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Why the Book of Revelation is Not a Code to be Cracked

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez
The Truth Network Radio
December 15, 2020 1:00 am

Why the Book of Revelation is Not a Code to be Cracked

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez

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December 15, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 597 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

CoreChristianity.com

 

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1. I grew up in a church that would go into a lot of details about the book of Revelation trying to discern if we were living in the last days and what it all meant, but in all those years I never understood the point or the big picture of what the book is about. What is the main thing I should get from reading the book?

2. What role do good works play in a Christian's life as it relates to the final judgment?

3. Does God sometimes leave us to struggle in our own sin? I've struggled with a certain sin for a long time, and I have prayed countless times that God lead me from the temptation and that the sin wouldn't have the hold on me that it has, and I still feel the same. I feel almost as if God is purposely having me struggle through it. Can you give me any advice?

4. If we find ourselves breaking the 10 Commandments, does that mean we need to try harder to put our trust in Christ and simply repent more often?

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Triumph of The Lamb: A Commentary on Revelation by Dennis Johnson

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I've struggled with a certain stand for a long time and I prayed countless times that it wouldn't have a hold on me.

Does God sometimes leave us to struggle in our own sin.

That's just one of the questions will be answering on today's edition of core Christianity this is 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 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 up, today we have a good news story to share with you a pair of customers at a New Jersey diner surprised their favorite server with an unusual tip a car a couple named Lisa and Jason are regulars at the Empire diner in Brooklawn New Jersey last Sunday. They gave their 2006 Nissan Ultima to their favorite server, Lisa Millett as a tip for their meal. The couple said they bought the ultimate years ago, but I hadn't used it much lately. After they both got new cars. They remember that the waitress had told them about her recent car troubles and they wanted to do something nice for her as she recently returned to work after being laid off for three months due to covert, 19 waitress who is been serving the couple for about two years now broke down into tears when she learned about the gift that is awesome I love that you know I did a little bit of table waiting, myself, Bill. I do know if you ever have, but I never received a tip like that man. So where were you working. Can I ask what restaurant was at her yeah who I was working at a tiny little restaurant is not even open anymore scope the breadbasket where where I lived at the time is X1 of the first jobs I ever had started but then I and then I said, waiting tables, and the rest is history.

Man, no idea you were doing that from waiter to pastor that's really just the transition will lift it to our first question of the day.

Jamar posted this on our Facebook page he says I grew up in a church that would go into a lot of details about the book of Revelation, trying to discern if we were living in the last days, and what it meant, but in all those years I never understood the point where the big picture of what the book is about. What is the main thing I should get from reading this book. Well, I want to get to your question Jamar the first, the onus is if anybody wonders, are we living in the last days the answer is yes, but it actually has been the case since the day of Pentecost that mean the apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost. He quotes from Joel's prophecy, and we are right now living in the end times and we have been ever since Pentecost is really wild.

I heard someone tell me the other day that a pastor that they know fairly well known pastor said I can say definitively. We are now living in the end times and use saying this because of all the stuff that we had going on with the pandemic in California got these fires going on and as I just noticed that you like.

Now were living in the end times like as if we hadn't been for the last 2000 years, but the fact of the matter is, biblically speaking, we were waiting for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to work in the end times and the people who were the first recipients of the book of Revelation were living in the end times to read that the beginning of Revelation chapter 1 verses one through three.

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God into the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and who keep what is written in it for the time is near, right, you need understand that the book of Revelation was written to comfort believers who were facing persecution.

This is why I get frustrated personally when people they read the book of Revelation like this puzzle that they need to unlock in their you know all these locusts over here are probably a reference to helicopters in this thing over there is a reference to that were not reading the reveille, the book of Revelation the way it's intended to be read if this apocalyptic visionary prophecy that is communicating for us, world history, and comforting believers as they experience persecution, so it was really meant. Jamar to comfort the persecuted church. I think that's where we have to start and when you recognize that I think it helps you approach the book with a little bit of confidence because so many of us I think. Don't read the book of Revelation as I can understand that there's all these weird pieces that are described as this seems like this great mystery will read it knowing that it was written to persecuted Christians stick to comfort them and that and to encourage them to persevere in the face no matter what it is that they were to come up against. As I think that's the key. In terms of our approach to the book of Revelation is tracing world history, the suffering of the church and how Christians overcome or conquer.

And John says it very quickly. This is by faith in Jesus Christ and ultimately it's pointing us forward to that future hope that we have. But despite the fact that there are these terrible world rulers who times it seems like her crushing the church. We know that God sees everything and that God one day is going to judge and that God one day is going to bring about the new creation fully and finally I looked at that scene at the very end of the book of Revelation. This is where were headed. Revelation chapter 21 verses one through five.

Then I saw John said a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had passed away and the sea was no more.

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning or crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away and he who was seated on the throne said, behold, I am making all things new boy. What I hope we have as Christians. Yes, in this present evil age we suffer the church suffers and it seems like were being trampled upon at times. Certainly you think about the brothers and sisters throughout the world who are suffering. True persecution for their faith in Jesus Christ. Many of them being killed martyred. And yet we know we know the end of the story, we know God's perspective. The fact that God sees everything and he gives us that picture in the book of Revelation to comfort us and to remind us of the hope that we have so Jamar read the book of Revelation receive the comfort that's there for you as a follower of Christ in those words. In the words of that prophecy but John received from Jesus himself and be encouraged by a love that last passage Revelation is just so beautiful.

As we look forward to that day. One day when our bodies are glorified and we are with Christ for eternity. Men. This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez and one of the ways you can ask your question is by going to our website at core, Christianity.com/radio just click on the little microphone icon on the side of the page and record your question right there. That's what John did a drill. I was wondering if you could explain to me the role which good works play in a Christian's life as it relates to the final judgment.

Thank you.

Hey John, thanks for that question.

Sure, into the point I would say in a good way to think about it is that the road we walk upon as Christians in the Christian life and their necessary evidence of our having been justified justified by faith in Jesus Christ. Apart from works apart from anything we did or would do their not the basis for our justification before God's judgment seat. And so I think that's a really important thing. There are some traditions, Christian traditions that teach that were justified by works or were initially justified by our baptism, and then were becoming more and more justified. As we cooperate with God's grace so that at the end when were standing before God's judgment seat.

We merit the justification that we received on the basis of the work we've done in cooperating with God. And that's not what I think the apostle Paul or the New Testament teaches were justified solely on the basis of what Christ has done for us in the recent beginning with this the reason we have to make that point. So clearly is because if we were justified by our works by the good things that we do with that with what was giving me hope before God's judgment. See, I wouldn't ever have any hope because even our best works. Even our best works are still stained.

I just think about your life as a follower of Jesus, and you do something good, something that that's charitable and I don't know about you but I and I know for me. Another thought pops in my head. Sometimes I wonder if anybody was saying that was all they can about that kind with thing to think I'll got your your wrestling continually with the flesh with those sinful inclinations that we have and so are works can never be the basis for our justification because they're not perfect they fall short of what God's law requires so we can only be justified if even when it comes to the final you know tribunal were standing before God, there is one justification which we experience now on the basis of our faith in Jesus Christ. And that's again confirmed at the last day we stand before God's judgment seat is a what role do our works play. As I said there there and necessary evidence of our having been justified. We might even refer to them as the sort of means to an end.

You think about what the apostle Paul said in Ephesians chapter 2 verse 10 we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them the path upon which were walking to the Lord in the Christian life or second Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 13 but we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, beloved by the Lord, because God shows you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. Again that sanctification through the spirit and belief in the truth of all that's that that the road upon which were walking as Christians were following Jesus.

It's not my good works that are the basis of my justification. There be evidence of the fact that I have been justified. Good works are like a means to an end. They don't and cannot justify us, but they are the fruit of genuine faith.

John said, I'm preaching to first John right now that we know we have been born again because we love the brothers we don't love in order to be born again or in order to be justified. We love because God first loved us. And so I think getting that order is so important. John, because there a lot of Christians today who they are thinking of the final judgment in the sense that I got a do enough good things so that God accepts me functionally. There believing that there justification their entrance into heaven is dependent upon the perfection of their works or their good works outweighing their bad works but that's not what the Bible says that's not what brings us into the presence of God. It's the blood of Jesus Christ. It's justification by faith alone and in Christ alone and so hopefully that that clears things up a little bit for you. Good works are necessary evidence, and the road, upon which were walking as Christians leading to the final day were were receiving that final vindication outcome of our having been justified by faith. The resurrection of the body, the life of the world to come. God bless. Great! You're a drill listing the core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez and we know it can be difficult to begin reading the Bible for the first time and many Bible reading plans can be somewhat complex and daunting. So we have a resource that will help your Bible study become more meaningful and bill me for the reasons you just mentioned at core Christianity.

We wanted to create a Bible reading plan that would do two things. One, it would help someone new to the Bible cultivated joy for reading the Bible and to it would help someone who may have lost that joy to find it again. The core Christianity Bible reading plan is a free resource when you sign up for our weekly newsletter and it will take you about 10 minutes per day to complete and last for the entire year through this Bible reading plan, you will be introduced to the big narrative the grand themes of the Bible.

It's a planet won't take you through the entire Bible in a year will help you develop a sustainable habit of reading the Bible for one whole year. This plan is designed to help you develop a habit of reading without requiring a large time commitment, prayer is that this new habit will carry on through the years to come, so that over time, you'll grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus. If you like to download the core Christianity Bible reading plan just head over to core Christianity.com/reading plan that's core Christianity.com/reading plan federal here's a question that Brenton posted on our Instagram account does God sometimes leave us to struggle in our own sin. I struggle with a certain sin for a long time and I've prayed countless times that God would lead me from temptation and that the sin wouldn't have the hold on me that it has and yet I still feel the same. I feel almost as though God is purposely having me struggle through it. Can you give me any advice will let's first pray for Brenton and let me to say this is. I pray for you know Paul told the Thessalonians that God's will was our sanctification. In Britain we know in first John that when we pray anything. According to the will of God that he hears us and will answer our prayers that he doesn't always do in our timing but I want you to know that as I'm praying for you and as you pray for yourself, and you say, God, sanctify me. That is a prayer that God will answer because it's a prayer that it that is in accordance with his will and so let's pray right now. Father, we want to be sanctified.

We want to grow in our love for you and for your son Jesus. We want to grow in holiness, but we know Lord that constant battle that we face the battle with the flesh that even still having walked with you for for years even more that there are struggles that we face ungodly desires that we have and so we pray Lord, sanctify us the grace of your Holy Spirit work in us renewing us, and renew Brenton sanctify him grant him victory, Lord, not in his own strength but in the strength that you give by the power of your Holy Spirit.

Would you give him the confidence Lord to know that you are with him and for him in this fight and they you will hear our prayers as they are in line with your will sanctify us sanctify our brother. We pray in Jesus name, amen. As I said there in my prayer I mean this is really the struggle that Christians face and so don't let anyone ever tell you that because you're in this battle that you must not really be a believer or something like that.

And Paul said it very clearly in Galatians chapter 5 the flesh lusts against the spirit there that there's this battle.

There are times where we have these ungodly desires and inclinations that are contrary to the desires of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit, and so were called to bring ourselves into submission to God and his will but but it is a fight sometimes you just wish me. I wish there was a button that I could press that would just put an end to this struggle. These feelings these desires, but that's the Lord doesn't give us that button he calls us to rely upon him to depend upon the strength that he supplies and he says that his strength is perfected in our weakness. I want you to think about that written in in this area of weakness for you to say Lord, may your strength be perfected here, but I need your strength. I think a really important thing for you to understand. Brenton is your new identity in Jesus Christ. Despite the fact that there's this struggle.

You are in Jesus by faith and new creation. You need to view yourself in that way and it's from that place of having a firm grip on your identity, who you are, Jesus Christ, forgiving justified but I think were given the ability to put to death the sinful deeds of our body, the beginning of Romans chapter 6 for you because I think it's so encouraging for us when were in the situation that you're talking about. Paul said, what shall we say that. Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound by no means how can we who died to sin still live in it. Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death. We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the father, we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

We know that our old self. Your old self, Brenton our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. One was died is been set free from sin.

Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again at death no longer has domain over him for the debt that he died to sin once for all, but the life he lives, he lives to God, so you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus Brandon, consider yourself dead to sin. I know that that's kind of counterintuitive like I still struggle with sin every day. It feels very alive in my life. No, your old self was crucified with Jesus and I can say this.

I know that that's what God wants for us. He wants us to depend upon him to rely upon the strength that he supplies never to put our confidence in our trust in ourselves or in our own strength but in his Holy Spirit. May the Lord continue to guide you, brother, and grant you victory and strength as you depend upon him, and as you rest in your identity us a follower of Jesus Christ justified by faith in him. God bless you. This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez and if you have a question for Israel.

Here's the phone number to call 833-843-2673.

That's 833. The core word from Rudy with this question that were not saved by the law was saved by trusting in Jesus Christ, so if you find yourself breaking. Let's say five of the 10 commandment easily.

Would that be may be like telling you you need to focus a little more hard on trusting in Christ oil or repenting. Thank you again and I really appreciate you so well. God is very helpful in me other that they care and God bless hey Rudy, thank you for for your question, brother, and you realize like we recognized men.

I don't perfectly keep God's law. And James says if we break one of the commitments we just broken the whole thing were transgressors of the law that I just read from Romans chapter 6. Well, one chapter later in Romans chapter 7 he knows Paul describes that the real battle that we experience with the flesh. He says kind of desperately and in Romans seven verse 21. I find it to be a law that when I want to do right evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my interbeing but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members wretched man that I am who will deliver me from this body of death.

Now, at that point, Paul doesn't say. I will try harder. I'm going to purpose never to do that again. This is what we typically do what we foot of resolve. God I promise him never to do that again and then and then an hour later, a day later a week later a year later we find ourselves saying wretched man that I how could I can't believe this family I'm still wrestling with this wretched man that I am who will deliver me from this body of death, verse 25 Roman seven.

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord, so that I myself serve the law of God with my mind with my flesh I serve the law of sin and that he opens up in chapter 8. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus the law, the spirit of life is set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. We are simultaneously the same time would just justified and yet sinful.

If we feel this tension in us and our bodies wretched man that I am, but we have the hope that there is no condemnation Rudy because of the fact that we are in Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God for Jesus as we find ourselves struggling as we will return to him. We say God I can't justify myself and I don't have the strength to perfectly obey your law you do in me. What only you can do by the grace of your Holy Spirit to sanctify me and that's good to be a continual fight, and there are things that we ought to do. Gotta be in the word to make sure you're in a good church people around you can encourage when you're faking people you could confess struggles to in the church what our hope ultimately is in ourselves. It's in Jesus wretched man that I am. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ. Thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer.

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