Why is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit the unforgivable sin? 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. Here's our phone number.
If you have a question, it's 833-THE-CORE. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites. And in fact, we have a YouTube channel. You can watch Adriel right now live in the studio and see what kind of cool shirt he's wearing. And you can send him your question through YouTube.
So check that out. And you can always email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to David calling in from Arkansas. Pastor Adriel. Hi, Adriel.
Appreciate your show. My question has to do with women as ministers, I guess you would call it, preaching, looking in the Bible. I've found some conflicting passages, so I wasn't sure. Okay, so are you just asking, like, do I believe that it's biblical for a woman to serve in that particular office, teaching elder? Yes, yes.
Okay, yeah. So, I mean, I would see a number of passages, in particular in the Pastoral Epistles, as limiting that office to called qualified men within the church. And so, so no, I mean, I know that there's disagreements about this among Christians. I know that this isn't an issue that would, you know, it's not one of those issues that would cause me to say, well, if this person differs with me on this, and they must not be a Christian, they're rejecting, you know, quote, unquote, core Christianity. But I do think that the Bible does speak to this in Paul, in 1 Timothy 3, and in Titus chapter 1, talks about calling called qualified competent men to this particular office. That's what God calls to this. And so that's what I would say, and I think that that's, again, fairly clear in the New Testament. Appreciate your question. Maybe just to follow up with you, you said there's some conflicting things that you see in Scripture.
Is there something that you're looking at in particular that causes you to say, well, I'm not sure? No, not exactly. I've been having some discussions with some friends of mine, and they pointed to different passages, and I can't recall them. Actually, one of them had been listening to Joyce Meyer, or Mayer, and had gone to them online somehow and asked a question, and they sent back a lot of passages that said it was not, that it was fine for women to become ministers.
So I didn't know. Yeah, well, like I said, I would say read 1 Timothy chapter 3. I mean, read all of 1 Timothy, read all of Titus, and I think there's examples there that you could take. Now, there's a difference between saying, do we believe, do I believe that God is calling women to be ministers? And can they serve in other capacities, even teaching capacities that aren't that particular office within the church? Because you do have examples in Scripture of women prophesying. You have example in Scripture of women helping to teach the truth.
I think of Priscilla and Aquila, this couple that was sort of tag-teaming, helping to teach, to instruct related to the word of God. But that was not specifically the office of the elder within the church. And so I think that's where we can draw a distinction. And so God gifts us in different ways, and we want to thank the Lord and receive those gifts and use those gifts for the building up of the body of Christ. Paul talks about that in 1 Corinthians chapter 12.
But when we're talking about those specific offices within the church, you know, the pastor, elder, deacon, I think that you do have some further restrictions there that I think we want to take heed of. And so I appreciate your question, David, and thank you for listening to Core Christianity. Hey, David, thanks.
We appreciate you. 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, maybe doctrine or theology, or maybe there's something going on in your life that you could really use prayer for, or an area of your life that you're just having difficulty with because your Christian walk in some way is conflicting with something that you're experiencing at work or at school or wherever. So give us a call right now. 833-THE-CORE is the number.
That's 833-843-2673. Let's go to Kim calling in from Arizona. Kim, what's your question for Adriel? I'm wondering, as responsible Christian people, if a family cannot support financially, educationally, emotionally, the children that they have, should they continue having children because they can and they want to grow the kingdom and they want to be bearing children? What do you think about that? What does the Bible say?
Kim, what a great question. I mean, certainly this is an issue of wisdom, right? You said maybe this family is saying, well, we can't afford to have kids and we're not going to be able to really take care of them, but we're going to grow the kingdom in this way. Sometimes people will point to that text in Genesis where it talks about being fruitful and multiplying and just saying, well, that means that we're supposed to have as many kids as we can as believers.
I don't interpret that text like that. In fact, that language of being fruitful and multiplying is picked up in the book of Acts related to the advancement of the gospel through the preaching of the word of God. In other words, the way in which the kingdom of God grows is as the gospel spreads through our home first and foremost, but then through our communities, through our neighborhoods. If you're having children but you're not teaching your children the truth of the gospel, there's a serious issue there. It's not that the kingdom of God is just growing in the sense that, well, I'm having another child sort of a thing, but really this is a wisdom thing. The other side of this, if you will, is I think in our culture there really is and has been a minimizing of the family of children.
I think that's another issue. I think oftentimes people will bring up finances and, well, how much do you make? Can you really afford to have a child? I think the main thing is spiritual maturity and the ability to care for and be present with your kids, raising them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. That's something where every individual couple is going to have to ask themselves, is this something that we're able to do? Certainly, I think it's something that we're called to as the people of God, but that doesn't mean that we're called to have as many children as we can and just to continue in that way.
I know that there are others who differ on this, as is often the case when we discuss these kinds of things. The reason I brought up the financial piece is I think sometimes that is a barrier for some couples. They just say, well, we don't want to have children because they just seem like they're so expensive.
I think when my wife and I had our first son, I was serving at a church, and I think I was making $400 a month, and my wife was a server at a restaurant. But looking back, it was the right thing, and the Lord really provided for us. I try not to discourage people when they're really wrestling with the financial piece, but I would say that it is an issue of wisdom.
I'm wondering, Kim, if I can go back to you, maybe getting some more specifics from you. Is this something that you're seeing in your church where there are people who are just saying, we're going to have a lot of kids, but they're not taking care of their kids? What specifically prompted this question? Well, to line it up with what you were saying about you and your marriage, what if you had already had three or five or seven children, and you still were in that struggle? Let's say you were trying to homeschool, and you're having a hard enough time making ends meet, let alone homeschooling them properly, etc. Yeah, I think that that's a totally fair question to ask, and I think we can come alongside of each other within the church and encourage each other.
Again, I don't know specifically what the situation is. I think we want to come alongside of families within the church to encourage them, and this is certainly something that you also see in the Pastoral Epistles. But I would just say we're not bound as Christians to have as many kids as is physically possible. So if this family feels like, well, we just have to do this because God's Word commands it, it says be fruitful and multiply, I would say, well, there's an interpretation issue there.
So I think maybe that's something that you can discuss or that can be talked about, but this is also an area of liberty and wisdom, and I think we want to support each other as much as we can and help each other to think through these things wisely for the benefit of everyone, our families and the church included. Kim, may God bless you and continue to give you wisdom in this area as you encourage the people around you in your life. Kim, thanks so much for calling in here on CORE Christianity. If you've got a question about the Bible or the Christian life, give us a call right now. 833-THE-CORE is the number.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Well, we want to tell you about an excellent book that we're offering this week, and it's one by our favorite authors. That's Pastor Tim Keller. Yeah, the book that we're offering is called The Prodigal God by Pastor Tim Keller, as Bill said, and I've mentioned before how much personally I've benefited from this book. It highlights how basically we all need the Gospel. I mean, it goes through that parable of the prodigal son in Luke chapter 15, actually focusing on things that we don't typically focus on at points. You know, a lot of times we just focus on the prodigal, you know, the son who ran away from his father's home and then lived in sin and then finally came back to his senses. But Pastor Keller does a great job of talking also about the older brother and how many of us can have that sort of older brother mentality.
And so if you don't know what that is, get a hold of this resource. Again, it's called The Prodigal God by Pastor Tim Keller, and it's yours for donation of any amount over at corechristianity.com. You know, this book would be really helpful if you are dealing with maybe a family member who has wandered from the faith. And as you read this book, I know you'll find yourself really amazed at the transforming power of God's grace in our lives. To get a copy of Pastor Keller's book, Prodigal God, just go to our website at corechristianity.com forward slash offers. We'll give you that book for a donation of any amount. Or of course, you can call us at 833-843-2673.
That's 833, the core. But we do receive voicemails here at Core Christianity. And here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Carol. My question is, what exactly is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? And why is it unforgettable?
Thank you. Yeah, this is a question that we get with some frequency on the broadcast, and I think part of the reason is because there are many sincere believers who are wondering, have I committed that sin? I love Jesus, or at least I try to love Jesus, I want to follow Jesus, but I struggle with a pattern of sin, and I wonder if maybe I've gone too far, maybe I've blasphemed the Holy Spirit, maybe God is through with me. And so, you know, even though we get this question a lot, one of the reasons we like to tackle it again and again and again is because we know that this is one of those things that just comes up in the Christian life for so many of you. And blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is something we see in the Gospels, talked about by Jesus in places like Mark's Gospel, in Matthew chapter 12.
And I'm just going to read the text to help give us some context and then explain what this is all about. So beginning in verse 22 of Matthew 12. Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw.
And all the people were amazed and said, Can this be the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons. Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out?
Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can someone enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man?
Then indeed he may plunder his house. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. And in the parallel account in Mark, it says that Jesus said this because they were saying, that is, the religious leaders, the Pharisees, were saying he is possessed by an unclean spirit. And so here in the context, you have these religious leaders who should know better, attributing the works of our Lord Jesus Christ, done through the power of the Holy Spirit, to the power of Satan. In other words, they're so confused about who Jesus is, they've so rejected him and hardened their hearts against him, that they're identifying him with Satan. And so this isn't something that Christians struggling with sin do. This is not something that someone who believes in Jesus and has received Christ by faith can do. This is something for those who are religious, who know better, and yet reject Christ, reject the Gospel, reject the work of the Holy Spirit that they see so clearly. And so that's what's happening here. And if we reject the work of the Holy Spirit, if we reject Christ and his Gospel, if our hearts are so hard against the Gospel that we identify Jesus with Satan, well then there's no hope of forgiveness. We're dead and dying in our sin.
And that's what was happening here. And that's why Jesus gives this very stern warning to these religious leaders, calling them to repentance. But the warning is severe.
He's saying, look, be really careful. We know that there were Pharisees, religious leaders, who came to faith. I think of Nicodemus, for example, in John chapter 3 and later. But Jesus is giving this stern warning because to confuse the work of the Holy Spirit with the work of the evil one is indicative of a very serious problem, and it was the problem that the Pharisees had there.
And so we need to understand it in that way. Appreciate the question, and thank you for giving us a call. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go back to the phones. Julie is on the line from Missouri. Julie, what's your question for Adriel?
Hi, thank you for taking my call. My question has to do with the rapture. It's not necessarily whether I think it will or won't happen. Where I've landed with what I found the Bible teaching was I'm convinced that Christians are going to go through the tribulation, and I think it's just referring to the second coming of Jesus. But I'm having some difficulty finding other people in my area that also agree with that. The church we go to now teaches the rapture, and I'm just conflicted because I've been convinced from what I've read in the Bible about that particular topic.
And I don't want to... I also know that my husband is supposed to be the spiritual leader, but we both use the same verses and come to different conclusions on this. And so I'm just trying to see how would I even try to find other people that believe in that Christians go through the tribulation. I don't know really what to do with this, but I know I'm convinced from the scripture right now.
And not to limit that God can't teach me differently over time, but that's what I'm seeing when I look at the scripture. Yeah. Hey, Julie, well, there are a couple of questions here. I just appreciate you calling in. First, let me just say this. Solid believers, genuine followers of Jesus Christ, can differ on this issue. So if you're in a solid church that faithfully teaches the Word of God, it's hard to find other churches in your area where they fully line up with your understanding of the end times, but you're in a solid church that faithfully teaches the Word of God where you're being cared for, where your family is being cared for, watched over by the leadership there. I think that that's a good thing.
I think that that's a really... Frankly, not just a good thing, but it's so difficult to find for many people that you wouldn't have to see, I think, this one issue as being the thing that causes you to need to just leave. Well, I've got to find a church that agrees with my eschatology. And I just say that to highlight the fact that although that's important, and I would agree with you in terms of your understanding of the second coming and the fact that believers do experience and will experience tribulation in this life and in this age.
This is what Jesus says in John chapter 16, in this world you will have tribulation, but take heart because I have overcome the world. And so agreeing with you there, I just want to encourage you and let you know that despite those differences that you might have, you can still benefit from and be blessed by the church that you are in. And I would say with regard to your relationship with your husband, I love that the two of you are digging into the scriptures and studying them and working through them. I think continuing to do that with humility, with openness. And maybe you can give him some resources that have been helpful, passages that have been convincing to you, and he could share some of the reasons why he still feels the way that he does.
I think those are healthy and good conversations, but again you wouldn't want this to be something that created a rift in your own marriage. And this is the beautiful thing about the gospel of Jesus Christ as being that which grounds us in the life of the church and also in our families. That's the main thing.
That needs to be the focus. And these other things, I think as important as they are, we don't have to divide over them if you will. And so I would love, maybe in time as you guys continue to study this, I mean obviously as I already mentioned I agree with you, it'd be cool to see your husband embrace that as well. And maybe as time continues to go by you can together look for a church that is solid, is faithfully teaching the word of God, and has these same convictions, the convictions that you've come to through a study of the holy scriptures. But again I also know that sometimes it's just hard to find that church in your local area, and so I would say consider maybe moving out to San Diego.
We have great beaches and our church is there and we'd love to have you guys. Let me just take a moment to pray for you in this, Julie, because I know that tension can be so difficult sometimes when we have those differences of opinion. And so Father, I thank you for, Julie, I thank you Lord for her desire to grow in your word, for the conviction that she has, Lord, as she studies your word. I pray for peace for her, for her family. She would be encouraged, Lord, whether it's in the church that she's at right now or you do open the doors for her family to find another place to worship that would be more in line with where they are together. But would you just bless her, Lord? Would you continue to fill her with your Holy Spirit and help her to grow in the grace and the knowledge of your son Jesus as she studies the word?
Thank you again for her. We pray these things in Jesus' name. Amen. Amen. Julie, thanks so much for calling. Thanks for your question. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Justin in Missouri.
Justin, what's your question? Hi, thank you so much for taking my call, Pastor. My question revolves around Original Sin, and I've heard some different beliefs about where that originates from, whether it's man or Satan. Could you maybe articulate maybe some of the nuances on those different beliefs and, more importantly, you know, what does it say in the Bible about Original Sin, where it comes from?
Yeah, excellent question. So, I mean, Satan was the one who deceived our parents, quote-unquote, you know, Adam and Eve there in the garden, but the sin was theirs. So when we're talking about the Original Sin, if you will, we're talking about that sin there in the garden and how it affected all of humanity, Adam there in the garden as the representative head of humanity, if you will. So you can look at the early chapters of Genesis, Genesis chapters one through three, to get the event, if you will, of Original Sin, but then you can look at other passages as well in the New Testament that help to unpack that. I think of Romans chapter 5 verses 12 and following, it says this, Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death spread through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned. Sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who is to come. And then Paul is going to get into the fact that death came through Adam, but life and forgiveness, justification, comes through the second Adam, Jesus Christ, and we're in him by faith. Now, in terms of defining Original Sin, we're talking about that sin that Adam did in the garden, and the fact that we, as humanity, inherit that sin, both the guilt of Adam's first sin, insofar as we were in him, he's the representative head of humanity, and the corruption that's associated with it, all of the actual sins that proceed from Original Sin that we've inherited, and so we continue to sin, and so we flee to Christ. And that's our hope, is that in the Gospel there is the forgiveness of sins, and we have a new representative, not Adam, but Jesus Christ. 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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