All of the apostles were chosen by the Lord for a reason. All of them shared in the ministry and apostleship, even Judas (Acts 1:25). Despite this equality, the gospel accounts reveal that on three different occasions, Jesus chose three of His apostles, separated them from the rest, and allowed them to see things that they were not permitted to tell the others.
Peter, James, and John seem to have formed an inner-circle within the Twelve. Why were these three men singled out? What was special about them? To address this question, we will first consider the occasions on which they were singled out, then we will consider the validity of some possible explanations. Continue reading » Peter, James, and John
- I wrote this article just weeks after the terrorist attacks occurred on September 11, 2001. I have reprinted it here for our consideration on the tenth anniversary of this event.
As President Bush has said, none of us will ever forget where we were and what we were doing when we heard about the terrorist attacks on September 11th. I saw a little bit of footage on the morning news as we were getting ready for the day. I was too busy to stop and listen and left the house thinking that there was just a fire on one of the floors of the World Trade Center. After I dropped Paige off at school, I turned on the radio to find that all the programming had been preempted. It was then that I realized that something serious was taking place. After a few moments of reporting the radio went silent. Then I heard Peter Jennings say in disbelief, “The north tower has just collapsed.” Continue reading » Lessons From the Tragedy of September 11, 2001
Paul tells us that Jesus “made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:7-8, emphasis mine, HR). We understand that Jesus came to this world to die for our sins because no one else could accomplish this task. He was our only hope. However, someone might ask, “Why did Jesus have to die on a cross?”
Death by crucifixion was the most painful manner in which a person could be put to death. Suspended from the ground, the weight of the victim’s entire body pulled against metal spikes which were driven through the hands (wrists) and the feet. The victim would writhe in pain as he slowly died of asphyxiation. Continue reading » Why the Cross?
Both a major motion picture and a popular Meatloaf song of the 1970s depicted the irreverent sounding title of this article: Heaven Can Wait.
Yet as much as the Christian yearns for Heaven and to return to God, to escape the cold clutches of this world and association with its dark prince, when the moment of death impends, he becomes reluctant and does everything in his power to suggest that Heaven can wait.
Good King Hezekiah preferred 15 more years on this terrestrial ball to an immediate transport to the land beyond, perhaps because he was ignorant about what lay ahead (2 Kings 20). Today, medical advances have extended the life expectancy of the average American to nearly fourscore years, matching the zenith of Psalm 90:10. Death is feared, loathed and delayed, even on occasions when the only life left is functioning by virtue of a machine.
Continue reading » Walking Worthy: Heaven Can Wait