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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Part Two - Biblical Support And Illustrations For The Doctrine of Divine Simplicity

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John 4:24 "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Introduction & Review

In the last post we began introducing readers to an important historic Christian doctrine that is called "Divine Simplicity". The link for the last post can be clicked-on here for any reader wanting to review - http://www.growingchristianresources.com/2018/07/part-one-introducing-doctrine-of-divine.html.

I decided to have a picture of a Legoman at the head of today's post to remind readers of the difference between something composed of parts (i.e. "a complex, created thing") versus God, which alone is by essence and existence not composed of parts (i.e. Divine Simplicity and thus uncreated). To flesh out the above thoughts further,  unlike created things that are composed of parts or "complex", which are distinguished in "what they are" (i.e. essence) from "how they are" (i.e. their existence), God is not composed of "parts". Instead, God is referred to in His essence and existence as "simple", meaning that God is not the result of something composing God from a bunch of attributes or properties (which would amount to God's essence or "what makes God, "God") to become the being we worship as God (i.e. how it is God is God in His existence). 

In a lecture on Divine simplicity, author James Dolezal notes of God in this respect:

"God is absolute being, in that He is His own explanation for His being. He relies on nothing outside of Himself to be God. He is the perfect plenitude (that is, fullness) of being."

Also too, unlike all other created things, which have a beginning and progress from a state of "potentially being something" to a state of "actually being a completed something", God, by nature, has never lacked in anything, since He is complete in every perfection from all eternity. God has no beginning. Thus, simplicity, as it related to describing the God of the Bible, aids in showing why God is separate from His creation. 

In the last post, we had begun with first describing the concept of "complex" by way of putting together model cars. To briefly appeal to the model car illustration once again, there wasn't a box so-to-speak in eternity that was labeled "God" that contained certain parts (omni-presence, omnipotence, omniscience, immateriality, infinity and so forth). If this were the case, then the God we worship required a composer greater than Himself. 

The doctrine of divine simplicity helps the Christian to better understand the sharp distinction between God as uncreated, eternal creator versus everything else. In today's post, the aim is to finish out our introductory discussion on the doctrine of Divine Simplicity. At the end of this second part, I will include a list of resources for further reading.

Getting Further Clarity On The Doctrine Of Divine Simplicity

As author and theologian James Dolezal describes this doctrine in a recent interview: "Everything that is in God, including His attributes and properties, is God". Put another way, God is the same in both His essence and existence or, God is the sum of all His attributes.  

To help picture more clearly what we mean when we say God's "essence" and "existence" are one and the same, I will first refer to remarks made by theologian Wayne Grudem, followed by a helpful illustration involving Lego people. First, author and theologian Wayne Grudem has provided three helpful illustrations in chapter eleven of his work entitled "Systematic Theology". 

1. God is not composed of a bundle of attributes or properties that somehow made Him what He is.

The first illustration has a cluster of circles (picture a bunch of bubbles in a cluster together, or a cluster of grapes) that each are labeled with one of God's attributes. Grudem points out that we must not conceive of God as a collection of various attributes.  

2. God's attributes that express His existence are not one thing, and His being or essence a separate thing. 

In his second illustration concerning God's Divine simplicity (which he refers to as God's "unity of being"), Grudem has one big circle (referring to God's essence or being) surrounded by little circles that are each labeled by one of the Divine attributes. Grudem notes that the second illustration is also incorrect, since the attributes of God in the second illustration are somehow less than His being, which would make God dependent on His attributes to complete what He is as God. 

c. God's very being is His all His attributes, since all that is in God is Himself

It is in the third illustration of Grudem's discussion that one finds what is meant by the doctrine of Divine simplicity. Grudem draws lines criss-crossing within a circle, with each line representing an attribute and all the lines together constituting the whole of the circle. It is in this third illustration that Grudem suggests we ought to think of God when we say that God is the same as all His attributes. 

Illustrating Divine Simplicity By Way Of A Lego Man

I'm sure some readers have played with lego bricks at come point in their lives. Author James Dolezal gives a helpful illustration of Divine simplicity by way of legoman Darth Vader. The legoman in question has "essence" (i.e. legomanity), much like we have the essence of humanity. The legoman Darth Vader has what are called "accidental properties", meaning, traits which he could have or not have and yet remain legoman Darth Vader (i.e. he could have or no have a light saber, for example). I as a human being have dark hair with some gray, however, if I shave my hair, I still remain essentially who I am. There are essential properties that make legoman Darth Vader what He is. If one takes away the brick of his head, or arm, or torso, then he is no lego man Darth Vader. Instead, he only had the potential to become such. 

Dolezal's point is that, unlike created things which are composed of parts, God is complete, through and through, from all eternity. God never had any potentiality in His eternal experience. It is not like there suddenly appeared the property of "love" or "holiness" that attached itself to God's being. God has never lacked in any of His perfections. All of God's perfections (i.e. His attributes) are the essence of what He is (in His essence) and in His self-existence. God is God. God's "Godness" is in virtue of what He is and Who He is. No other being can claim this particular point, which is what separates God as creator from everything else.

Biblical Reasons For Affirming The Doctrine Of Divine Simplicity

Some critics have charged that Divine simplicity cannot be proven from scripture. In response, whenever we consider the fundamental traits that scripture uses in defining and revealing God, such descriptions infer or lead one to the doctrine of Divine simplicity. The opening passage in today's post, John 4:24, has Jesus describing the Divine nature of God as "Spirit". The Apostle Paul affirms the immaterial nature of God in Acts 17:29 - "Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man." 

So then, God is by nature or essence a spiritual being. Now as we already observed, angelic beings are by nature spirit or non-physical and yet are still classified as "complex" beings (see foregoing discussion above). With God classified by nature as "spiritual", what then separates him from even the angels? 

Unlike the angels, God never had a beginning, which means God never had the "potential" of becoming what He is. Both Old and New Testaments testify to God being unchanging or immutable (Malachi 3:6; James 1:17), thus reaching the conclusion that God has always been and always will be eternally God (Psalm 102; Isaiah 44:6; Revelation 1:8). 

Some thinkers today complain that there is no overt text to which we can point to that states that God is "simple" or "composed without parts". The response to this charge is found in how other more well-known attributes of God and assertions of His Divine nature point the way to the doctrine of Divine simplicity. To give but one example, consider the Divine attribute of God that is called "Divine Aseity". God as unique (Deuteronomy 6:4-5); without any other comparable deity that co-exists with Him (Isaiah 44:6) and which exists independently from and before the creation (Isaiah 43:10-11; Jeremiah 10:10-11; 1 Corinthians 8:6-7) is referred to as God's Divine Aseity. Divine Aseity means God "exists in-and-of-Himself" with no beginning and no dependence. 

Divine simplicity is pointed to by this truth in how it proposes God's essence as not depending on His attributes. To paraphrase the 13th century Christian thinker Thomas Aquinas, everything that God is and which is deity is completely present. Similarly, other more well-known attributes of God (omniscience, omnipresence, immutability or the unchanging character of God) all point to this underlying truth of Divine simplicity. 

In the next post, we will round out the Biblical reasons for asserting the doctrine of Divine Simplicity (DDS). One common objection to this doctrine is that some do not think it compatible with the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity. In the next post, we will explore why Divine simplicity and the truth of the Trinity are compatible truths the make for a complete picture of the God of scripture. Below, as promised, are further resources for reading on this doctrine. 

More to come...

Further Reading On The Doctrine Of Divine Simplicity

1. James Dolezal. All That Is in God: Evangelical Theology and the Challenge of Classical Christian Theism. Reformed Heritage Books. 2017

2. St. Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica. Section 1 (Prima Pars), articles 2-8. Existence and Nature of God. 

3. St. Anselm Of Canterbury. "The Proslogion", Chapter 13.

4. Wayne Grudem. Systematic Theology. Chapter 11 - The Character of God: "Incommunicable Attributes". 

5. Baptist Faith and Message 2000, Article 2, "God"

6. 1689 London Baptist Confession Of Faith, Article 2, "Of God and The Holy Trinity".

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Part One - Introducing The Doctrine Of Divine Simplicity

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John 4:24 "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Introduction: My childhood fascination with model cars 

Today's post will introduce the reader to an important doctrine of the Christian faith that helps describe and defend the Biblical understanding of God - namely "The Doctrine of Divine Simplicity". The attempt will be made to discuss this subject with minimal technical jargon so as to provide a useful resource for beginning to approach this particular teaching. To aid myself and the reader alike, I will underline certain terms in the first part of this posting that will come in handy as we move forward.  

My Boyhood Fascination With Model Cars

When I was a boy, I came to enjoy the hobby of building model cars. Whenever my parents and I would go to the store, they would allow me to purchase a model kit - along with assorted paints and glue. I can recall sitting up until the "wee-hours" of the morning assembling the kit from the parts. The box included the "parts" for the car. 

The nature or "essence" of such cars were certain materials such as plastic (molded clear and colored parts) along with rubber tires, metal axles and my favorite - the decals. Once I began the project of assembling and painting the model, although I had the parts, paint and glue, one could legitimately say that until completion, the given model car did not yet exist. The assembling of the model represented a certain "potential" for it becoming what was pictured on the box. Once I completed a given model car, I would proudly bring it to my father for him to inspect and approve. The car as assembled, officially "existed" in the sense that all of its parts were fitted together to complete the "form" recognized on the box. 

Model cars, universes, humans and angels are "complex" and thus created things

The opening illustration does serve a purpose besides that of a charming memory. As we build on some of the terms used in the story, we can begin to understand what is meant by "complexity" with respect to what classifies all created things. Model cars represent a feature common to all created objects and beings - including human beings - a feature deemed "complexity" by theologians and philosophers. Words change usage and meaning with time - with terms such as "complex" and its opposite, "simple",  being no different. 

Whenever anything is described by the term "complex", we're not referring to that object or person as "too difficult to be truly known". Instead, the word "complex", as used in describing a given object or being, refers to how it is composed of parts and how such parts relate to the whole of its being. The opposite concept that is the focal point of today's post and the next is the term "simplicity". Simplicity describes how something is "not composed of parts" and whose whole being and attributes have existed from all eternity (more on this later). It will be argued that God alone occupies, in the most purest sense, what is meant when we say He is Divinely simple. By describing first what defines "complex" objects and beings, we are presenting a contrast that will aid us in beginning to understand what we mean when we that God, by essence and existence, is not composed of parts.   

So, back to model cars and such. The model car illustration entails an object that has parts. The "parts" represent the various features that require assembly by an assembler (which, in the case of the above illustration, would involve a model-car builder). Complex entities also involve their essence (that is, "what" makes an object or being what it is") as coming before their existence (that is, "how" an object or being carries forth what it is upon the completion of its creation). 

Model cars, people and universes have, at some point in their past, had potential to become what they were. All created things had a beginning and at some point neither had "essence" nor "existence". The model car did not even have its parts formed at some point in its past. However, a designer and a factory produced the parts - making kits that contained "potential" model-cars. Only when the car was constructed did it go from a "potential" to an "actual car". 

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Our universe, at sometime in the finite past, did not exist. The Old and New Testament scriptures (i.e. Genesis 1:1; Psalm 33:6; Romans 11:36; 1 Corinthians 8:6) tell us that God created all things by the word of His mouth. Moreover, current findings by astronomers have corroborated models of the universe that give strong evidence to the universe having a beginning. The universe was "assembled" from nothing to become "something" - containing all sorts of "parts" (i.e. atoms, forces, planets, galaxies, ourselves). The universe is the biggest example of a "complex" object.

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Then we come to beings such as ourselves. Human beings are "composite" or "complex". Scripture indicates that, at bare minimum, human beings are non-physical minds or souls endowed with freedom of the will and moral intuitions (see Genesis 1:26; 2:7; Numbers 16:22; 27:16). Human beings are immaterial persons dwelling in and interacting with a physical body composed of a brain with trillions of neurons connected to a body of bone, muscles and blood (Genesis 1:26; 2:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12). Further distinctions that show human beings are special above their animal counterparts in how they are made in God's image. The image of God refers to how humans are created with the potential for interaction with God (Genesis 1:26; 9:6; Psalm 8:1-4; Hebrews 11:1,6). 

Human beings fit the category of "complexity" or "composite" as described above. In other words, there was a point when each human being's essence was nothing more than 23 chromosomes from each parent. Once conception took place, the immaterial aspect of personality or soul (i.e. "life") initiated the existence of that person in embryonic form (since they had not ever pre-existed). Those physical and non-physical elements, which represented a "potential but not-yet person", came together in the womb to become an "actual" person in the fullest sense (Psalm 139:7; Jeremiah 1:5; Galatians 1:15). The "essence" or "stuff of existence" comes before the final composition or "existence" of the above examples. Such qualities describe such things as "complex" and thus created things.

So, what about the angels? Even angels, which are described as "ministering spirits" (Hebrews 1:14) and "flames of fire" (Psalm 104:4), are "complex", since there was a point that they didn't exist and God's formation of their immaterial "essence" or "whatness" came before they were completed as His servants that do His bidding (Job 38:7; Psalm 104:4; Revelation 19:10).

God is not "complex" or composed of parts, but rather, is what is referred to as Divinely simple

As noted earlier, words can change their meanings or add additional senses over time. Whenever we come to God and describing what sets Him apart from all creation, the term "simple" is employed by some theologians and philosophers. By the term "simple", we're not at all saying God is easy to figure out or that we can comprehend Him in all His entirety. Instead, the term "simple", as used millennia ago by Christian thinkers in the ancient church such as Irenaeus of Lyons (180 A.D.) and middle ages (Anselm of Canterbury 1078 A.D. and Thomas Aquinas, 1270's) refers to how God is not composed of parts. Furthermore, in contrast to "complex" created beings and things whose "essence" proceeds their "existence" (that is, the stuff they're made of, including various traits, require composition by a composer to bring them from a state of "potentially being something" to "actually being something" or existence), a simple being like God is eternally complete. All of God's traits and attributes by way of His "existence" (i.e. "how God is God") and His eternal, immaterial nature by manner of His "essence" (i.e. "what God is as God) have eternally and simultaneously continued as one, living, uncreated reality. 

These thoughts, hopefully, direct our minds toward contemplating what kind of God God is and why He is worthy of our worship. For now, we will end today's post and continue on in the next. 

More next time.....

Thursday, July 12, 2018

How One May Outline The Book Of Revelation

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Revelation 1:19 "Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things."

Introduction:
In the last couple of posts, we have introduced readers to the variety of issues surrounding the standard approaches and interpretations of the Book of Revelation. How we interpret the contents of John's Apocalypse will steer how we read it and apply it to our lives. In today's post, we want to consider ways in which we can outline the Book of Revelation. Outlines of the books of the Bible can aid greatly in teaching or preaching situations. Also too, having an outline of a Book like Revelation can help the reader have a "map" as they work their way through its contents
Methods For Outlining For The Book Of Revelation

Whenever you consider the 22 chapters of Revelation, most people will take as their point of departure Revelation 1:19. Revelation 1:19 gives the reader a three-fold outline:

1. "The things which you have seen" Revelation 1-3

2. "The things which are now/are yet to come" Revelation 4-5

3. "The Things yet to come" Revelation 4-22

In some instances, you may see even a two-part outlining approach:

1. "The things which you have seen"  Revelation 1-3

2. "The things which are to come"  Revelation 4-22

Since we had covered various theological approaches to the Book of Revelation in the last post, I will simply ask readers to click on the following link to review in the footnotes of the previous post the terms that follow in the next two paragraphs: http://www.growingchristianresources.com/2018/06/surveying-various-interpretations-of.html. If readers would rather skip the next two paragraphs, they may do so and go onto the heading that features a proposed outline of the Book of Revelation. 

Both Classical and Dispensational Premillennialists will typically see the Book of Revelation (particularly chapters 6-20) unfurling in a sequential, step by step fashion. Hence, the relationship between the various seal, trumpet and bowl judgments tend to represent a linear unfolding of future prophetic events. Other Pre-millenialists tend to see the book, especially in Revelation 4-22, unfold in more of a "winding staircase" fashion, meaning that the Apostle John is presenting the same sequence of history over and over again in greater and more intense detail through the respective seal, trumpet and bowl judgments of Revelation 6-19. 

When we consider Amillennial and some Post-millennial interpreters , the staircase model tends to be the preferred outlining approach.  Other types of Post-Millennial interpreters tends to view Revelation 6-19 as a summary of God's overall program for history, with no immediate connection to any one history or event (also called the idealist view of Revelation). These are but samples of the various ways people have attempted to outline and understand the book of Revelation.

A Proposed Outline Of The Book Of Revelation

This author finds the Book of Revelation presenting God's truth as follows:

1. Christ and His Church. 1-3
2. Christ and His Throne. 4-5
3. Christ and Human History. 6-18
4. Christ's Return to Reign. 19-20
5. Christ in Eternity. 21-22

The first five chapters tend to take the reader back and forth between the heavenly upper story of God in eternity (chapters 1, 4&5) and the details of what is happening to the seven churches here on earth (chapters 2&3). This author finds the seven churches to be seven, literal churches situated in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) that also provide some instructive patterns for church-life today.  

With respect to chapters 6-18 of Revelation, this author would favor seeing the sequence of judgments as a repeated retelling of the same seven-year future time-frame called the Tribulation period. Without diving into inordinate detail, Revelation 6-18 could be sub-divided as follows:

A. How Christ will deal with the nations. Chapters 6-11

B. How Christ will deal with Israel. Chapter 12

C. How Christ will defeat the anti-Christ and the rebelling nations. Chapters 13-18

Revelation 19-20 serves to bring to a conclusion the future historic cycle God will unleash on planet earth. Again, readers can appeal to the last post to get a grasp on how various interpreters have viewed Revelation 19-20. This author sees history (this present age) closing with Christ's return, at which point He will return with an already raised and glorified church to restore and purify the nation of Israel (see Daniel 12:1-3;  Romans 11:25-26). These particular events will comprise Jesus' 1,000 year reign upon the earth, concluding in the Great White Throne Judgment, the resurrection of the wicked to judgement and final judgement of Satan into the Lake of Fire (see John 5:24-25; Revelation 20).

Once the thousand-year reign of Christ concludes, Revelation 21-22 takes the reader into the future eternal state. These two final chapters of Revelation (and the Bible) describe the glorious "New Heavens and New Earth" spoken 
of in 2 Peter 3:13, wherein Peter writes: 

"But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells."

Closing thoughts:

These last few posts have dedicated time to introducing readers to the various interpretive questions surrounding how we read the Book of Revelation. The value of considering the interpretive issues is in knowing the right questions to ask. If we ask the appropriate questions, we will then arrive at the appropriate conclusions. Thankfully, the Christian has the Holy Spirit to aid them in wading through the many options. The differing viewpoints represent the need of every generation of God's people to expound and explain the contents of this book to the next generation. The point of offering an outline in today's post was to provide a map by which we may navigate through the Book of Revelation. Although Revelation can at times present challenges, it comes with the promise of blessing to those who take the time to read it, hear it and live it (see Revelation 1:1-3). 

Friday, July 6, 2018

Four Reasons To Study The Book Of Revelation

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Revelation 1:1-3 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, 2 who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Introduction:

In today's post we want to suggest four reasons why it is valuable to study the Book of Revelation. The Apostle John introduces his series of visions with a formal introduction in Revelation 1:1-8. It is in that introduction that we discover four reasons for studying the Book of Revelation and Bible prophecy in general. Notice if you will the first reason....

1. Re-emphasizes Jesus Christ. Revelation 1:1, 4-6

In Revelation 1, we find nearly 40 titles ascribed to the Lord Jesus Christ. Revelation is all about Jesus! A brief review of a few verses in this opening section will underscore this point.

A. Revelation 1:1 ”Jesus”, as touching the manhood and ”Christ”, as touching His office as Israel’s Messiah, the chosen One”. The latter part of Revelation 1 highlights Christ in His majestic deity.

B. Revelation 1:5 “faithful witness”, points us to His Real Deity. He speaks what He sees. As a Truly Divine Person, only the Son could directly behold the Person of the Father, which no mere creature (angel or human) as ever beheld. We can cross reference John 1:18, which notes: “No one has seen God, save the only begotten”. Revelation 1:5 also mentions additional titles of Jesus. We find Him described as “The Firstborn”, meaning: Raised, triumphed over death. The third title of Jesus in Revelation 1:5 is: “Ruler of Kings”, which points to His Royal ascension. Fourthly, we discover that Jesus “loves us”, by way of His rich self-sacrifice. In 1 John 4:19 we are reminded: "we love Him because He first loved us". Lastly in Revelation 1:5, we read of how Christ “Released Us”.

C. In Revelation 1:6 we find out that Christ came and “made us to be a kingdom”. This speaks of the believer's rich inheritance in Christ, a fond theme found elsewhere in the New Testament (see Romans 8:14-16; Galatians 4:1-6; 1 Peter 2:9-10).

This re-emphasis of Jesus Christ explains why John broke into doxology at the end of Revelation 1:6, wherein he writes: 

"to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen." 

So, studying the Book of Revelation inclines us to re-emphasize Jesus Christ, but now notice the second reason....

2. Revives godly living. Revelation 1:2-3

Whenever my wife and I courted, I made many trips to go see her. At the beginning of our relationship, I found my interest in my own cleanliness heightened. Whenever we read the Book of Revelation, its tone and contents incline us to desire godly living. A quick review of Revelation 1:1-3 will bear out this point.

A. In Revelation 1:2, John's use of the word "testified" urges us to give ourselves to the book. 

B. In Revelation 1:3a, we find further exhortations leading us to give ourselves to obey the book.

C. Lastly, in Revelation 1:3b, we discover the urgency to give ourselves to expect the Christ of the book.

The Apostle John, the author of Revelation, combines the need for godly living with the truths of Christ's second coming elsewhere in his writings. For instance, we read in 1 John 3:2-3 -

"Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure."

So, studying Revelation and Bible prophecy re-emphasizes Jesus Christ and revives godly living. Notice the third reason for taking the time to study this Book of the Bible...

3. Re-energizes evangelism. Revelation 1:7

Every year when my children are getting ready to finish school, I notice and increase in their energy. Why? Because they know that year is almost done. Biblical prophecy or eschatology serves emphasis not only to believers, but unbelievers. Some observations from Revelation 1:7 and other New Testament verses will demonstrate this truth.

A. The Mission almost complete. 

John writes in Revelation 1:7 - “Behold, He is coming…”. Jesus notes in Matthew 24:14 

"This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come."

B. The Message is urgent. 

We read again in Revelation 1:7 - “Every eye will see Him….”. The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:2 "For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night."

C. Make your choice, now! 

John's closing phrase in verse seven communicates the definiteness of the second coming of Christ and thus the need to make a choice for Him: “So it is to be. Amen”. 

The urgency of sharing Christ with the unconverted is dependent upon our keeping in mind the brevity of time. In other words: time is short! We've seen then that the following reasons for studying Bible prophecy in general and Revelation in particular are as follows: re-emphasizes Jesus Christ; revives godly living and re-energizes evangelism. Now lets consider one last reason....

4. Re-awakens us to His 2nd coming. Revelation 1:8 

I’m amazed at how early Christmas shopping begins. People are ready! One will see or here the following: "Christmas in June" or "Door-buster sales!" The alertness of people to these sorts of events is amazing, considering that their efforts are six-months before Christmas. We need to exercise a much greater anticipation when it comes to Christ's return. John writes in Revelation 1:8

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” 

The Apostle Paul urges us in
Philippians 3:20-21 -

"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself."

Closing thoughts:

As one final thought, I often think of how I need to remind myself in a given week to pray for the return of Jesus. The short little one-word prayer in 1 Corinthians 16:22, "maranatha", literally means: "come Lord". As we give of ourselves to studying Bible prophecy in general and the Book of Revelation in particular, let us recall the four reasons we discovered in today's post as to why we ought to pursue such a project:

1. Re-emphasizes Jesus Christ
2. Revives us for godly living
3. Re-energizes evangelism
4. Re-awakens us to His second coming