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What Authority Do I Have as a Believer?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
June 7, 2023 5:55 pm

What Authority Do I Have as a Believer?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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June 7, 2023 5:55 pm

Episode 1244 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

Questions in this Episode

1. Are there different levels of heaven and hell?

2. How can I be patient with Christian family members whose beliefs I disagree with?

3. What would a pastor need to do to be ordained in a different denomination?

4. What authority over the spiritual world do I have as a Christian?

5. What verses can I use to minister to those who struggle with addiction?

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What authority do I have as a believer? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, 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 right now with your question at 833-THE-CORE. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and of course you can always email us at

First up today, here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Ruth. I've heard a pastor who is a rather popular pastor say that there are different levels of heaven and different levels of hell, suggesting that if you're really good, you get to be on the highest level on down, and then the same in hell. I just wondered if you had heard of that, and I have reached out to see if they have any scripture to back that up, but I have never heard a reply.

Thank you. Well, thank you for that question. I think some of this is speculative. There's that great classic work, Dante's Inferno, describing the various levels of hell, and it's very colorful in terms of these pictures that are painted of where particular sinners go and the kinds of sufferings they experience, but that's all speculative. I think what you do see in scripture is not so much this idea of different levels of hell, per se, or different levels of heaven, but the fact that God's judgment is perfect, and each one is going to receive according to what they've done. That's the phrase that's oftentimes used with reference to the judgment, and there are some people who are going to be judged more severely. In other words, their experience is going to be, I don't know if we would call it a different level of hell, but there is a more severe judgment for some. Jesus indicated this very clearly in the gospel, specifically when he was rebuking the scribes and the Pharisees. For example, in Luke chapter 20, verse 45, and in the hearing of all the people, he said to his disciples, beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts who devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.

Well, why? Well, it's because they were the teachers of the law. They should have known better, but instead they were devouring widows' houses.

They looked good externally, but internally they were an absolute mess, and so there was this greater judgment, this greater condemnation. Similarly, there are various passages in the New Testament that seem to talk about rewards for the righteous, rewards in heaven, but I don't think that that's a different level of heaven in the sense that there are some people who are in the two-bedroom, one-bath homes in heaven, and other people have just a much better mansion, that kind of a thing. There's somewhat of a mystery here, but we know, again, that God is perfectly just and that he's going to reward us for our faithfulness to him and our love for him. Now, of course, having said that, we never want to suggest that we're justified or saved by being really, really good, that kind of a thing. No, we're justified solely by faith in Jesus Christ, and yet those good deeds that we do in faith towards the Lord, he does reward. And so that is something that we see in the New Testament.

Thank you very much for that question. You know, you mentioned mansions in heaven. I'm just hoping that I get a double-wide mobile home. Yeah, exactly. Give me the tent.

I'll camp there. I mean, for everyone, if the concern is maybe I'm not going to be happy in heaven because I've really struggled here on earth, and so other people are really going to be happy, and I'm going to just sort of be like, well, I'm glad I made it, but I'm suffering on the poor street of the New Jerusalem. Yeah, not going to happen. I mean, it's going to be amazing, perfect love together with the Lord and all of God's people. We can't even begin to imagine it. And so, yeah, read the end of the book of Revelation, that beautiful picture, that vision that John receives of the heavenly Jerusalem coming down from heaven to earth like a bride adorned for her husband.

I mean, that's what we have to look forward to. Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open if you have a question about the Bible, Christian life, doctrine, theology, maybe a Bible passage that's always kind of confused you, you'd like some clarification on it. You can call us now at 1-833-843-2673, or you can spell that out. It's called 833-THE-CORE, 833-THE-CORE. Maybe put that down so you have it for future reference. Let's go to Paula, who's calling in from Oklahoma. Paula, what's your question for Adriel? Yeah, I have some family members that go to different churches, and I actually haven't been able to find a good biblically based church here in Oklahoma.

I'd have to drive about an hour or 45 minutes. But one is going where they support women pastors. And another is also, it's a big, it's a place called church. I'm not sure if you've heard of that. And they also, you know, support and they do the, I guess, kind of like the, how do I explain it? They have the pastor and then it's on a screen. And they also, when God came out, they supported that.

And then I think they're also, you know, on the LGBTQ acceptance of, you know, accepting that. And so I've worn them both. And I came out of that lifestyle about 15 years ago.

I was born again under, you know, listening to R.C. Spoll. And I just, you know, don't know how to, do I just continue to, you know, talk to him or it's like, I just get so frustrated. So I was hoping you could help me on that.

Yeah. Just a few things, Paula. One, God bless you. I do hope that you find a solid church that you're able to get plugged into.

So, so important. I'm very sorry to hear that it seems like the closest church that's going to be faithful to scripture is going to be 45 minutes away or an hour away. But if that's the only one, I would say, I would say make the trek. I mean, we need to be in the local church as Christians. We're called to God calls you to worship. He calls us to attach ourselves to faithful Bible believing true churches. So I just want to encourage you in that.

I know it's hard. I know it's a sacrifice, especially when it's far away, but just want to encourage you in that, sister. And then with regard to having conversations with family members that go to churches that are not, are not faithful to God's word in certain areas. You mentioned sort of jumping on the bandwagon of the LGBTQ agenda and how there are churches that have been doing that who are saying, well, you know, this is not an issue of sin and, you know, we're accepting and affirming and so on and so forth. You know, when I think about the warnings that Jesus gives in Revelation chapter two and three to the various churches that were in Asia Minor, one of the warnings had to do with embracing the idolatry of the day and embracing the idolatry of the day related to sexual sin. For example, Jesus is addressed to the church in Thyatira. We read in Revelation chapter two verse 18 to the angel of the church in Thyatira, right? The words of the son of God who has eyes like a flame of fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze.

I know your works, your love, faith, endurance, patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman, Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. It takes time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation unless they repent of her works.

It's very clear. We have to, churches that are embracing the idolatrous sexual immorality of the world and of the culture are called to repentance. If there is no repentance, what ends up happening is the church ceases to be a church.

It becomes a place, maybe a social club or a club that gathers around particular social issues, but not around the gospel and not around faithfulness to God's word. I think having these conversations with family members and just saying, look, is this church, is our church, the churches that we're a part of, are they committed to honoring God and his word or have they substituted the word of God for some other authority for whatever the culture says or whatever the world says? We need to be discerning and Jesus calls the churches to repentance when they fail to uphold his word and to follow him. May God help all of us, may God help you, may God help me, one, to be faithful, to repent where we need to repent, but two, to hold fast to the word and to encourage others, those who profess faith in Christ, to be faithful as well and where there has been this drift into the evils of the day to repent and to receive the grace of God. May the Lord bless you, Paolo. Paolo, thanks so much for your call, for listening to Core Christianity. We'll be praying that you do find a great Bible-believing church that you can plug into right away. This is Core Christianity and if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, maybe some kind of struggle going on in your life that you could use some prayer for, maybe something happening at your church that you have a question about, hey, feel free to give us a call. Our phone lines will be open for the next 15 minutes or so. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. I have a YouTube question coming from John. John says, is there any problem with Baptist or Presbyterian pastors becoming pastors in other denominations? What are the practical implications? Practically speaking, I think that if you're called to preach as a pastor, to minister, you want to line up where you fit in terms of the theology.

That's key. You don't want to minister in a denomination where, I hold to these theological views, but the denomination broadly doesn't. Typically, you just can't. If you're being examined by a denomination to be ordained, they're asking you questions like, what do you believe about baptism? How do you make a case for this or for that? If you don't align with the theology of the church, then they're just going to say, well, find a church that fits with what you believe. There are some denominations that are more open with regard to some of these theological issues. No denomination is perfect. We can't say that this particular denomination is the perfect denomination that everybody needs to join. We want to be faithful to the scriptures, and we want to recognize that these structures, these denominations, can be helpful in terms of providing accountability and shared, pooled resources for things like church planting and missions. There are a lot of good things that happen in and through various denominations. I think that's a wonderful thing.

I think that's something we should praise God for. Certainly, you want to, as a pastor, as a minister of the gospel, minister somewhere where you can do so with a clear conscience and be committed to the word of God. Like I said, maybe speaking, if somebody's a Presbyterian, they're saying, well, I don't want to minister in a Presbyterian denomination. I want to minister in this other denomination that maybe has broader views. I would just wonder, well, to what extent or how much are you committed to these tenets of what you say you believe as a Presbyterian or as a Baptist, for that matter?

Again, I think it could potentially pose some problems, but every case is going to be different, so case by case basis, John. Thank you for that YouTube question. You're listening to Core Christianity. We'd love to hear from you if you've got a question about the Bible or the Christian life doctrine or theology.

Maybe you've got some doubts about the Christian faith. Hey, we're always open to your call. Here's the number 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. If you've got a high school student in your family or maybe your grandparent with a high school student, we have a great resource that we'd like to tell you about as your young person gets ready to head off to the working world or to college after they graduate. The resource is called How to Keep Your Faith After High School. It's a great booklet. I think no matter what age you are, it's never easy being a Christian in today's culture.

You can only imagine, in fact, how much more difficult it is today with media and social media. We need to provide resources for our kids, for young adults who are going off to college, resources that are going to help ground them in the truth of the Christian faith and help to guide them, especially as they go off into the world. That's precisely what this resource is. Again, we're offering it today, How to Keep Your Faith After High School. You can get it over at We have a lot of great resources on our website. And by the way, I want to mention that Core Christianity is a listener-supported ministry.

We don't play commercials here. We don't get money from a church or denomination. We count on people just like you to make gifts to keep us on the air. And if you believe in our ministry, believe in what we do, we'd encourage you to make a gift. You can go to and just look for the donate button at the top.

And if God is leading you to do that, we would really appreciate it. Again, the website is We do get voicemails here at the Core. And here's one that came in earlier this week from one of our listeners named Tedra. Hi, Pastor Adriel and Dr. Bill. I just thank you so much for Core Christianity Ministry. It has helped me so much in my walk.

But my question is regarding the authorities that believers have, because I come from a charismatic Word of Faith prosperity gospel background. And so I've been unlearning all of the false teachings that come from that, such as pleading the blood of Jesus or praying for a hedge of protection and just all those things that are seemingly mystical. Thank you so much for considering taking my question. And God bless you. God bless you too, sister. And I'm so grateful to hear that the broadcast has been encouraging to you.

I hope that it continues to be an encouragement to you. So what authority do we have as a believer? All of us as Christians, baptized Christians, we have the General Office of Christian or General Office of Believer, prophet, priests and kings in one sense. Like priests in so far as you have this universal priesthood of believers called to offer to God the sacrifice of thanksgiving, called to serve each other as this universal priesthood. Prophets also, you think of Joel 2 and Acts 2, the day of Pentecost. I don't mean that necessarily in the charismatic sense, but just called to bear witness to, to testify of the grace of God in our lives.

But the authority that we have, it's not so much to take control of the situation by naming it and claiming it, that sort of a thing. You mentioned the word of faith, prosperity background. You see that a lot there. And sometimes they'll appeal to texts like Luke chapter 10, verses 17 and following, in particular verse 19 where Jesus says to the 72 after they come back from doing some ministry, he says, behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall hurt you. But then he says this, I love this, nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.

Wow. So there, I mean, he's writing to these, these teachers, this, this, this band of disciples that sent out to teach anything. They have a particular authority that's rooted in, I would say the word of God.

It's not, it's not them, something special about them. It's not their own holiness or righteousness or piety. It's the word of God that binds and loses that, that tramples on Satan. And so the, the authority that we have is, is rooted first and foremost in scripture. And we sometimes distinguish between a ministerial authority and a magisterial authority.

And let me explain what I mean by that as a minister of the gospel, right? I have a ministerial authority. It's the authority to serve and to serve with the word of God and call people to embrace and believe the word of God. It's that law, God's law, which is the ultimate authority. I don't have any authority in and of myself to, to bind and lose, you know, things unrelated to God's, God's word. And so like as a pastor, I don't have the authority to say, this is exactly what you, what you should do and give you new, new laws that are not related to God's law.

So that's where we have to be very careful. And that's where some, some Christians and some, especially Christian teachers and ministers can get into a lot of trouble. But, but just realizing as, as believers, we have that, that, that, that calling to serve each other with the word of God and the word of God is the ultimate authority. And what we should rejoice in above all else is what Jesus says to the 72 is not this, not this ministerial authority that we have as Christians or as, as pastors in the Christian church, but rejoicing that our names are written in heaven by God, that we have that salvation in Jesus Christ. And so thank you, sister. I'm grateful to hear that the Lord is continuing to sanctify you and help, help you to grow in your understanding of the word. And that he's brought you out of that word of faith theology movement. May he can continue to bless you and sanctify you as you dig into the scriptures.

So well said. Thank you, Tedra, for calling us and for the fact that God is leading you to a proper understanding of his word. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

By the way, we're going to be recording a second episode of Core Christianity after our live program ends here in just a few minutes. So if you weren't able to get through with your question, feel free to call us. You can call for the next 30 minutes or so. Here's the number. 833-THECORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. And of course, if you get our voicemail, feel free to leave your question there as well. Let's go to Ryan, who's calling in from Arkansas. Ryan, what's your question for Adriel? Hello? Hey, Ryan. Hey, I just want to first off say I listen to your program all the time.

I absolutely love it. So I'm a recovered addict by the grace of God. I've been stepping in since I gave my life to Jesus. I've been stepping in to spend all my heart ministering to other addicts. I just didn't have anybody that did that with me directly.

I'm looking for some of the best packages, maybe some resources to help me with that. Yeah. Well, one, God bless you. Thank you for the encouragement. And God bless you, especially as you seek to minister to people wrestling with addiction, having been pulled out of it yourself.

And praise God for that. I think probably just even from your own experience, you know, how God worked in your life and some of the resources that maybe were helpful for you would be really helpful to pass along. I think when it comes to dealing with addiction, I'm sure Dr. Bill Meyer would agree here.

This is a holistic approach. So getting all the help you can get, both from the local church, from professionals who deal with addictive behavior as well, I think that's important. And in terms of scripture, just highlighting the real nature of temptation and the hope that we have as believers submitted to God's will against temptation in particular by the grace of the Holy Spirit. I think about what Paul said in First Corinthians chapter 10, verse 13. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. And God is faithful and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability. But with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape that you may be able to endure it. And so realizing that God is for us in the fight against temptation. He's not pushing us into it. He's not, you know, coercing us to fall or something like that. No, he's giving us escape routes and being conscious of that as someone who wrestles with temptation, knowing that and saying, God, give me open eyes to see those escape routes. Maybe it's a change of scenery.

Maybe it's, you know, not being around certain people. Whatever that is, help me to see that and to go through that door. And then I would also just add again with this fight, you know, against temptation, realizing that we have a merciful and gracious God, a great high priest who is, again, for us in the midst of this battle against temptation. Hebrews chapter 2, verse 17, Therefore he, that is Jesus, had to be made like his brothers in every respect so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. For the believer who struggles with temptation, you have a great high priest, Jesus, who sympathizes with you in your weakness.

Just a little bit later, the author of the Hebrews says in chapter 4, verse 14, Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens. Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession, for we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every way has been tempted as we are. Yet without sin let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. And so from the Christian perspective for a brother or sister wrestling with addiction and temptation, just knowing that you're not alone in the fight, that you have a community around you that loves you, especially the local church, and that you have a God in heaven who is for you in the fight against temptation, and a great high priest, Jesus, who sympathizes with your weakness and who invites you to come to the throne of grace with boldness and receive mercy and find grace to help in the time of need. And so those are some passages, brother, that I would encourage you to dig into and also to share with those who are wrestling along with getting that holistic care, that help from the local church, from people who are willing to invest, and from professionals as well. And may the Lord bless you and continue to keep you as you seek to serve Him. God bless. Copyright © 2020, New Thinking Allowed Foundation
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-07 18:16:54 / 2023-06-07 18:27:11 / 10

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