Is America modern-day Babylon? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. Our phone lines are open right now, and you can ask your question by calling us at 833-THE-CORE. Of course, you can always email us your question as well. Here's our address. It's questions-at-core-christianity.com. First up today, let's go to Danny calling in from Topeka, Kansas. Danny, what's your question for Adriel?
Yes, thank you. A friend and I were discussing whether or not it is a sin to drink beer, and we discussed Ephesians 5, 18 and Romans 14, 21-23, and she is of the opinion that if I drink beer, I cannot be a Christian. So I wanted to know if you could answer this for me, please.
Danny, thank you for that question. Is it a sin to drink beer? If it's bad beer, yes, maybe. I love that you brought up that text, Romans 14, verses 21-23. There, the apostle Paul is speaking about the freedom of conscience that we have, the liberty that we have in Christ, but the fact that we don't want to do anything that's going to cause a brother or sister to stumble. He says in verse 21, it is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.
The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. And in that context, especially with regard to food sacrifice to idols, there were some Christians that were coming from pagan backgrounds, and so to eat certain meats, it was a stumbling block for them, and if you were a Christian and you were engaging in that around them and their conscience was wounded, that could lead to their own struggle. And so Paul is saying, look, we want to be charitable with each other, and similarly today with alcoholism and the many people who struggle with that and people who have come to Christ from that background, we want to be sensitive, we want to be careful, but is it a sin in and of itself to have a beer? I would say that the answer is no, just like with everything else, we want to exercise moderation and self-control, and so beer is not a sin. Having a glass of wine is not a sin. You can have a clear conscience about that, but for some people, if they don't have a clear conscience, then I would say no, you should abstain.
You shouldn't do that. And if you can't do that in faith, and this of course is what the Apostle Paul says, then you ought not to do it. So it's more of a complex question because even though, as I said, it's not a sin in and of itself to have a beer or a glass of wine, it could be a stumbling block for others, and that's where we need to exercise wisdom and charity and sensitivity to our brothers and sisters in Christ, and so may God grant you that wisdom in your own life and encourage you in whatever you do, doing it in faith and to the glory of God. The other text that you brought up in Ephesians 5 says don't be drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit, and to be drunk with something is to be under its influence, and so the big question for us as Christians is are we under the influence of the Holy Spirit? Is it the Spirit of God that we're filled with through meditation upon the Word of God and prayer? Are we being led by the Spirit, guided by the Holy Spirit in our lives? Are we being led by something else?
Are we consuming something else that is filling us and leading us and guiding us? And so, again, we have to exercise wisdom, self-control, and may God help us all in that. Thank you, Danny, for your question.
Good counsel. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Jared calling in from Texas. Jared, what's your question for Adriel?
Hi, thank you all for the program and I'm sorry for the repetitive nature of these calls. I guess my question has to do with just a struggle I'm experiencing in my personal walk with regard to just the doctrine of regeneration. And so in my personal study, you know, I've been seeing the truth over and over again that we're saved by grace apart from works and only by faith in Christ Jesus alone. That we're saved for good works, you know, it mentions that in Titus and Ephesians, but also that there's still a struggle with the flesh that Paul lays out in Romans.
And then I know the past few days there's been people talking about the Matthew 7 21 to 23 text. And I guess taking all of that, the amalgam of that, and in my own personal life, whether it's the OCD that hasn't been diagnosed or just severe spiritual warfare, I don't know. But there's times where it feels like my heart's hardening, my affections are warped. I've mentioned, you know, blasphemous thoughts. And it's destroying me in many ways, trying to balance faith in works. And it feels like when I run to Christ and I'm not sure if I'm deceiving myself or, you know, it just becomes a mess and I'm scared.
Well, Jared, the first thing I want to say to you is that you don't have to apologize for calling in with this question if you call in, you know, multiple times. I'm grateful that you call in and I just want to preach the gospel to you and remind you of the great affection that Jesus Christ has for you. Our affections are waning, in fact, and our hearts do grow cold from time to time and we are in that battle with the flesh. The good news of the gospel is that the love of God and the grace of God does not wane. His mercy does not run dry.
In fact, his mercies are new every single morning for you. And I just, again, want to remind you, brother, that you are not alone in this struggle and in having these feelings. I think I've mentioned to you before, there was a long season in my own life where I, I mean, I would have said all of the same things that you're saying right now. And I know it's, I just, I know how real that battle is.
And so my heart goes out to you, my friend. And I think it truly is, you know, the fight to fix our eyes on the cross of Christ and the love of God and really to believe that it's there for you. Because you're right, when we look inside and we feel that struggle and we think about the thoughts that we've had and then, of course, you think, why, how could I think that thought if I was really a Christian?
I don't want to have that thought. And then you're in this, this battle with your mind where you're having these thoughts that you don't want to have. And it's like, wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this body of death? Like Paul says in Romans chapter seven, thanks be to God that there are, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
And so it's continuing to flee to that, to run to that. And I know that that's what you're doing. You're in the battle, you're in the fight, and I'm here just to encourage you in that to say, keep fixing your eyes on Christ, keep going to the gospel, turning away from yourself, your sins, recognizing, right, that no matter how bad the thoughts are or how serious the struggle is, Jesus is able. His blood, his mercy, his grace is enough.
Satan would want to convince us, would want to convince you that you're beyond redemption. That God is, you know, he doesn't have goodwill towards you, he doesn't want the best for you, but that's not what the Bible teaches. By the way, I was actually, Jared, thinking of you not long ago, and I, there's this, I'm not sure if you've read much Martin Luther, but Luther's commentary on the book of Galatians, there's a great edition published by, I think it's 1517 Press, Martin Luther's commentary on the book of Galatians, a commentary on the Bible that sounds, you know, kind of academic and heady, no.
His commentary on Galatians is really helpful, I think, in terms of working through some of these things and just being honest about the struggle, and so I want to recommend that resource to you. And then just, you know, just to encourage you with a passage of scripture, what John says in 1 John 4, verse 7, Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. God took the initiative for you and for me. It wasn't our love, it's not your love that drew God to you, it was his love. He already has exhibited it to us in the gospel.
This is how it was manifested, this is how he shows it forth. It's in sending Jesus to be the propitiation for your sins, for that struggle that you have, those feelings that you wrestle with. And so knowing, brother, that God has already shown forth his love for you, and it's there at the cross, and so continuing to cling to that great promise and to lay hold of it by faith, and let's just pray for our brother Jared now that the Lord would encourage him and be with him. Father, we thank you for Jared, thank you for his deep desire, Lord, to honor you and to walk with you, and Lord, he's serious about it, Lord, as he thinks about his life and the ways that he falls short, he is grieved, Lord, because of his sins, questioning, Lord, at times, even your love, whether or not you are with him. And so, Lord Jesus, I pray that you would remind him that you are indeed with him, that you have shown forth your love, gracious Father, for him by sending Jesus into the world, and God, that you would grant him eyes to see and a heart to receive every day, and for all of us, Lord, we need that. Remind us, Lord, as we struggle with sin, as we feel beat up and condemned at times, remind us, Lord God, of the power of your love and of your great grace, and so would you please be with Jared today, fill him with your spirit, and continue to bless him and to be with him. I thank you for him, Lord, in Jesus' name, amen. Amen. Jared, thanks so much for your call, for listening to Core Christianity. We'll continue to pray for you in that situation.
We'd love to hear from you. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, our phone lines will be open for the next 10 minutes or so. Here's the number. It's 833-THECORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Mel calling in from Indiana. Mel, what's your question for Adriel?
Hi, thank you so much for taking my call. I have been with my husband for 15 years, and I found God a couple of years ago and got rebaptized. And my son recently, who is about to be seven, I had the beautiful opportunity of baptizing him on Mother's Day. And my question is, my husband is not a godly man. I've tried to get him to read the case for Christ and other resources I've suggested.
I pray for him, but he just refuses to accept Lord as his savior, and I guess I'm just looking for advice or just things that I can do so that my son is raised in a godly home. Well, God bless you, and may the Lord be with you, and by the power of the Holy Spirit give you wisdom, and may the Lord be with your husband as well. Let's pray for Mel's husband. Father, we lift this man up to you, and God, I do pray that you would open his heart to you to receive your grace. I pray that you would fill our sister with your Holy Spirit, that you would give her wisdom as she seeks to raise her children in you, to love them, to nourish them in the word of the truth. And as she seeks to live a life, Lord, that's honoring to you and that exhibits the fruit of the Holy Spirit, that her husband would see the power of your spirit at work, Lord Jesus, in her life, and that he would be drawn to that, that he would be drawn to you, that you would open his eyes, Lord, to see his great need of the forgiveness of sins, to be united to you, Lord Jesus. So please be at work in this home, bringing your peace and bringing your salvation, O God, we pray in Jesus' name.
Amen. Sister, the two texts of Scripture in the New Testament, which you may be familiar with, if you're not, I would say write these down. The first one is 1 Corinthians 7, and the second one is 1 Peter 3. And in both of those texts, the apostles are addressing spouses' wives who are married to non-believers, and they give a very similar encouragement. You know, Paul in 1 Corinthians 7 says if your non-believing spouse, you know, he wants to be married, he agrees to be together. Well, that's a good thing, right? And he even says in verse 14, the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife.
He uses a verb there. There's this positive influence, this sanctifying influence that you can have in your husband's life. And he goes, you know, the other side of that is true, too. The unbelieving wife, if the situation was different, well, she's made holy because of her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. That is, because you are a believer in Jesus Christ, God claims your children as well, Mel, raising them in the nurturing admonition of the Lord, talking to your son about scripture and taking him to church, right?
I think that's how you go about it, and I think that's what you want to be doing. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so, Paul says. In such cases, the brother or sister is not bound or enslaved, but 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? And then Peter, in 1 Peter 3, he says, likewise, wives, this is verse 1, be subject to your own husband, so that even if some do not obey the word, by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct, excuse me, even if some do not obey the word, they may be one without a word, he says, by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct, do not let your adorning be external, the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold and jewelry or the clothing you wear, but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. And then Peter says, look, continue, it's not all about the external appearance, it's the beauty of the heart, that heart sanctified by the grace of God in seeking to love your husband, to honor him, and to be a godly wife, a good wife, and in this case, a wife who also wants to continually share the love of Christ with your husband, and so may God give you opportunities and open the doors and open his heart as you seek to be faithful to the Lord in raising your son in the truth of Scripture, and also in loving your husband that he might be one to Christ, and of course, let me just add there, you know, when the New Testament talks in this way, it's not that you can save your husband, it's not that that burden is on you per se, this is a work of the Holy Spirit, and so you're trusting in the Lord as you seek to be obedient and faithful to Jesus and walk with him and pray for your husband, and you're saying, Lord, you do the work, you do it only you can do, and may God indeed do that work by his Spirit. Thanks for giving us a call, and God bless you, sister.
Some good counsel, thanks for that, Adriel. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Just a programming note, we're going to be recording a second episode of the Core after this live program ends here in just a few minutes. So if you weren't able to call in, you can still call us for the next 35 minutes or so at 833-THE-CORE. We'd love to receive your call and answer your question about the Bible or the Christian life.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Feel free to call us right now or any time again in the next 35 minutes or so. I also want to mention we have a great resource available. If you're a parent or grandparent of a teenager, you will love this. It will really help you with your teens. It's called How to Keep Your Faith After High School.
Yeah, Bill, this is an excellent booklet, especially for your kids or grandkids, as Bill was just saying there. One of the things we want to do here at Core Christianity is help you and equip you and your family for engaging with the rest of the world. The difficult questions that people ask, the difficult things that our children are going to be going through and have to respond to in the world. So it's on us, I think, as parents and as educators and as pastors to make sure that we are equipping our family well and that we are well equipped to deal with some of the objections to the Christian faith and to address some of the things that are out there. So get ahold of this resource again, How to Keep Your Faith After High School, and you can do so by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. You know, such a vital issue given what's happening in our culture today.
You want to make sure your child is equipped, especially if they're going off to a secular college or university and some of the philosophical attacks that take place on college students in this day and age. So feel free to go to our website to find this again. It's corechristianity.com forward slash offers again, corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Well, let's go to a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners.
This one is from Dustin. I had a question for you, and what you thought about mystery Babylon in the Bible. And I just wanted to know what you thought did you think America's mystery Babylon and, and if you don't, why not.
If you do, why? The reason I'm asking is because when I do process of elimination of all the countries that could possibly be mystery Babylon, the only one that keeps coming up is America, unfortunately. And what does that mean for us as Americans? If it's true, what do we do?
What's our next step? So you're referring to Babylon as it's described at the very end of the book of Revelation, really the last handful of chapters focus on this in Revelation chapter 17, 18 and 19. You have really the fall of Babylon. Now Babylon in the Old Testament, of course, under Nebuchadnezzar came against the people of God. And so when the New Testament, when the book of Revelation in particular talks about Babylon, it's, it's drawing from Old Testament imagery, this empire that was persecuting the people of God. And you have it the same language, you know, with, with regard to Babylon used in the New Testament at times with reference to the Roman Empire. You see that, for example, I think in Peter's epistles here in the book of Revelation, there have been some who have applied mystery Babylon to Jerusalem, fallen Jerusalem, apostate Jews.
There have been some, probably most people early on applying it to the Roman Empire. My view is that when you read the book of Revelation, and especially when you get to these last chapters, Babylon, mystery Babylon, better, it's better not to just identify it with one particular country or empire, but thinking of it as this evil demonic system that continues to manifest itself throughout history and is characterized by certain things. It's characterized by idolatry, it's characterized by sexual immorality, it's characterized by having this seducing influence, it tries to lead people astray. It's characterized by this sort of ungodly prosperity and drunkenness and opulence.
Revelation chapter 18 verse 11 says, the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, this is speaking of her fall, since no one buys their cargo anymore, cargo of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, all kinds of scented wood, all kinds of articles of ivory, all kinds of articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots and slaves, that is human souls. So one of the things that's characteristic about Babylon is the objectification of human beings, the minimizing of the image of God. And we do see that all over the place. One of the tragic things, the United States is the primary exporter in the world of pornography. You talk about the objectification of people made in the image of God.
So these are serious things. I would say we see the spirit of Babylon in various places manifesting itself, not just I think here, but in the entire world. And that's kind of John's point at the end of the book of Revelation, is there is this seducing influence that we, the saints, believers in God, need to be on guard against, worshipping the true and the living God, and following him and not getting sucked into the idolatry that's out there in the world today. God bless. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
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