SYNOPSIS – To follow Jesus “wherever he goes” means a life of self-denial and sacrificial service for others – Matthew 20:20-28.
When he dispatched his disciples to announce the “good news” of the Kingdom to the “lost sheep of Israel,” Jesus warned they would find themselves as “sheep among wolves.” Hostile men would haul them before “councils and whip them in their synagogues.” Even “brother would deliver up brother to death,” for his disciples would be “hated by all men for his sake; however, only he that endured to the end” would be saved. After all, a disciple is “not above his master, nor a servant above his lord”:
Continue reading TO FOLLOW JESUS
SYNOPSIS – God’s Power and Wisdom are revealed in Christ Crucified, not in mighty signs and wonders, or in political power – 1 Corinthians 1:18-24.
lie being propagated by many deceivers within the church is that God is about to pour out mountains of miracles on His saints, causing a stupendous revival that will produce a “Great Harvest” of billions of souls. Apparently, it is the display of vast supernatural powers that will win hearts and awe souls into submission to the Kingdom.
Continue reading Power and Wisdom of God
SYNOPSIS – The Cross of Christ is incompatible with any program or ideology that calls for revolution, regime change or violence.
Writing to the house churches of Rome in the epicenter of the Empire, the Apostle Paul laid down clear principles for Christian conduct towards the State. This was written between A.D. 56 to A.D. 58 when Nero was the absolute ruler of the Roman world (Nero Claudius Caesar Germanicus). In later years, he became the first emperor to target Christians for persecution.
Continue reading Disciples and Governing Powers
SYNOPSIS: Like the church at Smyrna, Philadelphia receives no correction. She is faithful and, therefore, will be kept from the hour of trial – Revelation 3:7-13.
The city of Philadelphia lay fifty kilometers southeast of Sardis, between it and the town of Laodicea. It straddled a major road into the interior, so trade with the other towns of Asia was vital to its economic life. Philadelphia was established as a city in 189 B.C. by Eumenés II, the king of Pergamos. He named it in honor of his brother and eventual successor, Attalus II. The city came under Roman rule when the last king, Attalus III, bequeathed Pergamos to Rome at his death (133 B.C.). Thus, Philadelphia became part of the Roman province of Asia. Continue reading Church at Philadelphia
SYNOPSIS: The church at Smyrna is promised more tribulation based on its past faithfulness in persecution – Revelation 2:8-11.
The city of Smyrna was a seaport fifty-five kilometers northwest of Ephesus that marked the start of a major road into the interior of Asia Minor. As a leading commercial center, the city prospered from its location and the importation of goods by sea. The Roman imperial cult was well-established and widespread in the city. Continue reading Church at Smyrna
SYNOPSIS – Revelation in its entirety is a message and exhortation for, to, and about the Church, the people of God – Revelation 4:1-3.
In the fourth chapter of the book of Revelation a voice summoned John to “come up here” and, thereafter, he found himself “in the spirit” and before a “throne set in heaven.” Some interpretations believe that John’s transference to “heaven” symbolizes the physical removal of the church from the earth at some future point.
Continue reading IS THE CHURCH ABSENT IN REVELATION?