How important is it to defend the gospel against distortions and redefinitions? Is it too far fetched to think that servants of Satan could disguise themselves as Christian leaders? Why are warnings against false teachers fairly common in the New Testament? What is the best way to prepare ourselves to be discerning as we can be exposed to so many voices claiming to speak truth? Out of love for Christ and his Bride, Paul here takes aim at those who would preach "another Jesus" (11:4).
What does Paul mean by “a pure and sincere devotion to Christ?” How can I tell if I have that? If I’ve lost it, how can it be recovered? Why does Paul compare becoming a Christian to getting engaged?
Following the catastrophic devastation of "Babylon the Great" described in Rev. 17-18, the scene shifts back to heaven in Rev. 19:1-10. In this passage, John describes a vision of a great multitude singing praises to the Lord. The Lord has judged his enemies and avenged the blood of the saints; therefore, the multitude cries, "Hallelujah!" The multitude also glorifies God because "the marriage of the Lamb has come." The marriage of Christ to his church is the consummation of God's redemptive work, and all those who are invited to the wedding banquet will enjoy a celebration beyond anything we can presently imagine.
In Revelation 18, John presents six oracles uttered in the aftermath of the fall of "Babylon the Great," i.e., the City of Rome. Three oracles are uttered by angels of God, and three are uttered by groups who had profited by Rome's prior success: the kings of the earth, the merchants, and the mariners. In these oracles, we are reminded yet again of the ultimate desolation and ruin to be experienced by those who are rich in the things of this world but are not rich toward God. This passage also reminds us that God is the ultimate sovereign who loves the saints with an undying love, and who will vindicate them on the last day.
Paul is answering critics who were saying God couldn’t use him because he was nobody special. We also struggle with thinking God can’t use us to reach people. But he does!
In Revelation 17, John personifies Rome as a harlot living a life of decadence and debauchery. She rides atop a ferocious beast with seven heads and ten horns. The beast and the harlot join forces to wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb is victorious. In this very vivid depiction of judgment, John again reminds us that the forces of evil are no match for the Lamb of God, who overcomes all his foes and provides redemption for those who place their faith in him.
What do you think about when you have nothing in particular to think about? When your thoughts wander, where do they wander? In this text Paul famously says we are to "take every thought captive to obey Christ." What does that mean? Christians often use the word "worldview." What is that, and why is this text often used to support the idea? Grace changes not only our status and future destiny, but also our thinking. What does that look like in daily life?