Episode 052 | The Moment Misser

February 7th, 2017

Pastor Matt, Justin and Stephanie tackle lots of off-topic follow-up questions from listeners. Listen in on an honest conversation about sexual boundaries in dating, how to be better at reading your Bible and what Sandals Church has to say about the pro-life/pro-choice debate.

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Summary

Pastor Matt runs through a variety of questions sent in by listeners looking to clarify some of the odd details of the Christian faith including when and how people receive the Holy Spirit and who exactly is authorized to baptize people.

And if you’ve ever wondered where all of the various religious affiliation checkboxes came from, Pastor Matt shares some of the history behind Christian denominations and the key differences between them - as well as where Sandals Church falls on the spectrum.

This episode wraps up with a very honest discussion about abortion, women’s rights and why you most likely won’t ever hear Pastor Matt speak from stage about whether or not Christians are called to be pro-life.

This Week's Topics

Sexual Boundaries While Dating

2 Samuel 13 : The story of Amnon and his half-sister Tamar illustrates the danger of being enslaved by your sexual desires. While some people may say there’s no line, this story clearly shows there is. The big idea? We draw sexual lines by our desires, God draws sexual lines with love.

Is the Holy Spirit already in all human beings and is he “unlocked” when we become born again?

Galatians 4:6 reveals the unique, intimate relationship God shares with believers. It is only those who place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ that are adopted as his children and receive the Holy Spirit. The presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer sets him or her apart from the rest of humanity. God loves the world, but he has a unique love for his children. In Acts 2:38, the Apostle Peter makes it known that to become adopted into God’s family and receive the Holy Spirit, one must repent of their sins and believe in Jesus Christ as Lord. At Sandals Church, we believe the Bible indicates that the Holy Spirit takes up residence in one’s life from the moment of conversion.

  • The Economy of God is a term that details the members of the Trinity and their distinct roles. The Father is the source of all things. He is the one who sends the Son, Jesus Christ, God in human form. Jesus sends the Holy Spirit, who enables intimacy with God for believers.
  • 2 Corinthians 13:14 provides an outline for how we relate to the Trinity. Our relationship starts with the grace of Jesus Christ through his death and resurrection, through the love of the Father, enabling fellowship by the presence of the Holy Spirit. This fellowship is not just for us as individuals. It should also define our relationships with other believers.

Are our our souls actually the Holy Spirit Living in us, and when we die, it leaves to be with God?

We each have our own soul/spirit given to us by God that inhabits our bodies. We then receive the Holy Spirit at the moment of conversion. In 2 Corinthians 5:1 and following, Paul reveals that even though our earthly bodies will die, we will receive new and perfect bodies that our souls will inhabit for the rest of eternity. Our soul was meant to live forever, and will do so either with God or apart from him, see Revelation 20:14-15. Although many different beliefs and theories about the afterlife exist, the Bible is clear about what is to come.

Which denomination does Sandals Church belong to?

Sandals Church is a Christian, protestant (not Catholic), evangelical church. We believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, that salvation is found only in him, and it is our desire to share that good news with the world. We are part of the Baptist denomination, but if you attend Sandals Church, we want you to identify first and foremost as a Christian. In John 17:21, Jesus prayed that all believers would be one just as he and the Father are one, and that is our desire as well.

What Does the Bible Say About Who Can Baptize?

Baptism is such a special event for the believer. Various denominations have different ideas about who can perform baptism. Here at Sandals Church, ministers and individuals who have been given the proper training are allowed to baptize. We also allow and encourage people who have had a significant impact in one’s decision to follow Christ to baptize. No matter who does the baptizing, what’s most important is that it takes place in front of your spiritual family at the church you identify with. If you attend Sandals Church and would like to be baptized, you should be baptized here. You can get more information and sign up at sandalschurch.com/baptism

Jess struggles with laziness and procrastination, wanting to do something about it, but is unable to make changes that last for longer than a few days. What’s her next step?

The virtue of faithfulness counters the vice of laziness. For those with this struggle, this means you need to establish habits of physically doing things you normally wouldn't do. It takes 5-6 weeks to establish a new habit, and if you’re someone who struggles with laziness, this can be a real challenge. Also keep in mind, whenever you add something to your life, something has to go.

Why doesn’t Sandals talk more about being pro-life and educate others on the topic of abortion?

Abortion is a sensitive issue for Pastor Matt. His mom revealed to him later in life that she considered having an abortion when she was pregnant with him. It was a difficult revelation to process. Abortion is also a culturally sensitive issue because we make it about individual rights rather than what is the right thing to do. Don’t fall into the trap that God wants you to make a stand. God wants you to make a difference. At Sandals Church, we want people to feel welcome and hear about Jesus. After all, the gospel is offensive enough. If we hit people at the door with where we stand on social issues, it turns them away from the gospel. Real conversations can take place in light of the Gospel in the context of relationship.

To be clear: Abortion is wrong. It ends a life and has been shown time and again that women who have had abortions have emotional scars that can affect them for the rest of their lives. However, our God is a god of grace. If you’ve had an abortion, you need to know that God loves you and God can forgive you. There is grace for you because of Jesus’ work on the cross. If you are pregnant and are considering an abortion, adoption, or you wish to get involved with supporting pregnant women , Sandals Church works closely with Riverside Life Services, an organization dedicated to helping women in unintended pregnancies. Contact them online at riversidelifeservices.org or by phone at (951) 784-2422.

Relevant Resources

Learn more about Riverside Life Services

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