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.

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.

Monthly Q&A: April 2020

Q: Since Jesus calls us to be selfless in serving others, is it selfish to seek time to rest from serving others?

A: Time alone and rest are just as vital to the Christian life as is selfless service. We are absolutely commanded to serve the Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Luke 10:27) and we are called to die to our desires and our own wants daily in our efforts to follow Christ. However, we are also commanded to rest. Yes, commanded. In the Old Testament God commanded that time be set aside to rest. It was so important that it was included as one of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8). Now it is important to remember that even on the Sabbath day of rest individuals were called to meet needs if they saw them; we are never removed from our calling to serve others. However, setting some time aside to rest and rejuvenate is within the realm of biblical principles, when done for the right reasons. In fact, Jesus himself took time to rest during his earthly ministry. In Mark 6:31 Jesus tells his disciples, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while”. The disciples were exhausted; the next verse says they had not even had time to eat. Other verses such as John 6:15 and Matthew 14:13, 23 also speak of instances where Jesus felt the need to draw away to a desolate place to pray. If Jesus, the most selfless individual in history, took time to rest then it must not be selfish to set some time aside for you.

Jesus knows we are human and he understands that we will indeed grow tired and weary (Isaiah 40:30-31) and he knows the importance of rest. However, as was said earlier, it’s important for us to examine the reasons we desire to be alone. If we want to be alone because we just don’t want to serve others that is a sinful attitude. If we want to be alone because we are not willing to do what God has called us to do that is a sinful attitude. However, if we are being faithful to serve others and being faithfully obedient to God’s call on our lives then we are also more than able to rest when those opportunities present themselves and we are also able to set aside time for rest from our ministry work when we need it. As far as determining when it is appropriate to rest and how long we should rest, that is something each individual must prayerfully determine for himself. Resting is permitted but, like other blessings from God, it should not be abused and overdone so that we become characterized by laziness and sluggishness. But, there is certainly biblical ground for setting aside time to rest.

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