The idea of our current sermon series on the names of God, What is God Like?, is to use the names of God as a way to think about God.
On September 7th we are providing an opportunity for water baptisms, so this is a good time to revisit what we believe about baptism. The basic idea is that believers should be baptized by immersion in water as a believer. The two halves of this idea are equally important to get straight in our minds: (1) believers and (2) baptized by immersion in water. Thus, the simple test of whether you (or your child) should be baptized is whether or not you (or your child) believe in Jesus and haven't already been baptized as a believer.
In our last post we introduced Daniel's seventy weeks, this mysterious reference from Daniel 9:24-27. It is often used as a defense of a 7-year time of hardship called "the great tribulation." Yet, we are taking a different approach to the passage. We began with verse 24 yesterday, and today we will look at the rest of the passage going verse-by-verse.
If you've read much of anything connected to the end times, you've likely heard about "the great tribulation." Or maybe you've even heard about Daniel's 70 weeks. These issues are connected to our view of the end times or eschatology, "the study of the last things." All of this can be endlessly fascinating but also wildly speculative. Arriving at solid conclusions from the biblical text can be difficult at times, impossible at others. Here we want to examine one piece of this complex puzzle, Daniel 9:24-27.
This Sunday morning we have the opportunity to do something unique, life-changing, vitally important to every facet of our life, and also mysterious: We can draw near to God. James 4:8 says, "draw near to God, and he will draw near to you." The author of Hebrews calls us to "draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith" (10:22).
This past Sunday I preached on the seven seals from Revelation 6-8. In the sermon I touched on the 144,000 from 7:4-8 and said that they represented all the elect from the nation of Israel (with the new covenant people represented by 7:9ff.). Well, that wasn't correct. Looking again at this symbolic group, I missed a key parallel text in Revelation 14:1-3:
Phil wrote this for the Sovereign Grace blog. It is an excellent piece on the importance and meaning of our singing. He is also commending a sermon by Bob Kauflin in this post.
Our final post introducing the book of Revelation will speak on three issues—who, what, and why. Who wrote it doesn't tend to impact how we interpret the book, but when it was written certainly does. Asking why it was written also helps us approach the book rightly.
Now that we've looked at some of the big picture aspects of Revelation we're ready to zoom in just a bit closer. If we were on Google maps, we would be going from the state view to the city view. We'll hold off on the street view until the sermons themselves! Our goal for this post is to give a brief description of the major sections of Revelation. As you'll see, there are seven sections that describe similar events in slightly different ways (and sometimes radically different ways).
A couple days ago we introduced the book of Revelation in preparation for our summer sermon series. We mentioned a few ideas about the book that help us read it well, namely, that it is apocalyptic prophecy in the form of a letter. Now we want to look at four of the basic approaches that people have used to interpret the book.