Lord gives to his church, to his people.

And so, I think this could totally happen in the context of a local church, you know, under the oversight and care of the elders of the church, especially if someone has unique insight to a particular subject or doctrine. I think it's just a wonderful thing. And so, thank you for that question. And, Bill, a lot of really good questions today on the broadcast, huh?

Without a doubt. You know, it's just really a blessing to hear from our listeners, and so many of them have been great questions about God's Word, really digging in. And I know, as a pastor, you appreciate that. Yeah.

I mean, just getting to hear these kinds of questions. One of the things we're so encouraged by, brothers and sisters, is the care that people want to take as they're studying the Scriptures to dig deeper. And so, we hope that we've been able to encourage you in that. And let's continue to search the Scriptures together and grow in the grace and the knowledge of Christ. by this program. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-22 17:53:25 / 2023-01-22 18:03:14 / 10

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