A Tale of Two Advents

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“Christmas is coming!” Children and adults alike express their excitement at this wonderful time of the year with all of its activities, decorations, goodies, and gifts. Far from the hearts and minds of most people at this time of year is yet another exclamation: “Christ is coming!” Yet, the believers living in those last few centuries before the First Advent of Jesus Christ did look forward and think, “The Messiah (Christ) is coming!”

“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the Lord.” (Zechariah 2:10 ESV)

“Behold, I come” literally says, “I am about to come!” A special Hebrew construction (sometimes referred to as the imminent future) expresses that concept..… Continue reading

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Peace-Loving Believers in an Age of Violence, Part 3 (Final)

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Three fairly significant biblical examples appear to support a believer’s participation in the military:[1]

  • Jesus’s approval of a king who waged war against wicked people (Matthew 21:33–41).
  • In Luke 3:14 John did not command them to resign from military service, but to be content in that position with its wages. Their behavior was to be just and honest — even while remaining soldiers.
  • In John 18:36 Jesus stated that it would have been proper for His disciples to defend His kingdom with swords if it had been an earthly kingdom.

In addition, New Testament writers employ a variety of military metaphors to describe the character of the believer:[2] the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10–20), being a “good soldier” (2 Timothy 2:3–4), and waging spiritual warfare (2 Corinthians 10:1–6).… Continue reading

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