Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Keep Watch

Guard standing watch
Keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come” (Matt 24:42).

The King is coming! One day the sky will split open and the Lord will appear. We “do not know the day or the hour” (Matt 25:13), but he’s coming, and it will be good for the servant whose Master finds him doing his job when he returns (Matt 24:46).

It’s tempting to wonder if he’s really coming. It’s been such a long time. This was a problem in the first century, so it’s not surprising for it to appear now.

Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” ...

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. ... (2Pet 3:3-10)

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

A Workaday Faith

a craftsman at work
We all want to do great things for Jesus. That’s normal and healthy. But we’re not all going to get to.

Pastors probably want to be the next Spurgeon or Billy Graham. Writers dream of being the next CS Lewis. The more politically minded hope to be our generation’s Wilberforce. Most of us won’t be.

How do we deal with the fact that most of us will live our lives and then go to our reward without anything impressive to be rewarded for?

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Be On Your Guard

wolf in sheep's clothing
Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matt 7:15).

The enemy is among us. The Bible has a lot to say about false teachers. It’s a major topic in 2 Peter, Jude, Galatians, and the Pastorals, but it comes up in almost every New Testament book. Jesus called them “wolves in sheep’s clothing;” Paul called them “savage wolves” who would try to draw away disciples (Acts 20:29-30). Jude called them “shepherds who feed only themselves” (v12).

This isn’t just advice or a warning, it’s a command. Jesus tells us to be vigilant because these people are destructive. They tell people what they want to hear (2Tim 4:3-4). They may create legalistic rules (1Tim 4:1-5) leading to self-righteousness, or they may tell people there are no rules, that they can live however they want (Jude 1:4). Perhaps they’ll get us distracted by godless myths or foolish arguments (2Tim 2:23). Whatever they’re doing, they’re not building up the church. They’re misleading believers for their own profit (2Pet 2:3).

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Dig Deeper

child eating parfait
“The congregation gets the crumbs of the pastor’s Bible study.” When a professor said that years ago, I didn’t really understand; now I believe it. When I’ve sat through a sermon over a passage I’ve studied, and when I’ve studied in order to teach something, it’s become clear that there is so much bounty, so much juicy goodness that it cannot possibly all fit into any sermon or lesson.

So if you’re not digging into the scriptures for yourself, you’re missing out. Even if you regularly read the Bible, you may be leaving so much treasure unearthed.

Think of the scriptures like a fancy layered dessert — maybe a cake or parfait. There are several layers, and each offers new delights. If you don’t dig down into all the layers, you’re missing out.

Monday, November 7, 2022

Facebook Page

hiker approaching mountain
A decade after everyone else figured this out, I finally noticed many people prefer social media to RSS feeds or email subscriptions, so I've created a Facebook page where I will post what I've written here. If you have a Facebook account, this would make it easy to share any posts you liked.

Please take a look, follow it if you're interested, and let me know if you have any thoughts about how I could set it up better.

You can find the page at facebook.com/HomewardBoundBlog/.