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Does God Know Who Will Be Saved or Does He Choose Who Will Be Saved?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
December 2, 2022 5:14 pm

Does God Know Who Will Be Saved or Does He Choose Who Will Be Saved?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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December 2, 2022 5:14 pm

Episode 1111 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

1. Before the fall, could all the animals talk like the serpent?

2. Will we eat in heaven with our glorified bodies?

3. How do foreknowledge and predestination relate to each other in election?

4. Will our family pets be with us in heaven?

5. How can I help my friend understand that Christmas isn't a pagan holiday?

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Resources

Core Guide - 5 REASONS CHRISTMAS IS NOT A PAGAN HOLIDAY

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Does God know who will be saved or does He choose who will be saved? 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 our phone number.

That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and you can always email us at questions at corechristianity.com. And Adriel, the studio has a festive look today. Yeah, we have a little Christmas tree in here that they set up. I mean, that wasn't my doing, but it's pretty cool. I mean, I'm all about the Christmas decorations, so I know, Bill, you guys just put up a tree recently, is that right? You know, we actually went out and I cut down our own tree in a big Christmas tree farm and got an eight-footer and took my saw to it and then dragged it to our Honda Pilot, brought it home, and it's beautiful in our living room right now.

Wow. Yeah, so we don't get to do that in San Diego. I mean, we don't get to cut down our own trees. They're already cut free. I wouldn't even know what or how to do that.

I think I'd end up hurting someone. But that's pretty awesome. Eight-foot, that's the real deal. My wife will never go for one less than eight feet.

She goes, it has to almost touch the ceiling. But we have a really cool little angel that goes on top of our tree. It's a beautiful, I guess the best way to describe it is a little female figurine. It's supposed to be an angel with a little white dress on it, and it lights up. My mom, who's passed away, bought that for me many years ago, and so it's just kind of a remembrance of her.

Oh, well, that's wonderful. I mean, isn't that a cool thing? I was just thinking about our tree and some of the ornaments that we have, you know, dating back to when my wife and I were first married, and then every year our kids will pick one ornament. It's just neat to look at the tree, and each ornament sort of brings back a memory of someone or something, and I think that's so cool. Pretty neat Christmas traditions.

I love doing that, and we have those for our kids as well for each year of life and something significant in their lives. Well, let's go to our phones, and again, you can call us right now if you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, theology, doctrine. We are open to your questions.

833-THE-CORE is the number, 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to John in St. Peter's, Missouri. John, what's your question for Adriel? Hi, Pastor Adriel. I was reading for Advent today, and I was reading in Genesis chapter 3 verse 1, and when the serpent is talking to Eve, do you think all animals could have been able to talk before the fall?

John, that is an excellent, excellent question. Genesis chapter 3 verse 1, now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made, and he said to the woman, did God actually say to you? So you have this talking serpent. Now, of course, later in the Bible, John, that serpent is identified as the evil one, Satan, in places like Revelation chapter 12 verse 9, a fallen angel.

There are differences. There are different views as to was he taking the form of a serpent? Did he possess a serpent?

How is this happening? And then the broader question of, well, were all the animals there in the garden talking? And we really don't know. I think another question that this relates to is in the new creation, John, when we're in the new creation resurrected, are the animals going to be able to talk?

Are they going to be able to communicate with us? I will say this, and this is really interesting. There is a story in the Bible where the Lord allowed one particular animal to talk in the book of Numbers, in Numbers chapter 22, there was a donkey belonging to someone named Balaam, and Balaam gets upset with his donkey. He begins to kick the donkey, and the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey so that she began to talk to Balaam.

That's Numbers chapter 22 verse 28 and following. Here's what I'll say. It's possible. It's very possible that in the garden that maybe the animals could talk.

We just don't know. It's possible that in the new creation, animals are going to be able to communicate more. One thing that's also interesting, John, is when the apostle John has his vision of the book of Revelation, he sees these strange creatures. They're referred to as four living creatures in Revelation chapter 4, and they're speaking, praising God, saying, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty who was and is and is to come. What's interesting about that text in particular is those four living creatures, probably angelic beings, representative of the created order.

When John sees them, he says the first living creature looked like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. So you have these animal-like creatures singing in heaven. So that might be a line of evidence there for animals, these created beings speaking in the new creation.

But again, we don't have a real clear text to say, yes, certainly all the animals in the garden spoke or all the animals in the new creation are going to talk. I think it's something that we can talk about and look forward to. And so, John, love that you're reading the scriptures, this Advent. I pray that the Lord blesses you and your family this Christmas. And just thank you for giving us a call.

Hope to hear from you again sometime soon. God bless. Hey, John, hang on the line for one second, because we would like to send you and your family a copy of the book Core Christianity.

It'd be a great book for your family to read together this Christmas and talk about the incarnation, Jesus coming to earth on our behalf. So hang on and give your address to our phone people and we'll get that from you. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We're open to your calls.

Our phone lines will be open for the next 15, 20 minutes or so. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, maybe there's something going on in your life that you're struggling with. Maybe you have some issues with what's going on at work or school where your Christian faith is running up against some opposition. We're open to your questions.

And of course, if you have any doubts about the Christian faith, we'd love to hear from you as well. Let's go to Andre in Longview, Texas. Andre, great to hear from you. What's your question for Adriel? Hey, Pastor Adriel. First, I just want to say Merry Christmas to you guys.

Thank you for what you do. But my question is kind of maybe a funny one, but I've always wondered in our new bodies or glorified state, will we eat? Because Jesus' ministry was surrounded actually by food a lot of the times, all the way to the Last Supper. You see in the Bible, constantly we're gathered around food and then to prove that he was real, you see him eating fish. So out of curiosity, you know, I know that the Lord is a pleasing aroma to the Lord, pretty much barbecue. But what are your thoughts on that?

Boy, yeah, absolutely. I do believe that in the new creation, we are going to be feasting. I mean, heaven, the kingdom of God is often depicted in Scripture as a great feast. Think of the wedding feast, the marriage supper of the Lamb. And certainly there is that text, a really, I think, important text in John chapter 21, where Jesus, after his resurrection from the dead, cooks breakfast for his disciples. They begin to eat fish there on the beach, you know, as he restores Peter.

So it's very clear, right? I mean, one of the things there that's really clear is that Jesus physically, you know, bodily rose again from the dead. There are some people who try to say, well, this was a spiritual thing.

No, this was a bodily resurrection here. You have Jesus eating there with the disciples on the beach. But again, so much of Scripture, when it looks at the new creation, if you will, the kingdom of God, it's a feast. And so I think of Isaiah chapter 25, verse 6. On this mountain, the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food, full of marrow, of aged wine, well refined. And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces.

This is, of course, quoted in the book of Revelation by the apostle John. So what we're looking forward to through the great redemptive work of Jesus Christ is the restoration of all things, the glorification of our bodies, but also of the whole created order. And so I imagine that we are going to be eating, feasting, enjoying the best. What does it say there? Well-aged wine, rich food, full of marrow.

You've got the T-bone steak right there with the bone in. This is absolutely amazing, and that's what we get to look forward to. It's a shame that so many people, when they think about the Christian faith and this idea of going to heaven, they think, well, Jesus died on the cross for my sins so that I could just go to heaven when I die. My body's going to go down into the ground, and I'm going to be floating around in this disembodied state for all eternity, kind of hopping from cloud to cloud. And that's, I guess, what the Lord has in store for us.

But that's not the case at all. It's so much more than that. It's the glorification, the restoration of the created world.

The body is good. God is restoring it. This is what the resurrection of Jesus itself speaks to. And so I'm looking forward to that, Andre, and I look forward to maybe one day in the kingdom of God sitting with you and enjoying that wonderful meal. God bless. Carne asada.

Bill, you always bring that up. It has to be a part of the new creation. I mean, they've got to have taco stands right in the New Jerusalem, I think, and so how could they not? It's such a heavenly gift already, this sort of breaking in of the kingdom of God through taco shops.

I love it. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Hey, just a reminder, we're coming up on the end of the year, and you might be doing some year-end giving to your church or some ministries that you really believe in, and we would appreciate it if you would prayerfully consider a gift to Core Christianity. We are 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 the questions of non-believers. We have an easy place you can go to make a donation, and that's our website, corechristianity.com. If you look on the top of that page, there's a donate link, but you can also learn more about becoming an ongoing supporter by what we call our inner core.

Yeah, the inner core is a group of monthly supporters. It's a donation of $25 or more every month, and it's how we continue to produce this broadcast and a lot of the written materials that we send out, really for your edification to build you up in your faith with the longing. I mean, our desire above all else, and I know this is true for the whole team, is we want to see you grow in the grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and so if you've been blessed by this broadcast and if that's happened through the work that we're doing, would you prayerfully consider joining the inner core? And as a thank you, we'll send you a copy of the book, Core Christianity, by Dr. Michael Horton. You can find out more about joining the inner core by going to corechristianity.com forward slash inner core, just corechristianity.com forward slash inner core, all one word. We'll tell you about that, and we'd love to have you join that special group of people, maybe even between now and the end of the year, so give that a chance.

Check that out at our website today. Well, let's go to a voicemail that came from one of our listeners earlier this week. This one is from Matt. A friend and I were having a discussion on the elect and our differing beliefs on what the elect means, and he said something that just didn't ring true to me. He said that God's foreknowledge isn't the same as his will, and I'm just curious on what you think about that. I would think that God's foreknowledge and his will are maybe one and the same.

Thank you. The word for know in the New Testament, which appears in places like Romans chapter 8, those whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. It's central to this debate, discussion, conversation about the doctrine of election. Basically, the two sides, and I know there are more than just two sides, but to summarize, there's one view that says God chooses us on the basis of the fact that he foreknows. He can see down the corridors of time, and he can see that we are going to choose him. It's because he has this perfect knowledge, and so when it talks about God choosing us, God predestining us, it's not so much that he's chosen us. It's more that he sees that we're going to choose him, and in that sense, he foreknew us, and predestination is based on God's foreknowledge. The other view is that actually the biblical word to know and this idea of foreknowledge is a lot meatier, if you will, than just this idea of having information beforehand, of knowing beforehand, because in scripture, to know speaks of intimacy. You think of the early chapters in Genesis where Adam knew his wife Eve. God sang to the children of Israel, you only of all the nations have I known. Speaking to the prophet Jeremiah, before you were born, I knew you. It's not God saying, yeah, I had the knowledge that you would be. It speaks of this intimacy, of this particular love.

What I would say is when scripture talks about God's foreknowledge, I'm not sure specifically when you talk about its relationship to God's will, foreknowledge in the Bible is God's particular love placed upon his people. That intimate knowledge, if you will. Think about what Jesus says to the false teachers in Matthew chapter 7. Depart from me, I never knew you. Of course, he's not saying there, I didn't know you existed.

No, God created them. He knows everything about every single one of us, whether we embrace him by faith or not. But there's that intimacy in relationship, and so that's how we need to understand that word foreknowledge. Even in places like Romans chapter 8, those whom he foreknew, he predestined. In other words, those whom he set his love upon in this particular way, and that's precisely what Paul said to the Ephesians in Ephesians chapter 1, beginning in verse 3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love, he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ according to the purpose of his will.

That in love there is parallel to this idea of foreknowledge, and so I think that's the best and most biblical way to understand the relationship between foreknowledge and divine election. Thank you for the question, brother. One of those very tricky theological debates that we often talk about on this program, but thanks for that clarification, Adriel.

This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Bruce on the line from Missouri. Bruce, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, I'm kind of getting into this a whole lot here lately, but my grandchildren, I've got a brother that tells me there's going to be no dogs, no cats in heaven, and I don't know what to tell them because my brother says no, but then I was just listening and I hear that there is going to be animals in there, you know, so it's kind of a question that I need answered so I know what to tell my grandchildren.

And I have another question if you've got time. Bruce, I had this conversation with my oldest recently because he brought a goldfish home from, I don't know, it was some sort of school, something or other, and I guess they were giving out goldfish for prizes. He brought the goldfish home and the poor thing didn't last more than a few hours, and he was devastated. And so the question came up, okay, where is my goldfish now?

Is my goldfish in heaven? And of course, you can extend that to all the animals in thinking about what happens to them. First, we need to understand, according to the Bible, that we are distinct from the animals and that we're made in the image of God as human beings, body and soul. And so there's just the reality that animals are different. The animal kingdom is different.

It's interesting because you think of, you know, the way in which a lot of people today, you know, secular humanists, for example, think about human beings as just being an animal, if you will. That's what we are, basically, biologically. Nothing special, nothing unique about us compared to the rest of the animal kingdom, if you will.

We might have more power, but that's about it. No, God says there is something unique and special about us. But we also believe, Bruce, that the new creation, God is restoring all things. Now, does that mean that my particular pet, my goldfish, my dog is going to be in heaven? The Bible doesn't speak to that, but I do believe that in the new creation, there are going to be animals.

And we're going to be able to engage with them. Again, I don't know exactly what that's going to look like, but in the new creation, that doesn't seem to be what the Bible teaches. And so what I would say to your grandchildren is, look, God loves his entire creation, all of his creation. We're called to take care of our pets and the created world that God has made. To cherish it, to give thanks for it, right?

Not to idolize it, but to give thanks for it. And God loves his creation so much that when it fell into sin, he sent Jesus into the world to die and rise again from the dead bodily for the restoration and healing of all things, which we look forward to at the last day. And so we experience pain and sorrow and death now because of sin. But Christ came to bring healing and restoration for his people through the forgiveness of sins, but for the whole created order. The Apostle Paul says in Romans, the whole creation is groaning for the revealing of the sons of God. And so we can be hopeful that in the new creation, we are going to have animals there and pets. Again, I don't know, the Bible doesn't say if it's going to be my particular dog or fish or whatever it is. And so we're just speculating there, but we do believe that they're going to be a part of the new creation.

And so that's what I would say and appreciate your question. May God bless you, Bruce. Hey, Bruce, you said you had a follow up question for Adriel. I guess we lost Bruce. But Bruce, are you still with us? Yes, I am. What was your second question?

Okay. It talks about when God, Jesus, comes to take us home. People tell me He says, as I come as a thief in the night, or He will come as a thief in the night. Does that mean He will come at night, or not literally?

Yeah, not literally. It's just, I mean, so in Matthew 24, for example, and elsewhere, I mean, Paul talks about Jesus coming as a thief in the night in 1 Thessalonians Chapter 5. But the idea there is people are going to be spiritually asleep, if you will, not paying attention, not focusing. And so there's the call for all of us to be vigilant, watchful, because we don't know the day or the hour of Christ's second coming, but we also don't know what our life holds, what's next for us. And so we're always called to be ready and watchful for the Lord. And so, no, that doesn't mean that Jesus is going to be coming at 3 a.m. or something like that. Again, you just think about the whole world.

This is going to be something the entire world experiences. And so the point there is it's that spiritual blindness that so many are going to suffer from when Christ returns. Thanks, Bruce. Appreciate your call and thanks for listening to Core Christianity. Let's go to Linda, who's on the line from Oklahoma.

Linda, what's your question for Adriel? Oh, I go to church with a lady who believes, who does not participate in Christmas and doesn't do it because she says it is pagan. And the Christmas trees, the gift giving and all that is pagan, so she doesn't do it. Plus the fact that we don't know the real day of Jesus' birth.

Yeah. So, Linda, what I would say is, look, nobody is bound to celebrate Christmas. There's one holy day that the New Testament gives us. It's called the Lord's Day. It's worshipping God on Sunday.

Historically, the church early on started celebrating particular events in the history of redemption, like the birth of Jesus Christ as incarnation, the resurrection from the dead. But these are things we should always keep at the forefront of our minds throughout the entire year. Now, sadly, this time of the year often does become an excuse for indulgence, self-indulgence, materialism, you know, all of these things. And so if that's what your friend is against, I think that's something we should all be against. But there's nothing wrong with celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. There's nothing wrong with, you know, these cultural things that we do like decorating Christmas trees. It's not pagan idolatry or worship, I would say.

I would say enjoy that. But the focus now, and really at all times, needs to be God and His glory. And all that we do, whatever you do, Paul says, whether you eat or drink, do everything to the glory of God. And so, yeah, I mean, I've had friends as well who say, well, I just don't see where, you know, Scripture says that we need to make this day special. And again, there's nothing wrong with that.

I wouldn't tell your friend, you have to do this or anything like that. I think we do need to worship the Lord. And Christmas does happen to land on a Sunday this year, and so I think we should be in church worshiping the Lord because God calls us to worship Him. And as I said already, there's nothing wrong with celebrating. We should celebrate the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

He's coming into the world to save sinners. God bless, Linda. And Merry Christmas.

Yeah, Merry Christmas, Linda. We have a great core guide on this particular topic for you, Linda. We can tell you where to find that. It's called Five Reasons Christmas is Not a Pagan Holiday. If you go to corechristianity.com forward slash guides, you can find that. Yeah, that would be a great resource for all of you.

I know that's a question that oftentimes comes up, you know, isn't Christmas rooted in pagan mythology or something like that? Get ahold of that resource, and I pray that the Lord does bless this season for you, that it isn't about materialism, but that it's about Jesus Christ and His glory for you and for your family. 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: medium.en / 2022-12-02 18:58:06 / 2022-12-02 19:08:49 / 11

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