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If His Burden is Light, Why Does My Cross Feel So Heavy?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez
The Truth Network Radio
April 9, 2021 6:30 am

If His Burden is Light, Why Does My Cross Feel So Heavy?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez

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April 9, 2021 6:30 am

Episode 681 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

 

1. Is God the author of sin?

2. Does the story of Jonah prove that God changes his mind?

3. If God is not the author of sin, why did he create the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?

4. What does it mean to be “caught up with the Lord” in 1 Thessalonians 4?

5. In Matthew 11, Jesus says that his burden is light, but in Matthew 16:24 he says to his disciples that, “whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” How can these two things be reconciled?

6. While on her death bed, my friend wasn’t receptive to Christianity because she she didn’t believe in a “blond hair blue-eyed Jesus.” After I pled with her and read Isaiah 53 to her, she seemed more receptive. Is she in heaven?

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Jesus burden is light, then why does he tell us to deny ourselves and carry our cross that is 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. You can call us right now for the next 25 minutes with your question.

Here's the phone number it's 833.

The core that's 1-833-843-2673 also post your question on our Facebook, Instagram or twitter accounts. You can always watch us on YouTube and you can email us with your question at questions at core, Christianity.com first up today let's go to Philip in Pearland Texas Philip what your question for Pastor Israel Don thing hey Philip, thanks for giving us a call.

Did God plan for sin to be a thing well the way I would answer that is. First I want to make sure that you understood that God is not the author of sin. God is not to blame for sin.

We are to blame for sin. Sin entered the world through Adam and Eve left to the freedom of their own wills. They send. They turned away from the Lord and and as a result, they were judged because of it and read about that in the early chapters of the book of Genesis.

But did God plan for what was going to happen upwards. Did God know that was going to happen and did he make provisions for that.

I would say yes he did, because God knows all things and I if you look even at it at the early chapters of Genesis, like I was just mentioning in Genesis chapter 3, after Adam and Eve had sinned and date. We hear about. Essentially this curse that's going to be upon the whole world now because of their actions that verse 20 says the man called his his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living in the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins, and clothed them. In other words, they send and God made this provision for them to cover their nakedness. If you remember Philip earlier in the passage they were trying to know. They realize they were naked. They were ashamed all of a sudden they're trying to cover themselves with leaves, but they can't cover themselves and so the Lord he steps in and he closed them with garments of skin you have right there. This sort of picture of animal sacrifice and throughout the Old Testament. You had the sacrifices for atonement of sin and ultimately God would send his own son Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world and so God is not the author of sin. He allowed humanity to sin, but he also made provision to redeem us.

He knew he was going to do that and he did he send his own son into the world to forgive our sins, thank you for your question Philip, keep listening and and and give us questions in the future as well. Okay. Thank you so much Philip so nice to hear from young people who listen to this radio program. Let's go to a voicemail that we received yesterday from one of her callers about the book of Jonah a question about our praying change God's mind.

There were some illustrations given but one of the strong ones that I've always question was the story of Jonah being sent to Nineveh, which he didn't want to go, but he finally dared to tell them they're all going to be destroyed and then they repent and basically Jonah looks pretty dumb and like a fool to the people because everything that he preached none of that happened.

So if God didn't change his mind. What was the intent of Jonah being then make here or look like he didn't know what he was talking about all. Thank you, why do you think Jonah doesn't look so great in the book of Jonah. But it's not because you know God was misleading in any way and win-win.

God was threatening judgment against the Ninevites. The whole purpose for that was so that they might repent so that they might turn to the Lord. Yes, God was was threatening destruction immune Jonah when he finally does show up.

We read in Jonah chapter 3 verse three Jonah rose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord.

Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city three days journey in breath and Jonah began to go into the city.

Going a day's journey, and he called out yet 40 days and Nineveh shall be overthrown and the people of Nineveh believed God, and they believe the Lord, the Lord relents of the disaster that he's going to bring that if you go back or feel a little bit further in chapter 4 we read it displeased Jonah exceedingly and he was angry and he prayed to the Lord and said, oh Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country. That is why made haste to flee to Tarsus for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and relenting from disaster. Jonah 1 of the reasons he didn't want to go to Nineveh he didn't like the people of Nineveh. They were quite a wicked people actually if you read the history books, who had persecuted the people of God at times done done horrible things that you want to go and preach essentially repentance to the people of Nineveh because he did not want them to to repent he didn't want God to extend mercy to them. What we learn from the book of Jonah's not that God changes his mind map, maybe from our perspective, ramming the Lord knows all things. So God is in up in heaven in a sale with this new information that I just Ruth received them and to do this instead of that that kind of thing of the Lord knows everything he sent Jonah to Nineveh precisely because he knew that they were going to repent that they were going to turn to him but but what we get in the book of Jonah is not the you know this picture of God changing his mind.

We get this this clear picture of the mercy of God toward sinners even towards those who have sinned in horrible ways. And that's that's a really huge come should be a huge comfort for for each and every one of us and there's also a rebuke here for the people of God Jonah. This prophet of the Lord.

He doesn't want God to extend his mercy to other people and it really is sort of a shocking thing when you think about it, but sometimes we can we can be the same way we can look at people in judgment. We can think all men are such terrible sinners, especially if they've sinned against us in in some way and we almost don't want mercy to come to them and yet here in the book of Jonah we see that God's intention is to extend mercy even to his enemies, and you know what we praise God for that because Paul says in Romans chapter 5 that we were the enemies of God. And yet, Christ died for us and so that's really what you're getting in the book of Jonah and and so it's not that God changed his mind and it's not the Jonah look like a full because we know what God threatened didn't actually happen. Know that was a call to repentance and they did repent and God showed mercy to the people of Nineveh your listing to core Christianity with pastor Adm. Sanchez.

If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life.

We love to invite you to call us right now.

Here's the phone number is 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673.

By the way, I should mention. We are not supported by a particular church or denomination.

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We would ask you to prayerfully consider making a gift of any amount you can do that on our website at core, Christianity.com just click donate at the top of the page. Let's go to glory in Modesto California glory. What's your question for pastor a drill I am going back into Genesis early on chapter 2 verse 16 and 17 and I from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, and I know you just mentioned that sin was not authored by God. So I guess maybe this type to it when there's this tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden of Eden/after creation where that evil come from, who created that are how would that allowed to be yeah so so there's a lot of debate about this, but what what what I would say is in the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were placed in this sort of this this testing. This period of probation, we might say where God is given them his his law's command and he's demonstrated to Adam and Eve how good he is to me that the Lord when he set them up there in the garden of Eden he gave them just about everything fit of every tree in the garden you may but there's one tree that I don't want you to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And of course right that the serpent tempts Eve and Adam and Eve fall the eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, sin enters into the world. They disobey the Lord. But this was a test really for Adam and Eve and God gave them free will to make a decision there so the evil is not something that God created or authored. Like I said the earlier question, glory, and it's also not that God is setting Adam and Eve up for failure.

Had they obeyed, they would've been confirmed in righteousness they would.

They would've been there in the presence of the Lord forever in joy but they disobeyed and so God got essentially was, was testing them there with his law with his word and because they they sinned they were cast out of the garden. Now it's really interesting because later there sort of parallels to this and when God gives his people, the Decalogue, the 10 Commandments he gives them these commandments you shall not do this. If you do this you'll die essentially made very affordable. Repeating what were getting here in Genesis chapter 2, or you will be exiled and so you have this sort of repetition it as the Israelites are entering into Canaan. There called to obey the Lord to cast the serpent out. If you will or arrogant to be cast out of the land we known in the history of the people of Israel. That's precisely what happened. They were they were exiled because of their sin, and so we would see this I would see this is a time of testing for Adam and Eve, not that God was causing them to stumble and not the God was creating sin, but that he was giving them a choice. Thank you for your question.

Thanks much glory. It's great to hear from glory on a regular basis.

She really is digging into God's word and trying to apply it to her life and that is something that we pray for all of our listeners here core Christianity let's go to Danny from Burton Oklahoma Danny, what's your question for pastor. Israel is not a pretty reputable and leading process ownership before it talks about catching up and encourage each other with words and then we read in Revelation 21 judgments of God against this world.

The city will trumpet and bowl judgments, and if we have to go through that. What comfort do their bidding and caught up after the after the tribulation.

Hey Danny thank you for that question really been enjoying these questions we've been receiving about the end times and it is so important for us to to talk about this in the think through what the Scriptures have to say and you're alluding to several different passages. There's one in first Thessalonians chapter forward talks about being caught up with the Lord. And like I said that there are genuine believers of I've said this before on the program. There are genuine believers who differ on their interpretation of of the end times of what it's going to look like there are some people who say I think there's in a be this this rapture of the church of believers that precedes the second coming of Jesus Christ and will be followed by a time of great tribulation.

There are others. This is also a legitimate view.

I would say there are others who say no right now the church is been going through great tribulation great persecution for a long period of time for this for this entire season, and Christ is currently raining from his throne and he is going to come back and essentially judge the world. He is coming again, and so what what those people would says it was a look what we see in first Thessalonians 4 is not a description of of the rapture of the church prior to the second coming, but just another description of the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Because later on in chapter 5, Paul begins distance to go deeper into what he was talking about is talking about the day of the Lord, the final judgment, and in that final judgment happens at the same time that the believers themselves are delivered the judgment of the wicked and the glorification of the saints are are contemporaneous events. That means that they happen at the same time you see this and in the book of second Thessalonians, so if you look at just the very next book in the New Testament.

Second Thessalonians chapter 1 beginning in verse seven auction start in inverse five give you some more context pulses.

This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also are suffering believers were experiencing tribulation there since indeed God considers considers it, just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well, as to us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

You have right there. These these events happening at the same time. Essentially, the revelation of Jesus his coming. The deliverance of the saints there there comfort and also the judgment of the wicked, and so that's why some people Danny have have take that he that happens to be my view. In particular, but again like I said and and like I like I often repeat on this program were about here is core Christianity. That is, what are the fundamentals of the faith that all Christians need to embrace and and when were talking about the end times the fundamental truth that you need to embrace that we all need to embrace is that Jesus is going to return that there will be a bodily second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ that that hasn't already happened and that we are called as Christians to be ready to be prepared to be watchful. Are we watching are you watching that's were called to do in light of the fact that the Lord Jesus is coming, were told, and so we turned to him in faith. Thank you so much Brother for your question may Lord bless you as you continue to study the word of God you're listening to core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez and today we would like to offer you a special free booklet that Israel created.

It's called seeing Jesus. Yes, it really the question is who is Jesus, not who is Jesus for me or to me primarily. There are all sorts of people who have differences of opinion about who Jesus was, but the question is who did Jesus reveal himself to be less than Jesus introduce himself to us through the Scriptures that we grow in our understanding of Christ is is as we dig into the word of God as he speaks to us through his word. That's how we see Jesus and how we lay hold of him for ourselves and so this resourcing Jesus. That's what it's all about helping you lay hold of Christ for US he's revealed in his word. It's it's a devotional resource and it's yours for free.

All you have to do to get there resource is go to a website that core Christianity.com/Jesus again that's core Christianity.com/Jesus.

You can also call us for that resource or any one of our resources at 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 let's go to a voicemail we received yesterday a question came to my mind this morning to versus from Scripture Matthew where Jesus says, first in Matthew 11 2530 for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. And then later in Matthew 1624 Jesus said to his disciples.

Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. I was thinking in my mind, it would be difficult, but possible to reconcile those two things, I was just wondering if you would address those two Scriptures as being seemingly contradictory.

Thank you and bless you.

God bless you as well.

And yeah, it is there a contradiction here. How can Jesus say in Matthew 11. My yoke is easy and my burden is light. But then in Matthew 16. If you if you want to follow me you're going to take up your cross and that doesn't sound very easy that that sounds difficult. That sounds like actually a really heavy burden will the first thing we need to understand is that in Jesus Christ our relationship to God's law has changed one passage of Scripture that I would point you to that I think makes this absolutely clears the first half of Romans chapter 7 Jesus essentially was condemned by the law.

He was put to death. He experienced the curse of the law in Jesus we need to our dead to the law. That means that the law is no longer over the Christian to condemn them. The law can no longer condemn you. That's why Paul says at the beginning of Romans chapter 8. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Why because the condemnation that was over us was exhausted in Jesus.

And when we're in Jesus is as if were were now dead to the law we have this new relationship to it so that it can't weigh us down, condemn us, and in that sense. In Jesus, we can say his burden is light were free, where justified. We are saved. I don't have to work to earn my salvation. I've already been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ.

And as one who is redeemed, I get to follow God, I get to obey the Lord now by the spirit because the spirit of God has filled me and lives in me and is working in me to put to death the sinful deeds of the body and to revivify me to make me alive. More and more so that I might follow the Lord and love the Lord and so exciting. That's one of the reasons why Jesus can say and what he does say what he says they're in Matthew chapter 11. It's also why John in first John chapter 5 verse three says this is this is God's will that you keep his commandments and that his commandments are not burdensome.

What is got a call us to do to love him and to love one another. We know that that really none of us do that perfectly, but we can no longer be condemned by the law because were in Jesus and in that sense we experience the rest that Jesus talked about in Matthew chapter 11 we follow him deny ourselves.

We take up our crosses because of what he is done because he is born.

The cross and put away our sins once for once and for all. We follow him and as we follow him and as the spirit works in us, there is this joy that we can have now. Again, none of us do that perfectly but the good news is Christ perfectly obeyed the law so that we could experience forgiveness no longer be hundreds condemnation and follow him with joy and so thank you for that question and for getting us into, that the gospel of Matthew. Their sister Mrs. core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez. Let's go to Laverne and St. Louis was Missouri.

And what your question for pastor.

Israel will and the Lord told me to go to her and she would say no to her and an outflow Christ to her and I did that and she she reviews you. This is what she said. She said I don't Apple centric and I don't believe in a blue light. Jesus and then the next day God.

Follow and read the return of her and I did that and she said okay Hashimoto's angry Dan and Dan the next night at 5 o'clock morning she coded in her house and he I and I'm just asking you know you you gotta go to Jesus that you got to go to him. Six.

Laverne well one I praise the Lord that you had that opportunity to share Jesus with your friend and at the end of the day, you know, we can have these false conceptions of who Jesus was. Sounds like your friend said I reject the sort of Jesus of popular culture.

The blonde haired blue-eyed Jesus that I don't I don't know that I embrace that Jesus and you know what Laverne I don't embrace that Jesus either. We embrace the Jesus of holy Scripture and you opened up the word of God to your friend. Isaiah 53 which takes us straight to the heart of the gospel. What Christ is done for us to redeeming them. Talk about a picture of the sufferings of Christ for his people. Isaiah 53 it doesn't get clearer than that and I don't know what the Lord was was doing that situation but it sounds to me like you were able to share the true Jesus with her. The Jesus who bore the sins of his people so that we might believe in him and and boy I pray that your friend did embrace that Jesus as as you read the Scriptures you know it. It's where the Scriptures are speaking to that. That's where God works is through his word. There are a lot of people who have false beliefs about Jesus, who have a Jesus that that they've invented in their minds, but who isn't the Jesus of Scripture and so if your friend rejected that Jesus that's okay.

We should reject that the Jesus of popular culture. That's not the Jesus of God's word of the truth. The true Jesus and so I would say sister out at midnight. I can't tell you where where your friend is but but I'm encouraged to hear that you were able to share the truth of the gospel with her and that it seems like she she listened and that there was a piece that came over her and what an encouragement for each and every one of us brothers and sisters there are people around us who need the gospel. Let's not give them the soda for 10 Jesus of of culture. Let's give them the Jesus of Scripture who is spoken to us so clearly and revealed himself for our salvation.

Thanks for listening to core Christianity request your copy of today's special offer. Visit us at core, Christianity.com and click on offers and the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833 when you contact us. Please let us know how you been encouraged by this program and be sure to join us next time.

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