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Is It Wrong to Use Grape Juice for Communion?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
May 14, 2024 5:00 pm

Is It Wrong to Use Grape Juice for Communion?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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May 14, 2024 5:00 pm

Episode 1488 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

  1. What does "calling upon the name of the Lord" in Genesis 4 mean? 2. Did the world and everything in it belong to Jesus while he was a man? 3. Is it inappropriate to use grape juice for Communion? 4. Do I invite my friend to church if she's only interested in making friends? 5. Will the Second Coming affect people living on the Moon or Mars?     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.

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Is it wrong to use grape juice for communion? 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. We'd love to hear from you. Our phone lines are open. We'll be taking calls for the next 25 minutes or so. And here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

Just spell it out, 833-THE-CORE, or 833-843-2673. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and you can always email us anytime at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, here's a voicemail from one of our listeners.

This is Nick in Los Angeles. It says, at that time, people began to call upon the name of the Lord. How are we supposed to interpret calling upon the name of the Lord? Is that a reference to prayer? Is it the first instance of worship in the Bible? I'm wondering if you could clear that up for me.

Thanks. Hey Nick, thanks for that question. Yeah, I mean, I think prayer and worship, both of those would be accurate, calling upon the name of the Lord. Sometimes it's used in the Old Testament with regard to seeking God for deliverance or salvation. And so there in Genesis chapter 4, verse 25, of course, this is right after a couple of things. We have the fall of humanity, and then you also have Cain and Abel, and Cain murdering his brother Abel.

And so it's kind of a rough couple of chapters leading up to this. And verse 25 of Genesis 4 says, And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth. For she said, God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him. To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh.

At that time people began to call upon the name of the Lord. And so you have these two offsprings, or these two seeds. You have the line of Seth, and then you also have the line of Cain.

The seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent. And so you have the godly line of Seth, and then you have, you know, what some people would consider the corrupt line of Cain. And the offspring of Seth, the godly line beginning to call upon the name of the Lord, to seek him and to worship him. That same phrase is used in other places, as I mentioned in the Old Testament. One place, for example, is in Joel chapter 2, verse 32, where Joel foresaw a day when the Spirit of God would be poured out of the flesh, and, you know, your sons and daughters are going to prophesy. That's what Peter said took place on the day of Pentecost, essentially. And then Joel said, you know, all who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.

And of course that language is picked up also in the New Testament in places like the book of Romans. And so definitely I would see here an allusion to prayer, to worship, but also to seeking God specifically for his deliverance. And so I think that's what's going on there in Genesis chapter 4. Thank you for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity. We'd love to hear from you. If there's a Bible passage that maybe you're a little confused about, maybe you've wondered for years, what exactly does this mean?

Or it's a historical allusion that you're confused about in the Old Testament. Give us a call right now, 833-THE-CORE or 833-843-2673. You can also email us anytime at questionsatcorechristianity.com. Here's an email from one of our listeners named Lori.

She says, Hey, Lori, thank you for that question. I think that there are a couple of ways of looking at this. Sometimes we distinguish between the mediatorial reign of God and his providential reign over all creation. We know that God is sovereign over everything. He's the great king of kings and lord of lords, and so there isn't anything that happens outside of his sovereign providence.

There isn't anything that's outside of his control or power. And yet, Jesus came into the world to redeem those who had been captive or who were captive to Satan as a result of sin. And it's that specific mediatorial reign, Jesus coming as the God-man, the son of God incarnate, who assumed our humanity so that he might redeem us and lift us up from the dust.

I think that's in reference there. Of course, during the temptation of our Lord Jesus, it's not that he could ever be tempted as God. It's that he was conquering Satan. He was doing what Adam failed to do. Adam let the serpent into the garden and allowed the serpent to deceive his wife and didn't take responsibility as the covenant head of humanity. And Jesus here is not going to succumb to the serpent. He's not going to be tempted in the wilderness as Israel was tempted coming out of Egypt.

He is going to overcome and be faithful to his father in worship and in obedience to his word. And that's where we fall in short. We fall in short because of Adam and of Israel perfectly fulfilling the law of God, conquering the serpent for us so that we might be redeemed, so that we might be made a part of this kingdom, this kingdom of grace that he has established. And so in that sense, I think he can speak of, you know, Satan can speak of offering him the kingdoms of this world, these kingdoms that had been taken captive by him through sin and unbelief. And that's precisely what Jesus came to undo. And what's being undone through the work of the Great Commission, you know, as Jesus commanded in Matthew 28 when he sent his disciples to God into all the world and to make more disciples, baptizing in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that was commanded by our Lord Jesus.

And so wonderful passage to think about the temptation there in the wilderness and its significance for us as believers in Jesus. We have a brand new core guide we want to tell you about on our website. It's called The Five Names of God You Should Know. Yeah, we've been offering this resource for a few days now, and I do hope you'll get a hold of it. Just another devotional resource, Bill. We are always working here at Core Christianity to try to create devotional resources, resources that are going to encourage you in your relationship with God and give you a deeper understanding of his word. And what a better way to grow than in our understanding of how God has revealed himself specifically with those names that we find throughout the Bible, names like Emmanuel and Abba, Father. And so get a hold of this resource.

You can download it for free online. It's called Five Names of God You Should Know. We have a whole bunch of free resources available, too, at our website, including a bunch of different core guides, our core questions. We also have Bible studies for purchase on books from both the Old and the New Testament. So browse around while you're there to find this specific new guide.

Just go to corechristianity.com forward slash offers and then look for Five Names of God That You Should Know. Well, we just learned our phone lines are down, but here's the deal. You can actually send us a question right now through Instagram or go to our YouTube channel and send a question to Adriel that way. So if you've got a question for us, you can head over there. Or should I just give my cell phone number?

What do you think about? I mean, I think I could know. OK, the producer just probably not a good eyes and said, don't give your personal cell phone. OK, well, don't do that. But you can reach out to us in those other ways.

Yes. Or email us at questions at corechristianity.com. Not while you're driving, preferably. Don't try to say if you're driving right now, don't try that.

Do not do not. By the way, if you do call us now, you can go right to our voicemail and leave us your question there. Let us know where you're calling from and your name. And that number again is 833 the core. Speaking of voicemails, here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Joel.

Thank you so much for all of the work that you do. I really enjoy listening and even praying for the people who call in. But my question is about communion. Our church recently stated that they felt, the elders that is, that communion must be served as actual wine, which means that it needs to contain alcohol. Previously, I made a promise before the Lord, not necessarily an oath, but just told the Lord that I would not have alcohol anymore. Should I break that oath? Does communion really require wine or is it really more symbolic, therefore wine or not?

It's about the purpose of it being symbolic of blood. Thank you, Joel. Appreciate it. Joel, may the Lord bless you and thank you for calling and thank you for your encouragement and thank you especially for the prayers that you offer up. What a wonderful thing it is. And you know from listening to the broadcast, a lot of times people call with going through really difficult situations and feel like, man, all we can do is pray. And so I will pray on the broadcast frequently for people. And it's wonderful to know that many of you are praying as well. And please pray for us that God would help us to be faithful to Him. Now, with regard to your question, it's an excellent question. Let me just say, at the outset, our church uses wine for the Lord's Supper, for communion.

That's all we have. And in part because that is what Jesus instituted this sacrament with. And I do think it's important for us to be faithful to the Word of God. I think that there is, even though we're thinking about juice from a grape still, in that sense I don't think that if a church is taking the Lord's Supper with grape juice that they're not really communing with Christ by faith.

I wouldn't go that far. If you're pastoring a church and that's what they do, but you want to move in the other direction, I don't think it's something that you should just split the church over. I think that you need to be patient and pastoral and caring. But that's what we've used, again, because it's what Jesus instituted this meal with, from the very beginning of our church. And that has, over the years, I'm coming up on our 10-year anniversary as a church in September, and over the years we've had conversations with people who either said, I never wanted to drink alcohol, so what does this mean for me? Or maybe they have a background with abusing alcohol. And so it's opened the door for some really good conversations.

Not as many as you might think. Sometimes people think, well, if you only have wine, then nobody's going to be able to take the Lord's Supper who has this background, and there are going to be all these people who just don't commune. But for us, that hasn't actually been the case. We've had a lot of conversations with people, even people who have backgrounds where they've abused alcohol. We've been able to work with them and care for them and minister to them, and get to a place where, by the grace of God, they feel comfortable partaking of the Lord's Supper. I don't see it as the violation of a vow or going back on their sobriety, that type of a thing. One of the reasons I think it's significant is not just because Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper with wine. And again, grape juice is sort of a novelty in our society. The way we have it today in the days of Jesus, wine is just what people drink.

It was one of the staples. It might not have been as strong as the wine that we drink today, but it did have some alcoholic content. One of the reasons I think that that's significant and important is because in the Bible, it's not viewed entirely negatively. When we think of alcohol purely negatively, as though in and of itself it's evil or sinful or something like that, there's a problem there. Because that's not how the Bible depicts it. Often in the Bible, it's depicted as a drink of celebration, a drink of joy, a drink of feasting.

It can be abused, and God knows it's been abused in so many ways and throughout the history of the Church. Nevertheless, Jesus still instituted this sacrament, this ordinance with wine, because it is this picture of the celebration, the joy of the kingdom, the feasting that we're going to experience one day in the fullness of the kingdom of God. That's what we get a foretaste of in the Lord's Supper. I think of that wonderful, wonderful passage in the book of Isaiah, in Isaiah chapter 25, where God promises to swallow up death forever and ever. And we read in verse 6, on this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine, well-refined. And He will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces. That's so beautiful, but there again, that picture of the feast of God's kingdom coming together around the table of the Lord and celebrating, celebrating what?

The fact that God conquered death. That's precisely what we do when we take the Lord's Supper. We proclaim Christ's death and His resurrection until He comes. We're getting a foretaste of that great eschatological feast that's described in Isaiah chapter 25 of rich food and well-aged wine.

And so I think it's significant that that's the case. Again, we're not just talking about juice here, you know, cranberry juice or something like that. We're talking about this celebratory drink, this drink of the wedding feast that we see in Scripture. And so for that reason, I think churches should use wine in the Lord's Supper. But again, I wouldn't go as far as to say that the churches that don't use wine, I know that there are many that use grape juice and some that use both wine and grape juice, that they're just not at all partaking of the Lord's Supper.

I think they just miss some of that imagery. And certainly, too, we want to do things as Jesus commanded us to do them in His Word. And so for you, brother, I just want to encourage you. I don't think you need to feel like you're guilty or all of a sudden you're doing something sinful if you do this.

Obviously, it's one thing to go and drink recreationally and another thing to partake of the Lord's Supper with the people of God, to receive by faith the body and blood of Jesus. And that's what you're doing, again, by faith when you take the Lord's Supper. So may God bless you, Joel. May God give you grace and also give wisdom to the leadership of your churches as I'm sure they're navigating this shift and seeking to minister to the people there. May God give them all grace and wisdom to care for the flock and to encourage you all. So thanks for reaching out. Joel, thanks so much for your nice voicemail and for your prayers.

We do appreciate you so much. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. You can feel free to leave a voicemail at that number as well. Let's go to Shannon in Montana. Shannon, what's your question for Adriel?

Hi. This is more of kind of a situation that I came across the other day. A friend of mine, we had a playdate and I had invited her to come to church with us. She's never really been exposed to Christianity growing up. She'd never really known about what entails at church, but she just recently told me that she just feels like she's missing something.

She feels like she's missing her community of people. She just had kind of come to me and asked a lot of questions at church and I was like, come, come with us and come be a part of this. But part of me is when I came home and thought about the conversation, I was like, oh, does she just want to come to church because she wants friends or is she missing the main part of being able to worship the Lord and getting to know Him in that relationship? How do I respond to her?

Do I say just come to church and join us and let the Lord work through her or is this something where I should maybe correct her or offer some guidance before coming to church? I would love your opinion on that. Shannon, I love this question and how wonderful that she's comfortable with you, that she sees you as a friend, that she wants something that you have. Let me just say something. I think this is awesome. When people outside of the church are attracted to Christian community, our churches should be attractive in one sense in that we love each other, we care for one another, we have this fellowship that's full of joy, this camaraderie around the gospel, that should be a draw in a world where a lot of people, especially if they don't have family close by. My wife and I have oftentimes talked about this where it's like, man, we have family close by where we live in San Diego, but for friends of ours who don't and don't really have any other community, I know it's got to be so hard. We feel overwhelmingly blessed because we have family and we also have our church community that we love, and we spend a ton of time with people in our church, with kids and families, and it's just beautiful.

I don't think that you need to try to correct her. I think just realizing, man, this is great that she's drawn to this, and as she comes, if she comes, I hope she does, she's going to have more questions. Now, if she comes and she's wanting to take the Lord's Supper and she's never been baptized, I think you could say, well, this is a meal for Christians and whatnot. I think that that's important, but I think letting her come and experience the joy of Christian community, to see the love that exists within the body of Christ, I think that's one of the things. Jesus said in John 13, verse 35, the world will know that you are my disciples by your love for one another. And so seeing that love, I think, is so important for the world to see that love.

And so just the fact that you're having this friendship and you're willing to even include her in that, I think is a wonderful thing. And God willing, an opportunity for her to hear the gospel, to have more questions, to realize, okay, it's more than just a friendship group. This isn't just an affinity group or people that all like the same kind of music or whatnot. These people are really drawn together. What is it that binds these people together, the glue that makes them stick? Well, that's where the gospel comes in, because the church is a place where you have people coming from all walks of life, all different backgrounds, all different kinds of sinners, who are united by the fact that Jesus has washed us with his blood.

He's been baptized by one spirit into one body. And so we have this sweet communion with each other. And again, that should be something that the world looks at and says, man, I want that. I need that in my life. I'm starving for that kind of community.

How can you have that? And that's when we get to point to we can have that through the gospel. And so I would say, yeah, invite her, include her, and get ready to have conversations. Pray that the Lord would pique her curiosity even more, that she would wonder about what's said, have conversations about the sermon and whatnot.

I think this is a really cool opportunity. And God bless you, Shen. Why don't we take a moment to pray for our sister and even for this friend, that the Lord would really do a work in this situation. Our Father in heaven, thank you, Lord, for the sweetness of Christian fellowship and of Christian community. And God, we do ask that you would cause our churches to be beacons of light and joy and goodness, Lord, such that the world would see our good works. Jesus, as you said in the Sermon on the Mount, that the world would see our good works and glorify you, O God. And God, that they would be drawn to the love that we have for each other, a love that has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has given to us, and that being around Christian community, true Christian community, would not drive them away, but cause them to realize something that's missing in their life. And I pray that for this friend, this individual, Lord, that they would hear your gospel and that they would believe it, that they would be drawn to you, Jesus, that you would work by the power of the Holy Spirit in these relationships, and ultimately, Lord, bring one more to yourself. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen. Amen. Shannon, thanks for your call and for listening to CORE Christianity.

Here's an email that came in from one of our listeners. This is Donna in St. Louis, and she says, I believe that Christ is coming soon, but I know that soon in God's time and human time are two different things. If humans succeed in reaching and living on Mars or the moon, will the rapture reach there, or do you think that God will not allow humans to leave earth? Yeah, that's a great question. I know a lot of people are talking about, you know, life on other planets and going to other planets, you know, with Elon Musk and whatnot. But, you know, here's the great news is God is the one who created all things, every other planet, every star.

The heavens declare the glory of God. Let's say life continues for another 10,000 years, and we've found a way to colonize other planets. Those planets are not outside of our God's sovereign control, and when Christ returns, those people are also going to be affected by. It's not like, well, you know, oh, man, we missed the second coming of Jesus because we're over here on Jupiter or wherever. But, I mean, yeah, so, I mean, quite a bit of speculation here. But at the end of the day, no, I don't think that this affects anything with regard to Christ returning and judging the living and the dead.

That was promised in scripture all over the place, specifically in places like Paul's letter to the Thessalonians, I think the 1 Corinthians chapter 15 as well where Paul talks about the coming of the Lord and the resurrection of the dead. And so once again, brothers and sisters, thanks for listening to the broadcast. Sorry the phones are down, but have a wonderful day. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-15 19:57:15 / 2024-05-15 20:07:09 / 10

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