The following program is recorded content created by the Truth Network. It's Matt Slick live. Matt is the founder and president of the Christian Apologetics Research Ministry, found online at KARM.org. When you have questions about Bible doctrines, turn to Matt Slick live. Francis, taking your calls and responding to your questions at 877-207-2276. Here's Matt Slick.
Hi! This is Matt Slick live, and sitting in for Matt Slick today is me, Charlie Spine. I'm part of the KARM.org ministry, and while Matt is currently visiting the Holy Land with a group of other Christians, he's asked me to step in and try to replace him, but there's no way I can fill his shoes.
Matt Slick live. This is the show where you can call in and you can ask questions about the Bible, theology, apologetics, different religions, even atheism, and other issues, and we're on this time block live. Today is actually Wednesday, February 22nd of 2023, and if you want to call in with a question, you're invited to call in toll free at 877-207-2276, and we'd like to have your calls. This is a caller-driven show as far as the topics go, and if the callers slow down, I'll pick my own topic that might be a favorite of mine, or one that I think will be of interest to you, and I'll go into it and see what I can give you as far as insights that I've gained over the years of studying how to witness to the cults, the non-Christians, the people hostile to the Christian faith. Doing so is an exercise that's known as apologetics, Christian apologetics. And all apologetics means is it's a derivative from the Greek word apologia. It means to give a defense, a reasoned answer, when someone asks you why, or why is it that you contend for such a faith as Christianity? And 1 Peter 3.15 tells us to be ready with just such an answer, just such a defense for the Christian faith. When asked about it, we're to give that answer with respect and gentleness, if possible. That's the admonition there in 1 Peter 3.15, anyway. And we give those answers to people because no matter who they are, they're creations of God and need to be respected, and they don't need to be thumped necessarily. I've found some that might do well to get a thumping, but nevertheless, we try to use an attractive approach with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and if they're not open to the velvet glove of the gospel, sometimes they need the iron law of the fist to be exposed to them, so they'll see that their real condition is one, needfulness, in that we need the Lord to get us through this life and bring us to eternal life with him. So we have open minds today, right now, live Wednesday, February 22nd.
If you want to call and participate, you can call 877 toll-free 877-207-2276. Now, yesterday, not yesterday, but before Matt left, there was a question put to him. The person was somewhat confused by how the Lord was referred to in quoting Psalms 22. There's a passage in the Psalms that prefigures the crucifixion of Christ very graphically, very accurately, long before that practice was ever indulged in. And in it, it says, I am but a worm. And he didn't understand how Christ could quote such a Psalm on the cross, referring to himself as a worm. Well, I can tell you that that worm, in particular, back in Bible times, was understood by the people and culture of the time, not just to be some nightcrawler that you'd go out to dig up to go fishing, not just a simple grub or an earthworm, as it were, but it was a particular kind of worm called the crimson worm. And this crimson worm had a life cycle that, interestingly enough, is a rough picture of the life cycle of the Church and the people that belong to Christ. This crimson worm was used to dye textiles, a bright and rich red that came from this creature, and when it would naturally dye on its own, it would impale itself on a piece of wood. And on that wood, it would lay its offspring, and it would perish.
And its red contents would stain the wood. Well, when the larvae would hatch, they would consume what was left behind by the dying parent, and live through the means that was provided by the death of the crimson worm, and go on and preach to generations of crimson worms. Another thing is, as the remains deteriorated from the once living crimson worm, they would deteriorate into a dust form similar to that of flaking, and give the appearance of snow, as white as snow. And this life cycle would be repeated. And sometimes we can be reminded that, even in God's creation of the most insignificant type of creature, we can see that Christ shed his blood on the cross for us, and for us to live in him. Though we might be red crimson with our stain, he can wash us white as snow, and that's the final result in the life cycle illustrated by the crimson worm. Of course, all analogies break down. It's not a perfect picture, but it is an interesting picture to follow when you refer to the Psalms and find that word, I am but a worm.
It was a very well understood and precise identification of a creature that wasn't just common in the worm sense. So I hope that is good for you. Now, we have a question on the line. Let me put on John from North Carolina. Hi John, you're on the line with Charlie Spine, sitting in for Matt Slick on MattSlickLive, and your question?
Yes sir, thank you for taking my call. I've got two questions. My first question is, will Catholics go to heaven as a Catholic believer?
I'm sorry, go ahead. Yeah, what you'll find out, Matt has put together a great deal of material on Catholicism, and when he says those Catholics that will not go to heaven are most likely those ones that stick rigidly to the official, and I'll repeat that, the official teachings of the Church. Some of the official teachings of the Church that the Roman Catholic teaching magisterium require you to hold to are beyond that, which is scriptural. I grew up a Roman Catholic. I was well-schooled in central doctrines, critical doctrines to Christianity.
Jesus' virgin birth, his sinless life, his death in my place on the cross, his resurrection, and that he will return. All these doctrines are quite solidly Christian, but there are what I like to call baggage that was added by the official doctrines of the Church, unnecessary baggage that some Catholics and Catholic authorities will say you have to accept, or you're not headed for heaven. In fact, in the tradition of the Catholic Church, no good Catholic or informed Catholic is allowed to say that they are at this moment saved and on their way to heaven.
Same for the Orthodox Church. They can't say they're saved either. They say, we hope to be, or we're trying to be, or that's the final outcome I hope I reach. But they can't say it as a born-again Christian can say, one who's been regenerated by God and recognizes that the scripture says, even John says, these things I write to you little children, that you may know you have eternal life. When God gets a hold of you in a genuine sense, he gives you that knowledge, and you wouldn't even flirt with the idea of saying, I hope to be, because your hope lies in him, and he says what he starts, he finishes, and he's the author and the finisher of faith.
And that kind of faith is unfailing, and you can count on it. Now, I was saved while I belonged to the Catholic Church, but I saw my need to leave it. I have friends that remained in the Catholic Church who felt that they, I believe they were born-again ever so much as I was, but they felt the conviction to say and try to correct some of the errors amongst their fellow Catholics. I didn't feel the conviction that I could stay and do that.
I wouldn't condemn them for that. I think it's a worthy task to take upon, but I was moved to leave the church officially and try to work from without it. Now, you'll find a lot of faith traditions and religions that have born-again Christians in them, and sometimes, as in the Catholic Church, it's in spite of their official adoption. Growing up, I had those wonderful, essential teachings that I accepted and became even more real to me when the Lord finally got a hold of me and opened my heart and mind to his word and his will. I understood the importance of those doctrines and that it was good that I had the teaching I did to establish the reasonableness and the scriptural value of those teachings.
So I wouldn't say that people before, or people within the Catholic Church can't go to heaven. I would say that those who add a works-righteous attitude toward their living out their faith are missing the boat. The Lord is not impressed by our works. He's not impressed by anything. When you can say, I'm not sure if I'm going to heaven now and I'm not allowed to say it, well, there's the dead giveaway right there. So, case-by-case basis, I've found, to be surprising, I've found some Christians within Mormon assemblies, believe it or not, that have a simple faith and aren't even aware of some of the false teachings. Yes, sir.
Well, my sister was a Christian in the Baptist Church. Yes, we're coming up on a break. Can you hang on? I'll be right back with you. Yes, sir. Sounds good.
Thank you so much. Okay. Hello again, this is Charlie Spine, sitting in for Matt Slick on Matt Slick. I hope we can have some of you call in to the show today, as John did with his question about Catholicism and will Catholics go to heaven. Are you still there, John? Yes, sir. And I've got one last question.
Sure. I have a friend who, their whole life, from birth, said they were a boy, and they were born as a male. And it got to the point when they were about 18 years old, they actually, they had to change the operation, and the doctor said if the parents do not let them have the surgery, they would commit suicide. So they've done that, and they've lived now as a male, though they were born as a female. And it's a very close friend that I care about and love, but my question is, though they were raised Christian, say they're still Christian, and say they were just born in the wrong body, I don't understand it. Will they be saved if they really believe in the Lord, though they have committed a horrible, well I don't know, I'm not judging, I don't know what to think about it, I don't understand it, but I'm concerned mostly about their salvation.
Of course. Normally speaking, someone that goes under such a radical alteration to their physical body is normally thought to have an abnormal view of themselves. A distorted view of who and what they are. Now, if a woman is surgically altered to more closely resemble a man, she still remains a surgically altered female. Same thing goes with the man who wants to transition and goes through all the physical procedures to try to appear to be a woman, he's nevertheless a physically altered male. Now, a lot of the people that do this are sincere in what we're doing, but let me say this, they want us to somehow celebrate that change with them, or the acceptance in such a fashion as that were to root for them in their cause.
Now that would be going over the line. We can love them, we can have concern with them, we certainly must continue to preach the gospel to them, but to lend ourselves to an appearance of approving of it would be inconsistent with a Christian witness. But we need to give them as much love and understanding as we can, and continue to pray and continue to give them the truth. Sometimes they reject it, sometimes they become upset with you for doing so, but nevertheless they will respect you, I think, if you stick to your guns scripturally and do the loving thing you can, short of endorsing that kind of lifestyle.
Does that make sense? Let me tell you this, it's a very close relative actually, and because I do not accept it, the person can be physically violent, very hateful, very full of themselves, just flies off the handle at a moment's notice, just very hard to deal with. And it's a close family member, and it's put a lot of stress in the family, and I'm kind of to the point, I don't want to associate with the person anymore in our family, but yet they're very close. And I pray for them, but I'm trying as a Christian not to turn them away, to keep praying for them, but they have been so hateful and just so arrogant, and so full of themselves.
Well, they've always been that way, but now that there's change taking place, it's even worse. And I don't know how to deal with them. I have similar family members that I need to keep the relationship from getting toxic or more toxic, I need to keep a certain distance from them if they become overbearing and forceful.
And like I say, they insist I celebrate their alternative lifestyle when it's inconsistent with a Christian lifestyle. If they insist that upon me, then I have to make the distance even greater as I pray and look for opportunities. Witnessing the family is a tightrope walk, and you need the Lord to help you balance on that tightrope, because they know you better than the average person, and sometimes knowing you and being familiar with you, you lack a certain credibility in the family member's eyes. And they don't take you as seriously as they might someone else outside the family that could tell them the very same gospel, but they would respect the source more than they would a close family member. So you've got a big job on your hands, and I understand the care and concern that you're showing, and you're doing the right thing, and I just hope the Lord will guide you. And when you see the door open, He opens the door that you'll be sensitive enough to jump through it, and just as much that you'll be sensitive enough to understand where He's closed the door for the time being. That's hard to recognize sometimes, because you want so urgently to see your family members especially.
You want to see them...go ahead. Yes sir, and I'm so afraid, I'm just so worried that because of what He's done and because of His lifestyle, not only, even if He hadn't done this, His basic personality is so unchristian-like, though He says He's a Christian. And I'm just worried about His salvation, and all I can do is keep praying, but I'm just really worried about His salvation, and I've got that situation in a family...I'm sorry, go ahead.
Yes sir. Yeah, well you just keep holding Him up in prayer, because it's not a problem for the Lord to bring Him to His knees and crack hard nuts as Him. I was just as hard in other areas of life, and the Lord cracked me, and that testifies to me He can crack anybody. Just hold Him up to the Lord, and draw near, or keep distant as is appropriate as you continue to pray for Him. Thanks for your call, John, I appreciate that so much. Thank you for your concern for your family member too. Yes sir, and God bless you too, and thank you for your advice. Thank you so much.
You're welcome. Okay, that was a call that is not uncommon. Not uncommon.
Yeah, very tough when you've got family members to witness to. Courtney is... Well, I don't want to hurry you along, Courtney, with your question. I see we've got a break coming up here in less than a minute, so we have questions also.
Courtney has one about the revival in Ashbury, and Justin about the Trinity, and how does it work, and this will be interesting to answer both questions. It's Matt Slick live, taking your calls at 877-207-2276. Here's Matt Slick. Hi, this is Charlie Spline.
I'm back, sitting in for Matt Slick, on Matt Slick Live, and we have some calls that are waiting now to be brought forward. Let me go first to...who's been here the longest? Courtney. There. Courtney. Courtney, you're on the air, and how can I help you with that question?
Hey there. Yes. So, okay, I was wondering if you had heard anything about the Ashbury revival. I called about it the other day, and I had a question, but now I have another question. Okay. So have you heard of it before I go to my next one?
I've heard only the stuff that's been in the media. Okay. Me too. I didn't feel 100% gung-ho about it.
I just wanted to just wait and watch before I promote it to other people or that kind of thing. And so I found out that they have a woman there who is a reverend that works for the university, and I was like, oh man, I was literally just talking to Charlie about that yesterday with, you know, Joyce Meyer and my question about Jan Markle. And I was like, wow, isn't that something that we should take into consideration, that university? Well, it is... I mean, I don't know if they have others. It definitely raises a flag, because if this reverend is holding a position of teaching pastor, or if it's simply an office having to do with administration, it's an administrative office, that would be altogether different.
I know that from what I've seen and... Go ahead. I was just going to say, I saw that there was an article that came out with her picture. Her title is Reverend. She's standing at the pulpit, and she said that her calling is to preach the scripture and write about it.
I was like, wow. I've noticed that some women in the ministry that are superb evangelists, okay, I mean wonderfully effective with spreading the word of God and the good missions of the gospel, aren't satisfied with their gift. So to speak, of evangelism. But they want to move into a teaching ministry such as this, or into a position of authority that they're not designed to hold, that they're not meant to hold, and that they shouldn't hold, when in fact they should be satisfied with their gift to evangelize people with the gospel. So this is always something that is interfered with by someone's personal constitution, and personal desires, when their personal desires are allowed to override the structure of the scripture, and that's unfortunate.
So yeah, you're right to be concerned. That is a red flag, and I don't know how much the people that are responding to this so-called revival there are putting importance on what she's teaching or preaching. Because from what I understand, they've drawn a lot of people from outside their little local congregation and their fellowship, and so some of the people that have come in may be more sound in their teaching, or they may be whacked, you never know who you're going to draw when there's an event like that. So all I can say is, where amongst the movement it is found to be that they're glorifying God, I would say then the Holy Spirit is moving on, and through those people, if the focus somehow becomes on a particular person, woman, man, or their message, it may be that they've been attracted to the movement or the event simply to promote themselves and get a little attention for themselves, when the attention should be always resulting in the glorification of God and the spreading of his message. So yeah, be suspicious, and there's nothing really that I can see of a woman usurping that position that Paul clearly says is not to be held and exercised by the women in the body of Christ.
Okay. Some people I just don't want to take—yes, it does—I just don't want some people to take me the wrong way, like I'm trying to sound like a know-it-all, but when you're trying to tell other people that you're not jumping right into the whole thing, you know, that you're just trying to—you know, I don't think it's the wrong thing, like you said, to be suspicious, so I just want to make sure I don't sound that way. Yeah, a healthy fear and a healthy respect in a fearful sense for someone who goes outside the bounds of Scripture is a good thing. You don't have to necessarily do anything to offend someone, for them to be offended.
People that are committed to accepting that thing will find offense, even if you approach them in the most general way, to try to guide them away from it using Scripture. So be careful, but you're in the right position, and you're doing the right thing to bring it up and bring the attention to others about this as being a problem, so you're doing good. Yay! Oh, yay! Thank you!
Okay, thank you! All right, bye-bye. Bye-bye.
Okay, whoops, I cut her off a little quickly there. Okay, we have Justin. He's got a question about the Trinity. Justin, I hope I brought you up there. Are you there, Justin? Yeah, I'm here. Hi, Charlie.
Hi, how can I help you? Oh, all right, thanks. Well, I just want to talk about the Trinity and all that stuff, and my question is, if God was a Trinity, why hadn't none of the previous servants of God taught this concept, like Moses and David, Joshua, any of them? Well, they were presenting situations, and God worked in those situations in different ways, and we see in the New Testament, when we look back, we can see indications of the Trinity that are extremely clear. We can see in Isaiah 48, if you start reading in verse 12, you see the Lord is talking.
He's taking credit for having made everything that has been made. And you read down further into verse 16 of Isaiah 48, you'll see that he says, Now the Lord God and his Spirit have sent me. That's strange talk. It's curious in that it's hard to make sense of it outside of the concept of the Trinity. We have God the Father, who cannot be seen by any man, nor can we approach him.
That's just the way it is. And yet, the Old Testament talks about people seeing God. Well, who were they seeing in the burning bush? There was an appearance of God, but he appeared as a flame in the burning bush that was not consumed. Later on in the New Testament, we look back, and the New Testament will bring clarity on the meanings of Old Testament passages, and we've got Jesus claiming to be the one that spoke from the burning bush.
He claimed the title. When Moses asked God of the burning bush, who was sending him, he first complained. He said, I can't speak very well, God. He said, you go anyway, take Aaron with you. He says, when they ask me, Well, who is this God that has sent me?
You tell them I am that I am, and this will be a memorial to me for all times I Am has sent you. And then Jesus comes along and claims to be the I Am, which the Jews clearly understood him to claim, because they picked up stones to kill him several times for making claims of deity. So what was it that spoke from the burning bush?
It was an appearance of the pre-incarnate Christ speaking from that bush. Okay, and he's divine. He shares the nature and substance of whatever it is God is. He shares that with the Father and the Holy Spirit. But the Bible also says, for God isn't the author of confusion, and can you think of an ideology more confusing than the Trinity?
No, no, not at all. When you arrive at it systematically, it makes complete sense. There is, on the CARM website, a chart that you can look at, called the Trinity Chart. Call 877-207-2276. Here's Matt Slick. Hi, we're back on the air. I'm sorry if I overlapped into the previous music, music exit, but we were talking to Justin, and he was having questions about the Trinity and how does it work.
Are you still there, Justin? A book, pray about reading it, and then you submit your heart, mind, and the nature of truth to it. And you ask for a voice, a presence to come upon you internally in order to get truth. And this is an invitation, it's one of the procedures of invitations of demonic oppression, to ask a false god, a false spirit, ultimately, to speak to you. This is exactly what occult practices are comprised of.
Exactly. We're never told to pray about the truth of what God says. What God says is true. You don't pray to determine its truth. It is true.
It's a huge difference. Because if you determine to see if it is true, then you're saying, I will experience something to determine what God says is right or wrong. And this is arrogance, and it's foolishness.
This is what Mormonism does, it's really bad. Let's get to Rick from Ohio. Rick, welcome. You're on the air. Thank you, Mary. I just want to say thank you. I listen to you every day. You're terrific.
Oh, thanks. Tell my wife how great I am. Call her by the office and tell her I'm terrific.
And if she says, did he put you up to this? Just go, what? Okay. I have a question. My mom seems to think that we have like a generational curse, and I'm wondering how they can, how can we break that thing?
Well, let's define what it is first. There is a sense in which generational curses are true, because we are affected by the sin of our ancient father, Adam. And so there's a curse effect upon his descendants. That's generic, broad understanding, because the curse that fell to Adam fell upon us, and we all die.
We all get sick, things like that. That's part of the curse. And the curse of Eve, who represented women, is to have pain in childbirth, so there is that. Now, a generational curse is generally understood to mean your specific family has a curse attached to it, and it wouldn't be your neighbor, but you and your family, etc.
And so this is generally how that is the case. Now, is it possible? Well, yeah, it is possible, because they're like, for example, a god actually curses the house of Eli in 1 Samuel 3.
The sins of their house will not be forgiven. That is a... Okay, a little glitch there.
We were, I don't know when it dropped, but I'm sorry for that. But I'll pick back up on the Trinity concept that the caller thought was a confusing issue. It's not confusing. In our everyday existence, we exist in something called time. Past is time, present is time, and the future consists of time.
You take one of those parts of time away, and you don't have time at all. The essence of what time is defined as is all three must exist simultaneously. Well, on a higher level, the Lord exists in nature and substance in the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. We see this in Scripture, where God the Father in particular is called God in Philippians 1-2.
The Son is called God in John 1-1 and John 1-14, especially in the New Testament, Colossians 2-9, where we're told that all the fullness of deity dwells in Jesus in bodily form. And of course, the Holy Spirit in Acts is called God. That was very clear when Ananias and Sapphira lied about keeping back the price of the field, and Peter said, you have not lied to men, when he says, why have you lied to the Holy Spirit and done this?
And they were both struck dead for it, and they told Ananias, you have not lied to men, but to God. So you can't lie to the Holy Spirit if the Holy Spirit is not one of the persons in the Godhead, and so forth. The Father is given credit for being the creator of all in Isaiah 64-8 and 44-24. In John 1-3, you see the Son being given credit for all that has been created in the Holy Spirit.
In Job 33-4 and 26-13, you see him being credited for having been responsible for creation. These don't confuse the idea of the Trinity. These all add to a systematic building up to an understanding of the Trinity.
Now, the word Trinity didn't come along until much later, just like a lot of words that we use in theology today were developed over time. They sound like jaw-breaking words. Really, at first, what is the hypostatic union and the communicado idiomodemon, different things like that. Well, don't let those jaw-breaking words scare you away. These have just been developed as a sort of shorthand or shortcut way to label something that has been developed through a careful study of Scripture and systematically putting them together to come to the conclusion that, yes, Jesus is fully God and fully man.
That's understood by the term, the hypostatic union. If you look it up on CARM, you'll see some very rich and wonderful articles about that theological concept. So don't let the theological terms intimidate you. They're just simply developed as a shorthand way of identifying a topic that's been put together from Scripture and given a name so that you know how to get to it. Now, another indication.
Let me just give you one more. It says that God the Father is all-knowing. He knows everything. 1 John 3.20. I hope you can go there and look and compare that with John 16.30 or John 21.17, where the Son is indicated as having to know everything. And the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 2, verses 10 through 11. God alone knows the hearts and minds of men, we read.
God alone. Okay, God in the general term, but here we have Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all being presented as knowing the thoughts and hearts of men, thus qualifying them as the members of the Godhead. They are equal, equally eternal, equally powerful, equally relating with each other, and we benefit from that in what's called the eternal covenant. They have graciously allowed us, by covenant with one another and in covenant with one another, to benefit from their work on our behalf. If you look at the term, a satiety of God, another job-wracking term, you'll find that this is broken down and it's revealed in Scripture. Some of how the Trinity, the members of the Trinity, relate to each other. They have a functional, or sometimes it's called the economic Trinity.
They function for different reasons in different ways. A book, pray about reading it, and then you submit your heart, mind, and the nature of truth to it, and you ask for a voice, a presence to come upon you internally in order to get truth. This is an invitation, it's one of the procedures of invitations of demonic oppression, to ask a false God, a false spirit, ultimately, to speak to you. This is exactly what occult practices are comprised of. Exactly. We're never told to pray about the truth of what God says.
What God says... Okay. Sorry about that.
I'm looking at my equipment here and it says it's functioning, but somehow there was a malfunction. I'll take the blame for that. I'm not sure exactly where I was, but the Trinity is not a confusing thing at all, once you understand that the members of the Trinity relate to one another and they function for our behalf. Sometimes there's an economic sense of the existence of the Trinity, economic in that one, such as the Father, will send the Son, not the Holy Spirit. The Son will testify of the Father, and he's here to do the work and the will of the Father. The Holy Spirit is not the Father, nor is he the Son, but he is God the Holy Spirit who moves upon people, and sometimes will even chastise them, as he did Ananias for having been lied to. So this is, don't forget, a systematic arrival at the concept of the Trinity, and that word seems to have been best invented to capture, in a thumbnail sense, the idea of the triune nature of God. So, if we can continue here, I'm looking for calls to come in.
I don't see a call just now. Let me tell you that you can take advantage of the thousands, literally thousands of articles and topics you can find on the CARM website. If you go to CARM, C-A-R-M dot org, and you'll see on the menu bar on the left, different sections, different things. You click on those things, and inside those topics you'll find sub-topics having to do with the main topic, and you can scroll through there and literally get lost in the information.
You open your Bible and get in there and you'll find something that you wondered about, or thought about, or heard about, and you want to look into deeper in the Word of God about it, and these will give you a roadmap and the attendant verses that you may or may not connect the dots on some of these issues. And it's always a good resource. I go to it frequently. You can also access information on our cut and paste section. It's free to use, and it's a great place to get notes in a quick fashion that you want to pass on information to others. Another program powered by the Truth Network.
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