How can I know if my work is something that God would approve of? 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 with your question right now.
In fact, we'll be taking calls for the next 25 minutes or so. The phone number? It's 833-THECORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites. We're on YouTube. You can watch Adriel live on YouTube and send him a question that way. And of course, you can always email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Brian.
Hey, Brian, thank you for that question. The language of being unequally yoked comes from 2 Corinthians 6, verses 14 and following, where Paul said but I do think that that could create definitely strain in the relationship, of course, depending upon the doctrine. Is this something that is gonna affect potentially raising a family together, what that looks like, what discipleship looks like? I know where it really gets played out is in the context of picking a church. Which church are we going to go to? And if there's a strong doctrinal disagreement, if one person says, oh, I think we need to go to this church, because of the worship style or because of the theology on this point, and then the other person says, well, no, I don't think so at all, then that could create problems. And so my encouragement is always, you know, especially for couples that are dating where there are theological differences, to really engage in discussion, to talk about those things, maybe talk to a couple different pastors, to dig into the scriptures together, and hopefully to be able to come, you know, come to some agreement to get on the same page around the Word of God around the truth. And so there's, you know, it's not the same thing as being unequally yoked, but it could pose some problems, and so we want to exercise wisdom and make sure that we're having those discussions, especially if we're thinking about marriage. Thank you for your question.
That's some really good advice. Back when I was in college, I knew a girl who said she talked to angels, and I didn't think that was a good idea to date her. And now you guys are married, right? Oh, that was not your wife, okay.
That's not her, but that was a different one. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, angels dancing on the head of a pin, whatever it might be, we are open to your call. Here's the number, 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Wallace calling in from Nashville, Tennessee. Wallace, what's your question for Adriel? Hey Wallace, are you there? I guess we don't have Wallace.
Oh, maybe we lost Wallace. All right. Well, here's a question from email that you can answer from Donna. She says, what would God say, and this is a tough one because it deals with current events in the news, what would God say about the Marine who killed Jordan Neely on the New York City subway? Was that vigilantism, which is a sin, or just someone trying to protect people from what he thought was a threat, even though Neely was unarmed but mentally ill?
Oh, yeah, Bill, that is a tough one, and I'm sure, I mean, we've all been seeing that story on the news. So one, I think that the Bible does give room for self-defense and for protecting ourselves. Now, if we're talking about persecution for the faith, there's something different there. I mean, but just generally speaking, you see this in the law of Moses, you see this specifically in terms of how God outlined things for his people under the Old Testament, but I think there are general principles that we can derive from that, and this idea of wanting to protect and preserve life, and so if somebody is causing danger. But this is one of those situations I'd be afraid to say too much, Bill, because I'm not aware of all of the details, and I think a lot of times when stuff like this happens, immediately people just jump to conclusions, and so we want to be careful as Christians. I think just in terms of exercising wisdom, and when something like this happens, and it's all over the news because everybody has their cell phone camera and they're videotaping things, immediately people will say, well, this is what happened. And Bill, I don't know if you have more information, but I think simply what I would say is in situations where someone is a danger to other people, then I think the intervention is okay. Now, the question is, was the intervention too much? I mean, this led to someone's death, and this is where you have to think about wisdom and the application of the truth of God's word and the law of God too.
I mean, when Scripture talks about not murdering, we extrapolate from that not just the call not to kill, but also the call to preserve life and to be for the flourishing of life. And so those are some of the principles that need to inform this kind of discussion, and I just want to be careful with coming in and conclusions just from my own ignorance because I haven't been keeping up with the story. And I don't know if you know more, Bill, about what happened if you've been reading up on this more.
You know, I think you made a really good point. It's one of those very complicated situations, and I think one of the issues you raised is in his self-defense, did this guy go too far causing the death of Jordan Neely? And I guess all that will come out with the trial and, you know, what we learned. But a very tragic situation, obviously a very troubled young man, and it's terrible that he lost his life, but we weren't there on the subway car, so we didn't see what actually happened. We've just seen, you know, some of the videos and heard some of the reports, but tragic situation. And I think what's particularly tragic is we have so many individuals in our society right now who are mentally ill, some of them a danger to themselves or others, and it doesn't seem like our big cities are doing much to really help those individuals. Yeah, well, I mean, there's definitely, when it comes to mental health, a ton of need. I mean, we just see the brokenness all around us, and so, yeah, that is, I think, a part of the tragedy, and may God help us as a church to take that seriously and to really care for and come alongside of those who are in need.
Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about doctrine, theology, maybe a Bible passage that's always been kind of confusing to you, we'd love to hear from you. Our phone lines will be open for the next 15 minutes or so. Here's the number. It's 1-833-843-2673.
That's 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to Wallace in Nashville, Tennessee. Wallace, what's your question for Adriel? How you doing, Pastor? I'm doing well. Wallace, how are you?
Just fine, fine. My question today is, I guess it's probably about your feelings for me, but where was the Old Testament Saints before the coming of the death of Christ? I mean, I heard this thing about Abraham's boom, but I've never seen anything like that in the Bible. But where were they, and when did Christ take them to heaven, or when did they go to hell? Okay, yeah, a couple of passages that you're bringing up here.
Ephesians, chapter 4, beginning in verse 7, Grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it says, when he ascended on high, he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men. In saying that he ascended, what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions of the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens that he might fill all things. And so you have Christ destroying death by his death, and then ascending into heaven after his resurrection, and there leading captivity captive. And the question is, well, who did he take with him there, that host of captives, and you brought up Abraham's bosom. That actually is described in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 16, where Jesus tells the story of the rich man and Lazarus.
This is verse 19. There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table.
Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. You could also translate that Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.
So that's where you get the language. So the idea was that prior to what took place in Ephesians, chapter 4, you had the people of God who, by the way, are saved by grace through faith, even in the Old Testament. This is Paul's point with regard to Abraham in Romans, chapter 4. But taken to this place of the dead, if you will, the righteous being there by Abraham's side. So this kind of paradise, this kind of existence in joy, in the presence of God, again looking forward to the Gospel, while the wicked were in torment and Jesus ascending into heaven, you know, loosing the bonds of death, then carrying them with him into heaven, into the presence of God.
So that's one idea that's there, coming out of both of those texts that you brought up, Wallace, and appreciate you giving us a call with that question. But I think fundamentally the big thing we have to reiterate over and over again is that people throughout redemptive history were saved, have been saved the exact same way. Even those who came before us, those who existed in the Old Testament prior to the coming of Jesus Christ, it's not like they were saved by works and were saved by grace. They were saved by grace through faith, looking forward to the promise of the Gospel, the coming Messiah. And they could see that promise in the various types and shadows of the sacrificial system that God gave them in the Old Testament, you know, the animal sacrifices and so forth. And so they had even their pictures of the Gospel that would be fulfilled when Jesus came.
And when John the Baptist said, Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. And so appreciate your question. May the Lord bless you. Thanks, Wallace. Appreciate you listening to Core Christianity. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, we still have a few minutes left. If you'd like to call us, here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. If you're the parent of a teenager or the grandparent of a teenager, or maybe an aunt or uncle of a teenager, hey, we've got a great new resource for you, especially as your teens are getting ready to head off to college. Yeah, the resource is called How to Keep Your Faith After High School written by Kendra Dahl. And it's an excellent booklet that you can go through with your kids or grandkids on how to be tethered to the truth, especially as, you know, kids graduate from high school and they go off to college or whatever it is that they do after school wanting to make sure that they're still grounded in the Gospel.
Just a few different chapters. One, getting the Gospel right. Two, belonging to a true church. Three, know what you believe and why. And four, cling to the goodness of God. These are four things that are really important for all of us, really, but especially for those who are going off to college and need to be grounded, especially considering, you know, some of the things they're going to be exposed to and, you know, engaging with there out in the world. So get a hold of this resource, How to Keep Your Faith After High School. So important. I have a good friend who has talked about this at length and says there's basically two attacks that occur on the average college campus. There's the philosophical attack on your faith and there's the moral attack on your faith. And our young people need to be prepared. And this is a great way to do that.
Again, it's called How to Keep Your Faith After High School. And you can find that by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Well, we do receive voicemails here at the core. In fact, you can call us 24 hours a day. Leave your question on our voicemail system. When you do, let us know where you're calling from as well. Here's that number, 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Here's a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners named Eric. My mother, who is a member at my church, has a job and she is a part of these possibility shops, as they call them. And what they do at these shops is they hand out clean syringes. It's kind of to anybody who may have an addiction, but it's also to people who use insulin for their diabetes out on the streets, who can't afford syringes or don't have healthcare. And my question was related to how we view a situation where you're trying to build a relationship with someone through caring for a very real need they have, which is to use a clean needle.
How do you justify maybe working for a foundation like that where it seems like it might cause someone to stumble, but it also does benefit the community because they're able to build relationships, prevent HIV and AIDS and all this stuff from being transmitted, and things such as that. I appreciate your input. Thank you. Wow.
Just another very complex question, Bill. And this is actually one that's near and dear to me in part because I guess I didn't know that that's what they were called, these possibility shops. But I know that this happens in the neighborhood where I live. And I can't tell you how many times walking down the street with our kids, my wife and I have seen a syringe on the ground.
We've picked it up and found a place to put it away from where somebody else might pick it up or a kid might step on it. And I've wondered in the past, are these possibility shops contributing to the problem? I think that's the big question that people ask. Is this just enabling people to continue with their addiction?
Is it encouraging even more drug use? Well, a couple of things. You asked how can your mom, who's a believer in Jesus, sounds to me like she has a heart of compassion, like she wants to serve people who are really in need. How can she do that with a clear conscience here?
Is she helping people to do something bad? Well, the truth is, you don't know 100% what an individual is going to do with this. Maybe like you said, it's somebody who's on the street and can't afford needles for insulin. You know there are probably going to be some people who use these for drugs.
You also know that there are individuals, especially who are consumed and being destroyed by addiction, who are going to use whatever needle that they can find. And I know that there's been some research that shows that these kinds of possibility clinics or whatever we call them, that they've helped to reduce the spread of HIV. And so insofar as that's the case, I think that you could see that as something good. As Christians, we want to do good to all people, especially those of the household of faith, but for everyone. So if this is helping in that regard, potentially helping to, in one sense, stop the spread of hepatitis or HIV, I think that's another positive way of looking at it.
But this certainly, just like with the previous question, requires a lot of wisdom. I do want to say, God bless your mother. I think we as Christians do need to be engaged in our communities and maybe it is an opportunity for her to look someone in the eye who is just ravaged by the effects of sin and drug addiction and to extend the love of Christ in a tangible way, but maybe even to have opportunities to share the gospel and share Christ with people who are desperate. And so because we don't know and because we don't have all knowledge, we don't know what an individual is going to do with this, I think there's a little bit of freedom there.
But again, there's probably more research that needs to be done in terms of how this actually affects a community and hopefully it is contributing to the slow of the spread of deadly diseases. And so God bless you and God bless your mom and God bless those who are struggling with addiction. May the Lord Jesus break those chains and help us again as the church to be engaged with those who desperately need the gospel. Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.
Let's go to Melanie calling in from Indiana. Melanie, what's your question for Adriel? My question is in regards to prayer. It feels like I'm not, let me tell you, a year ago I lost my daughter. I stood by her bed for four months watching her go and I prayed all four months and I know that in my mind, you know, it isn't, you know, but I just don't feel like I'm doing it right.
I don't feel like I'm being, I don't know if it's the way I'm doing it or what, but I don't feel like I'm being heard. Well, first, Melanie, my condolences. I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter. May the Lord Jesus comfort you and continue to comfort you. And prayer, you know, you're not alone. I don't know any Christian, I've never spoken to any believer who has said, I don't struggle with this. All of us as Christians struggle to pray. I think this is one of the reasons why the disciples came to Jesus and they didn't say, Lord, teach us how to do miracles, you know, or Lord, teach us how to preach like you do.
Do you remember what they say to him? I think it's in Luke's gospel. They say, Lord, teach us how to pray.
And that's when Jesus gave them the Lord's prayer found in Luke's gospel, but also in Matthew chapter six. And fundamentally, I think you need to understand that first and foremost, when we come to God in prayer, we're coming through Jesus Christ. And so even though you're coming and you feel like, I don't know if my prayers are, I don't know if it's totally right.
I don't know if I'm saying this right or doing it right. I just want you to know that if you are in Jesus, if you're trusting in him, then you have access to God the Father through prayer, that you can come boldly to the throne of grace, not because your prayers are perfect and not because your life is perfect. Our prayers, our lives are not perfect. We still struggle, but we can come boldly because we're coming through Jesus. And so we want to be sincere when we pray.
You know, we're not putting on a show, and so you don't feel like you have to, you know, I got to use old King James English in order to pray or something like that. No, just coming to the Lord and pouring your heart out to him. And sometimes that can be painful. You know, sometimes that's lamentation, crying out to God and saying, why? And you see examples of that throughout the Psalms.
Sometimes it's joy. It's, God, thank you for this blessing in my life. Thank you for your goodness. Thank you for your salvation. But it's being honest with God, sincerely coming to him, and being mindful of the fact that you're approaching the true and the living God. I think that's in part what Jesus is getting at in Matthew chapter 6, verses 5 and following. When he introduces the Lord's Prayer, it's praying with faith.
You know, the author of the Hebrews says that the one who comes to God must believe that he is and that he's a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. We pray in faith. We pray with persistence. When we think about what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 7, verses 7 through 11, shortly after, you know, instructing us about the Lord's Prayer, he says, ask and it will be given to you.
Seek and you will find. Knock and it will be opened to you, for everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and the one who knocks, it will be opened. And so don't quit with your prayers. When you feel like, I don't know if God is hearing me, no, be persistent.
In fact, Jesus gives the story of the persistent widow, or the parable of the persistent widow, in Luke chapter 18, verses 1 through 8. I encourage you, Melanie, to read that text, Luke 18, 1 through 8. And we pray according to God's will. You know, we're letting God's word shape how we pray. And so use, I would say, the Lord's Prayer. When you're struggling, when you feel like you don't have the words, go to the Lord's Prayer and slowly read through the Lord's Prayer, each of the petitions in the Lord's Prayer, meditating on them, and going to the Lord, again, sincerely, with faith, and knowing that God hears you, not because of the perfection of your prayers, but because of the fact that you are in Christ, that you belong to Jesus, and so you can come to God boldly. And may God help you and encourage you. And again, just that reminder that this is something we all wrestle with. And so may God help us all to cultivate that healthy habit of prayer in our lives. Amen.
You're listening to Core Christianity. Let's go to Jay, calling in from Nebraska. Jay, what's your question for Adriel? Hi. I guess my question, my concern is with – can you hear me okay? Yeah, I can hear you.
Okay. My concern is that through the public school system, you know, there's not – I'm not seeing a turnaround where Christian principals are being taught in public school. You know, it's under attack, and with the children, you know, they're the future. So if we don't – if we're not giving them the opportunity to learn Christian values, either through homeschooling or through a Christian school, or a school like Acton Academy is a type of school that doesn't take funding, state or federal, so they have the right to kind of control, you know, to allow Christian principals to be taught, because they're the future.
So how do I go about talking to people in my life and in work about taking their kids out of public school, because the change really isn't happening. We're like fighting just to be able to pray there. Hey, so Jay, I think that's an excellent question. We are just about out of time for the broadcast, so I think what we're going to try to do is maybe open up tomorrow's broadcast with this question, with your question. The first thing I'll say, or the only thing I'll say right now, is I think you're onto something in terms of wanting to make sure that we're raising our kids in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and being mindful of the influences that are being fed into them.
And so we need to be wise. We want to address this question with wisdom, so tune in tomorrow. Thanks and God bless. 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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