A Celebration Of The Seasons

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“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1,2 (NIV)

Not exactly numbered among the traditional texts that have become so familiar to us in our celebrations of Christmas over the years. Yet over the years Christmas traditions have slowly eroded, the victims of commercialism, cynicism and political correctness. Not that the Christmas story has lost its relevance or is no longer significant. Or that its meaning is no longer needed or has gone out of style. On the contrary, the need has never been greater or more urgent.

But unless Continue reading “A Celebration Of The Seasons”

In the Shadow of the Cross

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John 1:1, 15In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.  The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (NIV 1984)

Isaiah 59:2 – Your iniquities have separated you from your God. (NIV 1984)

Hebrews 9:22The law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. (NIV 1984)

Leviticus 17:11For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement…it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life. (NIV 1984)

Incarnation – This is the Christian doctrine that the second person of the Trinity assumed Continue reading “In the Shadow of the Cross”

He’s Making A List

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Revelation 20:13If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15)

My Musings – This may seem like a downer of a message to be sharing during this season, but it points out that there is a list that we all  need to be on.  And there is only one way to make that list.  So, “do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:10-12). The Savior was born and lived a sinless life. The Savior died so we could get on that list.  If He had not, there wouldn’t even be a list.

My Advice – “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved [be included on the list]” (Acts 16:31).  He’s making a list.  Are you on it?  It was for this reason He came.

 

 

More on the Millennium

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CHRIST’S REIGN – And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4b-6)

The Purpose of the Millennium – A literal post tribulation period of one thousand years (postmillennialism), begs at least one question: Why is there a thousand-year interlude between the return of Christ and the eternal state? The primary reason given is so that the Old Testament prophecies of a glorious Messianic kingdom on earth can be fulfilled. But perhaps even more may be involved. One suggestion is, that absent God’s grace, sin’s incurable nature is demonstrated even in paradise restored. This alone should argue for Continue reading “More on the Millennium”

What Becomes of Suffering?

Romans 5:3-5We also rejoice in our suffering, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom He has given us. (NIV 1984)

My Musings – It sounds perverse at first reading. Rejoice that we suffer? But that is not what it says. Rejoice in suffering. The suffering itself is not something to rejoice about. But in the suffering, we can rejoice about the permanent improvements it is making in us, involving our ability to persevere, the development of our character and our capacity for hope.

My Advice – Persevere through suffering. There is hope at the end. And once you come through it, your character will be further developed.

What’s Clearly Seen

Romans 1:20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – So called “science” has blinded the eyes of many. The Creator is clearly seen in His creation. It is understood that an intelligent design means there is an intelligent designer. Order and complexity did not happen by chance or accident.

My Advice – Do not be taken in by the so-called scientific proofs that seemingly contradict the Bible’s account of creation. Scientific “facts” have changed time and time again throughout the course of history, but God’s account of creation has never changed or been conclusively contradicted.

Views On The Millennium

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CHRIST’S REIGNAnd I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4b-6)

Viewpoints on The Millennium – The word millennium is derived from the Latin words mille meaning a thousand, and annus meaning year, or a period of one thousand years. Although the concept of the millennium has its foundation in certain unconditional covenants in the Old Testament, Revelation 20:4–6 specifically mentions that Christ will reign on earth for a thousand years following His return to earth.(1)

While it is true that Revelation 20:1–6 is the only passage that mentions the specific period of one thousand years, it does so six times, and repetition is always significant in the Bible. During this time, Satan is imprisoned in the Abyss and is unable to mislead the nations. The saints, meanwhile, reign with Christ. The Millennium seems to occur before the creation of a new heavens and new earth (Revelation 21:1–2). Three primary viewpoints on the nature of the Millennium exist. Continue reading “Views On The Millennium”