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Series: New Testament Eschatology

From time to time, I hear a lot about the early church’s understanding of the “end of the world” or their belief that the “Second Coming of Jesus” would take place within their generation. And it’s usually not in a very good light. “They were obviously mistaken,” is often the remark I hear most. I know it’s hard to imagine but what if we’re mistaken? What if we’ve misunderstood what they meant? I’m hoping that this series on some of the major statements from the New Testament about the “end of the world” will show that they weren’t mistaken in their understanding of the “signs of the times.”
Before we begin, however, let’s look at some terms that will have to be used. As most of you know, I try to refrain from using big “church” words. My reason for this is because those words are like suitcases where ideas and thoughts and understandings are packed into them. To explain the words would mean a long time spent unpacking the suitcases and explaining their contents. While such a pilgrimag…

Maundy Thursday (Year C)

John 13:1-17; 31-35 (CEB; adapted):[1] 1Before the Festival of Passover, Jesus knew that his time had come to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them fully.
2Jesus and his disciples were sharing the evening meal. The devil had already provoked Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son, to betray Jesus. 3Jesus knew the Father had given everything into his hands, that he’d come from God, and was returning to God. 4So he got up from the table and took off his robes. Picking up a linen towel, he tied it around his waist. 5Then he poured water into a washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he was wearing. 6When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7Jesus replied, “You don’t understand what I’m doing now, but you’ll understand later.”
8“No!” Peter said. “You’ll never wash my feet!”
Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t have a place with me.”
9Simon Peter said, “Lor…

All People Are God’s People: Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Part 01 Part 02 Part 03 Part 04

Fourth Sunday in Lent (Year C)

2 Corinthians 5:16-21 (CEB; adapted):[1] 16So then, from this point on we won’t recognize people by human standards. Even though we used to know Christ by human standards, that isn’t how we know him now. 17So then, if anyone is in Christ, that person is part of the new creation. The old things have gone away, and look, new things have arrived!
18All of these new things are from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and who gave us the ministry of reconciliation. 19In other words, God was reconciling the world to himself through Christ, by not counting people’s sins against them. He has trusted us with this message of reconciliation.
20So we’re ambassadors who represent Christ. God is negotiating with you through us. We beg you as Christ’s representatives, “Be reconciled to God!” 21God caused the one who didn’t know sin to be sin for our sake so that through him we could become the righteousness of God.
Other readings: Joshua 5.9-12; Psalm 32; Luke 15.1-3, 11b-32
Collect: Gracious…

Third Sunday in Lent (Year C)

Luke 13.1-9 (CEB; adapted):[1] Some who were present told Jesus about the Galileans whom Pilate had killed while they were offering sacrifices. 2He replied, “Do you think the suffering of these Galileans proves that they were more sinful than all the other Galileans? 3No, I tell you, but unless you change your hearts and lives, you’ll die just as they did. 4What about those eighteen people who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them? Do you think that they were more guilty of wrongdoing than everyone else who lives in Jerusalem? 5No, I tell you, but unless you change your hearts and lives, you’ll die just as they did.”
6Jesus told this parable: “A man owned a fig tree planted in his vineyard. He came looking for fruit on it and found none. 7He said to the gardener, ‘Look, I’ve come looking for fruit on this fig tree for the past three years, and I’ve never found any. Cut it down! Why should it continue depleting the soil’s nutrients?’ 8The gardener responded, ‘Lord, give it on…