So far, in this series, we have looked at the Kingdom of God from many different angles. In this edition, I want to take a look at a steam of Parables in Matthew 13 that speaks directly to the nature of the Kingdom of God
My kids are grown now. Both have moved out of the house and are living lives that are independent of their parents. I am exceedingly proud of my kids and what they have accomplished in their lives. But in that pride is a bit of sorrow. I miss picking up my daughter and her beeping my nose, saying, with a laugh, “Boopies, I got you first!” I miss having deep conversations with my then four-year-old son. “Daddy, what ‘cuz the world to go in circles around the sun?” Yes, they had their times of disobedience, and they needed to be corrected from time to time. However, those memories have faded into the past. Mostly what remains are memories of happy, joyous times with my children.
The question remains, what is the role of the Torah given the resurrection and ascension?
Until recently, I had never read any of Henri Nouwen’s work. I have a feeling that my choice of starting with The Return of the Prodigal Son was an excellent place to start. Nouwen’s reflections on not just the parable Jesus told in Luke 15, but also reflections on the famous painting by Rembrandt. Tying in these two elements, I was deeply challenged by Nouwen to reflect on the three main characters in the story: the younger son, the elder son, and the father.
For this series on the Kingdom of God, we have seen how the Kingdom of God is something that is both now and future, that we live in the Kingdom by following Jesus’ words in the Beatitudes, that the gospel is not just when we die we go to Heaven but is centered on the work of Jesus, and that we can approach the throne of the King in prayer. This installment, I want to focus on the fact that there is only one King
In John 20, Jesus does something entirely unexpected. The resurrection itself was quite surprising, but now, in the upper room, Jesus breaths on the disciples and states, “Receive the Holy Spirit. John 20:22 (CSB). This essay will review the background understanding of the Holy Spirit for the Jewish disciples, exegesis of John 20:21-23 with observations and interpretations, and conclude with an application.
If the Mormon claim is correct and the church was apostate after the death of the disciples, then there are many ramifications of that fact.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS or Mormon interchangeably) holds many doctrines and beliefs that are contrary to orthodox Christian faith. The nature of God, who Jesus was, and the authority of Scripture, are among a legion of theological positions that separate Mormons from traditional Christian thought. Among these many differences is the Mormon claim that the church ceased to exist as an orthodox body after the death of the apostles.
We are amid some extraordinary days. We rolled into 2020 with high hopes and dreams. For me, I was looking forward to Memorial Day Holiday and NASCAR in Charlotte. I was also looking forward to seeing one of my favorite bands, the Doobie Brothers, on their 50th-anniversary tour. I love gathering with my CMA chapter and with the bodies of two different churches. But now, many of those things are gone, and others have been drastically altered.
One of the main goals of any world view is addressing the question of suffering and evil. Alvin Plantinga takes an approach that stresses the free will of the individual as an explanation.
In my last blog post, I went through Ephesians 1:1-14 and the concept of freely choosing to join the predetermined group. In a discussion of free will, my Calvinist brothers and sisters may bring up this verse, also from Ephesians.
When the British, Canadian, and American soldiers invaded Normandy on D-day, they knew what army they belonged to. Although some, if not most, had been conscripted for duty, it is undeniable that most of the soldiers involved in that day were there of their own volition. They wanted to be there.
Whether the commands are good unto themselves or good because of theistic declaration seems to be a “chicken and egg” argument, but it is not. Copan addresses the question by first stating that “objective moral values are an inescapable, properly basic bedrock.”
Pilate ends the discussion with the famous question from John 18:38 – “Veritas, quid verum?” Pilate then, literally, walked away from the Truth.
Now that we have established these facts about the Kingdom, we need to talk about something important. That is approaching the King (God) in the Kingdom of God. For this, we need to start in Genesis 1 and 2. For a lot of my writing, I tend to go back to Genesis 1 and 2 to establish a baseline. This is humanity’s intended purpose and place in God’s Kingdom. It is who we are meant to be.
Video of the sermon I posted a few weeks ago on Colossians 3:1-17
Let me ask you a question. What do you understand the gospel to be? Some might answer like this: "Accept Jesus as your Savior, and when you die, you will go to Heaven." Or "Put your faith in Jesus, and your sins will be forgiven." Or "Follow Jesus, and you will find meaning and purpose for your life." All of these answers are right – but they are only partially correct. These statements are parts of the gospel, but they are not the entirety of the gospel.
In the first installment, I discussed what the Kingdom of God (KoG) is. The KoG is something we look forward to in full in the future. It is also something we live in now in the present. We wait for the fulfillment, but we live in the present Kingdom through the power of the Holy Spirit. The question then becomes, how do we live in the KoG.
Here is a video devotional I made for our CMA chapter during the COVID-19 pandemic. My prayer is that these words can give you comfort during this stressful time.
Are you living in the Third Day - the Resurrection Day, or are you living in Saturday - a day of hopelessness?
Here is the fourth and final in a series of devotional videos I am providing to my church during Holy Week.
Here is the third in a series of devotional videos I am providing to my church during Holy Week.
Here is the second in a series of devotional videos I am providing to my church during Holy Week.
Here is the first in a series of devotional videos I am providing to my church during Holy Week.
The passage we are going to look at today is Colossians 3:1-7. Before we get into the passage, I want to start with an illustration. One of my favorite stories is Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. My favorite character in that tale is Sam Gamgee.