Which prophecies and revelation have been fulfilled and which haven't? 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. This is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day.
We would love to hear from you and our phone lines are open for the next 25 minutes or so. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. Now we're also open to questions about doctrine or theology. Maybe if you have some doubts about the Christian faith, maybe you're new to the Christian faith and you've got some questions about how to live the Christian life. Hey, we'd love to hear from you as well.
Again, 833-THE-CORE is the number. You can post your question on one of our social media sites as well. And of course, you can always email us your questions.
Here's the email address. First up today, let's go to a voicemail from one of our listeners. This is Tiana. My question is, I just have an addiction for vaping.
I just want to know what ways I can change that and just really put down the vape. Thank you. Well, Tiana, thank you for giving us that, for just opening up and sharing that question.
First thing I want to do is just take a moment to pray for you that the Lord would give you victory in this area and get you the help that you need as well. Father, we come before you right now. Thank you for Tiana. Lord, this is something in her life that she is bound by, an unhealthy habit, Lord God, that she can't seem to set aside. And so we ask you, gracious Father, that you would give her strength, get her the support that she needs, that you would fill her with the Holy Spirit. Lord, we know that one of those fruits of the Spirit that you give to us is self-control. And so I pray for Tiana, that you would fill her with your Holy Spirit. I pray that you would help her not to walk in guilt or shame over this, Lord, but that she would bring it to you and experience your grace, mercy, forgiveness, and also the help, Lord, that you give to all those who call upon your name. Be with her, we ask, in Jesus' name.
Amen. I would see this as one of those sort of gray area issues. I don't think the Bible speaks specifically the same thing with tobacco or coffee or any number of things. The Bible doesn't say anything specifically about those things. I think this is a matter of Christian liberty. But we want to make sure that we're not being controlled by anything, any substance. The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6, verse 12, All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be dominated by anything. And so if your sense is, man, I'm being dominated by this thing, I think it is proper and right to pray and to bring it before the Lord. And of course in terms of getting help with addictions, a lot of times seeing a counselor or someone who can walk with you through the process of getting sober, if you will, I think can be really helpful. I know for some people quitting cold turkey is the way to go.
I know for other people it's different. And so I would say, one, just not beating yourself up, not walking in guilt and shame over this, bringing it to the Lord. And then, as I mentioned, one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is self-control. And so praying that the Lord would fill you with His Spirit so that in the choices you make, the decisions that you make, and all that you do, you're honoring the Lord. You're able to walk with a clear conscience in a way that's healthy and taking care of your body as well.
Bill, would love to hear your thoughts on this as well. Well, I know in the case of tobacco and certainly nicotine products in vaping, there are now some medical treatments. So one of the things I would suggest, Tiana, is that you talk to your doctor and see if you can get a medication that will help you to kick this habit. There's been some advances in that way. And as Adriel said, you know, continue to just pray and reach out to those in the body of Christ around you. That's one of the things we always want to do is reach out to those in the church to support us, to encourage us, to confess when we're having struggles. That's, you know, biblical and it's what we're called to do and to bear one another's burdens in cases like that. So we'll just continue to pray for you, Tiana. Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, let's go to Monica in Texas. Monica, what's your question for Adriel?
So a little bit of background. My father passed away last year and my stepmom, I found out this year from several people in the community that she has been going around and slandering me and my siblings. I heard a really good sermon on forgiveness and reconciliation and how we should start with ourselves and go and ask that person for forgiveness. So I've been trying to pray to figure out what I would have done for her to be doing this to me and my siblings, but I haven't heard anything yet. In all reality, I would never have to see her again, but my husband and I are expecting our first child. And so I'm not, I don't want her assuming that she will be a part of the kid's life after what she's done, and I'm not quite sure how to proceed.
Well, I'm sorry about your father's death and then just this situation, you know, the aftermath in having slander. Let me just ask you, is your stepmom a professing Christian? Does she claim to be a believer?
You know, I'm not sure. She actually got my dad to go back to church and, you know, thank goodness for that because he was saved through that. But she attends the Catholic church, and to me it almost just seems like habit, you know, like she will do the things that she needs to do to keep a good faith in the community, but I've never really seen her do anything Christ-like.
Okay, well, that's really helpful background. I think there's an opportunity here maybe to get some more clarity from her. You know, the scripture that comes to mind is Paul's exhortation and encouragement in Ephesians chapter 4 verse 29. Listen to what he said. He said, No corrupting talk come out of your mouth, but only such as is good for building up as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
It sounds like that's the opposite of what's been taking place. She's been talking about your siblings, you and your siblings, to others in the community. The apostle Paul goes on to say, And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. So I think there it's, okay, wanting to exhibit kindness, tenderheartedness, forgiveness toward her, but you also want to get to the bottom of what's going on for her sake too. Obviously, it sounds like she's not in a good position or in a good situation if she's got this bitterness, this malice in her heart, and she's spreading that slander. That's sin.
That's not good. And so I think it sounds to me like maybe there's an opportunity for you to go to her and just to say, Now, a lot of times when you go to someone in a situation like this and you say, Hey, I have evidence or these people have been telling me that you've been saying these things that are not true about us and it's hurtful, sometimes they can respond, oftentimes they'll respond defensively or they'll get angry. You never know. So I would say prayerfully, pray for her, pray for your own heart in this, but maybe use this as an opportunity to learn more about what's going on and to point her to Christ. And the positive thing there is, I mean, who knows how it'll go, but at least you can say, Look, I've done everything that I can do to live peaceably with her.
I don't understand what's going on, why she's spreading these lies and these rumors. But I am going to seek to be kind and tender hearted as scripture calls me to be and forgiving as God in Christ has forgiven me. And so maybe there's a moment of reconciliation there. Maybe she confesses and says, You know what?
I've had these feelings and they're not right and I'm so sorry. Or maybe she digs her heels in. But at least for your part, you can say, I've really pursued this. I've sought her. I don't know if she's truly a believer. You know, I can't look into her heart, but I know that she goes to church and giving her the benefit of the doubt. I've sought her and I've sought to pursue peace in this situation. And that's precisely what the Apostle Paul says. As much as it depends upon us, let's live peaceably with all people.
It doesn't mean it's always going to be possible, but I think it's what we should pursue. And so may God fill you with his grace, Monica. May he fill you with his spirit. May he give you wisdom and may he bring true peace in this situation as you seek to learn more and maybe approach your step-mom about what's been going on. And I pray that there really is a moment of forgiveness and that in the end, it leads to her sanctification and continued growth and grace and also to your continued growth and grace as well. God bless you. Monica, thanks so much for your call and thank you for listening to Core Christianity. We'll continue to pray for you in that entire situation.
If you have a question for Pastor Adriel about the Bible, the Christian life doctrine or theology, maybe how to walk for Christ in today's culture, we'd love to hear from you. Here is our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 833-843-2673.
Our phone lines will be open for the next 15 minutes or so, so now is the time to call. Now with Christmas coming up, we want to let you know about an excellent free resource that will answer a common question that we get this time of year. Yeah, Bill, every holiday season we hear the claim that Christmas is a pagan holiday. The early church in an attempt to appease the pagan culture mixed pagan festivals with Christian themes, and that's how we got Christmas. Is that the true story, though?
No, it isn't. Our new resource, Five Reasons Why Christmas Isn't a Pagan Holiday, helps to unravel some of the common misconceptions about the origins of Christmas. It'll give you an appreciation for the resilience of the church through the ages and explain why Christians can receive and celebrate Christmas with joy. It's yours for free over at corechristianity.com. You know, there's a lot of misinformation out there on this topic, so this would be an excellent resource to send to a Christian friend or relative. Maybe it has some confusion about this issue.
Again, it's called Five Reasons Why Christmas Isn't a Pagan Holiday. It's a free download on our website. To get it, head over to corechristianity.com forward slash offers.
That's corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Well, we do receive voicemails here at the Core. You can call us 24 hours a day and leave your question for Adriel.
The number 833-THE-CORE, that's 1-833-843-2673. Here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Janice in California. The other day, I heard you speaking of the all-millennial people who believe that we're living in the thousand-year reign spoken of in Revelation 20. My question is, does that then mean that all the previous chapters and revelations have already been fulfilled? And then for us, the next event on our calendar is just Christ's second coming, and that's what we're waiting for because all the others are spiritual.
Thank you. Janice, that's an excellent question. Yeah, we were talking about the millennium. Probably a while back now, Revelation chapter 20, where you have that language of a thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ. There are a number of ways to approach the book of Revelation, which Christians throughout the last 2,000 years have held to. Now, so long as we are confessing together, the bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ is second coming.
I think that's key, right? The future resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. So long as we're clinging to that, those truths, those core Christian truths, I think we're within the boundaries, if you will, of Christian orthodoxy.
But within those boundaries, there have been differences of opinion. There's what's known as the partial preterist reading of the book of Revelation, which takes the majority of the book as already having been fulfilled, specifically with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. And there are a number of scholars, New Testament scholars, who hold that view and will point to a number of things that were written by Josephus related to the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD and then some parallels in the book of Revelation. That's what the book of Revelation is primarily about, something that already has happened, but we can glean from it these general principles and truths.
And of course, the resurrection of the dead and the second coming are still future, still going to happen. So that's the partial preterist reading of the book of Revelation. There's also, and many of you are probably familiar with this view, I think this is probably the most common view in the United States at least, the futurist reading of the book of Revelation, which sees some of the early chapters as focusing on things that were going on there at that time. But then once you get past chapter four, the real meat of the book, it's talking about events that are still in the future, associated with a time of great tribulation, often viewed as a literal seven-year tribulation and then the coming of Christ and then a thousand-year millennial reign. And so if one group sees the majority of the book as already having been fulfilled, another view, the futurist view, sees the majority of the book as still awaiting fulfillment.
Now the view that I hold, the amillennial position, is somewhere in the middle, I guess you could say. I would see the book of Revelation as really giving us these pictures, if you will, of world history. So to answer your question more simply, no, it's not that having this view of Revelation 20 means that the whole book has already been fulfilled. No, I think as John is getting these pictures of these trumpets and seals that are being broken by Jesus, the Lamb of God, it's a picture of world history, if you will, God judging the world, God's providence sustaining the world. And so it's not that it's necessarily to be focusing on one particular event or one particular time even, it's God showing us these sort of snapshots, if you will, of world history leading to the final judgment and the culmination of all things. Now again, let me sort of bring it all together and wrap it up in a Christmas bow, I guess you could say. The good news, I would say, is look, the main theme of the book of Revelation is God helping his people persevere through suffering.
That's really what we see. We have to remember that this book was written to the first century church suffering persecution under the Roman Empire, suffering persecution at the hands of some of the synagogues that were there. And Jesus is speaking to his church bringing them comfort, hope for the future, ultimately that hope rooted in his second coming, his return to the earth. And that's something I think that all the views can agree on is that focus on perseverance in Christ and in faith and, as I said, the literal bodily return of our Lord Jesus in the future, which I believe in, we're called to look forward to as the blessed appearing, the great hope of the church and of all those who are in Christ. And so I appreciate your question, and hopefully that sort of unpacks it a little bit for you. Janus, may the Lord bless you as you continue to study the word of God.
By the way, we have a free core guide on this topic. It's called Five Things You Should Know About the Bible's Final Book, and it'll really help you understand the book of Revelation more clearly. You can find that by going to corechristianity.com forward slash guides. Again, corechristianity.com forward slash guides.
Look for Five Things You Should Know About the Bible's Final Book. Let's go back to the phones. Sarah's on the line from Las Vegas. Sarah, what's your question for Pastor Adriel?
Hello. Recently, I've been feeling guilty for not desiring to be in scripture 24-7. I love my daily readings in the morning and night, and I discipline myself to read the Bible even when I don't feel like doing it.
But I enjoy going about my life and, you know, doing my daily tasks and doing other things. And because of the thought of being in scripture all the time is unappealing, I'm now questioning my salvation because shouldn't my only joy be in Jesus, therefore I'd only ever want to be in scripture if I truly loved Him? And I want to mention that on top of that, ever since I had that thought, I've been having these follow-up thoughts whenever I'm doing anything other than reading my Bible that say, like, are you enjoying this more than reading your Bible? Do you love this more than your quiet time? And I don't know if it's just me or if it's from the Lord.
I want to love God more and enjoy Him above anything else. So have I been deceiving myself this whole time that I'm not a Christian? Because when you're regenerated, your heart is changed, and I don't know if this is a thing Christians struggle with or if it's normal, and I'd appreciate some advice. Yeah.
Sarah, thanks for your question. No, you have not been deceiving yourself because of those feelings. And yes, this is something that we as followers of Jesus Christ do struggle with. Often our hearts are cold to the things of the Lord, even as the people of God.
That doesn't make it okay or right, but that's just the battle that we experience. I think the apostle Paul talks about this in places like Romans chapter 7. In Galatians chapter 5, he talks about that war that's taking place between our flesh and the Spirit, because we just a lot of times don't even want to do the things we should want to do. Now, it sounds to me like, and let me just say, sometimes as believers, I think it's good to have a sensitive conscience before the Lord, but sometimes I think we can get into a position where we feel like, man, as you've stated, unless I'm in the church 24-7 and just reading my Bible, then maybe I'm sinning. And then we begin to feel an immense sense of guilt because, well, we just don't sit down and read our Bibles all day long. And the reality is who could with how God calls us to live, to take care of ourselves, to take care of the people around us, to love our neighbors, not just to be reading the Bible, but to be walking in the truth of Christ.
And part of that looks like following the word of God, loving our neighbors, doing good works. And so I would just say, it sounds to me, sister, like you have a very sensitive conscience, and I want to just say that's a wonderful thing, that's a beautiful thing, but you don't need to beat yourself up because you don't always feel like you want to study the Bible. I've been a pastor for almost 10 years now and walking with Christ for longer than that, much longer than that. And I struggle still to pray, to read scripture like I should. It's important for us to build those habits into our lives, as you said, and it sounds to me like you have.
And so it may be that you wake up in the morning and you don't feel like reading but you still read, and I would just say continue to do that, to be disciplined in those practices. I find that sometimes you have this great sense of joy as you go about it, and other times it just feels like, okay, Lord, I didn't really feel like I got very much out of that quiet time, but you know what, God is still at work in your life. And even in those moments where you think, I didn't really take anything away, it may be that later that day or later that week, the Lord, God the Holy Spirit, will bring to your remembrance something that you read, even in one of those moments where you felt like you weren't getting a lot out of it.
And so I would say, no, you haven't deceived yourself. Yes, this is something that we do struggle with as Christians. And yes, here's a beautiful thing, you can, to the glory of God, enjoy other things too. It's not like, man, I take a walk at the park and I'm really enjoying that, but it's not reading scripture, so maybe God is upset with me. No, God has given you all of these things to enjoy. Paul, writing to Timothy, talking about those who are blessed in this age with things like finances, God gives you everything to richly enjoy. And so really seeing the world around you, the creation that God has given you, as something for you to enjoy, to give thanks to God for and to delight in, and that's pleasing to the Lord. And so, sister, I just appreciate your calling, your question, and I hope that that encourages you, and I pray that even in those moments where you feel like I don't have those desires, if you will, to read, that you don't beat yourself up about that, but you recognize, you know what, that's just how it is, living in this present evil age, in our brokenness, in our sin still, having those struggles, but God gives grace, and He certainly gives grace to you, sister.
God bless, and may the Lord be with you as you continue to seek Him. This is Core Christianity with Adriel Sanchez. We have time for one more quick call before we go. Viola is on the line from St. Louis.
Viola, what's your question? Hi, Pastor Sanchez, thank you, and Bill, for how you're so patient with us as we answer our questions. I have a question for Matthew 1, 21, where the angel is speaking to Joseph, and he says to him in verse 21, And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shall call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins. I heard a pastor say just recently that he's talking about only the Jewish people as his people, and that confused me. I just thought Jesus came for whosoever will, except Him as their Savior.
Great question. Yeah, so who does this refer to, his people from their sin? I think that this extends beyond Jewish people as well.
I mean, I could see why somebody might take that position, but here's the beautiful thing. When we're looking at the accounts of Jesus' birth, those narratives, it wasn't just that he was going to come and save one small group of people. It's that this is good news for the whole world. Think about what the angels say to the shepherds. Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Luke chapter 2, verse 10.
All the people being Jew and Gentile, that's you and me as well, sister. 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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