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March 19, 2020 1:00 am
Episode 404 | Dr. Michael Horton and Adriel Sanchez answer caller questions.
Key questions answered in today's show:
1. How do we look forward to the coming of Christ without falling into extremes like predicting his coming or looking at every current event as a fulfilled prophecy and worrying about how bad things are in the world?
2. It’s popular to say that God’s love is unconditional but all through the Old Testament it seems like God’s love is completely conditional on the obedience of the people which is why God is often so angry in the Old Testament. Am I missing something?
3. What does blasphemy of the Holy Spirit mean or entail? I often hear discussions about how all can be saved. What about blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? What can a person do?
4. In heaven, will we see God the Father face-to-face?
5. Is it possible to be a Christian and addicted to alcohol?
The Future of Everything: Essential Truths about the End Times by William Boekestein
Knowing God by J. I. Packer
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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 hello and welcome back to core Christianity.
We are answering your questions about the faith with Prof. Michael I'm pastor atrial Sanchez and let me just say once again what a privilege it is for us to be together and thinking through the Scriptures and working through your questions gives a call if you have a question about the Bible. This is from facts and trends. Pastors are more than three times as likely to believe Christians can's beat up the return of Christ by the spread of their faith than by backing certain geopolitical changes according to a new study from Nashville-based life way research what wall Scripture specifically says we cannot know the day or the hour of Jesus Christ return we were interested in pastor's views on whether Christians can play a role in bringing about that return any sooner. Explain Scott McConnell, Executive Director of life way research around one and a Protestant pastor's 12% believe Christians can speed up the second coming of Jesus by supporting geopolitical changes mentioned in the Bible with 5% strongly agreeing during heightened conflicts with Syria 2013 Life Way research study found many Americans were likely to link global conflict with end times, almost one in three saw the conflict as part of the Bible's plan for the end times one and 4.a US military strike in Syria could lead to Armageddon and one in five believe the world would end in their lifetime, including 32% of evangelicals you know it's really interesting is if we further think about these things.
I was sort of shocked by that I mean that maybe I should be but 12% of pastors in the United States, thinking that a few Baptists candidate you're gonna help usher in the coming of the Lord Jesus saves her high referred to it as the day appointed by my father yet, so it's fifth from all eternity.
God has picked the day on the calendar.
Yeah, for Jesus return and we think we can speeded up by the evening news. Interesting stuff to think that we have a question from David on Facebook that relates to all of this. How do we look forward to the coming of Christ without falling into extremes like predicting his coming or looking at every current event as a fulfilled prophecy and worrying about how bad things are in the world right in line with what we're just out loudly.
No great question David. I remember growing up with the late great planet Earth. You're too young to remember that a drill I remember being just freaked out by this movie called thief in the night who and where Christian can't. My parents ran so that was played with every group that came in and I ended up did not much entertainment so over and over.
You're watching this and I'm watching this thing terrifying me and we just kind of were taught to read the Bible in one hand in the newspaper in the other and I can't tell you how many failed prophecies became bestsellers and nobody remembers that they fail they just remember that they were bestsellers at the time so were to keep getting these books that say about what's going on in her interbrand or what's going on in North Korea or it's going to continue but we have to be very careful that we are not doing what Jesus said we couldn't do. We couldn't predict the day or the hour of his return.
In fact, in Matthew 24. Jesus gives what's called his Olivet discourse sees teaching about his second coming, and he says there will be wars and rumors of wars and earthquakes in various places in your all these cataclysms, but the end is not yet, but the end is not yet. And then he goes on to talk about other things that are going to happen and even many will fall away and so on is something along prototype. Then he says, but the gospel must be preached in all the world and then the end will come. Then I will gather my elect from all the four corners of the earth and you'll see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of glory so we really should be praying for and working for the spread of the gospel to every unknown people group. Not because we can speed up his return, but because it's part of the fulfillment of that.
It's a way that we can be partners with God in bringing the nations to the feet of Christ.
So I would say David look until Jesus returns. We have two main callings. The great commission and the great commandment. The great commission is to spread the gospel and the great commandment is to love and serve our neighbors and we do that, primarily through our callings are every day work in the world.
It seems like there was a group among the the church in Thessalonica that thought that that Jesus was going to come next Thursday, so they were predicting the date of his return. And because they thought you we all believe it's imminent. It could come at any time they thought it was so imminent that they would quit their jobs just sit and wait for Jesus return have their bags packed all corrects them on that. Like a good pastor.
He says no you know what should you be doing when Jesus returns, he should find you at the laundromat he should find you sweeping floors or changing diapers he should find you taking your kids to soccer practice. He should find you defending a case in court. He should find you lying basketball. He should find you doing what he's equipped you to do with your callings. Various callings that we have in life, glorifying and enjoying him loving and serving our neighbors. So this is our father's world. He has a plan it's unfolding. But we can't read the newspaper headlines and say oh well, there it is. That's what prophecy predicts well in a sense it is because this whole period between Christ to Cummings.
Jesus said would be filled with wars and earthquakes and all kinds of things, but he specifically says don't think because of those events. The end is yet the gospel will be preached to all nations, and then the end will come. So receding sing the gospel spread around the world. I think that instead of looking at geopolitical affairs. We should rejoice in the explosion of Christianity around the world, especially in the global South and rejoice in the fact that it is reaching.
It is penetrating people groups that have not even been discovered by cultural anthropologists. So it's really exciting to see what the Lord's people are doing what missionaries are doing throughout the world and how the gospel spreading that's what we should focus on and not the daily news yeah and I love the way Peter put it when he said in first Peter chapter 4 the end of all things is at hand.
Therefore, stockpile ammunition, no run to the mountains and you know, make sure you have enough canned food is the end of all things that hand. Therefore be self-controlled and sober minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling and as each has received a gift use it to serve one another as good stewards stewards of God's very graceful at the end of all things that hand. Let's have each other for Little River enter enter headlight is not how each other for dinner but yeah yeah is same thing that Paul told the Thessalonians, you know, don't sit by waiting for Jesus right to return get busy. Here's what he says.
He says we urge you to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own business and to work with your own hands, as we instructed you, then you will behave properly toward outsiders without being dependent on anyone and that specifically in the context of the question, what should we do in the light of Jesus return.
Amen. Kristi asked this in an email. It's popular to say that God's love is unconditional but all throughout the Old Testament, it seems like God's love is completely conditional on the obedience of the people which is why God is often so angry in the Old Testament am I missing something request. Yeah, thanks Christine on Scripture in the Old Testament. It is there two types of covenants that God enters into with his people.
One of those kinds of covenants is a conditional covenant.
These were really similar to the ancient near Eastern trees that were taking place many centuries ago, and in this kind of covenant, typically a great King would covenant with a group of people to do certain things, so long as they fulfilled their end of the bargain. A great example of this would be the Mosaic covenant are you think about that what God covenant with his people way back there in Exodus, God told his people to do certain things so that they could remain in the land of Canaan, but if they didn't do what they were called to do. There would be consequences and like a landlord kicking out the bad tenant and right, you read this. The Old Testament is sort of the story of what took place because the people of Israel them in the nation didn't fulfill their end of the bargain. It was the exile.
It was God's judgment so you have these the sort of conditional covenants.
You also have unconditional covenants with sometimes referred to as unilateral covenants is a one-way promise. Think of it like a grant or a gift God is saying here's what I am going to do for you and again you see examples of this in the Scriptures think of Genesis chapter 15 in the click covenant that God made with Abraham were God's busy. I'm gonna do all of this is a promise. Now when we think about God's dealing with Israel in the Old Testament just because there were times were God held them to a standard doesn't mean that his love was conditional per se. I mean I want to look at one passage in the in the Scriptures in Deuteronomy chapter 7 verses six and seven.
Listen to what we read there it says Moses says you are a holy people to the Lord your God, the Lord your God's chosen you to be a people for his own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, because the Lord loved you and The oath which he swore to your forefathers, the Lord brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt you think about that and what a picture of God. Unconditional love is I think what you're seeing. Christine is when you see God's judgment on the people of God in the Old Testament. In particular, God getting angry with Israel for their sin. Using essentially what God is doing, is he being faithful to his covenant what he had told them in and in light of their disobedience there experiencing the curse, the judgment of God and told them they would experience, but the reality is, God is so gracious, so forgiving.
He sent his son Jesus into the world to fulfill the terms of that covenant that they failed it that we fail at is well Christine so that we might experience the forgiveness and grace of God I love the way Paul puts it in Romans chapter 5 you want to talk about unconditional love. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us wasn't because we were good.
It wasn't because we are righteous or because we had merited or earned anything from the Lord. It was while we were yet sinners, Jesus came into the world to pay for our sins down. That's why Jeremiah prophesies in Jeremiah 31.
The covenant that I will make in those days, the new covenant will not be like the Sinai covenant that they made before me, but they broke and so they're already the prophets are anticipating a fulfillment of that Abraham make promise. Actually, a promise that goes back to Genesis 315 God will send a Savior who will fulfill all righteousness merit our salvation so that we are saved by works, but were saved by the works of someone else Jesus Christ eliciting a core Christianity and were answering your questions about the fate if you have a question about the Bible give us a call at 1-833-843-2673. That's 1833 the court. You can also email us at questions at core, Christianity.com and Mike we have a special opportunity for our listeners today to partner with us. We do it we would like to invite everybody to consider coming alongside us as a member of the inner core but were so thankful for each inner core member and the regular gifts to help accomplish our mission. Each and every day we recently sent all our inner core members. A copy of our new Gospel of John.
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To learn more or give us a call right here at 833. The core thanks Mike and that number is 1-833-843-2673 let's take a call now about the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Josh from Ace to state my question was related to the Bible with the VA unforgettable sign of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. What does that really tell what is that mean often. I got your it neglected a lot from different people and relations to people trying all can be saved or if somebody has blossomed against the Holy Spirit. But with that person. Thank you. Yeah, thank you, Josh will the unpardonable sin is precisely what many of the Pharisees. Jesus was talking to in that context were committing instead of coming to Jesus to have life. They were actually attributing his signs to Satan.
We also read this in the Talmud, the Jewish Talmud, as it describes Jesus. It says that he he perform signs and wonders, but it was by Satan.
Right now we also read in the book of acts that many priests and even Pharisees came to a saving knowledge of Christ is wonderful but at the time of Jesus was preaching to them. The ones he was talking to work hardening their hearts and they were saying. Well yeah he's performing signs we can't deny that. But Satan is the one by whom he's performing these miracles.
Well, Jesus says look I'm performing these miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit talk to him you have a beef with the Holy Spirit here. It's a real sign of the divinity of the Holy Spirit, by the way that Jesus says I am casting out demons and I'm performing these miracles. I'm healing by the power of the Holy Spirit.
So if you attribute that to the devil, that's unforgivable fact.
He says this is Matthew 1231 therefore I tell you every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven.
People but the blasphemy against the spirit will not be forgiven. So you know, maybe some of them were converted later, but this time they certainly weren't. They were very opposed to Jesus and were saying that he's performing these miracles by Satan. Anyone who refuses to believe in Christ, Josh rejects his miracles as pointing to his identity as God incarnate his hardening. His heart, and unless the Holy Spirit softens his heart unless that person repents and believes he will be condemned on the last day. But Jesus still says whoever comes to me I will never cast out. John 637 and that includes people who have said horrible things about Jesus Christ and have denied that he is God's son and have denied that he perform miracles by the Holy Spirit, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is saying that people who formally didn't believe in him can't be saved. He saying that those who persist in unbelief to the day they die have committed the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. So which are you obviously by your question Josh, you're not the religious leader who attributes Jesus miracles to Satan you're somebody who's who's come to Christ for salvation any promises you, he'll never cast you out. So I think we have to be careful about having this open category of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit as basically a catchall for things were worried about having committed yeah I think that's important. I mean I talked to so many believers who have a sensitive conscience are struggling with sin, you think your you read that text and you think all know that must have lie. Have I done that and if Mike was saying. Josh, if you're thinking about that for yourself will we can encourage you and say no you have faith in Jesus Christ. He's in a be the one hold on to you so we can really take comfort from that but I think the devil knows it's how we twist Scripture. One of the things he wants to do is to convince us that there is no hope for us know any and it does remind us really how serious a matter it is to blaspheme the Holy Spirit how serious a matter it is to say, I don't believe Jesus is God. I don't believe the Holy Spirit he was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary and made man. I don't believe that Jesus is who he said he was. I don't believe Jesus performed miracles by the Holy Spirit. That's a very you know, be careful, yeah.
Be careful is one thing to have doubts in question and then go chase down the answers to those questions is quite another to start hardening your heart and saying he's imposter.
Josh, thank you for your question. Let's get an email from Lou who asked in heaven will we see God the father face-to-face with God is a spirit, infinite, eternal, unchangeable, that media week when we talk about God. God doesn't have a body right Miami and in his essence you know if the second person of the Godhead, the sun, the word was made flesh. John chapter 1 verse 14 took flesh from the womb of the Virgin Mary, so that he might redeem us in the Scriptures do speak of us seeing him face-to-face. I think first Corinthians chapter 13 verse 12 for now we see in a mirror dimly than face-to-face. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known or first John chapter 3 verse 12. Beloved, we are God's children now and what we will be has not yet appeared but we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. We only know God through Jesus.
Jesus that I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except by me and Jesus that when we see him in one sense, we see the father you, me, Susan, John chapter 14 verse nine because Jesus and the father are one another verse that I would go to is Revelation chapter 22 verses three and following.
No longer will there be anything accursed with the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him they will see his face and his name will be on therefore heads the thing earlier in Revelation chapter 14 verses one and two were it says that the Saints have the name of Jesus in the name of the father on therefore heads of Jesus and the father are one Luke and in heaven. Working to see the face of Jesus the incarnate son with her such a unity between the persons of the holy Trinity. We think about one we can help bring to mind the others. You're right. Do you remember Philip saying show us the father in Jesus and Philip have I been with you for so long and you don't get it.
He was seen me has seen the father. The father and I are one. Wow, what a statement of his unity with the father. His his deity now, but their separate persons their distinct persons, but one God to persons of the Godhead second Corinthian's four were told in verse four that Christ is the image of God and in verse six we are told that we we behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ of thank you for your question.
Luke you listen to core Christianity were answering your questions about the faith. I want to mention also that we have a YouTube channel core Christianity we we release a new video every day clips from the program answering your questions about the fate think you can share with your friends via social media. So make sure you check out our our YouTube channel core Christianity go to another call now the alcohol yes Karen. Sadly, it is to be addicted to alcohol and and many other things. It's possible for a Christian to be addicted, but not unrepentant. That's an important distinction to make addictions or are both sinful patterns and physical illness in our bodies and souls are so bound together we start making decisions and those decisions become patterns and those patterns become character. It really comes from our soul.
As Jesus said, it's not what goes into a man that makes them unclean.
But what comes from his heart.
We often think will sin is sort of something external that but deep down I'm a pretty good person. Jesus says the deeper you go the dirtier it gets. It's from the heart that all sins proceed, but because these sinful desires come from our heart.
They also affect our body and kind of rewire our brains, as it were, so is also physical illness, not being a new creation in Christ is a significant shift that happens to a Christian at regeneration, but the English text doesn't quite capture Paul's emphasis pulsating Christians are part of the new creation is not just that were individual new creations. That's true, but that we are so by being part of the regeneration that has dawned with the appearing of Jesus Christ.
So, as new creations. We still have sinful natures leftovers of the old creation that is corrupted by sin and addiction struggles are part of that sinful nature those leftovers of the old creation regeneration doesn't end the struggle it starts it it, we are new creations in Christ and therefore whatever is still clinging to us of the old creation is really something we hate so. A Christian is somebody who struggles with sin and that presupposes two things. Number one that we still sin. And yes, we still have addictions but to we struggle against by the grace of God. Thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer.
Visit email@example.com and click on offers in the menu for or call us at 1-833-843-2673 that's a 33 core 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