If humanity fell in the garden, what's stopping us from falling again in heaven? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi there.
Happy Friday. I'm 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. You can call us right now with your question.
That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to a voicemail from one of our listeners named Joyce. How do you get rid of a spirit or a pattern of behavior that continues to follow you? And you repeat the same thing in relationships. Hey, Joyce, a lot of, I think, people wrestle with habitual behavior, something that you keep going back to.
And specifically, you mentioned in relationships, I think, one, just being aware of this issue and then getting the help and accountability that you need. Bill, I also want to just get your thoughts on this. You mentioned getting rid of a spirit. If you're a believer in Jesus Christ, you've been united to him by faith. You are filled with, sealed with the Holy Spirit. You have the Holy Spirit living inside of you, and you're called to walk in the Spirit. And as we walk in the Spirit, being shaped by the Word of Christ, God's Word, filling our minds, our hearts, there's this pattern, I think, that begins to be produced, this pattern of living, the fruit of the Holy Spirit that the Apostle Paul talks about in Galatians, Chapter 5. But it's never perfect.
We're not perfect. I'm just talking about trying to create those healthy and good habits in seeking the Lord, in pursuing him, in walking in the Spirit. And if you see things in your life, unhealthy patterns, I think that, again, that's where you get accountability. That's where, I mean, maybe if it's an issue of sin, you know, confessing that as sin, going to the Lord and asking for his help, but then getting the help of the local church, and then maybe even a counselor can help out, you know, depending on what the relational issue is.
And Bill, I wonder if you could speak to that. Well, certainly the body of Christ plays a big role in that. You know, we need people around us who will, first of all, encourage us.
Second of all, hold us accountable. And, you know, the Bible is so clear. There's all these one anothers in the New Testament. And I personally believe if we were really doing those one anothers in the local church, we'd have a lot less struggles. We'd have less depression, less anxiety, less addiction. But unfortunately, we're not always doing those things.
And I don't believe there are options. I believe they're pretty clear, almost commands that we see from Paul that these are things we're supposed to be doing in the local church. And I think, and I don't know that with, you know, her particular situation, if she's plugged into a local church, my prayer is that she is. But we talk about that frequently on this program, how God does not want us to be isolated. He asked us to be, you know, fully committed in the body of Christ. And there often we can find healing for our issues.
Yeah. Well, you know, Bill, you mentioned the one anothers, and of course, especially in the Pauline Epistles, you have so many, several, that do emphasize the fact that we are living in the context of this community of faith in the local church where we can bear and share one another's burdens, where we can encourage one another, where we can exhort one another. These are things that we need other people for. And so I'm glad that you mentioned that. And certainly that is important in terms of getting the help that we need as we think about some of those maybe interpersonal issues.
And so appreciate your feedback. And of course, you know, Christian counseling is something else to pursue. When we're stuck in some kind of addictive behavior, we can't seem to get out of it. Professional help can be a huge asset. This is 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. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Here's an email from one of our listeners that I want to share with you, Adriel. It's from Paula. She says, What do I think of that church?
Well, here's what I'll say. You go to the book of Titus in Titus chapter 2, beginning in verse 1. But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love and in steadfast. Older women, likewise, are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. So it seems like there is this one-anothering there, this encouragement, even teaching in the context of the community of faith. There you have this vision of older women in the church coming alongside of younger women, younger mothers, encouraging them in the word of God and just in life in general. And so I think that one of the ways that can happen is through something like a women's Bible study. I know, at least in our church, that has been really fruitful. I hear from many of the women in our church how blessed they are that we have stuff like that, these kinds of studies. It should never be, and I understand sometimes there can be concern, well, are we taking away from the centrality of church on Sunday, the ministry of the Word, the preaching of God's Word on Sunday?
I just think you can't value enough all of those things. I mean, you can't have a high enough view of the significance of what takes place on Sunday, the Lord's Day, where we're gathering together to meet with the Lord, to be nourished by the means of grace. But at the same time, we're also called to have a high view of the everyday Christian life, of one-anothering each other, of encouraging each other, as the author of the Hebrews said, day by day, while it is called today, lest we be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. So I can't say, I'm not going to speak to, well, this church is doing something wrong because they don't have a women's Bible study.
I don't know why that's what they've decided. I do know that there's nothing in scripture prescribing that if you're a church, you have to have a men's Bible study, a women's Bible study, a singles ministry. So we're focused on the ministry of the Word and encouraging each other, and some of these other things that churches do, this is how I see it in the church that I pastor, are there to sort of help with encouraging the saints, with people growing together in their relationships, not to take away from the ministry of the Word on Sunday or as a replacement for the ministry of the Word on Sunday.
That can't be the case, but they also shouldn't be viewed negatively, I think. And so, yeah, Bill, I don't know if you've benefited from women's Bible studies in the past. I'm just joking, men's Bible studies. Golf ministry. The golf ministry, yeah. It really has helped me with my shot. Okay. Well, that's one that I'm like, I've never golfed in my life.
I mean, I'm not counting mini golf or whatever you call it, but so that's, yeah. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Yes, it's a Friday, so we have a little fun here on this program. Our phone lines are open. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, here's the number, 833-843-2673.
That's 833 the Core. You know, a lot of people ask, how do I find God's will for my life, for relationships, for maybe your job or you go to school, everyday decisions? We have a great booklet on that topic we'd like to offer you today.
Yes, as I've been sharing on the broadcast, I mean, maybe you're listening right now and this has been a pressing question in your life. You've got a big decision coming up and you're not sure which way to go, what God's will is for you. That's why we created this resource. It's called What is God's Will for Me? It's a booklet.
It's not too long. It's about 50 pages and we want to get in your hands for a gift of any amount. And I think it'll help you as you think about this really important question that we've all wrestled through at one point or another. You know, how do I discern the will of God for my life?
So I hope that you get a hold of this resource. Once again, it's called What is God's Will for Me? And you can find that by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Again, corechristianity.com forward slash offers would be a great tool for you or for someone you know who's really seeking God's will. Well, we do receive voicemails here at Core Christianity. You can leave us one 24 hours a day. In fact, over the weekend, if you want to call us and leave your question on our voicemail system, we'd love to hear from you.
Here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Al. I was wondering if God gave us dominion over the world and gave us free choice of mind to do anything we wanted to do and God knew what we were going to do. Why did he intervene when the first sin came about and why didn't he intervene when the first murder was committed? And when we come back from the resurrection, will God still give us this free reign of choices? Will our mind be programmed by God to only do what's good?
Thanks. Hey Al, thank you for that question. I mean, really two questions there. Why didn't God just step in and keep Adam and Eve from sinning when they did? Well, God gave them free choice.
Of course, their choice, their sin had devastating consequences. But somehow we believe that God is going to work and has worked all of those things together for his sovereign purposes. And a lot of times we don't know. We don't have the specific answers as to why God allows one thing and not another thing. But we do know what scripture reveals to us and it's that God is good, that he's in control, that he has not permitted anything, that he has not already purposed to resolve.
And certainly in the very next chapter in Genesis 3, you have, this is what I always say, that the promise of the gospel there in Genesis 3, 15, that the seed of the woman is going to crush the head of the serpent and the entire story of the Bible is tracing that promise as it unfolds in Jesus Christ. And so we have the solution in Jesus. We see even in Jesus how God is able to take horrific circumstances and turn them around for good according to his sovereign purposes. I mean that's what we see in the crucifixion. There's nothing more horrific than the innocent son of God being murdered, put to death by sinners, and yet somehow God is still working in and through that for the redemption of humanity. This is a God who is all powerful and his ways are beyond our ways.
We can't even begin to fathom. But we know that he deserves our praise and our glory and that what he does ultimately is good. And so that's what I'd say as far as that's concerned. And then with regard to what's going to happen in the future when we get to heaven, can we fall again? No, the Bible doesn't give any indication that there's going to be another sort of trial period. No, this is the culmination, the consummation of human history and we're going to be in this confirmed state of righteousness. When we die as believers, our souls are perfected in holiness. That means that there is no more sin. Christ has removed sin in the new creation. There's not going to be any sin. We're going to be sinless and perfect in our obedience to God and our love for God. And boy, that's going to be awesome.
I can't wait. I want to be glorified tomorrow. I don't think it's going to happen tomorrow. Well, I mean, I pray that it doesn't happen tomorrow.
Or should I be praying that it does happen? You know, Paul struggled with that, too. Billy, you don't get to ask questions on the broadcast. We need time for other people to. OK, let's go back to the phone lines.
We have Joel on the line from Minnesota. Joel, what's your question for Adriel? Yes. Interesting thing that you just said there.
My question has something to do with that. Do all the prophecies in the Bible have to be fulfilled in order for Christ to return? I mean, so everything, you know, there isn't one word of God that's going to fall to the ground. I guess my question would be, and there are prophecies related to and associated with the coming of Christ.
I mean, Jesus himself talks about the gospel going out to everyone, you know, the proclamation of the gospel. But are there specific prophecies that you're thinking about that maybe you want clarification on? Yeah, well, does the third temple have to be built necessarily? Does the antichrist have to rise to power?
Is there a way that love fills the whole world before any of that stuff happens? OK, great. That gives me a little bit more clarity. So a part of this is, I mean, there are some who think when you look at these prophecies of a kind of restored temple in places like the Book of Ezekiel, that that signifies that there's going to be another temple that's built prior to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now, we have to remember that Ezekiel is giving us this this prophetic vision. I don't think he's talking about a literal temple per se. And the proof of that is that, you know, the author of the Hebrews, when he's writing to these Christians, he's saying, actually, we're not to go back to the temple. Those sacrifices, those were types and shadows of the reality that we now have in Jesus Christ.
And so actually seeking to reestablish the mosaic system of worship with its temple and sacrifices is a form of apostasy. So I would say all of the prophecies are going to be fulfilled, but they're going to be fulfilled in the right way. And so if we're misunderstanding what those prophecies are saying and trying to apply them in a particular way that maybe doesn't fit the context of the prophetic genre, well, then there's going to be a problem. Some of the indications that we see in scripture, the signs of Christ coming, there's talk of a great apostasy, there is talk of this man of lawlessness in 2 Thessalonians, specifically you have that. So these are things that are going to happen.
This is the great battle that's described in places like the end of the Book of Revelation. And so, yeah, those things are going to happen according to what the scripture says. And as I said, there isn't one word of God that's going to fall to the ground so we can trust the word of the living God. But we also need to interpret it properly, I would say. And so that's where I think there's a lot of confusion because people will look at these prophecies and they'll try to apply them a certain way. And they'll think, OK, well, before Jesus comes, we need to build a new temple in Jerusalem and there needs to be new sacrifices.
And I would say, actually, that's a misapplication of some of the things that we see in the prophets. Good response. Thanks for that. Adriel, this is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Jeff calling in from Georgia. Jeff, what's your question for Adriel?
Hello, Adriel, and thank you for taking my call. My question for you is, my pastor, he never talks about fasting. And people today, I don't really hear anybody's opinion on it. And I just learn about it from the Bible and the Old Testament. I wanted to ask you your take on it. Yeah.
Happy to talk about this. And so, Jesus spoke about fasting as a part of, you know, piety, if you will. Now, what that looks like in the Christian life, I think that's, you know, in terms of application, I think it's important for us to get into that. He said in Matthew, chapter 6, verse 16, When you fast, don't look gloomy like the hypocrites. You know, they just figure their faces, that their fasting may be seen by others.
Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others, but by your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. I think it's important for us when we think about fasting to consider just when it was done in Scripture. I mean, oftentimes it's associated with calling upon the name of the Lord in repentance, in view of a great calamity that had come, praying for God's protection, those kinds of things. It doesn't seem, I mean, you did have sort of patterns in Israel throughout the year, you know, with some of the fasts that they had related to the ceremonial law specifically. In the New Testament, there's nothing that says, Jeff, that if you're a Christian, you need to fast on Tuesday and Thursday, or that you have to have this season of fasting that's prescribed in the Bible.
I think there's freedom here. And so when is it appropriate for us to fast as Christians, to call upon the name of the Lord? Well, I think if you feel led to do this, oftentimes I think a church can say, hey, you know, we're going through some difficult times right now. We're going to call on the congregation to pray and to fast and to ask for God's mercy to help us with this decision that we have coming up. But it's associated with prayer and focused time, calling upon the name of the Lord, seeking him for something specifically. And so I think it's important that the church doesn't say, and maybe this is why your pastor doesn't talk about it as much, I think it's important for the church not to say you have to fast and you have to do it in this way. There's freedom here for us as Christians. Let me just go back to you really quickly, Jeff.
Do you want to follow up there if you have something more specific that you were inquiring about? No, you did very well. I know that I have fasted myself, and just in private, in prayer, and holding back from my own fleshly desires and weaknesses. And, you know, I've just proven that it's worked for me. I've had friends that they did it at their church, and I'm just curious because I hadn't tried it in a long time. But what you said is pretty much exactly how I feel on it. It's private between me and God. Yeah, and, you know, it's not that it's, I mean, obviously, I don't know how your pastor preaches it at your guys' church. But, I mean, if he's preaching through scripture, through books of the Bible, there are going to be occasions where fasting does come up and it's an opportunity to talk about it.
But, you know, if it's not something that is prescribed throughout the year for Christians to do, well, then maybe it's just not going to be something that comes up as often. So I don't know that that's a negative thing, but it may be a good opportunity for you to have a conversation with your pastor about it specifically. And I'm glad to hear that it's something that God has used in your life to encourage you in your walk with the Lord and to help, to mortify, right, the sinful desires of the flesh like the apostle Paul talks about in Romans chapter 8. And so, appreciate you, brother, and thank you for giving us a call. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez.
Here's a question from Chris in Omaha, Nebraska. Chris says, Leviticus talks about how to treat slaves. Skeptics use this against Christianity. How would you respond to that?
Yeah. It's a great question, and you're absolutely right that people will point to this and say, well, see, the Bible is pro-slavery. And I would say, no, the Bible is not pro-slavery any more than the Bible is pro-divorce. I mean, you think of Jesus speaking to his disciples and the religious leaders about divorce, and he says, you know, God permitted this because of the hardness of your heart, but this is not how God intended things to be. And so, when you think about, you know, the prescriptions in Leviticus and other places related to slavery, I think there are a couple of things to take away. One, what happened, like, for example, with the American slave trade was totally condemned, the idea of stealing people and enslaving them. I mean, that was a crime punishable by death under Moses.
Secondarily, I think we have to think about, again, just what is the hope? I mean, the Bible gives us this vision of humanity made in the image of God, every single individual dignified as an image bearer of God. I was just preaching, I've been preaching through Revelation, preaching on Revelation 18, where it talks about the sinful system, the city, Babylon. And I said, you know, one of the things that characterizes Babylon is the devaluing of human life and the image of God. And I think this is clear in Revelation chapter 18. Listen, it talks about the fall of Babylon, the destruction of her merchants, or of her merchandise as the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her since no one buys their cargo anymore.
Cargo of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, all kinds of scented wood, all kinds of articles of ivory, all kinds of articles of costly wood, bronze, iron, and marble. Cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle, and sheep, horses and chariots, and the last thing on the list, slaves, that is human souls. There's this picture of Babylon and the spirit of Babylon valuing human life less than gold and silver. I mean, the human lives there are listed after the cattle, sheep, horses, and there's almost this critique embedded, right? I mean, obviously they're being condemned. Babylon is being condemned for the enslaving of people, buying and selling people. But John says, look, they're slaves, the Greek word there is bodies, that is human souls. They think they're purchasing bodies, but what they're really doing is desecrating the image of God, human souls. So I think you see this kind of critique embedded throughout the scripture, rooted in the fact that God has made all of us in His image, and it's that understanding, that belief, that I think helped to undermine some of the ideas related to slavery in the Greco-Roman world, but there's also a dark history that the Christian church has where people have gone to passages like the ones in Leviticus and sought to justify slavery, American slavery, and it's just sin, it's a twisting of scripture. And so I think we have to understand it in its context in the ancient Near East there as something that was happening, something that was not a good thing per se, but something that was happening, and ultimately something that God does away with. And in the new creation there is going to be no slavery, no devaluing of life, because God is not about that. And so I appreciate the question, may the Lord bless you, and thanks for listening. 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.
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