They were disciples, apostles, and brothers. Along with Simon, whom Jesus called “Peter” (meaning “a stone”), they were part of Jesus’ inner circle. Like Simon, they had been given a sobriquet. The Lord called them “Boanerges.” They were the “Sons of Thunder” (Mark 3:17).
Perhaps they were powerful preachers. Perhaps they had powerful personalities. We simply don’t know the full reason for the moniker.
James was the first apostle to die (Acts 12:2), John was the last. While Jesus walked the earth, no one was closer to him than the “Stone” and the “Sons of Thunder.” Continue reading “Fire from heaven”
I recently heard a travel writer encourage people who were considering traveling abroad to just go through the door. Doors are opportunities or obstacles. Often our perspective determines reality. If we view doors as obstacles, that is what they are. To this travel writer, one needed to see the doors as opportunities for adventure, growth, and perspective.
Scripture speaks often of doors, both literal and figurative. Continue reading “Through the door”
If you watch the news, you’ll know that negative news leads. In fact, the negative news might be all you see. This is not a political statement, as this has been the case regardless of who is in power. Certainly, there is enough negative news to go around today, but the reason that negative news dominates is because it gets ratings. The people want to hear the bad stuff.
It is an interesting contrast then that on Sundays, many of these same folks demand only good news. Many do not want to hear of sin, punishment, or the wrath of God. They do not want to hear about the need for repentance or the command to live holy lives. Continue reading “Just the good news”
We were awakened by the blaring of the tornado siren. We grabbed clothes, kids, and our emergency box and made our way to the shelter. The storm passed while we were underground. We were relieved.
After emerging from the shelter and getting our children situated in bed, another emotion emerged which might be described as discomfiture. I had never been so caught off guard with a severe storm as I was that Tuesday night.
I am a low-level weather enthusiast. With proper training I probably would have chased tornadoes. While I enjoy the weather, I pay attention to it so my family doesn’t have to worry. But that night I let my guard and my family down. Continue reading “Ready or not”
The Old Testament is a rich mine of truths about God and his ways. The prophets reveal the divine heart and intentions. Get a taste of truths about God from this little slice of Ezekiel 33.
No. 1. God is a revealer. “The word of the Lord came to me” (Ezekiel 33:1, ESV). He tells man what he is doing and what he expects. God does nothing without letting us know his intentions and actions (Amos 3:7; Ephesians 3:5). Things he reveals are for us all, that we might obey his commands and thereby find joy and peace (Deuteronomy 29:29). God’s revelation to us, now contained in the Bible, is for our salvation. “The Lord has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations” (Psalm 98:2). Continue reading “7 truths about God in Ezekiel 33”
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”