three ruined outfits

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Genesis 37:29-36 29 When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he tore his clothes 30 and he came back to his brothers and said, “The boy is gone, and I, where can I go?” 31 Then they took Joseph’s tunic and slaughtered a goat and dipped the […]

the unsatisfied artist

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The very first image we have of God in the Bible is that of an unsatisfied artist. Moses wrote in the first two verses of Genesis, “At first, God created the sky and the land, but the land was unformed and unfilled, and the deep space was dark, and God’s spirit was shaking up the […]

Can these bones live? The resurrection of the body

Luca Signorelli - The Resurrection of the Flesh, c. 1500

Is it really clear that the first Christians believed in the empty tomb of Jesus and in the resurrection of our bodies, leaving all the graves empty? When we view history through Christian eyes, the resurrection of Jesus is the turning point. Without it, St Paul assured his readers, we are wasting our time with […]

better than survival

martha and lazarus

Recently, my wife and I joined a North American mission leader’s conference, together with some 1200 of our colleagues. On the closing session of the conference, they featured a young African-American poet, Micah Bournes. I hope that what he shared is going to be on his new album, because I would love to hear it […]

time and chance

Ecclesiastes 9:11-18

Ecclesiastes 9:11-18 Solomon teaches that it is better to live wisely than foolishly, but even living wisely is no guarantee that you will not be snared by an evil time.  Time and chance happen to all of us.  This life has no guarantees. No one has a guarantee of success in life, or protection from […]

false hopes for reward

Ecclesiastes 9:1-10

Ecclesiastes 9:1-10   Lots of people live and die for the rewards that life brings them.  They have set their hope on getting the next promotion, making the next million, or just getting a better job. The Preacher of Ecclesiastes lived in a world where there were no guarantees of success, even if one does […]

the promise | eternal life

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“…this is the promise that he made to us- eternal life.”1 escape? For many world religions, the ultimate goal of life is to escape it, because it is seen as a curse. People have to be reincarnated because they do not achieve the highest of realms, and so are condemned to keep coming back as […]

only two destinies

two destinies

  There are a number of views on the afterlife that are held by different groups.  Conditionalists believe that there are only two eternal destinies: life or death. The saved will be rewarded with permanent life, while the lost will suffer permanent death. In this chapter of my book An Advent Christian Systematic Theology, I […]

learning to trust

sheol

Ecclesiastes 3:9-22 All go to one place: Sheol, the state of death.  This is not altogether bad news.  It puts us into a place where we must depend on God for a resurrection.  We have to learn to trust that our LORD knows what he is doing.  We begin by being thankful for the work […]

Life After Death? How Can We Get To Heaven? Who Do You Trust?

seeking answers

Is there life after death? How can we get to Heaven? What important questions! The answers we find define every other aspect of our lives. The answers ultimately depend on just one word: trust. Who do you trust? What information can you trust? Can you trust your own mind? Your feelings? Your parents, teachers, or […]