Death that makes us alive

Life from death

Germinating seed

We usually think of death as the cessation of life. Scripture tells us it’s the beginning of life. How can that be?

Paul tells us to consider ourselves dead to sin but alive to God (Romans 6:11). Elsewhere he says that we were once dead in or sins, but God made us alive in Christ and forgave all our sins (Colossians 2:13).

Read the rest

Daniel’s vision of a blessed future

The book of Daniel contains some of the most obscure visions in Scripture. Weird looking beasts represent empires in Daniel’s future, but mostly our past. We can identify many rulers by name and understand references to what each of them did. The evil doings of Syrian King Antiochus IV appear at greater length, except there always seem to some details that don’t fit. They point to a coming Antichrist. I have recently touched on one of the visions in Thoughts on Bible prophecy: reading the future in Scripture. Daniel’s final vision relates the ultimate destruction of Antichrist and promises bodily resurrection for everyone afterward.… Read the rest

Grace: free, or unavailable

Simple Simon met a pie man. We know that rhyme. He had no money, so he got no pie. That’s how the world works. If Simple Simon were around today, he could possibly get free food at a soup kitchen, but people find that humiliating. No one wants charity. How different it is with God! He operates not on working and earning, but grace. The feast is free, or else you can’t have it.

Before the days of brand-name bottled water, or even treated water distributed by municipalities, anyone who thirsted could drink water for free. They only had to find it.… Read the rest

Examine yourselves

“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Prove yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?–unless indeed you are disqualified.” — 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NKJV)

“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. — 1 John 5:13 (NKJV)

My mother had an uncle named John. He was  one of the leading businessmen in his town, and active in one of the Methodist churches.  When he was in his late 80s, a Baptist friend suggested he should really do something about his baptism; “You’re too good a man to go to hell.”

That’s but one example that immediately comes to mind of people assuming that someone else will go to hell for some perceived failing.… Read the rest