Question: What is your understanding of the Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew? Is it future or already present, but not yet?

An initial note should be stated: when you compare the parable messages from Mark 4; Luke 8 and Matthew 13, you’ll see that the terms Kingdom of God and Kingdom of Heaven are used interchangeably. So is the Kingdom of Heaven future rather than “already, but not yet”?

We first need to see that there are five facets of “kingdom” in Scripture. There terms “Kingdom of God” or “Kingdom of Heaven” both refer to God’s rule, although the uses of the term “kingdom” will reveal five different facets.

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Question: If someone is proud, what is the “put off” and “put on”?

God created the most beautiful world when He created the Garden of Eden. It remained incredible, until Adam sinned and God thrust him out of the Garden into a creation that now groans because of Adam’s sin, “the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.” (Rom. 8:22)

The basis of Adam’s sin was pride. He chose to choose independently of God’s will. He chose to act without asking God what he should do. He chose to rely upon his own sense rather than depend solely on the Lord. That is what pride is. It is the fundamental cause of all sins in life. Continue reading

Question: Why does a loving God allow suffering?

Why does a loving God allow suffering? I looked at one aspect of the question on an earlier post, “How can a loving God allow suffering?” which looked at one element of the question, namely, people don’t understand the character of God’s holiness and the offense of sin against holiness, which results in personal and corporate suffering. This article will focus on another aspect, Continue reading

Insights: Should you celebrate Halloween as a Christian?

Should you celebrate Halloween as a Christian? I have taken almost every position on what to do with Halloween.  I respect good brothers and sisters who want nothing to do with the day.  I have taught the position of Halloween as initiated by the evil spirits and Celtic traditions.  Continue reading

Question: Is a Faith a Work?

Recently, I was in a conversation with a person who held to a strict Calvinistic position. That is, he believed in the five point TULIP principles. During the conversation, we discussed Ephesians 2:8 and how the word “that” cannot refer to faith because of the Greek grammatical construction, but it must refer to “salvation,” which is elliptical (which means it is implied by the verb “saved”). As the discussion continued, I stated that faith was a non-meritorious decision.  There is no merit before God. Then he commented that a decision or faith is an action and salvation is not obtained by a work or an action. Continue reading