The book of Revelation has always been one of my favorite books in the entire Bible. I have often been asked why and perhaps the reason lies in its focus. Revelation was written near the end of the first century in a time when Christians were being persecuted and dying for their faith in Jesus. To encourage and challenge them to greater faithfulness, Jesus gives John this series of visions to explain our suffering and more importantly remind us of our ultimate victory. Throughout the book the message is always the same: No matter what happens in this life, in the end faithful Christians will stand victorious with Jesus. True to that purpose, this book has always given me hope and courage to keep serving Jesus and His people.Continue reading “An Introduction to the Book of Revelation”
The letter of Jude and the person are not well known to modern readers of the Bible. Most have no idea who he was or why his unique letter is even considered Scripture. I call his letter unique because of its contents. In the letter Jude refers to a book called “The Assumption of Moses” and one called “The Book of Enoch.” Do not let this cause you to think they are inspired or even worthy of your time to read them. Jude is simply referencing books that were well-known in this time to make a point about faithfulness and the danger of rebelling against God.Continue reading “Introduction to Jude”
Most know Paul wrote 1 &2 Thessalonians, but many forget that Timothy and Silas are also named as authors (1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:1).
Something that’s interesting is that most people agree that the letter to the Thessalonians is the oldest letter in the New Testament.Continue reading “Introduction to 1 & 2 Thessalonians.”
Colossians focuses on Jesus as the head of the church and the focus of all things.
Colossae was a small, minor city located about 100 miles inland from Ephesus in what is modern day Turkey. It is located by an important mountain pass and once was a very populated city with a thriving economy. By the time Paul writes to them it had withered, due in part, to the success of neighboring cities like Ephesus and Hierapolis.Continue reading “Introduction to Colossians.”
The city of Philippi had a long and interesting history. It was initially colonized by the people of Thasos around 360 BC. It was renamed “Philippi” by Philip of Macedon in 356 BC and was eventually abandoned in the 1 4th century after the Ottoman conquest.Continue reading “An Introduction to Philippians.”
Paul first arrived in Ephesus on his second missionary journey (Acts 18). He visited a second time during his third missionary trip (Acts 19) which proved to be a tumultuous time for the church. People were baptized, silversmiths were infuriated, and a riot even broke out. Paul’s relationship with Ephesus was interesting, to say the least.Continue reading “An introduction to Ephesians.”
The book of Galatians is challenging and powerful. Written by the apostle Paul early in his ministry (around 49-50 AD), it reveals one of the first serious doctrinal struggles in the church. The main issue at stake was legalism vs. grace.Continue reading “An introduction to Galatians.”
As we pointed out in our introduction to 1 Corinthians, the Corinthian church would have been challenging. This one gave him the most grief and heartbreak of all the churches he started. You see this culminating in Paul’s admonition in 2 Cor. 13:5, when he said to them, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” (ESV) Undoubtedly, Paul is beginning to question their salvation and connection to Jesus.Continue reading “An introduction to 2 Corinthians.”
First Corinthians is a significant book for the church because today’s church struggles with so many of the issues and problems of this church. No doubt this was a challenging church to call brothers and sisters, but that is precisely what Paul did. This letter reminds us that no matter how bad it gets, it could always get worse, and there is always hope.Continue reading “An introduction to 1 Corinthians.”