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Are the Gospel Accounts Flawed or Trustworthy?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
February 2, 2023 4:00 pm

Are the Gospel Accounts Flawed or Trustworthy?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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February 2, 2023 4:00 pm

Episode 1155 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

 

Questions in this Episode

 

1. Is it wrong or “boastful” to be proud of the accomplishments of my child?

2. How should we respond to children preaching on social media?

3. When were the Gospels of the New Testament written and are they trustworthy?

4. How can I protect my kids from believing false teachers online?

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Resources

The Historical Reliability of the Gospels by Craig Blomberg

Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony by Richard Bauckham

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Are the Gospel accounts flawed or are they trustworthy? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of Core Christianity. Hi, this is Bill Meyer with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. If this is the very first time you've tuned in, you can call us with your question at 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. 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 live on YouTube and send him your question that way. And of course, you can always email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com.

First up today, here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Randy. My question for Pastor Adriel is in regards to boastfulness. I've struggled with that all my life, and I'm an old fella now, but the current situation is my daughter. I have a daughter who's excelling in college and sports and many other things, and I'm very proud. I don't know if boastfulness has its written in the Bible. I guess the bottom line is, am I sinning by bragging about my daughter?

Thank you. Randy, a proud father, and a great question, because we see those words boastful, proud, arrogant, and oftentimes they're used in a negative way in the scriptures, but not always. And in fact, I think there's one text that makes it clear that there's nothing wrong with being proud of your daughter, grateful for how she's excelling in school and whatnot. I'm thinking about what Paul said in 2 Thessalonians chapter 1 verse 3. Listen to what Paul, this father in the faith, we might say.

Listen to how he addresses the Thessalonian church. We ought always to give thanks to God for you brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore, we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in all the afflictions that you are enduring.

In other words, Paul says about the Thessalonians, when I go to these different churches and I'm talking about the various churches, I boast about you guys. I just talk about how proud I am at how you're standing firm in the faith, walking with the Lord in the midst of the persecutions that you're facing and that love that you have that's just increasing more and more. When we see those things in each other, and especially in our children, we ought to be proud. A love for God, a commitment to the Lord, even in the midst of adversity and trials. You don't have to feel bad for being proud about that and even for saying, boy, my daughter, my son, loves the Lord or is doing well.

I think that there are times where, as parents, maybe we can go overboard and we do want to be careful there, but no, in the situation that you bring up, I think that you're a-okay. Of course, there are instances, like I already mentioned, where being boastful isn't a good thing, where being proud isn't a good thing, and I think specifically when we're boasting in the presence of God and we're looking to put our works, if you will, there before God and justify ourselves. It's what the apostle Paul talks about throughout his letters, in particular in 1 Corinthians 1.

Listen to how he encourages the Corinthians in verse 26 of chapter 1. Consider your callings, brothers. Not many of you were wise according to worldly standards. Not many were powerful. Not many were of noble birth, but God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise. God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong. God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of Him, you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that as it is written, let the one who boasts boast in the Lord. And so when it comes to our salvation, our justification, our ultimate boast isn't in our righteousness or our good works, it's in the Lord who redeemed us, even though we were sinners. Thanks for your question, and God bless, and God bless your daughter as well.

Some really good counsel. Thank you for that, Adriel. 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 there's a passage of scripture that has always kind of stumped you and you'd like to ask Adriel for some clarification.

Maybe there's something going on in your Christian life where you're running up against some type of persecution, maybe in the workplace or at school or with a family member. Hey, we're open to your calls as well. Here's the phone number again, 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Gloria calling in from St. Louis, Missouri.

Gloria, what's your question for Adriel? Hi, I'm calling out of curiosity. I see a lot of children, especially on social media, conducting services as pastors and as leaders and giving messages from the Word of God. And I know that there was a time when Jesus, Mary was looking for his parents, was looking for him and he was out doing his father's work or his father's business. But how do we receive that in a day and time as such as this when we see these children ministering and they sound anointed and they come from the Word.

So I'm just a little curious about that. Well, that's a really interesting question because in one sense, you know, we do want to be grateful when especially the children in our midst are sharing the love of Jesus when they've been impacted by the Gospel and they just want to talk about it with others. I am concerned, you know, I have seen instances where basically, you know, you have young people, young children who are just fed a bunch of information. Their parents are kind of throwing them up there on a stage and it's really not something that's done in the right way. You know, this is almost like they're being pushed into it and I think that can be unhelpful and unhealthy, the kind of pressure that we put on our kids to perform, especially to perform spiritually like that.

So that would be one concern. Another concern is just the repeated warnings that we get in Scripture about preaching and teaching. It's not that we don't want to encourage people to just rejoice in the Lord and to talk about what God has done in their lives, but when it comes to the teaching office within the church, that belongs to those who have been tested, who are called, who are qualified. It's not just any sort of person, you know, with some charisma who likes to talk and get in front of people. No, there's testing that needs to take place.

Paul talks about it in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus chapter 1. There needs to be maturity. I know one thing that many, many people are seeing these days is that often people will be put into these positions of authority because they're very gifted, but they're not qualified.

And in the end, what ends up happening is disastrous. And what I mean by not qualified is sometimes it's just not the maturity, the emotional maturity, the spiritual maturity. It's one thing to be gifted and ministers are called, Bible teachers are called to be gifted in teaching the word.

That's a part of it. But there's also all the other stuff that Paul talks about in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus chapter 1 as well that go along with those qualifications. And so just thrusting someone into a position of leadership like that can be very, very dangerous.

And so that's another concern. Another concern that I have to go on and on is I think too many of us today in the church are getting our theology primarily from places like social media. It really needs to be coming from the local church first and foremost, the church that we're a part of with other people under the ministry of the word. If the primary Bible teacher that you have in your life or Bible teachers that you have in your life are people that you just listen to via social media, I think that's a cause for concern. We're called to be a part of local churches under the authority of the church, elders there caring for the body where the word is being proclaimed, where there are pastors who know us and can encourage us and hold us accountable. And so those are all concerns that I have without wanting to just discourage those young people who are passionate about the Lord and do want to talk about Jesus and encourage others through their social media channels and whatnot. I just think we need to be cautious as well and also encourage them to continue to mature and grow in their Christian faith and not put them in positions of authority or leadership prematurely.

Thank you for your question, Gloria. So if one of your kids wants to start a TikTok channel and maybe have healing services, you're going to not be cool with that? If any of my kids want to get on TikTok, I'm just not going to be cool with it, I think.

So that's where I'm at right now. But yeah, I don't know if you've seen it, Bill. I know that every once in a while, some clip will go viral of some little kid preaching the Bible. I mean, sometimes even like really young kids like six or seven years old. And I just think, okay, you know, that's kind of cute. But I also wonder, you know, is this legit or was this kid sort of put up there and told to say these things? So, you know, I don't know, maybe I'm a little bit too skeptical. What do you think, Bill? I'm very concerned as well, especially when you have parents, as you said, that maybe are pressuring kids or telling them, hey, you're anointed, you need to be up there preaching to the congregation and that, boy, there's just a lot of dangers there, especially as you look towards the future and what happens to these young kids as they grow older.

So, yes, I would be skeptical as well. There is just that pressure to perform. And I think we can impose that on our kids spiritually as well. So they feel like they got to perform for their parents. Now, of course, discipline and all of those things are very, very important for us as we're raising our children. But we want to make sure that we're cultivating genuine, you know, curiosity about the Lord and spirituality, not just saying you need to perform and it's all external, but helping them by setting an example, by reading the scriptures together, by going to church, helping them to grow in the grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ and truly understanding it for themselves, not just this sort of external, you know, performing for for their parents.

Hmm. Well said. 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, maybe you have some doubts about the Christian faith.

Maybe you consider yourself to be an agnostic or an atheist. We're open to your calls as well. Here's our phone number and you can call for the next 15 minutes or so at 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Just a reminder, Core Christianity is a listener supported ministry. 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 have a place on our website where you can donate if you feel God might be calling you to give a gift. Just go to corechristianity.com, click on the donate link, and when you go to our website you can also learn more about becoming an ongoing monthly supporter by joining what we call our inner core.

Yeah, if you've been encouraged by the work that Bill and I do here at Core Christianity, would love for you to consider joining the inner core. It's a group that supports us with the monthly donation of $25 or more. That money goes toward helping us to continue to air this broadcast as well as producing materials, print materials that we give away for our various offers. And so it really goes to a good cause. And many people, what I love about this is we get so much feedback from people who are encouraged by the work that we do growing in their relationship with the Lord. And so you're partnering with us to make that happen.

And so would you prayerfully consider doing so? And as a thank you we'll send you a copy of the book Core Christianity by Dr. Michael Horton. You can find out more by going to corechristianity.com forward slash inner core, just all one word, corechristianity.com forward slash inner core to learn more. Well we do receive voicemails here at Core Christianity and Adria we have two that are related on a similar topic. This first one is from Lindsay. I was calling to ask when was the New Testament written? I have been looking for it and I just was not able to find it.

Thank you. And then here's another voicemail on a similar topic from one of our listeners named Douglas. I have a question regarding the scriptures in the gospels that I've heard recently from some skeptics that the gospels cannot be trusted because in some cases they are copying each other.

So I'm curious if there is a reply to that. I have heard that some of these gospels may have used a similar resource when writing their accounts. I've heard that Matthew might have even used Mark as a resource. I'm not sure if that's the same for Luke. An example would be Matthew 24 45 and then Luke 12. At least in my bible there is almost the exact same wording.

Is that a credibility problem for the gospels or is it explainable by the fact that they might have used a similar resource or maybe some other reason? I'm looking forward to hearing a reply to that sometime. I appreciate it very much. Getting into some really deep and important things here, Douglas and Lindsay.

First going back to Lindsay's question because I think it's a little bit simpler. The gospels were in the New Testament more broadly was written, you know, obviously after the time of Jesus's death, but probably from that point to around 90 AD. You have, you know, a number of books. First Corinthians was pretty early. I think the gospels themselves, Matthew, Mark were really early as well, but in the first century. So in answer to your question, when was the New Testament written?

Around the time of the first century and it was received by the church as the authoritative word of God. With regard to the reliability of the gospels, there are two books first that I just want to mention because especially if you're digging in and you're dealing with the questions that skeptics have, there's more than I can just give you in a couple of minutes here on the broadcast. One is a book by Craig Blomberg called The Historical Reliability of the Gospels. It's a thick book, but it really gets into the sort of nitty-gritty of the historical reliability of the gospels. The other one is by Richard Bauckham called Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. It does a great job of just making the case that these gospels are eyewitness accounts. And so it isn't a secret that you do have a lot of overlap that, you know, the majority of Mark's gospel is found in Matthew as well.

And so we do see that. And then in terms of, you know, the author of or, you know, who wrote these accounts, many people think that Mark in particular, his source primarily was Peter for the writing of the gospel. Matthew, the tax collector referred to as Levi and the other gospels, that he was the author of the gospel of Matthew. And so the question is, does this overlap cause problems for us in terms of, you know, can the gospels not be trusted because we see some overlap?

No, I mean, I don't think so at all. In fact, I mean, if these were the disciples of our Lord, many of them walking with him or they're associated with the apostolic company, we should expect there to be quite a bit of overlap and yet still have some of those interesting differences that you get with things like eyewitness accounts. And so if anything, I think, you know, you read through the gospels, some of the differences that are there even, but the overlap and it should reinforce our confidence in the authority of the holy scriptures and what they're communicating to us.

And so appreciate your question, Douglas, and may the Lord bless you. You know, I've found that sometimes we'll be talking to an individual who doubts the historicity of the gospels. They'll say, oh, it's just all fairy tales or it's all a myth. And a lot of times we never think to follow up with, well, what do you mean by that? Or what evidence do you have by that? And sometimes they're just kind of speaking out of one side of their mouth.

Really, they haven't thought through that. Yeah. And, you know, I've said before, just in terms of these conversations that we have sometimes when people will say, well, it's just all, it's just all a fairy tale. You know, it's not real.

It's not true. Digging a little deeper and following up, you know, when you hear somebody say that and say, well, why do you think that? What is it that causes you to say that? A lot of times I found that people are just repeating something that they've heard. But listen to what Peter said in second Peter chapter one, verse 16, we did not follow cleverly devised myth when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.

We're not making this stuff up, Peter said. And the reality is these early followers of our Lord Jesus were willing to go to the grave for this claim. Many of them suffered immensely. They died. Now, if they were just making it up, if this was a cleverly devised myth, you know, hatched in order to try to gain power and authority and, you know, mind control over people, and they knew it was just a bunch of a bunch of baloney, would they really have been willing to lose everything for something that they knew was a lie? No, no.

I mean, it'd just be outrageous. And so, man, we ought to be confident because we have the sure testimony of scripture, but we also see just the historical outcome of all of these things, these disciples who were willing to go to their death for the claim that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead because indeed He had. And they knew that they had the hope of the resurrection too.

That is so well said. And the other thing I often think of is the changed life of Paul. I mean, here you have this guy who is a Pharisee to the Pharisees.

I mean, he's just this brilliant Jewish theologian, so well-schooled and has this incredible change of heart, going from murdering Christians to actually being basically the leader of the New Testament church. What a great testimony that is. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, just another thing that we can point to and saying, look, this isn't a joke.

This is serious. And we see those changed lives again and again and again, even today around us, the lives that the Lord Jesus has touched and continues to transform, and many of us are evidence of that too. Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, you can always leave us a voicemail. Our voicemail operates 24 hours a day, so if you aren't able to call during the live show, by the way, the live show airs from 1130 to noon Pacific time. Some stations air this program on a tape delayed basis. So if you're hearing this at a different time, you can always call and leave a voicemail. We do our best to review our voicemails each day. The number is 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Jim calling in from Missouri. Jim, what's your question for Adriel? I'm on YouTube a lot, and I see all these pastors, you know, fully dressed up. And some of them, or a lot of them, are for mainline denominations dressed up with the gay flag or, you know, the gay flag color scarf, and they have all these words going across the screen, you're loved, you're accepted, there's nothing wrong with this, we accept everyone.

I'm really worried about, you know, children. My children seeing that, or, you know, Christians, or people who are thinking about Christianity, and they see that, how, what do you think our response should be to that if we find them, or ask, they ask about that? Oh man, well, what should our response be to just, just what we're seeing? I think great sorrow and grief, because the Word of God is being trampled upon and set aside in favor of just the sort of current cultural moment, and the sexual ethic of today, which is very different than it was 50 years ago, 100 years ago, certainly very different than what we see outlined in the scriptures so clearly, and so I think that the first thing, Jim, is, you know, I hear about these things, I see these things, and it's just a picture of great compromise, of ministries and ministers who are unwilling to stand on the solid rock of scripture and have gone astray, and the reality is churches that do that, they just reject the Word of God, they're in, they're in great spiritual danger. I think of Jesus's warning to the seven churches early on in the book of Revelation, some of them were tempted to compromise with the culture, to embrace the idols of the day, and Jesus said, if you do that, if you go down this path, I am going to come against you.

I am going to come against you. You're making yourself an enemy of the truth, and so it ought to grieve us, it ought to concern us, and it ought to cause us to grow in our own understanding of the truth of God's Word and to examine our own hearts, our own lives, to consider where, if there be any place where we might be compromising, where we need to come in alignment with the truth of God's Word, and in terms of, you know, when our children ask us these questions and they see or hear about pastors that are going in this direction, I think we can say there's nothing new under the sun. The false prophets in Israel used to say, peace, peace, where there was no peace. They wouldn't tell Israel her sin.

See, there's nothing wrong. God is not going to judge you. God does not care about this.

You're going to be a-okay. God had to raise up true prophets that were willing to be honest and to speak the Word of God, and we ought to pray, brothers and sisters, that the Lord God Almighty would continue to raise up those true preachers and teachers who are going to be faithful to the Word of God and who can charitably engage the world with the truth of Scripture. People sin and struggle with all sorts of different kinds of sins. That doesn't mean we shut the door of the church in their face or abandon them or say, oh, you're beyond the grace of God, anything like that. No, not at all. But what we don't do, what we can't do is just say, oh, that's not sin. That doesn't matter.

You're okay. Peace, peace, where there is no peace. No, we say there is peace and there is the hope of peace through the risen Son of God who came into the world to die for our sins, went to the cross and then rose again for our justification. And you, no matter what you struggle with, can have life and forgiveness in Jesus Christ solely by His divine grace. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-02 18:36:05 / 2023-02-02 18:46:02 / 10

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