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Should Christians Give Money to Panhandlers?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
February 19, 2020 1:00 am

Should Christians Give Money to Panhandlers?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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February 19, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 383 | Dr. Michael Horton and Adriel Sanchez answer caller questions.

Show Notes

Key questions answered in today's show:

1.  How should Christians handle panhandlers?  Are there Biblical principles for giving to people who come to us and look down and out?

2.  I’m really confused about predestination in  Ephesians 1. Is Paul saying that everyone who is saved is predestined?

3. I was raised in a Christian family, but I have only been actively following Jesus for the last couple of years, since I started college. What I have discovered is that it seems really hard to make progress as a Christian. Is it normal for Christians to struggle with the same sins over and over?  

4. Where was Jesus for the 3 days after he died on the cross. I happen to believe that he went to hell to pay the full price for our sins. I would love to know what you guys think. I have a few Scriptures in mind when I think about my answer. In Luke, Jesus said he had not yet ascended to his Father after his resurrection and thus he did not go to heaven? He also said that as Jonah was in the belly in the whale so shall the son of man be. Paul said that he who ascended first descended. And cursed is everyone who hangs upon a tree. I’m under the perspective that he paid the full price, which was hell.


Putting Amazing Back into Grace: Embracing the Heart of the Gospel  by Michael Horton

The God Who Gives: How the Trinity Shapes the Christian Story  by Kelly M. Kapic

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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 welcome back the core Christianity will answering your questions about the faith. I'm Pastor atrial Sanchez going by Prof. Michael Horton, you know we've all been there. You're driving about to take the freeway on ramp and you come to a stop off to your left. There's a man or woman standing with a cardboard sign that read something like God bless you or anything helps. What you do.

That's one caller wants to know. Let's listen into his question. Michael question about how should Christian handle panhandlers. One of the biblical principles we should think about when someone coming up to us from up the street asks for money for something or just ask for money in general and that there obviously someone looks down and out is are there biblical principles we need to keep in mind when giving or not giving money to them and what are some practical bits of advice you would give to someone who feels you know great compassion towards those who are destitute and I want to read about. Sure it will. First of all, I'm glad you're concerned about your neighbors, especially those who are less well-off materially is a tough thing. It it's a matter of wisdom. I remember when I was in college. We used to go street witnessing in Hollywood and had this bright idea of bringing almost people back to my room on campus and the school authorities said that's not going to happen anymore. There were all sorts of good reasons for that, but it made me think well is this helping the situation are hurting actually got there are biblical principles. On the one hand, were commanded to give freely to those in need. Think of lots of passages but Proverbs 1917 says whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord and he will repay him for his deed.

Galatians 610 reminds us.

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Absently there's a clear biblical principle here of loving and serving our neighbors, especially those who are destitute. On the other hand, were told to be on guard about our own responsibility for own selves and families. There were apparently loafers in the church in Thessalonica.

They weren't "down and out they were just refusing to work. Apparently, they were expecting Jesus to return any minute and using that as justification for quitting their day job know Paul told him.

Whenever Jesus returns, let them find us going about our daily callings. He says in second Thessalonians 310 for even when we were with you, we would give you this command. If anyone isn't willing to work, let him not eat.

Now what are we to do in particular cases is a matter of Christian freedom.

As I mentioned, I have gone through these various birds in my own life or I wanted to help people on the street but working with people in a homeless shelter. I learned that that doesn't always help. They explained to me what week we have a process here were people come in they have clean bed to sleep in. They have job opportunities.

We have a couple of people in the office who help them find jobs. We have people in the community who are plugged into us so they can help them get a leg up. Basically the goal is to get them off of the street and back into society again. Well, are we fording that by basically feeding the instinct to stay on the street but what you do is is entirely up to you file your conscience on this matter of wisdom. It's not a matter of right or wrong, you know using those principles. Figure out what's right for you and an Instagram question from Manny. I'm really confused about predestination in Ephesians 1 is pulsing that everyone who is saved is predestined to the top didn't happen because Mike and I want to be really sensitive with this answer because I don't know where you're coming from, exactly with this question, but I do know that many people hear that word predestined in their stomach kids knotted up what you mean God predestines people to things we have to remember that God's word is the ultimate authority is our ultimate authority. I want to let the Bible guide me as I'm thinking about these things, so we have to set aside our preconceived notions come to the Scriptures and say God you speak and God does speak to us about predestination actually is mentioned more than once in the opening of Ephesians we read beginning in verse three of Ephesians chapter 1 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ was blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before him in love he predestined us for adoption to himself his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace with which he has blessed us in the beloved.

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us in all wisdom and insight, making known to us the mystery of his will according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will. Now to get straight to your question, yes, everyone who is saved is predestined by God.

Ephesians chapter 1 verse four is absolutely clear it says you were chosen before the foundation of the world. Now again, let's let the Bible guide is here and here's what it's saying God shows you, God predestined you for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to his will. You were predestined for an inheritance. Paul said in verse 11. According to the God who works everything according to the counsel of his will, Manny. When it comes to your salvation. God is in the driver seat.

You know, Paul's words again. God doesn't predestined us according to our will, according to his own sovereign purposes and does that mean that were not responsible for our actions know the Bible makes it absolutely clear that we are and there's attention. I think the Scripture leaves us with here were responsible human responsibility is a very real thing. When we stand before the Lord your to be responsible for the decisions you made for for our sins and the Bible says everyone's guilty Romans chapter 1 the same time. Anyone who believes is brought into the family of God. It happens because of the work of God's grace in us. And if that works with the apostle Paul is talking about here in Ephesians chapter 1 and like I know that this is one of those doctrines that people just have a really hard time with because it would like to think that where in the driver seat.

I'm I'm the ruler of my own desk I'm in control of everything we talk about God on his throne. The sovereign King that's hard for many of us especially. I think it in a culture where where we view ourselves so highly.

Would you say yeah I was reading Romans chapter 9.

I remember when I was a teenager and I was really getting into Romans and I hit chapter 9 that threw me for a loop was saying the same thing that pulsing here in Ephesians 1 and so many other places. Jesus also in John six, John 10, John 17 so many other places and then I realized you know what kind of threw me off was what. I'm not the decider here, God is the initiator of all this from start to finish and then after feeling kind of queasy that not my stomach you're talking about. I was overwhelmed with a sense of God's mercy and grace that he didn't just make it possible for me to be saved.

He already made it certain that I would be saved even before the world was created be before human beings even fell into sin.

God already had a rescue plan, not an assistance program but a rescue plan that's really what Paul is talking about here. It's all of grace from start to finish is all of grace. You know I've heard it put this way when you walk into the kingdom there's a sign over the kingdom of God.

The sign reads, whosoever will let them come and then on the other side you are chosen because of the holiday foundation relations 14 that really captures what's going on here. There's a universal invitation to each and every person to come coming to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. But none of us comes as Jesus says in John 644, unless the Holy Spirit draws us and he draws his sheep. He draws those whom he is chosen so Paul can say in Romans eight verse 30 those whom he predestined he called those whom he called he justified those whom he justified he glorified what shall we say in response to this Paul says let's around and argue no. What shall we say in response to this. If God is for us who can be against us, who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect to see this is matter for praise and thanksgiving and joy and comfort. If you trust in Jesus Christ, then you know you are one of his sheep. Your one whom he chose before the foundation world because otherwise you never would've believed yeah and you know what many Paul didn't just speculate about this and come to you know this particular conclusion. He knew it first hand. Listen to what he said in Galatians chapter 1 verse 13 he says you've heard of my former life in Judaism how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it, and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age. Among my people so extremely zealous. Was I for the traditions of my father's, but when he, who had set me apart before I was born in who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his son to me. I mean think about that Paul knew I didn't deserve it was I was on the receiving end on the road to Damascus, doing my devotions seeking Jesus know it was the opposite. I was rebelling against God, shaking my fist against him, trying to kill Christians, and it was there that Jesus called me brought me into the fold. He knew this is all of grace and I think that's a good at comforting thing that staggering reality that we think about our salvation.

We have to say Lord there was nothing in me was all of your mercy. All of your grace, and the result of that is, as you said what Paul says in in later in the book of Romans, we praise we worship is adoration.

It leads us to doxology because we realize how kind God is to center here. There was a guy in the 18th-century, who was a slave trader doing terrible thing to the slaves and the slave women and right in the midst of it all. Someone gave him a copy of Paul's letter to the Romans. He instantly knew that.

Finally, here is a message of God's mercy and grace even towards the chief of sinners. He was radically converted from that life became a minister and encourage William Wilberforce to pursue that movement against the slave trade in Britain, this man went on to what we know him most, as is the author of that wonderful hymn amazing Grace John Newton. While you're listening to core Christianity and were answering your questions about the faith. If you have a question about the Bible reach out to us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 1833 the core. You can also email us at questions at core,, you know, speaking of God somebody that doesn't mean that were not responsible. We gotta preach the gospel and share the faith with each other and with our children. That's what want to let you know about the special offer for today.

Yeah, that's how the Lord brings his chosen people. It's not just a flash of lightning just as John Newton came to faith through reading Romans as mean God uses means he uses his word and it's never too early to start. What a wonderful opportunity.

He gives our kids to be in the nurture of the Lord and his people from their earliest days, but it's tough kids these days are swimming against quite a stream and so her parents so we have a resource that week we found really helpful for folks. It's called five ways to help your kids keep the faith and it's free.

When you sign up for our weekly newsletter is one of many helpful resources on core, So head on over to core to download five ways to help your kids keep the faith they could also you hold that by calling us at 1-833-843-2673 go to a Facebook question from Tish. I was raised in a Christian family, but I've only been actively following Jesus for the last couple of years since I started college. What I've discovered is that it seems really hard to make progress as a Christian, is it normal for Christians to struggle with the same sins over and over this. I know how you feel. The first thing to say is yes it is normal for Christians to struggle with the same sins over and over some horrible to say to admit.

Doesn't God has sent his son to bear not only the curse and judgment for our sins and to justify us, but also to unite us to Christ in such a way that we are branches of the living vine were no longer dead in sins, but were alive in Christ.

How then is it possible for us to continue sitting over and over again. Well, that's exactly what the apostle Paul asked in Romans chapter 7. After explaining how deep the mercy of God is that he unites us to Christ, so that were new creatures he says.

Yet at the same time, I find that what I want to do. I I often don't do what I don't want to do I keep on doing the wretched man that I am that I sent you feel like that Tish I feel like that to. And that is because were Christians. You know, if you hadn't experienced the new birth is a free gift of God you wouldn't be asking this question you wouldn't be struggling with sin, you might be struggling with the consequences of a hangover or not telling Selby the truth and so forth. But you wouldn't be wrestling with this sense that David had in Psalm 51 when he said, oh Lord against you and you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight. That's how Christians feel. We love the law, but we find ourselves going against that law and failing to do what the law commands us to do sanctification growth in holiness is not just a self-improvement project. It's not merely growth and virtue. It's the regenerating grace of God in its continuing effects in our life. And that seems like a slow process. Maybe if you had a radical conversion experience.

You saw the light and you remember that is it. Wow, what a turning point.

But now it just seems like you're just watching corn grow you know is just so slow why am I not making greater advances in the Christian life again.

That itself is a sign of sanctification that itself is a sign of God's grace at work in you. Jesus said, apart from me you can do nothing live in me, the vine and you will bear fruit for you did not choose me, but I chose you to bear fruit that would last. John 1516 bank on that one could just sit there for what marinate in that wonderful truth so make use of the means that he's provided for your growth. Just like a plant. You have to be watered regularly by God's word. He confirmed his word in baptism and the Lord's supper be fertilized by prayer and sometimes even pruned through the loving correction of mature brothers and sisters in the Lord, the nutrients that flow from the head flow through the body, not just directly to us, but you know through the heart pumped out into the veins out into the fingers and the fetal.

We are part of the body of Christ and those nutrients come from God, but through our brothers and sisters.


Thanks for your question, Tish got a call now about where Jesus went after the crucifixion. Hello my name is Jason called from Charlotte, North Carolina and my question has to do with where was Jesus for the three days after he died on the cross. All I personally believe that he went to hell and paid the full price or sentence all just wondering if you guys believe that and to what degree was Jesus separated from God and to what degree did he pay the price. All scriptures are Jesus said do not touch me, for I have not yet ascended to my father after he rose from the dead, so we know that he did not go to heaven. According to his own words.

He also said as Jonah was in the belly of the whale social sentiment be the heart of the earth, earth for three days. The letters Paul says he that offended first descended to the lower parts of the earth. There is actually more Take your call right now basically says he was made to be a curse so that we could be made the righteousness of God in Christ. So anyway, those are some scriptures so I'm under the perspective that Jesus paid the full price and the full price more than just physical death price quote tell Palmer that's why that at his name every knee shall bow because he went to hell as if he was the rapist, murderer, the combat had to be paid for because innocent blood was shed for the thin, and he didn't do those that that's why there's power and hit many against every oppression anyway and Jason from Charlotte wondering if you guys believe that as well. You have a great day.

Thanks thanks Jason.

Hope you have a great day to know. I don't believe that Jesus paid for our sins by by descending into hell. Instead, the cross was hell. So I think you're right about that.

The heat he did have to experience hell, but he experienced it on the cross. It was there where the wrath of God was poured out on our precious substitute who offered himself in our place to bear the curse of our condemnation and death sentence as Romans 425 tells us he was crucified for our sins and was raised for our justification so that nothing in the middle there about hell is crucified for our sins. That's where he went to hell for us and he was raised for our justification member Jesus soul was separated from his body at death. Jesus told the thief on the cross, who believed in him today you will be with me in paradise. Well, that moment when he cried out father, into your hands I commit my spirit. That moment his soul was with his father and yet his body was taken down off of the cross and laid in the tomb you mentioned. Psalm 1610 the prophecy concerning Jesus for you will not abandon my soul to shape Ohl. Nor will you let your holy one CDK you have filled me with joy at your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

What a wonderful prophecy pointing forward to Jesus. It doesn't say I will go to hell, but you won't leave me there shape. Ohl is place in the Old Testament of waiting.

It's a holding tank.

If you will, at the prison. It's where people go when they die and so he's not saying I will go to hell he's saying you will not abandon my soul to shape Ohl you won't leave me there and soul. There is not speaking here of soul separate from the body, but me you won't leave me in shape, Ohl, nor will you let your holy one CDK and so he will be raised even before his body begins to decay again wonderful prophecy of of Jesus there. You mention other passages. For instance, Luke were Jesus just after his resurrection, said he hadn't yet ascended to the father will hear his soul is no longer separated from his body right heat has been raised bodily and in this condition as the risen Savior. He hasn't yet ascended bodily to take his throne at the right hand of the father, then you also refer to the sign of Jonah. Well, as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days.

Jesus was in the belly of the earth will how can we say he was in the belly of the earth for three days and he was in the presence of the Lord will, because, again, his soul was in the presence of the father, but his body wasn't in the belly of the whale, and because the body is also the real person. We can say of Jesus that he was in the grave for those three days and that he was in presence of his father. Jesus really was simultaneously in the tomb and in heaven because his body was dead and his soul was alive then finally when Paul says in Ephesians 4 that the same person. Jesus, who ascended also descended.

Notice the order. First, he descended and then he ascended so the descent is his incarnation is not a journey to hell is his incarnation when he became flesh, as Paul also says in Philippians 2 he who was eternally God higher than the Angels nevertheless descended into the depths of humiliation even to death on a cross. If there where he bore our curse so that when he said it is finished. The minute there was no more to pay for our sins. Thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer. Visit and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673 that's a 33. The core when you contact us. Please let us know how you been encouraged by this podcast and be sure to join us next time.

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