Category Archives: Church

CITY ON A HILL

Contrary to the claims of political operatives, Jesus is the light of the world, and his disciples are summoned to reflect him.

From time immemorial, political leaders and their cheerleaders have invoked “god” to validate their agendas and governments, and the most popular religion is employed to do so. Just as today’s officeholders pay lip service to “Judeo-Christian values,” so the emperors of Rome appealed to their traditional gods for divine approval.

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WHAT SATAN FEARS

What threatens the Devil’s plans is a church conformed to the Cross of Christ that trembles at God’s word.

Satan offers a smorgasbord of deceptions, and he cares not which one we choose. Only, do not venture in the “wrong” direction. And regardless of which lie, we prefer, common to them all is the goal of steering us away from reliance on the Word of God and living a life conformed to the cross of Christ.

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SPIRIT AND MISSION

Jesus now dispenses the gift of the Spirit to his people, and it empowers them to carry out gospel proclamation to all nations.

In the second Psalm, the Messiah is the Son of God and the ideal king anointed by Yahweh to reign over the nations, the one to whom the “kings of the earth” will pay homage. And in the gospel accounts, he is anointed by the Spirit at his baptism to equip him to proclaim the “kingdom of God” to all of Israel.

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CALL FOR PERSEVERANCE

Through a series of seven “beatitudes,” Revelation summons believers to faithfulness despite hostility and persecution.

The book of Revelation is not a divination tool for deciphering future mysteries. Instead, it summons God’s people to vigilance, right living, and perseverance in testimony during trials and persecution. Its concern is not when certain events will occur, but how the churches must “overcome” and thus arrive at the city of “New Jerusalem.”

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APPOINTED TO TRIBULATION

Disciples of Jesus will escape God’s “wrath” but are appointed for “tribulation” in this life for the gospel‘s sake.

The terms “tribulation” and “wrath” are NOT synonymous in the New Testament. The former is what disciples endure for the gospel, but the latter is the horrific fate that awaits those men and women who reject the good news of the kingdom. Rather than life, they along with apostates will undergo the “second death.”

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HASTENING THAT DAY

In the interim between Christ’s ascension and return, God has granted humanity the opportunity to repent.

In his second epistle, Peter explains the apparent “delay” in the return of Jesus from heaven. God is characterized by mercy and has no desire for anyone to perish. But the apostle even contends that the conduct of the church may “hasten” that day’s arrival. The relationship of men with God is dynamic, not static, and He responds eagerly to repentance.

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