Posted in bible, clarity, eschatology, last things, macarthur, mohler, perspicuity, prophecy

Why prophecy is important (The world is unraveling)

I love prophecy. To me, it is the clearest identifier of God as sovereign over the universe, the earth, humans, and time. He writes history in advance, because He is king of all, and what He says will come to pass.

I also love studying the bible. I believe it is the highest and best use of time, to get to know the attributes of the LORD, to seek His face through what He has told us. If you want ‘direct revelation’, the bible cannot be beat for informing us of our Lord and King, Jesus.

The bible is knowable and understandable to the Christian. We have the Holy Spirit in us to illuminate His word to us. (Ephesians 1:17-18). The Holy Spirit teaches us spiritual things. (1 Corinthians 2:10-13). Of course there are some things in the bible we cannot understand, such as the Trinity, One God in three Persons. We cannot understand the Spirit’s overcoming Mary and producing a child. We do not understand all the ways in which God thinks. However, for the most part, the doctrines upon which He has given to us, are understandable.

One such doctrine is the doctrine of eschatology. This is the doctrine of ‘last things’, or end times. Just because there are many people who won’t or can’t understand the various threads of prophecy does not mean there exists confusion about what He plans to do. The pre-tribulation rapture is one of these understandable doctrines, clearly outlined in the bible to those who care to learn. Some people say Revelation is difficult, I find it easy to understand. I do find Daniel difficult, but that does not stop me from studying it, nor from turning to other scripture to help me interpret Daniel’s book. It can be done, and it has been done. Oliver B. Greene’s commentary on Daniel is wonderful. John MacArthur’s book “Because the Time is Near” is a clear explanation of Revelation.

Even this is a doctrine! It is called the Perspicuity of Scripture. According to the Theopedia, the perspicuity of scripture means,

The doctrine of the clarity of Scripture (often called the “perspicuity of Scripture”) teaches that “the meanings of the text can be clear to the ordinary reader, that God uses the text of the Bible to communicate His person and will.”  

“The witness of the Church throughout the ages is that ordinary people, who approach it in faith and humility, will be able to understand what the Bible is getting at, even if they meet with particular points of difficulty here and there.”

Yet there are some people who refuse to believe the doctrines of last things, because so many other people are mixed up over them. ‘They can’t be understood, so why try?’ I was told by one man in church. “I’m a pan-tribber, it’ll all work out in the end,” he said.

Illustrator, Chris Koelle, The Book of Revelation

That is a highly offensive statement, and I said so to his face. It is a blight on Jesus, the Spirit, and God who inspired it, and all the Apostles who wrote the inspired word, and all the martyrs who protected it, to be so blatantly dismissive of 30% of God’s holy doctrines. Jesus did not reveal last things to John, nor the angel to Daniel, so God’s people could mock them.

Did you know that every NT book except Philemon mentions last things?

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, (2 Timothy 3:16)

So I was so pleased when John MacArthur was asked about eschatology in his latest Q & A session at Grace Community Church. In Q&A session #62 it was stated by the interviewer that they had received more than a dozen questions regarding eschatology.

First, MacArthur noted that a church without a solid understanding of eschatology has got a huge loose end. Here are MacArthur’s words on the importance of the church understanding and teaching last things:

a church without a solid biblical eschatology, meaning understanding of the end of history has got a huge loose end. It’s huge. I said something about that this morning when I was kind of wrapping up. I said, the Jews wanted to force all the prophesies regarding the Messiah into His first coming. We have Christians who want to take all the prophesies concerning Christ and push them back into His first coming. They’re called pretrerists, amillenialists. So they have this theology with this totally open end. It just has no closure. They don’t seem to care particularly. It’s almost like a badge of Reformed loyalty to be unsure about how everything ends.

I am running into this attitude more frequently, the badge of loyalty to uncertainty. “I’m super-spiritually humble because I refuse to state how things will end.” Or, “I’m super tolerant of all the different interpretations, because who am I to say dogmatically? It’s all just beyond little ole me.” Uncertainty is the new loyalty. But is that right? Is that honoring to Jesus? Here’s more from MacArthur.

I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t work well with me. First of all, I don’t think God gave a clear beginning and just kind of lost Himself at the end. I don’t think if Genesis 1 says that God created in six days and there’s no question about it, and He lays out exactly how He did it; and you get to the book of Revelation and you hear about periods of certain weeks and certain months and certain years and a thousand year millennium, and then an eternal state. I don’t think God lost His way at the end. I don’t think He was confused at the end. I think the end is as precise as the beginning. To be honest with you, I am far more concerned about the end than I am the beginning. The beginning is over. I’m glad it was what it was, and it explains why things are the way they are.

This is an important point. God did not state it clearly in the beginning and then back away from clarity for the end. He is just as clear in Revelation as He was in Genesis.

Source

As for the people who say, ‘There are so many interpretations, it’s just best to let go and let God. It’ll all work out in the end, anyhow,’ I say that’s just a bunch of lazy hooey. There are not many views of last things. There is only one view, God’s view, and He has shared it with us.

But I don’t think you can over estimate the value of a church with a clear ecclesiology and a clear eschatology. Clear understanding of the church, and a clear understanding of what the Bible says about how things are going to end. It does say something. It doesn’t say everything, and it doesn’t say whatever you want it to say. It doesn’t have ten views or five views or four views. There’s just one view.

MacArthur went on to describe a wonderful moment in Kazakhstan some years ago. Kazakhstan is east of Mongolia and north of Turkey. It is around the world. He was asked to teach 1600 men at a pastor’s conference. MacArthur taught 8 hours a day for 6 days a week. The men were hungry for the word, to be taught. They had been behind the Iron Curtain and now were released into more freedoms, including the freedom to practice religion, and to gather. They’d been denied a congregation, education, commentaries, access to internet or anything resembling study aids. They had each other, and the bible…and the Holy Spirit. So they wanted to know about all the doctrines, including eschatology.

MacArthur said,

I laid out; I went through the book of Revelation systematically and showed them the end. They said to me after that – I took a day to do that. The end of that day they said, “You believe what we believe.” I said, “I believe what you believe?” Same Bible. Guess what? It’s so clear that people with no training, no seminary, and no commentaries could understand what the book of Revelation said.

The reason I gave you the illustration about Kazakhstan is because that is as alien a place as you could ever be. Thirty-five hours to get there. You step off the plane. I’ve never been there. I don’t know what’s going on. I teach them a whole day on the end times, and they tell me that’s exactly what they believe. How did they come to that? They don’t have seminaries. They don’t have books. They don’t have anything. That’s what the Bible says. You have to go to school and listen to somebody who deceives you to undo that because that’s what’s there.

MacArthur has said before that any believer who landed on a desert island with nothing else except his bible can and would understand eschatology. The 1,600 Kazakhstan men were as close to desert island as you can get in this modern world, and eschatology was made understandable to them- because they studied it.

Source

As a note, what a glory it is that we believers have this unifying thread! What a moment of recognition between a Scottish-descended pastor from Sun Valley CA and Kazakhstani men isolated behind the iron curtain, to know each other as brothers! This unifying thread is the holy word, the Bible.

For men to say, ‘Ack, it’s all too much for me, it’ll all work out in the end, anyway,’ is a direct rejection of the wonder of being able to recognize and commune with brothers via a common and eternal understanding of God’s word, wherever you are on earth.

Rejecting eschatology is also a rejection of the work that the Spirit has done in men that He has raised up. Many resources are out there, as I mentioned, commentaries, sermons, books, timelines…it is all there for us.

To continue what MacArthur said about eschatology,

I think it matters how it all ends. I think God is glorified when we acknowledge Him as the Creator, the beginning; and I think He is glorified when we acknowledge Him as the consummator, the end. I think that’s a huge benefit for Christians looking at the world and wondering where is this going? Where is this going?

In talking to Al Mohler when I was back there a few weeks ago, he said he’s more eschatological than he’s ever been. He’s almost apocalyptic because he sees a world that just there is no way to reverse this. This thing is in a massive free fall, and there is no way to stop this. He’s pretty well-attuned to the way things are, and he says, “I’ve never felt so eschatological, so apocalyptic about the way the world is going.” Well, if you want to understand where the world is going, you can as a believer. That gives us such a powerful confidence that all that is coming is laid out for us on the pages of Scripture. I think that’s a treasure that a church can’t underestimate.

Do not reject the treasure of eschatology. It is just as much a treasure as the Psalms and the Gospels. Do not reject the work we are to do through eschatology. We have the answer to how it will all end. Lost people are confused and frightened about where this world is headed. We know it. Do not be afraid to study, and then to share.

What message does it send when a mature man of the faith in church makes a public statement dismissing eschatology? It tells the next generation that it is not worth studying, and bible illiteracy increases, just at the time when the next generation may be the very generation to see these things come to pass and could have been more fervent and diligent about sharing the truth with lost and confused people.

John MacArthur is a unique individual and is in a unique position. It was common in the old days for a pastor to stay for decades. Not so any more, where the average pastoral stay is 5 years or less. MacArthur has been at Grace Church for 46 years. He is 75 years old. He has seen history unfold, prophecy fulfilled and apostasy rise. He said,

I’m seeing this world unravel. There doesn’t seem to be any way back. I mean this is totally out of control. This is a free fall down a black hole. So, you can’t just say, “Well, eschatology doesn’t matter.” That is not helpful. People want answers. Where is this thing going? It’s not fair to God, it’s a dishonor to God to say, “Well, the Bible is not clear.” It is clear. It is absolutely clear.

Yes, it is sad and offensive that there are so many people who refuse to study last things. Those who dismiss the Spirit’s work in inspiring that portion of the bible are simply missing out on so much glory. It is also sad that so many brethren have unfortunately come to different understandings of what God clearly laid out. But does that mean we reject it all? Does that mean that is is useless for us individually to study it? No.

I just wish that the church was unified on what the Bible says. I don’t like it that there are Christians who don’t believe in Creation, but believe in some form of evolution. I think that dishonors God and confuses people. I don’t like it that there are Christians who don’t accept what the Bible says about the end either. But I think it’s wonderful that we do, and the answers are there.

God’s word has all the answers, including last things. Please do not be afraid to jump in and read, learn, pray, and receive illumination from the Spirit. Do not be afraid to seek credible, quality study aids. Always remember the perspicuity of scripture. The bible is clear.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Further Reading

Academic Paper – The Master’s Seminary: The Perspicuity of Scripture

Essay – Oliver B. Greene on the Pre-Tribulation rapture

Essay – Thirty-Six Pre-Trib Rapture texts

Sermon – Christmas Future: Last Things of Jesus Christ in Revelation

Sermon – The Clarity of Scripture, Part 1

Posted in annise parker, houston, lesbian, mohler, persecution

TX AG to Houston Mayor: "Stop Bullying Christians;" also, what to do if you’re bullied by gov’t

In the last few days there has been a furor over the information reported from Houston, that the lesbian Mayor Annise Parker has litigiously demanded several of Houston’s pastors’ sermons and the pastors’ personal correspondence with congregants. The fracas is ongoing, and has been for a few years. I did write on Wednesday about the recent issue of the wide-net subpoena, here.

Dr Albert Mohler

I’ll recap, quoting excerpts from Al Mohler’s excellent synopsis. Albert Mohler is an “American theologian and the ninth president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky” according to Wikipedia.

When news broke earlier this week that the attorneys working for the City of Houston had issued subpoenas to pastors for sermons, I was fairly certain that some mistake had been made. When the actual text of the subpoena came to me, I could hardly believe my eyes. Here was a legal demand, sent to Christian pastors in the name of one of America’s largest cities, to surrender “all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO (an anti-discrimination ordinance), the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession.”

The controversy started when Mayor Parker, often described as the first openly gay mayor of a major American city, led the effort to adopt an anti-discrimination law that, among other things, allows transgender persons to file a complaint and bring charges if they are denied access to a bathroom. Several Houston-area pastors were involved in an effort to rescind the ordinance. They participated in a petition drive that would have put the question before voters, mobilizing their congregations on the issue. They were able to get more than the required number of signatures on the petition, but the city attorney ruled many of the signatures invalid due to technicalities. The city attorney intervened after the appropriate city official had already certified the petitions as adequate. This set the stage for the lawsuit, and the lawsuit set the stage for the subpoenas.

The subpoenas set the stage for the current controversy. The very fact that the subpoenas were issued at all is scandal enough — none of the pastors is even party to the lawsuit. But the actual wording of the subpoenas is draconian — almost unbelievable. The attorneys working for the city demanded all sermons “prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession” on matters that included, not only the mayor and the ordinance, but homosexuality and gender identity.

Dr Mohler said it is a ‘breathtaking violation of religious liberty.’ I agree. The horses are out of the barn and there is no recalling them. Now, any or all pastors can be bullied, threatened, or otherwise coerced into producing work product for out-of-control government thugs.

TX Attorney General Greg Abbott

I’m going to put on my citizen hat for a moment. The government is supposed to serve us. To that end, many states have an Open Records policy. Texas does. It is called the Public Information Act. The purpose of such acts are described by the Texas Attorney General,

“The purpose of the Public Information Act is to maintain the people’s control “over the instruments they have created.”

The People are not without resources. Government records are open precisely to push back against such bullying against the citizenry. Annise Parker has said that if any “pastor used the pulpit for politics, their sermons are fair game”.

The Public can also request records. The Public does not have to lodge a suit, hire a lawyer, or go hat in hand. They may even examine records for FREE, if doing so inside the premises. There may be some REASONABLE costs for labor or copying fees.

The Public may demand any legally covered work-product from Annise Parker in her office as Mayor, or any Council member, or other elected or government official, to examine. The Public does not have to say who they are, or why they want it, or what they plan to do with it.

How do I know this?

I read the Texas Open Records Law.

The litigation lodged against the pastors is worded thus, again from Dr Mohler’s essay:

‘The attorneys working for the city demanded all sermons “prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession” on matters that included, not only the mayor and the ordinance, but homosexuality and gender identity.

What if the public demanded, following Open Records protocols, in similar language, “all work-product, speeches, emails, correspondence, and other matter in the Houston Mayor’s Office held by, produced by, overseen by, delivered by or otherwise retained in the Houston Mayor’s possession or adjunct storage, on matters that include, references or discuss homosexuality and gender identity’ ? If such a request legally falls under open records, the Mayor’s office would have to produce it. PROMPTLY.

From Texas Attorney General Office FAQ:

What types of records are subject to the Public Information Act?
Any information collected, assembled, or maintained by or for a governmental body is subject to the Public Information Act. The format (paper, electronic, microfilm, etc.) of the record does not affect its status as a public record.

What is a “governmental body”?
For purposes of the Public Information Act, the term “governmental body” encompasses all Texas public entities at the state and local levels.

I believe a City Mayor’s office qualifies as a ‘local government body’ don’t you?

The FAQ further states that the Mayor (or other government body) does not have the right to withhold records nor to make their own determination of what constitutes an open record.

For example, one time I requested under Open Records the products related to an issue in the School Department. In one illegally held document, eventually discovered, contended for, and produced, the School Department had bought a stamp and stamped in large red letters across the document, CONFIDENTIAL’. Simply self-stamping an open records document Confidential doesn’t make it confidential, lol. But that kind of monkeying with language is going on in the fracas in Houston. The Mayor yesterday changed her demand from sermons to “speeches.” Yes, this is an out-of-control government.

There are some exclusions from Open Records. The Judiciary, some personnel records, or negotiations/contracts are often excluded. This is reasonable. Other exclusions are listed specifically in the TX Handbook, linked below.

Again, Open Records are, by law in place to help the Public push back against aggressive or overly-authoritarian government bodies or elected officials. Its purpose is to help the citizenry keep the government transparent, and to educate the citizenry on issues in which the government is addressing on their behalf. I’m not speaking just about Houston but of all local and State and Federal public entities. Citizens (so far) still have rights. Whether the Government entity will adhere to the demands is a different story. A unexercised muscle will atrophy. Here is an example I was involved with.

In Maine, the Maine Society of Professional Journalists decided to test the muscularity of the Freedom of Access law by setting up an audit. (Detractors called it ‘a sting’).

The findings were depressing. The last audit had been in 1978. Between 1978 and 2002, governments had closed up considerably, and not to the benefit of the citizen.

From the Audit results: “A public records audit is a test of government compliance with public access laws, otherwise known as sunshine laws or right-to-know laws“.

They trained us reporters in the Law, created three simple requests (one, I remember for example, was for local expense reports from the mayor or town Administrator, the police were asked to produce a police log, I think), and we were trained in what to say and not say. We were to leave if we were denied, and we were to make notes on whether we were asked who we were or why we wanted it. Requests were made to School Departments, Municipal Governments, and to Police.

In some cases, full compliance was given, in more cases though, access to records was denied. The findings plus comments and notes from the reporters were made public. Embarrassed and chastened, the State of Maine formed the Compliance Committee and tasked 12 people selected from around the state and employed by different public and private entities, to participate. I was one of the 12 appointed to this committee. We were to review Maine’s FOA law and submit the report to the Legislative House and Senate for their denial or approval as an amendment to Maine’s existing FOA law. We did so and the overhaul was accepted by the State Legislative body. Because of the Journalists’  audit, and resulting action on the State of Maine, Maine’s Freedom of Access law was strengthened on behalf of the citizens.

Government that is supposed to serve the public in transparent honesty had become very, very closed, guarded, and sometimes downright hostile to the people they were supposed to be serving. The audit had become necessary. Again, an unexercised muscle atrophies. Citizens, know your rights and use them from time to time.

So. Open Records, Houston. FAIR GAME.

Here are three resources which explain the Texas Open Records Law (Public Information Act). The first one is at the UTexas and is short. The second one is the FAQ from the TX State Attorney General. The third one is THE 2014 Handbook explaining the PIA from the AG’s Office. It is 329 pages, but it has a Table of Contents, and segments of the law are stated then explained in real language.

If a person decides they want to obtain open records from any government office, there are a few things to remember, and I address this to the public at large and especially to Christians.

The personnel at the copy machines and secretaries and administrators who carry out the PIA requests are people. They deserve politeness and consideration.

Do your homework. If a person makes an Open Records request, know what is and is not legally available to you. Be considerate by having read the pertinent parts of the law and not making extra work for the people in the offices by having to figure out your request. As is stated in the FAQ, the receiving office does not have to answer your questions, interpret the law for you or otherwise provide information other than your specific, written request. One must not make make ridiculous or frivolous requests.

Records requested have to actually exist. General requests such as “Anything the Town Manager might email next week” will not fall under the Law.

Any person requesting information under PIA should be legible, specific, and polite. I’ve said polite three times now.

The citizenry has rights. We do have resources that protect us against aggressive governments. Though we as Christians do submit to our government leaders, as long as there are mechanisms in place to legally help the citizenry monitor our government, we should use them. When Apostle Paul was accused in Judea, as a Roman citizen he had a right to appeal to Rome and be tried there instead of Galilee or Jerusalem. Paul employed a mechanism that was available to him. (Acts 25:11, Acts 25:21, Acts 28:19). That is what these mechanisms are there for- to help the citizen obtain justice or for relief from an unjust or oppressive government.

Aggressive government is a pet peeve of mine. I’m speaking more as a temporary citizen of earth and less so as a Christian. But as a Christian, we should remember eventually in this age, it looks more and more like western Christianity has had its day. The threat of jail just for preaching the bible has become very real.

Here are the links:

Open Records Act / Texas Public Information Act

Frequently Asked Questions Relating to the Public Information Act

Public Information Handbook 2014: Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott

RECENT NEWS:

Sermons Are “Fair Game” in Houston — The Real Warning in the Subpoena Scandal

Mayor Parker revises, narrows sermon subpoena request 

Houston to pastors: Forget your sermons, now we want your speeches

Texas Attorney General tells Houston city hall: Stop bullying Christians 
[AG] Abbott called the subpoenas “aggressive and invasive” and said they show “no regard for the very serious First Amendment considerations at stake.”  “Whether you intend it to be so or not, your action is a direct assault on the religious liberty guaranteed by the First Amendment,” Abbott wrote, demanding that the subpoenas be rescinded.  “You should immediately instruct your lawyers to withdraw the city’s subpoenas,” he added.

Posted in geisler, mohler, movie, oprah, the shack, william p. young

The bestseller book "The Shack" in development to become a movie

The lack of Christian discernment continues…(2 Timothy 4:3) or perhaps the reality is closer to a huge money making machine running over Christians and raking it in hand over fist. (2 Peter 2:3). Either way, in the wake of the blasphemous movie Noah starring Russell Crowe, and the equally blasphemous heaven tourism trip “Heaven is for Real“, comes a proposed movie based on William P. Young’s bestseller “The Shack

It will star Forrest Whittaker and possibly Oprah. Though it is as yet unclear exactly what role Oprah will play, in The Shack, ‘God’ was depicted as a large, African American woman, sooo…. The Holy Spirit was depicted as a woman also, an Asian. As The Christian Post reports on the upcoming movie, they dug up the original quote from Dr Al Mohler regarding the heresy in The Shack-

In 2010, R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, described [the book] The Shack as a “wake-up call for evangelical Christianity,” and that its story reflected “a theology that is unconventional at best, and undoubtedly heretical in certain respects.” He also blamed its popularity among Evangelicals on their ignorance of “basic theological knowledge.”

To wit: though the book was heretical, it spent 70 weeks at #1 on the NY Times bestseller list.

How quaint those time were, lo those 4 years ago, when The Shack’s heresy was embedded sweetly in a well-written book promoting what was termed as merely unconventional theology.

Here are a few reviews of The Shack. Negative, of course.

The Shack: Helpful or Heretical? by Dr Norman Geisler

Challies: A review of The Shack

Why Christians Should Not Read ‘The Shack’

Burning Down The Shack

Our society is making God into its own image, and the script for it couldn’t be followed any better and the trip down heresy lane more successful. Willing ‘Christians’ are allowing the dilution of holy and fearsome God into a romantic, boyfriend living in a shack cheerfully making pancakes for ‘her’ universally loved sheep, who will all end up in the sheepfold.

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, (2 Timothy 4:3)

Has a nation ever changed its gods? (Yet they are not gods at all.) But my people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols. (Jeremiah 2:11)

“Do people make their own gods? Yes, but they are not gods!” (Jeremiah 16:20) 


Posted in heaven tourism, mike gendron, mohler, unbiblical

The economic sin of heaven tourism, unbiblical Christianese, expository preaching, God’s justice in Christ

We are nearing the end of the first full week of school. The kindergarten kids are tiring me out! I have just a few links for you tonight.

In the first one, Dr. Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, speaks on why expository preaching is SOOO important.

“The Sheer Weightlessness of so many Sermons: Why Expository Preaching Matters”
“One of the first steps to a recovery of authentic Christian preaching is to define exactly what we mean when we discuss authentic preaching as “exposition.” Many preachers claim to be expositors. But in many cases, this means merely that the preacher has a biblical text in mind, no matter how tenuous its relationship to the sermon.”

“Unfortunately, the appetite for serious preaching has virtually disappeared among many Christians who are content to have their fascinations with themselves encouraged from the pulpit.”

Read on. Dr Mohler does a great job as usual for making the case.

In this next link, Mike Gendron at Proclaiming the Gospel talks of the wishy-washy Christian-ese vocabulary words that have crept into our language but in fact are merely watering down the faith and making a mush of the crispness of the word.

Unbiblical Words in Today’s Christian Vocabulary
“Does it concern you that terms with no biblical foundation have crept into the contemporary Christian vocabulary? Most of the unbiblical terms being used today describe how a person becomes a Christian or how a professing Christians excuses their lifestyle of habitual sin. Some examples of the former include “accepting Jesus” and “inviting Jesus into your heart.” Two examples of the latter include “backsliding” and “carnal Christians.” These four terms give professing Christians a false sense of security that they are saved when they may never have been converted. We need to take great care that we are part of the solution and not part of the problem.”

The latest edition of NoCo90 (No Compromise Radio 90-Second Biblical Truth Clips) is about the Economic Sin of Lazarus.

I’ll summarize what Pastor Mike Abendroth of Bethlehem Bible Church in MA said in this very short but powerful video clip. Jesus commanded Lazarus to come out of the grave. His grave cloths were unbound from him, and Lazarus went on to live the rest of his natural life. What was heaven like, Lazarus? We don’t know. Lazarus is never recorded in the bible as saying anything about what he did, where he went or what it was like for him during the 4 days he was dead. Yet people today who allegedly die for a minute or an hour, and are brought back to consciousness if not life, are speaking about their experience in packed auditoriums, writing books that sell for big bucks, and making movies to gain economically from their so-called heavenly visit. In listening to Pastor Abendroth explain it in those terms you begin to see how crass the whole heaven tourism industry really is.

Then he said that if you want to read a book about a guy who rose from the dead and was in heaven, then remember that JESUS is that man, and He wrote a book about it, and that book is free.

Pastor Abendroth says it much better than I do, so please do click on the link to go to his Youtube account and listen for 90 seconds.

The Christian Pundit has a terrific essay on God’s Justice in Christ. I love to ponder His justice…even more than pondering His love. I hate sin and I can’t wait for Jesus to render justice on the world so that when the time comes, all will worship Him in perfection, truth, and sinlessness. I long for that day. Meanwhile, today, here is their essay on justice

God’s Justice in Christ

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Painting of the day

Jesus walks on water, Ivan Aivazovsky, 1888