Why do I still sin if I'm a follower of Christ? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi there.
Happy Friday. I'm 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. So here's our phone number and jot this down for future reference. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Now, you can also watch Adriel live in the studio right now on our YouTube channel and send him your question through YouTube, or you can email us anytime at questionsatcorechristianity.com. And first up today, Adriel, we have an email from Elizabeth, and she says, I'm interested in getting to know a Christian man who attends my church, but I found out he's a Tier 3 sex offender. Our pastor states he has asked for forgiveness and now lives a redemptive and restorative life.
Should I still consider dating him or should I stay away? Okay, wow. A very important question. Now, first, you mentioned that this individual is a Tier 3 sexual offender.
Let me just, I looked this up just now. Tier 3 requires registration as a sex offender for life. If you are convicted of a Tier 3 crime, you are not eligible to petition the court for removal from the sex offender registry. So this is pretty serious.
Tier 3 encompasses allegedly more serious sex offenses, including but not limited to felony possession of child pornography, pimping and pandering of a minor, and many cases of rape. And so these are very serious crimes, indicative of obviously, you know, real deep, deep spiritual issues. And I'm glad to hear that there has been repentance. And I'll just be honest with you, in our church over the years, we've had people who were registered sex offenders who became members. We actually consulted an organization called GRACE, stands for Godly Response to Abuse in a Christian Environment, and got some wisdom from them about just how to go about that. Especially, you know, when you're in a church with young children, how do you have parameters, safety for the families of the church, but also for these individuals to guard them and hold them accountable?
There needs to be a lot of transparency. I don't know how your church has handled this in particular. I don't know if this is just something that, you know, the pastor knows about, if the whole church knows about it.
It sounds like, you know, he shared with you openly. But I can say I've seen and heard of situations where you have someone who's a registered sex offender who gets into a relationship with someone in the church, and it went really poorly. And there were continued crimes, continued abuse. And so I think I would issue a serious warning.
Of course, we believe that the grace of God and forgiveness of Jesus Christ is able to cleanse us from all of our sins and can and does work even in this individual's heart. But there needs to be accountability. I would issue just a strong warning. And again, I don't know to what degree this is open in your church, but I think there needs to be more conversations with you and the leadership there. And also reaching out to an organization like Grace that has worked with people who are on the registry and worked with churches in terms of thinking through how to safeguard the families of the church and for yourself as an individual. So I think you need more information, and I certainly need more information before I just say, oh, yeah, go ahead.
But certainly I would want to proceed with caution and would just say that you really should take things very slowly and not put yourself in a situation that could go really poorly. And so may the Lord grant you wisdom in a multitude of counselors and much grace. Thanks for reaching out to us. You know, Adriel, you mentioned that organization called Grace Great Ministry, and they actually do trainings for church staff or people that are involved in Sunday school programs. I think every church should have an organization like this, whether it's Grace or another one, where they make their staff fully aware of these dangers because, as you and I both know, when it comes to sexual offenders, when it comes to predators, oftentimes they are very manipulative. They can fool people very easily, and our church staff needs to know about these things.
Oh, yeah. I mean, we're talking about, in many instances, wolves and, like you said, people who can be very manipulative, people who know how to get control of the narrative. And so, yeah, the church needs a lot of help, frankly, in this area because abuse is so rampant.
I mean, so much of it doesn't get reported. I know that as I talk right now, there are people who are listening who have experienced horrible things, and I pray that you get the encouragement, the help, the healing that you need. And I pray that you're in a good church that takes this seriously and wants to come alongside of you and give you the resources that you need as well. And so this is something that churches can grow in, I think, and Grace is a wonderful organization that can help your church really think through this issue and how to protect the families of your church and also how to proceed with wisdom in situations like this. Really good counsel.
Thanks, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open right now if you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, maybe something going on in your church that you've got some questions about.
You're wondering if it's being handled properly, like we just talked about. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. You can call us for the next 15 minutes or so.
So now's the time to get on your phone. Let's go to David in Gallup, New Mexico. David, what's your question for Adriel? Hi, Pastor Adriel. My question is in regard to John 1 29, where John the Baptist sees Jesus and sees him coming and says, Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. And so what I was wondering about that is I've actually heard some people try to use that as a reference to saying that since he referred to Jesus as the one who takes away the sin of the world, that means that basically everyone in the world is saved. So that would be universalism because he says he takes away the sin of the world. And so I was wondering if you could provide some information about how to maybe respond to that and how we know that this is not teaching universalism. Yeah, David, great question.
That's interesting. In John's Gospel, the way that the word world is used, the Greek word cosmos, and the way that it's used oftentimes is highlighting not just all people without exception, but the fact that the Gospel and the grace of God extends to the Gentile world as well. In other words, it's not just for the Jews, but God is gathering in people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. And so the word world, like so many words in the New Testament, it has what we call a semantic range, a range of meaning. And so if an individual just takes that to me, look, he takes away the sin of the world, that means every single person is saved, well, I think they're not understanding the way in which John uses the word world throughout his Gospel, but additionally, they're sort of cherry picking verses. They're looking at one verse, and they're looking at it outside of the context of John's Gospel because it's very clear in the Gospel of John that not every single person is saved, that not every single person is redeemed. In fact, in just a couple of chapters, in John chapter three, verse 36, we read, whoever believes in the Son has eternal life. Whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. And so I think, you know, when people pick out these verses like this and say, look, well, this teaches universalism, I think you just have to say, well, look, John is not confused.
He's not saying two different things. We have to understand this in its context, and when we look at the context, I think everything is cleared up. Thank you very much for that question and love getting into the Gospel of John.
God bless. You know, we don't often use the term hermeneutics on this program. It's a big term, but it's something that I think all of us need to understand, and that's how we interpret Scripture and how we do it rightly. You've often said you need to let Scripture interpret itself. You know, the more clear passages of Scripture interpret those that might be more confusing. And this is a great example where somebody could, as you said, cherry pick and go, hey, everybody's saved. I mean, it's right there.
Yeah, that's right. We have to do the hard work of reading the Bible in context. I mean, that's a really important part of proper biblical interpretation. But then you also mentioned that other principle, which I'll bring up from time to time, which is that we let Scripture interpret Scripture. The only infallible interpreter of Scripture is the Scripture itself. And so often as we're reading the Bible, we have, you know, one passage helping to illuminate another passage, helping to make sense of sometimes things that are less clear. And so we do want to let the clearer passages of Scripture help us understand those that are less clear. We want to be careful that we're not just picking, you know, verses up out of their context and twisting them to mean whatever we want them to mean.
It's tragic, but that's, you know, we're all tempted to do that, especially if it serves our own purposes. You know, we want to justify at times our sins. We want to justify, you know, a certain decision that we're making. Or we want to justify a belief that we have that we like, you know, maybe the idea of universalism.
I don't like the idea of hell. I want, you know, everybody to be saved. And so we'll pick a verse and we'll say, I think that's what this teaches. But again, God has revealed to us that which is best for us. And so we want to submit to His word. And hopefully we can do that together as we study the Scriptures.
That is so well said. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible, Christian life, doctrine, theology, we love to hear from you. Our number is 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. We'll be taking calls for the next 12 minutes or so.
So now is the time to give us a buzz. And let's go to Lindy calling in from Kansas. Lindy, what's your question for Adriel? Well, it's a Christian living question and it is, I'm married. I'm a Christian married to a person that does not live a Christian life. And so I only tithe or give out of finances that I get that are just mine personally, not his. But then if he gives me like a certain amount of money a week or a month to just to do whatever, would that be something that I also should tithe from? And is what I'm doing wrong in the first place or would it be okay?
I'm just not sure. Hey Lindy, first let me just pray for you. Father, we thank you for Lindy and her desire to serve you and to follow you. Lord, in just the difficulty of being married to someone who is not in a relationship with you, who does not believe in you, has not embraced the Gospel, I pray that you would give Lindy much grace in the filling of your Holy Spirit, that she would honor you and continue to lead a godly life to shine as an example, Lord God, of your love for her and also, Lord God, for her husband as you call him to yourself.
Would you open his heart to you that he might experience your grace and that they might serve you together. Lord, be with our sister, we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
Amen. Well first, Lindy, what I want to say with regard to giving to the Lord, you remember what the Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 9, that each one must give as he or she has decided in their heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And that desire that you have to give to the Lord, you know, even as an individual, knowing that your husband is not a Christian, that this is not something that he would do, and obviously, you know, for him it would be under compulsion, you can't twist his arm to do it, but you desiring to do that and to do so with joy, I want you to know, Lindy, that that's something that pleases the Lord, that the Lord loves a cheerful giver, and God is able to make all grace abound to you is what the Apostle Paul says. And so, no, you're not doing anything wrong there, and I want to encourage you in your relationship with your husband to think about what Paul says elsewhere in 1 Corinthians and 1 Corinthians 7, where he's writing to the Corinthian church in particular about this kind of situation where one spouse in the marriage is not a believer, and he says, look, if your spouse, if your husband consents to live with you and to be with you, don't divorce them. The unbelieving husband is made holy, verse 14 of 1 Corinthians 7, because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so.
In such cases, the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace, for how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband, or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? In other words, Paul is saying, look, God may use you in the life of your husband as you continue to love the Lord, to serve the Lord, to pray for your husband and to exhibit the love of Jesus Christ to him. May the Lord open his heart, and you never know what the Lord will do. And so may God encourage you in that, Lindy, and God bless you as you seek to honor the Lord and to be a cheerful giver.
Thanks for giving us a call. Lindy, thanks so much for calling and for listening to CORE Christianity. By the way, don't forget, this Sunday is Mother's Day, so kids, make sure you get a gift for Mom. In fact, here's a great one, is our book of Daniel. It's our new Bible study on the book of Daniel. I said the book of Daniel, you can give her that, but you can give her the Bible study that Adriel actually helped to write himself, and it's available right now on our website. Yes, and husbands, if you're going to give your wife the Daniel Bible study for Mother's Day, may I suggest you include with that Bible study, I don't know, a piece of jewelry or a nice dinner? I just feel like if it's just the CORE Christianity Bible study, it may not go well for you. But get the Bible study as well, and it is a 10-week study on the book of Daniel, a great, I think, helpful resource to dig deeper into the Scriptures, and I pray that it encourages you. It's such a great book, and all of our Bible studies will help you grow in your faith. So whether it's for Mom or for yourself, or maybe as a couple you would like to start going through this Bible study, you can find it by going to COREChristianity.com forward slash Daniel. Again, that's COREChristianity.com forward slash Daniel. We do receive voicemails here at the CORE, and here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Nestor. My question to the pastor is, if I am a newborn Christian and I have repented, renounced my wicked ways, and know that my sins are forgiven, and that I unjustify and extend from the wrath of God, and that any decree that was written against me has been nullified and nailed to the cross, why am I not able to cast out these demons that torment me day and night?
Thank you. Why do I still struggle as a Christian? Why does it feel like I'm in a battle? Nestor, because you are.
Because we are. And when you are transferred into the kingdom of light, out of the kingdom of darkness, the war begins, the battle begins between the flesh and the spirit. And by the flesh I mean those sinful desires that we oftentimes have and will continue to have until the Lord takes us home and we're perfected in holiness. But this side of eternity, we continue to wrestle with indwelling sin. I encourage you to read, Nestor, Romans chapter 7, because I think there the apostle Paul is describing the experience of a Christian, of a believer, and the battle that we're in as Christians.
Again, you also see that in places like Galatians chapter 5. Now, how do you fight in that battle? And I think a lot of times, you know, for some believers it's like, man, I just keep failing and struggling.
And we're going to be in that struggle our entire lives. But I think that it's important for us to, one, make sure that in the midst of the fight we're not isolated. And so the first thing I would want to say to you is are you in a church? Are you a member of a church? Under the ministry of the word, walking alongside of other believers, being encouraged by their gifts, using the gifts that God has given to you for the edification of the body, for the building up of the body, like Paul says in 1 Corinthians chapter 12. You know, Scripture, Peter says that the evil one, Satan, goes about like a roaring lion seeking to devour us. And if we're isolated on our own, severed from the body of Christ, as sadly so many professing believers are, they don't have a relationship with the local church, they don't go to church, they're not members of a church.
Well, we make ourselves easy targets. And so I would say, man, make sure that you're in a solid church so that you're not isolated, so that you're not by yourself. Additionally, in the midst of the fight, spiritual warfare, you need to grow in the discipline of prayer. I think that this is so important. We minimize prayer as a discipline, coming before the Lord daily and calling upon Him.
We need that. And in fact, Paul in Ephesians chapter six says that's at the heart of the spiritual battle that we're in, praying always at all times. And for all of the saints, we're standing firm to pray. And so may God grant you grace as you commit to the church, as you commit to praying. I mean, this is how God ordinarily grants us grace in the midst of that fight.
And the last thing I want to say, let's just go to a passage here, which I hope is a comfort to you. It's what John says in 1 John chapter five. This is verse 18. We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are from God and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding. Nestor, you have that understanding now, having come to Jesus Christ. And let me just say, you need to understand and hear what John is saying here. Yeah, the world might lie under the power of the evil one, but you belong to Jesus and the evil one can't touch you. And by touch you there, I think what John is getting at is you're in the hands of the Lord and appreciate you reaching out. God bless.
This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. You can feel free to call us this weekend and leave a voicemail on our voicemail system. We would love to hear from you. We'll do our best to review our voicemails on Monday and respond to your question. Here's the phone number, 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Eleanor calling in from Arkansas. Eleanor, what's your question for Adriel? Hello there.
Nice to visit with you on this wonderful program. A couple of days ago, you had a lady calling about birthdays and my thing I've always told people is in Job 1, chapter 1, verse 4 and 5 talks about birthdays and I can't get anybody to really say that's what that is. But hold on a second, I'm having trouble holding my Bible. But in this talks about them having a feast on his day. Do you remember reading this in the scripture or may I read it? Sure, go ahead.
I have it open right here. It's Job 1, 4. His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them and when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. That's the verse you're referring to, right?
Yes, yes. And thank you for reading 5. That part's just as important because I was praying for our children too. But to me it just seemed like that had to be some kind of a celebration for that person on their day.
So to me it felt like that's a birthday and so I took it as that. And sometimes we just have to take things, maybe we all see it a little different than someone else. I searched it quite a lot when I first read that because I was really excited about it. I've told other people about it, maybe it's not a big thing to some people but God hasn't left us out of anything. I don't think that's wonderful or sweet and good and all the good things of life has helped us all through God's word.
This Bible is so filled with everything that would solve everybody's problems throughout the world. And they've got to get saved and find out so they'll know how to read the Bible and believe it. Now you know in a living Bible I mentioned this to the young lady because I didn't want to overstep any boundaries. Eleanor, thank you so much for your encouragement.
Now I'm guessing that you called in wanting to talk about birthdays because yesterday we were talking about how Jehovah's Witnesses don't celebrate birthdays and they'll often appeal to Scripture saying, well you don't have any examples of a birthday there and so you're pointing to Job chapter 1 verse 4 as a potential example. I appreciate that, I appreciate that you're searching the Scriptures and you're right. We need the Word of God and we need to listen to it. May God help each of us to do that in our lives. God bless. ...
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