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What Christians Should Know About IVF

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
February 29, 2024 5:07 pm

What Christians Should Know About IVF

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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February 29, 2024 5:07 pm

Episode 1435 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

    1. If Christians will be in heaven, who is going to live on the new earth?   2. Will I still go to heaven if I'm actively sinning when Christ returns?   3. Is it wrong for Christians to use in vitro fertilization?   4. Were there more people on the ark than Noah and his family?   5. Are the good works of Christians still considered "filthy rags"?     Want to partner with us in our work here at Core Christianity? Consider becoming a member of the Inner Core.   View our latest special offers here or call 1-833-THE-CORE (833-843-2673) to request them by phone.

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Is it wrong for Christians to use in vitro fertilization?

That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of Core Christianity. Hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. Our phone lines are open, and you can call us right now. In fact, you can call us for the next 25 minutes or so. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on any of our social media sites. In fact, we have a YouTube channel, and you can watch Adriel right now on YouTube and send him your question that way. And you can feel free to email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, here's a voicemail from one of our listeners.

This came in from Jason. My question today is, if heaven and earth are going to be destroyed, why make a new heaven and a new earth? If after everything is destroyed, we will either be in heaven or in hell, who's going to inhabit the new earth?

That's my question. Thank you. Hey brother, thanks for that question. So, when we die as believers, as those who are in Christ, our souls are immediately in the presence of the Lord, perfected in holiness.

We refer to this as the intermediate state. Intermediate because heaven, that is, you know, disembodied bliss in the presence of God, is not the ultimate resting place for believers. What we're looking forward to is the new creation, the resurrection of our bodies that Paul talked about in 1 Corinthians chapter 15, and the restoration of the entire cosmos, we might say. So salvation is not just about the forgiveness of sins.

That's at the very heart of it. But Jesus, through his redemptive work, was also restoring the very creation that had fallen. And Paul seems to refer to this in places like Romans chapter 8, the creation groaning, longing for the revealing of the sons of God.

And so the good news of the gospel extends to every molecule in creation. We're looking forward to the restoration of everything, a new heavens and a new earth. And you get that in the prophets, certainly. I'm thinking of the book of Isaiah, Isaiah chapter 65, for example, verse 17, Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. And then, of course, that language is picked up in the New Testament in places like 2 Peter chapter 3, where Peter said, Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn? But according to his promise, we are waiting for a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. And that new heavens and new earth, that new creation that John has a picture of at the very end of the book of Revelation, by the way, you can go there. That's our ultimate resting place as the people of God. So who's going to inhabit it?

Those who are in Christ, those who belong to the Lamb of God, you and me by faith. And so thank you for that question. God bless.

Great explanation. Thanks for that, Adriel. You're listening to Core Christianity, and we'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, or maybe church life.

Maybe there's something going on at your church that you're confused about or concerned about. Feel free to give us a call. 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Steve, who's calling in from Kansas. Steve, what's your question for Adriel? If a Christian finds, you know, saved, divorced by blood, finds himself living in the world instead of the Word, backsliding, if the rapture was to happen today, would they be left behind? Hey, Tim, thank you for, excuse me, Steve, thank you for that question.

And look, here's what I'll say. There's some things that you're presupposing in the question. One is the idea of the rapture, right? That Jesus is going to rapture his church prior to a time of great tribulation.

Those who believe in him. That's one view that people hold with regard to the end times, but there are some who say, yeah, well, he's not going to rapture you if you're living in sin. You might be a Christian, a believer, but if you're backslidden, he's not going to rapture you. You're going to be stuck in the great tribulation.

I don't hold to that view of the end times, but I think I can still answer your question just thinking about this idea here. Here's what I would want to say to somebody who is wrestling with this. If you know you're living in a manner that's not pleasing to the Lord, repent, turn to him, draw near to the Lord, and he will draw near to you.

It's like James says, right? Look to the Lord. Humble yourself before the Lord.

Don't speculate about, well, what would happen if the rapture happened or I got hit by a bus. Can I keep living in sin and God is just going to maybe not deal with it? If you know you're doing something wrong, if you know you're rebelling against the Lord, today is the day to make things right, to humble yourself before him and draw near to him and to trust that his mercy and grace and forgiveness can cover you. Now, there are consequences to our sin. As believers, when we sin, we're disciplined by the Lord. Paul says this in 1 Corinthians 11. The author of the Hebrews talks about this. You see this in the book of Proverbs, right? God disciplines us because he loves us.

Now, I don't think one of those disciplines is being left behind at the rapture. I think that that discipline feels like what David described in places like Psalm 32 or Psalm 51. It's the heavy hand of the Lord convicting us of our sins. And maybe, Steve, you feel that in your life right now. Maybe you're listening to this broadcast right now and you feel that conviction. It's an opportunity for you to say, Lord, I confess.

I've not been walking with you. Forgive me. Turn to the Lord and receive the grace and the life that he gives to you when you do.

I mean, that's the hope that we have. And so I just always want to encourage our listeners, you know, when you know there's something getting between you and the Lord, bring it to him and let him cleanse you. Great response. Thank you for that, Adriel. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Our phone lines are open right now.

833-THECORE is the number. You can also email us anytime at questionsatcorechristianity.com. Got this email from one of our listeners named Gwen, and she says this.

Thank you so much for your program. I appreciate your thoughtful biblical responses to the questions you receive. My question is this. I understand that in vitro fertilization is a complex and debated topic from a religious perspective. As a religious leader and theologian, I'm wondering, how does the Bible and scripture align with IVF practices?

Great question. One of those bioethical issues that, as technology advances, we have these new moral dilemmas that we're presented with as human beings, as Christians in particular. And certainly IVF does present us with some moral dilemmas.

The first thing I want to just say is, quote that beautiful psalm of David in Psalm 139, verse 13, where he wrote, God is sovereign. And as Christians, we recognize that life in the womb is to be protected, that we need to stand up for the rights of the unborn, that abortion is a terrible sin, a heinous sin. From the very beginning of the Christian faith, Christians have stood against the idea of abortion, also abandonment in the Roman Empire. You know, it was very common in the Greco-Roman world. If you had a child that you didn't want, you could just expose the child to the elements, just leave them out there on a trash heap. And that was not an uncommon thing. And Christians took a very strong stand against that because of the high view that they had of life.

And we need to continue that high view today. Now, with regard to IVF, for those who don't know, it's a medical procedure in which eggs are removed from a woman's ovaries and combined with sperm outside of the body to form an embryo. And then those embryos are grown in a laboratory for several days until they're finally placed in the woman's uterus, and hopefully the result is a baby. And let me just also say, I mean, one of the reasons it's so difficult is because of families, Christian families, that long to have children but struggle with infertility. I know that that's such a big issue, and so they're looking for options.

Well, what can we do? And IVF is one of those options that many go to, many Christians also look to. But as I said, there are some moral issues that we need to be aware of. And part of the reason that those issues exist is because we have that high view of life. That human embryo is made in the image of God.

We're talking about a person here, and we believe as Christians that these persons should be cared for and protected. And one of the issues with IVF is in this process of IVF, oftentimes numerous, many embryos are created, and then they're inserted into the woman's body with the hope that some of those embryos will implant. And if more than is wanted implant, then typically what you end up having is an abortion. Those embryos that aren't wanted are destroyed.

So there's a huge problem there. And then the rest of the embryos that aren't used oftentimes are either just discarded, disposed of, or frozen. And then there's another question, what do we do with all of these frozen embryos if we're talking about human persons?

And so you see how this is a complicated issue in one sense, not in another sense. Because if you hold to the biblical view that we're talking about a person here, that these embryos are worthy of our protection care, then clearly any process, any medical procedure that says, oh well, along the way we're just going to discard a bunch of these embryos, or we're going to probably have to abort some of them that implant if you don't want that many, that's something that Christians should not participate in. Now does that mean that IVF is totally off of the table for believers?

Certainly any IVF practices where destroying embryos is an option, I think those would be forbidden for us as Christians. But is there a way for, and I think there is, it just makes it even more challenging of a process, but is there a way for Christians to pursue IVF? Well, yeah, but only if they are going to nurture every one of those embryos that's created throughout the pregnancy. Only if they're attempting to fertilize as many eggs as they plan to bring to fruition, if you will. And so there are other questions that are brought up there because that makes the process, in terms of chances for success, a lot lower because you're only using a couple of embryos, let's say, as opposed to trying to create a bunch of them and then discarding some of them. There's wisdom issue here as well where we're trying to think about, you know, is this in terms of the financial cost, in terms of where we are as a family, the cost on the woman's body, is this a wise decision too? So I don't want to say it's entirely ruled out from the Christian perspective, but certainly some forms would be entirely ruled out, and any form that doesn't treat the embryo as a human life and doesn't intend to use those embryos and bring them to birth or seek to do that, I think is also not an option for us as Christians.

Thanks for that question. You know, on the encouraging side of that, I heard about an organization a while back, I think they're called Snowflake Babies, and actually people adopt those frozen embryos with permission from the biological parents, and so those babies, those embryos that were frozen and were going to be discarded were actually adopted and then those children were born. What an exciting thing that is for believers to really, you know, rescue these little embryos. Yeah, yeah, and again, part of that is really viewing them as this is a person, this is a human life, and so, you know, and people outside of the Church who don't have the same convictions that we have as Christians might think, oh, that's crazy, what are you talking about, those are just a clump, I mean, that's just a clump of cells, that's oftentimes the argument that people in favor of abortion will make, but the fact of the matter is, is just biologically there's no reason to think that, I mean, here you have all of the components of life, here you have human life, and so we as the followers of Christ, we value life and protect the vulnerable, and that's precisely what we should seek to do even in these circumstances. So well said, thanks for that, Adriel. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life.

We'll be taking calls for the next 15 minutes or so, here's the number, it's 833-THE-CORE, that's 1-833-843-2673. Also want to mention that if you are a regular listener to Core Christianity, we have something called our inner core. These are people that believe so strongly in what we do that they have made the decision to make a monthly gift to this ministry. We don't play commercials here, we don't get money from a church or denomination.

We actually count on people just like you to help us stay on the air doing what we're doing every day. And Adriel, tell them a little bit about the inner core. Yeah, the inner core is a group of supporters, monthly supporters, who give a gift of $25 or more. We hope also that you pray for us and do appreciate and need your prayers so much, but it's a monthly gift of $25 or more. And as a thank you for joining the inner core, we'll send you a copy of the book, Core Christianity, which is an excellent introduction to the core doctrines of the Christian faith that we're oftentimes talking about, discussing here on the broadcast. And let me just also say thank you to all of our inner core members.

What a blessing it is to partner together, and that's how we view this. If you've been blessed by the work that we're doing and you're encouraged growing in your own faith as a result of the work that we're doing, partner with us. Help us to continue to get the word out and encourage others to do so by joining the inner core. And so thank you to our inner core members, and if you're encouraged by what we're doing, join the inner core. You can learn more about that by going to corechristianity.com forward slash inner core.

Just all one word, corechristianity.com forward slash inner core. Let's go to Rachelle, who's calling in from Kansas. Rachelle, what's your question for Adriel?

Hi, thanks for taking my call. I was watching a version of the Noah's Ark, a movie, last night. And I noticed that there were several, like hundreds of people that were entering the Ark, and I could swear up and down that that's not accurate. So I just kind of was wondering if you could explain how many families or people were actually on the Ark. And then to address the issue of inbreeding to repopulate the Earth, if you could speak on that a little bit and kind of educate me as to how the Earth got repopulated without having so many birth defects that you would get from that kind of breeding.

Hey, Rachelle, thank you for that question. Yeah, so I'm not familiar with the movie that you're referring to, but certainly the biblical account does not describe hundreds of people getting onto the Ark. Most people were rejecting Noah as a preacher of righteousness, and he was giving this warning that God was going to flood the Earth because of the sin of humanity, and people were just discarding what he had to say. They were carrying on with their lives just as they had before. And so Noah and his family were on the Ark, brought onto the Ark safely by the Lord, and that was eight people.

That wasn't hundreds of people. There were eight people, Noah and his family. And then with regard to, and by the way, if you want to read, one thing I would encourage you to do, Rachelle, is just look at what the biblical text says. You read Genesis chapters 6 and following to read the account of the flood and what the Lord was doing there. I think that'll give you a clearer picture. It'd be interesting, given that you were just watching that movie, to kind of compare the movie with what the Bible actually says.

And as is often said, the book is always better, and certainly here that's the case. With the second part of your question, well, how does that make sense? If you just have Noah's family and they're to repopulate the earth, how come we don't have all of these birth defects? And there have been some people that have attempted to answer that question from the scientific perspective as they're early in the history of creation. They're being less impurity, if you will, in the human race. And so as a result of, over time, as society continued to grow and the effects of sin continued to set in human beings, that as a result of that, you did have and would have more birth defects when you have relationships within family. And it's certainly, I mean, obviously what we see today. But I've heard the argument made that at that point in human history, that wasn't as big of an issue, closer to the initial creation, good as God intended it to be. And so that's one argument that I've heard, and that's the one that I'll submit to you. Appreciate you reaching out to us, Rochelle.

Thank you for giving us a call, and God bless. Check out those chapters in Genesis, like I said. Hey, Rochelle, thanks so much, and I agree with you, Adriel. Often the book is much better than the movie.

That's right. In this case, it's inspired by God, so check it out. Check it out. Check out that book in particular.

Yes, thank you, and make sure you get an accurate translation. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Tim, who's calling in from Arkansas. Hey, Tim, thanks for holding on. What's your question for Adriel?

Thank you, Adriel, for what you guys do. Righteous acts are known as filthy rags. Does that go after you're saved? I know Paul said, be careful to maintain good works. But is all our works still filthy rags?

This is an excellent question, Tim. Of course, that language comes from Isaiah chapter 64, verse 6. We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. We're talking about this specific judgment of the Lord, his people confessing their sin, and how bad things had gotten earlier in Isaiah.

It talks about the whole person being sick from head to toe. Isaiah is painting a real clear picture there, but the question is, what about for us as Christians now, after having been regenerated, born again, baptized, you have faith in Jesus, are your works still like a polluted garment? I want to say in one sense, certainly yes they are, because we still have indwelling sin that clings to us. The best theologians, what they've done is they've distinguished between works that are truly good, which we do and offer up to the Lord, and works that are perfect. As Christians, as those who are in Christ, we can do truly good works by the grace of the Holy Spirit, of course, and through faith, but we can't perform any perfectly good works, at least not until we're in heaven. The reason for that is because we still have that indwelling sin. There's still sin and corruption that clings even to our best offerings. Now that doesn't mean that God rejects our good works or isn't pleased with them. It just means that even when you do a good work, you're still going to destroy it. You do something good for the Lord, and people have been helped, but then you're looking over your shoulder thinking, man, did anybody see that?

And then you're like, why did I think that thought, or why did I feel that? Well, it's because of that indwelling sin that still clings to us. So I think we can actually in one sense apply that text in Isaiah 64, verse 6, to us as believers today, insofar as sin does still cling to us, but that does not mean that we can't and don't perform truly good works by the grace of the Holy Spirit. It's important that we define what a truly good work is. A truly good work is one that is done in faith. We're told in the New Testament that apart from faith, it's impossible to please God. So you have to be a believer to perform the good works that God receives. They have to be done in faith. It has to be done in accordance with God's law. This is a work that's done in obedience to the Lord. It's not like I'm inventing what a good work is, and I get to decide what that is, and these are the ones I want to do.

No. It's done in accordance with the law of God for the right reasons. There's the right motivations. You know, Jesus says in his Sermon on the Mount, don't do your good works to be seen by others, but by your Father who is in heaven. And so truly good works are done in faith, in accordance with the law of God, in submission to the Lord and for his glory, not for our own glory. And praise God that by the grace of the Holy Spirit, God is working those good works in us. And of course, again, we're never going to be perfect. We can't do perfectly good works. Jesus did.

And because he did, we're set free and forgiven and called to do good works too. God bless. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, go to corechristianity.com forward slash radio, or you can call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-THE-CORE. When you contact us, let us know how we can be praying for you. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-29 19:59:05 / 2024-02-29 20:09:12 / 10

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