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What Is Gossip, and Should I Avoid It as a Christian?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
May 2, 2024 5:00 pm

What Is Gossip, and Should I Avoid It as a Christian?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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May 2, 2024 5:00 pm

Episode 1480 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

  1. Where did the demons that Jesus cast into the pigs go when they drowned? 2. What is a good commentary to break down each book of the Bible? 3. When am I gossiping and when am I just sharing my opinion? 4. Should I expect a direct response from Jesus when I pray? 5. If I pray for my brother who died in infancy will he go to heaven?     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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When is commenting about another person gossip, and when is it just giving an opinion about that person and their questionable actions? 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. Here's the number to call. 1-833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also email us anytime at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to Ryan calling in from Oklahoma.

Ryan, what's your question for Adriel? My question is, in Mark chapter 3, it's when Jesus removes the demons from the guy that's in the graveyard, and he casts a request, and he puts in the pigs, and he obeys that, and then the pigs just run off the belt and put in the water. I'm just confused where the demons go. I just don't understand why the demons just want to run the pigs over the edge if they're going in the abyss or wherever they go from there.

I just don't care where they went. Okay, so I think that the text you're thinking about is in Mark chapter 5, and Jesus heals a man who is demon-possessed, and as a result there's this whole scene. Verse 9, Jesus asked him, what is your name? And he replied, my name is Legion, for we are many. And there the demons are speaking.

And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. And the great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. And what's interesting about this is pigs were, of course, unclean animals for the Jews. So you have this unclean animal, and this man who is in this state of uncleanness, he's possessed by a legion of demons. And they begged him, saying, send us to the pigs, let us enter them. And so he gave permission, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs, and the herd, numbering about 2,000, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the sea.

Now there is a lot of, I think, symbolic imagery here. I think that this actually happened, but you think of the sea being this place of destruction and chaos in the Bible. That's how it's pictured in even the prophetic literature.

In the book of Revelation, for example, monsters and beasts come from the sea. Well, here they're cast back into the sea, aren't they? Jesus casts these demons out, they go into these unclean animals, these pigs, and then they go into the sea.

Now, I don't think it's helpful to speculate about what happened to them after that. The Bible doesn't say. We do know that they're under God's judgment, and we do know that Jesus delivered this man. I mean, one of the points of this passage is this man is fully delivered, he's cleansed, and people are blown away by essentially this miracle that Jesus has done. But you have this picture of these unclean spirits going into these unclean animals and then being cast out by Jesus and sent to a place of darkness, the sea, the place of chaos. So that's really what's happening there in Mark chapter 5. Also, water is a picture of cleansing, so sometimes people point to that sort of baptismal imagery here, this man being cleansed, the pigs going into the water leaving.

Brian, I appreciate your question. Let me just say, one of the things that was unique about Jesus' earthly ministry is this idea of him binding the strong man, binding Satan, and releasing people from the grip of the devil. And Christ is still doing that today by the power of the Holy Spirit. Whenever someone turns to Jesus, they're transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light, and so Christ is still at work, even today, freeing people from Satan's grip.

God bless you, Ryan. Hey, just a follow-up question for you. I always find it interesting that after that happened in the gospel accounts, the people of the town got really upset because they had just lost their pigs. They weren't really caring about this guy that had just been freed from demons.

They were more concerned about their financial losses. Yeah, it is interesting. Verse 17 says they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region, and as he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. And Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and how he has had mercy on you. And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled. What a beautiful story. He wants to follow Jesus, and Jesus says, hey, I'm going to make you a witness. Go tell everybody about the grace and the mercy that you have been shown. And just a wonderful trophy this man became of the grace of God. Amen. 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 doctrine or theology, or maybe something in your church life that you are concerned about or confused about. Hey, give us a call. 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Jim calling in from Nebraska. Jim, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, first of all, thank you for taking my call. And my question is, I've got the Spurgeon commentary and I got your basically Matthew Henry commentary. Do you know of a commentary that would break each one of your books of your Bible down with an outline or anything like that? Thank you.

Hey, Jim. Yeah, those kinds of resources can be helpful, right? Bible commentaries.

And of course, some are more helpful than others. With regard to something that's going to give you some of the historical background, but maybe wouldn't be too overwhelming, I often will recommend just a study Bible like the ESV study Bible, because typically there are articles in Bibles like that that give some of the historical background, some of the key questions that were being asked, as well as some Bible commentary. If you're looking for something a little bit more dense to read alongside of the Bible or to get some more of the historical background, there are a couple of introductions to the Old Testament and the New Testament. There's an introduction to the New Testament by a guy named D.A. Carson and Douglas Mu, and that's a good resource. Similarly, there's an introduction to the Old Testament.

Tremper Longman III contributed to that. So some of those introductions to the Old Testament and the New Testament, oftentimes they will have those outlines that you're looking for of the entire book, as well as some of the historical background. Those can be great resources, but let me just encourage all of you listening right now.

It's good to know. We want to understand the Bible in its context, but if you don't have a great library of Bible commentaries, you can still benefit immensely from just reading the Scriptures and reading them prayerfully and saying, God, speak to me through your word. Help me to understand. As you do that, you might get more questions, and that's where it's good to consult a commentary or whatnot, but you don't need to depend upon a Bible commentary, per se. I think it's just important for us to recognize that the Word of God is so powerful, and we can read it with the help of the Holy Spirit and also the help of the Church, the community of faith. Hopefully we're reading it not totally in isolation, but together with other Christians under the ministry of the Word in church. So yeah, maybe consider getting something like the ESV Study Bible for some of that background of the different books of the Bible, or one of these introductions to the Old Testament or the New Testament as well. Jim, thanks for your call.

Thanks, Jim. Appreciate you listening to Core Christianity and some great advice for all of us on digging into God's Word more deeply using a good commentary. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you haven't heard, Adriel has a brand new book out just released in the last couple of weeks, and it's on the Lord's Prayer. Yes, the book is called Praying with Jesus, Getting to the Heart of the Lord's Prayer, and if prayer is something that you want to grow in as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, if it's something you feel like you struggle with, I want to recommend this book to you. I wrote it in a way hoping that it would be accessible for a wide audience, so whether you've been walking with Jesus for just a couple of days or your entire life, I think there's something for you here, and in Praying with Jesus, I unpack in particular the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples when he said, Pray like this, the Lord's Prayer, our Father who art in heaven, I go into each of the petitions of the Lord's Prayer and highlight what's significant about them, what Jesus is talking about, and so get ahold of this book, again, Praying with Jesus, Getting to the Heart of the Lord's Prayer. You mentioned the other day you were actually going through the book with one of your kids, and the fact is this could be used as a family devotional book. It could be, yeah, for sure, and I was reading it to my kids, and it's also something that could be used just in churches for, say, a small group Bible study or something like that, especially for those who want to maybe grow in prayer with others as well, and so good word, Bill. You can get this book for a donation of $25 or more by going to our website, corechristianity.com forward slash praying. Again, that's corechristianity.com forward slash praying, and look for Praying with Jesus, the new book by Pastor Adrian Sanchez. Well, our phone lines are open. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, you can call us at 833-THE-CORE, and we do receive voicemails at Core Christianity and emails as well.

You can email us anytime at questions at corechristianity.com. Here's an email from Danny, and he says, My question pertains to gossip. I know we shouldn't gossip about others, but if you enjoy keeping up with news or sports via talk radio, it can at times delve into gossip with their opinions. Also, when is commenting about another person gossip, and when is it just giving an opinion about that person and perhaps their questionable actions?

Hey, Danny, thanks for that question. You know, the word that Paul uses for gossip in 1 Timothy 5, verse 13 refers to just foolish or silly talk. And, you know, I don't think there's anything wrong with listening to the news or talk radio. We do have to understand, though, that with so much of this, it can just be that, this sort of silly talk that's out there that, frankly, people love to imbibe. People love to just drink that in. I think the scripture makes that clear when Proverbs talks about the whisperer. It says that the words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels.

They go down into the inner parts of the body. In other words, we like that. We like to engage in that. And, by the way, you know, when Proverbs talks about the whisperer, I think there's something associated there with the idea of gossip. But just that idea of it going deep down inside of us, it's not just the one gossiping who's affected, but also those who are willing to listen to it and engage in it and aren't discerning, aren't exercising wisdom there.

And so I think we've got to be careful. You know, the whisperer throughout the book of Proverbs is sort of like this complainer, this person who's always whispering, complaining, and creating strife for the community of faith. And so I think this is something that is characteristic of gossip. This is why it's so dangerous for the churches, because gossips, what they do is they create tension and division within the body of Christ. Again, speaking of the whisperer, this is Proverbs 16 verse 28, a dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends. Proverbs 26 verse 20, for lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases. In other words, that tension, that quarreling that can so often exist among people and even within the church is fueled by gossips, by whisperers.

And so that's what we need to avoid. And it's interesting that even that imagery of being a whisperer, when people get together and all of a sudden somebody leans in and says, Oh, did you hear about Jessica or John? And you already kind of know what's coming next, you know, sort of sharing a bad report. That's also another idea with regard to gossip, is always having something negative to say, something bad to say.

And I would just encourage all of you, all of you believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, to be more known for giving thanks for the good in others than you are for always having something negative to say about someone else, especially a brother or sister in Christ. And so I know I'm getting into more depth than just, you know, what about talk radio and whatnot. I think with those kinds of things, I think we just have to be discerning. Is this just the sort of rumor mill and tail bearing, you know, people just sharing stuff that they really don't know what they're talking about?

And we're engaged in it because we love to hear about the drama. That's not healthy. And so I think we have to be discerning and have to check our own hearts, you know. Is this something that I'm drinking in deeply and how is that affecting me spiritually? But then in the context of the local church within the body of Christ, you know, when other Christians come to you and they start whispering about such and such person and, you know, they've always got a bad report or a complaint and they breed suspicion within the church. That is not godly. That is not honoring to the Lord. If you think something about someone or if you feel something or you're concerned, take that concern to God and go to that person. That's what you should do.

That's the right way to handle that. And so people who don't do that, I think, I mean, this is where the Bible warns us about gossip, Danny. And so God give us grace and help us because this is such an important thing and because this is one of those things that does separate close friends and fuel the quarreling that exists so often within the body of Christ.

God help us to put to death gossip in us and not to be willing to listen to it when others try to gossip before us. Adriel, I read something about you on Facebook. It was really nice. It was really nice.

It was really nice and it probably wasn't true. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Douglas who's calling in from Minnesota. Douglas, what's your question for Adriel?

Yeah, hi. It's really good to get through to you, Pastor Adriel. Good to hear from you, Douglas.

What's your question, brother? The last few months I've been kind of on a journey with the Lord. I quit drinking about 90 days ago as of Tuesday and at the same time I decided to quit all my tobacco habits as well. For the past 90 days I've been trying to communicate and talk and pray and converse with the Lord. I started to get kind of frustrated that I was never hearing from Jesus. I didn't actually expect him to tap me on the shoulder and say, hey, I'm right here, Doug.

But I was kind of looking for something, anything, just some kind of communication. It dawned on me this week that I have had, and to preface this, when I quit drinking I had spoken to the Lord very matter of fact and very fervently that I needed his help. And his help alone taking away my strongholds. And for the last three months I haven't had any issues whatsoever with my drinking or tobacco use. So would it be okay for me to assume that that in itself is Jesus communicating with me, saying, hey, you know, you didn't do this, this was all me? Hey, Doug, great to hear from you, man, and I just want to encourage you. What a wonderful thing to be able to say, God, I want to be more healthy in my life, I want to fix my eyes upon you. There are things that I feel like are getting in the way between me and you and my relationship with you, and so I just want to encourage you, brother. And it sounds like the real question here is, you know, well, I'm waiting to hear from Jesus, and I think, you know, definitely, like in this area where you feel like God has really given you the strength to abstain from something that you felt like was keeping you from the Lord, I think that is God's kindness and God's goodness. I remember years ago, one of my kids came up to me and said, Papa, how come God don't talk? And it was so sweet, it was like the cutest thing, you know, it was like she could see us praying all the time and we're always talking to God, and she was like, okay, great, we're always talking to God, but how come he doesn't talk to us? And I think what we need to remember is God does sometimes, you know, providentially speak through circumstances or, you know, a still, small voice. I think that's a lot of times what we're looking for when we say, God, Jesus, you know, open my eyes, reveal yourself to me. We're looking for some kind of a still, small voice, but God has given us his holy and inspired word. And as we commit to studying the scriptures, you will find, as you're reading the word of God prayerfully, that God is speaking to you, illuminating his word by the power of the Holy Spirit.

It's not that God doesn't have anything to say, it's that God has a lot to say in his word, and yet often we're not listening or we're not picking it up and reading. And so one encouragement I would have for you, I'm not saying that you're not doing that, I don't know, you might be reading the Bible every single day and that's wonderful, I would say keep that up. Continue to read the word of God, to study the scriptures, because it's there that God speaks to us so clearly today, illuminating his word by the power of the Holy Spirit. Yes, there are times in our lives where we feel like, man, I just really felt like the Lord was speaking to me, you know, in this circumstance or in that circumstance, but really where that's going to happen is through the scriptures and through Christian fellowship, so being in a good church where you're hearing the word of God preached, that's how God is speaking to us today. When we go to church, this is why it's so important that pastors preach the word of God, and it's not just a show or all about pastors' stories or whatever. No, we go to hear the voice of God from heaven through the scriptures. And so commit yourself to that, even as you say, okay, I'm abstaining from certain things, commit yourself to pursuing the Lord and to listening to his voice through his word. I think of what Paul told Timothy, 2 Timothy 2, verse 22, he says, Flee youthful passions, right, those things that you feel like, you know, hold you back from the Lord, some of those things being, I mean, they're sin, right, these youthful passions that Paul is talking about there, flee from them, but also pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart, in other words, together with the body of Christ. And I think that as you do that, as you seek to humbly come before the Lord, to pray, to continue to pray to him, but also to study his word and to say, God, speak, I'm listening, I want to understand, I want to know you, God will indeed and does indeed speak to you through his word, and so take advantage of it, Doug, and may the Lord continue to bless you and strengthen you in your relationship with him, as you seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit every single day. God bless. Douglas, thanks so much for your call and for listening to Core Christianity, and may the Lord bless you in your sobriety.

That is just such a cool thing to hear about. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. You can call our voicemail anytime, 24 hours a day, and leave your question for us at 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to David calling in from Minnesota. David, we just got about a minute left. What's your question for Adriel?

Good afternoon, gentlemen. My little brother passed away about 59 years ago at the age of five months, and I pray for his soul every day, and growing up in the Catholic Church, we've heard what happens usually to babies and their souls, and I was wondering if he will ever find favor and be in the Kingdom. David, here's what I would say. You know, sometimes people say, well, if he wasn't baptized, then the answer is no. I disagree with that.

I've said this on the broadcast before. I believe that those who die in infancy, in the womb, those persons made in God's image, that they are with the Lord, in the presence of the Lord, not on the basis of anything except for the grace and the mercy of God. But what I think is interesting is when David lost his son at a very young age, because of the sin that he committed with Bathsheba, he says, okay, my child is dead. I'm not going to be able to bring him back.

Why should I fast? At the time he had been fasting before the child died, can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me. So David seems to indicate that he had this hope of going to be with his child. Now, what's interesting about this is this child died before he received the sign of the covenant, the sign of the covenant being their circumcision, and you'd be circumcised at a certain point as a Hebrew boy. Well, the child died before he received the sign of the covenant. Baptism is a sign of the covenant.

And yet, even though he had not received the sign of the covenant, David still has this hope, I'm going to be with him, I'm going to see him. And so I think we can have hope as well for our children who die, even before they've received the sacrament of baptism, or the sign and seal of baptism. And so may God comfort you with that word and encourage you, and I give thanks for you, brother. May the Lord continue to bless you as you seek his face and seek to honor him in all things. God bless you all, and thank you once again for listening to The Core. 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 / 2024-05-02 19:56:07 / 2024-05-02 20:06:03 / 10

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