For years the Lord has been done a terrible disservice over the issue of Paul’s complaint about the thorn in his flesh, and it’s time to set the record straight. If you’ve been taught that “My Grace is sufficient for you” was the Lord’s excuse for not healing Paul, then pay close attention. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then get ready for a great example of how folks distort the meaning of Scripture—either to satisfy their pre-conceived notions or justify their lack of faith. Continue reading…
The Lord wanted His people to trust in Him for their security, not in their material possessions. Had man permanently adopted these laws as his own, there would be very little poverty in the world today, and almost no war or oppression…
Many believe that Daniel 9:24-27 is the most important passage of prophecy in all of Scripture. Almost every mistake I’ve run across in studying the various interpretations of End Times Prophecy can be traced back to a misunderstanding of this passage. Let’s begin the year with an updated and expanded study of this important prophecy.
By now you see that Paul has answered the three major theological questions for all mankind in his Letter to the Romans. In addition he’s clearly defined the relationship between Israel and the Church in God’s overall plan.
Having seen that along with the blessings of salvation have come the gifts that give us the ability to respond accordingly, we continue now with Paul’s advice on living a life pleasing to God in gratitude for all that He’s given us.
We began this series from the perspective that our time is short and we should make sure we’re ordering what’s left of it around the Lord’s priorities for us. It won’t be long before the life we’ve worked so hard to build for ourselves here will be left behind. All that will remain is the treasure we’ve stored up in Heaven.
Romans 9 spoke of God’s sovereign election of Israel as His chosen. In chapter 10 we saw how in the obsessive pursuit of a righteousness of their own, they rejected the righteousness that comes from God. But the rejection was clearly temporary, its duration dependent upon their response.
We turn now from a study of doctrine to one of prophecy. A prophecy involving both Jews and Gentiles that unlocks a secret hidden from the foundation of the world. From among both, God would create a new race of man, neither Jew nor Gentile, called the Church. As Paul would write to the Ephesians, “His purpose was to create in Himself one new man out of the two” (Ephesians 2:15) and to the Galatians, “You are all sons of God through Christ Jesus … There is neither Jew nor Gentile” (Galatians 3:26,28) and to the Corinthians, “Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks (Gentiles) or the Church of God.” (1 Cor. 10:32). It’s the Church who would inherit the Kingdom. Here’s how it happens. Continue reading…
In our last installment we completed Law School, and saw the impossible position we’ve been placed in. Because of the sin nature we’ve inherited, our own bodies will betray us no matter how hard we try to live up to God’s standard. In fact the harder we try, the more certain our failure becomes. As far as effecting our own salvation is concerned, we’re hopeless, helpless, worthless and useless. The Lord’s remedy for our situation was to offer us an unmerited pardon purchased with His own blood. Now we’re ready for a close look at the unbelievable blessing we call Grace.
Having had a righteousness from God imputed to us by faith apart from the Law, we now have the choice to live a life of holiness. No longer enslaved to our sin nature, we can rise above any self-destructive behavior that has caused us, and those around us, sorrow in the past. We’ve been given an eternal perspective, knowing that the best is yet to come. (2 Cor. 4:18) Free from the compulsive need to grab all we can, however we can, as long as we can, we can begin to live lives of peace and experience the joy of giving, in gratitude for all we’ve received.
Remember, our most important goal now is to prepare for the soon coming kingdom. (Phil 3:13-14) It’s time to start storing up our treasure there because that’s where we’re headed. (Matt. 6:19-21) Because we’ve been freed from bondage, all we need to do is decide to adopt an eternal perspective and start making the choices that accompany it. From then on every day brings us one day closer. To help us prepare, Paul will now take us through “Law School” as Romans 7 is sometimes called.
Q. I’ve got a friend who I’ve been explaining Christianity to, now he’s listening and wants to know why Christianity is correct, over all the other religions.
He said, “What I also don’t understand is – with the hundreds upon hundreds of religions out there, all based in their own mythology and convinced of their own righteousness – how can you be so certain that YOUR religion is the correct one?”
Can you help me bring it home to him? I know the Bible is backed by prophecy that’s come true, but I don’t know how to say it right!
Q. In the book of Exodus, when God gave Moses the directives in the construction of the tabernacle, He listed multiple times that the thread colors of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet were to be used. Now moving ahead to Revelation 17:4, we are told that the woman on the beast is arrayed in purple and scarlet and was glittering in gold. Does the common use of these colors (including Revelation’s absence of the color blue) reveal specific clues to us about the woman on the beast, and if so, what could they be?
Q. A pastor who I respect greatly for his faithfulness and God given ability to teach, once discussed the Babylon contradiction with me and as time and circumstances develop I believe that he was close to the answer or at least a possible explanation.
On Rev 17 and Zech. 5 two points seem to be in conflict until one thing is taken into consideration, the way literal and symbolic seems to travel in parallel track.
Babylon on the plains of Shinar might point to a political or military center of power. Babylon over the seven hills might be pointing to a religious center of power. What do you think?
Q. How can a church tell someone they cannot join the church because they are not married to the person they are living with, knowing the person is hungering to get their life straightened out? Didn’t Jesus give the living water to sinners, the ones who thirst after the Word?
Q. I have a question about the bible in print. The KJV Bible of 1611 contained many books that were removed before the 1625 reprint. I do under stand that some of the books may not have been from the Holy Spirit and pertained more to the time they were written as a history book would. I have been told that the Jews still follow some of these books today. As Christians are we to stay away from these books that were removed or is it OK to read them if we understand they may not have been from the Holy Spirit?
Q. Thanks for taking your time out of your day to answer my question.
I’ve been a fire fighter medic for the last 18 years. I helped more people than I can remember. I don’t write this to boast, I state it as a matter of fact.
My friend of 13 years took his life day before last. He was unique, a true free thinker. I’ve never met anyone who looked at things or quested for things in the way that he did. I’ve never been around philosophy, I took it in college but didn’t really get it. My friend Pat’s mind worked that way.
He was bigger than I am, stronger than I am, and he fought fire better than most. I considered him as my colleague, my friend. I knew his wife, his children.
I believe in God. I understand that God has reasons and I am but his servant. I do my best to do what I believe I am called to do. I am not afraid to die. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ready. I have a wife and my own kids, but I have made my peace that if it be God’s will to take me due to my job then I will not be afraid.
Pat didn’t die in a fire, he did not give his life for another. He took his. I spent part of yesterday looking to find if suicide is a sin. We are saved through our faith and not of our works. How can my friend be sent to Hell for eternity? I believe with all that I am that God is a loving God. God had to have seen that my friend was hurting and needed help. God does not punish those in need does he?
Where is my friend? God would not have given up on this man I just know it. I’m struggling with this, Can you help me know God’s plan with Pat?
Q. I have read a comparison between the doctrine of Islam and Christianity and it states that Mohammad and the Arabs are descendants of Ishmael, which Islam claims Jesus said by their interpretation of Matthew 21:42-44, would supersede the Israelite nation.
Q. Enjoy your site and have learned a lot.
I am confused about 1Cor 14: 22-25. It seems to say one thing then says the opposite. It says tongues are a sign to the unbeliever then it says he’ll say you’re mad. Then it says prophesying serves not for them that believe not, but them which believe. v24 says but if all prophesy and there comes in one that believes not,or one unlearned, he is convinced of all. Can you tell where I’m not getting it?
Q. I have a question about Genesis but first off I want to say thank you Jack for all of your help!
I am a college student and there is so much misinformation about Jesus and Christianity! I am taking a theology course on the Bible and the book that we read along with the Bible states that Moses did not write any books of the Torah and that in Genesis chapter 1 and 2 there is a conflict of how the order of things are created. The book says that in chapter 1 man and woman were created at the same time but that in Genesis chapter 2 man was created and then woman.
I was wondering if you could clarify this. This book also said that Isaac proclaiming Rebekah to be his sister is simply a copy cat story (that it never happened) of Abraham and Sarah can you help with this too? Thank you so much for your time and effort! God Bless!