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April 6, 2020 1:00 am
Episode 416 | Dr. Michael Horton and Adriel Sanchez answer caller questions.
Key questions answered in today's show:
1. Starting at Acts 21:10 Agabus prophesies about Paul's arrest. I've heard it claimed that Agabus got some of the arrest's details wrong. And therefore it's ok if we prophesy and get some details wrong. Was Agabus wrong on some of his details about Paul's arrest?
2. I understand how Jesus takes away the penalty of sin but how does he remove the guilt and shame, especially of my backsliding?
3. I grew up thinking that if I was faithful God would provide me with a good life. Yet, I know of so many Christians who are not blessed, and especially when I think of Christians in poor countries that are faithfully enduring persecution it seems like being faithful to God doesn’t lead to a more blessed life. And as I read the Bible, especially the psalms it seems like even the wicked prosper. Can you explain this?
4. How can I have a close relationship with God? When I was part of a church that ministered to widows, I was amazed at how close some of them seemed to God. They just seemed to have a strong love and sense of his care for them. What do you think makes for a close relationship with God?
5. My question is Jesus says if you ask me anything in my name, I will do it and there are other similar quotes that come from him. But what’s very difficult is even things that seem to be God’s will: asking for people’s salvation, asking for people will severe illnesses to be healed aren’t answered. God does not answer those prayers on many occasions. So I’d love to hear your encouraging thoughts on how Christians can take hold of promises such as these without being discouraged when prayers aren’t answered. Thank you and God bless you.
What to Look for When Choosing a Church by Nicholas Davis
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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.
The core that's 1-833-843-2673 and now here's atrial Sanchez. Welcome back to core Christianity we answer your questions about the faith on Pastor atrial Sanchez and I'm with. As always, LG Prof. Dr. Michael Horton, it's good to be together always is a drill wonderful break open God's word together. Looking forward to answering some the questions we have before us today working on holy week here at core Christianity know Mike, I know a lot of Christians celebrate Easter, but for many evangelicals the idea of holy week isn't as familiar and I think we both say that there's nothing binding us as followers of Jesus, the particular holy days to think that's really clear from the apostle Paul, Jesus abolished that under the new covenant, but is there something helpful about commemorating certain events in redemptive history through things like holy week. Sure, I think there is and I like the caveat that you presented there. Yeah if you make it essential then absolutely it's dangerous sure Jesus plus anything but if you treat it as an opportunity to give special attention to a particular time in our Lord's life.
If it's Christ centered. It's focused on Christ, then I think we have all kinds of reasons to celebrate Jesus birth to celebrate his death, his resurrection, his ascension at the right hand of the father.
Wonderful opportunity to reflect on all that Christ is and all that Christ has accomplished for us. I think it's a great chance to refocus everything on Jesus Christ. But it should be on Jesus Christ. The focus should be on Jesus Christ, every Lord's day which is holy. Amen. Let's do just that focusing our attention on Jesus Christ as we look at some of these questions today. Kevin asked, starting at acts 21 verse 10 Actavis prophesies about Paul's arrest, ivory claim that Actavis got some of the arrest details wrong and therefore it's okay if we prophesy and get some details wrong, was Actavis wrong on some of his details about Paul's arrest. Good question Kevin bullets look at the passage. This is acts 21 will start as you suggested. Verse 10 while we were staying for many days. A prophet named Agnes came down from Judea and coming to us, he took Paul's belt, and bound his own feet and hands and said, thus says the Holy Spirit. This is how the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles. When we heard this we and the people there urged him not to go to Jerusalem, then Paul answered what you doing weeping and breaking my heart, for I am ready not only to be imprisoned, but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus and since he wouldn't be persuaded. We ceased and said, let the will of the Lord be done now. Actavis here is a great example of the difference between profits P and profits little be so you had. And in the Old Testament you have this to you how to Stephen a school of the prophets.
You don't remember any of their names there not included in Scripture because they were basically people who just proclaimed the word of the Lord on certain occasions. The prophets were given infallible revelation, and so we know their names. The book of Isaiah. The book of Jeremiah, Hosea, and so forth same in the New Testament we know the apostles but then there were also little P prophets who were not preserved from error in their writing. They didn't even write anything nothing that they wrote or said was included in the New Testament. Only the apostles spoke infallibly in Christ's name, and we have their Scriptures, but then you had these prophets who than what were they doing. They were prophesying the word of the Lord in specific situations like this, but they could get it wrong and Maggie was clearly got it wrong because Paul wasn't executed in Jerusalem but in Rome so the real difference here is between the apostles who, when they spoke in Christ's name. They wrote down the Scriptures of our New Testament. Those Scriptures are infallible and that's why Paul laid in his ministry said now don't go beyond what is written just go with the written Scriptures and then prophets soon died out yet. We didn't need them anymore.
What you think about it there's just relationship in Scripture Kevin between revelation and redemption, and redemption is being accomplished. You have this or the influx of revelation. Of these, you know these amazing sort of extraordinary things that are that are happening like the supernovas. That's right, but with the accomplishment of redemption.
You don't have a new revelation that actually with the prophet Daniel four saw in Daniel chapter 9 it's kind of an interesting text and not a passage that people oftentimes go to when they're thinking about this question, but I think it is one that we should consider in Daniel chapter 9 look at this prophecy and and a lot of times refocus on it related to the death of Christ, the Messiah, but Daniel chapter 9, beginning in verse 2470 weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness will who did that to atone for iniquity bring in everlasting righteousness. It was Jesus, and then listen what Daniel adds to seal both the vision and profit and to anoint the most holy place to have it this the ceiling of vision and profit where associated with the accomplishment of redemption. That's exactly what we see don't have Jeremiah's in Isaiah's walking around today, like you did under the old covenant. Why because redemption has been accomplished. Ceiling yeah and I love that you go to that passage, I hadn't thought of it, not light. The ceiling you seal a jar because you don't want it contaminated.
There's no contamination in the word of God. That's right because he sealed it once the revelation is made is not as if you have people who can run around saying the word of the Lord. The word of the Lord.
Yeah well thanks for that question.
Let's go to a call now from Daniel hey guys my name is Daniel called in from Kentucky and I understand how Jesus takes away the penalty of sin. But how does he remove the shame and the feelings of guilt, especially of my backsliding, my pre-conversion said I understand but I'm having trouble understanding getting past some of the things I've done since being saved. Yeah, isn't that a great way of putting it in general, I mean we can we can forget about stuff that we did before we can we can even sometimes use it as a trophy and kind of almost puff ourselves up. Oh well, I was in this bad of a person and God saved me and God save me the before and after picture. What about when we really mess up.
He afterwards well Dale I think that we can relate and empathize with you brother me and you think about the weight of our sin continually is and there.
There's the object to the of the forgiveness of our sins and the removal of our guilt and that XT happens the same. What happens to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. But then there's also the this subjective sense in which we have those feelings of guilt or shame or even feelings of MI really forgiven and I always go back to the word of God and I say to the people of our church.
The reason you can know your forgiven is because of the ward and promise of God he think of it, a text like first John chapter 1 verse nine text if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness. That's true whether or not you feel forgiven you know but what I don't want to downplay the real sense of burden that our sins and and guilt that we can feel as believers, because what we've done even after coming to faith in Jesus Christ. Let me just say I objectively said how does God remove the guilt of our sin will there's a theological word that we use to address. That is, the word expiation. It's the idea that in the sacrifice that was provided there was an expiation that was made. The guilt of our sin was removed and under the old covenant in a readable couple of exchanges have this the sin offering us at guilt offerings and Jesus is our guilt offering, you would have the priest transfer the guilt of the worshiper to the animal and that's exactly what is happened with Jesus Christ such as live in a manner our guilt, cross well, and Isaiah the prophet says that's exactly is explicitly referred to Jesus as our guilt offering. Isaiah 53, nine and 10. They made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich man in his death, although he had done no violence and there was no deceit in his mouth. It was the will of the Lord to crush him.
He has put him to grief when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
The word that Isaiah uses.
There is the word for guilt offering Jesus's sacrifice for you Daniel that's that's what removes the guilt I objectively that's what we don't have the penalty to get all of it is been removed by the sacrifice of Jesus. Now that doesn't mean that were not gonna still feel guilty at times and ashamed about what we've done.
I think we do with that as we go to the cross we go to Jesus. It's really easy to wallow in that that sort of.
I'm such a terrible person you know and and the dangerous thing there for us as believers. What we start to do when were there we started to try to find ways to atone for our own sin in my letter that I beat myself up. You know I'm I'm you, not enough and go to church today can't take communion, the sort of self-flagellation. What that's not what God calls us to God calls us to look to the one who is our guilt offering. Look, if you say I can and can't and you're not saying this Daniel but some people do. I can't go to church because I feel so guilty and so so ashamed and so forth.
Think of what pastor Israel is saying here. If you go to a church where the gospel is faithfully preached. You're actually going to have an answer to your guilt were as if you stay home you're going go inside yourself and either justify yourself or condemn yourself what you need to do is go to church where you you will hear Christ justify you by the announcement of the gospel, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ. You really need to hear that weekend and week out, because we forget it. Even though we are objectively justified and forgiven and adopted. We are still subjectively prone to doubts and to fears and to anxieties about our state is not the peaceful easy feeling that saves you is the piece established by the blood of Christ. Objectively, 2000 years ago that saved you a menu cynical Christianity and if you have a question about the faith we want to hear from you. The number is 1-833-843-2673. That's 1833 the core I'm pastor Angel Sanchez here with Prof. Michael Horton and want to let you know about an offer that we have for you today that want to take advantage of yeah drill.
How does God talk to us. There are lots of people who wonder that on a daily basis about agribusiness question we we had earlier negative God speak to prophets. He is a huge question today.
It is yeah okay I know the Bible and when I go to church but what about other times, so were sharing one of our popular Bible studies on core, Christianity.com it's called. How does God talk to us and can download it for donation of any amount to great study to go through a group of friends or by yourself. So if you've ever wondered how God speaks to us today.
Then you might find this study really help helpful, so go on over to court, Christianity.com/offers to download how does God talk to us. Thanks, Mike. You can also call us at 833-843-2673. That's 1833. The core was going. The next question now is an email we got from Melissa. I grew up thinking that if I was faithful to God, he would provide me with a good life and I know so many Christians who are not blessed, and especially when I think of Christians in poor countries that are faithfully enduring persecution.
It seems like being faithful to God doesn't lead to a more blessed life.
As I read the Bible, especially the Psalms, it seems like even the wicked prosper. Can you explain this yes what I mean. I can't explain it but I can mention hopefully a few things Melissa here that might help you when you read the Bible. It deals with the questions that you're raising here, I think of for instance Psalm 73 and the whole book of Job dealing with why God's people suffer end. In the case of of Psalm 73.
Asaph says my feet almost slipped when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. Hey, it's not working you know and a lot of Christians think that well it's not it's not working. I became a Christian's people told me my marriage would go better. You know I get a new job, life would go well for me and since I became a Christian. A lot of things have fallen apart.
Why, if God is for me.
Does it seem like so many things around me are falling apart and then people who don't know the Lord at all are getting the race are having all kinds of advantages and privileges.
Their marriage seemed to be going well. Their kids are perfect.
And so, for I don't I don't get this. Will the truth is, God never promised the Christians will be healthy or wealthy. He never promised that in every case, your marriage would get better never promised the never promised that he never promised euros garden event in Matthew five Jesus tells us. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you know of course that's talking about the suffering that comes from religious persecution being persecuted for the gospel. What Paul tells us in Romans five about the everyday common struggles that all people face, including Christians, he tells us that suffering produces endurance, and endurance, character, and in character, hope, and hope does not disappoint.
Look it drives us back to Christ and the hope that we have in him. If you see it that way instead of God pushing you away. God actually bringing you closer so that you come to rely only on him instead of your job instead of your identity as a mom or a dad or husband or wife or doctor or lawyer you come to realize my identity is in Christ was a good thing and if you would we have to suffer. Sometimes things taken away from us for us to see that that the net gain you and you know this is just pastorally. This is so important for you to understand because if you if you assume that being blessed means God is for you.
Being physically blessed got that must mean God is forming. God loves me will and every time something bad happens you can. I think oh well you after my God, my God, why have you forsaken, we really have the redefine what it means to be blessed and I love that you brought up Psalm 73 Mike where were Asaph is describing just the prosperity of the wicked, and that he ends Psalm 73. With these words is and what he says. He says, but for me it is good to be near God.
Now I have made the Lord, my refuge, that I may tell of all your works. What is it mean to be blessed it means to be near God, and in those verses just before that, he says it. I didn't know what to do when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
My feet almost slipped almost blasphemed think that's what he means. Then I went into the house of God. What is that me while I think he went into the temple, and he saw the bread of God's presence. He saw the things in the holy place, so he knows the templates rhinos.
The arrangement he knows his way around the place and he knows that each of those pieces those ornaments in the temple aren't there for showpieces. They're all pointing us to God's faithfulness and his promise of a coming Savior and when I went into the temple. This is all pointing me to Christ, then I realized the end of the wicked and the end of the righteous and that it's worth being in poverty in this life and God being for me forever. Thanks for email Melissa and you know, if you don't have a good church is a great article.
You can look up on our website. Core, Christianity.com will put it in the show notes so you can find it there.
But it's called what to look for when choosing a church. This is so important and so we want to help you find a good church.
If you don't have one. It was in the car, Christianity, and we want to thank you for calling you with your questions about the Bible and make sure you visit our website core, Christianity.com. We'll find new resources every day there helping people grow in their faith.
If you can help by this show, or by one of the free resources available on our website. Would you consider coming alongside of us in becoming a regular supporter with a monthly donation of $25 or more, you can join the inner core be part of the team sharing the core truth of the Christian faith and a record Christianity.com/inner core. Learn more or give us a call at 1833 the core again that's 1-833-843-2673 let's go to our next call. Dr. Horton Adam in Rochester New York. My question is Jesus.
If you ask me anything in my name I will do it, and there are other similar quotes that come from him. But what's very difficult is that even things that seem to be God's will.
Asking for people salvation asking for severe illnesses to be healed. Do not there are answers. God does not answer those prayers on many occasions sought love to hear your encouraging thoughts on how Christians can take hold of promises such as these, without being discouraged when prayers are not answered. Thank you and God bless you.
Yeah. God bless you too, Adam thinks you bring up some real challenges here. As you know, God answers all our prayers, but sometimes it's no another times it's not yet. That's true. For instance, we pray for the salvation of loved ones, but we don't know but it is the apostle Paul says only the Lord knows those whom he is chosen, we don't know the sheep. All we know is that he's called us to pray for them that he answers prayers. He does save people through our prayers through through preaching through the witness that we give or others give, but it we don't know the mind of God. We don't know whom he's chosen from all eternity. So that's none of our business.
Our business is to tell everybody the gospel and our business is to pray for the healing of everybody. We don't know whom he's going to heal, who is not a heel when Jesus in his earthly ministry was confronted with people who wanted to be healed. He said I basically you know I'm not coming to heal everybody that's not my mission but he's healing particular people.
He said to show who he is, that this man's sin or his parents that he was born blind. Neither Jesus says, but so that God's power may be manifested this day that you may know, there's a sign when he raised Lazarus from the dead will in order to proclaim himself the resurrection and the life. When he healed the paralyzed man. He said, which is easier to say to a man, take up your bed and walk or your sins are forgiven. What's easier to say is, your sins are forgiven. Who can check that. But Jesus says so that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins I said to the man, take up your bed and walk another words in order to prove that I have that authority to actually forgive sins on earth. I performed that miracle. So what about the other person that day. In the other corner of the room who was suffering you a great debilitating disease will Jesus didn't heal that person. That day we don't know why God has his purposes, and we really don't know what those purposes are. We don't know the mind of the Lord, but we do know what that he's asked us to pray and that he answers our prayers.
Sometimes it's no and sometimes it's not yet one of the illustrations I love to give. Adam is actually from Corrie 10 boom about a tapestry.
You know you look at the back of a tapestry and is just tangled threads makes no sense you can't see any design and then you turn it over and you see that it's a beautiful landscape we see the threads in the back.
God sees the whole landscape because he's the ultimate artist. He's the author of the tapestry and so he works even the dark threads of our life into that tapestry.
He works all things together for good for those who love him, who are the called according to his purpose and so go on praying be the important woman who came to Jesus.
Time and time again until he finally healed her pray for the miraculous healings of people, but don't expect them.
Don't make your faith rely upon them.
God knows why he does what he does in like a good and wise father he doesn't always give us what we ask for him. I just kept thinking of the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18 one through eight, and the encouragement that we have there. And I hope that stories and encouragement to you as well. Adam and just the idea that God is a good father and on in that parable that had the judges of the wicked man, and yet he still listens to this widow because of her persistence in God is saying look I am a good father. How much more will I not hear my electric crying out, day and night for justice. And so, as you said Mike may not always come in our time know that we pray according to God's will and John tells us this in first John the Lord hears this is an answer our prayers and so and I hope that encourages you and want to say thanks for your question. Thanks for listening to court Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer. Visit us at court, Christianity.com and click on offers and the menu for or call us at 1-833-843-2673 that's a 33, the court when you contact us. Please let us know how you been encouraged by this podcast and be sure to join us next time. As we explore the truth of God's word together