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Does God Actually Hear Our Prayers?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
June 10, 2024 5:00 pm

Does God Actually Hear Our Prayers?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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June 10, 2024 5:00 pm

Episode 1507 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

  1. Do we become angels when we die? 2. Are non-church weddings still valid in God's eyes? 3. Does God actually hear our prayers? 4. Is having a ceremony for the departed a biblical idea?     Today’s Offer: How To Keep Your Faith After High School   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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Does God actually hear our prayers? 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. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Feel free to leave your name and your question for us. We do our best to review those each day. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and you can always feel free to email us your question. Here's our email address.

It's questionsatcorechristianity.com. Well, first up today, let's go to Tyler calling in from Kansas. Tyler, what's your question for Adriel?

So, first of all, I want to thank you guys for what you guys do and everything. My question was, so I've always been told that after we pass away, you know, our body gets renewed and everything like that, and we become angelic when we go to heaven and everything like that, but I was always kind of under the influence that after we die, we become angels, but I guess we don't become angels because angels are something that God created himself, and so I guess my question is, like, do we become angels or what happens? Great question, man. So, we don't become angels. Angels are created beings. They're spiritual beings created by God, and they're separate. I mean, they're just not humans, so it's not like angels are people who died and have passed on, and you become, you know, you get your wings kind of a thing.

And they play harps really well. Yeah, best to stay away from all the sort of popular imagery on that, but no, they're ministering spirits, according to the book of Hebrews. They're messengers throughout Scripture. There are good angels and there are fallen angels, and Christ didn't come into the world to redeem angels. He came into the world to redeem us, the children of Abraham, and so what happens to us when we die? It's not that our bodies are renewed at that moment, Tyler. When we die, our bodies go down into the ground.

They're buried or cremated or whatever happened to them. Our souls or our spirits go to be with God in heaven, and we're waiting for a time. What we refer to this as is the intermediate state, and it's not like we're not conscious.

It's not like we're sleeping. We're actually in the presence of God, in our spirits, worshiping God together with all the people of God. It's this place of joy.

It's this place of bliss. It's hard to even explain what that's going to be like because we've not experienced that, but we are waiting for what the Bible refers to as the final day, the resurrection of the body. So at one point, our bodies will be renewed at the last judgment, but that doesn't happen at the moment we die. And so a great passage of Scripture to look at if you're thinking about, okay, what happens to our bodies and all that is 1 Corinthians chapter 15. There in particular, Paul is talking about the resurrection of the body.

He's making a case for it. And here's what he says. This is chapter 15, verse 35. Someone will ask, how are the dead raised?

With what kind of body do they come? Paul says, you foolish person, what you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as He has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind of humans, another for animals, another for birds, another for fish. There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another.

And then he says, verse 41, there is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars, for stars differ from star and glory. So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, but what is raised is imperishable. In other words, our perishable bodies go down into the ground, they experience decay, but they're raised imperishable in glory. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory.

It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown in a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

Thus it is written, the first man, Adam, became a living being, the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. And so that's what we're looking forward to ultimately, but when a believer dies, our souls are perfected in holiness, we go into the presence of God to worship him, to be with him. And so that's the hope we have for ourselves, it's also the hope we have for all those Christians who have died before us, as they're in heaven right now worshiping God.

Our loved ones who died in Christ, we mourn because they're gone, but we don't mourn as those who have no hope because we believe that the Lord holds them and that they're with Jesus in heaven. So Tyler, appreciate your question, and God bless you. One of the things a lot of Christians wonder about is, will we recognize each other in heaven as spirits, and then will we recognize each other once we are resurrected in the body?

Yeah, I think that the answer is yes. Now, again, of course, how that is, you know, it's like, well, what does my spirit look like? Does my spirit look like me, just see-through kind of a thing, you know, like in the movies?

You just don't know. I do believe, and Paul, he seems to suggest this in 1 Corinthians chapter 13, you know, when we're in the presence of the Lord, when we see face to face, we have this new knowledge, this fullness of knowledge. I think we're going to see and know more acutely, and so, yeah, I imagine that when we're in the presence of the Lord, we are going to, it's not like, oh, I forgot everything that happened and everyone before. No, I think we are going to recognize each other, and there are passages, especially passages that refer to the new creation that seem to indicate that, you know, we're going to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

If we didn't know one another in the new creation, you'd just be like, I don't know who these guys are kind of a thing, but no, we're going to know. And so, that's another thing that we look forward to in the presence of the Lord. I'm looking forward to meeting Billy Graham and having a nice conversation with you. Oh, boy, so many people that I'm looking forward to spending time with, ultimately, most of all, you know, like Asaph says in Psalm 73, being in the presence of the Lord, yeah.

Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, you can leave us a voicemail anytime at 833-THE-CORE.

You can also email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com. Here's an email from one of our listeners named Zach, and Zach says, My wife and I were married two years ago this November. While neither of us were involved in the church at the time, we had a mutual friend become legally ordained through the state so that she could do the ceremony. My question is, is it a valid marriage being that the ceremony wasn't performed by an actual minister or pastor?

Have we been living in sexual sin all this time? I'm in the membership process with the church that I really enjoy, but my wife isn't where I'm at when it pertains to faith. I'm just really hoping the vows we made before friends and family are worthy to God. The thought of living these past two years not married in God's eyes saddens me and honestly scares me.

Thank you. Zach, God bless you, my brother, and I'm so grateful to hear at least that you're growing in your relationship with God. You have this sense of conviction, this sense of wanting to honor God, and you're wondering, Well, have I even been married? My wedding was performed by this friend, this maybe mutual friend, a woman, who went through this ordination process or whatever, and I've seen these things, and you can go online now and pay 50 bucks, and you can be ordained for a day or whatever to be able to perform weddings. Legally, I would say, and before God, yes, yeah, you are married. Now, could your marriage ceremony have been different? Well, sure, but that doesn't mean that you're not married before the Lord. No, you are married to this person, and so you're called to love her and to live with her in an understanding way and to seek, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7, to be a godly influence in her life. You never know how God might use you, Zach, to bring your wife closer to Him. And so don't question, don't doubt, you know, Am I married? Am I not married?

Should I not be with this person? No, you are married, and now you're called to love her and to seek to lead her in the ways of the Lord, and may God open her heart and give you all grace in order to be able to do that. And so, yeah, let's take a moment to pray right now for Zach and just ask that God would continue to bless him as he's growing in the Lord, but also that the Lord would open his wife's heart that she might grow in her love for Jesus, too. Father, be with Zach.

God, we ask that, one, you would give him peace with regard to this question that's been nagging him, Lord, wondering, is he married, is he not married, Lord? I just ask, God, that you would give him peace there, that he would love his wife and seek to love her, as Paul says in Ephesians, as you, Lord Jesus, love the Church, and that as he does that, God, that he would set just a wonderful example of your love for us, and that that would be so attractive to his wife, Lord, not just that it would cause her to love him, to love Zach more, but that it would cause her, Lord God, to love you and to love your son, Jesus. And so please be with them. Please help them both to get plugged into this Church and to grow and to be encouraged in their relationship with you and in their relationship with each other, we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

Amen. You know, I was thinking how important it is for Zach to be graceful with his wife right now. The one thing you don't want to be saying is, well, this is what a true Christian does, and honey, you need to behave in this way. Really, it's the Holy Spirit that's going to draw her.

Yeah, right, we joke about that sometimes, right? Like, you can't be the Holy Spirit for her. We want to be, you know, for our kids or for our spouse or for our friends, you know. The best thing we can do is set a good and godly example and pray. I mean, with our children, obviously, we are guiding and disciplining and leading and so forth, but, you know, we need desperately God's work in our lives and in their lives, and so we can't see it as something where it's like, well, this is just this formula, and if I do this, then this is what's supposed to happen.

It's not a formula. It's faith. It's trusting in the Lord and seeking to be obedient to Him, and obedience for Zach here looks like loving his wife faithfully as Christ loved the Church and being a godly example and also speaking the truth, right? You don't have to be ashamed that you're a Christian or hide that fact or not share the gospel. You totally should, but you can't coerce someone to Jesus. You can't twist someone's arm to Jesus, and so it really is the work of the Holy Spirit and pray for that work.

So 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. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day.

You can leave a voicemail question at 833-THE-CORE. I also want to mention a great resource we have, and this is perfect for this time of year. We have so many, really tens of thousands of high school students around the country are graduating right now, and of course, if you have a child who's graduating or maybe already in college, we have a resource that we believe will help them strengthen their faith in their current life situation. Yeah, absolutely. This is a great resource for graduating seniors, those heading into college, or really any young adult who is in the season of life where they're trying to make their parents' faith their own.

It has to be our own, right? It's not something that I get in because my dad is a believer, my dad is a pastor even. No, each of us needs to have that personal relationship with the Lord. In this booklet, there's a lot of great information about how to encourage young adults as they're entering into this next stage of life to look for the right things in a good church, to make sure that they know the core tenets of the Christian faith, because so many young people just don't.

That's what we're seeing. Statistically, a lot of people are not understanding the basics of Christianity, which I think Bill highlights that the church really isn't doing its job today. The church is missing something, and so we want to come alongside of the church. We want to come alongside of churches. We want to come alongside of your church and help to equip you and the young people in your church to know what they believe and why they believe it, and this resource helps with that.

Again, it's called How to Keep Your Faith After High School. You can find it by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. It's free. We'd love to get this into your hands.

You can pass it along to a young person that you love. I also want to mention that we are a listener-supported ministry here at Core Christianity. If you believe in what we do, we'd love to ask you to prayerfully consider making a gift. We don't receive money from a church or denomination. We don't play commercials on this program. We don't have some big benefactor that helps us out.

We count on just the average people to listen to this. We'd like one, though. If you're one of those people and you're like, I'm looking to find somebody to give all my inheritance to. If you'd like to make a large gift, we would not turn it down. That's true. You could do that at corechristianity.com.

Just click on the donate link. By the way, I was just thinking of something you said about how so many young people are not familiar with even the basic tenets of the Christian faith. My daughter, who is 17, is a strong believer and very evangelistic, but what she's noticing in her local high school, and this is really sad, Adriel, so many of her peers don't even believe that Jesus was a historical figure.

They believe he was a myth. What? In the high school?

In the high school, yeah. What's crazy about that is that view is just so... it just bonkers. Even atheists recognize that you really don't have any legs to stand on when you're trying to make the claim that Jesus didn't even exist. It's one of the most supported facts of history, Jesus of Nazareth. The debate isn't so much about whether or not he was real or whether or not he was crucified. The real debate is what happened to his body. Of course, we know what happened to his body, but that's where it is. People who say, I don't even know if he existed, you actually don't know what you're talking about.

There's like five different non-biblical sources, historical, whether it's with Josephus, whether it's Greek historians, Roman, that actually show that Jesus indeed did live, was a man, we would say he's also God, and we would say that he was resurrected from the dead, but anyone who tells you that Jesus did not exist, they don't know their history. Yeah. Amen.

High schoolers, what are they teaching them these days? This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez. We do receive voicemails here at the Core, and here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Roberto. Does God hear our prayers when we ask him and we pray to him? Because he keeps saying on the word that he listens to us and sympathizes with us. Thank you, Pastor Adrian.

Okay, brother. Yeah, God does hear our prayers. And John says in 1 John, this is the confidence that we have, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

It's one of the great hopes that we have. I mean, if God didn't hear our prayers, then there would be no point in praying, right? But we do believe that through Jesus Christ, we can come boldly, as the author of the Hebrew says, to the throne of God's grace, to ask for his help.

And so, I don't know what you're going through. I can say this, that we're encouraged to be persistent in our prayers, so just because God has not maybe answered your prayer right away, or maybe he didn't answer your prayer the way in which you hoped that he would, one, that doesn't mean that God doesn't love you, and it doesn't mean that God is against you, it doesn't mean that he didn't hear your prayers. God does hear our prayers when we cry out to him. Now, of course, there are people who pray mindlessly, there are people who use prayer as a way of elevating themselves. Jesus talked about this in the Gospel of Matthew, how he said don't pray. Don't pray like the hypocrites.

You know, they love to stand on street corners so that other people will hear them. Don't pray like those who are superstitious, you know, they're just repeating these words over and over again, but it's just mindless, they don't really believe. Well, yeah, God doesn't hear those prayers in the sense that he rejects them. But when we come to God, even with our imperfect prayers, sincerely, in faith, and maybe we don't have a lot of faith, maybe it's just the size of a mustard seed, maybe it's a little bit of faith, when we come sincerely to God with a mustard seed-sized faith, and we say, Lord, help, or Lord, hear me, or we raise up a prayer for some need that we have, believe that God does hear you, believe that God does hear you, and believe that when you pray in accordance with the will of God, that you will have your request. Now, again, God answers those prayers sometimes in ways that we weren't expecting, but, boy, I think one of the things that we need desperately is confidence when we're praying that the Lord really does hear us, and not to grow disheartened when we don't get the answer to our prayer right away, but to continue to pray. In fact, Jesus tells a parable in the Gospels, a story in the Gospels, about a widow who's coming before a judge, an unjust judge, and she's asking for justice over and over again, and the judge is just, you know, he's kind of lagging, he's not willing to give it to her, and finally, because she's so persistent, the judge says, all right, all right, I'll give you what you want. And God says, look, how much more will God, the good Father and the just judge, hear His children who are crying out to Him night and day? God hears your prayers, and so don't stop praying, don't stop believing, don't stop trusting in the Lord and waiting upon Him for His answer. Amen.

So well said. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone number is 833-THE-CORE. You can call us any time, night or day, and leave a voicemail question.

Make sure to let us know your name and where you are calling from. Here's a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners named Dennis. Is there such a thing as a ceremony for the departed to have a second chance at salvation? That's my question.

Hey, Dennis, thank you for that question. No, I do not believe there is such a thing as a ceremony for the departed, like they've died, maybe they were, you know, they had rejected the gospel their whole life, and, you know, they've perished, and so now loved ones, family members, want to, you know, try to help them out on the other side, and, you know, we can do this ceremony. That's not biblical.

There's nothing in the Bible that would indicate that it seems like once we die, our fate is sealed. And that's why it's so important that we understand that today is the day of salvation. Today.

Today, right now. Too many people live their lives thinking, oh, I will get right with God later. Let me just live, you know, let me do my thing. I struggled with this, Bill.

I remember before I started going to church, even as a teenager, I remember thinking like, oh, you know, God and all that stuff, I'm sure I need some of that in my life, but it, I don't know, just seems so boring, it seems like, you know, like a straight jacket. Let me live. Let me have some fun.

Let me do my thing. And then eventually at some point, you know, when I'm old and gray or whatever, then I'll get religious. Then I'll ask Jesus into my life and, you know, make sure I check that box, just in case. Well, it's a misunderstanding.

It's presumptuous. One, you don't know how many days you have. God be merciful to us and give us many, but give us many where we're honoring you and glorifying you with the days that you've given to us.

You don't know how many days you have. And today, right now, God calls you, God calls us to faith in him, to repentance. And we think, oh, you know, following Jesus is just this straight jacket or whatnot, but man, there is no greater love, no greater love than the love of God. There's nothing better than knowing Jesus and walking with him and being led by his spirit. True joy, true joy, fullness of joy is in his presence, is in obedience to his word. It isn't in just chasing after whatever you want. It isn't in, you know, the lust of the flesh, the fleeting pleasures of life. At the end of the day, that's not true joy.

And, you know, there are a lot of people who are rich and famous who could tell you that, frankly. True joy is found in the presence of God, and God invites us to that now, right now. And when we die, it's not like there's, okay, well, now I get another chance.

No, today is the day of salvation. And so, Dennis, you know, again, I know that there are some, you know, I know that there are some Christian traditions that do have, you know, ceremonies for the dead. You think about, like, you know, if you have a theology of purgatory, for example, this idea that, you know, people are in this kind of holding place before entering into heaven, they're being purged of their sins so that they can enter into heaven. And, you know, there's a whole theology that was built, especially in the medieval church, where it's like, you know, if we offer masses for these people, you know, that's cutting down the time that they spend in purgatory.

We're helping them out. But I just don't think that you find that in scripture. It seems to me like the one thing we need is the righteousness of Jesus Christ when it comes to having a right standing before God. And that's something that God freely gives.

It's a gift. And so, man, that's why we need to preach the gospel. That's why we need to call people to repentance.

That's why we need to focus on that here and now so that it's not like, well, this person died, let's offer a mass for them, and hopefully that helps them out. No, let's preach the gospel to our friends and loved ones now. And may God, the Holy Spirit, soften their hearts and draw them to Jesus. May He open their eyes, and may He open our eyes. You listening right now, may God open your eyes to see you need Jesus. And there's nothing in this world better than knowing Him and loving Him. God bless. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-10 19:15:48 / 2024-06-10 19:26:12 / 10

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