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Will People In Hell Believe Their Punishment Was Unjust?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez
The Truth Network Radio
August 18, 2020 1:00 am

Will People In Hell Believe Their Punishment Was Unjust?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez

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August 18, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 512 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

Key questions answered in today's show:

1. Why do Christians argue about the gift of speaking in tongues, saying that you don’t have to speak in tongues to have the Spirit? Scripture clearly teaches that we cry, “Abba Father” when we have the gift of the Spirit. Can you explain that?

2. I heard Adriel state that church pastors or ministers “must be above reproach” in reference to why pastors or ministers cannot be gay. But isn’t it true that none of us are above reproach?

3. Are there different levels of punishment in hell? Along with that, was hell created only for Satan? I know I am thinking of human fairness. If God is just, will everyone feel the judgment they receive is fair?

4. What’s the difference between the soul and the spirit? They are always talked about as being separate and different. I would like to hear a definition.

5. What does it mean to abide in Christ? How can I tell if I am abiding in Christ? What does it look like today?

Resources

Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate by Jerry Bridges

Journeys with Jesus: Every Path in the Bible Leads Us to Christ by Dennis Johnson

Offers

Gospel of John

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If God is just. Will everyone feel like the judgment they've received is fair? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of Core Christianity. I'm Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adrian Sanchez. And this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. And you can call us with your question at eight three, three the core. That's one eight three three eight. Four three. Twenty six. Seventy three. And you can e-mail us with your question at questions at core Christianity dot com. You can also post on our Facebook or Instagram account and let us know if you have a question there. First up today, a good news story about a man and his dogs. Lots and lots of dogs. Eugene Bostick has an interesting retirement hobby. He is the train conductor for rescued stray dogs. Eugene is 80 years old. He lives in Texas and he spends his days operating one of the coolest trains in the world. His homemade train takes rescued stray dogs out for rides around the neighborhood. Over the years, Eugene has taken in hundreds of abandoned dogs. He gave them a place to live and good food to eat. But best of all, he's found a great way to keep them happy. Once or twice a week, Eugene takes his dogs around the quiet streets of his town or through the surrounding woods close to his home in his little homemade train. It's something that the formerly unloved dogs have come to relish in their happy new lives. And I've got to tell you, Adrian. There are some photos of Eugene's dogs in their little train and they are having a blast. And we're going to post a photo of Eugene and his dog train in our show notes page. So our lists his kids look.

Wow, Bill. That's that. I'm trying to picture this right now. And I'm seeing Eugene at the very front.

And, you know, a big train of dogs behind and it's just hard to imagine. So I'm I'm looking forward to checking out that image online.

Is there a biblical application to the train of God's robe in Isaiah? No, maybe not.

Yeah. Yeah. I love you know, I see things all the time. And that's a sermon illustration. I don't know that I can pull one out of this. Those keep working out in April. That's right.

All right. Let's get to our first question of the day. This is a call that came in at eight three three the core.

My name is Sherry. A little sailboat. My question to you is, why do Christians argue about the case of speaking in tongues, saying that you don't have to be content to have the Holy Spirit when the scripture clearly states that that's evident when you think that you have the Holy Spirit to give discounts. Thank you.

Hi, Sherry. Thank you for your question. Yeah. This is one of the things that churches will will argue about today is in it, you know, is the gift of tongues still for today. And should I, as a Christian, speak in tongues? And is the evidence that I am a Christian, that I have the Holy Spirit, that I speak in tongues. But I will just say this. It's clear from the New Testament that even if the gift of tongues was for today, not everyone who was a Christian would speak in tongues. And Paul makes this point absolutely clear. At the end of First Corinthians, Chapter twelve, in his discussion on spiritual gifts and how we're all a part of this one body and God is gifted, each of us uniquely in different ways for the good of the whole, for the building up of the body. He talks about this in twelve seven prescriptions, twelve seven, the end of that chapter, he says, beginning in verse 27. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

And God is appointed in the church. First apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles. Then gifts of healing, helping, administrating and various kinds of tongues are all apostles, are all prophets, are all teachers, do all work miracles, do all possess gifts of healing. Do all speak with tongues, do all interpret what earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you still a more excellent way.

So Paul asked these rhetorical questions there at the very end. Do all speak in tongues? And the answer that he is wanting us to supply is no. Not everyone in the church has the same gift. And if that was the case, if everyone in the church did have the same gift, well, that would be a problem, because one of the things that helps the body to grow, that causes the body to grow is that we have this diversity of gifts, different gifts coming together, working together for the building up of the whole. And he says earlier in First Corinthians twelve, you know, if everybody was a hand or an eye or a foot or whatnot, the body would not be functional. Well, likewise, if everybody spoke in tongues, if that was everyone's gift, what the body just would not be functional. It's really important that we understand what the gift of tongues was carry. I mean, later in First Corinthians, Chapter 14 and in versus 20 and following post as brothers do not be children in your thinking, the infants and evil, but in your thinking, be mature in the Lord is written by people of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners. I will speak to this people and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.

Thus, tongues are a sign not for believers, but for unbelievers.

There was one of the ways that tongues functioned in redemptive history, in the history of of God's story given to us in Scripture is that they were a sign for unbelievers. It was a way in which the this judgment essentially was coming upon those who did not embrace or receive the gospel. Now you bring up what Paul says related to ABBA father in places like the Book of Galatians or in Romans Chapter eight. You know, he says that now that we've been adopted into the family of God by faith in Jesus Christ, the spirit of Christ lives in us and cries out within us. ABBA Father, I don't think that's a reference specifically to the gift of tongues at all, actually. What Paul is saying is now, because we have Jesus, we're filled with the spirit and we know that God is our father, having been adopted by the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. And so that is something that every Christian has, right? We're all adopted into the family of God. We all have the Holy Spirit. Not, you know, different levels of the Holy Spirit. So some people can really work miracles because their super spirit filled. Others are you know, we're kind of second class spiritual citizens because we don't have as much of the spirit. No, no, no, no, no. All of us who have faith in Jesus Christ are filled with the Holy Spirit, sealed by the spirit in. Each one of us has different gifts given to us by God for the building up of the body of Christ ultimately in love. And that's really what Paul's focus is as he continues there. First Corinthians 13. So after you makes that statement that not everyone has the same gift. He says, look, let me show you a more excellent way. It's the way of love. And that's what we need more than anything in the church today.

What would you advise a Christian to do if they attend a church where they are told if they're not speaking in tongues, they don't have the Holy Spirit or they may not really be a believer?

Yeah. Oh, that's a very, very damaging thing to say. I've seen this happen in the church where people are told that and they feel like they have to fake it. I mean, obviously. They're being told, you know, if you're a real Christian, you should be able to speak in tongues. And I think actually some of these churches helped facilitate the faking of speaking in tongues because you'll even have people say, well, well, you know, just sort of mimic the words that I'm saying or that kind of a thing. I've seen this and it's very dangerous. We don't want to try to conjure up to the Holy Spirit or manifest the Spirit somehow in this artificial way. That's not how God works. And so I would advise someone who's going to a church where where they're being told if you don't have the Holy Spirit, which means you're not speaking in tongues, you know, then to one humbly approach the church leadership and point them to the end of first Raytheon's Chapter twelve. Or Paul very clearly says not everyone has the same gifts. And to really consider whether or not that's the right place to be, because it sounds like that kind of church is pointing you more to what you're doing and less on what Christ has done for you in the gospel. And I think that's what we need to be reminded of in church.

So good council. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez. And we'd love to hear from you. You can e-mail us if you have a question at questions at core Christianity dot com. Selena wrote to us and said, I heard a real state that in the church, pastors or ministers must be above reproach in reference to why pastors cannot be gay. But isn't it true that none of us are above reproach? Please explain this further.

What a great question. What an important thing for us to think about as we consider the church of our Lord Jesus Christ and the people who have been entrusted with the care of the church elders, pastors. So that that language of being above reproach comes from Paul in first Timothy three. And in Titus, Chapter one. And in First Timothy Chapter three. Let me just read some of what Paul said. He says, this saying is trustworthy.

If anyone aspires to the office of an overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore, an overseer must be. And this is the very first one that he gives above reproach. The husband of one wife, sober minded, self controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well with all dignity, keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household. How will he care for God's church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with, can see and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders so that he may not fall into disgrace into the snare of the devil. And so there's the list of qualifications that Paul says we should have for our pastors, for elders, for the people who are aspiring to this office.

I mean, this is what I point people in my church to men in my church who are saying, man, I aspire to the office of an overseer. I think it'd be great to be an elder. I think that God is calling me to this. I say, let's look at first Timothy Chapter three, then it's not to scare people away, although I think when you read First Timothy three, you do. I mean, it is sobering. It really highlights how high this calling is to serve the church in this way. And Selina, it's not that it's impossible to be above reproach, right. Because then no one would be qualified for ministry, in Paul's words, mean something here.

I think that we have to distinguish between being sinless and being above reproach.

The idea here is that pastors should not have secret sins that they're hiding, that if uncovered, would destroy their ministry.

If they have those kinds of things going on, then they're reproachful. And what's going to end up happening? What can end up happening is they bring shame on the church that they really hurt people's faith because this stuff gets uncovered. And, you know, this pastor that everyone trusted well is he's shown to be a charlatan or to have had this secret life. And it's just heartbreaking and it's devastating for the life of the church. I've heard people say, yes, those qualifications are heavy, but you know what? We're all sinners. And so what? What's the big deal? Well, don't buy it. The Church of Jesus is too precious to entrust her to people who aren't ready or qualified to care for her.

That's what Paul is getting at here. And so that's how I would answer your question, Selina. It's not that ministers have to be sinless. All of us have sinned. It's that there isn't this this reproach that can be brought against them because they have these secret, unrepentant of UN confessed sense that they're hiding this duplicity sort of one way in one place and another way in another place. That can't be the case. And Paul says, if you're like that, you shouldn't be a minister.

You know, Admiral, I was going to apply to be an elder at your church, but then I saw your list there and I thought.

You mean faultlessly? Yeah. Does.

I will just say, Bill. It's humbling. I mean, it's humbling for me. Is it? I mean, I read those things and I say, Lord have mercy. And we all should. We should say, God help us. But we don't want to cast the list aside. We want to say the church is so precious to our Lord. We want to care for her well. And we want to guard her in one of the ways we do that is by taking very seriously the call on elders and pastors.

Well said. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adria's Sanchez. I'm Bill Meyer. We want to tell you we are offering our new 100 page soft cover workbook for the Gospel of John and Brooke. You tell our listeners a little bit about this great resource.

While a lot of people want to read their Bibles and find wisdom for how to live, but they have a hard time knowing where to start or they get bogged down in the process with the Gospel of John Bible workbook. You'll have a reliable guide that engages you from start to finish. Each weekly lesson includes select passages from John's gospel reflection, questions and explanations of the key lessons. Every Christian should know about John's gospel. This study is gonna help you gain a deeper understanding of what the Bible teaches. The relevant historic Christian doctrines that you need to know. And the key themes of the Gospel of John. So go to core Christianity dot com forward slash gospel of John. Take your copy of our new Bible study today.

You know, one of our longtime supporters here at core Christianity was so encouraged by this study that he gave us a special gift. He said we've got to get this out to more people. So we want to give you the Gospel of John Study Workbook for free. Take advantage of this offer by heading over to core Christianity dot com forward. Slash Gospel of John. And get your copy today. Edra, we had an e-mail question come in from Keith. He says, Are there different levels of punishment in hell? Along with that was hell created only for Satan? I know I'm thinking of human fairness here. If God is just. Will everyone feel that the judgment they've received is fair?

Keith, great question. I do think that on the day of judgment, when when the books are opened and people are standing before the Lord and they're giving an account for everything that they've done and said and thought, it's a sobering thought, isn't it? I don't think that at the end of that event, as God reveals to us, the secrets of our hearts, that the things that we haven't even seen that we're unconscious of. I don't think anybody going to be saying, God, this isn't fair. I think God's righteous judgment, his perfect judgment is going to leave everyone without any excuse and nobody's going to be able to say. But what? What? No, no. Because God is in it. Reveal everything clear as day. Now does seem like in scripture we are going to be judged on the basis of what we know. In other words, I think that there are going to be different degrees of punishment in hell. I don't know exactly how that's going to look at them with regard to helping created for saying, you know, the first passage it came to mind was Jesus, his words describing the final judgment in Matthew, chapter 25, verse 41, is this the sheep goat judgment separating the sheep from the goats? And verse 41 says then he will say to those on his left, depart from me, you, Kirst, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. In other words, it's very clear from the end of the book Revelation that the devil and the fallen angels are going to be cast into the lake of fire together with all the unbelieving those who have rejected the Gospel and Christ. But I don't think that that means that God is unjust because they're they're facing a similar fate. They're in the lake of fire. And then with regard to how being worse for some people, there are a few different text of scripture that I would want to want to look at. One is a little bit earlier in Matthew in Matthew, chapter twenty three, verse 14.

This is Jesus pronouncing woes on the religious leaders. In other words, people who should have known better. And he says, whoa, do you scribes and Pharisees hypocrites you devour widow's house is in for a pretense.

You make long prayers, therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

They they're subject to this greater judgment, this greater condemnation because of their position in the church. You see this also in the gospel of Luke and Luke, chapter 12, verse 47, a very similar idea here. You have this call to be ready for for the coming of the Lord and Jesus says that servant who knew his master's will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating.

But the one who did not know and did what deserved a beating will receive a light beating. In other words, you have this judgment that's happening and it's based on what the individual knows. They're there, they're having understanding of. And of his word, I mean, going back to the question that we received earlier about the qualifications for an elder in the church. This is again why it's so sobering for us to to study the scriptures, to teach the scriptures, especially them. James, chapter three, verse one says, Let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we will receive a stricter judgment. And so, Keith, God is perfectly fair in his judgment. No one is going to going to go to hell and say that was not fair. Not when God reveals everything. And along with that, there is, I think, according to scripture, these different degrees of judgment. We don't know exactly how that's going to look, but that's a part of how God judges with fairness, with equity. And so I think that those are the passages that you're going to want to look to. And at the end of the day, all of this reveals to us that, you know, it's like the Somma says, if you oh, Lord, should mark iniquities who could stand. All of us need God's grace and forgiveness. Not one of us. If if God should mark in equities, if if it was just on the basis of our merits, what we've done and we had to stand before the Lord and and be justified before his court on the basis of what we've done, none of us could stand. We'd all be lost. That's why we need Jesus, our advocate, the one who paid for our sins. And so it really drives us to the gospel into the forgiveness we find in Christ. Thank you.

Kate, thanks so much for your question. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez. And if you have a question, you can call us at eight three three the core. That's one eight three. Three eight. Four. Three. Twenty six. Seventy three. Also, you can go to our Web site at Korps Christianity dot com slash radio. And you can record your question. There's a little microphone icon on the right hand side of the page. Just click on that and record your question for us.

My name is Terri, and I'd like to know the difference and the difference between the soul and the spirit. Because they're always talked about as being separate and different. Thank you.

Yeah. I'll just get to the heart of it. I mean, I think that in scripture, actually the soul and the spirit are mostly used interchangeably. I mean, those in heaven, for example, are there are both referred to as spirits and souls. And you see this in Hebrews, chapter 12, verse twenty three, first puter three 19 and Revelation six nine. And in Revelation, chapter 20, verse four. So sometimes they just referring to the person and they're referred to as spirits or they're referred to as souls. And I think that the key when we think about this distinction or the fact that we know we have this soul body composition or haven't you ever you want to put it, is that there's more to us than meets the eye. Now, there's been a lot of debate about the soul lately, especially among some of the atheist groups, the materialist groups, you know, who say reject the idea of an immaterial soul. But we understand, according to the Bible, that this is a part of what it means to be made in God's image, that we have this dignity, this worth, that we ought to respect each other and love each other and treat each other well because we're made in the image of God. I mean, this is what gives us, I think, value as human. We're not just animals. We are creatures. But we're creatures made in the image of God. And this sets us apart from the rest of the creation of our souls. And our bodies are both integral to who we are. Salvation is just, you know, being released from our bodies. Too many Christians think that. They think that, you know, salvation is about going to heaven when I die. And this old dusty body of mine is isn't to go into the ground. I'm not going to be trapped in it anymore. And it's maybe so wonderful floating around in heaven. Well. Salvation is actually more than just leaving our bodies. It's the resurrection of the body because the body is good. And our bodies are a part of who we are. We are our bodies and our souls. And so it's really important that we understand this. And it's at the heart of what it means, I think, to be made in the image of God. And when scripture talks about about the soul, it's talking about us. It's talking about the person. The person. The part of the person that you can't see with your eyes. So many people today deny, but which we embrace on the basis of what the Bible teaches.

Terry, thank you so much for your question. Well, we have one more question to get to today. A drill. This one was posted on our Facebook page from Hillary. She says hi. I live in St. Louis, Missouri. What does it mean to abide in Christ? How can I tell if I'm abiding in him? What does that look like today?

Thank you, Hilary, for that question. Well, the word abides. The Greek word Menno often translated, remain or abide. And it's really a favorite concept of John and in his gospel and also in his first epistle, the first letter of John and John 656, Jesus said abiding in him looks like feeding on his flesh and blood. In John eight thirty one, you talked about abiding in his teaching and then you really get a lot of discussion on this in John.

Chapter fifteen, beginning in verse four where Jesus is Abidin, me and I and you as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine.

So abiding in Jesus looks like receiving his body and blood, his word. That gift of salvation and this receiving of Jesus manifests itself in fruitfulness in a life that is changed. Why?

Because Jesus is in us and we're attached to him as a branch is attached to a vine. And what happens when we're attached to Jesus? We we bear fruit. We grow. Now, I think it's really important that we understand that, that it's not that by doing good works, we make ourself in Jesus. Boy, if that's the case, then we're in big trouble. I mean, how many good works do I have to do before I'm, quote unquote abiding in Jesus? It's not that at all.

No, it's the opposite. It's that by receiving the word of Christ, what is the word of Christ? Is gospel the salvation that Christ gives us himself as we receive that in Jesus is in us and we are in him. He, by the power of the Holy Spirit, begins to bear fruit in our lives. It's not so much something we do by by straining. It's something that God does in us, by his grace. And so if you want to abide in Jesus, the first thing I would say is receive receive his good word, the teaching that Jesus gives to us. I mean, you see that all over the place in scripture. It seems like that's one of the things that Jesus in the Gospel of John reiterates. Abiding in his teaching, abiding in his word, received the gift of Christ's word.

The gift ultimately of the gospel Jesus. And what happens when we do as we embrace that all of a sudden we begin to bear fruit because the life of Christ is flowing in. And through us.

Thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at core Christianity dot.com and click on offers in the menubar or call us at one eight three three eight four three two six seven three. That's eight three three. The core. When you contact us, please let us know how you've 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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