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Can God Still Work Through Unbiblical Church Practices?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
October 4, 2022 4:22 pm

Can God Still Work Through Unbiblical Church Practices?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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October 4, 2022 4:22 pm

Episode 1068 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

 

Questions in this Episode

 

1. How can I draw near to God while I am struggling with sexual sin?

2. Are practices like altar calls biblical?

3. How should we understand church history in light of Matthew 16:18?

4. Will I be able to recognize my wife in heaven?

5. Is the Spiritual Formation movement biblical?

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Our practices like altar calls biblical.

That's just one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity will hi this is Bill Meyer along with Pastor Israel Sanchez and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day.

Would love to hear from you and our phone lines are open right now. Here's the phone number 833. The core 833.core, you can call us for the next 25 minutes or so. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites and course you can watch a drill live right now on YouTube. We have a YouTube channel. You can send him your question that way you're always welcome to email us at questions@corechristianity.com here's the number one more time 833-843-2673 and let's go to a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners named Sean. I have a question buys what essay will and I think it's awesome for me. My mom both listen to podcasts but anyways I just want to say that interrelationship and you are about to hit three years with my girlfriend and seeing as we had sex and started having sex became a regular thing interrelationship isolate guys like pulling me back but I don't want to keep living for this world, but I want to start looking for him. I don't know how to cut this thing out because every once in a while we keep doing it, even though we had to talk about.

I want to wait.

I just wondered how can I get close to Jesus.

If I'm in a relationship where we were known to have sex the thoughts of insecurity kinda plays a role mail and save animals like the way because it's fair that she's going to be cheating on me, but I don't want to have this constant stress I want to listen to him at the same time think US Sean well one man. Thank you for your encouragement, grateful that that the broadcast is a blessing for you and for your mother and my heart just goes out to Bremen. This is a real serious situation. I can tell that you want to honor God that you're feeling drawn to the Lord but but this is something that you're still still participating are doing in in this relationship and so a couple of things. Man first. You know that this is a sin and we have to take sin very seriously in our lives as Christians because it keeps us from communion with God and with the body of Christ. And so we have to be very wise here. You need to be wise here and mature and this is what God calls you to two passages of Scripture I want I want to read to the first one is in first Thessalonians chapter 4 verse three.

Here is this is the will of God, your sanctification, what is that mean Paul says that you abstain from sexual immorality, that each one of you know how to work and how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God that no one transgress and run his brother in this matter because the Lord is an adventure in all these things as we told you before hand and solemnly warned you forgot is not called us for impurity but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you was.

Here's what God calls you to. This is the will of God for you Sean your your purity that you would abstain from sexual immorality. The other text I wanted it just the expectation that that the apostle Paul gives to Timothy in second Timothy chapter 2 verse 22 so flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart and so it was this what were called. It is what your Gaultier called to flee from youthful passions to abstain from sexual immorality and to pursue together with the body of Christ. All those who call upon the name of the Lord righteousness, faith, love and peace. And insofar as this relationship is keeping you from doing that you you really do need to ask that question is this is this the right relationship for me. Now if this this person that you're with is not a Christian and I would just say no you're not supposed to be with somebody who doesn't profess faith in Christ.

If they profess faith in Christ but aren't at all interested in in following the Lord, and if you have these conversations they think would ever again right but you really need to take a step back and and and ask yourself is this honoring the Lord if it's not well I need to and you take that seriously to take my walk with the Lord seriously and so just just one other thing that I would add as well as a relationship that depends on sinful behavior is not pleasing to the Lord are honoring to God. You. You said you know I'm afraid that if we abstain if we just stop doing this that maybe she'll shall go and be with somebody else or shall cheat on me and that that's that's not the healthier a healthy foundation for relationship that's not wanting to look so that might be your answer right there. It's very clear just from that that this is this is not the right thing.

Now if this person is wanting to pursue Christ and says yeah you know what this is saying we need to repent of this get accountability and and honor the Lord honor each other well I think I think there's hope if that's not the case brother think you know what you need to do and so may the Lord give you strength to do that and be with you Sean, thank you for reaching out to us, man. Such a tough situation and I know there's a lot of young people that are in similar situations like I can't recall if John mentioned that they are living together, but I think that right there moving out fighting, separate living spaces is probably a good first step away. Yeah, I mean if if that's the case, and I didn't get that that vibe from Sean's question. Just seem like there interrelationship in and they are doing things they should be doing because they're not married and so that's clearly a sin coming so that's that's clear that there is not a hard question there. The question is are they wanting to walk in repentance walk in the light pursue the Lord if they're not at this other person isn't and then you hide them and you should just not you guys should break up plan and you should pursue the Lord with all your heart and so difficult.

Definitely difficult. But honestly the most difficult thing I think Bill is when we reject God's word and and when we continue to pursue those things we know or are not honoring to the Lord and ultimately will will create pain down the road for us in our relationships and so that's a difficult thing and that's why we we need to pursue Christ in repentance some really good counsel thinks Benadryl you're listening to core Christianity with Pastor Israel Sanchez. Maybe you have a question about something in your life that's been you're been struggling with. Or maybe you have a question about the Bible or doctrine or theology something in Scripture that maybe you find confusing or you're wondering how you should apply this to your own situation. We would love to hear from you. Here's the number it's 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673. Our phone lines are open right now will be taking your calls here for the next 15 minutes so jump on the phone right now. Here's a voicemail from one of our listeners that called in earlier this week after a girl show.

My question concerns altar calls and raising a hand in your life to Christ.

I get the first question would be our those methods on biblical note, the pastor and biting those to come up to be saved or let's all bow our head and closed her eyes breaker and it you invited Jesus into your heart are both those on biblical and then kind of a second question from that and God will use "fallen techniques or poor techniques to bring people to himself, thank you so that the second part of that question. Can God use churches less a churches that may be when it comes to the worship or the way in which they approach some of these things is is not totally in line with what the Scripture teaches them and that they're getting some things right.

Other things not right got so use them. I would say absolutely anywhere where Christ is being preached the word of God is being taught. I think that the spirit of God works in and with that, and so in our worship might not be ordered. The way in which Scripture says it should be ordered and you know the sad reality is in so many churches just not something that people are passionate about her people think through and so II think that we do see this and in many churches. Nevertheless, if the word of God is being communicated the spirit of God is able and does work in the lives of the people that are there and so that's something that we give thanks to God for that, that the spirit of God is still at work now with regard to the practices that you mention specifically said you know what about altar calls. You know that the pastor or any of the Sunday service and the pastor of the service says okay you know if you feel like you want to make a decision for Jesus wanted to come on up and and and pray and ask Jesus into your heart that kind of thing that's that's not something that we do at at my church of the knee. Don't see that example I think in in the New Testament per se. And so my concern with it is that people will will tied together.

There their conversion experience with what I said this prayer. I asked Jesus into my heart there almost as a sort of formula for salvation in, and that's where I think that there's a problem. Certainly there's nothing wrong with inviting people to pray and to confess their sins to God and to ask God to come into their lives. I think I think that's fine I think is just my concern is is with our are these people thinking will. If I do this if I say this prayer I'm good. And then there not been discipled. They're not joining churches or becoming a part of churches you know they just went to some Crusade or something like that. Paul is very clear in Romans chapter 10 he says the word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart that is the word of faith we proclaim, because if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified and with the mouth one confesses and is saved to the question is what is being preached. First and foremost, what is being believed siding that's that's the first thing is the gospel being clearly communicated. If it is the spirit works together with the word creating faith in the heart of an individual so that they believe and profess faith in Jesus Christ and they need to walk up to the altar or to the Lido to the, the Chancellor, wherever you knowing in your trip to they do that no they they they don't have to do that but I think I think we need to make sure that were preaching the word faithfully the word of God is going out and that these these individuals have that and then can respond in faith and so that again.I praise God that even though there are un-biblical practices that happen now and I'm not talking about you dislike a rejection of the word. I'm just a warship. Not being ordered the way that it should be. We praise God, even though that's the case, the spirit of God is still able to work even in those churches and I think I think many of us can say yeah you know what when I first came to Christ.

I was a part of this or that tradition and have continued to grow and in seeing how the Lord is worked in my life but but we used to do some strange things tradition and yet the Lord was still really present and working in my life at that time, and we praise God for that. So, I meant this is the core Christianity program with pastor Israel Sanchez and we love to hear from you. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life that you can email us anytime or leave us a voicemail.

Here's our email address. It questions at core, Christianity.com and if you want to leave us a voicemail. The number is 1-833-843-2673, one of the major concerns in our society today is depression and we mentioned before depression affects Christians to today we want to offer you a brand-new free resource on the topic of depression. A bill you know one of the unique things about Christianity is that in Jesus we have a Lord and Savior, who weeps Scripture described him as a man with sorrow stricken with grief, the Bible of the addresses depression actually in in various places gives examples of others who have suffered like us, it gives us the language to talk about our troubles and true, and comforting answers for our difficult questions naturally made this new free resource called three biblical ways to fight depression in this resource we guide you through biblical patterns for how to think and address depression in our lives. I had a thing that our feelings, our bodies why depression can't be prayed away any symptoms or that in the church today and how God wants us to bring our depression and our sorrows to him. He's not afraid of our tears. Actually, he promises to wipe them away one day and so if you have a loved one struggles with depression. If you struggle with depression get a hold of this resource over core, Christianity.com. This is such an excellent resource for this is real significant issue and would love to get this in your hands.

It's absolutely free. You can go to our website at core, Christianity.com/offers again core Christianity.com/offers to download three biblical ways to fight depression only to receive emails here at core, Christianity, and you can send us one with your question anytime there's our email address its questions at core, Christianity.com. Alan wrote to us and said Jesus told us, and I tell you you are Peter on this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it in Matthew 16. How should we understand the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. As Protestants in light of the history of the church from the first century onwards, the Reformation and the. Just prior to the Reformation. Interesting question about church history.

Yeah. So I think what are our brother is getting at there with that question is you know if the Reformation didn't happen until much later in anything of the 16th century, well, does that mean that the gospel was lost for 1500 years that the gates of hell really did prevail against the church and you sometimes hear Roman Catholic apologists will make this claim to say what you need or like you guys came around so much. Later where was the gospel where was your church during all that time and are some people who are reading a really troubled by by this argument well what what Protestants of said historically is not of the Gospels is totally lost or extinguished during that time, but that you know over over time as as corruption entered into the church. It was not communicated as as clearly as it should've been, as it was in the days of the apostle does mean that the gospel was lost in the spirit of God was not working that we were just answering that question earlier about the fact that even even with churches that have worship practices to that don't line up with God's word, the spirit of God is still able to work there. Christ is is still present insofar as the word of God is being taught, preached, proclaimed it, so that is a great comfort that we have is I don't think that we think will that the and of the gospel just lost. There are some groups that say this, the Mormon church. For example, rightly built their entire theology on this idea that that all churches were were apostate had rejected the truth and that the gospel needed to be recovered.

There needed to be another Testament of Jesus Christ. Dan and I would I would go to a place like me to Matthew's gospel. There were Jesus is to build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against and say look what you're saying is not true with the Mormon church is not saying is with the Mormon church is saying is not true, but what what we say is Protestants is not that the gospel was forever lost, or that the church was extinguished during all that time were just which is grappling with the reality of the fact that the churches can grow corrupt. It's a week. We constantly need to go back to the word that we the spirit of God to reform our hearts are churches our minds to be faithful to Scripture and so that's what I was seven.

We can have confidence in the word of God and the fact that God is going to continue to work through the word throughout throughout history as he promised. But that doesn't mean that there there aren't churches that grow corrupt particular churches that grow corrupt and that doesn't mean that there are seasons and haven't been seasons of church history where there was a lot of corruption and so Alan, thank you for that question of perspective. Thanks for that integral this is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life doctrine, theology, or maybe even some doubts about the Christian faith were open to your questions. 1-833-843-2673.

That's 833.core let's go to Anthony calling in from Illinois Anthonys what your question for Israel.

Yes, I my wife just passed away last year of Alzheimer's. She's with the Lord. She's got a total memory and she is a new body with her and neither seeking to know when I pass away and go with the Lord is not going to know each other as husband and wife are at least friends and be able to give her a good hug and together hug Christ has any. I'm sorry to hear about your wife's death, I do believe that according to Scripture, we will know our loved ones who have died in the Lord and were in the presence of the Lord and were perfected in holiness and I do think we will be able to up to recognize each other and then those who have gone before us like our spouses and so I think that that's something that Ms. is not explicit but you know Jesus talks about, you know, people coming to sit down in the kingdom of God with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob coming in the book of Revelation, you know, John sees the souls of the martyrs beneath the altar and know what that looks like per se right there, but their disembodied there there there is, isn't that the resurrection yet but somehow you still able to recognize and see these people inside that that we are going to have this awareness, the sense of each other memory so on and so forth and so II think you do have that hope and what I hope that is that we have not just to see our loved ones but but even more than that I'm to be in the presence of the Lord, the one who loves us and has redeemed us and so yes you will you will get that reunion that that you long for and let me just pray for you that the Lord would grant you his comfort in these days as you mourn the death of your wife. Lord I pray for Anthony, thank you Lord that even though we sorrow Lord we don't have to sorrow and grievous those who have no hope.

We are not hopeless in our tears morning is good and and right but Lord, we know that we don't mourn in such a way that we don't have hope. And so we we have the hope of your son Jesus and the resurrection. We thank you for that and I pray that in these days as Anthony looks to you that he would be comforted. Lord, that that he would continue to be strengthened in his faith, and that you would guide him in use him, Lord, in this new season of life that he's in, as he is. He continues to seek you and experience your grace be with our brother. We pray in Jesus name Amen amen Anthony, thanks for your call and thanks for listing the core Christianity. We do grieve with you for the loss of your wife. By the way, if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life and you have been able to call in on this program well working to be recording a second episode of core Christianity here after the live program ends so you can actually call us for the next 35 minutes or so with your question.

At 833-843-2673. That's 833. The core we would love to hear from you. Let's go to Michael in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Michael, what's your question for Israel hi Ariel, my name is Michael and my question is spiritual formation movement biblical after much research, I found that the church is divided on it. Some say is rooted in mysticism and paganism, while others say it harmless as long as it's rooted in the word of God and am hoping that you can unpack the formation thank you Mike on my go back to just to get some more clarification in terms of what you mean. Specifically, when you say spiritual formation because I think I mean, there's a sense in which we can say all of us are being shaped into the image of Jesus Christ. We sometimes refer to this is sanctification that daily growing in grace through the means of grace through the gifts that God gives to us to work the word of God. Prayer, so on and so forth. That's all it so it just depends on how were defining it. How would you define it or see it.

Specifically, Michael Fenton go back to.

I backing away use.

But, you know, as a result of a ministry by Dallas Willard and others that are associated with spiritual formation. I'm wondering on those ministries another ministry similar to it, offering this resources and retreats for legitimate yeah well look, let, let me just say I'm not. I'm not super familiar with with what he's doing what's going on at these retreats.

I mean obviously like I think time spent in the word, reflecting upon meditating upon the word of God is is clear so I would just say be discerning asked yourself are are the dark are the things that are being encouraged. Here is what is were talking about spiritual formation are these things that are rooted in Scripture when we talking about growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ prayer right seeking God through prayer, that offering up of our desires to the Lord for those things that are in accordance with his will with the thankful acknowledgment of his mercy is repentance new confession of our sins is is that what's being talked about. And if that's what's being encouraged then then I would say I'm all for it. Man that that that's what we need to be doing.

We need to be in the word we need to be praying we need to be growing in the grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

But I've also seen instances in and not talking about Dallas Willard specifically here, but just just you know another context where you know people will kinda get into these into the go to these retreats and whatnot and in the focus is not so much. God's word, sound doctrine, teaching time in prayer even guided prayer book, but something else and so that's where I think you just need to be discerning and I and it sounds like you are and so I think is as you spend more time looking at this and and testing it on the basis of Scripture.

Just just you don't think think through you know it would would this be good for my spiritual development and growth or or not and and so all of a sudden needs to exercise wisdom, at least as far as this is concerned and and may God bless you and be with you as you do that is the true you do Gregorian chants of your church on Sundays.

No, just thought on my own in the shower is just a man I love and want to continue to grow as as their studying Scripture and in were thinking about prayer and incorporating we all want to be doing that brothers and sisters and so may the Lord bless you and thanks for listening. Thanks for listening core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer. Visit us at core, Christianity.com and click on offers and the menu or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833 when you contact us. Please let us know how you 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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