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When Should the Church Address Current Events?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
January 16, 2024 4:18 pm

When Should the Church Address Current Events?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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January 16, 2024 4:18 pm

Episode 1403 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

 CoreChristianity.com

  1. What will happen to people who hear the gospel but don't believe?   2. How much transparency should pastors provide for their use of money?   3. Where in the Bible does God say we need to be "born again"?   4. Should pastors address current events from the pulpit?   Today’s Offer: FEARFULLY MADE   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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When should the church address current events?

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 Adrian 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 and our phone lines will be open for the next 25 minutes or so. You can call us with your question. At 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Just a reminder, we have a YouTube channel. 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 as well.

So check that out. Right now, let's go to Jim who's calling in from Nebraska. Jim, what's your question for Adriel?

Yes, I want to thank you for taking my call. And my question is, what is all of these people going to do if they have been to church services time after time or if they have got gospel tracts? When they face God after white throne judgment, what are they going to use for an excuse?

Well, Jim, that's just a really scary thought because the fact of the matter is they're not going to be able to use anything for an excuse. Paul in Romans chapter 1 says that even those who, I mean, all they have is nature, you know, the created order around them, even they are without excuse because God through his general revelation reveals to the world that he is the all-powerful creator, God worthy of worship and respect. And yet instead what people do is they suppress that truth and unrighteousness and turn to idolatry. And so for individuals who have heard the word over and over and over again, and yet harden their hearts toward it and reject it, it's an even more serious judgment. And this is why you have so many warnings throughout scripture about how you hear the word of God.

I once, you know, I've heard it said, and it's been said many, many times that the same sun that melts the wax hardens the clay. The word of God has this sort of double-edged effect on people as it goes out. Sometimes it melts our hearts, right? We turn, we come to repentance. God uses his word to affect a great change in our lives. But for others, they harden their hearts against it and they become more and more obstinate against the truth. And this is one of the things that you see throughout the Bible.

That's why it's such an important warning. You'd think of Pharaoh, right? Pharaoh would probably be the ultimate example of this continual hardening his heart against the word of God. I also think of the people in the wilderness. And in Hebrews chapters three and four, you have some of this describe the wilderness generation, how they turn from the word of the Lord in unbelief. The author of the Hebrews says in Hebrews chapter four, verse one, Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them because they were not united by faith with those who listened. For we who have believed enter that rest. And so it's not enough just to be in the proximity of the word of God, to go to church and to hear it. There are people who hear the word but don't benefit from it.

And again, that's a scary thought. On the day of judgment, they're going to be held accountable for that knowledge that they had, that they rejected. This is why Peter, for example, in second Peter describing the false teachers who are going to be condemned seriously by the Lord because of the fact that they rejected the truth. This is why he says it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than having known the holy commandment to turn from it and reject it. And so there is, again, a warning here for all of us, especially those of us who are going to church week in and week out, to say, okay, Lord, illuminate my mind to receive your word so that it might bear fruit in my life, so that I might receive it with faith, hope and love, cherishing it up, treasuring it in my heart so that I wouldn't just close my ears to what you've said. I mean, there's so much scripture, Jim, that comes to mind.

I think also of Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount, when at the very end of the Sermon on the Mount he says, okay, everyone who hears these sayings of mine and does them is going to be like the wise man who built his house on the rock. But if you're just hearing this and it's going in one ear and out the other, you know, you thought, well, that was a nice sermon, you know, sitting through the Sermon on the Mount and you go off and you forget about it, you're a fool. You're a fool because you've rejected the word of God.

You've heard it, but you've rejected it. You didn't receive it with faith. And so God help each and every one of us. And to you listening right now, you who have been hearing but not heeding, rejecting, may the Lord soften your heart and draw you to himself. And may you not just hear with your ears, but hear by the grace of the Holy Spirit with your heart while God is speaking to you through his Holy Word.

So well said. 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 or the Christian life.

Maybe there's a passage of scripture that's always kind of confused you and you could use some clarification on what it really means. Or maybe there's something going on in the life of your church that's concerning you and you'd like to ask Adriel about that. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THECORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Sly calling in from Edmond, Oklahoma.

Sly, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, I hope you won't mind if I clarify things before I get to my question so I'm not misunderstood. What I want to ask about is accountability and I'm not speaking about pastors of small, medium-sized churches. I know pastors work hard.

I have a background in that myself. I had an uncle who was a home mission pastor and worked as a carpenter to pay for his family and their living expenses and things. But I hear pastors on the radio and television. Some of them have been to the Holy Lands 20 times or more and leading tours there and to Alaska and other places. Also, pastors took a long time ago and said, I think some of these pastors need to visit the unholy lands and I kind of agree with that. Another comment is I don't think Paul played golf. If you excuse that, I think these pastors talk about golf and some of them have meetings with politicians and go out with corporate presidents and things like that.

So my question is, when you are asking for money on the radio, anyone asking for money, donations, I feel that they need to give accountability. What is their lifestyle? What is their salary? What kind of home do they live in? Their expense accounts? Where's the money going? In other words, other people, we may know if they work at a Home Depot or somewhere like that about what they get paid and other people's salaries are published, but they're not asking anyone for money.

And when people ask for donations and they've written 50 books and probably 49 are out of print now, I just wonder about this. Hey, Derek, thank you for that question and for the background there. It sounds to me like I'm the pastor you're looking for because I am in the unholy lands of Southern California and I don't play golf. I never have, but I'm just teasing.

I actually haven't played golf and I love Southern California, although I feel like California is more and more being treated with disdain by many people. But all that to say, just basically, look, yeah, there should be accountability. I mean, one of the things with regard to the qualifications of an elder is the elder can't be a lover of money. And so there has to be some accountability.

I mean, how do you gauge that? Now, here's one thing that I'll say is a lot of different people are going to sort of parse that out differently. Somebody might think, pastor plays golf, shouldn't he be just spending all of his time in prayer and fasting? And other people might think, well, that's not a big deal. I think we want to be careful that we don't impose kind of our own ideas of what this individual should do for recreation or for fun. Now, of course, that doesn't mean, I mean, you've heard of these televangelists who are making requests so that they can have a private jet so that they can do their holy land tours or whatever it is, right?

There is some really wild, silly stuff out there. And so I do think that accountability and those kinds of conversations, transparency is good. I think it's fine for people to be able to say, okay, is this money, are these resources being used for ministry, for the advancement of the gospel, for the care of the church also, and for the ministers in the church? I think that that's important. I don't have any problem saying, and I think that this is true in a lot of churches.

I mean, there are instances where people might say, okay, I don't know. I don't agree with what the pastor has paid, but I think there are a lot of churches where there are faithful ministers who are having a hard time taking care of their families wherever they are, because there's this sort of assumption that if you're a pastor, you should just be poverty-stricken and praying all day, and you're not allowed to play golf, that sort of a thing. So I think there needs to be a balance here where we're saying, yeah, there needs to be accountability.

And at the same time, we're not to put our own ideas on this individual and draw assumptions about their lives because I would say they play golf or whatever it might be. So it requires wisdom here, and hopefully within the local church, there is some structure with the elders where there is accountability and oversight and where they're able to answer that question. So, okay, our pastor or our elders are not, as 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 talks about, they're not lovers of money. And for organizations as well, there should be transparency where it's like these resources are going towards gospel efforts and wanting to see people come to faith in Jesus Christ. I know that's one of the things we're passionate here about at CoreChristianity is we want to see people grow in their understanding of the Christian faith. And so a lot of our resources go towards creating resources for people to give away, oftentimes for free, to help them understand the Bible better.

And so that's the mission, that's the goal. And I hope that if you're in a situation where there isn't that openness or transparency, that that'll be something that grows and where you feel more and more comfortable about the people that are serving you and seeking to encourage you in your faith. God bless, brother. Hey Sly, great question, and thanks for calling and listening to CoreChristianity. I was also thinking about, Adriel, you've quoted before James 3.1 about the fact that pastors, that those who teach, those who lead, are going to be held much more accountable. And if they're using their money for private jets and going to the Holy Land a couple times a year for fun, I mean, there's something to be said there, correct?

Sure. And again, that's why I brought up this sort of televangelist, you know, the TV pastors that you see, where it does bring reproach upon the church, because people see that, outsiders see that, and they just think, oh boy, this is what Christianity is all about. It's all about mammon.

It's all about, you know, let's get rich off of these people. And so it really is a great offense, and God is going to judge it. This is CoreChristianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, doctrine, theology, pastors' jets, whatever you'd like to ask, we're open to your call. Here's the phone number.

By the way, Adriel has no jet. I just want to point that out. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Joyce, who's calling in from Missouri. Joyce, what's your question for Adriel? Well, I've never heard in my life in church that you must be born again, and I don't understand that. Hi, Joyce.

Thank you so much for calling with that question. You've never heard in church that you must be born again. Well, that language comes from Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus in John chapter 3. And it's a wonderful story.

Let me just read some of it. There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, and this man came to Jesus by night and said to him, Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him. Jesus answered him, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus said to him, How can a man be born when he is old?

Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born? Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of Spirit is Spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born again.

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. That's interesting here, as Nicodemus, as Jesus has said, is a teacher, ruler among the Jews. Here's a guy who should know theology, who should know doctrine. Jesus says, You don't know this?

This is the basic stuff here. And what he's highlighting here is the fact that what we need as human beings is not just some sort of moral renovation. I just need to add a little bit of religion to my life. No, you need spiritual transformation. You need the work of the Holy Spirit to raise you from death to life, like Paul says in Ephesians chapter 2. We were dead in trespasses and sins, but God made us alive through Jesus Christ. And this is the work of the Holy Spirit.

Sometimes, Joyce, we call this regeneration. It's this new life, this work of the Holy Spirit, where God takes that heart of stone inside of an individual and turns it into a heart of flesh, capable of receiving God's promises and God's grace. It's, again, the work of the Holy Spirit. And this is what Jesus is emphasizing. Unless we have that, unless we've been transformed by the work of the Holy Spirit, we can't see the kingdom of God.

And so each of us needs this. Earlier in John chapter 1, you see this as well, this idea. Verse 9, the true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world did not know him.

He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him, but to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And so we see, Joyce, this close relationship between regeneration, being born again, and faith, trusting in Jesus Christ. And again, all of this is the work of the Holy Spirit. And we need that. You need that.

We all do. And so we go to the Lord in his goodness and in his kindness. And so I just want to go back to you, Joyce, and just, I guess, ask, does that make sense, that language of being born again there in John chapter 3, and the concept of this spiritual transformation that takes place in individuals by the work of the Holy Spirit? Yes, it does.

Thank you for telling me about it, because I thought it was that, but I didn't know. Well, Joyce, do you believe in Jesus? Oh, yes, I do. Praise God. Well, well, sister, if you believe in Jesus, you have indeed been born again, and the Holy Spirit lives in you. And I pray that the Lord would continue to bless you and strengthen you in your faith.

And again, if you want to maybe spend some time even just reading or listening to John chapter 3, Jesus' discussion there with Nicodemus about being born again, I know it'll bless you. And so thank you for giving us a call, and have a wonderful day. Thanks, Joyce.

We appreciate you. Thanks for listening to Core Christianity. We'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. You know, our country seems divided on a variety of different issues these days, and probably one of the most controversial is the issue of abortion. And we have created an excellent resource that'll help you develop a biblically informed view on the sanctity of human life.

Yeah, thanks, Bill. We have a wonderful devotional called Fearfully Made, and it's about the wonder and value of human life, even in the womb. And as the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade approaches, I think it's so important to anchor ourselves in the truth of God's word.

For nearly 50 years, our culture has continued to devalue the preservation of life. This has caused division both in and outside of the church, which is why I think this devotional is perfect, and a wonderful resource to give you a deep dive into what Scripture tells us about the sanctity of life. We pray that through this devotional, you will be encouraged and anchored in God's word, so head over to corechristianity.com forward slash offers to get your free digital copy of our new devotional, Fearfully Made. Such a wonderful devotional.

We think it will help you when you're having discussions with perhaps a friend or relative, a co-worker who thinks differently about the sanctity of human life, and you can explain why you believe what you believe. Again, it's called Fearfully Made, and you can find it at corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Well, we do get voicemails here at The Core. You can leave us your voicemail question 24 hours a day at 833-THE-CORE. Here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Linda.

Hello. I'm having a very difficult time finding a church in my area. I go on the internet and I try to find a church and I listen to their sermons and everything. I hope I'm not being a fault finder, but basically what I find is that in Southern Baptist churches, they aren't allowed to preach on current events. Therefore, I feel that they aren't addressing evil. For instance, I went to church Sunday after Israel was attacked and there was just no mentioning, no prayer, and I just see an absolute silence when it comes to addressing the culture. I'm looking for a church that will give me a biblical worldview. I was wondering if you could address that question.

Thank you. Excellent question. Let me just say, this is an important question, and one of the issues here is there's a serious tension I think that a lot of pastors struggle with here.

I think there's a way to go wrong on two counts. One is if your pastor is primarily focused on current events, he's not going to do a good job preaching the Word of God faithfully. He just can't, because the fact of the matter is what the minister is called to do, what he's charged to do by the Lord, is preach the Word. This is what Paul tells Timothy in 2 Timothy 4 verse 1.

I charge you in the presence of God and of Jesus Christ who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom preach the Word. So throughout the week, the minister, among other things that he's doing, praying and meeting with people and caring for the flock, is he's preparing to exposit the Word of God. He should be studying the Scriptures, now studying the Scriptures to apply them to the people who are there in the congregation and to the world around. But his primary job is not to be up to date on current events so that he can talk about current events, and that would be the main thing that's happening from the pulpit week in and week out.

There are times where something catastrophic happens and it's just like, you have to address this. I think back to 9-11, for example, and many of the churches that gathered, especially in New York, after that terrible catastrophe, that terrorist attack, and needing to comfort people with the promises of God's Word and address what was happening. But again, the focus has to be on the exposition of Scripture. That doesn't mean we avoid those topics, current events, it just means we're applying the Word of God faithfully. And I think that the best way to do that is by preaching expositorily, going through books of the Bible so that you don't miss out on really important doctrines, doctrines that frankly I think a lot of times people today just want to overlook or push to the side, difficult doctrines. And so preaching the Word of God week in and week out and applying the text of Scripture first and foremost to the people that are in front of you there, to the struggles that they're facing, but then additionally to the things that are happening in culture. And so you said the Southern Baptist churches that you go to, they're not allowed to talk about current events.

I don't think that's actually the case. I think every pastor is weighing, okay, is this something that I need to address from the pulpit? And one other thing that I think you can be sensitive to is different people in the church have different concerns, things that they think, okay, well, I think this needs to be addressed or this needs to be talked about. And that too is where pastors I think need to be careful not to be pulled in all sorts of different directions, but to take seriously that call that God has given to us to faithfully preach the Word of God. And if we're faithfully preaching the Word of God, we will talk about these things and address these things, whatever those things might be, things that are happening. But that can also happen in the context of the worship service through prayer or that was one of the things that happened at our church after those attacks, those terrorist attacks happened in Israel. During the prayer of the church, we were praying for the people who were suffering.

And so there are different ways of approaching this. And I hope, sister, that you are encouraged and able to get plugged into a church where you are growing and will continue to grow in Christ. God bless. Great response. Well, thanks so much for listening to CORE Christianity today.

We really appreciate you. I'm going to wrap things up now and feel free to call us anytime with your question for Pastor Adrian. 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 / 2024-01-16 19:10:27 / 2024-01-16 19:20:35 / 10

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