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How Should the Church Address Singleness?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
April 19, 2024 7:00 pm

How Should the Church Address Singleness?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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April 19, 2024 7:00 pm

Episode 1471 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

  1. Is masturbation a sin? 2. Who are the 12 people mentioned by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15? 3. How can we address singleness in the church? 4. My husband isn't invested in our marriage, can I divorce if I don't remarry?     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      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 should the Church address singleness? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity.

Well, hi there, and happy Friday. I'm 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. We'd love to hear from you, and you can call us with your question right now at 833-THE-CORE.

You can also watch us live on Instagram or YouTube, and of course you can always email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, here's a voicemail from one of our listeners in South Florida. There was a tornado that was going to come through our city for sure, for sure. And I went out there, and the storm, and the wind, and the gray, and the rain, and the hail, and I put my hand up to heaven towards the tornado. And I commanded the storm to go away for the tornado to disappear. And it did.

I did it twice. And I'm a little old lady, I'm an insignificant, just a little old Christian. So that man is so wrong, saying that the prayer doesn't work, because God does hear prayer. That's what I wanted to say. Thank you. Bye. Caridad, I just want to say amen. And also, I hope you're listening, because I just want to ask, would you please pray for me?

Because I love that story. So we had somebody call a while ago with a question pertaining to prayer and whether or not prayer actually does anything, and this individual mentioned, you know, well, you know, if there's a storm coming, it doesn't matter whether you pray or not. And so there's a testimony right there from our sister. We can pray about anything. And actually, when we initially got that question, I went to James 5, verse 17, where it says, Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain. And for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth.

Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit. I just, one of the things you said, sisters, you know, I'm just an insignificant little old lady. I just want to say that's not true. You are not insignificant. Prayer is such a powerful way in which the Lord uses his people today, including you. And so don't ever see yourself or your prayers as insignificant. I hope that God continues to encourage you, and I just want to say praise the Lord. You know, it really is such a beautiful thing when we pray for something and we can see the hand of the Lord at work around us. And so God bless you, sister, and thank you for sharing that testimony.

Oh, she's so sweet. Thank you for your call. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Maybe you've got a passage of scripture that you're confused about. Well, feel free to give us a call. Tell us the passage and you can dig into it with Adriel.

Or maybe there's something going on in your church life that you're confused about or concerned about. We're open to those questions as well. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE. We'll be taking calls for the next 25 minutes or so.

833-843-2673. Let's go to Gary in Ohio. Gary, what's your question for Adriel? Hey, Pastor Adriel, can you tell me if you think self-gratification is a sin? Do I think self-gratification is a sin?

I think I know what you're referring to here. And I would say yes, I do believe that that is something that for us as Christians seeking to cultivate purity in the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Not to be lovers of self and not to see sexuality and that as something, as a sort of isolated thing, a me thing. It's something where we find gratification in the context of marriage, a Christian marriage.

Paul talks about this in 1 Corinthians 7, for example. He talks about that being one of the benefits and blessings of marriage. And of course, it's not like we can just go and get married just because we want to.

I know that sometimes there just isn't the right person around at the time to pursue, and you don't have that opportunity for many people. But that doesn't mean, I think, that we should just say, okay, well then, this is okay. I think we're still called to cultivate all purity and self-control and to present ourselves, including our bodies, all of us, to the Lord as instruments for righteousness and for holiness and for purity. Paul talks about that in particular in Romans 6, for example.

And so, this is a real battle, a real temptation for many, many people. And I think going to the Lord, confessing sin, but going to the Lord and saying, God, grant me grace and strength by the power of your Holy Spirit, not to indulge in my sinful passions, not to give way to them, but to be so full of your Spirit and led by your Spirit, that I exhibit that self-control, which is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. And so, the answer is really, I think, in pursuing the Lord and those things which lead to growth in grace and holiness.

And the Apostle Paul, he gives, I think, some great wisdom here. In 2 Timothy 2, verse 22, he says, flee from youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. So, it's not just abstaining and fleeing from sin. It's pursuing something positively. It's pursuing the Lord.

It's seeking His face. It's pursuing righteousness, faith, love, peace. It's being diligent, as Peter said when he wrote, to add to our faith virtue and to virtue knowledge and to knowledge self-control and endurance and so forth. He goes on to describe brotherly love and agape love. And so, may God enable all of us as Christians, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to put to death the sinful deeds of the body and to pursue, together with the people of God, those things which encourage us and build us up in our faith. Thank you, Gary, for reaching out to us. Gary, thanks so much for your call, for listening to CORE Christianity. We'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Our phone number is 833-THE-CORE. We're also open to questions about doctrine or theology, or maybe you have some doubts about the Christian faith you'd like to bounce off, Adriel. Feel free to call us, 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to David in Albuquerque, New Mexico. David, what's your question for Adriel?

Hi, Adriel. My question was in relation to 1 Corinthians 15 verse 5, I think, where it mentions by Paul about Jesus appearing to the 12. And I was talking to someone, of course, about this. They mentioned, well, of course, Judas wasn't there and possibly Thomas wasn't there. So he was arguing for the fact that this couldn't be the same 12, and I told him, well, it was the 12 apostles. But I'd like your take on that, or if there's any other thing in relation to that that we can use where maybe a group is called by name that it's not exact, like, for instance, a number like that, if that makes sense.

Great, great question. So it sounds to me like maybe this person is, you know, thinks that they found some sort of error in the Bible. Judas wasn't there, so how can it say the 12? And we do believe that he appeared to the 12. I think one easy way to resolve this problem, if we can call it that, I don't think it's that big of an issue, is when you go to Acts chapter 1 and you have Judas's replacement described, well, what was the prerequisite for finding a replacement? It says in verse 21 of Acts chapter 1, 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 must become with us a witness to his resurrection. So these individuals were people who had seen the risen Lord, and they put forward to Joseph called Barsabas, who was also called Justice and Matthias. And they prayed and said, You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place. So I think that the 12 probably there, not referring to Judas, but referring to his replacement, to this one who was also a witness of the resurrection. One of the amazing things about that passage in 1 Corinthians 15 is 1 Corinthians is one of the earlier New Testament epistles, and what you have here is almost this creedal formula, right?

He's saying, I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received. So this is what was being passed down by the earliest Christians. Some people think that the story of Jesus' resurrection, that wasn't what it was initially all about.

That became kind of more of a tale that was told that grew and grew and grew until all of a sudden people were saying he rose from the dead. Paul is saying at this very early stage, no, this was the very kernel of the Gospel. This was the very first thing that was handed down, the most important thing, and what was it? That Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. Let me just say for a moment to you, brothers and sisters, this is the heart of our faith as Christians, and it's rooted in something that happened in history. It's not about feelings, first and foremost, it's God actually sent his Son into the world, and his Son actually lived a perfect life of obedience and suffered and died on a cross for sinners, making atonement for our sin, and then actually rose again from the dead bodily, and people saw him, witnesses, eyewitnesses, and then rose again from the dead. And he is alive right now, seated at the right hand of the Father, and he calls all people everywhere to turn to him in faith, confessing their sins and receiving his grace.

Our faith is rooted in something concrete, in something historical, and that's what the Apostle Paul is saying there in 1 Corinthians 15. Thanks for giving us a call, brother. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life.

1-833-THE-CORE is our number. By the way, in addition to being a pastor and the host of this program, Adriel is also a published author, and he has a brand new book out that we are really excited about. Yes, I wrote a book on prayer, on the Lord's Prayer in particular, called Praying with Jesus, Getting to the Heart of the Lord's Prayer. And more than anything, my prayer is that this book would encourage you to commune with God in prayer, that you would grow in your understanding of what it means to have fellowship with God in prayer, of what the petitions in the Lord's Prayer are getting at each petition.

So often we say those words, we repeat them, but we do so mindlessly, or not understanding their full implication. And so I hope that this invigorates your prayer life, and I'm so encouraged to be able to offer this to you. And I hope you get a hold of it. Again, it's called Praying with Jesus, Getting to the Heart of the Lord's Prayer. You know, this would be a great resource for you individually, or your family, or perhaps a Bible study group that you're in, or maybe you teach a Sunday school class. Check it out. You can get it for a donation of $25 or more by going to our website, corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Again, corechristianity.com forward slash offers, and look for Praying with Jesus. Well, we do get voicemails here at the Core. And here's one that came in from one of our listeners in South Africa.

Her name is Letibe. Hi there. The question I have is surrounding how the church can care and pray for singles a bit better. It would seem, just from my experience, that the highest esteemed station is being married or being a parent.

And rightfully so, it's part of God's rightful design. I guess I was wondering around like the people who possibly could never get married or it's not God's ordained will for them to ever have children. Is there no room to celebrate single people's milestone as a church? And sticking to that, I noticed even when praying for singles in our church, the only thing we care to pray for is that the Lord provides them with husbands. Sometimes prayers like that really help me feel like, well, is there nothing else you can pray for me for? I don't know. Maybe I'm not thinking about it rightly. I'd like to hear your thoughts.

Letibe, thank you so much for your question. And I just got to say, as a pastor, as a minister of the gospel, I'm somewhat convicted hearing you because I think it's so important for us as pastors to care for the members of our church regardless of what stage of life they're in or what their calling is. And Paul talks about singleness, in particular in places like 1 Corinthians 7. And it's interesting because one of the things that the Corinthian church was struggling with was they were looking at some members in the church who they thought were lesser, didn't have the same calling or gifts that they had, and they were tempted to disparage them and to treat them as sort of second-class citizens.

And so I think we have to be really careful that we don't fall into that same trap as well. And that's clear. The point that I'm making about the Corinthians is clear in 1 Corinthians 12, where he's talking about the different gifts and callings in the body and how some people were, again, just tempted to say, oh, well, we don't really have any need of you. Not until you get married, at least, or not until you have kids, at least. And certainly that's the furthest thing from the truth.

And so we live in a culture and a society that really has, I think, disparaged the family, marriage, having children. But that doesn't mean that the pendulum should shift in the church in the other direction of saying, well, singleness is bad or the only thing you're good for is finding a spouse. And so I'm sorry that you feel that way or that you've been made to feel that way.

And as I said, certainly the prayer for you isn't just that, well, hope that they come around to finding somebody. No, but that you would use the gifts that God has given you now and the opportunities that the Lord has given to you now at this point in your life to continue to serve him and to serve him in ways that are unique to the current situation that you're in. And I think Paul gets at this in 1 Corinthians 7, verse 32. He says, I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit.

But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord. And here he's encouraging those who are married and those who are single. But here he's saying, you who are single, you have this special opportunity to serve the Lord with this kind of undivided attention, focusing on him, how to be holy in body and in spirit.

And that is, my sister, a beautiful thing. And so may the Lord encourage you in that and bless you. And I pray that as you continue to grow, and however the Lord calls you, that you would be encouraged by the people around you and built up and that you would use the gifts that are unique to you, whatever those gifts are, for the edification of the body and that you would be valued, valued as a member of the body of Christ. And each one of us who are united to Jesus Christ, we've been united to his body, different callings, different gifts, but each of us is integral to the health of the whole body.

All of us, we're bringing different things to the table, different gifts to the table, and it's only as the body works together that it's built up in love. And so may you be built up in love. My sister, thank you so much for calling us. And may you be encouraged to serve the Lord and to follow him and to use the things that he's given you for his glory.

Such a great word. Thank you for that, Adriel. You're listening to CORE Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Carla in St. Louis. Carla, what's your question for Adriel? Actually, can you hear me?

Yeah, I can hear you, Carla. Actually, I'm right in 1 Corinthians 7, and it's kind of different from what the young lady just said. I actually did go off this verse and got married because it says it's better to marry than to burn. And when I did that, it kind of destroyed my relationship with God and I feel like it was the wrong thing to do. So now I'm wondering if it says, but and if she depart, let her remain unmarried. So I'm trying not to be disobedient to God, but I'm absolutely miserable and just I'm beyond distracted. So I want a divorce. So I was wondering if I divorce and I stay away from a man, period, for the rest of my life, will I be OK with God?

Carla, I can tell that this is a real, a real difficult situation, an emotional situation. I just have a couple follow up questions for you. One is, is your husband a Christian?

Two, are you guys in church together? I don't know. Yeah, he goes, but he's just like, it's the weirdest situation. He just do whatever I do. He don't think for himself. He's not a leader. We don't connect in no way at all.

We have nothing in common. I mean, everything is on me. I feel like it's just a one way thing. Well, it sounds to me like the right answer here isn't go ahead and get a divorce. You know, we live in a culture, in a world where, I mean, that's what people will tell you. The world will tell you, yep, you know, you guys don't see eye to eye. You don't feel like you love him anymore.

You're not happy. Therefore, just get out of this. But marriage, marriage is deeper than that. This relationship that you're in, this covenant that you're in before the Lord is not something to be taken lightly.

And I know that you don't take it lightly. That's why you're calling and asking this question. I think the best course of action, one, I mean, there needs to be open communication with you and your husband, but two, it sounds to me like maybe sitting down with a good pastor there at the church that you guys attend and beginning to have conversations about some of these issues that disconnect there, where there's hurt and pain and getting help. Now, have you guys pursued that in terms of, you know, talking with others about the situation, maybe even seeing a counselor, a Christian counselor?

Yes. Yes, I've done everything in my power, and I'm not moving because I don't have biblical ground. But there's nothing there. I mean, I have to fix the cars.

I have to do everything. And my husband is not mentally there. I don't think he's capable of it. So he's okay with splitting too because he's not a protector.

He provides, but there's nothing. I mean, constant fear, just distraction is beyond what a human can even understand. Okay, sister. Well, here's what I want to do. One, I definitely want to pray for you, and I want to invite our listeners to pray for you as well. And I'm very cautious.

I don't want to say to you, go and get a device. I think that that would be the wrong thing to do. But this is where I think the church, the local church, is so important, and there needs to be openness and communication with the body of Christ, and you need to continue to have that openness and communication with your husband. Let me just say this. There's always hope through the power of God. Always hope. Now, I recognize that you feel like you've tried everything, you've done everything.

And so maybe the answer right now is not trying to do more. It's trusting. It's taking this situation to the Lord and coming before the church and saying, Okay, Lord, this is in your hands. I know what you've called me to. As a woman, as one who loves you and wants to serve you, I want to see in my husband a desire for you and for your word and him taking responsibility. And this is where the church can also be involved in coming alongside of him and saying, Hey, brother, as a man and as a Christian man, you have a responsibility, a role to play in this marriage. Your wife, you're not called just to sort of sit back and let her take the spiritual reins, but to love her and to serve her as Christ loved the church and to lead your family in the ways of the Lord.

And that's what sounds like it's not happening right now. You feel like you're all alone. You feel like you're abandoned. This is where the church needs to come in. So, Father, we pray for our sister Carla right now. We ask for the filling of your Holy Spirit and that you would grant her wisdom and that you would be with your church and with her and with her husband and that you would bring healing and restoration in this marriage in Jesus' name. Amen. We pray for the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-19 21:08:22 / 2024-04-19 21:17:57 / 10

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