Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bible Prophecy: Then What?

People from a prophetic origen. That's who we are.  Whether one views themselves as conservative, liberal, or middle of the road Seventh-day Adventist, we can all agree on one thing. Seventh-day Adventist historically rose out of a group of people that were interpreting bible prophecy.

We hold public evangelistic meetings throughout the world, expounding our prophetic beliefs in hopes that some will listen. We haven't gone without detractors. People state we speak to much against the Catholic church, 666, doomsday preaching, Jesus is an endnote instead of the center of all prophecy and perhaps a host of other points that have been brought to our attention whether we want to hear it or not.

To some extent (in a general sense) some of what has been said against us is true. There have been and are some leaders, Seventh-day Adventist church members that have done are doing some of the previously mentioned 'detractions' to some degree hurting the message instead of helping it.

With that said, prophecy is obviously still important. We believe that Jesus is coming soon, that before He comes this wonderful country will speak like a dragon. That the Catholic church will play a role in last day events and the Sabbath vs. Sunday issue will be a key component, again at some point before Jesus comes.

The problem though is not with bible prophecy but what we do once we've understood the prophecies. You see the prophecies/Bible tells us some of what will happen before Jesus comes but not exactly how it will happen and obviously it doesn't necessarily tell us exactly when. Surely we have signs, but we've been having signs for sometime now and some see nearly every catastrophe or Catholic statement as a sign (ok I may be exaggerating a little to make a point:).

Surely we must be vigilant but not vigilantes. We should keep up with news that relates to prophecy (here's an interesting article by a friend and professor from the seminary I attended) but not relate conspiracy theories as last day event facts.

We must be honest, sometimes bible prophecy draws a certain type of crowd. Those honestly seeking to know about bible prophecy but also those who will ultimately focus more on the prophecies themselves and how everything will play itself out and not really factor in Jesus. The one giving the prophecy. Revelation is the revelation of Jesus, right?

You see ultimately once we've heard and understood the prophecies, then what? What does that do for our every day walk with Jesus? How should that change our lives?

Let me know what you think...


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Essence Of Living

How are you living?

This week has been one of those weeks that has truly made me reflect on this question. This past Sunday I received news that three freshman college students had died returning to school (University of Mississippi) there was no alcohol nor drugs involved according to police, just a tragic accident.

The story which obviously drew much attention and made local headlines was devastating news to one of our young people (and his family) in my church. He grew up with these boys and one was like his brother. 

The same day that thousands were paying there respects and saying there farewells to these three men, I was performing a funeral service for a man who had lived to be 87 years old.

How do we explain this? It's the age old question, one that we just don't have an answer for. Why God would allow three young men to die and devastate an entire community and others live well into there late 80's.

Then as I was preparing for the committal these words came to my mind (don't remember where it came from or who may have said it):

"The essence of man is not simply about how long we live but how well we live." 

As Christians we understand that our faith must be in Jesus even in times when we don't have an explanation, or at least not one that will perhaps satisfy us. We live in an imperfect world, a world of sin, which we believe that Jesus will one day come and make things new.

Yet in the mean time...Are we living well?

Are we living well with our family? Are we living well with our friends? Our neighbors? Are we living well with our church family (if you go to church)? 

Above all, are we living well before God?

I don't know how long it will be until Jesus comes (we've been saying soon for a long time), I don't know how long I will live. Yet there is something that I know. 

I want to live well...

What about you?


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