Beyond Heavenly Wheelbarrows And Tennis Courts

Heaven's Glory

Eschatology intimidates me. Although I have been a Christian for a little over 49 years, I can’t take iron clad positions on when our the Rapture will occur in relation to the Tribulation or which saved people will live in the Millennal Kingdom. Many of you will undoubtedly be disappointed that I don’t unquestioningly follow John MacArthur’s pronouncements on these points. But I just don’t think I understand the finer points of eschatology well enough to take a stand on these two matters.

I’m not sure it’s necessary that I be an expert in eschatology, frankly. It’s an important topic, yes. But minds far more brilliant than mine have debated the details for centuries.

That said, I do have firm convictions about our eternal state. And I find much of contemporary evangelical speculation about heaven to be man-centered and silly. Furthermore,  much of what evangelicals say regarding heaven bears almost no resemblance to the Bible’s depictions of heaven.

My disability provides an extra opportunity to hear some of the foolish ideas people have about the eternal kingdom. For instance, friends often talk about Continue reading

Church From Home: Perhaps Not As Comfortable As We Fear

570da-stone2bchurchSome people have expressed concern that the forced social distancing that has resulted in churches livestreaming services and Bible Studies will discourage physical church attendance once states lift bans on public assemblies. I understand that the concern.

Ever since services have been televised, small numbers of professing Christians have opted out of attending church, finding it so much more convenient to fire up their TV, computer, tablet or smart phone and watch church in their jammies. Those who have experienced hurt from their church families find this long-distance approach to worship particularly soothing. How nice to hear God’s Word preached without the messiness of accountability and/or difficult relationships!

Others feel frustrated by the lack of churches that preach sound doctrine. Not too many of years ago, I despaired of finding a good church in our area, and seriously contemplated getting my spiritual nourishment online. Thankfully, my godly husband nixed that idea and the Lord brought us to a church that faithfully preaches His Word. Still, I understand the temptation to let online services substitute for actual church attendance.

So yes, some people probably will continue watching services from home long after COVID-19 fades Continue reading

Secure — By His Grace

Isn’t it easy to make ourselves responsible for procuring and maintaining our salvation?  Something in us insists on taking at least a small portion of credit for our acceptance into heaven. Certainly, I spent years figuring out theological systems that allowed me to view myself as a contributor to my standing before God.

Thankfully, the Lord used His Word to convince me that He both initiated my salvation and will carry it to completion. He alone deserves all the glory.

This realization humbles us, which explains why so many of us fight against it. Surely, there must be some little way we cooperate with the Holy Spirit! Just a little? But no, Christ claims all the glory. His mercy takes us from start to finish.

Precisely because everything about our salvation emanates from His mercy and grace, we enjoy absolute security. Nothing can rob us of the security that He has bought us with His blood and therefore He will keep us for Himself. He will not permit anything — including ourselves — to interfere with His eternal purpose for us. We can rest secure in His grace.

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Hearing God By Taking His Word Out Of Context? Only In Fiction

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I like watching our Little House On The Prairie DVDs. The stories are clean, sweet and moral — all rare attributes in the entertainment industry. Since my Cerebral Palsy makes it impossible to read or use my computer in bed, watching shows like Little House offers me a way to unwind in the evening.

Despite its reputation for being a spiritual show with Christian overtones, however, Little House On The Prairie fails miserably when it comes to sound theology. An episode I recently watched brought this fact home to me quite vividly, reminding me how important it is to read and apply Scripture in its context. Although the storyline celebrated the misuse of God’s Word, I want to caution against following the character’s foolish example.

In the episode, Caroline scratches her leg on a dirty nail, but forgets to clean the wound immediately. Naturally, an infection sets in, causing all sorts of complications. In desperation,  she opens her Bible. Wonderously, her eyes fall on Continue reading

Who Determines What We Need?

Spring Tree

Yesterday our pastor preached the second sermon in a three-part series on the Lord’s Prayer. As he expounded on the clause, “Give us this day our daily bread,” he made the distinction between needs and wants that most preachers make when preaching on this clause.  I expected no less from him.

I got more than I expected, however.

He commented that God, because He is sovereign, gets to Continue reading

Jesus Shines Brighter

I love the hymn that I have selected to post this week. I love the way it exalts Jesus as Son of God and Son of man. I love its bold declaration that He rules over all creation. And I love the way it describes how much fairer He is than even the most beautiful aspects of His creation.

But right now, it encourages me to remember that He also shines brighter than all the trouble that this current pandemic has caused. As easy as it is to be distracted by all the ramifications of the crisis, we need to turn our attention to Him, seeing that He outshines all the hardship, sorrow and frustration that threatens our peace. What a beautiful Savor!

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Why COVID-19 Hasn’t Given Me More Time To Blog

TypingRegular readers have undoubtedly noticed a radical difference in the frequency of my blog posts. Gone are Saturday Samplers, and those Bible Studies on Colossians that I’d waited all summer to write have vanished. My schedule of seven articles a week has dwindled to two or three, and I’m recycling graphics more than ever!

While most bloggers enjoy more time to write courtesy of COVID-19, I lay captive Continue reading