Grace to You

  • Social Injustice and the Gospel
    Scripture says earthly governments are ordained by God to administer justice, and believers are to be subject to their authority. The civil magistrate is “a minister of God to you for good . . . an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil” (Romans 13:1–4). But it is also true that no government in the history of the world has managed to be consistently just. In fact, when Paul wrote that command, the Roman Emperor was Nero, one of the most grossly unjust, unprincipled, cruel-hearted men ever to wield power on the world stage. As believers, “we know... Read more »
  • Friday’s Featured Sermon: “No Other Gospel”
    The gospel of Jesus Christ is an exclusive, narrow, and nonnegotiable message. While there is only one way to preach it, there are seemingly endless ways to distort and pervert it. And even the smallest alteration strips the gospel of its saving power. The apostle Paul understood that the eternal stakes couldn’t be higher: I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we,... Read more »
  • Friday’s Featured Sermon: “Learning from Bad Examples”
    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. That familiar phrase—and all its variations—is credited to George Santayana, a European philosopher writing in the early twentieth century. However, it should not surprise us that the sentiment behind his words reaches back much further into history. In particular, it seems to be what the apostle Paul had in mind when he wrote his first epistle to the believers in Corinth. For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in... Read more »
  • Is There a Temple in Heaven?
    In the ancient world, the two most important buildings of any national capital were the palace and the temple. They represented civil and spiritual authority. In heaven the centrality of the throne of God emphasizes both His sovereignty and His worthiness to be worshiped. All heaven is His palace, and all heaven is His temple. In Revelation 3:12 Christ says, “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city... Read more »
  • Apocalyptic Visions of Indescribable Glory
    The book of Revelation is the story of how God’s wrath will finally be poured out upon the earth. Evil will be conquered forever and vanquished from the universe. It is a graphic and troubling vision, not primarily a lesson about heaven. Still, we learn a lot about heaven from the apostle John’s apocalyptic vision. The Greek word translated “heaven” occurs more than fifty times in the book of Revelation. Twice God is called “the God of heaven” (11:13; 16:11)—a phrase used twenty-two times in the Old Testament. The entire book of Revelation is written from heaven’s perspective, though it deals... Read more »
  • A Portrait of God's Glory
    While God’s Word does not give us all the details about our future home with Him, Scripture is hardly silent when it comes to His eternal kingdom. In fact, the Bible contains many descriptions of heaven. However, some of those descriptions are cast in apocalyptic or prophetic language filled with symbolism and mystery. Such complex imagery can be confusing, even for seasoned biblical scholars. Some want to treat the verses like riddles or treasure maps that unlock deeper meaning and hidden truths about what we can expect in heaven. Others look to allegorize the imagery, leading down infinite rabbit trails of... Read more »
  • Debunking Lies About Heaven
    Why is it important to know the truth about heaven? With all the contradicting theories and theologies, you can imagine that some Christians would prefer to live in blithe ignorance about what awaits beyond the grave. But knowing the truth about heaven is not just about being right for the sake of being right. God’s people need to know the truth about heaven because it fixes our eyes on God, His kingdom, and the work He has called us to accomplish in the meantime. But knowing the truth also equips us to defend against the wide array of false teaching about... Read more »
  • The False Hope of Purgatory
    Let’s be clear from the outset: The Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory is taught nowhere in Scripture. It was invented to accommodate Catholicism’s denial of justification by faith alone. And it offers false hope to millions who anticipate ample time beyond the grave—perhaps eons, if necessary—to achieve their own justification. Scripture very clearly teaches that an absolutely perfect righteousness is necessary for entry into heaven. Jesus said, “I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20). He then added, “Therefore you are to be perfect,... Read more »
  • What Happens When Believers Die?
    It’s hard for our finite minds to conceive of eternity—or for that matter, anything outside of our routine experience in this temporal realm. In spite of the pictorial language employed by the biblical authors, it can be difficult for us to form a clear concept of heaven, or understand what it will be like to pass through death and into eternity.  And whenever the topic turns to our eternal home, certain questions are appropriate. Someone inevitably asks about the state of believers who die before the final consummation of all things. Do believers who die receive temporary bodies until the resurrection?... Read more »
  • Friday's Featured Sermon: "Facing Death Confidently, Part 2"
    Have you ever met anyone who expects to live forever? Though they might not verbalize that expectation, the way some people live suggests they are unmoved by the unstoppable march of time, and unconcerned about the inevitability of the grave. Others obsess over death, and take extreme measures to prevent its arrival. For Christians, both of those perspectives are invalid. God’s people must live with an eye toward eternity, understanding the brevity of this life (James 4:14) and the urgency of the work for which the Lord has set us apart. At the same time, we must not succumb to the fear... Read more »