I was recently asked by a local pastor to speak to his church on the subject of the end time events, and specifically address the pre-tribulational, pre-millennial perspectives. The pastor stated that he believed and taught alternative views but felt that he must give his people “another look.” I had a wonderful evening with this pastor and his church tackling one of my favorite themes of the Scriptures! At the heart of the discussion is this question: Is the Bible clear about the end times? Or, to put it another way, has God exercised purposeful ambiguity to shroud the future events of world history?
The verb translated “fan into flame” in 2 Timothy 1:6 is unique in the Greek New Testament. The full phrase is somewhat startling as Paul calls Timothy “to fan into flame the gift of God.” One commentator suggests that “Timothy might be in a state of athumia [discouragement].” If so, is Paul anxious about the possibility of Timothy wilting in his ministry duties at Ephesus? Or, does Paul have something else in mind with these words?Let’s take a closer look at this phrase and see if we can discover what Paul is saying to his “beloved son” (1:2).
How does one see a doctrine? In Acts 11:19-26, Barnabas was sent by the church of Jerusalem to the multi-cultural, affluent, and burgeoning city of Antioch in Syria. The Jerusalem church had recently heard that the gospel of Jesus had penetrated this influential city “and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord” (11:21). When Barnabas arrived from Jerusalem, the text gives an unusual account of what he discovered; it says, “he saw the grace of God and was glad” (11:23). What did Luke mean by this comment? And how is it possible to see grace in the lives of believers?
In his first recorded sermon (Mathew 5-7), Jesus makes a remarkable statement that highlights his purpose for entering this world of humanity as the God-Man. He says, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill” (NASB). The general tenor of this statement cannot be missed....
There are an estimated 783,137 words in the KJV of the Bible, and one of these words has recently captured my thinking: dissimulation. According to the 1828 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, “dissimulation” is a noun that means, “hiding under a false appearance; or, a counterfeit appearance.”
Paul uses a curious phrase in Romans 7:14: “but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.” Paul’s words in Chapter 7 have sparked centuries of debate and countless articles. By one count, at least seven different interpretations are being suggested today. So, how do I properly absorb this expression of Paul?
The careful reader of 1 Timothy will observe a curious and unique phrase, which opens Paul’s letter (1:1): “God our Savior.” In fact, in this letter Paul only refers to the Father as “Savior” (1:1; 2:3; 4:10), and he also does it again three more times in his “twin letter” of Titus (1:3; 2:10; 3:4). This begs the question, Why did the Apostle choose to identify the Father as “our Savior” in 1:1 instead of His Son, Jesus?