Monthly Archives: July 2010

  • Revelation 21-22

    The final paragraph of C.S. Lewis’s The Last Battle is a masterful introduction to Revelation 21-22:

    The things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.— C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle

    Set in direct contrast to the whore of Babylon (17:2), John here … Read More »

  • “…and the life everlasting.”

    More than 85% of Americans believe in some sort of afterlife. Of course, beyond that there is little agreement, especially as it concerns the nature of that afterlife. Here the Creed comes to an end and does so by affirming the hope of life beyond this life and the victory over the grave. Life is central to the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was Jesus himself who was bold enough to say, “I am the way, the truth and the life” (Jn. 14:6). Peter recognized that Jesus’ words were not religious platitudes or inspirational sayings. Rather, he affirmed to Christ, “You have the words of eternal life” (Jn. 6:68). Jesus’ ministry is a life giving ministry. “…the Son gives life to whom he will” (Jn. 5:21). John introduces him succinctly, saying, “In him was life” (Jn. 1:4). … Read More »

  • “…the resurrection of the body…”

    People say the darnedest things at funerals. Orthodoxy often gives way to sentimentality. The religion of Scripture often takes a back seat to the folk religion of the day—a toxic blend of new-age wackiness, a smattering of Bible verses and a healthy dose of sappy sentimentalism. When this is all mixed together we hear about people floating on clouds and singing with the angels. And, almost always, we hear of the blessings of being delivered from the body. Much of this stems from trying to make sense about things the Bible really doesn’t talk about. Frankly, apart from a couple of NT verses, nothing is said about the intermediate state (Phil. 1:23 ; 2 Cor. 5:8)—the time between death and the resurrection of the body. The note the Bible strikes is one emphasizing the final state, the time after the … Read More »

  • “…the forgiveness of sins…”

    Thus far everything spoken of Christ has been outside of us. That is, the Creed has been emphasizing the historic work of Christ in his incarnation, suffering, and glory. At this point, the application of Christ’s redeeming work applied to his people by the Holy Spirit through the ministry of the church here comes into focus. Few phrases could be sweeter to the believer’s ear than this one.

    Few phrases could be sweeter to the believer’s ear than this one.

    When we confess that we believe in the “forgiveness of sins” we are also confessing that we believe in sin and that we are intimately acquainted with it. To confess this is to confess that one is a sinner in need of a Savior. It is much like the admission one makes when she says, “I am sure the doctor can heal … Read More »