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When Should the Church Defy the State?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
May 21, 2020 1:00 am

When Should the Church Defy the State?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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May 21, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 449 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

Key questions answered in today's show:

1.  If I have repented from a sin, does that mean I should never do it again, or if I do, does it mean I didn't really repent? I ask the Lord for forgiveness and try to not do those sins again, but I do. What am I doing wrong?  

2. What does it mean to put my trust in Christ instead of  just believing or even admiring the facts about him?  

3.  I'm in CA and as of today  churches are not allowed to have in-person gatherings. My pastor and elder board have decided that we are resuming in church services on May 31 with or without the governor's approval. I think the church has a responsibility to witness to the community by being law-abiding, even though I live in a community that has been very lightly touched by the coronavirus. My husband thinks that the church has a duty to minister to the spiritual needs of the church body and that supersedes the governer's edict about in-person gatherings. Could you shed some light on when it is appropriate for the church to defy government edicts? Will my church water down its witness by defying the governor's rules? Is this a slippery slope?  

4.  I am wondering about how streaming has affected the church in these times. I haven’t seen a lot of grieving on my part from people. Rather, they try to make streaming something we should be happy about. And I mean I’m not happy about it.  When churches are allowed to gather again, however that looks,  do you think churches should still make streaming an option or should leaders call for physical gatherings and make that a priority for people who are able to gather and not hindered with physical ailments?  

Resources

True vs False Repentance: Whats the Difference?  by Adriel Sanchez

Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God's Story  by Michael Horton

Request  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 defy the state. That's just one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity hi this is Bill Meyer along with Pastor Israel Sanchez and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can call us right now with your question.

At 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 you can email us with your questions at questions at core, Christianity.com you can also post your question on our Instagram or Facebook page 1st step today we have an encouraging story to share with you. You probably heard about Elmhurst Hospital. That's one of the hospitals in New York City that was overwhelmed with coronavirus patients.

While the staff there just got a nice surprise all 4000 staff members at the hospital I received a free vacation as thanks for their sacrificial work American Airlines and Hyatt hotels teamed up for this gift and they say it's in recognition of the extraordinary care that the hospital staff provides to their community. The workers from the doctors and nurses to the facilities and food service teams. All of them are going to receive round-trip American Airlines flights and hotel accommodations from Hyatt for three nights to destinations across the US and the Caribbean atrial house. How's that for a nice surprise, especially from if you think about a couple of companies that have actually been hardest hit by the code 19 shut.I just love that man.

That is so cool you think if anybody deserves it. It's the medical workers right now were on the front lines and we've heard story after story of people nurses and doctors getting sick in contracting code 19 because they're there serving some really glad to hear that that they're being supported.

In this way, let's go to our first question of the day here on core Christianity and Amber posted this on our Facebook page she says if I have repented from his sin. Does that mean I should never do it again if I do doesn't mean I didn't really repent. I asked the Lord for forgiveness and try not to do those things again, but I do. What am I doing wrong. Will Amber repentance means a change of mind do you sincerely confess your sin, but it's wrong and then he looked to Jesus for forgiveness. If you do will that's repentance. The problem is we can really and truly repent and yet still struggle with the same exact sin. Four minutes later it's it's may discuss to show how desperately we need the grace and the mercy of the Lord a couple of verses come to mind passages of Scripture. The first one is in Matthew 18, where Jesus gives a brief parable of the unforgiving servant, but in verses 2122 Peter came up to Jesus and said to him, Lord, how often will my brother sin against me and I forgive him as many as seven times and Jesus said to him I do not say to you 777 times that Texas always struck me when thinking about this question because Jesus is look your brother sins against you, over and over and over again it comes to you, forgive him me think about it there instead of saying hey you know you've done this thing now for the fifth time you haven't truly repented. I'm not going to forgive you. Jesus is no you continue to forgive because that's repentance looks like. Looks like a lot of times what were repenting at the same thing over and over and over again and Amber. I think that the apostle Paul felt this very same struggle you get that from the words that he says in Romans chapter 7 verses 15 and following is I don't understand my own actions. I do not do what I want but I do the very thing I hate. If I do what I do not want.

I agree with the law that it is good.

So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me, for I know that nothing good dwells in me that is in my flesh right have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out for I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing now.

If I do what I do not want.

It is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my interbeing but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members wretched man that I am who will deliver me from this body of death thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh. I serve the law of sin. The apostle Paul felt that very same struggling that's what he's talking about there. Now we are called to define our sin and think about what Jesus did on the sermon in the sermon on the mount. If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off if your eye causes you to think, pluck it out me.

He's not speaking literally there, but he's talking about the violence with which we should deal with our sin. Don't give any quarter to your sin put it to death. But as you're fighting your sin don't trust in your fighting of the sin that that's going to give you victory trust in Jesus and Amber just one more thing I want to direct you to an article that I wrote over@corechristianity.com true versus false repentance. What's the difference what's the difference between true and false repentance. I sniff three points there. I say true repentance does not regret parting ways with sin. False repentance does false repentance often looks back at our sin. This is, I miss that I want that again. Another point that I make is true repentance hate sin. False repentance hates the consequences of sin. The third point I make is that true repentance accepts godly counsel and accountability. False repentance avoids accountability nothing which doesn't want to walk in the light. Check that out and just know.

Look, you can genuinely repent and still struggle with the same thing, and by the spirit. He's at work in us putting to death mortifying those sins federal I'm so glad you pointed to that passage in Romans seven where Paul is struggling just like all of us to and what so cool is when he moves into, then the beginning of of Romans chapter 8 and he says, but there is no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus. And what a great promise that is because of Christ. There is no condemnation for that am glad you read a little bit further their bill because Paul knows exactly what we need. Paul says there, and as you remind us built.

There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. This is core Christianity, and you can call us with your question. At 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 and let's go to war first call the day Daniel in Kentucky and I'm wondering what is it mean to put your trust in Christ versus just believing or even admiring the fact about banks yeah really good question because there are so many people today who I think will say I believe in Jesus that what they mean by that is I've ever accepted certain facts about Jesus. I mean, it really is the case that most people most scholars, even even non-Christian scholars are willing to admit that the Jesus existed as a real person that he died on the cross and the many of them most. Then reject the resurrection from the dead, but belief in Jesus is more than just admitting as you say, facts about him. There are three parts of faith in each of these is so important knowledge.

We have to have the right knowledge or understanding about what it is that were believing in you can just have faith and in nothing but there is knowledge associated with faith, a sense you accept these truths related to what it is that your believing in and then 1/3 part which is so important and and this is I think the missing component for a lot of people. Daniel is trust resting and receiving.

Simply having knowledge does not equal faith. Sometimes this is been called a historical faith or even a false faith.

I think this is what James is talking about when he 15 oh can that faith save of the fate that says I have faith but I know I just doesn't affect my life at all, is talking about this historical faith even compares it to demonic faith there in the book of James. The passage that I love to go to to illustrate faith and what it looks like is in Mark chapter 5 it's the woman with the flow of blood who runs to Jesus.

Mark chapter 5, beginning in verse 24. It is a great crowd follow Jesus and thronged about him and there was a woman who had a discharge of blood for 12 years and who had suffered much under many physicians and it spent all that she had and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment, for she said if I touch even his garments.

I will be made well. Immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease and Jesus perceiving himself the power had gone out from him and immediately turned about in the crowd and said, who touched my garments and his disciples said to him you see the crowd pressing around you and yet you say who touched me, and he looked around to see who had done it with the woman knowing what had happened to her came in fear and trembling, and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. He said to her daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your disease faith is like an empty hand.

The hand of this woman goes to Jesus completely bankrupt. We know there's nothing that we have.

We tried everything we go to Jesus and with the hand of faith, we lay hold of him. We trust in him we say you're my only hope. That's what it means to trust in Jesus is so interesting right because a lot of people touched Jesus there in that crowd. The bump into him, the disciples that what you mean, who touched me were in the middle of this great crowd.

It's thronging about you, what would you mean well.

They might've rubbed shoulders with Jesus, but only this woman laid hold of him by faith.

You can have knowledge about Jesus that you can rub shoulders if you will, with Jesus being the church. Here, these truths even say why I accept that. But the question is are you trusting in Jesus, personally, have you laid hold them if you turn from your sins and laid hold of him with that empty hand of faith are you resting in him. No, we just recently heard that the tragic news of the death of the great Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias and I know a lot of people were and have been affected by this news because he was someone who really encouraged people in the Lord and a few a few weeks back after his diagnosis he shared a word of encouragement.

One of the things that she said there was, how he's continuing to rest in God and in his plans. Listen to what he what he rose as the Bible assures us that it all times God is with us. He is our comforter.

He is our healer. He is our physician. He is our provider he knows better than we do. While some nights have been painful. My heart has been at rest that this is all God's plan. I want to get better. I want to be well. I want to be in his will and honoring to him. Friends, that's faith. Can you say my heart is at rest in Jesus. He's the healer he's the physician he's the one who forgives my sins such as knowing about him is laying hold of him. What an amazing promise that all of us can take hold of the federal you're listening to core Christianity with pastor Adm. Sanchez and we are excited about an offer that we have for our listeners today and it has to do with a wonderful resource called nine frequently asked questions about angels and demons yes mean there are a lot of questions about the spiritual realm that we receive angels and demons, spiritual warfare, will this resource. Nine. Frequently asked questions about angels and demons is yours for free when you sign up for our weekly newsletter. This is one of our most popular resources. Unfortunately there's a lot of bad teaching when it comes to angels and demons download and share this resource. It focuses on what the Bible actually teaches the core Christianity.com/offers to download nine frequently asked questions about angels and demons.

You can call us for that as well.

Here's the number it's 833-843-2673 833-843-2673 let's go to an email question that came in a drill, this one from Kim and she says I'm in California and as of today churches are not allowed to have in person gatherings. My pastor and elder board have decided that we are resuming church services on May 31, with or without our governor's approval.

I think the church has a responsibility to witness to the community by being a law-abiding even though I live in a community that's been very lightly touched by the coronavirus. My husband thinks the church has a duty to minister to the spiritual needs of the church body and that supersedes the governor's edict about in person gatherings. Could you shed some light on when it's appropriate for the church to defy government edicts will my church water down its witness by defying the governor's rules.

Is this the slippery slope, while good question You have a very good question and so relevant tonight. I'm not sure if you heard what the of course I'm in California as well. The governor just a few days ago talked about.

Hopefully churches being allowed to meet again in a few weeks when I sure know it's sort of day by day out here and I know different states are doing different things, but this question is so relevant when it's on all of our minds. Let me just say the church can confidently defy the government when human laws seek to prohibit us from obeying God's law. You see this in various places in the Scriptures. I think of acts chapter 5 for example, where the disciples are forbidden from speaking the name of Jesus and Peter says in X, chapter 5, verse 29.

We must obey God rather than men. God's law trumps human law or Daniel chapter 6, verse 10, when Daniel knew that the document had been signed. This is the document think you basically have to commit idolatry when he knew that the document had been signed. He went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem he got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously that our situation. Kim is more complicated.

Let me speak for the church I pastor.

At least we aren't meeting right now because of the health threat that was posed by the coronavirus to our people and our neighbors, especially early on there was a very serious fear and I think we all felt it now because I'm not an epidemiologist I listen to the advice that came out of the CDC and even doctors in our church, not wanting to put our people at risk. One passage that at least for me was really influential that I was meditating on it at the time was in Mark chapter 3 verses one through six were Jesus healed a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath Jesus asked the question there in verse four, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm to save life or to kill. In other words, a proper observance of Christian worship, the Sabbath, we might say looks like the preservation and propagation of life. So if were gathering knowing that there is a plague at our doorstep. Are we really honoring God in our worship that I know a lot of people are starting to question whether the coronavirus is as deadly as it was first presented to Beebe. The initial predictions of death and what we've seen transpire over the last several weeks, if not necessarily lined up and we should be thankful for that. So I understand why many pastors are saying now is the time that we need to begin having worship services again and as I said, I'm in California to and I agree hundred percent with your husband that we as pastors have a spiritual obligation to serve our people. I recognized it. This is a really complex issue here is what at least we are doing as a church we started having drive-in services which have been okayed by the state. And this does two things.

One, it allows us to have the elements of worship. Although the circumstances are very different and may be uncomfortable to.

It also allows us to meet in a way that abides by state and local ordinances and I appreciated this because it gives us a way of living peaceably with all men, who Paul says in Romans chapter 12 verse 18.

If possible, so far as it depends on you with peaceably with all the very next chapter in Romans 13 he talks about submitting to earthly authorities. The other reason II like that we've been able to do this is because it protects us from the charge that were not being safe or not loving our neighbors, and I think we do. We do risk tarnishing our witness. If we begin meeting and especially if we begin meeting and there is an outbreak and we seen sad stories across the United States were churches have gathered together and someone gets sick and and they're forced to close down again. The other thing I appreciated about at least the fact that we can have driving services right now is that it allows me to teach on the essence of Christian worship. Worship is worship because of the word and that the sacraments of the ordinances that Jesus gave to us, not because of the circumstances where ever the people of God gather together could be a parking lot. He could be in the forest or in the desert or in a cathedral. When were gathered together to hear the preached word under that the ministry that Jesus gives to us gathered for church that's worship.

Having said all that, I recognize that not every church can do a drive-in service.

Each community is different. Pastors need a lot of wisdom and a lot of humility right now.

Humility to say I'm not an epidemiologist or a legal scholar somebody careful when I make statements that require more knowledge that I probably have an wisdom to boldly and creatively care for their flocks and honor God's word. They'll note him that I didn't say it's right or wrong for you to me on the 31st.

The fact is I can see both sides of the argument, I think it's up to your pastors who know your people and your context to say this is the direction were going and what we really need right now Kim is prayer.

And so I wanted to stop and take a moment and pray for you and for your church and for all the churches right now including my own were trying to navigate these difficult times in and be honoring to the Lord and protect the people around us. The father, I want to pray for Kim and for her church. Lord I ask for leadership in her church that you would give them wisdom. Lord, they they know their people. They know the members of that church. The risk associated with gathering together would you lead them what you guide them. Would you cause them to be a good witness in the community where there at the Lord we ask that in these difficult times. You would use your church in such a powerful way, not just in California but throughout the whole world in the United States. What would you use your church to boldly proclaim the gospel, not to water down your word in this time with it faithfully when simile wisely. Apply the truth of the gospel to our present situation and what would you give each congregation wisdom, especially as churches begin opening up again and in different parts of the United States Lord were some of the restrictions are being relaxed O father we pray for your protection, we pray Lord that you would keep your people from getting sick all Lord have mercy upon us and use us Lord as we seek to follow you and honor you give us that wisdom that you promise in Jesus name, amen.

I meant thank you Kim thanks Kim for your great question.

Your listing the core Christianity.

We always love to get your questions you can email us at questions at core, Christianity.com you can also post your question on our Facebook page or Instagram page and Kenneth actually posted on Facebook and he said I'm wondering about house dreaming has affected the church in these times. I haven't seen a lot of grieving on my part from people. Rather, they try to make streaming something we should be happy about, and I'm not happy about when churches are allowed to gather again, however, that looks do you think they should still make streaming an option or should leaders call for physical gatherings and make that a priority for people who are able to gather and not be hindered with physical ailments that can have a great question and another one that we've been thinking about in recent days, so I think that we ought to grieve while being grateful.

What I mean by that is no foot for the last several weeks, months, we've been doing this sort of online stream to communicate the word of the gospel in this very difficult time and I am so grateful that we've been able to do that because I've ever heard story after story from people in our church were saying things like Matt were able to share the sermon. The message the word with people outside of the church in a way that we've never been able to do before and people are listening, especially in these critical times.

I think that there there is an open door for us to communicate hope the gospel to people who are looking for answers, and so that's one thing that's been really good in this time and I'm grateful for it but at the same time we grieve, we grieve because we haven't been gathering together in person.

I mentioned that we we've just started doing driving services and that's really encouraging, but even that in other circumstances so different that while it is encouraging. There there still this grief were not able to sing in the same room like we once were. And so there's grief, there's sadness associated with this time, so we grieved that that we haven't been able to do that for some time but were grateful that God in these circumstances still getting the gospel out and praise God mean that's the promise that we have from Jesus, he's going to build the church and the gates of hell are knocking to prevail against her, so that no matter what happens. The gospel is going to continue to advance and I believe that with all of my heart and I think that something that you can be so grateful for even while you grief.

Now that the question about should should churches especially as we begin opening up again. Should we continue to have the live stream option will be put things on line. I never thought that we would do that as the church, but more and more I'm starting to think this could be a real opportunity not so that our people can stay home and not gather together when were having a worship service, but I think I've just seen so many people who don't go to church who have tuned in with been willing to listen to the word preached that I think if this is just another way for us to continue to share God's word with people maybe people who, for whatever reason are intimidated to try a church or to go to a church well then yeah III think that there is there is an argument that can be made that even once we begin meeting again in person.

We can we can still have some of these options, especially for people who aren't members of any church, but might be willing to hear the word if it's being streamed online or something like that in the hope would be they would start coming to church and experience the fellowship of God's people so as we've been saying these are difficult times we can be grateful that the gospel is still advancing God is using his word change the world.

Thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer. Visit us@corechristianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673 that's a 33 core when you contact us.

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