This and That – 07-01-17

Social Media Isn’t Your Teens’ Biggest Problem – While outside influences are sources of temptation, our own fallen nature leads us to think and act sinfully. The negative behaviors we fear, then, are byproducts of what’s going on in our idolatrous hearts. The heart is the problem for our teenagers, and also for us. – Kristen Hatton

Analyzing Annihilationism: Will Those in Hell Cease to Exist? – In terms of justice, the eternality of hell makes sense: the debt of sin against an infinite Being can never be paid by finite, sinful beings. Therefore, passages such as Matthew 18:23-35 speak of a debt that is infinite, for all practical purposes. The indebted slave in that story would never be able to pay his debt. Jesus mentions an amount which, in that context, is practically infinite. This coincides with the truth that hell’s punishment will be eternal: at no time could it be said that finite sinners have sufficiently paid an infinite debt to an infinitely holy God. – Eric Davis

Make Time To Be Bored – Something happens to us when we are outside the flow of constant stimuli. It is then that our brains switch into a higher mode, that they begin to mull over ideas, that they begin to convert information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. We can’t stop our brains. We can’t not think. We can’t not ponder. It is in these times of boredom that we are struck by unexpected thoughts, that our brains suddenly burst with new ideas, that our minds are stimulated with fresh insights. Boredom fosters ingenuity and genius. It even fosters godliness. – Tim Challies

Small Towns Need Missionaries – Small towns are in desperate need of missionaries. When I say missionaries, I’m not referring to the pastor of your church or people who suffer for Jesus by building huts and preaching to native islanders. No, I’m referring to regular people. Small towns desperately need normal, everyday people like farmers, factory workers, teachers, secretaries, and small business owners who think and act like missionaries to reach their friends, neighbors, co-workers, and extended families for Christ. Pastors in small towns should be deeply respected for their incredible hearts to advance the gospel. However, the responsibility of mission is given to all believers, not just pastors. If you are a Christian, you are sent to be on mission regardless of where you live or what your job is. – Aaron Morrow

Is the Sabbath Still Required for Christians? – Some argue against what is defended here by appealing to the creation order. As noted above, the Sabbath for Israel is patterned after God’s creation of the world in seven days. What is instructive, however, is that the New Testament never appeals to Creation to defend the Sabbath. Jesus appealed to the creation order to support his view that marriage is between one man and one woman for life (Mark 10:2-12). Paul grounded his opposition to women teaching or exercising authority over men in the creation order (1 Tim. 2:12-13), and homosexuality is prohibited because it is contrary to nature (Rom. 1:26-27), in essence, to God’s intention when he created men and women. Similarly, those who ban believers from eating certain foods and from marriage are wrong because both food and marriage are rooted in God’s good creation (1 Tim. 4:3-5). We see nothing similar with the Sabbath. Never does the New Testament ground it in the created order. Instead, we have very clear verses that say it is a “shadow” and that it does not matter whether believers observe it. So, how do we explain the appeal to creation with reference to the Sabbath? It is probably best to see creation as an analogy instead of as a ground. The Sabbath was the sign of the Mosaic covenant, and since the covenant has passed away, so has the covenant sign. – Tom Schreiner


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