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How Important Is Fellowship Outside of the Church?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
May 15, 2023 4:15 pm

How Important Is Fellowship Outside of the Church?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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May 15, 2023 4:15 pm

Episode 1227 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

Questions in this Episode

1. How can I honor my mother without condoning her sinful lifestyle?

2. How can the church help someone struggling with gender-identity issues?

3. Will there still be marriage on the new Earth after Jesus returns?

4. Must Christians be married through the state for the union to be valid?

5. Is fellowship outside the church important if I'm just watching my kids?

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How important is fellowship outside the church? 1-833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673.

Of course, you can always post your question on one of our social media sites, and you're always welcome to email us at Yesterday was Mother's Day, and Adriel, did you call your mom for Mother's Day? I actually visited my mom and my grandmother as well. There was a little get-together not far from where we live, and so we drove up to see family and spend time together. There was a pool, so that was cool. The kids loved that, and it was a good, I mean, just a wonderful afternoon. Of course, we went to church on Sunday morning, had a great time. I mean, I hope everyone had a great time. I was preaching, but I think it was a great time, and that was just wonderful to be able to worship the Lord and then spend time with family afterwards. And so how about you guys, Bill?

What did you guys do to celebrate? I cleaned the garage. What a guy. Yeah, what a guy. Well, had she been asking you to do that for a while, and it was like, happy Mother's Day, I'm finally gonna clean the garage up?

Exactly. My wife's love language is acts of service. And so she said, hey, for Mother's Day, would you help me clean the garage? And I said, sure. So we did that. Nice. Good work. Good work. She actually did most of it, but I supported her. You probably weren't the only one yesterday. Wait, did you just say she did most of it, Bill?

Happy Mother's Day. It's a long story. Remember how I told you I hurt my back? Oh, that's right. So you just kind of pointed at things.

Okay, put that over there. I did what I could do in my handicaps. Oh, well, thank you. Good for you, Bill. I hope you guys had a great day. We did. We did.

I did get her a card and flowers. So there you go. Just want to let you know. I covered my bases there. All right, well, let's get to one of our questions.

And here's an email to start off with. This comes from one of our listeners named Kyle. And he says, my question is, how can I love and honor my mother while I know she lives with her boyfriend? I also love her boyfriend.

He's treated my mother very well. And I'm very thankful for that. But I do know their lifestyle is contrary to God's word. We've talked about it before, but no change of direction or repentance has occurred. How am I supposed to love them without approving of the lifestyle that they are choosing to live? Kyle, God bless you.

Let me just say, you know, Jesus said a prophet is not without honor except in his own household. And oftentimes these kinds of conversations with family members, especially with parents, can be so difficult because it's like, okay, you know, I changed her diapers. I know you.

I know you very, very well. And so here you are coming and telling me about how I should live my life. And so it's easy, I think, for many people in these family situations to sort of dismiss what's being said. You are called to respect and honor your mother. And so that's the fifth commandment. Oftentimes we extrapolate from that, this call to honor our superiors, the authorities that God has placed in our lives.

So not just our parents, but you think of the other authorities that God places in our lives. And I think in part, you do that by being respectful. You never want to be, you know, smug with your mom, sort of, you know, sticking your nose up, you know, I'm better than you are.

I'm holier than you are. And certainly, you know, at the heart of this is, does she profess to be a believer in Jesus Christ? And if she does, I would say, you know, that looks like compassionately and lovingly coming alongside of her, not just as her son, but as a brother in Christ and saying, you know, mom, this really concerns me with regard to your relationship with the Lord. And she probably already knows that, to be honest.

And maybe there is some shame there, some guilt. But that's where I think you want to lovingly, kindly, respectfully continue to speak the truth while not, you know, severing the relationship or just sort of casting her aside. I'm grateful to hear that this person that she lives with treats her well. But ultimately what you want for her is to live a life that is honoring to the Lord in obedience to his word. And so I think continuing to pray for her, continuing to exhibit respect for her, love and kindness toward her while not just sort of pretending like everything's okay, especially if she professes to be a Christian. And so, Kyle, may God give you wisdom with that and help you to exhibit the love of Christ and to be bold with the word of God in a way that brings peace and healing and doesn't create more distance.

Now, of course, we remember what Jesus said, how he came and he came to bring a sword. And oftentimes, you know, holding fast to the word of God can create divisions in family relationships. You know, when you begin to talk about sin, you know, people, you know, they hear it and maybe they recognize that they understand and they come around, or maybe they just, you know, I don't want to hear that anymore from you. But I pray that there is peace and healing and genuine repentance that comes through your conversations with her. And so God bless you in that, Kyle, and thank you for sending us that email.

Tough situation. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible, Christian life, doctrine or theology, maybe a Bible passage that has really stumped you and you're trying to figure out what it really means, feel free to give us a call. 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Jolene. Jolene, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, I just want to ask, the Church does not seem to be equipped to handle young people that are struggling with gender identity issues. And so just wanted to find out if you have some resources that you can point someone to, or what do you suggest? Yeah, this is such a big thing that affects many of us today. It just seems like it's all over the place. Media, social media, and as you said, so many young people.

And we don't, many people in the Church just don't know how to respond to this. It's just like, man, everything seems so crazy. It seems so different than it was 50 years ago, 100 years ago. How did we get to this place?

And they're just sort of, you know, throwing their hands in the air wondering, well, what do we do? I think it's really helpful to have some of the background in terms of how we've gotten to the place that we are today, as far as identity is concerned, as far as sexuality is concerned. And so one resource I think that's been really popular over the last couple of years is Carl Truman's book. Carl Truman is a historian, and he basically wrote a book about the sexual revolution, how we got to the place where we are. He begins his book actually by saying, you know, how did we get to the place? I think he uses the example of, you know, like if I said to a grandparent when I was a kid, you know, I'm a man trapped in a woman's body, that just wouldn't even, that wouldn't even compute. It would sound like, okay, what are you talking about?

You know, just be sort of laugh it off. But today everybody understands, you know, what that's getting at. And so he says, how did we get there? How did we get here from there? And he highlights a lot of shifts that have happened over the last several hundred years, really.

It wasn't just the last 50 years or a hundred years, but in terms of philosophy, in terms of sociology, in terms of psychology as well, just sort of all of these strands coming together to create the perfect storm. And so what we're left with is a worldview, ideas about the self, about sexuality, about personhood, that is very different from what the Bible teaches. And so I think in terms of being equipped, it's understanding some of that background, but it's also, and maybe even more importantly, being rooted, Jolene, in what the Bible says about what it means to be made in the image of God, male and female. How did God create man?

He created them male and female after his own image and knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, to have dominion over the creatures. Our identity is something that's given to us by God first in that we're created in his image, but then in Christ, that the image of God is restored in us and we're called to reflect the truth and love of God. And we live in a society today that says, no, your identity is not something that's given to you, whether it's biological or spiritual, it's just something that you have to create on your own. And many people live under this, many young people live under this burden, really. I mean, I think that's one of the reasons why you have so much depression out there is because people living under this burden of, I have to create my own identity. I have to do all of that work and it's based on my feelings, which are always changing. And so there's some real issues here, but I would recommend, again, Carl Truman's book and just what the Bible says about identity, about being made in the image of God, and then specifically about what it means to be in Christ. And so can I just go back to you really quickly, Jolene, because I appreciate your question. Is this something that you're seeing more and more in your church or in your family?

It's a family issue. Yeah. Well, may the Lord grant you wisdom. So the books that Truman wrote, there's Strange New World, how thinkers and activists redefined identity and sparked the sexual revolution.

And then he has another version, which is a little bit beefier of that book with some more background and history. But I would recommend looking into that and may God give you wisdom. And of course, for friends and family members who have embraced this. And again, we know there's so much pain involved.

There's a lot of confusion. I think prayer. And if you're able to, trying to have conversations about these things, I know it can be such a sensitive topic, but seeking to have conversations to be compassionate and still to hold fast to God's word and the glorious truth that is revealed there. God bless you. Jolene, thanks for your call. We will be praying for you in that situation.

We know it's a very difficult one. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about something going on in your Christian life, maybe at your church, maybe a doctrinal issue that's kind of stumped you, feel free to give us a call. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 833-843-2673. Our phone lines will be open for the next 10 minutes or so. And we would love to hear from you. Let's go to Wallace calling in from Nashville, Tennessee. Wallace, what's your question for Adriel? How are you doing, Pastor? I'm doing well.

How are you doing, Wallace? I have a question about, well, it's not actually about, it's about marriage and getting married after the Lord comes back with us to reign here on earth for the thousand years. And also, is that when we'll be coming back to earth after the seven-year tribulation period with the Lord during that time, so when we come back and will there be marriage and giving in marriage during the time we're on earth to reign with the Lord for that thousand-year period?

Okay. Wallace, thank you for that question. I remember as a newer believer, a young man, thinking, okay, I want Jesus to come back, but not until I get married. Lord, if you can just wait until I find my wife.

I remember, this is sort of funny, and it sort of reminded me, in one sense, if you're glad, I think that's what you're asking, but it just reminded me of that. Now with regard to the thousand-year reign of Christ, you're talking about Revelation chapter 20, where it talks about the millennial reign of Jesus, and there's debate about when that's taking place. Is that happening right now, as Jesus reigns from heaven?

We know that he ascended into heaven, that he's enthroned, that he exercises his kingship over the world through the proclamation of the gospel, or is this something happening in the future, where Jesus comes back and then establishes his physical kingdom here on earth in a way that's different from what I just described, and he reigns for a thousand years, and then you have the final judgment. Well, in my estimation, the thousand years there, Wallace, are really a symbolic number. In the book of Revelation, you have numbers oftentimes used symbolically. You have the seven spirits of God, for example. There aren't seven holy spirits, but it's this picture of perfection.

The lamb that has these seven horns, it's this picture of perfect power and so forth. Even the mark of the beast, the number 666, six being the number of man, of flesh, if you will. Creation, not yet reaching consummation or Sabbath or perfection. We have to understand that the book of Revelation oftentimes uses numbers in these ways.

That's why I think Christ is presently reigning. During this age, this present evil age where Jesus is enthroned and continues to reign and the gospel is advancing, there is marriage, but in the new creation, it seems to me on the basis of what Jesus says in the gospels, that people aren't given in marriage. In the new creation, we're going to have the reality, the marriage supper of the lamb. Our earthly marriages here on earth are a type, a picture of that heavenly reality that the entire world in the new creation is going to experience. Hopefully, that provides some clarification for you.

That's at least how I unpack that text. And I appreciate your question. May the Lord bless you. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Another question about marriage, but more practical question from Josh in Nebraska. Josh, what's your question for Adriel?

Hi, Adriel. Thanks for taking my call. Thanks for your ministry. I was wondering if there was any specific scripture in the Bible that talks about marriage today as far as how it's to be performed. Do we have to abide by man's law and get a piece of paper and, you know, stand in front of an audience? Or can we, can people just come together and pray with God and ask them to ordain them and join them in marriage? Yeah.

Hey, I appreciate your question. I would say, look, marriage as a common institution is something that, I mean, it does exhibit these glorious spiritual realities, like I just said, the picture of the gospel, the relationship that exists between Christ and his church. But marriage is something that's given to mankind, to humanity. And so, you know, there are non-Christians who get married.

And a part of that is that legal process, that piece of paper. Marriage as a reality, I think even in scripture, is more than just two people saying, hey, let's just say a prayer and then we're married. No, marriage is a picture of this covenant. What is a covenant? What is a covenant? It's this binding contractual relationship.

And so I think going about it in that way, you know, you get the, you know, whatever that piece of paper from the thing that I sign oftentimes when I'm performing a wedding, you know, afterwards you sign that as the minister together with other witnesses. These two people are brought together by law. And so there's that element, but then there's also the spiritual element coming before the Lord. God ultimately is the one who joins these two people together. That's why Jesus said what man has joined together, let no man separate. And so my encouragement to couples, to young couples, is go about it in that way. Marriage is this binding thing.

It's such a beautiful, you know, C.S. Lewis in his book, Mere Christianity, he has a chapter on marriage. And it's, I think, one of the best things ever written about marriage and marital love. And one of the things he highlights is in our culture today, people think of, you know, being in love like catching the cold. It's, you know, I fell into love.

We're in love now. And you have those feelings for a while, just like you have a cold for a while, and then you don't have it anymore. And as a result, you know, there are a lot of people who, you know, they get this love sickness, if you will. They've fallen in love. They get married and things are great. And then when they lose those feelings, they think, okay, well, this isn't working for me anymore.

It's not making me happy like it was, or you're not making me happy like you were. And so they just separate. And what we lack today is an understanding of marriage as this commitment, as this binding commitment before God and before witnesses.

I think we need to recover that. And I think one of the ways we do that as Christians in this world is by having a high view of marriage, not just saying, hey, we're going to sit down and pray together and then be married and nobody's going to know about it. I mean, I don't even think that you can do that. That's not what it is. And so we exhibit to the world around us and value marriage by going through these steps, I would say, and being committed to each other in quote unquote covenant before God, reflecting that great relationship that exists between Christ and the church. And of course, culturally, different cultures do different things.

And we're not talking, some circumstances may make this very difficult depending on where an individual lives and the laws there and so forth. I'm just saying here, this is what's available to us. And so we should avail ourselves to those things and go about it in this way.

Thanks for your question. So glad you mentioned C.S. Lewis's chapter on marriage and mere Christianity. I think every Christian, single or married, should read that. He talks about how, one example is how the violin and the bow are one musical instrument. They're basically complementary.

They need each other. And it's such a powerful, some powerful metaphors in that chapter. So get that if you haven't ever read a mere Christianity. Of course, a lot of other wonderful things about the Christian faith in there as well. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and we have a new resource for you we want to tell you about. In fact, if you're a parent or a grandparent of teenagers, this is a resource you definitely will want to get. Yeah, I should probably start reading it now. I mean, it's not too long, but I'm going to have teenagers here in a couple of years.

And Bill, I know you do. The booklet is called How to Keep Your Faith After High School. No matter what age, age you're in, it's never easy to bring a Christian up in today's culture. There are all sorts of challenges that young people, and we heard about some of those challenges earlier today on the broadcast in terms of sexuality and identity. So many voices trying to vie for our attention and for the attention of our kids and our grandkids.

And so we need to be well-equipped. And that's what this resource is going to help you to be and help your family to be, How to Keep Your Faith After High School. You can head over to forward slash offers to get your physical copy of our new booklet, and I hope that you will. So many parents right now concerned about preteens or teenagers and what they're facing in our culture. And then, of course, as we said, as they go off to college, especially if they go to a state university, they're going to be bombarded with anti-Christian ideas. And this would be a great book for you to get for your child or grandchild. You can find it by going to forward slash offers.

Look for How to Keep Your Faith After High School. Well, we do receive voicemails here at the core, and here's one that came in from one of our listeners named John. I'm a pastor in Iowa, and my question this morning has to do with the general gathering of the church outside Sunday mornings. Last night, we had our monthly prayer meeting, and my wife, who is a wonderful mother of three, made the comment after we left, why do I even go to these? I just find myself watching the kids, which I could do at home.

Oh. And so I just want you to speak a little bit and maybe give a little bit of encouragement to the mothers out there who load up their children and go through the stress of the rigor of getting into church, because it is important to be there, and it is important to gather. So thanks for all you do.

God bless. Brother, I have had that conversation with my wife. In fact, we had a community group last Wednesday night at our place, and we got a ton of little kids in our church, and my wife told me afterwards, Adriel, you're going to have to find somebody else to watch these kids.

Otherwise, this is going to be a problem, because we got all these kids running around. You know, here it can be a challenge. So I just want to encourage the two of you. One, God bless your wife, and God bless all the pastors' wives out there. But certainly, this is where the church needs to step up, and where we also, I think as pastors, need to step up and say, okay, we need to work together to support each other. And certainly the pastor's wife needs a ton of support and a ton of encouragement. And so God bless you guys, and God bless her especially.

I hope she gets to hear this. Now, how important are these other gatherings? Look, we can be so loaded down in the church with extra gatherings. There's this sort of like, right, we got to have a program for this and a program for that. And if you're not careful, as a pastor, and I'm speaking here from experience as an area where I think I can grow too, you can find yourself involved in all of these different things that are happening or a part of it in some way.

And of course, you're dragging your family into this inevitably. And so I think there's a question here about just, you know, approaching this in a good way, in a healthy way, delegating, letting other people use the gifts that God has given to them for the continued building up of the church. And I think that that's really important.

So maybe that's a part of the conversation that you guys need to have. But additionally, I would say, for young families, especially, I think the priority has to be worship on the Lord's day. So many people have so many other things. I mean, you're just a young family, you know, got work during the day, you're trying to spend time with your family in the evenings, and the church is saying, hey, we want you to go to this prayer meeting, and then this Bible study, and this other thing. And we can really exhaust people, I think, with that. I think we should provide these kinds of things as churches as an encouragement for others, if there's space. And if it's not you having to do everything, you know, let other people use their gifts as well to bless the body. But fundamentally, I think we have to say, the focus and where we want to drive people to is to sit under the ministry of the word every Lord's day, to receive the sacraments of grace, the body and blood of Jesus Christ by faith, and to be built up in that. That's how we grow together as the body of Christ under the ministry of the word together with the saints. And from that, you should have these other things that are blossoming out. Maybe those are, you know, practical things that the church does, like Bible studies or prayer groups, or whatnot. But you shouldn't be the one who's having to lead every single thing.

Because if you are, you're going to be exhausted and burned out. And that's a huge weight for your family to carry. And so may God bless you, and may God bless your wife as well, and keep you guys in service to Him. Thanks. 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 / 2023-05-15 18:40:37 / 2023-05-15 18:50:57 / 10

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