In answering questions about life after death, we are left with only two sources to consult. Either we turn to human experience or we turn to the Word of God. If we turn to human experience, we find many guesses, many ideas, many theories—but no sure answers.
Currently, I am preaching through a series of messages about leadership in the church. In the last message, I taught on the qualifications necessary for someone to serve as an elder in the church by summing it up to three characteristics: mature, loving, and discerning.
In Ephesians 2 Paul takes us down to the Death Valley of the Soul and then up to “the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” The journey’s contrast will enhance our appreciation for what we have in Christ and will influence the way we live.
Here in this simple phrase we have mysteries so great that the angels desperately long to understand. In a nutshell, the greatest gift that God gives us is himself. But in order for us to understand the magnitude of what John is saying here, we need to step back and look at the larger story of the Bible.
Sometimes when we come to passages like Matthew’s condensed Christmas story, we don’t come with that childlike curiosity and wonder—looking at the everyday with awe, perceiving the familiar as fascinating. But we should.
When we come to the end of the Old Testament, we have no answer to the question of how all these things will be resolved. The resolution is brought about by means of the greatest plot twist in the history of the universe.
The spotlight is not on Joshua’s moral example or on timeless principles of conduct but on Yahweh’s fulfillment of a historical promise. Even Joshua’s name (“Yahweh Saves!”) points away from himself to the real hero of the story. Joshua is a story of grace.