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How is God with Me in My Mental Illness?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
April 15, 2024 6:30 pm

How is God with Me in My Mental Illness?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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April 15, 2024 6:30 pm

Episode 1466 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

  1. What is the difference between apostasy and backsliding?   2. Was Mark Driscoll wrong to rebuke the Stronger Men's Conference?   3. How can I know that God is with me in my mental illness?   4. How could David be called blameless before God if he was a sinner?   5. Why is God allowing my blindness to progress if I'm a believer?     Today’s Offer: Praying with Jesus   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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How is God with me in my mental illness? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Hi, it's 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. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites. In fact, we have a YouTube channel, and you can watch Adriel live in the studio every day at 1130 a.m. Pacific time. See what he's up to in there while we're doing the show. And you can always email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com.

First up today, let's go to Dan, who's calling in from St. Louis, Missouri. Dan, what's your question for Adriel? My question is, what is the difference between apostasy and backsliding? Well, the first picture of apostasy is what the author of the Hebrews says in Hebrews chapter 10, because there he's talking about a specific kind of sinning that some of these people there in the Hebrew congregation were in danger of participating in. In Hebrews chapter 10 verse 26, if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment and fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, vengeance is mine, I will repay, and again the Lord will judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

I think one of the most terrifying passages of scripture in the New Testament, this warning here, the author of the Hebrews saying, look, if those who rejected the law of Moses received a just punishment, those who sinned against the Mosaic covenant, how much worse do you think it'll be? For the person who has experienced the blessings of the Lord, the blessing of Christian community, the blessing of the ordinances that Jesus gave like baptism and the Lord's Supper, and then to turn and to trample Jesus underfoot, to count the blood of Christ as a common, an unholy thing, as though it was worthless. You see, what the people there in this congregation were starting to do, some of them, they were going back to the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament. They were saying, look, the blood of Jesus isn't really sufficient, at least functionally in terms of what they were doing.

We need to go back to those sacrifices. And so the author of the Hebrews is saying, wait a minute, if you do that, what you're doing is you're rejecting Christ and his sacrifice for you. This isn't just struggling with the pattern of sinful behavior, of immorality. This is turning away from Jesus altogether, abandoning the faith. And that's what apostasy is.

It's a terrifying thing. It's an individual who knows these things, who has heard the truth, and then repudiates it, and then tramples it underfoot. Whereas I would say backsliding, there I think can be a relationship between those two, backsliding and apostasy, but true believers can backslide, can struggle with a pattern of sinful behavior, and God disciplines them. They experience the conviction of the Holy Spirit, but they're not abandoning Christ.

Now, they might be sinning seriously and grievously and experiencing the discipline of God, but that ember of faith, if you will, there in their heart, never goes out. And so if it did, if they apostatized, if they turned away from the Church, I think what that would prove is that they weren't really genuine believers to begin with. I think this is something that John alludes to in his first epistle, in 1 John 2, verse 19, speaking of people who had committed apostasy, who were there in the Church among those whom John is writing to, but then had left. John says this, They went out from us, but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out that it might become plain that they all are not of us. And so that's a distinction that I would draw there. Apostasy is a total abandoning of the faith, a rejection of Christ, whereas backsliding is struggling with sin for a time.

Not rejecting the Gospel, but not living in light of the truth of the Gospel. And so I appreciate your question, Dan, and thanks for giving us a call. Great explanation. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, doctrine, theology, or maybe something going on in your church life that you're confused about or concerned about, feel free to give us a call. Our phone lines will be open for the next 20 minutes. And here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Keith in San Marcos, California. Keith, what's your question for Adriel? Hey Adriel, hey Bill. Thank you guys. Love the show.

First time caller. So this morning I was on Twitter and I saw a story about some men's conference that happened this weekend that apparently Pastor Mark Driscoll, formerly of Mars Hill, was speaking at. And I don't have the full context, but I saw some video and apparently they had this male, I think he was supposed to be an acrobat, but he was doing some kind of suggestive things on a pole and he swallowed a sword. And the whole thing was just very uncomfortable to look at. And apparently when Driscoll spoke, he rebuked the conference as a whole and said something along the lines of the spirit of Jezebel is at this conference. He was ultimately kicked out of the conference by the host and the main guy tried to rebuke Driscoll back, saying that this was inappropriate, citing Matthew 18, saying he should have talked to me privately and shouldn't have said this. Driscoll's had a lot of controversy. What is your take on this? Was he on the right here?

We'd just love to know your thoughts. Keith, thanks for calling for the first time, man. God bless you. And I don't know the whole background. I did see, actually, also on Twitter, I guess the performance that was being done. And I think this was supposed to be a men's conference. And honestly, when I saw what was happening, I just thought, what in the world is going on? I mean, it seemed more like a circus performance. And so it seems like there's two things here, at least in my mind. The one is, like, what happens at these Christian conferences?

What are we gathering together to do? And it seemed to me like whatever was happening there was outrageous, was out of line, was not honoring to the Lord. So then you have this guy who is no stranger to controversy, Mark Driscoll, who was a pastor in Seattle for a number of years until he was defrocked. I mean, he was disciplined by his church, disqualified from the ministry, now regaining a platform and rebuking what was happening. And the fact of the matter is, that stuff, whatever was going on there, like I said, was outrageous. It deserved rebuke. And I've seen people say, well, the whole thing just seemed like a show, like you have a performance there at this conference. And I agree. And then you have this response from this pastor who has this history that's full of controversy, where it's questionable in terms of whether or not he's even qualified for the ministry.

I have opinions about that. Adding to the show and rebuking what was taking place, it just seemed like... I mean, the whole thing, I think, just felt outrageous and sort of like a show and also sort of like a publicity stunt. I mean, drawing attention to ourselves, one of the things I said was, when it comes to the worship of the triune God, we should never make it into a show or a performance.

And we also shouldn't turn it into a publicity stunt, a way for me as an individual to get clicks and likes and to draw attention to myself. Both of those, ironically enough, right, when we're talking about worship as a performance or worship as a publicity stunt, both of those are ways in which we take worship, which is supposed to be about God, and we make it about us. And so I can't help but think, like when I see these kinds of things, man, is the focus really the Lord here? Even in rebuking these things, just seeing how it all went down, is the focus really the Lord? Or are we trying to draw attention to ourselves? And when we are, it's never honoring to the Lord.

And so, I mean, you're just reminded of how wild it is out there. I mean, brothers and sisters, you need to be in a good church with a qualified pastor who is going to preach the Word and who's going to be faithful to teaching the Word of God, where it's not going to be a circus show or a performance or, you know, this sort of celebrity pastor thing. All of that, we need to set that aside, and we need to focus in worship, in our Christian conferences. And I think that's what this was supposed to be, a men's conference. The focus needs to be on the Lord and on the proper understanding of His Word and on the edification of the saints, and it seems like that wasn't happening there. And so, best to avoid all of it, I would say. Really good counsel. And you know, I heard about this pastor that did a performance during COVID where he preached on the top of a jeep.

Have you heard anything about that guy? Yeah. No, Bill, that wasn't a performance. I mean, that was just preaching God's Word in the middle of a time where everybody was trying to figure out the best way to do it, and so, yeah. And I appreciate that, by the way.

You can still see that online. You can see Pastor Adriel preaching from the top of a jeep to the multitudes, and it was really cool. And during COVID, your church was gathering, which I love that.

You were so creative. Yeah, it's important to preach the Word. Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. By the way, in case you haven't heard, Adriel has come out with a brand new book that we are really excited about, and it's all about the Lord's Prayer. Yeah, the book is called Praying with Jesus, Getting to the Heart of the Lord's Prayer, and I do hope it's an encouragement to you, ten chapters. If you're not a big reader or you're intimidated by theology books, let me just say, I mean, this is about 130 pages. It's really not too dense at all, and the goal is very practical, to encourage you in your relationship with the Lord and to encourage you in prayer. And so, I hope that you get a hold of this resource, and I do pray, indeed, that it is something that brings you closer to Christ and equips you to pray as Jesus taught us to pray.

Amen. This would be a great resource for you, your family, or your Bible study, and you can get Praying with Jesus for a donation of any amount by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Again, that's corechristianity.com forward slash offers, and look for Praying with Jesus. Well, we do receive emails here at the Core, and you can email us anytime with your question. Here's our email address.

It's questions at corechristianity.com. And Adriel, this email came in from Tiffany, and it's a troubling one. She says, I am lost.

Any help or advice would be appreciated. Well, Tiffany, I'm so sorry to hear about this situation. And Bill, I want to get your wisdom with regard to how to best deal with things like bipolar disorder. From my end, Tiffany, what I want to say to you is, part of the challenge here is not letting our feelings dictate for us whether or not God is present in our lives, and for us to bless us. And this is something that every one of us as Christians I think struggle with, but I think especially for you, with bipolar disorder, it's going to be even more of a battle. And it's so important for us as believers to realize that the presence of God is not mediated to us by our feelings. You wake up one day and you feel one way, and you wake up the next day and you feel another way, and you think, well, did the Lord leave me?

Am I no longer walking in the Lord's grace? And so we have to be really, really careful, because we walk not by sight, but by faith. And faith isn't the same thing as feelings.

Faith is the trust and the rest that we have in God's promises, which don't come and go, but which are concrete. And those promises are exhibited to us through the preaching of the Gospel and through the ordinances of grace, baptism, and the Lord's Supper. And so I think it's really important for you as you wrestle with this feeling like God is distant from you. It's so important for you to be in a good church where the Lord's Supper is being administered weekly, given to you, and you have this concrete, tangible promise of God, we might say, there to sink your teeth into. God's saying to you, this is my body. Jesus is saying to you, this is my body given for you. This is my blood shed for you. You may not feel like it, but this is real. This is concrete. This is objective.

Lay hold of it. Receive my grace by faith. And you need the community of faith as well to encourage you.

And it seems like your husband as well. In marriage, we're committed to each other for better or for worse, in sickness and in health. And so my hope would be that your church would also come alongside of your husband, encouraging him and helping him to love you and to walk alongside of you as well. And so may the Lord be with you, Tiffany. And let me just say again, the hope of God's grace and of God's presence is rooted in the promises that he gives to us in the Gospel. Christ was crucified for us and for our redemption for your sins. And every time you hear that preached and every time you see it exhibited in the Lord's Supper, know that it's for you.

Lay hold of it. And Bill, I just want your thoughts with regard to maybe some other wisdom for her in coping with the bipolar disorder. Well, two things I would say. First of all, I love your recommendation to be really going to the local church for support, for help. Not just for her feelings about being distant from God, but also for this marriage. And I would hope and pray that both Tiffany and her husband are plugged into a solid Bible believing church where there are understanding people who care about them and perhaps a pastoral counselor or a Christian therapist in the area who really understands mental illness and understands how it contributes to the issues of marital problems. Now, Tiffany mentioned she'd been diagnosed. My prayer is that she's also being treated effectively because there are medications that can treat bipolar effectively.

A lot of times it's finding the right medication and being on it for a while. And I understand when you're really depressed, you may feel far from God. When you're in a manic phase, you feel like everything's great and you're close to him. And, you know, Tiffany mentioned something significant, Adriel, that, you know, there were some behaviors or some issues that came up because of her bipolar.

And I don't know what those are, if they have to do with financial or other issues. But I would say you're right. Her husband needs to extend extra grace and compassion to her right now. And they really need to get into the office of a good marital therapist who understands these issues.

Working in, I would say, in contact with her psychiatrist who's prescribing the proper medication. Thank you for that insight, Bill. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open.

If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, we'd love to hear from you. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. By the way, you can also leave a voicemail at that number 24 hours a day. If you can't get in during the live show, feel free to call us anytime.

Let us know your question. Let's go to Isaiah calling in from Virginia. Isaiah, what's your question for Adriel?

Yeah, I was just wondering. Reading through 1 Kings, I kind of came upon a question. And it's found in 1 Kings 15, verse 5, when it says, David did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, and turned not aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. How can we understand that David walked perfectly with the Lord when we know that he, you know, had multiple marriages he sent with Bathsheba, yet it only says that it was in the matter of Uriah the Hittite? Hmm.

Yeah. Yeah, was David perfect? I mean, because we know there were other instances where David clearly sinned. You think of the census that he took, for example.

So I think here there's more of a generalization than anything. We know, from our perspective, that every single person in the Scriptures was riddled with sin, and many of them, like David, committed heinous atrocities, heinous sins. There was this real contradiction, right? Like, here's a guy who is described as a man after God's own heart, and who, for a long time, seemed to be very faithful to the Lord. I mean, not perfect, because none of us is perfect, but was seeking to honor God with all of his heart, and crying out to the Lord. And yet, you know, he commits sin, grievous sin, and there are terrible consequences for his sins, both here and in the case of the census, and in other instances as well. And so I think the only way we can make sense of this, you know, a passage like 1 Kings 15, verse 5, is, you know, here we're getting more of a generalization.

We know. We know that David was a sinner. And the other thing that I'll say here is, all of these quote-unquote heroes that we see in the Old Testament, the people that are described in the quote-unquote Hall of Faith of Hebrews chapter 11, they're testifying to us of the greater reality that was coming in Jesus Christ.

And so we can look at them, and there are ways in which we can say, okay, yeah, we can follow their example there. He was a pious man. He was a man of prayer. He was a man of worship.

Those are things we want to be as well. But we also see things in David and in others that we ought not to emulate. We see how they too needed a Savior, how David wasn't the ultimate Messiah King. That's Jesus. And so when we think about their faults, right, not only their victories point us to, you know, how we ought to live and to things that we see in the true and perfect King Jesus, but even their faults remind us of the fact that we need a better King, a better Savior, a better Lord. And that Lord is the Lord Jesus Christ. That's why David in the Psalm says, the Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet. Even David acknowledged that he had a greater Lord in Jesus. Thanks for calling us, Isaiah. So well said. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Jim calling in from Nebraska. Jim, what's your question for Adriel?

Yeah, I want to thank you for taking my call. And I was born with basically night blindness and I am going blind. I even it was May 1st, 1980. I put my faith in Jesus Christ. And even I guess it's been bothering me off and on.

I just wonder why. Thank you. Jim, God bless you.

Wow. A believer since May 1st, 1980. Almost 45 years of walking with the Lord Jesus. Jim, may the Lord bless you. And you're experiencing and have experienced, it sounds like, some difficult things in your life.

And here specifically thinking about this blindness and wondering why. Well look, this side of the new creation, our bodies do waste away. And for some of us in different ways, and we can go to the Lord and pray for healing, and sometimes He does heal, sometimes He doesn't heal. Sometimes we entrust ourselves to the Lord through doctors and cope as best we can and wonder, why did you allow this particular trial in my life? And I think every trial that the Lord allows in our lives, Jim, can be a means of our being brought closer to Christ, leaning on Him, and trusting in Him. It can be a way in which God refines our faith. And I hope that for you in this time that that's what the Lord does, refines your faith. I think of what Paul told the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 4, verse 16. We do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. This light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory. May your inner self be renewed day by day through the grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ, Jim. God bless. God bless.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-15 21:53:34 / 2024-04-15 22:02:52 / 9

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