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Do We Enter the Presence of God at Death, or at the Resurrection?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
April 10, 2020 1:00 am

Do We Enter the Presence of God at Death, or at the Resurrection?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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April 10, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 420 | Dr. Michael Horton and Adriel Sanchez answer caller questions.

Show Notes

Key questions answered in today's show:

1. The dead in Christ will raise but the thief in the cross was in paradise? Which is it? When we die are we in the presence of God or do we wait for the resurrection?

2. You guys talk a lot about grace but what about works. The Bible also teaches that “faith without works is dead” and the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God. Maybe I’m confused but when you talk about grace it sounds like you are leaving out our part.  

3. I have heard people talk about salvation as having a past, present, and future aspects so that we could say that a person has been saved in the past, is being saved in the moment, and will be saved in the future. I feel like I don’t really have a grasp on what this means. Can you explain it?

4. What would Jesus think of the Multisite church model? In our area it seems like there is a growing number of churches that are expanding and planting new churches and in doing so they maintain one teaching pastor and meet at multi-sites that meet across the city. I wonder if there are any downsides to this. What are the perks to that and what are some of the downsides to that could come with that kind of model?


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This is core Christianity, where answering your questions about the Christian life Monday through Friday. Your hosts are author and seminary professor Dr. Michael Horton and Pastor atrial Sanchez call right now with your question. At 1833.

The core that's 1-833-843-2673 and now here's atrial Sanchez hi and welcome back, or Christianity, the programmer we answer your questions about the faith with theology professor Michael Horton, I'm Pastor atrial Sanchez and work together on this Good Friday thinking about the work of Jesus Christ for us and being that it's Good Friday celebrated by a lot of different Christian traditions and of course you know we've said this before, there is nowhere in the Scriptures were were bound as Christians to observe certain holy days or commemorate you know events in the history of redemption, at least not under the new covenant, but there there something that we can benefit from. As we think about these things and and especially thinking about the cross I wanted to read Matthew 27 verses 32 and following the crucifixion of Jesus. Listen in as they went out they found a man of styrene Simon by name.

They compelled this man to carry his cross when they came to the place called gold, which means place of the school. They offered him wine to drink mixed with gall when he tasted it, he would not drink it, and when they had crucified him.

They divided his garments among them by casting lots and they sat down and kept watch over him there in over his head. They put the charge against him, which read this is Jesus, King of the Jews than two robbers were crucified with him one on the right hand and the other on the left and those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying you would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself. If you are the son of God, come down from the cross, so also the chief priests with the scribes and the elders mocked him, saying he saved others, he cannot save himself. He is the king of Israel, let him come down now from the cross and we will believe in him, he trusts in God. Let God deliver him now if he desires him, for he said I am the son of God and the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way I talk about the shame of the cross, the darkness, the ridicule the mocking God doesn't desire him. That's what the religious leaders said the cross is the darkest moment in human history. But it's also the most glorious moment in another sense is in it Mike you the moment of our redemption will call her from Laura about the death of Christ and the thieves who were with Jesus there on that day. Let's listen in lower I will enjoy yourself so much, I thought that question right now on the cross, Jesus told him today you will be with me in paradise. But in Revelation that sense that God in Christ will reign sunlight question for you which one do we die only air directly in Jesus presents our bodies laid in our souls with our bodies until Jesus comes again, thank you very much. You bet Laura, thank you for the call and I'm really glad that you're listening to the program and that you're in a good Bible study will is the difference between death and the resurrection. When we die our soul goes to be with the Lord as Paul talks about in second Corinthians, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord but not the whole self. We leave part of us behind when we are in the presence of the Lord, our bodies are laid to rest in the earth. This is called the intermediate state for a reason.

It's not the final state.

Salvation is not just going to heaven when you die. Salvation is the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. So were not just looking forward to our soul leaving our body and being with the Lord. We are looking forward to that but were looking forward even more to the resurrection of the body.

So it's both really Laura when we die were the presence of the Lord, but we also will be waiting for the resurrection. When we are in his presence in both body and soul forever. And isn't that a wonderful hope the whole creation.

No we are not saved from this world and from our bodies we are saved with this world and with our bodies. It's a wonderful thing to look forward to not bouncing on clouds playing harps. And you know all ethereal kind of existence but this worldly kind of redemption, the redemption of this world, not from this world. It's a redemption from sin and death, but not from the material creation itself became enemies. What a glorious thing to look forward to help not just being in the presence of the Lord when we die and you know Paul in Philippians chapter 1 verse 23 he says that's much better.

I going I desire that I want to be there in the presence of the Lord. But even beyond that, the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come to thank you Laura for your question on Facebook. Cory asked us talk a lot about grace.

But what about works. The Bible also teaches that faith without works is dead and the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God. Maybe I'm confused when you talk about grace.

It sounds like you're leaving out our parts. Yeah, great. Thank you, Cory will we are.

We are leaving out our part.

If you're talking about salvation. However, we made right before a holy God our part in that is sin and rebellion. So that's our part in salvation. We are the ones need to be saved were not co-saviors along with Christ, so there should be no confusion on the on that question Cory, but we certainly do believe that the grace that saves us also gives us the faith that produces good works. That's what Paul says in Ephesians 2 right, he says, but while you were dead.

He made you alive and raised you together seated you with Christ by grace you are saved and then he goes on to say, for by grace you are saved through faith and that not of yourselves, even that is the gift of God not of works, lest anyone should boast but then he goes on to add. We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which he prepared before hand that we would walk in me is that amazing evening in sanctification. Cory, we are his workmanship, not his workers but his workmanship, he is even working out that grace and sanctification so that he who began a good work will complete it till the day of Christ Jesus.

Now we are not dead anymore when he raises us from spiritual death were alive and for the first time, we can respond in faith and good works, but that faith and good works are the result. The consequence of his grace, not cofactors, along with grace in our justification us with your asking about how we can be justified that is declared righteous in God's courtroom grace and works are absolutely opposed we deny works completely when it comes to justification. They are totally different answers the question how can I be saved but we should see grace and works not as opposed when it comes to our sanctification were sanctified by grace alone through the gospel and through this work of God. We are also bearing the fruit of good works, not only are grace and works not opposed it is only because of grace that we have good works and the goal of grace is that we would be God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.

Amen Cory and a couple text of Scripture that you can go to that I think will be helpful as you can continue to think about this. Galatians chapter 3 would be one, but really the whole book of Galatians because there you have this this great contrast between faith in Christ and the works of the law and possibility only Jesus can justify us and we received that justification by faith.

We do keeping the law that's knocking to save us because none of us keeps it perfectly and so look at Paul's discussion Galatians 3.

The other thing I would say is you know you are eroding to the language that James uses faith without works is dead. Why think James is talking about a specific kind of faith there.

He says Yosemite comes with this kind of faith that essentially is is worthless is dead.

Can that that faith save you. And James says no will.

Why because it's not real faith. That's not the faith that God gives is not justifying faith is not real faith.

And I think that's what James is getting there we listen to core Christianity want to answer your questions about the fate give us a call with your question 833-843-2673. That's 1833 the core and overthinking a little bit ago about the intermediate state that the life of the world to come. That's we want to offer for you today. This special resource over at our website.

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One of the greatest topics that we can meditate on.

As Christians is being in the presence of our God and father through the mediation of our Savior Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit to actually be in the presence of the triune God forever. So we want to help you meditate on that great hope that we have as Christians in go to core to download seven things you need to know about heaven.

Thanks, Mike. You can also get a hold that by calling us at 833-843-2673 is a Facebook question that we got from Jessica in Cincinnati. I've heard people talk about salvation is having a past present and future aspect so that we could say that a person is been saved in the past is being saved in the moment and will be saved in the future. I feel and I don't really have a grasp on what this means. Can you explain and yet wonderful when you think about how we have been enveloped into a whole plan of salvation that Jesus didn't just come to die for our sins, but he has been the mediator of our salvation from start to finish. It just is overwhelming. So first of all I would turn to Romans 830 where the apostle Paul says in those he predestined he called those whom he called he justified, and those he justified, he glorified all of the links in that golden chain are created by God, I don't have my name on any one of those links in the chain God is doing all the work he's doing all the saving and the second thing is that it doesn't say some of those he predestined he called or some of those he called he justified her some of those he justified, he glorified, but all of them and so it's absolutely sure strong chain that can't be broken because of God's unchanging purpose.

So look first of all those he predestined turn to myriad passages think of Ephesians 14 and following. Just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world.

In him we been predestined as errors as children belong to him and and so forth were in John six also chapter 10 in chapter 17 Jesus speaks to the father. Those you gave me. Not one of them will perish. I give my life for my sheep is not a wonderful promise those he predestined he called so there's an outward call the gospel call come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest goes out to the world, everyone included but then the Holy Spirit effectually saving really draws those whom he will. To the father as Jesus said in John six no one can even come to me unless the father who sent me draws him and I will raise him up at the last day. So through the gospel preached to us outwardly comes to our ears.

But the Holy Spirit draws us sovereignly by his sweet power of love to the son. Romans 1017. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

First Timothy 19 God who saved us and called us, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began wonderful about anchoring your salvation. Those whom he predestined he called them those whom he called he justified. We talk a lot about justification on this program you go back to Genesis 15 and Abraham believed God, and was justified right then and there.

Luke 1814 the tax collector and the Pharisee the Pharisee says oh I'm so glad I'm not like this guy. This tax collector and the tax collector can even raise his eyes to heaven, and said just as Lord, be merciful to me a sinner and no doubt he had been the tax collector I mean they were greedy and cheated people out of their living he'd probably live a terrible life but the Pharisee had to. He just didn't realize it. Jesus says that man the tax collector who cried out, Lord, be merciful to me a sinner. He went home justified that day rather than the other. Go to Galatians the whole book is about justification.

The metaphors we get our closing ripping off our fig leaves and being clothed with Christ already back in Genesis 3 banking analogies when I was in the Europe during college days. I ran out of money, so I called home and said I'm destitute, here I am in Barcelona and I don't have any money so my parents took some money from their account and put it into my account now.

I hadn't worked for that they had, but it was my money that crediting analogy is often used in Scripture for justification. God declares us just a legal analogy, God declares us just in court. It's an alien righteousness is not our righteousness. It's not because God infuses or creates in us a righteous heart, although he does regenerate us. Justification is an alien righteousness. I'm righteous because Christ's righteousness is imputed credited transferred to me and then finally, those he predestined he called those and he called he just by those whom he justified, he glorified state from beginning to end before the ages and then in the age to come, God has sovereignly planned and orchestrated our salvation. What is it mean to be glorified.

It means being conformed completely to the image of Christ.

Listen to this as much like God as it's possible for creature to be second is to be raised bodily with our whole self, body and soul raised to an honor the dignity in a form of existence.

That's beyond anything that has ever been experienced by a human being other than Jesus exactly what Jesus is now in his humanity. We will be in our humanity. Three. It means that will be free not only from the dominion but even the presence of sin. That means it will be immoral by grace. Only God is immoral by nature, but we will become immortal by grace and then for reigning with Christ forever.

So many passages of second Corinthians 3, Paul says, since we have such a hope. We are very bold. Not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an and but their minds were hardened for to this day when they read the old covenant that same veil remains unlisted because only through Christ.

Is it taken away. Yes, to this day, whenever Moses read, a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the spirit more the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom and we all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, are being transformed into that same image from 1 of glory to another for this comes from the Lord who is spirit, or Colossians 127 to his saints today. God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you the hope of glory and the last passage I think of is in second Peter three in and for here. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he is granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them through those promises. You may listen to this become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire so we will we will actually be like God not only image bearers of God, but we will actually reflect God's righteousness and holiness, and goodness and love as much as Jesus Christ that is well staggering help. That was a rich Bible study you just provided is not thereby gone on like I feel like it would have to go back and listen to it again and again becoming each of those each of those acts of God, as you are saying. And in this golden chain of redemption in our being predestined called by God justified glorifying the so-so rich let's go to the next question number nine Indianapolis, Indiana NARA. There are so many churches better during the multi site model where you got one main teaching pastor and many location.

What you think about is there any downside that type of ministry but you seem so common nowadays that the artist sites. 22. Best writing notes that was opinion or question on that.

Yeah Jesus thing multi site model like what would Jesus do well personal thanks answer the question if it's great.

First of all to hear the gospel of Christ is going forward with the planting of so many churches let's define multi site ministry.

First of all, for those who might not know what were talking about basically a me there are different versions of it but basically it means you have one pastor who's kind of it at that.

The main campus who preaches and that is beamed to all of the other sites you may or may not have elders at those other sites, but you certainly don't have a pastor at those other sites that's often the basic outline of what multi site ministry is I don't believe the Bible gives us a blueprint for everything in ministry but I do think it gives us a lot more direction than a lot of people seem to think the New Testament epistles and acts teach us how to plant churches and they indicate that pastors and elders as well as deacons were appointed in every town, as Paul told Titus and in Titus 15 church isn't properly planted yet Paul told Titus until there are elders appointed in every town and it was assumed that there would be certainly a pastor, each congregation had its own pastor, which is why Timothy in fact stepped into the spot to be temporary pastor in Ephesus when there was trouble. They didn't have a shepherd. The apostle Paul told Timothy preach the word be ready in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. Second Timothy 42 that assumes that the minister of a particular congregation knows the members and can encourage and, when necessary, even rebuke the congregation not only in preaching, but in private counsel with members and that's absolutely essential to every local church while a church of any size can find that challenging.

II still think it's almost impossible for a pastor to know the people he serves that these just a talking head on a screen at a different location.

Here's the thing. Pastors according to the New Testament are just speakers their shepherds are not just malls but arms representing Christ's care wrapped around people in their times of joy and grieving. They baptize, they marry, they bury them further pastors and elders and one local church have to be accountable to other pastors and elders in other local churches. They're not lone rangers gathering an audience for their superior knowledge or charisma. I'm not impugning the motives of people who do multi site ministry. Many of these leaders are fine folks and preach God's word.

I have some pastor friends of multi site approaches in our able to overcome a lot of the dangers by having actual pastors eventually taking emerging local churches, but I do think them, the model itself can easily incline more to a celebrity oriented model in real what you think is a Honeywell. I was just thinking you know is as a pastor my relationship with people in the church also helps to shape my preaching so that if I didn't have that it would be more difficult to connect with them in the preaching because you know what your congregation struggles with you know what the sins are and that it is a me that I'm calling people out from the pulpit but you just have a sense of hate is a carnation letters will struggle.

Here's what we need to grow you have to actually go out and tend people individual people in their times of need that just can't be a talking head you've never met. Thanks for listening to court Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer. Visit us at court, and click on offers in the menu for or call us at 1-833-843-2673 that's a 33, the court when you contact us.

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