I recently came across a Christian teenager who posed this theoretical situation: a person who never sinned, did everything perfectly according to the Bible, but didn’t believe in God. Why, he asked, would God want to send anyone to hell just for that?
Once upon a time, churched and unchurched people alike recognized God as the judge of mankind. They recognized that he stood against a category of behavior called “sin.”
Much of discourse within the church centered on how to be good enough to avoid going to hell.
Nowadays, churched and unchurched people alike are more likely to regard God as the defendant who must justify his opposition to sin.… Read the rest
“After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” — Revelation 4:1 (NIV)
In the popular imagination, St. Peter is heaven’s gatekeeper. That imagery serves as the backdrop for some truly hilarious jokes, but Scripture knows nothing of it. Much of the imagery in Revelation may be hard to understand, but there is nothing hard about this verse.
After hearing the voice of Jesus in the first chapter, John turned around and did not see the familiar face and body of the man he had followed in Palestine.… Read the rest