Getting somewhere requires effort,
faith to push on,
it's easy to screw up,
Friday, August 15, 2014
Eschatology, Pre/Post Tribulation, End Times, Day of the Lord and other confusions…
Pre/Post Tribulation, End Times, Day of the Lord and other confusions…
Fri, August 15, 2014 | link
Eschatology: that part of theology concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind
are we as humankindgoing to, and when?
2 Peter 3 says:
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements
will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
This is something that smart people who study the bible professionally call “substantiation of
the corporate eschatological statement” and by which they mean “something that supports what will finally
happen to end the world and mankind as a whole”.
This Earth will not exist forever.
The sun that we enjoy, that provides us with almost all the energy that we and our
earth convert into food, warmth, goods like cars, ships and aircraft, and into utilities like electricity, is going
to stop working at some point in the very distant future.
That’s the science view of the human’s final moment anyhow!
sun produces energy, by something called a fusion reaction.
It smacks hydrogen atoms together billions of times
a day, creating a helium atoms and lots of nuclear energy which heats the sun up. That heat radiates into space, firing photons
(particles of light) across space. These come hurtling into our little earth where our ozone layer, filters out most of the
nasty parts, and lets the good parts come through to warm us, enabling plants to generate oxygen and foods, using something
we have called photosynthesis. Photosynthesis and plants convert photons into sugars of different forms.
Let’s stop for a second and think of
just how amazing that is! Light into food! By chance? Not the way I see it! I have to give glory to God for establishing
this amazing mechanism! Incredible…light into energy we can use. Amazing! Every day, this is what feeds most of our
Are you impressed?
Okay, so animals eat the plants and we eat both. That’s where our food comes from doesn’t it?
back to our sun.
more helium is building up and at some point that will get to the point that hydrogen is used up.
Then the Sun will start to cook
the helium by fusing that together, and then we will get carbons being formed. These also get to the point where they fuse
after plenty more time, creating Neon’s. These the establish oxygen, which establishes iron. After iron, the sun will go
red hot and expand up to a size almost equal to the earths orbit.
Earth’s orbit is completely destroyed and absorbed by the sun at that time.
Nothing will remain on earth’s surface which will be swept clean and turned to rock by the sun’s fires.
That gives a bit of context
to one perspective of Peters statement in 2 Peter 3 doesn’t it?
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will
be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
Maybe it happens this way, maybe not!
Okay, now let’s look at the biblical Eschatology for a few minutes.
Eschatology, comes from two Greek words meaning
and "study" (-λογία), is the study of 'end things'.
This is about death, life after death, and the second coming
the bible gives a bit of context to this discussion, in Revelations 20: 1-3
He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed
it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set
free for a short time.
So here God has Satan (the
“him” referred to) locked up for 1000 years.
This sets the scene for our discussion.
Those of us with church backgrounds are likely to have a viewpoint. We need to be careful of saying we
“know” the answer because of this. The theologians have no agreement on exactly what the bible says, as there
are many ways of looking at this.
This thousand years is called the “Millennium” by the Christian community. It’s when
Jesus rules, while Satan sits in jail.
This splits up Christians into three belief groups based on belief about when Jesus will come to earth
again (this second coming of Jesus called the “Parousia” by Christians who like complicated words).
We have :
“Pre-Millennium” believers – they believe Jesus will come before the 1000years
“Post-Millennium” believers – they believe Jesus will come after the 1000years
“A-Millennium” believers – they believe revelations is symbolic and we don’t have to wait as we may be in the millennium right now.
So three flavours of belief.
Then when it comes
to the Pre-Millennium crowd of believers, they also have different opinions, this time on something different.
Jesus at one point in his time on Earth, explained
that in the end times there would be great distress and suffering. Mark 13 describes Jesus as saying:
because those will be days
of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now—and never to be equaled again
This means the holocaust, is
nothing! Ebola scares, are nothing! The world wars, are nothing! Nothing that has happens will be as bad as this time.
This is called the time
of “tribulation”, a time of great sorry and pain.
Now we have another concept called the “rapture”. This
refers to a piece of bible writing in 1 Thessalonians 4, 16 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.
The “rapture” is the time when
Jesus comes to earth and the dead and everyone rise to be with him. i.e. the second coming of Jesus.
Now the pre-millennium crowd are grouped as:
Pre-tribulation: Believe Jesus will
come before the tribulation.
Mid-tribulation: believe Jesus will come during the tribulation.
Post-tribulation: Believe Jesus will come after the tribulation.
All of this is open for grabbing and believing in. There is nothing that pushes one belief to be more correct
only thing we do know, is something Jesus told us:
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the
Son, but only the Father. Matthew 24:36
We know that any date anyone gives as THE date is silly.
They cannot know!
Jesus said so and told us in his state on Earth,
where he had given up much of his heavenly power, not even HE knew.
Never believe people who say the end is here. People have being saying it since
Jesus died, and they have ALL have been wrong for about 2000 years now.
What does this mean?
It means that we understand some of the variations in belief,
but that none of it is that important.
It means that EACH day we need to live as if the rapture will come tomorrow,
as if the tribulation may start any time, and we should not make any plans to be part of any millennium. If these happen with
us around, well and good! If not, then all that is critical is our personal relationship with Jesus.
We will die!
When we die, it may not be during a tribulation or millennium,
it could be tomorrow.
we die, the only thing that counts is our relationship with Jesus and if he considers us worthy to be with him in heaven.
If Jesus counts us worthy to be given new and wonderful responsibilities on a new earth where there is no suffering.
In our current state, right
now, we are selfish, often ignorant, and sometimes nasty.
The bible calls this sin!
In our current state, we cannot
be with God, we are not worthy.
That’s where Jesus comes in.
As God on earth, he stands
in for us. Jesus takes our selfish ignorant nastiness over, enabling us to be clean and pure. Jesus presents himself
as the one to be punished for what we have done, takes the punishment, and enables us to enter heaven with himself and be
alongside him when the new Earth is established.
We have an eternity of growth, great joy and fun with God. We have this if we trust Jesus.
If not, we have what Satan
has to look forward to...
Eternity of self-loathing!
What do we want? What do we choose?
Do we trust Jesus enough to make the difference?
(I must give credit to Bruxy for prompting many of these thoughts and concepts with his elegant sermon
at the Meeting House in Toronto that I attended last week.)
Thursday, August 14, 2014
The heavens will disappear with a roar
will disappear with a roar
Thu, August 14, 2014 | link
Chelyabinsk meteor was a near-Earth asteroid that entered Earth's atmosphere over Russia on 15 February 2013 at about 09:20
YEKT (03:20 UTC), with a speed of 19.16 +/- 0.15 kilometres per second (60,000 - 69,000 km/h or 40,000 - 42,900 mph),
almost 60 times the speed of sound.~ wikipedia
This meteor was spectacular and fortunately caused a minimal amount of destruction.
It appeared over the town of Chelyabinsk Oblast in Russia in 2013 and exploded about 30km (18miles) above the area generating a shockwave
that damages 7200 building in six cities. It was about 20meters(66ft) in diameter.
It never reached the ground yet the devastation
was vast and this was considered a mild impact meteor.
There have been worse like the one that is fabled to have caused the dinosaurs
to be wiped out. That hit the ground and was a bit bigger.
Why mention this?
To give one possible context to this description in 2 peter 2 of the bible:
day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and
the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
Let’s assume we get hit by something a bit bigger. You are perhaps aware we have a theory that the moon got created when the earth got hit by something big.
Scientist call it Theia.
In this case nothing on earth could survive. It would destroy everything.
Even a smaller body would envelop the planet in disaster.
The Russian meteor created
a huge fireball. The meteor was only 20m across. What about something that is km across, or 2km
estimate of the energy released by that Russian meteor was 460 to 470 kilotonnes of TNT.
was only 16 kilotonnes!
If God wanted to take out our little planet, there is NOTHING we could do.
God is who he says he is!
Now that’s the scary bit! Here’s the good bit...
Jesus said in Matthew “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
in John 14 of the bible he is reported as saying ...
“Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come
to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words
you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father
will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace
I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do
not be afraid”
God loves us!
Isn’t that the good news!
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
“Where is this ‘coming’ Jesus promised?” say the scoffers
is this ‘coming’ Jesus promised?” say the scoffers
Wed, August 13, 2014 | link
I keep hearing that Jesus Christ is coming, but nobody knows his tour dates. ~ Michael Lucas
Crazy ... right?
A guy says he will come back from the dead,
amazingly he does it, then he says he will be back “soon” and disappears for 2000 years.
Does that make sense?
is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning
of creation.” -2 Peter
Those words written
in blue often make sense to many people today. They are also a direct quote from the bible. A quote from what the guy, Peter,
who walked with Jesus. Peter believed Jesus was the son of God, and Peter led the first wave of people who believed and
followed Jesus just after he left earth.
He knew we would be saying these things because within about thirty years after Jesus left earth,
they were already saying this!
How does Peter respond to this rhetorical question?
He continues “they deliberately
forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By
these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens
and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
8 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. 9 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.”
Think about it.
Many say this Earth is 4.5 billion years old.
Those same people say mankind has existed as Homo Sapiens about 195 thousand years.
“Anatomically modern humans first appear in the fossil record in Africa about 195,000 years ago” wikipedia.
An interesting calculation
is to calculate the percentage of time humans have existed since the beginning of the earths time.
Okay, I will do it for you... 195,000 / 4,500,000,000
x 100 =
0.0043 % ...that’s small isn’t it.
Now let’s consider 2000 years over the
time the Earth existed,
2000 / 4,500,000,000 x 100 =
0.000044 % ...is incredibly small.
Let’s say you earn $5000 a month.
That would represent 22cents.
Not much right?
Now God lives for eternity, but let’s estimate that as
the start of the universe according to science, i.e. about 13.8 billion years ago.
2000 / 13,800,000,000 x 100 =
0.000014 % ... even smaller.
Using our $5000 salary example,
2000 years in Universe time represents 7cents of a $5000 amount.
When Jesus said “soon” from the perspective of God, can we see that even if he took another 100 000years it would
still be a small amount.
Yet, by looking at the time we actually miss the core point.
Jesus will return at
some point and
we don’t know exactly when, and have no way of knowing when.
That means we need to live our lives in such a way as to be ready when he does
come at all times.
We can’t mock God and think we are safe!
He has the final say, as we all die one day.
It doesn’t matter
if we get to welcome him back to earth or meet him after death in heaven, either way we come
face-to-face with God.
Are we ready?
Am I ready?
That’s the question
we should be asking!
(Gods just giving us time to answer!)
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Okay, so what about it...can a person who knows Jesus fall away again..what about
Okay, so what
about it...can a person who knows Jesus fall away again...
Tue, August 12, 2014 | link
Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing
in the mud.” ~ 2 Peter 2:22 NIV
Can a person who has acknowledged Jesus as God actually fall away and be in a worse position
goes against a common belief of “once saved, always saved” which is supported
by the bible verses:
I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but
you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow
me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My
Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I
and the Father are one.” ~John 10
Is saying a person can fall away again heretical?
Peter makes a case for such a statement when he talks of a specific
type of person who is against God:
These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved
for them. 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they
entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they
themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 20 If
they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and
are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been
better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred
command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,”
and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.” ~2 Peter 2
Wow! Such negative words! The bolding is mine to focus us on
the key words.
are people who came from sin, knew Jesus, and then permit sin to overwhelm them again.
How do we reconcile these apparent opposite
Let’s remember that Peter was the one who followed Jesus and then rejected him, before returning to God to finally
be appointed to lead the church. That means Peters words could even be applied to himself!
Perhaps Peter was in dark despair when he rejected Jesus? Maybe
he fully experience what these words he wrote later explain.
Denying ourselves the comfort of Jesus presence is something we can
seems to be evident.
Yet, God also says no-one other than ourselves can ever take us out of his hand.
The summary of the reconciliation of these
two verses to my thinking is simple.
We can pull ourselves away from God, but God will not let anyone take us from him other than us by our own free will.
That is why we need to be disciplined about reading God’s word and applying it to our life. We want
to stay in Gods hand of our own free will. To do that keeping close to God’s guidelines for our lives is very important
If we have pulled ourselves out of God's hand, we can return! Peter did!
the case I suggest and immediate return and an apology which God will accept, because he loves us.
I hope you have a blessed day and stay close
to God today.
a good one!
Monday, August 11, 2014
Let us not create clever stories about Jesus or his message to us...
Let us not create
clever stories about Jesus or his message to us...
Mon, August 11, 2014 | link
“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants
and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always.” ~ Mahatma
Truth is effective and yet often painful isn’t it?
Just over the last week we have heard how Christians have had
the heads of their children cut off, to be planted on stakes in a public park for people to see the cost of truth.
It is no joke to love in these circumstances!It
was not a joke to be a Christian in the years just after Jesus in the Roman Empire when people were fed to the lions because
they would not reject truth.
It is not a joke to be a Christian today either!
Today, we hear so much spin of media and politicians that we
have become numb to the truth. It has become cheap, and many of us cannot imagine believing something with enough power to
do as some of these Christians did, can we?
Yet, Peter in advising people in these very circumstances said:
16 For we did not follow cleverly devised stories
when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 He
received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my
Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven
when we were with him on the sacred mountain. (2 Peter 1)
When faced with intensity to respond to questioning of our faith there is no way we can devise a story.
We either believe Jesus is God or not. We either speak truth or not.
It’s simple folk, we either believe
Jesus is God, or not!
We have no
angry oppressor with control over our life asking the question yet we too have to answer this simple question.
In these times of lesser strife and oppression
that most of us live under can we answer this truly?
If we do answer it them the greatest challenge is doing what Jesus wants us to
do. He told us what that was in simplicity:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all
your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second
is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Sounds simple doesn’t it?
How does it sound when we have to apply it to the very people
who put those children’s heads on stakes?
How simple is it then?
If we call ourselves Christians we need to have the ability
to love those who hate us and do despicable things to us.
I must answer as well. And I know it’s hard and only possible by God’s intervention and Holy
If I do love Jesus then I should live as if I do! I need to submerge myself into Holy Spirits control daily to face the
challenges of the day. God will give us all strength for that day.
That’s a challenge for today isn’t
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