Jesus, his apostles, as well as the early church proclaimed a message revolving around the good news of the kingdom. After Jesus’ death and ascension, preaching shifted to Christ and the kingdom.
This kingdom proclamation contained a message for the present. Through Christ, God’s power was overcoming all the binding weapons of evil to usher in a new manifestation of God’s rule. Christ brought release. People were to live with kingdom values and behaviors. Upon Jesus’ resurrection, he was exalted as Lord.
However, their proclamation also included a message regarding the future. At the end of time, some would inherit the kingdom while others would not.
How does today’s preaching compare with their message? Continue reading “Kingdom future”
“After these things I heard what sounded like the loud voice of a vast throng in heaven, saying, ‘Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, because his judgments are true and just. For he has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her sexual immorality, and has avenged the blood of his servants poured out by her own hands!’” (Revelation 19:1-2 NET).
As we mentioned in our previous article, John’s Revelation is not the easiest to understand. There are many explanations and interpretations, but there are also eternal truths in the word-pictures that John used to paint a picture for us. Continue reading “God’s judgments are true and just”
There was a recent article in a widely-read publication entitled, “Judgment Day Excuses that Won’t Work.” The article was right, but the title was off the mark.
Many people think Judgment Day will seem like a courtroom drama such as “Perry Mason.” They think God will sit on the judgment bench ruling on the trials of billions of people. Jesus never taught that scenario. Continue reading “True judgment scene”
Is all life on earth the result of an accident that caused an accident?
Instead of an accident, consider the design of the eye. Scientists believe they understand how vision works by comparing the eye to a camera and how it focuses an image on the retina. But, what happens after the image arrives on the retina? Science doesn’t know how that “message” is transported to the brain and how that message is recreated there. Continue reading “Obey the giver of life”
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith, just as it is written, ‘The righteous by faith will live’” (Romans 1:16-17 NET).
God’s power for salvation is found in the gospel (literally “good news”) of Jesus and it is for everyone who will believe. That is, indeed, good news! God’s righteousness has been made known in this good news as people obey and are cleansed, made righteous, by being united with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (see Romans 6 for a detailed discussion of this). Continue reading “God gave them up”
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
There was a film star who supposedly declared, on being told of her imminent death: “I always thought an exception would be made in my case.” Of course there are no exceptions; to be human is to be mortal.
Samuel Johnston once declared that the prospect of one’s own imminent death “wonderfully concentrates the mind.” Continue reading “And after that …”
For if we would judge ourselves we would not be judged” (1 Corinthians 11:31 NKJV).
Is there any traveler who does not get impatient with airport security lines and procedures? Those add extra hours to every trip as well as additional stress and fatigue. I always tell myself (and mean it) that I don’t care what I have to go through as long as it is making me and others safer, but I still get tired and sometimes a little impatient. After all, those lines can be very long and there are often multiple procedures to endure. It adds up quickly.
In a perfect world, such travails would be unnecessary. There would be no terrorists to commit atrocities upon the innocent. Every traveler would be innocent of evil intent and willing to comply with standards of safe and honest conduct. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
Of course we know that the world we live in is just not like that. Sin and evil exist. Bad things happen. And we must take precautions and endure some limits to our comfort and freedom because of them. We don’t like it, but it simply is what it is. Continue reading “Self-discipline”
Following a romantic break up, you might listen to what the young woman says to her friends … and what the young man says. You would be forgiven for wondering if they were talking about the same incident! When listening to varying political commentators in this presidential election season, you might be forgiven for wondering if they were talking about the same debate.
The fact is that truth is a very rare commodity indeed. Why is it so hard to know the truth? Continue reading “Can we know truth?”
Job’s question, “If a man dies, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14, NKJV) still resonates today. People throughout history have been convinced that the afterlife exists. It’s only a matter of what form it would take.
God says that when we die, we’ll enter the afterlife (Matthew 25:46) either to paradise or torment in the Hadean realm (Luke 16:19-31; 23:43). This will be followed by judgment day based on how we have chosen to live (Revelation 20:11-15). Continue reading “Is there life before and after death?”
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left” (Matthew 25:31-33 NKJV).
It is quite common when driving in the mountains of Nepal to round a curve and find the road filled with a flock of sheep or goats, or to a mixed group of both. Though usually the difference is apparent, sometimes it requires a second look or more to decide exactly what kind of animals one is seeing. Continue reading “Sheep or goat?”