Well we are finally here! This weekend we will begin 1 Thessalonians 4:13 discussing the coming of the Lord. I expect we will be on this topic for several weeks in order to gain a thorough biblical understanding. There is MUCH background and history that must first be grasped. The histories of some theories of eschatology are really quite amazing and shocking. The next step is to understand the situation into which Paul is writing and then to see what his words meant to this particular group of people at this particular church at that particular time. Once we have that foundation laid we will systematically approach the text. Remember that many of us have probably been taught a “system” of belief and possibly not the Bible. Very few places teach the Bible in an expository fashion thus they are indoctrinating their members into a system of belief.
A pastor’s job is not to promote any belief system but rather to teach the Bible, in context, line by line, chapter by chapter, book by book. To that end we will approach this text the same way we have looked at every other text. You will be amazed that we won’t need a chart or a bar code reader to discern what 666 means! I just read today it was the VISA card……. oh boy.
I am very excited about what the next few weeks hold for us. I can guarantee there will be much for you to chew on and process. We will see the historic Christian view of the text and not the “Left Behind” movie version that we should definitely leave behind. Let us all be like the Bereans who were commended in Acts for “searching the scriptures daily to see if what they were taught by Paul was true”. My desire is that we would reason together from the Bible and then hold fast to what is true. Let us not be those the Bible warns of that turn aside to myths.
Many people in the sensationalized, doom and gloom camp claim that they interpret the Bible "literally" while all others, beside them, hold to "symbolic" interpretations. This implies that "literal" is conservative and correct while "symbolic" is liberal and false. The fact is that all believers are "literalists" on some points and "symbolists" on other points. Nobody can interpret the Bible 100% literally because quite a bit of it is not intended by God to be taken that way. The real issue is shall our interpretation be biblical or speculative?
“The early Christians were looking not for a cleft in the ground called a grave but for a cleavage in the sky called Glory. They were watching not for the undertaker but for the upper-taker.”
Next weekend (November 7th & 8th) after each service we will have an informal get together with the elders. There is no agenda, just an open forum for discussion on any topic that you wish to talk about. This meeting is open to only the members and regular attenders of our fellowship. It has been a while since we all last got together like this so if there is anything on your mind or heart then stay after and let’s talk.
Lots going on and coming up so visit the new website to stay updated.
Pastor Scott and the entire CBC Staff