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Will People Still Have a Chance to Repent in Hell?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
April 25, 2024 5:00 pm

Will People Still Have a Chance to Repent in Hell?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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April 25, 2024 5:00 pm

Episode 1475 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

  1. Does the Year of Jubilee symbolize Jesus? 2. Does the Bible teach that we have free will? 3. How can I forgive my pastor for not supporting me when my son died? 4. Will people have a chance to repent in Hell?       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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Will people still have a chance to repent in hell? 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 call us right now with your question at 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-833. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and of course you can always feel free to email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to a voicemail from one of our listeners.

This is Raymond in Clovis, California. I'd like to know, is there a connection in this passage to Lord Jesus Christ in the New Testament? Is Jesus Christ civilized as the 50th year?

Thanks, I appreciate it. Let's go to Leviticus 25, talk about this year of Jubilee, and then see how it ties to Jesus. This is Leviticus 25, verse 8.

So the year of Jubilee was a time of rest and a time of freedom from captivity, liberty, and that was why God gave it. Now, what's really interesting is you go over to Daniel chapter 9, and in Daniel chapter 9 you have this prophecy about the coming of the Messiah. This is Daniel chapter 9, verse 24.

Listen to what God tells Daniel. 70 weeks are decreed. 70 times seven, the ultimate Jubilee, we might say. Again, what this is prophesying is related to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, so the coming of our Lord coinciding with the Jubilee of Jubilees. And of course, when Jesus comes in the Gospels, in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 4, verse 18, what did Jesus say? He said, at liberty those who are oppressed to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. And that language there, liberty to the captives, this is the language of Jubilee, ultimate Jubilee. And so I do think, yeah, that there are ties to, I mean, obviously there were things happening there in Israel's history as well with the year of Jubilee, but all of this was looking forward to the time of ultimate release, ultimate freedom brought about through our Lord Jesus Christ. Great explanation. Thank you for that, Adriel. It's always fascinating to see the connection between the Old Testament and the New Testament, particularly those things that point to Jesus.

We often talk about types and shadows, and that's certainly one of them. Yeah, well, I mean, one of the things we love showing on the broadcast again and again is how all of scripture is pointing us to Christ. I mean, it really is spectacular. I think it's one of the signs of the divine inspiration of the Bible. And so even when we have these things like the year of Jubilee, the year of freedom from captivity, that is fulfilled ultimately in what Christ accomplished in freeing us from our sins and from death.

And so it truly is remarkable, Bill. Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Love to hear from you. Maybe you have a question about a Bible passage that's kind of confusing to you. Adriel would love to dive into that with you.

Or maybe you have a question about doctrine or theology within your church or your denomination. Feel free to call us. Here's the number. It's 833-THECORE. We'll be taking calls for the next 20 minutes or so.

833-843-2673. Let's go to Eric in Kansas. Eric, what's your question for Adriel?

Hi. I wanted to ask about free will. And in Genesis chapter 20, God prevents King Abimelech from taking a sinful act. And in Exodus 7, he lays out the plan in advance for Moses and Aaron and says, you're going to go to Pharaoh and you're going to tell him, let my people go, then I will harden his heart so that he doesn't let your people go.

And then the 10 plagues will come. So in advance, he's saying that he will harden Pharaoh's heart. And from my reading, St. Thomas Aquinas really struggled with trying to reconcile free will and seemingly went to his grave without having a completely satisfactory answer or at least satisfactory to him. And then sometime in the 20th century, it seems like Christians just sort of said, well, there is free will, but I can't find a citation for that.

I don't know what the textual basis is for determining that there is free will under Christian doctrine. Okay. Eric, thanks.

And boy, if Thomas couldn't figure this out, I don't know that I'm going to be able to untie this not for you. But a couple of things that I can say. One, that text in Genesis 20 that you brought up, super interesting, isn't it? How God essentially keeps someone from sinning.

And so I do think that question is a little bit separate. You know, we pray every single day, Lord, lead us not into temptation, because we recognize that God is totally sovereign and all powerful, even over the avenues of temptation, that it's only by the grace of God that we're kept and upheld. And so we go to him and say, Lord, protect me, Lord, Lord, keep me. And there is something there in that our wills, deformed by sin as they are, we oftentimes don't want the right things. We desire those things that aren't pleasing to the Lord and apart from Christ.

Boy, all the more. And so there is a sense in which ever since the fall, our wills are in bondage. It doesn't mean that we don't have a will. A will is a part of what it means to be a human being. And Adam and Eve, I believe, were created again with free will.

They had this choice to obey God or to disobey God. But when sin entered into the world, it affected every single part of us, including our wills. And so now our wills, we might say, are fallen or affected by the fall. And so we need the renewing grace of the Holy Spirit in our lives. And we need that grace even throughout the Christian life. Again, that's why we pray, lead us not into temptation. I think looking at that passage in Genesis chapter 20 is a clear example of that, of God's power to preserve and to keep his people in the midst of difficulty, in the midst of temptation. I think of what Peter said, you know, God knows how to deliver the righteous out of temptation, but to reserve the unjust for punishment for the day of judgment.

That's Peter writing in 2 Peter. And so now with regard to Pharaoh and his hardening, and of course, you know, Paul picks that up, that whole scene up in Romans chapter 9, again to talk about the sovereignty of God, God's freedom to do what he wants with his vessels. What's really interesting, you mentioned Exodus 7, but even going further back in Exodus chapter 4, there in verse 21, the Lord said to Moses, when you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power, but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. And throughout this whole scene, with the hardening of Pharaoh, you have instances where it says that God says he's going to harden his heart, you have six times where that actually happens, where Pharaoh is referred to as hardening his heart, excuse me, three times where it says that Pharaoh hardens his own heart, and then a number of times where we have what's called a divine passive, where his heart is hardened, and the idea there is that the Lord is working.

But it seems like there's this interplay in the story of Exodus, where God is using Pharaoh for his purposes, God is hardening his heart, but Pharaoh is also hardening his heart, and God is just giving him over to his own will, to his own choice, to his own desires, and so there is a great mystery here. I don't think that the solution is to say human beings don't have a will, but we certainly have to understand our will as it's been affected by the fall. And when we recognize that our wills, even our wills, have been corrupted due to sin, we realize all the more how much we desperately need the grace of God. Why we pray, Lord, lead me not into temptation, keep me, God renew me, my heart, my mind, help me because, and I think we can all, we feel this, help me because there are times, God, where I desire the wrong things. I don't want you like I should, I don't want that which is good and true and right in accordance with your word, instead I desire sin and evil. And so we're praying, God, renew me and renew my will, and that renewal happens in Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God who assumed humanity, so that our wills and our whole persons might be restored.

Eric, thanks so much for your call and for your question. And, you know, Adriel, what you said just reminds me, when I was in graduate school, I had a professor that would always stress, and we talk a lot about free will, but really we have limited free will because, first of all, our sin nature. Secondly, we live in a fallen world and, you know, bad things happen to good people. And then also, a certain amount of demonic agency because God has given Satan a certain amount of power, limited amount of power, that can influence and affect us. Yeah, well, and, you know, I mean, obviously there's certain things that we might want or will that we're just not capable of, you know, like I could want, you know, to fly.

That could be my desire, my will, but certainly that's something that I'm limited, right, by what I'm actually able to do. And similarly, you know, with our corrupted wills, with our fallen wills, you know, as a result of Adam's sin, and our actual sinning, you know, throughout our lives, we can't pull ourselves up by the bootstraps. I can't save myself. And again, this is why the Christian church has always emphasized the importance of divine grace, because we can't, by our own strength, redeem ourselves or save ourselves. We have to be saved by someone outside of us. And that's where God's mercy enters in. That's where Christ reaches down to us, dead in sin, dead in trespasses as we are, and grabs ahold of us with his righteous right hand and lifts us up out of the muck and the mire. That's the beauty of God's grace. That's the beauty of the gospel. It's not for righteous people, perfectly righteous people.

It's for sinners who can't save themselves. And I think each of us can say, man, that's me. I need that. Amen. That's a beautiful picture you painted for us of the gospel.

Thank you. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Phone lines are open if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. You can also leave us a voicemail anytime, 24 hours a day at this number, 833-THE-CORE. When you call, make sure you tell us your name, where you're calling from, and then leave your question on our voicemail system. Let's go to Rick in Memphis.

Rick, what's your question for Adriel? Well, my wife and I have been a member of a church for over 20 years. Loved it as a family.

And I'm a preacher. Our son died not very long ago. And our first call we made was to our church and pastor. They wouldn't even take our call. They turned their back on us completely.

They didn't call. We couldn't have a memorial there for our son. And I can't understand why, and I'm having a hard time forgiving this man when we needed spiritual help at the worst time of a parent's life. And I don't know why he would do this.

My son was an addict, and he died in our home. I tried so hard, so hard to get him out of that lot. I just couldn't. But, you know, I always thought Jesus taught compassion, forgiveness and love, and he didn't exhibit any of those things. And it just hurts me so bad that we're still just wandering out there without any type of spiritual help in any way. So I don't know how to forgive this man.

I really don't. Rick, my dear brother, may the mercy and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you. And it breaks my heart to hear about one, your son. I know you did everything that you could as a father to love him.

And so often in situations like this, you know, we can put the weight and the blame onto us. But I just want you to know, brother, that God knows all things. He knew your son's struggle, and he knows the pain that you're in right now. And I think of the compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ throughout the Gospels as people came to him, crying out to Jesus for their need, crying out to Jesus oftentimes for the need of a loved one, a brother or a child, someone who is afflicted. And I know that you cried out to Jesus, to God, and I want you to know that Jesus heard those prayers and he hears your prayers still. And he is full of compassion and full of mercy. And it grieves me, right, when ministers, nope, no pastor is perfect, but when we don't exhibit, that's a mercy and compassion that our Lord calls us to exhibit as his shepherds. And so I can't speak for this pastor. I'm sorry for what happened.

I'm terribly sorry for what happened. And all I can say to you is Christ has not and will not abandon you. That's what he promises us in his Word, that he will never leave us or forsake us. And maybe the right church for you and for your family is not where you guys have been. I imagine after 20 years of being there, like you said, pouring your life out at that congregation, not knowing again the situation, but if for whatever reason they can't provide for you pastoral care, especially in a moment like that, then maybe you need to be in a church and find a church where you are going to get the care and support that you need, and you definitely do need that care and support in this time of mourning. And so I just want you to know that my heart goes out to you, brother, and that the Lord hears your prayers. Don't let these devastating circumstances keep you from falling at the feet of Jesus. Don't let the poor representation of pastors, ministers keep you from falling at the feet of Jesus, who is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, full of compassion and full of compassion for those who mourn. You are mourning right now, and Christ extends his compassion to you, brother, and so I pray that you would receive his comfort and that he would be with you, strengthening you and sustaining you and your family in this difficult time. But don't let this drive you away from Jesus and from the church.

Maybe it drives you away from that church, but get into a good church where you're going to be cared for and get the support and encouragement that you need under the Word of God, because the Word of God is a sure rock, a stabilizing force for us in the midst, I would say, of these difficult times. Those psalms of lament where the psalmist is crying out to God, mourning. Those stories of our Lord Jesus extending his grace and mercy to those who suffer. Think of John 11, where Jesus wept for Lazarus.

Read those stories and fall at the feet of Christ, who loves you and gives you his compassion. Let's take a moment right now, brothers and sisters, to pray for Rick and for his family and to ask for God's Spirit to be poured out upon him. Our Father in heaven, we mourn together with our brother, Lord, and can't imagine just the unspeakable pain that he's going through. We ask, Lord Jesus, that you would be with him and that you would give him a sense, Lord, of your grace and of your love and of your mercy. Thank you that you are the God of all comfort and that you comfort us in our trials, Lord, so that we might have the grace and ability to comfort others. But would you, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, comfort our brother, comfort his family, hold him, Lord, in your arms in this difficult season. Lord, give him peace in knowing that even though he can't control, we can't control these situations. God, that nothing is outside of your knowledge, that you know him, that you know his son, Lord.

Would you be with this family? I pray also, Lord, that through this valley, this valley of the shadow of death, that they would be drawn closer to you, Lord, that you would be with them and strengthen their faith even in the midst of calamity, Lord, and that you would help them, Lord, to cling to you and that you would indeed hold on to them. I pray in Jesus' name, amen.

Amen. And Rick, one other thing that I would mention to you is there's a wonderful ministry called GriefShare. Many churches around the country have GriefShare groups, and my guess is they're in Memphis. You could easily find one. Just go to their website, the GriefShare website.

Find a group where you can go and be loved and cared for, and people will understand your situation because they've been through something similar, and they want to support you. So Rick, we'll continue to pray for you. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

Wow, just a tough one, Adriel. When you hear those calls, it breaks your heart, doesn't it? Yeah, it does.

It really does. And I'm grateful for just a small opportunity to get to talk to brothers, even people going through intense suffering like Rick is, and just to say, Brother, the Lord hears your prayers, and Christ knows your pain, and He can sympathize with you. We desperately need Jesus in those moments, and we need the body of Christ to step up and to step in, and so I'm sorry to hear that that didn't happen.

Again, I don't know all the circumstances, but I do pray that He does get plugged into a church where people are going to rally around Him and His family. Amen. You're listening to Core Christianity. I want to mention a wonderful book that we have available on prayer. If you're a person who struggles with your prayer life, as so many of us do, Adriel has just come out with a book which is on the Lord's Prayer. Yeah, get ahold of this book, brothers and sisters, called Praying with Jesus, Getting to the Heart of the Lord's Prayer, and I wrote it with the prayerful hope that it would encourage others to grow in communion with God through prayer.

Again, like you said, Bill, something we all struggle with. We want to grow in prayer. And so this book, I think, will help you to develop a consistent prayer life and to grow in your understanding of who God is and what prayer is all about. And so, again, the book is called Praying with Jesus, Getting to the Heart of the Lord's Prayer, and it's our offer for today. And you can get that for a donation of $25 or more by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers.

Well, we do receive voicemails here at the Core, and here's one that came in from Nick in Los Angeles. I have a question about repentance after death. I'm under the general impression that the Bible teaches that our final destinations after death are permanent. No one leaves hell for heaven and vice versa. I, of course, trust that God's judgment is just and perfect, but I'm struggling to reason through why someone wouldn't be able to repent once they find themselves in hell. I would think that even a few seconds of torment like that would cause any number of souls to recognize the error of their beliefs. Is no one in hell crying out, Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner? I'm wondering if you can help me theologically work through this issue.

Thank you. That does very much seem, like when you read the Scriptures, that those destinies are fixed. I mean, once a person dies, that there isn't another chance to repent. Now, that doesn't mean that God isn't gracious and merciful.

We believe that God gives us many opportunities. Right now, you think of what the author of the Hebrews said, quoting from the Old Testament, right? That today, right now, is the day of salvation.

Don't wait until tomorrow. We don't know. You don't know if you're promised tomorrow, but God calls you to Him, to Himself right now. And there is, of course, that story that Jesus tells in the Gospel of Luke, Luke 16, with the rich man and Lazarus, where you have these two people who have died taken to different places. One is resting in paradise, essentially. The other one is in torment.

And the one in torment is crying out. And he says, besides all this, between us and you, a great chasm has been fixed in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us. And he said, I beg you, Father, Father Abraham, to send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come to this place. But Abraham said they have Moses and the prophets. And brothers and sisters, that's what we have. We have the word of God. We have something even better than that. We have Christ who came for us.

That's the truth. And so what the Bible says is, today is the day of salvation. Today, lay hold of Jesus by faith for your forgiveness. 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 / 2024-04-25 21:25:19 / 2024-04-25 21:34:34 / 9

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