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*Theology Thursday* — Two different concepts of what revelation is – a broad concept and a narrow or more restricted concept. In the broad sense, “revelation” means a communication from God. It is some sort of a word that comes from God telling us something. In a narrower sense, “revelation” means the unveiling of something hidden, the exposure of something not known. It is important to keep these two senses distinct because while the Bible is revelation in the first sense not all of the Bible is a revelation in that narrow sense. Prophecy and the Book of Revelation would be an example of that.
But then there are two kinds of revelation: general and special. General revelation is general in two senses. First, it provides information about God that is generally available to all persons in human history, regardless of the time and place in which they have lived – it is generally available. Also it is general in a second sense, it is general information about God. It doesn’t tell us that God is a Trinity; it doesn’t tell us that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins. It is general in the sense that it tells us that there is a Creator God of the universe who has made the world and to whom we are morally responsible.
So general revelation primarily assumes the form of God’s exposure in nature and then also in conscience, as God’s moral laws are written on the hearts of all people so that everyone has an innate sense of our moral responsibility before God and of our failure to live up to the demands of the moral law.
*Worship Wednesday* — GOD desires true, covenant relationship with us. While GOD is the rightful ruler of all, and His foundation is secure and unshakable – even the demons understand GOD’s rule and tremble at His Word (James 2: 19) – He seeks something more.
GOD doesn’t just want a King and loyal-subject relationship. In addition to being seen as the dominant ruler over all other deities or gods of this age, He longs for true and deep bond by a covenant.
“This is what the Lord says: ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? (Isaiah 66: 1) GOD’s desire is to find that place in each and every one of us. Let Him rule. Let Him love.
*Tuesday = Truth-day* — The Bible says that the Father is loving. The New Testament says the same about Jesus. But can they really be loving while at the same time sending people to hell? After all, Jesus teaches more about hell than anyone in the entire Bible. Does that contradict His supposed gentle and compassionate character?
First of all, GOD doesn’t just cast people into hell because they don’t accept certain beliefs. In the beginning of creation GOD was with man and woman, who were made in His image. They loved doing what He asked and were in right relationship with Him and each other. Then enters sin and rebellion. The image bearers begin to think they are the center of the universe – no longer in right relationship with GOD.
Things we call “social pathologies” – war, rape, envy, jealousy, pride, etc. – are effects of the first instance with the fact that we’re not rightly related to GOD. So what should GOD do about it? If He does nothing, then He’s letting us know that evil doesn’t matter to Him. Wouldn’t this shock us to think that GOD didn’t have moral judgments on these situations?
Hell is not a place where those who were pretty good people just didn’t believe the right stuff. Nor is it filled with people who have repented and GOD wasn’t gentle enough to let them out. It’s filled with people who, for all eternity, still want to be at the center of their own universe and continue to deny GOD. They don’t accept GOD’s grace now, where it’s freely given, then they won’t receive it after death when GOD’s grace is removed and Hell is all that’s left.
*Messiah Monday* — Why was Jesus so focused on proclaiming that the Kingdom of GOD had arrived on earth, and why did He link it to His ministry of physical healing and spiritual freedom? Jesus did this because everyone expected the Messiah to bring GOD’s Kingdom to earth.
Some theologians have completely missed this point, thinking that Jesus never claimed to be the Messiah. But Jesus’ audience would have immediately recognized what He was saying – that he was making the shocking claim to the fulfillment of GOD’s great promises. Jesus used a Jewish way of saying that He was the Christ, the Anointed King that GOD had promised.
From the very beginning, in Genesis, GOD had promised to anoint a king from the people of Israel to reign over the whole world (Genesis 49: 10). Isaiah 9: 6 – 7 shows us more of who Jesus was and is today even though He is not yet reigning in His full glory. He is the Mighty GOD which the Gospels introduce as the humble Prince of Peace.
That Day will come when He will be revealed as the King of kings and Lord of lords. Amen.
*Sunday Science* — The efforts to come up with alternatives to the Big Bang have dramatically increased in recent years. Many scientists are bothered by the fact that the beginning of the universe needs a Creator. Albert Einstein admitted it “irritated” him, British astronomer Arthur Eddington called it “repugnant”, MIT’s Phillip Morrison said, “I would like to reject it”.
Agnostic Robert Jastrow said it was “distasteful” adding: “There is a kind of religion in science … Every event can be explained in a rational way as the product of a previous event … there is no First Cause … This religious faith of the scientist is violated by the discovery that the world had a beginning under conditions in which the known laws of physics are not valid, and as a product of forces or circumstances we cannot discover. When that happens, the scientist has lost control. If he really examined the implications, He would be traumatized.”
This attitude has fueled efforts to avoid the idea of the Big Bang. One example is the Steady State theory of 1948. It says that the universe is expanding and as galaxies move away from each other, new matter comes into being out of nothing to fill the empty space. This completely contradicts the First Law of Thermodynamics, which says matter is neither created nor destroyed. Also, this theory has never secured a single piece of experimental verification.