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Is There Mercy For Those Who Have Never Heard About Jesus?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
February 27, 2023 4:16 pm

Is There Mercy For Those Who Have Never Heard About Jesus?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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February 27, 2023 4:16 pm

Episode 1172 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

 

Questions in this Episode

 

1. What is the White Throne Judgment and who will be judged there?

2. Do I need to name every specific sin when I repent?

3. How will God judge those who have never heard the gospel?

4. Why did Jesus have to die in such a brutal manner?

5. How can I overcome the bitterness I have towards my father?

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Core Question – Why Do You Talk About the Difference Between Law and Gospel

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Is there mercy for those who've heard and otherwise I'm gonna make them come in and start answering questions with me about the Bible. So we'll see.

But yeah, no, actually I've never been to the studio, so this is the first time they're getting a chance to check it out, and it's a lot of fun. For our listeners who don't know, just tell us real quickly the ages of all your kids. Okay, let's see here. Well, my oldest is 11, and then my daughter is eight, so an 11-year-old boy, eight-year-old daughter, and then a six-year-old son, and then a four-year-old son, and then a one-year-old daughter, and I'm guessing one of those is probably wrong.

My wife is looking at me. Oh, yeah, seven, nevermind, I got one of those wrong, so. You got birthdays, you gotta keep track of them. Yeah, I know, they're somewhere in there, from one to 11, kind of all ages, so yeah. Oh, and they are wonderful kids. I've had a chance to meet them.

Except your baby, I haven't met your baby yet, but. Yeah, soon enough, hopefully, Bill, so. Yeah, what a blessing, what a blessing. Well, let's get to the phones and some questions from our listeners. Maggie is on the line from Arkansas. Maggie, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Yes, thank you. I have heard him say that there is one judgment, and I've heard of the white throne judgment, so is that the one judgment that he's speaking of, or can you elaborate on that?

Yes, yeah, Maggie, thank you. So we believe, as Christians, that there is a judgment, a final judgment that's coming. The Apostle Paul talked about it in places like Acts chapter 17, but you really, you can read about it all over the place in the Bible. The great white throne judgment is described at the end of Revelation chapter 20, where John says in verse 11, then I saw a great white throne, and him who was seated on it, from his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and the books were opened, then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done.

Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire, and if anyone's name was not found in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. I believe that that's referring to the one judgment. Now, for those who are not in Christ, those whose names are not written in the book of life, they experienced the second death. For those who are in Christ, as Jesus says in John chapter five, Maggie, we don't enter into the judgment.

We've already passed from death to life. That is, your judgment has already been rendered. It was rendered 2,000 years ago on the cross of Jesus Christ, when he suffered and was condemned in our place. And so we receive that grace by faith so that we can stand with confidence in the day of judgment. And that's why, you know, John says in 1 John that we can have boldness in the day of judgment because of God's great love for us. A couple of other passages that talk about believers and the final judgment, there's one in the book of Romans, Romans chapter 14, beginning in verse 10. This is in the context of judging each other within the church over sort of, you know, issues that aren't matters of sin. Here, you know, the apostle Paul is addressing stuff, you know, related to diet and food. And he says in Romans chapter 14, verse 10, why do you pass judgment on your brother or you?

Why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, as I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me and every tongue shall confess to God. So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Also 2 Corinthians chapter five, verse 10, we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. And so it's very clear that even though we've already passed from death to life, we're still there and a part of that judgment, but we can have confidence on the day of judgment because we are in Christ.

Maggie, thank you for your question. Great explanation, thanks for that, Adriel. This is core Christianity. If you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, you name it, we'd love to hear from you. Maybe there's a passage of scripture that's always been a little bit confusing for you and you'd like a little clarification, Adriel will be happy to provide that. Or maybe you have some doubts about the Christian faith.

Maybe you're struggling in some way or consider yourself to be an agnostic or an atheist. Hey, we're open to your calls as well. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also leave a voicemail at that number. And here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Michael. When you ask for forgiveness and repentance, is it a catch all when you do this for all my sins?

Or do you actually have to go in and be more specific person? That's my question. Thank you. That's a great question. I think it is important for us to name our sins. In confession, like the word to confess, that's what it means to name. We're bringing it into the light. And sometimes we can just, I'm thinking about interpersonal relationships here. We can just say, oh yeah, I'm sorry.

But we're not really digging into and addressing what the offense was. Confessing our sin and owning it. So I think that that's actually really, really important. Now that doesn't mean that, and there's some people who are concerned, well, what if I'm confessing my sins to God? I don't name it, but he knows what I'm thinking and I know what I'm thinking. Well, of course, God knows all things. There's this interesting verse in Psalm 19, beginning in verse 12. Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins. Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless and innocent of great transgression.

Isn't that interesting? You know, he realizes, the Psalmist here, David realizes, who can discern his sin, his errors? When we think about our sins, I mean, the well is deeper than we ever could imagine. And oftentimes we're blind to our sins. They're hidden from us, our faults. And so David is saying, God, I don't even know all of my sins, but declare me innocent from hidden faults.

And so I think we do both. I think as we're confronted by our sin and convicted by the Holy Spirit, we confess those sins to the Lord. But we realize that, you know, as we come to God, Lord, I know that there are even other things, things that I'm still blind to, help me, Lord, to see those things so that I might bring those things into the light and forgive me. And God is gracious and merciful. He does indeed forgive us when we come to him in faith and humility.

And so I appreciate that. You know, what I was getting at with the first part of the question was just how often, you know, especially when there's interpersonal conflict, it's just easy to be like, okay, I'm sorry, let's just brush this under the rug and not really deal with the issue, with the sin. So that's where I think it is important to be honest, to confess it, to own it, so that there can be true forgiveness and restoration.

God bless. Just to follow up for you on that, Adriel, can you talk about our proclivity as human beings to engage in self-deception? I mean, Jeremiah talks about the heart is desperately wicked above all things.

Who can know it? And that says to me that at times, we might even, in our minds, deny a particular sin. 100%, Bill, and this is one of the reasons why the body of Christ is so important, because oftentimes, you know, we're just blind to our sin. And sometimes, you know, sometimes we're not, thank God. You know, the Spirit of God convicts us, and we, you know, receive the word of God, his law, and we're convicted by it. But there are times where we can get into patterns of behavior or attitudes that are just, that are contrary to God's law.

And we're not even aware of it. And so having, you know, the family of Christ around us, people who really care about us and care about our souls who can come alongside of us and say, hey, I think I see something here. I want to encourage you.

I want you to be aware of this. I think that's where it's so important that we are in a community of faith of believers where there's accountability and where that type of thing is happening, because alone, in isolation, that's when we get ourselves into a heap of trouble. And that's where we're just really susceptible to that blindness and self-deception. I'm always struck by the fact when we have certain callers that call in and they talk about a habitual sin in their life or something that they're struggling with over and over, and you'll often ask them, are you plugged into a church?

And the response is often no. And that just seems to me so diagnostic. It just talks about what you just said, the critical importance of the body of Christ. Absolutely, yeah.

Well, I mean, it totally is. And so for our listeners right now, if you're not plugged into a good church, I mean, God calls you to be in a church to worship with other believers, but this is just another one of those reasons why you're gonna want to be in a solid Bible-believing church for your own sake, for the well-being of your soul, so that the fight against sin is not something you're doing alone. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life we would love to hear from you. Our phone lines will be open for the next 15 minutes or so, so call now. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. By the way, our mission here at Core Christianity, if you're new to the show, is to answer those tough questions about the Bible and the Christian life, and that can't be done without your support. Yeah, you're right, Bill. And today we want to invite everyone to consider coming alongside of us and making a one-time donation. Your support allows us to share the gospel and the core truth of the Christian faith with people all around the world through our live radio broadcast, our web articles, free resources. I mean, we really can't tell you how important it is and how grateful we are for your help and support. And so if you've been blessed by our program, you've benefited by what we do, would you consider giving a one-time gift to us today? You can do that right now over at corechristianity.com forward slash give. It's your generous support that keeps us going. We don't get money from a church, a denomination, a radio station, we don't play commercials here. It's all really dependent on you as our listeners. And if you can give a gift today, go over to corechristianity.com forward slash give to learn more.

Again, corechristianity.com forward slash give, or call us at 833-THE-CORE. Well, as I mentioned, you can leave us a voicemail here in our voicemail system 24 hours a day. We do our best to review our voicemails each day. And here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Lucy. My question for Adriel is just to say, I really appreciate your show. I have a small group of neighbors who study the Bible together, and they would like to know if Jesus is the only way God provided for salvation, what does God do about the multitudes who die and have never heard about Jesus? I would love to know how to give them a good answer.

Thank you. Lucy, how wonderful that you're able to have these conversations in your Bible study, and what an important question, and one that many people have asked, what about those people around the world and throughout history who have never heard about Jesus? I mean, that doesn't seem fair to me. If Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, well, then, you know, they never had an opportunity to hear about the way, the truth, and the life. And so God, does he just discard them?

Are they condemned in this unfair sort of way? And there are a couple of ways to approach this question. First, I think we just have to affirm the goodness and the justice of God at the outset of everything. We know that God is perfectly good, and we know that he's perfectly just and righteous and holy.

So that's the baseline. And then when it comes to this question about, well, what, you know, the information that people have, the apostle Paul actually speaks to this in Romans chapter one. He talks about the fact that everyone knows deep down inside, whether you're born in some tribe, far off, you know, without contact with other people, or, you know, in a big city somewhere where, you know, there are all sorts of people.

Everyone knows, Paul says, that there is a God. We have what some theologians have referred to as a sense of the divine. And Paul says in Romans chapter one, verse 20, his, that is God's invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly perceived ever since the creation of the world in the things that have been made. So they are, that is those who have rejected this knowledge, this light of God, they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their foolish hearts were darkened, claiming to be wise.

They became fools in exchange the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Here you see what Paul is doing. He's talking about the whole world and how the whole world has this sense of God just through the things that have been made. So you go outside at night and you see, you know, the stars above and you're overwhelmed with this just sense of there's something greater out there.

We're so small, right? The sense of the divine. You get this also in places like Psalm chapter 19, the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows his handiwork. Day unto day utters speech and night unto night reveals knowledge. In other words, God has been speaking to everyone, revealing himself. The issue is, and this is just through creation, the issue is we take that knowledge of God and we suppress it in unrighteousness. Instead of worshiping the true God or crying out to, calling out to the true God, we worship the idols of our own hands, the things that we create. And so Paul would say, the scriptures teach that everyone is justly accountable before the Lord, that even those who, you know, didn't hear about Christ, they still have this light of nature that they reject and turn away from.

Now, here's what I would add. We do know on the basis of God's word that the judgment is gonna be different for different people. Those who had more information, that is more light and yet rejected it, are going to face a severe condemnation than those who just didn't have anything or didn't have the promise of the gospel set before them so clearly.

So God is perfectly just and he's gonna reward each individual or judge each individual on the basis of that perfect justice. You think of what Jesus said to the religious leaders. Why was their judgment so severe? Well, it's because they had the word of God in front of them.

They were teachers of the law and yet they were leading people astray. Jesus said to them, you know, you search the scriptures, John chapter five, because you think that in them you have eternal life, but these are the very scriptures that testify of me and you're not willing to come to me that you may have life. And so I think as you're having these conversations in your Bible study, you can talk about the goodness of God, the justice of God, the fact that all people do have this sense of God through the light of nature, but we reject that. And with that, talking about the importance of sharing the gospel with others, of bringing the truth of the gospel to the nations of the world. This should really, I think, light a fire under us to say, man, we wanna share Jesus with the people around us, that hope of salvation that God has given.

And so again, appreciate your question. May the Lord bless you and your Bible study group. This is CORE Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. You can leave a voicemail on our voicemail system anytime if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Jessica calling in from Oregon. Jessica, what's your question for Pastor Adriel?

Hi, Pastor Adriel. I was calling because I was just wondering why Jesus had to die such a horrific barbaric death, why he couldn't have just died in his sleep, maybe, for our sins or something just a little less graphic. Yeah, that's a great question, Jessica.

And this has come up in a number of different ways. Why the cross? Why the blood? Why the brutality of what Jesus endured there?

Well, part of it is we have to realize what's taking place there. Jesus is taking the curse that was due to us for our having broken the holy law of God. And in part, that's vividly portrayed by his crucifixion. This is precisely what the Apostle Paul says in Galatians chapter three, beginning in verse 10.

Listen to what he said. All who rely on works of the law are under a curse, for it is written, cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law and do them. Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law for the righteous shall live by faith, but the law is not a faith.

Rather, the one who does them shall live by them. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written, cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree so that in Christ Jesus, the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentile so that we might receive the promised spirit through faith. In other words, the cross is exhibiting for the world the curse that Jesus is taking upon himself that was due to us law breakers for our sins. Jesus is taking that.

This is what some theologians called the great exchange. Jesus takes our sins, our guilt, our shame, and dies on the cross, rises again from the dead. What does he give us? He gives us his perfect righteousness so that we might be justified and have a relationship with God, and so it wasn't just, you know, the crucifixion, the manner of Jesus's death was not just sort of pick and choose. No, this is displaying the curse of the law and how Christ has taken it upon himself for us. Thank you for that question. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

We do have social media that you can post your questions on. In fact, we have a question from one of our Facebook members and this is from Terry, and Terry says, my father ignored me my whole life. As a result, I'm very angry and my emotions are stifled and confused. It has caused a lifetime of pain.

I'm almost 60 now. I'm convinced I have a root of bitterness mainly due to my father. I'd appreciate your thoughts on how to eliminate this stronghold in my life. Terry, at the core, is gonna just be forgiveness, and I know how difficult that sounds, especially when, you know, somebody has hurt you in this way and they have not and never did take responsibility for the way in which they treated you. And so I wanna just take a moment to pray for you first, and then we can talk a little bit about forgiveness. Father, we lift Terry up to you, having experienced really abandonment from his father, that relationship, Lord, such an important relationship, and yet to be treated the way that he was, Lord, we know that there's so much pain and hurt.

And so we lift Terry up to you. We ask, Lord God, that he would cling to you as his good and heavenly Father, that you would be with him, comforting him, and granting him the grace to be able to forgive. And even right now, as we're praying for Terry, Lord, we think of the many people listening who have experienced relational strain, maybe parents, children, like in this situation, Lord, we pray for peace and we pray for your grace and the ability to forgive and to move forward, Lord, in a healthy way.

Be with Terry in Jesus' name, amen. Look, a lot of times people think, well, forgiveness can only happen if the other person really owns what they've done. Reconciliation can only happen if the other person owns their sin. Forgiveness is something, as Christians, that we're always called to give, and in doing that, we are assuming the pain, the hurt. We're saying, okay, I'm not going to harbor that hatred in my heart towards you anymore, God, help me.

And of course, often it's a process, Terry. It's not just something that happens like that, where you say, I forgive. Those feelings still come up.

Those wounds can still be opened. So I think it's something that we continually, that you continually have to bring before the Lord. And we forgive as Christians from that great forgiveness that God has given to us. And so as you meditate, Terry, on the fact that Jesus Christ has forgiven all your sins, may it give you the grace and the ability to forgive those who have sinned against you as well, even your father. God bless you. 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 / 2023-02-27 18:12:56 / 2023-02-27 18:23:22 / 10

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