Epistles

Melchizedek

Wed, 15/03/2017 - 11:15 -- James Oakley
The Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek, Rubens

A little while back, the Church of England's weekday lectionary spent some time in Hebrews 7 and Genesis 14. So it was, that I found myself trying to explain as simply as possible why the hard-to-pronounce character of Melchizedek is such good news to have in the Bible.

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Not "Letters to the Seven Churches"

Tue, 18/10/2016 - 12:36 -- James Oakley

It's customary to refer to Revelation chapters 2 and 3 as the "Letters to the Seven Churches".

As I've studied, and we've preached, our way through these chapters, I'm not convinced that's the best heading to give them.

In fact, the whole of Revelation is a single letter. It's an epistle, like Philippians is. We get that from verse 4 that begins:

“John, to the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace …”

The whole of Revelation is a letter. It was written to seven churches in Asia Minor.

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I Stand at The Door and Knock

Tue, 11/10/2016 - 15:13 -- James Oakley

I've heard Revelation 3:20 used many times in an evangelistic talk: Jesus stands at the door of your life and knocks — will you let him in? Here's the verse:

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

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Greek Audio Bible: Revelation Chapter 1

Tue, 16/08/2016 - 10:55 -- James Oakley

I'll put this up here, because this may be of help to someone else at some point, but I'm a bit tentative about doing so.

In working on preaching from Revelation chapter 1, I found it helpful to make an audio recording of the Greek of that chapter. Once I'd got to know any vocabulary that I had to look up at first, it gave me an easy way to become more familiar with the chapter, at the same time cutting through the risks of being over-familiar — you have to concentrate while listening to this.

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Real Hope: Revelation 21

Tue, 09/08/2016 - 12:05 -- James Oakley

One of the most glorious truths is the real hope that God offers his people. It's a real, substantial hope of a future on a renewed earth, with renewed bodies, free of suffering, with God himself living among us.

Where might we look in the Bible to see this renewed-earth future promised?

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Real Hope: Philippians 3

Tue, 19/07/2016 - 12:20 -- James Oakley

One of the most glorious truths is the real hope that God offers his people. It's a real, substantial hope of a future on a renewed earth, with renewed bodies, free of suffering, with God himself living among us.

Where might we look in the Bible to see this renewed-earth future promised?

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Real Hope: 1 Thessalonians 4

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 12:11 -- James Oakley

One of the most glorious truths is the real hope that God offers his people. It's a real, substantial hope of a future on a renewed earth, with renewed bodies, free of suffering, with God himself living among us.

Where might we look in the Bible to see this renewed-earth future promised?

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Real Hope: 1 Corinthians 15

Thu, 30/06/2016 - 11:42 -- James Oakley

One of the most glorious truths is the real hope that God offers his people. It's a real, substantial hope of a future on a renewed earth, with renewed bodies, free of suffering, with God himself living among us.

But many Christians are brought up to believe that when we die we "go to heaven".

Sometimes, the language of "heaven" is a short-hand for this earth-bound future that God promises. But other times, people picture something far more ethereal, and the language is "heaven" is actually quite unhelpful - it sells us short.

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