Is the prosperity gospel biblical? 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. This is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. We pray that you had a great weekend, and we have our phone lines open right now if you'd like to call us. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. We'll be taking your calls for the next 25 minutes or so. You can also email us anytime at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to Wallace in Nashville, Tennessee. Wallace, what's your question for Adriel? Hey Wallace, how are you doing?
I'm doing well, brother. What's your question? Yeah, that's a great question. So how come in the Old Testament there are examples of kings and patriarchs and so forth having multiple wives, but today, you know, that's not something that we practice that the church has ever practiced.
A couple of things. It's very clear, I would say, Wallace, when we look at the creation account, God making Adam and Eve and bringing them together, that marriage, as this creational ordinance, is supposed to be between one man and the other. One man and one woman. Especially when you think about the parallel that we have with marriage as a picture of the relationship that exists between Christ and his church that the apostle Paul talks about. Christ Jesus does not have multiple brides.
There is one church, one body, one bride. And so I think that this is clear throughout scripture in the Old and the New Testaments. It seems to me that it's something that the Lord permitted, but there were also severe warnings associated with this. And you mentioned Solomon and the many wives and concubines that he had. That comes in the context of 1 Kings chapter 11, where his many wives, these foreign wives, turned his heart away from the Lord and he began engaging in idolatry. And so that was something actually that was clearly forbidden and something that God warned the kings in Israel about. I would say we have to think about the difference between maybe what was allowed or what was permitted and what God has prescribed and what he's called his people to. And so oftentimes when we get this question, Wallace, I'll go to Jesus' words on marriage and divorce in Matthew chapter 19. And I think it's really interesting how Jesus talks about it there. He's having a conversation with the Pharisees.
They're testing him. And they ask him, Matthew chapter 19 verse 3, is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause? He answered, Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.
So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. They said to him, Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away? And he said to them, Because of your hardness of heart, Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. In other words, sometimes you have these permissions, not because this is how God intends for things to be, not because this is ideal, not because this is how God created the relationship of man and woman to be, but because of our own sinfulness and hardness of heart. And I think that's what you see throughout the Old Testament. And certainly, as you mentioned, Wallace, in the New Testament, it's very clear, and also in the Old Testament, but certainly the practice of polygamy and certainly in our culture. This is not something that we experience as much in our culture and society, but there are other cultures and societies where this has to be addressed from a biblical perspective as the gospel is going out and missions is happening and people are coming to faith who are in these kinds of relationships.
So I know this is something that many missionaries on the mission field have to deal with practically, but I think the Bible is absolutely clear that marriage is supposed to be between one man and one woman for life as a picture of the relationship between Christ and the Church. Thanks for your question, Wallace. Great explanation. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open right now. We are waiting for your call if you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, maybe doctrine or theology.
Maybe there's something that really has stumped you and you've got a question for Adriel, or maybe you have some doubts about the Christian faith. Hey, we're open to hearing from you as well. Here's the number. It's 833-THECORE. That's 1-833-843-2673.
Here's an email from one of our listeners. This is from Jacob, and he says, I was wondering why God has a chosen people in Israel just for Jesus to come and offer salvation to all people. Well, Jesus came as the true Israelite, if you will.
I mean, in John chapter 15, he said, I am the true vine. But it sounds like this email your question is getting at, why the nation of Israel even to begin with? Why didn't God just send his son at the very beginning right away?
Well, I've said something recently with the question we got, I think it was last week. What you have in redemptive history is God is setting the stage for the plan of redemption. He is calling a people for himself to be a light to the nations, giving them the law. And Jesus comes as one of those people under the law to fulfill the righteous requirements of the law so that we might be saved. And this is actually exactly what the Apostle Paul says in Galatians chapter four. Listen to what he says in verse four. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his son, born of a woman, born under the law. Of course, the law was given was given to Israel to the people of God born under the law.
Why? So that he might redeem those who were under the law so that we might receive adoption as sons. And so all of redemptive history we're looking at in the Bible, in the Old Testament in particular, setting the stage for the coming of Messiah, for our redemption, for our salvation.
Jesus is born under the law, perfectly fulfills the righteous requirements of the law so that in him we might have justification and life. Thanks for the question. God bless.
Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Get a lot of calls here at the Core about God's will. What is God's will for my life? What job does he want me to take? Does he want me to make this move?
Should I marry this person? That is something that a lot of people get stumped on. We've actually produced a wonderful resource on this topic just for you. That's right. We have this new resource called Drawing Straws.
And it's a I'm just joking. That's not the resource. We have a wonderful resource on the will of God. Don't try to find God's will that way. The new resource on the will of God is called What is God's Will for Me?
It's going to require some reading, but not too much. It's about 50 pages of reading, and it's just a really helpful and biblical resource getting you into this question. This sticky question, as Bill mentioned, we oftentimes wonder what's the right decision here in this situation. It's not an issue of whether or not I'm breaking the law of God, sinning in some way.
No, this is an issue of freedom and wisdom. And so determining the will of God for our lives is really important, and this booklet is going to help you do that. What is God's Will for Me? It's yours for a gift of any amount over at corechristianity.com. Love to have you get that in your hands.
Once again, it's called What is God's Will for Me? You can find that at corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Again, that's corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Well, we do receive voicemails here at Core Christianity. You can call us 24 hours a day and leave us your question for Adriel. Here's the number. It's 833-THECORE. That's 1-833-843-2673.
And here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Cheryl. I am calling because I have a question about the prosperity gospel that is often preached at evangelical style churches. They use a lot of quotes from Deuteronomy, but I never hear Jesus talk about giving as far as financially, except for when he was in the temple, talking about that woman who was poor and gave everything she had. I feel like a lot of churches just don't outreach enough.
They're too busy building themselves. And I just wanted some clarity on what Jesus wants from us as the church. Cheryl, thank you so much for that question. It's absolutely heartbreaking when we think about the kinds of false gospels that are preached in the world today in the name of Jesus. One of those false gospels that's being proclaimed all over the place and throughout the world is the prosperity gospel. And it's interesting.
You're onto something. You said a lot of times they're quoting from the old covenant, from books like the book of Deuteronomy, where there were these promises of temporal blessing for obedience. If you do these things, you're going to be rich and wealthy and your crops are going to produce and so on and so forth. But what they're doing is they're pulling those verses out of context. They're trying to apply those texts written to the nation under the old covenant as they were entering into the promised land. They're trying to apply those texts to believers now in the time of the New Testament. And so, one, there's the issue of just proper Bible interpretation. But then there's also the question of what Jesus himself preached. And Jesus, our Lord, said in John chapter 16, in this world, you will have tribulation. But take heart.
I have overcome the world. And so anybody who's telling you that if you follow Jesus, you're not supposed to have tribulation. You're supposed to be healthy and wealthy and, boy, all your business decisions are just going to work out great.
They're lying to you. And what's so devastating about this lie is there are people that buy into it. And then when things don't go well for them in their lives, they feel like God has betrayed them, like God has let them down. And so they abandon the false gospel that they were trying to embrace, or they continue to try to press into it, waiting for God to cure their disease or to bless them with riches or whatnot. No, what Jesus came to do is forgive our sins. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. The promise of the gospel is the promise of the forgiveness of sins and resurrection and new life.
That's what we look for. And in the midst of that, we do experience suffering and difficulty. Peter says, don't think it's strange, that fiery trial that you experience it.
Don't think that's weird or strange. And so Jesus did not preach the prosperity gospel. The prosperity gospel is a false gospel. And if you're in a church where this kind of thing is being preached, you need to get out and get into a solid church where the word of God is going to be faithfully taught and where you're going to be led deeper in the riches of the true gospel.
That's what grounds us in the midst of difficulties in life, the suffering that we do experience as the children of God. And so, Cheryl, may God continue to bless you and give you wisdom. And may God deliver his church from the cancer that is the prosperity gospel. Wow, some great counsel. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. By the way, we have a YouTube channel if you want to check out Adriel in the studio on YouTube right now. You can also send him a question through our YouTube channel.
So just look for Core Christianity on YouTube. Let's go back to the phones. Diane is on the line from South Dakota. Diane, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Yes, thank you. In the book of Job, when Satan comes before God and the sons of God, are those sons of God demon-possessed men? Thank you for that question. I don't believe that those sons of God there are demon-possessed men. I think this is just referring to angelic beings, fallen angels in particular. And the language of sons of God with reference to angels is something that we see in different places throughout the Old Testament. You see it in the Psalms, for example. Psalm 29, verse 1. Psalm 89, verse 7. But then also here in the book of Job. So you have this great trial that Job is experiencing because the evil one, the accuser of the brothers, is coming before the Lord in order to test Job. So those are angelic beings.
I don't believe that they're demon-possessed people, humans, or that there's anything in the text to indicate that. Thanks, Diane, for your question. Thank you, Diane. Appreciate you listening to Core Christianity.
Let's go to James calling in from Minnesota. James, what's your question for Adriel? Yeah, Adriel, I wonder if you could shed some light on the Hebrew meaning of homosexuality. We had a friend who was arguing that Leviticus 1822 was prohibiting a man lying with a boy and not man-to-man, and so their argument was they could still be homosexual. James, that's one of the arguments that's being made or put forward right now by those who are advocating for this view, essentially, that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality. And so you see it, I hear it more not so much when people are referencing the book of Leviticus, for example, but when they go to the New Testament, like in 1 Corinthians 6, in Romans chapter 1, they'll say, well, that word right there doesn't mean, you know, same-sex relations. That's referring to pedophilia or something like that.
The truth of the matter is that's just not the case at all. It's very clear in the Bible that what's being talked about in these contexts is men with men or women with women, and this being condemned by God as a perversion of the created order, what God has called us to as people in terms of healthy and right sexuality even. And so I think that, you know, one passage I often go to when people bring this up, James, is in Romans chapter 1, because I think that Paul just makes it so clear there. He says, for this reason, this is verse 26, God gave them up to dishonorable passions, for their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women.
And so that's what's being given up here is these heterosexual relationships, natural relationships with women, and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And so the Bible is just absolutely clear about this, but there are people today who are trying to get around the words of scripture or reinterpret the words of scripture, and it's a huge problem. And the tragedy is, what we're doing is we're looking at something that the Bible clearly says, look, this is sin. Now all sin can be forgiven. When Paul writes to the Corinthians, I mean, he says some of you were practicing homosexuality, 1 Corinthians chapter 6, verse 9, but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified. And in that list, by the way, when he says some of you were practicing homosexuality to the Corinthians, he also includes other things, just general, you know, sexually immoral behavior, idolatry, adultery, thieves that is stealing, being greedy, being a drunkard, a reviler, swindlers. I mean, so he's lumping it together with all sorts of things, and he's saying, look, Jesus and his blood is sufficient to wash all of that away, but if you tell somebody, well, it's okay. You don't need the blood of Jesus for that.
You don't need forgiveness. You know what you're doing is you're stripping the gospel away, and even the need of the gospel, and you're telling somebody who's choosing to live in sin, to embrace sin, that God is fine with it. Now that is a scary thing, because the false teachers and false prophets in the Old Testament, that's what they were known for, is they would look at people living in sin and they would say, peace, peace, it's okay, God is not going to judge. And James, there are a lot of people who are saying that today, and again, it's this twisting of scripture, and so people can go on and on about trying to look at the intricacies of this particular Hebrew word or this particular Greek word, but the fact of the matter is, if it was as clear as they think it is all of a sudden, how could the church have missed this for 2,000 years? I mean, it's these novel interpretations, it's like everybody missed this, but we're getting it right today.
No, we're not. We need to submit to the authority of scripture and receive the grace that Jesus extends for sinners, no matter what the sin is, by confessing our sin and turning from it. Thanks for your question, James. You know, and the great tragedy, of course, is that there are entire denominations that are pushing this misreading of scripture or distorting of scripture, which is really heresy, and so many young people are buying into it today, so many young Christians, teenagers, young adults, are saying, well, you know, maybe it's really not a sin, and it's just fine, and embrace your homosexuality, this is the way God designed you, and that just breaks my heart. Yeah. Well, it ought to break our hearts, and I mean, the reality is, I understand in one sense why people have gone in this direction, because there's been so many shifts in society with regard to how people think about personhood, how they think about sexuality, shifts that I think run contrary to the word of God, and so people just sort of imbibe this stuff, and they assume, well, this is just true, right? Of course, this is natural, this is okay, but no, that's actually not the case, and it's contrary not only to what the word of God teaches, but just general revelation, nature, what we see, and so, look, this is one of the areas where we're going to get a lot of flack as Christians, and of course, again, the goal is never to condemn one particular sin above others, or to make it sound like this particular sin is the unpardonable sin.
No. Man, Jesus calls sinners to himself to receive his grace, his mercy, his love, his washing and forgiveness, whether you're gay or you're a thief or a drunkard, whoever you are even listening right now, know that Jesus calls you to confess your sin to him, and that there is grace, there is mercy, there is forgiveness as we turn from our sins to him, but if we just tell people, you know, what you're doing is fine, God doesn't care, we're lying to them, we're lying to them truly, and as I said, we're stripping them of that opportunity to receive the grace of God by telling them they don't need it. Amen. Good words.
Hard words, but so important in today's culture. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Jim calling in from Missouri. Jim, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, sir.
Thank you very much for taking my call. My question has to do with the moral law that's written on our hearts. I look at Romans 7-7 and Paul says, Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin is had it not been written for the law, or I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, You shall not covet.
We've got the Ten Commandments in Exodus. We talk about this moral law being written on our hearts. I guess my question is, when did people have the moral law written on their hearts? Was it the time of Moses before or after? And does everyone have the moral law written on their hearts, or is it just believers?
Excellent, excellent questions. I do believe that everyone has this moral law, in one sense, written upon their hearts. It's this sense of God. What one Protestant reformer called the sensus divinitatis, this sense of God, where we know that God exists, and we have this sense of right and wrong, this sense of justice that we suppress in unrighteousness, which is what Paul says back in Romans 1. And then in chapter 2, he talks about the law of God and this sort of conscience that we have that leads us to do certain things or not do certain things, but at the end of the day, no one is saved by that.
We can't be. We can't be saved by that because we can't be saved by our law-keeping, whether we have the law of Moses or just that law through general revelation written upon our hearts. So again, I think that this is something even before the Mosaic law was given, rooted in the fact that we are made in the image of God, and so there is this sort of innate knowledge, righteousness, holiness that has been corrupted by sin and the entrance of sin into the world, but that's still real, and it's still there. Now, in a special way, through Jesus Christ, the image of God is renewed upon us, and one of the promises of the new covenant was that God was going to write his law on the hearts of his people, I think in a unique way, so in a way that's unique even beyond this sort of general moral law, this picture of God inscribing these truths upon our hearts as his people by the grace of the Holy Spirit so that we might follow him, so that by the Spirit, as Paul is going to go on to say in Romans 8, we might put to death the sinful deeds of the body. And so I appreciate your question, and again, one of the things that this highlights, brothers and sisters, is that everyone, whether you're a Christian or not, has a sense of God. We all know that it's there. The question is, are you going to suppress that truth, or will you pursue the God who made you to have fellowship with him through Jesus? 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.
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