Does the Bible command me to reconcile with my abuser? 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 Adrian Sanchez. This is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day.
You can also email us at questions at corechristianity.com. And first up today, let's go to Tim calling in from Nebraska. Tim, what's your question for Adriel? Is this Adriel? Yeah, this is him.
Oh, it's great to talk to you. Anyway, my question is 2 Peter 3, 9. Is that verse pointed towards a certain group of people?
Or is that for the whole world? Yeah, so 2 Peter 3, the context here is the day of the Lord, the final judgment that is coming, and how we should live in light of that. And Peter says, you know, in the previous chapter, 2 Peter 2, he had this long discussion about false teachers in the church, leading people astray. And a part of what they would say, he goes on to express here in chapter 3, is sort of scoffing at this idea of the Lord's coming. God isn't really going to judge the world.
I mean, things are continuing as they've been continuing for so long. And so really sort of minimizing the judgment of God. And Peter's point here is, look, God isn't taking his time. The reason, you know, sometimes people ask the question, why hasn't the Lord come back yet? Why is he tarrying?
Why is he taking so long? And Peter's point is, look, look, 1, God's timetable is different from ours, but here's the reason why God hasn't returned, why Christ hasn't returned. It's because he's patient toward you, Peter says there in verse 9, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. So let me just read the verse. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. And here I think specifically he's talking to his audience, to those Christians who were scattered abroad that he's addressing. But I think just more generally, we can take a step back and say, yeah, I mean, this is why the final judgment has not happened.
Because God is still drawing his people in from every nation, tribe, and tongue, bringing them to repentance and faith through Jesus Christ. And so this should comfort us. This should encourage us. I think just knowing God's kindness toward his people, God's patience towards his people, and it should spurn us on to repentance, to truly following the Lord. And so there's your answer, Tim. This is specifically written to the Christians that he's addressing, but I think that we can give a broader application. as well. God bless.
is that could actually do more harm than good. And over the weekend, we received voicemail messages from three women who actually wanted to comment on your response to that listener. So here are those three voicemail messages. And I just think that that is one of the most important times that a person does need to go back and apologize. That does not mean that they have a relationship again. That doesn't mean they're reconciled. It means that the person who desecrated the image of God has recognized they're wrong and making it right for the best that they can. It would mean a lot to me if the person who abused me emailed me, or called me, or sent me a letter, or whatever, and said, hey, what I did was really wrong, and I'm sorry. And if they want to make it right, they can pay me back for the hours of my life I spent in therapy. But after assault, there is healing and redemption. Amanda, I wanted to say thank you for speaking your words of wisdom and encouragement.
Coming from a victim of sexual abuse, it caught me off guard, definitely, having my offender come to my front door. Thank you for your time. Yeah, my name is Sharon.
I don't have a question. I just have a comment on the caller who was from AA about death number nine. I have been sexually abused my entire childhood on into adulthood.
And if my uncle had come to me and apologized, it would have made a huge difference in my life. So, survivors of abuse, I'm just so grateful that they called in and shared their thoughts. I want to pray right now for them, and also for all of you who are listening, and you've experienced sexual abuse, any kind of abuse, but you're a survivor. I want to pray for you that the Lord would grant healing and grace and guidance. Father, for our sisters who called in, Lord, for Bethany, for Amanda, for all those who are listening right now, Lord, who have experienced this terrible trauma, this being sinned against in this way, we ask Lord God Almighty for your hand of mercy and healing.
Lord, we know that it's a process, Lord. We know that these kinds of traumas, Lord, take time to heal and to get restoration. Lord, we know that you are the God who is able to do that, and so I pray for all those listening right now asking that you and your mercy would work in their lives, that you would bring that healing, that you would strengthen them, Lord, and give wisdom to your church. We know that this is something that is such a big issue, Lord God, in the world, but also in the church, and so we pray for wisdom for pastors and church leaders, Lord, as they seek to protect the flock and to care for all the sheep in our churches. Would you bless these women, Lord, and would you bless all those listening right now who need your help and your healing in this area?
In Jesus' name, amen. I just, again, so appreciate those three voices that we heard, and the question I was responding to initially, somebody was calling and saying, well, do I have to go and reconcile with this person that I've sinned against? They weren't talking in the call specifically that we answered about sexual abuse, but I did want to say, look, if you're an abuser, you don't want to just sort of show up on your victim's doorstep, this person who has already been through so much trauma and pain. And part of the issue here is, especially with sexual abusers, with predators, they can and will use all sorts of tactics, anything that they can, to get a sort of window into the lives of others, to get control, to exercise control, even apologies. And so sometimes if one strategy isn't working for manipulation and control, they'll switch it up, and it can look really good, it can look really sincere. And I just want to be careful with that.
I want to make sure that we're not encouraging that or providing room for that. But at the same time, I think that it is true that there is hope and repentance, that the Holy Spirit can really work in an individual's life so that they're grieved and convicted by their sins. And they long to express, okay, I need to say, this was horrible, what I've done, please forgive me. Now, is the best approach showing up at a person's house?
No, I don't think so. I think maybe something like a letter could be helpful. And different people, especially survivors of abuse, are going to receive that differently. And so there's a sensitivity factor there. I think true and genuine repentance looks like not trying to exercise any control in situations where you're saying, well, now you need to treat me differently because I've asked for your forgiveness, or now you need to let me back into your life. Again, that's one of the ways abusers will try to manipulate and steer the situation. And so very complex, very complex and very difficult situations, but I think we can hold on to two things. One, first and foremost, we need to care for survivors of abuse. We need to focus on healing resources within the church because the fact of the matter is that people in our churches who are devastated by this, we just don't talk about it enough. One of the resources we often will point to here at Core Christianity is GRACE. GRACE stands for Godly Response to Abuse in a Christian Environment.
The website is netgrace.org. And they have some really helpful resources, even resources for churches, trainings for churches dealing with this, but also just wonderful resources for survivors in terms of finding healing and help. And so very complex, Bill, wouldn't you say? And it's not easy to just sort of give one answer, but I really want to make sure that we're not encouraging or providing an open door for abusers to kind of get a foothold again into those relationships. Man, I commend you for your answer there, Adriel, and you're right.
There's no it's no one size fits all in this situation. And oftentimes for a victim, if they've been through therapy, if they've got to come to a point of forgiveness, that's different from someone who maybe has never experienced that. So I think obviously there were very different responses. And I'm glad you pointed out to the gentleman who originally called was not talking about sexual abuse.
He was saying he was struggling because AA says, yes, go and make your apology unless it could retraumatize or hurt the person where he says, well, the Bible seems to say I should always go and try to repent and make restitution. So, yeah, it's it's it's really a difficult issue. And I I'm really glad you addressed it from the full perspective because it needs to be. And I'm sure there are many people listening today would say they have different opinions on that.
Yeah. And can I just say to survivors, there truly is hope and healing. And I mean, obviously, like I mentioned, you know, there's a process getting getting care, having just even the conversation. We need to open up about this more within the church and provide a space for people to process, get people the help that they need, whether that's therapy. But boy, wouldn't that be wonderful if churches, you know, if the deacons of the church started helping to pay for that kind of therapy for members of the church who would experience this kind of of trauma. But there is hope in Christ, true hope for healing and restoration and and just for for the experience of the grace of God for you. One of the actually books that we also recommend written by a friend of mine named Justin Holcomb called Rid of My Disgrace. And it's it's written for survivors, sort of processing through these things and thinking about how the gospel applies to these situations. I just want to plug that book as well.
Thanks for that. This is core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Yes, we do tackle some tough topics on this program, and we're always open to your questions about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, how your Christian walk intersects with what's happening in the world around us.
We are always open to that. Here's the phone number to call. It's eight three three the core.
That's one eight three three eight four three twenty six seventy three. Of course, you can always send us an email as well at questions at core Christianity dot com. Well, we provide some great Bible studies here at the core. We want to tell you about one of the newest ones today.
That's right, Bill. We're offering our Bible study on the Book of Philippians. I wrote this study some some time ago is actually sort of based off of a sermon series that I did. And at the heart of the Book of Philippians is suffering and joy.
I mean, we're just talking about some of the some of the intense and horrible things that we can experience as the people of God, the suffering that we can experience. And Paul is speaking into some of that in this in this book in the Book of Philippians. And so we hope that you'll get a hold of this resource. It's it's a resource that we believe will encourage you in your walk with the Lord and help you dig deeper into the Book of Philippians. It's a 10 week study, great for individual study, but also good for for a group Bible study. If that's what you're interested in, you can get a hold of it for a donation of twenty dollars or more. You might be looking for something for your Sunday school class or your small group.
This would be a great option. You can learn more by going to core Christianity dot com forward slash new study again, core Christianity dot com forward slash new study to find that that study on Philippians that Adriel himself wrote. Well, let's go back to the phones.
Roy is on the line calling in from Texas. Roy, what's your question for Adriel? OK, the question I have from Ephesians chapter four, verse five, say one Lord, one faith, one baptism. Now, I was approached by a young lady who she was baptized as a child.
She said she hardly remembers. So that was her mother's decision when she got baptized. And she the question she has is she should get rebaptized now that she understands what the gospel is all about.
Roy, thank you for that question. Of course, this is this is one of those questions that you're going to hear different answers depending on who you ask, because this this question, the question of baptism and proper baptism is is divisive within the church. I mean, there are some people who say, yeah, until you fully understand and you truly believe you shouldn't be baptized. And there are others who say, well, just like in the Old Testament, how the children of believers were included in the, quote unquote, church family, the covenant community. You know, they were given the signs of the covenant, like circumcision under the old covenant. Well, in the same way, the children of believers or even one believing parent, Paul says in First Corinthians chapter seven, are treated as holy. That is not not regenerated, not just saved because their parents are believers, but in some sense, they're set apart by the Lord, holy, a part of the covenant community again.
And so that that's my view. I would say that if a person has been baptized, that they've been baptized. And if they were baptized into the Christian church as a child, you know, a part of the the quote unquote covenant family baptized in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, you may not understand all of that.
You don't understand all of that at that point. But baptism is not so much about us and what we do in our understanding. It's about what God is doing. It's about God extending his promises to us.
And we lay hold of those promises by faith. And so if you come to faith later in life, you were baptized as a child, but you really come to believe in Jesus when you're a teenager or an adult. It's not that your baptism, I would say, was invalid. It's that now you're laying hold of those very real promises that God extended to you in your baptism.
Your baptism is was was valid legit because it's it's legitimate through the word of Christ, through God himself, the promise of God's word. And so and so, no, I wouldn't say that they need to do this again. One thing that could be helpful, though, is if they've come to a place and I think this is the right thing to do, if they've come to a place where they're they're really coming to terms with the truth of scripture, with the claims of Christ, with the gospel, and they've embraced it. I think making a public profession of faith is a really important thing and a good thing. And maybe would give this friend a sense of that that sort of thing that they that they want to do, that longing to stand up and saying and say, I'm following Jesus.
I think that that would be a good thing. But but again, at least from my perspective, it sounds like this friend has been baptized if it was done according to the word of God. And so they wouldn't need to go and and try to do this again to try to, you know, conjure up this experience or because they feel like they really get it now. They'll lay hold of the promises that God has already given to you in your baptism. And so thank you for that question, Roy. God bless. One follow up for you, Adriel, you've mentioned this before, if someone was baptized in some tradition that is not truly Christianity, it's a different story, isn't it?
Yeah. And so that would be like if they were baptized in the Mormon Church or something like that, or as a Jehovah's Witness or baptized not in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, then I would say, OK, that's not done according to the word of God. So I think that they haven't actually been baptized to begin with and would need to be baptized. And so that's that's an important qualification, Bill. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.
Let's go to Mike, who's calling in from Arkansas. Mike, what's your question for Adriel? My question is, I was reading my devotional this morning and I was reading Isaiah 46, 10, and it says, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying my purpose will be established and I will accomplish all my good pleasure. I'm not really understanding that. I'm wondering if you could take and clear that up for me a little bit.
I'd love to. And you know, believe it or not, Mike, this is one of my favorite verses in all of the Bible, in one sense because it's God saying, look, I am God and here's how you can know. Here's how you can be sure, at least one way that you can be sure. I'm going to tell you the end from the beginning and from ancient times things that have not yet been done. In other words, I'm going to lay human history out for you.
I'm going to tell you what happens before it happens. And of course, this is what we sometimes refer to as Bible prophecy. Now here specifically in these chapters of Isaiah, it's God speaking about how he's going to use a man named Cyrus for the blessing and deliverance of his people.
So this is a prophecy, we believe, that happened prior to these events and God saying, I'm going to do something, you're going to see it be fulfilled, and you're going to know that I'm the Lord. And over and over again in scripture, God does this. No other book, I think, does this. Quran does not do this. Other quote-unquote holy books do not do this because they're not inspired by the Holy Spirit.
God himself, the author of history, the one who created all things and is bringing all things to completion, to new creation, is able to do this. And again, this is just one example here, God speaking about Cyrus specifically. But you think about the many prophecies related to Jesus Christ, to the suffering servant. We're going to go forward to Isaiah 53, where it talks about the sufferings of the Messiah, Jesus.
And so you see this over and over again. So a few things, one, this speaks to what distinguishes our God from the idols of the world. And actually, that's the point earlier in Isaiah chapter 46. Isaiah 46, one, Bel bows down, Nebo stoops, their idols are on beasts and livestock. These things you carry are born as burdens on weary beasts. They stoop, they bow down together. They cannot save the burden, but themselves go into captivity.
And then listen to how beautiful this is. Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been born by me from before your birth, carried from the womb. Even to your old age, I am he, and to your gray hairs, I will carry you. I have made and I will bear, I will carry and will save.
The idols of the world are not true gods. They have to be born up. We have to carry them. We have to set them up.
They can't do anything to provide for us rest. And the true God says, look, you have to carry them. You have to bear that load, that burden, your idolatry. I am the God who carries my people. And you know how you can know that this is true, that I'm set apart from any other god? I'm going to tell you the end from the beginning, and from ancient times, things that are not yet done. And so that's precisely what the Lord is doing there, Mike, in Isaiah chapter 46. And it should just cause us to marvel the majesty of God, the goodness of God, the fact that He condescends in one sense to us and makes these arguments, demonstrating to us who He is and why He can be trusted. Thanks for your question.
So well said. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Josh from Nebraska. Josh, thanks for holding on so long. What's your question for Adriel?
Hi, Adriel. Just want to say thank you for your ministry. And I wanted to ask, so I heard a message last week about how angels don't get the same opportunity as us humans with salvation, being able to see and have forgiveness from Christ. But I was wondering, what about fallen angels? Do they have the opportunity, if they were to repent, be saved? Yeah, excellent question.
I believe that the answer is no. So the angels that have fallen are destined to destruction, to doom. You do have some language related to this in places like 2 Peter and Jude, the angels being reserved for judgment, for punishment. But the reality is, and the reason I think that this is the case, is because Christ or God the Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity, who assumed human flesh, came as the Christ, as the Messiah, for our sins, for the deliverance of fallen humanity, not for the deliverance of fallen angels. So for example, Hebrews chapter 2 verse 14 says, Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself, that is Jesus, likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham.
Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God to make propitiation for the sins of the people. What people? You and me, us, fallen humanity sinners. And so that's the great hope that we have. Josh, it's not a hope that the angels have.
They're going to be judged and justly condemned. But we have, you have hope, brothers and sisters, not through anything that we do, we've fallen and sinned, but through the propitiation, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, to forgive all of our sins and to give us communion with the true and living God. 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.
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