Am I saved if I'm Catholic? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. 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. You can call us right now with your question. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. We'll be taking calls for the next 25 minutes or so. That's 1-833-843-2673.
And of course, you can always email us your question at questions at COREChristianity.com. Brothers and sisters, we need to pray for Bill because apparently, Bill, you had a little bit of a bicycle accident yesterday. Is that right?
Yeah. You know, I ride quite a bit, and I unfortunately, I fell off my bike. I don't mean to laugh, Bill, but I'm just trying to... What happened? For those that didn't understand pedal clips, they would know what I'm talking about. I came to a sudden stop and didn't have time to get out of my clips and kaboom, out of the pavement. Yikes. Did you get pretty scraped up? Yeah, unfortunately, I got those abrasions.
I got a big knot on my knee and my elbow, and so I came home and my wife had absolutely no sympathy for me whatsoever. Well, we're glad that you're able to continue to bless us with your presence here, but this is one of the reasons why you should just get like a Peloton. Because you can't crash those bikes.
You can set up the screen to where it's like, yeah, there you go. Yeah, I know. You're just biking away on your Peloton with that lady screaming at you, right? Yeah. Faster, faster. No, thank you.
I'd rather just enjoy the scenery. Thanks. All right.
All right. Well, let's go to the phones. And again, our phone number is 833-THE-CORE if you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology.
I'd love to hear from you. Let's go to Joshua calling in from Illinois. Joshua, what's your question for Adriel? My question is, is the Bible a translation is what he uses the most. And he says that he doesn't really want to go to a church where they don't preach the whole word of God because there's certain translations that leave out some verses.
Like it'll just like have a little footnote that says, this verse was here or something like that. And he's just like, just been not wanting to go. But then, like he says, he has to go talk to the pastor first. And I feel like it just might be like, doesn't understand. Like, he doesn't understand how important it is to have fellowship. So, like, he says that he has fellowship at home and he just has his home church, and that's good, but I just would like to know what your thoughts are on that.
Yeah, no, I appreciate you reaching out with this question. Now, I mean, there are some translations, I think, that are better than others, and then there are some that are more paraphrases. The King James Bible or the New King James Bible is a fine translation.
I think that there are better translations. I think that the ESV, for example, or the New American Standard Bible is gonna be a little bit more wooden, the NASB. So I don't think you should determine where you're going to church solely on the basis of the Bible translation that's used.
Now, if they're preaching from something like the message, well, then I would say, okay, I got an issue with that. But if they're using the NIV or the ESV or the New King James, at the end of the day, it's so important for us, as you mentioned, Joshua, to be in church. And the New King James or the King James Bible, right? I mean, if he says, you know, I'm just using the King James, well, here's Hebrews chapter three. This is the King James Bible, verse 12. Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God, but exhort one another daily while it is called today, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. We need fellowship with other believers. We need that exhortation, that encouragement, that care, just later in Hebrews chapter 10, verse 25. This is the King James version. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another and so much more as ye see the day approaching. By the way, the King James Bible is not more holy because they use the and thou and ye. And sometimes I think people feel that way. Man, if we pray using the King James English, God really hears our prayers.
No, that's not the case. Yeah, we pray, you know, in faith through Jesus Christ. And so I would say you're right in encouraging your brother and saying, look, the priority is being with the people of God under the ministry of the word. And we can come up with all sorts of excuses why we don't want to fellowship with any particular church.
You know, they don't use this version of the Bible or they don't have this program or that program. At the end of the day, we're never gonna find a perfect church, but we're called to unite ourselves to be a part of churches where the word of God is being faithfully proclaimed and where we can grow together with other believers with the gifts that God has given to us and you can't do that on your own, just in your own kind of home fellowship, apart from the ministry of the word, the sacraments of grace and so your brother needs this and I hope that you'll continue to encourage him. Now, just to go back to you, Joshua, I mean, was he in a church before? Has he always kind of done this home fellowship thing? Well, it kind of started when he moved from where we were at, we were in California and he moved with his wife and his son and they moved over to his in-laws and they're all about like, they don't go to any churches and they're all like his wife's side of the family, they stayed with his wife's parents and they were all like, they don't go to any churches and then like every, when I went to go visit him, like her mom was just like saying stuff like there's the spirit of Beelzebub in the church and the church is just warped and not like the church anymore as he says he doesn't believe all that but like he just got this thing where I feel like his wife does not wanna go to a church, like she thinks it's just better to be away from, you know, people but like he says that's not the case but like he hasn't gone to church in quite some time.
Yeah. Well, man, keep praying for him and keep encouraging him and like I said, we have to recognize that the church is not man's or was not man's idea. Jesus said, I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against her.
And so the church was the idea of God, the Holy Trinity. Jesus established his church and he sent the apostles to go out and to make disciples and to keep planting churches and in those churches to install elders and deacons, 1 Timothy 3, Titus chapter one, to grow under the ministry of the word with the different gifts that are there, each of us are gifted in unique ways. As an individual, your brother is not the whole body of Christ, he's a member of the body of Christ and as the different members, we're called to come together in the fellowship and grow together with the gifts that God has given to us.
We need those gifts, we need those gifts. And so it really, I think when we sever ourselves from the local church, there's just so many problems with that and I hope that you can continue to encourage him to get plugged into a good church for his sake, for his family's sake and because it's what the Lord calls us to. And so thanks for reaching out and may the Lord bless you and may the Lord soften your brother's heart and his wife's heart also in this struggle that they're having. So Pastor Adriel, what is thou thinkest about Beelzebub in the church?
Yeah, well, sometimes he does. Not in my church, I hope, but yeah, you know, and Bill, just because you said it in old King James English I mean, it did kind of sound more authoritative when you spoke that way, so. But what I will say is that people can appeal to and look at the problems that do exist in the church and say, well, I just want nothing to do with any church. But the fact of the matter is, is Jesus is still at work in and through the local church. Now, if a church is overrun with evil and Satan and false doctrine and abuse, well, yeah, don't get plugged into that church, but where there are believers gathering around the ministry of the word under King Jesus to hear his word and to grow in it as imperfect as it is, be a part, even if you don't connect totally with the worship or if they don't have all the programs that you want, the primary thing is growing together under the ministry of the word with other like-minded Christians, and so we all need that. So well said, thanks, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you. Maybe you've got a question about a Bible passage that's always kind of confused you.
Well, Adriel will be more than happy to clarify that for you, or maybe there's something going on in your life where you're running up against some kind of opposition because of your faith. Well, we're open to your calls as well. Here's our number. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673, and you can call us for the next 15 minutes or so, so now is the time to call. Let's go to Devo from Minnesota. Devo, what's your question for Adriel? Hi, so at my place of work, I work with a Jehovah Witness, and every time it's somebody's birthday, my boss lady always brings in some kind of treat, and he doesn't participate, and I asked him one time what the deal was, and he said that in the Bible, the Jewish people did not participate in celebrations like that because horrible things would happen, and so we honor the same thing as the old Orthodox Jews and believe the same way. Does that make sense? I mean, I don't know. I've never heard of that. Well, Devo, I think you can give thanks to God for just more treats for you. I mean, working with a bunch of Jehovah's Witnesses and it's somebody's birthday, you get the whole cake to yourself. I'm just being silly, but no, it's not, I mean, I don't know where this individual is getting this from. I do know that Jehovah's Witnesses don't celebrate birthdays. They don't celebrate the traditional holidays that Christians typically celebrate, and with regard to the birthdays, you know, they'll appeal to, they'll say, well, you don't see birthdays celebrated in the Bible, and I mean, the same thing that you brought up about the Jews not celebrating birthdays. I'm not sure where they're getting their information from in particular, but there really is absolutely nothing wrong with stopping on your birthday and saying, thank you, Lord, and celebrating God's kindness over the past year. We don't wanna bind people's consciences about this kind of a thing, and so I know that one of the points that they'll try to make as well, the celebration of birthdays is rooted in paganism or something really bad, as this individual told you, something really bad can happen if you do that, but again, it's binding people's consciences somewhere where you just don't need to, and that's one of the hallmarks of organizations that are cult-like, is they try to control people. They try to separate them from their families to control them, to say, you know, you can't do this, you can't do that, and typically, what they're binding people's consciences on are things that have nothing to do with the word of God, and even Jehovah's Witnesses would say, it's not that the Bible clearly forbids celebrating your birthday, and yet they go a step further, and I would say that's adding to the word of God. The Church of Jesus Christ doesn't have the authority to invent new laws and bind people's consciences there with those new laws to say, if you're really gonna follow God, you're not allowed to celebrate your birthday. Now, of course, there are some birthday celebrations, I think, that can veer into sin, and so we wanna be wise about that, but the fact of the matter is is coming together and celebrating God's kindness to you and another year of life, I think that's wonderful. I think it can be something, truly, that does honor the Lord, and so that's what they'll say, but there's no basis in scripture for any of that, and so maybe it's an opportunity for you to have a conversation with this individual. I always say, when you're talking to Jehovah's Witnesses, asking about who Jesus is, the gospel, of course, they reject the deity of Christ. We've had conversations about this already on the broadcast this week, and so really, they miss the core doctrines of the Christian faith and oftentimes elevate these other things, these things that really have no basis in scripture, like not celebrating birthdays. God bless you, Joshua. You know, my church had a birthday party for John Calvin.
Did they, really, Bill? Our pastor's kind of a scholar, a Calvin scholar, so they had this big sheet cake with Calvin's face on it, and our pastor got to cut the first slice out of Calvin's head. Wow. Any opportunity to eat cake, I'm okay with. I mean, we can, yeah. You're okay with that.
Why ice cream cake, especially, but that's funny. Okay, this is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We have some great Bible studies here at the Core. One of them, it's brand new, it's on the book of Daniel, and actually, Adriel helped to write this one. Yep, it's a 10-week study on the book of Daniel that you can download directly from our website as a PDF, corechristianity.com, or you can purchase a physical copy.
It's, I think, a helpful resource. It'll be just good information for you if you wanna learn more about the book of Daniel in the Old Testament. Of course, we know some of those stories early on in the book, Daniel in the lion's den and so forth, but really, there's so much more to the book of Daniel that's relevant to our lives today, and so get ahold of this resource over at corechristianity.com. All of our Bible studies are great in helping you to grow in your faith, and you can find this one by going to corechristianity.com forward slash Daniel.
Again, corechristianity.com forward slash Daniel, and while you're at our website, feel free to browse around and check out some of the other resources that we have. Well, we do receive voicemails here at the Core. You can call us 24 hours a day. Here is our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 833-843-2673. Here's a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners named Tina. I am Catholic, but I'm not Roman Catholic, and I believe that Jesus died for me. By grace, I am saved, not by works, but my concern is with Jesus coming back, do I am saved? Because I believe in the Bible, God's word, and I believe the gospel, Jesus came and proclaimed the good news, so I am saved or not.
Thank you. Thank you, Tina, for that question, and just even for sharing that profession of faith. I believe in the gospel. I believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins. I believe that I'm saved by the grace of God.
And even just hearing you say that, man, just brings joy to my heart, because that is the good news of the gospel. It's not on the basis of our works. It's not anything that we've done that can earn us a place in heaven. All of our works, all of our works, even the truly good works that we do as followers of Christ, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, even those works are still tainted with sin. And so they can't be the basis for our justification.
We need the mercy of God. And when an individual, when we recognize that, when we, by faith, cast ourselves upon Jesus, we're saved. Whether you're Roman Catholic or Protestant or whatever church you go to, it's not your affiliation with that particular denomination that saves you. Now, that's not to minimize the important differences that exist between Roman Catholicism and Protestants.
There are some serious differences, and there are teachings in the Roman Catholic Church that I disagree with, just like there are teachings in other Christian denominations that I disagree with. But fundamentally, I wouldn't say that an individual who was trusting in Jesus and recognize, God, I'm a sinner, I need your grace, have mercy upon me, recognize that even if they're affiliated with one of these churches, I wouldn't say, well, then you can't be saved. No, salvation is of the Lord. Jesus is the one who saves us. He's the object of our faith. And so I would say, if you're Roman Catholic and you're going to the Roman Catholic Church, I would say that there are some significant differences in terms of what the Bible teaches, how we understand salvation, how we understand church government that aren't small things that you should look into and that we should, as I already mentioned earlier on the broadcast, get plugged into churches that are true to God's word, faithful to God's word.
And there are areas where, again, and this is not a secret, there are areas where I think that there are serious errors in the Roman Catholic Church and what the Roman Catholic Church teaches. But sister, I would want to encourage you in saying if you're trusting in Jesus Christ, not trusting in the church or yourself or your good works, if you're trusting in Christ as a sinner, well, then what John says in 1 John 5 is, look, if you believe in Jesus Christ, I want you to know you have eternal life. And so may God bless all of us and grant all of us that true faith as we look to Christ, clinging to him for the forgiveness of our sins and for that continued growth and grace that we might be made more and more into the image of Christ as we seek to honor him in all of our lives. God bless. Wow, that's so well said. Thank you for that, Adriel. What a great explanation of the gospel for all of us. This is Quora Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.
We still have time for a few more phone calls. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, doctrine or theology, maybe some differences in the doctrine at a church that you attend or were attending, here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Opal in St. Louis, Missouri. Opal, what's your question for Adriel? Hi, I wanted to ask Pastor Eric, Adriel, I'm sorry.
It's okay. The vision of the slaughter of the guilty in chapter nine of Ezekiel, is that concerning Israel now? And it says where it puts a little mark on the heads of the people, some of the people. Is that about Israel? That's what's going to happen to Israel?
Mm-hmm. Yeah, thank you for this question. You know, sometimes when we're reading the Old Testament, we wonder, okay, what's the referent here? Is this something that already happened?
Is this something that's going to happen in the future? Sometimes there are dual referents. Sometimes there's something that was taking place there, but it's also foreshadowing a greater reality in the future. Now, here in Ezekiel chapter nine, the judgment that's being executed on the idolatrous there among the people of God. I mean, chapter eight is all about these abominations that were in the temple, the great wickedness that was there. But there was a judgment that's being warned about, and that judgment was something that happened then.
I don't think that this is specifically about, specifically referring to something that's happening right now to Israel. Now, of course, later in the book of Ezekiel, you have these wonderful prophecies and promises about the restoration of God's people with the new covenant. You see this, especially if you think of Ezekiel chapters 36 and 37. And then towards the end of the book of Ezekiel, you have Ezekiel's grand vision of the restored temple. Now, there are differences about what that temple is. I think it happens to be a symbolic picture of the church and then ultimately of the new creation. So, Ezekiel does have things to say to us about today, but I think that passage that you're bringing up specifically in Ezekiel nine refers to a judgment that happened to them then.
At that time, anticipating God's curse because of the idolatry. Thank you. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.
Adriel, here's an email that came in from one of our listeners named Marty. And Marty says, "'My question is, do I need to be baptized to be saved? "'I've read an article that indicated it was necessary "'along with giving my life to God.'"
Yeah. So, you know, the question, like, give me a list of things that I need to do to be saved. We're saved by grace through faith. When an individual places their trust in Jesus Christ, I would say at that moment, they are justified. And if they died in that moment, you know, they didn't have the opportunity to go and get baptized.
If they died in that moment, there's not like, well, okay, you know, you didn't complete the list. You didn't go and get baptized. Well, no, baptism is a sign and seal of a great reality, a greater reality, the reality of the washing away of our sins. Now, I never want to minimize baptism because I think sometimes when you say, you know, well, if a person, you know, trusted in Christ and didn't get baptized and they'd still be fine, I don't say that in order to minimize baptism in any regard because you are commanded, we are commanded to be baptized as the covenant people of God.
This is a serious thing. This is something that Jesus himself instituted. It's at the heart of making disciples. And so I don't think we should view it as, you know, do I have to do it? You know, how important can I get through life without getting baptized?
I just don't want to get in front of a big group of people, you know, that sort of thing. No, this is a gift that God gives to us, a picture, a sign and seal of his grace, a true means of grace even. One of the ways that the spirit of God is mysteriously at work in our lives as Christians. And so to minimize it or say, well, I don't really need that is totally to misunderstand the scriptures. And I think to neglect this wonderful gift that God gives to us.
And so that's how I would want to talk about this. Of course, you know, oftentimes people will bring up the thief on the cross who wasn't baptized and say that he was saved. So you do have, you know, these circumstances where, you know, an individual just can't get baptized. But if you're saying, I don't want to get baptized, I think that there's an issue there, a real heart issue.
And that would need to be addressed. Brothers and sisters, it is a privilege to talk about the doctrine of salvation, how we're saved. And so often we want to make lists, don't we?
And they sort of check the box. We're not saved by doing things, we're saved by a person, Jesus Christ, trusting in him. And I hope that you are trusting in him today and experiencing his love and grace in your life. 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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