Hi, I'm Jeff Mikels,
guitar player, computer nerd, dad, husband,
and founding pastor of Lafayette Community Church in Lafayette, Indiana,
but mostly a follower of Jesus trying to lead people closer to him wherever they are.
It seems so capricious and uncaring that a God would allow his own son to suffer, until you get the bigger picture that God loved the sinful world so much that he sacrificed one son, for three days, to gain billions of children for a sinless eternity.
We look at all pain and suffering from the human side of the cross, from the perspective of the disciples on Friday. From that angle, the crucifixion is the most terrifying work of evil ever done.
This week at my Life Group, we looked at the clearest teaching in the Bible regarding the rapture, and I’ve become even more convicted about one particular position. This post is intended to guide you through the same study we considered this week and to give an inside track on what I’m currently thinking about the matter.
What is the Rapture?
Before I talk about anything else, I should probably define what I mean by the rapture and why I want to talk about it now.
One of the questions I get a lot is the question about sexual morality as it relates to the Bible, and it’s one I have thought a lot about as well considering that I do quite a bit of marital counseling and also considering that I’m a guy and I think about these issues myself!
Of course, the biggest question about sexual morality is whether the Bible actually prohibits premarital sex, and if it does prohibit it, why?
I’m going to try to answer that question simply from three angles: What does the Bible teach about sex? What effect does sex have on people? Where should the limits be drawn (i.e. what is the Biblical definition of “sex”)?
What does the Bible teach about sex?
There are many passages in the Bible regarding sexuality and sexual behavior.
James 1:2-3 gives the standard Christian answer to this question:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance…
Of course, knowing the Sunday school answer and being okay with it are two different things entirely, but this week, I have gained a new perspective on the question that I thought I would share with you. Here are some significant verses from my devotional reading this week:
Judges 2:20-3:4 (New International Version)
20 Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel and said, “Because this nation has violated the covenant that I laid down for their forefathers and has not listened to me, 21 I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died. 22 I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the LORD and walk in it as their forefathers did.
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.
As a pastor who’s got a blog, I’ve been thinking about how this verse relates to blogging. I’ve been blogging for over a year, and I don’t yet have a “manifesto” like this guy on what my blogging policy should be.
This last Sunday, a lady in my church gave me a blue card with some questions on it regarding tithing. Since my email to her was rather long-winded, I thought I would share some of those thoughts here.
Verse 2 says to take “some” of the firstfruits.
Debate idea: big clock on screen under each man. At the end, the man who spoke for the least time gets all the time difference to close. 2012-10-04
Being antisocial is more fun if you have someone to do it with. 2012-10-03
I tolerate all who tolerate what I tolerate, but those who are intolerant of what I tolerate are just intolerable. I'll never tolerate them. 2012-09-07