God’s control and our responsibility can be thought of as concentric circles with God’s control being an all-encompassing circle, our responsibility being a smaller circle within it. Eph 1:11; Acts 17:24-27
Our priority as believers (the main emphasis of our circle of responsibility) is the spread of the kingdom. Matt 28:19-20
Paul’s example is helpful: working within existing governmental structures to maximize gospel spread and minimize persecution…while submitting to the governing authorities. Acts 22-28; Rom 13
If not already, engage in the typical mechanics of fighting sin: radical amputation (Matt 5:29-30), putting off/putting on (Eph 4:22-24), mind renewal (Rom 12:2), accountability (2 Tim 2:22), and prayer.
It is crucial to have a clear view of the compassion of Christ for sinners. He is drawn to us, pities us in our sin, rather than repulsed. (Mark 10:21; Heb 4:15-16)
Book recommendations: Gentle and Lowly (Dane Ortlund); The Heart of Christ (Thomas Goodwin); The Bruised Reed (Richard Sibbes)
A premillennialist might say that it depends upon who “we” is. Glorified believers reigning with Christ likely will not have to endure. Unglorified believers who survived the tribulation likely will. Believers born during the millennium definitely will.
A problem with a premillennial understanding of Rev 20 is that it requires death to exist for 1,000 years after the coming of Christ. 1 Corinthians 15 teaches that death will be defeated at the coming of Christ. (1 Cor 15:24-26; 50-58)
We’re taking a short break to celebrate Christmas, have a baby, deal with some medical issues…and rest!
Lord willing, we’ll pick up again with a new episode on Tuesday, January 12. Have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. May the Lord bless your time with family and friends, celebrating the Lord’s birth!
Our podcast team is taking a short break from recording and posting new episodes so that we can do some important things like having babies, nursing loved ones to health, etc. We’ll plan to post our next episode on Tuesday, September 1. Until then, please find one below you haven’t heard and share it with friends. Also, please keep your great questions coming!!
– The conscience is our God-given capacity to make moral judgments about ourselves. (Rom 2:14-15)
– A seared conscience is one that has become desensitized due to an individual repeatedly ignoring its voice. (1 Tim 4:1-2)
– A seared conscience is dangerous because it makes us more vulnerable to the harmfulness of sin.
– Repentance is the mechanism God uses to re-sensitize the conscience (2 Cor 7:11)
– Such strained relationships with unbelieving relatives should not surprise us as Jesus came to “bring a sword” (Matt 10:32-38)
– In all such situations, “as far as it depends upon you, be at peace with all men” (Rom 12:18).
– Pray for the heart of Christ toward the estranged relative.