Notice that I didn’t say how they get there! I mean why they have traveled there and then returned to tell us all about it. For the past few decades, people have dived into writing up their experiences of heaven – and a few times, of hell – published bestselling books and hit movies.
In the early 1580s, after twenty-five years on the throne, Elizabeth still dominated the Church of England. She was not its Supreme Governor in name only! Insisting on uniformity at every turn, she detested the Puritans, while hating the Anabaptists along with the new-fangled Separatists who were now beginning to form churches. The authorities had clamped down upon the Puritans, largely beating them into a grudging and sullen submission by this time, although the measures against them remained in force.
Let go of your hold on the world and lay hold of eternal life, and you will be made happy forever. God will be a Father to you and withhold no good thing from you. How long will you linger in Sodom? He provides all we need. We were poor, but He provided a salvation we buy without money and without price. We were naked and He clothed us with white clothing. We were blind but He anointed our eyes with eye-salve that we might see.
Do you see now why there are four gospels? It isn’t redundant. This Jesus is so glorious in all of His ways that one gospel simply won’t do the trick. Are you willing to part ways with any one of these gospels? I hope not.
Before the holidays we considered “peace on earth” and we saw that sin is always the fly in the ointment of man’s quest for world peace. Yet, as Christians, we are to be God’s instruments of peace, and the core of our endeavors must be the loving witness of the gospel coupled with acts of love.
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We must beware of a simplistic understanding of worldliness. In the parable presented here, the nightclub and the gym are both pictures of ways the church can shift from the focus. One way is to move toward pleasure seeking. The other direction is toward prideful striving. Call it the younger brother option and the older brother option if you like. Either way, the focus is always on me.
We have come into dangerous territory in Colossians. It is dangerous because I think that this section of Paul’s letter to the Colossian believers can be all too easily divorced from the foundation that Paul laid in the first part of the letter. There is a temptation to go to the commands of Scripture and compile a list of instructions as if the really essential thing for our lives was the perfect list of do’s and don’ts.
What will it be? Will you lose everything in an empty attempt to satisfy your cravings? Or will you let your cravings go to gain Jesus Christ and glory? There is no vacation, no sexual experience, no buzz from alcohol or drugs, or no pile of expensive, beautiful stuff that can equal or even come close to the glory of God in the Lord Jesus Christ.
A brief video with David Gay. Topic: “How anybody can read Hebrews and come away with the impression that the law and the gospel are the same covenant, or that believers are under the law as their perfect rule, utterly baffles me. There can be only one conclusion from a fair reading of Hebrews.”
What does born of water and the Spirit mean? Verse 10, tells us that one who knows the Old Testament Scriptures should know the answer. “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Are you a teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?” (John 3:10) So, the answer is not found in medical books that teach about amniotic fluid, but in the Old Testament Scriptures. Nicodemus should have understood on the basis of Scripture, for he was an “expert” in the Scripture.