Is there forgiveness after an abortion? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity.
Well, 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. Of course, you can always post your question on one of our social media sites, and you can email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com.
First up today, let's go to Michelle calling in from Cincinnati, Ohio. Michelle, what's your question for Adriel? What are the different roles of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? And why can't, why has no one seen God, but only Jesus? Like, why can't we see God for ourselves? What are the different roles of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
And also, what are the different roles of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? And why can't, why has no one seen God, but only Jesus? Like, why can't we see God for ourselves? And only, like it says in John, only Jesus can see God, and we can't see him. Michelle, there were so many great questions there, and I don't want to miss any of them. I mean, one of the things you asked there was, well, did God the Father down the cross?
The answer to that is no. The second person of the Holy Trinity, God the Son, is the one who assumed humanity, went to the cross, and died in that humanity for us and for our salvation. There was a heresy in the ancient church known as Patropasianism, this idea that the Father also suffered on the cross as well.
That was rejected by the church. And so, the persons of the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are at work together in concert, accomplishing our redemption as one, but the Son alone is the one who went and suffered for us and for our salvation. Now, in terms of how to explain and properly understand the doctrine of the Trinity, first, I think it's okay for us to say we're talking about the eternal one, about God, and no one can wrap their minds around God as he is in his essence.
So, there is a great mystery to the doctrine of the Trinity, just like there's great mystery pertaining to so many of those wonderful doctrines of scripture. We're like ants trying to comprehend human beings or something like that. We're creatures trying to wrap our minds around the uncreated creator. And so, it's okay for us to say, God, this is too big for me.
I'm not going to be able to fully wrap my mind around it. And yet, we do have God's revelation. And as you said, God is one.
Deuteronomy 6-4, hero Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And yet, the Father is called God, the Son is called God, the Holy Spirit is very clearly God in scripture. But it isn't that the three persons of the Holy Trinity are the same person just wearing these different masks. And so, at some points in redemptive history, God reveals himself as the Father, maybe in the Old Testament. And then during the incarnation, it's revealing himself as the Son, putting on a new mask. That was the ancient heresy known as modalism.
And so, that's also something that was rejected. You have three distinct persons who are one in essence and undivided. And so, the Father is not the Son. That's why we can say that the Father didn't suffer at the cross.
The Son is not the Holy Spirit. And yet, these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and in glory. And the reason we confess this is because it's what the Bible very clearly teaches. Often when I'm having conversations with Jehovah's Witnesses, they'll say, well, that just doesn't make any sense to me.
Well, at the end of the day, it's not that we can wrap our minds around it fully. It's that this is how God has revealed himself in his word. And so, we're humbly receiving his revelation and trusting in it.
And so, we're not speculating as much as we are adoring God as he's revealed himself in Scripture. And so, no, not three different masks. And no, the Father did not suffer at the cross.
Only Jesus did. And yet again, these three are one God, one in essence, the same in substance, equal in power and glory. So, Michelle, thank you for that question. And I appreciate you digging into this very, very important topic because it gets to the very heart of who God is. You know, just to follow up for you, Michelle also was wondering why we can't see God.
Can you kind of explain that? Thank you. Yeah, I mentioned Michelle had so many good questions there, and I did miss that one, Bill. So, thank you for picking up on that. Well, God is invisible, right? But this is what the Scripture very clearly says. We can't see God with our eyes. God is a spirit. John chapter 4, God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. And so, he's invisible, but the second person of the Holy Trinity, God the eternal Son, assumed humanity, flesh and blood, so that he was seen by men and women.
And we did see his glory. And in one sense, we believe that when we die and go into glory, we're going to see God. We're not talking about seeing God with our eyeballs, if you will, but we're going to have this full revelation of the Lord.
This happy vision has been referred to as the beatific vision by theologians throughout Christian history. But God as he is, and especially as he is in his essence, we can't see or know. In order to do that, you'd have to be God. And we aren't God. There's this gap between the Creator and the creatures that we can't cross over as creatures. And so, again, it highlights God's transcendence, his glory, his power, and yet this God, this invisible God, has been made known to mankind through his revelation, and in particular, through the sending of his Son into the world.
Great explanation. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, maybe some type of persecution you're running up against at your workplace or in school.
Let us know. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to John calling in from Missouri. John, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, I'd like to know, when it says the Bible says and the last says there will be false Christs and Antichrists and all this, what is the definition of false Christs and Antichrists? And also, when the final event occurs, will the Christians be separated by the time this false Christ or Antichrist takes over? And also, just to repeat my question, what are the signs and what are the definitions of an Antichrist, and how do you know the one versus the real authentic Christian?
Thanks. Hey, John, so in terms of discerning the spirits, I'm going to go to that text that's very clear in 1 John 4, verse 1. Beloved, do not believe every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they are from God.
For many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God. Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.
This is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard was coming, and now is in the world already. And so at the heart of the spirit of the Antichrist, this deception is confusion about the identity and the work of Jesus the Messiah, the person of Christ. We were just talking about the deity of Christ.
We were talking about the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, that first caller. So confusion about who Jesus is. You see this among Jehovah's Witnesses.
You see this among Mormons. You see this even among professing Christians who don't grasp the identity of the Lord Jesus Christ. But not just his identity, but also his work.
What did he come to accomplish? The spirit of the Antichrist wants to confuse us about the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, his atoning sacrifice. And so any quote unquote ministry or minister or preacher or religion that minimizes who Jesus is and what he's come to do has been influenced by the spirit of the Antichrist. And that's again what John is highlighting. That's what the spirit of the Antichrist wants to do. He wants to get our eyes off of Jesus, off of his person and off of his work. And that's why it's the job of faithful churches today to fix our eyes on Christ, his person and his work for our redemption. And if we do that and if we're doing that well, we'll be guarded, we'll be protected from the spirit of this age and the spirit of the Antichrist that's out there, as John said, already in the world today. Thanks for your question. Okay, challenging question for you then. Do you believe that some of these denominations that have departed from the Bible, departed from the true Christian faith, are a sign of the Antichrist?
I would say absolutely. I mean, it's the influence of the spirit of this age or the spirit of the evil one on churches, sadly leading them away from exalting and glorifying Jesus Christ and being faithful to the word of God, a stray into various doctrines or ideas or whatever it is, if it's moving us away from the gospel, Christ's person and work, then we would say, yeah, there's something satanic about that, truly. And so we have to be on guard and vigilant. And we, again, have to fix our eyes upon Christ as he's revealed to us in scripture.
Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you.
Maybe you've got a question about doctrine or theology, something at your church that confuses you, something that you're wondering about in your own Christian walk. Give us a call right now. 833-843-2673.
That's 833-THE-CORE. We'll be taking calls for the next 10 minutes or so. We'd love to hear from you. Let's go to Sarah in Las Vegas. Sarah, what's your question for Adriel?
Hello. There's a verse that says anything not done in faith is sin. And I was wondering exactly what that means. Does that mean when we're hesitant or uncertain about something and choose to follow through with it, that it's sin? Or if our decision to follow through when we're uncertain itself is an act of faith, what does biblical faith mean? And how can we prevent ourselves from sin in regards to that verse?
Sarah, excellent question. And the verse that you're picking up on is in Romans chapter 14. In the context of the Apostle Paul talking about not causing your brother or sister to stumble with personal decisions that you make.
In particular there, one of the things that's highlighted is diet and food. In verse 20, do not for the sake of food destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God.
Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. Whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats because the eating is not from faith, for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. And so it's really Sarah understanding this in its context as he's talking about in particular food and potentially meat offered to idols. You know, there was that whole debate in that world, a very pagan world, where there would be meat that was sacrificed to an idol and then sold in the meat market. And there were some Christians who really had a difficult time accepting that kind of food. They said, well, that was used in a pagan sacrifice, a religious pagan sacrifice.
How could I eat that meat? And especially if they were coming from those pagan backgrounds, it really, it pricked their consciences. They had a hard time doing that and not feeling like they were sinning. And of course, Paul says in places like the book of Romans and also in 1 Corinthians 8 that an idol is nothing in the world, right? That really, for the sake of conscience, eat the food.
It's not a big deal. You're not sinning if you do. You're not sinning if you don't. But if you have these doubts and if you feel like you're sinning, then really you're incapable of doing so in a way that's honoring to the Lord, of eating to the glory of God because you feel like you're sinning and you're going through with it and saying, okay, am I sinning?
And so he's saying, look, if that's the case, if that's your struggle, then just don't eat. Don't eat that food in particular because you're wrestling with the question of, am I obeying God or am I sinning? And rather than just saying, okay, I'm not going to do it then, you're following through with it and you're questioning God, you're doubting. And in that sense, right, there's sin involved because of the way in which you're eating. You're not eating in faith. I wouldn't say, Sarah, that this extends to you're facing a couple of life decisions and you're not sure which way to go and you're not 100% certain about this particular direction, but you take a step of faith and you're just going to do it anyway. I don't think that's what Paul is talking about here. He's talking about those decisions that we make, like what's taking place there in Romans chapter 14 in the first century church, where we question our actions and whether or not we're sinning while we do them and yet without confidence, we follow through with it and so we're plagued with doubt and unbelief. And he says, look, don't do that.
If that's your struggle, then just don't eat. And of course, all of this gets into the doctrine of liberty of conscience and the importance of the freedom that we have in Jesus Christ. I think as we mature as believers and we realize, and certainly this was part of Paul's argument in 1 Corinthians chapter 8, is we realize that an idol is nothing in the world, that really I can give thanks for the food in particular that God has given to me and eat to the glory of God, even if it was used in this pagan ritual. There's freedom there. And so may the Lord bless you and may God help all of us in whatever we do to do it with confidence and unto the Lord if there's any question about whether or not we can. Now, of course, we're not talking about those things that are clearly outlined in scripture as sin.
We're never given the freedom to just go ahead and do that confidently. Here, Paul is talking about those sort of gray area issues, matters of liberty of conscience. And so thanks for giving us a call, Sarah. God bless. Sarah, thanks so much for listening to Core Christianity.
We appreciate you. Hey, there's a lot of discussion these days about abortion in our culture, and we actually have a free devotional that addresses that issue we'd like to make available to you. Yeah, the devotional is called Fearfully Made, and this is one of the hot-button issues in our culture today. There's so much debate.
There's so much heat in the realm of politics and around this issue. And so I hope that you'll get a hold of this resource because this isn't just a political issue. We're talking about people made in the image of God and what God's Word has to say about that and the importance of life and valuing life. And so we really ought to see it as not just this political issue but at the very heart of God's goodness, his creation, people made in the image of God, and we hope that you'll get a hold of this resource. Again, it's called Fearfully Made, and it's a wonderful devotional that you can get over at corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Once again, no charge to you. We'd love to get that in your hands, and it's just a wonderful resource that will not only help you but maybe help others who are confused about this issue of the sanctity of human life. Go to corechristianity.com forward slash offers to find out more. Well, we do receive voicemails here at the Core. You can call us 24 hours a day with your question at 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673.
Here's one that came in from one of our listeners earlier this week. Hi. I need to know, can someone that's had an abortion be forgiven? Yeah. Well, thank you for that question. And the answer, the simple answer to your question, can someone who's had an abortion be forgiven is yes. Not because abortion is some small sin. It's a heinous and a grievous sin in the eyes of God. Abortion is the taking of a life. There is forgiveness in the Bible for the taking of life or murder.
Therefore, it's very clear that there is forgiveness for abortion. And so what we do is we don't minimize the sin. We call it what it is, and we highlight the great mercy of God and forgiveness of Jesus.
The fact that the blood of Jesus Christ is able to cleanse us, our sins, whatever those sins may be, is able to deliver us from blood guiltiness. And this is precisely, I mean, I think of what David prayed in Psalm 51. David is confronted by the prophet Nathan after he had basically taken Bathsheba and violated her.
And then additionally, what does he do? He has her husband murdered, killed in battle. And he hadn't come to his senses until Nathan the prophet confronted him. He's confronted by the word of God. He's overcome by a sense of grief over his sin, a broken heart. And maybe you've had an abortion, and you have that same sense of grief and a broken heart, and it plagues you. Let me just say to you, sister, the blood of Christ is sufficient for you. The mercy of God is there for you. When you turn to Jesus, that sin, that abortion, doesn't keep you from his love, from his grace, from his forgiveness when you turn to him.
And that's precisely what David did. If he turned to the Lord in Psalm 51, he's crying out to God. He says in verse 12, Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from blood guiltiness, O God.
O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. Well, I just want to take a moment right now to pray for the person listening who has had an abortion, and they really wrestle with this question. They wonder if they can be forgiven, and they're just plagued with guilt because of this sin in the past. You know, they've turned to the Lord, and yet they're just still overwhelmed with that sense of guilt and grief and shame.
I want to pray for that person right now. Father, we come to you as broken sinners, and we approach you, Lord, with boldness and confidence, not because of our own righteousness, but because of the righteousness of your precious Son, Jesus Christ, whose sacrifice on the cross, whose once and for all sacrifice on the cross is sufficient to cleanse us of all of our sins, whatever those sins might be. And I pray, Lord, for my sisters who are wrestling with guilt and shame and despair even, Lord, because of past abortion or abortions, I pray that as they look to you now, Jesus, that you would comfort them and give them a sense of your love, mercy, and forgiveness as they turn to you, asking for your grace and mercy.
Would you extend that to them now? Would you bring healing and hope? Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your love, for your mercy, and for your cross. Father, we pray these things in Jesus' name. Amen. Amen. Thanks for that, Adriel.
Some great words. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, or theology, we would love to hear from you. You can email us anytime at questions at corechristianity.com.
Also, we have a YouTube channel, and you can watch Adriel on YouTube every day at 1130 a.m. Pacific time, and then send us your question through our YouTube channel. Here's one that came in from a listener or a YouTube viewer named T. Are we just suppressing our desires when we sin? What if you still want to sin? Does that mean your heart hasn't changed?
Excellent question. I think we're suppressing our desires oftentimes when we choose not to sin, which is a way of mortifying the flesh. Mortify, it's an old word.
It means to put to death. It's precisely what the Apostle Paul says that we're called to do by the Spirit, is to put to death the sinful deeds of the body. When we do, we're saying no to our fleshly passions, those sinful desires that we have, whatever they may be. There's a suppressing of the desires not so much when we sin, but when we choose not to sin. Now, when we do that, we can still have those ungodly desires and a longing for a desire for sin.
What do we do with that? Well, we confess that, because even that ungodly desire, that disordered desire, is a sin before God. We say, Lord, have mercy upon me and help me, Lord. And so if your question is, hey, I think I'm a Christian, but I have these desires to sin still, does that mean I'm not regenerated? I would say no, that does not mean necessarily that you're not regenerated, because we have that battle that the Bible makes very clear. It talks about this in places like Galatians 5 and Romans 7, that battle between the flesh and the Spirit.
And we're going to be in that battle until the day that we die, when people were perfected in holiness by the grace of God. And so don't be discouraged by the fact that you have those feelings. Instead, confess those feelings to the Lord.
Fall down at His feet and say, God, have mercy upon me, a sinner. You know, what this does, I remember when I was first struck by this as a newer believer thinking, boy, I can't believe I still have these thoughts and feelings and even these desires. And it just struck me that I'm actually worse than I thought I was.
I used to think I was a pretty good person, but I'm actually worse than I thought I was. But here's the good news. The grace of God and the mercy of Christ is greater than I ever would have imagined. That God would save me and you, sinners who still turn our backs, who still have these desires that are not in line with His word, and that He'd be merciful to us through Jesus, highlights the grace of God for me and for you. God bless. God bless. You
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