Morning Musings: Revelation 7:9-10

“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

This is really an incredible picture, and a challenging one for the modern church.  John hears the sound of the famed 144,000, but when he turns he sees a great multitude of people from every nation, tribe, people, and language gathered before the throne of God and giving Him praise.  What John sees here is a picture of the church universal gathered for worship. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Revelation 20:7-8

“And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Hell is hard.  Perhaps no orthodox Christian doctrine is as difficult for folks to get their hearts and minds around as is the notion that those who finally reject God will, upon final judgment, spend an eternity separated from Him in Hell.  And, I’ll say this as gently as I can: If the doctrine doesn’t give you at least a bit of unease, you may not be paying very much attention to it. Read the rest…

Heaven on My Mind

In this final part of our series, The Big Story, we take a look at the exciting fourth act of God’s big story: Restoration.  This world is broken in spite of the fact that we live in the time when redemption is available to all those who would receive it.  This dichotomy can lead to endless frustration and even hopelessness if we forget about the fact that there is still one more part to the story.  Read on to learn more about this fourth part and how living in light of it can make our lives now so much better.

Heaven on My Mind

Okay, survey question this morning: how many of you like surprises?  Alright, how many folks are on the opposite end of that scale?  You genuinely don’t like surprises.  What about this: how many folks can handle a surprise if they know it’s coming?  You don’t know what it’s going to be—which is what makes it a surprise—and while you don’t love that you are able to endure the waiting since you at least know something is coming.  Okay, let me change things up just a bit: how many of you are good waiters (and I’m not talking about tables)?  You handle waiting for something you know is coming really well.  You’re certainly excited about it, you just channel that excitement into other things until the day arrives.  Alright then, let’s give the impatient folks a chance to raise their hands since they don’t like waiting: how many of you are terrible waiters when you know something is coming?  You fixate on whatever it is and it’s almost like you can’t do anything else until it arrives.  You’re constantly looking at the calendar, crossing off the days, or checking your watch, counting down the hours. Read the rest…