Almost every discussion of the end times involves the topic of “the mark of the beast” and what it could be. Many (most?) people think it is a physical mark, many (most?) people think it is something like a chip, etc.
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In the wake of the horrific Orlando murders, I am reminded of conversations about death throughout the years that my friends and I have had with various people – many of whom claim no particular allegiance to Christ or Christianity, and some of whom are avowed atheists. These conversations are good and necessary – we should all be aware that our life is a vapor, here today, gone tomorrow. Even atheists believe that they could die tomorrow, we all could.
Nobody is guaranteed tomorrow.
In these conversations that we have had, we have noticed a few things common in all of them:
- Almost everyone believes that there is something after death
- Almost everyone believes that they will be in a better place after we die
- Almost everyone believes that Omar Mateen is not in a better place
And almost everyone believes that Omar Mateen is not in a better place for this reason – that he deserves to be punished for what he did. Continue reading
People love to remake Jesus. We say “the evidence isn’t sufficient” or “the scriptures are wrong” or “who are we to say what Jesus was like” or “I just don’t think Jesus would ever <do, say, think, teach, etc.> that!”
In the book “Who is Jesus“, (a free epub download by the way) R.C. Sproul makes this statement when addressing our desire to remake Jesus into what we want Him to be (liberalism) instead of who He truly is (orthodoxy):
The problem is simple. It lies not with the “shoddy” reporting of the New Testament authors or the “sloppy” documents of history we call the Gospels. It was Emil Brunner, the Swiss theologian, who blew the whistle on nineteenth-century liberalism. Brunner’s verdict was as simple as it was inflammatory. The problem, he said, is unbelief.
Is your portrait of Jesus the one we find in the Scriptures or are you rekindling this nineteenth-century liberalism with unbelief? Are you cutting and pasting a Jesus together who is more to your liking? How do you decide what to believe about Jesus? What do you keep? Throw away?
If you don’t believe the biblical portrait of Jesus, it’s pretty simple – you don’t believe in Jesus in any meaningful sense of the name. Continue reading