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If I'm Not Leading People to Christ, Am I Truly Saved?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
January 17, 2024 6:53 pm

If I'm Not Leading People to Christ, Am I Truly Saved?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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January 17, 2024 6:53 pm

Episode 1404 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

 CoreChristianity.com

  1. Do people really have a choice if only the elect can believe?   2. Does Matthew 18:19 mean that God guides our conversation when we gather?   3. Am I truly saved if I'm not leading people to Christ?   4. What does "once saved, always saved" really mean, and is it true?   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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If I'm not leading people to Christ, am I truly saved?

That's just one of the questions we'll be asking 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. We'd love to hear from you, and our phone lines are open right now. We'll be taking calls for the next 25 minutes or so. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Now, you can also post your question on our social media sites, and of course you can always email us. Here's our email address. It's questions-at-core-christianity.com. First up today, let's go to Greg in Nebraska. Greg, what's your question for Adriel? Hi, Pastor.

Thanks for taking my call. It has to do with the doctrine of election. Yesterday you responded to a man's question about people's accountability to God, depending on whether they'd heard the gospel. And you said that there's the universal call, God's acknowledging himself in creation. And then you listed there are people who are in church who hear the gospel call and who may, I don't know if you said they refuse to accept it or they reject his offer of salvation. But in that response, my question has to do with the verbiage, because with universal and gospel call, it's my understanding that there's also an effectual call, which comes from God. And unless a person gets the effectual call, which is 100% effectual is my understanding, do those first people, universal and gospel call people only, do they really have a choice to even accept a call to salvation if they have not received a gospel call? It's the verbiage, is there a choice there for them to accept or not accept it? To me it's like God is throwing a party and he's only sending out some invitations to a few people, and the people who didn't get the invitation, who didn't come to his party, he's still holding that against them.

So that's kind of the basics of my question. Greg, it's an excellent question, and just the way you worded it there is helpful, and you're right that some, myself included, would distinguish between different types of call that go out. And typically when people talk about the general call, the promiscuous free offer of the gospel that goes out to all people, we see that as a real and genuine call that's being extended, God stretching out his hands. Now why do we have also this understanding of maybe an efficacious call, or a call associated with the work of the Holy Spirit in renewing the inner man? Well it's because in places like Romans 8 when the Apostle Paul outlines that golden chain of redemption as it's sometimes called in verse 29, he says, So it seems like there's a particular calling there.

You also see this similar idea in 1 Corinthians, this language of calling associated with the people of God who indeed respond and are born again. So the tension here is that great tension, I think, that we're confronted with in the Scriptures. I don't think it's a contradiction, but the tension that we find in Scripture where it's clear that God is sovereign, and that he passes over some. You think of Pharaoh, for example, God giving Pharaoh over to his hardened heart, but it's also clear in Scripture that he draws his own to himself. Jesus says in John 6, And so the Church has always wanted to affirm, and Christians throughout history have always wanted to affirm a couple of things. One, God is not the author of sin, and God doesn't coerce people to do one thing or another.

We do have this freedom within our capacity and capabilities. Now what we can't do is we can't save ourselves, we can't justify ourselves, so it's the work of the Holy Spirit renewing the inner man. And it's that work in particular that we sometimes associate with that special call or effectual call. But I guess not wanting to get into the weeds, the two big things again are that sincere pursuit, we would say, of the Lord, the fact that human beings are responsible for turning from the Lord, that they hear the word of God and reject it.

I mean, that's what I was talking about yesterday. And also the fact that salvation is purely of the Lord, so that those who believe, it's only by the work of the Holy Spirit. I was just thinking as you were talking about really a beautiful passage in Hosea 11 where God is describing his love for his called people, his covenant people, who continually turn their backs on him. This is Hosea 11 verse 1. The Lord says, When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.

The more they were called, the more they went away. They kept sacrificing to the Baals and burning offerings to idols. Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk. I took them by their arms, but they did not know that I healed them. I led them with cords of kindness, with the bands of love, and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them.

They shall not return to the land of Egypt, but Assyria shall be their king because they have refused to return to me. So you see this language, especially in the prophets, that sincere, gracious call of the Lord. Jesus reiterates this too when he's weeping over Jerusalem.

How often I wanted to gather you together as a hen gathers her chicks, but you were not willing. So you do see this, and in one sense I think we would say part of it is God passing over, giving people over to what they've chosen for themselves. You see this also in Romans chapter 1. And yet, given all of that, it's still clear that faith is a gift, that salvation is the work of the Holy Spirit, that we were dead in trespasses and sins. I think that's why we're running into some of the tension, and I think the wrong way of trying to resolve that tension is just to minimize either of those realities, to say, well, human beings are not responsible before God, and so they have an argument to make against the Lord, or to minimize the sovereignty of God, and to say, well, it's sort of like 50-50. God does a little and we do a little. The Scripture says we're totally responsible, and also at the same time that salvation is totally of the Lord. There are different ways theologians have expressed how that works specifically, but a part of it is we're talking about the Lord and how he's working in and through creatures, and there is mystery involved there. I think at some point we have to say, okay, Lord, we're trusting in your word, and I'm praising you. I'm thanking you, God, for your mercy towards me and towards all those whom you've called.

God bless, Greg. Great explanation, Adriel, and of course a big part of that is we know that God is unlike us. He's not limited by space and time. I mean, he knows all before and after and throughout eternity, right?

That's right. And sometimes with that, people say, well, maybe the idea is that God chose people on the basis of what he foreknew, that he saw that they were going to choose him. So it's sort of like God chooses those who he sees ultimately would have chosen him. And so the reality is, well, we just choose God. But even there, that language of foreknowledge that we find so often in the Apostle Paul, for example, speaks of a particular love that God sets upon his people, the word to know throughout the Bible.

It's not just talking about this sort of cognitive information knowledge. God knew what was going to happen beforehand. It's God setting his love, his particular love, upon his people. And you see this also in places like Ephesians chapter 1.

So really, I mean, sort of fun, right? Diving in on the broadcast today, some deep theological waters. But at the end of the day, let me just say this. Paul, after discussing in Romans 9 through 11, the doctrine of election and God's sovereign choice, in particular in Romans chapter 9, he's talking about God's relationship to Israel, and he brings in Pharaoh and the patriarchs, you know, really the whole story. But towards the end of that section in Romans 9 through 11, here's how Paul concludes. And I think this is what these doctrines are supposed to lead us into. He says, And so what does this all lead to?

This great mystery and the wonder of God's sovereignty and human responsibility and God's mysterious way of working in the midst of human history. Paul says, for him at least, it leads to worship. It leads to humility. It leads to saying, God, you are awesome. You are the Lord.

And it should have that same effect on you and on me. That's beautiful. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open if you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, maybe something in your church life that you're concerned about or curious about. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. We'll be taking calls for the next 15 minutes or so.

833-843-2673. Let's go to Derek calling in from St. Louis. Derek, what's your question for Adriel? Thanks for taking my call, Pastor Adriel.

It's been about a year since I talked to you. On Matthew chapter 18, verses 19 and 20, it talks about wherever two or more are gathered in my name, I'm there with them, Jesus talking. Some friends and I were having a discussion on whether or not that means that Jesus and the Holy Spirit or the Holy Spirit influence our conversations when we're gathered in His name, or if it's just something that we should be aware and mindful of, that when we're gathered in their name, that they're present and they're listening and paying attention to what we're saying.

Hey, Derek, great question, and good to hear from you again. I hope that whenever we're gathered with other believers, or just wherever we are, engaging with others, that the Holy Spirit is influencing us in all of our speech, in all of our actions. That's what we're called to, as Christians, to be filled with the Spirit, to walk in the Spirit, to be characterized by the fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience. When we speak to each other, not to speak words that tear a brother or sister down, but build up, but edify.

And so, absolutely, certainly, I would say that we are 100%. I mean, that should be the primary influence in our lives, just like Paul says to the Ephesians. Don't be drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to each other in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. So the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, should be influencing us in all of our interactions with one another.

And God help us in that. And just to explain how that happens, it happens as the Word of Christ dwells in us richly. So as we're meditating on the Word of God, as we ourselves are drawing near to the Lord in prayer and in meditation on scripture, we begin to be shaped by those things that we're learning so that it influences how we engage with one another. But here in Matthew chapter 18 specifically, this of course coming in the context of Jesus, I'm talking about the process of church discipline back in verse 15. He says, In other words, don't treat this person like a believer anymore.

They're not walking as a Christian. And then he says in verse 18, In part, I think he's talking about the church exercising this form of judgment and care upon members in the church and the Lord being present there in and through that process. I don't think it means that if you're a Christian on your own, you need to find another believer and say, Hey, come hang out with me because I need the presence of Jesus with me. No, Jesus is with us even when we're in our prayer closet praying by ourselves.

But here specifically, it's in the context of the church acting as the church for the good of the church, for the health of the church, and making these sorts of decisions that relate to church discipline. So, Derek, again, appreciate you reaching out to us and may the Lord fill you with his Holy Spirit and strengthen you in all grace and help you to be characterized by the presence of your spirit in your life and your actions with others. Derek, thanks so much for listening to CORE Christianity. Really do appreciate you.

If you have a question for Adriel about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, even if you have some doubts about the Christian faith, hey, we're open to your call as well. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 833-843-2673. Now's the time to call.

We'll be taking calls for the next 10 minutes or so. You know, our country seems so divided about a variety of different issues these days, and probably one of the most controversial is the issue of abortion. And we've created an excellent resource that we know will help you develop a biblically informed view on the sanctity of human life. Yeah, Bill, we have a wonderful devotional called Fearfully Made, and it's about the wonder and value of human life even in the womb. As National Sanctity of Human Life Day approaches on January 21st, Christians are facing difficult questions about the sanctity of life, care for women in difficult situations, and the providence of a God who moves in mysterious ways. Fearfully Made is a 30-day resource-oriented devotional on the sanctity of life, and it's free for everyone listening. So get a hold of this.

Oftentimes on the broadcast, we're giving away free things, and this is one of them. This resource seeks to address the concerns that many people have, questions that many people have by working through scripture to draw out scriptural-proof texts to strengthen and equip believers during this season of truth-theaking and truth-speaking. So head over to corechristianity.com forward slash offers to get your free digital copy of the new devotional Fearfully Made. While you're at the website, browse around, look for some of our other resources, because we've got a lot of great free ones, including our core guides, our core questions, and several Bible studies that you can purchase that you could use in your small group or your Sunday school class. You can find them all at corechristianity.com. Well, we do receive voicemails here at the core.

You can call us 24 hours a day and leave your question on our voicemail system. And here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Tim. My question is, if I know that I was supposed to be a pastor, but I stepped away from my calling, and I'm happy being just a blue-collar worker going to church, and I don't see any real fruits of my Christianity, i.e., you know, leading people to Christ, things like that, am I really a Christian? Can you be a Christian blue-collar worker?

I mean, there's a lot that you said there, Tim. It sounds to me like maybe you feel like you've missed out on an opportunity, or maybe even like Jonah. You know, God was calling you to do something. I knew I was called to be a pastor, and I turned away from that. Well, look, wherever you are, and maybe not in an official capacity, or maybe in time, that's going to be something that the Lord brings back up again for you, and the church is going to affirm you in that, and the Lord will open a door. But even in your day-to-day work, as you serve God and as you work as unto the Lord, seeking to be excellent at whatever it is that God has put in front of you, not to serve men as a people-pleaser, but doing it under the eyes of the Lord Jesus Christ, what you do brings glory to God. And it may not be that you're leading crusades and leading people to Jesus, although, man, pray that God gives you opportunities to share your faith with others in the workplace. And I can just sense, you know, the weight on your heart, wanting to be more effective, wanting to do more.

And I don't think that that's a bad thing. I think you bring those desires and longings to the Lord, and you say, God, guide me and use me where you have me right now. And just a further encouragement. So, brother, God bless you. But I'm thinking right now of what Peter says in 2 Peter 1 in his second letter. And he talks about the fact that we've been given these precious and very great promises by the Lord so that through them we might become partakers of the divine nature. And then he says, because this is the case, because the Lord has blessed us so immensely, because God has blessed you so immensely with these promises, Tim, Peter says, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue and virtue with knowledge and knowledge with self-control and self-control with endurance or perseverance and perseverance with godliness and godliness with brotherly love and brotherly love with agape love, with that selfless, sacrificial love. And he says, look, if these qualities are yours and increasing, if you're pursuing the Lord in these ways, you're not going to be rendered fruitless or useless for the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. You're saying, look, this is part of the way in which God is working in you, how the Lord is bearing fruit in your life, and that's the work of the Holy Spirit, brother. And so I would just say, brother, supplement that faith that the Lord has given you with virtue, seeking to honor the Lord, to live a pure life, and that with knowledge growing in your understanding of the Word, of Holy Scripture, continuing to be committed to the Church in all godliness, being a part there, growing there. And as you do that, you're not going to be fruitless in your life. God is going to use you.

It doesn't have to look like leading people to Christ, although, like I said, maybe it will. But just through your testimony, seeking to live in a way that honors the Lord, doing your nine-to-five job, whatever it is, in a way that's full of integrity, where you're caring for the people around you, brother, the Lord is with you in that. And for all of you listening right now, you know, you have that sense of, God is what I do valuable.

No. When your work is unto the Lord, no matter what it is, God is pleased and glorified. And so there is so much value in what you do, and may God bless you and encourage you in it. Thanks for that, Adriel and Tim, we do appreciate you. We'll be praying for you in your work there. All work is valuable to the Lord, as Adriel said.

We never need to differentiate between the official work of the pastorate and the work of the general person. We are all called by God to serve him well and to be excellent workmen, right, Adriel? Absolutely. Well, this is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Mo, who's calling in from Denton, Texas. Mo, what's your question for Adriel? Hello. Hey, Mo. How you doing? Doing well, how are you? I'm blessed.

I don't know where he got Denton from, from the Mansfield area, but that's okay. I was calling today asking about, you know, once saved, always saved, seems to be a big topic and debate against Christians. You know, some believe that you can lose your salvation. You know, others believe, like myself, that Jesus says no one can snatch you out of my Father's hands. So the question is, were they saved to begin with? But I wanted to know your opinion on that. Once saved, always saved.

Great. So what I don't like about that phrase is sometimes it's used to justify a kind of easy believism, and that is the idea that people, you know, you just go up to, you know, an altar call and you say a church and you affirm, you know, a list of things and you say, you know, I'm saved, and you just go and live however you want and you think, well, you know, I said that prayer, so I must be a Christian, I must be saved. But we really don't define faith properly. Faith is not just giving, you know, mental assent to something or it's not believing in Jesus like you believe in Abraham Lincoln. There's this element of trust, of leaning upon Christ for the forgiveness of sins and believing in him for that. And so the person who is truly trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ, the person who believes in Jesus, who has biblical faith, I would say that person is saved and is never going to lose their salvation, that they persevere, or perhaps it may be even better to say that God preserves them, that Jesus isn't going to lose any of his sheep. You quoted from John chapter 10 there, and I think that's a wonderful text to go to. I also think of what John says in his first epistle in 1 John 2, verse 18. Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. There had been this split in the church and people had left.

And listen to what John says. They went out from us, but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out that it might be plain that they all are not of us. And so I would say that those who apostatize, who abandon the faith, it's not that they lost their salvation, that they were truly united to Jesus, it's that they're showing forth by their actions that they don't have that personal communion with him. Thanks for your question, and God bless. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-17 21:08:29 / 2024-01-17 21:17:51 / 9

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