Paul of Tarsus became one of the biggest antagonists of the resurrection message. He persecuted those who believed Christ had risen from the dead, hunting them down and throwing them into prison. But after Paul came to believe it himself, he held on to the resurrection message with his dear life. He even gave his life to tell others about it.
Last week I said that one of the difficulties of our current, polarized political climate is that to speak up on any controversial issue is to be pigeon-holed into a political party or agenda. As Christians our loyalty lies not on a political platform, which will rot and decay, but on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ, which lasts forever. It is important to say this again, before addressing another hot-button topic. Continue reading →
Have you ever had a morning when the alarm went off and you hit the snooze button and pulled the sheets over your head, because you knew what lay ahead of you that day? Though I am rarely one to tarry in bed, I have had many mornings when the task list seemed insurmountable, and I was dropping balls faster than I could pick them up. How we start our day can determine how our day will unfold. Continue reading →
Hebert Fingarette taught philosophy at the University of California for many years. He wrote several books on a range of subjects including death. In his book on death, he stated that you should not be afraid, concerned, or anything about death. You are not going to suffer after you die, he asserted, because you will not exist then.
So, you committed your life to Christ. Did you expect a bed of roses? If you did, think again. While there is no greater joy than salvation in the Lord, the road that fallows Christ is marked with suffering.
Knowing the time of his betrayal and death drew near, what did Jesus do? He sat down to have one last meal with his disciples, a Passover meal.
The symbols Jesus used at that meal were common to Passover. This Passover bread was called the Bread of Affliction. Unleavened bread represented the affliction Israel endured as slaves in Egypt and their haste in leaving. Jesus gives this bread a new level of meaning. He would soon be severely afflicted by the breaking of his body to deliver his people from the greater slavery of sin (Matthew 26:26; Romans 8:2).
God will judge every deed. We must all – me, you, every person who ever lived – appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive the due for what we have done while living on this earth, whether good or evil (2 Corinthians 5:10).
In the blink of an eye, all our deeds will be laid bare naked before us, even the evil we did not know we were doing. Whether you are the Ukrainian President Zelensky trying to fight for the survival of your country or the Russian President Putin trying to usurp another country’s sovereignty, we will all be appalled when the lid is ripped open and our deeds and motivations exposed for what they really were. At that moment the only words we will be able to utter will be: “I am not worthy, Lord, send me into the abyss. I am unworthy to enter the gates of your glorious kingdom, for I am a sinful man (I am a sinful woman) and the only thing I deserve is to be dammed forever.”
The Book of Ecclesiastes takes the reader for a ride. You might find yourself lost in all the loops. For this reason, the divinely inspired editor gives a summary statement at the end: “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of humanity (Ecclesiastes 12:13).”
“The Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth (Ecclesiastes 12:10).” What types of words do you seek out? The Preacher in the Book of Ecclesiastes sought words that met the highest standards of both form and content.