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I Am Training to Be a Pastor But I Struggle With Porn

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

I Am Training to Be a Pastor But I Struggle With Porn

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez

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July 16, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 489 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

Key questions answered in today's show:

1. I heard that you use the NIV Bible. Someone told me that the NIV Bible is missing verses throughout it. Is this true?

2. In light of Matthew 4:17, I wonder if there is a need to repent every day. And sometimes I wonder about salvation and if you can lose it if you sin too many times.

3. I’ve been in seminary now for 2 years, feel called to ministry, and I’m an intern at my church. However, I still struggle with lust and pornography. I delved into porn at a very young age, before I was a Christian, and I’m still working through the damage it caused to this day. I have begged God to take it away, and it has become less over time, but still, if I am called into the ministry, I’m supposed to not even have a hint of sexual immorality in my life. Do I have to have 100% total victory over my inclinations before I can be a minister of the word? Why won’t God totally change my heart and take it away? I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve asked him to take it away. Any help would be appreciated!

4. If a person did something wrong, by that I mean break the law, and then later got saved, but before they were able to be accountable to the law on a worldly level, they died. Would they still be separated from the Lord if they could not make it right according to human law?

Resources

Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave by Ed Welch

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I'm training to be a pastor but I struggle with lust.

Why won't God change my heart and take it away. Best is one of the questions will be answering on today's edition of core Christianity hi this is Bill Meyer along with Pastor Israel Sanchez and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can call us right now with your question.

At 833 the core that's 833-843-2673 and you can also email us with your questions at questions at core, Christianity.com first up today here something on the lighter side of the news newly reopened theme parks in Japan are trying to prevent the spread of coronavirus by asking people riding on roller coasters not to scream.

According to the Wall Street Journal the rule against screaming along with mask wearing recommendations is included in guidelines issued by the country's theme parks Association. While masks are worn by most people. Park goers have been struggling to comply with the no screaming requirement on roller coasters. The drop hundreds of feet, so reliable.

I know you live in Southern California. Could you sit calmly and quietly while writing one of those huge roller coasters at Six Flags Magic Mountain know I probably couldn't, and it's been so many years, but I've been a magic mountain on a handful of occasions and if I recall correctly, either worth a lot of screaming protester guy Bill, I am. I love roller coasters. There's no way I could not scream on a roller coaster.

My kids actually talk about the other, how funny they think dad scream is on this on the coast or so man on it, but you can scrape her right will let's get into our first question of the day and this one comes from Eddie who posted on our YouTube account.

He says I heard you use the NIV Bible someone told me that the NIV Bible is missing versus throughout is this true Eddie. I mean I totally get that concern. There are several verses which are omitted from the NIV that appearing in translations like the King James version or the new King James version and the reason for that is because those verses in particular are attested to in the earliest manuscripts of the New Testament that we have so thought is that they were probably later additions and usually in in Bibles that do have those verses are that omit those verses. There's there's typically a footnote at least describing hate. You know some of the earliest manuscripts don't contain this person.

The really important thing for you to know though Eddie is that I think that should keep you from reading the NIV or by an NIV if you're thinking about getting one.

These omissions really don't call into question any doctrine on some occasions there verses that are supplied in other gospel accounts. So for example, Matthew chapter 17 verse 21 Jesus says this kind is not come out except by prayer and fasting will. That's one of the diverse is that's omitted in the NIV, but that same thing is stated in parallel accounts like Mark chapter 9 verse 29 so you're really not losing anything in note. No doctrine of the Christian faith is called into question, and Eddie were having this discussion were talking about what scholars call textual criticism.

All of the different manuscripts of the New Testament that we have really what they should do is that it should give us confidence in the Scriptures were not relying on one manuscript of the gospel of John, or one manuscript of the book of Romans.

We have all of these different manuscripts and fragments that help us to see what the text actually said and when it comes to the New Testament registers an embarrassment of riches and I think that's what they should do. That should help us to be confident in the fact that we can trust the Scriptures that God didn't only give us his word, but he's preserved his word.

Throughout time for us to receive it and embrace it as the word of God and so those those verses that the NIV does not have. As I said there verses that we don't see in the earliest manuscripts that we have discovered, but that doesn't really pose a problem for us because the fact of the matter is those verses are either attested to in other gospel accounts so it in the parallel accounts and or they don't call any Christian doctrine into question so that question I would say if if you want to read NIV go right ahead. Let me ask you this, a drill, there's a lot of atheists and agnostics who will challenge Christians by talking about the apparent contradictions that we find, particularly between the gospel accounts. What's the best way for a believer to respond with say they have a friend or relative to all the Bible just full of all these contradictions. What would you advise them to cite. I think it just depends on on which particular passages being brought up benign and I think that we want to listen to objections that are raised and provide solid answer to me. That's one of the reasons why we have this program is to do that we don't want to leave people hanging at the same time.

I know that there are people who ask questions, not because they're looking for an answer, but just because they want to hear themselves speak.

We also have to be discerning right like I've I've come across people, conversations with atheist ice to do street evangelism outside at this big park here in San Diego called Balboa Park and there was this booth that was always set up their call. They still set up there on on Saturdays. The atheists booth dad would be out there sharing the gospel. You know they would always want to, they raise these objections that we give great answers. I thought that the objections that they had came to realize well they're not really interested in the answers they just want to raise objections and so I think we have to be discerning, but with humility with grace, with love.

We want to search the Scriptures and we want to provide solid answers to give a reason for that. The hope that we have in us as Scripture calls us to and help people to seek the Bible really is the word of God and it's profitable for us we needed to understand what God calls us to and to realize what he's done for us so that we might have a relationship with him so I would say be discerning engage people with the love of Christ but also recognize when when it might be the case someone is just trying to argue with you and not really interested in gaining understanding. Thanks for that. This is core Christianity with pastor Averill Sanchez and if you have a question for us. You can call us at 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673. By the way, you can also record your question by going to our website it's core Christianity.com/radio you'll see a microphone icon there on the side of the pages. Click on that and you can record your question 24 hours a day and we will receive that Don called us from Topeka, Kansas. With this question.

Matthew 417, no longer is a need to repent every day and sometimes I wonder about how they can lose it if you send many times have a great day. Don thinks that question known in 1517.

Many people believe that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses upon the Castle Church in Wittenberg. There's some debate about unity that actually happen. Is it just a legend but that really for many people when they think about the Reformation.

It's that moment that they think of nailed the 95 theses up and and they were his protests against abuses in the medieval Roman Catholic Church in the first of the 95 BC said when our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ said repent. Matthew 417. He willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance that Martin Luther opens up his 95 theses now.

Matthew 417 says from the time Jesus began to preach, saying, repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Now the word repent is the Greek word met Inouye means a change of mind course if you change your mind about something. It's also been a change. Some other things as well right repentance were changing our mind about sin and Jesus were confessing that our sin is just that rebellion against the all holy God and returning to Jesus and positively clinging to him by faith that I'm one of those people who believes that if you have genuine faith in Jesus Christ, you can't lose that faith for your salvation, not even if you fall into the same sin over and over again. There was another reformer who came along shortly after Martin Luther and he talked about our faith being like a fire that sometimes looks as if it is gone out. Lately I've been cooking with a Weber grill that I got for Father's Day just asserted basic charcoal grill. I love it.

We've been having a great time as the family will after your done cooking and the coal start to get cold. They go out close up the grill and cut off the oxygen right there. There's no more fire sometimes in our lives because of sin feels like the fire has all but gone out, but you know what the seed of faith is still there burning sustained by the spirits breath in our lives and the work he starts in us the work that God starts in you, he promises to finish. That doesn't mean that bit you know the Christian life is in a battle that every day were to be fighting repent and to turn away from our sins and to turn to Jesus.

That's what Martin Luther was getting at their it at the opening of his 95 thesis were called to repent and turn to God in the fact of the matter is the Lord every single day of our lives is going to show us things that we need to repent of IIS.

Sometimes they it's God's mercy that he doesn't reveal to us all the things that one time a man I feel like I might just fall over dead. But the Lord in his mercy, as were being sanctified, is were growing in the grace of the knowledge of Jesus Christ were seeing more and more areas of our lives that need to be brought into alignment with his word and will. And we see those things were called to repent and that something you gonna do every day of your life brother God bless you.

You're listening to the core Christianity hi Bill Meyer with pastor Israel Sanchez and we have a really cool offer we want to tell you about today and Bill were excited about helpful resource, and as you know I'm even the question we just got right there is a question about assurance again. I lose my salvation. This is something that a lot of people want to know how can have assurance that I'm saved we created an audio resource called glad you asked. Answers to core questions on assurance invited over at our website. Core, Christianity.com and it's free for you when you sign up for our weekly newsletter so the core Christianity.com/offers to download glad you asked.

Answers to core questions on assurance and you can call us for any one of our offers at 833-843-2673. That's 833. The core just a reminder that core Christianity is listener supported and we would encourage you to prayerfully consider making a gift if that's something that God is leading you to look into our next question.

This is an email we received from James. He says thank you for your servants heart and your great advice and insights on core Christianity had been a great help to me over the years I've been in seminary now for two years and I have the outward in word and circumstantial call to ministry. I even intern at my church. However, I still struggle with lust and pornography. I delved into porn at a very young age, before I was a Christian and I'm still working through the damages caused to this day I've begged God to take it away and is become less over time, but still if I'm called in the ministry. I'm supposed to not even have a hint of sexual immorality in my life.

Do I have to have 100% total victory over my inclinations before I can be a minister of the word. Why won't God totally change my heart and take it away. I've lost count of how many times I've asked him to take it away. Any help you can give me would be appreciated. Hey James, thanks for your transparency brother. This is, I think precisely the thing that we need from guys who are looking to go into the ministry's honesty confession. My greatest concern is for those young men looking to go into the pastorate who are trying to hide all of their sins. We don't confess them because they think that they have them under control.

The fact of the matter is unconfessed sin does not go away.

It will kill you and it will kill your ministry. I think what you need at this stage and it sounds like you have some of this hopefully is a network of brothers. Maybe your your own elders in your church who you're walking in the light with their the ones who are best fit to gauge your call to the ministry and walk with you during this time the season of preparing to be a minister of the word. This is the sin that you're going to want to have mortified prior to going into the ministry that is your gonna want to have victory in this area and if there's a pattern of continued failure. I think you should hold off and continue to be cared for and grow so that you can minister from a good place and with a clear conscience. So I have some steps that I think it would be good for you to follow number one first. If you have not yet opened up with your pastor with your elders there who were overseeing you were helping you prepare for the ministry that something that you're really going to want to do.

But confession is so key. Sin thrives in the darkness, the sooner you bring this into the light, the better it thrives when it's hidden will justify all the reasons why we don't need to confess the sins we struggle with, but the reality is, and here's what you can confess, is the blood of Jesus is sufficient for you to cleanse you of all sin, if you confess your sin, you are forgiven. Now wage war against your sin and start by getting help. Talk to your elders pastor number two you need to set up a pattern of accountability get covered in either one of those other accountability software programs. I know what people say.

You know that doesn't really address the hard issue. But Jesus was clear. If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off whatever avenues you find to go down in order to defeat this sin, cut them off. Get accountability on on your phone on your computer whatever it is, so that you're less tempted to visit pornographic websites. By the way. I know that I'm not just speaking to you right now. James and of their people were listening struggle with this man and women so I would say the same thing to you with this is the battle for you need to be open confess bring it into the light and get the help that you need three as your fleeing from this sin bite by cutting off those avenues of accessing it pursue righteousness, listen to what Paul said in in second Timothy chapter 2 verse 22 E. he's writing to young Timothy this this young pastor and the Lord. He says flee youthful passions that was run from them and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. You have to not only flee from sexual sin. After pursue Christ, pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace, and part of the way that you do this is by meditating on God's word and prayer. I think of what the psalmist said in Psalm 119 verses 9 to 11 how can a young man keep his way pure by guarding it according to your word with my whole heart ICQ. Let me not wander from your commandments. I have stored up your word in my heart that I might not sin against youth, psalmist said dig into the word pursue Christ in the Scriptures and pray. Jesus taught you to pray lead me not into temptation and deliver me from the evil one. Paul said this is the will of God, your sanctification that you abstain from sexual immorality. First Thessalonians chapter 4 verse three James, I have great news for you.

God is on your side. Not only did he send Jesus to die for you, his will for you right now is your sanctification, your sexual purity.

That means that when you pray to him for this.

You can pray boldly with confidence knowing that you're praying for and pursuing something that God desires for you and for all of his people. Now, what percentage of of victory do you need to have before your your fit for the ministry will like I said brother.

I think this is the sin that you're gonna want to have mortified before trying to serve as an elder or pastor and when temptation arises, you're gonna want to be honest about that. To confess and to continue to walk in the light is what you don't want.

You don't want to be in a position where you're trying to lead a church or Shepherd people rebuke sin call people to live holy lives to follow Jesus went inside. You know you have this secret. It will kill you because you feel like a total hypocrite, and Satan will use that against you ought to be able to minister with a clean conscience and right now during this season of preparation isn't just growing in the word that is so important for you it's growing in character and humility and repentance pursue that brother and and you'll be on the right track and continue to submit to the church that your attitude to listen to the elders to bring sin into the light and to let them help you guide you as you pursue this call to the ministry and brother.

We need pastors who are walking with the Lord walking in the light and eager to teach the Scriptures and so I want to pray for you right now. James heavenly father, I give you thanks for my brother James who is called and I asked Lord for him that you would sanctify him that you would prepare him for that call that you have placed on his life. I thank you that he has that sense of call, Lord, that it's been confirmed by the people around him, Lord, we know that it's only by the spirit as your word says that we put to death the sinful deeds of the body that none of us has the strength in and of ourselves that we need you. And yet we also know God, you give us your spirit that you supply us with your spirit, because you are a good father you've given us everything that we need in your son Jesus. And so I pray that you would give James that confidence that you would help him Lord to walk in the light that you would sanctify him Lord and by the power of your Holy Spirit put to death this sin in his life so that he might serve you, Lord, with a clear conscience give him brothers Lord who can encourage him to walk with him who can hold them accountable and Lord strengthen him so that he might serve you mightily in the days to come. In Jesus name Amen amen federal I'm so glad you mentioned that sin thrives in the dark and the importance of not only confessing our sin to God. But confessing it to others to brothers and sisters we trust in particular in the sin confessing to other men, is skeptical, but boy, I think there are some people that have the misunderstanding that way if I just confess this to the Lord and not to others. That's enough, but I think in cases like this that accountability is so critical that it really is critical and I think that we can sometimes deceive ourselves.

You know we've we've suggested the book life together on this program before it's a little short book about Christian community written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer and he was martyred during World War II yes is amazing chapter on confession in one of the things he asked in that chapter is why is it that we have such a hard time confessing our sins to our brothers in the Lord but an easy time confessing our sins to God and he says you know God is all holy, all pure all-powerful. He's never sinned.

Yet it we can sometimes put a flippantly just confess our sins to him and yet our brothers or sisters if if your woman confessing sin to a sister in the Lord their sinful just like us and yet we have such a hard time and he says could it be, could it be that were really just confessing our sins to ourselves and granting ourselves absolution. In other words, he sank. Maybe when when were unwilling to bring our sin to the light, it's because we still want to hold onto it to cling to it. I think this is why having gospel centered Christian community where Jesus is placarded before us every single Sunday is so important because it's only in that kind of community will we feel the freedom to be able to say I'm a sinner. I need help because only the gospel provides us with the solution for our sins.

We need to know that the blood of Jesus is sufficient for our sins. Whatever they are and when we know that we can say God be merciful to me. I am a sinner and we can even go to our our brothers or sisters and say I need help I broke it.

I've send and receive mercy and encouragement and grace. Of course Bill is you say right we we we can confess our sins directly to God. I don't need any.

Jesus is my my high priest, but it is so helpful to confess to another brother in the Lord. If you're if you're a man or sisters as a woman. Why get that accountability and to bring the sin into the light, we have time for one last question here on core Christianity. This one was posted on our website at core, Christianity.com it comes from how tobacco he says if a person did something wrong. By that I mean break the law and then later got saved. But before they were able to be accountable to the law on the worldly level they died, would they still be separated from the Lord. If they couldn't make it right.

According to human law know they would not be separated from the Lord. They go to heaven because they are united to Jesus Christ by faith justified before God's court. We can ever make it right for our sins and we try to write you you you you said you do something wrong, anything.

Okay, I get enter into the Lord's presence now for at least a week or two. I have to really show that I'm sorry it and do my penance before I feel like I'm able to come before God. Again we do that all says in Romans six, the wages of sin is death. That's what I deserve. Jesus made it right now that doesn't mean that if someone commits a crime and they get saved, that they should just not confess it because they think well I Jesus is made me write out how to deal with that anymore. Back in 2016 a man confess to a murder he had committed years prior to the Christian Post reported. This is a quote from the guy he said I'm 30 years old and I've been fighting for nothing. All my life I never fought for anything that made sense, but I knew the Lord was telling me to fight for him this time. I just knew he was stirring on my spirit under the conviction of the Holy Spirit. This man came forward and said it was me because he knew it was the right thing to do.

Now that's not what justified and what justifies him is Jesus. But having been justified by Jesus Christ.

We pursue restoration, reconciliation. We own our sins instead of hiding them instead of denying them, downplaying them blame shifting. We say you know what I can confess what I've done because I have a Savior in heaven who loves me and who accepts me not on the basis of the fact that I'm good or that my sin is not that bad actually brothers and sisters, our sins, your sins are worse than you could even know because they're committed against a holy God. And yet, that God in his mercy, sent his son to bleed on a cost to put away all of your sins, no matter how lightly, so that in him you might be set. 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. Please let us know how you been encouraged by this podcast and be sure to join us next time. As we explore the truth of God's word together


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