This video was passed on to me in response to my sermon on wisdom in conflict. It is a good illustration of how not to approach conflict. Almost any one of the Proverbs that I dealt with in my sermon could have defused this whole situation. This matter could've been let go. The confrontation could have been made with less attitude and anger. The rebuke could have been responded to without defensiveness. Instead the conflict escalates to comic proportions.
In my study regarding wisdom in our words, I came across this video which talks about the importance of moral wake-up calls. There is power in helping people see the significance of their words and deeds. This is one of the ways in which Proverbs function. They identify wisdom for us so that when we face the challenges of life, we are open to God and alert to his ways.
I am thankful that our statement of faith does not commit to specific prophetic details regarding the second coming of Christ. I am glad that we make room for a variety of beliefs in this matter. My personal understanding has changed on this topic. While at one time I favored a pre-tribulation rapture, the writings of Ladd and Gundry among others have shown me that the biblical descriptions of the rapture are connected to the second coming. The main passage which speaks of the rapture is 1 Thessalonians 4:17, where we see the words "caught up". It is described in context with the voice of an archangel and the trumpet call of God. Nowhere in this passage is there a description of the timing in relation to the tribulation. If we compare other passages where the trumpet is sounded we can get a sense of the timing. We see that in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 we will be changed at the last trumpet and in Matthew 24:30-31 we see that the second coming of Christ will be announced by a trumpet and the elect will be gathered. It seems clear to me that the trumpet described in all three of these passages, must be the same. Being caught up at the trumpet call will be at the last trumpet when Christ returns. Let's not get caught up in the details, but rather rejoice in the hope that Christ will return, bringing justice and establishing his presence in a new heaven and a new earth. Amen come Lord Jesus.
Yesterday we looked at 1 Corithians 15 and 2 Peter 3 and considered what the Bible teaches about our final destiny. We will be raised to new spiritual bodies and will live in a new heaven and a new earth. Although I was able to describe what the Bible teaches, I had a keen sense at the end of the message that we need something more than a good description, we need a sense of awe and excitement. This is one of the benefits of the book of Revelation. While we may not feel that we fully understand the details of the symbols in this book, there is an overall sense of power that comes from reading it's descriptions of the future. The book of Revelation is more about the feeling of awe than it is about clarity of explanation. When I read it, I am not exactly sure what I am seeing, but I know it is glorious.
Revelation 7:9–10 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
Revelation 21:18–21 The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. 19 The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass.