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Does a Literal Reading of the Bible Affirm a Flat Earth?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
May 15, 2020 1:00 am

Does a Literal Reading of the Bible Affirm a Flat Earth?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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May 15, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 445 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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Key questions answered in today's show:

1. Hi can you guys please explain  Matthew 3:15, what was the purpose of Jesus being baptized?  

2.  I just heard one of the other questions being asked about conspiracy theories, and it wasn’t really your answer that had me concerned, it was more so the way that, maybe Christians look down on conspiracy theorists? The reason that concerns me is that, through my research in the Bible, I do believe in the flat earth. And the reason I was studying that in the Bible is because I was trying to prove that it wasn’t a flat earth. Now I feel concerned with my belief, I guess, and I was wondering how you felt about that, or how God felt about that, or what else I can do?

3.  We are told by Jesus to pray for our enemies, but what does that look like? I'm not sure how not to sound like a Pharisee when praying for someone who has hurt me. If I pray something like, "Please let them see the error of their ways..." then I am saying that I think I am right and they are wrong, but if that weren't the case, then I probably wouldn't be hurt. I'm confused about the practical way to pray for someone who has caused pain, especially if that person refuses to see their responsibility. I appreciate any help you can give.    

4.  In  Zechariah 14:4, it speaks about the day when the Lord will fight against the nations, and his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives near Jerusalem. It was from the Mount of Olives that Jesus taught about his second coming and the place from which he literally ascended to heaven. In fact, moments after his ascension, angels told the disciples Jesus would return in the same manner they saw him leave. Could these texts together be teaching that the Mount of Olives will be the initial place to where Jesus returns to earth and will touch down?  

5.  Is it wrong for a Christian to be cremated? I’m trying to put my affairs in order and wondered about that.  

6.  I'm a christian convert from atheism. After my conversion and learning about the faith, something became clearly obvious.  Easter is, or should be, a much bigger deal than Christmas. I understand that both his birth and resurrection are important events, but it seems to me that one is clearly above the other. I also understand why the world, even nonbelievers, celebrate Christmas, but why don't Christians and churches put more emphasis on celebrating Easter with at least the same vigor (and budget) that they do around Christmas?  


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How do I pray for someone who is causing me pain. 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 because right now your question at 833. The core that's 1-833-843-2673 and you can also email us with your Now Israel earlier this week, we mentioned that the church you pastor in San Diego is hoping to hold its first drive in the service this weekend.

So what's the latest on that yet were still waiting to get confirmation but I'm hoping it works out that the big challenge trust is been finding space in San Diego. That's not a lot of parking space but we have at least some encouragement that were going to be able to do it this week. I just can't wait till I mean I miss gathering together with the people of God and not been saying to the people in our church know whether you're sitting in a pew or in your car anymore call to worship under the word, hearing God's word receiving the gifts that God has for us that could happen it in a cathedral or in a parking lot mess. One of the beautiful things about Christian worship unit doesn't have to be in 1 Particular Pl. I think of in John chapter 4 when Jesus is talking to the woman at the well and there in this discussion about you. Where is the right place to worship God in Jesus.

As you know neither on this mountain there in Jerusalem marker. You can worship the father.

The father is looking for people to worship him in spirit and in truth and you can do that anywhere in a parking lot or inside a church building and so I'm really excited about this, that's great. A lot of churches around the country have been meeting online or through zoom and now you have the opportunity to do it live and in person know people may not realize the way you do a drive-in service as you have a microphone that broadcast on FM frequency and then people turn their FM radios on in their car and they can hear you but what school you are talking about this federal is that this you know the signal goes out for like 1/4 mile or so.

So all the people in the homes around the area if they tune in way in the lower end of the dial.

Yeah. Oh, that's yeah I people better be careful, you know, so I better collaborate be really cool. You can let us know how it how it went. Next week let's go to our first question of the day and this one comes from Dean who emailed us he asks can you guys please explain. Matthew 315. What was the purpose of Jesus being baptized. That's a great question, Dean will let me read that passage that you're referring to.

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me. But Jesus answered him, let it be so. Now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness that he consented and when Jesus was baptized immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest upon him, and behold a voice from heaven said this is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased as to the question is why did Jesus get baptized if baptism is all about the forgiveness of sins, missing like there's anyone on earth you didn't need to be baptized. It was Jesus.

The key here Dean is verse 15 Jesus was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. The first unit was so interesting about this scene is where Jesus is baptized is the Jordan and if you're familiar with the Scriptures with the Old Testament you know that the Jordan was a unique place in the history of redemption. The river was the entry point to the promised land is where Joshua led the people into the promised land to take the land of the Lord given to them. You see this at the very beginning of the book of Joshua. So Jesus is sort of like a new Joshua conquering the enemies of the Lord, giving his people rest and who does Jesus get confronted by immediately after his baptism in the Jordan, the devil is so interesting how Scripture does this, right there in Matthew chapter 4 if you jumps into the temptation scene with Jesus in the wilderness and responding to Satan with the word of God conquering the devil. When Jesus is doing here is he showing us that he is the faithful son of God. This is what it means to fulfill all righteousness. He's the true Israel, who came to be obedient where Israel in the Old Testament wasn't that's what it means to fulfill all righteousness. The baptism of Jesus also ultimately points us to his sufferings on the cross. You see this especially in Mark's account of Jesus's baptism by John in the Jordan Mark chapter 1 verse 10 talks about Jesus being baptized in heaven being torn open as of the spirit came upon Jesus in the form of a dove would so interesting is that word that Mark uses in Mark 110 work describes heaven being torn open is only used one other time in Mark's gospel. In Mark chapter 15 verse 38 when Jesus was on the cross were told that the veil in the temple was torn in two.

Jesus died was assigned that Jesus through his death on the cross is giving us access to God.

He's opening up tearing open heaven for his people, so that the baptism of Jesus is also a picture of his suffering, but those are all reasons why Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan it's pointing us to his cross, and it's also him fulfilling all righteousness for his people. Dean, thank you so much for your question. I love it when our listeners really dig into God's word and they say you know I I'm not quite sure I understand this. I want to understand it better. And that's one of the reasons why core Christianity exists really help believers to understand God's word more clearly what you can call us if you have a question our number 833. The core 833 the core and let's go to Harley. One question about.

It really had me confirm it with no way that Christian look down on conspiracy theorist and the reason that concerns me is because during my research. The Bible I felt like I do believe in the flatter and the reason that I was researching the Bible and I was trying to prove that it wasn't a flatter.

But everything that I would look at kind of like me to believe that it is now I feel concerned with my belief and I was wondering what deeper research. I can do to fix that. So any help I would be grateful for. Thank you. Hey Harley, thank you so much for your question in I don't want to. We don't want to ask believers to look down on anyone and I'm sorry that you got that sense look one of my concerns with conspiracy theories, and the truth is forcing a lot of them right now. With everything going on with Cove in 19 is that they can be very harmful to people I have known Christians who have become so obsessed with the particular conspiracy theory that they begin to live their lives in fear, rather than trusting in Jesus instead of going down the rabbit hole of every conspiracy theory and getting lost in the labyrinth. It's so easy for that to happen.

I think our eyes right now have to be fixed on Jesus Christ.

Are there weird things out there and people in positions of power who are using their authority to do great evil. Yeah, absolutely. And God is going to judge corrupt rulers but rather than try to figure out every secret society out there and they know the plots that they have to twitter let's go to where we know God has spoken and where we can be confident that's the Scriptures now the Scriptures used in years. I think a really important word for us to know is a big word phenomenological language. That's a big one is how we see things from our perspective. For example, the Bible talks about the sun rising and falling, or Jesus said the mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds will be sort meant to be scientific statements is just the way that we talk it's phenomenological language when the weatherman gets on TV and says that the sunset is at 7:05 PM tonight and I don't throw my remote television because he's lying or scientifically inaccurate. People today are often pitting the Bible and science against each other. But guess what, God is the God of the whole earth, and the principles that science depends upon only work because there's a God in heaven who created the universe with coherence and reliability. Scientific discoveries are going to disprove the Bible, but they might disprove someone's particular interpretation of the Bible and my concern is that if we take the phenomenological language in Scripture and read in a way that it wasn't meant to be read were setting ourselves up for disappointment.

So what can you do right that's your question Harley will all of us need to read the Bible in its context, and we need to recognize that there are different genres of Scripture in order to do that the Bible is filled with history, the Exodus, the exile, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. All of the miracles of Jesus. But it's also filled with poetry, apocalyptic in an prophetic language.

Sometimes the Bible uses anthropomorphism's to describe God. That's when God is described in human ways. He will uphold you with his righteous right hand of God is a spirit he doesn't have bones and flesh. In Jesus the son of God assumed humanity in the incarnation, but it would be wrong for us to conclude from certain passages that God the father has hands in a physical sense, on the basis of the fact that the Bible is using anthropomorphic language is probably what I'm trying to say is the Bible sometimes uses language in different ways and we have to make sure that were understanding it according to its context. I think that when we do that, things begin to clear up and so I really appreciate one your desire to grow deeper in the Scriptures and just to let the Bible speak for itself. I mean that's what we all want to be wanted the Scriptures to guide us. Sometimes I think when we read them the wrong way misled not by the Scriptures, but by our own faulty understanding. We can all fall into that and so that's why think it's so important for us to continue to grow as you want to do and to have these kinds of discussion.

So thank you so much for your question federal am so glad you address this false dichotomy between science and the Bible because indeed all truth is God's truth. Whether that's true, that he is revealed to us through his written word through scripture or through his creation through nature and as you said, when there's conflict when there's contradiction is usually because it's either our interpretation of science or our interpretation of Scripture and somehow those two things have come up against each other and thank you for clarifying that for Harley. I think that's really helpful you know I love being able to have these discussions bill where we unravel.

I think difficult things in the Scriptures for people things that cause misunderstanding and especially right now as we are reflecting on the difficulties of so many people are experiencing in families, churches, businesses, the entire nation but we need to understand the Scriptures so we can have a sure confidence in the work of Jesus Christ on the cross for us and you know here core Christianity. Our aim is to answer those hard unsettling questions of our times with both skeptics and committed Christians in my really reach both audiences.

We want to give answers that not only show why Christianity is true but also why it's good. And why it's beautiful and your support alongside the work that our team does to produce this broadcast is making a huge difference. A difference in helping other people live with hope and with joy and with confidence, especially during these times.

So would you consider sending a gift right now to help us continue with our work as a thank you for a gift of $20 or more, we will send you our new core Christianity Bible study on Paul's letter to the Romans. This is such a cool Bible study that will help you grow in your faith in something that can be used in a church setting her with a small group and to make a donation and receive the study on Romans just head over to core that's core on behalf of the entire team here core radio. Thank you so much for your support later will we have a question that came in via email from Eric and he says we are told by Jesus to pray for our enemies. But what does that look like. I'm not sure how not to sound like a Pharisee when praying for someone who is hurt me if I pray something like, please let them see the error of their ways, then am I saying that I think I'm right and they're wrong.

If that weren't the case, then I probably wouldn't be hurt. I'm confused about the practical way to pray for someone who is caused pain, especially if that person refuses to see their responsibility. I'd appreciate any help that you can give me Eric you referring to Jesus and his words in Matthew 543 and following.

He said you've heard that it was said, you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.

But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have do not even the tax collectors do the same if you greet only your brothers, what more you doing than others to not even the Gentiles do the same. You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Jesus is the ultimate example of this is NT when you think of him hanging on the cross and praying father forgive them for they know not what they do and when you feel prideful.

Praying for your enemies. I think here's one of the things you can do you can say father forgive us, because you realize that you're a sinner too, were all sinners, we know how much we need the mercy of the Lord.

At least we should know it. And when it comes to praying for your enemies. Those who are out to get you pray for them in the same way that you would pray for yourself. Jesus said in Matthew 22 verse 39 that the second greatest commandment is that you love your neighbor as yourself. Now here's the thing when someone has sinned against you in some way and they've hurt you.

Often times what we want is for them to feel the pain that they've caused us. We want them to hurt. There are times where you might not even want someone to change to repent, because you've been hurt by them and you don't want them to receive God's mercy.

I think were all a little bit like Jonah in this regard member. He didn't want to go to the people of Nineveh because they were sinful and he knew that God was merciful instead of being like Jonah, we need to be like Jesus long for the good and the salvation of those who sin against you. Pray for their repentance for their faith.

Pray that God would bless them with all the things that you long for for yourself and when you do that I think actually what it does is that humbles you because as you under that prayer you know that your praying as one who has also offended God, one who is daily in need of mercy, one who doesn't deserve God's kindness and yet God is lavished on you, through his son Jesus. So pray that our enemies when I say enemies adjustment name of the person who, for whatever reason, is harsh toward you because of your faith in Jesus Christ are out to get you pray that they experience the same mercy that you've received in all the blessings that you long for in your own life. I think you should pray for those same blessings for them and one of the beautiful things that you find Erica's as you do that is to pray for those who have hurt you.

It becomes more and more difficult to hate them because you know that you're seeking the Lord on their behalf. That's what it looks like the love your enemies as well.

Eric, thank you so much for your question. We know that's a difficult situation to be in. It really had an email question come in our email address. By the way is questions at core, This one comes from Luke and Luke says in Zechariah 14, for it speaks about the day when the Lord will fight against the nations, and his feet will stand on the Mount of olives near Jerusalem. It was from the Mount of olives that Jesus taught about his second coming and the place from which he literally ascended to heaven and back. Moments after his ascension. Angels told the disciples, Jesus would return in the same manner they saw him leave.

Could these text together be teaching that the amount of all of this will be the initial place to where Jesus returns to earth and will touch down yeah I think that they can and this is one of the things we need to affirm about the second coming of Jesus Christ. He's coming back physically to judge the earth and other all sorts of differences out there on the question of the end time. Some people believe in a rapture other stone. Some people think that the church will go through the great tribulation. Other think others think that were in it right now. I myself of my my own views on this, but here's where we can all agree Jesus is coming back to judge the world and we should live our lives in light of that truth. And when it comes to the core of what we need to understand about the second coming is sometimes what we call this the study of eschatology the last things we need to know that Jesus is coming and that we need to be ready and that when he comes, it is going to be this secret spiritual coming that it only some people see in other people don't know it's going to be for the whole world to see, because he's coming to judge the whole world and so good.

I do think that those passages refer to the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ physically to judge the earth and you understand the right way. Thanks, Luke for your question. By the way, if you have a question for a drill. You can call us at 833-843-2673 or if you want to spell it out.

It's 833 the core and let's go to our final call the day Valerie Naomi on and I now being cremated wrong on Christian could handle myself in the future.

Thank you hey thank you for your question Valerie, I would say no. It's a matter of Christian liberty not I taken my kids several times, the Museum of man here in San Diego and it's it's a history Museum. They have an exhibit on Egypt there and it got these amazing sarcophagi dating back thousands of years that are ornately decorated. The Egyptians had all these specific rituals associated with burial that they believed had a bearing on their afterlife, but it was just superstition. We believe that one day our bodies will be resurrected by God's power and it isn't the manner of our burial that dictates whether or not were going to be raised to life. But if we had faith in Jesus Christ.

That's the main question.

Are you united to Jesus by faith Valerie if you are then whether your body is buried or cremated or your lost at sea. Jesus is going to be faithful to his promise. We have to be careful that we don't have this sort of superstitious view that the way in which were buried is going to dictate whether or not our bodies are going to be raised on the last day know that's the work of God's God's power helps work of God's spirit. And so I think that this is a matter of Christian liberty. If for whatever reason. This is something that goes against your own conscience, then I would say don't do it, but if it doesn't go against her unconscious and more and more people today are deciding to be cremated to me part of the reason is just because you know that the cost associated with with a burial versus cremation is is so startling so different than if the people are really wondering about this thing. I think it was from the biblical perspective, we can't say that there is a biblical warrant to say you have to do it this way, the valley, through faith in Jesus Christ. Whether your body is buried or cremated, or your lost at sea. Jesus is going to keep his promise, and that's the beautiful thing is it's not what we do and it's not how were buried. That saves us its faith in Jesus Christ and what he's done. It's his death and resurrection, and that's the hope that we can have and so you have freedom here to make a decision that you feel like works for you and your family federal one last question before we go today. This one comes in from Daniel via email and he says hello I'm a Christian convert from atheism after my conversion.

Learning about the faith. Something became clearly obvious to me. Easter is or should be a much bigger deal than Christmas.

I understand that both Jesus birth and resurrection are important events, but it seems to me that one is clearly above the other. I also understand why the world even nonbelievers celebrate Christmas but why don't Christians and churches put more emphasis on celebrating Easter with at least the same vigor and budget that they do around Christmas.

Thank you, Lena, one of the things we see all around us is the commercialization of religion and Christmas especially has been commercialized. It's almost entirely about stuff. Materialism is no different when it comes to Easter you chocolate bunnies and eggs and in baskets how I'm no Scrooge, we first need to recognize that there is no verse in the Bible that commands us to celebrate holy days.

Under the new covenant. Paul said some people listing one day above others, and other people esteem everyday like it's a matter of Christian liberty again. The Galatian church.

For example, in the New Testament was actually falling into the trap of beginning to observe old covenant religious days in a way that Paul said was detrimental to their spirituality unit. If we buy into all the materialism and hype, then Christmas and Easter will also be detrimental to our spiritual well-being. The holidays are some of the most depressing times for for many people, but if you're using these days as an opportunity to talk about Jesus and to worship him within grade. I think we should do it. I don't think that we have to choose between which one is more important either. The resurrection of Jesus or the incarnation of Jesus there both a part of the redemptive work of God the son he came from heaven to earth for us and for our salvation and his righteous work of obedience started from the moment he took flesh from the womb of the Virgin Mary, Jesus is whole life, death and resurrection is for you and every part of it is something that we should celebrate. I love the Christmas time and and Easter. I think it's great for us to stop and remember our history as the people of God in the same way that we celebrate historical events in our in our nation will this is redemptive history this stuff actually happened, God the son actually came to earth to redeem humanity actually died and rose again from the dead, and when we stop and we say this is the story that drives me and it makes me who I am. It's what God has done all that I think were celebrating those things in the right way.

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