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Is Our President Appointed by God?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
September 5, 2023 1:30 pm

Is Our President Appointed by God?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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September 5, 2023 1:30 pm

Episode 1308 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

Questions in this Episode

1. How can I authentically seek God according to Romans 3?

2. What is the "sin that leads to death" in 1 John 5?

3. Did people actually rise from the dead in Matthew 27:52-53?

4. Do we elect our presidents or does God appoint them?

5. Should Christians focus more on Old Testament laws and ceremonies?

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Is our president appointed by God? 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. Our phone lines will be open for the next 25 minutes or so. Here's the number. 1-833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Now, you can also post your question on one of our social media sites. In fact, you can watch us right now on YouTube if you want, and you can always email us with your question at First up today, let's go to Michelle calling in from Ohio. Michelle, what's your question for Adriel?

Hi, yes. Thank you for taking my call. I'm just kind of confused about Romans 3, where it says no one seeks God, that God has to basically seek you. But it says in Jeremiah, you'll seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart. I was told that we're not supposed to seek God's forgiveness or his blessing. Just seek him for himself, and after you seek him for himself, then you become a Christian. But aren't we supposed to seek God for forgiveness? So how do you purely seek God?

I'm sorry if I don't know how to explain. No, Michelle, that was quite articulate and a wonderful question. The first thing is the passage that you bring up in Romans 3. Context is always important when we're thinking about interpreting the Bible. Here, in the context of the book of Romans, the apostle Paul is highlighting the universal sinfulness of humanity, not just Jews but also Gentiles. And he says in verse 9, what then? Are the Jews any better off?

No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin. As it is written, and here he's quoting from the book of Psalms, none is righteous, no not one.

No one understands, no one seeks for God. All have turned aside together. They have become worthless.

No one does good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave. They use their tongue to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.

Their feet are swift to shed blood. In their paths are ruin and misery and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes. Now, we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law so that every mouth may be stopped and the whole world may be held accountable to God. And so that's what the apostle Paul is doing here is he's putting the whole world under conviction, under the law. He's saying each of us are justly condemned by the law because we've rejected it. We've continued in our sinful ways. For by the works of the law, he says, no human being will be justified in his sight since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

And then he begins to preach the gospel in Romans chapter 3 verses 21 and following, talking about the righteousness of God that has been revealed in Jesus Christ. Now, I think that you were given some bad advice, frankly, when people say, well, you know, you just need to seek God for himself. I understand what they're getting at, right, because there are many people who think God is a genie in a bottle. And, you know, when I pray, I pray for, you know, God to give me, you know, a new car and, you know, to help me win the lotto or whatnot. Well, that's not how we approach God.

And so, yes, there's a sense in which it's true. We ought to seek the Lord because we worship him. We recognize who he is, not to get things from him. But at the same time, we are commanded to and encouraged to ask the Lord for our temporal needs as well.

You know, the physical needs that we have. Jesus, when he taught us to pray in Matthew chapter 6, you know, he listed even temporal needs as things that we bring before the Lord. God, give me this day my daily bread. Forgive me for my sins, right? I mean, Jesus is the one who told us to ask for these very things, and so you ought to go to the Lord with your fears, with your concerns, with your needs, your temporal needs, as well as your spiritual needs, like, you know, the forgiveness of sins. And oftentimes we feel like, well, am I really, really approaching God with perfect and pure motives, you know, because I want my sins to be forgiven or I'm looking for a better job, you know, is it okay to approach God for these things? And we can feel guilty. And that's just not helpful.

That's not right. None of us, when we come before the Lord, are perfect. Even our good desires, you know, the desires for good things are still tainted with selfishness and sin, but we come before the Lord and we offer all of that up to him, and we seek the Lord for things like the forgiveness of sins, for his temporal blessings in our lives, for the good of our neighbors and the people around us. And so I want to encourage you to do that and to know, as you do that, even if you feel like, man, my desires are divided here, you know, I really want God to forgive my sins, but at times I still struggle with them and I feel like I even want to hold on to them. Take that to the Lord as well. God hears your prayers and is gracious and merciful and forgiving, and so go to the Lord with all of those things and seek him and recognize that as you seek him, it's the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. I'm working in you both to will and to do for his good pleasure, Michelle. God bless and thanks for reaching out to us.

Great counsel. You know, I was thinking of the man who approached Jesus in the Gospels and said, Lord, I believe, help my unbelief. I mean, God knows that we are limited. God knows that we are finite and that our motives are never perfect, doesn't he?

Yeah, that's right. And so one of the things that we distinguish in terms of understanding good works, we believe in good works. We're called to do good works as believers in Jesus Christ. But we distinguish between a perfectly good work, which no one can do, because we still experience indwelling sin. Our good works are still tainted by, you know, elements of unbelief, selfishness, and so forth. And yet we bring them to the Lord in faith, serving him, seeking him, and they're pleasing to him insofar as it's the work of his Spirit in us. And so we can do truly good works before God as we come to him.

But if we're looking to have perfect motives and perfect works, we're never going to be satisfied, because the fact of the matter is even our good works as the regenerated people of God are imperfect and sanctified solely through the blood of Jesus Christ. Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open.

If you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, we'd love to hear from you. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. You can feel free to leave a voicemail at that number anytime.

Let's go to Bill calling in from southern Illinois. Bill, what's your question for Adriel? Yes. In 1 John 5, starting about verse 14 through about 17 or 18, it's talking about prayer. But in verse 18, it talks about a sin which does not lead to death, and then later on a sin which does lead to death. Could you give me some more explanation on that?

Yeah. Hey, Bill, thank you for that question. So let's read the passage, beginning in verse 13 to give us some more of the background. John says, I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward him that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the request that we have asked of him. If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will give him life to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death.

I do not say that one should pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death. We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him and the evil one does not touch him.

Two things to highlight for you here, Bill. One is that discussion about the sin unto death is sandwiched between two passages that are really meant to give believers assurance. The first one is, look, I write these things to you that believe that you might know that you have eternal life. And then in verse 18, John says, we know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning. And so it seems like this sin unto death is not something that believers, true believers in Jesus Christ do. It could be that John is referencing apostasy, those who abandon the church, abandon the faith after having once known it. And that's the sense that I get because earlier in 1 John, in 1 John 2, John is talking about a group of people who were once a part of the assembly that John is addressing here, who then left, who abandoned the faith, rejected the gospel of Jesus Christ, embraced the spirit of the antichrist. And he says, this is 1 John 2, verse 18, Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come.

Therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would have continued with us.

But they went out that it might be complained that they all are not of us. In other words, he's saying, these people who have abandoned the church, they weren't genuine believers. And that became clear through their apostasy, through their turning away. They were under the influence of the spirit of the antichrist. So it could be that that's what John is referring to there when he speaks about the sin unto death. The reality is, though, we don't know what's going on in an individual's heart. And even the wording there, you know, in verses 16, If you see your brother committing a sin not leading to death, ask God, pray for this person to those who commit sins not leading to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I do not say that one should pray for that.

And so it's not like he's totally forbidding it per se. He's just saying, look, maybe you're wasting your time with these people. And so in that situation, you know, we have to understand the context there. I always encourage people, if somebody is struggling with their faith, deconstructing, I mean, that's a word that's going around a lot today. We ought to continue to pray that the Lord would do a great work, that the Lord would open their eyes and bring them back, because we've seen that happen so many times as well. And so thank you so much, Bill, for that question, getting into that thorny passage in 1 John 5.

Hope that was helpful. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you if you've got a question about maybe something going on in your Christian life or at your church that's concerning you. Here's the number, 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Cheyenne calling in from Illinois. Cheyenne, what's your question for Adriel?

Hi. So I've read through the book of Matthew many a times, and I was reading in chapter 27 verses 52 and 53. And I guess I must have just skimmed past those prior, but it talks of how the graves were opened and many bodies of the saints which slept arose and came out of the graves after his resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared unto many. And so I just didn't know if Pastor Adriel could shed some insight on this. I've never really heard a sermon preached on it. But you'd think if saints arose from the dead that we would know a little bit more about that. Yeah.

A wonderful question to bring up. So as far as the Gospels are concerned, this is the only Gospel that mentions this event. Behold, verse 51 says, the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth shook and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep, that's another word for they had died, were raised. And coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, they went into the holy city, as you said, and appeared to many. Now there are some who have argued, well, this is symbolic for the cross destroying the grave. Maybe that's what Matthew is getting at. I don't think that's the approach that we want to take because, of course, we would never want to say that the bodily resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ was just merely symbolic.

And, of course, there have been some more liberal theologians who have tried to make that case. Jesus didn't really rise from the dead. It was just this sort of spiritual thing, this spiritual lesson that we're supposed to glean from. No, Jesus bodily rose again from the dead, conquering death and hell, and that is our hope as Christians. So I think we want to be really careful by not going that direction, saying, well, this just didn't really happen.

So then what exactly did happen? And I think the best answer is, well, no, there was this sort of minor resurrection, in part probably communicating, meant to communicate, the point that the apostle Paul, for example, makes in his epistle to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 15, that there's this connection, this organic connection between the resurrection of Jesus Christ and his people. Because Jesus rose from the dead, we too, the children of God united to Jesus by faith, will rise again as well. And this, what we have here in Matthew chapter 27, is sort of like a foretaste, a foreshadowing of that great future resurrection that we're looking forward to as believers, the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. And of course, the apostle Paul in places like 1 Corinthians 15 says, look, don't think that that's already happened. We're looking forward to the final judgment and the resurrection and the new creation. I think what's happening in Matthew chapter 27 there is this foretaste, this picture of the fact, the reality that the resurrection of Jesus is intimately connected to us, to our resurrection as well. And I think that's what the gospel writer is communicating.

Thank you for that question. Always an interesting passage for Matthew, so thanks for that explanation, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you if you've got a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology.

We're open to your calls right now, 833-THE-CORE. Also want to mention, if you are a parent or a grandparent, we have a very cool free download available for you on our website. Yeah, Bill, you know, I love to sing. I love music and the hymns of the church, and I think singing together is an important thing that we do as Christians, both in our churches and with our families. I don't know about you, Bill, but we like to sing around the dinner table every now and again, which is why I'm excited to talk about our new free download that we have over at Core Christianity called Ten Songs to Sing as a Family. It's a free download that helps unpack why we sing as Christians, and it also gives you some suggestions for what to sing. There are ten great hymns of the faith with devotional reflections that you can use together with your family. Learning and reflecting on the words of these hymns is a great way to dig deeper into your faith and worship the Lord on your own or together with your family. And so Ten Songs to Sing as a Family, great for all ages. Head over to forward slash radio to get your free download of our offer, Ten Songs to Sing as a Family. And by the way, if you need help getting any of our offers, you can always call us at 833-843-2673. That's 833-THE-CORE. We do receive voicemails here at Core Christianity.

You can call us 24 hours a day. Leave your question for Adriel. Here's a question that came in from one of our listeners named Jay. My question is concerning Israel when they demanded a king. And I've heard, I heard American people when we were voting, they say God put our provenance there. But if I read this first Samuel chapter 8 verse 7, that's when God made kings. But now, and Israel wanted a king, and God gave them the authority to vote in their king. So God didn't have anything to do over a king, I would say over a president. We vote for the president and God don't, right?

Hey, great question. The amazing thing about that story, you know, when the Israelites are looking for a king, in one sense it was a rejection of the Lord, right? God was their king. But they wanted to be like the nations around them.

They wanted to have, you know, a physical ruler, a physical king. And they got one, and it ended up being pretty disastrous for them, and God had warned them about this. But you do have here one of the great tensions that we see in Scripture. We talk about at times, you know, in theology or in Bible study, and the tension that exists between our responsibility as human beings and the sovereignty of God, the fact that God is sovereign over all things, even the nations and kings of the world. I would say that yes, I mean, we would have to say, if we're going to go off of what Scripture teaches, we'd have to say that our rulers, you know, the authorities, government authorities, like the president, are indeed appointed by God. The Apostle Paul says in Romans chapter 13, verse 1, Let every person be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. Now those governing rulers are accountable to God's law and God's word, and yet God is still sovereign over them. The other passage I think that's really interesting to look at is in the book of Daniel. In Daniel chapter 2, remember Daniel interacting with this pagan king, Nebuchadnezzar, and he says to him in Daniel chapter 2, verse 21, He, that is the Lord, God, changes times and seasons. He removes kings and sets up kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.

And so, look, people can get frustrated about who is in office, and, you know, there can be all sorts of questions about, you know, that individual. But we also believe as Christians, and this should be a comfort to us, knowing that God is sovereign over all things, knowing that the Lord is not surprised by what happens. That should be a comfort, that should be a comfort to us. Now, sometimes wickedness brings about poor rulers, and you get, I mean, this is what you were bringing up there in that text in 1 Samuel, the people of God wickedly asking for a king who ends up mistreating them.

That happens, that is and can be a judgment of God upon a people, but that doesn't negate the fact that the Lord is still sovereign over all things, and so we look to him as the king of kings, Jesus, the king of kings and Lord of lords, and he is the one in whom we put our hope and confidence both now and in the days ahead. Thanks for that question. So well said, thank you for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Marie calling in from Indiana.

Marie, what's your question for Adriel? Hi, my question has to deal with belief, different factions of belief in the Bible. I've got a group of friends that believe like, I call them Torah believers, or the Hebrew movement versus more New Testament believers, but I believe the entire Bible, yes. They believe that we need to pay more attention to the Old Testament and honor all of the rules and regulations and feast days and not eating unclean animals and meats and so on. They believe that things are meant to be, as it says in the Bible, for generation after generation.

And I think, I feel like that smacks Jesus in the face, that Jesus came. He didn't come to abolish the law but to establish it, but he also lightened, I guess I want to say lightened it up a little bit, you know. He did away with kind of the eating of unclean things and what does it matter what you wear and so on. So they talk about the apocryphal books and the books excluded, like Jasher and Enoch and those. Marie, let me just say a couple of things. One, because we don't have a ton of time, there's an article that I wrote, a short article over at, kind of a provocative title, but it's called Why You Don't Have to Obey All the Rules in the Bible.

We'll try to put it on the show notes on our website of this broadcast today. And I sort of unpack there, you know, the way in which we think about God's law, both the Old Testament law that's given, you know, the Ten Commandments, the ceremonial law and the civil law that was given to Israel. And a lot of the things that you brought up, you know, these regulations with regard to food, those were a part of Israel's ceremonial law and the worship of the old covenant. Resurrecting some of those distinctions and saying, well, you know, you have to do this in order to be a Christian, in order to really be justified in God's sight, that is a huge problem, and it was a problem even from the earliest days of the apostles. This is why the apostle Paul wrote the book of Galatians, for example. And in Colossians, he says, Let no one pass judgment on you in question of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.

These are a shadow of the things to come. The substance belongs to Christ. That's Colossians chapter 2 verse 16 and 17. So these things that we had in the Old Testament, you know, the sacrificial system, some of the feast days and so forth, the ceremonial law, all of those were a shadowy picture of the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now we have the reality, the substance. That's why John the Baptist, when he saw Jesus walking around, said, Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. And so when we go back to those things and try to, you know, re-erect those walls, if you will, that old covenant worship, it can truly be, as you said, a slap in the face to Jesus, not because Jesus minimized the law, but because he fulfilled it.

It'd be sort of like this. The example that I sometimes give is, you know, I don't live too far from Disneyland in Southern California. We've taken our kids a couple of times.

Usually grandma helps to pay for it. But when we go, you know, you're driving to Disneyland and there are all these signs that say Disneyland this way. And then finally you get to the park and it's great, it's wonderful. Can you imagine if we showed up there to the amusement park and we're having a great time and the kids said to me, Actually, can we go back to that sign that was a couple of miles outside of the park, the one that was pointing us to Disneyland? We want to go back to that time.

It'd be strange, right? It's like, no, we got the substance. We're here.

We've made it to Disneyland. And that's, in effect, what people were doing, the agitators in the New Testament, is they were saying, Look, yeah, the substance is here, but we need to go back to those signs that were pointing to Jesus, to the reality of the gospel, to the goodness of God's grace, to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. And that's strange. That's a step backwards, if you will, in the history of redemption, in the flow of redemptive history. And so I would encourage you to, again, look at that article that I wrote, Why You Don't Have to Obey All the Rules in the Bible.

Again, I know it's a little bit provocative, but check it out. It's biblical. Pray for your friends and check out those books, the book of Galatians and the book of Colossians, because they're right in line with the way you're thinking.

And may God bless you and bless these friends in the grace of the Lord Jesus. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at 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.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-05 17:15:08 / 2023-09-05 17:25:54 / 11

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