Where was Jesus for the three days between his death and his resurrection? 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.
We hope you had a wonderful holiday. 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. The phone number is 833-THE-CORE. Our phone lines will be open for the next 25 minutes.
1-833-843-2673. You can also email us your question anytime at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to a voicemail from one of our listeners.
This is Jasper. He's talking to Ezekiel the prophet. You'll be held responsible for them dying because they didn't repent because he didn't tell them about it. So my question is, I have a co-worker who is a Jehovah's Witness and we talked a little bit about what he believes and what I believe and stuff like that. And I know that as a Jehovah's Witness, he does not have hope for salvation. He will die of his sins if he doesn't repent.
I have a lot of trouble trying to know what I should say when I'm talking to him. So if you could help me explain Ezekiel 3.18 and also that verse about, you know, people with different doctrines and what I should do in this situation, that would be really helpful. Thanks.
Bye. Hey, Jasper, thanks for that question. I love that you want to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with your co-workers. I know Jehovah's Witnesses are oftentimes open to having discussions about religion, theology, and so it sounds interesting to me that this co-worker in particular doesn't want to have this conversation.
I think, you know, when you find opportunity to talk about who Jesus is, what he's done for you, the truth of the gospel and some of the differences between what Jehovah's Witnesses believe and what Christians for the last 2,000 years have believed according to the word of God, according to scripture, pray for those opportunities, pray that the Lord softens this co-worker's heart. But you also don't want to live your life as though, you know, the salvation of your co-workers rested upon your shoulders. And I know that there are a lot of Christians out there who, they're just, you know, riddled with guilt because they feel like I haven't done enough. And the truth is, we all fall short in terms of evangelism. We pray, Lord, help me, give me boldness, open doors for the gospel.
And I think this is an area where many of us struggle. And so you look at a text like Ezekiel chapter 3, where God tells Ezekiel, I'm making you a watchman. If you don't call the people of Israel to repentance and they die in their sin, well, then their blood is on your hands because you failed to warn them.
If you do and they don't listen to you, well, then their blood is on their own hands. You first have to understand the fact that Ezekiel is operating the office of a prophet. I mean, he has this very specific role before the nation as this teacher, as this prophet in Israel. And so in one sense, he's held to a higher standard. I think that this is the same kind of standard that's given to those who preach and teach the word of God. This is why James said in James chapter 3, verse 1, let not many of you become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive a stricter judgment.
In other words, there's a higher standard for those who are, you know, in the office of teacher and preacher. So that's one thing I would say, and this is also what we see with the apostle Paul. When Paul was speaking to the Ephesian elders in Acts chapter 20, he actually echoes the language of the prophet Ezekiel, saying to the Ephesian elders, you know, you yourselves know, this is verse 18 of Acts chapter 20, how I lived among you the whole time from the first day I set foot in Asia, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews. How I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable and teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. And now behold, I'm going to Jerusalem constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me that in every city imprisonment and afflictions await me. But I do not account my life of any value, nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course in the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. And now behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom of God will see my face again. Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. So for the prophets and apostles, for teachers today in the church, we're called to preach the word, not to be ashamed of the gospel. And if we are, if we don't faithfully preach the word, there is a special judgment that we're held to a higher standard. But in another sense, I do think that all of us are called to testify to the grace of God in our lives. And so I don't want you to have the pressure of, my coworker's salvation is on my shoulders, because it isn't. That's the work of the Holy Spirit. You're called to be faithful in your Christian life, to represent Christ well, and when the Lord gives you opportunities to share about the hope that you have. And so pray for that, but again, don't live under this weight of, I need to save him. No, that's the work of the Holy Spirit, and he uses us by his grace and through his providence. Thank you for your question. Just a follow-up question for you, Adriel. Let's say the person that you're sharing the gospel with is really belligerent. How do we interpret Jesus' words not to cast your pearl before swine?
Yeah, that's a great addition, right? Because in this situation with Jasper, it sounds like this person has said, no, stop. I don't want to hear it anymore. And in some ways, continuing to try to press the issue probably isn't very helpful. And there's wisdom for us in the gospels there, Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount saying, don't cast your pearls before swine. You have to be able to discern, is this an opportunity for me to preach the gospel, or is this just somebody who's going to turn around and try to tear me to shreds? Because of the hardness of heart there. And again, that hardness of heart is not on you. And so you pray that the Lord would do a work, softening the heart and giving a real opportunity for the gospel's advancement.
Great counsel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open right now.
If you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, you name it, we would love to hear from you. Here's the number. It's 833-THECORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. We'll be taking calls for the next 15 minutes or so. So now is your time to jump on the phone.
Let's go to Steve in Sioux City, Iowa. Steve, what's your question for Adriel? Yeah, I got this verse in the New Testament. It says, warn a divisive person once, then warn them twice.
After that, have nothing to do with them. What is a divisive person? And then it says, and they are self-condemned. What does that mean, self-condemned? Hey Steve, the text you're referring to is Titus chapter 3 verse 10 and verse 11.
Let me just read it. As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him. Knowing that such a person is warped and sinful, he is self-condemned. As Paul is writing to Titus here in this letter, there were a couple of problems that Titus as a minister of the gospel was facing. He was helping to fortify a church or the churches in a place called Crete and the people of Crete were difficult.
It was a tough mission field. But there were also false teachers there who had snuck in and were teaching things that were upsetting households. This is what we read back in chapter 1 verse 10. There are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. They must be silenced since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. In other words, the circumcision party, there were probably people who were trying to cling to the types and shadows of the Old Testament to impose that on Gentile believers who had converted to Jesus Christ and were creating divisions in the church. Again, between Jew and Gentile, sort of resurrecting these old boundary lines and not really understanding the significance of the work of Jesus Christ.
So Paul says, as you see this happening, Titus, rebuke that individual, that person who's creating those divisions, who's not properly understanding or applying the gospel. This is a real issue. Warn that person.
Give them one or two warnings. But then, if they're still not willing to listen, if they're continuing in this stubborn rebellion against the truth, then don't have anything to do with them. Why? Because you don't want to entertain this false teaching Paul already said earlier. It's upsetting whole households. I mean, this is a real issue for the church. And then in verse 11, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful, he is self-condemned. In other words, continuing in this deception and deceiving others is only going to lead to self-destruction for these individuals. They're not interested in the truth. They're not interested in the gospel and so don't have anything to do with them, Paul tells Titus.
And so I think for us today, what's the application? And Bill, you sort of touched on this earlier. There are instances where you're having conversations with an individual about the gospel and it's very clear that they're not interested in the truth. And sometimes you can see this even with false teaching within the church. You know, you correct it according to scripture and yet people are stubborn, clinging to whatever deception they've embraced. And there comes a point where you say, okay, I'm just not going to deal with this anymore. We can't for the health of the church.
You rebuke that person. And this is where something like church discipline is very important because if you allow this false teaching to continue to go on unchecked, well, it leads to more and more division and more and more upset households, if you will, within the body of Christ. And so we need to take this very seriously.
And Titus needed to take it very seriously as well, as Paul tells him. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. It's a brand new year and we want to offer you a free resource that actually explores six important topics that are often overlooked in the church today.
Yeah, Bill, the free resource is called Six Categories You Should Know. One of the things we love to do here at Core Christianity, we think it's so important, is to really give you those definitions, those core doctrines, and the distinctions that you find oftentimes when thinking about some of these doctrines like law and gospel, natural and special revelation, faith and works. I mean, biblical words, things that we see in scripture that many people misunderstand was just talking about the importance of the truth and not falling into false teaching, heresy. And so resources like this, I think, will help to fortify your faith, strengthening you in the truth so that you might be able to discern the truth from error. And so get ahold of this resource over at corechristianity.com.
Again, it's free and it's called Six Categories You Should Know. It's a great, clear, concise resource about these key doctrines that many Christians, unfortunately some churches, desperately need to recover. And you can find it by going over to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Again, it's a free download and it's yours by going to our website.
Six Categories You Should Know. Go to corechristianity.com and look for offers. We'd love to get that to you. Well, we do receive voicemails here at the Core, and you can call us 24 hours a day with your question. Just leave it on our voicemail system at 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Sally. My question is, an earlier question, the lady mentioned she and her husband were having some discussions about were the people saved before Jesus was crucified and rose again? And he gave some really wonderful scriptures.
I loved his answers. But there's a question I've got adding to that. When Jesus had not been resurrected yet, but he was crucified, he went into the chambers of the earth and ministered to the people that were there. And then when he came back, people were resurrected with him. Were they some of the population that Jesus redeemed prior to his crucifixion? That's my question. Thank you.
Wow. It's so interesting about this question. You really bring up two passages in the New Testament that are so confusing. A lot of people have questions about what happened during that period of time that Jesus was in the tomb. He died on the cross. He's not resurrected yet.
Where is he? And of course, you have that phrase in the Apostles' Creed. He descended into hell. What does that mean?
What's the significance of that? First, one of the passages you brought up was Ephesians chapter 4, verse 9, and saying he ascended, what does it mean but that he also descended into the lower regions of the earth? Now, this is not descending into the lower regions of the earth to suffer more for us and for our sins. Really, I think when the New Testament talks about it, this particular idea, it's about vindication.
It's about victory over death and the grave and leading the resurrection and ascension in this sort of triumphal procession. That's precisely what we see earlier in Ephesians chapter 4. Therefore, it says when he ascended on high, he led a host of captives and he gave gifts to men. He told the thief on the cross, today you're going to be with me in paradise. So it's not that Jesus, prior to his resurrection, was suffering in Hades, if you will. It's this picture of triumph over the grave, vindication, declaring his victory over the forces of evil.
Now, what about those people? This is the other passage that you brought up, Sally. In Matthew chapter 27, there's this really interesting passage of scripture. It's not in the other gospels.
It's the only gospel where you hear this. It says in Matthew 27 verse 51, The curtain of the temple was torn in two, we're talking about the death of Christ here, from top to bottom, and the earth shook and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. Wow. A resurrection before the resurrection?
What's going on here? There are at least a few different interpretations that are given, I think Orthodox interpretations. Some people say, well, maybe this is just symbolic. It's Matthew trying to let us know that Christ's resurrection relates to the whole world, to believers as well. They're going to rise through his resurrection.
Of course, that's what the apostle Paul says very clearly in 1 Corinthians chapter 15. I don't think that's the best, this idea of, well, their resurrection is symbolic. I don't think that's the best because clearly Christ's resurrection is not symbolic. It was a physical, bodily resurrection, so there's something unique that was happening here, and I think that the point is still the same. It's that the resurrection of Jesus Christ relates to our resurrection, that is, the resurrection of his people. The final resurrection, the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come is still in the future for us. That resurrection hasn't happened.
This is almost like a foretaste, if you will, a picture of the fact that it's coming. The relationship between those two texts, this passage in Matthew chapter 27 and then Ephesians chapter 4, I think if you want to say, well, Christ was victorious over death and then rose again, I mean, Matthew 27 and this resurrection happens through the victory that Christ made over death, but it's certainly not that these two passages, I think, are brought together in any way, at least in the New Testament itself. So I wouldn't see the correlation as much there except for just the fact that Christ conquered death, and through his conquering death and resurrection from the dead, we have the hope of the resurrection as well. So just love to see, Sally, that you're digging into the scriptures and you're thinking about how different passages relate to each other. I think that's so wonderful, so important for us to do as we study the Bible. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, or theology, or maybe you have some doubts about the Christian faith, we would love to hear from you. You can call us anytime and leave us a voicemail.
833-THE-CORE is the number. You can also email us your question at questions at corechristianity.com. Right now, let's go to Kathy, who's calling in from Indiana.
Kathy, what's your question for Adriel? Thank you for taking my question. I wanted your thoughts on a post I recently saw on social media. It had to do with a Satanist event that was going to be happening in Boston, I believe, and there was a girl that was defending it, and she made the comment, at least she doesn't partake in cannibalism like Christians do, and she was talking about communion. And I wanted your thoughts on that, because I had never, ever thought of it in that fashion. I thought, oh my gosh, how many non-Christians think that way?
But it really took me by surprise, and I just wondered what your thoughts were on that. Kathy, I know, believe it or not, that was one of the earliest things that non-Christians would say about Christians as a critique of the Christians, because they'd hear the Christians talking about the mysteries that they would participate in, baptism and the Lord's Supper, eating the body and blood of their Lord, of their Savior. And so one of the things that the pagan world said about Christians is, oh, you guys are cannibals.
I mean, they made all sorts of false accusations against them. They said that they were incestuous, because Christians would talk about giving each other the kiss of peace. We would have these love feasts, quote unquote, you know, referring to the Lord's Supper.
And so, you know, there were all sorts of false accusations. I would say that this, too, is a false, I mean, it's just a way of dismissing the Christian faith. We do believe that there is a significant thing, mysterious thing, that's happening when we partake of the Lord's Supper, that truly, by faith, we are being fed with the body and blood of Christ. But to say, well, that's cannibalism, or to reduce it to something, that's just crazy.
I mean, it's an attack on the Christian faith. It's a way to try to dismiss the significance, the beauty, the mystery of what we're participating in, because people don't understand it. We believe, as I said, that truly we're partaking of, by faith, the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Paul, in 1 Corinthians, right, chapter 10, says that we have communion, koinonia, with the body and blood of Jesus Christ in the Lord's Supper. So there's something very significant about what takes place at the Lord's Table. And for us, it's a part of our oneness, our unity, our intimacy with the Lord Jesus Christ as we come to receive those means of grace, the nourishment of our bodies and souls from God himself through this sign of the Gospel, the forgiveness of our sins.
It's something that we need, that we live on. And this is precisely, I think, what Jesus was getting at in John chapter 6, where he says that his body is true food and his blood is true drink. And you remember what happened in the context of that discourse there in John chapter 6. All of the people, the crowds that were following Jesus, stopped following him.
Let me just read some of it. The Jews disputed among themselves, this is verse 52, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.
Now that feeding there has to be done in faith. Verse 47 earlier says, Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. And so there's a relationship, a correlation in this text between believing in Christ and feeding on Christ. Verse 55, For my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. And then you go down to verse 16, it says, When many of his disciples heard it, they said, This is a hard saying, who can listen to it? And people start to grumble, many of them left, and the disciples, you know, they say, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. And that's what we say, too. Even when we have these great, mysterious sayings from Jesus, if you will, things that sometimes, I mean, it's not just this doctrine here, but so many doctrines in the scriptures, in the New Testament, that are unpopular in our culture today.
And people say, well, you Christians believe that. And we say, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Help us to cherish those words and help the world outside that mocks the words of Christ. Help them open their hearts to receive the truth of this grace so that they, too, by faith, might feed on the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Time for one more quick question from Eric in Iowa Falls, Iowa.
Eric, what would you like to ask Adriel? Hi, my question is, at our church I'm attending, the minister talks about, well, he says we have closed communion. And what he's referring to is it's closed to people that are not members of that denomination or not Christians. So I was wondering why is that important? I could see it being closed to non-Christians, but what about Christians from, people from other churches? I don't understand that.
That's a great question. Different churches have different practices here with regard to how to fence the table, we sometimes call it. You know, there are some churches, and I don't think this is a good practice, but there are some churches that just say, hey, you know, we have the elements up here in front, and when you're ready to come and have your special time taking communion with Jesus and you feel comfortable, just come on up. So there's really no fencing of the table, just, you know, whoever wants to, whether you've been baptized or not. Maybe you wouldn't even call yourself a Christian, but you just kind of want to have a spiritual experience, come on up. That's maybe one extreme, and I think it's not biblical. Frankly, it's dangerous, it's destructive for the church because it minimizes the significance of what's taking place in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. But as you say, you know, your church has a different practice, seems like they're more focused on only people in our denomination can come. Paul says in 1 Corinthians chapter 10 that the person who comes should be a Christian, has to be a Christian, baptized believer in Jesus Christ. So I think that's what we need to know and to gauge as people are coming to the Lord's table for their own good and for the good of the church. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-08 08:21:06 / 2023-01-08 08:31:09 / 10