Does Matthew 24 teach that the rapture is real? 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. We'd love to hear from you, and you can call us right now with your question. Here's the number, 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and of course you can always email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. Well, as you may have heard, there's been a terrible earthquake that's impacted the countries of Turkey and Syria, and Adriel, I wonder if we could start off today's program by praying for the victims of that terrible earthquake. Yeah, I think it's really important that we do, that we join our hearts together in praying for the people there in Turkey.
I've even heard of just some believers that we knew out there suffering great loss, and so just let's pray for God's mercy to be poured out. Father, we look to you and we grieve because of the great loss of life in Turkey as a result of this earthquake that happened. Father, we ask for your mercy to be poured out on all those who are suffering right now. We pray that you would use these circumstances, Lord, as horrible as they are, to somehow open a door for your gospel there in that area. God, we pray for the success with the relief efforts. We pray for those right now who are buried beneath rubble, Lord God, that you would strengthen them and that you would send rescue workers to their way, and Father, we just ask for your mercy to be poured out in Jesus' name. Amen. Amen.
We'll keep you updated on that situation and continue to pray for our brothers and sisters and all those impacted by the earthquake in that part of the world. This is CORE Christianity and our phone lines are open. If you'd like to call with your question about Bible doctrine, theology, you name it, we are open to it. Let's go to Steve calling in from Nashville, Tennessee. Steve, what's your question for Adriel? Hey, good afternoon you guys. I just wanted to ask kind of a sensitive question that's been on my heart and mind for a while.
Within a local body of believers, and I'm not talking outside the church, I'm talking inside the church locally, do you believe from a biblical standpoint there should or should not be complete transparency when it comes to the church finances? Steve, thank you for that question. You're totally right. I mean it is a sensitive one. I do think it's a really important one though. I do think there needs to be transparency and a willingness to share whatever information it is that people are looking for. I mean I guess it depends specifically on what's being asked. I know that we've done things a little bit differently at the church that I pastor.
There were seasons where basically we just sort of plastered everything on the big screen for everyone to see. Sometimes that can be helpful. Sometimes I think that can also be unhelpful in terms of just giving people a bunch of information that sometimes is hard to process. I think that there can be a way of maybe distilling a lot of that information and helping to break it down in terms of, okay, here's what we're giving to missions, here's what it costs to employ the people that are working at the church, here's diaconal expenses, and so on and so forth.
That actually I think is a more helpful way of going about it, but I do think we want to be careful that there isn't this sense of like, well, even if people are curious or want to know, there's no way to get answers to their questions. It's important, I would say, first and foremost, that the ministry of the church and the resources that the church gets are going towards the work of the gospel and its advancement. And so I think it's good for the church to be able to share about how the resources are being used to that end in order to serve the community, in order to employ those who are preaching the word of God or support missionaries or whatnot, but really focused on money being used for mission and discipleship. I want to go back to you though, Steve, because as I said, I know this is a difficult question, and just in your guys' context, in your local church, is this something that you're wrestling through?
Is there maybe a more specific question that you're looking to get an answer to as well? Well, specifically, I had brought up one time, it's been a few years ago, and I've kind of just set it aside because it seems a little bit sensitive to those who are in charge, but they break down salaries, which I go to a medium-sized church, so the church report comes out and just says, you know, $750,000 salary, but it doesn't break it down further than that. And, you know, I think as a contributing member, we should all know, unless there's something to hide, what the salaries are of everyone, I guess considering that we, the body, are the ones providing that, you know, funds to pay them.
What do you think? It's an excellent, another great question. So I would say, and I don't know how close you are with the leadership, and in particular the pastor and those who are on staff, I think it's fair for you as an individual in the church to be able to go to them and say, hey, I'm just curious about this, and to do it maybe just on a personal level. The concern that I would have with just sort of plastering all the information out there is what you find in terms of salary packages for pastors is it can sometimes be a little bit confusing. So for example, you know, for pastors we sometimes differentiate between salary and call package.
The call package would be inclusive of everything that it costs to employ this individual. So you think of health insurance, you think of retirement and whatnot, and oftentimes you put all that number together and people see that number and they think, oh, whoa, that's way more money than I make, or that's more than I think the pastor should make, but it's different than just a salary in terms of thinking about the housing allowance and all those things. So sometimes it's just a question of communication. How can we communicate well to the congregation in a way that's helpful to the congregation, but also to the pastor and his family? And so that's one thing I found, you know, so I've been pastoring for 10 years now, and I found that there are some people who are going to think pastors should make more money, some people are going to think the pastor should make less money, everybody has an opinion about this, and I don't think that there's anything wrong with that per se. I would just, you do want to be careful because you're trying to be transparent and communicate in a way that's clear, but you also want to make sure that you're not just putting out a bunch of vulnerable information in a way that maybe could be unhelpful. I would just say personally, I don't know if you're able to go to the pastor and have this conversation more directly and share your feelings, and maybe something good, something fruitful could come out of that.
And like I said, we've done it both ways. We've done it to where we sort of plaster all the information out there, and then more recently we've sort of transitioned as a church to just saying, okay, let's just sort of talk about, here's what it costs to employ all the people that are on staff at the church, and if people have more specific questions, you know, how did we go about reaching this number for salary or whatnot, then it's fair for them to go to the leadership, the elders of the church, and ask those questions. And the leadership in the church, the elders in the church, should have answers to those questions as to, okay, here's why we set the salary at this number based on the experience and cost of living and so on and so forth.
So I think it can be a conversation, and if it's totally secretive and it's just like, well, we're not willing to talk about those things, then I would say that's the best way to think, and I would say that's maybe more of a red flag, but hopefully that's not the case in your context, and you can get some more information by asking. And so I appreciate your questions, Steve, and may the Lord bless you. Steve, thanks so much for listening to CORE Christianity. Great question, and we thank you for your involvement and commitment to your local church. If you have a question for us about the Bible or the Christian life, we would love to hear from you. Here is the phone number to call.
It's 833-THE-CORE. Our phone lines will be open for the next 15 minutes or so, 833-843-2673. Let's go to Anthony calling in from Florida. Anthony, what's your question for Pastor Adrian? Thank you very much for taking my call today.
I'm Pastor. The reason that I'm calling is I'm looking for some biblical guidance from my wife and I, and the reason is, you know, we're very concerned about our daughter's boyfriend. You know, we just have kind of intuitive parents having a feeling, I guess, that he's not good for her. We know, you know, he's kind of driving a wedge between us and her, and while we hardly ever see him, we're really sensing that he's controlling him and we do know that he's trying to talk her into living with him, you know, at the college they attend. And, you know, we want to, our daughter is very sensitive, and whenever we bring it up, it just doesn't go well. And lastly, we don't like the attitude, you know, we have toward him. We don't want to be unloving, but we're finding, we're just feeling very negative toward him.
So that's it. We're looking for some biblical advice, Pastor. Well, Anthony, I'm sorry about this situation. I mean, your daughter's an adult. She's off at college right now, and I'm assuming, Anthony, you raised her in the church to be a part of a worshiping community, and now she's no longer in church, is that right? Well, we tried, Pastor, but I would say right now she's not a believer. Okay. And her boyfriend is not either.
Okay. Well, Anthony, of course, the first thing that I would say, and I know maybe it sounds cliche, but we minimize the power of prayer too often, and so the first thing I would say is you and your wife need to be committed to praying for your daughter, and I'm sure that you already are, and I would just say keep that up. Praying first is she would have that, you know, prodigal son experience, where she comes to her senses and realizes her need of Christ and his mercy, where she could be welcomed back to the table, and just receive the love of the Lord as she comes to him. So praying for that, praying also for her safety and protection, I know that that's what you want, and so when you see an individual influencing your daughter who you love, you know, the control, the manipulation, driving a wedge, as you know, oftentimes with individuals who can, you know, unhealthy individuals who can be abusive even, a lot of times they try to isolate a person.
You know, they don't want that person around family or friends, and so that is a cause for concern. If her boyfriend is driving this wedge between her and between you and your wife, if there are examples of control and manipulation, I think all you can do at this point is lovingly come alongside of your daughter and say, hey, I'm seeing some things that are really concerning to me because I love you, and I want you to be aware of this, and just give a warning. Give clear warnings that are full of love, full of concern, full of care, letting her know that your door is open, that you're there for her, to support her, to protect her to the extent that you're able, but I mean obviously it's not something at this stage in her life where you can force it, and so that's why it's got to be prayer.
It can't be coerced. It's got to be the work of the Holy Spirit in her life, and so may God give you and your wife wisdom as you continue to have conversations with her, sharing your care and your concern, and praying for her and calling her back to the truth ultimately. I think that the best thing we can do right now is just pray, and so I want to pray for you and for your daughter and invite our listeners to pray as well. Our gracious Father in heaven, Lord, our hearts break, Lord. We think of the difficulty, Lord, of when someone you love is making decisions that are harmful, and I know for Anthony, Lord, who loves his daughter, wanting to see her thrive, not wanting her to be isolated, not wanting a wedge to be dug deeper between the family and their daughter, I know that this breaks his heart, and so we lift this situation up to you, Lord. We ask for your mercy, for your grace, for the work of your Holy Spirit in Anthony's daughter's life. We pray, Lord God, that if this relationship isn't a good thing for her, if it is going to lead her further away from you, that you, Lord, in your providence would help her to see that, Lord, would help her to come to her senses, Lord, realizing that her parents care for her, that they love her, and ultimately, Lord, that you would do the work that only you can do in opening her eyes to your love and your grace and your mercy, and that she might turn to you, and Lord, that even through these circumstances, God, you would bring her back to yourself, and so please be with my brother Anthony, with his wife, with their family, guide them through this difficult time, help them to continue to trust you, and give them wisdom, Lord, as they seek to speak the truth and love to their daughter, we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
Amen. Anthony, we have a resource that we believe might be helpful to you. It's called The Prodigal God by Dr. Tim Keller. We'd like to send you a complimentary copy of that if you'll hold on the line, and we'll get your contact information and send that off to you, and we'll continue to pray for that entire situation. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you are a new listener to this program, we want you to know that we are listener supported.
We don't play commercials here. We don't receive money from a church or denomination. We count on people just like you to help us stay on the air, and if you believe in what we do, hey, we'd love to invite you to prayerfully consider making a gift to this ministry. You can do that by going to corechristianity.com forward slash donations, and also we have a group of people that we call our inner core who are people that believe so much in this ministry that they have committed to making a regular monthly gift, and Adriel is going to tell you a bit about that group of folks.
Yeah, this is one of the ways you can continue to partner with us throughout the year, and it's a monthly donation of $25 or more. It gets you a part of what we call the inner core, a group of our closest supporters, and as a thank you for joining the inner core, we'll send you a copy of the book Core Christianity by Dr. Michael Horton, and I just want to take a brief moment to say thank you to all of you who have joined the inner core just even since the first of the year. We're so grateful for your support, for your prayers, and for the resources that you give that help us to continue to produce this broadcast, and so thank you, and for those of you who are continuing to be blessed by this broadcast, if you would prayerfully consider joining the inner core as well, we would love to partner together with you to get the word out and to encourage people in their faith. You can learn more by going to corechristianity.com forward slash inner core. That's corechristianity.com forward slash inner core. Well, we do receive voicemails here at the core. You can call us 24 hours a day and leave us your voicemail question. 833-THE-CORE is the number.
That's 1-833-843-2673, and let's go to a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners named Kelly. I was listening to the program here today, and a caller asked the question that I was just very curious about also, and it was about the rapture and what will happen to children, and Adriel said that he did not believe that the rapture would happen that way, so my question was, Matthew 24, 40, what is the meaning of that verse then? I just wanted to hear another perspective of what that verse means. If it does not mean that when the rapture comes, you know, one person will be there and another one be left, and if my child is not a believer and I am, what is going to happen to that child? So thank you, and you guys be blessed.
Kelly, thank you for that question, a very thoughtful question, and a really practical question as well. I know a lot of people wonder, okay, if the rapture happens, you know, what's gonna happen to my kids or my spouse who isn't a believer, and so there's a lot of fear also associated with this. First thing I want to say is if you've heard us on the broadcast before, brothers and sisters, we know that there are differences with regard to the end times. Now, fundamentally, here's what we all have to confess as Christians, and it's that Jesus Christ is coming back to judge the world, truly, literally, that in the same way he ascended into heaven, he's going to return, that that hasn't happened yet, that the resurrection of the dead has not happened yet. There are some people who try to say, well, no, all of that already happened, and sort of spiritualize it. Well, no, and so what we can all agree on, whether an individual embraces the theology of the rapture or not, is that Jesus is coming back and that we need to be ready.
We need to be ready. Now, with regard to the idea of the rapture, there are many, you know, godly men and women who hold to this view, Bible scholars and teachers who teach this, the idea that Jesus is going to come back first for his church, for his bride, that the believers are going to be raptured, and then he's going to come back again during the time of the second coming and the final judgment and all of that. So some of the passages that people go to are passages like the one you mentioned, Matthew 24, verse 40, then two men will be in the field, one will be taken, and one left.
Two women will be grinding at the mill, one will be taken, and one left. Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. Now, here I think the focus is the second coming of the Lord and a coming in judgment, and the way we know that, and it's made clear, is just the context of the passage, Kelly, because if you look back in verse 38, so the verses immediately preceding those verses, verse 38, for in those days, the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away. So will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field, one will be taken, and one left.
Two women will be grinding at the mill, one will be taken, and one left. Now, being taken here is not a positive thing, just like the flood came and took or swept away the people who were under judgment. That's what this idea of being taken is parallel to, so it's this picture of the Son of Man, Jesus, returning at his second coming in judgment, to judge the world, and so that's, I would say, a better way of understanding. I know that there are others who have differences on that text, but that's my view, and I appreciate your question, and again, we want to be charitable with one another as we think through these things, and ultimately search the scriptures together, because we want to let the Bible speak to us.
We want our views to be shaped by what the Bible teaches. God bless. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Wayne, calling in from Kansas.
Wayne, what's your question for Adriel? Good afternoon, Pastor. My wife and I are in the process of searching for a new church, and we are attending a church right now that she really adores, she really loves. My problem is that in most of the sermons, there are things contained in the sermon that when I bring them back to the Bible, they're not exactly Bible-proofable, I guess you could say. Just for example, he was doing a sermon on Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and got into the description of the fiery furnace and said, then Jesus came to rescue them. And that's not what I'm finding in my Bible, either versions of them.
I know there's some thought processes out there about that, but what I find is a lesser descriptive description. What's your thought process on churches that possibly add or take away from the Bible? Well, I mean, adding or taking away from the Bible is a terrible thing.
It's condemned at the end of the book of Revelation, and so churches that are really doing this, I think it's a huge problem. With regard to the example that you brought up in Daniel about that presence that was with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fire, in terms of the history of interpretation there, many have actually said, this is a picture of the angel of the Lord or of Christ, pre-incarnate Christ, there in the presence with the young Hebrews. I actually think that there's warrant for that interpretation.
Now, you've got to walk through that. You've got to talk about the way in which Daniel depicts the Son of Man, later in Daniel chapter 7, as this divine figure. And so that's where there's a sort of relationship there, exegetically, biblically, where I think you could draw lines of analogy and say, look, this person here, this person here, is probably that same figure that Daniel sees in Daniel chapter 7. But it's important not just to jump there, but to explain biblically how we get there.
And so that could be the problem. Maybe this pastor is teaching true things, but he's having a difficult time explaining how he got there. I would just say, continuing to search the scriptures and have this conversation, have these conversations with the pastor, and I want to commend you, Wayne, for being Berean. This is Acts chapter 17, verse 10.
The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. And when they arrived, they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now, these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica. They received the word with all eagerness, examining the scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
That's what you're doing, Wayne. You're examining the scriptures. And I would say having a conversation with the pastor and talking about how he got there could be fruitful. And so that's what I want to encourage you to do. May the Lord bless you and your wife at this church. Explore the truth of God's Word together.
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