Preparing for the End Times (Part 4)
Strand Baptist Church
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1M ago
If you are like me, you’ve probably had your fill of post-apocalyptic disaster movies. I really don’t need to see the world end for the eleventeenth time. Hollywood is obsessed with the end of the world and apocalyptic imagery. Sadly, when they borrow those images from the Bible, they strip them of all biblical meaning. That leaves us with a cheap imitation of the truth. It’s about time we took one of their images and imbue it with biblical meaning, don’t you think? These stories often depict some kind of bunker, shelter, or ark that is humanity’s last hope of survival. If our intrepid heroe ..read more
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Preparing for the End Times (Part 3)
Strand Baptist Church
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1M ago
​Jesus warned that, before his return, “because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold” (Matt. 24:12). “You’ve got to look out for number one,” they’ll say. Christians ought to be different. Believers should be known for their care and compassion, expressed in serving one another. One of the ways in which believers prepare for the return of Christ, is service. In Luke 12:42-44 Jesus tells a short parable about a wise servant: “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time ..read more
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Preparing for the End Times (Part 2)
Strand Baptist Church
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6M ago
These are the last days. You don’t have to take my word for it. Listen to what the apostle Peter wrote: “He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for your sake” (1 Peter 1:20). The last days were inaugurated with the first coming of Christ. His incarnation, death, and resurrection ushered in the final chapter of redemptive history. At his second coming in judgment and glory, Christ will bring the story of redemption to a close. As the return of Christ nears, the Lord promised that there would be signs, but we need not fear these signs. Chris ..read more
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Preparing for the End Times
Strand Baptist Church
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8M ago
PART I ​ How do we prepare for doomsday? When Covid first hit, it caused a great deal of uncertainty, anxiety, and fear. People were quoting verses on plagues and pestilence (mostly out of context) as proof that we had entered the last days. Then Russia invaded Ukraine, and recently Hamas attacked Israel as they were celebrating Yom Kippur. Thousands of lives have been lost in these conflicts and there seems to be no end to the suffering that it has caused. Surely these are the last days, right? Listen to what Jesus said in Mark 13:7-9: “when you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be a ..read more
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The Hebrew Roots Movement (Part 4)
Strand Baptist Church
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11M ago
In 2013 the South African Theological Seminary (SATS) did a survey on biblical literacy in South Africa. The study found that, while most self-professed Christians read the Bible daily, many held views that disagreed with the Scriptures. This is troubling, because it indicates that Christians who read the Bible often don’t understand it, nor do they apply it to their lives. Christians should not only be busy with the Word, but should be transformed by it. We should not be like the women described in 2 Tim. 3:7: “always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth”. This void ..read more
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The Hebrew Roots Movement (Part 3)
Strand Baptist Church
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11M ago
God has revealed himself to us through his works and his words. God’s “invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature” have been revealed in his work of creation (Rom. 1:19-20). Sadly, sinful humanity easily misinterprets what God has revealed in creation. We’ve “worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (Rom. 1:25). We need something more than God’s general revelation through creation; we need special revelation through his Word. In his wisdom God chose to make himself known through language. God chose the family of Abraham and God spoke to them in a lang ..read more
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The Hebrew Roots Movement (Part 2)
Strand Baptist Church
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1y ago
Rico Cortes was raised in a Christian community in Puerto Rico, but in the 1990s he began researching his family history. He found that he was a descendant of medieval Spanish Jews. After devoting himself to the study of Scripture, he came to a surprising conclusion: “When I kept reading the Bible, [Jesus] kept Shabbat, he ate kosher, he kept the faith.” He decided that the best way to understand and follow Jesus was to live the way Jesus had lived, which meant he too would observe the Torah.  Is that what it means to follow in Jesus’ footsteps? Of course, true Christians should want to ..read more
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The Hebrew Roots Movement (Part 1)
Strand Baptist Church
by
1y ago
Tangled in Roots ​In the 1970s the ‘messianic movement’ sought to reach ethnic Jews with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The hope was to show them that Jesus truly is the Messiah prophesied in the Scriptures and that by believing in Him they can receive the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life. Practically speaking, it meant sharing the gospel with ethnic Jews. Turn the clock ahead 30 odd years and the landscape has changed considerably. Jews who believe in Jesus are not the only ones claiming to be ‘messianic’. One movement which has laid claim to the title is the so-called Hebrew ..read more
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Christianity & AI (Part II)
Strand Baptist Church
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1y ago
​In a previous blog post I explained how the development of artificial intelligence has not reached the level of systems like HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey. In the 1968 movie, HAL is an the artificial intelligence that controls the systems onboard an exploratory space craft. During the mission, HAL makes a mistake and the human crew decide to disconnect it. This leads to all kinds of disaster as the AI decides to fight back to preserve itself and the mission. These are the kinds of scenarios most people fear when they think about artificial intelligence. Even though we aren’t anywhere near th ..read more
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Christianity & AI (Part I)
Strand Baptist Church
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1y ago
Artificial intelligence is trending. News articles, documentaries, and discussions on the topic abound. What was once considered science fiction has become mainstream. Even those who’ve never heard of Isaac Asimov are suddenly interested in what shape our AI-integrated future might look like. One reason for the surge in interest is undoubtably the rise of ChatGPT. ​ ChatGPT or Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer is an artificial intelligence chatbot. We’ve all encountered chatbots, whether it is a “How can I help you?” pop-up on a website or an automated reply service. What makes ChatGPT ..read more
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