ESV Bible

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Nine Year Ride!

Nine years ago I married my best friend. It's hard to believe that it's been nine years. When I think back about what I would compare our marriage to, the one thing that pops into my mind is a roller coaster. Our marriage has been a roller coaster ride.

Most of the time when people think of roller coaster they think, "Oh my goodness it's been up-and-down, rocky, tough, hard and by the time you make it to the end, you're so happy that it's over.

But that's not how I see things at all. Whenever I go to Disney or to another park, I always look forward to the roller coasters, or any thrill ride for that matter. In my mind, there's no better ride in the park then the roller coaster.

The roller coaster is where I get my thrill. It keeps me on the edge of my seat. There are quick turns and quick drops and sometimes you go upside down. When I first started going on roller coasters, I'll admit, I was a little scared, but the more I rode them, the more I loved them. Whenever the coaster ends, my first thought is, "I wish I could do that again."

Our marriage has been a roller coaster. There's been crazy quick turns. We've been upside down and inside out and it's been scary, but I wouldn't change a thing.

There's nothing calm about a roller coaster, and in our marriage, I don't think I'd use the word "calm" to describe it. I'd say this picture is a little more accurate:

God has brought us through so many ups and downs, through so many unexpected turns, but at the end of the day I know my wife and I would both agree that we wouldn't change (almost) anything. Through it all, we have seen God shower us with His unmatched grace!

We are by no means perfect, but we are united on this one goal: that our marriage is not about making each other fulfilled, because we know we don't have the ability to do that...our marriage is about conforming to the image of the love that we have for each other, the way we raise our children, in the church that we partner with, and in our everyday lives. 

Lately my wife and I have been reading Francis and Lisa Chan's new book You And Me Forever. And I can't help but agree with them when they say, "When two people are right with Him, they will be right with each other."

Marriage is not ultimately about pleasing the other person. Marriage is not about getting great gifts or having the most exciting romance. Marriage is about two people united in life to serve Jesus. 

If we don't focus on Christ, then we focus on SELF. It's that simple!

Paul Tripp puts it this way, "Marriage is war between the kingdom of self and the kingdom of God. The minute you go into it for happiness, you will always end up with conflict. Marriage is a tool for sanctification."

I think I heard Matt Chandler say, "Frustration is birthed out of unmet expectations."

I am so thankful for a wife who, more than anything else, wants to point me to the cross. I am thankful that she doesn't merely "yes" me to death, but she challenges my thinking and pushes me further into the arms of my Savior. 

Okay, more Francis Chan quote..."If Godzilla tried to step on you, then vampires stuck their teeth in you, angry hobbits boiled you in stew, I'd stop the world and melt with you. If Dora and Boots came out to play, then Swiper came, swiped you away, I'd grab a map, and I'd search all day, when I find him...make him pay."

Proverbs 12:4a says, "An excellent wife is the crown of her husband" and Proverbs 18:22 says, "He who finds a wife, finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord."

Louise, I love you so much. Happy Anniversary! I love the roller coaster ride we're on, and I don't ever want to get off! Let's ride it out together. (yes, I am one of those cheese ball, annoying husbands)

I love you babe!

Mid Week Book Buzz 11/25/14

I'm going to predict that the closer we get to Christmas, the more deals we will see. Let me recommend some books that you might want to pick up this week. #9 is our freebie. Paul Tripp is on here at #28, and #29. I recently started reading Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung #1. My wife loved reading Glimpses of Grace by Gloria Furman #3 and she said that Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp #25 was one of the best books she's read on the subject. I read the Jesus Storybook Bible #10 almost every night to my children.

There are some great counseling books today from topics on family, marriage, and sex. There are a few apologetics books, one specifically on the problem of evil #19.

There are a few commentaries for you preachers #13-15. Finally for you theology guys and gals, check out In Defense of the Bible #20, NT Theology #41, A Theology for the Church #23 and Understanding Biblical Theology #16.

1. Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung $1.99 print price: $11.99

2. A Loving Life by Paul Miller $1.99 print price: $12.99

3. Glimpses of Grace by Gloria Furman $.99 print price: $14.99

4. Contentment by Lydia Brownback $.99 print price: $10.99

5. The Christian Counselor's Manual by Jay Adams $1.99 print price: $22.99

6. God's Battalions by Rodney Stark $2.99 print price: $14.99

7. Christianity's Dangerous Idea by Alister McGrath $2.99 print price:$15.99

8. Allah: A Christian Response by Miroslav Volf $2.99 print price: $15.99

9. Speaking Truth in Love by David Powlison FREE print price: $19.99

10. The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones $1.99 print price: $16.99

11. Everyday Talk about Sex & Marriage by John Younts $2.99 print price: N/A

12. Praying Through the Prophets: Joel, Amos, and Obadiah by John Calvin $2.99 print price: N/A

13. The New American Commentary: 1 Corinthians by Mark Taylor $2.99 print price: $32.99

14. Exegetical Guide to the Greek NT: James by Chris Vlachos $2.99 print price: $24.99

15. Exegetical Guide to the Greek NT: 1 Peter by Greg Forbes $3.99 print price: $24.99

16. Understanding Biblical Theology by Edward Klink III $3.79 print price: $17.99

17. The Promises of Grace by Bryan Chapell $1.99 print price: $15.00

18. Relativism by Francis Beckwith $2.51 print price: $17.00

19. The Problem of Evil by Jeremy Evans $2.99 print price: $24.99

20. In Defense of the Bible by Terry Wilder $2.99 print price: $34.99

21. Truth in a Culture of Doubt by Andreas Kostenberger $3.99 print price: $19.99

22. Bonhoeffer Speaks Today by Mark Devine $2.99 print price: $19.99

23. A Theology for the Church by Daniel Akin $5.99 print price $54.99

24. Caught Off Guard by William Smith $2.51 print price: $17.99

25. Shepherding A Child's Heart by Ted Tripp $1.99 print price: $12.30

26. Instructing A Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp $1.99 print price: $12.55

27. When Sinners Say I Do by Dave Harvey $1.99 print price: $11.99

28. Broken Down House by Paul Tripp $1.99 print price: $12.56

29. Lost In The Middle by Paul Tripp $1.99 print price: $14.09

30. Get Wisdom by Ruth Younts $1.99 print price: $6.74

31. Time For The Talk by Steve Zollos $1.99 print price: $11.82

32. Here is Love: A Commentary for Children - Genesis by Nancy Ganz $1.99 print price: $13.46

33. Get Outta My Face by Rick Horne $1.99 print price: $12.37

34. Why Christmas? by Barbara Reaoch $1.99 print price: $13.18

35. Make, Mature, Multiply by Brandon Smith $.99 print price: $9.99

36. Called Together by Jonathan Dodson $.99 print  price: $7.99

37. Saving Leonardo by Nancy Pearcey $3.99 print price: $26.99

38. Gospel by J.D. Greear $2.99 print price: $14.99

39. Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart by J.D. Greear $.99 print price: $12.99

40. The Mission of Today's Church by Ed Stetzer $.99 print price: $16.99

41. New Testament Theology by Leon Morris $4.99 print price: $24.99

42. Dining with the Devil by Os Guinness $1.99 print price: $15.00

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thinking on Ephesians 1 Verses 7-10 Part 3

Eph. 1:7-10

"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth." - ESV

Today we're going to look at verse 8.

Last week we learned about God's amazing grace, and how his grace changes our life. It's important to keep in mind that Grace doesn't simply change our minds and our heart's one time, but all of life is through the grace of God. Everything that we have, every opportunity that comes our way, are all by God's grace. 

A skeptic might ask the question, "Why in the world would God be so gracious? Isn't he worried about being taken advantage of? If we understand the lust of the flesh, why would God continue to pour down his grace? Is that wise?

Verse 8 answers that question with a resounding YES. God lavishes, God pours down, God disseminates his grace on his children out of insight and wisdom. 

How foolish are we to question the sovereign king of the universe? How foolish are we to think for one moment that our plans could be better than his?

Grudem defines God's wisdom as, "God always chooses the best goals, and the best means to those goals."

Berkoff defines it this way, " that perfection of God whereby He applies His knowledge to the attainment of His ends in a way which glorifies Him most."

Paul refers to God as "the only wise God" in Romans 16:27.  Job says our God is "wise in heart and mighty in strength (Job 9:4)" and David exclaims how great God's creation is and says, "In wisdom have you made them all (Ps. 104:24)."

It's so important to understand that God's redemption and reconciliation of us to Himself was always part of God's master plan. God's wisdom and insight are perfect. We may not understand why God chooses to act a certain way or allow some event to take place, but because we know God's Word is TRUE and RIGHT, we can find comfort in the knowledge that His decision was WISE and is the best choice to accomplish His perfect will.

Romans 11:33-34 says, "Oh the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For who has know the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?"

1 Cor. 2:7 says, "But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory."

Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

How should we respond?

This is exactly why we need to learn to be DEPENDENT on the Lord. We need to learn to rest in the fact that God knows best! Even when we think that what is happening in our lives can't possibly be right or good, TRUST your God who is full of infinite wisdom.

Remember: God's decisions are always WISE, for our GOOD, and for His GLORY!

Be Edified!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Battle for Britain's Soul

This summer you have the opportunity to travel to London, Cambridge, and Oxford to retrace the steps of C.S. Lewis with two of my favorite professors.

Dr. Thomas Woodward was my Systematic Theology professor at Trinity College and I love him. He is one of the leading apologists in the country. He has lectured all over the world, and continues to stack his resume as he speaks in some of the leading Apologetics conferences around the nation. He has authored the following books: The Mysterious Epigenome, Darwin Under the Microscope, Doubts About Darwin, and Darwin Strikes Back. He is also the founder of the C.S. Lewis Society and

Dr. Eric Bargerhuff has become one of my very close friends over the past year as we have worked together at Trinity College. Dr. Bargerhuff also teaches Systematic Theology at Trinity. He has authored Love that Rescues and The Most Misused Verses in the Bible. He is also the senior pastor of Grace Point Church in Trinity, Florida.

This trip is not only a tour of C.S. Lewis' life and ministry, but it's also a summer class offered by Trinity College taught by these amazing professors. the class is called "The Battle for Britain's Soul: The Gospel's Advance from the Middle Ages to C.S. Lewis."

If you would like more information about this AWESOME opportunity, click here for all the information you could possibly need, or call Trinity College of Florida.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mid Week Book Buzz 11/18/14

Well, another week of great books to download. Make sure you at least download #1 because it's free, and I would also recommend you grab #35 (Think by John Piper) for $.99. Also, most of the NIV Application Commentaries are still on sale, so if you still want to grab some of those, check out my Mid Week Book Buzz from last week.

1. Old Story New: 10 minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God by Marty Machowski FREE print price: $19.99

2. The Pastor as Scholar and the Scholar as Pastor by John Piper & D.A. Carson $.99 print price: $12.99

3. Logic: A God-Centered Approach to the Foundation of Western Thought by Vern Poythress $.99 print price: $45.00

4. Ethics and Moral Reasoning by C. Ben Mitchell $.99 print price: $11.99

5. The Gospel and the Mind by Bradley Green $1.99 print price: $16.99

6. Worldviews in Conflict by Ronald Nash $5.98 print price: $16.99

7. Five Views on Apologetics by Various $2.99 print price: $19.99

8. Three Views on Creation and Evolution by Various $2.99 print price: $18.99

9. Four Views on the Historical Adam by Various $2.99 print price: $19.99

10. Three Views on NT Use of the OT by Various $2.99 print price: $17.99

11. Four Views on Moving Beyond the Bible to Theology by Various $2.99 print price: N/A

12. Understanding Four Views on Baptism by Various $2.99 print price: N/A

13. Understanding Four Views on the Lord's Supper by Various $2.99 print price: $16.99

14. Who Runs the Church? Four Views on Church Government by Various $2.99 print price: $18.99

15. God So Loved, He Gave by Kelly Kapic $2.99 print price: $19.99

16. What's Best Next by Matthew Perman $2.99 print price: $19.99

17. Christians in an Age of Wealth by Craig Blomberg $3.99 print price: $24.99

18. The Best Kept Secret of Christian Mission by John Dickson $3.99 print price: N/A

19. Understanding Biblical Theology by Edward Klink III $3.99 print price: $17.99

20. Washed and Waiting by Wesley Hill $3.99 print price: $14.99

21. 60 People Who Shaped the Church by Alton Gansky $.99 print price: $17.99

22. Who Made God? by Ravi Zacharias $4.27 print price: $14.99

23. Grounded in the Gospel by J.I. Packer $2.51 print price: $17.00

24. Introducing Covenant Theology by Michael Horton $3.99 print price: $17.99

25. The Great & Holy War by Philip Jenkins $2.99 print price: $29.99

26. The Narnian by Alan Jacobs $2.99 print price: $14.95

27. AfterLife by Hank Henegraaff $3.03 print price: $21.99

28. God is a Warrior by Tremper Longman III $4.27 print price: $17.99

29. The Moral Vision of the NT by Richard Hays $2.99 print price: $26.99

30. Christianity's Dangerous Idea by Alister McGrath $2.99 print price:$15.99

31. Did Eve Really Have an Extra Rib? by Ken Ham $3.99 print price: $10.99

32. Did Adam Have a BellyButton? by Ken Ham $2.51 print price: $10.99

33. The Great Dinosaur Mystery Solved by Ken Ham $2.99 print price: $11.99

34. Connected by Erin Davis $2.99 print price: $14.99

35. Think by John Piper $.99 print price: $15.99

36. Creature of the Word by Matt Chandler $2.99 print price: $14.99

37. The Church by Mark Dever $2.99 print price: $12.99

38. The Good Life by Trip Lee & Matt Chandler $6.02 print price: $10.99

39. Take Words With You by Tim Kerr & Joshua Harris $.99 print price: N/A

40. Wisdom & Wonder by Abraham Kuyper $.99 print price: $14.99

41. Christian Beliefs by Wayne Grudem $2.99 print price: $14.99

42. Theology in the Context of World Christianity by Timothy Tennent $4.27 print price: $24.99

43. The Unquenchable Flame by Michael Reeves $2.99 print price: $14.99

44. Jesus and the Gospels by Craig Blomberg $2.99 print price: $39.99

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Hunter Hunted

If you haven't ever been to BLDG28 Church, you need to come and check it out. The people of BLDG28 are truly on a mission to see the body of Christ move into the community and consume it for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Pastor Aaron Currin has been preaching through the Book of Acts. This past week he preached on the conversion of Saul/Paul.

Did you know that the name Saul meant "mighty" and Paul means "weak?"

This certainly changes my view of 1Corinthians 1:27, "But God chose to use the foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong..."

This sermon also really hit me hard with the doctrine of UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION. If you are struggling with whether you believe God's election is corporate and conditional or individual and unconditional you have to read what Paul says about his conversion in Galatians 1:11-15.

We also see how important prayer is in our lives and the lives of those you may never know. At the death of Stephen, we see Saul holding the coats of those stoning Stephen, but we see Stephen praying for those who are killing him. God answers Stephen's prayer by converting Paul on the road to Damascus.

Take some time to listen to this sermon, and hopefully we will see you next week to worship with us at BLDG28 Church.

Click here for yesterday's sermon.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Thinking on Ephesians 1 Verses 7-10 Part 2

Eph. 1:7-10

"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth." - ESV

Today we will look at the phrase, "according to the riches of his grace."

We have forgiveness of sin because of the grace given us through Jesus Christ.

Grace is the word charis here. We get our English word charity from it. It is used in many different ways in the New Testament.  Here are just a few of the ways it is translated:

"grace"  - Jn 1:14
"favor" - Lk 1:30
"thanks" - Rom 6:17
"gracious" - Lk 4:22
"benefit" - Lk 6:32
"gift" - Rom 4:4
"credit" - Lk 6:34

Romans 5:20 says, "Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more..."

You see, God's amazing grace is seen in abundance in this passage.

I think many Christians fail to understand what this particular passage is trying to communicate to us. God will never run out of grace to give to you. There will never be a time when God says, "Oh dang, that was really bad, I don't think I'm going to give you grace on that one."

You can never out sin God's grace, you can try, but YOU WILL FAIL.

Think of the most heinous sin you can possibly think of and GOD'S OVERFLOWING GRACE is GREATER than that sin!

All of Salvation is by God's extravagant grace. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God..."

John Frame gives a great definition of God's Grace when he defines God's grace as his "sovereign, unmerited favor, given to those who deserve his wrath."

2Timothy 1:9 tells us that God saved us and elected us based on his purpose and grace. God's grace is in every part of our salvation.

We deserved to be punished for our sin, but God lavishes his favor on us when we don't deserve it at all.

Quoting John Frame yet again, "So all the blessings of God come to us by God's sovereign grace. Without his grace we are nothing."

We are REDEEMED by his BLOOD and FORGIVEN by his GRACE! Live your life with the knowledge that your God loves to shower you with the riches of his amazing grace.

Be Edified!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Mid Week Book Buzz 11/11/14

1. The Crucified Life by A.W. Tozer $2.99 digital price: $14.99

2. Everything You Always wanted to Know about God by Eric Metaxes $1.99 digital price: $19.99

3. Manhood Restored by Eric Mason $2.99 digital price: $9.99

4. Creature of the Word by Matt Chandler $2.99 print price: $14.99

5. Recovering Redemption by Matt Chandler $4.99 print price: $16.99

6. Renewing Your Mind by R.C. Sproul $3.03 digital price: $20.00

7. God's Love by R.C. Sproul $1.99 digital price: $14.99

8. Last Christian on Earth by Os Guinness $1.99 digital price: $16.99

9. James Robinson Graves by James Patterson $.99 print price: $19.99

11. Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur $5.69 print price: $9.99

12. The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur $5.98 print price: $19.99

13. The One True God by Paul Washer $2.99 print price: $5.25

14. Second Forgetting by Benjamin Mast $5.12 print price: $14.99

15. One Thing by Sam Storms $3.99

16. Praying Backwards by Bryan Chapell $3.99 print price: $16.00

17. The Beauty and Glory of the Father by Joel Beeke $2.99 print price: $25.00

18. Freedom of the Will by Jonathan Edwards $.99 print price: $7.95

19. Dangerous Calling by Paul David Tripp $1.99 print price: $22.99

20. Lost in the Middle by Paul David Tripp $4.99

21. Instructing a Child's Heart by Paul & Margy Tripp $4.99 print price: $13.95

22. Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp $4.99 print price: $13.95

23. The Pastor's Justification by Jared Wilson $.99 print price: $15.99

24. Called Together by Jonathan Dodson $2.99

25. Church Planter by Darrin Patrick $.99 print price: $15.99

26. Beat God to the Punch by Eric Mason $2.99

27. Understanding the Bible by John Stott $4.99 print price: $14.99

28. Rise of the Nones by James White $2.51 print price: $15.99

29. The Agency that Transformed a Nation by J.C. Ryle $1.20

30. Behind a Frowning Providence by John Murray $2.00

31. Astonished by Mike Erre FREE print price: $15.99

32. NIV Application Commentary: Genesis by John Walton $4.99 print price:$36.99

33. NIV Application Commentary: Leviticus and Numbers by Roy Gane $4.99 print price: $36.99

34. NIV Application Commentary: Deuteronomy by Daniel Block $4.99 print price: $39.99

35. NIV Application Commentary: Joshua by Robert Hubbard Jr. $4.99

36. NIV Application Commentary: Judges and Ruth by K. Lawson Younger $4.99 print price: $31.99

37. NIV Application Commentary: 1&2 Kings by August Konkel $4.99 print price: $36.99

38. NIV Application Commentary: 1&2 Chronicles by Andrew Hill $4.99 print price: $36.99

39. NIV Application Commentary: Esther by Karen Jobes $4.99 print price: $24.99

40. NIV Application Commentary: Job by John Walton $4.99 print price: $29.99

41. NIV Application Commentary: Ecclesiastes & Song of Songs by Ian Provan $4.99 print price: $29.99

42. NIV Application Commentary: Isaiah by John Oswalt $4.99 print price: $36.99

43. NIV Application Commentary: Jeremiah & Lamentations by J. Andrew Dearman $4.99 print price: $29.99

44. NIV Application Commentary: Ezekiel by Ian Duguid $4.99 print price: $31.99

45. NIV Application Commentary: Daniel by Tremper Longman III $4.99 print price: $27.99

46. NIV Application Commentary: Joel, Obadiah, & Malachi by David Baker $4.99 print price: $27.99

47. NIV Application Commentary: Hosea, Amos, & Micah by Gary Smith $4.99

48. NIV Application Commentary: Jonah, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah by James Bruckner $4.27 print price: $27.99

49. NIV Application Commentary: Haggai & Zechariah by Mark Boda $4.99 print price: $31.99

50. NIV Application Commentary: Matthew by Michael Wilkins $4.99 print price: $44.99

51. NIV Application Commentary: Mark by David Garland $4.99 print price: $34.99

52. NIV Application Commentary: Luke by Darrell Bock $4.27 print price: $34.99

53. NIV Application Commentary: John by Gary Burge $4.99 print price: $34.99

54. NIV Application Commentary: Acts by Ajith Fernando $4.99 print price: $34.99

55. NIV Application Commentary: Romans by Douglas Moo $4.99 print price: $31.99

56. NIV Application Commentary: 1Corinthians by Craig Blomberg $4.27 print price: $27.99

57. NIV Application Commentary: Galatians by Scot McKnight $4.99

58. NIV Application Commentary: Ephesians by Klyne Snodgrass $4.27 print price: $27.99

59. NIV Application Commentary: Philippians by Frank Theilman $4.27 print price: $24.99

60. NIV Application Commentary: Colossians & Philemon by David Garland $4.99 print price $29.99

61. NIV Application Commentary: 1&2 Thessalonians by Michael Holms $4.27

62. NIV Application Commentary: 1&2 Timothy and Titus by Walter Liefeld $4.99 print price: $29.99

63. NIV Application Commentary: Hebrews by George Guthrie $4.99

64. NIV Application Commentary: James by David Nystrom $4.99

65. NIV Application Commentary: 1Peter by Scot McKnight $4.99 print price: $27.99

66. NIV Application Commentary: 2Peter & Jude by Douglas Moo $4.99

67. NIV Application Commentary: The Letters of John by Gary Burge $4.27

68. NIV Application Commentary: Revelation by Craig Keener $4.99 print price: $31.99

69. Am I Called by Dave Harvey $.99 print price: $14.99

70. How to Stay Christian in Seminary by David Mathis $.99 print price: $7.99

Monday, November 10, 2014

Left Behind Theology...A History of the Movement Part 1

Another Left Behind be honest, I am a bit surprised, but that's okay, because the more we see this type of promotion in the "movie world" the less legitimate it all seems...and that's a good thing.

Why do I say that's a good thing? Because it's not true.

If you grew up the way I did, your mind is being blown away right now. I grew up in a church that taught left behind theology. The academic name for these views is called dispensational pretribulational premillinialism. Specifically, I am attacking the idea of a "secret rapture," whether there is a future tribulation or not.

Why blog about this?

First, I've had a lot of discussions lately with friends and family who are very confused on this subject, and have (literally) called or texted me about this.

Second, I have a deep burden for other Christians who have been taught some of the same things I was taught that just aren't biblical.

Third, I have started reading a new book that calls into question the basic hermineutics (study of how to interpret Scripture) used by those people who believe that a secret rapture is going to happen.

Today's blog will discuss origin of "left behind" theology. Then I will move on to the movement in America, followed by a discussion of biblical interpretation of prophecy, visions, and apocolyptic literature found in the Bible, and then finally, I will wrap up with my biblical reasons why this position falls apart.

So lets get started...

The views of eschatology (the study of the last things) that espouse a future 1,000 year earthly reign of Jesus Christ that follows his second coming date back to the early church fathers, however the view that there is a secret rapture of the church only goes back to the beginning of the 19th century.

I think it's important to note that this view is not very old. Now I realize that whether something is new or old isn't as important as what the Bible says, but one does have to wonder why some of our greatest leaders of the church did not jump on the "secret rapture" band wagon. Why didn't Martin Luther or John Calvin teach this doctrine?

The history of this view can be traced back to a woman named Theodosia Anne Howard. She was born in 1800 in South Dublin, Ireland, in the parish of Powerscourt. The Howard family was a very old aristocratic family. Theodosia grew up in a protestant anglo-irish community. She married Richard Wingfield who was the Lord of Powerscourt. Lord Powerscourt died in 1823, leaving Theodosia widowed.

History tells us that she attended a Prophetic Bible conference in Albury in Suffolk, which may have lead her to begin hosting prophetic conferences at Powerscourt House.

She would invite clergy and lay persons from all over Britain. Once such attender of these conferences was John Nelson Darby. Darby was born in London, England in 1800. He was educated at the Westminster School and Trinity College in Dublin. It is said that he formed his view of the "secret rapture" in and through these prophetic conferences that took place between 1831-1833. By this time, Darby had also joined the Brethren Movement. The Brethren Movement began in Dublin in 1825. Darby is said to have joined them in 1827. The Brethren Movement started because they had such different views on the end times and wanted to see a turn back to more unity in the church.

"Tregelles, a member of the Brethren in these early days, tells us that the idea of a secret rapture at a secret coming of Christ had its origin in an 'utterance' in Edward Irving's church, and that this was taken to be the voice of the Holy Spirit. Tregellas says, 'It was from that supposed revelation that the modern phraseology respecting arose." (The Blessed Hope by George Eldon Ladd pg. 40-41)

Samuel Tregellas was an English Biblical Scholar of the 1800's. He was born in a Quaker family, later became part of the Brethren movement and eventually left and became Presbyterian.

Commenting on this "utterance" given to John Nelson Darby in his book The Hope of Christ's Second Coming, Tregellas says, "It came not from Holy Scripture, but from that which falsely pretended to be the Spirit of God."

Darby is said to have vigorously promoted his view among the Brethren Movement. A rift eventually followed in the Brethren Church that was never healed. The division was over whether the church would go through a future tribulation or be secretly raptured before a future tribulation.

My next post on this subject will explain the rise of the "Left Behind" theology in America. I hope that as we explore this topic, you will be driven to study the Word of God as I was when I first began to study eschatology.

Be Edified!

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Thinking on Ephesians Chapter 1 Verses 7-10 Part 1

It's been a couple weeks since I have posted on Ephesians. It's been a crazy couple of weeks for me. If you don't know, besides being a pastor at BLDG28 Church, I am also the Admissions Director for a local Bible College. Yesterday we had our Fall Campus Preview. This is a huge event that we have been planning for for months. Now that it's over, I hope to get back to my regular schedule.

Let's get into the text...

Eph. 1:7-10

"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth." - ESV

Let's begin today with the phrase, "In him we have redemption through his blood." First, what is "redemption?" The Greek word used is apolytrosis. This word carries the idea of being released or to grant clemency.

Jesus uses this word in Luke 6:37 when he says, "forgive, and you will be forgiven..."

Jesus also uses this word in Matthew 5:31 when he says, "Whoever divorces his wife..."

Check it out: Paul is trying to communicate the MAGNITUDE of this word! REDEMPTION CHANGES EVERYTHING!

You might say that being in Christ divorces us from our sin (in a legal sense)...makes sense, right?because the Bible says that we are justified (declared righteous) at the same time. Redemption and Justification go hand in hand.

Col. 1:13-14 says, "He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."

Notice how Paul defines redemption in Colossians: 1. deliverance from darkness, 2. transference into the family of God, and 3. forgiveness of our sins.

Second, it's very important to understand that there was a COST for redemption. In this passage we see that "we have redemption through his (Jesus) blood."

Matt 20:28 says, "even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Mark 10:45 says, "For even the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

You see, we were redeemed from being children of God's wrath, to being sons and daughters of the most high King, because Christ paid our debt with his blood.

Rev. 1:5 tells us that we were set free from our sin by the blood of Christ, 1Cor. 6:20 says we were bought with a price, and Gal. 3:13 says that Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law becoming a curse for us.

Next week we will talk about the phrase "according to the riches of his grace." God's grace is so very AMAZING.

For today, though, be edified in the truth that you have been rescued by our Great God through the precious blood of his Son.

How do we humility and service. We have a debt that we can never repay, so now we live as slaves of righteousness, presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice.

Be Edified!

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Mid Week Book Buzz 11/5/14

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22. Spurgeon's Calvinism by Stephen McCaskell $5.99 print price: $13.99

23. Is Jesus the Only Savior? by Ronald Nash $5.98 print price: $16.99

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