Should we ask God to give us signs when we make big life decisions? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi there.
We pray you had a wonderful weekend. I'm 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. It's 833-THE-CORE, and our phone lines will be open for the next 25 minutes or so.
1-833-843-2673. Now, we also have a YouTube channel, and you can watch Adriel live right now on YouTube and see our wonderful little Christmas tree in the studio. You can check that out and send him a question that way. You can also email us anytime at questionsatcorechristianity.com.
First up today, let's go to a voicemail from one of our listeners. I'm kind of confused. When we ask for forgiveness of our sins on Judgment Day, we have to be accountable for our sins once again. It's like we have to be accountable once we're forgiven already. Can someone explain that to me? Thank you.
I love your show. Jesus said very clearly in the Gospel of John, John 5, that the one who believes in him does not enter into judgment but has already passed from death to life. For the believer in Jesus Christ, the one who is justified, the judgment has already been rendered.
You're acquitted. You've been forgiven. The righteousness of Jesus Christ has been given to you. I think that's really important. When we think about the judgment for us as believers, yes, throughout the New Testament especially, it talks about this judgment according to works or our works being brought into view. But we're not justified on the basis of our righteousness or our works even. There's the whole question of rewards and what that's going to look like in the age to come. We're standing before the Lord.
We're commended for the good things that we've done. But I just think it's really, really important for us to recognize that for us, and John says this in 1 John 4, verses 17 and following, we can have confidence on the day of judgment. Again, the passage that I was referencing in John 5, verse 24, Jesus says, Truly, truly I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment but has passed from death to life. There it is right there.
It really is remarkable. The believer in Jesus Christ has passed from death to life. For us, dying is an entering into life, if you will, being transported into the presence of the Lord, being perfected in holiness. We're not going to be condemned. We've already passed from death to life.
That's what I would want to say in relation to this question. If you were trying to get at why do we keep asking for forgiveness or why should we keep asking for forgiveness as those who have already been forgiven by Jesus Christ, I might point to another passage that John wrote in 1 John, chapter 1, verse 5. This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you. God is light and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus' son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. When we sin as believers, that doesn't take away our justified status.
John is going to go on to say, I'm writing these things to you so that you may not sin, but if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. But it does affect that communion that we have with the Lord as we grieve the Holy Spirit through our sin. It affects the communion that we have with each other. It creates that relational barrier, if you will, even with the body of Christ and our loved ones. We continue to confess our sins that we might walk in the light and have that close communion with the Lord and with each other in the body of Christ. Thank you for your question and God bless. Timothy, thanks so much for listening to Core Christianity and for submitting your question. We really do appreciate it.
We'd love to hear from you. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, our phone lines will be open for the next 20 minutes or so. The number is 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. As I mentioned, we also have a YouTube channel and you can submit your questions through YouTube. Jonathan was checking in on YouTube and has an interesting question, Adriel. He says, I have a wayward teenage son that my wife and I brought up in the Gospel. Does this disqualify me from eldership or ministry? He refers to 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 3.
Jonathan, thank you for that question. 1 Timothy 3, you have the qualification for elders in the church overseers. Paul told Timothy, the saying is trustworthy. If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore, an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well with all dignity, keeping his children submissive. For if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? And it's that section right there, I think, that is probably, you know, you're asking about that. Having a teenage son who is wayward now, I don't know, that can mean all sorts of different things.
It could be doesn't like to listen at home, you know, is sneaking out and so on and so forth. Let me just say one thing first. We pray for our children. I mean, it sounds like you said, you know, you and your wife have sought to bring him up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. But we do everything that we can, but we know that salvation is a work of the Holy Spirit, that we can't, I can't, you can't grant the new birth, if you will, to my child.
I can't snap my fingers. We bring the word of God to bear. We bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord in the church. And we pray that the Lord would do his work. Now, I think that there needs to be order and care in the household.
But maybe you've done that and you're continuing to do that and you're continuing to, you know, seek to have discipline in the home and maybe your son is fighting against it. I don't know that that would necessarily disqualify you from ministry. Now, I would say that the most important thing, though, is speaking to the people who are around you. Elders are called by God and by the church. And so this is something that your local church, if this is something that you're pursuing, that they should have eyes on. And they're the ones who should be able to say, yeah, we've seen this situation. We know what's going on and we think that you are qualified. We've seen how you have sought to raise your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. And this is nothing you could have done in this situation.
You've done everything like you should have done. We still think that you should serve as an elder. Or maybe they say, no, it's very clear that that wasn't the case. And it's clear that your household is not in order and you need to focus right now on your son and on your family. That's not necessarily a bad thing. It's just saying, here's where the priority needs to be. Here's where the focus needs to be. And so I can say these things and I think maybe the biggest takeaway is just because a teenage son or daughter is struggling with faith or not professing faith.
That doesn't mean that you are necessarily disqualified, I would say. But this is where the church is so important. And since it's the church that calls people to this holy office, you need to go to them. And this is a conversation you need to be having with your local church. And I pray that through that you get more clarity and wisdom. Thank you for reaching out to us, Jonathan.
That's really good counsel, Adriel. And you know, my wife and I have three teenagers at home, so we know what it's like to have a disordered household. What do we mean when we say a disordered household? I think here we're talking about actually the individual who's disqualified in 1 Timothy 3, I believe, is someone who has not done or been doing what God has called them to do in terms of raising their children with discipline and raising them with the Lord and that nurture and admonition. We all know godly parents who have done that and who have prayed for their children, bringing them to church every Sunday.
And for whatever reason, there can be a period of rebellion or just even rejecting the faith. And again, I think we have to be careful. We don't want to make people feel like you're the one who saves your child.
We can't do that. We pray and we seek the Lord and we trust in Him. And so that's key here. And as I said, the church is so important in situations like these because obviously I can give my two cents from where I'm sitting here far away, but it's the Lord that calls, but the church as well. There's that external call as well through the church. The church is calling these individuals and testing them to see if they're qualified to serve in this holy office. And so really important that we take that seriously. Really well said.
Thanks for that, Adriel. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you've got a question about the Bible or the Christian life, maybe there's a Bible passage that really stumps you.
I don't really understand this or there seems like a contradiction here. Hey, we're open to your questions always. Maybe you have some doubts about the Christian faith. We'd love to hear from you as well.
Or maybe there's an area in your life where you are struggling. We'd love to pray for you and hear what's going on. Give us a call right now. 833-THECORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Now, I want to mention that with Christmas coming up, one of the Gospels that focuses on the details of the Christmas story is the Gospel of Luke. And we have a brand new Bible study on Luke's Gospel that we'd like to tell you about today.
Yeah, here at the Core, we love to spotlight the Word of God. One of the primary ways we do that is through our Bible studies, and our newest Bible study is on the Gospel of Luke. If you're looking for a study that's going to help you walk with Jesus, this Luke study is a great resource. Through the Gospels, we experience the living presence of Christ in our lives today.
And as we see Christ through scripture, we're transformed more and more to reflect His image. Through our radio, podcasts, articles, and website, the Bible studies that we produce, other resources even that we create, we want to help you dig into the scriptures and gain discernment and confidence so that you and your loved ones can live out your Christian faith before a watching world. But we need your support, the support of our listeners, to continue to do this work into the new year, to help us continue to produce the show and create Christ-centered resources available to so many who need them. Would you consider making a donation today? With your donation of $20 or more, we'll help by sending you a copy of this study on the Gospel of Luke as a way of saying thank you for joining us in this work. Head over to corechristianity.com forward slash newstudies to make a donation now and request a copy of this latest study on Luke's Gospel. Thank you for your support. You know, just a reminder, Core Christianity is not supported by a denomination or a church. We actually rely on your generous support to keep this program going. And we hear from thousands of people every year whose lives are being changed by listening to this show and reading our Bible studies. And as you're considering any year-end giving you might be doing to your church or to a parachurch organization, a ministry you believe in, we would ask you to prayerfully consider a donation to Core Christianity. To get that Gospel of Luke Bible study and support Core, you can go to corechristianity.com forward slash studies.
You can also call us at this number 833-843-2673 for help getting any one of our offers. Let's go to a voicemail that came in. This is from one of our listeners named Eric. My question is regarding asking God for guidance concerning certain questions. Sometimes you're asking for guidance on an issue that doesn't have a—it's not necessarily good or bad. Like if, say, you want to buy a house or move out of your apartment, how would you ask for guidance from the Lord if we're not really supposed to ask for signs? That's my question.
That's an excellent question and very, very practical. Brother, I think we can go to the Lord and pray and just say, Lord, make your will known. Guide me in this situation. Sometimes God may give what seems to be a very real sign leading us, but most of the time he doesn't.
Usually it's just through his providence that he directs us and guides us. I think as you're praying, as you have a decision before you, and as you said, it's not a matter of sin. It's not a question of if I do this, I'm sinning. If I don't do this, I'm not sinning.
Which one should I do? There the answer is clear. God has revealed it through his word. But when it's a coin toss, when you don't know which way to go, I think you say, Lord, open the door through your providential hand. Wherever it is that you want me to go, give me wisdom. The scripture in the wisdom literature talks about the wisdom of having a multitude of counselors as well. So I think having other godly voices in your life who know you, who know your family, that can speak into this situation. I think that's great. I think that's really helpful. I think asking yourself questions.
Let's say, I'll just give an example. The decision is, should I move to this city or stay in the city that I'm at? I think asking questions like, well, how is that going to affect my ability to provide for my family? Am I in a good church right now and potentially if I'm moving to another place, am I going to be able to be in a good church? Are there other good churches around there where we're going to be able to continue to grow in the grace and the knowledge of Christ? A lot of times I think people make big decisions without thinking about the spiritual effect, if you will, that come as a result of the decision.
So those are some of the questions you want to ask. But ultimately just trusting that God is going to guide you providentially through opening a door or shutting a door, through giving you a sense of, okay, I think this is the right way for us to go. Paul, writing to the Corinthians, he talks about an open door that the Lord gave to him for the proclamation of the gospel. But then he says there are also many adversaries. We sometimes think an open door from God means there aren't going to be challenges associated with this decision or it's just going to be smooth sailing.
That's not always the case. Sometimes God might be guiding you in a particular direction and there might be pushback from the world, from others. And so it's just trusting in the Lord. And I think as you're praying and you have a multitude of counselors around you and you're searching the scriptures, wanting to make sure that whatever you do, you're doing it in line with God's word, if that's what's in question.
But if it's just, again, a decision that doesn't have to do with something that's sin or not, I would say just trusting the Lord and praying and making that decision with confidence that God is with you. And so thank you for your question. Good counsel. Thanks for that, Adriel.
This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We hear from people all over the country on this program. Let's go to Darren in Peoria, Illinois.
Darren, what's your question for Adriel? Hello. Hello, sir. Hey, Darren, how are you? Fantastic.
Really enjoy your show. My question is, I've read it many times and I just pass over, what does the term idle words mean? We're going to give an account for every idle word.
What is the word meaning of that idle? Well, think of every careless word that you speak. Really, actually, just such a sobering passage that you bring up, Darren. It's from the Gospel of Matthew, Matthew chapter 12. Beginning in verse 33, Jesus said, Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you speak good when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment, people will give account for every careless word they speak. Now, the ESV, the Bible translation that I'm using, translates that word careless, idle.
But the stuff that we say without thinking, oftentimes the foolish things that we say, that we just sort of gloss, we just look over that or overlook that. No, God cares about how we use our speech. And Jesus went on to say, By your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. And so the warning here is related to how we use our tongues. And there's a call to repentance here. Jesus is rebuking the religious leaders. He had just talked about the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit in the previous section. They had been speaking evil about our Lord, saying that he was possessed by the evil ones. So they're way out there, and he's warning them very strongly about the things that they're saying so carelessly. And we should take that warning as well in terms of how we use our speech.
It's like the Apostle Paul said to the Ephesians in Ephesians chapter 4, Let no corrupt speech come from your mouth, but only such as is good and edifying, that it might give grace to those who hear. That's how we want to talk to each other, Darren. Thank you for your question. Thanks for that, Adriel.
This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Heath calling in from Mustang, Oklahoma. Heath, what's your question for Adriel? Hey guys, how are you doing? Good! Heath, how are you doing?
I'm doing good. I've had a question I've wondered about for quite a few years. I can't remember, I'm in my car, so I can't remember the verse that it's in reference to, but it's where Moses, I guess it's in reference to Moses, the argument between Satan and God about the disposition of Moses' body. And that was in another book. And it always was strange to me that that book was not chosen to be part of the New Testament when everything is 100% God-breathed. So being that that was referenced in the New Testament, would that not lead credence to that book that was not chosen?
Heath, what an excellent question and a thoughtful question. So it's coming from Jude, Jude 9. There's only one chapter in Jude. I'm going to begin in verse 8.
Actually, let me just give you some context. Jude is talking about false teachers in the church who are condemned. There's a lot of parallels between Jude and 2 Peter, by the way.
Read those two books together. And he says in verse 8, in like manner, these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. Probably a reference to angels there. But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, the Lord rebuke you.
Now when did that happen? That's not something that we read in the Old Testament. And you're totally right, Heath. Jude is probably quoting from an apocryphal book there known as The Assumption of Moses, which was interesting there. The reason he quotes from this is probably because, for whatever reason, his audience was familiar with this book. And so he's using it to make a point.
Just because he uses it to make a point doesn't mean that it's necessarily inspired, though. Think about the Apostle Paul preaching at the Areopagus. He quotes from pagan philosophers there in order to do what?
To make a point. There he quotes, in him we live and move and have our being. He's appealing to his audience something that they embrace, something that they accepted, and he's trying to make a point, a biblical point for them.
And I think that's what Jude is doing here. And you see this in other places of the New Testament as well. And so just because the New Testament quotes from an apocryphal book or from a pagan philosopher, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's seeking to tell us that those were books that were inspired, holy scripture in the same sense that the Old Testament canon or the canon of scripture is inspired.
I think that we're thinking about two different things there. So I don't think that needs to call into question, you know, what was the assumption of Moses' apocryphal book supposed to be included. I don't even think that the apostles themselves would have thought as much or felt as much. He's quoting this text to make a point against the false teachers that were wreaking havoc on the church at that time. And it's basically, right, if even the angel, the Archangel Michael, wasn't presumptuous in his speech to Satan according to this apocryphal book, then these false teachers have no excuse.
Remember, he had just said they blaspheme the glorious ones. And so that's what I would say. I don't think this needs to call into question the canon of scripture or, you know, suggest to us that the assumption of Moses needed to be included in the canon of scripture is just being referenced in order to make a point. Excellent question.
I appreciate you calling in with that. Just a quick follow-up for you, Adriel. What would you say about some of those Bible books that the Catholic Church believes are legitimate but we would consider apocryphal? Yeah, I mean, if you look at a Roman Catholic Bible, it's bigger than ours, and this gets into the question of the canon of scripture. But the canon seemed to be set during the time of the New Testament.
Jesus quotes from a number of books, authorizing them, if you will, and a lot of those books that are included by the Roman Catholic Church, I would say, were not original to the canon, so it's important that we understand that. God bless you guys. 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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