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Showing posts from April, 2021

One Like a Son of Man

We are continuing the series we started last week entitled “Visions of Victory”. Listen for God’s word to you from Revelation 1:9-20…   I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.  On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet,  which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.” I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man,  dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the so

Visions of Victory

I know what you’re thinking. “Oh, my goodness! You’ve got to be kidding! You’re going to preach from the book of Revelation? And not just one sermon, but a series? The whole book? I can’t believe it!” I know. I can’t believe it either.   But here’s the deal… I have this goal. I want to preach through all the books of the New Testament before I retire in some distant year. I figured preaching through all the books of the Bible might be a bit much. But all the books of the New Testament might just be possible. And one of the books I have never preached through is Revelation. I have preached on individual passages here or there, but never on the whole book. And then last year, as we were going through the pandemic, I kept hearing people use the word “apocalyptic”. And so, I thought, “Maybe now is the time to preach on Revelation.” I am not thinking this way because I think the end of the world is imminent. But, as William Barclay once wrote, “ Revelation  comes from one of the most heroic

The Unfinished Gospel

In 1803,  Thomas Jefferson cut from the Gospels those passages he thought would best present the ethical teachings of Jesus and he arranged them on the pages of a blank book in his own order of time and subject. He called the book “The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth, extracted from the account of his life and doctrines, as given by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; being an abridgment of the New Testament for the use of the Indians, unembarrassed with matters of fact or faith beyond the level of their comprehension.” Jefferson’s Bible, as it came to be called, deleted all references to miracles and the divinity of Jesus. The closing words of Jefferson’s text were these: “There laid they Jesus: and rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulcher and departed.”    This raises for me the question: is a Gospel that ends with death truly good news? To me, such a Gospel seems unfinished.   There is another kind of Unfinished Gospel and it is contained in the Bible. It is Mark’s Gospel which e