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Why Should Anyone Become a Christian?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
January 1, 2024 2:30 pm

Why Should Anyone Become a Christian?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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January 1, 2024 2:30 pm

Episode 1392 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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Why should anyone become a Christian? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity.

Well, Happy New Year! 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. We'd love to hear from you. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-22. You can also post your question on our social media sites, and of course you can always email us your question at questions-at-core-christianity.com. And as we kick off a brand new year, I'm curious, Adriel, do you do the New Year's resolution thing, or do you just kind of say it's pointless? I say it's pointless. I mean, if I'm wanting to start the year on a bad note, you know, where I just make promises to myself that I'm not going to keep, then maybe I'll do that. But no, I mean, I guess every new year I am sort of thinking, like, oh man, I want to get better at this or do this a little bit more. And as is often the case, I think I usually do okay for maybe the first month or two, and then it just kind of tapers off. I don't know, maybe some of our callers can reach out to us and say, hey, that's not the case for me, and I've found the trick to really staying committed to those New Year's resolutions, whatever those are. But I have not discovered it yet. How about you, Bill?

Well, it's interesting because all the research shows just what you said. By the time that by the time February 1st rolls around, most people, I think like 60 percent have jettisoned their their entire resolution. One thing I've tried in recent years is a little different approach. It's like, what is the one thing that God would want me to work on regarding my character in the coming year? Just that one thing. And then, like, you know, I figure out what that one thing is like.

I want to be more kind or more gentle, more patient, whatever that is. And then I'll write that, you know, on my like my bathroom mirror, my fridge or whatever. And then as I go by, I go, okay, this is what I'm working on this year, that one thing. Well, that's a lot more sanctified than I want my biceps to be bigger.

Well, I want that too, but I wasn't going to admit it. It's funny because around this time, you know, like you go to the gym, and I like to go to the gym to work out. But you go to the gym January 1st, throughout the month of January, and it's just like, it's packed. It's it's so it actually bothers me because I'm like, I get off my machine. You know, I haven't seen you here all year, you know, really. But then, like you said, February, March come around and things are back to normal. So I'm bracing myself for the for the busyness of the gym. But other than that, I think I'm good. And just I got to tell you guys, do not buy your wife a gym membership. It's not going to go over real well for Christmas or New Year's.

Yeah, exactly. Well, my gosh. Okay, this is core Christianity. We'd love to hear from you. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, you can always leave us a voicemail at 833 the core. Let's go to Robert calling in from Oklahoma.

Robert, what's your question for Adriel? Good. I appreciate the take of my call.

I have a question about a state. I mean, that's that's that's what it comes down to. I was talking to the screener. And I think the better description of what I'm struggling with is I have a part of my head that's telling me, you know, it's just not rational. But I'm trying to gain faith.

I'm trying to to to get back into the club, if you will, after many years being on the outside. But I keep every every step I make forward. I've got this voice in my head saying it's it's just not rational. And I'm just trying to figure out how how do I get past how do I get past that that secularization or secularized side of my head that's telling me that it's just just a bunch of nonsense. I'd love to see you grow in a deeper understanding of who God is, who Jesus is, to reconnect with faith. I mean, maybe I'm not sure if you were in church at one point and then came out or now just beginning to sort of think about these things.

But how do we confront those feelings of is this real? I mean, is this is this is there really an eternal God somewhere out there who created all things? Is that is that rational?

I think you could flip the whole thing on its head. Is it more rational to think that the complexity and beauty and wonder that we see all around us just came from nothing? And in fact, that's what a lot of, you know, philosophers of science and religion as they think about these things, they think about these arguments. I mean, it really it really does take a great degree of faith to assume or believe that the world that we live in and the life that we experience is just the product of random chance.

And there are there are many there are many over the years who have actually come to a belief in God. Having looked at that evidence, seeing seeing, OK, the complexity of life, it seems like it seems like there is an argument to make from fine tuning. It doesn't seem like the sort of naturalistic world can account for the evolution of consciousness and some of these other things.

So we have to have a better answer. And some people, you know, they still reject God and they'll come up with other ideas. Well, it's maybe it was aliens that, you know, created life on Earth or maybe there are multiple universes and just one of them is going to have all sorts of ways of trying to get around the reality that we are created by God and accountable to him.

But that is the reality. There is a God who created all things, who made you in his image for his glory. And the creation around us testifies to that reality. I love the way the psalmist puts it in the in the book of Psalms, in particular, in Psalm chapter 19, he says the heavens declare the glory of God in the sky above proclaims his handiwork day to day pours out speech and night to night reveals knowledge.

There is no speech, nor are there words whose voice is not heard. In other words, the created world around us. We sometimes talk about the way in which God reveals himself to us and we differentiate between general revelation and special revelation. General revelation is how God makes himself known just in the created order, in the world around us. Through science, through nature, we can look at these things and marvel at the beauty of the creator, at the one who gave us these many wonderful gifts. And so God is speaking in and through these things. You know, sometimes there's this tension that people have in their minds between faith and science or belief in God and belief in science, when in reality, the world that we live in is God's world. The revelations that we receive, quote unquote, through science and through the scientific community can be and oftentimes are one of the ways that God speaks to us of his own wonder. This is the book of creation, natural revelation. And so we give thanks to God for that.

But he's gone even beyond that, Robert. He's also given us his special revelation, his revelation in scripture. And this is where you have the revelation of the gospel, how we as sinners, as people who have not kept God's commandments like we should, how can we experience grace and goodness and mercy and forgiveness at the end of the day? And that's through Jesus Christ. God sent his son into the world to bear our sins. The creation, the wonderful creation that he made fell away from him through sin.

And God sent his son into the world so that we, fallen through sin, might be raised up again. And even there, when we're talking about good and evil, sin, right and wrong, so many people in the world, whether they believe in God or they don't believe in God, have these ideas in their mind. I have a sense of good. I have a sense of right and wrong, a sense of justice. You see this throughout all the nations of the world, this general sense of justice.

Well, where does that come from? I believe that it's planted in our hearts from the very beginning. It's God's, again, general revelation, his moral law written on the hearts of men and women, even from their birth. And so there are so many things that testify to the reality of a creator. But at the end of the day, we do look to Christ by faith. And that doesn't mean that there aren't good reasons to do that.

Rational reasons, we might say, or, you know, however you want to put it. You can point to the prophetic evidence. You can point to the evidence of the resurrection from the dead. The fact that the early apostles of our Lord were all willing, you know, the people who claimed to see him risen from the dead, they were all willing to die themselves for that claim.

They knew they weren't making it up. I mean, you can point to these things, but at the end of the day, we need to come to God by faith saying, Lord, I receive your word. I receive your grace. Help me to follow you and to know you. And so, Robert, just because I really do want to see you get plugged back into a church and grow in this, I want to just go back to you really briefly. Is there something specific that's kind of holding you back? Do you have a history of going to church?

If you want to share a little bit more, you're willing to, I'd love to hear it. Yeah, I was raised in a church up until, well, until I graduated high school, I joined the military. And that was when the folks who were supposed to be, you know, the shepherds of the flock, if you will, in our area, I discovered that they were doing things that were the polar opposite of what any Christian would be doing. And that really just drove a wedge between me and going to church and Christianity. And I just, I very, I drifted very far out because I just, I just was like, if this is the example of the people who were supposed to be, you know, watching out for my soul here, then it's just all just craziness. You know, and it just really, it really, really pushed a lot of buttons in me that pushed me hard away.

And I tell you, I've been, I just got that, I don't know how to describe it. But I want, I want to believe that I just, it's hard to dismiss all that and just, you know, make it all go away and say, okay, we're all good to go, because it just was such a huge shock to me and disappointment. Man, Robert, you know, I've, and I've heard stories like yours before, people who are driven away from the church because of the hypocrisy that they see.

Here's what I'd say to you, man. Don't let the sins of other people keep you from experiencing the grace of God in Christ, keep you from pursuing God sincerely. It happens too often where, where, you know, and, and this is why in, in scripture, Robert, the Bible is very clear that those who teach and preach, they're, they're held more accountable. They're, they're, they're going to be subject to an even stricter judgment because when they lead it by a negative example, when they set a poor example, it shipwrecks the faith of, of many. And it sounds to me like, you know, that, that period of, of questioning and struggling for you in part was rooted in this hypocrisy that you were saying. And I will tell you, if anyone can sympathize with you there, it's Jesus himself, because when he came to earth, what was the religious establishment like? Full of hypocrisy. And Jesus confronted it.

In fact, his strongest rebukes in the gospels were for religious hypocrites, for the scribes and the Pharisees. And he called the wandering sheep to himself. Those who had doubts, those who had questions, he said, come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Robert, you don't need to wander anymore. Come back to the good shepherd. You don't need to go back to those bad shepherds. Come back to the good shepherd, Jesus, and draw near to him.

Open up the word, you know, start in the Gospel of John, start reading it again, get plugged into a solid church where the word of God is faithfully taught. And, and again, don't let the wickedness of other people keep you from experiencing and walking in the goodness of God. Thanks for reaching out to us, Robert.

God bless. And Robert, one other thing I might mention, you talked about the fact that you're a thinker, you have kind of a scientific brain. One of the books that's been really helpful to me is Tim Keller's book, The Reason for God.

And I mean, it really does unpack this very question. OK, why is there God and who is he and why should I believe in him? And I think that might be helpful to you as well. So we'll continue to pray for him. And Adriel, I appreciate so much your kind response to Robert and all those who are searching. You know, there are answers.

And a lot of times we don't know where to go for those answers, but that's one of the things we try to do here on this program on a daily basis. So thanks for that. Well, our phone lines are open. If you'd like to leave a voicemail, here is the phone number.

It's 833 The Core. And you can call us 24 hours a day and leave your question for Adriel or email us at questions at core Christianity dot com. Let's go to Sebastian, who's calling in from Tennessee. Sebastian, thanks for staying on hold for a while. What's your question for Adriel? Wait, I can't hear you.

Hey, Sebastian, can you hear us now? Oh, there we go. So I was thinking, you know about abortion? Yes.

How do I fight against it as a Christian? And also, how do I explain to someone who's pro-choice to not do abortion, not to support that? Yeah.

Hey, Sebastian, man, thank you for that for that question. Really two questions there. So how do you how do you have a conversation with somebody who is pro-choice? They're there before abortion. And then how do we as Christians fight against abortion?

And I think that there are different ways of fighting. But I think that this is one of the things in our in our society that's not me. That's that is sin. It's evil.

It's wrong. It highlights how much we as a society don't value life on the whole. Not just not just the life of unborn children, but you also think of the elderly as well. There's there's a real minimizing of the sanctity and importance of life. And I mean, the issue here is we're made in the image of God and that image of God extends even to a child in the womb.

And so this is this is a serious thing. I mean, it's a sign of I think that the sickness that is around us, the sin that is around us in society and so many people, Sebastian, as you know, are blind to it now as a Christian. Certainly prayer is one way. And, you know, people hear people say, you need to pray about that. And they think, oh, well, you know, thoughts and prayers, that's not enough. But let me just say, I have no problem saying pray because I believe that prayer, faithful prayer, prayers offered up in faith, have the power to move mountains.

Jesus said that. So the first thing we should be doing as Christians is praying and saying, Lord God Almighty, bring an end to the evil in the world, to the injustices in our society. And abortion is one of those great injustices.

And so, brother, I would say pray. And as we're talking to people, you brought up this other thing, you know, with having conversations with those who are pro-choice, applying the truth of God's word, but even just reasoning with people as much as possible and saying, look, here's maybe why you think that this is all about, you know, giving a woman choice or her own rights over what she does with her own body. But it's more complex than that. I was actually in a conversation not too long ago with someone about this very topic who is pro-choice. And, you know, all about the woman's rights and how can you take away those rights, this right to make a choice here. But the reality is, you know, women have choices, right? There was a choice to engage in a sexual encounter there that led to pregnancies.

It wasn't like there's just no choice. The reality is that our choices have consequences. And oftentimes we don't want to take responsibility for those consequences or those outcomes. And certain things are not right in terms of how we approach this issue.

You know, and in particular, if you've gotten pregnant, right? We just think the right thing in that situation is never to abort the life of a child. Because, again, that child is made in God's image worthy of dignity, protection, and respect. And one of the lines of argumentation that you can use, it's one that I've used, is in the world, especially among those who maybe are more progressive, there's this strong sense of, you know, we need to defend the vulnerable. We need to stand up for vulnerable communities. But they failed to see how the child in the womb is the most vulnerable.

So I like to pitch it in that way. Like, what I'm doing is you have a sense of, man, we need to stand up for those who can't help themselves and are weak. But do you not see how you've dropped the ball immensely in being unwilling to stand up for the lives of the unborn, the most vulnerable, the most in need of a voice and some way to stand up for them? And so, I mean, that's getting to the second part of your question. I do also want to say, right, like as Christians, we also believe we're engaged in broader society, in the civil society as well. So there's nothing wrong with and we ought to, I think, pursue through civil society those things which do away with all injustice, whether that injustice is something like slavery, you know, in times past or abortion today.

That civil government is meant to uphold justice and to punish evil. And so as Christians engaged in broader society, I think that's one of the ways and just being involved and making our voice and our vote count in order to stand against some of these things. I think that's another way of being involved, practically being involved when it comes to this question of abortion. And, Sebastian, may God bless you as you pray, as you seek to be involved, and as you have conversations especially with people who disagree with you on this, because there's going to be so many out there and, you know, as you engage with friends and peers who differ from you on this topic, I think talking about life as a gift given to us by the Lord, the image of God, and ultimately going from there to the grace of God in the Gospel, because that's what we want to see more than anything, right? It's one thing to change laws, and that's a good thing, but what we want to see is people's hearts changed through the proclamation of the Gospel. So it's not just an argument that you want to win.

Certainly you want to show why this is better and good, and why abortion is evil and bad and harmful, obviously for the child but also for everyone involved. But what you also want is you want people who are wrapped up in sin and unbelief to experience the grace of God in Christ and to have their hearts, by the power of the Gospel and the Holy Spirit, transformed. And that's really how the deepest change takes place. And so be an evangelist, pray against the evil in the world, and be bold as you confront it. God bless. So well said. Thanks for that, Adriel. By the way, I want to mention a great resource that we have available for you here at the beginning of the year. It's called Tough Questions Answered.

Yeah. So one of the things—and we've been doing it on this broadcast today—one of the things we want to do as a team is answer the difficult questions that you have about the Christian faith. And this resource is about a 50-page long booklet that really goes through some of those—my producer is handing it to me right now, here it is—go through some of those difficult questions that we know people have and that come up pretty often.

Questions related to science, questions related to world religions, the Bible, and morality as well. I mean, we've talked about some of these things already on the broadcast today, but I do hope that you'll get a hold of it. It's a booklet.

You can read through it probably in one sitting or two sittings full of good information, and it's yours for a donation of any amount. You can learn more by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers and look for Tough Questions Answered. As we wrap up today, I want to mention a question we have come in from one of our listeners named Justin, and he says, Adriel, why do you choose to believe in Christianity?

Well, Justin, thank you for that softball right there. Just sort of teeing it up for me. But I guess the first thing that I would say is, for me, I came to a point in my life where I was confronted with the claims of Jesus Christ and the Spirit of God. And so it wasn't something where I was just studying on my own, and I figured it all out, and I said, I'm going to choose to believe this as much as I feel like it was getting hit by a bus or something like that, where you go through something in life, and you are beginning to see things differently, and the change just sort of happens. And for me, it was being confronted, one, with my own sins, seeing that I needed a Savior, I needed forgiveness, and finding Christ to be that perfect Savior, not just a sort of crutch, but truly the message of the gospel and the claims of Christ to be real and true and historical, and that being the answer to the problem that I couldn't fix, the problem of my own sins. And brothers and sisters, friends, that's the answer for you, too. Those deep problems that you can't fix, the struggles that we all have, it's Jesus. So look to Him in the new year and cling to His grace. He loves you. God bless. as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-01 17:52:19 / 2024-01-01 18:02:05 / 10

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