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Does God Withhold Blessing from Us If We Sin?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
October 5, 2022 1:30 pm

Does God Withhold Blessing from Us If We Sin?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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October 5, 2022 1:30 pm

Episode 1069 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

  1. Does a Christian need to be re-baptized if they were first baptized in the LDS church?
  2. What does it mean to have the elders in church "watch over our souls"?
  3. Does God withhold blessings from me if I'm living in sin?
  4. Why are there differing interpretations of Scripture if there's one Spirit?

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Does God withhold blessing us if we sin? 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, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. We'd love to hear from you. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2676. If you get our voicemail, feel free to leave a message and we'll review that later in the day. And also, you can post your question on one of our social media sites or email us anytime with your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com.

First up today, let's go to Deb, who's calling in from Missouri. Deb, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Yes, this is just a question that kind of goes along with the lady that called in about her husband and herself being re-baptized, leaving that particular church and going to another church, and they were kind of requested to be re-baptized. And when you were sharing with them, you kind of singled out the Mormon and the Jewish, that if it was one of those, that yes, they should be re-baptized. I understand the Jewish.

Using that as an example, I understand that. But I was wondering what you know about Mormons, that if they were Mormon, that they need to be re-baptized. Yeah, Deb, thank you for that question.

Can I just follow up really briefly? Are you a part of the LDS Church? No, I am not, but I know I have friends who are. I know a lot of the history of the Mormon Church. So I was just questioning what you know about their baptism and their belief behind baptism and the sacrament itself and how they do it.

Yeah. Thank you so much for that question. I've had several Mormon friends, close friends throughout my ministry, who were just wonderful. And we would have conversations, as you could imagine, about Mormon theology, Mormon doctrine of God, Mormon doctrine of this sacraments. And so on a previous broadcast, someone called in, and they were being told by the Church that they were trying to join that they needed to be baptized again. They had already been baptized, I think it was in a Baptist Church or something like that. And so they were wondering, well, what do we do?

Do we need to go through this again? And I said, no, you've already been baptized. Now, had you been baptized in a group like the Mormon Church or in a church like the Mormon Church, then I would say you do need to be baptized again. And the reason for that is that even though the Mormon Church baptizes in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, in terms of Mormon theology, doctrine of God, who they profess Jesus to be, the Father to be, the Holy Spirit to be, is very different from what the Church has said for 2,000 years. And I would say it's very different from what the Bible teaches. They use a lot of the same words that the Christian Church uses, like grace, like salvation, like baptism in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, but it's the way in which they define those words and phrases that make them problematic.

It's something that you're doing as an individual. Well, in the Bible, baptism is not so much primarily an action of man, something that we do. It's God's word and promises washing over us.

Now, we respond to that. We experience the grace of God through holy baptism. We do pursue the Lord and seek to walk in holiness and in peace.

But I would say that they get things upside down, at least in terms of backwards, in terms of the focus. The focus in Mormonism is baptism is this pledge that you're making to God to follow him in Christianity. What the Church has always said, no, this is first and foremost God speaking to his people, God acting through the minister and extending his gospel promises objectively to believers and to their children even. So there's a big difference there, but I would say the bigger difference and why I would encourage anyone who had been baptized in the Mormon Church to pursue, I think, a sound church, a biblical church, and be truly baptized according to scripture in that church is because the Mormon Church, despite using a lot of the same terminology of the Christian faith, redefines it. That's what makes it so confusing. I'll just be honest.

Personally, I think it's flat out deceptive in many ways. What's interesting is when Mormonism starts, they very much started with this sort of vision of, look, all the churches out there are apostate. There are no more true churches. The gospel has been lost.

It needs to be recovered. There are all sorts of issues with this, by the way. But that was the idea, and they sort of set themselves against all the Christian churches. Now, years later, it's interesting to me because I feel like they've really changed, the Mormon churches change or LDS have changed their tactic. Everybody else is apostate, and it's, no, we're just sort of Christians like you are. We talk about grace and the Heavenly Father and Jesus and so on and so forth.

So it's almost been a PR shift, really, in recent days. But nevertheless, there are deep theological issues that make the Mormon Church not a true church. And so if someone was baptized in the Mormon Church, they weren't truly baptized according to scripture, they would find a true church where the gospel is faithfully preached, where Christ, as he reveals himself in his word, is proclaimed, and where they can receive the means of grace and the promises of the gospel truly. And that's not to say that the Mormon Church doesn't do good things in the world and that Mormons are bad people or something like that.

No, it's just doctrinally, theologically, there are serious, serious issues. And so, Deb, thank you for that question, and may the Lord bless you. Just to follow up, based on Deb's question, Adriel, can you just briefly talk about how the Mormon Church views Jesus?

Yeah. Well, they have a—I mean, it's sort of interesting, right? In many ways, you know, you talk to a Mormon and they talk to you about Jesus, and so Jesus is the Savior. It's through his atoning work that we experience forgiveness. There's an emphasis in Mormonism on the atonement of Christ having taken place in the Garden of Gethsemane, sort of interesting focus on the Garden of Gethsemane there. But there's also all sorts of just strange things. Like, in one sense, they would say that Jesus is the literal Son. I mean, when we talk about Jesus being the eternal Son of God, there's some sense in which they view that in a very creaturely way, Jesus being the literal Son of Heavenly Father and a sibling of Lucifer, if you will, a brother of Satan.

Just all sorts of strange things, frankly. And those aren't things that the Mormon Church will lead with. You know, as they're doing evangelism, as they're talking to people, they try to sound very Christian, if you will.

And again, they'll use the jargon. But when you really start to dig beneath the surface and look at their theological statements, doctrines, things that they've said over the years, you realize, okay, there's a lot of strange things here that are not in line with what the Church has said for 2,000 years. And some of those things are indeed related to Jesus.

And here's the thing. I know I'm going long on this, but brothers and sisters, the Apostle Paul said that even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. I'm concerned for you, he wrote to the Corinthians and 2 Corinthians, that if somebody comes along and preaches another Jesus, you might receive that other Jesus, that other spirit. There are people who preach a different Jesus. And I think the Mormon Church is a group that does that. And so we need to be discerning.

And I think it's why it's so good for us to spend time on a question like that. And Deb, if you would hang on the line for a second, we'd love to send you a copy of our book, Core Christianity by Dr. Michael Horton, which will help explain some of those core doctrines of the Christian faith as you're talking to your Mormon friends, this would be a great opportunity to maybe help them discern what's true and what's not. Let's go back to the phones here at Core Christianity. Lynn is on the line from Sioux City, Iowa. And Lynn, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Good afternoon. I'm calling.

Thank you for taking my call. I have a question regarding the previous episode that talked about being a church member and it talks about the elders having to watch over the souls of those in the church. And I'm trying to understand what that actually means to watch over their souls. What are they responsible for? Because I believe there's a lot of overreach in some congregations of what that elder's job would actually be. Love this question, Lynn.

Thank you. So the language of watching over souls comes from Hebrews chapter 13 verse 17. Obey your leaders and submit to them for they are keeping watch over your souls as those who will have to give an account.

Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. Elders, insofar as they're overseeing, watching over the souls of people, they're sometimes referred to as bishops in the New Testament. And so specifically there, I think the focus is on watching out for doctrinal error, moral issues that creep into, compromise that creeps into the life of the church.

I mean, you read the letters that Jesus wrote to the churches in the book of Revelation, churches in Asia Minor, Revelation chapters 2 and 3, and it's clear that there are all sorts of things that threaten the church. Compromise with the culture, compromise with sin, compromise doctrinally. And so it's the job of elders to be vigilant and watch out for the people who have been entrusted to them, making sure that they're caring for them, that they're not being led astray into heresy and to false teaching. Part of the way they do that is by teaching sound doctrine, by caring for them, visiting them.

I think a great passage of scripture to go to is Ezekiel 34, where God is rebuking the false shepherds in Israel, and he highlights all the things that they're not doing, and in highlighting the things that they're not doing, it's really interesting because he's pointing out the things that they should have been doing. So Ezekiel 34, the word of the Lord came to me, son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, even to the shepherds, thus says the Lord God, ah, shepherds of Israel, who have been feeding yourselves. Should not shepherds feed the sheep? Now, what do elders feed the sheep with? With sound doctrine, with the gospel, with good theology. Should not you have been feeding the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought. And with force and harshness, you have ruled them. Good elders are not harsh and forceful and ruling with a heavy hand, if you will. They're loving, they're caring, they're servants, they're trying to instill sound doctrine in the people that they're shepherding. When somebody goes astray, they pursue them. Hey, you haven't been in church for five weeks.

You just want to check in, is everything okay with your family? Those kinds of things. And so that's what we're called to. And so as elders in the church, overseeing the church, keeping watch over the souls of the people who are entrusted to us, I think that's at the heart of it is ministering the word of God and pursuing those who are in need. But Lynn, there are instances of overreach. Our job as elders is ministerial, meaning we're ministering, I would say, the word of God. We're not making new rules and binding people's consciences by those rules and trying to control or micromanage their lives. I think that's a real problem in some churches.

And so maybe, Lynn, can I go back to you really quickly? Are you thinking of something specific, a specific example that concerns you with regard to elders watching over the souls of people? A little bit. I feel that sometimes it's like you're talking about being restrictive. It's almost like we're not supposed to question the authority of the church when, in reality, I think God wants us to question things to know whether it's good or bad. And the other side of it is that when we're all members of one body for a common good, I think we're all on the same, I think you say the ground is level at the foot of the cross, we're all in the same position before Christ.

So we all need to work together for the common good of that church reaching out to share Christ's love with others. And I'm just trying to figure out that balance, how sometimes the rules are made, because sometimes it's just so much rules. And yeah, like I said, sometimes those rules are not rules that are outlined in scripture, so the question is what we should be encouraging the church to walk in is in the truth of God's word and his law. And so encouraging each other in that and holding each other to that, not creating other rules, and as I said, binding people's consciences with those man-made rules that we're inventing for them. So when that's happening, I think there's a serious concern. And so we have to ask ourselves, is what the church is calling me to something that's outlined in scripture, is it just something that they've invented? And if it's something that they've invented, then there's some serious issues there with regard to Christian liberty, liberty of conscience, and I would say there are some serious questions that need to be asked of the leadership in that church. We always want to approach, I mean, when we have questions in our church, we want to approach that with humility, but that doesn't mean that questions are bad.

And so if asking questions or thinking differently is an issue and you feel like anytime you do, you get rebuked and the hammer comes down, I think that, again, that's a concern. I think we want to be able to humbly talk about things, talk about decisions. Hopefully your elders can paint a picture for why we're moving in this direction or why we're doing this.

And here's the biblical rationale, and they're bringing people along in that. And sometimes there are people in the church who are going to say, we don't like that, I feel this way, or I think this would be better. And okay, I understand that, I get that, but we're growing together, and as you said, wanting to labor side by side for the faith of the gospel. And so may the Lord help us all to do that, may he help you to do that in your church, and if there are significant questions that need to be asked, I pray that the Lord gives you grace and wisdom and humility as you approach those questions, and that he also gives the leadership in your church a listening ear and humility and wisdom in these things. And so I appreciate your questions so much, and just thank you for giving us a call. Thanks, Lynn, we appreciate you.

This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We have a huge problem in our culture with depression. So many people, including a lot of teenagers right now, struggling with depression, and sometimes even with suicidal ideation. We actually have a new resource that we have created for the issue of depression.

We'd like to offer that to you today. But you know, one of the unique things about Christianity is that in Jesus Christ, we have a Lord and Savior who wept. I mean, you think about the gospels, right? Scripture describes him as a man of sorrow, stricken with grief. The Bible addresses depression. It gives us examples of others who have suffered like us.

It gives us the language to talk about our troubles throughout the Psalms, for example, and true and comforting answers to our hard questions. That's why we made this free resource, 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, how to think about our feelings, our bodies, why depression can't just be prayed away, and how God wants us to bring our depression and sorrows to him. He's not afraid, brothers and sisters, of our tears.

Actually, he promises to wipe them all away one day. If you have a loved one who wants to learn practical ways to fight depression in their lives, or if this is something that speaks to you, get a hold of this resource at corechristianity.com. This is such an important resource. There's a lot of confusion about depression, and even maybe some Christian views on depression that aren't accurate biblically. We'd like to get this in your hands. Go to corechristianity.com forward slash offers and look for this new resource, Nine or Three Biblical Ways to Fight Depression.

You can also call us for that or any one of our resources at 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners. This is Brandon. Pastor Angel, do my sins cancel out my blessings? More specifically, if I'm, let's say, tithing and, you know, live with my girlfriend and we're sexually active, are my blessings still being blocked as I'm trying to walk with Jesus? That is my question. Brandon, does sin cancel out our blessings?

In a real sense, the answer is yes. A sin, our sins, I don't think can unjustify us or remove us from the gracious grip of God. But we do grieve the Holy Spirit. And if you are a Christian and you're living with your girlfriend right now and you guys are sexually active, you are grieving the Holy Spirit. You are sinning and you need to repent. And if you don't, if you continue to do that, you will reap what you sow. I mean, it's what the apostle Paul says in Galatians.

Don't be deceived. I mean, God is not mocked. We can't continue to live in openly sinful ways and just expect that everything will be fine. No, we're sinning in a grievous way.

And as Paul said to the Corinthians, this sin in particular, you know, fornication is a sin against our own bodies. And so you don't want to sear your conscience. Now, does that mean that you're forever cut off from the blessings of God? No, because you can turn to the Lord and say, God, I am sinning and I don't want to play games anymore. I don't want to presume upon your grace. Like Paul said to the Romans, you know, should we continue in sin that grace may abound?

No way. How could we who have died to sin live any longer in it? And so you need to live into your identity as a Christian, as a baptized follower of Jesus. And you present yourself to God as one who is alive from the dead and your body and the instruments of your body as instruments for righteousness and the service of God. And so, brother, I just want to, I mean, I don't know if you were talking about yourself, but assuming you were, I just want to exhort you in love and say, don't waste any time.

Don't just think, well, I'll change this later. No, like right now, make a change and repent because if you don't, I mean, this is communicating the wrong thing to your girlfriend. Certainly dishonoring the Lord, sinning against the Lord, but you're not in your relationship going to experience blessing because you're walking in sin. And so may God give you grace, the grace to repent and to be faithful to what Jesus has called you to and just know that the gospel is big enough, that the blood of Christ is sufficient for you and that when you turn to him, he washes away your sin and calls you to walk in a manner that is pleasing to you. And so may God give you the help and the grace that you need. And as you walk in the light, may he grant you his blessing.

Some great counsel. Thank you for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, you are always welcome to email us. Here's our email address. It's questionsatcorechristianity.com.

You can also call and leave us a voicemail 24 hours a day at 833-THE-CORE. Betty called in and she has this question. She says, the Bible says we are led by the Holy Spirit. So then why are we led to different interpretations like baptism or communion? Why doesn't he lead us in the one true way? Betty, God is not the author of confusion. And so God is not leading. Jesus or the Holy Spirit is not leading people to come to different interpretations like, well, Jesus, you know, the Holy Spirit led me to be a Baptist and he led, you know, this other person to be a Presbyterian.

No. I think, again, God is not the author of confusion. We come to these different interpretations not because the Spirit is leading or misleading us.

We come to these different interpretations because our own minds are still darkened by sin and we're struggling to understand different points of Scripture. Now, when it comes to the most fundamental things, I think the core tenets of the Christian faith, the doctrine of the Gospel, the doctrine of God, I think there needs to be unity as we oftentimes talk about core Christianity, the things that we can all agree on. You might be a Presbyterian or a Baptist or a Pentecostal, but look, we need to get these things right, justification by faith alone, the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. I mean, these are the things that we focus on and in a real sense give us a kind of unity, true unity as the one church of our Lord Jesus Christ. And yet at the same time, we have so many differences. And so we pray that more and more we would be led into the truth and that we would grow and God would continue to sanctify us. We're all in different places and different stages.

And so I think that's why you have the divisions that still exist. Paul said in Ephesians chapter five, look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise, but wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is and do not get drunk with wine for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. That's what we long for, growing in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, worshipping him. Yeah, we have differences and it's important for us to talk about those, but let's focus on the core tenets that we agree on. God bless. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-26 03:45:21 / 2022-12-26 03:54:58 / 10

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