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What Makes Christianity Unique from Other Religions?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez
The Truth Network Radio
June 16, 2020 1:00 am

What Makes Christianity Unique from Other Religions?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez

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June 16, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 467 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

Key questions answered in today's show:

1. Jehovah’s Witnesses have a different kind of Bible. So how can you even have a discussion on an issue with a person, when you are reading the word, but their Bible doesn’t even say the same thing as your Bible? It is like you are at a dead-end or something. 

2. I have a question regarding the Old Testament and hell. I know that hell is taught in the Old Testament, but does this mean that every single person that lived prior to Jesus who was not a part of the old covenant is in hell? There seems to be so many people that lived prior to Jesus who were not part of Israel, and it can make hell hard to stomach. Any help?

3. Is Christianity a religion just like any other?

4. I accepted Jesus Christ when I was a 9-year-old kid. I believed I was forgiven, but then I went through a long period of doubt. I accepted him again at 17. In my mid-20’s, I accepted him again. When I was 30, I accepted him again. But then I would doubt. I don't doubt that Jesus is God or that he died for me or that I'm a sinner or that I asked for forgiveness, I just wonder if God did forgive me and when he did forgive me? I struggle with the passage that says perfect love casts out all fear. Well, I fear all the time, and I fear that I didn't have enough trust when I accepted Christ.

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Is Christianity just like any other religion or is it unique, that's just one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity this is Bill Meyer along with Pastor Israel Sanchez and this is a radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day.

Would love to hear from you. Our phone number is 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673. You can also email us with your question at questions at core, Christianity.com. Today we have a prayer request to share with you popular pastor, author and theologian Tim Keller has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and he is beginning chemotherapy this week in New York City. As you may know, Tim is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and the author of several New York Times best-selling books. He sometimes referred to as the CS Lewis of the modern age we would encourage you to please keep him and his family in your prayers. Yeah, he's had a really big impact on a lot of Christians to be one of the things that Tim Keller has done really well is emphasize church planting me was that I was one of these got me interested in church planning with some of the work that he had done and so had praise the Lord for how God is using him and just pray that the Lord continues to do so and that God brings healing in his life, and you know for a listers of never read one of Tim Keller's books.

I would highly recommend them. They're just so deep and so rich in memory reading. The reason for God a few years ago and just such a helpful book.

So I encourage you to be a pick up one of Tim's books again keep him in your prayers later. Let's go to our first question of the day. This is the call that came in from Dale. I have one person I have known for long time and now they don't believe in the Trinity didn't believe that the Holy Spirit is part of the needy and then they have a different Bible. So how can you even have a discussion at issue with the person who just when you're reading the word, the Bible doesn't say the same year by the face of the new year like you like you had a dead hand or something.

Maybe anyway, thinking ideally it really good question you talk to so many Jehovah's Witnesses and often it seems like there's a wall up in the wall is bigger than just their translation of the Bible to the translation of the Bible that they use is called the New World translation.

It's a wall of spiritual blindness. The first and you have to do is pray and ask the Lord to remove that veil, that is over so many people. In particular, people who have bought into these false religions.

These false views of who Jesus is now one of the ways that God works is through conversation some really glad to hear that you've known this, this person, this friend for a long time. I think you want to continue to cultivate that relationship because just one of the ways that God works here today in our midst is through these friendships were able to bring God's word to bear now in some places in their translation of the Bible that the New World translation they've changed the English text to minimize the clear teaching of Scripture that Jesus is God giving just two examples where they've done that John chapter 1 verse one in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. That's how most of our English translations translate the Greek text there in John 11 will they translate John 11 in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the word was a God.

G. One of the things that they say is well Jesus is it God equal with the father. He's kind of like Lester Codd, if you will use divine but he's not of the same substance as the father really what the Christian churches believed for 2000 years on the basis of the teaching of holy Scripture. They reject that clear teaching another place where they change that the Bible is in Colossians chapter 1 verse 16 where it talks about how all things were created by Jesus will in Colossians 1. They add the word other. They say by him, all other things were created, so as to suggest that Jesus himself is a created being the problem. Again, there is, is there adding a word that's actually not in the Greek text, and the sad thing is many people are deceived by these additions, especially people who don't know Grieco don't know Hebrew were just told well. This is the way you should translate it so that's what's really important that we point some of these things out.

The fact of the matter is teaching of the deity of Christ is so prevalent throughout the Scriptures that they just can't change enough passages to get away from it. One of the ways I like to approach this in the conversations that I've had with Jehovah's Witnesses is also let's open your Bible up to Psalm 102 in daylight. I've got the New World translation here in front of me. Psalm 102 begins in their Bible, O Jehovah, hear my prayer let my cry for help reach you, then you have this this plea throughout Psalm 102 were the psalmist is crying out to Jehovah God the Lord of all creation. And then towards the end of the Psalm in verse 25.

The psalmist says long ago you laid the foundation of the earth and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish with you will remain. Just like a garment. They will wear out just like closing you will replace them and they will pass away, but you are the same in your years will never end. What a beautiful Psalm that is driving that the psalmist is saying God.

My prayer is coming before you, you are the God of heaven and earth. You laid the foundations of the earth, the heavens are the work of your hands. The psalmist is crying out to Jehovah God, you ask a Jehovah's Witness you're just looking at at their translation of the Bible. This is the Psalm about Jehovah is in it and they'll say yeah. What's so interesting is if you go over to the New Testament in Hebrews chapter 1 verse 10 the author to the Hebrews.

I think this is such a beautiful example of how the scriptures teach that Jesus is God with the author to the Hebrews he quotes Psalm 102 in reference to Jesus.

Verse seven in Hebrews chapter 1 says he says about the angels he makes his angels spirits and his ministers a flame of fire, but to the son he says and this is the New World translation. This is the Bible. Jehovah's Witnesses use God is your throne forever and ever in the scepter of your kingdom is the scepter of righteousness you love righteousness, and you hated lawlessness.

That is why God your God anointed you with the oil of exultation more than your companions and the recesses what what what is being spoken to the son, Jesus, at the beginning, oh Lord, you laid the foundation of the earth and the heavens are the work of your hands.

They will perish, but you will remain. Just like a garment.

They will all wear out soaked with so amazing about this is the author the Hebrews is attributing Psalm 102, which is all about. Jehovah to Jesus. I say look, if the author the Hebrews inspired by the Holy Spirit could refer to Jesus as Jehovah and so should you. This is just the clear teaching of the Bible. Now, again I think that there's a wall up there is the spiritual blindness and that's why we need to pray, we need to point out these passages of Scripture and pray that God's word will do the work and I would just encourage you Dale continue to talk to your friend to have these conversations to open up the Scriptures together maybe to point out some of these inconsistencies in the Bible that they use so that they might come to know Jesus, the true Jesus for their salvation, Dale.

We appreciate so much the fact that you care about your friend and you want them to know the truth and will be praying for you as you continue to have those conversations.

This is core Christianity with Pastor Israel Sanchez and later we had an email that came in from Danny.

He says I have a question regarding the Old Testament and hell. I know that hell is taught in the Old Testament, but does this mean that every single person that lived prior to Jesus who is not part of the old covenant is in hell. There seems to be so many people that lived prior to Jesus, who were not part of Israel so they can make hell hard to stomach. Any help and Danny at this this question isn't too different from the question what happens to people who have never heard the gospel right when, what, what about the people who lived prior to the time of Christ. You know that his death on the cross. What happens to them. Those who are outside of Israel. As I said before, we have to recognize from the get-go that God is just and that he's loving.

He judges on the basis of what we know to look at the text to go to is Romans chapter 1, so if you have a Bible, you can open to Romans chapter 1 because positive talk about how all people understand that God is the creator just by virtue of the created world around us. Also, as in Romans one beginning in verse 18 the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth which we have the truth. The world experiences the truth to the created world and yet what we do with that is we suppress it. He says 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 that exchange the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things to the reality is people know in their heart of hearts that God exists. There is a creator. Some theologians have called this the sense of God is this, this sense that each of us has the psalmist says in Psalm chapter 19 the heavens declare the glory of God. The firmament shows his handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night into night reveals knowledge.

It's as if the whole creation around us is speaking to us testifying to us of the creator God and yet we run from that suppress the truth in unrighteousness, instead of worshiping the God of creation.

This what Paul says in Romans one we worship the creation we worship the things that God is made in a sophistication. We may not worship idols that we craft with our hands but the fact of the matter is today. A lot of people are worshiping all sorts of things besides the Lord we worship sex we worship money. We worship power we worship our job. We worship all sorts of things that we bow down before that we place before the Lord, instead of worshiping him so all people are justly held accountable by by this knowledge that we have and yet God is seeking the nations through the gospel effect. Paul says in acts chapter 70 when he's preaching to the pagan philosophers at the Areopagus acts 1726 to 27. He said God made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods in the boundaries of their dwelling place. Listen to this, that they should seek God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him, yet he is actually not far from each one of us. God's intent. Danny has always been to bless the nations through his son. This is the promise made to Abraham, way back in Genesis chapter 12 through you. All the nations of the earth are going to be blessed. Jesus came in fulfillment of that great promise.

He's calling the nations to himself. Why because God loves the world. John chapter 3 verse 16 we don't fully understand how all of this is to be parsed out you know what happens to all the people came prior to Jesus who didn't understand the truth, but we do know we have enough knowledge just in creation to make us accountable and that on the day of judgment. God is can a judge in perfect truth and in perfect righteousness and no one's going to complain and say, oh God, that was not fair of God. I don't agree because were going to see things as God sees them. God is just dandy and you can rest in that federal thanks so much for that so important for us to understand that God does reveal himself and his created order in the world around us and that we can, even if we have never heard the name of Jesus.

We can recognize God's goodness and greatness just by looking at the stars in the sky at night, and when our kids were young Ivan took him outside and said look at their look at the universe.

God made that I remember what you were like your tooth resulting 07 is pretty awesome. This is core Christianity by Bill Meyer with Pastor Israel Sanchez and we have a very special offer for you today from one of our favorite Christian authors of all time. Yeah, Bill today were excited to share the book mere Christianity which is available on our website. While supplies last. The author of course is CS Lewis and he first delivered of this book as a series of talks over the radio during World War II. It was during the blitz of London.

When the Nazis were bombing and he went on the air of the BBC to comfort the people of England with the gospel going through a lot right now in our country in this book could be a real comfort to you as well. What a great way to show how sound doctrine, the teaching of Scripture can give comfort to people who are going through really difficult things to Lewis that his goal was to explain and defend those common beliefs that nearly all Christians are shared at all times. In those those common core beliefs are what give us peace in the midst of a world that is in turmoil so often and so had a record Christianity.com/offers to get your copy of the classic work by CS Lewis mere Christianity and you can also call us for that book. It's 833-843-2673. Again, it's 833 the court by the way, if you have a question for us.

You can also record your question on our website.

If you go to core Christianity.com/radio look for the little microphone icon and click on that and you can record your question anytime day or night. Jerry might return is very high. Other folks from other Bible students who seem to believe that Christianity is a religion and I like to know what you think the Bible says about Christianity is just another religion.

Thank you will.

Christianity is not just another religion like all the other religions of the world mean Christianity is distinct in that it is the truth. The revelation of God to humanity through his son God's son, Jesus Christ, no. Paul says very clearly that even though there are so-called idols or gods in the world that that they don't really exist. They're not real. I just finished preaching on Galatians chapter 4 verses one through 11. This past Sunday were going through the book of Galatians and policies writing to this church in this region of Galatia. He notes how they at one time or worshiping these other pagan deities and their all sorts of gods at the Galatians would've worship and when they came to faith. They turned away from those gods and embrace Jesus Christ. Paul says in Galatians 4, verse eight, formerly when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those by nature are not gods but now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God. How can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world whose slaves you want to be once more to the prom with the Galatians as they were essentially turning away from the Lord in the context of the book of Galatians.

They were going to the law of Moses seeking to be justified on on the basis of the law. Paul makes this interesting tither. He said look at the mines will go back to paganism, because apart from Jesus the law is not going to save you the law can't save you. Only Jesus can know when he says that he calls these systems that don't have Jesus week and worthless to say something pretty bold essentially tell you what, false religion, the religions of the world that don't have Christ you not they are weak and worthless. The first were the Paul use, there is the Greek word Austin Ace. It gets translated we can, and often it was used in the context of the weakness that came as a result of being sick.

You think back to a time you had the flu that exhaustion that makes you want to lie in bed all day your window just by going into the next room you have the strength to lift things or carry on your normal task.

You've been debilitated false religion. It's week doesn't have the power to help you. It's worthless that the second word that he uses is the Greek word toco's and is translated worthless. This word was often associated with poverty if the first were painted the picture of someone who's debilitated through illness.

This word paints the picture of someone who is in poverty when he was economically disadvantaged and dependent upon others for support.

Again many times people say this about religion you know, so long as it helps you great. Whatever you believe is finding other all about the same as long as you like and it makes you a better person.

Isn't that what it's all about.

Paul says no false religion.

Can't help you. It needs help going to false religion defined help is like going to a man who is diseased, sick, unable to lift his head has no strength to carry you know resources to support you. He is poor and poverty-stricken. That's why we need the truth.

That's why we need the gospel and that's what differentiates Christianity from every other religionist we have the good news of the gospel what God has done to deal with our greatest problem. The sin that crushes us. It's good news. In fact, you know, in that text that I was just referring to in Galatians earlier, Paul brings that out.

Lisa's look here's what we have we have verse four Galatians chapter 4 verse four, the son of God.

When the fullness of time had come was sent forth, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law so that we might receive adoption as sons are knocking to get that Jerry and any other religion.

Adoption through Jesus Christ into the family of God redeemed by the blood of Jesus. Just something that you know works for some people doesn't work for other people know this is the truth and that's what makes Christianity different from every other religion. Jerry, thanks so much for your call and I pray that that is helpful to you and to your students that you're talking to your listening to core Christianity would love to hear from you. If you have a question for Sears. The phone number 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 we received this call from Joshua doubted the Lord well started.

Without all live that I don't doubt God almost better auditing God wonder of God. When I look at the perfect love love your always on and understand all the let me just begin because this is such an important question. We don't have all the time right now by recommending a resource that I want you to check out over and over in our website core, Christianity.com nine ways to know you are really a Christian.

But let me address your question with the time that we do have. I know what it's like to question.

I know what it's like to fear.

It took me years after my conversion to feel confident in the fact that God had forgiven me look biblically speaking, when we trust in Jesus we are forgiven.

Paul said in Romans 44 through eight. Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due into the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly's faith is counted as righteousness. Just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works. Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin now being forgiven and being confident that I've been forgiven are necessarily the same thing is sometimes we fall, we begin to doubt not because we question that God is good, we wonder how could he be good to us. You said you fear because you don't think you have enough trust brother, let me tell you something even a mustard seed sized faith can lay hold of Jesus is not how strong your trust is, but whether or not your trust is in the right thing, let me give you an illustration say hi. I climbed the tallest building here in downtown San Diego and I went up there with a hang glider full trust that I could hang glide from the top of that building all the way to Hawaii.

It doesn't matter how sure I am there is no way I'm gonna make it to Hawaii on a hang glider jumping off a building in San Diego I had tickets to Hawaii if you know me, I'm one of those people who even though I'll all get in a play not, I'm always a little unsure as in so many plane movies were something goes wrong in the back of my mind always have a little bit of doubt, let me ask you a question.

Will my doubt keep the plane from getting me to Hawaii or will my confidence in a hang glider carry me across the ocean. If you are in Christ, Joshua, you're headed for Hawaii. What I mean. In times of doubt, even times of failure are going to sink Jesus. But here's what they will do so. Make the right unpleasant for you. You were forgiven. The moment you put your trust in Jesus turning away from your sins and looking to him. Rest in that and walk in the love, joy and peace of Christ. Thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer.

Visit us@corechristianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673 that's a 33, the court when you contact us.

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