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What’s the Appropriate Way to Engage My Homosexual Friends?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
May 1, 2024 5:00 pm

What’s the Appropriate Way to Engage My Homosexual Friends?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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May 1, 2024 5:00 pm

Episode 1479 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

  1. Why do faithful Christians experience extreme suffering? 2. Will there still be evil people after the devil is in the lake of fire? 3. What's an appropriate way to engage with my homosexual friends? 4. When does a new Christian receive the Holy Spirit?     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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What's the appropriate way to engage my homosexual friends? 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 we'll be taking your calls for the next 25 minutes or so. Here's the phone number. It's 833.

The CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. I also want to mention we have a YouTube channel. You can actually watch Adriel live in the studio at 1130 a.m. Pacific time every weekday and send him your question through the YouTube channel. And of course, if you want to use the old-fashioned way, carrier pigeon.

No, actually, we have an email address, and that is questionsatcorechristianity.com. I guess they could use carrier pigeon. I would love to get a message that way. We would be sure to do that one on the air.

As long as the pigeon doesn't do something on your desk there, that would not be good. Hey, let's get to a voicemail from one of our listeners. This one came in earlier this week from Linda. My question is, my dad was a devout Christian, and yet he suffered many, many losses, the loss of a child. He was struck with type 1 diabetes during World War II. Then he was struck with Parkinson's disease. And then he had a wife that left him, took the children. And then my mother was very abusive to him. And I just want to know, he prayed and prayed and prayed, and he was a devout Christian his whole life, and why did he have to have so much suffering and evil happen to him?

Okay, thank you. Yeah, Linda, it sounds like he, despite his faith in Jesus and his commitment to follow the Lord, had a lot of trials in his life. And it's really hard to answer the question, the why question. We don't always know why God allows a particular form of suffering or trial in our lives, what exactly he's doing in and through it, but we do know that he uses trials for our good and that he can. We don't invite suffering. Of course, none of us wants to suffer.

We don't want to treat it lightly or minimize it. I don't want to minimize your father's suffering at all. But what I can say to you, Linda, is that God is so powerful that he can work and could work, and it sounds like did work, indeed, in and through those experiences your father had to shape him into a man of character and into someone who loved Jesus. And I want to share with you three passages of scripture from the New Testament that I think are really important for us when we think about this question of suffering. The Bible, again, doesn't minimize human suffering. Jesus said that in this world we would have tribulation, but the verses that I want to share with you right now emphasize the fact that God is able to work in and through our suffering and produce something in us, in his people, that is good, even through trials. And so the first verse I want to share with you is from the letter of James. In James 1, beginning in verse 2, he said, Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness, and let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. So James says, when we experience trials, we can have joy in knowing that God is able to use this trial to produce something in us that is pleasing to him and that is for our good.

The other verse that I wanted to share with you, along these same lines as well, is in the book of Romans. So now this from the Apostle Paul in Romans chapter 5, verses 3 through 5, Paul said, Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. And so there Paul's saying, God is producing, again, character in his people that leads to hope. Hope in his promises, hope in who he is, but God is working in and through the suffering. And one more passage that I wanted to share with you, because I think this is so important for all of us, as we experience trials and tribulations in our lives, God, help us to hear your word here and to respond in a way that is pleasing to you, O Lord. Paul, again, in 2 Corinthians chapter 4, verses 16 through 18, Paul says, We do not lose heart, though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day, this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen.

For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. So there are three passages that don't give us the why with regard to a particular kind of suffering, but they're giving us hope. They're saying, God is at work in and through the trials that we face, and we can even have a kind of joy as the people of God in the midst of them knowing, okay, God, you're doing something here, you're producing something in me, patience, the fruit of the Holy Spirit, character, that leads to your glory and to my good, and so help me to respond in a way that's honoring to you, that's pleasing to you. And again, we don't minimize suffering, we don't invite it, we don't say, oh, this is just a great... suffering is good in and of itself.

No, it's not. It's a result of the fall and the curse and sin's entrance into the world, the pain that we experience. But we have hope because our God is big enough to work through it, to use it even for our good. And Linda, it seems like the Lord did that for your dad, and that's something that is good, more precious than gold, I would say. God bless you. Linda, thanks so much for your call, and we do grieve what happened with your father. Just really tragic and sad, but I love the hope that you pointed to, Adriel, and so important for all of us to look towards that hope, that hope of the future, that hope of future glory with Christ, and that all the pain and the suffering and the tears will be gone. 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. Our phone number is 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. We'll be taking calls for the next 20 minutes or so. Let's go to Dale in Missouri.

Dale, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, a question that's been bugging me. Way back, the end of the Bible, Revelation, last chapter, I think, is 20. The devil has been taken care of. He's thrown in a box and locked up, and I thought all that was taken care of. And that scripture speaks of the city comes down, or new city, and outside the city are the dogs and the sexual predators and the rapists and the liars and cheaters, and I'm thinking, it's still going on. So why is there a contradiction there? It seems like that was taken care of.

Hey, Dale, excellent, excellent question. So yeah, we're talking about Revelation chapters 20 and 21. Chapter 20, you have the binding of Satan for the millennium, or for the thousand-year reign of Christ, and then for a short period he's released. He deceives the nations once again, and they join together as one against Christ and against his people, and that's when Jesus definitively deals with them, destroys them. I think that's a reference to the final and the second coming of our Lord Jesus, the final judgment. And then you have, in Revelation 20 and following, the last judgment, the great white throne judgment, where Satan, the evil one, all those whose names aren't in the book of life, they're cast into the lake of fire. And so, excellent question, because then you get to Revelation 21, the new heavens and the new earth are coming down, and of course John is receiving this in visionary form. This is a vision that he's receiving given to him by the power of the Holy Spirit, and what he sees essentially is, it seems like a contradiction, like you said, because he's talking about this great and glorious city that's coming down. God says, it is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.

To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. Verse 7, the one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God, and he will be my son. Verse 8, but as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death. And there specifically, that's where it's clear that their judgment, that it is definitively finished. And when the book of Revelation talks about them being on the outside or the outskirts of the city, that's not to suggest that they're still around living and doing their thing. Again, this is a visionary prophecy. What's being communicated here is that they've been cut off. They don't have any share in the city.

Why? Because ultimately they are cast out into the lake of fire. And so I don't think it's a contradiction there, especially when we understand that we're dealing here with apocalyptic prophecy, with this highly symbolic visionary book. That's why earlier in the book, when John sees Jesus, a vision of Jesus, he sees him as a lamb standing as though it were slain. And it's not that Jesus is literally in heaven, a lamb walking around that looks like it has a mortal wound on it, but it's living still.

No. What's being communicated to John through this vision is that Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, that he died and that he rose again. And so we have to read this book, the Apocalypse, the Revelation of John, in the context in which it was written as a visionary prophecy, and just a good opportunity maybe to plug even the Bible study that we offer here at Core Christianity on the book of Revelation, written by a wonderful New Testament scholar named Dennis Johnson. And I recommend you get a hold of that resource if you're curious about the book of Revelation, to study it a little bit more deeply.

That's an excellent tool to do that. Hey, Dale, thanks so much for your call and appreciate you listening to Core Christianity. And once again, that great Bible study on Revelation available right now at corechristianity.com. Something else you can find at our website is Adriel's brand new book on the Lord's Prayer. Yeah, the book is called Praying with Jesus, Getting to the Heart of the Lord's Prayer, and I'm so encouraged by the response that we've been getting over this book, and just friends and others who have reached out and said it's been a blessing for them in their relationship with the Lord. I wrote this book, Bill, as you know, to encourage people in their prayer lives, and prayer is something that so many of us struggle with, coming before the Lord consistently and in faith. There's a reason why Jesus taught us to pray and not to lose heart. It's easy to lose heart when it comes to prayer. It's the tendency that we have just to not continue to pray.

And so if you're interested in building a habit of prayer in your life and cultivating that prayer life I think the scripture talks about, get a hold of this book, Praying with Jesus, Getting to the Heart of the Lord's Prayer. And we'd love to send that to you for a donation of $25 or more. Just go to corechristianity.com forward slash praying. Again, that's corechristianity.com forward slash praying. And of course, you can call us for any one of our offers at 833-843-2673, 833-THE-CORE. Well, we do receive voicemails here at CORE Christianity, and you can call us any time, 24 hours a day, and leave us your question on our voicemail system.

Here's one that came in from Regina in Missouri. I'm calling to see where in the Bible does Jesus say that homosexuality is a sin. I'm a new Christian, and I've always been very compassionate and I felt for homosexuals because I understood they didn't choose to be afflicted in that way. And they very often fought it themselves, and so I have a few friends who are homosexual, and I've got neighbors, and I'm not quite sure now that I'm a Christian how I'm supposed to handle this situation.

So any input that you have, I would appreciate. Thank you so much. Bye-bye. Regina, I'm so thankful that the Lord has brought you to Himself, and I'm grateful for your question as well.

How do I relate to friends and family members? Now that I'm a Christian, friends and family members who live in a way that's contrary to the Word of God, and this one in particular, you're asking specifically, where does Jesus say that homosexuality is a sin? Well, this is something that is clearly taught in the Bible in the Old and in the New Testament. There are texts in the book of Leviticus, there's Paul in Romans chapter 1. Paul is very clear in Romans chapter 1 that homosexuality is against nature, contrary to nature, and he's talking there in particular about men having intimate relationships, sexual relationships, with other men and women doing the same thing. And Paul talks about that bringing the judgment of God, and not just that, but those who give hearty approval to those things.

And so there's a real issue here, and I appreciate your desire to be compassionate. I think we have to be compassionate as Christians, but we also don't want to compromise what the Word of God clearly teaches. So I think in terms of your own relationships, I think continuing to have friendships and to be a witness, a light for the Lord Jesus Christ, which doesn't mean you have to cut off those relationships or not exhibit love to these people. We ought to be loving. We ought to be more loving than everybody else as Christians. But love does not mean affirming someone in their sin or just agreeing with whatever they want. That's one of the big problems I think in our culture today is people have bought into this definition of love that says love means you just need to accept me the way that I am and celebrate even what I want to do and the decisions that I make. Well, that's not love. True love was exhibited by our Lord Jesus Christ who laid down his life to restore us, to raise us up from our sins. He didn't say, go ahead and continue doing this thing, whatever it is that you want.

I love you so much, just do whatever you want and live however you want and thumbs up. No, that's not what our Lord did. He realized that we were dead in trespasses and sins, that we were living in rebellion against God, and that this rebellion was having a horrible effect on us as human beings on all of humanity. And so God stooped down to us in our brokenness and in our sin and he exhibited that love and compassion, raising us up to new life through his death on the cross for our sins, not so that we would continue in sin, but so that we would repent of our sins and follow him. And Jesus said, you know, when he came into the world, he didn't come to abolish the law, those laws that we hear about, laws pertaining to relationships and sexuality, those kinds of things.

No, he came to fulfill the law of God perfectly on our behalf. And so with something like this, I would encourage you, continue to grow in your relationship with Jesus. And as you do, I think you'll have more love and compassion for the people around you, which will look like not just affirming them in their sin, but seeking to call them to repentance and to follow Jesus and giving the hope of the fact that regardless of what a person struggles with, the sins that we struggle with, that sometimes we feel like, man, have been with us from a very young age, you know, I've always wrestled with this thing, regardless of what that is, the grace of Jesus is big enough and the love of God is big enough to cleanse us of our sins and to bring restoration and healing. That doesn't mean we're not going to continue to have a struggle or a fight with sin, we do as Christians, as followers of Christ, but it doesn't mean that we're hopeless in that struggle. When Paul wrote to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 6, he says, you know, some of you were homosexual, some of you were, you know, you go through a whole list of different things, sins that the Corinthians were engaged in, but he says, but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus. So God is gracious to sinners when we turn to him, regardless of what our sin struggle is, and he oftentimes uses Christians like you to extend that grace and the truth of the gospel to others through friendships like the ones that you have. So God bless you and be with you and help you to continue to grow in your relationship with Jesus and to be a light for Jesus in the midst of your friends. So well said, and I'm so glad you mentioned the fact that Jesus said, I came to fulfill the law because, as we know, those who advocate for quote unquote gay theology will say, well, Jesus never spoke about homosexuality.

He never condemned it personally. And right there you have answered that particular argument, so thank you for that, Adriel. 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. You can always call us at 833-THE-CORE, and you can leave your voicemail there as well.

Let's go to Steve from Kansas. Steve, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, my question is about the Holy Spirit. Do we get the Holy Spirit when we come to be a follower of Christ, when we confess with our mouth and believe in our heart, He is who He is and He did what He did, or do we have to be baptized into the Holy Spirit? Because as I read the Bible, it says you have to be baptized into the Holy Spirit, but it seems like I've read that it comes to us when we are saved. Because I'm saved, but I've never been baptized with the Holy Spirit, and I just don't feel my spirit even though I pray to the Lord every day that I'm feeling somehow to lead me and guide me down the right path.

Steve, excellent question, and you're picking up on something in the New Testament. The New Testament does talk about the baptism of the Holy Spirit in places like the Book of Acts. Jesus said you're going to be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now to His disciples, speaking of the Day of Pentecost. But it also is very clear that when we believe in Christ, it's only by the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 12, verse 3 that no one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. In other words, that true profession of faith, I mean not just lip service, but truly to confess Jesus as Lord is a sign that the Spirit of God is already at work in your life and in you. And so that's not this separate baptism of the Holy Spirit. It's when you believe, you're sealed with the Holy Spirit.

And Steve, the text to go to that makes this really clear is found in the book of Ephesians, Paul's letter to the Ephesians, in Ephesians chapter 1 and in verse 13. Here's what Paul said, In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory. In other words, when you hear the gospel, the word of God proclaimed, you know, Jesus, for the forgiveness of your sins, died on the cross, rose again from the dead. When you hear that message of the gospel and you believe it, at that moment, you're sealed with the Holy Spirit, the promised Holy Spirit. And is that promised Holy Spirit, what's he referring to?

Well, the promise that was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. All the way, you know, prophesied all the way back in Joel chapters 2 and 3, that the Spirit of God was going to be poured out on all flesh. And so when do we experience that, that quote-unquote baptism of the Holy Spirit? Well, when we believe by one Spirit, we've all been baptized into one body, Paul told the Corinthians. Now, why is it then that we're called to be filled with the Holy Spirit? There seems to be like this distinction in the New Testament, and this is where we need to differentiate between being sealed with the Holy Spirit, which is true of every believing Christian, and being filled with the Spirit, walking in the Spirit. How many of you know that even though we're sealed with the Holy Spirit, we're not always walking in the Spirit?

There are times where we give in to those carnal desires that we have. We quench the Spirit, Paul goes on to say in Ephesians chapter 4. And so we're called not just to be sealed with the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ, but to daily be filled with the Holy Spirit.

And Steve, that's something that you should seek in your own life. That's something that each of us should seek in our lives. And pray for us, saying, God, fill me with your Holy Spirit today. Help me to be and to live under the influence of your Spirit. This is what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit. So Paul in Ephesians again, what does he say in chapter 5, verse 18? Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.

Well, what does that look like? Dressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord in your heart. In the parallel text in Colossians chapter 3, verse 16, Paul says that we're filled with the Spirit as the Word of Christ dwells in us richly. And so you want more of the Spirit in your life, the power of the Spirit in your life, a sense of the Spirit's presence? Don't quench the Spirit, but be filled with the Spirit by letting the Word of Christ dwell in your heart richly, by communing with other believers, by going to church and sitting under the preaching of God's Word, by reading the Scriptures. Faith comes by hearing and hearing through the Word of Christ, by praying and singing and worshiping the Lord. You've been sealed with the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ, brothers and sisters. And now God help each one of us every single day to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. And the good news is when you ask for that, God grants it. God bless. God bless.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-01 19:10:59 / 2024-05-01 19:20:50 / 10

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