Does Eschatology Matter?

I had the privilege of joining one of my very good friends, Davis Lacey, on the Rooted Youth Ministry podcast to discuss the importance of teaching eschatology to teenagers.

Even if you’re not a teenager, I hope you’ll find some of what I shared helpful as I think through how our eschatology (view of the end) shapes the way we live in the present.

The Gospel and Work Relationships

A sermon on how the gospel impacts our work relationships.  Given at Grace Fellowship Church.

Monthly Q&A: July 2020

Q: What happens to the soul after death?

A: There is much debate regarding what happens to our souls immediately after we die. Some believe that we enter a type of “sleep” and await the final judgment. Others believe we go to a temporary heaven or hell to await the final judgment. And others believe we are immediately present in either heaven or hell. There are arguments for and against each suggestion. Several scriptures, however, seem to point to the fact that our souls enter immediately into heaven or hell and await the resurrection of our bodies at the last day. For instance, Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5, verse 6 that to be in this earthly body is to be absent from the Lord. He then goes on to say in verse 8 that the believers desire to be absent from the body and present with the Lord. This can lead one to assume that since being present in the body means absence from the Lord that when we die our souls leave the body and enter into the presence of the Lord. While some may believe this to be a stretch in terms of interpreting the verse, we can look at other areas of scripture to help us interpret what Paul might be saying. In the book of Revelation 20:4 John says that he saw the souls of martyrs under the throne of God in heaven. So, apparently souls are indeed in heaven with God. Also, in Jesus’ parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man in Luke 16, we see that both men were immediately present in either hell or heaven immediately after death. When we take these scriptures together we can deduce that when one dies their soul immediately departs to one place or the other to await the
resurrection of the body. However, it is important to remember that this, the immediate disposition of the soul after death, is a secondary doctrine and has what one believes on the matter has no real bearing on one’s salvation. Therefore we should extend charity and understanding to those who may hold an opinion that differs from our own.

If you have a particular question you’d like to have answered, feel free to submit it via the contact page.

Monthly Q&A: June 2020

Q: What did Paul mean by asking the Thessalonians to increase “more and more” in 1 Thess. 4:1 and 4:10?

A: When looking at the “more and more” of 1 Thessalonians 4:1, 10 it is important for us to look at the entire context of the chapter. Chapter four is centered on sanctification, or the process of becoming more like Christ. So we have to look at what activity Paul has just mentioned when he tells the Thessalonians to do this “more and more”. In both verses one and ten Paul has just complimented the Thessalonians on their love for the other brothers and sisters in the other churches. He also commends them on their godly lives and how they are pleasing God by the way they are conducting themselves. So what does Paul mean by asking them to do this more and more? If we go back to the original Greek language we see the words, perisseuēte mallon, which are translated to “ do this more and more”. This particular phrase carries the meaning of increasing in excellence or excelling still more.1 When we put that into context with what Paul has just said we can determine that Paul is simply encouraging the Thessalonians to continue doing what they’re doing and to persist with the same vigor and excellence that they have been demonstrating up until this point. This is consistent with other areas of scripture where Paul instructs believers to continue in doing good deeds (Galatians 6:9). When Paul tells the Thessalonians to “do this more and more” he simply wants to encourage them to continue in what they are already doing and to not grow weary but continue putting forth all effort in living holy, peaceful lives that honor Jesus Christ as Lord.

If you have a particular question you’d like to have answered, feel free to submit it via the contact page.

Monthly Q&A: May 2020

Q: What did Paul mean when he talked about “ascending” and “descending” in Romans 10:6-7?

A: When determining the meaning of Romans 10:6-7, as is important with any biblical text, we have to look at context. The whole of Romans 10 is centered on Israel’s need for
righteousness and their inability to find it solely through the law. So these two verses, 6 and 7, have to be understood within that context. Paul is not talking about people going to heaven or hell. He is instead using personification to explain his point. Paul is attempting to demonstrate that the faith needed for righteousness is not found in the law but rather it is found in Jesus Christ. Verse 8 helps to unlock the meaning to this verse by saying that “the word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”. Therefore, based on the fact that verse 8 is a counterpoint to verses 6 and 7 and speaks of the word being  close to our mouth and hearts, we can infer that what Paul is doing is trying to explain that one does not have to search long and hard for righteousness that comes from faith. God has not hidden that from us or made it difficult to find. John MacArthur, in his study Bible, has a footnote that sums this up well. It says:

“Paul speaks of the righteousness based on faith as if it were a person and puts in its mouth a quotation from Dt 30:12,13. His point is that the righteousness of faith does not require some impossible odyssey through the universe to find Christ.”

Paul is saying that the truth regarding the righteousness required by God is found in the word preached about Jesus Christ. One does not have to search high and low for it. All they must do is “confess with [their] mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in [their] heart that God raised Him from the dead, [and they] will be saved” (Romans 10:9, NASB).

If you have a particular question you’d like to have answered, feel free to submit it via the contact page.