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Is It Wrong to Follow My Pastor to a New Church?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
April 17, 2024 7:27 pm

Is It Wrong to Follow My Pastor to a New Church?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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April 17, 2024 7:27 pm

Episode 1469 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

      1. Do 2 Chronicles 17 and 1 Kings 22 contradict each other? 2. Were the Apostles always the same 12 people? 3. Was Mary ever called the "Queen of Heaven" in the Bible? 4. Can I follow my pastor if he transfers to a new church? 5. Should churches show movies that promote a political agenda?     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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Is it wrong to follow my pastor to a new church? 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. Our phone lines are open, and you can call us right now for the next 25 minutes. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THECORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. Now you can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and you can always email us at questions at corechristianity.com. First up today, here's a voicemail from one of our listeners.

This is Shane in Missouri. I had a question on 2 Chronicles 17, 6, and 20, 33, and in 1 Kings 22, 43, on the places, Jehoshaphat, the king, if you can tell me, I'm getting where it says he took it away, the high places, and then it says the high places were not removed. So I'm a little bit lost on that right there on the scriptures. If you can help me out on that, it'd be a lot of help. Thank you.

Hey, Shane, thank you for giving us a call. Let me just set the context for our listeners, because you mentioned a few passages of scripture there, the first one being 2 Chronicles 17, verse 6, speaking of King Jehoshaphat. His heart was courageous in the ways of the Lord, and furthermore, he took the high places and the asherim out of Judah. Okay, so you have that seems like a pretty good king, and then if you go to, you mentioned chapter 20, verse 33, this is coming now close to the end of his reign. We read, the high places, however, were not taken away.

The people had not yet set their hearts upon the God of their fathers. Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, from the first to the last, are written in the Chronicles of Jehu, the son of Hanani, which are recorded in the book of the kings of Israel. And you mentioned, in particular, first kings, chapter 22, verse 43.

I'm just going to read that. And he walked in all the way of Asa, his father. He did not turn aside from it, doing what was right in the side of the Lord, yet the high places were not taken away, and the people still sacrificed and made offerings on the high places. Jehoshaphat also made peace with the kings of Israel.

Then it says this, I think that, I think this is helpful here. Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat and his might that he showed, and how he warred, are they not written in the book of the Chronicles of the kings of Judah, and from the land he exterminated the remnant of the male cult prostitutes who remained in the days of his father Asa. And so you're wondering, okay, is there a contradiction here? He took away the high places, he didn't take them away. I mean, when you read 2 Chronicles, especially chapter 20, I love that chapter. There's this scene where Jehoshaphat is surrounded by enemy armies, and he cries out to the Lord, and the Lord delivers him miraculously.

Here's a guy who has faith, and he's walking in the ways of the Lord, and yet there's still a tension. Some of the high places were not taken away. So I don't think that there's a contradiction. I think what we're seeing here that is a contradiction in the text of scripture, but there is a contradiction in Jehoshaphat as a person, given that while he did pursue the Lord and seek to honor God, he wasn't perfect.

He didn't abolish things fully. And so this is one of the things that we see in the stories of the kings and in the Chronicles is, you know, these individuals, like David, for example, I mean he's the most well-known one, who in many respects were seeking to honor the Lord and serve the Lord and did great things, you know, in faith, in service to God, and yet at the same time didn't perfectly obey the Lord, you know, had had areas of compromise, and that includes Jehoshaphat. And there specifically, when it talks about the high places not being taken away, I think the emphasis there is on the people of Israel who continued their idolatrous practices, again in 1 Kings chapter 22, yet the high places were not taken away and the people still sacrificed and made offerings on the high places. Jehoshaphat also made peace with the king of Israel, and that peace that he made with the king of Israel was a part of the compromise. If you look back in 2 Chronicles, or ahead in 2 Chronicles, in chapter 19, and even before that, there's one, a number of reforms that Jehoshaphat makes in chapter 19, but right before that he made peace with Ahab, king of Israel, and so there's some tension there.

And he's rebuked in chapter 19. Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, returned in safety to his house in Jerusalem, but Jehu, the son of Hanani, the seer, went out to meet him and said to king Jehoshaphat, should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this wrath has gone out from you, gone out against you from the Lord. Nevertheless, some good is found in you, for you destroyed the Asheroth out of the land and have set your heart to seek God.

So there you see the tension again. Okay, so what does this all mean for us, for you, listening right now? Here we see an example of an individual who's seeking to set his heart right before God, who's seeking to follow the Lord, but there are compromises. There are things there that aren't brought into line with what God has called him to, and I think there's an encouragement here for all of us, and a call for all of us, right? I mean, you who have sought to pursue the Lord, to seek God, make sure you purge all of those leftover, you know, high places, as it were, all of those idols of the heart, we might say, those things that we cling on to, that we sort of let slide, and that's precisely what he did. He just sort of let things slide, and as a result, he faced God's discipline and God's judgment, because God disciplines us when we sin against him, and so there really is a call here, in one sense, to this wholehearted devotion to the Lord, and of course all of us wrestle with that, but these passages fix our eyes forward on the perfect Son of David, the true King of Kings and Lord of Lords, who didn't have any compromise in his heart, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Hey, thanks for reaching out, Shane, and hope that that clarifies things for you. Good word, Adriel. You know, I'm struck by, and we've talked about this before, that in our culture today we have so much biblical illiteracy, and so you have a lot of Christians who are church attenders, but may not even really know that they are compromising, because they're not reading God's word.

Yeah, that's right. I mean, the Word of God is his revealed will, teaching us how to live, and so, you know, I think that there are Christians who are ignorant of the Word of God, but still have the Holy Spirit, and when they sin, the Spirit of God convicts them, but we need that razor-sharp clarity of scripture to know the Word of God if we're going to follow the Lord like we should, and so that's so central, and even when you think about the kings in Israel, so many of the reforms, the revivals, we might say, that happened throughout the history of Judah and Israel, but we're rooted in a recovery of God's Word, of the law, and so we need that more than anything today. We need the Word of God to wash over us and to help us know how to follow the Lord.

Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you've got a question about the Bible or the Christian life, maybe something in your church life that you're concerned about or confused about, or maybe a doctrinal issue that you'd like to ask Adriel about, here's the phone number.

It's 833-THE-CORE-33-843-2673. Let's go to David calling in from New Mexico. David, what's your question for Adriel? Hi, Pastor Adriel. I had a couple questions about the apostles, but I'll just ask the one right now, and if you want to take the other one, I'll give it to you. The one I was going to ask you right now was, did the identity of the 12 apostles that Jesus chose ever change? In other words, when he chose those 12, did it always remain those 12, or between the time he chose them and the crucifixion, was anyone swapped out, for instance, or was there another person that was put in and taken, maybe someone taken out?

Hmm. Okay, David, so I mean, if we're talking about the time of our Lord's earthly ministry leading up to his crucifixion, I don't think that any of the 12 were swapped out. Of course, we know that Judas committed apostasy, that he turned away from following Jesus. He betrayed him, and as a result, a replacement was found for him in Acts chapter 1, Peter preaching and encouraging the rest of the brothers who were gathered together, and essentially what they say, quoting the Old Testament, you know, let another take his office, referring to Judas. So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us, one of these men, and right there it seems to emphasize, right, like we're talking about the same group of people, and now we're trying to pull somebody else who was there, a witness of the ministry of our Lord, one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection. And this is really important, it emphasizes the fact that the apostles, the 12, they were witnesses of the resurrected Christ, they're called to take that message, the reality of the resurrection to the world, and that's precisely what they did. And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was also called Justus and Matthias, and they prayed and said, you Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen. So to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place, and they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the 11 apostles.

And so you do see that replacement afterwards. Thanks, David, for reaching out to us. Good old Matthias, nice to be chosen. That's right, that's right, that's right.

You don't hear a lot about him, you know, after this, but let's just assume he was great, so. Okay, we will. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life.

Call us at 833-THE-CORE, 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Paul in Nebraska. Paul, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, in our church, they indicate that the Virgin Mother Mary is the Queen of Heaven, and I couldn't find that anywhere in Scripture. I wondered what your thoughts were on that.

Okay, Paul. Well, in the Roman Catholic Church, they do refer to Mary as the Queen of Heaven. Now, I don't know that that's the best terminology to use. Of course, I'm a Protestant. I'm a Protestant minister, and so, you know, in our understanding, and I think this is based on Scripture, we can refer to Mary as the God-bearer, the Mother of God, not in that God became a thing from her, but that in the true Lord, the eternal Word of the Father, Jesus, the Son of God, assumed humanity through her womb, and so the one who was born of her is the Lord Himself. And this is clear in places like the Gospel of Luke early on, when Luke is describing the nativity of our Lord. And so, I don't have any problem with that kind of terminology, referring to Mary as the Mother of God. That's what the church historically has said, and the emphasis there is not so much upon Mary, but upon the one who assumed humanity from her womb. Jesus, it's an exaltation of Christ, that it wasn't just some some mere human being that was incarnate for us and for our salvation, but the eternal Son of God Himself.

And so, I like that language. Now, in the Roman Catholic Church, what they're going to say is, well, Jesus is, you know, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and so Mary is, you know, well, she's the Mother of God, she's the Queen Mother, and so they kind of extrapolate from that, but that's not something that you're going to find in the Scriptures. And so, that's an area of difference, you know, in terms of how we understand Mary and her role in the church, and that's an area of difference between Protestants and Roman Catholics. By the way, we have a great resource on this topic for you, Paul. You can find it at our website, corechristianity.com. It's called What Still Divides Us, and it explains the doctrinal differences between Protestant theology and Catholic theology, so you might want to pick that up again.

It's called What Still Divides Us, and you can find that at corechristianity.com. Something else you can find at our website, is Adriel's brand new book called Praying with Jesus. Yes, I am just so excited about sharing this book with you that I've written, Praying with Jesus, Getting to the Heart of the Lord's Prayer, and it's for you and for anyone, really, who wants to grow in their prayer life and in understanding the Lord's Prayer, the prayer that we all know really well, I mean hopefully, right, our Father who art in heaven, but many people don't fully understand it. It's easy to go through the motions of prayer. It's easy to say the words but not understand their full implication, and so I unpack the Lord's Prayer in this book and seek to give you a deeper understanding of it. By the way, it's a great resource for churches. There are discussion questions at the end of each chapter, so it would be good for like a small group or even a church bible study, or you could be a small group or even a church bible study, or you as an individual if you're looking to grow in your prayer life.

It's called Praying with Jesus. We actually have a copy right on our kitchen table right now, so this morning as I was eating my raisin bran, I was starting to read it. Did you use it as kind of like a, you know, a table mat?

You put your bowl of cereal on top? That's what we do sometimes with books in our house. No, I have more reverence for your books than that.

I'm just joking. By the way, you could get a copy of this resource for a gift of $25 or more by going to our website, and that's corechristianity.com forward slash offers to find the book. Again, corechristianity.com forward slash offers, and look for Adriel's brand new book, Praying with Jesus. Well, we do receive voicemails here at Core Christianity. You can call us 24 hours a day, and you can leave your question on our voicemail system. When you do, let us know your name and where you're calling from.

Here's a voicemail that came in from Deborah. Is it ever appropriate to follow your pastor to his new church? I've been attending an Episcopal church, this charming little Episcopal church in my town since over the summer, and it's just been a wonderful experience, and I was just starting to feel comfortable enough to consider pursuing church membership. I was getting to know the rector and his family and just really felt a sense of belonging here. He preaches the word of God faithfully and gets you excited about following Jesus. Then he announces after the Easter holiday that he and his family are moving and to a church a few towns away, not far, you know, so I just don't know if in my case, since I never committed to joining this parish, if it would be appropriate to follow them to their new parish, so I'm just struggling about what I should do here.

Thank you so much, and God bless. Deborah, I love your question for two reasons. One, just because you've created this connection with the pastor there at the parish, and that you're encouraged by the ministry there, by the word, excited about following Jesus, but also that you feel this tension of, okay, well, do I stay committed here? I had this connection with this pastor who's moving on now. He's going somewhere else. There's an opportunity maybe for me to go, too, but then am I leaving the church here hanging?

Those are all really, really good questions. Now, if there was some sort of conflict, maybe it was a church split or something like that, and the pastor is leaving for bad reasons, in that situation, I mean, this is where you need to have a conversation. You want to get the full picture. In that situation, I might have some cautionary words, but if it's just, man, I felt really connected to the ministry there. I'm excited about my relationship with God. I'm thinking about the Lord in ways that I haven't before and growing in my understanding of the word, and I'd really like to go and continue to support the work in this other neighborhood. Is there anything wrong with that?

I don't think so. You know, there are interesting examples in the New Testament of people who followed the apostle Paul around as he was ministering. I'm thinking specifically of this wonderful couple that we see throughout the New Testament epistles in the book of Acts named Priscilla and Aquila. They meet up with Paul in the city of Corinth in Acts chapter 18. They had just gotten there because they were kicked out of Rome. A number of Jews were kicked out of Rome, probably because of the controversy about Jesus, and they're there and they're working as leather workers or tent makers, and they house Paul, and a church is planted there in Corinth in Acts chapter 18, but we also read about Priscilla and Aquila in other places. In other words, they traveled with the apostle Paul. They followed him around.

Why? Because they were committed to the work of the gospel and they were laboring alongside of him. They also were hospitable to churches or housed churches in Ephesus and in Rome, and so it seems like they stuck by him, and so who knows? Maybe that's something that the Lord is calling you to do, but I think that the best thing you could do is maybe have a conversation with this pastor that you've appreciated his ministry and maybe ask him, okay, what do you think about this? I don't want to leave the church hanging, but I'm also so encouraged and interested in potentially following you to this new church that you're going to be pastoring and see what he says, and I don't think that there's any reason for you to feel like it would be bad or wrong for you to do that. Maybe you can really go and support the work of the gospel in this new city where he's going to be, just like Priscilla and Aquila traveled along with the Apostle Paul in various cities.

God bless. Great example from scripture of something just like this, so thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

Let's go to Rick in Nebraska. Rick, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, Pastor Adriel. I was wondering about politics in the church. Our church is going to be showing a movie, Letter to the American Church. Maybe you're familiar with that, maybe you're not, that particular book or movie, but I know that there's concerns that we're getting politics in the church, and I do believe Christians need to be involved in politics, but at the same time, there needs to be a balance, like, okay, this is who we're voting for and that kind of stuff.

So I was wondering where your stance is on that, or if you have any opinions on that book or movie, if you're aware of it, and if it's, quote, political or not, or not, unquote. Hey, Rick, excellent and very relevant question as well, and I think that you're right. Christians should be engaged as politics, or in politics, as believers, as Christians. We hold this sort of dual citizenship as believers. Our primary citizenship is in heaven, according to the Apostle Paul, as he wrote to the Philippians, but we can also have earthly citizenship, and we do have earthly citizenship and obligations as citizens of the kingdoms of this world, and we recognize that we're not going to be able to advance God's kingdom through politics. I mean, that's mainly because the advancement of the kingdom is dependent upon the work of the Holy Spirit. It's not something that you can coerce.

It's not something that comes through a change in legislation, per se. It comes through the faithful proclamation of the Word of God, evangelism, the work of the Holy Spirit. Any kingdom advancement that happens apart from the spirit is not real kingdom advancement, but that doesn't mean that we neglect our obligations as American citizens, or that we don't seek to do good to our neighbors, and one of the ways that we can seek to do good to our neighbors is through engaging in the broader political process, thinking about what does it look like to care for the poor, to protect the unborn. Those are really important questions, and I think those are things that Christians should be engaged in thinking about with charity, and so we're not trying to retreat from the world, but we're also not putting our hope in politics, our ultimate hope. We're engaged, recognizing that our primary citizenship is in heaven. Now, I can't speak to this particular book that you've brought up.

I just looked it up, and I guess it's a movie too, you said. I see it as a book on Amazon, Letter to the American Church, and so I don't want to wade into that just because I'm just not sure. I don't know to what extent it's getting really political or to what extent it's just an encouragement for Christians to be engaged in the broader cultural process as believers and not being ashamed of our beliefs, but I do think churches can go wrong in both directions. Churches can just totally sort of retreat from society and from culture and from cultural engagement and think or act as if the gospel doesn't have anything to say or God doesn't have anything to say to the broader world, and at the same time on the other end, and I think this is where we're tempted to go, especially during election times, is we can put way too much hope and confidence in that we can really attach the advancement of God's kingdom to who's in office or to a particular kind of legislation being passed, and that's not to say that those things aren't important and that we shouldn't be engaged in that. It's just not placing our hope in that, and that's why Psalm 118 says it is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in men. That's not where our ultimate confidence, our ultimate hope is in, and so I think for you as a member of a church and that you guys are thinking about this, you guys are showing this movie, I think just keeping those things in mind. Hey, it's good to be engaged with the broader world, but brothers and sisters, this is not where our hope is, and one other thing I would encourage is a lot of times with some of these books and movies that are out there, and again I'm not saying this about this book because I just don't know it, they can just sort of throw gasoline on the fire that's already raging in a lot of people's hearts, the fears. We've got to really do something, and people are afraid, and so we gravitate towards, we need to hold on to power, we need to grasp for power.

I see that. I see that frustration, and I think allowing the promises of God's word and the peace of the gospel to penetrate deeply into our hearts so that we're not terrified, so that we look at the current situation, whatever it is, with courage knowing that Jesus Christ is going to build his church and the gates of hell are not going to prevail against her, that's a promise from Jesus himself. Regardless of who's in office, regardless of the legislation that's passed, Jesus is going to keep building his church, and brothers and sisters, we are a part of that kingdom. Hallelujah, praise the Lord. 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 / 2024-04-17 21:46:37 / 2024-04-17 21:57:08 / 11

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