Would the Apostle Paul Be Building Churches Today?

The apostle Paul would no more be building churches today than King David would be slaying Philistines.  God works in context and now is not the time for building churches or for slaying Philistines.  It’s time for the kingdom of God.

The kingdom of God is what Paul sought, and what he taught people to wait for.  “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain!”  (Philippians 1:21), he cried.  That kingdom has since come (The Kingdom of God Is Here and Now).  Paul would not continue seeking the partial once the perfect had come (1 Corinthians 13:10).

There is a time for everything (Ecclesiastes 3).  Jesus had to admonish James and John about this when they wanted to call fire down from heaven on their enemies like Elijah had done (Luke 9).  What was right in Elijah’s time, however, was out of place in James’ and John’s.  Similarly, Jesus rebuked Peter about timing when he wielded a sword like David would have against those who were trying to arrest Jesus (Matthew 26 and John 18).  What was right for David to do against Goliath was inappropriate in the day of Messiah.  Likewise, churches were established in the New Testament to wait for the kingdom of God.  Since the kingdom God has come, church building is a distraction – out of place in the time of the kingdom.

Do today what Paul would do if he were here today:  seek first the kingdom of God (Seeking the Kingdom of God Instead of Church).

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

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Paul or Paul’s Christ?

Are you following the apostle Paul or Paul’s Christ?  

Acts 14 describes how on his first missionary journey, Paul was momentarily worshiped as a Greek god.  Therefore, it’s not unheard of for people to become more enamored with Paul than with the One He preached. 

Even today, there are people who show more allegiance to Paul than they do to Paul’s Lord.  How so?  Well, Paul preached that Jesus would soon be coming back to earth in His kingdom.  Yet there are followers of Paul today that do not believe that Jesus did what Paul said He would do.  Thus, these people follow Paul…but not the Lord that Paul preached.

The Christ that Paul preached is here among us today.  He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  He came again, just as promised (Jesus Christ Has Already Come Again).  Don’t seek Paul – seek Paul’s Christ.  If you do, no one will be more pleased than Paul.

 The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

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The New Testament Is the Key That Unlocks the Old Testament

So much of the Old Testament’s meaning is locked away from us because it can only be understood through what Jesus taught about it in the New Testament.

Apart from Jesus and the New Testament, the Old Testament is filled with regulations for offering animal sacrifice which no one wants to do anymore and promises about a Messiah who has not yet come.  But we do not have to view the Old Testament apart from the New Testament. 

All the sacrificial regulations taught about that Messiah who was to come and…He has come!

Therefore, we must read the Old Testament through these new eyes.  This means being heavenly, not earthly, minded.  This means having a spiritual, not a fleshly, orientation.  This means having a present, not a future, focus. 

Be done with hopes of rebuilding a physical temple in an earthly Jerusalem.  Books are still written today prophesying such things.  They are worthless.  More importantly, they mislead people where God’s desires are concerned.  God is a spiritual God and He is done with building earthly kingdoms – whether that be the nation Israel or whether that be the Christian church.  His sole interest is the kingdom of God, and it is available to every single human being.

Too many people are reading the New Testament with an Old Testament mindset.  They should be reading the Old Testament with a New Testament mindset. 

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

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The New Testament Makes the Old Testament into a New Testament

Some people erroneously think that the Old Testament was for people of the past and that the New Testament is for us now.  Or another way to say it is that they think that the New Testament rendered the Old Testament obsolete.

The truth is this:  The New Testament – by revealing Jesus Christ, His life, and His teaching – unlocks the Old Testament to new meaning.  More precisely, the New Testament’s understanding allows the Old Testament to be converted from a set of rules and regulations for an ancient nation to a set of spiritual truths that help every human being navigate life with God’s blessing.

Through Jesus Christ, the Old Testament become a New Testament.  It doesn’t read the same old way; it reads a new way, a way that gives life whether you are Jew, Gentile, Christian, atheist, or any other label you accept for yourself.

If you truly understand the New Testament, you will not read the Old Testament less – you will read it more.  For the Old Testament will never stop revealing grace and truth when read through eyes opened – and kept open – by Jesus Christ.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

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Abraham or Jesus?

Abraham had a covenant with God.  All his descendants were heirs to the promises associated with that covenant.

Are you descended from Abraham?  If not, turn to Jesus and recognize that the promises are yours.  If you are descended from Abraham, turn to Jesus and recognize that the promises are better…and are yours.

The Abrahamic covenant spoke primarily to protections and benefits for this life.  The covenant of Jesus takes a much broader view, looking to the life beyond this one as far more consequential.  Nonetheless, what we do here matters, precisely because it affects that life to come.

Will we follow Abraham who could help us in this life, or shall we follow Jesus who helps us in this life as well as the one to come?  Abraham rejoiced to see Jesus’ day (John 8:56).  Let us do the same!

Moses or Jesus?

The apostle John wrote that Moses gave the Law but that Jesus Christ transformed that Law into grace and truth for humanity (John 1:17).

Moses wrote a collection of rules that would govern the conduct of a nation: ancient Israel.  When Jesus of Nazareth came as the promised Christ (that is, the Messiah, the Anointed One), and especially when He was raised from the dead and enthroned in heaven, He transformed Moses’ words into the means of understanding what God had accomplished through the work of Christ.

Christ was the serpent lifted up in the wilderness (John 3:14).

Christ was the rock that followed Israel (1 Corinthians 10:4).

Christ is the Passover feast celebrated by Israel (1 Corinthians 5:7).

Christ was the lamb that was sacrified to God (John 1:29).

And on and on and on.

Are we to continue understanding Moses’ words according to Moses, or will we listen to them according to the One Moses told us to regard?  See Deuteronomy 18:15 to hear Moses declare that we should listen to Jesus, for indeed God raised Him up – just as Moses said.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Christ Is God’s Explanation of Himself

God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their sins against them (2 Corinthians 5:19).

If God were a man, Jesus of Nazareth is how He would act.  God did become a man, and Jesus of Nazareth is who He was.

Jesus of Nazareth was, of course, the Christ (that is, the Messiah of Israel).

The Christ shows us how to think and how to behave in this world.  The Christ’s life shows us how God will respond when we think and behave as the Christ did.

The Christ shows us that this life is not all there is – not by a long shot.  The Christ shows us that we should not seek or worry about anything that this world considers important.  Rather we should consider important what God considers important: justice, mercy, kindness, and things like these.

Christ shows us that this life is temporary – like a baby in a womb – and that the important life is the one beyond.  Live here in preparation and in anticipation for that life beyond.

Most of all, Christ explains that God’s love for us is permanent and that our hardships are temporary.  The glories of creation can tell us much about God but they couldn’t fully explain this kind of enduring love.  Only Christ could explain that.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Bible Is God’s Explanation of Christ

What is the Bible?  Can you summarize its contents?  Yes.  The Bible is God’s explanation of Christ – which is to say God’s explanation of Himself.

The Bible’s first books were written by Moses who established the pattern of writing through God’s inspiration.  All of the prophets who wrote subsequent books which were added to the Bible wrote by this same inspiration.  The commonality of inspiration of all the Scriptures led to the common theme – God would one day triumph over every evil deed through the work of a Holy One He called Messiah, or Christ. 

The apostles of the New Testament recorded the manifestation of this Christ.  They also wrote by inspiration – the same inspiration: the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, the Bible is about Christ – from beginning to end.  If you want to understand the Bible, accept this fact: it is about Christ – from beginning to end. 

That is it about Christ from beginning to end is more apparent in some places than others, to be sure.  But if you remember that its theme is always Christ, you are far less likely to distort the Scriptures. 

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

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To Seek Christ Is to Seek God

To seek Christ is to seek God. For Christ reveals – and is – God.

God was in Christ and God was Christ.

To forsake seeking Christ is to forsake seeking God. Some forsake or forego seeking Christ in the quest for God – this is vain. Christ is the only way we can understand God.

Some forsake Christ in order to focus on churchgoing. Churchgoing is a distraction from seeking Christ. Pastors are not seeking Christ. If they were, they would be encouraging people to follow Christ instead of pastors.

Pastors are the best equipped to proclaim Christ because they have the Scriptures. But instead they proclaim church. If they didn’t preach church, church would die for God is not sustaining church. God sustains those who call on the name of His Son Jesus Christ. I would that every pastor do what I did when I was a pastor – cease preaching church and preach only Christ.  (For more explanation, see To My Pastor and Minister Friends.)

Seek Christ. For if you seek Christ and continue seeking Christ, then you will find God and continue finding God.

God Explains Himself by Explaining Christ

God explains Himself in the Bible by explaining Christ (that is, Messiah – meaning “the Anointed One”). 

The Old Testament prophesies of Messiah’s coming.  The New Testament reports how He came.  Both testaments are rich with insights still waiting to be unveiled to human eyes.  All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ (Colossians 2:3).  All of them.

The reason that God explains Himself by explaining Christ is that God was – and is – Christ.  Therefore, to explain Christ is to explain Himself.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

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Through the Bible God Explains Himself

The purpose of the Bible is that God might explain Himself to us. 

God wants to be understood.  The existence of the Bible affirms this.  God wants very much to be understood.  The history of how the Bible came to be affirms this.

The Bible was virtually written in blood.  The prophets who wrote it were subject to persecution, even to the point of death.  After their lifetimes, they were honored.  But during their lifetimes, they were vilified.  Never was this more apparent than in the life of the Bible’s greatest prophet – Jesus of Nazareth. 

If God went to this much trouble to explain Himself, we who read this book should do our very best to understand it properly.  God forbid that an instrument He has given for revealing Himself become a means of our misunderstanding Him.  Alas, this has happened time and time again in human history.  Let us therefore cleanse ourselves of the sins that cause us to pervert and misunderstand the words of this book.

The Bible does not belong to Jews or Christians.  It is not an advertisement for Judaism or Christianity.  It belongs to all mankind.  Any person who can read is welcome to drink from this well.  It teaches righteous, which  begins in faith and which is what God expects from every human being regardless of religious affiliation.

Remember this:  The Bible testifies of Jesus Christ – the one true God.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

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The Prophets Wrote the Old Testament; the Apostles Wrote the New Testament

Moses and the prophets wrote all the books we collectively call the Old Testament (what Jesus and the apostles called the Scriptures).  Moses was the first and the greatest of the prophets.  Therefore, to say that “the prophets wrote the Old Testament” or to say “Moses and the prophets wrote the Old Testament” is to say the same thing.  Moses set a standard for prophets that was not exceeded until the time of Jesus.  The prophets did not write under their own inspiration.  Rather they wrote under the inspiration of God through His Holy Spirit.

The apostles were chosen by Jesus and told His story throughout the known world of that age.  They wrote the documents that comprise what we call the New Testament.  The apostles did not write under their own inspiration.  Rather, they wrote under the inspiration of God through His Holy Spirit. 

Jesus did not write any New Testament documents for the same reason that He did not write any of the Old Testament documents – that is, He was the One doing the inspiring through His Holy Spirit.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

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Consider the Old Testament Your Bible and the New Testament Its Commentary

What we call the Old Testament, Jesus and His apostles never called the Old Testament.  They called this collection “the Scriptures.”  Sometimes they’d call it “the Law and the Prophets,” sometimes just “the Law” and sometimes just “the Prophets.”  There were other synonyms, too, but most often this set of documents was simply called “the Scriptures.” 

The New Testament documents were not written to create a new set of Scriptures.  Rather they were written in the process of testifying about how the Scriptures (that is, the Old Testament) were being fulfilled by Jesus of Nazareth.  Thus you can think of the New Testament as a sort of commentary on the Old Testament.  In this sense, the Old Testament should be the focus of our Scriptural study, with the New Testament being our guiding light for doing so. 

Many scholars have written commentaries on the Old Testament.  Also, many scholars have written commentaries on the New Testament.  If you really want to understand the Bible, dispense with all these human commentaries.  Instead, let the New Testament be your commentary on the Old Testament (that is, the Scriptures) and you will see Jesus (the Bible’s subject) much more clearly.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Terms “Old Testament” and “New Testament” Can Be Confusing

The prophets and apostles who wrote all the words we have in our Bibles were each writing individual documents at different times and in different places.  Well over a thousand years transpired between the completion of the first document and the completion of the last.  None of these authors lived long enough to see the entire set put together and called the Bible.  Therefore, the title of the Bible’s two main divisions – that is, Old Testament and New Testament – and even the title “Bible” itself were things in which these writers had no say.

It was subsequent generations of readers who chose the names “Bible,” “Old Testament,” and “New Testament.”  Bible simply means book, so there’s really no confusion there.  However, the titles “Old Testament” and “New Testament” do invite confusion.  (Be assured that I am not about to make a suggestion to change this titles – only that we don’t allow them to confuse us.) 

If you take the terms Old Testament and New Testament simply as way to divide the older Bible documents from the newer ones (the ones having to do explicitly with Jesus of Nazareth), then you’ll be okay.  Confusion begins,. however, when people think that those older documents have been made obsolete by the newer documents.  The New Testament does not render the Old Testament useless; on the contrary, it makes the Old Testament infinitely more useful than it otherwise would be.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Bible: Its Subject Is Jesus, Its Author Is the Holy Spirit

In a literary sense, the Bible is actually a library of many books with many authors.  In a spiritual sense, however, it is one book with the single subject (Jesus) and a single author (the Holy Spirit).

Jesus made clear in John 5:39-40 that to study the Bible and miss Him was to miss the point entirely.  The Bible points to Jesus – from beginning to end (Luke 24:25-27 and 44-45).  The New Testament speaks of Him explicitly and historically, while the Old Testament speaks of Him hopefully and prophetically.  If you think the Bible is about the creation of the world, animal sacrifice, the nation of Israel, and any other subject besides the Messiah, then you are missing the point.  All of these things are pointers to Christ; therefore, don’t let them be distractions.

As for the Bible’s author, it is claimed to be the Holy Spirit over and over and over (2 Timothy 3:14-17 and 2 Peter 1:20-21 summarize this point).  That is, human beings were not writing according to their own understanding – even when their own understanding was strong.  They were writing at the inspiration of the Spirit.  This was necessary to retain emphasis on the Bible’s subject (Jesus).  For how else could a biography be written in advance of the life that was to be lived?  How else could dozens of diverse human authors collaborate so effectively to paint a portrait of a single figure none of them had ever seen?

When you read the Bible, do not get trapped in the weeds.  When necessary, remind yourself that Jesus is the subject and the Holy Spirit is the author.  This won’t guarantee that you will understand everything you read, but it will guarantee that you don’t misunderstand what you read – and that protection can be very valuable. 

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

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The Bible Prophesied That People Would Go to Heaven

I could have written the title as “The Bible Prophesies That People Will Go to Heaven,” but that would make it sound like heaven is not yet a present tense reality for those who die.  Therefore, the reason I wrote it the way I did is because shortly after the last books of the Bible were written, heaven did finally become a reality.  The Bible’s promise (which is the Lord’s promise) was kept.

Most people don’t know that the Bible never taught that people went to heaven when they died, except in this prophetic way.  On the contrary, the Bible’s teaching was that after people died, they descended to Sheol (Hades was the Greek term for the same place).  This was true for good people as well as bad people.  The Bible even taught that Jesus Himself descended to Sheol when He died – but He did not stay there long because He was resurrected from the dead on the third day after His crucifixion.  This set in motion the specific prophecies that everyone who had gone to Sheol, or would be going to Sheol, would soon be going to heaven.  But that “soon” hinged on the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.  The good news for all humanity is that the Second Coming has already occurred (Jesus Christ Has Already Come Again), and so heaven is now the destination of the dead instead of Sheol/Hades (Everyone Is Going to Heaven).

It is fascinating to consider then that the Bible never actually taught or reported that people went to heaven – rather, it promised that this would be the case.  This doesn’t seem to be widely known – even among the more Bible-oriented churches. 

Also makes you wonder where the heaven-or-hell theory came from because it’s certainly not taught in the Bible. 

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

If Jesus Has Not Come Again, Then No One but Jesus Is in Heaven

If you think that Jesus Christ has not already fulfilled His promise of a Second Coming, then you have no basis for believing that anyone is in heaven besides Him (at least any human beings).  He said in John 3:13 that no one had ascended into heaven, and this confirmed Old Testament teaching which had made clear that Sheol (or Hades, as the Greeks called it) was the underworld where all the dead slept.  Paul made it clear in 1 Thessalonians 4:15 that no one would follow Jesus to heaven before those who had already died and he went on to say that this change in destination for the dead was tied to the coming of the Lord.  Therefore, if you don’t believe that the Lord has come, then how can you believe that any of us are with Jesus in heaven?

The good news is that Jesus Christ Has Already Come Again and now Everyone Is Going to Heaven.  Let us rejoice in our God!

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

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Jesus Was the Only Person Who Went to Heaven During the Biblical Age

No writings have been added to the Bible since the completion of the New Testament.  From the beginning of time until then, Jesus Christ was the only person who ever went to heaven.  Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David – none of these great men went to heaven when they died.  The Bible makes this clear.  But it also makes clear that Jesus Christ  paved the way so that they – and we – could follow Jesus there when we die. 

What changed?  When Jesus came again He took all the dead to heaven and ever since then, whenever someone dies, they go to heaven.  He created a new heavens and a new earth so that this could be the case (Isaiah 65:17).  He went to heaven to prepare a place for us (John 14:1-3) for, as I said above, there had been no place for humanity in heaven.  He abolished death (2 Timothy 1:10), took the sting out of death (Hosea 13:14), and thus delivered us all from the fear of death (Hebrews 2:14-15).  Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, and the rest – they’re all there now with Him.  And we will all join them!  To Jesus Christ be the glory for the great things He has done!   

For more explanation see Jesus Christ Has Already Come Again and Everyone Is Going to Heaven.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

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The Bible Reports Only One Person Ever Went to Heaven

If you read the entire Bible, you will see that up until the New Testament no one went to heaven when they died.  There was some speculation about Enoch and Elijah having gone there but Jesus dispelled that notion (John 3:13).  Even in the New Testament, the only person who was reported as having gone to heaven after death was Jesus Himself.  On the contrary, every human being that died went below to a place called Sheol (the Greeks called it Hades). 

The good news, however, is that the Bible promised what it could not report.  Indeed, it promises that the entire human race will go to heaven (1 Corinthians 15:22).  That process was to be initiated upon the Lord’s return from heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) .  That return occurred in the late 1st Century A.D.  (or C.E., if you prefer).   

For more, see Jesus Christ Has Already Come Again and Everyone Is Going to Heaven.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

If the Heaven-or-Hell Theory Is True, Why Does the Bible Teach Sheol and Hades?

If people were going to either heaven or hell after death, why does the Bible teach that Sheol is the destination of the dead?  (Hades, by the way, is simply the Greek word for the Hebrew term Sheol.)  The good news is that while Sheol was the destination of the dead throughout the time period covered by the Bible, the Bible promised that afterward everyone would be going to heaven.  Since we live in the time after the Bible was written, if we believe the Bible, we know that everyone is now going to heaven. 

Just as surely as everyone was going to Sheol, now Everyone Is Going to Heaven 

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

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If Some Go to Heaven and Some Go to Hell, Why Isn’t This Teaching in the Bible?

The heaven-or-hell theory of life after death has been around so long that no one ever questions whether or not the Bible actually teaches it.  People just assume it’s in the Bible.  It’s not.  You don’t have to take my word for it; you can search for yourself.  However, you won’t find it.

If you faithfully search the Scriptures, here is what you will find:  Everyone Is Going to Heaven.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

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If Christ’s Soul Was Not Abandoned to Hades, Wasn’t a Good Man on His Way to Hades?

In Acts 2, the apostle Peter says of Jesus that His soul was not abandoned to Hades, neither did His flesh suffer decay.  In doing so, Peter was speaking of Christ’s resurrection from the dead.  By using this language, however, Peter makes clear that apart from resurrection, Jesus’ ongoing abode after death would have been Hades.  Indeed, as Peter indicates when he continues, this was the destination after death of King David long before.  If the Bible is thus teaching that good people go to Hades, how is it that some say it’s heaven or hell?  The answer is that just as all human beings used to go to Hades (the Hebrews called it Sheol) after death, all now go to heaven.

For an explanation, see Everyone Is Going to Heaven.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

If Christ Died to Deliver Us from Fear of Death, Why Would He Then Introduce a Fate Worse Than Death?

Hebrews 2 declares that Jesus died not just to deliver us from death – which was wonderful enough – but also to deliver us from the fear of death.  In other words, He wanted us to know about His successful mission so that we would no longer be subject to the slavery brought about by our fear of death.  That is, as long as we knew no solution to the problem of our impending deaths (for we all know that we are all going to die), we were enslaved to all sorts of temptations, fears, and other wrong thinking.

Since it’s Jesus’ desire to liberate us from the fear of death, why would He then introduce the idea of unceasing torture in a place call hell which occurs after death?  The fear of death would pale in comparison to the fear of this!  Did He deliver us from one fear only to hand us over to one even greater?  No, and a thousand times, No!

This hell you’ve heard about is not of God’s creation.  See Everyone Is Going to Heaven

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

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If Hebrews 10:37 Says That Christ Will Not Delay to Come Again, Why Do Churches Say That He Has?

If God went to the trouble to have the New Testament say that Christ would not delay to come again – and it was a lot of trouble  because people have died to bring these words to us – how can today’s churches contradict those words and say that Christ did delay?

Christ did not delay.  See any one of these five posts which will explain further:

Jesus Christ Has Already Come Again 

All Bible Prophecy Has Been Fulfilled 

The Kingdom of God Is Here and Now 

Seeking the Kingdom of God Instead of Church

Why the Bible Can Be Trusted 

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

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Why Do Churches Contradict the Bible to Which They Profess Allegiance?

Churches claim the apostles and the New Testament as their authorization.  Yet the apostles and the New Testament said that Christ would come again in that age while today’s churches say that He did not. 

Rest assured, however, that today’s churches are wrong.  Jesus did come again just as He said He would.  See any of these three posts:

Jesus Christ Has Already Come Again 

All Bible Prophecy Has Been Fulfilled 

The Kingdom of God Is Here and Now 

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

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If a False Timeline for the Second Coming Is a Sign of a Cult, Then Aren’t All Churches Cults?

Churches and leaders are routinely labeled as cults if they predict Christ’s return in a timeframe that has expired – and especially when they continue to push out the return after the expiration date.  Yet all churches who proclaim that Christ’s return is in the future are pushing out the date beyond the period when the Lord and His apostles said it would occur. 

Read the New Testament, from the Gospels to Revelation, and see that its writers expected Christ’s return in that age – before the generation of Jesus’ contemporaries completely died out.  Thus, when churches today push to the future the date of Christ’s return they are behaving just like those they label cults.

Be assured, however, that our Lord is entirely faithful and true.  See  Jesus Christ Has Already Come Again and All Bible Prophecy Has Been Fulfilled.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

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If You Can’t See Him at the Right Hand of God, How Will You See Him Coming on the Clouds?

At the trial before His crucifixion, Jesus was asked by the leadership of Israel if He was the Messiah.  He said that He was, and that thereafter they would see Him sitting at the right hand of God and coming on the clouds of heaven (Matthew 26:64 and Mark 14:62).  After Jesus was raised from the dead, He ascended into heaven.  Although none of the apostles testify to seeing Him take a seat at the right hand of God, they believed it…because Psalm 110:1 states that to be His destination upon ascending. 

If therefore no one physically saw Jesus sit down at the right hand of God, why do some insist that we will physically see His coming again?  The reality is that neither statement can be physically verified and both statements must be accepted on faith.  See Jesus Christ Has Already Come Again

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

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When the King of Israel Became King of the Nations

When Jesus of Nazareth was raised from the dead He was installed as king of Israel in the heavenly Jerusalem (Psalm 2:6-7; Hebrews 12:22-24).  From the right hand of God, He reigned as King of Israel (Psalm 110; Galatians 6:16) throughout the church age (that is, the days during which the New Testament was written). 

At the “Second Coming,” He was made King of all nations (Revelation 11:15; 15:3-4; Psalm 2:8), for He came up to throne of God itself (Daniel 7:13-14).  As to the fact that Jesus’ Second Coming is past tense, see Jesus Christ Has Already Come Again.  Jesus reigns forever as the King of Israel and King of the Universe (Hebrews 13:8; Isaiah 9:6-7). 

Jesus Christ Is God!

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

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The Apostles Were Prophets and the Prophets Were Apostles

The word “apostle” means “sent one.”  The apostles were sent by Jesus (God in the flesh).  They had seen Jesus’ life, His death, and His resurrection from the dead.  They were spokesmen for Jesus.  They called on people to repent.

The word “prophet” means spokesman.  Prophets were sometimes called “seers.”  A seer – obviously – sees things.  Prophets were spokesmen for God and seers of His visions.  Prophets were also considered sent by God (for in Isaiah 6, God asks “Whom shall I send?” and Isaiah then volunteers).  The prophets called on people to repent.

Thus we acknowledge that the only difference between the prophets and the apostles was that prophets were sent by the invisible God in Old Testament days, and the apostles were sent by the God who came down from heaven and walked among us (“Immanuel”) in New Testament days.  Same God, same mission.  Therefore, the apostles are prophets and the prophets are apostles – just a difference in time period and in the way God was revealing Himself.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

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A Vision Like Isaiah’s

If you’ve read the gospels of the New Testament, or even if you’ve had the essentials of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus related to you, then you’ve had a greater vision of God than Isaiah or any of the prophets. 

Isaiah’s vision of God, described in Isaiah 6, is often longingly viewed as an experience to which we should aspire.  On the contrary, we should remember the life of Jesus and imitate it.  Jesus’ life and death are the glory of God.  We glorify God when we model our lives after it.

Jesus said that many desired to see and hear the things that we see and hear through the gospels.  The prophets looked forward a day when God would fully reveal His righteousness.  Every one of them would have traded every vision they had for the sight of Jesus going about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil (Matthew 13:17; Acts 10:38).

Let us not regard lightly what they treasured so greatly.

The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

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