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Beware the Charismatic Leader

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez
The Truth Network Radio
January 29, 2021 2:00 pm

Beware the Charismatic Leader

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez

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January 29, 2021 2:00 pm

Episode 631 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

1. I am naturally interested in studying the bible and theological books. I also have a young family and while my wife is not uninterested in these things, I also know it would not be ideal for us as a family to read and discuss the types of things I am naturally drawn to, theologically speaking. I think it would be too much for them and unhelpful. What are ways that I can better help my family learn about the faith together?

2. Does Jesus serve only as the intermediary between us and the Father, or can we also pray to Jesus as well as the Father?

3. Recently I had a mini debate with some followers and disciples of a very intense charismatic leader. In our conversation they used Acts 2 as their self-defense on personal revelation or dreams. What do you think would be a good response to these interpretations?

4. Does everyone that goes to hell suffer equally? It would seem reasonable to think that someone like Hitler would suffer more than an ethical, moral person who perhaps had never been exposed to the Word or perhaps kept putting off a decision or was led into a less than real salvation experience.

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The Bible refers to hell is a real place of punishment, but is the average unbelieving person going to be judge the same as the most immoral person who ever lived. That's just one of the questions will be answering on today's addition 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. Would love to hear from you. Here's our phone number 833, the court, that's 1-833-843-2673. You can also email us your questions at this address questions at core, Christianity.com.

Well, it can be pretty frustrating to pull up to your local McDonald's order milkshake ice cream sundae or Mick Flory, only to learn that there ice cream machine is broken well now you can consult the website. Mick broken.com, which tracks McDonald's restaurants so you can learn which ones have out of order machines.

The site was built by 24-year-old software engineer receipt Zahid green dots show McDonald's restaurants with working machines while the red dots show the ones with broken ice cream machine that heaves that he built the site for fun. After traveling to Germany and twice failing to get his ice creams. Wow, what a service he is provided for the rest of the world and this is gonna save me a lot of heartache because Bill, I've been in that situation where I request my Mick Fleury. I get the Oreo one and things aren't working. So praise God praise many times late at night when I pulled into McDonald's and really wanted that chocolate shake and oh, sorry, I'm all about.

I'm all about Bill, the salty French fries anything better than when I was a kid. They used to have. It was called a bucket of fries where you could get like the extra extra large cup. The supersize cup and just fill it with French fries and that was that me that was just they didn't do that anymore.

How do you keep your svelte figure. Just amazing. Will they stop they stopped offering price so close to our first question of the day. This one is a Facebook post from Kevin he says hi Pastor Israel, I'm naturally interested in studying the Bible and theological books. I always have been. I have a young family and my wife is not interested in these things. I know it wouldn't be ideal for us as a family to read and discuss the type of things. I'm naturally drawn to. I think it would be too much for them and unhelpful waterways that I can better help my family. Learn about the faith together wonderful question that I really important one for for all of us and for all of us fathers wanting to delete our family in the ways of the Lord and in teacher family. The Scripture is miss what God calls us to do. I would say one.

Don't underestimate the power of prayer and songs you know it. Throughout the history of the church.

One of the primary vehicles for communicating good theology wasn't just reading books and in studying tomes of systematic theology. It was prayer and music effect. You know that some of the earliest doctrinal debates in the church had to do with lyrics of songs. There is a song that Gloria Patri of the lesser doxology was called was really simple. Though the. The word glory be to the father into the sun into the Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be world without end man. Amen.

Will there was actually a controversy about those lyrics in the ancient church and so there was this whole debate about it but but he just highlights the fact that good theology is rooted in worship, our songs, our prayers and so really I would say you know go to some good songs with your family sing together in teacher children. The songs of the faith you can get a wonderful hymnal but there are other great resources that I'm sure your kids would love and then prayer teaching your family to pray by praying together with them consistently pray the Lord's prayer together every single night and me to really really a wonderful practice to build into your family devotions Bible reading as well. I found it in a way that can be intimidating, at least with with young children are kids or 865 and about to be to and you sit down and you try to read the Bible with everyone you got the two-year-old running around trying to body slam the five-year-old brother that kind of think it doesn't always work but being consistent and coming together and opening up God's word. I think that those are wonderful habits to build and as you're reading the stories of the faith together with your family. What you'll find is that the Bible really is a captivating book. There are so many wonderful stories. I remember reading in in first and second Samuel with our children, our kids just being so riveted by the story of Saul and David in the sort of controversy there but it's amazing to see so open up the Scriptures with your children.

There's also book that you can go through with them. It's called the big book of questions and answers if it was written by Sinclair Ferguson is as it was meant for young children as a least great resources inside and ideas for projects you can do with your kids together as a family we find that you learn a lot of things going through that as well and ending the last thing I'll mention is another thing that's that's really sweet to do with family Scripture memorization.

My wife is been taking our kids through first Corinthians 15, Paul talks about the centrality of the gospel. What is the gospel that you know that the death burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and just memorizing portions of Scripture trying to get the faith once for all delivered two things into our hearts as we study the word of God together as we pray together and as we sing together so commit to those things brother and and also don't beat yourself up right, like I know that I just gave you a lot of different things that you could do. Sometimes it's it's helpful to start small. Maybe just say hey work on it every night. Pray together to start with that and then work your way up from there. And may the Lord bless you as you seek to grow together in the grace and knowledge of Christ together with your family, and later on thinking back to when my kids were younger. I think they were three and five. Believe it or not. We sat down and we started reading CS Lewis's the Chronicles of Narnia and each night I would sit there on the sofa with my three-year-old on one side of my five-year-old, on the other and read all about Azlan now at that age they weren't able to comprehend the symbolism. But now that they're older. We had many conversations about that and of those are just riveting books to go down with your kids. Such a great idea yet dummy and those those kinds of books or you can bring in Jesus and the gospel as you think through the store.

I think that that's a really neat way to do it as well. We just started reading some stories from the Fox's book of martyrs me thinking about these Christians who live throughout the history of the church that have given their lives for Jesus just wanted to try to give our children that sort of global perspective in the sense of the fact that you know like the Christian faith here in the United States as we experience it and live it doesn't always look the same in other parts of the world. There are some people who really suffer intense persecution because they follow Jesus, but Jesus is worth it.

There really are so many wonderful resources out there. Kevin and I think we've given you quite a few that you could potentially try out with with your family, so may the Lord bless you your listing to core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez, a mineral, here's a call that came in from Andre in Tennessee and your word so they will all be out of order. Pray in Jesus, were we playing the Wii. His name would pray to Jesus and not the father would be out of the way someone would be crammed to the mother Mary. Even though we know you can say is I am a sensory, please. I am a century to the father. So could you explain that to me I appreciate it very much thank you guys. Hey Andre, that's an excellent question. And yes, we can totally pray to Jesus.

Jesus is the second person of the holy Trinity. He's God he hears our prayers. He's omniscient, he knows all things, and so we can we can pray to Jesus. Now, ordinarily in prayer we pray to the father the son and by the grace of the Holy Spirit.

And I think what what that highlights you and we always end our prayers as Jesus told us in Jesus name.

Bring to the father in the name of the son, and that does highlight that Jesus is our mediator that we only have access to God through the father you think of what Jesus said in John chapter 14 verse six I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me. And then you have the entire book of Hebrews that talks about the oldness the confidence that we can have when you we approach the throne of grace, we come before our Father in prayer.

Why, because we have a great high priest, a great mediator in Jesus Christ is ordinarily Yep that's how we pray and that should also give us confidence.

We pray because we recognize that it's not art our perfect obedience or righteousness that causes God to hear our prayers, is the fact that we come in and through Jesus Christ, the perfect and holy one, but you can also pray to Jesus.

In fact, in John chapter 14 verse 14 Jesus talk to the disciples about asking him anything in his name also and in acts chapter 7, you have the account were Stephen is stoned to death, and as he's being killed as is being martyred. He's crying out to Jesus. He's praying to Jesus, the earliest Christians from the very beginning of the, the, the life of the church prayed to and worship Jesus that I mentioned to you know how there was some controversy about some of the song lyrics to what we call the Gloria pottery back and in the ancient church. Well, one of the things that these ancient songs in the history of the church teach us is that the early church prayed to and worship Jesus.

One of the earliest images if you will, of the crucifixion that we have is actually this this graffiti piece that was done it was meant to mock Christians.

It was a picture of this man carved into the side of the wall, bowing down before a crucified person with the head of the donkey. It was someone trying to mock Christians, and it was depicting this individual said. The other was this this writing at the bottom of the image of Alexa mentalist worships his God will the world recognize Christians worship and pray to the crucified one, Jesus. That was a scandalous thing you have to imagine because crucifixion was was just the height of shame, and yet the Christians prayed to and worshiped the crucified one. Why because he's God and so hungry we can and should pray to Jesus is nothing wrong with that and to the Holy Spirit. The third person of the holy Trinity, but ordinarily the structure that's given in the New Testament that we come to the Father through the son through his work on on our behalf and in the power of the Holy Spirit so so I would say pray in that way but but don't feel bad or or think that there's anything wrong with you calling out to Jesus and print directly to Jesus because he hears you.

And so we ought to pray to the father the son and to the Holy Spirit. Bless you Andre thanks so much for your question. Great hearing from you.

This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez and if your regular listener to this program would like you to know that we are listener supported and we count on people just like you to make donations to keep us on the year. One of the ways you can do that is by joining what we call our inner core of what a joy it is for me and I know also for Bill to be able to answer questions about the Christian faith. Let me just say it's a sobering thing as well. I know Gina James chapter 3 verse one says don't let many of you become teachers, knowing that we will receive a stricter judgment.

So I pray for wisdom and and ask God for his mercy. Answering these questions about the faith that we know with all of our hearts, that the world desperately needs the gospel of Jesus Christ and that we as followers of Jesus need to grow in our understanding of the core truth of the Christian faith and that's what we do what we do because we want to help you grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. And if you've been blessed by this program encourage when I ask you, would you consider joining the inner core for a monthly donation of $25 or more.

You can help us continue to get the word out and to spread the message of core Christianity ultimately the message of the gospel, the forgiveness of sins. People all over the world are connecting with this program core Christianity which which were just so excited about and in grateful to the Lord, for I want to see continue to grow. So what you partner with us by heading over to core Christianity.com/inner core. To learn more or give us a call at 833 the core and if you call us or go on our website, enjoying the inner core.

We will send you the book that actually kicked off this program is called core Christianity finding yourself in God's story by our founder Dr. Michael Horton, who was a respected theologian and really good guy.

So we want to send you that book or Christianity just by joining the inner core. Call us again at 833-843-2673 Israel here's a question from Brian who emailed us and said recently I had a mini debate was some followers and disciples of a very intense charismatic leader in our conversation they used acts 217 to 18 as their self-defense on personal revelation, or dreams. What do you think would be a good response to these interpretations, while I'm always a little bit uneasy when I hear of intense charismatic leaders who were creating followers for themselves in a little bit later in the book of acts in acts chapter 20 a really kind of gut wrenching passage.

It says the apostle Paul is speaking to the Ephesian elders and he's leaving them and he said something that I think should cause all of us to to really be sober minded. He says in acts chapter 20 verse 28 pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with his own blood.

I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock and from among your own selves will arise. Men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them, therefore, be alert remembering that for three years. I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears and try to get a picture in your in your mind right now.

The apostle Paul. There for three years, day in and day out in their homes with tears in his eyes, admonishing them, warning them, saying, watch out. People are coming, wolves are coming there even can arise up from within the church, and you know what they're going to try to do they're going to try to get the disciples to follow them instead of following Jesus. So anytime I hear about followers and disciples of a very intense charismatic leader whoever that leader might be. Again, I get uneasy because what we should be doing as pastors as quote unquote church leaders is making disciples of Jesus. It's not about me it's about Jesus. And so I would say that's the first thing really a meet peel it back a little bit just a look. This right here is the problem and not just maybe their interpretation of acts chapter 2 verses 17 and 18 but just even the way they function. If what they're doing is creating or what this individual is doing is creating disciples after himself now. Acts chapter 2 verses 17 and 18. This is Peter on the day of Pentecost quoting the prophecy of Joel in the last days that Shelby God declares that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams even on my male servants and female servants. In those days I will pour out my spirit, and they shall prophesy. The ultimate revelation that we have right now is the holy Bible. The problem I often see today's people claiming to have revelations that actually don't line up with what the Scriptures think I don't care what you think God told you if it contradicts what he's already said in his word. Your deceived and so brothers and sisters, we need to watch out for people who are saying these kinds of things and we need to watch out that we don't fall into this trap as well. I hired a popular television pastor say that God told him that Donald Trump was gonna win by a landslide. The selection that everything was going to change and be different. You have these people that get out there and say things that they have no business saying and their claiming to speak on behalf of the Lord.

They're not teaching what the Scriptures say about acts two was the fulfillment of Joel to the same Holy Spirit was poured out on Peter and the disciples on the day of Pentecost is also in us by faith in Jesus, but that doesn't mean that we should expect the same revelatory experiences that Peter had that many of these miraculous experiences were primarily about advancing the gospel proclamation.

I think this is made really clear in a place like Hebrews chapter 2 verse four.

Listen to what the author the Hebrew says there is he's writing to this church wanting to establish them first and foremost in the gospel. He talks about how they heard the gospel and he says verse four of chapter 2 while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will was the goal of those revelations of those miracles that they were experiencing.

It was the advancement of the gospel people oftentimes today will focus on the miraculous on the signs and wonders and take their eyes off of the main thing which is the forgiveness of sins, and any ministry or minister that wants to focus your eyes on that all your your healing or your special blessing your wealth and prosperity, whatever it might be, but take your eyes off of sin, righteousness, the forgiveness we have in Jesus. What it means to be faithful walking with the Lord. A boy I will say turn and run from that person. Watch out for the abusive people who are saying I'm the anointed leader who gets revelations from God and so you need to listen to me know. Jesus is our great high priest and pastor should be fixing our eyes on Jesus and on the blessings of the forgiveness of sins. And so it sounds to me Brian like this. This person is trying to take acts to and say I have this revelatory power you should follow me and I would just say no no no. If you want to know God's revelation open up the Scriptures study them get into a good church where the Bible is being faithfully taught and work your eyes are being fixed on Jesus, not some charismatic leader. We really need to get away from that fixing our eyes on on charismatic Christian leaders there, let us down. But Jesus won't.

We can trust him.

We can trust his word and that's what we need to focus our attention. Brian Neutra when I was in college I experience the lighter side of this personal revelation issue. I have the set female friend and she was quite attractive. And one day after church. This guy walks up to her after the service who she's never met before and he says to her God spoke to me and told me that we are to be married and without batting an eye. She said you know I just talked got 1/2 hour ago. He didn't mention your name for that was the right answer but and and and you know that is love that story but the sad thing is, I've heard I've heard stories that aren't so light where an individual says God revealed to me that were supposed to be to get that kind of a thing and it just is a boy. It's so destructive.

We really need to focus back on just the basic teachings of the Bible because I think we really lost our way and it is evident through some of these movements. These quote unquote revelatory movements that are taking our eyes off of Jesus, but one more question here encore Christianity.

This person says does everyone that goes to hell suffer equally with someone like Hitler suffer more than an ethical moral person who's never been exposed to the word or perhaps putting a decision or someone who was led astray in some way a very good question Eric shedding a couple of questions here like is also an equal in God's eyes. And what does the experience of hell look like for different but of course we have these descriptions of hell in the Bible, but we don't know exactly what it said be like to sleep. We don't know exactly what heaven is to be like except for the fact that it's going to be above and beyond anything we could ever imagine positively, but I do believe that there are degrees of punishment and judgment. Even in Howell and II think there are a few passages of Scripture that seems to indicate this, for one, I think of what Jesus says in Luke chapter 12, they're speaking in the context of the coming of the Lord, that we read in Luke chapter 12 beginning in verse 41 Peterson Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all and the Lord said, who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time. Blessed is that servant, whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly I say to you, he will set them over all of his possessions. But if the servant says to himself.

My master is delayed in coming and he begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and to get drunk. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him in an hour. He does not know and will cut him in pieces, and put him with the unfaithful and that servant who knew his masters 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 everyone to whom much was given of him much will be required from him, to whom they are entrusted much they will demand the more I think focus. There is on the fact that some people do have more and are going to be accountable for more James chapter 3 is as you know, to let many of you become teachers, knowing that were to receive a stricter judgment and so II think for some people right. Who knew the truth, who experienced even, perhaps, the grace of God in the sense that they'd heard the preached word they had seen the change lives and yet they said to themselves as Christians are just drinking bathwater.

They don't really know God is there even a guy they know the truth and yet they rejected. I think for them. The judgment is going to be worse and again I don't know how exactly that's going to look, but I do think that you do have this distance of these degrees of judgment or of punishment. Not all sins are equal right.

Like all all sin is damnable meaning get it merits God's wrath and curse, but some sins in and of themselves, and you know by reason of several aggravations may we do the same thing over and over again some sins are more heinous in God's sight and others so we have to understand it's it's one thing to look lustfully at a person and that's a sin. Jesus visits this condemns us. It's another thing to commit adultery to do the actual act.

The fact of the matter is that we all sin and fall short of God's glory are sins merits God's judgment how the good news of the gospel is that Jesus is taken, our sins upon himself. Have the hope.

Jesus took the punishment that we deserved so that we might have eternal life. Thanks for listening to court Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer. Visit us at court, Christianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673 that's a 33, the court when you contact us. Please let us know how you been encouraged by this podcast and be sure to join us next time. As we explore the truth of God's word together


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