How do we discern God's will for our lives? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, happy Memorial Day, and a big thank you to all who have served in our nation's armed forces or are currently served. And of course, we remember those who lost their lives in the service of our country. We appreciate them so much. We'd love to hear from you today. I'm Bill Meyer with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites. In fact, we have a YouTube channel. You can watch Adriel in the studio on YouTube and send him a question that way. And of course, you can always email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. We'll go to Jorge calling in from Kansas. Jorge, what's your question for Adriel?
Yes, thank you, gentlemen, for taking my call. I was looking at Matthew chapter 17, and I noticed that verse 21 is missing. And I was looking at the ESV version, and I was just wondering if you had any insight as to why that is. It's in the New King James, so I was just wondering why verse 21 may be missing from Matthew chapter 17, and does this have anything to do with revelation when it says don't add or take anything away from the word? Yeah, I just preached on that passage last week with regard to adding and taking away from God's word, from God's revelation at the end of the book of Revelation.
I don't think that's what this is, but I could see how you, at least that might be the sense at first. And if you look at the ESV, you're right, it doesn't have a verse 21. It's sort of like when you go to the hotel and you're looking for the 13th floor, and it's not there because they don't have the 13th.
Well, why not? Well, here specifically, and there's a footnote in the ESV. I'm using an ESV, by the way, that says some manuscripts insert verse 21, but this kind never comes out except by prayer and fasting. And so there's a question of whether or not that was in the original manuscripts. Now, the parallel account in Mark of this story says this kind only comes out by prayer, and then even there, some manuscripts add and fasting specifically. But the reason it's in the King James or the New King James Bible is because the ESV and the King James or the New King James really use a different family of manuscripts that they base their translations off of.
So let me just say a couple of things. One, we have an abundance of manuscripts when it comes to the New Testament, thousands and thousands, more than any other ancient document that we're able to compare and contrast. And what this is called is textual criticism. It's looking at these hundreds and thousands of manuscripts that we have of the New Testament documents, of the biblical documents, and comparing them. The beautiful thing about this is that when you do get something that's way out there in left field, like say there was something that nobody understood, well, we can compare that not just to one text, but to hundreds and thousands of different texts. So we can say, okay, this is definitely not a part of the original. It helps us understand and really get to the heart of God's, you know, the original autographs, like we sometimes say. You know, the words as they were initially. And sometimes when people hear about textual criticism, they'll think, oh boy, can we really be confident about what we have in scripture?
And I just want to say to you that the answer is yes. Even when you have these discrepancies in the manuscripts, really none of them ever strike at any sort of vital Christian doctrine. I mean, we can be confident that what we have is God's word and we're not going to be confused about it. But here, again, with the ESV, the ESV is saying, look, some of the earliest manuscripts don't include that phrase and fasting or prayer and fasting. And of course, this is describing the scene where the disciples couldn't cast out a demon.
And they're unsure as to why. And Jesus says, you know, how long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.
Bring the child here to me. And Jesus rebuked the demon and it came out of him and the boy was healed instantly. And the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, why could we not cast it out? And he said, because of your little faith, for truly I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, move from here to there and it will move and nothing will be impossible for you. And that's where you have the insertion of, but this kind never comes out except by prayer and fasting. Well, I'll count in Mark, but then in the broader New Testament, we do know that at the heart of spiritual warfare is prayer, the importance of prayer, the priority of prayer, even in places like the Book of Ephesians, praying always and at all times for all the saints in the midst of the spiritual battle that we're in. And so there's the answer to your question, brother. I hope that you don't have any question about, you know, can I trust that this is God's word?
Yes, absolutely you can. And here, you know, the encouragement for us is to trust in the Lord and to pray as we engage with the forces of evil in the world and the spiritual war that we're also engaged in. God bless. Hey Jorge, thanks so much for your call, for listening to Core Christianity. Let's go to Kenneth calling in from Missouri. Kenneth, what's your question for Adriel? How you doing Pastor? I got a question.
It's not about why we do it. Here's the other question. The job that we're supposed to do on the Sabbath as an employer, because I keep talking to my employees about what they have to have off. I know that my pastor friends who are half Jewish, half Gentile, cousins call me a mongrel. My pastor friends who are, they go, they say they take Friday as their Sabbath. Most of them buddies, they take their Saturdays off, but they still work and have their employees work. But my Hebrew cousins, they take some Saturday off, but they don't let no one work. And they're saying because they're an employer, they're not supposed to allow people to work. Well, if you're a Christian, aren't you supposed to give Sunday off to your employees and everyone else?
Great question, Kenneth. This is getting into the application of the fourth commandment. What I've said on the broadcast before is central to obeying the Sabbath command, is worshiping with the people of God, and resting in God's presence. And certainly the way in which the Sabbath was applied under the old covenant specifically did look like.
There's no work. I think that's even in terms of how we apply it under the new covenant, free from our worldly employments and entanglements, setting that aside so that we might worship the Lord as much as is possible. Now, I know that different people have different kinds of jobs.
I've got friends who are police officers or work in the emergency room or whatnot. There are some things that just need to be done for the good of society, and so we have to factor that in as well. But I think when an individual is just, you know, they're just sort of forsaking the assembling together with other believers, and they're saying, well, I just have to, you know, I got a job and it's telling me to do this. I think, one, first and foremost, as Christians, we need to prioritize gathering with the saints as much as is possible.
And so I think that we should, to the extent that we're able, I mean, like, fight to take that day off to not work. And if that's impossible, if that's not going to work, I would even go as far as to say, like, well, consider finding a different kind of job, if you can, that's going to allow you to worship with God's people because the priority in our lives as Christians has to be worship, truly. And so, but then what about in terms of application with regard to, you know, say you're an employer, giving your people a time of rest. I've had friends who have, you know, owned Christian companies, Christian businesses that have done this, and they've been willing to take the hit financially and say, look, I know that this is another day where we could be making money, but I want to communicate through this action the importance of rest and worship, even for those who I'm employing. And of course, you know, many of those people weren't believers that were working in these businesses and still getting some time off.
I know Chick-fil-A, right, does that as well. Is that something that we're bound by under the new covenant? You know, like if you are, you know, have a company and you have people that are working on Sundays, are you going to come under church discipline?
I've not seen that, to be honest, I've not seen that happen, at least in our day, but I do think it's fair to really ask that question. And frankly, look, I know it's a lot to get up early on a Sunday. You only have so much time on the weekend and go to church and worship with God's people. It really should be, I mean, I long for this for the people in our church, but just for Christians everywhere, it really should be seen as the highlight, being able to receive the gift of God's Sabbath rest and to worship with our brothers and sisters in Christ and to do everything that we can to call others into that Sabbath rest as well. And some of that looks like prioritizing it ourselves, but making room for other people around us to make it a priority too, not tying them down on the Sabbath so that they can be committed to the worship of God, Kenneth. And so I really think this is something that we need to give a lot of thought to, and I just think for us as believers, Christians throughout the United States and throughout the world, prioritizing gathering with the saints.
We've got to start there because we're having such a hard time even just with that. People who would never miss work, never show up late to work, have no problem just sort of skipping church and showing up late to church. Our priorities are all wrong, I think, in this regard, and so really recovering the centrality of worship of the triune God, devoting ourselves to that, and viewing it as this gift that God gives to us, but also something that we're called to, that we're obligated to as believers. May God help us in understanding that and receiving it as a gift. God bless. Well said.
This is Corps of Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. You mentioned Chick-fil-A and their commitment to being closed on Sundays, which their founders have stuck with over the years, and I have to admit I appreciate that so much, but it seems like every time my family is on the road on a weekend, and we're on the freeway, and I see that sign, and it says, you know, next exit Chick-fil-A, and I go, hey, let's go to Chick-fil-A, and she'll say it's Sunday. It's Sunday.
Yeah, I know. Now, Bill, what's your Chick-fil-A order? What do you get?
You're in Chick-fil-A. I always get the grilled chicken sandwich with a slice of cheese, and I always get the waffle fries extra crispy. Okay.
Healthy. That's the healthier choice. The grilled instead of the... Not the waffle fries. Yeah, well, yeah, I know.
You're a walking contradiction, Bill. We've all known that, but I do the spicy breaded one with the cheese and all the good stuff, and then also the waffle fries, and then also there's that, like, lemonade, icy, whatever that thing is. Oh, yeah. Wow. Frosted lemonade. I'm sorry. Yeah, okay.
Everybody, I'm getting hungry right now. Add a little bit of strawberry syrup to it that they will do. That's a behind-the-scenes trick. Interesting. Okay.
All right. So this is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We love our friends at Chick-fil-A. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, you can feel free to call us 24 hours a day. Leave a voicemail for us with your question. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. I also want to mention a great resource that we have. It's something we just started mentioning a couple weeks ago. If you're a parent or a grandparent of a teenager, this is a little booklet that you definitely will want to get that will help them as they make the transition from high school into college or the working world. Yeah, especially right this time of the year, we know people who are graduating, finishing up high school, and just wanting to give something that's going to be encouraging, helpful, but may really impact a young person's life moving forward as they go off to college to get them meditating, thinking about, okay, what do I need to do to remain grounded in my faith? This is a short booklet.
It's not very long. It's something that they could read in an afternoon called How to Keep Your Faith After High School. It's going to touch on some of the important things that you need to be doing as a young man or young woman headed off to college, getting plugged into a local church, really being grounded in what you believe. It's a helpful start. There's really a lot more that needs to be done as well, but this is where you want to start. So get ahold of this resource for the person in your life who is graduating from high school so that you can be an encouragement to them. Again, it's called How to Keep Your Faith After High School. You can find that by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Well, let's go to one of our voicemails.
This one came in from a listener named Jill. Kind of a two-part question. I've recently met someone that I have been praying for and believe that that is God's will. I had also been out of the will of God as far as church and prayer life.
This man is an amazing leader. He has led me back to where I need to be and now is kind of pulling away. How do I discern whether or not this is my will or God's will for my life, and is it possible that somebody who is that strong in their faith, that once God is doing great works in our lives, that the enemy could attack him and that this could be from the enemy? I'm praying for him. I just don't know what to do. I don't know if this is the devil removing him from my life or God removing him from my life. How do I know? Thank you.
Jill, thank you for that question. Let me just start off by saying we sometimes have that image in our mind of God and Satan in this tug-of-war, and we're not sure, oh man, is Satan winning this one, this person's leaving my life or this circumstance or whatever it is. But recognizing that that's obviously not the proper picture to have. Satan is a creature totally bound by the Holy One, God.
Satan can't even touch him. We're talking about the difference between the creator, God, and a created being. And so not having the pressure or the anxiety of, oh, is this going to be undermined by the evil one, and we lost something that could have been because of some confusion on my part or on this person's part, being able to rest in God's power and in God's providence. And this is something that you were praying for, you said, and that the Lord brought into your life.
It seemed really good. It's helped you to grow in your relationship with the Lord, but now this individual seems to be pulling away. I understand the difficulty there, and my encouragement to you would be to continue to entrust yourself to the Lord, to be sensitive to the voice of God's Spirit speaking to you through Scripture. So often when we're thinking about decision-making and the will of God, we overcomplicate things. God has revealed to us through His Word what His will is for our lives, and it's summarized in the moral law, truly, this revelation that God has given to us, what it looks like to follow Him, to live a life that is devoted to Him. And then when it comes to the specifics, like a particular decision, do I move here or there?
Do I date this person or do I not date this person? Sometimes things that are revealed in God's moral law or in God's revelation in Scripture help us to make sense of that. So if an individual isn't a believer, for example, we're commanded to only marry in the Lord or pursue someone romantically who's in the Lord. So there's an answer there, but for someone who is a believer, well, there's wisdom, and it's just, you know, is this something that's working out? Are we on the same page? Are we growing together in the Word of God?
Is there that mutual care and attraction and so on and so forth? And sometimes when that's not there, if somebody pulls away, I mean, it's hard to know what's going on, what exactly that individual is doing or what God is doing behind the scenes, but I just want you to know that you can continue to rest in the fact that as you seek to obey God and His Word, as you seek to follow Jesus, even though you don't know what the future holds, God is not going to leave you hanging, not in the sense of where you're going to be totally lost or going to miss out on something that should have been because you just were confused about the situation. You know, as you commit to growing in God and in His Word, in fellowship, you mentioned, you know, being in prayer and in the church, man, maybe this is something, circumstantially, that God has used to bring you back into a deeper relationship with Christ and into deeper community with the people of God. That's where you need to be. That's where we all need to be. And so give thanks to God for that and hold everything else loosely, saying, Lord, I'm looking to you. I'm trusting in you.
Thank you for the things you teach me through these relationships, for the good and for the difficult things. And of course, whenever we lose a relationship with this, I think there's always grieving and sorrow, but continuing to trust the Lord and to believe that Jesus has your best interest in mind, Jill, because He does. He does have your best interest in mind, your sanctification in mind. And it's so hard for us to see that oftentimes, but really believing that, trusting in the Lord and resting in His providential hand, the guidance of His Spirit, and ultimately His revealed will in His Word. And we do have a resource, actually, on discerning the will of God in our lives. Bill, I'm not remembering the name exactly of that booklet, but... It's What is God's Will for Me?
Okay. That's pretty simple, pretty basic, but it's a short booklet that will help you think through this a little bit more deeply and give you a lot of scripture to help you unpack this idea. So get ahold of that resource over at corechristianity.com forward slash booklets.
This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We do receive voicemails, and you can call us 24 hours a day and leave your question on our voicemail system. 833-THE-CORE is our number. That's 833-843-2673.
Here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Karen. My question is about Matthew 1720. I'm asking this question because I've been having different people telling me in my life that my mountains are not moving because I don't have faith in what I am asking for. I even explained to someone that I have faith in the Lord. I ask him to maybe provide the relief or do the things, but my faith isn't ultimately in what I'm requesting or the circumstance to be delivered from, but that my faith is in the Lord.
So can you explain a little bit more about that? Thank you. Karen, the verse that you brought up, Matthew 17 verse 20, I'm just going to read it. He said to them, because of your little faith, for truly I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, move from here to there, and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you. I think that verse gets taken out of context a lot, and it sounds like it's being taken out of context here. When we just apply that verse to an individual and say, hey, the reason you're still suffering the way you are, and I don't know the specifics of your situation or your circumstances, Karen, but when pastors or Christian friends say, well, the issue is you must not have enough faith.
If you had more faith, God would cure you of this disease or bring back your straying child or whatever it is. I think that that's a misapplication, not a proper understanding here. It's sort of using God's word as a hammer to beat people up who are already suffering, frankly, because we know that we do, according to God's will, as believers, as followers of Christ, experience great difficulties. Paul could say in Romans 8, quoting from the Old Testament, all day long we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered.
We're experiencing things like tribulation, distress, famine, nakedness, peril, sword. We can have this overly simplistic view of the Christian life. Paul, in places like that, when he's writing to suffering believers, you never hear him say, you just don't have enough faith. That's why you're being persecuted the way that you are. Boy, you guys really, maybe there's some hidden sin.
That's why they're crushing you the way that they are. He doesn't do that, does he? It's committing ourselves to a good God, trusting in him. Now, we do pray, and we do pray in faith, saying, Lord, if it is your will, grant me relief here or healing here. Even there, so often, when you read the apostles, their letters and the way they prayed for the church, oftentimes it wasn't just, God, deliver me from all my suffering. Many times it was, God, help us to honor you in the midst of it. Isn't that exactly what Paul was told by the Lord in 2 Corinthians, when Paul is pleading with him to remove this thorn in the flesh that he has? We don't know exactly what it was. Was it a physical ailment?
Was it spiritual warfare? He's pleading with the Lord. Three times he says, I pleaded with the Lord to take this away from me. And what did God say to him?
What did Jesus say to him? My grace is sufficient for you. My strength is perfected in weakness.
And, Karen, maybe that's what you need to hear right now. Maybe you've been praying and doing your best to pray in faith, saying, Lord, deliver me from this, and you've asked for healing or for deliverance, whatever it looks like, and God has not given you that. I wouldn't just say to you, well, that's because you don't have enough faith. Maybe Jesus is saying to you, let my strength be perfected in your weakness. Rely on me on the strength that I give. Don't rely on your own strength. Continue to trust me. Trust that I have your best interest in mind, that I'm at work in your life, even through these circumstances.
I know that that's so hard for us, right? But there's also a lot of hope there in knowing that Jesus loves us, that God has already given us everything in Christ. He has provided for our greatest need, for your greatest need, Karen, the forgiveness of sins in sending his Son into the world for your sake.
And if he's done that, he's going to continue to take care of you in this world, leading you to the world to come. 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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