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How Should Christians Navigate Toxic Relationships?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
May 13, 2024 5:00 pm

How Should Christians Navigate Toxic Relationships?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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May 13, 2024 5:00 pm

Episode 1487 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

  1. Does 1 Corinthians 15:29 teach that the dead can be baptized? 2. Does someone who is possessed need to agree to be exorcised? 3. How can Christians navigate a toxic relationship? 4. Does God give people the ability to see angels?     Today’s Offer: 5 Names of God You Should Know   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.


How should Christians navigate toxic relationships? 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.

We pray that you had a wonderful weekend. This is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. And our phone lines are open.

We're taking calls for the next twenty-five minutes or so. Here's the phone number. It's eight three three the core.

That's one eight three three eight four three twenty six seventy three. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, including on YouTube. We actually have a YouTube channel where you can watch Adriel live in the studio every weekday at eleven thirty a.m. And you can always email us your question at questions at core Christianity dot com. First up today, let's go to Bob calling in from Missouri. Bob, what's your question for Adriel?

Hello. I have a question referring about First Corinthians Chapter 15 and verse twenty nine. It says, else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead? If the dead rise not at all, why are they then baptized for the dead? And I was wondering why we are being baptized for the dead or which dead are they talking about?

Bob, excellent question. And this is one of those texts that's really confusing for a lot of people. I know it's the basis for the idea of proxy baptism or being baptized for the dead in the Mormon religion. But Christians reject that idea, the idea that you can be baptized on behalf of someone who has died. And so what exactly is Paul getting at here? First, the context of First Corinthians 15 is really important. What he's trying to do is establish the reality of the resurrection of the dead and the fact that we as followers of Jesus are going to rise from the dead too because Jesus rose from the dead. His church, his people, those who have faith in him are also going to rise from the dead. And so the resurrection is central here. He's making arguments in favor of the resurrection of the dead and he's highlighting an inconsistency with regard to the practice of some people. Now we don't know who these people are but I don't think he's talking about what the church was doing at the time.

He says in verse 29 otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? There he uses the third person plural of the word to do. These people who are doing this. It's interesting because he switches in the very next verse to the first person.

Why are we in danger every hour? He's not saying, what are we doing? Why are we baptizing for the dead? He's talking about another group. And so we don't know a lot about this group but we do know that Paul is essentially calling them out because there's an inconsistency in what they're doing. First, they're baptizing for the dead, which again you're not going to find precedent for elsewhere in the New Testament. But it seems like they were also questioning the resurrection of the body.

So that's what's happening here. He's essentially pointing out this error but it's clear based upon the language of verses 29 and 30 that this isn't something that Paul and the apostles were doing. This is some other sect or group apart from the Christian church that was doing this. So it seems like there was this erroneous sect that was practicing this.

And so there's nothing for us here in terms of this is something we should be doing. Baptizing on behalf of those who have died and gone before us who haven't been baptized. It reminds me of a friend I had who I was sharing the gospel with for some time, a Mormon gentleman. And we would oftentimes have conversations and he'd ask me about my relatives, my grandparents and so forth and great-grandparents. And he would tell me that he does baptisms for the dead, proxy baptisms. And I often wondered if he's trying to get baptized for my great-great-grandfather or something like that. So I just I wouldn't give him their names because I didn't want him to go and do something like that because it's not biblical. And so yeah, so you know I think there in 1 Corinthians 15 Paul is calling out the wrong practice of this group that was around in his day. Thanks for your question, Bob. Now, Adriel, don't the Mormons believe that kind of the more people, relatives that you baptize, the higher plane in heaven you get or the more you get to populate your eternal planet?

Yeah, I mean to be honest, I don't know. I wouldn't want to speak for their beliefs. I do know that so many of their beliefs, I don't know about that one specifically in terms of the more people you get baptized on behalf of, the more treasure you'll get in heaven or something like that. But I do know that there are significant and fundamental differences with core Christianity, with the essence of the Christian faith in terms of how they define the Gospel, how they define the Godhead, the nature of God. And so enough to say that it's not a, it just isn't a Christian religion. It's a sect. It's outside of the bounds of historic Christianity. And so we preach the Gospel to Mormons. We present the true God as He's revealed Himself to us in Scripture to them. And that's not to say that they're, you know, bad people and they don't have good family values and whatnot. It's just that there are fundamental differences with regard to what the Mormons teach and what the Bible teaches. And so, yeah.

So true. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, or theology. Maybe you have something going on in your church that's confusing to you or concerning to you.

Feel free to ask us about that as well. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners.

This is Irma. My question for pastors is I've been taking classes locally at a local church for healing. It's a healing ministry. And my question is, one of, I guess, the teachers, the person teaching, doing the teaching, explain that if you're doing a demonic deliverance, the person has to be in agreement or you can't proceed. It's a little confusing to me.

So if you could clarify in this, I would really appreciate it. Thank you. Okay. Irma, two things I want to address here. One is to talk about this idea of taking classes to do a healing ministry or learning how to be a healer. And secondly, to get to the heart of your question, which is about, you know, does somebody who's maybe under demonic possession or influence, do they need to sign off before you can deliver them?

So there are two things happening here. First, what I would want to say is, healing in the New Testament was a gift of the Holy Spirit, supernatural healing. And you don't find really healers today like you had in the days of the apostles. I think that that gift in particular, that miraculous sign gift, was given for a particular purpose, namely the expansion of the gospel in the early church. That doesn't mean that God can't supernaturally heal today.

It's just I don't think that you have people who are healers today. And certainly, it's not something that you can learn, like learning how to read a book. Paul, the apostle, said in 1 Corinthians 12 that each one of us is gifted by the Holy Spirit.

In other words, this isn't something that you learn. It's something that God gives to you. He says in 1 Corinthians chapter 12 verse 4, now there are varieties of gifts but the same Spirit. There are varieties of service but the same Lord. And there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, and to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles. And so you see this is something that God is granting. God is giving these gifts.

So it's not something that's like, oh, I need to learn how to speak in tongues like I learned how to speak in Spanish or Chinese or German. No, this is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in the life of an individual. And again, we have to think about, well, is this something where God is continuing to give these gifts ordinarily in the life of the church, or was this something specifically for the apostles? Now, with regard to the question that you brought, what strikes me as strange about that, you know, like, you know, if somebody is really possessed by a demon, they have to be able to say, okay, I accept what you're about to do in this deliverance ministry or whatnot. It seems to me like Jesus, who is the ultimate deliverer, the one who went around, you know, casting out demons and freeing people from the grip of Satan, he didn't go around asking these people, hey, can I have permission to redeem you?

Can I have permission to deliver you from the bondage that you're in? No, the way it's depicted in the New Testament is Jesus is binding. It's like he's tying up the strong man, Satan, and freeing people who are captive to his grip. And so I think we have to pray for, you know, those who are struggling spiritually, those who are outside of Christ, that God would open their eyes to receive the gospel.

I don't know that I see it as much as, you know, the way it was presented to you. I think, for example, of Matthew chapter 8, that encounter that Jesus has in the Gadarenes. It says, when he came to the other side of the country of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met him coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass by that way. And behold, they cried out, what have you to do with us, O Son of God?

Have you come here to torment us before the time? Now a herd of pigs was feeding at some distance from them, and the demons begged him, saying, if you cast us out, send us away into the herd of pigs. And he said to them, go. And they came out and went into the pigs, and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the waters.

The herdsmen fled, and going into the city they told everything, especially what had happened to the demon-possessed men. And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their region. Kind of an interesting scene, but I think one thing that's clear is Jesus, when he delivers us, he delivers us as the mighty and strong savior. He's not going around asking, you know, the evil one for permission for something. No, he's completely sovereign. He's the ruler.

He's the king of kings and lord of lords. And so we ought to pray, Lord Jesus, son of God, deliver those who are in bondage. Free them from that bondage, from that grip of Satan that they're in, because you have all authority and power to do that. And so that's how I would see that. But then just going back to this idea of learning how to heal, you know, look, in many churches I think there's confusion about spiritual gifts, their function in the church. We can get so get so caught up in the miraculous and sign gifts and wanting to pursue this sort of extraordinary Christianity that we miss the daily discipleship, the daily grind of the Christian life, focusing on growing in our understanding of the scriptures, on being a member in good standing of a local church.

That's what you need. That's what we need more than anything is to be in the Word, to be committed to prayer, to be committed to good churches. That's where you see real growth and grace, real deliverance, real mortification of sin taking place. It may not be as exciting as, you know, speaking in tongues and prophesying all the time, but that's not the everyday Christian life.

That's not the bread and butter, if you will. And so we really need to recover a high view of the Word and the ministry of the Word and growing in the fellowship of the church. Irma, thank you so much for your question. May the Lord bless you. So well said.

Thanks for that, Adriel. Something all of us need to remember is that, as you said, the daily day-to-day walk with Christ and what that really means and not to be looking for these exciting super emotional experiences, because even though they may happen at times, that's not the, as you said, the daily walk. So yeah, the Christian life isn't just one big mountaintop experience. And people, I mean, that really devastates the faith of many people. When they go through difficult times, they're in the valley and they think, oh man, there must be something really wrong with my Christianity, because I don't feel the presence of the Lord like I once did, and I'm not experiencing these great and miraculous things. And so, you know, I think we mislead people when we make it sound like the ordinary Christian life is just walking on water.

No, it's not. Sometimes it's in the valley of the shadow of death, but our Savior Jesus is there with us in it and through it, and He will never leave us or forsake us, and we cling to His Word in those dark seasons. Amen.

Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open, and we'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Here's our number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 833-843-2673.

We'll be taking calls for the next 10 minutes or so, so now is the time to jump on the phone. Also, you can email us anytime if you have a question at I want to mention a great new resource we have. It's one of our core guides, which are absolutely free. You can find them on our website, and this one is called Five Names of God You Should Know. Yeah, and as Bill said, this is a free resource, so there's no reason not to get a hold of it. I think it'll edify you, it'll encourage you in your relationship with the Lord.

Just thinking a little bit more about the way in which God has revealed Himself in His Word as our Father, as Emmanuel, the God who is with us. And so get a hold of this resource. Again, it's called Five Names of God You Should Know. You can find that at forward slash offers. Again, forward slash offers. Look for the Five Names of God You Should Know. And while you're at our website, by the way, check out some of our other great resources, including our core questions and our core Bible studies. Well, we do receive voicemails and emails here at Core Christianity.

Here's an email that came in from one of our listeners. They say, I have a friend with untreated schizophrenia whose mental health has been in a steady decline over the past few years. He hears a voice that he says is God, and he follows it into dangerous situations that often result in those around him being hurt and offended by his words and actions. I've tried to reason with him and explain that he's not hearing the voice of God, as God would never ask us to do anything which contradicts his word, like self-flagellation as a form of penance. But he doesn't listen to me and chooses to believe that he's hearing the voice of God.

All this has impacted my own mental health. I've had to separate myself from him, which he says he will not forgive me for. This upsets me very much, but I know I can't force forgiveness. My question is this. How do I continue to love my friend in a godly manner during the midst of all this turmoil?

Is breaking off all contact with him considered me not loving my neighbor? Boy, let's just take a moment to pray. This was an anonymous email, but let's pray. I mean, God knows these individuals, so let's pray for the friend and for the person who's suffering with schizophrenia.

Our Father in heaven, we come before you right now. We do want to pray for this individual and ask that you would give them wisdom. Well, Lord, it's so easy for us to feel burdened, wanting to help, but not knowing what to do and how to best help an individual. I do pray that you would help this person to love their neighbor well, but also, Lord God, not to enable unhealthy behavior. And so for the person who's suffering with schizophrenia, Lord, who hasn't gotten the help that they need, I pray that you would be at work, Lord, that you would open the doors for them to get the help and the care that they need, that they might live a healthy life, Lord, and a full life, Lord, and would know you and your grace. And so please, Lord Jesus, intervene in this situation. We pray. Father, grant these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

Amen. I don't necessarily think that cutting off communication is not loving your neighbor. I mean, obviously, it can be really unhealthy for you and for them if there's a pattern of hurt and abuse. And you sometimes get this with issues of mental health. And so I think one of the ways you can love this person is by really encouraging them to get the help that they need, because obviously, they're suffering immensely. And if for whatever reason they're not willing to get that help, I don't know that there's a lot that you can do. I mean, what would you say, Bill?

I mean, I know an area of your expertise that you've been—this is, I know, an area of your expertise as well. Well, you know, this person says that the individual with schizophrenia is untreated. In other words, they are either resisting treatment, they have not wanted to get treatment for their mental illness, and that's the big issue. And so the most loving thing to do in a case like this is to say, you know, I love you and I care for you, but I can't have a relationship with you until you get the help that you need. And in some cases, just like an alcoholic, perhaps it takes a group of people who are friends or have a relationship with this individual to come around and say, look, we love you, brother.

We want you to get better. We want you to get help. But you need to take these actions even to maybe make a link to them with a mental health agency.

But then they have to take that step to pursue it. And really, just like with an alcoholic or anyone else who has a problem like this, the most loving thing you can do is to, you know, have boundaries and take this kind of action. Yeah, almost like an intervention, Bill. And of course, if this is something that's happening in the context of the local church, like this friend with schizophrenia is also a member of the church or is going to church, this is where the church really needs to get involved as well.

And to be that community that says, hey, you need help. And, you know, we do on this broadcast talk about issues of mental health. We have a high view of God, and we also have a high view of the effects of the fall. You know, sin has affected every part of us. You know, the human mind even is not, you know, free from the effects of sin and the breaking down of the body. And so there is such a thing as real, legitimate mental health diseases and issues that need to be addressed by a doctor. And so that's not to say that there isn't a spiritual component, that they can't be a spiritual component, but we have to make sure that we understand that, that we recognize that if we're going to care for people holistically. And it seems like this person, as Bill said, isn't looking for that kind of care yet. I think that you should continue to encourage them to get it, continue to pray for them.

But if they're not willing, then I don't think you need to feel bad about creating distance in the relationship for your own well-being as well. Well said. 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. You can leave us a voicemail anytime at 833-THE-CORE. And of course, you can send us your question via email at

Let's go to Sue, who's calling in from South Dakota. Sue, what's your question for Adriel? I was listening to you previously when you were talking about how they used to cast out demons and speak in tongues and all that. Do you think it's possible today for the Holy Spirit to give certain people gifts? I had a friend of mine who had dealt with cancer, and she got to the point where she could see an angel. And she was at my house one day, and she was asking me what was in certain directions, and every direction she pointed to had a nursing home in it. And she said, that angel up there has their hands down.

They're receiving somebody. And when I went to work on Monday, there had been a death at the nursing home at the same time she said that on Sunday. Do you think that's possible? Hey Sue, thank you for that question.

I do think that that's possible. I mean, here's the thing. God ordinarily works through means. What means? The faithful teaching of the Bible, preaching of the Bible through brothers and sisters in Christ, through the ordinances that Jesus left for the church, baptism and the Lord's Supper. That's how God ordinarily works in the life of the church. That's how the Spirit ordinarily works. But God is God. God is free to work apart from means if He wants.

That doesn't mean that we should just expect that to happen all the time. And again, one of my concerns is when Christians, you know, they hear stories like this and they think, man, I must be a miserable Christian because I have not really seen an angel before. I've not had any kind of, you know, visitation from God that's miraculous.

And so that's my big caution. But I do think that God can, and oftentimes we're thinking more of extraordinary circumstances. I think with the goal ultimately of getting the gospel out, even the miracles in the New Testament when Jesus is performing these miraculous acts, they were always signs pointing to the reality of who He was and of His gospel, of the forgiveness of sins. See, when we make miracles and signs and visions and healings the ultimate thing, we fail to recognize the way in which they functioned. Even in the Bible, they were always pointing to Jesus as the Son of God and Savior of sinners.

And that's what we need more than anything. What we need more than anything is to recover a right understanding of who Jesus is and what He's done and what He's still doing in the world. And yes, He's free to, and I believe has and does work in miraculous ways, but that's not the everyday Christian life. It's not, again, like it's not, you know, you're always going to feel like you're walking on water or like God is just speaking to you. No, pick up the Word of God and read it. Study the Bible. Get plugged into a good church. Be committed to growing together with other Christians. That's what we so desperately need today in the churches, that kind of commitment to the ordinary Christian life through which God blesses us immensely.

Thanks. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, go to 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 / 2024-05-13 18:58:10 / 2024-05-13 19:16:07 / 18

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