Why does the Bible tell us to give thanks when we're sorrowful? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. That's 1-833-The-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. We really don't know how to make a... No, Bill, I actually, I have some thoughts about this, so I hope you give me an opportunity. All right, later on we'll get your Butterball recipe. By the way, you can also email us your question. Here's our email address.
It's questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to Alexandra calling in from Chicago. Alexandra, what's your question for Adriel?
Hey, Bill and Adriel. Happy Thanksgiving. I just want to say how thankful I am for both of you and the show.
I've learned so much about my faith and I love hearing both of you guys go back and forth. I have a question, a couple questions for you, actually, and I want to hear from both of you. The first one is, what is a favorite family tradition you celebrate every Thanksgiving? And the second one is, what is your favorite thing to make or cook for Thanksgiving dinner? You want to go first?
You go first, Bill. Okay, well, our tradition is we turn the Christmas lights on on Thanksgiving night, so that's the first night they go on. So you already have them set up. We do, yeah. We live in a pretty cold climate where I live, so we have to do that before the ice and the snow hit.
So we get them all ready to go. Thanksgiving after dinner, they're on, and now it's officially Christmas season. I love it.
What was the other one, the other question? The favorite thing to make. Do you cook anything on Thanksgiving? Yeah, we do this casserole, which is kind of like mashed potatoes plus sweet potatoes and a little bit of bacon on top.
It's really good. That sounds good, Bill. Okay, so our Thanksgiving tradition as a family, you know, we have some Christmas ones. I'm trying to think of, I mean, we usually, we're either traveling to my mom's place or my mother-in-law's place. So I guess that's a tradition, right? We kind of switch off year by year, and so we'll spend time with family and eat a ton of food. I mean, that's the tradition and give thanks to the Lord.
Now, just out of curiosity, I know you're a big fan of carne asada. Do you have that on Thanksgiving day? No, I don't.
I don't. Turkey ham, what do you do? So we, I mean, I guess it depends. So if we're with my family, big Hispanic family, we usually have just everything but not carne asada. So that's kind of, but like, so there's usually a turkey and a ham and a roast and a bunch of other stuff. You know, you got the stuffing you have, and it's typically all done, I think, by, I mean, we've just been eating. I mean, we don't just stop and eat at the end of the day.
It's just all there. And then at the end of the day, after we've eaten for most of the day, we stop and we give thanks and then we eat more. And so it really is, it's kind of like a marathon, a food marathon, which is my favorite marathon to run, actually. And then in terms of a thing to cook, last year was the first year I experimented with making a turkey.
And it was amazing. All you have to do is, I mean, I took probably seven sticks of Kerrygold butter and a ton of herbs and spices. I just made this sort of like herb butter. And then I baptized the turkey and all of that butter, full immersion, just, you know, under the skin and everything.
And then with that sort of herb butter crust that you create around the turkey, you put it in the oven and then you turn the oven on and wait. I forget how long we waited, but it was amazing. Wow. That really sounds good. I may be over.
I may be coming to your house. There's none left. All right. Well, thanks for that. Happy Thanksgiving, by the way. Thank you for what a blessing it is to be able to celebrate and to do this. Amen. Amen. Well, we do receive emails here at Core Christianity.
Here's one that came in from Tom. Interesting question for Thanksgiving. He says, I never could stand TV preachers who always talked about the Christian life as happy and clappy. But I realized there are passages in the Bible that say when someone is suffering, they should give thanks to God. I'm thinking of Philippians four, six, where it says, Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with Thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And Second Corinthians four, fifteen through sixteen, where it says we should give thanks even though we are, quote, wasting away.
Can someone actually do this without appearing to be cheesy and superficial? Well, the answer is yes. Now, I'm not saying that that's easy. Right. And I don't think that the kind of Thanksgiving that God calls us to give in the midst of suffering is a Thanksgiving that minimizes the pain that we're going through. I don't think God is just saying, well, brush your pain under the rug and sort of grit your teeth and give thanks to me. So it's not giving thanks for the suffering as suffering, if you will.
Right. That's masochism. That's that's, you know, taking delight in in suffering and pain. And that's not what God calls us to.
It's the realization that God is able to work and so often does work in and through our suffering and pain. Now, we may not fully comprehend what exactly God is doing in the midst of a trial. And so often we don't. We don't have those answers.
Sometimes we don't have those answers here on earth. I mean, we're not going to know fully, you know, God, why did you allow that? And maybe maybe we won't have any answer this side of heaven, but maybe in the presence of the Lord, then then we'll understand. We don't know why God allows certain things, but we have the confidence and hope that he loves us and that he's able to work in and through those things. I mean, I think of what James says in James Chapter one, count it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. And so for the believer, there is this conviction that even through suffering, God is producing something in us. And so we're giving thanks to God because he's sovereign, because he's in control, and because he's able to work in and through our circumstances, even when we don't fully understand that. And my concern is, you know, when people hear about, you know, giving thanks in the midst of your trials that they just have this sort of like, oh, you know, this, how is that possible? You know, like, were we just pretending like it's not real?
No, it is real. And we don't minimize that. We can go to the Lord in lamentation. I mean, the Psalms do this over and over again, right?
I mean, how many of the Psalms are the Psalmist saying, God, where are you? Why am I being crushed right now by my enemies? I'm terrified.
I can't sleep. I feel like you've abandoned me. I mean, of course, much more eloquent than I just said, but you do have that throughout the Psalms. The majority of the Psalms, so many people miss this, but the majority of the Psalms are laments. There's, I mean, the Psalms were the hymnal of God's people, if you will. And God, you know, he gives them the words to sing to him, and he says, here, here are a lot of laments, because God knows, I think, what we need. And the fact that the Christian life, the life of his people is one where there is pain and suffering.
We're not exempt from it. And I also, you know, appreciate the way this question came in, because I also get frustrated with those TV preachers who pretend like you're not supposed to experience that. And if you do, you must be sinning in some way. Well, no, that's the heresy of the prosperity gospel, but we can and we do give thanks that God is at work even in the midst of our suffering. And that's how we make sense, I think, of those texts, like Philippians chapter four, verse six. Don't be anxious about anything.
Why? Because God is, we know that the Lord is in control, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. In other words, in the midst of your suffering, God still wants to hear from you. And you can go to him with the burden that you carry, the pain that you feel, and cry out to him. And you can give him thanks because you know who he is.
He's sovereign. He cares about you. He's the Heavenly Father who loves you. And pray to him for relief, for strength, and in that, with thanksgiving. Pray with thanksgiving. Some great words on this thanksgiving day, especially if you're going through something really difficult in your life right now.
So thanks for that, Adriel. Chances are you might be having thanksgiving dinner with family or friends, maybe extended family tonight. And here's a question that came in from one of our listeners that really could be applied to those family gatherings.
This is from Ben, who's in Wichita, Kansas. I wanted to call in to ask a question about how to approach family members when they have strong beliefs that have been read through websites in regards to things like Joe Biden being dead and being played by actors. These kind of things are really concerning to me as a person who says they're of the Christian faith and is believing these quote-unquote prophets. He can just help me understand how to speak with those people when they bring up these strong opinions, as well as how to pray for them and where I can help them find in the Bible scriptures to read to straighten them back out. And Ben, I mean, you know, having meals around the table with friends and family members is interesting because, you know, we're coming together with different perspectives and often you do have some tension there, right? And we think about faith, we think about things like politics, we think about raising children and so on and so forth, and there's just a lot of differences of opinion, so often within families.
And so with something like this, where you have an individual who has probably spent a lot of time on the Internet and has gone down a lot of rabbit holes deeper and deeper and deeper to the point where they've embraced something that really is kind of, I mean, we're talking a conspiracy theory or something like that, right? I think that there are a couple of approaches. I mean, obviously you want to pray. I think having a conversation, listening is always helpful.
Let me try to understand where you're coming from. But I try to encourage people, when I see this is happening, I like to ask the question, what is shaping the way that you think primarily? Is it these rabbit holes that you're going down on the Internet and you're spending hours and hours and hours every day looking at this stuff, or is it the word of God? And the word of God, as God's word shapes us, gives us discernment, gives us guidance, gives us wisdom. It's the one thing that we can bank on that we can say, this is true.
I don't have to fact check this. I can receive this as God's very word to me. So often we spend our time hearing from all these other voices, not being shaped by the scriptures. And I think when that happens, we lose the ability to discern well and we end up in some weird places. And so I just think, one, asking, maybe not even getting into the substance of the particular belief, but just saying, hey, how are you doing?
How are you spending your time? I think of what Titus said in Titus chapter three, verse nine. Avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. As for a person who stirs up division after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him knowing that such a person is warped and sinful.
He is self-condemned. But you note that, right? Paul is saying, don't waste your time with these foolish controversies, wranglings about the law, and so on and so forth. No, focus on that which edifies and builds up. And so I think that's a big question there is how is an individual spending their time and encouraging them to be shaped by that which we know is true, that which we don't have to fact check, that which God calls us to be formed by above all else. And then with regard to the specifics, I think it's fair to challenge the specifics.
Depending on what they are, and sometimes they're just so outlandish, but having that conversation now, I don't think that means that you need to crawl into the rabbit hole too. And that's where I think Scripture gives us wisdom. Look, don't be consumed with these controversies. Encourage people to be shaped by the word of God and try to pull them out of that because so often it's just unhealthy. And really that is going to require, I think, prayer and the application of Scripture.
So Bill, I don't know if you have anything to add there. I mean, it's a tough one. And especially if it's somebody really close to you, I mean, your mother-in-law, I mean, what do you do?
I think you just have to say that's really an interesting belief that you have. Let's open up God's Word, shall we? They just totally deflect and change the subject.
It is hard, and especially when it's with someone that we love dearly. And that's all the more reason for us to ask those questions, those underlying questions, because we don't want our loved ones to be lost in this pit. And so often when people are consumed with this stuff, what do we see? We see fear. We see anxiety. We see a lack of trust, I think, oftentimes in God and in His power, His sovereignty. And those are things that we don't want for ourselves and certainly that we don't want for our loved ones. We want them to be secure, standing on the solid rock of Holy Scripture. And so it's an encouragement to another person to say, let this shape you. Let God's Word bring you comfort.
Sure, there's a lot of craziness out there, right? And you pull back the curtain, and who knows what you'll find? But at the end of the day, that's not where our focus is supposed to be. Our focus is supposed to be on the Word of God, letting that shape us, give us confidence and hope to engage the people around us with the truth of Scripture.
And you can also say, here have some more mashed potatoes. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Happy Thanksgiving to you and to your family. Just a reminder that Core Christianity is a listener-supported ministry, so we count on people just like you to help us pursue our mission of sharing the gospel, equipping believers and answering those tough questions that non-believers may have. If you'd like to make a gift, you can easily do that by going to corechristianity.com and clicking on the donate link. And we'd also like to tell you about becoming an ongoing supporter by joining what we call our inner core. Yeah, if you are blessed by the broadcast, if you've given thanks to the Lord for the work that we're doing, and we certainly give thanks to God for you and for your support, would you consider joining the inner core? It's a monthly donation of $25 or more, and committing to that, committing to pray for us is huge.
It helps us to continue to produce many of the print resources that we give out for free, some of the booklets that you oftentimes hear about here on the broadcast, but certainly it also helps us to continue to produce this radio show and to keep doing the things that we're doing here. It's so wonderful to see the impact that this broadcast, through the grace of God and by the power of the Spirit, has had on a broad audience, and so we want to ask you to partner with us in that and with that goal of helping people come into a deeper understanding of scripture and a closer walk with Christ. As a thank you for joining the inner core, we'll send you a copy of the book, Core Christianity by Dr. Michael Horton, which is a wonderful short read, not really long, but it gets into the core doctrines of the Christian faith that we know are so important for living in this day and age. Thank you for your support, and please prayerfully consider joining the inner core.
You can learn more about that by going to corechristianity.com forward slash inner core, again corechristianity.com forward slash inner core. Well, you can leave us a voicemail here at Core Christianity over the Thanksgiving weekend. Anytime if you've got a question you haven't been able to call in live on the show, feel free to call us 24 hours a day at this number. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Here's a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners named Paul. Paul, thank you for that question. I'm assuming just based on the question that you don't believe maybe that Jesus is God, and that here he is indicating that only the Father is God, but that he is not God.
And I would say that that's not the case at all. I mean, certainly earlier in John's Gospel, Jesus says, if you've seen me, you have seen the Father. Not to indicate identity with regard to personhood, because we do believe that the persons of the Holy Trinity are distinct, but to indicate that oneness in terms of essence.
God is one in essence, undivided, three distinct persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And earlier in John's Gospel, Jesus said things like, all should honor me just as they honor the Father, John 5. Or before Abraham was, I am, John 8, verse 58, identifying himself as God, as the Lord. And certainly John, who wrote this Gospel, but also wrote the book of Revelation, when he gives us the picture of worship in heaven, he sees all creation, everything, the angels, all people, bowing down before God the Father and God the Son, worshiping, saying, worthy are you. And so this is what you see throughout John's writings, both his Gospel, his epistles, 1 and 2 John, and also the book of Revelation. And so we want to take all scripture together, and one of the rules of, I think, good Bible interpretation is we let the clear passages of scripture help us in understanding the ones that are less clear, so that when we have a statement like this, that we're understanding it in its own context and in the broader context of both the Gospel of John, all of John's writings, and then the New Testament, the Old Testament, the entire Bible. And when we do that, it becomes very clear that, okay, well, what Jesus can't be saying here is that he is not one with the Father, that he is not God, that he is not to be worshiped.
Because even at the end of John's Gospel, what happens? Thomas falls before him and says, my Lord and my God worships him, and Jesus receives that. And so then what do we do here in John chapter 17? The context here is the high priestly prayer of our Lord, praying before he goes to the cross for the world, for his disciples as well, specifically, and those who would follow him in the world. He says, don't take them out of the world, but that they would be one as we are one, and again, speaking to his Father. And you know what he says, the glory that you have given me, I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one. That's verse 22.
I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them, even as you have loved me. And so Jesus' identification of the Father as God, or as the only true God, doesn't mean that he's excluded from that, because of the oneness of the Trinity. In fact, even this idea of being sent from the Father shows us that as his source, if you will, the Son has the Father, that there's still this oneness, this relationship, this unity. And that's how many theologians have understood this idea, this being sent, the Son being sent by the Father. Those are all things that I would say, and I would just encourage you, Paul, to not pick one verse and build your theology off of that, but to take all of the scripture together and look at it, investigate it, and then build your conclusions in that way.
And when you do, I think it becomes very clear who Jesus says he is and why the Church has for 2,000 years worshipped him, not just as a mere man, but as the true God. Amen. Good counsel. Thanks, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.
We have time for one quick email before we go. This one's from Matthew. He says, Were Adam and Eve created perfect and complete, or were they set up to fall into sin from the very beginning? They were created, I would say, perfect and complete in one sense. There was still something held out to them there in the garden. They were commanded to do something, and had they done it, I think they would have been glorified, if you will. They would have entered into this state of confirmed righteousness.
They weren't there yet. There was this trial period, this temptation. Now, that doesn't mean that they were sinful when they were created. They were sinless, but left to the freedom of their own will. They chose to sin. Yes, Adam and Eve were created upright in this state of original righteousness, we might say, and they fell from that by sinning, by eating the forbidden fruit. Now, the second part of that question is, did or were they set up to fall? I mean, was God putting the banana peel out there, and bam, I got you.
No, I don't think so at all. He didn't set them up to fall, but there was this trial, this probationary period, we might say. God called them to obedience, to faithfulness, and he gave them freedom of choice. Based on their own decision, their own sin, they fell. God is not the author of sin, nor does he tempt anyone. This is what James says.
It's important for us to understand this. God is good. He is the good heavenly Father, from whom come all good and perfect gifts, like delicious turkey, and mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie, with whipped cream. You have a blessed Thanksgiving, and thanks once again for listening to The Core. 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. .
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