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Calling Down FIRE from Heaven…

Fire from Heaven - 5

from Google Images

Jesus steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem for the Passover (Luke 9:51). He sent messengers (James and John) into a village to prepare for him (Luke 9:52, 54), but the people would not receive him (Luke 9:53). The folks in Samaria held only to the Torah for their Scriptures, and because they celebrated the same three great feasts (Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles) as the Jews at Jerusalem, they refused to extend their hospitality to Jesus and his disciples (Luke 9:53). They would not have celebrated Hanukkah or Purim, which aren’t mentioned in the Law, and which had meaning only for the Jews who worshiped in Jerusalem. Therefore, what Luke 9:53 tells us is that the Samaritans took offense, because Jesus seemed to prefer the Jews at Jerusalem over them, because he made it obvious that he intended to celebrate the next great feast of Leviticus 23, the Passover, at Jerusalem and not with the people of Samaria. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Looking for the Day of the Lord!

Day of the LordIf the Day of the Lord arrived today, what would it look like? What do the Scriptures say about this day, and should we understand them literally or is there another way to see them that fulfills what we are told, but doesn’t destroy everything God created? Peter writes about the “world that then was” as he speaks of the judgment of the Flood, implying that the heavens and earth existing in Peter’s day were different from what we would have found before the Flood. Yet, not only did the old heavens and earth pass away to make room for that which Peter knew, but Peter tells us to look for new heavens and a new earth different from what he knew. In other words, the Scriptures speak three times of God making new heavens and a new earth, the final one coming with the Day of the Lord. What does all this mean, and can we know? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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The Error of Scoffers

IgnoranceMany modern critics of the Bible have a vested interest in the idea that Jesus (if they even admit that he ever existed) is both dead and buried somewhere near Jerusalem. It wasn’t really that much different in the first century AD. The idea of anyone rising from the dead was completely foreign to what people might think about a hero or an enemy. Such a thing had no place in the worldview of Hellenistic society or any other ancient culture, despite what some folks like to say today. Peter claimed in 2Peter 3:5 that the scoffers of that day were willingly ignorant or forgetful. The reason being, they have a vested interest in the idea that Jesus must be dead and could not be the Messiah (cf. Mark 12:6-7). Dead men don’t live again, or so they wished it were true (2Peter 2:1-3; 3:5). What they desired to be so ruled their reasoning of what should be true, so their foolish hearts were darkened (2Peter 2:4; Romans 1:21). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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The Fire Christ Kindled

fiery-trials

from Google Images

Jesus said that at least part of his commission in coming into the world was to kindle a fire on the earth (Luke 12:49a). This was said in the context of his coming in judgment upon his disciples (Luke 12:22-48), and in the context of his own crucifixion (Luke 12:50) or judgment at the hands of men. The fire of which Jesus spoke was the fire of suffering (judgment), for some, it means being persecuted for righteousness. Jesus seems to say that this fire of judgment is already lit (Luke 12:49b; cf. 6:11; 11:53), in that he was already being persecuted (John 5:16), which would culminate in his own death. Moreover, if Jesus was persecuted, it follows that anyone who claims to be his disciple would also be persecuted (John 15:20; cf. Luke 12:45). Therefore, in his first epistle Peter sought to encourage the believers in Asia Minor, concerning their present condition and how that condition served God’s purpose, and, not only so, but he also shows that judgment would come to their persecutors.

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Posted by on January 18, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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The Baptism of Fire

Baptism of Fire

from Google Images

In a previous blog post (HERE), I described the baptism of the Holy Spirit or the Messiah’s baptism as referred to by John (Luke 3:16-17). Nevertheless, John describes the Messiah’s baptism as one “with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Luke 3:16; cf. Matthew 3:11). That is, it seems John referred to a single baptism or an immersion in both the Holy Spirit and fire. Some have understood John to mean Jesus would baptize his disciples with the Holy Spirit and the world (or those who reject him) with fire, but I don’t think John meant that at all. In Matthew’s account (Matthew 3:11) the single preposition en (G1722)[1] is used for both the Holy Spirit and fire, indicating a single baptism. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Is Destruction Everlasting?

The love of God never seems darker or more absent than when we consider God destroying his enemies who are the unrepentant sinners of this world. The fact of the matter is, this doctrine teaches God fails in the end to save some people. In other words, some will defy him so much that God is finally unable to save them. The popular teaching is, it is not God who fails, but man fails to respond to the salvation that is freely given him by God. At the end of the day, however, God is unable to do that which he had always wanted to do (2Peter 2:9; 1Timothy 2:4). Some men’s evil is simply too great and prevents God from finally reaching all the hearts he sent his Son to save. Is this true? Does this teaching accurately portray what God says in his word? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2009 in Judgment, Religion

 

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Everlasting Punishment

Is everlasting punishment never ending? In Matthew 25:31 and following one will find the Judgment of the Just and the Unjust. When I consider those who have not come to Christ in repentance and never received him as Savior, I must ask: “If their reward is everlasting punishment, does this really mean never ending punishment?”

…’Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. (Matthew 25:41 NIV)

Matthew 25:41 says: “…depart you cursed from me into everlasting fire…” The word translated ‘eternal’ is aionios (G166) and fire is pur (G4442). Both are used in Jude 1:7 for ‘eternal fire’ which was the judgment of Sodom and Gomorra (KJV). The question is this: Is this fire still burning in Sodom? Of course not, and since it is not burning yet today, then the term aionios fire cannot mean eternal in the same sense that we understand the word to mean in English. If this is so with this Scripture, how can we be so certain that those who are to be punished with eternal fire in Matthew 25:41 are punished eternally? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2009 in Judgment, Religion

 

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