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Showing posts from February, 2014

NT Eschatology—Letters 02

Last time, we started looking at the eschatology of the New Testament letters. We continue our look at 1 Thessalonians.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (CEB): Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about people who have died so that you won’t mourn like others who don’t have any hope. Since we believe that Jesus died and rose, so we also believe that God will bring with him those who have died in Jesus. What we are saying is a message from the Lord: we who are alive and still around at the Lord’s coming definitely won’t go ahead of those who have died. This is because the Lord himself will come down from heaven with the signal of a shout by the head angel and a blast on God’s trumpet. First, those who are dead in Christ will rise. Then, we who are living and still around will be taken up together with them in the clouds to meet with the Lord in the air. That way we will always be with the Lord. So encourage each other with these words.
Some people see in these verses the “rapture.” But that’s…

Weekly Gospel Reflection—23 February 2014

Matthew 5:38-48 (CEB): “You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you that you must not oppose those who want to hurt you. If people slap you on your right cheek, you must turn the left cheek to them as well. When they wish to haul you to court and take your shirt, let them have your coat too. When they force you to go one mile, go with them two. Give to those who ask, and don’t refuse those who wish to borrow from you.
“You have heard that it was said, You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who harass you so that you will be acting as children of your Father who is in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both the evil and the good and sends rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love only those who love you, what reward do you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing? Don’t even the G…

NT Eschatology—Letters 01

This series, which started here, has sought to provide a different view to some of the opinions some people raise regarding the Apostolic belief and teaching about the return of Jesus. Some hold that the Apostles believed and taught the early followers of Jesus to expect the “end of the world” within their lifetime. “And they were obviously wrong,” is the common remark. But, I don’t think that those people who hold to this view follow it all the way through. If the New Testament writers were “obviously mistaken” in their belief and teaching, then that would mean the whole Christian church, since its very beginning was mistaken. I find this position lamentable. Sure, I get it. The writers of the Bible were human beings and prone to error. But what if we are the ones who are wrong? I never hear that as a possibility. Therefore, what we have set out to do is to see if the Apostles got it wrong or perhaps we have misunderstood them.
Our journey in this series has taken us through some Old …

Weekly Gospel Reflection—16 February 2014

Matthew 5:21-37 (CEB): “You have heard that it was said to those who lived long ago, Don’t commit murder, and all who commit murder will be in danger of judgment. But I say to you that everyone who is angry with their brother or sister will be in danger of judgment. If they say to their brother or sister, ‘You idiot,’ they will be in danger of being condemned by the governing council. And if they say, ‘You fool,’ they will be in danger of fiery hell. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift at the altar and go. First make things right with your brother or sister and then come back and offer your gift. Be sure to make friends quickly with your opponents while you are with them on the way to court. Otherwise, they will haul you before the judge, the judge will turn you over to the officer of the court, and you will be thrown into prison. I say to you in all seriousness that you won’t get out o…

NT Eschatology—Questions 2

I have received some comments and emails regarding my understanding of the “coming” of Jesus in Matthew 24. Since this, to me, is foundational to the rest of this series, I thought I would address it now before we move on.
Basically, the question is, “I have always been taught (or believed) that the ‘coming’ Jesus talked about in Matthew 24 was his ‘Second Coming’ at the end of time. So, I’m not so sure if I agree with you. Can you give me some passages to help support your view?”
It’s a fair question. I’ve not always held this view and, like so many others, saw the “coming” of Jesus as the “Second Coming” at the end of history. But, once I started looking into eschatology, I realized that there were other views out there and some were better at addressing some of my concerns. To sharpen the point, I saw other “comings” in the Bible. Please, consider the following.
Genesis 18.13-14:[Yahweh] said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Me give birth? At my age?’ Is anything too difficu…