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My Friend Would Rather Join His Wife in Hell than Go to Heaven. What Should I Say?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
May 23, 2024 5:00 pm

My Friend Would Rather Join His Wife in Hell than Go to Heaven. What Should I Say?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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May 23, 2024 5:00 pm

Episode 1495 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

  1. If no one has ever seen God the Father, has Jesus seen God? 2. What will people who are going to hell say to God on the day of judgment? 3. What can I say to my friend who would rather be in hell with his wife? 4. If a pregnant woman is raptured, what will happen to her baby? 5. Should I stay in a church that emphasizes self-interest?     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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My friend would rather join his wife in hell than go to heaven.

What should I say? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of Core Christianity. Well, 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.

And as you can tell, we get some real doozies once in a while. You can call us right now with your question at 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and of course you can always email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to John calling in from New York. John, what's your question for Adriel? Okay, my question is, if no human being can ever see God the Father, but in the Bible I have read that Christ himself is seated at the right hand of the Father. Has Christ himself seen the Father?

John, thank you for that question. Well, of course, when we're speaking about Christ, we're talking about the eternal Word of the Father, the Son of God, equal in power and glory with the Father. This gets into our doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and so he always enjoyed and experienced and had that vision, if you will, of the Father. And he himself, Jesus himself, says in John 6, verse 46, and I think that this is a direct answer to your question from the lips of our Lord Jesus. He says, John 6, verse 46, not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God. He has seen the Father. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. He is the one who came down from heaven, the Word, the Lord, Jesus, for us and for our redemption.

And so that passage makes it absolutely clear that Christ, in answer to your question, that the Son of God did indeed see the Father. Thanks, John, for giving us a call. Thanks, John. Appreciate you listening to CORE Christianity. We'd love to hear from you. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, feel free to give us a call right now at 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Maybe you have a particular Bible passage you've read that you're not quite clear on what it means. Well, Adriel would be glad to dive into that with you.

Or maybe there's something going on in your church life that you're either concerned about or confused about. Feel free to call us about that as well at 833-THE-CORE. Our phone lines will be open for the next 20, 25 minutes or so. Let's go to Jim in Nebraska. Jim, what's your question for Adriel? I want to thank you for taking my call. And my question is, what is all of these atheists, and what does all these people claim that they have never heard the gospel? What are they going to say to God when they wind up in basically hell? Thank you.

Okay. It sounds like, Jim, your question is, what about those people who have never heard the gospel? If we're saying that apart from Christ you don't go to heaven, you can't go to heaven apart from faith in Jesus, what about those who have never heard about Jesus?

It's a really good question, and it's one that comes up often. So a couple of things. First, what I would want to say is, we're all held accountable by the justice of God, and God is perfectly just. He's just and He's good.

That's good news. The justice of God just means that we get what we deserve according to His perfect knowledge and will. His goodness reveals the fact that He's merciful and kind towards sinners. Now, with regard to those who maybe haven't heard the gospel, we could still say that they're judged justly on the basis of what they do know. And the question is, well, what do they know? What can they gather even if they've never heard a preacher preach the gospel, they've never had that special revelation from God given to them? Well, they do know that there is a God that exists, and this is what Paul makes absolutely clear in Romans chapter 1.

He says in verse 18, For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, namely His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived ever since the creation of the world in the things that have been made.

So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him. But they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened, claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. And so you note there, Jim, specifically, you know, Paul is saying God has actually shown the entire world something of His divine nature through the creation, and the creation bears witness to the fact that there is a sovereign God in heaven.

It's what some theologians have called the sensus divinitatis, the sense of God that everyone has, it's sort of inborn, this sense of where there's something greater out there than me. And instead of pursuing that, instead of saying, okay, I want to know this God, I want to worship Him, we suppress that knowledge that God has given to us in unrighteousness. And we're judged justly on that very basis.

Now that doesn't mean that the judgment is exactly the same for everyone. For some, particularly those who had more knowledge, more light, more revelation, but rejected it, the judgment is going to be more severe. And so with fear and with fear and trembling, we think about this and we say, okay, God, one, give us as Christians the grace and the boldness to share your gospel, your special revelation, with those who don't know it. And two, help us to receive your word rightly, as we should, not to turn away from it. We who have so much light, so much revelation, you know, we get to listen to Bible teaching all day long, and yet oftentimes we close our ears and our hearts. Oh God, forgive us and help us to be faithful to your word and help us to bear witness to that word and draw the nations to yourself. Thanks, Jim, for your question. You know, Jim's question reminds me, we have a voicemail that has to deal with the afterlife and what happens for those that are not believers, have not trusted in Christ.

This voicemail came in from one of our listeners named Jeannie. I have a friend, his wife passed away recently, about a year ago, two years ago, and I don't know that he's a Christian, but he's been asking a lot of questions. And what kind of frightens me is he says he'd rather go to hell, if that's where his wife is, wherever his wife is, heaven or hell, that's where he wants to go. But he really doesn't understand what he's saying. And I'm wondering, what can I say to him? So I try to explain to him that the only way to get in heaven is through Christ, but he's focused on his wife, you know, that he died, and that he wants to be with her again. So what can I say to him?

What can I do for that? Thank you very much. Take care. Jeannie, I'm so sorry to hear about this situation. It sounds like this friend is going through a lot of pain right now, intense grief, and of course when a loved one, someone like a spouse who you're so close with when they die, I can only imagine how difficult that must be for him, and wanting more than anything else to be with her wherever she is.

And so what can you say? I mean, obviously when we're coming alongside of those who are mourning, I think we want to be sensitive. You know, it's not always helpful to come with, you know, some answer right away, but to pray with and mourn with an individual. And yet God has given us great hope as Christians, a hope in the face of death.

That's precisely what Jesus came to conquer, is death. And your friend is feeling the bitter pangs of death and the loss of his wife. And so I think there's an opportunity here to get to talk about the victory of Jesus, and the fact that if his wife was indeed in Christ, that he doesn't have to sorrow or mourn as those who are hopeless, because the Bible says that those who have died in Christ are in the presence of the Lord right now. And so I think we need to say that those who have died in Christ are in the presence of the Lord right now.

They're more alive even than we are in one sense. Their souls have been perfected in holiness. And so we have the hope that all of our loved ones who believe, those who are in Christ, they're in the presence of the Lord, and that one day we too will join them, whether that's because Jesus comes back, or because we die and join them before the return of the Lord. But I think anytime we're dealing with loss and death, I mean, we can go to the heart of the Gospel, because that's what Jesus came to deal with. The cross and the resurrection are God's confrontation of death. We oftentimes think of death, I think, in our society and our culture today as, you know, this just natural part of life that we're supposed to make peace with.

No. One, death is not natural to humanity as it was created originally. It's the result of sin. And two, God did not make peace with death. He waged war upon it through his son Jesus, and Jesus conquered death when he died. He trampled it down by his death and rose again from the dead.

He left it there in the tomb. And so, you know, pointing your friend to Christ, to his victory, to the hope that we have through Christ, and, you know, praying that the Lord gives you wisdom and opportunity and just the words to say that, to bring this comfort to bear to your friend who's mourning right now. And so God bless you, Jeannie, and give you wisdom in that.

Tough situation. Thank you for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open if you have a question about the Bible, the Christian Life Doctrine or Theology. Give us a call, 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. I also want to mention a wonderful free resource we have available for you on our website. It's all about the different names of God.

Yeah, get a hold of this resource, friends. You know, we always are trying to create free resources that will encourage you in your walk with the Lord, and this one in particular focuses on the names of God. Some of the names of God, at least. There's so many in the Bible, but five in particular that we think are important for you to understand. And so go to corechristianity.com forward slash offers to get a hold of this free digital copy.

It's a download. It's called Five Names of God You Should Know. And as you're at our website, make sure to browse around. Check out some of the other free resources we have. We have a variety of different core guides and core questions, different booklets on a variety of topics, and of course our core Bible studies from books from both the Old and the New Testament. Love to have you check those out as well.

You can find them all at corechristianity.com. Next up, let's go to Don calling in from Missouri. Don, what's your question for Adriel? Hi, thank you very much for taking my call.

I appreciate your guys' program very much. I've just often wondered what would happen during the rapture with the babies that are still in the mother's womb. So in other words, unborn children, are they raptured at that time of the rapture, or is there some other way that God would deal with these babies?

Okay, Don, thank you for that question. So a couple of things. One, there is, you know, this view of the rapture. It's a very popular view in the church, in North America in particular, and it's the idea that prior to the second coming and final death, and final judgment of our Lord Jesus, there is going to be another coming, kind of like a secret coming, where Jesus is going to snatch up all the faithful, those who are in Christ, believers, and they're going to be caught up into heaven, and the rest of us, you know, if we don't have faith in Jesus. And there's a debate about, you know, don't have faith in Jesus, or maybe you're backslidden or something like that.

They're left on earth to suffer in the great tribulation. Some people are going to come to faith, others are going to harden their hearts. That is a popular view today.

That's not the view that I hold. I think that a lot of those passages that people point to to make a case for that secret rapture, and I'm just using, I'm not, you know, trying to speak about the rapture in a negative sense, I'm just using that to qualify, you know, what we're talking about here, that secret rapture. I think the passages that people point to to make a case for that are better understood as referring to the second coming. So there's one coming of the Lord Jesus, his second coming. And so, you know, the passages a lot of times people go to are 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 and 5, but there specifically Paul is talking about the day of the Lord and the final judgment, Jesus coming as a thief in the night. And so I believe that when Christ returns, you know, you have that final judgment.

I do believe that babies, those in utero, that they're going to be in heaven, that God is going to take them with him in glory. If I did hold to the rapture view, you know, I think I would probably want to say at least that, you know, those children would stay with their mother one way or the other. I'm just not sure. I think we'd have to speculate. But as I said, it's sort of assumed your question assumes that particular line of thinking. And I think, you know, it's just we wouldn't have an answer. We don't have an answer to that question.

We'd have to speculate. And so, anyways, Don, thank you for your question. God bless you. Hey, Don, thanks for listening to Core Christianity. I'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. We're taking calls for the next 10 minutes or so at 833-THE-CORE.

Let's go to Brian in Missouri. Brian, what's your question for Adriel? Yes. So my question is, you know, our church has, Latin in the last several years, has really been focusing on healing, the healing touch, you know, Christ's ability to heal. And it seems to me, I've noticed, it seems like it's promoted a lot of self, a lot of people wanting, you know, that what can God do for me kind of thing. And I'm on, you know, I'm on the prayer team and I'm, because I have this kind of this heart, you know, I'm seeing this, you know, this kind of position, you know, a lot of folks come into church to see what God can do for them. I don't even, I'm struggling on whether or not I should even be a part of it, if I should continue on the prayer team, you know. So yeah, that's my question.

Okay. And Brian, thank you for your question. And there are a lot of hurting people out there. Just recently I was leading a community group at our church and someone was asking for prayer for physical healing, and I could tell that they were hurting. And it was a great opportunity for us, as Christians, to get to pray for this individual, to say, God, please do give your healing touch, please work. Now we don't presume upon the grace of God, we want to pray with faith, but we know that God is free to work however He wants. Maybe He heals through doctors, maybe He heals miraculously, maybe for whatever reason in His providence, He allows us to suffer with whatever sickness we have and we entrust ourselves to the Lord. There is nothing wrong with praying for healing, just as it is, you know, you think of what James said in James chapter 5, Is anyone among you suffering?

This is verse 13. Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.

Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick and the Lord will raise him up. But it sounds to me like what you're picking up on here is maybe an overemphasis or focus on temporal physical prosperity and health. And, you know, we're coming to God fixated upon what He can do for us in terms of, you know, God, you're going to help me, you know, you're going to cure my cancer. Or maybe even you see this in the prosperity gospel where, you know, God is going to give me this, that, and the other, you know, this great job or this, you know, windfall of resources, of money.

If I just do this or, you know, follow this rule or pattern, I'm going to be really blessed with health and wealth. And there are a lot of, I think, people who do fall into that trap and they're looking to God not first and foremost because they want to receive His grace, but the other goods, the temporal goods that they really care about and really want to focus upon. And when they get those, great. If they don't get those, well, you know, I guess I'm going to throw in the towel when it comes to the Christianity thing because God didn't give me what He had promised me. So there's a lot of confusion about this. But I think, you know, you're going to have the best perspective being on the ground of whether or not what's happening is honoring to the Lord or not. Like I said, there's nothing wrong with praying for healing. But if you can see an attitude towards divine healing and whatnot that is taking the focus off of the preached word, off of the gospel, off of glorifying God and focusing primarily upon us, and we're sort of treating God like a genie in the bottle type of a thing, well then, yeah, there's a real problem there.

And maybe you're strategically placed in the situation or in the position that you're in to be able to encourage, to point people in the right direction, to be able to say, hey, you know, we trust the Lord here. We don't know what God is doing, but we trust the Lord. We pray that He heals. If He doesn't, we still trust the Lord and we trust that He's working. If I could just go back to you really quickly, Brian, and ask you, so when when you guys are, you know, doing these prayer ministries, is the focus, you know, is the expectation that God should always heal an individual so long as they have faith, or is there openness in realizing, hey, this is up to God's providence? Well, it's more that God has a heart to heal, period, and He may heal 20 percent, He may heal 30 percent, He may heal 70 percent, but just it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when, and so just believe, believe, believe, and have the faith, and that sort of doctrine, I guess, is the best way to put it. Well, that's helpful for me to hear, because what I would say is one of the dangers with that is then, if the expectation is it's not if but when, and, you know, it's incremental, maybe God's going to heal 20 percent and then 30 percent and then 60 percent, or maybe a full healing, well then one of the issues is, you know, at what point can we just actually rest in the providential hand of God and say, God, I'm going to trust you even through this adversity. I don't know why you've given me this quote-unquote thorn in the flesh, but I know that your strength is perfected in my weakness, and I'm going to trust you, and I'm going to glorify you in the midst of this trial, and I feel like if you don't ever, if at no point, you know, if you're always just thinking, well, no, God has to heal, and I must not have enough faith, and I just need to keep praying and praying, I wonder, are we really trusting God there, or are we trying to get God to do something? Are we presuming upon the grace of God? Now, in one sense, we could say that it is a case of not if but when, but the answer to the when question ultimately is when we're glorified. That's when we're going to shed, you know, the effects of sin and the brokenness and the sickness that we experience in this world. We're going to experience that now, but we look forward to that full healing, that full restoration, when we are glorified, and until then, you know, our bodies do suffer decay and will continue to suffer decay, and so this idea that, you know, we just, you know, it's always God's will to heal physically now, right now, in this present evil age, there's something wrong with that, and I think it could take the focus off of God and really trusting in God and put the focus on me as an individual, and how much faith do I have, and am I really doing this, and so I think that that's actually not very helpful, can be dangerous, is a dangerous theology of healing, and so yeah, I mean, you're faced with a decision here, do I continue to participate in this, and, you know, it seems like it's actually, yeah, maybe there are instances where God is healing, but it seems like we're really, you know, pushing people to live or think a certain, live in a certain way or think a certain way, and that's not totally helpful, you know, there's a whole theology that undergirds all of that that I think you need to examine in line with the scripture.

Thanks for giving us a call, Brian. God is not our cosmic vending machine, right? No, he's not, and sadly, that's how a lot of people think of the Lord, I don't, I mean, Brian has a good perspective, I think, but it sounds like he's seeing that in his church environment, and the fact of the matter is, is we're all tempted, I think, to view God in that way, each and every one of us, I think, is, you know, we're tempted to say, not hollow it be thy name, but hollow it be my name, God, what can you do for me? And if you will just do these things, okay, I'll follow you, as opposed to saying, God, you are the sovereign Lord, and I'm so desperately in need of your mercy and your grace, I will follow you, where can I go, Lord? It's like the disciples in John 6, you know, when Jesus gives that hard saying, he says, my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink, and many of the disciples leave him, they stop walking with him because it's a difficult saying, and what do the disciples of our Lord Jesus, the apostles, what do they say? To whom shall we go? You, Jesus, have the words of eternal life. And I think all of us, right, we say that, God, you know, through the difficulties we experience in life, through the challenges, sickness, or even the hard sayings, you know, that we wrestle through in scripture, we say, Lord Jesus, where can I go?

To whom shall I go? You have the words of eternal life, and that life you've given to me freely, by faith in your name, I'm going to cling to you, even as you hold on to me, even as you cling to me, and that's what we need so desperately today, that comfort from the gospel, that comfort from Jesus, which he's given to us through his redemptive work on our behalf. God bless. 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 / 2024-05-23 20:05:13 / 2024-05-23 20:15:31 / 10

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