What should Christians do when they are hated by the world? 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.
Our phone lines will be open for the next 25 minutes or so, 1-833-843-2673. Of course, you can always post your question on one of our social media sites or email us at questions at corechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to Rick calling in from Nebraska. Rick, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, Pastor. I had a question about Melchizedek in Genesis 14 verses 17 through 24. Again, in Hebrews it talks a lot about Melchizedek being the high priest and Abraham offering him a tenth or a tithe. Was Melchizedek actually Jesus incarnate? Yeah, Rick, excellent question, and there are some people that think that this is a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus, the Son of God. That's not my view.
Just a couple of things. One, Melchizedek is this very mysterious figure. He sort of drops out of the sky in Genesis chapter 14, and he blesses Abraham. Abraham gives him a tithe.
He brings out bread and wine. I mean, there are all these sort of allusions, if you will, to Christ as our great high priest. And then you don't hear about Melchizedek again until Psalm 110, where he's mentioned there. And then again, in the book of Hebrews, Hebrews chapter 7, and Hebrews chapter 7 is really the place to go.
Just in terms of thinking about Bible interpretation and rightly dividing the word of truth, we want to let Scripture interpret Scripture. And so what's wonderful about Hebrews chapter 7 is it gives us essentially the inspired interpretation of that scene in Genesis chapter 14. And the author of the Hebrews here in this context is emphasizing the priesthood, the everlasting priesthood of Christ, and how it's better than the Levitical priesthood. He's calling the Hebrew Christians to cling to Jesus because, in the context of the book of Hebrews, many of them were drifting away from the gospel message that they had heard. And so Hebrews chapter 7, verse 1, For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham, returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him. And to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything.
He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God, he continues a priest forever. I don't think that the author of the Hebrews there is saying that this Melchizedek, the individual in Genesis 14, is eternal. I think he's saying, look, in terms of Genesis 14, he just sort of drops out of the sky.
I mean, in Genesis you have genealogies given for important people, but you don't have any genealogy given with regard to Melchizedek. And so the way he's depicted is as this sort of everlasting priest who just comes out of nowhere, and in that sense he resembles the Son of God, the true king of righteousness and the true king of peace. And that word resemble there in Hebrews chapter 7, verse 3, means to be similar to something else, to be like something.
So there's a line of analogy. There's a comparison that ought to be made here, but I don't think that we're talking about Christ preincarnate. I think this is just an individual who God used mightily, and in this redemptive revelation is a picture of Jesus Christ, the eternal high priest who would be coming for our redemption. And so, Rick, again, thank you for that question, and I hope that's helpful. Hebrews chapter 7.
God bless. Just a follow-up for you, Adriel. Do you believe there are other places in the New Testament where we do see a preincarnate Christ, such as the fiery furnace?
Yeah, well, I do. So in the Old Testament you mean. But I do think, you know, sometimes we'll talk about the angel of the Lord in the Old Testament, who seems to be one with God himself, and so many people will point to that, the angel of the Lord that appears throughout the Old Testament.
So yes, I would say you do have these pictures or appearances even of the Son of God prior to his incarnation. Now, of course, you know, we get more clarity as redemptive history unfolds and with the sending of the Son of God into the world, Jesus for our sins. But as Jesus himself, or as John said in John chapter 1 verse 1, in the beginning, in the very beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And so we should expect, I think, to see him at work in the Old Testament, and of course we do, inspiring the prophets, the Spirit of Christ in them. And so, I mean, it's one of the things we highlight on this broadcast is just the centrality of Christ in all of scripture. Great response.
Thanks for that. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez. Love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life.
Maybe there's a passage of scripture that's always kind of stumped you. Hey, we'd love to talk to you. Here's the number. 833-THE-CORE. That's 833-843-2673. Let's go to Paul, who's calling in from Yukon, Oklahoma. Paul, what's your question for Adriel?
Hi, yes, thanks for taking my call. It's just a real general broad-based question on the church, and I have no intent of judging any church denomination at all. But just a general question on, given the times that we're living in today, and how voluminously the scripture talks about this time that we're living in, and the effect that it has on the believer to focus on not only the time we're living in and the darkness of it, but the hope that we have in the future, because we know how it ends. I'm curious from your perspective, are churches shying away from that simply because the symbolism that seems fuzzy is explained in the text and other chapters? All the symbolism is explained, but still, churches generally steer far away from the symbolism of Revelation and the end times because there's limited understanding on it, I guess, or doctrinally. Paul, it sounds like fundamentally your question is, are we not talking enough about the end times? You think about the days that we're living in and some of the things we're seeing in society. Is the church dropping the ball here?
Well, look, there's a couple of ways to approach this. One, I think we need to recognize it from the ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, Pentecost, we're sort of in this special in-between age. Some theologians refer to it as the already and not yet. Already the kingdom of God has been established through the work of Jesus Christ, the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on earth, and it's manifested through the work of churches going and preaching the gospel. The local church on earth today is a manifestation of God's kingdom, but there is a fullness of the kingdom that we're looking forward to, and ultimately that fullness is going to be realized when Jesus returns to judge the world, the final resurrection. So we're already and not yet, but that already piece means that we've been in the end times for quite a while, and that's not to minimize the reality of the end times or anything like that. It's just to say, together with John, for example, in 1 John 4, that the spirit of the Antichrist is now in the world already.
I mean, John said that 2,000 years ago. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. And so I think we just need to recognize that, that we're living in this particular age, and we do see, I think, when we read the epistles in particular, you know, Paul writing to Timothy saying, latter days many are going to depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and the doctrines of demons, we do see the description that Paul gives, you know, in the last times people are going to be lovers of themselves, and so on and so forth. Our focus, I think, needs to be not trying to sort of read our culture and say, okay, I think this is it, first and foremost, our focus needs to be on growing in Christ, growing in an understanding of his word, growing in Christian charity, so that if the Lord tarries or comes back, we're doing what God has called us to do. One danger, and you mentioned, you know, do people shy away from some of these conversations because of the symbolism or whatnot?
I think that is an issue. I think a lot of times people will look at the book of Revelation and they have a hard time understanding these symbolic prophecies, the apocalyptic literature, and so they just steer away from it. Another bad way to approach that is to say, well, you know, these locusts are probably literal helicopters or something like that, and not do justice to the symbolic prophetic imagery. Also, I do think people shy away from the book of Revelation, you know, for those reasons, but I tend to think, you know, if we're focused on faithfully preaching the word of God and discipling Christians, to engage the world around them as believers following Christ, I think that's what God calls us to do. He doesn't call us to panic about what's going on around us. He doesn't call us to try to figure out, you know, is that person the Antichrist or whatnot, and that's where a lot of people want to go, and I think that that's a distraction.
I think, again, we need to be focused on Christ and growing in the word and growing in our commitment to each other within the body of Christ and to our neighbors as well. God bless. So locusts as helicopters. I haven't heard that one, Adriel. Yeah, well, that's out there. I mean, there are people who, I mean, they read that symbolic imagery in Revelation. They try to find these sort of literal reference to, you know, these beastly images that we see, and they don't understand it in its context, and so that's another way to misinterpret the book of Revelation.
Good word. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Hey, we'd love to invite you to join our inner core. That is a group of people that love this program so much so that they support us on a regular basis. Yeah, if you're blessed by the work that we do, would you consider joining the inner core?
It's a monthly gift of $25 or more, and it's one of the ways you can partner with us to continue to get the word out and encourage believers in their faith. As a thank you for signing up for the inner core, we'll send you a copy of the book, Core Christianity, which is a wonderful introduction to the very important core truths of the Christian faith, and so thank you for your support, and please consider joining the inner core. You can learn more by going to corechristianity.com forward slash inner core. Love to have you, as Adriel said, prayerfully consider joining that special group of people.
Core Christianity forward slash inner core. Well, let's go to a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners. This is Jacob. I'm an Iranian American. I had a major job that I got at a, I'd say my dream job. So there was an employee who was the same rank as my boss, and she was obsessed with finding out if I was a spy for the Iranian government. And I listened to my boss and he said, you know, just get you get more flies with honey.
She alongside another coworker of theirs kept going out of their way to mess up my work and eventually lead me to losing that job. This is somebody who is openly loud atheist. I don't know how to feel about them. So, you know, what does the Bible say about, you know, dealing with hateful individuals? I know Christ went through that himself. I wanted to see, you know, if you had any advice or, you know, like what God would say.
Thank you. Yeah, you know, this is something that that I think a lot of people are asking right now because they're there's just the reality that because of what we believe about the exclusivity of the gospel about the law of God, there are going to be people who who don't like us who hate us. And in fact, isn't that what Jesus himself said Peter says don't be surprised at the fiery trial that you experience Paul said everybody who desires to live a godly life in Christ.
Jesus is going to suffer persecution. So the question is when we are hated by the world, how should we respond? Well, Paul says in First Corinthians 12, we never want to respond with evil. We overcome evil with good. And so so, you know, I think looking at text like Jesus's words in the the Sermon on the Mount in particular where he talks about how we ought to treat our enemies.
I think those are really helpful places to go. You asked, you know, what does God have to say about this? We'll listen to what Jesus the Eternal Son of God said in Matthew chapter 5 verse 43 you have heard that it was said you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you so that you may be sons of your father who is in heaven for he makes his son rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
You therefore must be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect. We can feel justified hating the people that hate us responding in kind, you know with with anger with frustration with strikes whatever it is, but Jesus calls us to something greater as Christians. He calls us to follow him and he says when you are hated when you are persecuted love your enemies pray for them.
I know that that's not a popular teaching especially when you as a Christian feel persecuted when you're mistreated and that's when you need to cling to Christ. I mean essentially what he's calling us to hear as his people is what he himself endured and to a far greater degree than any of us ever will. He is the one who loved his enemies and who were his enemies. We were we were the enemies of Almighty God. We were the ones who were shaking our fists at God rejecting him walking in our own ways. We were the ones who were dead in trespasses and sins and yet God made us alive through Christ. He loved us and if God loved his enemies you and me we ought to love our enemies too. And so we really I think one need to recover that great sense that we were the enemies of God and yet God was merciful to us.
He loved us and as we grow in that truth as we understand that truth may God help us by the grace of his spirit to love and to pray for even those who persecute us even those who mistreat us. And so may God help you with that and bless you as you strive to do it. Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Just a reminder you can call our voicemail system 24 hours a day. In fact, you can call this weekend with your question. Leave it on our voicemail or feel free to email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com. Again, questionsatcorechristianity.com.
We'd love to get your questions over the weekend. Naomi from Kansas has this question. Can we as evangelicals use the term Eucharist in our Lord's Supper? Hey, Naomi, thank you for that question. So, you know, sometimes people think, well, that that word Eucharist that that's only used by Roman Catholics or or, you know, other Christian traditions, not not evangelicals.
I don't think there's anything wrong with using that word. What does what does Eucharist mean? It comes from the Greek word Eucharistia, which means I give thanks. And what is the Lord's Supper? It's a sacrifice of Thanksgiving. It's not a bloody sacrifice. I would say it's not a sacrifice of propitiation. Jesus performed that did that once for all sacrifice for us on the cross.
Hebrews chapter 10 makes that very clear. And so we don't we don't offer bloody propitiatory sacrifices as Christians. Jesus has has done that once for all so that we don't have to now we bring to God our sacrifice of Thanksgiving in response to his great love for us. And that's in part with what the Lord's Supper is. And that that language also you think of just Jesus the the institution of the Lord's Supper in Matthew chapter 26 verse 26 as they were eating. Jesus took bread and after blessing it. He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said take eat.
This is my body and he took the cup and when he had given thanks. He gave it to them saying drink of it all of you for this is my blood of the Covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. That's what we do with with Thanksgiving. We receive by faith the body and blood of Jesus Christ. And so I would say if we're able to explain, you know, what we mean by the word sometimes people hear that word and again, they just don't have any idea what it means. What are people talking about with we can talk about Thanksgiving and how that's central to what's taking place in the Lord's Supper.
I think that that can be helpful and I don't see any reason why Christians can't and shouldn't use that word. And so appreciate your your question Naomi. May the Lord bless you. This is core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.
Let's go to Jason calling in from Missouri Jason. What's your question for Adriel? Hey, sir. A couple of questions for you. It's kind of a two-part. The first one is about salvation. So I believe in Jesus.
I believe in God. I believe that you know, when you ask for forgiveness that and if you believe that Jesus will forgive you, but however, is it possible to lose your salvation and how do you and then how do you know you got it? I mean, you've asked for forgiveness.
You've prayed for it, you know, you feel remorse for all your past sins and stuff. But how do you how do you know that God's accepted that and then a second part is is in the Bible. It talks about you know, you can't gain entry into heaven through work. But yet your crowns that you receive in heaven is based off your works.
What exactly does that mean? Okay, so one how can you know that you are saved? I think I think what we want to get away from is looking for a feeling and clinging to the objective promise of God's Word in the gospel. And so what should give us assurance is the fact that Jesus is risen from the dead and and as we believe that knowing that embracing that by faith. We can have confidence that we are the children of God John says in first John chapter 5 verse 13.
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. And of course, of course earlier in first John John said very clearly if we confess our sins God is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness. And I think we come to God in faith. We confess our sins and then we still wonder. Well, I don't I don't feel saved.
I don't know, you know, they're sometimes I feel really spiritual other times. I don't don't focus on your feelings cling to sink your teeth into the objective promises of God in his word and take him at his word. And and so that that's what I would say there and for those who are truly justified who are the children of God who have eternal life. I don't believe Jason that they can that they can lose their salvation. Now, what about what about works and the judgment of according to works described in places like Revelation chapter 20.
How can we have confidence? What role do works play in the life of the believer? Well, they're the they're the path the way upon which we walk as we journey toward the celestial City were called to good works as Christians not to be justified by them or as the as the means of our being accepted before God, you know, as though they were meritorious in some sense.
No, we're called as those who have been justified by the free grace of God to pursue a life of good works and we are not condemned because of our failures because we were judged with Jesus at the cross and in his resurrection from the dead. So when you think about the doctrine of justification, it's as if the verdict of the final judgment has already been rendered for you in Christ so that you can have confidence on the day of judgment and that's precisely what John says elsewhere in first John. Additionally, Jesus himself said in John chapter 5 verse 24 truly truly. I say to you whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life.
He is not what John said in first John chapter 5. I'm writing these things to you who believe that you might know that you have eternal life. Well, Jesus said it to whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment but has passed from death to life. Now that is to say he doesn't enter into condemnation. We're not condemned because of our shortcomings because of our failures because of our sins because we're justified by the grace of God and by the blood of Jesus Christ. And so we don't look forward to condemnation on the day of judgment but commendation for the life that we lived in Christ following after the Lord serving him loving him.
Of course we do that imperfectly but may God help each and every one of us to make it our aim to live lives that are pleasing to him in response to the grace that he's given to us and by the power of the Holy Spirit. God bless. 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.
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