Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Not Death

My family has suffered a great loss. My cousin has died at the ripe old age of 52.

He is survived by his parents, wife, children, and a grandchild, as well as an extended family who are very fond of him.

Correction: Christians do not die. He has fallen asleep.

Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words (1 Thess 4:13-18).
As always, we cling to the hope of a world to come. Because He lives, we will live. We will be with Jesus, and we will be like Jesus. Those who precede us are only partaking a little early.

But the separation is still painful, especially when it is so unexpected. Please pray for his wife, parents, and children.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Links: Apologetics

Interesting news from Dan Wallace:
First-Century Fragment of Mark’s Gospel Found!?

Is God a Moral Monster?
Looking at the issue in historical, textual, and biblical contexts.

Undesigned Scriptural Coincidences: The Ring Of Truth
The little things give credibility to the big things.

Were Ancient People Gullible Enough To Sustain Modern Skeptical Theories?
"... there is mounting evidence that this alleged dichotomy between the worldview of ancient people and the worldview of modern Western people is itself a piece of modern mythology."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Eternal life isn't all about the afterlife.

There are voices in Christianity that want to remind us that salvation isn't all about life after death. Unfortunately they overstate things at times, but they are helpful, trying to keep us from forgetting that through the saving work of Jesus we are reconciled to God, adopted into his one family, and given the work of peace, justice, and hope, bringing his kingdom, as much as possible, to the here and now.

It's also about life after death.

He is risen! The words of the angel became the traditional Easter greeting because it's so key to the whole story. Jesus did not just reconcile us to God. He conquered death!
If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. ...

When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
(1 Cor 15:19-22, 54-55)
The cross of Christ was about more than life after death, but we must not forget that Christ's victory over sin was also victory over death.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


The world is broken.

Natural disasters, disease, man's inhumanity — all signs that something is wrong with this world. We all know intuitively that this isn't how things should be.

The world knows it, too.
The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves ... groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies (Rom 8:18-27).
Jesus came to save us from our sins. His death to pay for our sins was a part of that, but it is not the whole mission. All of creation waits to be saved, to be what it was supposed to be.

That is why, when Jesus entered Jerusalem on "Palm Sunday," critics were told if the disciples didn't worship Jesus "the stones will cry out" (Lk 19:40). The earth itself saw that as the beginning of the end of its bondage.

That work has still not been completed, but we are closer than we have ever been to the day when death and pain will be a memory.

Christ has already triumphed. Now we only wait for the victory lap.

Why Did Christ Die at Passover?