Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. (1 Peter 1:10,11)
The Old Testament prophets tell us of the suffering Christ experienced when he was crucified; they tell us of the glory associeated with his rule over the earth during the Millennium. But what do they say about the time between these two events, the time in which we are living now? The answer is: not much. In fact they say nothing about the most important aspect of this era, the formation of the church. The apostle Paul was given the task of revealing this truth to us.
When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. (Ephesians 3:4-6)
The Old Testament teaches that Gentiles will be saved; it never tells of the formation of a new body composed of both Jews and Gentiles. Paul not only teaches us about this body but he also tells how it will be removed from the earth through the event known as the rapture. Read the rest of this entry
Most people get married at some time during their life. What happens when married people die? Are they still married? Some Sadducees once asked Jesus that question.
The same day Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.’ Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no offspring left his wife to his brother. So too the second and third, down to the seventh. After them all, the woman died. In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her.”
But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” (Matthew 22:23-30)
It is clear that the marriages we enter into on earth will no longer exist in Heaven but the Bible speaks of a different kind of marriage that will exist there. Read the rest of this entry
Whenever someone opposes same sex marriage he is accused of hating gays and his opinions are often called hate speech. Proponents of same sex marriage have attacked those who oppose it and have caused some to lose their jobs and have their businesses ruined. Some people do hate gays but Christians who oppose same sex marriage do so because we care about gays and want to protect them the harm that they will experience.
To see why this is so we need to look at what the Bible says about marriage. The first marriage was between the first man and the first woman. Read the rest of this entry
My heart overflows with a pleasing theme;
I address my verses to the king;
my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.
2 You are the most handsome of the sons of men;
grace is poured upon your lips;
therefore God has blessed you forever.
3 Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one,
in your splendor and majesty!
4 In your majesty ride out victoriously
for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
let your right hand teach you awesome deeds!
5 Your arrows are sharp
in the heart of the king’s enemies;
the peoples fall under you.
6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.
The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness;
7 you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;
8 your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.
From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;
9 daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor;
at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
10 Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear:
forget your people and your father’s house,
11 and the king will desire your beauty.
Since he is your lord, bow to him.
12 The people of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts,
the richest of the people.
Crucifixion is one of the most painful methods of execution ever devised. Here is an article that describes Christ’s crucifixion and also the suffering he experienced before it.
He knew before his arrest what he would endure. Is it any wonder that he prayed that God would enable him to avoid it if that were possible?
And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
He wanted to avoid the pain of being crucified but he wanted even more to do God’s will. His death was the only way human sin could be atoned for, so in the end he submitted to being put to death. Read the rest of this entry
The book of Proverbs ends with a tribute to an excellent wife.
 An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life. Read the rest of this entry
The shortest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 117.
Praise the LORD, all nations!
Extol him, all peoples!
For great is his steadfast love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.
Praise the LORD!
It is sandwiched in between two well known psalms of thanksgiving and praise and readers often don’t pay much attention to it.
Marriage began when God created Eve to be a wife for Adam.
Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman,because she was taken out of Man.”
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
The first marriage was a union between the first man and the first woman that God created. Ever since then, marriage has been considered a union between a man and a woman. This isn’t just a Christian belief but a practice by all religions and all cultures throughout history. There have been different beliefs about some aspects of marriage. Some cultures consider marriage a permanent union while other allow a person to divorce his spouse and marry someone else. Some consider it a union between one man and one woman while others allow a man to have more than one wife. But until recently it has universally been a state that can exist only between a man and a woman.
Now there is a movement to establish “marriage equality” between gay and straight people by legalizing marriage between two people of the same sex. Is the restriction of marriage to a man and a woman just an arbitrary rule or is there some fundamental reason why two members of the same sex can’t marry each other?
Chapter four of John describes a meeting between Jesus and a Samaritan woman.
So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.
A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”(For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.)
Plato wrote of a conversation between Socrates and a man named Euthyphro in which this question was raised: Does God command us to do things because they are good or are they good because God commands them? Many people feel that either answer creates a problem. If God commands us to do things because they are good that implies that there is a standard of goodness independent of God to which he must conform. If the things God commands are good because he commands them then good and evil exist only because of God’s arbitrary decision to call certain thing good and others evil. This problem is known as the Euthyphro dilemma.
There is a well known saying, “In the country of the blind the one-eyed man is king.” But is it true? What if there were a country where all the people were blind but had learned to cope with their condition and considered it normal? How would they respond if someone who could see came into their community and told them what it was like to see? Would they believe what he said or consider him a madman?
H. G. Wells wrote a story called “The Country of the Blind” which describes this situation. Here is Wikipedia’s summary of the plot.
When Paul was on his final journey to Jerusalem he spent some time at the home of a man named Philip.
On the next day we departed and came to Caesarea, and we entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him.
We are told two things about him: he was an evangelist and he was one of the seven. Read the rest of this entry
I used the plural, relationships, in the title because God is a trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and Christians are related to each of these in a different way. Ephesians 5:22 to 6:9 gives instructions regarding three kinds of human relationship which also serve as illustrations of our relationships with God. Read the rest of this entry