How do I encourage my friend whose grandson was diagnosed with cancer? 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. Call 1-833-843-2673. Now's the time to call.
Our phone lines will be open for the next 25 minutes or so. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites. By the way, you can watch Adriel live in the studio right now on YouTube and send him your question through our YouTube channel, or you can always email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com.
First up today, here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Jonathan. I am born again Christian. Now that I'm older, I have picked up a hobby, mainly magic, for the purpose to entertain. I go to senior homes, also to schools, and I just wanted to see what your thoughts are on a fellow brother in Christ doing magic, sharing magic. Is it good? Is it not good?
Does it go against the principles of the Bible? Yeah, I wanted to see what your thoughts were. Thank you. Hey Jonathan, thank you for that.
What a cool way to be able to serve your community. I actually have a friend who is a minister, but on the side what he does, he does shows for kids, magic shows, and he uses that as a way of sharing the gospel, sharing the gospel story through these sleight of hand tricks. If your concern is, sometimes you look at Genesis or Exodus and it'll talk about magicians, the magicians in Egypt, obviously negatively, those magicians, we're not thinking guy in a top hat doing card tricks. We're thinking priests, astrologers, soothsayers, people who are participating in this pagan form of worship and invoking other gods, really evil spirits.
That's the issue. We don't want to think, when we were reading about the Egyptian magicians, that it's a magician like we often think of. I would say that there's nothing wrong with, it sounds like a neat way to be able to be a part of your community and encourage others, and even a way of sharing the gospel and talking about Christ, the gospel story, if you want to find a way to weave that in. I've tried to do sleight of hand magic tricks with my kids. I think I convinced one of them that I could make a penny disappear, but the other ones weren't buying it, and so I'm not that good of a magician myself. Bill, what are you like?
I can make a pizza disappear very, very quickly. Hey, there we go. I like that. Okay, well, I'm with you there. I love it. Well, thanks for your voicemail.
We appreciate it. By the way, we have a related question, kind of a related question that came in from one of our listeners named Vanita. She says, Is it against the Bible to do yoga? Just don't call it yoga. Call it biblical bending. That's what I say, like a form of stretching.
This is a great question. Look, first and foremost, let me just say I have never done yoga myself personally. There's a ton of yoga places around where I live.
I just feel like I wouldn't fit in. There's some people who say it's just an excellent workout. I prefer to go for a run or to lift weights or something like that. I do know that there is, oftentimes when you go to some of these classes, they'll hum these mantras or talking about invoking spirits and whatnot. That can be a part of it and is a part of it in many places. That does concern me. I recognize that, for some people, I'm just trying to find a way to exercise, to do some stretching.
Maybe there are yoga studios where that's all it is. I tend to think of this in the same way that the Apostle Paul spoke of meat sacrificed to idols in the New Testament. He said, Look, we know that an idol is nothing in the world. What was going on at that time is people were buying meat at the meat market, but some of the meats that they were purchasing had been used in a pagan ritual. It came from an animal that was sacrificed to a false god. Some of the believers, especially the ones coming out of paganism, really struggled with this. How could I eat this meat that was used in this demonic ritual? There were other believers who recognized, Look, that's nothing.
There's nothing. I'm going to eat it. I can have a clear conscience. Because at the end of the day, what they're sacrificing to is there's only one true God. Paul said, Look, let's make sure that we're being charitable with each other. If what we're doing is causing a brother or sister to stumble, then just don't do it. Abstain from eating meat or doing yoga or whatever it is if it's causing your brother or sister, especially someone who's coming out of that background, to struggle and to stumble. Certainly, if it is getting you mixed up with some of these weird New Age spiritual practices, then I would say, Yeah, run away from that.
You don't want to have any part in that. If you just like to stretch and do some stretches, I don't think that you're going to be possessed by doing a particular kind of stretch or whatnot. I recognize that there's a health component.
I think we just have to be discerning, we have to be charitable, and we have to be wise. How about with that one? You're not a very good magician, Bill, but can you do some of the yoga poses? I don't know.
No, but I do have some yoga pants. Okay. All right. On to the next question. Yeah.
All right. Let's go to Lori who's calling in from Illinois. Lori, what's your question for Adriel?
Hi. My young adult son when he was in his teenage years, I know for sure, I don't know if he's having it now, was having what I would call either delusions or hallucinations. And I searched the scriptures to find where is that even mentioned or addressed, and I couldn't really find anything. And I'm wondering how to frame it spiritually, I guess. You know, certainly we were getting help for him from a psychological point of view, but I just wonder what God has to say about it, and I couldn't find anything.
Oh, Lori, thank you for your question, and Bill, I definitely want you to chime in on this one with the wisdom that you bring to the table here. Oftentimes, Lori, when we talk about mental health issues specifically, I mean, we view them as a part of the fall. And so if we're looking for one verse in particular that addresses this, I don't know that you're going to find that. But we do know, looking at the whole story of scripture, God's creation, good, and then the fall and the entrance of sin into the world, and the fact that sin affects every part of us. I mean, this is what really total depravity, the depravity of humanity as a result of sin is.
It's not that we're as bad as we could be or as corrupt as we could be. It's that sin has infected every part of us, even our minds, and that leads to sickness as well. Death, disease, and one of the diseases, one of the sicknesses, I think, that comes as a result of the entrance of sin into the world are these issues with mental health and delusions.
I have a dear family member right now in my old life who's getting up there in age and has been having more and more delusions, a lot of cognitive breakdown. And so, biblically speaking, I think that we have to say that God, Jesus, is able to and does hold on to us even through that. And ultimately, that we have the hope that one day every tear is going to be wiped away, and the brokenness that we experience in our bodies is going to give way to that new, glorious resurrection body that Christ has purchased, won, for us through his death and resurrection. And so, I think it's understanding this in the context of living in a fallen world and having the hope that through these difficulties, God is still with us, Jesus still holds on to us, and we have the promise of restoration in Christ as well.
And Bill, I'd love for you to chime in, too. You know, what you said is so true. The fall has affected us in so many different ways, and brain chemistry is one of those ways. And for some people, they're going to be more susceptible to things like schizophrenia and psychosis. Oftentimes, there seems to be a very clear genetic component. And what's interesting, Adriel, is there's also been some research on looking at demonic possession and schizophrenia and whether the two might in some way be related, whether or not being schizophrenic makes someone more susceptible to that, or whether they're just imagining through their hallucinations, their delusions, that they are somehow communicating with a demon or being possessed by a demon.
There's no real clear answers on that, but there does seem to be some kind of correlation between the two, which is disturbing to think that Satan might prey upon those individuals in that way. Yeah, and one of the things that we often say is just getting the support, both that you mentioned care, the psychiatric care, also the support of the local church, the body of Christ to come alongside. Laurie, I just want to ask, you know, with your son now, where are things, how is he doing now? Would love an opportunity to just, we can pray for him. Well, you know, he lives in our way, so I'm not, it's not as clear, but he seems to be functioning okay.
So at this time, I think, you know, mostly, he's okay with that area of his life. He, you know, certainly when anxiety went high, he would see an increase in these events. But, you know, spiritually, I guess it's always been a point of confusion for me is whether it was related to a spiritual component like demonic stuff or not. And, you know, the Bible talks about demons and stuff, but it doesn't talk about this specifically. And that's where my, that's why I want to ask someone, my confusion or my question is along the lines is, is it, you know, when you get into mental health, you know, and then you have the spiritual demonic thing, where, where are the lines? And I think he said, we don't know.
So this is kind of where I feel like, I don't know. Well, here's one thing that I, that I will say. I mean, we obviously, the scripture is very clear that we're living in this, in this spiritual battle as believers, that there is a whole unseen realm out there and that we have to be vigilant and prayerful.
But we also know you also have the comfort. It's like what, what John says in first John chapter five, that whoever is born of God, he who was born of God keeps that individual that we, as the children of God are kept by Jesus himself and that the evil one does not touch him. That is no one can snatch you or your son or any, any believer out of the hands of the true and the living God. And that's so important for us to understand that while we can experience spiritual warfare and even spiritual attack. And I'm not saying that that's what this is necessarily, but I am saying that a comfort that you have that your son has is that through Christ we know that we have victory and victory in Jesus that we overcome the world and the evil one through the blood of Jesus Christ.
And so that has to be something that, that you cling to in this time. And let me just take an opportunity right now to pray for your son, father. Thank you for our sister. And Lord, we know that her family has been through a lot, especially with, with some of these, these questions and these struggles. I pray that you would give them comfort.
I pray for the filling of your Holy Spirit for her and for her son, Lord God, that as he continues to grow and to mature, that he would grow in his faith and his love for you. In that peace, Lord God, that passes all understanding that you would strengthen him and provide for his needs, Lord, and protect him. Lord, protect us all from the evil one helping us to honor you. We pray these things in Jesus name. Amen. Amen. Lord, thanks so much for calling.
And we do feel for you in that situation. We'll be continuing to pray for your son. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open.
If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, feel free to give us a call anytime. Here's the number. It's 833-843-2673 or 833-THE-CORE. Just spell that out.
833-THE-CORE. We also have a resource we want to tell you about. It's something we've been offering the last couple of weeks, and we know it will help strengthen your faith and help you respond to some of the challenging questions you might receive from skeptics. It's called The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. Yes, we have been offering that resource, The Case for Christ. You can find it over at corechristianity.com.
An excellent book on apologetics. I also want to mention, Bill, it's been a little bit of time since we've mentioned The Inner Core. We are so grateful for many of you who have come alongside of us, partnering with us to continue to get the word out. The Inner Core is a group of people who give us a monthly donation of $25 or more.
It's one of the ways you can partner with us to continue to share this broadcast and to answer people's questions about the faith. As a thank you for joining The Inner Core, we'll send you a copy of the book Core Christianity by Michael Horton. I hope that you'll get a hold of Lee Strobel's The Case for Christ and join The Inner Core. Love to have you part of that very special group of folks, The Inner Core. You can find out more by going to corechristianity.com forward slash inner core and to learn more about Lee Strobel's book, just go to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Well, let's go to a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners earlier this week. This is Suzanne.
My question is in regards to walking by faith. My best friend, a grandmother of a boy who was eight years old and they discovered that he had kidney cancer. Then after the kidney was removed, they discovered more cancer. So he's been going through chemo and radiation for two years.
Today, he had another CAT scan and they discovered a spot on his lung and a spot on his liver. The grandmother is falling apart emotionally over it and I try to encourage her to walk by faith and not go by what she's seeing or hearing. I just want to know what kind of scriptures could I give her to encourage her and the mother and father of the young boy. His name is Jimmy and their community has been tremendous supporting them through the journey that they've gone on. It's just something that they need a lot of encouragement with. From a Christian perspective, I'd like to help them and give them the scriptures that they can stand on. Thank you.
Yeah. Well, let's take a moment right now to pray for Jimmy. Father in heaven, we lift up this dear child to you. Jesus, we thank you for the compassion you showed toward children as you walk this earth in blessing them, in healing them, in calling them to yourself.
And we know that you call Jimmy to yourself, Lord. We ask that you would be with him in this great trial. We pray that you would be with his family. We pray, Lord, that through these very difficult circumstances, feeling like he's in the valley of the shadow of death, that he would know the presence of the good shepherd, that he would know your presence, that you would strengthen his body, that you would strengthen his spirit, that you would reveal yourself to him and to his family more and more, bringing them comfort. And, Lord, we just ask for your healing and your presence with that family in Jesus' name. Amen. Amen. Man, my heart breaks.
You hear these stories. You think of these children suffering immensely. And your question, sister, is how can I encourage this family? Are there Bible verses that I can give to them?
Well, there are a few things I think that you ought to do that we ought to do as Christians. Romans chapter 12 verse 15 says that we ought to weep with those who weep. And so being able to enter into the pain and the suffering that they're experiencing and joining the family in lamenting, but also in hoping in Christ and in looking to the God who is bigger than cancer or any disease. And, again, you want to be very careful with that in terms of you don't want to minimize the suffering of another person or act like, hey, just take your eyes off of the situation and just hope in God.
He's good. We experience great suffering, but we have the promise that even through the great suffering we experience as the people of God, God does not abandon us and our suffering doesn't separate us from the love of God. That's the point that the apostle Paul made in Romans chapter 8. We go through great suffering as believers, and yet nothing can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
And you're also called to bear the burdens of others. Galatians chapter 6 verse 2. And so seek to do that for this family to come alongside, maybe providing meals, certainly praying and clinging to the hope that we have in Christ, and in particular in the fact that he has conquered death and disease through his resurrection from the dead. And while we experience disease now, this side of heaven, this side of the new creation, we have the hope that there is a day coming, as Revelation 21 says, where he will wipe away every tear from our eyes and there will be no more mourning. May God be with this family. May God be with you as well.
Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We're always open to your questions about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, you name it. You can leave us a voicemail 24 hours a day and you can always email us as well at questions at corechristianity.com. Our phone number is 833-THE-CORE.
Let's go to Travis in Oklahoma City. Travis, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, I was wondering about Revelation 1823. There's this word that is either translated as magic spells or sorcery. I believe the root word there is pharmakeia, and it appears in another passage I don't have in front of me right now. But my question is, if you could shed some light on pharmakeia, I know that as it's referred to that all nations will be deceived through pharmakeia, whether that's apocalyptic literature, how we perceive it, but specifically, what is it that we're to avoid when it comes to pharmakeia, and how does pharmakeia apply to current modern day medicine, and are we of sober mind when participating in this type of whatever it is? So I would really appreciate any light you can shed on that.
Yeah, excellent question. Let me just read the text you brought up, Revelation 18, verse 23, and the light of a lamp will shine in you no more, and the voice of the bridegroom and the bride will be heard in you no more. This is speaking of the fall of Babylon, will be heard in you no more. For your merchants were the great ones of the earth, and all the nations were deceived by your sorcery. In other words, the nations of the world came under the spell, if you will, of Babylon. Now, what specifically that means is that Babylon is selling all of these drugs, and again, the root word there is pharmakeia.
Where we get words like pharmaceutical, I don't think we have to be careful in terms of making those sort of one-to-one correlations. That's not the proper way of defining New Testament Greek words, for example. Well, it sounds like this English word, and so that's what it must mean. Most of the Bible dictionaries and Greek lexicons are going to translate this word as sorcery or magic. There is this sort of element where it seems like there's an association with the use of drugs, something that puts you out of your proper state of mind. You can think of potions and magic spells, but this is the idea of sorcery, witchcraft, and so that's what's going on. Of course, that's why it makes sense right there in Revelation chapter 18. The nations of the world have come under the spell of Babylon.
They're deceived. There is, I think, also an association with the idea of drunkenness in the New Testament, where Paul in Ephesians, for example, says, don't be drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit. To be drunk there is to be under the influence of something. He's saying, look, don't be controlled by, don't be under the influence of, let around by drunkenness, but by the Holy Spirit.
Let the Spirit be the one who guides you and leads you. Here it's being under the influence of this demonic spiritual deception. Sometimes, as I mentioned, there's an association with the use of drugs as well. I have friends who prior to coming to faith in Christ had some terrifying experiences using drugs. I mean, the experiences that they would describe as demonic, some of those experiences were actually in part what caused them to flee to Jesus and the gospel because they were so terrifying. There is, we have to, I think, at least be aware of the fact that the evil one, and Bill, you mentioned this a little bit earlier on the broadcast, the evil one can use these kinds of things as a door in. We make ourselves susceptible, if you will, to the influence of the evil one by numbing ourselves, by blinding ourselves through the use of some of these things, and so we have to be careful and cautious. Travis, appreciate you bringing up that question. Bill, we've talked a lot on the program today about that sort of mental battle, that spiritual battle that takes place in between our ears at times, sometimes through mental health issues, sometimes through the delusion that can come through things like drugs and alcohol.
Wouldn't you say? Yeah, I think so, and it really shows how the fall has profoundly affected each one of us, and we need to be aware of those limitations and that all of us need Christ. Amen, amen.
Thank 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.
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