Prayer or Medication?
How Should Christians Seek Healing? 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 with your question at 833-THE-CORE. Now, you can also post your question on our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter accounts. You can also join Adriel live in the studio on YouTube. We have a YouTube channel, and you can send him a question that way. And of course, you're always welcome to email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com.
First up today, here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Kevin. My question is, I'm a truck driver. I work 70 hours a week.
It's a super demanding job. I'm fully on board as far as Christ. I'm into my Bible every day, just soaking things up. But I come back to over and over again the fact that I can't get church because of my profession. And I'm just wondering if I can get some different perspectives on what I could do about that other than just watching sermons online. I know that God's will for me to be in a church.
How do I balance that or reconcile that with what I do for a living? Anyways, anything, insight you might have on that, or even, you know, just help with prayer on it would be wonderful. Thank you so much. Bye bye.
Yeah. Well, let's do that first, Kevin. Let's just pray that the Lord opens up the door somehow, even given your profession for you to be able to get real Christian fellowship in the local church. And so, Father, I lift Kevin up to you, and I thank you, Lord, that as he said, he's sold out for you, that he's reading the word, that he loves you, Jesus, that he wants to grow in you. And we know how important the body of Christ, your people, is for that, Lord. And so I pray for him, God, that you would sustain him, that you would strengthen him in his faith, and Lord, that you would open the doors by the grace of your spirit providentially to allow him to go to church and to be a part of a church, a member of a church, Lord, so that he could be built up and that he could encourage others and build them up in their faith as well with the gifts that you've given to him. And so please bless our brother.
Be with him in Jesus' name. Amen. Well, let me just say, I think that for so many Christians, we have the wrong set of priorities when it comes to work and church.
And I'm just grateful that you're asking this question. I think most Christians would never just, you know, you wouldn't just not go to work on a Monday morning and, you know, I can't, I got to make money, you know, I got to do these things, and so you go. But so many people would just not go to church and miss church. And I think we have these misplaced priorities. As believers, we really ought to prioritize gathering together with the saints because it really, I mean, it's a central part of, the central part of our growth and grace and sanctification.
It's what we're all called to. It's not an optional thing. Now, I recognize, I understand that different people have jobs that sometimes prohibit them from coming to church.
And so I don't know entirely what your work schedule is like. I don't know if you can talk to your supervisor and say, you know what, as I grow in my faith, I'm realizing that this is something that I want to prioritize, that I need to prioritize as a Christian. And so is there a way for me to be in church on Sunday, whether that's, you know, through traveling, you know, can I stop and join a local congregation for worship? Or just, again, I don't know if there's a way to be flexible here, but it's certainly something that you need to and want to prioritize. It's one of the ways that we get to share the faith with the people around us, showing them that for us, worshiping with the people of God is important.
It is a priority. And again, it's not just because God calls us to it, it's because it's something that we need. I think of what the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians chapter 12, verse 12, where he talks about the body of Christ and how we're each members in the body and we need one another. For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many are one body, so it is with Christ.
For in one spirit we were all baptized into one body, Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, and all were made to drink of one spirit. For the body does not consist of one member, but of many. If the foot should say, because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body, that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body, that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be?
If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God has arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as He chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. You are one part of the body. And in order to have a healthy spirituality, we need to come together with the entire body as each part brings its gifts together for the building up of the body and love.
This is what Paul says in Ephesians chapter 4. So in the meantime, are there other things you can do, you know, watching sermons or live streaming worship services and getting as much of that as you can? Well, yeah, and probably just because of your job, you're able to do that more, listening to solid Christian content.
But you need that real community, people. You need accountability, elders who are watching over your soul, so that even if you're not ever able to be there every Sunday, they know you and can check in on you and can encourage you. And so I would just say, whatever you have to do, whatever you can do to try to remedy this, to make gathered worship a priority in your life and to participate in it as much as you're able, I would say pursue that if you can. And if you can't, if this is just something that, you know, I can never ever go to church because of my job, I think that's actually worth saying, well, maybe this means I should change my career. And I know that sounds crazy, but again, it's prioritizing God and his people and his worship and say that's the main thing for me, even before making money.
And of course, that might come off as strange to you, but I just think so often, as I already said, we have our priorities misplaced here. So God bless you, brother, and be with you and give you wisdom and provide for all of your needs, Kevin, and thank you for that call. Kevin, we will continue to pray for you and your situation that God will direct you to make the right choices down the line. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open. If you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, maybe something in the culture that is causing conflict with your Christian walk, let us know about that as well.
1-833-THE-CORE is the number 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Andre in Longview, Texas. Andre, what's your question for Adriel? Hey, Pastor Adriel, first off, I just say thank you guys for what you do. God bless you and I appreciate your show and the wisdom the Lord has blessed you with.
But my question here is, it's about an election. I know that's a touchy subject in a lot of churches. It's definitely not the most popular, but reading through Romans, specifically Romans 9, you know, when it says for Jacob, I love you, so I hate it, you know, and I'm paraphrasing, but something along the lines of neither done good or bad. It even reiterates the Old Testament or about Moses when the Lord says he'll show mercy upon who he shows mercy upon. Now, as hard as that is to understand, I don't necessarily think like basically like, like hyper-Calvinism as in, you know, goddamn people to hell. I believe God gives a person every opportunity to come to Christ, but election seems to be clear to me that God has mercy upon who he has mercy upon, and if we do believe that God is sovereign and the only thing we deserve is damnation, then isn't it graceful that even some of us are even allowed in Christ?
I just kind of wanted to know your thoughts on that. Yeah, Andre, thank you for, I mean, you're bringing up some really important discussions about the Bible, but ultimately that's what we want to talk about. We want to talk about the Scriptures so we can drop, you know, labels like Calvinism and whatnot, but look, let's go to the Word. And of course, you know, the Bible talks about things like election, the doctrine of election, and this is where there are differences of opinion. You know, some Christians will say, no, God chooses us on the basis of the fact that he foresees that we will believe in him and embrace him, and so it's really we're choosing God and he's choosing us in light of that. There are others who say, based on texts like the ones that you reference, Romans chapter 9, and I would be among those who feel compelled by these passages as well, who say, no, it's not on the basis of anything that we do. It's purely on the basis of God's grace. And then the response is, well, does that mean that we're no longer responsible for our actions, that God just condemns us sort of willy-nilly? Well, no, that's also not true because the Bible is very clear that we are responsible, that we're held to account for the things that we do, for the fact that we reject Christ.
And so the key text that you're gonna wanna go to are places like Romans 9 through 11 where you do see both the sovereignty of God and human responsibility placed side by side in a very real sense. I mean, in chapter 10, for example, verse 14, Paul says, how will they call on him in whom they have not believed? How are they gonna call upon Jesus if they haven't believed in him, and how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard, and how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news, but they have not all obeyed the gospel.
For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us? So faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ. In other words, the way in which God draws his people to himself is through the preaching of the gospel. So all of us, whatever your persuasion is, look, we need to be committed to preaching the gospel faithfully because God uses his word by the power of the Holy Spirit to transform hearts and lives and the minds of people. And so I think we can hold these things together, the fact that God is absolutely sovereign, and that we can say, Lord, it was all of your grace. It's all of your grace that by grace we have been saved through faith.
This is not of ourselves. It's the gift of God. And yet at the same time, the free offer of the gospel really does go out, and there's this genuine call to repentance, and that people are held to account for rejecting that if they do. As the text goes on to say in verse 20 there in Romans chapter 10, Isaiah is bold as to say, I have been found by those who did not seek me. I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me. But of Israel, he says, all day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.
This is God with the free offer of the gospel holding his hands out. And that's how we should be with the world as well, knowing that it's all of grace, that God is sovereign, and that we are accountable for our decisions. And so Andre, thank you for your question. God bless you, and I think you're on the right track. Some major issues there, and as you said, some major differences upon different denominations, different Christian traditions, how they view that.
So thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. You know, we get a lot of calls on this program asking about worship, such as, what exactly is worship, and what should it look like? And I've been to a church, and I'm not sure about this type of worship.
Well, today we'd like to offer you a free resource on that topic. Yeah, I mean, that opening call from our dear brother Kevin, who was asking about church attendance and the difficulty with having a job that keeps you from going to church and wanting to be there. I think part of the reason why, and I said this, Bill, I think for many of us our priorities are misplaced.
And I'm not saying that about our brother who called in. I just think for many believers, our priorities are misplaced. And I think the reason is because we don't understand the significance of worship.
Part of that is, you know, our fault as pastors not doing a good job communicating that to our people, helping them understand why it's so important for us to gather together and what God is doing when we do. And so I think that's why this resource is going to be really helpful for you in terms of helping you to understand the significance of worship. Again, it's called Nine Things Everyone Should Know About Worship, and you can access it. It's a downloadable resource, so you just download it over at corechristianity.com.
It's excellent. It really helps you understand the whole purpose of worship and how we are to worship. Again, it's called Nine Things Everyone Should Know About Worship. You can find it by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers.
Of course, you can always call us for that resource or any one of our resources at 833-THE-CORE. Well, here's a question from one of our listeners named Sheila in Tennessee, and she says, if you judge others, you will be judged. If you see someone sinning, where does the line cross between criticism and being able to criticize them?
Great question. Sometimes Jesus' words in Matthew chapter 7 are taken out of context, and you'll hear people say, well, God says don't judge. Who are you to judge? God makes all sorts of judgments in his word about right and wrong, and we hold fast to those things. We don't want to judge like hypocrites do and did. In particular, there in Matthew chapter 7, part of what Jesus is doing is rebuking the false religious teachers, but there is a sense in which we as believers are very much so called to judge.
Again, not hypocritically, but holding fast to what God has revealed in his word and holding one another accountable. This is really clear, Sheila, in scripture, in places like 1 Corinthians chapter 5, verse 9, where Paul is writing to the Corinthians because they failed to make proper judgments within the church, and it was leading to more sin in the church. He says, I wrote to you in my letter, this is verse 9 of 1 Corinthians chapter 5, I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people, not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world or the greedy or swindlers or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. Look, I told you, don't associate with the sexually immoral, but I wasn't talking about with non-believers.
You can't just sort of teleport yourself out of the world. We engage with people on an everyday basis who reject the gospel, who live lives that are contrary to what the Bible teaches, and I didn't mean avoid them, Paul says, but now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of a brother, and as a so-called Christian, if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, how interesting right there, right, greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler, not even to eat with such a one. Then he says this, verse 12, for what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside, purge the evil person from among you.
What does this mean? Does this mean that we need to be looking at each other within the church, just sort of, you know, we're quote-unquote fruit inspectors. How faithful are you, you know, being in your devotions, and oh, I don't like that you watch that on the television, you know, though, no, I don't think we're being like that. It's just when you see a brother or sister that's living in ways that are totally contrary to the word of God, we do judge, we come alongside of them, not as a way of just criticizing them, Sheila, but in love, calling them to live in line with what they profess to believe, and so this is something that we need within the body of Christ. Brothers and sisters, this is one of the ways we can love each other is, you know, sometimes we can have these blind spots with sin, and we can't see it, but the people around us can see it, and if you're one of those people around who sees it in a brother or sister, and you just remain silent, well, that's not loving, and so coming alongside of one another within the church and saying, hey, this is something that concerns me, this is a habit or, you know, a thing that you do that I've noticed, and I just wanna ask you about it because I look at what scripture says, and it seems like there's a contradiction here, again, in love, and so we do judge and are called to make judgments and to hold fast to what the word of God says, but I think a way of distinguishing between, you know, are we just being critics, just out there to criticize and point the finger, or are we looking to help each other is, you know, what's the ultimate purpose? Are you just trying to point it out and then leave a person there, or are you really coming alongside of somebody in love and wanting to work together for honoring the Lord, glorifying the Lord, and having their best interest in mind? So part of it is the motivation, Sheila. Thanks for your question, and God bless.
Some good counsel there. Thanks, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.
We do receive voicemails here at the Core, and this one came in from one of our listeners named Justin. I have a question that is very serious because I have been studying the Bible ever since I was a child, but I can't find it anywhere in the Bible that the medical field, or should I say taking medication, or counting on any other substance other than divine healing, metaphysics, prayer, and with faith is okay as a Christian. I don't see anywhere in the Bible that Jesus says this, and I really would like to be informed and taught in the Bible where it is scripturally that it is okay for us to count on other gods for healing, to count on mortal substance for healing. I so do appreciate you. You have a blessed and wonderful day.
Thank you for that question. If you're going to these things as other gods, there's a real problem. I think that's what you said, other gods, but we're just talking about in God's common grace, can he use means like medicine and doctors to help us? If we have an injury, you break a bone, there's an issue of mental health, and I think that the answer is yes. Certainly we pray for healing.
Nothing wrong with that, and we should. James 5, if anybody's sick, call the elders of the church and have the elders lay hands on them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord, praying for healing. But so often I think it's also true that God uses means. God uses medicine, and there's nothing wrong with that. Now, if you're looking for one Bible verse, I think there are probably different places we could go.
Let me just give you one verse that's sort of interesting. It's what the Apostle Paul says to Timothy in 1 Timothy 5, verse 23, no longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments. He's saying, look, have a little bit of wine to settle your stomach.
I know you have these stomach issues, and know what he's doing there. This is the Apostle Paul. He's not saying, hey, why haven't you been healed by God yet? Don't you know you're associated with all these apostles? Have one of them lay hands on you so you can just be cured of your frequent ailments. Timothy, it seems like he had some medical issues, and yet Paul says, and no doubt they certainly I'm sure prayed for his healing and prayed for his comfort and whatnot, but also just practically Paul says to him, have a little bit of wine to help settle your stomach.
Drink water, but have a little bit of wine to help settle your stomach. I think just right there you see this principle that can be carried out in saying, yeah, we pray for healing, but it's okay also just to use those natural remedies to think about medicine as well in God's common grace, how God often will use these means for our good and to bless us. And so we don't need to demonize them. Certainly, I think, and Bill, you would know better than I do, I think they can be abused, right? I mean, he's telling Timothy here, have a little bit of wine to settle your stomach.
If Timothy said, well, a couple of bottles sounds about right, right? That would be an issue. And it's the same thing with the medical field and I think prescription drugs. I mean, that's something that is and can very well be abused, and so we have to watch out for that.
Wouldn't you say, Bill? Yeah, that's really good counsel, Adriel, and certainly you talked about God's common grace and we read in Proverbs over and over again that if we observe how God's created the world and what he has made and the things that are good, and we can avail ourselves of those things such as a physician's guidance or research that tells us that a particular medication will help someone who's schizophrenic or whatnot. Yeah, that's, I think, all falls under God's common grace. A good, very good answer. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We have time to go to one more call. Let's go to Bill in southern Illinois.
Bill, what's your question for Adriel? I have been asked this question at least twice. If a person, like living in a rainforest, never hears about God, never hears about Jesus, and dies, will they go to heaven or hell? And to me, that's similar to like a five-year-old or a six-year-old who doesn't have the capacity to make a decision if they were to pass away.
And I know what my thought is, but what's your thought on that? Yeah. Did you, did you, I'm sorry, Bill, did you want to follow up? 18. Go ahead.
What was that? The scripture they keep quoting to me is Romans, I think, 1, 18, 19, 20, where it says, no one is without excuse. Yeah. And I read that, and that's not quite right.
Well, well, so, and honestly, that was a text that I was going to go to, and that's the one that I go to when this question is asked. Because, I mean, the point there in Romans 1 is everyone has a sense of God, right? All humanity, just by virtue of creation, the created world around us does tell us something about God, about his power. So that, mankind is without excuse, that is justly judged. Now, does that mean that they're judged as severely as everyone else?
No. We can say that God is a perfectly just judge. When each person stands before the Lord on the day of judgment, nobody is going to be able to make an argument, you know, when God renders his verdict. I mean, it's going to be very clear that his judgment is perfect and just and good. So there aren't going to be any arguments with God. And so, even if somebody doesn't hear the gospel, we know that they're still judged justly on the basis of what God has revealed in nature.
But let me just say this. God does, I think, when there are people who are longing for his grace and something, he sends missionaries to those people. You think about the book of Acts, you think about an individual like Cornelius seeking God, even though he had limited understanding, and God's sending to him Peter to preach the gospel. And so, God is merciful. And right now, I mean, this is one of the reasons why we need to hear what Jesus said, where he was talking about the harvest, the fields being white with harvest, but we need to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send laborers out to gather in his people. That's what we need, because God is at work, and he's justly judging the entire world, but he's calling the entire world also to repentance and faith, and he does that through you and me, through missionaries who are sent. So we pray for that, and trust that the Lord is going to perfectly handle everything in the end. God bless. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
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