Is repentance essential for salvation? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Hi there, 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 right now. Our phone lines will be open for the next 25 minutes or so. Here's the 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, including YouTube. You can send us a question through the YouTube channel. And, of course, you can always email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com.
Well, first up today, let's go to a YouTube question. This came in from Amber. She says, Can you have assurance of salvation, but you know you have fruits of the Spirit if fruits are required? I'm not sure I quite understand her question there, but maybe you do.
Adriel? Well, I think for a lot of people, where they get assurance from or where they think we're supposed to get our assurance from is primarily from whether or not we're bearing fruit. And so I can't have assurance of salvation unless I can see that evidence of faith in my life, which is the fruit that I'm bearing. Love, joy, peace, patience, and so forth. It's fine, and there's nothing wrong with looking at our lives and saying, Okay, I can really see the work of the Lord in my life.
I can see the grace of God ever since embracing Jesus Christ. But we should ask the question, Is assurance primarily supposed to come from something that we do, or should assurance primarily come from the objective promise of God to us in the Gospel? And I would say, first and foremost, our assurance, our confidence has to be in what God has done and what he's promised us.
Because that's sure, that's secure, that's not going to change. Whereas, you know, we go through seasons of fruitfulness and struggling in the Christian life. And I think there are many Christians who, you know, sincere, are pursuing the Lord. But as we look inside, we can still see that indwelling sin, we see how short we fall, we see that even the good works that we do are still tainted by sin, tainted by unbelief. And so that can be really discouraging.
And that's why that's not to be the primary place we look for our assurance. If you're someone who wrestles with, you know, assurance of salvation, you know, you're a Christian, you've professed your faith in Christ, you've been baptized, you're seeking to walk with the Lord, but you still, you know, have those questions. I would say, get outside of yourself, focusing not so much on what's going on inside of you, how much fruit you're bearing, and sink your teeth deep into the promises of God that are given to you in Scripture. And of course, God promises that when we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. John says in First John chapter five, I'm writing these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you might know that you have eternal life. And so I think we start with the promise of God and then work our way out from there.
And so that's getting the order right is really helpful. And if we don't, if we're focusing primarily on ourselves and what we do, there's gonna be a lot of discouragement and a lot of doubt, because none of us perfectly keeps the law of God, even as regenerated believers. And so I feel that hopefully to comfort those who are wrestling with this. Now, there is the reality of people who are just sort of looking for, you know, a ticket to heaven. They don't they don't care about God. They're not really truly trusting in Christ that, you know, they want their quote unquote, fire insurance.
So there are people that are self deceived. And I think we need to, you know, mention that as well. But for the believer who is wrestling with assurance, I would say, man, flee to the promises of God in the gospel. That is so well said some great comforting words.
Adrian, thanks so much. By the way, we have a voicemail that's on a somewhat related topic. This came in from one of our listeners named Kenny. It's you know, you have your salvation, you never can lose it. And if you listen to the broadcast, you know that I'm not one who believes that a truly justified person, someone who's born again can lose that status that they're there, that person is going to be condemned on the last day.
No, the same person who's justified is ultimately going to be glorified. I think Paul makes that clear in Romans chapter eight, and Christians, again, can struggle with this question of assurance. But we ought to have this sense of, I would say, turn our emotional security rooted not in ourselves, but in the God who calls us into his presence. And I think Jesus even comforts those who believe in him with this truth.
I'm thinking of John chapter 10, specifically, where he says in verse 27, my sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. And no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of my Father's hand.
I and the Father are one. So talk about comfort there. Talk about security. Jesus saying, my sheep, they belong to me. They're in my hands, and no one can take them out of my hands. No one's going to pry my grip open and steal the sheep away. And so comfort, you know, comfort for us who hear the voice of the Son of God and follow him, who trust in Jesus. Thanks, Kenny, for that question. And you're not quite clear on what the Bible is saying. Well, Adriel will be happy to help you with that. Or maybe there's something going on in your Christian life where there's some type of a struggle or you're facing some type of persecution. Feel free to give us a call.
Again, it's 833-THE-CORE. Here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Sunny. I had a question about what Christians believe happens after you go to heaven. Oh, this is a little bit different from the one we usually get, right? We usually get questions, you know, what happens after we die? Do we just sort of sleep until the last day, the final judgment? Or are we in heaven in the presence of the Lord conscious? And so that's a big question that we oftentimes get.
But you're asking something a little bit more specific. What happens after we go to heaven? So when we die, the souls of believers are immediately perfected in holiness. They enter into glory where we are in the presence of the Lord. And in terms of what's taking place in heaven, I would say Revelation Chapter 20, we are reigning with Jesus Christ and worshipping him. There's this amazing scene that we see, actually a picture of what's taking place in heaven right now. You see the scene painted over and over again in places like the Book of Revelation. But another place that we oftentimes sort of skip over is in Hebrews Chapter 12, where the author of the Hebrews is describing the heavenly Jerusalem, Mount Zion, the city of the living God. And he says, you know, when we gather together for worship as believers, that's where we go ultimately, right? We're being transported, lifted up by the power of the Holy Spirit to the heavenly Jerusalem.
It's really otherworldly. We just miss this so often when we think about worship. But he says, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to innumerable angels in festal gathering. So this is a party. This is celebrating.
This is rejoicing. This is the church triumphant. The angels, you know, dressed in this festal attire. To the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven and to God, the judge of all and to the spirits of the righteous, made perfect. There's that idea of being perfected in holiness when we go into be with the Lord and to Jesus. So we're in heaven. We're surrounded by the angels celebrating and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant into the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. What a glorious scene is depicted for us there. And that's what we experience in heaven.
It's that perfect love. It's being perfected in holiness. It's worshiping around the throne of God together with all the believers who have gone before us and the angels. And of course, we don't know exactly how that's going to look or feel. We can only imagine it right now, but it's going to be marvelous, amazing, so much so that Paul said in Philippians chapter one, my desire is to depart and be with Christ for that is far better, better than anything we can ever experience here on earth. And so there's your answer.
That's what we look forward to when we go to heaven. Hmm. Can't wait for those angels in the festival attire. I'd like to kind of know what that is, but I guess we just have to guess. Yep. Yeah.
I think it's just going to be awesome. Is it, you know, white suits or something? I don't know. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.
Hopefully we'll have crowns as well. We'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Tyler calling in from Kansas. Tyler, what's your question for Adriel? So my question is, as a Christian, I've been a believer for, I don't know how many years now, and I know we're supposed to try to walk towards the, you know, sanctification and justification and all that stuff and confess our sins. And my thing is, once we are, you know, confessing those sins, and it's been like that obviously as a sinner, we're going to sin again. So how often or how frequently, you know, should we confess to God that, you know, hey, I'm sorry for messing up again and being a sinner, and I just feel sometimes like I do it too frequently, and I know every day I'm probably going to sin. So sometimes I feel like I just do it out of habit, and I don't know if that's a bad thing or if that's probably a good thing that I do it so frequently or often to ask for forgiveness.
Hey, Tyler, God bless you in the fight, brother, wanting to confess your sins every day. You maybe have heard this before, but, you know, sometimes pastors talk about keeping a short account with sins. I mean, if you struggle with something and you sin in a particular way, confess that particular sin to the Lord. I think that's how we experience the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. And it can be frustrating at times because you think, man, how many times, Lord, am I going to have to come before you and say, forgive me?
Am I drying up the ocean of your grace? And the good news is, brother, that we aren't and we can't, that there is an ocean of grace and mercy for all repentant sinners when we come to God, even if it's after, you know, the same offense repeated, right? We don't continue in sin that grace may abound, of course, and we're not justifying our sin, but we're called to confess our sins to the Lord and to each other where it's appropriate. You know, I think of the words of Jesus in Matthew 18 when Peter came to him. Peter came to him and said, Lord, how often will my brother sin against me and I forgive him? And he said as many as seven times. And Jesus said to him, I do not say to you seven times, but 70 times seven. And so even, you know, in our relationships, when somebody comes to us and says, man, please forgive me.
You know, I'm struggling. I've fallen again in this way. We're called to forgive. And I think, you know, we can extend that thinking about our relationship with God. We come before him and sometimes it feels like 70 times seven, but clinging to his mercy and to his grace. And not just going through the motions, of course, right? I think, Tyler, you mentioned, you know, sometimes I just feel like I'm just doing this so frequently. And I think the danger is we can sort of go through the motions with prayer.
We don't want to do that. And so truly humbling ourselves and coming to the Lord and confessing our particular sins before him and receiving the grace and the mercy that he gives to us. By the way, you know, in the history of the Christian church, there's this sort of tradition among some, at least, of praying through the Psalms and picking certain Psalms to pray through every day. And one of those Psalms that many Christians use every day is Psalm 51, David's prayer of repentance.
And for those of you who, you know, you struggle with this and sometimes you feel like, man, I don't even have the words to say. I would encourage you, go to Psalm 51 and read David's prayer and make it your own. And it truly, it can be a prayer that we pray every day saying, God be merciful to me, a sinner.
And he is. He is merciful to you, Tyler, through Jesus Christ. And so receive God's grace and mercy.
And in repentance, right, endeavor in every way that you can to walk in that new obedience following the Lord and seeking to put to death the sins that we wrestle with by the power of the Holy Spirit. God bless. Great counsel. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you've got a question about the Bible or the Christian life, feel free to give us a call at 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. If you're the parent or the grandparent of a high school student, we actually have a great resource we want to mention. A lot of schools have graduated. Some are coming up on graduation.
Many young people getting set to head off to college in the fall. And this resource would be a great help to them and to your family. Yeah, the resource is called How to Keep Your Faith After High School. And as Bill said, really a great resource, especially for those who are graduating and going off to college. In thinking about some of the fundamental things that you need to know as a young man or young woman as you prepare to go out into the world and holding fast to the faith.
Once for all delivered to the saints, what is it that we need to be grounded in, anchored in, truly, as we go off into the world so that we don't drift away? And so get a hold of this resource. I know that it will encourage you. And you can find it over at corechristianity.com. Got lots of great offers on our website and lots of free guides and core questions as well.
You can find this particular resource by going to 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. The number is 833 the core.
And here's a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners named Randy. My question is very simple. Is repentance essential for salvation? Is Jesus said Matthew or Mark 1 15, repent and believe the gospel? So that's it. Is repentance essential for salvation? Thank you. Yeah, I appreciate the simple question.
I'll give a real simple answer. And the answer to that is yes. And we're talking about repentance and unto life. Right. This is this is a grace of the Holy Spirit in our lives whereby.
Right. We have an understanding of our sin, recognizing that it's heinous in God's sight, recognizing that it keeps us from the true and the living God. And we confess that sin to the Lord with with hatred of that sin, endeavoring to follow after Christ, endeavoring to walk with God. We're called to repentance. And then, of course, you see that you mentioned early in the gospels that call repent and believe in the gospel. All of us are called to repentance and every preacher of the gospel is called to to call people to repentance. In fact, one of the characteristics of the false teachers throughout the Bible is that they're unwilling to do that.
They just say peace, peace where there is no peace. Now, let me add, we're not to rest in our repentance. This gets at something that we were addressing earlier. When it comes to assurance, we're not to rest in our repentance because it's not like our repentance is providing a satisfaction for our sin. It's not this penance that we do. We're pardoned solely by God's mercy.
And and so we're resting in God, in his grace, in his mercy, in his forgiveness, by faith. But there is no forgiveness apart from repentance. Now, additionally, I think that I could say and would want to say that all sin, no matter how small it is, deserves God's wrath and curse. But no sin is so great that it can bring damnation upon those who truly repent.
And that's good news. And no matter what you've done, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, you can turn to God and experience his forgiveness, his mercy. And so, yes, repentance is necessary for salvation, but we're not to rest in it. And it's not like we're being saved, you know, as this in this process, quote unquote, of being justified, you know, the more we repent or something like that. No, the moment we turn to Jesus Christ, we're justified, born again, saved, and we're called to live a life of repentance every single day. You know, the flip side of that, Dietrich Hahnhofer talked about cheap grace.
Can you kind of explain how there's a danger of going in that direction? Yeah, well, I mentioned earlier on the broadcast that some people I think are deceived. They've deceived themselves. And they think, well, you know, I really, you know, accepted Jesus into my heart so that I could go to heaven when I die. But there hasn't been any repentance and really any truly trusting in Christ for the forgiveness of sins is evidenced by the fact that individuals can still cling to and love their sin and want nothing to do with God or with repentance.
So yeah, that is a terrible reality. And so as we're confronted with God's word and convicted by it of our sins, rather than hardening our hearts, what we do is we humble ourselves and confess those sins in repentance. Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Dean calling in from Oklahoma. Dean, what's your question for Adriel?
Yes, thanks for taking my call. My question is 1 Timothy chapter 2 verse 12. There's a conversation in this matter and I'd like your thoughts on it, Adriel.
I'm sorry, you cut out a little bit there, Dean. You said 1 Timothy chapter 2 verse 12 and then I didn't hear what you said. Yeah, just your thoughts on this verse. My pastor happens to be a woman, very smart, very intelligent, very worthy of teaching and proclaiming the gospel. And I was in a conversation with someone that strictly forbid it. And so I just want to know your thoughts on that and can you help me with that?
Sure. Well, 1 Timothy chapter 2 verse 12, Paul said, I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man. Rather, she is to remain quiet. And then he says, For Adam was formed first, then Eve, and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. And then right after that in 1 Timothy 3, he gets into the qualifications for an overseer, an elder in the church. An overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent, but gentle, and so forth. And so those two passages, I mean there are several, but those two passages are what many have pointed to, including myself, to say when it comes to the ordained office in the church of teacher, elder, that's reserved strictly for men who are called and qualified and competent, right?
They've been tested according to 1 Timothy 3 or Titus chapter 1. It's not because there aren't women that are brilliant who understand the Bible, who have gifts of teaching, but I think specifically what Paul is highlighting here is that structure within the church, that order within the church that churches should uphold. And so I don't agree with female ordination with regard to that teaching office in the church. Now I know that there are others who take a different stance on those passages, who see them as sort of more culturally defined for that time.
That's not my view, though. And again, I wouldn't say that that means that this woman isn't a gifted teacher or communicator. I think there are women who have those wonderful gifts, and God uses them for the good of the church in many ways, but I would say specifically when it comes to the teaching office, that should be reserved for men. And I think that's one of the things that Paul is teaching there in 1 Timothy chapter 2 verse 12. So God bless, Dean. Thank you. Dean, thanks for your call. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. Let's go to Robin in Missouri. Robin, what's your question for Adriel?
Hi. I've always been concerned, actually, about the verse referring to two men in the field. One would be taken, one would be left.
Two women grinding, one would be taken, one left. I live with my adult daughter, and I always think there's two of us. Does that mean one would be left behind in the rapture? So that concerns me.
Hey, Robin, thanks for that question. I don't believe that that text, Matthew chapter 24, Jesus speaking about no one knowing the day or the hour, I don't think that that text is referring specifically to the rapture. You know, the idea of the rapture is that some believers are going to be taken, raptured into heaven, you know, blessing, and then that the tribulation is going to come. That's one view that Christians hold. But that's not something I think that we should take from this text in particular because being taken in Matthew 24 in the context there isn't a positive thing.
It's a negative thing. For as in those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them away. So will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Two men will be in the field, and one will be taken and one left. And so being taken there is parallel to being swept away in the flood. It's being taken in judgment actually, caught off guard by the judgment. And so it's not being taken as in, you know, one guy gets raptured and another guy doesn't, and the one who gets raptured is blessed. No, this is Jesus talking about all of us being ready for the judgment because when it comes, right, some people are going to be taken by surprise.
And that's the point is don't be taken by surprise. Know the truth. Embrace the truth. Walk in the truth. And if you do, if you and your family do, then you can be confident that you are children of the day, of the light, and that God is going to keep you. God bless. 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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