Can a soul actually be sold to the devil? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. As always, you can post your question on one of our social media sites, and you can always email us at questions at corechristianity.com. First up today, here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Jack. I was asked to read a Bible verse at one of these dedications, and I have conviction in my spirit because of the second commandment of idols and images of anything above and below or of God.
So I was wondering, are my convictions right on that, even in general in crucifixions? Thank you, guys. I love listening to the show. It's always a big help. I pray for blessings and continued encouragement for both of you. Brother, thank you for that encouragement and for your question, and I sympathize with your concern. Of course, if you're a longtime listener to the broadcast, you know that we've gotten questions about images of Jesus and statues. While many in the Christian world seem to think that there's just absolutely no problem with that, there is a deep concern that I think we ought to have that's rooted in the teaching of Holy Scripture that we're not to create our own representations of God because that's just confusing. The reality is God is a spirit, and even though the second person of the Holy Trinity assumed humanity and came to earth, the apostles weren't going around drawing pictures of Jesus. The way in which they help people understand who Jesus was and is was through the proclamation of the Holy Gospel. That's what Paul says in the book of Galatians. I placarded Christ before you. I billboarded him before you, he says in Galatians 3.
How did he do that? Through preaching the message of the cross. People think, well, what's the big deal?
Isn't this a good thing? I would just say the issue is with images and statues of Jesus, the issue is that we are representing God. You brought up the second commandment, the earliest Christians, they would appeal to that second commandment to say this is why we don't do that. Especially in the Roman Empire at that time where pagan worship had so many images and statues and incense and all of these things. The Christians were often accused of being atheists, in fact, by their neighbors because they didn't have all of those images and statues. Where are your gods? The pagans thought of the Christians.
The Christian response quoting the Psalms was our God is in the heavens. He does whatever he pleases. I sympathize with your concern. What an opportunity to go out in public and read scripture. I think that's a good thing. I would probably feel the exact same way that you feel.
I love the idea of reading scripture in public, but I don't love the idea of doing it in this way. That's what I would say to you. I appreciate you reaching out to us. I think that your concern is legitimate. I hope that the Lord blesses you and grants you wisdom.
That text that you cited, you said it was being quoted in Matthew 25. I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me.
I was in prison and you came to me. There, who is the me that's being ministered to? Well, it's Jesus, but through who? Through those who are weak and suffering and in prison and hospitalized.
I understand the connection there, but really, it's the people. It's the people there that are to be served and that we're called to serve as the church. God bless you and I appreciate your question.
Some good counsel. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you'd like to call us with your question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, you name it, we'd love to hear from you. Our number is 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Brian calling in from Indiana. Brian, what's your question for Adriel?
Yes, Adriel. I've got a question about praying in public. Scripture tells us that when you pray, you're supposed to pray in a closet or some hidden place, but he chastised the Pharisees for praying in public. I always feel like I need to say a prayer of thanksgiving when I'm out eating supper at a restaurant or something, but I do it in a way that nobody knows that I'm doing it, and I feel like I'm kind of wrong doing it that way. Brian, you do not need to feel wrong for praying in public and giving thanks to the Lord wherever you are, whether it's in private or in public. What Jesus is condemning in Matthew 6 is that hypocritical type of prayer where we're praying not so much to be heard by God but to be heard by others.
That's the question you have to ask yourself. Why am I praying? Am I praying so that others will see me and think that I'm a holy religious person, or am I praying to commune with God because my heart is welling up with thanks?
I want to say, Lord, thank you for your provision for this meal, or thank you for your provision in another area of my life. Again, the text you refer to, Matthew 6, verse 5, when you pray, Jesus says, you must not be like the hypocrites. They love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at street corners that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward, but when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Look, we do both, but at the end of the day, it's that deeper heart question of who's attention am I trying to get right now? Am I trying to get the attention of the people around me? Am I praying in public so that people will think I'm a pious and holy person, or am I communing with God? Of course, Brian, here's another reason why you can be sure that you don't have to be concerned about praying in public when you're doing so in order to commune with the Lord to give him thanks.
It's what Paul says in 1 Timothy 2, verse 8, I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling. We really ought to pray more, frankly, giving thanks to the Lord and praying from a heart that's sincere, wanting to commune with the Lord, and it sounds like that's exactly where your heart is, Brian. And so I want to just encourage you to continue to give thanks to the Lord and to draw near to him, whether you're in your closet or at the Applebee's or wherever it is that you're having a meal. And so God bless you.
Thanks so much, Brian. Appreciate your call and for listening to Core Christianity. By the way, we are a listener-supported ministry. We count on people just like you to keep on the air. We don't receive money from a church or denomination.
We don't play commercials on this program. We rely on the generous donations of people just like you. So if you believe in this program and what we do, you can check it out by going to corechristianity.com.
There's a donations link on there to tell you more about giving a gift to Core Christianity. While our phone lines are open, if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, we'd love to hear from you. Here's the number. 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Rochelle calling in from Lincoln, Nebraska. Rochelle, what's your question for Adriel? Hi, Adriel.
I listen to you like every day and I'm so thankful that you do this program. Thank you. But I'd like to ask about the rapture. I'm told it's not in the Bible. I have a friend that is actually asking about it. So I'm asking for her. But where did we get the word rapture?
Rochelle, thank you so much for your encouragement and I'm glad that you're a daily listener. May the Lord bless you through that. And great question. Where do we get the idea or where do people get the idea of the rapture from? Well, it's reading certain New Testament texts and interpreting them a certain way.
Now, by the way, I've said this before. Look, when it comes to the study of the end times, we sometimes refer to this as eschatology. Here's the fundamental thing that we all have to agree on and that all Christians within the bounds of orthodoxy do agree on. Jesus Christ is coming back bodily.
That wasn't something that happened in the past. We're still looking forward to the second coming, the blessed appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is going to usher in the final judgment and the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen. And so that's something that all Christians, whether you're someone who believes in the rapture or someone who takes a different point of view, all of us have to agree on that fundamental point. And we see that certainly outlined very clearly throughout scripture, both in the Pauline Epistles and also in the Book of Revelation. But the idea of the rapture of the church, which was popularized more in recent days, this idea that Jesus is going to come back first for believers, rapture them away, snatch them away into heaven, and then at a later point, he's going to come back again at the second coming. And again, you're right, I'm talking about faithful followers of Christ who hold this view through their understanding of biblical passages.
I don't want to minimize that. What I want to say and what we want to do on this broadcast is reason together through looking at the scriptures and encourage you to be Berean in your study of the Holy Bible. I don't take that view of the rapture, but here's where people get it from.
One of the places is from 1 Thessalonians 4, where Paul is talking about the coming of the Lord. I'm going to just begin reading in verse 13, but we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep. That is, when he says asleep there, he's talking about people who have died before us.
That you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive and who are left until the coming of the Lord will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with the cry of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the sound of the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. For encourage one another with these words. And that word there in verse 17, caught up, it's the Greek word harpazo.
It means to steal away or to take by force. And so some people say, that's the idea of the rapture. Paul is talking about the rapture there. My sense, when I read 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 in context, is that he's just referring to the second coming, the coming of the Lord, as he describes there in verse 15. And then in chapter 5, concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. You yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. And so this is talking, all of this is talking about the second coming.
That's my view, but hopefully you can see there how others might take a different position. And, you know, it's something for us to dig into the scriptures on and praise God for faithful brothers and sisters who prioritize the scripture and believe in the authority of the Holy Bible. And so we want to come together and discuss these matters. And so I appreciate your question, Rachelle.
Hopefully that helps you and your friend as well. Thanks for giving us a call. Hey, Rachelle, thanks so much for listening to Core Christianity and for calling in. Let's go back to the phones. Eddie is on the line from California.
Eddie, what's your question for Adriel? Hey, Pastor, I had a question. We're studying the Ten Commandments in our monthly Friday Bible class. In regards to the Fourth Commandment in Exodus, chapter 20, verse 8 through 11, the Sabbath day, what exactly are we supposed to be doing on the Sabbath?
And what are we supposed to be staying away from as far as resting? Can you elaborate on that a little bit? I appreciate you guys' podcast. Thank you.
Yeah, Eddie, thanks for reaching out to us, man. Well, you mentioned it in part there with your question. You said resting, and at the heart of the Sabbath commandment is that rest. Now, of course, we know that we experience the true Sabbath rest in Jesus Christ, who said, come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. That is Sabbath. And so we enter into the true Sabbath rest by faith. And then in terms of application, well, what does that look like for us on the Lord's Day when we gather together, because that's when the earliest believers were gathering together to worship Jesus. And so we're understanding the Fourth Commandment through the lens of the gospel, if you will, and Christ's redemptive work, so that instead of resting on the last day of the week, on Saturday, as the Hebrews did, we rest on the first day of the week, signifying that the work has been done, completed.
I mean, there's a lot there when you really begin to unpack that. But what should that look like for us as believers? I would say fundamentally it has to involve corporate worship, giving attention to and obeying this commandment as Christians today under the new covenant. It looks like being a part of local churches where we are prioritizing the worship of God with other Christians.
And so I think that that's key. And really entering into that rest through worship, not just for a moment of the day, but for the whole day, as much as is possible, to come before God and to devote ourselves to Him, to His worship, to growing in the grace and the knowledge of Christ. And we have to remember also, you think about what Jesus said, the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. This is a gift that God is giving to you in a day and age where many of us are just exhausted, right? Overworked, over busy, so many distractions around us, social media, the news, all of these things, to just be able to stop and receive God's gift of Sabbath rest and say, I'm going to focus on the Lord, on worshiping with the people of God, on caring for my family well, and studying the scriptures, praying together.
I think that really is at the heart of it, Eddie. And so may God help you and may God help all of us. And especially those of you listening right now, maybe you don't have a church. And Sunday comes around, you don't really know what to do or you visit different churches. Let me just encourage you to prioritize worship with the people of God in a local body, become a member of a local church. I think, again, that's in part how we obey this commandment that God gives to us, the fourth commandment. So, Eddie, Lord's blessings, and God bless that study that you guys are doing on the Ten Commandments as well. Hey, Eddie, thanks so much for calling in.
We appreciate you. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez. If you have kids or grandkids who are teenagers, we have a resource that we think is really important for you. And it's actually designed for kids who are in high school right now. It's called How to Keep Your Faith After High School.
Yep. I mean, the sad reality is, is there are so many who leave high school, right? They go off to college and they don't get plugged into a church. They don't have a full understanding of the gospel, of what the Christian faith is all about. And so this resource, one of the reasons we put together this resource, is to help equip you and your kids to be ready for leaving the nest, right?
For your kids in particular. But to be ready to go out to college and to prioritize those things that need to be prioritized, getting plugged into a solid church, understanding the truth of the gospel, the distinction between the law and the gospel, right? Christianity is not just about moralism.
Being a Christian is not just about being a nice person and doing good things. No, it's the gospel. And what is that gospel? Well, we want to help you be grounded in it.
Get ahold of this resource. Again, the booklet is called How to Keep Your Faith After High School. You can find that by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers.
Again, corechristianity.com forward slash offers and look for How to Keep Your Faith After High School. Well, we do receive voicemails here at the CORE. You can call us 24 hours a day and leave your question on our voicemail system. Here's a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners in Minnesota.
Hi, my name is BJ and I love your show and I listen to it all the time. My question is, could somebody sell their soul to the devil? Because I had a friend who was dating a guy and he said he did that. So I'm just curious if there's anything biblical about that. And thank you. Yeah.
Well, look, first, let's just think about the weightiness here. I'm interested that this friend says, I sold my soul to the devil. And I assume that what he means by that is I've done so many bad things. I mean, I've basically just given myself over to Satan.
And there are people tragically who do that. I mean, I think the one example, there are a couple examples, but I think that the one that stands out in scripture is the example of Judas who betrayed our Lord. And we read in the Gospel of John and also in Luke's Gospel, this is John chapter 13. This is the beginning of Jesus' upper room discourse in verse 27. It says that after Judas had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him.
And Jesus said to him, what you are going to do, do quickly. There's this ultimate act of betrayal, of selling Jesus out for some money. And so I think people look at these stories and say, that's an example of selling your soul to the devil. Or there are others who, I think, sometimes people talk in this way and they don't realize just how serious this is because they think of the devil as this shiny red guy with a pitchfork and the sort of popular depictions in media and whatnot.
But this is terrifying. And the fact of the matter is, is people outside of Christ don't even need to sell themselves to the devil in one sense they've already been taken captive by him. The whole world, John said, lies in the power of the evil one. And Jesus Christ came to redeem us, to buy us back, if you will, to save us and to release us from the grip of Satan. And so those who are outside of Christ are already under that bondage. And when anyone turns to the Lord and that blindness, that veil is lifted, they are delivered and brought into a right relationship with God through the forgiveness of sins. And so, you know, if I'm having a conversation with someone and they say, oh, I've just sold my soul to the devil, I mean, what I would want to say is, well, that was a bad, I mean, obviously, horrible trade first and I don't think you understand how serious that is, but listen, here's the truth.
The devil is not more powerful than God and His grace. The blood of Jesus Christ is sufficient, able to redeem you, to bring you back no matter what you've done, no matter how far you've gone. It's the blood of Christ, the blood of Jesus Christ, more precious than silver or gold, able, able to redeem you. And I would want to give that person that, I would want to confront that wickedness and also give them that hope of the gospel. There's also an example in 1 Corinthians 5 where the apostle Paul is talking about church discipline and he says, you know, when someone in the church is continuing an unrepentant sin, turning away from the Lord, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 5, verse 5, you are to deliver this man to Satan. Excommunicate this person for the destruction of the flesh so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.
And so there are instances where, you know, people are disciplined by God and left to the evil one so that they might repent, so that they might experience how bankrupt and how terrible that is to live a life devoted to Satan, come to their senses and experience the grace and the mercy of God in Jesus Christ. And so may God give you wisdom as you continue to have conversations with this individual and may this individual see the grace of Christ and their need for the forgiveness of sins. Thanks for reaching out with that question. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. By the way, when our program wraps up here in just a couple of minutes, we're going to be recording a new episode of Core Christianity so you can still call in. If you weren't able to call in in the last half hour or so, you can feel free to call right now. In fact, for the next 35 minutes, we'll be taking your call at 1-833-843-2673. Adriel, any final comments?
I had some interesting questions on a wide variety of topics today. Yeah, I mean, I'm just still thinking about that last question about, you know, an individual who sells their soul to Satan, and I think one of the devils, one of his tactics is to make us feel hopeless, like there's no hope for us, like we've done something so bad that now we just belong to Satan forever. If you turn to Christ, no matter who you are and what you've done, in faith turning to him, let me just say to you, there is hope for you. Trust in Jesus. 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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