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Standing Against the Tide of Lawlessness
Remembrance Day brings to mind the lives that were sacrificed in epic battles. Soldiers who embraced their duty engaged in the struggle between good and evil. As Christians the battle we fight is no less intense. As soldiers in God’s army do we stand for what is good, and recognize the consequences of evil. This week the horror of the Sutherland Springs shooting brought to mind the scripture that speaks of our violent age. “Because lawlessness will abound the love of many will turn cold.” This lawlessness, anomia, will have consequences. When evil is allowed to flourish it is only those who stand for what is good who will endure. It is the Lord’s loving loyalty that will make them stand. More
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Jealousy Has Its Consequences Internationally
The 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, and the family feud over the land of Israel still continues. This document of the League of Nations gave the British a mandate to govern Palestine. It also gave the Jews a right to return to their ancient homeland, thus fulfilling many prophecies. And yet from this moment their Arab “cousins” jealousy has bought terrible conflict, hardship, and heartache. Yet God will still use the jealousy of those who hate Israel to accomplish his purpose. More
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Luther Begins a Reformation and Develops His Salvation Equation
Five Hundred Years Ago
In 1517 Martin Luther posted his 95 theses in Wittenberg, decrying some of the abuses within the Catholic church. But it took a few years for him to get to the point of calling the Pope, the “Anti-Christ,” and throwing away the need for the Catholic sacraments. During this time Luther was developing his idea about “justification through faith alone.” He said he based his new understanding on scripture alone, “sola scriptura.” But did he? Luther had concluded that because we were freely justified (made right with God) through grace, that all we needed was faith. This fit neatly with his background as an Augustinian friar, as it built on Augustine’s idea of predestination. So Luther’s salvation equation was Faith + 0 = Salvation. No “works” were needed. But was Luther right? More
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500th Anniversary of Luther’s Reformation
This year marks the 500th anniversary of the beginning of Martin Luther’s debate with the Catholic Church. His objective was initially to make reforms within that Church. But over several years of accusation and counter-accusation, Luther refined his theology, ultimately, rejecting Papal authority. Facing a death penalty at the “Diet of Worms” trial in 1521, Luther remained staunchly committed to his own understanding of “sola scriptura.” Luther’s reformation began to sow the seeds that produced the Protestant Reformation. But there have been other reformers in the history of the people of God. More
As the “latter days” prophesied in scripture draw ever closer, we need to consider the relevance of the Feast of Tabernacles. On this first day of the festival we look forward to a new age ushered in by the coming of the Messiah. But what is the nature of our Messiah? Many religions teach the concept of a Messiah, a deliverer. But few understand the nature of the Messiah who is revealed in the Judeo-Christian scriptures.
When we study the future, as pictured by the Feast of Tabernacles, we come to understand more about God’s ways. The prophets, Isaiah and Micah, both were inspired to write about the coming of the Messianic age. Their messages were very similar, and they both focused on the importance of the law in establishing the millennial reign of the Messiah. So what are those ways of God that he will be teaching all nations?
In celebrating the Feast we often focus on Christ’s return and the establishment of his millennial rule. And rightly so. But is this our ultimate vision for the future, or is there something greater? Are we looking forward to Christ’s return or to the Father’s coming, or both? And how are these events connected? What must happen before the Father comes and the new heaven and earth are established?
Good parents teach the value of being “thankful” and expressing gratitude. As toddlers we are taught to say, “Please” and “Thank you.” But the biblical concept of thankfulness encompasses much more than initially seems apparent. We should be grateful for the wealth of physical things that we enjoy. Clean air, fresh water, good food… And while scripture admonishes us to be thankful for these things, there is more to the picture.
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Thankfulness — More than Minding Our Manners
The Blessings of Abundance
Good parents teach the value of being “thankful” and expressing gratitude. As toddlers we are taught to say, “Please” and “Thank you.” But the biblical concept of thankfulness encompasses much more than initially seems apparent.
The dictionary expands upon the topic, “a proper, fitting or called for response to a benefactor for something received.” And, in the developed nations we have an abundance of material benefits to appreciate. And we should be grateful for the wealth of physical things that we enjoy. Clean air, fresh water, good food are just the beginning of the good things available to us. And while scripture admonishes us to be thankful for these things, there is more to the picture. More
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Nature of God the Father
What is the Ultimate Vision?
In celebrating the Feast we often focus on Christ’s return and the establishment of his millennial rule. And rightly so. But is this our ultimate vision for the future, or is there something greater? Are we looking forward to Christ’s return or to the Father’s coming, or both? And how are these events connected?
What must happen before the Father comes and the new heaven and earth are established? Why is it important for us to understand the difference between Christ’s coming and the Father’s coming? How does it impact how we must live now, as we prepare for the future? These questions are all bound up in our understanding of God’s nature, his power, and how he works with people. More