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Can Christians Redeem Halloween?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
October 31, 2022 4:37 pm

Can Christians Redeem Halloween?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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October 31, 2022 4:37 pm

Episode 1087 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

 

Questions in this Episode

 

1. When was Satan cast out of heaven?

2. Do the Jews, as God’s chosen people, have a different path to salvation?

3. How can I lovingly tell people I don’t celebrate Halloween?

4. How many people have been taken up into heaven without dying in the Bible?

5. How can I know if I am exercising Christian liberty or sinning?

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Is it possible for Christians to redeem Halloween? 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. You can call us right now with your question. Here's the phone number. It's 833-The-Core.

That's 833-843-2673. Our phone lines will be open for the next 25 minutes or so, and we would love to hear from you. Now, you can also post your question on one of our social media sites, including on YouTube.

We actually have a YouTube channel, and you can watch Adriel right now in the studio in his Halloween costume by going to our YouTube channel. Oh, dear Lord, I was afraid that might happen. Great. Can't wait to see what our producer throws at us today.

No, you never know. You can also email us your question about Halloween or anything else at questions at corechristianity.com. Okay, let's go to the phones.

Selah is on the line from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Selah, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, thanks, Pastor. I don't know how spooky this is, but I just kind of want to know more chronological aspect of it. You know, in Genesis, when God created the earth, you know, the first day, second day, and then the snake serpent tempted Adam and Eve. So I'm kind of wondering, when did the casting out of the hole in God, I heard, presented to the angels that human beings or Jesus was going to be his children, and then the devil started turning into, Usover started turning into the devil, because he defied him, and then he got kicked out. When did that, or where in the Bible can you refer me to, to read more on that part, and when did that happen before earth was created?

Yeah, yeah, well, we don't have a super clear timeline. We know, obviously, that it had to be after creation, that the evil one fell, because the evil one, Satan, is a created being. And so, when Genesis chapter 1 verse 1 says, in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, I understand that heavens there isn't just a reference to the skies above, but also to the heavenly hosts. That is the angels, because in places like the book of Nehemiah, in Nehemiah chapter 9 verse 6, we read, you are the Lord, you alone, you have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their hosts, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them.

In other words, it's not just the stars, but the angelic beings. And so God, the creator, made all things, including the angels, the angels are created beings and Satan fell. Now, a good place to go when thinking about the fall of the evil one is the book of Isaiah, in Isaiah chapter 14, where you have an oracle against the haughty king of Babylon, but later in the New Testament, it's applied to Satan. Jesus says, I saw Satan fall from heaven in Luke chapter 10 verse 18. And there we're told about why he fell or how he fell. It was through pride, the sin of pride, wanting to ascend and be like God. But again, we're not giving Selah a real clear picture as to the timeline exactly. We just know that it had to happen post-creation because he's a created being, but prior to that scene in the garden where Adam and Eve were tempted. And so I think that's as much as we know, but in terms of the specifics, the Bible doesn't tell us. And so I appreciate your question.

Hopefully those are some of the texts you're going to want to consult. I mentioned Genesis 1, Nehemiah 9, and Isaiah chapter 14. God bless. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you if you've got a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, Halloween, you name it. Let's go to David, who's on the line from Mesa, Arizona. David, what's your question for Pastor Adriel?

Hi, Adriel. I was wondering first if the term God's chosen people is used specifically in the Bible for the Jews. And it's so the reason for this is because I've heard some pastors speak about that we don't really need to preach the gospel to the Jews because they are God's chosen people. And so they have a way of redemption that's separate.

So I was a little bit concerned about that because that didn't seem to sound right. I was wondering what you might say about that. Yeah, David, I mean, I would say that that's totally wrong that somebody who says that we don't need to preach the gospel to Jewish people because they kind of have their own special connection with God as God's chosen people, even if they reject Messiah, Jesus, they're still going to go to heaven. I would just say that that is false. That is not at all what the Bible teaches. And if somebody says that, they're really confused as to the doctrine of salvation. Now, in the Old Testament, God did choose Israel in a particular way to be a light to the nations. Of course, you have the history of the Hebrew people and the areas where they fell short going into idolatry. And that is why God sent his son, his only begotten son into the world, the true Israel light. Jesus says, you know, I am the true vine there, the vine being a reference to Israel. He is the true Israel light who came perfectly pleased the Father and was and is that great light to the nations, to the whole world. And so, yeah, Israel was chosen in a specific way, in a particular way, under the Old Covenant specifically, as God's chosen people.

And the language that's used is elected. So you do see that language in Scripture. For example, Paul in Romans chapter 11, verse 28 says, as regards to the gospel, and here he's speaking of ethnic Israel, they are enemies for your sake. In other words, he's highlighting the fact that many of them have rejected the gospel, that they're outside of grace, outside of Christ.

But as regards election, that is that historical choice that God made, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers, for the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable. For just as you were called at one time disobedient to God, but now have received mercy because of their disobedience. So they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you, they also may now receive mercy. For God has consigned all to disobedience that he may have mercy on all. And that mercy, David, only comes to us through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Romans chapters 9 through 11 are the key chapters of the Bible to go to with this question.

Back in chapter or in chapter 11, specifically, he talks about how some of them have been cut off. Some of the branches have been cut off through unbelief. And so unless they believe they cannot be saved, we're only a part of God's covenant people through faith in Jesus Christ, whether you're an ethnic Jew or a Gentile. It's only through faith in Jesus Christ that we enter into the kingdom of God, that we experience that grace and mercy in which we stand. And so we need to preach the gospel to all people. And this is why starting in the book of Acts, the disciples are called to preach where? Jerusalem.

Let's start there. Judea in the uttermost parts of the earth. In other words, we're preaching the gospel to the Jews still because they need Jesus. And we can't stop doing that. We're going to continue to do to continue to do that until the Lord comes back.

Thank you for that question. This is Cora Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. It's Halloween. And we've received several questions from our listeners about what Christians should do on this day.

Adriel, let me read a couple of them to you. What about Christians putting up Halloween decorations at their house? I see a lot of this at Christian homes. Somebody else said, wouldn't trunk or treat events at churches be conforming to the world in violation of Romans 12 2.

And then this one came in. How can we glorify God by celebrating this ritual of paganism and demonic worship of Halloween? And then Debbie's on the line with the question about Halloween. Debbie, what do you want to ask Adriel?

Hi, Pastor, I so admire your ministry, but I just wanted to ask you because you are the expert. I used to celebrate Halloween pretty vividly because my children were young and I wasn't as far along in the world, but I've learned since they've grown and moved on out of the home. I don't celebrate it in the way that I did.

I don't even usually be discourteous. And I don't want to appear high-minded if I were to make a comment like I don't believe in celebrating Halloween because it's pagan. I'm not sure how to handle that with other people who may be more sensitive in that area.

Could you please give some input on that? Yeah. As Bill mentioned, several of the questions that we received via social media and YouTube kind of up that same alley with regard to this question. I do think, Debbie, that this is a matter of Christian liberty.

Now, of course, we want to be discerning. And so often around this time of the year, around Halloween, people just go off the deep end with costumes, things that clearly can't be glorifying to the Lord. Maybe it's sensuality.

Maybe it's something else. And so, I'm not at all in favor of that. I don't think that there's anything inherently wrong with dressing up and walking around the block and getting some candy. But again, I think that this is a matter of Christian liberty. That is to say that it's not something that's inherently sinful, that participating in a trunk or treat or something like that means that you're sinning against the Lord. But if your conscience forbids you from doing it, well, then I would say don't do it. If it pricks your conscience, if it really bothers you, Paul says, whatever is not from faith is sin. And so don't do it. And for some people, maybe people who were saved out of the occult or have a background in sort of new age spirituality, it's just, oh, I can't imagine ever doing that. And so there's that sensitive conscience there. And I would say, well, don't, right?

Like avoid it. But for others, maybe it's just a kind of a community thing and the kids dress up as scarecrows and are having a good time with their friends from school. And I don't think that that means that they're sinning against the Lord. And of course, we have these kinds of things in Scripture, these issues with regard to Christian liberty. Paul talks about it in 1 Corinthians 8, where you had some people in Corinth who were really bothered by Christians eating meat that had been sold in a meat market where that meat was sacrificed or used in a pagan ritual. And they thought, well, how could we eat that meat? I mean, it's associated with these ghouls and goblins and these sort of pagan practices.

There's no way we should do that. And Paul says in 1 Corinthians 8, we know that those ghouls and goblins aren't real. We know that there's only one God, the true God. But if your conscience is hurt by this or if your brother's conscience is hurt by this, then you want to prioritize love for your brother in Christ. You don't want to do something that would cause them to stumble. And so that's where I think we do need to exercise wisdom. And in all things, seek to glorify the Lord. Debbie, God bless you and thank you for giving us a call.

Some great counsel. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Cora Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We actually have a lot of questions that come in on the topic of spiritual warfare, which really ties right into Halloween. And we have a wonderful resource on that topic that's written by a friend of Cora Christianity.

Yeah. The friend is Pastor David Cassidy and the resource is called Can the Devil Read My Mind? We want you to understand this very important topic, the topic of spiritual warfare. There is so much confusion out there about spiritual warfare, about the power that the devil has in the world today. You know, there's some people I think that give him too much credit, too much power.

But there are others who I think minimize the fact that the evil one is at work and that we need to be on guard, putting on that armor of God, as the Apostle Paul told the Ephesians. And so get ahold of this resource by Pastor David Cassidy, Can the Devil Read My Mind? It's about 70 pages long, something you could read in an afternoon, but really edifying stuff. And it's yours for a donation of any amount over at CoraChristianity.com. Such a great resource.

And actually, we have a lot of wonderful resources on our website. You can find this one by going to CoraChristianity.com forward slash offers. Again, CoraChristianity.com forward slash offers.

Look for Pastor David Cassidy's book, Can the Devil Read My Mind? Well, let's go to Arthur, who's calling in from Oklahoma. Arthur, what's your question for Adriel? Yes.

Thank you for taking my call. My question is how many people has died in the human body while here on earth that went to heaven? Are you talking, Arthur, just to follow up, are you talking about like near-death experiences, people who die and they say they go to heaven and then come back and then live to tell about it?

No, not at all. People like Elijah, I think, or Elijah might have been one. Okay.

Okay. Yeah, so the Bible does talk about people who have had these great experiences of heaven. I mean, the apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12, verse 2, I know a man in Christ who 14 years ago was caught up to the third heaven, whether in the body or out of the body, I do not know, God knows. Paul is boasting about this. He's saying, look, I know a guy who actually at one point, I don't know if he was in his body or if he was sort of an out of body experience, but he was carried up into heaven. And he was told things that, I mean, I can't even begin to express, Paul says. But the point there is, and I think this is so interesting, right?

We don't have a lot of insight into what specifically was said or done in those instances. I think a lot of times people get really caught up in this stuff. There were a number of books that were released over the last decade where people were claiming that they had died and gone to heaven and came back and lived to tell about it and of course made millions of dollars as they told their story. I think there was actually a whole genre of books that was created called heaven tourism or something like that where you're hearing from an individual who's claiming to have gone into heaven. You know, they see Jesus, they see the Virgin Mary and all the saints and angels and they're talking about it. But the reality is even Paul there in 2 Corinthians 12 says, I know a guy who was there, but he wouldn't tell you anything about what he saw. I think we want to stick with what the Bible says. There are individuals who have had these experiences of heaven.

And you mentioned Elijah, I believe. But again, we want to stick to what the Scripture says and what God has revealed in His Word very clearly and rest in that. And we do have some beautiful pictures of heaven given to us in Holy Scripture like in the book of Revelation or in Hebrews 12. And so I always say, look, if you want to know what heaven is like this side, right, for us as believers on earth, go to Scripture, go to those passages of Scripture and study those texts and have that hope that God gives to us through His Word.

Amen. Hey, Arthur, thanks so much for your call. We appreciate you listening to Core Christianity. If you have a question for Adriel about the Bible or the Christian life, we'd love to hear from you. Here's the phone number. It's 833 the Core.

That's 1 833-843-2673. Let's go to Jared calling in from Texas. Jared, what's your question for Adriel?

Hi, Adriel. Just want to say also thank you for your ministry. My question is with regard to Christian liberty and the conscience. I know that was something that was mentioned a little earlier. Whenever someone is not sure if something is a sin or not, and they go to the Scriptures for biblical counsel, so they're trying to see what is actually right in the eyes of the Lord or not. If something is not specifically stated as sinful in Scripture, but they also don't want to fall on the other side of the fence by feeling like everything's sinful, how can someone avoid this error?

Yeah, well, there are. Jared, thank you so much for that thoughtful question and really just practical question because you're right that there are things that Scripture doesn't specifically speak to. I mean, obviously, we know that we have God's law, prohibitions throughout the Bible, things that we're called to as Christians.

But when we get into the questions of Christian liberty and conscience, that's where we need wisdom and we need the help of the Holy Spirit. Now, that exhortation where Paul says, whatever is not from faith is sin comes in Romans chapter 14. Beginning in verse 20, he says, do not for the sake of food destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats.

It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. In other words, if you're doing something and you don't pass judgment on yourself, this isn't something that's forbidden in Scripture. It's not against God's law specifically, per se.

You know, you have questions about it. Maybe somebody says, well, I don't think it's okay to drink wine. And when I do, and here in this context, Paul is talking about things like drinking.

When I do it, it just really pricks my conscience. Well, for that individual, I think Paul would say, don't do it because he goes on to say, blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves, but whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith, for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. And so, I think there's a lot here, like what I would say to an individual is, I think as we grow in our understanding of God's word, God's law, of God's grace, and we realize, like Paul says in 1 Corinthians chapter 8, that an idol is nothing in the world, then there is this sort of maturing that takes place that may free our conscience up. And I think that's part of what the apostle Paul was trying to encourage in places like 1 Corinthians and in Romans. But if we're not there yet, if we're still growing in our faith, and for whatever reason, we have a hard time not condemning ourselves when we do this, that, or the other, that isn't clearly spelled out in Scripture, then I think Paul would say, don't do it.

No, avoid that and continue to pursue the Lord and to grow in your understanding of the grace of God and the word of God. And there may come a point where your conscience is unshackled. Now, the concern, the fear is too often today, what people do is they unshackle their conscience with regard to things that are clearly forbidden in God's word.

And so, we're not talking about that. We're not talking about doing things that we know God has said don't do in his word, and then fearing your conscience or hardening your conscience. But with regard to the other stuff, I think as we continue to grow in the Lord, and in that Christian liberty that we have, we can find and may indeed find that things that once bothered us don't necessarily bother us in the same way. And that's not necessarily a bad thing, nor is it necessarily a bad thing if our conscience is very sensitive in those areas. And so long as we're not sitting against our conscience and we're seeking to honor the Lord in all that we do and in how we do it, I think we're okay. And so, Jared, I don't know if you want to follow.

I do want to, just because your question was so thoughtful, and I don't know if I'm really getting to the heart of your question, so I want to follow up with you one more time just to see if you have anything else to add. No, that actually gets really spot on. I guess it's whenever someone is looking at the scriptures and they know that they are free in a certain area, but still having doubts, but they can't really make heads or tails of why they still have said doubt, like one that's been on my mind as silly as it sounds. It's even drinking caffeine. Like I know plenty of people do it.

It's fine. There's nothing in scripture that really forbids it except for, you know, don't be under, or I'm not going to be under the influence of anything. I know that's a paraphrase of what Paul said, but just kind of getting around something like that.

Yeah. Yeah, no, and what a great example that is, and so I do think, you know, it's individually taking those things to the Lord, and I think just being able to honestly say, God, I know that you've not forbidden this in your word. I'm not even sure why I, in particular, have a question about this or why, you know, maybe I have a cup of coffee and it makes me feel bad. Maybe I feel anxiety afterwards or something like that, and I think, well, is this really good for me?

Is this really okay? But I think just honestly, Jared, offering up those questions to the Lord. And then I think it honors God when we say, Lord, we want to be faithful to your law and what you've revealed in scripture. One of the big problems out there today is too often when people think about obedience to God and good works that truly honor the Lord. They're thinking not about things that God has called them to do in scripture, but just sort of their own invented rules. And so a good work before the Lord is a work that's done in obedience to His revealed will from faith with the desire to glorify Him. But I think a lot of people, you know, and this was the problem with the scribes and the Pharisees, is they thought they were great as they obeyed all these extra biblical commands that God had not burdened them with, but that they were saying, oh, we're going to do this, that, and the other. And then they were neglecting the more important, the weightier parts of the law of God, ultimately the call to love God and to love our neighbors. And so I think being free as the people of God to obey what He's revealed in His Word by the grace of the Holy Spirit and not to beat ourselves up about the other things. And again, if it's not causing someone else to stumble, if it's not causing a brother or sister in Christ to stumble, if it's not something that's keeping you from that communion with God and growing in grace, then I think you're free. And as you continue to grow in your relationship with the Lord and in that prayerful communion that I mentioned, I think that you should feel the freedom to be able to have a good cup of coffee.

Now, not one of those, you know, burnt cups of coffee that don't taste that good, but something good. And as you do so to honor the Lord in everything that you do, Jared, God bless and thank you for that question. So what about circuses? That's always been my question. I mean, I was in a denomination once in an old manual that said that it was sinful to go to, believe it or not, go to a circus. I think back in the 1800s, there were some suspect things that happened at circus.

So I'm just wondering. You know what, Bill? I think I've heard this and you're bringing this up because a lot of our listeners probably don't know this and they're probably going to think it's a joke when I say it, but my dad actually owns a circus in Mexico. And so this one, this question, Bill, really strikes to my heart, you know, but I would say, I mean, having gone to the circus as a kid, many, many times I would say, no, you're free also to go to the circus and enjoy that to the glory of God. Now, if your church is a circus, that's a real problem. We don't want clowns in the pulpit, but otherwise you're good to go. Bill, God bless. Thank you all for listening. Thanks for listening to Core Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at CoreChristianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-The-Core. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: small.en / 2022-11-08 19:28:00 / 2022-11-08 19:34:04 / 6

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