How do I know that I'm following God's will for my life? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi there. Welcome to the program. I'm Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. This is the show where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. We'd love to hear from you with your question. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-833. Feel free to leave us your question via voicemail if you get our voicemail system. You can also email us anytime with your question at questions-at-core-christianity.com. First up today, let's go to Anthony who's calling in from Illinois. Anthony, what's your question for Adriel?
Yes, I am seeking information. I understand by different commentaries like Barnes Notes and Tribulation. I've always understood it as pre-Tribulation because after the chapter 3 of Revelation, the word church is not mentioned until the new heaven and new earth is here and then it becomes Jews and Gentiles in the new heaven and earth. Do you understand or can say what the pre-Tribulation period is after chapter 3? Thank you.
Okay. Well, Anthony, thank you for that question. There are, of course, different ways of reading the book of Revelation. There is the futurist approach to the book of Revelation. Sounds like that's the one that you're referring to which sees the majority of the book is still yet to be fulfilled at a future point. So, in one sense, the book, even though it was written to these churches scattered abroad throughout Asia Minor, doesn't have a primary reference to them. It has a primary reference to a generation much later.
That's not my view. I mean, of course, I do think that the book of Revelation does speak to the consummation of all things, the resurrection of the dead, the eternal state, the life of the world to come as we confess, but we have to remember that the book of Revelation was written to persecuted Christians in the first century struggling, suffering. They were experiencing tribulation, and I believe that that tribulation, that suffering is characteristic of the entire church age. Jesus said in John chapter 16, in this world, you will have tribulation, but take heart because I have overcome the world. So, this is the reality that the church experiences, and I think that's one of the things that you see over and over again throughout the book of Revelation. Of course, there are some who say, well, no, there's going to be a future great tribulation, a seven-year period of great tribulation, and we think that the church is going to be raptured before that. That's one view that faithful Christians, Christians hold to, people who take the Bible seriously.
That doesn't happen to be my view, but let me just say this. At least when we're talking about eschatology in the end times, all of us agrees on one central fact, and that is that Jesus Christ is coming back bodily. Yet there is a second coming that has not yet happened, that we're looking forward to, that is going to take place together with the final judgment and the resurrection of the dead, and so we're looking for that blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. Until that point, I think, the church is going to experience suffering and tribulation in the same way that her Lord Jesus did. We're following in the footsteps of Christ, and through that we conquer. This is another thing that you see throughout the book of Revelation. Conquering for the church looks like imitating Jesus, following Jesus, suffering faithfully, and clinging, holding fast to the promise of the gospel and the hope that we have. That's precisely what you see in places like Revelation 2 and 3 with the churches that Jesus addresses. Practically speaking, for each one of us, here's the big takeaway, and it's one of the big takeaways from the book of Revelation. The church does experience suffering, but Christ is present with us in that suffering. You may be going through something really difficult right now, and it's not because of some secret sin in your life, something bad that you've done, it's suffering, maybe for the sake of the gospel because of your witness for Jesus, maybe just as a believer, suffering, struggling with sickness. Know this, Christ is present with you if you belong to Him.
He hasn't abandoned you, He's with us. And that is one of the promises that you get throughout the book as well. Anthony, I appreciate your question, and I pray that the Lord blesses you.
Thanks for giving us a call. By the way, we should mention we have a great Bible study on the book of Revelation. You can find that at our website, corechristianity.com forward slash studies. Again, corechristianity.com forward slash studies and look for the Bible study on the book of Revelation.
It'll help explain some of the more mysterious things about this book, which can be confusing at times. Let's go back to the phones. David is on the line from Arkansas. David, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, I was wondering, I just recently had a breakup of a relationship of three years and I was wondering if I should try to rekindle it or if God has a new plan for me. I was at a church sermon earlier this Sunday and it was saying that you may have a new plan and stuff like that in your life, but also part of me, it feels like I should try to go back into that relationship and I was just going to ask for prayers and maybe like if there's a way I can see the signs that God's trying to show me and stuff like that, or if you could help me out with that, that'd be great. Yeah, happy to and I'm going to pray for you first and then give some answer, maybe go back to you also to get some more clarity about the situation, but let's pray for David. Father, David is seeking you right now and he wants to follow you. He wants to know what the right decision is for him. I ask that you would guide him, Lord, through your word, through the people who know him and love him, and that ultimately, Lord, you would lead him into a deeper relationship and love for you and God, that if it is the right decision to pursue this relationship again, Lord, that that would be clear to both he and this woman, but Lord, just grant him wisdom, be with him, give him your peace as well, and we ask these things in Jesus' name. Amen.
David, a question for you. So you've been dating this woman for three years. Is she a believer in Jesus Christ?
Yes. Like me, as well as her, we had both been around some things that we shouldn't have been, some bad things and everything, and we was probably in the early stages of it, coming back into Christ and stuff like that, and she was wanting to go to church and stuff, but we both kind of was doing things that we shouldn't and not and then things like that. And it just kind of broke apart before we could get it fixed. Well, it sounds like maybe in God's providence, this is something that's happened in your life and for the both of you, and that God is calling you both to get serious about your faith in Christ and your walk with the Lord. And that's true for all of us, and sometimes it takes difficult circumstances in life for us to see that. Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that you're not meant to be together, although I do think that sometimes relationships can draw us away from God. That was one of the reasons why I asked, is this person a Christian?
Are they a believer? Because scripture makes it clear that for Christians, we're only called to pursue in terms of someone that we're going to be with and get married to other believers, people who are in the faith. And so if she wasn't a Christian, I would say, well, then I think that the answer is no, this isn't something that you should pursue. It sounds like she's someone who wants to grow in her understanding of the Lord, and that's where you're at as well. I would say, and I think I could say this with absolute certainty, that God's will for you is your sanctification, you to continue to grow in grace. And maybe right now, the right thing for you to prioritize and for her to prioritize is your relationship to Christ, getting plugged into a good church, really focusing on your walk with the Lord. That's so important, right? Because when you think about relationships and the person that you're with, being a follower of Christ and being faithful to Christ is the priority over that.
And I think it'll make you, ultimately, down the line, a better husband as well. And so just another follow-up question for you, David. Are you guys now in a church? Are you in a church now, or had you not found one yet?
Yes, I'm in a church called People's Faith Tabernacle at Hoxie, and I haven't contacted her in a while because of the breakup and everything like that, so I don't know if she's going to church or not right now. Yeah. Well, look, maybe, again, if I would say prioritizing your walk with the Lord, whatever those things you mentioned, you know, we were kind of getting caught up in some stuff that we probably shouldn't have been.
So it sounds like there was an issue there. I would say confessing that to the Lord, purposing not to do. I mean, this is what the Bible calls repentance, and then fixing your eyes on Jesus and drawing near to him. And as you do that, praying that he would give you more clarity about whether or not you're supposed to pursue this relationship. What I'll say in terms of God's will, this is something that I think is helpful. You know, a lot of times when people are saying, you know, what's God's will for my life, they're looking for some real specific, you know, am I supposed to be with this person or that person?
Am I supposed to take this job or that job? We sometimes distinguish between what we call God's will of decree, that is what he's decreed from all eternity. Ephesians chapter one says that God causes all things to work together after the counsel of his will, which we don't know. We don't know what God has decreed from all eternity. What we do know is what God has revealed to us in his word, his prescriptive will. And so that's where we focus, and in terms of understanding God's will for your life, it's so important for us, for you, to be rooted in God's word, to understand what God calls you to through scripture, and to follow him. You know, God's revealed will, his law, his word, and so that's how we understand what the will of God is for us. It's through holy scripture, and so as you dig into the scriptures, I think you'll have more clarity about life decisions and even be equipped with the wisdom that you need in order to make the right decisions, whether it's pertaining to work or to relationships. And so, I mean, that's one of the things that God's word gives us, and I just want to say also, you know, God's word also fundamentally is about the gospel, not just what God calls us to, but the fact that we who have fallen short of what God calls us to are granted grace and forgiveness through the son of God, Jesus Christ, who came to earth to bear the weight of our sins, our broken relationships, the things that we've done that have hurt others and have led to pain, our own rebellion against God, Christ went to the cross for that, for you, and so as you receive that and rest in that, may God the Holy Spirit fill you and help you to continue to grow in your faith, making you the man that you're called to be, David, and give you wisdom about this relationship as well. Thanks for giving us a call. Thanks, David. Just a follow-up question for you, Adriel. I'm sure we have a lot of single Christians listening today, people who feel like God is calling them to marriage, but they've not found that right person, that Mr.
Right or Ms. Right, and I know as a pastor you probably deal with this, where someone will say, you know, I'm a Christian, but I met this person, and they're really wonderful, they're very moral, they treat me well. Well, they're not a Christian, they don't go to church, but they're interested in at least coming to church with me, and I can't seem to meet any people that are, you know, serious Christians. What would you say to that single man or woman?
Yeah, I just always stress, don't settle, right? And especially don't settle for someone who you're unsure if they really love Christ. Yeah, I think a lot of times this is one of the areas where believers are willing to compromise. Like you just mentioned it, Bill, they want to be with somebody, they're longing for companionship, which I think is a good thing, there's nothing wrong with that.
This is, you know, God-given desires. And then they meet someone who's attractive and funny and used to go to church, hasn't been since they were eight, but is open to the idea of, you know, visiting my church. And so here's the thing, you want a person to love Jesus because they love Jesus, you don't want a person to pursue Jesus because they think that in getting Jesus they're going to get you. Really, they want you, they don't care about Jesus. And so it can be manipulative, I think, for us at times to say, oh, you know, great, well, Jesus is really important to me, so I really hope that you'll accept him, kind of a thing. No, Christ has to be central for you and for the person that you're committing your life to, and so don't settle. And I've seen so many instances where Christians, young couples, have chosen to settle and it's been disastrous. You know, they later down the line realize, okay, this person doesn't really care about my faith and isn't interested in Christ. Of course, there are times where God, you know, redeems that, and we praise God for that, for those stories where someone really did come to faith.
But ordinarily speaking, and based on what God has revealed in his word, that's not what we're called to do in terms of how we pursue relationships. Great counsel. Thank you for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We're excited to offer a new book with you. It's by Pastor David Cassidy, and it's a book that will really help you understand some of the core issues of the faith. Yeah, the book is called Indispensable, and I like the way you put it there, Bill. It really does help us get into the core issues of the faith. I'm just opening up the book right now, and it's not too long.
That's one of the great things about it. It starts off, Jesus Christ, the indispensable answer, and then every chapter, you're getting at really some of these core doctrines, the word and spirit, brokenness, the indispensable admission, Christ crucified, the indispensable sacrifice, all the way through faith, eternal life, even the sacraments of the church, the way in which the church operates. This is a wonderful book, whether you've been walking with the Lord for a long time, or you're just a newer believer and you're trying to get a hang of things, get ahold of this resource. Again, the book is called Indispensable by Pastor David Cassidy, and you can get it over at corechristianity.com. Love to get this book to you, and again, we think it will be a big benefit to really help you in your faith and help others who may have questions about the Christian faith as you discuss the faith with friends, relatives, work associates.
Here's how you get it. You go to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Again, corechristianity.com forward slash offers.
Look for David Cassidy's book, Indispensable. Well, we do receive emails here at the core, and you can email us anytime with your question and no questions off limits for Adriel. He's open to whatever you'd like to ask about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, even doubts you might have about the Christian faith.
Okay, here's the email address. It's questions at corechristianity.com. We got a tough one here from Michael Adriel, and he says, First Corinthians 511 says, But now I'm writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler, not even to eat with such a one. I have a professing believing adult child who is 29, living in an open adulterous life with her boyfriend, while she is not yet divorced. To complicate matters, she is pregnant from her boyfriend.
She also has a five year old daughter whom her father has taken legal guardianship of. I have graciously called her to repentance and faith at least a dozen times over the past three years. Would my wife and I be correct by cutting off all communication with her, not even to eat with such a so-called brother who is living in adultery, while continuing to pray for her with the hope of reconciling to God, as it says in First Corinthians 511? Wow, Michael, my heart breaks, and I know your heart breaks as well. And so, brothers and sisters, let's first offer a prayer for Michael and for his daughter, gracious Heavenly Father. Be with Michael, we pray. I ask, Lord, that you would fill him with your Holy Spirit, that you would give him wisdom as he navigates this very difficult situation, Lord.
We know how grieved he must be because he loves his daughter and he doesn't want to see her continue in this pattern of behavior. And as he wrestles through, Lord, for himself, for his wife, thinking about how to respond to her actions and how to communicate, Lord, your grace and your truth to her, would you please give him wisdom, Lord? And for his daughter, Jesus, would you open her heart? Lord, as the prodigal son in Luke 15 came to his senses and remembered, Lord, the goodness of his father's house, would she remember, Lord, your goodness, your grace, your mercy, the love of her parents, and would she be drawn to repentance, Lord?
Father, be with her, draw her to yourself, and be with this family, we pray. In Jesus' name, amen. Paul in 1 Corinthians 5 is rebuking the Corinthian church because the church was overlooking sin in its midst. There was an adulterous affair that was taking place.
He begins in 5 verse 1. It's actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you and of a kind that is not even tolerated among pagans, for man has his father's wife, and you are arrogant. Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. In other words, let this person be excommunicated. And that's what the church does.
Now, I don't think that you're arrogant in this situation, and I am sure that you and your family are mourning, that this grieves you deeply. And it is right in situations like this, if this daughter's a professing believer, she's a part of a church, but she's continuing an unrepentant sin even after she's been called to repentance. It is right for the church to excommunicate. And so I don't know what the church has done in this situation, but for you and for your family, I don't necessarily think that you're called to excommunicate her. If she is excommunicated by the church, what we read in Matthew, when Jesus goes through the steps of church discipline, he says, okay, we treat that individual as a non-believer, and we're not casting them out of our lives, we're longing for them to come back, to return.
And so I would say continuing to have a relationship where you're honest, where you love her, where you plead with her about what's going on, and it may be that as you do that, it's not that you are cutting her out of your life, but that she, for a season, is not interested in coming around because she doesn't want to hear that from you. And so that's her choice, but I think you, obviously as her father, continuing to pursue her, to love her, to speak the truth to her, and to do that in a way I think that is faithful to the scripture, I think that's what you're called to. I mean, in some ways I think a unique situation because in 1 Corinthians 5 we're talking about the church and what the church should do when an individual is living an unrepentant sin and don't even eat with that person, but this is not just sort of church relationship, this is your daughter who you are continuing to have a relationship and wanting to pursue. And again, if she is excommunicated by the church and then treated as a non-believer, well then this isn't just a professing Christian who's living in this way, this is somebody who's treated as a non-believer. And if they're being treated as a non-believer, if Paul goes on to say there in 1 Corinthians 5, you know, what have I to do with judging outsiders? She's now an outsider in that sense and I would say all the more pursue her and seek to love her and speak the truth to her and may the Lord ultimately do what only He can do in opening her heart and in filling your heart with His grace and compassion as well. And so Michael, thank you for reaching out. We will pray for you, brother. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.
Let's go to a voicemail that came in from one of our callers earlier this week. This is from Deb. The question that I would like to ask is I've been listening to a lot of different radio programs and I've heard conversation about how when you go to heaven, your reward is different based on your service. And I'm just curious, is that a true statement? And then that seems to butt up again, not that you're saved by your works, but obviously it would play into the fact that they're important for the reward. And then to me as a Christian, that's a little concerning because if you have some people who have greater reward than others, it would seem that you would have an opportunity for jealousy and envy, which is not what I envisioned for heaven. So I'm just curious to get your input on that.
Thank you. Yeah, great. I mean, there are some, I think, preachers and theologians who make a whole theology of rewards. In some ways it's speculative. There are passages in scripture that do indicate that we are going to be rewarded by the Lord for the things that we've done. But what that looks like specifically and how that relates to our everlasting experience, eternal experience in the presence of the Lord and in the new creation, I mean, that's where I think many of us are speculating. What we can say is that heaven is a place of perfect love. And so there is no jealousy in heaven. If another individual has a greater capacity in one sense for experiencing the glory of God in heaven, I don't think that would be something that would cause you to be jealous. I think that we would all be perfectly happy because we're full of perfect love and we love each other perfectly. And so that's what we look forward to. Thanks. 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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