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What Is The Purpose Of Prayer If God's Will Is Already Set?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
May 8, 2023 2:30 pm

What Is The Purpose Of Prayer If God's Will Is Already Set?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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May 8, 2023 2:30 pm

Episode 1222 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

Questions in this Episode

1. According to 1 Timothy 2, can a husband and wife be co-pastors?

2. How can I evangelize my stepson who has become a Mormon?

3. Should I flee temptation or use it as a chance to share the Gospel?

4. What is the purpose of prayer if God's will is already settled?

5. Why is discipleship in America not like Christ's model?

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What's the purpose of prayer if God's will is already set? 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.

We pray that you had a great weekend. This is the program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can call us right now with your question at 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and you can always email us your question at questions at

First up today, here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Rob. My question is, there's a new church here in town that has a husband and wife, and they're both equal pastors of the church, and I was curious about how this applies to First Timothy 2-12, and if a woman can be the headship of a church just as equally as the man. I personally don't believe so, but just wanted to find out if Pastor Adriel could answer that question.

Thank you. Hey, thank you for giving us that question, and I am in agreement with you. I mean, on the basis of passages like First Timothy 2-12, but then even later as Paul there in First Timothy 3 begins talking about the qualifications for overseers, for elders within the church, those who have that teaching office, he says, you know, if anyone aspires the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore, an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, and I've also noticed that there are many churches where this kind of happens. You have kind of this co-pastor, husband and wife situation.

To be honest, I don't fully understand it. I mean, it seems to me that a congregation calls a pastor, a man who has hopefully been trained and studied and is qualified for this particular office, called by the church, and so the idea that, you know, just because this individual is called that their spouse is also called to be a pastor as well, I think that that's really unhelpful, and I think it sort of feeds into there can be unhelpful and even unhealthy expectations that we can put on the wives of pastors within the local church. You know, the pastor's wife is not on staff at the church, and sometimes I think that sort of an idea that can go along with ministries and in local churches. So I think we want to be very careful that we're not putting that kind of pressure on our pastor and on his family and in particular on his wife. In terms of, you know, what a spouse, what a pastor's wife should be, I think we could apply the words that the Apostle Paul uses in 1 Timothy 3 related to the wives of deacons, to the wife of the pastor and elders as well. Their wives likewise, this is chapter 3 verse 11, their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, full of sober-minded, faithful in all things. Right, there's that love for the Lord, there's godly character, demonstrating I think that this house is in order, but to go beyond that and to then include the pastor's wife in the calling of pastor as well, I think is to overstep the bounds certainly that we see in 1 Timothy 2 and 3, and then again to sort of feed into this pressure put on the pastor's family.

So I think we just want to be careful with that in our churches and appreciate your question. May the Lord bless you and thanks for giving us a call. Oh, by the way, your wife's on line three and she says thank you.

Yeah, yeah. No, she's actually busy right now, I'm sure, chasing around our kids. Oh my gosh, she's got enough of responsibilities without people at the church putting extra pressure on her, right, with five kids. Yeah, well, you know, and I just got a shout out to the church that I pastor because our experience has been really positive and we're really, really grateful for that in that, you know, it's just a wonderful relationship, but I know that there are situations where that's not necessarily the case in other churches and where there is a lot of pressure to sort of be a certain thing or perform a certain way or to be treated almost like this, you know, pastor as well when they weren't called to that office and so we want to be careful with that.

Well said. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open. If you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, we are open to it. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. One of our listeners named Richard wrote in from prison and he says this, I have a stepson who joined the Mormon church. I'm trying to evangelize him.

What are some teachings, what are some Bible verses that I can share with him? Well, first I just want to say, Richard, God bless you listening in from prison and, you know, it's amazing, Bill, you know this, we get quite a few letters from brothers in the Lord who are incarcerated, who the Lord has really done a mighty work in and so we're thankful for them and we're thankful for the church that is there in prison, for the believers that are gathering there seeking to honor Christ and, Richard, may the Lord be with you and bless you and your question is a really important one and, frankly, I'm sorry to hear that your stepson has joined the Mormon church. I know we have Mormon listeners and we've gone back and forth a couple of times, you know, I've said things about Mormonism that I, you know, we've gotten responses like, hey, why did you say that about us? But fundamentally, and I say this in love, we don't believe that the Mormon church is a true church. It's a tragedy, in fact, but we wouldn't identify the Mormon church as just another Christian church like another Christian denomination and the interesting thing, Richard, is that Mormonism, when it got started, it didn't want to be identified as just another kind of Christian church. I mean, it was really setting itself against all of the denominations of the day, all of the Christianity of the day, saying, well, they're all apostate, they've all turned away, we need to recover and this is what they were saying, we need to recover the gospel of Jesus Christ because it's been lost and, in fact, that's what Mormon apologists have said and said for a long period of time, this idea that the lights went out, that the church lost the gospel and it needed to be recovered, it's not too dissimilar from what Islam taught, this idea that the gospels, you know, they've been corrupted, we don't really have the whole truth, it's a deception.

Jesus said, and this is a text I think that you can go to, I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against her. Yeah, there might be seasons of corruption, times where it seems like the gospel is buried but the gospel is never lost, it's never something that needs to be revived or recovered, it's always there because it's given to us by the holy apostles and insofar as we're preaching that gospel, the kingdom of God is advancing and so the Mormon church has really set itself, and it originally did set itself against the rest of Christianity, and it teaches a different gospel and a different Jesus. And so, I mean, as you're having conversations with your stepson, Richard, I think highlighting, you know, that call to understand the gospel truly as it was articulated by Christ and the apostles and recognizing that Christ and the apostles warned us that there would be false teachers who disguise themselves as, you know, angels of light, ministers of righteousness, but who teach a different Jesus and a different gospel. For, he tells the Corinthians in second Corinthians 11 verse 4, for if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, I'm afraid that you put up with it readily enough, Paul says. And he goes on, you know, to talk about in verse 13 that there are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ and no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

So it is no surprise if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, their end will correspond to their deeds. I know many Mormons who are lovely people who, you know, I so appreciate the value of family and a strong work ethic. I mean, I've seen a lot of just really wonderful things, but when it comes to doctrine, when it comes to the truth of the gospel, that's what they've lost.

You can have the other stuff. You can have strong values, strong morals, even strong community and miss the gospel. And if we're missing the gospel and the true identity of Jesus Christ preached by the apostles and the Christian church for the last 2000 years, then we're missing the main thing, the main thing. And so I think focusing on that, focusing on who is Jesus according to Mormonism and who is Jesus according to the historic creeds of the Christian church and what is the gospel?

How is it that we can have a right relationship with God? Those are the places you want to focus as you have conversations with your son-in-law and may the Lord bless you Richard in those conversations. You know, Adriel, there's a variety of theological problems with Mormonism. Would you say that one of them is that their belief about Jesus is that he is a son of God, but then Mormon men are also sons of God?

Is that correct? So, I mean, when it comes to the identity of Jesus, there are a lot of things. You know, Mormonism has historically taught that we too, yes, can become God as God is. And they've appealed to what was the patristic doctrine of divinization or deification, which they totally misunderstand. And essentially what they end up doing is blurring the distinction that the church has made that's rooted in scripture, the distinction between God the creator and creatures, the creator creature distinction.

Well, that's a huge red flag. I mean, that undermines Orthodox doctrine. But then with regard again to the identity of Jesus, this idea of Jesus as the son of God, they reject the doctrine of the Trinity, the Orthodox doctrine of the Trinity. They also teach that Jesus and Satan were spirit brothers.

Just sort of some really strange things. And of course, they don't lead with this when they're talking to you about the beliefs of the Mormon church. Oftentimes in their evangelism, they're trying to convince you that they're just like sort of another Christian denomination. They're Christians just like, you know, other Christians, and they're just teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.

But when you begin to define Jesus and gospel, you come up with some really different ideas than what we find in scripture. And so that's where we have to be on guard. Where we have to be on guard. Well said. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

We have some open phone lines right now. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, perhaps there is a passage of scripture that's always kind of stumped you. Well, Adriel will be happy to clarify that for you.

Or maybe you're running into some sort of struggle in your Christian walk. We'd love to pray for you. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Jared calling in from Texas. Jared, what's your question for Adriel?

Hi. So my question has to do with, I guess, discerning of God's will. I know y'all had made a resource a little while back talking about discerning God's will.

And I'm facing an issue with my workplace. I know that there are many times where the place where God has us may be, you know, not ideal, but that, you know, it's where he has us planted for a particular season. In my workplace, there's many temptations to sin. And I guess the question kind of circles on when is it time to be in, you know, an evangelistic light to those who are in darkness, but also when is it time to leave when it becomes a detriment to your own spiritual walk?

Such an excellent question and very practical. We're called to be lights in the world, but we also recognize, you know, in line with what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15, that bad company can corrupt good habits, that it's so easy to be influenced by the way, especially when we're immersed in it, we're surrounded by it. And so this is something that really requires wisdom, brother, in terms of asking yourself the question, am I able here to work with integrity, honoring the Lord, and am I able to shine as a light for Christ?

Is this really an opportunity? And people see that and are, you know, experiencing, at least in one sense, the love of God through the fact that I'm serving and being a good witness, and even just in the hard work that I do. Or am I seeing myself drift further and further and further away from the Lord in this atmosphere, in this environment?

And again, I think that's the question that you have to ask yourself. And if there are really pressing temptations, things that, you know, where you just feel like you're on the brink of falling, I would say, you know, that's where you really need to, okay, maybe take a more serious step at getting out of a situation like that. It's like what Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy chapter 2, to flourish, 2 Timothy chapter 2, to flee youthful passions, but to pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace, along with all those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. When it comes to temptation, especially when we're sort of in the grip of it, you know, when it's pressing, we can feel the flames of temptation there.

And that's a dangerous place to be. And that can begin to chip away at you. And so it might be, you know, an indication that, okay, I think I need to find somewhere else, another place to be, praying that the Lord opens the doors. Of course, obviously in situations like this, you know, you're looking to the Lord and saying, God, you need to provide, give me strength first and foremost in my current work environment to honor you, to serve you. I think another thing that can be helpful here in terms of just wisdom is getting some accountability. And so talking with brothers in your life, Jared, who are aware of the struggle and kind of what you're going through and being able to say to them, hey, I want some prayer. And I also want some accountability because I'm facing these very real temptations in the workplace, whatever those temptations might be.

And so would you check in with me from time to time and just ask how things are going? You might find that having that accountability gives you the added strength to be able to continue to be there and to honor the Lord and that the Lord gives you strength in the midst of that situation, to continue to be a witness, a light. But do everything that you can, I think, to walk in the light, to have that accountability, and then pray and just say, Lord, if you have something else for me, if this is not the right place for us at this time, well then would you guide me?

But there just isn't an easy answer. You're going to have to exercise that wisdom, prayer, getting the counsel inside of others in your life. And let me just take a moment right now to pray for you, brother, that the Lord would grant that to you. Father, we thank you for our brother.

We thank you for his desire to honor you in the workplace. And God, thank you for even the opportunity that you've given to him to shine as a light for Jesus. Father, would you strengthen him? Would you protect him from all temptation? Even as our Lord taught us to pray, lead us not into temptation, I ask, Lord, for Jared, that you would lead him not into temptation, that you would deliver him from all evil, and that you would cause him to shine brightly for Christ wherever it is that you have him. Fill him with your spirit and grant him wisdom and discernment to know what would be the best situation for him and where he could best honor you with his life. And so would you be with him in Jesus' name. Amen.

Amen. Jared, thanks so much for your call and for listening to Core Christianity. Jared actually mentioned a resource that we have. It's called What is God's Will for Me? And you can find that by going to forward slash special offers.

Again, it's called What is God's Will for Me? We also have a wonderful new Bible study we want to tell you about. It's actually one that Adriel wrote, and it's on the book of Daniel.

Yes, if you're looking to start a Bible study group at your church or you're just looking to dig into a book of the Bible on your own, I want you to get a hold of this resource on the book of Daniel. It's a 10-week study that I helped put together. And you can download it from our website as a PDF. It's really accessible.

Or you can get a hard copy. It's really nice. And again, I think this would be a great resource for you to go through with some friends maybe in your church. And I know that it will encourage you in the days to come.

Such a fascinating book of the Old Testament and looking forward to Christ in many different ways. And you can find that by going to forward slash Daniel. Again, forward slash Daniel. Or you can call us for that offer or any one of our offers at 833-THE-CORE. That's 833-843-2673. Well, we do receive voicemails here at The Core.

And here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Matt. My question was around the general purpose of prayer, specifically in times of hurting or after tragedy or an accident, and people request or post for prayer warriors. Everyone pray for that person right now.

Can you educate me a little on the purpose of that? If God knows what is exactly going to happen and it's His will, then are we correct to do that? Or is it an uncomfortable thing that we should actually do is just pray for the family to have understanding with whatever God's plan is? Or just never been able to really explain to anyone else that's ever asked what the purpose of prayer in that specific situation is. Thank you.

Okay. Yeah, I love this question. Well, first, when we think about prayer, we ought to recognize that it's not so much our way of bending God's will to our own, but it's the way in which our wills are aligned with the will of a sovereign God who has revealed Himself to us. And it's through our prayers that God has foreordained to accomplish His purposes in the world today. Whether that's to heal someone, to save someone, God is really and truly working through our prayers.

And so we should have confidence when we pray that the Lord is at work, that God wants to hear our prayers and that God is going to act on behalf of the prayers of His people. This is something that we see, I mean, just all over the place in scripture. And I want to point you to one passage in the New Testament that I think can shed light on your question specifically, and especially when somebody is in a time of difficulty and trial and they're calling on people to pray, asking God to do something. Listen to what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 1.

This is in the context of a great difficulty. He says in verse 8, we don't want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia, for we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death, but that was to make us rely not on ourselves, but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him, we have set our hope that He will deliver us again. And now listen to what he says, verse 11. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.

Two things, Paul says. You, he's writing to the Corinthians, by your prayers are helping me. In that time of difficulty, in that time of despair, it seems like he's even attributing the deliverance of God in his life to the prayers of the people of God.

That's powerful. Again, we really need to believe that God is active and at work when we pray. But additionally, he says, not only is it that your prayers are helping me, but the more people we get praying, the better.

You know why? Because more people are going to be giving thanks to God for the response that we receive in the prayer, right? Again, verse 11. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many. And so, brothers and sisters, I think, one, we should be encouraged to pray, knowing that our prayers really do accomplish things. And ultimately, it's God who's accomplishing those things through the prayers of his people. But together, we give thanks as the people of God. And so, we ought to call on others to pray for us. And we ought to be eager to pray for others as well, that we might help each other and give thanks to the Lord for his great kindness in our lives. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

I have a YouTube question for you, Adriel. This person says, why is discipleship in America not like Christ's model? You know, I wish I had you on the line, because I'd be curious to ask, you know, what specifically in terms of discipleship in America you're seeing, and then the model of Christ and how you understand the model of Christ. But I would say the model that Jesus gives us for discipleship is given, ultimately, when he gave the Great Commission at the end of Matthew's gospel, where he says, go into all the world and make disciples.

Well, how do we do that? First is baptism. Baptism is entrance into the visible church. So you have the centrality there of the ordinances that Jesus gave, the sacraments of grace, baptizing.

And then teaching them to obey everything that I've commanded you. We're enrolled in the school of Christ and called to follow Jesus. And that happens in the context of the local church. As we're under the ministry of the word, as we're growing together in fellowship, in the body of Christ, that's what we need. And so is that happening in the United States?

Well, there are a lot of places where it's not happening. It needs to happen more. And so we pray that the Lord helps us and guides us to make it happen. God bless. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at 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.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-08 18:26:05 / 2023-05-08 18:35:59 / 10

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