How do you know when a teaching is heretical? 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 pray you had a wonderful weekend. This is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. And we would love to hear from you. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. Just to note, the program airs at 11 30 a.m. Pacific time every weekday, so the time you want to call is between 11 30 and 12 noon Pacific.
Just translate that into your own time zone. You can also email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. And by the way, we do receive voicemails here at the core.
And here's one that came in from Maria. I have a question. I've been praying to the Lord for at least 32, 33 years. My daughter's 33 years old already for him to heal my daughter. She has cerebral palsy. She's on a wheelchair. I want to know why the Lord's not answering my prayer for my daughter to get healed so she could be able to walk. I just wanted to know why, why, you know, I mean, she's already 33 years and she hasn't been able to walk.
That's my question. Thanks. Wow, Maria. I am so sorry to hear about this situation. I know it's got to break your heart as a mother and especially wrestling with the why question. Lord, why aren't you answering this prayer for healing?
Now, of course, that's not a question. I mean, I can't look into the mind of God and say, well, here's why the Lord has not answered this specific prayer. I know that it's something that we can do and that there are times where the Lord does heal. I mean, think of James chapter 5 where we're told if anyone is sick, you know, let them call for the elders of the church and let them, you know, lay hands on the one who is sick and pray for that individual. God does heal and can heal miraculously, but sometimes he chooses not to.
Here's what I would say to you. I go to Mark chapter 2. There's a passage here in Mark chapter 2 that I think is really important when we think about the ministry of Jesus Christ and what he came to do in the world. Mark chapter 2 verse 1, and when he returned to Capernaum, after some days it was reported that he was at home and many were gathered together so that there was no room in the home, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them, and they came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him.
And when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, son, your sins are forgiven. Now some of the scribes were sitting there questioning in their hearts, why does this man speak like that?
He is blaspheming. Who can forgive sins but God alone? And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier to say to the paralytic, your sins are forgiven, or to say rise, take up your bed, and walk? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. He said to the paralytic, I say to you rise, pick up your bed, and go home. And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all so that they were all amazed and glorified God saying, we never saw anything like this. Now here's what I want to say to you, Maria, thinking about the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ first and foremost, why did he come into the world? To free us from our sins, to remove our sins from us.
This is one of the things that's exhibited here in this text. I mean they bring this man who is paralyzed before Jesus and everybody wants to see Jesus heal the man so that he can walk. They want to see a miracle and Jesus says, your sins are forgiven.
He disappoints everyone there, at least initially, right? Like with Jesus we wanted to see you heal the guy and Jesus is emphasizing, look first and foremost I came into the world to forgive sins and I want you to know that I have authority to forgive sin so I'm going to heal the guy in order to confirm my authority to forgive sins on earth. And so why did Jesus come into the world? Again, to bring that kind of healing, that forgiveness of sins. Now ultimately, here's what I can say, you do have the promise that your daughter through Christ, by faith in Jesus Christ, will have a restored body. That's what's given to us in the doctrine of the resurrection, but this side of heaven where our bodies are broken, affected by sickness, by sin, sometimes there's healing, but ultimately we know that these bodies are going to be going down into the grave to be raised again, perfect in glory. So you do have the hope, one day, of full restoration and healing for your daughter and for her body, but first and foremost what Jesus came to do was forgive our sins and I pray, Maria, that you and your daughter know that forgiveness.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ that he brought to the world through his suffering and death and resurrection from the dead and have the hope of restoration on the last day. It doesn't mean you can't pray for healing, for physical healing. No, pray and I want to pray right now for you and for your daughter as well, but we don't know why sometimes the Lord doesn't give that to us now.
We do know that we will have that in the age to come and so may God grant you his grace and give you a true sense of his mercy in Christ through the forgiveness of sins. Father, I do want to pray for Maria. Lord, as she continually has been crying out to you for the healing of her daughter, Jesus, I pray that you would give her comfort. I do pray for healing for her daughter, for strength in her body, but I pray, Lord, even more than that, that they would both know your great mercy in washing away all of our sins.
Father, that that gospel of grace would grip Maria, would grip her daughter, and that all the days of their lives they would know your love and your mercy and the hope that is found in you and in your son Jesus, not just for the forgiveness of sins but for the restoration of our bodies, even the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Be with them, I pray, in Jesus' name. Amen. Amen. Man, Maria, thank you so much for your call, and we will be praying for you and your daughter in this situation. We know how difficult that must be. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.
Our phone lines are open. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, we'd love to hear from you. Maybe there's a passage of Scripture that's always been kind of confusing for you. Maybe it's kind of tripped you up, and Adriel would be happy to clarify that for you.
Or maybe you have some doubts about the Christian faith. Hey, we're open to your call as well. Here's the number, 833-THECORE. Our phone lines will be open for the next 15 minutes, 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to John calling in from St. Louis, Missouri. John, what's your question for Adriel? How's it going?
Yeah, enjoy your show. I want to ask you a question. When Jesus said that I have authority to take my life down or said that he has his own will to go to the cross, how was that in comparison to when he said that he depended on the Father? You know, he listens to the Father, but I understand if Jesus has his own will, then is that how the devil tempted him at the desert? So I'm kind of confused how what it means to say Jesus said I have authority to lay my own life down. Does that mean Jesus is not dependent on the Father?
Okay, John, great question. Getting into the doctrine of God's will, and in particular of the wills of the God-man, if you will, did Jesus have one will or two wills? And what does that even mean?
And why is it important? You've actually raised a question that was debated for a period of time in church history. There was a heresy related to the doctrine of Christ called monothelitism. Basically, that just means one will, and the idea was that when God the Son assumed humanity, he didn't really assume every part of what it means to be human, right? Part of being human is having that human will, a part of our nature, but that the divine sort of mind and will took over. Well, the orthodox, that is, those who were faithful to scripture, said no, the God-man, the eternal Son of God who assumed humanity, also assumed a human will for us and for our salvation.
That helps us to make sense of certain passages like the ones that you've brought up. You think of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane praying to the Father saying, not my will but your will be done. And so you have the two wills of Christ that work together in concert accomplishing our salvation, our redemption. It's not that there's some sort of schizophrenia going on or something like that, but it's that Jesus really assumed true humanity, true human nature. And the reason that that's so important, excuse me, is because if Jesus didn't assume all of what it means to be human, truly human, if the Son of God didn't, well then did he really bring healing and restoration to our nature? And the answer is he did.
He truly did. And that's why we have the doctrine of the two wills of Christ. And so that's how we make sense of those particular passages. And as I said, those two wills work together in concert for our redemption. God bless John. John, thanks so much for your question. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. By the way, just a reminder that we are a listener-supported ministry, so we count on people just like you to help us pursue our mission of sharing the gospel, equipping believers, and answering the questions of non-believers.
We do that every day, Monday through Friday. And if you'd like to make a gift, you can easily do that by going to corechristianity.com and clicking on the donate link. Also, you can learn more about becoming an ongoing supporter by joining what we call our inner CORE. Yes, brothers and sisters, if you've been encouraged by the broadcast, and we've been doing this now for several years, what a joy it is every day to get to answer your questions about the Christian faith, about walking with the Lord.
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We'd love to have you join that special group of people that support this program on a regular basis. Well, we do receive voicemails here at CORE Christianity. You can call us 24 hours a day and leave a voicemail on our system. We do our best to review those voicemails each day. Here's the number. It's 833-843-2673.
That's 833-THECORE. And here's an email actually from one of our listeners. Our email address is corechristianity questions at corechristianity.com. And this one is from Mason.
Mason says, Hi, Adriel. Can you explain if the teaching of predestination is a heresy or not? I think it might be, because if it is true, then why shouldn't we just stay home and not preach the word? John 3 16 and Revelation 3 20 seem to also disprove predestination.
What do you think? Yeah, getting us into some controversy here, Mason, but I do appreciate your question. First, I mean, I think it's helpful to think about, well, what is heresy? Heresy is doctrine or a belief that cuts us off from the Church. There's a there's a relationship between that word heresy and the idea of being schismatic or separating from the body of Christ. Heretical doctrines, heretical beliefs are things that separate us from the Gospel, from the Church, things that if we embrace them truly, and I mean, that's what we believe.
Well, we're going to be condemned. I think of, you know, rejecting those core tenets of the faith that are summarized in places like the Apostles' Creed and in the Nicene Creed. There are other, you know, differences that we can have as Christians, as believers in Jesus Christ, you know, united to Him by faith on issues that, you know, it's not a matter of, you know, am I going to be eternally condemned because I disagree with you on baptism or something like that?
No, no. I mean, we can show charity to each other. It's not that those doctrines aren't important. They really are important, and we want to come to solid biblical understandings of these things, but the fact of the matter is we have to be able to distinguish between, you know, those doctrines, those beliefs that remove us from the body of Christ, from the Church, and those which, you know, things that Christians dispute about. I would say that predestination is one of those things. That is, it's not a heresy, and in fact, you really can't say that because in the Bible, the Apostle Paul talks about predestination. I think of Ephesians chapter 1, for example, verse 3, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him in love. He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will. He talks about predestination also in Romans chapter 8, and so, and so, no, we ought to, regardless of, you know, how you think about it, you need to have a theology, if you will, of predestination because it's a biblical word.
It's something we see in the scriptures. It's an idea that you see throughout the Bible in the Old Testament, you know, God choosing Israel as His particular people. In the New Testament here, Paul's saying God chose us, believers, through Jesus Christ, and so, you know, Christians dispute about, well, what does that mean? Does that mean He chose us because He saw that we were going to choose Him, or did He choose us irrespective of that?
And that's really where the debate is. Now, if you're curious about where I'm at, I think that God chose us, predestined us unconditionally. That is not on the basis of anything that we've done or would do, but purely on the basis of His love and mercy. And isn't that what the Apostle Paul says again there in verse 4 and 5? In love, He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will. And so what this emphasizes is the mercy of God to us in salvation, not on the basis of works, so that no one can boast, as the Apostle Paul says later in Ephesians, in Ephesians chapter 2.
And so it should humble us and cause us to rejoice in this God who has been so merciful towards sinners, calling us to Himself. God bless, Mason, thank you for that question. So well explained, thank you for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.
Let's go back to the phones. Psalm is on the line from Oklahoma. What's your question for Pastor Adriel?
Hi Pastor Adriel, I just have a quick question. At church our pastor says, like at the ending of 2002, he says some of us ought to be ashamed about how much we tithe, and so I'm not really sure, you know, I think some of us could only give what we could give, but, you know, he kind of talked about some people in the church who give tremendously, and then he kind of said that, you know, like I said, some of us ought to be ashamed that, you know, about how much we've given. Is that normal?
I mean, is there like, you know, I know we should be given 10%, but I know me personally, just based off my circumstances, about how much I can give, so I'm just kind of worried about that. Yeah, yeah, Psalm, I'm sorry. I mean, that, that, that, I don't think that that's right.
I don't think that that's normal. It sounds to me like this minister is trying to use guilt and shame in order to encourage generosity, and that's really not the approach that we should take. What we should do is talk about the greatness of the Gospel and God's goodness toward us in order to, to, to cause people to have a sense of, man, I can't, I can't outgive the Lord. He has been so good to me, and so I'm giving out of not, not this sense of compulsion, you know, that I'm, my arm is being twisted because, you know, pastor's going to see how much I gave, and he's going to guilt me about it or shame me about it. No, I give freely out of a sense of the generosity that God has shown to me through his Son Jesus Christ. Two texts of scripture, one, Mark chapter 12 verse 41, and Jesus sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums, and a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins which make a penny, and he called his disciples to him and said to them, truly I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box, for they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all that she had to live on. See, the Lord sees things very differently than, than we see them. Certainly, I mean, just this story differently than, than this pastor sees them, and we want to encourage, I mean, I'm speaking as a pastor here, I want to encourage generosity in the people of God, but that, but that has to be encouraged through the gospel of God's grace, not with guilt and shame and law. I think also of what Paul says in second Corinthians chapter eight, or excuse me, well chapter eight, but also in chapter nine, specifically in verse six.
Listen to what he said there. The point is this, whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his own heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver, and God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. See, God wants us to give cheerfully, full of joy. God loves a cheerful giver, not reluctantly feeling like, I have to do this, or pastor's gonna, you know, he's gonna shame me. I mean, if the pastor, you know, knows who is giving what and how much people are giving, I think even that is not a wise setup in the church.
He shouldn't be handling that information. Each one must give as he has decided in his own heart, and so I want to encourage you to say, look, we ought to be generous as Christians, and generosity looks different for different people. You think of the widow's penny right there, but we want to be encouraged to be generous, and generosity should flow out of a great sense of having received the grace and mercy of God in Jesus, so that we give with joy, not feeling like our arms are being twisted. God bless.
Well said. Thank you for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, you can feel free to email us anytime at questionsatcorechristianity.com, or you can post your question on one of our social media sites.
We have several, including a Facebook page. Let's go back to the phones. Sarah is on the line from Arkansas. Sarah, what's your question for Adriel?
Hi. First, thank you for your service, and secondly, I was wondering what you think about women's role in the church. I've seen both sides of the spectrum, and a follow-up question to that is, what would you tell an elder in the church who says women should be silent or go find a new church?
Hi, Sarah. Thank you for your question. So what you're asking is, do I think that, in terms of women's roles, that women should serve as pastors or elders within the church? I think that that's an office specifically for men within the church called qualified, competent men, and those things are very important there.
Paul outlines that in 1 Timothy 3 and in Titus chapter 1, but that doesn't mean that the women of the church don't have roles to play within the body of Christ, that they're not gifted for the building up of the body. You think of what the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians chapter 12. Each of us is gifted by the Holy Spirit in distinct ways, and different people have different gifts. We're all bringing our gifts to the body of Christ. It doesn't always look like or translate into some sort of ministry or service on Sunday morning. A lot of times that looks like the way in which we serve the body of Christ throughout the week. Things like hospitality, generosity, so on and so forth. And so we're all gifted in different ways by the Lord, and we need to value every single individual's gifts, because it's as the body is working together in love that it's built up into maturity, into Christ. That's what the Apostle Paul said in Ephesians chapter 4. Now, it sounds to me like this pastor or elder is appealing to certain passages in the pastoral epistles about women being silent in church. And I guess maybe to go back to you, Sarah, what exactly does that mean? Like, what does this pastor mean or elder mean by keep silent? Like, can't sing, can't pray?
How far is he taking this? Saying amen during a service or especially sharing information when men are present. Like, apologetic information.
Yeah. It sounds to me like maybe this is being taken a little bit too far. I see those prohibitions in the pastoral epistles as relating to teaching, the teaching office of the church. That is, you know, not preaching, but certainly we're all as the body of Christ lifting up our voices in praise and in prayer. Paul in 1 Corinthians 12 through 14 talks about women prophesying there in the context of the body. I don't think that meant, you know, authoritative teaching as the pastor, but working together within the body of Christ, worshiping the Lord. And so it sounds to me like maybe there's a little bit of a misunderstanding of that prohibition there in the pastoral epistles. May God give you wisdom and grace as you seek to have conversations with the leadership in your church about this. Thanks for giving us a call and God bless. We explore the truth of God's word together.
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