24.1

April 30, 2009 at 9:42 am Leave a comment

Most of what I know, especially about the Bible, I learned by doing 3 things:  First, I study the Bible itself.  I have always tried to read whatever I am studying several times and just let it say what it says, as opposed to reading what someone else thinks it says.  (that comes later).  During this step I ask myself questions to try and help me understand what is being said, to whom it is being said, why it is being said, who is saying it and so on.  I take notes, I think about it but most importantly, I ask the Holy Spirit to teach me.

Secondly, I carry what I have read around in my head for a while and let it soak.  Over time, could be a few hours, a few days or in the case of Matthew 24, a few years, but when I let it soak, I usually get something fresh, something I have never heard before.  That doesn’t mean no one else has thought of it but it means the Spirit speaks fresh to me.

In the third step I try to find out if anyone else has written anything about the subject I am studying, something that confirms, challenges or affirms what I believe the Spirit has taught me.  This is always the third step because if I do this first or second I never get to see the Spirit guide me into truth and just end up knowing what other people know (that is not always bad).  When I depend too much on what others think I usually end up in the ditch on one side of the road or the other.

Candidly, I have never liked the whole end times teaching that was part of my dispensational upbringing and training.  I never found any joy or hope in things spinning downward through a Great Tribulation, The anti-Christ, “melting with frevent heat” and all that horror.  But just because I didn’t like it didn’t mean it wasn’t true.  Who was I to challenge or disagree with my professors, who were very intelligent men and very sincere and Godly men besides, who I liked and who loved and cared about me?  Who was I to go against the increasingly strong tide of an end game that looked more and more right on with each new world crisis, new war, new famine, new disaster and so on?  So I joined the pre-tribulational, pre-millennial crowd and tried to force the questions out of my mind.

But still questions would boil in my mind and heart whenever I would hear something about the Great Tribulation.  What about the people in the Sudan, Dufar or any of the other beat down, diseased nations where millions have died, is it possible that there could be a greater tribulation for them, yet to come?  Why is it that most of the pessimistic end times scenarios originate in the United States, the richest and most blessed nation in the history of the world?  How come this view of our Father’s plan for His Family has appeared only recently?  Was it progressive revelation that brought it along or was it more a desire to make sense of the bad things that were happening at the time dispensationalism came on the scene?  Why didn’t Charles Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley and even thinkers further back than them, not buy into the pessimism of this end times view?

Whatever one chooses to believe about how the future is going to play out begins in Matthew 24.  Depending on how one understands the questions the disciples ask Jesus and the answers Jesus gives, sets you on course to see other prophetic passages like Daniel 2 and 9  and the vision of Revelation a certain way.  So in my mind Matthew 24 is central and critical to determining whether we should view the future as going downhill to an ugly end or view the future as a glorious and beautiful Bride welcoming her Bridegroom to a planet where every knee is, by choice, bowing and every tongue confessing that this Groom is Lord, to the Glory of the Father.

So here is my suggestion to you.  Read 24.  Try to read it in something other than a study Bible and maybe use a fresh translation.  Ask the Spirit to guide you into all truth.   Ask questions and write them down.  If you do that you will be in a better place to interact with where the Spirit has been guiding me.

Next week I will begin to open up Matthew 24 as it has been opened up to me and we will go from there.

By the way, step 3 in my Bible study method led me to a man named Harold Eberle who along with another man wrote a book called Victorious Eschatology.  I was doing a search for positive end times scenarios and stumbled upon Harold’s teaching.  I ordered the book and found it very helpful.  But because I had already done my study and had already made some desicions about my personal convictions, Victorious Eschatolgy was confirmation and affirmation that I was on the right track.  I hesitate to tell you about the book, not because you will not need to read what I write, but because I fear you will do what most people do and simply decide what you believe based on what someone else says, rather than doing your own study, but that is really not my problem.  Follow this link to find the book.  HERE

See you next week!

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Entry filed under: Authority, Belief, Bible, Christian, Church, End times, Eschatology, Faith, Holy Spirit, How will the world end?, Institutional church, Jesus, Kingdom, Kingdom Gospel, Revelation, The Father, Theology, Thoughts.

What are you passionate about? Lorissa Kingsbury 24.2

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