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.”
Continue reading APPOINTED TO TRIBULATION
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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Jesus declared that the “end” will not come until this gospel of the kingdom is proclaimed to all nations.
When the future return of Jesus is discussed, the question naturally arises – What “signs” will precede it? Will its proximity be marked by wars, earthquakes, and other catastrophes? Fortunately, Jesus provided a definitive answer to this question – The completion of the church’s mission to testify to the whole earth.
Continue reading WITNESS TO ALL NATIONS
God’s previously hidden mysteries are now revealed in Jesus, and especially so in his death and resurrection.
The Bible speaks of the “mysteries” of God, His ways that are hidden from human wisdom and defy our expectations. In his teachings, Jesus declared that not everyone can understand the “mysteries of the kingdom.” It is God who reveals the deep and obscure things to whomever He pleases. And in His Son, He has done so for all who have “eyes that can see.”
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Jesus is the true “seed” of Abraham, the heir of the covenant promises, and receipt of the inheritance is based on faith in Him.
The introduction to the gospel of Matthew declares that Jesus is the “son of David, the son of Abraham.” This is more than a simple genealogical notation – it sets the stage for the theme of fulfillment threaded throughout Matthew. Jesus is the Davidic Messiah and King of Israel, and the true Son and promised “seed” of the Patriarch. In him, the covenant promises come to fruition.
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Christians wage spiritual “warfare” through right conduct and by emulating the example of Jesus.
Today, “spiritual warfare” is a popular topic and features prominently in popular preaching. The basic idea is derived from a passage Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus – “Our wrestling is not against flesh and blood but against the principalities and powers… against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Continue reading SPIRITUAL WARFARE