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November 16, 2020 1:00 am
Episode 576 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.
1. Do you know of any helpful ways to bring up faith in a conversation that is not awkward or abrupt, or should we always try to evangelize even if it makes regular conversation awkward?
2. How do you pray “in the spirit”? I always thought prayer was good enough, but I am realizing praying “in the spirit” is something totally different.
3. Is the story of Jonah and the Whale historically true, or was it a myth that was handed down through the generations?
4. As Christians, how should we respond if the second amendment, the right to bear arms, were ever to be removed? From a biblical perspective of “live by the sword die by the sword,” is there still a biblical mandate that implies the right to protect yourself and your brothers in such a scenario?Today’s Offer
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In the United States citizens have the right to keep and bear arms is there a biblical right for Christians to do that as well. That is 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 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 1-833-843-2673.
You can also email us your question at questions at core, Christianity.com when it comes to covert lockdowns. Some people just can't handle being cooped up inside police in the Czech Republic say they issued a warning to a man who was caught violating a covert curfew. He was attempting to disguise his actions by walking a stuffed toy dog on a leash and was caught walking the public area after the 9 PM curfew.
There he initially claimed to be out walking his dog, which is permitted after curfew hours, but police quickly determined that the object at the end of his leash was actually a stuffed toy dog getting you got it clear might be the people who put like a big stuffed animal in their passenger seat to drive in the carpool lane or a man, I've never done that yet. Amanda got me and I feel like that's going the extra mile.
I did hear about one guy that had a skeleton in his passenger seat and he had like a hat and coat on it.
I guess he was work for some kind of medical lab and so we try to get away with a carpooling base will lift it to our first question of the day. This is an email from April and she says I met someone at the coffee shop that I frequent and we had a nice conversation about life, our favorite restaurants in the area, etc. I was hoping there would be a moment when I could bring up the fact that I go to church but it just never happened.
Now I'm feeling somewhat guilty that I missed a moment to evangelize. Do you know of any helpful ways to bring up the faith in conversations.
That is not awkward or abrupt or should we always try to evangelize, even if it makes regular conversation awkward yet April. I've been in your shoes before, I think I've shared the story before where we had some friends who invited us over for lunch. People don't go to church and they asked me what you preach on this last week and I was so caught off guard.
I should've just shared the gospel and talked about Jesus, but I was so caught off guard. I said well I'm preaching on one of the epistles in the New Testament Peter who is writing to the saints in the Diaspora and the aspirate dispersants assertive like yeah okay let's get back to our lunches and I just remember I like and what a missed opportunity.
And here I am a pastor just totally blow it when it comes to evangelizing is I've felt that same guilt and you know the Lord is gracious, but I think it's a wonderful thing that you're thinking about how do I do a better job sharing my faith in Jesus with others. Now one thing I want to say is you don't have to feel guilty just because you don't insert Jesus into every single conversation you have conversations with strangers, even I think sometimes that that can come off.
Actually, in a way that's that's really unhelpful. It could sort of be salesperson he were sharing the good news of the gospel. I mean, it really is that there's no better message than this.
I think a lot of times Christians feel obligated to share the gospel and so when they do, it comes off in this way because it doesn't it doesn't come off as good news.
It comes off as like oh okay you're trying to get me to believe this because you love me or what but I think we have to be careful that we don't come often situated were actually not helping the cause of Christ are advancing the gospel anyway. But at the same time we have to be careful that we don't fall into the other trap and edits the trap of always having excuses for why we don't share Jesus why we don't actually talk about the gospel with the people who God is brought into our lives. You you you hear it over and over again preach the gospel and if necessary use words. Well, it's always necessary to use words when it comes to communicating the gospel because the gospel is the message of what God has done for us in Christ and let me just say that if you're going to do this you need to begin with prayer. This is just so key I'm using this all over the place in the New Testament think of Colossians chapter 4 verse three. For example, listen what the apostle Paul said there posted continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving at the same time.
Pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison, that I may make it clear which is how I ought to speak. The pulsing, you know, pray for us that the Lord would open the doors for us to preach the message of Jesus and the disciples repeatedly throughout the book of acts prayed for boldness to continue to preach the gospel Peter in acts chapter 4 verses 29, following pray specifically for boldness in the face of persecution. Later in acts chapter 16 you have this this amazing account of a young woman named Lydia who comes to faith through the preaching of the gospel were told that the Holy Spirit opened her eyes, her heart to receive the things that were being spoken is a really the work of the Holy Spirit is key in our evangelizing, and even having the boldness to be able to share Christ with others and sometimes it might be awkward. I remember reading a book some time ago that was talking about how a lot of our evangelistic attempts are awkward and assertive, like shifting gears awkwardly in a car you're watching a football game with some friends maybe who don't know Jesus and and a penalty is called in and you say well you know who paid the penalty for your sin, noted that should be the approach but I think April.
We pray for opportunities and when the Lord does open those doors.
We take them. We share the message.
The good news of what Jesus has done to forgive our sins the hope that we have. I do think that does happen best when you're able to get to know someone to get to understand their story and to share the gospel with them in a way that speaks to them in their particular situation wherever they are at the minute. Think of Jesus with the woman at the well. He goes to her and he says the water that I give my that's the water of eternal life. He spoke to her what she was longing for.
In that moment quenching her thirst.
He says I am the true and the living water as we get to talk to people and hear their story. We get to share Jesus with them in a way it I think that that speaks to them specifically in folks that might take time but if God gives you an opportunity in a one-off conversation with the stranger great. You know, take advantage but don't feel guilty or ashamed. Just because you are not able to do that and so may the Lord bless you and pray pray that the Lord gives you these opportunities in order. All I found that as we have those conversations with strangers. A lot of times it's when we get into areas of personal pain that the opportunity comes up to share the gospel with them. That might not come up in the conversation, but sometimes it does when you're talking about another job or their life or their health and they tell you about something and then you can just take a little bit deeper and that's when the opportunity to connect spiritually can happen. Yeah, you're absolutely right. And of course some of those conversations don't happen when you first meet someone I know for me. You know what I talk about what I do. People asked me know what you do for living and I Sam the pastor a lot of times that you shuts the conversation down. People feel I go. Okay, we can appreciate me that kind of thing so a lot of times a say. You know I'm spiritual teacher, but that doesn't.
I think fare any better so find a better answer. Now you can say your radio announcer you know and then you can just what I showed you when you can talk about it.
That's right yet.
Maybe. Maybe I should try that one out and see what happens. This is core Christianity with pastor Adm. Sanchez and here's a call that came in at 833. The core and how you very always thought was good about that all prayer but now I'm finding out crying.
So thank you Simon, I thank you for your question and there is some confusion out there these days about what it means to pray in the spirit you know some people will say praying in the spirit that's a reference to speaking in tongues and they'll appeal to what the apostle Paul said in first Corinthians 15 where he talks about praying in the spirit. In that context their dusting like he's talking about the apostolic gift of tongues speaking in unknown languages that were meant to be interpreted in the context of corporate worship and you see that specifically in verse 20 is 14 but there are other places where Paul and others talk about praying in the spirit. For example, in Ephesians chapter 6 verse 18 and this is in the context of spiritual warfare we read this praying at all times in the spirit with all prayer and supplication.
To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, we have that phrase there in the spirit praying in the spirit and then in the book of Jude. In verse 20 Judah says this but you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith, and praying in the Holy Spirit.
Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life is a I don't think committed in these passages the disciples are talking about praying in tongues and the reason I think that's absolutely clear is because in first Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul says that not everyone has the same spiritual gifts and not everyone is there in the first century had the gift of tongues. Some people did but not every believer has the same spiritual gift we have a diversity of gifts, which is how we complement each other within the body of Christ. And so in places like Ephesians 6 and into chapter 1 when it talks about praying in the spirit of this exhortation for everyone in the church to do it. I think it has to be something different than speaking in tongues and so then what is it while I think it's our prayers being guided by and influenced by the Holy Spirit, rather than our own fleshly desires. We can pray in the flesh can't wait for things that maybe aren't honoring to the Lord, or are in line with his will.
We can pray selfishly and were cold instead of praying like that to pray in the spirit that our prayers would be shaped by God's word by God's will by God's spirit. And so we pray filled with the Holy Spirit and how do you get filled with the Holy Spirit. Why think the clearest text on this is in Colossians chapter 3 verse 16 where Paul talked about letting the word of Christ dwell in us richly. There is a parallel passage in the book of Ephesians that talks about being filled with the Holy Spirit and so it seems to me like in Paul's mind the way in which you when I get filled by the Holy Spirit with the Holy Spirit is by meditating on God's word by letting the word of Christ dwell in us richly and as God's word dwells in us and begins to mold and shape us. It also begins to mold and shape our prayer lives these so important that when we pray we also studied the Scriptures, and that the Scriptures are shaping the way that we pray so that we pray according to the will of God, and I think that's what it means to pray in the spirit so it's an encouragement for you and for all of us to know the word of God to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly so that our prayers would be influenced by that by the Holy Spirit and we know that when we pray according to God's will, he hears us. Thanks for your question by man. This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez unit research is showing that a large percentage of kids who grow up in Christian families end up leaving the faith as teenagers or young adults. If you're a parent.
I'm sure that concerns you, and we have an excellent resource that can help you help your kids keep the faith.
To me this is so important. Bill, one of the things that many of us are often lamenting about is how many of the kids who were brought up in the church end up turning away from the faith. Maybe while they're in college or or while they're in high school, but they just don't stick around. There's a lot that we I think need to learn when it comes to helping our kids.
Keep the faith and that's what we've made this resource available for you when you sign up for a weekly newsletter. It's called five ways to help your kids keep the faith.
Is there anything that's more important than passing on the truth of God's word to the next generation foot for the joy and the peace of our own children to get a hold of this resource by going over the core, Christianity.com/offers & up for a weekly newsletter to get a hold of five ways to help your kids keep the faith.
This is a great resource that includes practical, down-to-earth suggestions to help you help your kids head over the core, Christianity.com/offers to download it and you can also call us for that resource or any one of our offers at 833-843-2673. That's 833. The core federal here's a question that came in through our website from David. He says, is the story of Jonah and the whale, historically true or was it a myth that was handed down through the generations.
It is historically true.
It's funny because Bill just the other day you started off our program talking about it I think it was a couple that almost got swallowed by a whale off of the coast of California weird modern day modern-day Jonah story but no, I mean up the book of Jonah.
The story of Jonah and this this really happened and it's confirmed by Jesus himself. Look at Matthew chapter 12 beginning in verse 38 this is what we read some of the scribes and the Pharisees answered Jesus saying teacher we wish to see a sign from you but he answered them an evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given it, except for the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. What Jesus says. Next, the men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. The Queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon and behold something greater than Solomon is here. So David when when our Lord Jesus, eternal son of God, talked about the story of Jonah.
He didn't talk about it is a myth is something that you know didn't really happen but were just supposed to gather some cool spiritual insights from it. No, he said.
When Jonah went to Nineveh and the people repented and by the way, the book of John. It's one of my favorite books of the Old Testament preached a bit early on in my ministry, the people of Nineveh were known as a ruthless people be very violent. That's one of the reasons why Jonah is so apprehensive to go there. I mean they were a very wicked people by the piles of skulls that was kind of disturbing yeah yeah exactly and yet the Lord called Jonah to preach his word to the people of Nineveh to call them to repentance.
And when they repented the Lord relented of the disaster he was going to bring upon them, and then of course Jonah the prophet is all bummed out. He wanted God's judgment to fall on them.
But it is such a beautiful picture of God's gracious and compassionate love for people who don't deserve it. For sinners and it really happened. And so it's really good news for us as well because it shows us who God is and of course, as I said, Jesus confirmed that it really happened there in Matthew chapter 12, you know it's interesting federal how there are several things that Jesus mentions during his earthly ministry that occurred in the Old Testament, and if we believe that Jesus is God. He knows what he's talking about. That's right right even just go to the resurrection.
If we have a hard time embracing some of the miracles in the Old Testament the creation of the world. The crossing of the Red Sea, and of those kinds of things will will look the miracle of the resurrection of the dead. I mean that's that's what we put everything on and if there is no resurrection. The apostle Paul made it very clear Christianity is, is worthless. Find something else to believe. Don't just believe it because it makes you feel good. Believe it because it's true.
And we know that is true because Jesus really did rise from the dead and if Jesus really rose from the dead, yet splitting water at the Red Sea, you know, creating the world and God can do what ever he wants and we trust him because he's the Lord were finite creatures week. We can't accomplish some of these things, but God the uncreated Lord of heaven and earth.
He can and he does he can cause a great fish to swallow Jonah and spit them out on the shore of Nineveh, because God controls all things, and so we trust God's word and we trust God's word reveals to us the truth when it talks about these miracles we embrace it by faith. Recognizing that God is able to do whatever he wants your listing the core Christianity, just a reminder that our program is listener supported. So if you benefit from the show.
It was not a regular basis. We would encourage you to join our inner core. Those are people who make a monthly gift to keep us on the air.
You can find out firstname.lastname@example.org/radio federal here's a question that came in from Tessa. She emailed us and she says, as Christians, how should we respond if the Second Amendment the right to bear arms were ever to be removed from a biblical perspective of live by the sword die by the sword. Is there any biblical mandate that implies the right to protect yourself and your brothers in such a scenario, thank you for that question. Really appreciate you guys taking it easy on me with these questions of me that's not a hard one and tested it really is an important question and it's one that you know a lot of people are asking right now with some of the changes in our country. The taking place now that phrase that you were quoting comes from Jesus in Matthew chapter 26 verse 52 and it's in the context of Jesus actually rebuking Peter Amis this is around the time of Jesus is the rest and you remember what Peter tried to do. Peter stood up for his Lord and and started flashing a sword around cut off a guys ear and Jesus says to Peter, verse 52. Put your sword back into its place for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. This proverb or any of the idea is you know, if you live by the sword, you're going to die by the sword is this is just hope this is just a general truth but I think that there is a real important point that Jesus is making there he saying my kingdom doesn't advance by the sword. We need to get this into our minds. You know.
Also, just that the very next verse. What Jesus said to Peter, and I love this and we just think about this for second, do you think that I cannot appeal to my father and he will at once. Send me more than 12 legions of angels Peter. I don't need your help stop swinging that sword around it. I have there are 12 legions of angels right now that are on standby. Thousands of angels ready to move, ready to be mobilized.
If I give the word Peter take a seat, my kingdom does not advance to coercion through the sword through the spear, so the right to bear arms doesn't give us the upper hand when it comes to the kingdom's advancement. I think this is a really important point. We were talking about really two different things here. The apostles and in the New Testament, lived oftentimes under tyrannical governments. But in the New Testament. You see Paul at times appealing to his rights as a Roman citizen, especially when it serves the broader purposes of advancing the gospel and giving him an audience.
You know what I think Paul would lay down every right if it meant getting people to know about Jesus. For Paul, the most important thing was not his personal rights. It was do you know who Jesus is to confess him as your Lord have you been saved, but I think again of of what the apostle Paul said in first Corinthians chapter 9 he makes this absolutely clear there is talking about how he's laid down some of his own rights for the good of the people that he serving he says in verse 82 ICDs things on human authority is not the law say the same for it is written in the law of Moses. You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain. Is it for oxen that God is concerned casino certainly speak for our sake. It was written for our sake because the plowman should plow in hope, in the thresher thrush in the hope of sharing in the crop.
If we have some spiritual things among you, is it too much. If we reap material things from you. If others share this rightful claim on you do not. We even more. Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right but we endured anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That was the heart of the apostles and I wonder if we need to recover that that priority know what times you get so caught up in in our rights in and what belongs to me. I what if we were willing to set aside a little bit of our self for the good of our neighbors for the advancement of the gospel and I kinda sound scary and look it doesn't mean as citizens that it's wrong to defend certain rights that there are good reasons for defending them at the especially of things like the right to life abortion a big boy it's so important that we speak up about those kinds of things and there are biblical principles. I believe that do support the right to bear arms and to defend yourself in Luke 22. It's kind of interesting Jesus.
At one point tells the disciples to buy swords to sell what they have been to purchasers of the idea there, and most scholars are. Many scholars think that Jesus is being figurative. There, in particular because of you know what he says to Peter when when he's about to be arrested but is just the idea that what the Christian life is going to be a fight but there are other passages of Scripture that make it obvious that it is okay for the people of God to defend themselves in certain situations.
In Exodus chapter 22 verse two. For example, we read if a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no blood guilt for him the words under the Mosaic law was justified for you to protect yourself you know if the thief was breaking into your home.
Rights like these are important, but don't confuse them with the essence of what our call is as God calls us to share the love of Christ. Thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer. Visit email@example.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