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What Does It Look Like to Truly Repent?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
November 23, 2023 11:30 am

What Does It Look Like to Truly Repent?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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November 23, 2023 11:30 am

Episode 1365 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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 CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

 

1. Is God currently using prophets to tell us about future events?   2. How can I compassionately witness to a homosexual?   3. How should we think about people who claim to be spiritual mediums?   4. What does true repentance look like?   Today’s Offer: Inner Core   Want to partner with us in our work here at Core Christianity? Consider becoming a member of the Inner Core.   View our latest special offers here or call 1-833-THE-CORE (833-843-2673) to request them by phone.   Resources

Book -  Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God's Story by Michael Horton

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What does true repentance look like? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. 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. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. If you get our voicemail, feel free to leave us a message. We try to review our voicemails once each day. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and you are always welcome to email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com. We'll start off with an email today. This one came in from one of our listeners named Janet Adriel, and she says, Does God have prophets today who tell us of future events?

Great question. Are there prophets today? Does God give the gift of prophecy today? You did have, in the Old Testament, the office of the prophet, and it was attached to the theocracy in Israel. What I mean by that is the prophets in the Old Testament, like Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, they had a very specific function in Israel. They would prosecute the terms of God's covenant to the kings of Israel. When the nation would go astray, when the kings would go astray, you'd have a prophet. God would raise up a prophet, and the prophet would come, and he'd bring to bear the terms of God's covenant, calling the nation, calling the king to repentance. And so, of course, we don't have the theocratic kingdom of Israel today. Israel, under the Old Covenant, was a type of the church, a manifestation of God's kingdom on earth now. And so we don't have, and this is, I think, a really important point to make, because sometimes people think, you know, like, I'm Jeremiah the prophet, or I'm a prophet like that, saying, Thus says the Lord, and people need to listen to me.

Look, if there's someone in your church who acts like that, or if your pastor acts like that, I would say you probably want to find a different church, because we don't have Jeremiah's and Ezekiel's walking around today, because we don't have the theocratic kingdom today in the same way that we had then, prosecuting the terms of the Old Covenant and so forth. Plus, remember that the prophets in the Old Testament were pointing forward to Christ, ultimately, in his redemptive work. Think of all those beautiful messianic prophecies that are given in places like the book of Isaiah.

And so we don't have those kinds of prophecies. Now, you get to the New Testament, and in 1 Corinthians chapters 12 through 14, Paul does talk about the gift of prophecy, and there's debate about what exactly that is. But I would say that the office of prophet isn't around. That was a foundational office closely associated with the apostles.

Paul himself refers to it as foundational. That is, I think, a part of the early stage of the church in Ephesians chapter 2 verse 20. God may use an individual to speak a providential word of wisdom to you by the grace of the Holy Spirit, but ordinarily we don't expect God to send us prophets, if you will, like he did in the Old Testament. He sent us his Son, Jesus, the ultimate prophet, priest, and king. And I think this is what the author of the Hebrews was getting at when he said, in the beginning, in Hebrews chapter 1 verse 1, Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets. But in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

In other words, Jesus is the ultimate prophet, the one who reveals to us the will of God, the word of God, for our salvation. And so we need to listen to him and look to him. Thank you for that question. Good words. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Brian, who's calling in from Missouri. Brian, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, sir.

I listen to your program all the time, really get a lot of inspiration from it. My question is, how do you compassionately and biblically be able to witness someone that's homosexual? And one way I think I found an answer was, one thing God said in the word is that man should go out and replenish the earth. In other words, reproduce. And two people of the same sex cannot reproduce, therefore homosexuality is not love, it's lust. So how can I not come down like I'm blowing doors and compassionately be able to witness someone about how Christ can redeem anything from, you know, any center from any situation?

Brian, thank you. I always appreciate when we have callers who want to think through how to lovingly share the gospel with those who are not in the church. And I would say first, recognizing that all people, regardless of what they believe, regardless of their orientation, you know, sexually or whatever, all people are made in the image of God. And so, you know, this goes for those who reject the gospel, those who reject the sexual ethic that's described in scripture, as so many in our culture do, yet they're made in the image of God and as image bearers, we're called to love them, to respect them, to grant them all dignity and so forth.

And so I think that that's important is helping people to see, look, fundamentally, our identity, and this gets at, you know, some of the answer here, is not rooted in our desires, sexual desires or any kind of desire. That's a part of us, but at the core of who we are as human beings is we're humans made in the image of God, called to reflect the goodness of our creator. Now sin has entered into the world. And so the image of God has in one sense been shattered. Think of looking into a mirror and, you know, there's a clear image, but then if the mirror is broken, the image is no longer clear. It's been shattered.

You can still kind of see glimpses, right? And we'll think of it like that. The image of God, we still have it, all people still have it, but because of sin, the mirror is broken. And so we don't rightly reflect the image of our creator like we should. The image of God was restored when God the Son assumed humanity, took human flesh to restore humanity, our humanity. And so that in him we might find life and love and fulfillment and ultimately salvation from our sins, from those things that we do that continue to deface the image of God. And so I would say focusing on the image of God, focusing on identity, focusing on the fact that this sin is not like the unpardonable sin.

I think sometimes we think about this and we just say, oh, I have no idea how to talk about this or how to deal with this. But the reality is, is from the earliest days, you know, the church had people in it who had turned away from any and every kind of sexual sin, including homosexuality. This is why Paul says in 1 Corinthians chapter 6, verse 9, he says, Don't you know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?

Don't be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you.

In other words, there in Corinth, you had people who had lived the homosexual lifestyle. Some of you, I mean, this was you. This was how you would describe yourself. But you were washed. You were sanctified. You were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. And so we have hope and we give that hope to people regardless of, you know, their sin struggles, the things that they identify with. We say there's hope. There's hope to identify with Christ the Savior, to turn from our sins and to be found in Him washed clean. It doesn't mean we're not going to struggle with sin still, but it does mean we confess those sins and receive the forgiveness of God. So as you hold out that hope to others, Brian, I pray that the Lord blesses you and gives you success in pursuing others, you know, who don't know Christ or reject the gospel that they might see the hope that we have in Jesus. God bless. Just a follow-up question for you, Adriel.

This ties in with Brian's question. What if you're talking to a gay or lesbian person who doesn't believe their behavior is a sin? They would actually say, this is the way God made me.

Yeah, and of course that's part of the discussion, you know, and there's all sorts of debate even outside of Christian circles. Is this nature? Is this nurture? In other words, was I born this way or is this something that, you know, through, you know, external influences, maybe the way I was raised, that that was what led me to have these kinds of attractions?

Here's what I say. Each and every one of us are born in sin. That is to say that we have disordered desires from birth, and those desires to us might seem very normal and natural. But that doesn't mean that they're right or in accordance with God's law because our will has been affected by sin. Every part of us has been affected by sin, and so we're wanting to come into conformity with God and with His word, and that helps us to rightly reflect the image of God as we're called to reflect it. And so what I would say is that you may very well feel like this is a part of who you are, like these things have always been there with you. And I would say insofar as we're, according to scripture and what the Bible teaches, born in sin, we all have these sort of disordered desires that does feel very natural in one sense to us, but we bring those to the Lord and say, God, have mercy upon me. Lord, help me to desire that which is good and what you call me to desire, and to order my life as your word says it should be ordered, and give me the grace in order to do that.

And so I think that's how I'd approach that. Good word. Thanks, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Shannon, who's calling in from Kansas. Shannon, what's your question for Adriel? Hello, Pastor.

Thank you in advance for taking my call. I wanted you to go to give some insight on those who practice mediumship and their ability to communicate with those who have passed on before us. Yeah, I mean, you see them on the television.

You see them in books and so on and so forth, and especially for those of us who have lost loved ones, I think there is this desire to have a connection with our departed loved ones, and so there's this temptation that people have to go and consult mediums. Now, of course, that's something that was forbidden very clearly in God's law, punishable. I mean, it was a capital offense in the Old Testament. It's something you weren't supposed to do.

It was the sort of last straw. You think of Saul in the Old Testament, the first king of Israel, in his sort of pathway toward apostasy. It was him doing that that was sort of the final straw in his departure away from the Lord, and it's just very clearly something that God forbids in scripture. But the reality is there is a very real spiritual power there that I think we need to be aware of, and I think that's why God calls us to avoid it, because it's not a good spiritual power. It's, I think, rooted in what the evil one does. It's something satanic.

You see this, I think, in various places. In the book of Exodus, for example, you think of the Egyptian sorcerers who were replicating some of the miracles that were done. There's questions about how did they do that, but you also see it in the book of Acts. In the book of Acts, on one occasion, there's a servant girl who brought her masters much profit through fortune-telling. And we're told that she had a spirit of divination, and when the spirit of divination was cast out of her, her masters were very upset.

She lost her quote-unquote powers. And so the Bible says we need to take these things seriously. There are sinister, evil, demonic forces at work in the world, and I think one of the ways that they can get a foothold is through the work of mediums and the occult witchcraft.

This is why God commands us to avoid it altogether, because it's destructive. And so, I don't know, was that your question? Shannon, whether or not Christians could and should, or whether or not there is some real spiritual power there?

Yes, I think you answered the question. I have some folks, I recently lost my son, and so I recently had someone reach out to me. Basically, I was a bit angered by it because she had mentioned that she had connected with my son, and I felt like it was somewhat of an abuse of using my son and trying to get me involved maybe in something that was uncomfortable. And so I thought I would just reach out and kind of ask about it, because I had not been approached that way before.

Yeah. Well, Shannon, yeah, you have every right to have been upset by that, because I think that is a kind of abuse, and it just highlights another reason why this is so heinous, is because people will use this kind of thing, and it can be manipulative, it can be just all sorts of things. We have hope as Christians in the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come, for ourselves and for our loved ones. And so I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your son. I pray that the Lord comforts you, and that the comfort that you receive isn't the cheap comfort.

I'm glad that you saw that for what it is. That's not the comfort that we need. That's a cheap comfort.

That's a counterfeit. The comfort that we need and the comfort that you have is that Jesus Christ has conquered death, and that all those who are in Christ, the moment they die here on earth, they're immediately brought into the presence of the Lord around the throne of God in perfect joy, perfected in holiness, worshipping the Lord. And so that's the hope that we have, and we also have, again, that hope of the resurrection because of what Jesus has done. Think of what Jesus said to Mary and Martha in John chapter 11 when their brother Lazarus had died.

He said, I am the resurrection and the life. That is our hope. Shannon, may the Lord grant you peace and rest in that hope.

Amen. Shannon, we will be praying for you and your grief, and we thank you for your call and for your honesty. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you are a regular listener to this program, you know what our goal is. We're trying to help equip believers on a daily basis to strengthen them in their Christian walk, also to reach out to people that may have questions about the Christian faith, may have doubts. We take those calls and emails as well. And in order to do that, we have to rely on your support because we are a listener-supported ministry.

And one of the ways you can support us is by joining what we call our inner core. Brothers and sisters, we are so grateful. I am so grateful to get to do this every day. It's a blessing for me as a minister of the gospel. I'm so grateful for the ability to work together with Bill.

I mean, that's just such a great joy as well. And it's wonderful to hear how this broadcast is impacting the lives of those who hear it. And if you've been blessed by the work that we're doing, I want to ask you to consider partnering with us by joining the inner core, as Bill said. It's a monthly donation of $25 or more.

It's not very much, but it goes a long way for us. And as I said, our mission is to help people grow in their love for Jesus Christ and their understanding of the word of God sound doctrine, bringing some sanity to a lot of the discussions that you hear around us in the world today. And so, again, if you've been blessed by the work that we do, consider joining the inner core. And as a thank you, we'll send you a copy of the book, Core Christianity, written by Dr. Michael Horton, just another excellent resource that will encourage you in your walk with Christ. You can join our inner core by going to corechristianity.com forward slash inner core, just one word, corechristianity.com forward slash inner core. We'd love to have you prayerfully consider joining that wonderful group of people. And as Adriel said, we'll send you a copy of the book, Core Christianity, which this program was founded on.

So check it out at corechristianity.com. Well, we do receive voicemails here at the core. You can call us 24 hours a day and leave your voicemail with any question. We try to review our voicemails each day.

Here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Brian. How can somebody saying they're become a Christian from a 22nd sinner's prayer if there is not true repentance in their heart, if they don't recognize Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and are truly sorry for their sinful life? I don't believe any denomination.

I don't believe in any religion. I believe what the Bible says, and I believe what Jesus said when he was here on earth, that he is the Son of God. And I follow his teachings, and I'm grateful that he's my Lord and Savior.

I'm grateful that he's my Lord and Savior, too. It sounds to me like you're picking up on something that I'm concerned with. I know many, many people, many pastors are concerned with this. It's sort of easy believism. You go to a conference or you go to a crusade, and you hear the pastor say you need Jesus, and you feel the tug on your heartstrings, and you raise your hand or you walk up to the quote-unquote altar, and you're led in a prayer. And you say, I'm sorry for my sins, Jesus.

I'm asking you to come into my heart. And yet you leave that place with really no grounding, no discipleship, no repentance. And that's your concern, right? No real repentance. Now, can and has God used those kinds of events and that sinner's prayer even in the lives of people?

I would say absolutely. I mean, any time somebody truly is calling upon the name of the Lord, it's a good thing. But I think the concern, and again, this is I think what you're picking up on, is we've sort of turned things like the sinner's prayer into the formula for salvation.

You know, repeat after me, say these words, great, you're in. Let's baptize you and add you to the church rolls and sort of pad our numbers. But the reality is Christ didn't call us to have people make a prayer. He called us to make disciples. And so we want to be sure that as we're calling people to faith in Christ, to turn away from their sins and to lay hold of Jesus, that we're welcoming them into the life of the church, that they're getting plugged into solid churches where the Word of God is taught and where they're going to continue to grow. There are, I think, people that are deceived, people who think, well, I said a prayer, you know, when I was a kid or I went through this class years ago and I'm good to go, but they don't have any sort of personal relationship with Christ. They're not truly trusting in Jesus. We sometimes refer to that as historical faith, you know, just sort of having this sort of cognitive understanding of the teaching of the Bible. Yeah, Jesus existed.

I believe that he existed sort of like I believe George Washington existed. But it doesn't really have any bearing on my life. There's no conviction of sin. The Spirit of God isn't at work in me.

And if that's you, you're listening to this right now. And maybe you did say the sinner's prayer years ago. You haven't been in church in all that time. And you don't know if you trusted in Jesus, if you have a personal relationship with Christ.

You like to think that you do, but you're not sure. I would just say, listen, Christ calls you not just to say a prayer, but to follow him, to know him truly, to know what he's done for you, to sink your teeth into the riches of the Gospel. The fact that the eternal Son of God assumed humanity and bore our sins so that we might be forgiven, so that we might have communion, so that you might have communion with the true and the living God. He went to the cross for our sins and then rose again from the dead so that we might be justified.

He's the one who says, follow me, follow me. Go away from yourself, from your sins, whatever those things are that you're clinging to, and lay hold of the grace that I have for you, and be joined to me, and not just to me, but to my body, the church. The church isn't man's idea.

It was Jesus' idea. He's the one who's building his church. I know that there's no perfect church. Brother, you said you don't believe in any one denomination. There is no perfect church, except for the church triumphant in heaven. We are all pilgrims, sinners, struggling along the way, but Jesus still rules us by his word and spirit and governs his church here on earth through faithful ministers who want to preach the word of God. So I would say follow Jesus, get plugged into a good church, and lay hold of the treasures that he has for you there. That's what we want for people. Bill, I know we talk about it all the time on the broadcast, the importance of being in a good church and the importance of a solid understanding of the scriptures.

If that's you, if you've been thinking about these things, reach out to us. We'd love to get a copy of Core Christianity in your hands to help you grow in your faith and in your walk with the Lord. But each and every one of us needs to think about that word, that word of the Gospel that we hear, and be sure that we truly are laying hold of it. I'll just read one more passage because this is at the heart of what's taking place in the book of Hebrews. The author of the Hebrews says in Hebrews chapter 2 verse 1, Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles, and by the gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. Friends, do not neglect this great salvation that God has set before us in his Son Jesus.

Embrace it. Such a great promise. Good words, Adriel.

Thanks so much. And we would encourage you, if you'd like to learn more about a relationship with Jesus Christ, go to our website at corechristianity.com and browse some of the resources there. You'll find we have all kinds of wonderful resources. Yeah, and as I said, we want to hear from you. We want to hear about how this broadcast, whether you're a believer or you're someone who has just come to faith, we want to hear about how this broadcast has encouraged you and blessed you. So be sure to reach out to us, leave us a voicemail, or even give us a call.

We're so thankful for you and for the ability that we have to serve you. God bless. 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.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-23 12:17:13 / 2023-11-23 12:27:20 / 10

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