Posts Tagged With: Reformed Theology

You Want Me to Go WHERE? You Want Me to Do WHAT?

I want you to imagine for a moment this scenario. (As you will hear in this PODCAST, a potentially familiar biblical story to you.)

That being said, see if you can guess the name of its principle player.

His people were ravaged by a barbarically blood-thirsty Empire, the armies of which decimated his land, desecrated his holy places, and butchered his people.

His hatred for these pagan barbarians flamed in his guts with the white-hot fury of volcanic rage. A smoldering-just-beneath-the-surface-anger that could have understandably erupted into a deadly confrontation at the slightest provocation.

But God is a God of mercy, isn’t he?

So He asked this man to set aside his prejudices, to extinguish the fiery rage that blazed within him. And in the face of the mountain of abuses he and his people suffered at the hands of these hedonistic heathens, these merciless marauders, to travel into the very power-center of this occupying power in order to share with the people there the Good News of God’s redemptive love.

The notion that he would engage these interlopers on any level was utterly repugnant to him. Not to mention his absolute inability even to entertain the slightest possibility that some such as these might spend an eternity with him in Heaven.

He didn’t want God to save them; He wanted God to obliterate them.

So down to the seaport city of Joppa he went (that’s your clue to this mystery man’s identity) where he confronted a personal crisis of faith unlike he had ever experienced before.

Does he walk away in rebellion against God? Does he get into a boat and sail away, in direct defiance of God’s revealed will?

Or does he submit himself to the task to which God called him, knowing full-well that in doing so he may-well place himself squarely in the crosshairs of his sworn enemy?

To whom am I referring? Who was this singularly-selected servant of God, forced to face such a potentially life-threatening, history-altering choice?

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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Resolved!

As you are about to hear in this PODCAST, to our Western sensibilities, Acts 2:23 plunges us into a theological quagmire of staggering proportions.

But trust me. When Peter introduced this indictment of that Day of Pentecost crowd, he didn’t even flinch.

And therein lies the story.

Consider this: It’s verses like Acts 2:23 that have given rise to literally centuries of endless (and may I humbly suggest, pointless) theological debate. All the while, Peter’s words in this landmark verse are so wonderfully elegant in their economy—a rather modest 15 words in the Greek; though something of a more elaborate 31 words in our English (NIV) translations.

So here it comes. Acts 2:23. With its attendant theological quagmire. Hear it as it does…

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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A Steady Hand on the Wheel (of YOUR Life)

jesus-sailorIt was an epic one-two punch to the gut. Jesus’ gut, not to put too fine a point on it.

A brutal betrayal coupled with a devastating denial by two of Jesus’ handpicked and beloved disciples.

In this PODCAST, I am referring of course to Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s three-time denial.

If there is a silver lining to these increasingly billowing clouds, it is this: There is a clear pattern emerging here in John 13. A pattern that tells quite a tale, striking subtext to the entire crucifixion story.

A pattern that should illuminate for you a bright, blazing beacon of hope to light your way during your darkest hours and most difficult days.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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YOUR Wedding Day Approaches (Sooner Than You May Think!)

WeddingAs you will hear in this PODCAST, we are fast-approaching the end of our mini-series within a series, this one having to do with all-things End-Times related.

We are, as you well-know, well into the Olivet Discourse. Jesus’ primary teaching on End-Times events, as given on the Tuesday of His final week on earth.

In two weeks, we will pivot to the Thursday of Jesus’ final week, including His Upper Room Discourse.

It is curiously intriguing to me in the first letter that the Apostle Paul ever penned, 1 Thessalonians, he devoted so much of that letter to a discussion of the End Times. Which tells me that even from the very beginning, the first generation of committed Christ-followers had questions about Jesus’ return, even as they watched and waited for Jesus to come back.

There was then, as there is today, much confusion about what was going to happen and when it would happen.

One of the most encouraging things that Paul wrote — you could consider it Paul’s commentary on this podcast’s Matthew 25 passage — was this:

“Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that THE DAY OF THE LORD will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day… Since we belong to the day, stay alert and be clearheaded… For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath, but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ… Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (Just a few of the highlights of 1 Thessalonians 5)

So let’s now heed Paul’s loving encouragement and be clearheaded about what he called “the Day of the Lord.” A vitally important, oft-repeated biblical phrase.

Now listen carefully: Over the past few weeks, we have gone to great lengths to distinguish between such things as the Rapture, the Antichrist, the Tribulation, the Great Tribulation, the Battle of Armageddon, the Second Coming of Christ, Millennium, Eternal State, and all-things in between.

We who are of a Western Mindset obsess over the order of things (those perennially bestselling prophecy charts, along with all of their precisely-placed arrows).

As westerners, it is woven into every strand of our western DNA to focus on Form (how something fits, with an emphasis on symmetry, balance, order, everything in its proper place, everything perfectly fitted together). But those of a Middle Eastern Mindset were much more concerned over function — not on how things fit together, but rather on what things do. Not on how something fits, but what something does.

As you are about to hear, this will have a profound impact on your own personal Bible study.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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Does Hell Really Exist? What Would Jesus Say?

time-cover-bell1101110425_400It has become THE doctrinal debate of our time — Is there really a Hell? Needlessly so. Unnecessarily so. With absolutely no reason for this to be a debate. 

Jesus’ own words ended this debate, 2000 years ago, courtesy of the Parable of the Dragnet. As you will hear clearly and unambiguously in this PODCAST.

Turns out that the Bible is amazingly straightforward about whether or not there is a Hell; if so, what it is truly like, who will be going there, and why they will be going there.

As I often say, It’s amazing what we learn when we read the Bible. Well, get ready to be amazed.

Please remember that depending upon your connection speed and web browser, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to being to play.

God bless you as you listen.

And PLEASE share a link to this podcast with your friends.

Happy listening.

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Two Roads, Two Gates, Two Destinies

You know what? Sometimes things really are as simple as they seem.

This ironic little truism was never more true than Jesus’ words here at the tail end of the SOTM.

 

Boy, if you ever wanted snappy little snapshot of God’s heart AND men’s hearts, it’s all right here in these five words,

Enter by the narrow gate.

This is our 73rd installment of Jesus in HD.

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When we began this series back on November 9, 2012, we stated our primary foundational premise, one (I am pleased to say) from which we have yet to depart. That foundational premise being this: We were going to lay aside all preconceived ideas of who Jesus is, and take a fresh new look at the four Gospels, which is to say, a fresh new look at the life/ministry of Jesus from birth – death – resurrection – ascension. And we will discover anew exactly who Jesus really is.

This approach has served us well, yielding for us some fresh and refreshing new insights / a whole new portrait of just who Jesus was and is.

This never more true as when we come to a passage like the one we are considering tonight.

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