Are the Bible's views of sexuality outdated? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity.
Well, happy Friday. 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. Here's our phone number. You can call us for the next 25 minutes at 833-THE-CORE.
833-843-2673. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and you can always email us at questions at COREChristianity.com. And Pastor Adriel, I have a question. What are you preaching on this Sunday? So, I have actually not even finished my sermon, so I have some work to do this afternoon, but I am been preaching through the book of Revelation. We're currently in chapter 12, so a little bit more than halfway through the book of Revelation. And chapter 12 is the story of the woman and the dragon, and her child is a picture of Christ who is caught up into heaven, to the throne of God. I mean, it's just the story of the gospel retold with this symbolic imagery. And so it's really an amazing story, the greatest story of all, and I'm excited to preach on it this Sunday. That is so cool. By the way, we have a great CORE Bible study on the book of Revelation, which you can check out at our website, COREChristianity.com, under our Bible studies. Well, let's go to a voicemail that we received from one of our listeners.
This is Ken in Anchorage, Alaska. My question is, I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe the gospel.
I've read the Bible twice. Why do I continue to sin and willfully, but yet I have God on my mind 24 hours in a day, seven days a week, but yet I'm fearful to evangelize to others. I don't feel saved, and I feel desperate for Jesus, and I've cried out to Jesus many times, even on a dark night, driving down the road, you know, in front of our local church and just getting on my knees and just begging for his forgiveness and mercy.
But why does he feel so distant from me? Am I deceiving myself with my own salvation? Well, Ken, thank you for reaching out to us. You said, you know, I still struggle with sin every day. I long for Jesus, but I still struggle intensely, and immediately my mind goes to Romans chapter 7, where the apostle Paul said in verse 15, I do not understand my own actions, for I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law that it is good, so now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me, for I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is in my flesh.
I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out, for I do not want, or what I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me, so I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. And that is true for all of us, and Paul talks about this same battle in the book of Galatians, in Galatians chapter 5 verse 17, and so the first thing that I want to say is the battle that you are talking about, this struggle between the flesh, our flesh, and the spirit, and those godly desires is something that each and every Christian I think faces. I mentioned Galatians chapter 5 verse 17, beginning in verse 16, Paul says, walk by the spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh, for the desires of the flesh are against the spirit, and the desires of the spirit are against the flesh. These are opposed to each other to keep you from doing the things you want to do, and so we are called, you are called to be led by the spirit, and if you're doing things willfully that you know are wrong, you just keep going back to those things, I think this is where you need wisdom and accountability to turn from sin. I mean ultimately this comes from the grace of God, true repentance is a work of God's grace in our lives, but I think exercising wisdom, not putting yourself in situations where you're going to fall into the same patterns, where you're leaving the door wide open for temptation, this is why the apostle Paul talks about making no provision for the flesh to gratify its desires, and so we have to make sure that we're starving that if you will. Jesus said if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off, I mean that's the kind of serious approach we're supposed to take, you're supposed to take within, but if you feel like the reality of this battle and this struggle must mean that I'm just not a Christian, I would say no, actually the struggle, the battle, what Paul articulated in Romans 7 and Galatians chapter 5 is a sign that the spirit of God is at work in your life, and look, we're not saved because of our feelings, we're not saved by our feelings, we're saved by faith in Jesus Christ and his work for us, so whether we feel like it or not, the question is do I believe in Jesus Christ as the savior of sinners, and have I embraced him, am I trusting in him, and if I am, then I can have confidence because John says in 1 John chapter 5, I'm writing these things to you who believe in the name of the son of God that you might know that you have eternal life, so the question isn't do I feel saved, the question is do I trust in Jesus Christ for my salvation, and you can trust in Jesus and still struggle with your feelings and still struggle with sin, and that's where we need wisdom and the grace of the Holy Spirit to put to death those sins, and so may God give you that wisdom and that grace and the comfort of the gospel resting first and foremost not on how you feel but on what Christ has done for you in dying on the cross and rising again from the dead and in being seated at the right hand of the father to make intercession for you and for all the saints.
Ken, thanks for giving us a call. Just a follow-up question for you, Adriel. When it comes to resisting temptation, can you talk about the role of the body of Christ in that and being plugged into a local church? Yeah, well let's just go to another passage of scripture, and I think that this is a really good thing that you bring up, Bill.
Paul is writing to Timothy in 2 Timothy chapter 2 verse 22. He says to him, flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace along with those who call on the name of the Lord from a pure heart. In other words, this is something that you do, this pursuit of righteousness, faith, hope, peace. This is something you do not in isolation, not on your own, but together with the body of Christ. And that's where we can get the support and accountability that we need, that the New Testament assumes we'll have as followers of Jesus. And so it's vitally important for us to have others around us who can encourage us in our walk with the Lord, pastors, elders that we can be honest with, where we can confess our sins and hear the promise of the Gospel again. That assurance that God gives to us through His word for us as sinners, brothers who can hold us accountable, and people that are going to be with us as we're pursuing the things that we need to be pursuing in life. And so, I mean, it's right there in 2 Timothy chapter 2 verse 22, but it's everywhere, really, in the New Testament.
Good. Some great counsel. Thanks, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We're taking your calls about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology. Maybe you have some doubts about the Christian faith. Hey, we're open to hearing from you.
Maybe you consider yourself to be an agnostic or an atheist. We are always welcome to talk to you. Here's the number. It's 1-833-843-2673.
That's 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to Anna calling in from Missouri. Anna, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, Pastor, thank you. Hebrews chapter 6, 4 through 6. I fell away from the church for about 17 years. The principles that were taught in the Word of Faith, they never worked for me, so I figured that God wasn't going to work for me, so I left. But I've been returned for 25 years to a good church, but when I read Hebrews, I thought it said, commentaries and all, that it's really impossible to be restored once you turn away and apostatize.
So I'm wondering if my return is really, you know, my rededication is really a return or if I should do something else. Well, the devil would want to convince you that you should do something else, that your situation is hopeless, that you turned away from Christ and now there's no way for you to come back. But just think about in scripture how many times we see examples of individuals who turned away from the Lord, denying the Lord even, and yet who were pursued by Christ and brought back by Jesus. Do you think of Peter, for example? I mean, at the moment when Jesus is being crucified, Peter swears that he doesn't know him. He invokes a curse upon himself. Talk about denying Jesus, betraying Jesus, and yet Jesus pursued him. At the end of the Gospel of John, there's that account of Jesus there on the beach cooking breakfast for the disciples and restoring Peter.
I mean, it's just amazing. You think also the parable of the prodigal son in Luke chapter 15. What does the prodigal son do? He basically says, Dad, I wish you were dead.
Give me my inheritance. I mean, that's when you get your inheritance when the father dies. He basically says, Dad, I wish you were dead. Give me my inheritance, runs away, goes and lives in a manner that is not pleasing to God, basically disowns his family, and then, by the grace of God, and that parable comes to his senses and returns, and what does the father do? Does the father say, Oh no, there's no hope for you. How dare you come back and show your face around here after everything you've done to me.
No. The father runs to him and embraces him and welcomes him and clothes him in the best robe and throws a party, and that's what God does for us for you when you turn to him. So the question is, well, how do we make sense of passages like Hebrews 6, verses 4 through 6, which say it is impossible in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted of the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. Well, based on the stories that I already shared, it can't mean that if we struggle with sin or if we fall away from the Lord and fall out of church for a season that we can't come back, because certainly we see in the Bible that people do come back. Here, the book of Hebrews was written to a group of Christians who were struggling with belief in Jesus Christ, and some of them were trampling the gospel underfoot. I mean, this is what chapter 10 is going to go on to say, trampling Jesus underfoot, because they were returning to the sacrificial system of the Old Testament, the bulls and the goats and the blood of animals, and they were looking to that.
They were being drawn away from Jesus and towards, we might say, works righteousness, trusting in what they do in order to justify themselves. When an individual does that, I think one thing is they demonstrate that they never really trusted in Christ to begin with, but they're also saying, no, Jesus' death is not sufficient for me. I have to trust in these other things, and I'm going to do these other things in order to justify myself, and that's why you have these stern, stern warnings in the book of Hebrews, because if a person goes in that direction, if they reject the gospel and they start trusting in some other religious rituals in order to save them and say, in essence, Jesus, your work is not sufficient, your blood is not sufficient, well, then there's no hope. I mean, that's what the author of the Hebrews says. There is no more sacrifice for sins. If you're not trusting in Christ's sacrifice and you're looking at something else, well, you're not going to find anything. That's why you have those stern warnings specifically, and so the author of the Hebrews is calling these people to faith, to truly embrace, to truly believe.
I'll just share one more text, because I think it helps to highlight this. Earlier, in Hebrews 4, verse 2, the author of the Hebrews compares the people that he's writing to, the Christians who are being tempted to go back to Judaism, basically, with the wilderness generation in the Old Testament, and he says, good news came to us just as to them. Gospel came to us, just like it did to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them because they were not united by faith with those who listened. For we who have believed enter that rest. So he's calling them to faith. He's saying, don't be like those people who had the good news preached to them, but didn't embrace it. They rejected it.
They trusted in themselves. Don't be like that. And if you're trusting in Jesus Christ, you have that grace. God has brought you back to himself, so you can rest in that and be comforted by that, and I just encourage you to continue to get plugged in and to serve the Lord where you are, Anna. God bless. Some great words of encouragement.
Thanks for that. A lot of people struggle with that passage in Hebrew, so I'm glad you clarified what that really means in its context. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Today we want to offer you a free resource that explores six important topics that, unfortunately, are often overlooked in the church today. Yeah, the resource is called Six Categories You Should Know, and we dive into some really important distinctions as they relate to the Bible and theology, like the distinction between natural and special revelation, the distinction between the law and the gospel, faith and works.
This is stuff that you see all over the place in the Bible and in the New Testament. And so get ahold of this resource. It's free for you over at corechristianity.com.
Six Categories You Should Know. It's a great, clear and concise resource about some of the key doctrines that many Christians and some churches desperately need to recover. If you'd like to get this resource, just head over to our website at corechristianity.com forward slash offers.
Again, that's corechristianity.com forward slash offers and look for six categories that you should know. Well, let's go back to the phones. Andrew's on the line from Missouri. Andrew, what's your question for Pastor Adriel?
Yeah. Hey, Pastor Adriel, I was calling in because I heard you were preaching on Revelation this Sunday. I wanted to know what you thought about the mark of the beast and the end of times, which I do believe we are in times because you know the Lord's always near. And maybe people, I tend to think maybe people think it's a little too literal in that, you know, I don't think God would condemn you one for all, but maybe you could always just put the mark away such as your phone. I think that's kind of putting other gods before him. You know, they say it's a chip.
Well, your phone has chips in it, too. I just didn't know what your thought was on that. Yeah.
Yeah, no, I appreciate that question. And yeah, I'm preaching through the book of Revelation. We're going to get to Revelation 13 soon, and it's there where you have this language of the mark of the beast. Verse 16, it causes all both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or on the forehead so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is the name of the beast or the number of its name. When 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, what I think this is, I do think that a lot of times people will just say, oh, it's a microchip or, you know, something that you put in your hand or on your forehead, and we do, or a tattoo, I've even heard that as well. And so people read this very literally. We have to remember that we're reading apocalyptic prophecy that's full of symbolic imagery. Even the number six, I think, in Scripture often represents the world, the flesh, if you will. You see it throughout Scripture, having that kind of significance.
Man was created on the sixth day, and it's not that man is bad, it's just that if all you have is man and not God, and if it's the worship of man, well, that is bad. That's called idolatry. And here, I think, in Revelation 13, the focus is on people idolatrously associating with the beast, with his religion, with his worship. The mark being on the forehead and on the hand, I think, speaks to the control of the mind, the actions, works, your hand.
And so I don't know that we should just be looking for a microchip or something like that. I mean, this is false pagan worship. And a little bit later, what's interesting is, you know, chapter 14 opens up, Then 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.
And so you see this great contrast here. You have the mark of the beast, his name, if you will, written on his followers at the end of chapter 13, and then you have the mark of the Lamb, God, on his people, sealed with the Holy Spirit at the beginning of chapter 14. So you're meant to see this contrast there, and the contrast focuses on what we're worshiping and who we're worshiping. Christians who are sealed by the Holy Spirit can't be marked by the mark of the beast.
Why? Because they're sealed with the Spirit. The name of the true and the living God is on them. And so we're looking at these two very different types, kinds of worship.
And I think the call for each and every one of us is to be shaped by the truth of God's Word and to worship the true and the living God, Jesus Christ, not the stuff that the world worships. That's beastly. That's fleshly.
That's carnal. And in one sense, that's the mark of the beast. If we live in that, if we take that, if we worship that, well, then we're lost. If that's what controls our minds and our actions.
But if we trust in Christ, receiving him and his grace, walking with him, then we have, of course, the hope of salvation through Jesus Christ. And again, that contrast there that you see between the end of chapter 13 and the beginning of chapter 14 is really helpful for unpacking that. Andrew, thanks for your question. God bless.
Wow. You mentioned the mark of the beast. You know, some people think it could be a tattoo.
Does that mean that my tattoo of Taylor Swift could possibly be the mark of the beast? Bill, honestly, don't go there. I just want to hear you talking about it. Sorry, I couldn't resist. Bill, I know you're a big Taylor Swift fan.
I just didn't know you were that big of a fan. So say no more. Say no more. Okay, I won't say anything else. Let's get to another question.
This is an email we received from Jeremy and he says, Hi, Adriel. I'm in a history class and the teacher commented how old views of gender and sexuality like those in the Bible are oppressive and outdated. Most of the class seem to agree, but as a Christian, I'm not sure how to answer these kinds of statements. And then I feel a kind of guilt because I'm not courageous enough to speak out against what the teacher said, because I know I'll be seen negatively.
What would you do in a situation like this? Yeah, well, God bless you wanting to be bold just where you are. And I realize it can be intimidating when you're in a place like that classroom setting where it seems like everyone disagrees with you and with what you believe. And the fact of the matter is, is increasingly that seems like it's the case more and more in the workplace for many people in schools, college campuses. And so I think one, we do need to realize that we need boldness as Christians and we need to pray for boldness.
And you don't need to be ashamed about that. The fact that, you know, you wrestle with this in the book of Acts, in Acts chapter four, the disciples pray for boldness. Why? Because they're outnumbered. They're surrounded by people that are persecuting them. And we're told that the Spirit of God filled them, the place where they were was shaken and they continued to preach the word of God with boldness. And so the first thing I would say is, yes, pray for that.
Don't beat yourself up. You know, pray for opportunities to be bold and to witness to the truth of God's word. Now, oftentimes you do hear people today saying things like, well, you know, the Bible is just so archaic and what it says about sexuality and gender is just, you know, that's ancient history. Most of the time, and this is just my own personal experience, those people have no idea what they're talking about in terms of what the Bible teaches about those things. It's not like they've got this in-depth understanding of or, you know, have actually studied the scriptures seriously, except maybe to nitpick a little bit.
And so I would dig deeper and I would say, well, what exactly are you talking about? What do you mean when you say that the Bible's view of gender is archaic or sexuality is outdated? If what you mean is it's not the same as what most people have today, well, I mean, the answer is that's true. But that doesn't mean that the way people think today is right. In fact, there's a lot of confusion.
In fact, you know, when we're talking about sexuality and gender, it seems like we're totally upside down today. And it's destroying lives. It's destroying people. And so I would say, well, what are you talking about?
Because actually what the what the Bible does is it outlines for us very clearly who we are as people, why we have dignity created in the image of God, male and female, and how we ought to live in order to thrive as human beings. Now, when we turn away from that, like our culture has and like so many people have, it leads to confusion and destruction and pain. And when it comes to, you know, how people think about sex and sexuality today, that's what we're seeing all around us. Abuse, like crazy, just all over the place. And so again, I would say asking people to really elaborate on what it is that they're talking about and then maybe speaking into that, you know, and here's where I think there is there's going to be a tension because what we believe, according to scripture, does contradict what so many people think today.
But they really need to challenge, I think, themselves. There's a book that was recently written by Carl Truman called The Rise and the Triumph of the Modern Self. I'm going to recommend that book. We also have there's a sort of pared down version of that book, which we've offered on the broadcast before.
I don't remember what it's called, but look up Carl Truman's book on this, on the sexual revolution is really helpful in terms of being able to address some of these questions more in depth. And maybe as you're in the classroom reading through that book, you'll be further equipped to have some of those conversations. And so may God give you boldness and bless you as you seek to stand for the truth and represent Jesus where you are. Thanks for giving us a call and God bless. 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.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-13 19:06:32 / 2023-01-13 19:16:53 / 10