This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and we're starting off today's program on a sad note. In case you haven't heard, well-known pastor and author Tim Keller passed away this morning. Tim was the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and the author of numerous bestselling books. Tim had been battling pancreatic cancer for the past two years, and he died with his family by his side this morning. He told them he was ready to meet Jesus. And Adriel, you and I have talked about our respect for Tim Keller many times, and before we get to some of our calls and questions today, can I ask you to comment for a moment on Tim's legacy?
Yeah. You know, I was just reading the Twitter post from his Twitter this morning shared by his son. Just the announcement, Timothy J. Keller, husband, father, grandfather, mentor, friend, pastor, and scholar, died this morning at home.
Dad waited until he was alone with mom. She kissed him on the forehead, and he breathed his last. We take comfort in some of his last words. There is no downside for me leaving.
Not in the slightest. See you soon, Dad. And, Bill, I'm just reminded of that verse in the Psalms, Psalm 116 verse 15. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. We believe that when someone is in Christ, when they die, immediately they pass into glory in their souls, their spirits.
They're perfected in holiness, waiting for the glorious resurrection of the dead. And just in terms of Tim's life and the impact he had on so many, including myself, I mean, he was known as a pastor who masterfully preached Jesus in a way that engaged not just Christians, but even skeptics and non-believers. His book on preaching, I read it some years ago as when we were first starting in ministry.
It's just an excellent, excellent book highlighting the centrality of Christ and how to preach in a compelling way. He also helped to create just a movement of church planting that extended across denominations. So many church planters, myself included, have been helped by his work. He has an amazing book, Center Church, that just is really practical and insightful in terms of planting churches and how to engage your particular community. He made a strong case for the importance of planting more churches.
So there's a lot of that that we see around us in various denominations. Part of that was his influence and the impact he had even on New York City. And he was a model also.
This is one of the things I appreciated about him so much. He was a model for how Christians should engage with skeptics and critics. For him, it wasn't just a strategy for reaching people, but it was really rooted in what the Bible teaches, how the apostle Paul talked about how he engaged with non-believers. Pastor Keller was just an example of charity, of grace, but also of compelling arguments and conviction as well. And I know that there are many people who grew in their love for Jesus as a result of Tim's ministry and many people who came to know Jesus for the first time through his life and ministry. And so we give thanks to the Lord for that.
And even though there's a lot of sorrow, I've been sad this morning, there is that hope and that joy that we have through Jesus. One of the things that some of our listeners may not know is that after Tim founded Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, when he would preach every Sunday and people would invite their friends, you know, whether they were stockbrokers or they were artists from Greenwich Village, you know, actors, writers, whatever, they would invite them to come to church with them. And after Tim's sermon at the end of the service, he would stick around for about an hour and he would just do a Q&A and people could pepper him with questions. And there were so many people who were agnostics and atheists and would come to those services and they would ask him really hard questions. And as you said, he would always respond to them with kindness and compassion and grace. And many of those people came to Christ because of Tim's answers to their questions. And I just have so much respect for him. And I would encourage any of our listeners who have not read some of Tim Keller's books, perhaps get The Prodigal God or Making Sense of God, such great a poet.
And he was called many people called him the the C.S. Lewis for the 21st century. I'm glad that you recommended The Prodigal God. That would be we've offered that book in particular on the broadcast before. And and I mean, the the books that he's left behind him, he's going to continue to continue to be fruit from his life and ministry. And so yeah, praise the Lord. You know, give thanks to the Lord.
Be praying for the Keller family in this time of grieving. And here, brothers and sisters, is a church militant here on earth. Let's continue to proclaim the gospel in clear and compelling ways, seeking to engage our neighbors with the love of Jesus. Amen.
Well, our phone lines are open. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, what we do here on Core Christianity every day is we open it up to you for any questions you might have. Maybe there's a passage of scripture that confuses you. Maybe you have a question about doctrine or theology. Here's our phone number. It's eight three three the core.
That's one eight three three eight four three twenty six seventy three. Now, at the very end of yesterday's program, Gabriel, we had a call from Jay in Nebraska. And Jay is very concerned about what he is seeing happening in the public schools today and the complete absence of God. In fact, oftentimes, you know, people in opposition to God and I'm not we're not castigating teachers.
We're just saying that in some school districts we do see that. And he was saying he feels that the Christians really need to wake up and more of them need to be concerned about this issue. And he asked you how you might respond. Yeah, we did get that question at the very end of the broadcast. And it was a great question.
We just didn't have any time to answer it. So I promise, Jay, Jay, I hope you're listening right now that we would get to his question as we open things up today. The concern is a legitimate concern one hundred percent. We have to, as parents, be proactive and engaged in the Christian nurture of our children. You are, as a parent, the primary influence on your kids. I think a lot of times parents are looking for, you know, in terms of, you know, raising a Christian family that, you know, OK, I'm going to send you to the youth pastor or you're going to get this from the church or maybe you're going to get this from even a Christian school. But first and foremost, I mean, the studies show this. But just practically speaking, by God's design, we as parents are the primary influence on our on our children, on their spirituality. And so it's important for us to be involved, engaged and to think about, you know, what are the influences that they're that they're being exposed to at this very early age? And so Jay's Jay was concerned with a lot of what what he's saying, what we're seeing in in the public school system. And I think, again, like I said, that's that's a legitimate concern.
I've if you're familiar with the broadcast, you've probably heard me talk about this before. This is an area of liberty and freedom of conscience for Christians. Not all schools are the same. Not all teachers are the same. So I would never say, you know, as a Christian, as a pastor, I'm going to bind your conscience, say you're not allowed to do that.
You're not allowed to send your kids to public school or you have to do it this way. No, I think I think if pastors are saying that, doing that, they're overstepping their bounds. We have a ministerial authority as ministers of the gospel where we encourage people on the basis of God's word. But we don't have omniscience. Right. You don't know.
I don't know what's going on in this particular school. That's up to you as a parent to know. And if there are things that are detrimental to your child's health, their spiritual health, then you have to be vigilant and wise and do everything that you can to to protect your family. And so and so I think that's that's the important thing.
Right. With with however we're thinking about this question, you know, home school, private Christian school, public school, we have to see ourselves as parents, first and foremost, as the ones who are called to disciple our children. That's not that's not just the school's job. And certainly right when you're thinking about public school, who knows what you're going to get?
I wouldn't expect and frankly wouldn't want a public school teacher teaching my kids about religion because I don't know what they're going to be saying. And so so this is where, again, we have to exercise wisdom. We have to not sort of hand off what God has charged us to do in the lives of our children, especially with teaching them the word of God. And so brothers and sisters, and especially you parents, may God give you wisdom.
May God give you wisdom and however, you know, in terms of what works for your family, however you're led, may God provide for all of your needs and help you to raise your children, help us to raise our children in the nurture and admonition of the of the Lord, grounded in the word of God and in the Holy Scriptures. And that's that's the most important element in all of this. And so, Jay, appreciate the concern. And I think I share that concern with you. And so we need to be proactive and engaged teaching our children the word of God.
So well said. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open. We'll be taking your calls for the next 15 minutes or so.
If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, maybe something going on in your own Christian walk that's a concern or maybe some persecution you're running up against, maybe on the job. We'd love to hear from you. Here's our phone number. It's eight three three the Core.
That's one eight three three eight four three twenty six seventy three. Let's go to David calling in from Arkansas. David, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, sir. I was just wondering, you know, like the books of the Bible are written like cranking to the city of France and stuff. Where does that show that those instructions are relevant for us today as Christians today?
Yeah. Hey, David, thank you for that question. Well, we believe that this is God's holy and inspired word that it does have, you know, the primary context of the initial audience, but that these things were written also for our instruction. I'm glad you brought up Paul's letter to the Corinthians because actually Paul highlights this specifically in First Corinthians chapter 10. Now he's writing to the Corinthian Church here, but certainly what he says here applies to us as well today.
He says, I do not want you to be unaware brothers. This is First Corinthians chapter 10 verse 1 that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud in the sea and all ate the same spiritual food and all drank the same spiritual drink for they drank from the rock the spiritual rock that followed them in the rock was Christ nevertheless with most of them. God was not pleased for they were overthrown in the wilderness. So David right there Paul is talking about our fathers quote-unquote and he's saying they're in the wilderness in the Old Testament right that God was not pleased with them. This is where you have that rebellion in the wilderness. Now he says in verse 6 these things took place as examples for us that we might not desire evil as they did do not be idolaters as some of them were as it is written the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.
We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did and 23,000 fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test as some of them did and they were destroyed by serpents nor grumble as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer now again he's continuing in verse 11 these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction on whom the end of the ages has come written down for our instruction. This is for us the Word of God Holy Scripture Genesis to Revelation is for us for you and the Holy Spirit as we're reading the Word of God as we're understanding it in its context illuminates the text of Scripture so that we can apply it to ourselves and understand it so that through the Word of God we too will grow in sanctification and so all of Scripture Paul says elsewhere. I mean this is another passage David that you might want to consider and that I want to just remind those of you listening right now. I want to remind you of this of this text in Scripture as well. This is 2nd Timothy chapter 3 verse 16 all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching for reproof for correction and for training in righteousness that the man of God may be complete equipped for every good work.
And so there it is right there brother David appreciate appreciate your question and I hope that you're encouraged to open up the scriptures and to read them for yourself and to hear what God has to say to you through the text of Scripture David. Thanks so much for your call and for listening to core Christianity. If you have a question for Adriel, we'd love to hear from you. Here's our phone number. It's eight three three the core.
That's one eight three three eight four three twenty six seventy three a few minutes ago. We were talking about the importance of parents passing on the faith to their kids so critical especially with our teenagers as they get set to head off to college and we've actually put together a great resource on that topic called how to keep your faith after high school. Yeah the resource written by Kendra doll is it's I mean, it's not too long. It's just about four chapters a booklet that you could go through really even in an afternoon, but something that we want to encourage you to get a hold of I mean, we were just talking bill about right school and the influences that our kids are exposed to. Well, here's what we need to understand. Here's what they need to know. They need to know the gospel the truth of the gospel not just sort of moralism, you know religious ideas.
I just have to be a good person. But what is the gospel? What does it mean to belong to a true church? Sadly so many people who go off to college, right? They let me they went to church for a while maybe with their parents, but then they go off to college and they stop going to church and so this resource how to keep your faith after high school really dives into some of these things the importance of the local church the importance of understanding what you believe and why you believe I think it'd be a great thing for you to go through with your kids or with your grandkids, especially the ones who are getting ready to move off to college and so get a hold of it over at core Christianity.com love to get this in your hands moms and dads again, if you've got a high school junior or senior getting ready to go off to college or go into the working world or the military. What a great resource again.
It's called how to keep your faith after high school. You can find that by going to core Christianity.com forward slash offers. Well, we do receive voicemails here at the core. You can call us 24 hours a day. Leave your voicemail on our system 833 the core.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Here's a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners named Brian. My question is why people today seem to be having a much harder time believing that God answers prayer.
Brian, I don't know that it's it's worse today than before. I mean, maybe maybe it is that we all struggle to believe that God answers prayer. I mean how often think about it like this how often do you pray for something and you're just sort of going through the motions and then as soon as you're done praying you just forget about you know the request altogether. There's no expectation or hope associated with the prayer. It was interesting is in my own life even there have been times where I've prayed like that and I know this I like to write down my prayers sometimes I'll use a journal to go through them and I'll look back at the journal and I'll see oh wow I was praying for this and God answered that prayer and I forgot all about that. And I mean just how what a wonderful thing that oftentimes we forget we forget our prayers but God does not forget what we've prayed and so part of it I think is a lack of faith on our part a lack of praying with confidence so often you know we don't come before the Lord confidently and I think that you know the root of that is not realizing the access that we have to the heavenly father through Jesus Christ our great high priest the author of the Hebrew says we can come to God and to his throne of grace with boldness seeking help in our time of need why because we're coming in and through Jesus the eternal son of God and so we should approach God with confidence with boldness knowing that when we pray according to his will as John tells us in first John that he hears us and that he grants that request and so I think why do people have a hard time believing that God answers our prayers I think again that lack of faith I think it's it's not praying in accordance with God's will not recognizing the access that we have to God through Christ those are some of the issues and I think I mentioned this yesterday on the broadcast there's one one Christian that I've spoken to who doesn't struggle with prayer prayer the reason we sometimes refer to it as a discipline is because it does require effort we sometimes want prayer to just be you know just sort of naturally flows out of me all the time well sometimes that's how prayer is sometimes a lot of times it feels like work we don't feel like praying our hearts are cold and so creating that habit that discipline of prayer where we're coming before the Lord saying our father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name that that takes effort discipline and godliness and so we need God's help there and we need God's help to truly believe that he hears us through Christ and that he answers our prayers Brian God God help you with that and God help all of us with that well said this is core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez just a programming note when we finish up this program in just a few minutes we are going to be recording a second episode of core Christianity if you still have a question weren't able to get through in the last 25 minutes or so feel free to give us a call we'll be taking your calls for the next 30 minutes at this number it's 833 the core that's one eight three three eight four three twenty six seventy three let's go to Mike calling in from Nashville Tennessee Mike what's your question for Adriel my question is I I am have guilt for having children and I've done everything I think I can do to bring them to faith but my guilt lies in participating in the creation of an eternal being that may be subject to an eternity in hell I don't I don't know if other Christians feel this way I do believe the Bible says children are a blessing but if they're going to spend an eternity in hell they would have been better off not being born and yet through me they've inherited sin which if they do not have saving faith they're going to spend an eternity in hell and I I mean I I just have guilt for that and if I had to go back and do it again I'm not sure I would have children Mike can I can I just ask you a follow-up question brother so how many children do you have how old are your kids 21 or 23 okay well you recognize that the Bible says that children are indeed a blessing a great blessing one of the greatest blessings and one of the things that makes me sad I feel like in our day and especially like younger couples there is this aversion to I feel like having kids and and yet the Bible does speak about the blessing of the family of raising children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord of the gift that that children are and so your concern is okay you know I participated in this having children but what if they're not believers what if they're not saved well a couple of things first and foremost we each all of us I mentioned this earlier already on the broadcast as parents have have a job to do an obligation sounds like your kids are a little bit older but to teach our kids about Jesus we can't save our kids but we are called to model for them that godly example because God wants to be a God to us and to our children that's what he says throughout scripture I mean this is one of the covenant promises that God gives to his people I'm gonna be a God to you and to your offspring God exhibits his goodwill toward us toward you and to your family to your children in saying that's the God that I want to be and so because of that we do raise our kids in the nurture and admonition of the Lord I think about what Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy chapter 1 verse 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith the faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now I am sure dwells in you as well and how did that faith come to dwell in Timothy well you know Paul makes it clear just a little bit later in chapter 3 verse 15 from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings the Holy Scripture which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ and so that's our job is to acquaint our children with the sacred writings the Holy Scriptures because it's the Spirit of God that works in and through the Word of God to create faith in our hearts and in the hearts of our children and that's the work of the Lord you pray for your kids you do everything you can and then you entrust them to the Lord but you shouldn't feel guilt I mean I don't know you know right now if your children are walking with the Lord but I would say you shouldn't feel guilt you know you're saying Lord I want to have children because children are a blessing and I'm called to raise them a certain way and I've done I think I've done everything that I can now what I would say to you is your children are still still a blessing Mike continue to love them to exhibit the love of Christ to them and to pray for them to pray for them I love the story of Monica and in St. Augustine he wrote this little book that the confessions where he tells the story of his conversion his mother he didn't get converted until later you know sort of the middle of his life his mother prayed for him every day she watered the ground with her tears and so my encouragement to you is man love your children continue to see them as a blessing and if they're not walking with the Lord pray for them water the ground with your tears as you pray for them saying Lord do the work that only you can do in their lives God bless thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer visit us at core Christianity.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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