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Is It OK for Children to Take Communion?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
October 18, 2022 3:42 pm

Is It OK for Children to Take Communion?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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October 18, 2022 3:42 pm

Episode 1078 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

 

Questions in this Episode

 

1. What should prayer look like in a group setting?

2. Is it appropriate for children to take the Lord’s Supper?

3. Where was Jesus between is crucifixion and resurrection?

4. Does Revelation 3:5 teach that our names can be blotted out from the book of life?

5. If we go to heaven when we die, how can the “dead be raised first”?

6. My church has a statue of Jesus that people often take pictures with. What do you think of this?

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Is it okay for children to pray in groups? Mm-hmm.

Yeah, thank you for that question. Of course, you have Jesus' words in Matthew chapter 6 about praying on your own. You know, when you pray, go to your closet, pray before your father, who's in the secret place, and your father, who sees in secret, will himself reward you.

So I think we should pray individually before God, offering our prayers up to the Lord, but we should also pray together with the people of God as a corporate body. And you do see that throughout the Bible. You gave the example of when Paul was imprisoned, and the church was gathered together in one place, you know, lifting up their voices to the Lord that God would deliver him from prison. And God did miraculously send an angel to break Paul out of prison. One of the kind of an interesting story in the book of Acts, but it's something that we see throughout the book of Acts, in fact, in Acts chapter 1.

You remember when Matthias was chosen to replace Judas as an apostle. The disciples were gathered together in Acts chapter 1 verse 14. It says, all these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary, the mother of Jesus and his brothers. In those days, Peter stood up among the brothers.

The company of persons was in all about 120. So you have this group of people, and what they're doing is praying, calling upon the name of the Lord. And this is, you know, right before the coming of Pentecost, the sending of the Holy Spirit. You see this commitment to prayer even later in Acts chapter 2 verse 42, and they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And so one of the things that churches should be committed to, devoted to, is prayer. We need to be praying in our services as one body together, calling upon the name of the Lord. And what do we pray for? I mean, I think we pray for the things that are outlined in scripture, certainly those things that are according to the will of God, that he's revealed to us in his word. He commands us in places like 1 Timothy to pray for kings and rulers and all those who are in authority. We're praying for the church, that God would give us open doors for the advancement of the gospel. We're praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters throughout the world, calling upon the name of the Lord. And so I think both individually, you know, we want to be committed to prayer in our own lives, you know, without ceasing, as the apostle Paul said, but also as a church together, coming together to call upon the name of the Lord too. God bless.

Some great counsel. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you've got a question about the Bible, the Christian life, maybe there's a Bible passage that's just a little bit confusing to you and you'd like some clarification on that. Adriel would be happy to talk to you. Maybe you've got some doubts about the Christian faith. Maybe you consider yourself to be an agnostic or an atheist, or maybe you practice a different religion and you just stumbled across this program and you're saying, what's this Christianity thing all about?

Hey, we'd love to hear from you and get your question as well. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to a voicemail from one of our listeners named John. My question is on children taking communion for the longest time. I felt like it was very important to sense the communion table and keep my children until they were catechized or gone through a communion class to take communion, but now I'm becoming more convinced that this should be under a covenant of a parental oversight, but I'd like your insights on this.

Thank you. John, excellent question. Should children be taking communion? And sometimes this gets lumped into what's called pedo communion, that is, you know, young infants, even those who haven't made a profession of faith, when they're able to eat table food, you know, you think of your baby six months old or seven months old or five months old or whenever it is that you start giving them food to chew on, to eat. Do you start giving the children communion then as well? That's called pedo communion.

Well, no. I think that should be rejected. It's what historically, at least the Western church and Protestant churches, rejected. They did not embrace that view that our infants should be given communion. The question about the age of children who are welcomed to the Lord's table, there's diversity of opinion on that. I am of the conviction that children who believe and have made a profession of faith should be welcomed to the Lord's table, but they need to be believers and they need to have made a profession of faith.

Now, one thing that I'll say is sometimes, you know, I think we put the age of when children can understand the, when our kids can understand the gospel is as, you know, we really want to make sure they get it and we're not sure that they can at five, six, seven, and so we're really cautious. But one thing that I think that we see throughout scripture is that oftentimes it was the little children who recognized Jesus before everyone else. I think of Jesus's own prayer in Matthew chapter 11, really a beautiful prayer. He says in verse 25, I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children.

Yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. Just a little bit later, when Jesus is cleansing the temple, we read in verse 14 of Matthew chapter 21, and the blind and the lame came to him in the temple and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did and the children crying out in the temple, Hosanna to the son of David, they were indignant. And they said to him, do you hear what these are saying? And Jesus said to them, yes, have you never read out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies?

You have prepared praise. And this is what we see in the gospels is oftentimes it was the little children who understood who Jesus was. Hosanna to the son of David, they're calling upon him with that childlike faith.

And so I think we should be open to the fact that God is at work in our families and in our children. And when they make that profession of faith, I think we should welcome them to the Lord's table, but not before that point. And part of the reason why historically Protestants have said that is because of what the apostle Paul unpacks in 1 Corinthians chapter 11 about worthily partaking of the Lord's supper. In particular there in 1 Corinthians chapter 11, Paul says that there are two things that you need to do in order to worthily partake of the Lord's supper, not to eat and drink judgment to yourself. In verse 28 he says, let a person examine himself. Let a person examine himself then and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

That word means to test, to determine the genuineness of something. He's calling the Corinthian church to examine themselves as they approach the Lord's table. And then he says in verse 29, for anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.

That word discernment to evaluate or to distinguish between. So there are two things that he calls the church to do while they're approaching the Lord's table. We need to examine ourselves of our ability to discern the Lord's body, of our faith, to feed upon him, of our repentance, our love for the Lord, our obedience to the Lord. These are things that we should look in, confessing our sins to the Lord and coming to the table in faith to receive the gifts that God has given to us. And so since this is something that requires active participation, this is why our children need to make a profession of faith. They need to understand what's taking place when we gather around the table, even in a childlike way, to receive the gifts of God. But as I said, I think that one of the beautiful things about the gospel is that even children can grasp it through the grace of the Holy Spirit. God bless.

Amen. This is Core Christianity with pastor Adriel Sanchez. We do receive a lot of questions about spiritual gifts and speaking in tongues here at the Core.

And today we'd like to offer you a free resource on that topic. Yeah, Bill, we've got a brand new free resource called Six Things You Should Know About Spiritual Gifts. And as you said, every week we receive questions, sometimes daily, about spiritual gifts. Is speaking in tongues a sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit? Are there miraculous gifts like prophecy and speaking in tongues and healing for today?

Or have they ceased? How can I identify my own spiritual gifts? That's a big question, right? How do you know what gift God has given to you or what gifts God has given to you? And so we've made this resource to help guide you through these important questions. It's, again, a free download over at corechristianity.com called Six Things You Should Know About Spiritual Gifts. You know, we have a lot of free downloads there at our website, really to help you grow in your faith, learn more about the Christian faith, and just help others to learn more. And you can go to corechristianity.com forward slash offers to download this new one, Six Things You Should Know About Spiritual Gifts.

Again, corechristianity.com forward slash offers to find that. Let's go back to the phones. Scott is on the line from Illinois. Scott, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Hello.

Hey, Scott. I would like to know, when Jesus was crucified on the cross and died, where did he go before he rose the third day, like them two days that you don't hear anything about? I searched the scriptures, I couldn't find anything, but I got one thought in mind, well, I think he might have went, but I have no scripture to back it up.

And that is, I think, my thought. He went down in hell and got rid of all the sins that was placed on him because he can't go to heaven with sin. But like I said, I have no scripture to back that up.

What do you think? Yeah, thank you for that question. So, I mean, this is something that has been debated in the church, especially, you know, there's the Apostles' Creed and there's the clause in the Apostles' Creed that talks about Christ descending into hell, and there have been many people who said, okay, what exactly does that mean? What it does not mean is that Christ, you know, during that period of time that he went down and suffered in hell further for our sins.

No, he took all of the suffering on himself at the cross, and there are some who have interpreted that statement in the creed as the judgment that Jesus bore on the cross. But I'm just going to point out two passages of scripture, Scott, to help you out here, and I think they'll answer your question. One, you do have what Jesus said to the thief on the cross in Luke chapter 23, where Jesus gives him the promise of eternal life, and he says, remember me in your kingdom. And Jesus said to him, truly I say to you today, you will be with me in paradise. And so there's one verse, there's one text that I think you can go to and think, okay, Jesus says to this thief on the cross, today you're going to be with me in paradise. Now, another passage that sometimes people will go to is in 1 Peter chapter 3, and this is verse 9, and what follows, in particular, as he begins to get into Christ's suffering, Peter gets into Christ's suffering, he says later down in the text in verse 18, Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison. Now, that sort of sounds like what you were getting at, kind of, right, like Jesus going and proclaiming something to those imprisoned, if you will, but whatever it was, it wasn't another offer of salvation. What many people will say is, no, this is Christ's vindication, him proclaiming victory over the grave as the one who has conquered, as the one who has suffered and died and has put away our sins, proclaiming his victory over the grave. And so those are two things, I think, that we can say is that, you know, during that period, while Jesus's body was in the tomb, he was proclaiming his victory, if you will, as the one who had conquered, as the one who had accomplished the atonement for us and put away sin once for all.

We want to shy away from or just completely reject anything that says that Jesus was suffering in hell during that period of time. God bless God. Thanks for that clarification, Adriel.

Appreciate that. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question for Adriel about doctrine, theology, maybe a confusing Bible passage, feel free to give us a call right now.

We'll be taking calls for the next 10 minutes or so. And here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 833-843-2673.

Let's go to Diane in Washington, Illinois. Diane, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, I've been reading out of Revelations, and Revelation 3 starts off addressing the Church of Sardis. And in verse 5, it says, Now, I don't believe that you can lose your salvation, but this seems to indicate that maybe some people's names will be blotted out of the book of life, which to me means that they could lose their salvation. So I was just wanting some clarification on that.

Yeah, thank you for that question. The language of a book of life is something that we see way back in the Old Testament, beginning in Exodus chapter 32, where Moses, after the situation with the golden calf, the golden calf is pleading with God, and he's talking about, God, don't blot me out of that book of life. And so you have this language here again in Revelation chapter 3, but not just in Revelation chapter 3. You also see it in Revelation chapter 13 and in Revelation chapter 17. And I think when we take all of the passages that speak about the book of life together in this idea of names being blotted out of the book of life, it sheds some helpful light on this question. First, we want to remember that the book of Revelation is this apocalyptic book that oftentimes speaks to us with symbolic imagery. So I don't think that God has this literal book where when somebody believes in Jesus, he writes their name down, and then, boy, they fall away from the faith, he erases them. No, it's this picture of God knowing all those who are his. And Revelation chapter 13 verse 8 makes it clear that those who are his, that is, those who are in the book of life, have been there from the very beginning.

Listen to this. This is verse 8 of Revelation 13. All who dwell on earth will worship it, that is, the beast, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the lamb who was slain. And so this is something that's set secure, and what Jesus is promising to the church at Sardis is you're not going to be blotted out. You who overcome, that can't happen. And so in one sense, this is an encouragement. This is a call, I think, to assurance. It's not, hey, if you fail, if you don't have enough good works, I'm just going to erase your name from the book of life.

You're no longer going to be saved. No, those names are there from the very foundation of the world. And so the question is, well, how do we conquer? And what does it mean to conquer?

Because Jesus says in verse 5, the one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. Well, John, who wrote the book of Revelation, also wrote a letter. I'm sure you're familiar with 1 John. In 1 John 5, verse 4, he says this, everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world.

Same word. And this is the victory that has overcome the world, our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the son of God? If you trust in Jesus Christ, if you've been born again, you've received him by faith, we overcome the world and God keeps us, preserves us, and our names have been in the book of life since before the foundation of the world. God bless.

So well said. By the way, we have a free core guide on this topic. It's called Five Things You Should Know About the Bible's Final Book. It will really help you unpack Revelation and understand that book, so feel free to find that at corechristianity.com forward slash guides. Look for Five Things You Should Know About the Bible's Final Book. Well, let's go back to the phones.

George is on the line from Chesterfield, Missouri. George, what's your question for Adriel? In one place in the scriptures it says to be absent from the body is to be present from the Lord, and then in another place it says the dead in Christ will be raised first, then those who are alive will be changed in an instant. So if the, if we're already present with the Lord, why would our bodies or our, it says the dead in Christ will be raised will be raised first. Yeah, so two texts of scripture that we're thinking about.

The first one that you brought up is in 2 Corinthians 5 verse 6. So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body, we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. This is, you know, what the apostle Paul is highlighting there is that when we die, we are in the presence of the Lord. We're apart from the body. Our bodies go down into the grave. Our souls are perfected in holiness, and we gather together with all those who have gone before us in Christ and the angels in heaven around the throne of God worshiping him.

This is the picture that the author of the Hebrews had in Hebrews chapter 12. It's what we sometimes refer to as the intermediate state. That is that period of time from the moment we die and our bodies go into the ground to the final resurrection, which was the other passage you were alluding to, the final resurrection where our bodies and souls are reunited and we're glorified, and that's the time of the fullness of the new creation, if you will, entering into the fullness of the new creation. But there are two things that are being spoken about in the passages that you referenced. The other passage that you referenced about the dead in Christ being raised first, and the dead being raised first. What's going on there is the Apostle Paul is talking specifically about the final resurrection, and he says, look, when Christ returns, those who have died are going to be raised first, and then we who are alive and remain are going to be transformed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. So there he's not talking about what takes place when we die and we're in the presence of the Lord immediately perfected in holiness. He's talking about the day of resurrection, which all the departed look forward to, those who are in the intermediate state, which we look forward to, that'll happen when Jesus Christ our Lord comes back to earth. And so two different passages there, two different focuses of the Apostle Paul, but both I think putting before us the hope that we have as believers.

First, that when we die, we'll be in the presence of Jesus, perfected in holiness, and then we're looking forward to the final resurrection, the restoration and glorification of our bodies in the new creation. God bless. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Just a reminder, we have that free offer for you today, Six Things You Should Know About Spiritual Gifts. You can find that by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers.

Again, corechristianity.com forward slash offers. I have this question from Roy and he says, my church has a giant statue of Jesus that some people try to take selfies with. That doesn't seem okay to me. What do you think?

Yeah, I don't like it for a couple of reasons. One, I mean, throughout scripture, it's very clear that we don't right now see the Lord. I mean, Jesus was present with the disciples, certainly, but we are never called to depict Jesus through statues and images.

In fact, God forbade this in the Old Testament when he gave his law. We're told very specifically not to make any graven images, not to try to represent God through images. The reason is because so often we just end up misrepresenting him. We want to let God give us the images, if you will. We want to let God give us the revelation of himself, and that's precisely what he's done in his word. I think about how John begins in 1 John 1. I've already quoted from 1 John at least once on the broadcast today, but in 1 John 1, as John is talking about the experience that the apostles had, that the disciples had with Jesus, he says, that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life, the life was made manifest and we have seen it. He's talking about Jesus here. And testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us, that which we have seen and heard, we proclaim to you so that you too may have fellowship with us.

How do we fix our eyes on Jesus truly? It's through the proclamation of the word. It's through the preaching of the apostles. This is what the apostle Paul told the Galatians, for example, right? I placarded Jesus Christ and him crucified before you.

How? It wasn't by painting a big picture or creating a statue. It was through the preaching of the word. That's the ordained means that God has given to communicate himself, to reveal himself to us, to his people. And so I would say we want to stick with what God has revealed in his word. And I'm also just uncomfortable with, let's have a statue of Jesus that we can all go take selfies with.

I think there's something strange about that and sacrilegious even. And so appreciate your question, Roy, and pray that you all have a blessed day in Christ. God bless. Be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-23 07:39:44 / 2022-11-23 07:49:19 / 10

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