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How Do I Respond to People Who Say God Isn’t Real?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez
The Truth Network Radio
September 29, 2020 1:00 am

How Do I Respond to People Who Say God Isn’t Real?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez

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September 29, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 542 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

1. I find myself struggling with the balance between being dedicated to growing in my faith and recognizing that I cannot fix myself. I’m wondering, how can I find peace in that tension that I am still growing?

2. I go to a church where a lot of people speak in tongues. I don’t understand it, and because I don’t, it makes me feel like I’m not a good a Christian. Why would God give a gift to some people and not to others?

3. Everywhere I look, there’s always a solid argument against the existence of God, or the reliability of the Bible, whether it’s logical or scientific. How can I combat these as a believer?

4. Where did Paul go to church, since he was always moving back and forth so much?

Resources

The Story of Reality: How the World Began, How It Ends, and Everything Important that Happens in Between by Gregory Koukl

Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical by Timothy Keller

The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller

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Everywhere I look.

It seems like there's always a solid argument against the existence of God or the reliability of the Bible whether it's logical or scientific. How can I combat these as a believer. That's just 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. We would love to hear from you. You can call us right now with your question. At 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on our Facebook or Instagram account and you can email us with your question at questions at core, Christianity.com first step today a major motion picture about Jesus is about to start production. 16 years ago, actor Jim Caviezel portrayed Jesus in the hit film the passion of the Christ, which was produced and directed by Mel Gibson.

Jim recently shared his hope that the staple of that movie will become the largest film in cinema history. Jim says he's reviewed a new draft of the script for the movie which will be titled the passion of the Christ resurrection. The first film focused on the final 12 hours of Jesus life and his crucifixion. While the SQL will depict his resurrection and the events that occurred afterwards. The film is currently slated for a 2022. Release date in April. I recall the original film was rated R because of the violent portrayal of the crucifixion, and that kept a lot of Christians from seeing especially kids and teenagers and I'm doubting this equable feature much violence so hopefully it'll be a movie we could take our kids to yeah that'll be interesting to hear about you know what happens with all that stuff. I would love to see a movie on the book of acts. I mean I just love the book of acts, and I think there's so much exciting there or how about some of those Old Testament stories me. I know there was that Noah movie a while back I go see it. So, maybe, even if these movies came out. I would go see them but got a fun as long as I stick to the biblical narrative in there. They're accurate that no one really took nature of the parts are yet.

I want the book of acts. I want Denzel Washington play Paul because that would be cool and I like Denzil you got any act or suggestions will meet John Travolta as Stephen, I don't know I don't have us produce this thing. No, definitely not get to our first question of the day. Greg posted this on or Instagram account. He says I find myself struggling with the balance between being dedicated to growing in my faith and recognizing that I can't fix myself. I'm wondering how I can find peace in that tension.

I realize no one ever has the balance perfectly figured out so I'm also wondering how I can be at peace with the fact that I am still growing great. Thank you for that question. You know I I understand your sanity with the tension that you feel is really outlined all over the place in Scripture. The first passage that comes to mind is what Paul says in Philippians chapter 2 verse 12 therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now not only as in my presence but much more in my absence will work out your own salvation with fear and trembling work out your own salvation with fear and trembling at the dedication piece that you were just talking about you being dedicated to growing in my faith to following the Lord, to being obedient to the commands of Scripture. All we had was that command right there. Work out your salvation with fear and tremble will I think there would be a lot of cause for anxiety and fear. But listen to what the apostle Paul says as he continued their for it is God who works in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure yet I think that's that latter part of the verse we have to understand forever to have peace because I think you know it is easy for a single man, this is all in my hands. I have to do this I have to sanctify myself, well that's actually not the case. Sanctification is the work of God's spirit. It's the work of God that we pursue the Lord we study the Scriptures and make sure that were in good churches were hearing, the Bible proclaimed, but the reality is great God is the one who is working in you both to will transforming your desires. The things that you want and to do it. It's the work of God spirit in you. So as you pursue the Lord and obedience and that dedication to growing in your faith, which we all need to do know that it is God who is working in you and as you realize that. I think that's where the peace and the comfort comes from its and being able to say Lord I know the true growth true sanctification only happens by the grace of your Holy Spirit, and we can also rest in the fact that that's God's will for us. And that's precisely what the apostle Paul told the Thessalonians. This is the will of God for your sanctification, so we know that if it's God's will and were pursuing it were praying for it. God is can answer that prayer. It may not be in the timing or in the way that we hope you know sometimes we just wish that the Lord would take away all our temptations and sinful desires and he doesn't cause us to be dependent upon him day by day, but you can rest assured Greg the work that God begins in you. He's going to complete. He's going to continue to work in you is another passage that comes to mind your thinking about God's work in us and the fact that ultimately that growth comes from the Lord and from the spirits what the apostle Paul said in first Corinthians chapter 3 and in that passage he is referring in particular to the work of the apostle's estate went to churches and in us. They preach the gospel but I think it's relevant to what you're talking about as well. Paul said in first Corinthians chapter 3 verse five what then is Apollo's. What is Paul servants, through whom you believed as the Lord assigned to each.

I planted Apollo's watered. But God gave the growth so neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth you plants and he who waters are one and each will receive his wages, according to his labor.

For we are God's fellow workers and you are God's field, God's building seeks even the apostle Paul as he talks about his ministry and preaching Italy God called him to do this and so he did. He pursued and yet he knew ultimately it's God who blesses it's God who gives the growth. It's a work of God spirit. I think it's the same for us.

We pursue growth in the Christian life by studying Scripture by being in good churches, but God is ultimately the one who gives that growth and so because that's the case, and because God wills for us to be sanctified. You can rest knowing that the work that God began in you as I already said he's going to be faithful to complete some reassuring words federal thanks for that. This is core Christianity and one of the ways you can submit a question is by going to our website at core, Christianity.com/radio look for the little microphone icon on the side of the page there, click on that and you can record your question just like Jane did. Yes, I want to thank you so much for your cell. I don't know what I would do without it. But my question is today is is regarding speaking in tongues. I got to church but there's a lot of people that speak in times I don't understand it.

Sometimes I wonder if there just trying to speak in times I don't know I don't understand it because I doubt it makes me feel like I'm not a good Christian like I'm maybe not a real Christian. I still like they're better than me and I understand why God would give a gift to send my dad and make others feel like they're not as good as those who can speak in times and I know God gets different gifts to different people and I don't understand that I need help with that. Because it's really me on a daily basis and feeling like only people who can do really special things like that have God's favor and the rest of us just left out a piece on Matson while Jane first am so grateful that you you reached out to us and let me just say you do not have to feel like a second-class Christian you are into a second-class Christian all those who believe in Jesus Christ are filled with have the Holy Spirit you can even say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul said to the Corinthians as I'm really sorry that you have been made to feel this way again.

Let me drive the point home just because you don't have a particular spiritual gift doesn't make you inferior to other believers and frankly, anyone who says all Christian should have a certain gift like the gift of tongues is wrong. Actually spiritual gifts aren't the most important thing. Listen to what the apostle Paul said in first Corinthians chapter 12 verses 27 and following. 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 in 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 earnestly desire the higher gifts and I will show you still a more excellent way than post is this. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing if I give away all that I have and I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

You see, love is the more excellent way that Paul was referring to there at the end of first Corinthians 12 and I want you to note something he asked a series of rhetorical questions.

Do all work miracles do all speak in tongues and the answer that he's assuming is no it isn't the case that every Christian has the same spiritual gift if that was the reality that the church would be a mass imagine a body that was just a hand or an eye or a foot.

It wouldn't function well know the point that Paul is making in first Corinthians 12, is that each of us have been gifted in different ways by the Holy Spirit for the common good of the body of Christ are all prophets, do all have gifts of help for administration or tongues. No, because if they did, the body would be a rack and so first, biblically speaking, Jane. Not everyone is supposed to have the gift of tongues. Now, I believe that the gift of tongues was primarily given during the apostolic period for two reasons. One, it was a sign that God had reversed the curse of Babel in his church.

Remember back in the Old Testament the book of Genesis and of the Tower of Babel.

The confusion of languages mankind trying to ascend to God arrogantly full of pride and God confused their languages and divided them while on the day of Pentecost which you had was a reversal of Babel. If you will. It was the sign of the fact this new era of redemption had dawned on the day of Pentecost you had people speaking in tongues and to I think I think the gifts like the gift of tongues were confirmation of the early gospel proclamation.

This is confirmed in Hebrews chapter 2 verses three and four this and what that passage says, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation, it was declared first by the Lord and it was tested to us by those who heard while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will to the author the Hebrews views the early gospel preaching as having been attested to by the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, gifts like the gift of tongues now are in that new age of redemption today, but that doesn't mean were going to experience the same thing that the apostles are the early church did district, you need to be in a church that's going to emphasize not the apostolic miracles, but the apostolic message. In fact, the goal those miracles was it was to bolster the message.

The message of the forgiveness of sins. The message of what God has done for us in Christ to redeem us to wash us to make us a part of his family justified adopted so that as God's adopted children, we might be filled with the Holy Spirit and love and serve our neighbors, the miracles there in the book of acts and and if I fit in the ministry of Jesus.

They were all about bolstering that gospel message. You need to be in a church that focuses on not the miracles but the message because it work before focused on the miracles apart from the message, or if you know that's the highlight of my church's ministers were just trying to live the miraculous Christian life were missing the whole point sister sounds to me like you're pretty discerning and you're able to see something that's maybe an over emphasis on something that should be emphasized, and a lack of emphasis on what should be emphasized brothers and sisters, we need to be in churches that are emphasizing the right thing and that's the gospel that's the pure preaching of God's word be in a church. We are being encouraged in that where you're growing in your understanding of who God is through the Scriptures and its as that happens that your filled with the Holy Spirit.

Thank you for your question. May the Lord bless you. This is core Christianity with pastor Adm. Sanchez. We have a great offer would like to tell you about today and it has to do with the question that's often asked here on core Christianity the assurance of salvation and bill really is amazing to me how frequently we get this question and it seems like so many Christians are struggling to find assurance to know how can I be sure that I'm saved that I'm going to heaven or a lot of of I think genuine believers who wrestle under this burden of guilt and fear and lack of assurance is that's one of the reasons why think that this resource is really helpful.

It's called nine ways to know you are really a Christian and it's free for you when you sign up for a weekly newsletter. I hope that you will take advantage of this, especially if if you struggle with the assurance question or if you know someone who does get your hands on this resource that over the core, Christianity.com/offers to download nine ways to know you are really a Christian. You can also call us for that resource or any one of our resources at 833-843-2673 that's a 33. The core federal here's a question that came in through our Instagram account is from Matthew and it's a good one. He says everywhere I look. It seems like there's always a solid argument against the existence of God or the reliability of the Bible whether it's logical or scientific. How can I combat these as a believer there are some great resources that I think can help you defend your faith this you know you thinking about some of these questions you hear from from skeptics. Maybe it's after reading online. Maybe it's a friend of yours who questions the Christian faith and has arguments for why they don't believe it, why you should believe it books that I sometimes will recommend our great Coco's the story of reality. I would like to put them and it's it's accessible. It's one of those books I think that you can give even to a non-Christian friend and they'll be able to glean from it is her talks about worldview talks about evidences for the resurrection of Jesus. And that's so important to me if if Jesus rose from the dead.

We need to embrace this if he didn't raise from the dead. Like Paul says in first Corinthians 15 chapter 15. Will that were wasting our time. But the fact of the matter is there's a lot of good reason to embrace to believe the resurrection of the dead and focal talks about that. In that book, the story of reality. Other books I recommend Tim Keller has a couple books that are are helpful. The reason for God. He came out another one after the reason of God a little bit more recently called making sense of God. Those are helpful resources Matthew that you might want to get a hold of that might answer some of the specific questions that your wrestling through but you another bit of practical advice instead of focusing all of your reading on picking up books about the Bible and reading about these various arguments related to maybe the historicity of the Bible or you know that the manuscript evidence or whatever it is is fine.

Nothing wrong with that is good, but I would say commit to reading the Bible for yourself again. Read the other stuff to be in the Scriptures, because they are the very word of God and as God's word. They are self authenticating God's Spirit speaks to us through the pages of the Bible and that's the main thing that gives us certainty about their truthfulness.

The truthfulness of Scripture. Again, I'm not saying there aren't evidences and reasons to hold to the reality of the fact that the Bible is divinely inspired, absolutely.

I mean I think of the prophetic testimony. I remember as a newer believer being struck by all of the prophecies related to Jesus the Messiah and how specific they were. You think of Isaiah 53 or Psalm 22 were Daniel chapter 9, you have all of these specific prophecies related to Jesus's life, his ministry, his substitutionary death for us prophetic testimony.

I think really testifies to the truthfulness of God's word affecting this really is divinely inspired fact one of my favorite verses in all of the Bible Isaiah 46 where God says through the prophet Isaiah. I am God and there is no other. I am God in there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times, things not yet done.

God is saying, hey, put on the Lord of heaven and earth.

God hears that he can no, I declare the end from the beginning. I can tell you what's can happen before it does. And he did over and over again in the page the descriptor so there are all these things that we can look at but again, I would just encourage you and anyone else who's wrestling with these kinds of things make sure as you study that you're in the word and as you're in the word reading Scripture the spirit of God will use that same Scripture's word to illuminate your heart and your mind and so there's a lot of other things that we can point to the archaeological evidence you know the historical evidence the unity of the Scriptures, their scope, their purpose, but as we study all those things. Let's make sure that were in the word and growing it to your listing the core Christianity with pastor Averill Sanchez.

We hear from people all over the world would love to hear from you regardless of where you might be listening or checking out our podcast. Our email address is questions at core, Christianity.com James wrote to us from Norway and actually his email was in Norwegian, so our producer Aaron ran it through Google translate. We were able to find out what he said in his this is where did Paul go to church since he was always moving back and forth so much. It will be you know they did just recently there was an excavation, I think it was near Philippi where they discovered the church that the apostle Paul went to had enough you heard about this bill.

There was this inscription there. The church of the apostle Paul, the first Presbyterian Church of Philippi. I'm totally joking that you have been going there for is that good. I mean it's an interesting question, and Paul was always on the move and when he's not, it's usually because he's in jail but even there he singing hymns and and writing letters to the churches as an apostle Paul's work centered around going to the various churches and helping to establish that he was a church planter would preach raise up leaders and then keep moving. Now when he stated for a while in a particular area he go to the local congregations there. It might've been the end of the church in Philippi or the church in the region of Galatia that he was in, but it does seem like James is the apostle Paul is going from place to place.

The DP wasn't settled in any one particular church broke for an extremely long period of time and it was a part of his apostolic ministry.

The important thing for Paul and I think you see this in his letters to Timothy.

Was he wanted to strengthen and establish the churches to the fact that he was going from church to church you know and and wasn't settled at 100 and me that he had a low view of the church is quite the opposite.

He wanted to go from church to church to strengthen and establish those churches to raise up leaders, elders and deacons. He talks about this and in first Timothy three and Titus chapter 1 as well where these churches have this structure where the word of God is being faithfully taught and people are being discipled who are going to be able to continue carrying on that apostolic message and so boy I want to know what the been puppy while thing to be in a local congregation there in Asia minor wherever and to have the apostle Paul, visit your church and stay there for some time and and strengthen the church to help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

But that's exactly what Paul would do is to plant churches, and then he would go from place to place strengthening those churches and raising up leaders of the gospel would continue to advance throughout the whole world.

Your listing the core Christianity with pastor Averill Sanchez. I'm Bill Meyer and my website is core Christianity.com/radio.

If you have a question for us.

Can also call us at 833-843-2673 for help getting any one of our offers.

That's 833, the court and I was thinking about your church planter to see her, like Paul, it really yeah no no and I bet the crazy thing about Paul is Paul is planting all of these churches I planted one and I'm like, never again. Lord, please admit it really is such a joy to be able to minister but it is a lot of work to and so you it is one of those things, like man all had to be just fueled by the Holy Spirit because the work that he was doing more bearing on was was pretty significant. So you tell that he was a man that was filled with the spirit and had a singular passion for the gospel. 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 core 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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