When should someone get rebaptized? 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 are open right now. You can call us for the next 25 minutes or so. Here's the number. It's 1-833-833.
That's 833-THE-CORE. Of course, you can also post your question on one of our social media sites, or you can feel free to email us anytime at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to David calling in from Springfield, Missouri. David, what's your question for Adriel? Thank you for taking my question, and my question, Pastor Adriel, concerns the person of Melchizedek. We find his story in Genesis 14 and in Hebrews chapter 7, and my question is simply this. First, Melchizedek is described as a prophet and priest. He's also described as having neither beginning of days nor end of life. Those same qualities are found in Jesus Christ. So my question is, are Melchizedek and Jesus Christ the same person?
Thank you. Thank you, David, for that question, and you articulated it so well. One of the things you didn't mention about Melchizedek, but it's one of the things that's highlighted in the scriptures, is he is described as this sort of priest, prophetic figure, but also as a king, king of righteousness. So he holds these offices, and the other place where he's mentioned, so yes, Hebrews chapter 7, I think that's the main passage in terms of really getting to the heart of the identity of this mysterious figure, but he's also mentioned in the Psalms. It's so interesting because he just sort of comes out of nowhere in Genesis 14. Then you don't hear about him again after that until you get to the book of Psalms, Psalm 110, there a Psalm of David, and so who is this mysterious person that blesses Abraham? Abraham gives him a tithe. What is his significance?
Well, a couple of things. I don't believe that he's the same person as the eternal son of God Jesus. I don't think this is an incarnation or a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus. I think what the author of the Hebrews is picking up on is the fact that this individual in God's redemptive revelation is depicted in such a way that he is a type of Jesus. Of course, we know in the book of Genesis, for example, we have important characters introduced.
Typically there's a genealogy that's given. We're told where they came from, but Melchizedek doesn't have any of that, and so he's depicted in God's revelation as someone who just doesn't have a beginning. No mother, no father, no beginning of days or end of life. We didn't hear anything about his death or anything like that, and in that way he resembles the son of God, and that's the language that the author of the Hebrews uses in Hebrews chapter 7 verse 3. 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. And so on the basis of that word there, resembling, I don't take it that we're talking about the same person, but someone who is depicted to us there in Genesis chapter 14 as a type of the coming eternal priest, high priest of God's people, this priest after the order of Melchizedek, Jesus our great high priest. And of course that too is, you know, this isn't one of those passages that we often go to when we're supporting the deity of Jesus Christ or showing that Jesus is the eternal one, but this is a great one to go to.
I mean this idea of having no beginning of days or end of life. Christ never began to be, if you will. He's not a creature created.
He always was, and that's what's being portrayed for us here. David, thank you for, again, that wonderful question, and may the Lord bless you. You know, just to follow up for you, Adriel, we often talk about the types and shadows pointing to Jesus that we read in the Old Testament. One of those is in the fiery furnace in Daniel where the three young men are in the furnace with either an angel or some other apparition. Do we believe that could possibly be the pre-incarnate Christ?
We do. I mean, I happen to believe that that is a picture of Christ or the angel of the Lord, you know, the one who is there with the people of God. So that's one interpretation. Of course we see this in various places in the Old Testament. I think Jesus is highlighting for us, once again, how all scripture leads us to Jesus, is pointing us to Christ, and so appreciate you bringing up that reference, Bill. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Our phone lines are open for the next 20 minutes, and here's the number, 833THECORE. That's 1-833-843-2673.
Give us a call right now or feel free to email us at questions at corechristianity.com. Let's go to Robert who's calling in from California. Robert, what is your question for Adriel? Hello? Hey, Robert. I'm sorry, you said Robert from California, I think, and then it cut out, so I wasn't sure if you were talking to me or not. Yeah, we're talking to you, man. Welcome to the broadcast.
What's your question? All right, well thank you very much for taking my call. My question is, well let me preface, I'm currently, I'm kind of sitting on the fence. I'm kind of sitting on the fence on Christianity or, you know, agnosticism, right? And I was raised in the church and had some things happen that drove me away, but my question here specifically is, I've heard a lot of different versions of what heaven is going to be like, and granted, you know, nobody here can tell me specifically what it's going to be like, but I've heard a lot of things that just don't make sense to me, and one of the things that I've heard quite often is that we're going to spend eternity praising God, right? And that doesn't, it doesn't make sense to me, you know, and as rude as it may sound, it just seems like, I don't know, just spending eternity praising somebody just doesn't sound to me like heaven, you know what I mean? So that, and I've heard also that, you know, we get to heaven, there's no spouses, you know, so the, till death do us part thing from, you know, that my wife and I pledged 25 years ago, you know, when I, when I die and she dies, we're not together.
And that also, it simply doesn't make sense. So I'm just trying to get some granularity on, on as much as can be gotten. What are we doing? What, how is it, what is heaven? How is it, you know, a paradise for us when we get there?
Yeah. Man, Robert, if I could help you, my friend, get off the fence and come on the side of where Christ is and where he calls you. And I am so sorry to hear about the experiences, the negative experiences that you, that you had as a part of the church or in the church being raised in the church. It's, it's heartbreaking to me. Let me just say as a pastor, I talk to so many people who they've had similar experiences to you. And so there's, there's a great disconnect, right? Because it's, it's, well, what is the church supposed to be?
It's supposed to be a safe haven for sinners to come and experience the grace of God, the love of his people, the forgiveness of sins, and to grow together in that. And a lot of times people experience just the opposite. And so I'm sorry that that was your experience, but let me, let me say that Christ still is calling you to himself and, and to his body to know him and to experience his grace, which is for you in calling upon the name of the Lord. And the questions that you ask are really good questions. And frankly, you know, the, the one about heaven, you know, the oftentimes in popular media or whatever heaven is depicted, you know, just floating around on clouds and playing the harp and, and I'm with you.
That doesn't sound, that doesn't sound too exciting. There's a couple of things. First, there is what we call the intermediate state. That is when, when we die, when believers die, we're already united to Christ by faith. And so in one sense, we're, we're with Jesus in the heavenlies, but when we die, our spirits go to be with him in heaven and we don't have a perfect picture of what that's going to be. Like the apostle Paul says in Philippians chapter one, it's going to be greater than anything that he's ever experienced. He knows that there's great joy there.
And not just great joy, Robert, but also perfect love, perfect knowledge as well. Paul indicates this in first Corinthians chapter 13, and there is worship around the throne of God together with the angels in heaven. You get that picture in places like the book of revelation also in Hebrews chapter 12. But, but we don't, it's not just going to, I don't imagine that it's going to be like, you know, you go to a church and there's that, that time of praise and worship before the sermon. I don't imagine this is going to be that, you know, like one song after another song after another song, that kind of a thing. No, it's going to be overwhelmed with the glory of God, the love of God, the goodness of God, the communion of the saints, the presence of the angels, far greater than we could ever just imagine. It's going to be, it's going to be awesome.
And so if, if your concern is, you know, boy, that just, it just sounds boring. I would say, look, it's going to be anything but that it's going to be the greatest experience anyone could ever have. And again, the fullness of joy and love and beyond that, we're looking forward to because heaven isn't the final destination for believers. We're looking forward to the new creation. That is the restoration of all things. We look around the world and even, even as someone wrestling with Christianity and agnosticism, we can all agree, I mean, I can agree with atheists on this. You look around at the world and it is broken.
It's a mess. There's, there's pain and hurt and disease. Well, the Christian faith offers us the restoration is the promise of the restoration of all things, not just our spirits and our bodies at the resurrection of the dead, but the promise of a new creation of a new heavens and a new earth. And that's what John talks about in Revelation chapter 21, God wiping away every tear from our eyes, death being no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore for the former things have passed away. And then with regard to your spouse, you know, you mentioned, well, we're not, there's not going to be marriage anymore.
And this obviously coming from the gospels, Jesus saying that in heaven, we're like the angels. In one sense, we're not given in marriage anymore. And marriage on earth is a picture of the great marriage that exists between Christ and his people.
So that that reality is fulfilled. But I can say this. I think our relationship with each other and even with our spouses is going to be greater, more full of love, more full of joy than it ever was here on earth. So if you're afraid of losing that, I would say, no, in Christ, all things are made new, renewed and glorified so that it's, it's a greater experience even in the new creation in terms of our love for each other. And so, Robert, appreciate your, your question. Appreciate you just being honest about where you're at on, on the fence as well.
Can I just ask a follow-up? Because, because man, I want you to, I want you to know and love Jesus and experience his, his grace. Robert, in terms of where you're at right now, is it just, you know, I'm unsure about the, the truth of Christianity.
I'm not sure if I, I, you know, believe Jesus rose from the dead or, or just not wanting to have anything to do with the church because of your past experience, if you could share a little bit. I, I don't know, I mean, I, for many, for many years, you know, growing up, becoming, you know, I'm 55 now, so in my 20s and 30s, I was, I was, I was not anti-religion, you know, I didn't, I didn't chase down people that were religious and beat them with sticks or anything, but I was very disdainful. And as I've gotten older, there's been a series of events that have, have, in my life's words, you know, they're happening for a reason.
And I was listening to, coincidentally enough, I was listening to Bob Radio Network for a number of months and I had some, some things going on and I, I turned it on one day on the way home, it's a 30 minute drive, and the, the guy that was talking, he just, as if by magic, he touched on things that made a lot of sense to me in the situation that I was in. And that got me thinking, you know, maybe I've, maybe I shortchanged it, maybe, you know, burning my, my, my conscious, you know, is an undoable thing. Maybe, you know, maybe it's not just, you know, I'm out of the, I'm out of the pool, you know, I can't get back in, you know, and the longer I've gone on and the further I've got along, the more, I just, I almost feel like there's a hole, but I'm so hesitant about trying to commit and, and, and, you know, I get to the point where I want to pray, but I'm not sure what to say or how to do it, you know, and I just, I'm seeing a lot, a lot of, a lot of roadblocks in the way, but at the same time, I'm, I'm seeing, I say this, this pull towards wanting to know and wanting, wanting to engage, but I largely, I just, I'm not sure how to do it. Robert, I believe that that, that pool that you're feeling is the work of God in your life, Jesus, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, calling you, calling you back to him.
And there are no coincidences. I mean, in God's providence, you turning on the radio when you did, or even asking these questions, you are not beyond the grace and the love of Jesus. It's for you. And in terms of your, your wondering, well, how do I, how do I, how do I lay hold of that?
How do I receive it? It's, it's very simple. It's coming to Christ, even with our questions, even with our sins, even with our doubts and saying, help, I want to know you. I want to follow you.
Help me. It's amazing to me. You know, I, we just celebrated Easter and, and looking at the disciples, how confused they were.
This week, I'm going to be preaching at my church here in San Diego on Luke 24, where Jesus meets two of his disciples after his resurrection on the road to Emmaus. And they're so blind. They don't, they don't recognize him.
They're filled with sorrow. And yet Jesus there, I mean, they were, they were, they were doubting, they were unbelieving, yet even there, Jesus drew near to them. And he draws near to you too, Robert, with your questions, with your doubts. And he says, I'm risen, believe, receive my grace and my mercy. And Robert, we're here to encourage you in that and to, to walk alongside of you and support you in any way that we can. I hope that you'll, you'll stay on the line.
We got some resources resources for you. And if you're, if you're nearby Southern California, I'd love to connect with you as well, because I believe that the Lord is, is calling you to himself through his word. And it's through his word that we come to know him and experience him more and more. And so Robert, can I, can I pray for you right now?
Yes. Let me pray for, let's, let's, let's pray for, for Robert. Father, thank you for Robert.
Thank you for his honesty and for the questions that he has. And Lord, I pray that as he senses that, that pull that he talked about, Lord, that he wouldn't resist, that he wouldn't turn away, but that he would offer his heart up to you, believing in you. Lord, I pray that the pain that he's experienced in the past with, with various churches and, you know, the, the, the, the things that he experienced there, I pray that you would bring healing. And I pray, Jesus, that you would help him to know you through your word, that he would follow you, walk with you as you call him to, Lord. Bless him, we pray.
Bring him off the fence, Lord God, into the arms of your son, Jesus, by the grace of the Holy Spirit. And it's in Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Amen. Robert, we'd love to send you a copy of the book, Core Christianity, by Michael Horton. We think it'll be really helpful to you in your search for the truth.
And just give us your address and we'll be glad to send that off to you. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. And again, if you consider yourself an agnostic or an atheist, we are always open to your call. So feel free to call us anytime. We also want to mention a great resource that we have this week.
It's something we've been offering since before Easter. And it really does answer a lot of those tough questions that people often pose about Christianity, particularly when it comes to the accuracy of the scriptures, the truth of the resurrection. It's called The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel.
Yeah, it's actually one of the most purchased books ever on apologetics, and for good reason, because Strobel, a seasoned journalist and former legal editor at the Chicago Tribune, chases down the story of the resurrection of Jesus. And he gets to the heart of the evidence, the whys behind what we believe. And one of the things we want to do here at Core Christianity is equip you to understand not just what the Bible teaches, but why we ought to believe it, why it's rooted in reality, in history, in the Bible, in history. It's more than a feeling. It's so important for us to grasp that the Christian faith isn't about some feeling that we have. It's about what God has done objectively in sending his son into the world to suffer and die for our sins and then rise again so that we might have the hope of eternal life and of the new creation, the restoration of our bodies as well.
And that's rooted in something deeper, as I said, than a feeling. It's rooted in God's glorious actions toward us. And so get a hold of this resource by Lee Strobel. You can find that by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Look for The Case for Christ.
Well, we do receive emails here at the Core, and here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Rodney. He says, I was baptized first as an infant, then I was baptized again as an adult after saying the sinner's prayer in my early 20s. I've recently been taught the gospel more accurately, and now I understand more who Jesus Christ is. I'm not even sure if I was a true believer when I was baptized those first two times.
Now that I can truly say that I have been converted, do you think I should be getting baptized again? Okay, I understand the dilemma, and this is something that a lot of people struggle with, and it really gets to the heart of our understanding of baptism. And I know that there are differences of opinion on this. And one of the things we try to do on the broadcast is focus on the core things, the core doctrines that bring us together as Christians. But there are things that Christians, true believers, can have genuine disagreements on and still be one in terms of, you know, being a part of that one body of Christ.
So I want to preface my comments with that. Now at the heart of your question is, what makes a baptism a baptism? Is the legitimacy of your baptism first and foremost rooted in the fact that you have genuine faith, or is it rooted in something else?
Not something in you per se primarily, but in God's promise and in his word. Now I would say that it's rooted in God's promise and his word so that when a baptism is administered, whether it's to an infant or to an adult, there's that intent to be baptized, and it's done as Jesus, you know, commanded it to be done in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit with water, that that's a legitimate baptism. And that in that baptism, you are called to lay hold of all of the promises and gifts that God exhibits so clearly through these visible tokens, these signs of his love. But if what makes a baptism a baptism, the fact that you have genuine faith, well then that does two things. It means that, well, if you're concerned, like if you're, you know, wondering, as you're wondering, well, was I really baptized, you know, as an infant or was I really baptized later when I made a profession of faith, but now I'm wondering if I really believed? This is something so many Christians wrestle with, and that's why you'll have some who get baptized three, four, five times even. And so I would say, no, look, realize that your baptism is rooted, was rooted in God's word and promise, and God exhibited his grace to you there. It may be that you didn't lay hold of that grace until much later in your life, but the grace that was exhibited to you there was real, and that promise was real. We're called to lay hold of those promises by faith that as surely as we were washed with water by the blood of Jesus Christ and through faith in his name, our sins were washed away. We are new and can walk in newness of life, and so I would not counsel you to go through that again, to do that again. I would say lay hold of the promises of God that have already been given to you.
Sink your teeth into them and rejoice that God is gracious to you and to his people. Thank you for that question. By the way, we have an excellent new free resource on baptism. It's called Three Views on Baptism, and this really presents the three main Protestant views, Lutheran, Baptist, and Presbyterian.
Each author approaches this topic from a different angle, but they would all agree, as Adriel said, scripture is our only infallible rule of faith and practice, and we would love to have you get that. You can find that at corechristianity.com forward slash offers. By the way, we're going to be recording a second episode of Core Christianity. If you weren't able to call in during the live program, we're going to have a recorded show that we're going to start in just a few minutes. You won't hear it on the radio, but you can still feel free to call us at 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Adriel, it's always great to answer these questions about baptism because it's really so important to get an accurate understanding of it. Yeah, absolutely, and it's also great, I mean, going back to Robert's question, to get to talk to people who are wrestling with what they believe about God and wondering, is the grace of God for God for me?
Is it sufficient for me? I've wondered for many years, can I come back into the fold? It's like the parable of the prodigal son, the father welcomes all those who turn to him and to his son Jesus by faith with open arms and says, welcome home, come back. God bless. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
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