Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Video Teaching on Revelation Delayed

For anyone looking for my video posts on the Book of Revelation, they have been delayed. Due to some technical difficulties and other priorities, I need to start over and postpone them. I pray that the new introduction and lessons will be a significant improvement.

Monday, April 6, 2020

This video is the first lesson of thirteen that accompanies the Bible study from Reflections on Revelation Part I - Jesus and the Churches. In this video we explore the questions in the study guide covering Revelation 1:1-3.

This is an important beginning lesson as it addresses the source of the Book of Revelation and why some people may have been suspicious about its authority.
It is important to understand that Jesus' return may be just as soon now as it could have been nearly 2,000 years ago.
We'll cover what is still needed to be fulfilled in prophecy before Jesus does come back.

The study guide is available on amazon.com in paperback or kindle. The tab for Revelation Bible Study

Monday, March 30, 2020

Introduction to Reflections on Revelation - Video Series

In the past, I've posted the text of my study guides on the Book of Revelation. Starting today, I'm posting a video companion to the books. I hope to post one video a week until the complete series is posted. As you may know, Reflections on Revelation is a three part series with 13 lessons in each part.

This is an introduction to the Bible study series on the Book of Revelation, "Reflections on Revelation." It is should be used along with the paperback or kindle study guide by the same name. The objective of this study series is to bring you closer to Jesus and give you hope for the future.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Pondering faith and theology related to politics.


After reading this post, I would like you to respond by answering the questions at the end regarding your theology and how it affects your faith regarding politics. 

By way of introduction, I should mention that we all have faith and theology. Even if you do not believe in God, you cannot escape the fact that you have a theology. Your theology is that you don’t believe in God and that belief affects your decisions. You also have faith and that faith is believing you are correct about your theology.

I have a request, please read this entire post before throwing stones. If you do choose to throw stones, please make them thoughtful as I will delete anything with vulgar expletives or simple name-calling.
The questions I have relate to the president we elect for the next four years and how you will perceive him or her based on your theology.

For example, I’ve seen many posts stating that they believe Trump is God’s chosen man. (Note that this not saying Trump is a man of God i.e. godly, though this is what some people claim.) The theology of this is based on the Bible which says, “He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings” (Dan 2:21). This was spoken about Nebuchadnezzar, a pagan king who conquered Judah. It also says, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Rom 13:1). This was written when Nero was in power. The basic idea is that God so affects the affairs of people to ensure that the people he wants to rule every nation at any particular time in history have been so chosen by him. Yes, I know that this means this also includes other ruthless evil men like Hitler have been chosen by God or as some would soften it, God has allowed them to rule for a time.

I’ve stated this to challenge you thinking about what you believe to be true about your faith. If you believe in the Bible then it seems to me that you should believe that Trump is president because it is what God wants at this time in history. If you don’t believe in the Bible or that there is a God, then it seems to me that you believe that Trump is in position by chance. It was by chance that enough people in the right places voted for Trump. Even if you don’t think it was chance, the fact that Trump is president can’t be disputed.

Let me turn your attention to the next elections. Suppose Bernie or Biden win the election. What will your faith tell you? Will those who believe in the Bible say that he is God’s chosen man? Will those who have no faith in the Bible say that it was chance? Or will you say that people just got smarter? That still sounds like chance to me.

The questions for response:
1.      For Bible believers:
a.       If a Democrat is elected, will you say that person is chosen by God and will you respect (not necessarily like) that person as much as you respect Trump?
b.       If Trump is reelected, what will be your response?
2.       If you do not believe the Bible:
a.       If Trump is reelected what will be your response, how will you explain it?
b.       If a Democrat is elected, what will be your response, how will you explain it?

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Questions from a skeptic: Part VI - Where is God’s direct intervention?


The better question is to ask is, “Where does God not intervene directly?” According to the Bible, Jesus is intervening every single moment. If he were not holding the universe together (Col 1:17, Heb 1:3) then the universe would disappear. However, that is probably not what you mean. You may be looking for God to intervene in preventing diseases, war, and calamities. Unfortunately, there is no way to really see if he is intervening or not unless he tells us that is what he is doing. Throughout the Bible, he tells when he has intervened. Examples are when he protected Jerusalem from Assyria by killing 180.000 enemies of Judah (2 Chron 32:21). He rescued Peter from prison (Acts 12:7-11). 

We also see God intervening at times when he answers prayer. These are most often seen in miraculous healings. Personally, I’ve seen our babysitter healed from a brain tumor. I saw a man healed of a hip disorder at a church service when he stopped using his cane. I watched this guy for months to see if the problem reoccurred and it didn’t. God doesn’t answer every prayer for miraculous healing for his own reasons and he knows what is best in the long run. 

You must also understand that God either brings or allows diseases, wars, and calamites. He states this clearly in Isa 45:7 “I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things.” Because God is good and holy, he does these things for various reasons that we can’t always understand because we are not omniscient. He has told us that his goal is to work all things for the good of those who love him so that we will become like Jesus (Rom 8:28-29). Some of the trials we face in life are there so that we will develop the character God want us to have and become more Christlike (Rom 5:3-5, James 1:2-4, 1 Peter 1:6-7, 13-14). When we view things from his viewpoint this begins to make sense.

However, his biggest intervention is when he came to the earth in person of Jesus Christ and then died on the cross to take away our sins. He continued to intervene by raising Jesus from the dead proving that Jesus was indeed our Savior. He continues to intervene by saving people out of their sinful condition when they trust him. 

Postscript
I hope that these answers make sense. Many people have struggled with these questions over thousands of years. Many theologians have tried to answer them for just as long. I pray that these answers will be thought provoking and spur on even more questions or debate over these. I would welcome the opportunity to respond to them as well. 

So far, my skeptic has declined to ask more questions. He didn’t like the answers I provided. I hope that some of these may be beneficial to my readers.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Questions from a skeptic: Part V - Satan is only supposed to have control for 7 years. How does he have complete control now?


Satan does not have complete control now. The Bible is clear that only God is sovereign. Satan has certain abilities and his control is limited by God. Read the first two chapters of the book of Job and it is clear that Satan could only do what God permitted. Currently, Satan has certain powers. He is described as “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph 2:2). He and the fallen angels who follow him are called the devil, rulers, cosmic powers, spiritual forces of evil (Eph 6:11-12). There is no question that he is extremely powerful as described in Matthew 4 when he tempted Jesus. This does not mean he is in control but is allowed to rule in a limited fashion. 

What is more important is to understand that Jesus’ death on the cross dealt a serious blow to Satan’s power. You see, fear of death is something that either haunts or should haunt anyone who is not a Christian. That fear is prompted by the fact that our sins are a debt that must be paid. Most people instinctively know they are not perfect and will have to pay for their sins in eternity. But Jesus’ death on the cross wiped out the debt for those who turn to him in faith, repent of their sins and live for him instead of themselves. This act of Jesus disarms Satan and his demons because Jesus defeated death and has triumphed over Satan (Col 2:14-15).

Yes, Satan will be given much more leeway for seven years. That will occur in the future when God pulls back his restrictions on Satan. However, that is not the end of the game. Jesus will put him to death when he comes back. (2 Thess 2:3-12). Remember that God is sovereign. Even while Satan thinks he is in total control for seven years, God is the one who direct all things. The end will come just as he has said.