Category Archives: Bible study

A hymn about the Second Coming

We sing Christmas carols to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  At Easter we sing songs about his resurrection.  Some time in the future Jesus will return to Earth as ruler and usher in a thousand years of peace and prosperity.  Isn’t that worth singing about too?  But it seems that there are very few songs about this subject.

Actually there is a very famous song that celebrates Christ’s return.  It is called Joy to the World.  But isn’t Joy to the World a Christmas carol?  It is usually sung during the Christmas season.  Perhaps we should examine it a little more closely. Read the rest of this entry

The Virgin Mary

When people speak of Mary, the mother of Jesus, they often refer to her as the Virgin Mary.  Is this designation accurate?  She was certainly a virgin when Jesus was born.

When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife,but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.  (Matthew 1:24,25)

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Are you blind?

Israel and Syria were at war.  Elisha frequently warned the king of Israel about Syria’s plans.

Once when the king of Syria was warring against Israel, he took counsel with his servants, saying, “At such and such a place shall be my camp.” But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, “Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are going down there.”And the king of Israel sent to the place about which the man of God told him. Thus he used to warn him, so that he saved himself there more than once or twice.  (2 Kings 6:8-10)

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The lost years of Jesus

When Jesus was 12 years old Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover.  When they returned home he stayed behind but they didn’t notice at first because they thought he was somewhere among the group they have traveled with.  It took them three days to discover he was gone and then return to Jerusalem to find him.

After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.  And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.  (Luke 2:46,47)

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Spiritual climate change

There is a wide range of opinions on the subject of climate change.  Some believe we are on the verge of an ecological catastrophe while others think climate change presents no danger at all.  Some think our use of fossil fuels is the primary cause while others think that nothing we do has any effect on it.

A lot of people are concerned about changes in our physical climate, but how many care as much about our spiritual climate?   I am 78 years old and in my lifetime I have seen drastic changes in the spiritual climate and they have not been for the better. Read the rest of this entry

Unequally yoked

The Bible warns Christians about becoming yoked with unbelievers.

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?  (2 Corinthians 6:14)

A good king of Judah yoked himself with unbelievers and brought disaster on his country. Read the rest of this entry

Don’t do something! Just stand there!

Have you ever had someone say to you, “Don’t just stand there!  Do something!”?  Or have you ever said that to someone else?  Making such a statement is often justified when someone is faced with a situation requiring action and hesitates.  But what if the problem you are facing is something that is totally beyond your ability to solve?

King Jehoshaphat of Judah once faced such a problem.  He was a good king who not only obeyed God but appointed godly teachers and judges for Judah to help the rest of the country obey.  He once faced a problem which he could do nothing about. Read the rest of this entry

Bucket lists

Some people have a bucket list of things they want to do before they die. If you are a Christian you don’t need to make a bucket list because God has already made one for you.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10 Read the rest of this entry

One thing God can’t do

God is omnipotent.  That means he has the power to do whatever he wants.  But the Bible tells us there is one thing he can’t do which you or I or any other human can do easily.

So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath,so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.  (Hebrews 6:17,18)

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Praying against our enemies

Jesus commanded that we pray for our enemies.

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.  (Matthew 5:44)

King David once prayed against one of his enemies.

 It was told David, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” And David said, “O LORD, please turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.”  (2 Samuel 15:31)

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Praying for the dead

The Bible tells us that after death everyone will exist for eternity in one of two places, Heaven or Hell.  Some believe that those destined for Heaven will first spend time in a place called Purgatory.  Here is the Catholic Dictionary’s definition of Purgatory:  “a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God’s grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions.”  Those who believe in purgatory also believe that the living can help those in purgatory by praying for them. Read the rest of this entry

Eternal punishment or annihilation?

The Bible tells us that we are all sinners.  Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead to atone for our sins, and anyone who repents and puts his faith in him will be forgiven and receive eternal life.  After this life is over we will be with Christ for all eternity.  But this is the fate of all who fail to do this.

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done.

Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.  (Revelation 20:11-15)

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Is climate change the result of human activity?

It is believed by many that climate change is caused by human activities such as the use of fossil fuels.  Others disagree with this assessment and believe that humans can’t affect climate.  I have read arguments on both sides of he issue and I have noticed that both sides have one thing in common.  Neither side looks to the Bible for answers to the question.  That is unfortunate because the Bible has a lot to say on the subject. Read the rest of this entry

Moses and Aaron

God appeared to Moses and told him he was chosen to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt.  Moses was reluctant to undertake this assignment and began raising objections.  He began by asking why he had been chosen for the job.

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”  (Exodus 3:11)

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Book burning

Book burning!  What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear those words?  Many people think of a tyrannical government which censors any ideas with which it disagrees and sometimes resorts to gathering books which promote those ideas and publicly burning them.  This has actually taken place at times.  The idea that book burning is wrong is so pervasive that some people believe it is wrong to destroy any book for any reason.  Sometimes that can lead to problems. Read the rest of this entry

Paul’s visit to Jerusalem

In Galatians 1:11 -2:10 Paul tells what happened to him after he first became a Christian.  He ends the account by telling of a visit to Jerusalem.

Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain.But even Titus, who was with me, was not forced to be circumcised, though he was a Greek.  (Galatians 2:1-3)

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What the rich man didn’t say

Jesus once told about two men.  One was rich and the other was a beggar.

There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores.  (Luke 16:19-21)

The two men died and their fates were very different. Read the rest of this entry

Jesus and his brothers

Jesus said, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.”  That was certainly true of Jesus.  His mother Mary honored him because the angel Gabriel had foretold his birth and he had been born while she was still a virgin.  Joseph honored him because after he discovered that Mary was pregnant an angel appeared to him in a dream to tell him that Jesus had been conceived by the Holy Spirit and that he would save his people from their sins.  But after he was born Joseph and Mary had other children.  There were four boys named James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas, and an unspecified number of girls.  These children had not received the divine revelations their parents had and they thought that Jesus was just an ordinary person like them. Read the rest of this entry

An eternal weight of damnation

I live in the United States where I enjoy the constitutional right to practice my religious beliefs and I face very little opposition in serving God.  There are many Christians who don’t have this freedom.  In the Middle East many Christians run the risk of being killed by Muslim extremists.  Persecution of Christians is increasing in China.  India is controlled by a Hindu nationalist party whose goal is to make India a completely Hindu nation.  According to Open Doors North Korea is the place where Christians suffer the most persecution.

Paul had this to say about the suffering experienced by Christians. Read the rest of this entry

Before creation

The Bible begins by telling us how God created the earth.  But what was he doing before?  God is eternal so surely the universe we live in is not the first of God’s works and it won’t be the last.  Some people think Heaven will be boring because we will have nothing to do.  In fact we will have plenty to do just learning what God has done in the past and observing what he does in the future.  (I wonder if the words past and future will have any meaning.  We live in time so for us some things have happened in the past and others are still in the future.  Will this still be true in eternity?)

The Bible does reveal some things that happened before the earth was created. Read the rest of this entry

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