Is sexual immorality causing America to fall? 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. This is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. We'd love to hear from you. Our phone lines will be open for the next 25 minutes or so, and here's the number. It's 833-THECORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on our Instagram or YouTube accounts. In fact, you can watch us live on Instagram and YouTube right now, see what's going on in the studio, and email us if you'd like. Here's our email address.
It's questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to Marjorie, who's calling in from Kansas. Marjorie, what's your question for Adriel? Uh, John 15-7. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. How can this possibly be true?
Because sometimes we ask and it doesn't happen. Mm. Marjorie, God bless you, and God bless your Bible study group.
Thank you for reaching out to us. This is John chapter 15, Jesus speaking about abiding in the vine, really one of the most, I think, beautiful chapters of the Gospel of John, pointing us to this organic union that we have with Jesus Christ by faith. I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-dresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
And then he says to his disciples, Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you, as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine. Neither can you unless you abide in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me, he is thrown away like a branch and withers, and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned.
And now here's your verse. If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. Now, I think the answer to your question is that when we are abiding in Christ and his words are abiding in us, we're asking in accordance with God's will. John also says in 1 John that we know that if we ask anything according to the will of God, he hears us and we have our requests.
And so there's the answer. It's that when we're abiding in Christ and his words are abiding in us, we're not praying selfishly or aimlessly. We're praying according to the will of God. And we know for certain that when we pray according to the will of God, our prayers are answered. It may not be answered in the timing that we expect, but God indeed does hear and answer our prayers. And that should encourage us and embolden us to pray for those things that we know are in line with the will of the Lord, our sanctification, our growth in grace. And so tying those things together, it's this reality of abiding in Christ, his word abiding in us, and then having confidence to approach the throne of grace, knowing that when we pray according to the will of God, we have our requests met and answered. Thank you for reaching out, Marjorie.
God bless you again. So if I'm praying for a BMW, it may not be in God's will. Is that what you're saying? Yeah. Yeah, Bill, probably not. Yeah.
I mean, well, no, no. The funny thing is, so God does care about our temporal needs. I mean, you think about what Jesus said in Matthew in the Sermon on the Mount, where he's teaching us to pray the Lord's Prayer. One of those requests, one of the things that we asked for is our daily bread. And just later, you know, Jesus is encouraging his disciples saying, don't worry about tomorrow sufficient for the day as the trouble thereof. Just this reality of the fact that God does care about our temporal needs and he gives us enough for each day. A lot of times we want more than that. We want God give me the storehouse and the BMW and all that. But that's that's not what he's promised us. He has promised to meet our needs, to give us that daily bread.
So well said. Pray like that, Bill. Pray that.
Pray for your daily bread, not your BMW. All right. I'll remember that. Thank you. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.
Our phone lines are open on this Friday, and we'd love to hear from you. Here's the number. 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. You might have a question about a Bible passage that has always kind of stumped you. You'd like some clarification on that or maybe something going on in your church that you're concerned about.
Hey, feel free to give us a call at 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to Hubert calling in from Missouri. Hubert, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, I've heard that on Revelation, a white horse, is that Jesus or is that the Antichrist? I never could figure that out. So there are a couple of places in the Book of Revelation where you have this this rider on a white horse. And one of them is very clearly speaking of Jesus in Revelation Chapter 19. It's obvious the rider on the white horse is Revelation 19, verse 11.
Then I saw heaven opened and behold a white horse and the one sitting on it is called Faithful and True. In righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire and on his head are many diadems.
And he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood and the name by which he is called is the Word of God. John 1-1, In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. This is Jesus conquering there in Revelation 19, bringing the ultimate judgment. The other place, and this is the one that's more debated, is in Revelation Chapter 6, the seven seals. Verse 1, Then I watched when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, Come. And I looked and behold a white horse and its rider had a bow and a crown was given to him and he came out conquering and to conquer.
And then this is followed up by several other horses. When he opened the second seal, I heard a second living creature say, Come. And out came another horse, bright red.
Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth so that people should slay one another. And he was given a great sword and he opened the third seal. And I heard the living creature say, Come and behold, a black horse. And its rider had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, A quart of wheat for Adonarius and three quarts of barley for Adonarius.
And do not harm the oil and the wine. And then you have the fourth seal where you have a pale horse that's released and you have more judgment and death as a result. And so the question is, who's on the white horse there? Is it Jesus?
Because he's certainly on the white horse in Revelation 19. Or is this someone else? Is this, as you mentioned, the Antichrist? My, my take when I preached through the book of Revelation. So there are going to be some people who say, No, that is Christ going out to conquer by the power of his word. And then there are others who say, No, this is this is seems to be some sinister evil force.
And I take that view for a couple of reasons. One, those four horses seem to be bringing a kind of negative judgment, obviously under the sovereignty of God. But it doesn't it doesn't seem to be that you have one righteous horse, the white horse, and then followed by, you know, these evil, sinister spirits, whatever they are. You have also the background of this text in Zechariah Chapter six, verses one through eight. These these horsemen that bring judgment and suffering. The other reason why I think it's it's, you know, probably not referring to Jesus, even though you have a white horse is throughout the book of Revelation.
It seems like one of the tactics of the Antichrist is to is to imitate Christ, to try to look like him. And so this could be another example of that that happens elsewhere in the book of Revelation. So that was that was my view. But you will have, you know, solid Bible commentators who make the case, who make the argument that the white horse there, the one riding it is is Jesus.
That's not the view that I take for the reasons I mentioned. God bless. You're listening to 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, you name it.
We would love to hear from you. Let's go to Diana, who's calling in from Kansas. You've got a question about the Old Testament.
Diana, what is your question? Yeah, my question is from Genesis 16, 10 and 12. In verse 10, God told Hagar that her son's descendants would be ten years to count. And in verse 12, he told her that her son's hand would be against everyone. So why did God think it was important to make Israel's descendants numerous if he knew they would be enemies to his people, Israel?
Yeah, thank you for this question. I mean, one of the things that you have here is God extending a great degree of mercy and goodness and kindness to Hagar, who's being mistreated, frankly, by Abraham. In chapter 16, verse 1, now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said to Abram, Behold, now the Lord has prevented me from bearing children.
Go into my servant. It may be that I shall obtain children by her. So Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. So after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram, Abram's wife took Hagar, the Egyptian, her servant, and gave her to Abram, her husband, as a wife. Now, what's really interesting there is the language there in Genesis chapter 16, verse 3 echoes the language that we see in Genesis chapter 3, verse 6, with Eve taking what she shouldn't have taken the fruit and giving it to her husband.
So it seems like there's a sinful act here on the part of Abram and Sarai. And he went into Hagar and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress.
And so as a result, she's put out of the household. She's treated harshly, we're told in verse 6. And so she runs away and the angel of the Lord pursues her, found her, verse 7, by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur.
And he said, Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going? And she said, I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai. And the angel of the Lord said to her, Return to your mistress and submit to her. And the angel of the Lord said to her, I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude. And the angel of the Lord said to her, Behold, you are pregnant with the sun. So you get this blessing here. One, the angel of the Lord pursues her.
Isn't this amazing? You have this woman who's been mistreated by the patriarch, frankly, Abram, and she's on the run. She's crying. And the angel of the Lord pursues her. And she is blessed. Now, as a result of all of this, I mean, it's traced back to Abram's lack of faith, his sin, his disobedience, not trusting that God would give him the promised seed.
But as a result of all of this, Hagar's offspring are going to grow. And that's what's highlighted there in verse 11. And so in one sense, you have God's kindness to her, but also the result of Abram's lack of trust in God.
And so this is happening historically and there's been a lot of pain from it. But I think the lesson that we can learn is just the reality of the fact that our sins have consequences. And even though we experience the forgiveness of the Lord and his grace, there are consequences, things that we experience, pain that we experience, sorrow that we experience, suffering that we experience down the line because of decisions we made in the past.
And so that's where I would leave it. You know, it's not that God is saying, I'm going to do this just to, you know, cause problems for my people. No, the issue was Abram's. It was his sin, his lack of faith. And these are the consequences of that. And yet in the midst of it, we see the grace of God as well.
Great explanation. Thank you for that, Adriel. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you would like to dig into the Bible, either on your own or in your small group, we have some great resources for you, a whole collection of core Bible studies on both the Old and the New Testament. You can check those out at our website corechristianity.com forward slash radio. And you know, Adriel, I know you have some favorite studies or some the Gospel of John is one of your personal favorites that really will help people dig into the deity of Christ. Yeah, it is one of my favorites that has been produced here at Core Christianity or put together. And I've just heard so many people who have benefited greatly from this study in particular. And so I want to encourage you, if you're looking for a Bible study to go through on your own or maybe with a group of friends from your church, get a hold of this one on the Gospel of John, yours for a donation of $15 or more. And these studies are available as a PDF download. You can download them directly onto your computer or phone or whatnot, or you can get the hard copy as well. It's a great resource.
So get a hold of it. We also have leaders guides for each one of our Bible studies. So if you lead a small group or a Sunday school class, what a great resource for you. You can check them out again at corechristianity.com forward slash radio. Just browse through some of our Bible studies.
They are excellent. Well, we'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. You can also leave us a voicemail this weekend if you want. Just leave your question on our voicemail system. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673.
Here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Brian. Somebody kind of told me last night that what's going on in America today is the same thing that has gone on in empires from the past. The primary thing that caused each one of them to collapse is sexual immorality among the people in the nation. Until Christians repent, the immorality of this country is not going to change.
It's going to get worse. What does the Bible say? If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, seek my face, turn from their wicked ways. Then while I hear from heaven, I will forgive their sins and heal their land. I like your opinion, Pastor Agile, of my comment.
Brian, I love this question, and I've been thinking about this recently, in fact. So in terms of the observation is sexual immorality causing the fall of America, of the United States. In the fifth century, when Rome fell, there was all this drama because the city of Rome had not been conquered for hundreds of years. The Roman Empire was ruling the Mediterranean for almost a millennium. And then Rome falls in the year 410, and everybody's freaking out.
How could this have happened? And the blame, people were looking for a scapegoat, as often is the case in situations like this. And the focus, the spotlight, came upon the Christian church.
And essentially the argument went like this. Ever since the Christians came around, people have been leaving the pagan gods, the gods that made Rome great, and they've started worshipping Jesus, the god of the Christians. And so the gods must be upset with us.
They must be angry because people are leaving them to follow Jesus, to worship Jesus. It's the fault of the Christians. And the response, there was a response given by a Christian pastor, one of the church fathers, St. Augustine.
He wrote a book, City of God, which is an excellent resource. It was an apologetic, essentially, responding to this accusation against the Christians. It's your fault that Rome fell in 410.
And you know what he says? He says, actually, the problem that you guys have, that you guys who think this, is that you think Rome fell in 410. It actually happened way before that. And what he points to is the immorality in Rome. He says it's this immorality, which in fact was sanctioned by a lot of these pagan religions. They were okay with it.
That was the issue. It wasn't at the hands of the barbarians that Rome fell. It was at your own hands, through your own sin and immorality. And it really does, sin really does destroy people and lead to the fall of nations, even.
And so I, Brian, I don't disagree with this observation. And I think what we need to do as a church is to, one, be careful that the sins of the world, the evils of the culture out there, you know, that those don't drag us down to that. We're not engaged in those same kinds of immorality. So first, repenting of our own sins as a church and as the people of God. And, you know, like James says, pure and undefiled religion is what visiting orphans and widows and keeping yourself unspotted from the world. And so to say, Lord, where have the spots crept in on us? Where do we need to say, God, have mercy upon me, a sinner, so that we can shine brightly as Christians? And then repenting, but then being bold with the truth of God's word, with the truth of the gospel, because people desperately need to hear it because sin really does destroy. And one of the sins that's destroying people all over the place today is the sin of sexual immorality, Brian. So you're on to something there. And it's an observation that has been made even by some of the greatest Christian thinkers throughout the history of the church, like Saint Augustine.
And so I appreciate you reaching out to us. We need to get our own house in order before we start looking around at the greater culture, right? Yeah, absolutely. It's not to say that we, you know, we just forget about what's going on around us. It's just it's easy. It's easy to, you know, focus on one or the other, isn't it?
It's easy to say, you know, point the finger out there and say, you know, you guys have all the problems. We're not willing to judge the sin inside. I mean, that's what Jesus, that's why Paul rebuked the Corinthian church in First Corinthians, Chapter five. He says, look, what have we to do with judging outsiders?
God's going to judge them. We need to make sure that we're dealing with the issues that we have within the church. And that doesn't mean we we neglect that prophetic voice that we're to have as Christians speaking to the world and to the culture, preaching the gospel, preaching the law and the gospel. But we definitely need to make sure that as we do so, we're doing so from a place of repentance and humility and and and not being dragged down by those same things that we're calling out. Great counsel.
Thanks for that. This is core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, you can always email us. Here's our email address. Questions at core Christianity dot com. Or you can leave us a voicemail at eight three three the core.
Let's go to Eric calling in from Iowa. Eric, what's your question for Adriel? Well, hello.
I have a question. I've been reading to Matthew and in there. There's one case where a lady I believe she's a canine woman. She came to Jesus and her daughter was oppressed by demons.
I believe. How did she know that her daughter was oppressed by demons? How would we know today?
Is it like a health problem or just some other issues? I would just seem like in the Bible, they talk about oppression by demons. And I'm just curious, how do you know that's occurring?
Yeah, thank you, Eric. So Matthew chapter 15, verse 21, Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David.
My daughter is severely oppressed by a demon. But he did not answer her word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, Send her away, for she is crying out after us. And he answered, I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
So there's a lot going on here, but you're focusing on the first part there. How does she know the result of all of this? In the end, Jesus is going to heal the daughter. Verse 28, Jesus answered her, O woman, great is your faith.
Be it done to you as you desire. And her daughter was healed instantly. Now, we're not given a lot of insight into what was manifesting there in this daughter. What was it that caused her to say, my daughter is oppressed by a demon?
And so some of it we don't know. It could have just been providential insight that she had given to her by God. We know, it seems like when Jesus shows up and he's conducting his earthly ministry, it seems like there's just an infestation of demons and demonic possession. And I think what's being communicated to us in the gospels is things were pretty bad.
Religiously speaking, there in Israel at the time, there was a lot of hypocrisy. In fact, when Jesus cleanses the temple, the word that's used for him casting out the money changes. The same word that's used for him casting out demons. It's as if he's performing an exorcism on the temple itself. It had been overrun, a den of thieves. And so what's being highlighted here is the fact that there's a serious spiritual oppression going on at the time that Jesus begins his earthly ministry.
Now here's what I would want to say to you, brother. Jesus by his work, his earthly ministry, his death on the cross, his resurrection from the dead has fully and finally conquered Satan. So that in one sense he was cleaning house here. That doesn't mean that we don't experience demonic oppression and that there isn't such a thing as demonic possession today.
I think that there is. But I think that you also have something unique that's happening there in the first century that Jesus is dealing with. And so for us today, how do we know whether we're oppressed by a demon or is this a situation of demonic possession? Well, the first thing I would say is for a Christian, for a baptized believer, the evil one doesn't have any authority or power over that person's life. So that's one way that we could say, okay, maybe this is spiritual oppression. But if you're in Christ, you can't be possessed because the spirit of God has sealed you and lives in you. And we also want to be careful because sometimes we can attribute physical things.
It could be a mental health thing, it could just be a sickness. We can say, well, this is demonic and so we just need to pray more instead of getting the real medical attention that an individual might need. So this does require wisdom and prayer and the wisdom of people around you. I would say this is something that hopefully is a discussion that's happening in the context of your Christian community and the church.
And so that's where I would leave it. It's not like there's some specific sign that we see or that the person says, the daughter was saying, I'm possessed by a demon or something like that. No, this woman had this understanding, this insight, and so she took her daughter to Jesus.
And in the end, Jesus heals her on the basis of her faith. And so that's another way I think that we could say, look, is this a spiritual thing? If we bring it to the Lord, in Christ, the Lord is able to work and does work.
If it's something else, then we need to seek probably medical attention. And so thank you for that question, complex one. And Bill, I know as someone who works with people who've wrestled with mental health issues and whatnot, you probably have some insight here too. Well, a lot of times there can be some confusion between a person, let's say, who's psychotic, schizophrenic, and a person who may be dealing with some kind of demonic oppression. I think it's so critical for us, as you said, to be discerning, to tease those things out.
Yeah. Don't draw conclusions too quickly and make sure that you're getting the wisdom and insight of your church as well, your pastor and the elders there. And so thanks for reaching out to us. May the Lord bless you. 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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