Does my spouse's salvation depend on me? We'll be right back after the break. We've been hearing a lot about the mark of the beast.
I wonder if you could explain to me what that is and how to avoid that. Yeah. You know, we've been hearing a lot about it too lately. We've gotten several questions about the mark of the beast, especially over the last year or so. It's something that you read about in the book of Revelation, in Revelation chapter 13.
This calls for wisdom. Let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man and his number is 666. Now, when we're reading the book of Revelation, one of the things we need to understand is that it's full of symbolic images and even symbolic numbers. Earlier in the book of Revelation, John talked about the seven spirits of God. The number six in particular is often associated with man, with the created world.
But man in particular. So the mark of the beast here, I think, is identification specifically with man and this false worship, false idolatry associated with the beast. So it's worship associated with worship and associated with aligning oneself to the antichrist and the spirit of the antichrist.
I don't think personally that it's like a physical tattoo that an individual gets. Remember, this is highly symbolic imagery. And actually, it's contrasted with the mark that God's people receive, the seal of the Holy Spirit described in the very next chapter. So you just had that discussion or description of the mark of the beast. And then in chapter 14, verse 1, Michael, John says, I looked and behold, on Mount Zion stood the lamb and with him 144,000 who had his name and his father's name written on their foreheads.
So look, the mark of the beast is this alignment with the spirit of the antichrist, this false idolatrous worship. They're marked on the right hand or on the forehead, Revelation 13, verse 16 says, which is the picture of the hands, what you do, the mind, how you think, what you believe. But the saints, the people of God, are marked with the name of the true and the living God.
He's written it on their foreheads. They're sealed by the Holy Spirit. And so I would say, first and foremost, that this is not a mark that the born again children of God can receive. We've been united to Jesus Christ by faith. We belong to him. We're sealed with the Holy Spirit, the apostle Paul says in the book of Ephesians.
This is specifically for those who reject the gospel, repudiate Christ, and are choosing to align themselves with false worship, with abominable things associated with this beast. And so I would say in terms of avoiding the mark of the beast, it's not something, you know, the concern that many people have is, am I accidentally going to take the mark of the beast? Is it going to be some microchip or something like that? And I accidentally get out, you know, I don't want to associate with the beast, but I accidentally got this microchip or this vaccine.
We got a ton of questions about the vaccine associated with the mark of the beast. Look, you can't accidentally take the mark of the beast. And as a Christian, you're sealed with the Holy Spirit. So you're already united to Jesus Christ. This is for those who reject the gospel, and they're characterized by the spirit of the Antichrist.
They embrace this idolatrous form of pagan worship. So how do you protect against it? Well, you fall at the feet of Jesus Christ. You call upon him. You embrace the gospel for the forgiveness of your sins.
You're filled with the Holy Spirit. That's what we all need to do, and that's what we call the whole world to as well. Thank you for your question. Hey, Michael, thank you so much for listening to Core Christianity. Great question. And, Adriel, isn't it comforting to know that we can't just go, Oops, I took the mark of the beast and didn't want to?
Yeah, and I think that's an important thing, because I think that's where a lot of people get tripped up. They want to serve the Lord. They want to love Jesus. They hear about these passages in the book of Revelation, and they're afraid.
They think, Okay, I want to avoid that, and rightly so. And so the answer is don't engage in idolatry. Flee to Christ. Trust in him. Receive the grace that he gives. And that's what John called with calling the church to, and what we continue to call all people to. So, yeah.
Well said. 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. Our phone lines are open right now. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Rudy, who's calling in from California. Rudy, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Hey, Pastor Adriel. Thanks for your ministry.
I have a question. Here in LA, there are millions of Roman Catholics, and just a couple of days ago on December 12th, it was painful to see, you know, tens of thousands of people flocking to the Roman Catholic Church to worship the Virgin of Guadalupe. Now, when I talk to my Roman Catholic friends, they say they don't worship her, that they venerate her, but it's much more than a high regard or an admiration of it. It is worship. When they pray to her and have mariachi bands singing live music, what would be your encouragement or thoughts on this to people who have many Roman Catholic friends and family?
Yeah. I appreciate that question, and it sort of reminds me of, you know, when Paul is in Athens, and he sees all of the symbols of worship. There in his heart is grieved as he looks at all of these things, you know, the people engaged in all of this quote-unquote worship, worshiping even the unknown God, he says there in Acts chapter 17, and he's grieved. First, I think that you had the right response in terms of, you know, you look around at your community, and it's different for every community, right?
Like, we can look around us and see what people are flocking to, what they give their life, their time, their money, their attention to, and that should grieve our hearts. Now, the Roman Catholic Church tries to make a distinction between different types of worship, you know, the distinguish between worship and veneration, and they'll say, well, we don't worship Mary, but we venerate her. And the problem is, as you've seen, and I've seen this as well in friends and family members, for just, you know, the average person in the church, that distinction is really hard to even understand. So many people, I think, even in the Roman Catholic Church, right, that they pray primarily to the saints, to the Virgin Mary, because they feel like they can't approach Jesus. The New Testament says that Jesus is the mediator between God and man.
He's our mediator. He's the one that we go to the Father through, so we don't need, you know, the saints or the Virgin Mary in order to do that for us. This is what Christ came to accomplish, and the distinction between sort of venerating and worshiping, I think it gets really confusing, and then you do begin to see these practices that are basically idolatrous.
And so, you know, one, it's right to be grieved. Two, I think it's important to educate, to talk about what the Bible actually says about worship and who deserves our worship and attention, certainly around this time of the year as we're thinking about Christmas, and we're looking at all those early chapters of the Gospels where you have the Virgin Mary playing this central role, you know, Christ the Son of God being born through her, and yet she's even pointing to Jesus. So I think, you know, when people focus on the Virgin Mary to venerate her and to, you know, have these festivals and do all of these things, I think that the Virgin Mary herself, just in the Gospels, would point away from herself and to her Son, Jesus.
Our eyes need to be fixed upon Christ, and so I think continuing to help people to see and to grasp that truth specifically so that we might give to God the worship that He deserves, lest we get confused and give that to others, even to those who were used mightily in the history of redemption. I think every saint, quote-unquote, would say, no, look to Christ, and so that's my encouragement for you, and I pray that that's your encouragement also for the people around you, and may God do a great work where you are in pouring out His Spirit and drawing people to the Gospel through Jesus Christ. God bless you, brother. Hey, Rudy, thanks so much for your call, and boy, we'll be praying for you in that whole situation with your friends in the room at Catholic Church.
Thank you. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. 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 we want to tell you about today. Yes, it's a 10-week Bible study on the Gospel of Luke, and we're excited about it, a great way to—I know many of you, as we're coming to the new year, are excited to dig into the Scriptures, sort of a time to start afresh, if you will. Well, what a better way to do that than to get started with a study on the Gospel of Luke, looking at the life of our Lord Jesus, the words of our Lord Jesus, His teaching, and also what He accomplished for us, and so this is an excellent resource for you going into the new year. You could use it on your own in your individual Bible study with a group of friends from your church to do this 10-week study on the Gospel of Luke. It's over at corechristianity.com for a gift of $20 or more. We hope to put that in your hands, and I know it'll be encouraging for you in your walk with the Lord. You know, as a reminder, Core Christianity is not supported by a denomination or a church.
We don't play commercials on this program. We rely on your generous support to keep this program going every day, and we do hear from thousands of people every year whose lives have been changed by listening to the show and reading our Bible studies. To get the Gospel of Luke, you can go to corechristianity.com forward slash offers.
Again, corechristianity.com forward slash offers. You can also call us at 833-843-2673 for help getting any one of our offers. Well, we do receive voicemails here at the core.
You can call us anytime 24 hours a day at 833 the core. Here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Rachel. My question is, what does 1 Corinthians mean when it says that a non-believing spouse is sanctified by a believing spouse? I've been a Christian for about four years, and my husband is still a non-believer, and so I would just really like clarity on what that verse means. Thank you so much.
Yeah, let's get into the text. I appreciate your question, Rachel. 1 Corinthians 7 verse 12, Paul said, For the rest I say, I, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so.
In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace, for how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? Here Paul is encouraging a Christian individual like you who's married to someone who is not yet a believer, but that person is, assuming your husband loves you, he wants to be with you. Paul is saying, look, don't leave the marriage just because he isn't an unbeliever. The unbelieving spouse is made holy by the believing spouse.
Now what does that mean? He uses a verb there, and I think quite simply the meaning is that God will use you in your life, in your Christian testimony, to be at work in your husband who is not a Christian. How do you know if through your love and service and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with your husband, how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Now of course it's not you doing the saving per se, it's God using you, and through the word and through the work of the Holy Spirit, working in your husband's life. And I think that that's something that you need to be praying for, that you should be praying for, and saying, Lord, you've called me to this marriage, help me to love my husband and to honor you in the things that I do, to set a godly example, and Lord, would you open his heart? He's not obedient to your word right now, but through my example, would you open his heart to receive your grace? It's not that his salvation depends on you.
We can't save anyone. That's the work of the Holy Spirit, but God uses you, sister. God will use you, Rachel, in the life of your husband. I want to just take a moment to pray for you and also to pray for your husband. Father, I thank you for Rachel, Lord, and I pray for her, that you would fill her with your Holy Spirit and that you would help her in this marriage to honor you. Father, I pray that you would give her and her husband a strong and healthy marriage, Lord, full of love, full of joy, and I pray, Lord, that you would fill her with the fruit of your Holy Spirit so that she would exhibit that love, joy, peace, patience, that goodness, that gentleness, that faithfulness, that self-control that comes from knowing Jesus Christ, from being united to him. I pray that as her husband sees those fruits and experiences really your tender love through the love of his wife, that he would be drawn, Lord, to you. Jesus, would you do a work in his life? Would you open his heart to receive the grace of the gospel, and would they be together in you, we pray? In Jesus' name, amen. Thanks for that. This is CORE Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.
If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, hey, we'd love to hear from you. Here's our number. It's 833-843-2673.
That's 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to Chantel, who's calling in from Tennessee. Chantel, what's your question for Adriel? Hi, um, scriptures in the Bible, and I was wondering about specifically holidays and Christmas, and should we be teaching our children or celebrating these holidays? Because I read in one scripture that they would cut down the tree and dress it with silver and gold. Hmm.
Yeah, so should we be celebrating Christmas with our families? The text that you're referring to, I think you're talking about the book of Jeremiah, chapter 10, is that right? Chapter, but it wasn't Jeremiah. I'm sorry, what was that? I'm not sure of the chapter, but it was in Jeremiah.
Okay. Yeah, I think you're talking about Jeremiah, chapter 10. Now, the first thing I would say is, when we look at those texts in scripture, it's easy to just sort of draw a one-to-one correlation between that, what was happening there, and what we see around us.
It's important that we understand those passages in their context. Jeremiah is talking about specifically pagan worship, as you noted, idolatry. Oftentimes in the Old Testament, you had this language of, what the people were doing was they were cutting down trees and forming, shaping idols to worship them.
You see this in Jeremiah, you see this in Isaiah as well, and so God rebuked the nations and his people for when they would follow the nations in doing that. That's not what we have going on with Christmas trees. Now, I don't think anybody can force you or should force you to celebrate Christmas. There's nothing in the Bible that says we need to have a special holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus. I think it's up to wisdom, and I do think there is something wise about the church focusing on, throughout the year, those great events of redemptive history, the incarnation, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the sending of the Holy Spirit. There's so much confusion, I would say, in the church about the incarnation, who Jesus is, the person of the word of God. There's so much confusion about the resurrection. There are those today who deny the bodily resurrection of Christ. There's so much confusion today about the Holy Spirit.
What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit, to be baptized with the Holy Spirit? I think that's one of the reasons why there's wisdom in stopping throughout the year and focusing on these things and understanding them biblically. At the church that I pastor, we do. We're going to have a service on Christmas Day where we're going to talk about the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. We're going to have a Christmas Eve service the night before because Christmas lands on a Sunday this year where we're going to sing hymns to the Lord about the incarnation. We're going to read through the Christmas story. It's an opportunity to talk about something that a lot of people are really confused about.
I would say if that's what we're doing, then great. Having a Christmas tree is not engaging in idolatry unless you're worshipping that tree. The real idolatry around this time of the year, and I've said it before, Chantal, is that people get so consumed with the materialism, with the tinsel, as you say, that becomes the focus. It really exposes, I think, our own greed, our own gluttony as a society, if you will. I think that's what we need to repent of. Having a Christmas tree is not just a fun sort of cultural thing to do. It's that the greed oftentimes associated with this time of the year that I think we really need to look at and say, Lord, deliver us from that and help us to honor you, to worship you, to focus our eyes upon you. I think that's what many churches are doing if they look at the incarnation around this time of the year.
I think it's a good thing. I appreciate your question. Pray that you and your family are blessed and encouraged.
Thank you for giving us a call. That is such a great reminder, Adriel, about the materialism of Christmas. I was going to get you a big screen TV, but after you said that, I thought, no, I probably shouldn't. Well, Bill, look, it's not the TV.
It's what your heart does with it. I can just tell you that I'm free of that idol. I just want to say go ahead and pull the trigger on that one. We'll thank you later.
I appreciate it. All right, let's go back to the phones here at Core Christianity. Dorothy is on the line from Missouri. Dorothy, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Yes, I was listening to a desert pastor today. I watch quite a bit on TV, and I also listen to different ones on the radio, and it was about tithing.
I'm basically homebound, so that's why I listen to the radio and TV. I used to belong to a church locally, and I still do donate to them, but he was saying that we are supposed to do our tithing to our local church, and then anything over, we can donate to other places. Since I'm equally watching more than one, do I have to do that? I don't think your conscience needs to be bound here. The tithe in particular was something associated with the worship of the old covenant. We are called as believers under the new covenant to give generously, and I think giving a tithe is a wonderful baseline. I do encourage people, if you're part of a church, give to your local church. Give at least a tithe to your local church for the work of the Lord there, for the continued advancement of the gospel. I like the idea of giving a tithe or something like that to the local church, but we're also giving other gifts and offerings as the Lord opens the doors for us to do that. I just think you don't want to feel like, I have to do this, or you're under compulsion, and that's precisely what the apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 9.
He says, the point is this, whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And so, Dorothy, let me just say to you, the Lord loves you in your desire to be generous and to give to the work of the gospel, and I want to encourage you to continue to give to the church that you are associated with, maybe where your membership is at, and to try to be as connected as possible.
It sounds to me like you're not able to be there, but reaching out to the elders and deacons of that church, I hope that they can visit you and continue to encourage you in the Lord, and just know that the Lord is pleased with that heart of generosity. Let's take a moment right now to pray for our sister Dorothy, who's homebound, that the Lord would fill her with his grace and spirit. Lord, thank you for Dorothy and for her desire to serve you and to be generous to the work of the gospel. Would you bless her, Lord, and fill her with your spirit?
Would you give her strength and health and her body? I do pray, Lord, that she would even be able to continue to meet with the saints in the church that she's a part of, and that they would be able to minister to her, Lord, even in the current state, Lord, where she's at home. So bless her, be with her, and we give you all the praise and glory in Jesus' name. Amen. Amen. Thank you, Dorothy, and may God bless you. Merry Christmas. 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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