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May 8, 2020 1:00 am
Episode 440 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.
Key questions answered in today's show:
1. How do I refute a friend who consistently refers to the God of the Old Testament as a God of wrath and the God of the New Testament as a merciful God?
2. I've gone back and forth on the doctrine of annihilationism. And I know it's controversial. But the more I read the Bible, I see more support for it in both the Old and the New Testaments, all these questions, all these references to sin as being destroyed, destroy. John 3:16, “that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” But what does perish mean that needs to be destroyed? I fully accept that those who don't accept Jesus and aren't saved won't make it into the kingdom of God. But I'm going back and forth on the eternal torment question, because another argument is, Jesus uses the word Gehenna in the New Testament, which refers to an actual place. So I know that's controversial, but I'm just trying to sort it out.
3. My 18 month old toddler sometimes wakes up at night crying and won’t stop for about 30 minutes to multiple hours. My step parent mentioned spiritual warfare? But I have prayed over my home a while ago. Can you give me some thoughts or insight that can help me?
4. How do we determine what commands were meant for the apostles alone and which are meant for all Christians? I believe the extremes of "apostles only" or "all Christians always" is incorrect. So how do we arrive at a solid "middle" when necessary and either or when necessary and not be guilty of misappropriating Scripture out of context or inserting ourselves into the text?
The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
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When I read the Bible how I know which parts apply to me that's just one of the questions will be answering on today's edition of core Christianity hi this is Bill Meyer along with pastor Pedro Sanchez in 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 and you can also email us with your question at questions at core, Christianity.com today we are joined by our good friend Prof. Michael Horton, who is taking a break from his teaching and writing schedule for a little bit to tackle a few listener questions with us. Welcome back Mike. Good to be back with you in a drill yeah get a heavy Mike what we've been starting each program off with a bit of good news. During these uncertain times and as you guys know many high schools around the country have had to cancel their graduation ceremonies due to coronavirus restrictions. While one principal decided to do something special for the seniors at his school's name is Bertie Montgomery. He is the principal at Wiley high school in the Dallas Texas area and since his school will not be able to hold a traditional graduation over the past two weeks.
He has traveled more than 800 miles tracking down every member of the 2020 senior class either of their homes or at work to congratulate them. Principal Riley he spent 12 days and found all 612 graduating seniors from his school personally congratulating each of them is a great guy. What a wonderful thing to do. Just amazing. You know there are so many people and we been hearing stories each day. So many individuals and churches and corporations just doing nice things doing kind things during these difficult times and it is just such a blessing to hear stories like these. Yeah, it's really true Bill a menu here hear these stories about people's character kind of showing at difficult times. When were we had take care of each other. That's right, was go to our first question and this one comes from Jennifer who posted on the core Christianity Instagram page and here's what she wrote. How do I refute a friend who constantly refers to the God of the Old Testament as a God of wrath and the God of the New Testament as a merciful God hi Jennifer, that's really a common misconception and there are several atheist writers. Some of the new atheists to top the same thing. You know this. I get the God of the Old Testament is bloodthirsty and wrathful and then in the New Testament. He's calmed down. I'll never forget you know when I was in seventh grade, my world history teacher talking about world religions is that the God of the Old Testament was all about rules and and regulations.
You know you need to keep the law perfectly.
He was rigid, judgmental, and then Jesus showed up and he was sort of like this to be with long hair and sandals.
No telling everyone that they needed to love each other. Texas remember getting in in the data seventh grade school class. The problem is that dichotomy is one of the oldest heresies out there.
It is called Marcy and his Marcy was a guy really early on in the church who taught that the God of the Old Testament, the Hebrew God was not the same God sent Jesus into the world he just couldn't at least in his mind when he read the Old Testament of the God of the Old Testament was cruel and bloodthirsty, the God of the New Testament just seems so nice. He wasn't reading the Bible correctly, Yahweh, God in the Old Testament revealed himself as a God gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love that Exodus chapter 34 verse six the story of Nineveh and when God could have rained fire and brimstone on the people of Nineveh for their horrible sins, he instead sent them the prophet Jonah.
You know I Jonah didn't want to go to Nineveh. The story most of us know Jonah try to turn away from the Lord's call. He didn't want to go to Nineveh because he knew that God would be merciful to those people despite their sin, Jonah chapter 4 verse two Jonah prayed 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 it. We need to understand that the Bible is God's story of redemption that centers around Jesus with the mercy and grace found in Jesus Christ are exhibited everywhere.
The Old Testament and throughout the course, the New Testament as well.
In the Old Testament. What we call types and shadows. The promise of the gospel is first given in Genesis chapter 3 verse 15 where God told the serpent that the seed of the woman was going to crush his head. God was to redeem sinful people now Jesus came, bringing good news. The good news of the gospel, but he also preached the reality of how and judgment in the book of Revelation, Jesus is depicted as a mighty warrior, clothed in a robe that dipped in the blood of his enemies. We often don't picture Jesus that we Revelation 1913 and following says he is clothed in a robe dipped in blood in the name by which he is called is the word of God and the armies of heaven arrayed in fine linen, white and pure were following him on white horses from his mouth comes a sharp two-edged sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty God's wrath in God's mercy are seen throughout the old and new Testaments, and here's why you need both. You can't understand the depths of God's mercy unless you understand the fact that he is righteous and judge's sin is like that that hymn amazing Grace. You know it was grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fears relieved. So we don't have to worry that the God of the Old Testament somehow different than the God of the New Testament. This is this is the Lord of all creation is revealed in himself. Throughout the history of redemption and God is one.
I think that the problem that your friend has is just not understanding what what the Old Testament test actually teaches about who God is. I just think that's so wise we have to remember the verse. We all know, for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. That's what the whole New Testament is about that story of God preparing to send his son to save his people and then in the New Testament, Jesus talks about how more than an than anybody else in the Bible so same God justice and love Jennifer were so thankful that you are engaging with your friend on this topic, you might actually want to play them. The podcast of this program so that your friend can hear drill in Mike's response to your question Mike. Let's go to a call that came in and by the way, you can call us anytime here at core Christianity or you can leave your question on our website. If you go to core Christianity.com/radio this little microphone there on the right hand side and you can record your question there. So let's go to our next call I got back and forth the doctrine of annihilation, the more I read the Bible or support for both the old New Testament always references Houston is being destroyed. John 316, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. What this parish is to be destroyed. I fully accept those who don't accept Jesus and are saved won't make it into the kingdom of God.
But going back and forth on the eternal torment question. Jesus uses the work ahead. In the New Testament which refers to actual plates.
So I know that's controversial but I'm just trying to sort it out.
Thanks yeah hello John this is a very tough question.
This is one that's not theoretical right.
This is very emotional. I'm not gonna lie. I find this very hard doctrine to accept, but then I recall that I'm not glorified yet.
I'm a sinner who doesn't really understand the goodness and holiness of God.
If God really were all good only and all holiness only and all righteousness only. None of us would have been saved, but he is also all love and grace and mercy.
So, he has provided redemption of the cost of his own son's life. That's why the cross is so wonderful there. God's justice was satisfied by his loving gift so no one needs to perish all who trust in Christ find a completely sufficient righteousness so they can stand before God's judgment.
That's just amazing love but John will.
I like the fact that you, your question is focused not on the emotional side of that's important. We have to address that. But on the biblical passages that serve our final decision-maker right. Yes, there are definitely passages that speak of perishing or being destroyed. But of course if there is everlasting judgment, everlasting punishment that destruction would be everlasting. Now we have to look and see if there are passages that also say that you know that it's not only being destroyed or perishing, but it's an everlasting kind of destruction we just look at some of the passages. I know I'm I'm sure you looked at some John but you raise the question about what the Scriptures teacher. Daniel 1212 resurrection that there will be the resurrection, and then some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And then Jesus is not a topic that he took up because he just wanted to scare people. He wanted to point people to himself as the what is the way out Matthew 25.
Worry talks about the judgment day when the he will separate the sheep from the goats the believers from the unbelievers and then he will say to those on his left. The unbelievers depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels, and these the unbelievers will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. And so there's a juxtaposition there eternal life is forever with the Lord. Eternal death or eternal judgment, punishment is just as eternal verse 43 in Mark nine also the unquenchable fire. Matthew 312. The unquenchable fire.
So Jesus I think is saying repeatedly here that it is the fire that burns forever its eternal punishment and then you turn to the book of Revelation and we read this in Revelation 14 verses 1011 he will also drink the wine of God's wrath poured full strength into the cup of his anger and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. One of when a terrifying picture that is we often think that eternal punishment is being separated from God forever actually this passage says he'll be tormented in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
And I really don't get the holiness of God.
Yet one day I will all agree that his judgment is just, that's what I deserve. But he's he saved me from it.
You have no plea before God's judgment unless you claim Christ alone is your righteousness. How is what we all deserve. But Christ paid it all and for all who trust in him there is full and free salvation. Michael, thank you so much for that helpful response. And as you said, it's a free gift available to everyone of us. This is core Christianity and you know with all that our nation is going through right now. Having a sure confidence in the work of Jesus Christ on the cross on our behalf is so so critical in her core Christianity. Our goal is to answer some of these hard unsettling questions with both skeptics and committed Christians in mind, we want to give answers that not only show why Christianity is true but also why it is good and beautiful and your support of this program is making a huge difference. A difference in helping others to live with hope and joy and confidence even during these difficult times in the course that difference is eternal. I would ask you if you would prayerfully consider sending in a gift this week to help us continue our work and as a thank you for a gift of $20 or more, we will send you our new core Christianity Bible study on Paul's letter to the Romans to make a donation and to receive that study just head over to core Christianity.com that's core Christianity.com and on behalf of the entire team.
Core radio thank you so much for your support. Yeah, I have to say no were doing Romans at home and my wife is doing going through Bible study with them in the mornings part of their their homeschooling. It just never gets old.
I don't know how may times of Gunther Romans privately and with with other people and I always get something new out of it and I'm sure you will. If you get this and share it with your family, friends, neighbors, it's great for small groups. It's great for new members classes. It's just really good resource again. You can find out more by going to core Christianity.com April. We had a question that came in from Savannah on our Instagram page and let you tackle this when she says my 18 month old toddler sometimes wakes up at night crying and won't stop for about 30 minutes and does this multiple hours.
Even if I go in there and rock him my stepparent mentioned spiritual warfare, but I have prayed over my home a while ago. Can you give me some thoughts or insight that can help me should I do some anointing, which I've never done and I'm not familiar with or is that just normal nightmares and it'll go away. I just want to make sure I'm not being a bad parent by dismissing something a Savannah we've experienced the same thing with a lot of our kids.
It seems to be part of the toddler stage. At least I think I may we have an 18 month-year-old right now as well who has a hard time sleeping but you know I never want to say well it's just not spiritual warfare.
Just rule it out yet. I read a story of a missionary in Germany who described it. Of intense spiritual warfare.
Her family underwent while sharing the faith out there.
Apparently her children were having terrible nightmares, accompanied by all sorts of other strange phenomena and it only got better through prayer. Now I'm not saying that what you're going through spiritual warfare just could not knowing the entirety of your situation. In particular, but I do know this. If you belong to Jesus. Satan hates you and he hates your children and he's seeking to destroy our family semi-Nessus with the Scripture say so no matter what's going on. You should pray, and that's exactly what the apostle Paul said in in Ephesians chapter 6 verse 18 when he's talking about spiritual warfare, you think, praying it all times in the spirit with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and so I think it's a good habit to get into praying for each other praying for our church praying for our children.
That's not the said what you are experiencing a spiritual warfare. I think what you really should do after you praised. Talk to your pediatrician. Here she is can it be able to let you know if what you're experiencing is is normal or not but it sounds pretty normal to me and I have an 18 month-year-old to lastly is not anointing oil. I know that there are some Christian traditions that treat the stuff like it's the equivalent of no garlic for vampires or something like that. But we have to be careful that were not being superstitious in the Bible, anointing with oil typically had to do with ordination to some particular office.
So in the Old Testament, the Kings would be anointed, or the prophets would be anointed in the New Testament James talks about elders of the church anointing the sick with oil and praying for them for healing, but I don't think we should treat anointing oil is some kind of magic potion that we can use to ward off evil spirits.
I think Satan loves it when we don't, prayer, study the Scriptures, but think that we can ward him off by means of necklaces or holy water. That type of the thing is, I would say maybe skip both the anointing oil, pray and thought your pediatrician. That's a great way to put it thought leader or yeah well I and I do know my cow was for your children or pilfer for your kids but I just feel like especially that stage. There really is not a lot of sleep happening in the house so at least for us know we we just let them go to the neighbors house. Well, if I could have your neighbor's phone number might have better. If that's still open for business that could be nice to.
Oh well, Savannah.
Thank you so much for your question. We pray that the sleep gets better soon because we now difficult that can be. This is core Christianity and we had an email coming from Jack and he says hi appreciate the work you do, how do we determine what commands were meant for the apostles alone and which are meant for all Christians. I believe the extremes of apostles only or all Christians always is incorrect. How do we arrive at a solid middle. One example might be. Second Chronicles 714 or I heard one. Christians say that Matthew 2819 was written more to the apostles and future elders and pastors of the church, not so much to every Christian. They said that while it applies to all Christians, in some sense, it does not mean that all Christians are to be baptizing people all over the place, but that they should only be done by ordained elders.
Do you agree with this. Yeah, thank you, Jack. That's a very good question. Thanks for your encouragement as well. Okay so let's look at the examples you gave second Chronicles 714 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, I will forgive their sin and heal their land. And a lot of us grew up with that is almost a promise will not even almost promise that if we all get together and together we pray for America that it gets back on track and finds the Lord. We can claim this first and the Lord will heal our land. Well, that's this first is in about America. It's about Israel and Israel could claim that verse because God did make a promise to Israel as a nation. God has made no promises to America as a nation. All of the nations of the earth are in his hand but we don't have any promises. If a nation will do this, then God will do that this is Israel's promise. So we are reading the Old Testament what you say when you come to these Old Testament passages that are about is really have nothing to do with us know you read it through Christ because Christ is the fulfillment of all the Old Testament. Jesus himself said all Scriptures testify concerning me, who is the true Israel Jesus Christ. He is the one in whom and through whom and by whom we have an inheritance undefiled reserved for us forever and it's not if we get together and we band together and we just pray for it enough if we cry enough if we fast enough then we will inherit the land know it's a promise. We have an inheritance that is For us in heaven. And so you read the verse now through the lens of fulfillment in Jesus Christ.
Only then does it apply to you. Now Matthew 2819 is different.
That's the great commission that's in the New Testament. That's part of the fulfillment.
But Jesus is speaking to the disciples who will become the apostles. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the son of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I've commanded you. Yes, it is said to the disciples. That's what the passage tells us the context was in Jesus took the disciples away and he he told him this, he gave them the great commission, but that didn't mean that the 70 he sent out on a mission, also weren't commissioned. It didn't mean that we would not all be ambassadors and witnesses to Christ in a general sense, but we like to think in terms of general office and special office. You have passages in Scripture that tells were all priests were all profits. We can proclaim. In fact, are called to proclaim and witness to the gospel. All of us. And yet at the same time God is also set aside certain believers.
He's gifted to teach and to shepherd and to oversee our spiritual condition and those are pastors and elders so I believe that only pastors those who are set apart for the ministry of preaching baptism and the Lord's supper should conduct those services under the oversight of the elders. This is a very no Psalm business. Christ himself is spreading his kingdom through these means, and he has appointed offices for carrying out that Embassy. That doesn't mean that the rest of us aren't also ambassadors in a broader sense, through our witness sharing the gospel with others bringing them to church, and so forth. But we don't take it upon ourselves to administer baptism and the Lord's supper. That's to be done within the ministry of the local church. With the oversight of the elders even when were dealing with New Testament passages where it's the fulfillment which is different from second Chronicles 7 were still Jack dealing with applications to us.
We can say yes we have to first of all ask who is he talking to. He's not talking to all of us.
He is talking to them, but then the second question from other passages. What can we conclude about what he saying also to the rest of us through this great commission like I totally agree with what you're saying.
I found it just as the pastor that this is one of the questions that a lot of people have a hard time with this. You know what you mean not just anybody could baptize or administer the Lord's supper, but I would say it gets to the heart of were told in Scripture that the ministry of the word were stewards of the mysteries of God. Paul told Timothy to guard the deposit that was given to him and this is something that is so precious so important that we have to make sure that it's Pure it's so glorious to see us is not just that the gospel is on every page of the Scriptures. You also see the importance of guarding and protecting that message and that's for every single one of us. The gospel has to be central and we have to protect its purity because it's the message of the free forgiveness of sins by God's grace and mercy to all who came out. Thanks for listening to court Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer.
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