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How to Discern a Call to Ministry

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
January 22, 2024 4:30 pm

How to Discern a Call to Ministry

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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January 22, 2024 4:30 pm

Episode 1407 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

 CoreChristianity.com

  1. What's the main difference between protestants and Roman Catholics?   2. Is it wrong to workout on Sundays?   3. How can I know if I am called to pastoral ministry?   4. What's the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation?   5. Are there certain sins that can make me lose my salvation?   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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How do I know if I'm called to pastoral ministry?

That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of Core Christianity. Hi there, this is 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 would love to hear from you. Our phone lines are open right now. We'll be taking your calls for the next 25 minutes or so. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Now, we also 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. And of course, you can always email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to a voicemail from one of our listeners.

This is Ian. I was born, raised, baptized Catholic, and my niece was just recently baptized into the Christian faith at a Christian church, and we went to that baptism, and we've been on occasion going to her church, and we really, really enjoy it. And I guess my question is, as a Catholic, I feel a little guilty going to these Christian churches, but I really enjoy the message from the pastor. They're outstanding messages.

They make you think. It's a really, really nice change of pace. Can I do both? Can I attend on some days the Catholic church? Can I attend the Christian church on other days? And is it okay to really enjoy the Christian faith in church?

And what are the differences? Thank you. Hey, Ian, thank you for that question. And boy, there's a lot there.

One of the things that I want to mention, Bill, you might have the resource on the tip of your tongue. I think it's What Still Divides Us? Yeah, What Still Divides Us. Okay. Yeah, we have a resource here at Core Christianity called What Still Divides Us, and it's a helpful crash course, I guess, into the main differences, the main doctrinal differences that you find between Roman Catholics and Protestant Christians.

And so I just want to recommend that you get a hold of that resource, because obviously, with a broadcast like this, there's only so much time to dive into the issues. And while we believe in the Holy Trinity and the importance of salvation by grace through faith and the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, I mean, some of the things I think that we can say, okay, these are good things that we agree on. There are significant differences between the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Church.

Now, so you're going to have to get into those issues. And what I would say is, I love to hear that you're encouraged by these messages, and one of the things that the Protestant Reformation tried to emphasize was the importance of the preaching of God's Word. And so it sounds to me like you're going to this church where your niece has been going, and you're hearing solid Bible teaching that is understandable, and it's helping you to connect with God and grow in your own relationship with God and ask really important questions.

And I think that that's wonderful. All churches preached the Word of God in a way that was clear and engaging. And so I think that that's something that you should continue to go and listen to and be under that preaching of the Word of God and draw near to the Lord through the preaching of His Word.

I think it's a very important thing. Of course, if you talk to your Catholic priest or probably to the pastor of that church, they would say, well, yeah, it's probably not the best idea to try to go to two churches at one time. And the fact of the matter is the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Church are not in communion with each other.

There's not one church there. There are significant doctrinal differences. If you're a Protestant, for example, you're technically not allowed to take communion at a Roman Catholic Church. And if you reject the Gospel, if you don't embrace the teaching of the Bible as it relates to the doctrine of salvation and what that looks like, according to what the New Testament teaches, then you shouldn't be taking communion in the first place in a Protestant church or anywhere else. And so I think this is an opportunity for you, Ian, to really dig into these issues and to begin to ask yourself some questions about, okay, why do we worship where we worship and what is being taught? Is it in line with what the Bible says? And again, I would just say if you're hearing the preaching of God's Word and you're growing in your faith, you're coming into a deeper relationship with God as a result of what you're hearing, I would say that's a wonderful thing.

And that's certainly not something for you to feel bad about. Ian, again, God bless. Thanks for reaching out.

And I do hope you get a hold of that resource. You know, Adriel, that brings up the question. A lot of people grow up in a certain tradition, certain faith tradition, and they almost feel like they're somehow, you know, violating that tradition if they were to make a change.

And yet, God would call us to pursue truth and to pursue His Word faithfully, correct? Absolutely. I think you're totally right, Bill. For a lot of people, it's a part of their, maybe their heritage, you know, their cultural background. It's just such a part of how I was raised.

I just don't feel right leaving this behind. And it's not even that they have really deep theological, and I'm not saying this about Ian here, but I have seen this before, where, you know, it's not that an individual has really deep theological convictions. It just feels like more a part of their upbringing. And so there's this apprehension, you know, can I really, can I go to a different church, one where I'm really connecting with God, because I just feel like, you know, to do so would be to betray my heritage. And there again, I think if you're growing in your understanding, of who God is, and in your relationship with Jesus Christ, and you're, you're just, man, receiving God's Word. I think that that is so important, fundamentally important, and the most important thing when it comes to religion. This isn't just, you know, something we add to our lives culturally. It's God communicating to us through His revelation and calling us to live a certain way. And for so many people, you know, they just, they treat religion, they treat, you know, Christianity as just, you know, something that they sort of add on to their lives. And it's so much more than that. And when we're hearing the Word of God faithfully preached, we're confronted with that reality. And I think it's there that we begin to get a real breakthrough.

Well said. By the way, that resource we mentioned is called What Still Divides Us. You can find that by going to corechristianity.com. While you're there, browse around our website, check out some of our core guides and our core questions and our great Bible studies.

Just a whole lot of wonderful resources there at corechristianity.com. Well, our phone lines are open. If you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, maybe something happening in your church life that you have a question about or are concerned about, here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. Call us right now. Let's go to Renee, who's calling in from Missouri.

Renee, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, I go to church on Sunday and I worship the Lord and, you know, have fellowship with my fellow Christians and Catholics and all. But I was wondering, is it okay to still work out? Because somebody at church was saying, well, you shouldn't work out on Sundays. And I thought, well, I still want to be fit. But even though I work out the other days of the week too, does that mean that I'm minimizing God or something? That's my question.

Hey Renee, thanks for that question and good for you, you know, wanting to be healthy and to exercise. And as someone myself, you know, that's an important part of my life too. You know, I think it's good for many, many reasons. But the question here is, is there anything wrong with working out on Sunday?

Now, I think that there can be. And what I mean by that is, if, you know, exercise is something that we're consumed with so that we're prioritizing it above the worship of God, well then that would be an issue. You remember what the Apostle Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy chapter 4. He says, train yourself for godliness, for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is a value in every way as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. In other words, bodily exercise, working out, is good.

It definitely has value. But be sure that you're training yourself in godliness, Paul tells Timothy. And I think that that's the same for all of us as well. You know, do we prioritize that pursuit of God? And certainly central to that is worshiping together with the people of God on Sunday as you do.

And so I think if you're committed to that and you're gathering together with the saints and you're worshiping the Lord and you're using the data, you know, to serve the people of God and to be encouraged by the word of God, wonderful. And if in that there's also opportunity for some recreation or exercise, you know, that kind of a thing, I think that there's nothing wrong with that either. You can do that to the glory of God and you don't need to feel guilty or ashamed. But again, if it's something that keeps us from the worship of God and from loving our neighbor, then I would say, yeah, well, you know, it's important to have the priorities ordered the right way. And so I don't think you need to feel guilty just based on what you said about, you know, getting an exercise in on Sunday.

Certainly nothing wrong with that. But for those, and yeah, I live in Southern California, there really is for many just a sort of obsession with the sort of health and wellness thing. I think to the point of minimizing the importance of spirituality and that training in godliness.

And so that's where we just need to get our priorities straight. God bless you. You know, I sing hymns while I'm on the elliptical at my gym, and people really enjoy it in this crazy. Yeah. I definitely, I mean, it could be an opportunity. I'm sure you've done this bill. I've done this, you know, sometimes I'll listen to a good podcast or even Bible teaching while I'm doing, you know, a workout or whatnot.

So yeah, there are ways maybe to sanctify your workout or just exercise, but that's right. Yeah. Thanks for that. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

Love to hear from you. If you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, maybe you have a concern that's in your life right now, could use some prayer. We'd love to pray for you. Here's the number 833-THE-CORE. We'll be taking calls for the next 10 minutes or so.

1-833-843-2673. Now in our society right now, I think you'd agree that we have a lot of controversy over the topic of abortion. And we've actually created an excellent resource for you that we think will help you develop a biblically informed view on the sanctity of human life. Yeah, it's a devotional resource, a 30-day devotional resource called Fearfully Made. And it's going to, you know, draw biblical passages, scriptural proof texts to strengthen and equip you as you think about having conversations with other about this, with having conversations with other people about this very important topic, you know, the subject of life.

And we know, as Bill, you just said there, that this is one of the most hotly debated issues in our country today. And tragically, so many people minimize and reject, I think, the biblical doctrine here, the sanctity of human life, the fact that each and every one of us are made in the image of God, and that that image is to be protected and preserved and cared for, even there in the womb. And so get a hold of this resource again, it's called Fearfully Made, and you can get it at corechristianity.com forward slash offers. We'd love to have you, when you're at our website, consider making a donation to CORE Christianity. We have a group of people we call our inner CORE who really believe in this ministry so much that they make a monthly contribution to this ministry. We don't get money from a church or denomination, we don't play commercials here on CORE Christianity, so if you love what we do and you believe it's valuable and you want us to continue, would you prayerfully consider joining what we call our inner CORE? You can find more information on that at corechristianity.com.

Well, we do receive voicemails here at the CORE, and here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Dionys. I've had a lot of people just randomly come up to me and just tell me that I have a gift and I need to pursue some form of ministry, and I'm not trying to do any of that, it just has happened so many times, and now I'm considering it and I just maybe need some guidance or something to go off of. Hey Dionysus, well, I mean, you should be flattered, I guess, for one, that multiple people have come to you and encouraged you and said, hey, we think that you're gifted to serve the Lord in ministry, and I do think that's an important part of discerning a call to the ministry, but you're wise for not just wanting to jump into something like this, and too often today I think that there are individuals who just sort of call themselves to the ministry, you know, they see, you know, that there's something that they want to grasp at or to do, and it's not that the church has necessarily called them, it's not that other people are coming and saying, boy, you're really gifted, it's that they just, it's just what they're doing. You know, there is an element, I think, where if you're truly called to the ministry, you are going to have that internal desire, it's what we sometimes refer to as the internal call, that sense that God has placed a calling upon your life, and there's a desire to serve the Lord, to preach and to teach and to minister to the people of God, and so you have the internal call, that's really important. I think Paul is basically referring to that in First Timothy 3 where he says, if anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task, and so there's that aspiration.

You have to ask yourself, do I have that? If you don't, then I would say, even if other people are like, hey, we think that you would make a great pastor, I mean, maybe that should cause you to think about it and to pray about it, but if that internal sense of call is never there, then I don't think you should just jump into it. Ministry is hard enough. You have to truly know and believe that you're called by the Lord, and so you have the internal call, but then you also have that external call, and it sounds to me like there are people around you in your church who are encouraging you and saying, we think that you're gifted, and so that's something to pray about, to think about, and to offer up to the Lord. Additionally, you have the calling.

I think that's really important, but there are other factors that really indicate whether you're called or not, so there's the internal and external call. There's also competency. Are you able to teach the Word of God? That is, have you been trained in the Scriptures? Ministry isn't just for people who have, you know, charismatic skills with people. You need to be able to discern and rightly divide the Word of God so that as you're sharing it with others, you're proclaiming it faithfully and not twisting the Scripture, so is there a competency to teach? And then there's also the character requirement, and that's really what Paul emphasizes in 1st Timothy chapter 3. You look at what he outlines there in that chapter specifically for those who are called as elders in the church, teaching elders in the church, and so much of it has to do with their character.

Not a drunkard, not violent, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money, managing his household well with all dignity, keeping his children submissive. You know, Paul goes on to say, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, his own household, how will he care for God's church? And so there are a number of factors. It's not just other people coming to you. It's the internal call, the external call, the competency, the character, all of these things together which I think give you clarity about whether or not you should or shouldn't pursue a call to the ministry. And the last thing I'll say is, you know, James in James chapter 3 verse 1 says, don't let many of you become teachers, knowing that we're to receive a stricter judgment. And so there is, again, something so sobering about this calling.

It's not just something that anybody should jump into. You should go into it aware of the fact that God is going to hold us accountable for the things that we teach. And so God have mercy upon us.

God have mercy upon me. Just so you guys know, as we do the broadcast every single day, we pray as a team, Lord help us, grant us the wisdom of your Holy Spirit, because we take very seriously what it is that we're doing as we're talking about the word of God and trying to guide people and encourage them in the scriptures. And so may God continue to give you clarity, be honest, in the days ahead and bless you in this question that you have wondering about this. And may the Lord use you regardless, whether you're serving him in vocational ministry or in some other capacity, may God use you to bless his people. Really well said. Thank you, Adriel, for that great list of qualifications. Those are so important for anyone who's considering the ministry in any capacity, especially in pastoral ministry.

So thank you for that. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We do receive emails here at the Core, and this one came in from one of our listeners, and it has to do with forgiveness. And they said this, what is the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation? Is there ever a time where forgiveness is granted, but reconciliation does not occur?

What does that look like? Yeah, this is an excellent question. And if you've heard me on the broadcast before talk about forgiveness, we do distinguish between forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration. And there are instances where forgiveness can truly be extended, but there really isn't a reconciled relationship. Now within the body of Christ, I would say we should always pursue reconciliation, but reconciliation is dependent upon genuine repentance. And so we're called to forgive at all times as Christians. Somebody has sinned against you. You know, you're not trying to retaliate.

You're not trying to do the whole eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth thing. You want to extend charity and forgiveness to that person, and at the same time pursue reconciliation. And reconciliation is dependent upon that person recognizing that they've sinned against you and confessing that, owning up to that sinful behavior. If they don't, then the relationship is still going to be strained. You might say, man, I've forgiven that person.

I'm not going to hold this against them. But, you know, there's still that barrier in the relationship. And we all know, I mean, we've experienced that in our own lives. And so we should pursue reconciliation. We should always forgive, pursue reconciliation where we're able to, especially within the body of Christ. But that doesn't always happen. And it doesn't happen because there are instances, times where people just aren't willing to confess their sin, to own up to, you know, what they've done.

And that's, I would say, a tragedy. Jesus talks about how important it is, if we know that our brother has something against us, to go to them and to be at peace. Our reconciled relationships within the body of Christ flow out of the fact that we've been reconciled to a holy God. We're forgiven and granted this peaceful relationship with the Lord.

We should seek those kinds of relationships with one another as well. And so the other thing I'll say about this is, you know, sometimes people think, well, I can't forgive until that person really owns up to their behavior. And then they're just trapped in bitterness and frustration, and the unforgiveness begins to cause their bones to rot, it seems. And that's why we say, look, no, we're always called to forgive by the grace of the Holy Spirit. I'm not saying it's easy by no means, but having been forgiven by the Lord, we are enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit to then, in turn, extend forgiveness to others, even if they don't recognize their sin. But in the body of Christ, we are in love, encouraging them and helping them to recognize it, and calling them to repentance and reconciliation.

It just doesn't always work out. And so that's some of the difference between, I would say, forgiveness and reconciliation, the context of our relationships, human relationships within the body of Christ, and even outside of the body of Christ. And so I appreciate your question. If you want to follow up, feel free to send us another email. Really well said. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

We have a YouTube channel, and you can watch Adriel live in the studio every day, Monday through Friday at 11 30 a.m. Pacific time, and send him a question through our YouTube channel. Todd sent one in, and he says, some pastors say you can lose your salvation through sin. Do you believe that? No, I don't believe that if you're truly justified, if you belong to the Lord, that when you sin, you lose your salvation. I mean, first, you know, some traditions have distinguished between, like the Roman Catholics for example, venial sins and mortal sins. So there are some sins that, you know, don't take you out of a state of grace, and there are other sins that, you know, really bad sins that if you do them, boy, you're cut off from grace, and you need to, you know, you need to be reconciled to the church again through penance and confession and so forth.

I think that our sins truly grieve the Holy Spirit, and this is why we're commanded in scripture not to grieve the Holy Spirit by whom we've been sealed for the day of redemption. And so there is a break in one sense in the relationship, but I don't think that means that we lose our justified status or our status as the children of God. And we need to remember that there are consequences to our sinful behavior if you belong to the Lord, right? I mean, the author of the Hebrews says as many as he loves, he chastens, he disciplines.

It's the love of God. So if we're continuing in sin, the Lord will discipline us. And that doesn't feel great, but it's part of God's way of keeping us, of preserving us in the faith. And so if a person is truly born again and they continue in sin, they're going to be disciplined.

The Lord is going to preserve them and cause them to persevere, I would say, in righteousness so that they do repent. Now we know that there are also false professions of faith, people who claim to believe, but then they don't truly believe. And so I think that's a different story. And sometimes people, you know, maybe have an external relationship with God, but don't truly trust in Jesus Christ, and they turn away from the church. And so it's a sticky issue. But if you trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, he will never leave you or forsake you. And no one can snatch you out of his hands. That's a promise. God bless.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-22 19:21:06 / 2024-01-22 19:31:13 / 10

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