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How Can I Recover from Being in a False Church?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
December 19, 2023 5:20 pm

How Can I Recover from Being in a False Church?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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December 19, 2023 5:20 pm

Episode 1383 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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 CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

 

1. How do I reason with someone who obsesses over his belief in a flat earth?     2. Do we worship on Sunday because the Roman Catholic Church changed the day?     3. Can we say that Mary is the mother of God?     4. What comfort does scripture offer me in my illness?     5. What styles of music are appropriate in a church service?       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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How can I recover after being in a false church? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Hi, I'm 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 at 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-HELP. We'll be taking your calls for the next 25 minutes or so, so now's the time to call. By the way, you can watch Adriel live on YouTube every day at 1130 a.m. Pacific time, and you can send him your question through our YouTube channel. And of course, you're always welcome to email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com. We do our best to go through your emails each day. Let's start off today by going to Jim, who's listening to us in Nebraska. Hi, Jim, what's your question for Adriel?

Yes, good afternoon. Even my question is, should these preachers preach on basically hell just as much as they do heaven? Well, the reason I'm asking that, because my preacher preached on basically hell.

That's the day that I put my faith and trust in God. Jim, thank you for that question, and I'm glad to hear that you trust in the Lord. Now, what I believe is that preachers should just preach the Word. It's what Paul said in 2 Timothy 4, verse 1. This charge that every pastor has is to proclaim the Word of God faithfully, and if you do that, you are going to talk about the judgment and the reality of perdition, the reality of hell. I think one of the reasons why sometimes we shy away from that is because it's a difficult doctrine, and part of the reason for many it's a difficult doctrine or they don't understand it or they want to avoid it is because we have such a low view of God and of His holiness. We minimize the reality of sin and the wickedness of sin, and so we're troubled by the idea of judgment, but if we're faithfully teaching God's Word, we're going to have to talk about it.

The reality is, it's sort of like that wonderful hymn, Amazing Grace, and this is kind of what you said, right? "'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved." When we're confronted with the law and the reality of judgment, initially there's fear, and sometimes that fear does cause us to turn to the Lord, where we embrace and receive the mercy of God for us in Jesus Christ, and so the whole Christian life shouldn't be lived out of fear, but out of love, out of charity, and yet oftentimes it's that warning, that threat of judgment that causes people to look up and outside of themselves, recognizing that they're sinners in need of forgiveness that is so important, and so we don't want to shy away from it.

I'm glad that God used that, Jim, in your own life. The one passage of Scripture, and there are a number of passages that you can think about here, but the one that I was thinking about as you were asking your question is 2 Peter 2, where Peter gives a warning about the false teachers, and he basically provides as examples times where God judged people in the past. Sodom and Gomorrah, for example, he mentions there, and what he's highlighting is the fact that God will judge sin, and it's a sobering truth, it's a sobering reality, it's a call for all of us. If we are living in rebellion to God and His word, not trusting in Christ but clinging to our sins, there's a problem there, and God is going to judge that, and so I appreciate you bringing up this question, and again, it is so important for us to let the word of God speak and to proclaim God's word faithfully, and if we do, this is something we're going to talk about. We often discuss the fact that we should be preaching the whole of Scripture on this radio program, and unfortunately, there are some churches and even some entire denominations today that may focus on, let's say, God's love at the expense of His justice and the fact that He's righteous. Yeah, I mean, it really is a problem, and so this is one of the reasons why, by the way, I think expository preaching can be so helpful, that is preaching through books of the Bible, because we are tempted to sort of skip over things or to gloss over the stuff that, you know, I'm just not interested in talking about that topic. It forces us as we're preaching through books of the Bible to cover everything, and so one of the ways I think that we can hold ourselves accountable as ministers is by just saying, I'm going to just preach the text.

Otherwise, a lot of times you do end up with situations where people are avoiding doctrines or maybe just focusing on their own hobby horses, and that can really be a serious issue. 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 or the Christian life. Maybe there's a passage of Scripture that's always kind of confused you, and you'd like some clarification on that.

Well, Adriel would be happy to dive into that with you, or maybe you could use prayer for something going on in your Christian life. Give us a call at 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners.

This is Carmen. I am a devout Christian first-generation Palestinian, and I am concerned about the evangelical belief that sticks with the Abrahamic covenant for the Jewish nation. In other words, their approval of the Zionism, not against Jews or Israelis, but the belief that Zionism is necessary and well approved based on the Abrahamic covenant.

I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who curse you. Many pastors have said that the nation of Israel that is there now is a secular nation, number one. And number two, the nation of Israel does not get to cling to the Abrahamic covenant any longer because we have the covenant of Christ. So my question for you is, are you in agreement with that? In other words, are you a Zionist Christian, or do you believe that the nation of Israel is no longer under the Abrahamic covenant in that sense?

Thank you. Hey Carmen, thank you for that question, and definitely one that is being talked about right now in light of current events. But it's so important that we get our theology straight here, and the idea that the Abrahamic covenant is applied to ethnic Israel today, that they're basing the sort of Zionism on that. If you believe in the Bible, and if you believe in the New Testament, the teachings of the Apostle Paul, you're going to run into some serious problems there, in particular when you read books like the book of Galatians, because there the Apostle Paul makes it very clear that the children of Abraham are those who have faith in Jesus Christ.

Those are the sons of Abraham, which may come as a shock to many people when you hear that. Paul also highlights this throughout the book of Romans, by the way. You see this in Romans chapter 2, in Romans chapters 9 through 11, and as I mentioned in the book of Galatians as well.

Galatians chapter 3, for example, verse 7. Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham, and the scripture foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, In you shall the nations be blessed. So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham the man of faith. Just a little bit later in that chapter, in verse 28 of chapter 3, again in the book of Galatians, Paul said, There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring heirs according to promise. In other words, in Christ, the promises of God find their yes and amen, and we share in those promises and those covenant promises through faith in Jesus Christ. And again, if you want to get into the distinction between those promises in ethnic Israel and how those related to ethnic Israel, Paul really unpacks that in Romans 9 through 11. And so, that's one place to go, but we have to be really careful, and sometimes in some schools of thought, some schools of theology, there is this misunderstanding that, you know, almost, I mean, the extreme version of this, the abuse of this would be the idea that, you know, you have ethnic Israel and they're just God's people, even though it's a secular nation, even though they don't have faith in Jesus, they have this special blessing. And somehow they're in by virtue of their, you know, the fact that they're Jews. And Paul makes it very clear, look, the covenant people are those who are united to Jesus Christ by faith, apart from faith, without faith. When we're talking about salvation, there is no people of God.

Now, what does that mean for us? And, you know, does that mean that we look down upon others? No. Do we look down upon the Jews?

No. Paul says in Romans chapter 11, don't be arrogant and boast against them, right? God broke off the natural branches because they were unbelieving, and you've seen the kindness and severity of God, kindness towards you who believe, severity towards those who rejected Christ and didn't believe.

But don't be haughty, Paul says, but fear. We should all come humbly to God by faith and recognize that the gospel is for all peoples, Jews and Gentiles, and proclaiming that gospel to all peoples so that they might experience the covenant blessings of God, so that they might be truly the sons of Abraham. God, give us courage and boldness to share that message with those who desperately need it. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to James, who has a very similar question to that one.

Hi, James. What's your question for Adriel? Yes, thank you. Thank you for your ministry.

I really appreciate all you guys are doing for the body of Christ. So yeah, you pretty much touched on what I was thinking, or my question was, you know, what is Zionism? And I'm just thinking about, you know, Israel coming back to their land in 1948, and all those kind of prophetic things that have played out like in our time. And then my second question would be, would Jesus be a Zionist? Hey, James, thank you for that question. And yeah, sort of coincidence there, right?

Right in line with the one we were just getting from Carmen. But again, I mean, I guess this just speaks to the fact that this is on a lot of people's minds. And with regard to Zionism, I mean, just the idea specifically that there is this promise that belongs to the Jewish people, that that land belongs to them, you know, as a divine gift. And so it's theirs. Now, was Jesus a Zionist? And here's where, again, theology and biblical theology is so important. The land of Canaan in the Old Testament, James, that was a type of a greater reality.

The focus really should not be on a little plot of land in the Middle East. That plot of land was supposed to be a picture of the new creation, the heavenly Jerusalem above, as Paul describes it in Galatians. It's also described in the book of Hebrews, in Hebrews Chapter 12. But just listen to what the author to the Hebrews says in Hebrews Chapter 11, beginning in verse 8, because I think it speaks to this debate about land and promises and so forth.

Author to the Hebrews, Hebrews Chapter 11 verse 8, By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive even when she was past age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man and him as good as dead were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore. These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.

If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had an opportunity to return, but as it is, they desire a better country that is a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has promised or prepared for them a city. The city that we look to as the people of God, what Canaan was a type of in the Old Testament, these promises of land, foreshadowed a greater reality. The new creation, the heavenly Jerusalem, which one day is going to cover the whole earth.

It's not just going to be a little piece of property, it's going to be the whole earth covered with the glory of the Lord. And we understand this through Christ, the Messiah who came. So if you reject Jesus, if you reject this idea that by faith we are the children of Abraham truly, as Paul highlights in Romans chapters 9 through 11, then you're going to have a lot of trouble with this. Now, that's not to say and not to get into, you know, I'm not making a case for the Jews shouldn't have that land or anything like that. I'm not talking about them, not a justification for the horrific acts that have been committed against Jews.

I think we need to stand against that kind of wickedness everywhere, that kind of anti-Semitism. Man, we should as believers in Jesus Christ say no to that and stand against it. Nevertheless, we understand, according to the teaching of scripture, that the true people of God are those who have faith in Jesus Christ and they're looking forward to a heavenly home.

The new creation which one day when Christ returns is going to cover the whole earth and already now is breaking in through the proclamation of the gospel. Thanks, James, for reaching out. Wow, great explanation and so important in this day. Thank you for that, Adriel, and for really spelling that out clearly for all of us based on scripture.

This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, now is the time to call. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. By the way, we're going to be recording a second episode of Core Christianity after our live one ends here in a few minutes. So if you weren't able to get through, feel free to call us for the next half hour or so with your question.

We would love to hear from you. I want to mention a great new Bible study we have that really digs into the core doctrines of the Christian faith. Yeah, the Bible study is called We Believe, and it's a 10-lesson study on the Nicene Creed. Listen, so many people assume that they just get all the core doctrines of the Christian faith. The doctrine of the Trinity, oh yeah, I think I understand that. The doctrine of, you know, salvation, Christ coming. We see that as basic, you know, we need to move on from those things, but the reality is this is the faith once for all delivered to the saints. These are the doctrines that we grow deeper in as followers of Jesus.

And so one of the reasons we put together this resource, this study through the Nicene Creed, is to help you do just that, to go deeper in the core doctrines of the Christian faith, and we're offering it right now for a gift of $25 or more. By the way, as we come up to the end of the year, we would really covet your prayers for this ministry, and if you feel God might be leading you to make a year-end gift to core Christianity, I do want to mention that we are completely listener-supported. We don't play commercials here. We don't get money from a radio station. We don't have a church or denomination that is underwriting us. We really count on people just like you to make gifts to keep us on the air. So as if you're going to be giving to charities or your favorite ministries at the end of the year, which you consider a gift to core Christianity, you can learn more about that and about the Bible study that Adriel just mentioned by going to corechristianity.com.

We do get voicemails here at the core, and you can call us 24 hours a day and leave your voicemail question, and here's one that came in from Jennifer. My question is, I'm a fairly new Christian coming to the Lord and believing that I think I've blasphemed the Holy Spirit. I didn't realize I was in a church that was NAR.

I didn't understand it. And so much strange things have been happening to me, and I thought it was the Holy Spirit at first, but being stepped on and being demonically tormented, I now know it wasn't. So with my thoughts and actions, has that caused me to blaspheme the Holy Spirit? And is that the reason why I'm continuing to receive torment because God is mad at me? I prayed and I've repented in Jesus' name, and the tormenting thoughts haven't stopped. I've gone through deliverances and it hasn't stopped. It kind of scares me there because I was a part of that group and I didn't understand that that's what that church was doing. So have I blasphemed the Holy Spirit?

Thank you. Jennifer, my heart goes out to you because I know what it's like to live under the burden of wondering, you know, have I sinned to the point of no return? I wrestled with this as a newer believer too, and I think it's one of the things that many sincere newer Christians struggle with.

It's like you experience God's mercy, God's grace, the best thing in the world, and then you think, oh no, what if I lose this, or have I done something that has jeopardized this? Now you mentioned being a part of a NAR church, New Apostolic Reformation, a movement that's out there right now, and some of the false teaching you were exposed to. And so because you came out of that church, you're wondering, is God angry with me?

Let me just say to you, no, when we turn to the Lord Jesus, trusting in him, regardless of where we've been, you know, how weird or heterodox or heretical the church was that we were in, when we turn to the Lord, he's gracious and merciful, we come to him and say, Lord, man, I was so caught up and confused. Forgive me. Forgive me for believing things about you that weren't true.

Forgive me for living in a way that was not honoring to you. No, no, Jennifer, when you come to the Lord, he doesn't slam the door in your face and say, no, you're no longer welcome because of your failures and shortcomings, but when you come to him in repentance, he opens the door, he meets with you. Not only does he do that, but you think of the parable of the prodigal son, the prodigal son in Luke 15, going off and living in rebellion, rebelling against the Father and yet coming to his senses, and the Father embraces him.

Now, you still feel this battle that you're in, this spiritual war, and I don't think that that's for no reason. I think that as we begin to draw near to the Lord, as we reject false teaching and get plugged into good churches, and I hope, Jennifer, that you are indeed plugged in now to a good church, a church that's faithful and teaches the word of God and can encourage you in your walk with the Lord, but as we do that, the evil one, Satan, isn't pleased. He wants to keep us in bondage, and one of the ways I think that he keeps us in bondage is by calling into question the forgiveness of sins, by calling into question our identity in Christ. It's precisely what he did to our Lord during the temptation in the wilderness. He said to him, are you really the son of God? If you're really God's son, do this, do that.

And I think he does that for believers in Christ, too. He causes us to wonder, am I really? Are you really God's child? You think God would want you as his child? After everything you've done, after the churches you've been a part of, God doesn't want anything to do with you.

That's a lie from the evil one. And so you can reject that lie, and you can come to God confidently, boldly, through Jesus Christ, knowing that through Jesus Christ, he receives you, Jennifer, as his daughter and forgives all your sins. And when you experience that battle, that temptation, that feeling of despair, rather than trusting in your feelings, go to the word of God, look to Christ, cling to the promise of the gospel and say, this is for me, and enjoy its benefits.

Rest in it. Receive that peace that is for you, Jennifer, as a daughter of the true and the living God. God bless you. Amen.

So well said. Thank you for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question, you can email us anytime at questions at corechristianity.com.

Here's an email from one of our listeners named John. He says, I know that Christ had to die on the cross without original sin to satisfy his father and take away our sins, and that on the cross he became sin for us. If he lived his life without a sin nature, how can he comprehend, other than by divine revelation, the miserable complications that falling into sin bring to a human being?

Okay, great question. Well, just because Jesus didn't sin ever in thought, word, or deed, doesn't mean that he didn't experience the misery that comes alongside of sin, weakness in body, sorrow, the sense of God's judgment and curse at the cross. That was what caused him to sweat droplets of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane. And so when we think about what we sometimes refer to as the humiliation of Christ, we'll focus immediately on Gethsemane and on the cross and the beatings and so forth, but that humiliation began from the very moment Jesus, the eternal Son of God, was born in a low condition, coming in our nature sinless, but experiencing the curse of sin and sorrow and sickness and death in his humanity for us and for our forgiveness. And so we distinguish between the fact that he never sinned, because he never sinned, and the reality also that he bore the consequences of our sins, both at the cross but throughout his whole life. That entire humiliation he experienced in pursuing his Father faithfully and in bearing our curse. And so we praise God for that, and we're reminded, especially this time of the year, how important that is, the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ who came for us and for our salvation. Meditate on that, brothers and sisters, and may the Lord bless the rest of your week. and the truth of God's Word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-19 21:08:45 / 2023-12-19 21:18:23 / 10

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