What does Scripture teach about the size one should seek for his family? Find out in my blog post here.
Friday, May 14, 2021
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
I believe in imminency, which means Christ could return any moment. That's enough for me to be as ready as I can be ready. You can't get more expectant than possibly right now. However, I believe God allows us to see more to get us even more ready for His appearing. Any moment is difficult to sustain and everyone reading here knows that. Are these signs of the times?
In a technical sense, the signs of the times are all related to the second coming of Jesus Christ, not the rapture. The sign that Christ's coming is near is a sign for His return to the earth, not believers being caught up to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thess 4:16-17). Nothing has to happen on earth for the rapture to occur, no signs needed. No signs have to occur before the rapture. So are these events and circumstances to occur before the catching up of the saints? Are they signs?
Let me illustrate. The coronavirus might be at least pestilence-light. It's not on the level of what we see in the tribulation period as a sign of the second coming of Christ, but it hearkens to that event. If this level of disease does what it has done, what will something much worse be like?
For a long time, I have thought that disease would be the factor that starts bringing the whole world together. It won't all be together until later, but what we see occurring today could be moving us closer to the final event. Every country has this common cause of fighting disease. Physical life takes prominence. Health becomes more important than national interests. Citizens show willingness to give up personal autonomy for purposes of safety. It's easier to control the many with only a few.
All the forms of media cause people to more vulnerable to deceit. Temporal interests become preeminent and break down resistance to lust. This puts apostasy in the fast lane. Anyone who knows the Bible can see how evil this world has become.
As a sign during the tribulation, Israel will be saved. Well, Israel exists now, when it didn't between 70 and 1948 AD. The rise of the nation Israel isn't a sign, but it is an occurrence that makes way for several signs in the future.
We don't live in an age of signs. They have occurred in the past during certain periods. Signs will arise to confirm to the Jewish people that the Messianic age, His kingdom on earth, is soon to come. These will authenticate another baptism of the Holy Spirit during that future age.
Events and circumstances today remind us of signs which are to come. They aren't here yet, but we could say that this increasing knowledge relates to what Daniel prophesied in Daniel 12:4. Prophetic knowledge will increase as mankind gets closer to the end.
Monday, May 10, 2021
Friday, May 07, 2021
Tuesday, May 04, 2021
In the first post in this series, I started with the motivation for detecting and correcting doctrinal and practical error. It needs to happen, but it won't happen if you don't know something's wrong. If you know something's wrong, it's probably because you know what's right, so you also know the correction. Scripture is clear that detection must occur. The Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 writes this:
21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
There are three commands in these two verses and they all relate to this subject. The first part is most important, because you can't obey the other two without obeying the first one. First you prove everything, which is to test everything, the Greek word, dokimazo, which is a metallurgical term. Metals are tested for impurity and then purified.
I like to call the "testing," "keeping my grid up." The grid portrays a kind of mesh that catches error. Error can't get through. The grid represents some kind of criteria by which judgment is made. Why would I think this "proving" relates to doctrinal or practical error? The flow of the chapter indicates it, considering the previous verse, which says, "Despise not prophesyings." Prophesying or preaching, forthtelling of the Word of God, should not be despised. It should be proved though. It presents a balance for the listening to preaching.
Once something has been proven or tested, if you don't despise it to begin with, you will hold fast that which is good. Paul starts with the positive. True doctrine and practice should be embraced. It reminds me of the part of 1 Corinthians 13, "Love rejoiceth in the truth." "Good" is morally good.
The second command is what someone does with doctrinal and practical error. He abstains from it. The language is "all appearance of evil," and "appearance" is not something that looks like something or appears like it. The Greek word and the English word mean "form." It's simple. "Abstain from all form of evil." "Evil" is the opposite of "good," so morally bad or wicked.
The Apostle Paul commands the members of the church at Thessalonica to do what this series is about. Doctrinal and practical error is not good. It is evil. It first must be detected by having the grid up. The good must be embraced and the evil jettisoned.
What is the standard for detection and correction? Jesus in Matthew 22:29 said, "Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures." Error comes from not knowing the scriptures, according to Jesus. The standard for detection and correction is scripture, and that is the grid that is kept up in order to prove all things. When Paul spoke about the error in Jerusalem in Acts 13:27, he said the reason was that they knew not the voices of the prophets that they read every Sabbath. In 2 Peter 3:16, Peter says that error comes when unstable and ignorant men wrest the scriptures to their own destruction.
Sunday, May 02, 2021
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.