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Should Christians Make Timelines for the End Times?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
December 13, 2023 1:32 pm

Should Christians Make Timelines for the End Times?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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December 13, 2023 1:32 pm

Episode 1379 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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 CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

 

1. Does God call all people to salvation?     2. Does 2 John 10 teach that I should avoid my former pastor?     3. Should Christians try to decode events of the end times?     4. How do I move forward after squandering my inheritance?     5. What does it mean to have a "reprobate mind" in Romans 1?       Today’s Offer: WE BELIEVE: THE NICENE CREED STUDY   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.

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Should Christians Make Timelines for the End Times? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Hi, it's 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, and we would love to hear from you. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and of course, you can always email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, here's a voicemail from one of our listeners. This is Carol. My question is, I believe people have to be called by God in order to respond, because God gives us freedom of choice.

But does He call everybody? Thank you. Hey Carol, thank you for that question. God gives us choice, and He calls all people everywhere to Himself. We sometimes refer to the free offer of the Gospel. That is, this free offer of the Gospel that goes out promiscuously to all people. We're called to proclaim the Gospel to all creatures. I mean, you'd think even of Jesus' commission there in the Great Commission in Matthew chapter 28, go into all the world and make disciples baptizing in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. I'm with you always, Jesus said to the apostles. And so the Church, and we as Christians individually, are called to share that Gospel promiscuously. And that's a real offer, a true offer of the Gospel that goes out to all the world.

And so we shouldn't look at one person or one people group and say, ah, this isn't for you. No, from the human perspective, we recognize this is indeed a free offer of the Gospel that's going out to all people, and God is stretching out His hands, calling the world to repentance. But you do have in Scripture also this sense of a particular call that God gives to people.

Sometimes it's referred to as the effectual call. And you see the distinction there in some places. I think you see it in Romans chapter 8. I think you might see it in Ephesians chapter 1. You also see it in the Gospels where Jesus is speaking in Matthew chapter 22 verse 14, an interesting passage. Many are called, but few are chosen.

It's in the context of the wedding feast. And there again, that distinction that's drawn. And so I think we can say, look, all people, the free offer of the Gospel is this real offer that goes out to the whole world, and yet not everyone responds to that.

And those who do respond, it's really, I mean, why do they respond? We might say, well, were they more intelligent? Were they more holy? No, it was the work of the Holy Spirit in them.

It was that effectual work of the Holy Spirit in them. And so we're getting into one of the big debates that Christians have wrestled through for thousands of years now, the sovereignty of God and human responsibility. And I'd just like to say, look, those are both things that we need to affirm according to Scripture. God is absolutely sovereign, and yet mankind is responsible.

We're responsible for our actions. We're responsible for rejecting the Gospel. And so we affirm that because the Scripture makes it very clear.

Appreciate your question, Carol. Some of those, maybe, passages that you're going to want to look at, Matthew 22. Also, I mentioned Romans chapter 8, you know, those whom he foreknew, you know, what's sometimes referred to as the golden chain of redemption in Romans chapter 8. There at the early stages, you have this idea of calling, leading all the way to glorification.

That's a particular call that's extended. And so check out that passage as well, and thank you for reaching out to us. Great explanation. Thank you for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity. We'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible, Christian life, doctrine, theology. Sometimes we get calls from people who have a concern about something going on at their church or a church they're considering.

We're open to those questions as well. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. We also get emails here at The Core, and here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Jean. She says, I recently left a charismatic church due to their numerous false teachings and doctrines. I live in a small community, and I live near my former pastor and am bound to run into him. I had planned to just be cordial and say hello, but then I read 2 John 1-10 that says to not even greet false teachers.

Can you please clarify how I should respond? Well, one, Jean, I'm grateful to hear that as you're studying the Word of God and diving deeper into the Scriptures, that you're wanting to be faithful to the Lord, and you're wanting to be in a church that preaches the Word of God in accordance with how it should be preached. It's not twisting the Scriptures. Now, the issue of charismatic gifts is something that believers, genuine believers, can differ on, and so it's not one of those things. Someone is, if they believe in the charismatic gifts for today or they're not a cessationist, that's a technical term. That doesn't mean that they're outside of the bounds of the Christian faith because they believe that miracles can still happen or are still happening.

So there are different ways of approaching this question. As I've said, you sometimes have to do a little bit of theological triage. Just because you differ on that particular question doesn't mean you need to look at your old pastor as a false teacher. Unfortunately, a lot of times people grow, they develop in their Christian faith, and then they leave behind their church, and they do sort of treat everything there at that church as if it was all bad. You're walking out the door, you're leaving, and you sort of throw the hand grenade behind you, and you don't want nothing to do with it anymore.

That's not always helpful. I think it's good for us to be able to see how God was at work in us, even in those churches where maybe now we have some disagreements. I think back to my own life and transitioning from different churches in a healthy way, thankfully.

That was never one of those situations where it was leading division or anything like that. But there certainly were disagreements in a sense of, okay, I sense that God is calling me somewhere else where the doctrine is different, but I can really appreciate still the people that were there, how God was at work in them and through them to encourage me, to serve me. I think maintain that level of charity. Now, if it is just a false church and they've rejected the gospel, they don't embrace the gospel, and that's become very clear, then I do think that there does need to be some more distance. But again, I don't know all the details about this particular church. In the passage that you brought up, 2 John 10, if anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works. Just a little bit more, some of the context there, if you go back a few verses, everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. In particular, in John's letters, in 1 John and 2 John, one of the big issues that was taking place there in that church that he's addressing is there were a group of false teachers, heretics, that were rejecting the reality of Christ coming in the flesh. This is why in 1 John he refers to their teaching as coming from the spirit of the Antichrist, so this false teaching really was striking at the vitals of the Christian faith and of the gospel, and that's why he's saying, here, look, don't give them any airtime, don't invite them into your home.

That stuff is like poison, stay away from it. And so there are instances where we say, yeah, I'm not going to have anything to do with that, you're a false teacher, and I'm not going to give you any opportunity to spread your lies. But if it's one of those issues where Christians can disagree and still maintain that brotherly bond in Christ, I don't think that you need to go that far.

God bless, thank you for reaching out. So you're saying if Jean sees her old pastor at the grocery store, she should not shun him? Yeah, she should just shout out, unclean, unclean, and point the finger. No, no, I mean, that's the thing, man, as much as is possible, we can disagree with charity and, like I said, appreciate the good things that God did in our lives during the time when we were at that church, that previous church, whatever the church was. And again, that's not to say that if it's a situation of abuse, an abusive church relationship, that you need to look at that positively or anything like that.

So this is a complex question. But as much as is possible, we want to live peaceably with all men, as the Apostle Paul said, and so God help us. Good counsel. Thanks for that, Adriel. 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, even if you have some doubts about the Christian faith and you want to try to ask a difficult question to Adriel about why he believes in Christianity.

Hey, he's open to that as well. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Now we're talking about the vitals of Christianity. What are the core doctrines? And we actually have a new Bible study that addresses that topic. Yeah, so what's interesting about this study is it's a study through the Nicene Creed, but the Nicene Creed, I mean, the teaching of the Nicene Creed is, I mean, just flows from Scripture. Even the language that we find in the Creed is very biblical. And so this is a 10-lesson study through really the historic core doctrines of the Christian faith that have been confessed as an act of worship by Christians from various different traditions. But this is where we say, you know, this is at the very heart of the Christian faith, the doctrine of the Trinity, the incarnation of the Son of God, Jesus, who for us and for salvation came down from heaven.

Really wonderful stuff, beautiful stuff. And so I want to encourage you to get a hold of this 10-lesson study through the Nicene Creed. It's available for a gift of $25 or more. Once again, it's called We Believe, and you can find that by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Again, corechristianity.com forward slash offers. By the way, as we're coming up to the end of a calendar year, if you're considering making year-end gifts to some of the ministries or charities you believe in, we would ask you to prayerfully consider making a gift to Core Christianity. We don't play commercials on this program. We don't get money from a church or denomination. We count on people just like you to make regular gifts to keep us on the air. So if you believe in what we do, we would definitely thank you for considering that. You can find out more at corechristianity.com.

Well, we do get voicemails here at the Core, and here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Harold. My question is, I have family members that are just adamant that we are going to live through the tribulation. All the resources I see that are biblically based all point to the fact that the rapture will happen, and then the tribulation will go on for seven years, and then we'll have the second coming, Jesus. I was just wondering, am I misguided here? Because it seems like there are other people who are disputing that and causing a lot of anxiety for people worried that they're going to suffer through the tribulation and possibly get killed by the Antichrist.

Thank you for your help. Well, I appreciate this question. We're getting into eschatology, the doctrine of the last things, and this is another area where Christians differ. Now let me just say where we all have to agree as believers. We do have to embrace a literal second coming, a bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ to judge the world. That hasn't happened yet. There are some people, false teachers, who have said, well, that did happen, and Jesus, I think, warned against this in Matthew 24. But the Lord has not returned. We have not experienced the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and so that's something that we're looking forward to.

We're waiting for that. With regard to the idea of the rapture and the tribulation, there are some who think, well, there's going to be a rapture of the Church that's separate from the second coming of our Lord. After that happens, after the Church is raptured, that's when you're going to have this time of great tribulation on the earth, and then Jesus is going to come back together with His saints and judge the world finally.

That's one view. It's more of a recent view in the history of the Church. Ordinarily, a lot of the passages that have been seen by proponents of the rapture view as confirming this idea of the rapture, like Paul's letters to the Thessalonians and elsewhere, ordinarily, those passages have been taken to refer to the second coming, and that's actually how I take those passages. I see this idea of tribulation oftentimes discussed in Matthew 24, a period of great tribulation, which is actually alluding to Daniel 12.1. You also see this language in the book of Revelation, but I would see that more as encompassing what we sometimes refer to as the church age leading up to the second coming. In other words, this is a time of tribulation for the Church. Jesus said to His disciples, thinking about the upper room discourse in John's Gospel, in this world you will have tribulation, but take heart, I have overcome the world. There are different ways of looking at this in particular, and I appreciate the question. Again, my view is that Christ is going to return, you have the second coming, and that prior to that, the Church is experiencing suffering and tribulation, looking forward to His blessed appearing, Paul refers to it in his letters to the Thessalonians, and we're clinging to the hope of Christ's return to judge the world.

I appreciate that question. By the way, let me just recommend, there's a Bible study that we produced here, written by a professor that I had while I was in seminary, an excellent New Testament scholar, and just a godly man, someone I really look up to, named Dennis Johnson. It's a ten-week study on the book of Revelation, and I think if you've got questions about this, the tribulation, what's the point of the book of Revelation, so much confusion out there, check that out. Get a hold of that resource, because it really is illuminating and helpful and encouraging. It's an encouraging resource for those who are curious about these things. God bless. You can find that, by the way, at corechristianity.com, along with a lot of great other Bible studies. We'd encourage you to browse around the website. Maybe as you're coming up to the end of the year, you might like to get a Bible study for your small group, or if you teach a Sunday school class, but check out the one on Revelation that Adriel mentioned.

You can find those at corechristianity.com. While we're still taking your calls, in fact, we are going to record a second episode of Core Christianity after this live program ends here in just a few minutes. So, if you weren't able to get through, hey, you can still call us for the next 30-35 minutes or so at this number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Tim in Minnesota. Tim, what's your question for Adriel? Yeah, hello? Hey, Tim, are you there? Yeah, I'm here. Hey, thanks for giving us a call, brother.

What's your question? Well, thank you for taking my call. I just want to say that I love your show.

I listen to it frequently. My call is, I was listening to Faith in Finance earlier, and this is something that's been weighing on my mind ever since this has happened, or since I had this thinking clearly. I was diagnosed as bipolar about a year ago. I've been going through a very rough period after taking care of my mother with dementia and Alzheimer's, and I inherited a large amount of money, $750,000, and I spent most of it on Harley-Davidson motorcycles, tricking them out. I paid off the mortgage and the automobiles and helped the kids.

I lost my job because of the disorder. I had to cash in my 401K to pay off other debt on other motorcycles. I am finally thinking clearly now, and I see the results of my sin, the consequences of my sin. I have repented. I was just listening to Faith in Finance, and they talked about the eternal consequences of your financial decisions and stewardship, which I have failed miserably at. So I'm wondering where I stand and how I'm 58 years old, how I recover and go forward from this. Thank you.

Tim, thank you for reaching out, and I'm sorry to hear about the struggles that you've had in recent days. Now you said, well, where do I stand? I look at these financial decisions that I made, not being a good steward of that money that I inherited, and now I'm concerned. I've repented. I've confessed this sin to the Lord, but is this going to maybe keep me from the presence of God? Let me just say, if you've confessed your sin to the Lord, you've been convicted about your behavior here, and it sounds to me like there were some other issues at play, too.

Know that Jesus is gracious towards you and merciful. Know that He forgives you. When we come to Him with our sins, think of the parable of the prodigal son, for example. He inherited this great sum of money that was coming to Him from His Father, and He took that money, and what did He do? He squandered it. He wasted it. I would just encourage you, if you haven't read that recently, read Luke chapter 15, the parable of the prodigal son.

I think you'll find it so encouraging, because here's His son. He takes the money. He wastes the money in really sinful things.

I mean, it wasn't just buying nice cars and whatnot, but He's engaging in sin, and He loses everything. And He comes to His senses, and He's so weighed down. He wants to go back to His Father, the one who gave Him these resources, the resources that He squandered, but He's so ashamed, He thinks, I'm just going to say, Dad, make me a servant in your house.

I'm not even worthy to be called your son. And Tim, if you're familiar with that story that Jesus tells, the Father, in the parable of the prodigal son, runs to His prodigal son, embracing Him, and what does He do? He clothes Him with the finest robe. He puts a nice ring on His finger.

He throws a party. So when you come to the Lord, when you recognize, God, man, I've squandered the gifts that You've given me. I've failed here. I've sinned against You. You realize that, and you return to the Lord. You come to Your senses, and even that is the work of God's Spirit in your life. Know that the Father is good and merciful, and that He meets you, even as you're on the way, turning towards Him, and that He forgives your sins. And then may God enable you and strengthen you as you learn these things, to use the resources that He gives you for His glory. Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, Jesus said, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal, for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Tim, let me take a moment to pray for you, brother, and to invite our listeners to pray for you as well. Our Father in Heaven, we give You thanks for Tim right now. Thank You, Lord, for the work that You've been doing in his life. Thank You for even that sense of conviction that he's had, Lord, and coming to You with that and saying, God, be merciful to me. Thank You that You are indeed merciful, and I pray that You would help him, Lord. Strengthen him, strengthen his mind, especially with the battle with bipolar, Lord.

Be with him, grant him grace and the help that he needs and a strong support system there. But help him and help all of us, Lord God, to listen to the words of Your Son, Jesus, not to lay up for ourselves treasures here on earth, not to be so consumed with the stuff of this world that our minds aren't set upon You and on advancing Your kingdom, but help us to use the resources that You've given us, Lord, for Your glory as good stewards, Lord, of the gifts that You give to us, both to enjoy those gifts, Lord, there's nothing wrong with that, but also to do good to others and to share with those who are in need. Would You enable our brother to do that and would You bless him as he seeks to follow You? In Jesus' name, amen. Amen. Tim, thanks so much for your call and for listening to Core Christianity. We really do appreciate you. We'll continue to pray for you in that whole situation. Well, let's go to one more call. We have John on the line from St. Louis. John, what's your question for Adriel?

Yeah, how you guys doing there? I'm just curious to know, when the Bible says that God gave them up to a reprobate mind, and also then there's also a thing where it said God gave them up to a delusion, are those two related and how do you separate those two from the fact that God is trying to, doesn't want to lose any, you know, He doesn't want anybody to lose their lives or, you know, to have eternal lives. So I'm just curious how you can put those two together. Thanks.

Yeah. Hey, John, I'm guessing that the language of strong delusion, you're thinking of, I think it's 2 Thessalonians, where it talks about those who received, who failed to receive the truth, failed to love the truth, and God gave them up to a strong delusion. And then this idea of a reprobate or debased mind comes from Romans chapter 1 verse 28. Again, and since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind, sometimes translated reprobate, to do what ought not to be done. And so in other words, this idea of being given over to a strong delusion or having a reprobate mind, it's God essentially saying, okay, fine. And by the way, this is a terrible thing, right?

But it's God, terrible in that it's terrifying. It's God saying, if that's what you want, if you don't want anything to do with Me, if you reject Me, if you reject the truth, if you reject My Son, you do that continually. Okay, if that's what you want, I'm going to give you that.

You can have it. Friends, God help us. God help us never to live like that, to think like that, but instead to say, Lord, You have Your way with Me. I confess my own sinful inclinations, to want to go my own way, God forgive me, and don't let me wander away from You. And in the context of Romans chapter 1, at least where it talks about the debased mind, it's people who knew better, who knew the truth, that God is Lord and Creator, and yet they suppressed that truth in unrighteousness.

They rejected it again and again and again and again. I mean, it was a slap in the face to God. And so God says, okay, fine. If this is what you want, you can have it.

God bring us all to repentance and faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. Hey, God bless and thank you. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, go to corechristianity.com forward slash radio. Or you can call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-THE-CORE. When you contact us, let us know how we can be praying for you. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-14 20:31:38 / 2023-12-14 20:41:58 / 10

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