I’ve recently had the privilege of being able to edit Robert Courtney’s article on the day when Christ died. This is a huge topic in apologetics. Mark and Luke record Jesus’ tomb being empty on Sunday, the first day of the week, the day after the Sabbath (Mark 16:1–2; Luke 24:1) and Matthew records Jesus saying:
I wonder just how shocked folks were when Peter and John taught in the temple. They were arrested for teaching “in Jesus the resurrection from the dead” (Acts 4:2). We know that “the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thess 4:16), so it sounds to me like they were teaching the rapture, not the Great White Throne.
But, they also may have mispronounced the word, “hear,” so let’s talk about that instead.
Years ago, Dave Chappelle used to have his own show. It was a pretty vulgar show, but I was an unbeliever living in the Middle East with plenty of free time, so I watched it with no moral conflict. Anyhoo, I was reading something in Dallas Seminary’s library recently that reminded me of an episode that I had watched over 10 years earlier.
In Luke 14:26, Jesus says, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.” At first glance, that seems to be a contradiction to the Bible’s overwhelming message of love. In fact, that would be such a strong contradiction that even if someone rejects the inerrancy of the Bible, that quote alone should drive him to think that there is more to the context. So, let’s consider some context.
People often assume that John and Peter were a couple of uneducated rednecks. Part of the reason is that they were fisherman. Today, rednecks like to fish, therefore Peter was a redneck… We should be careful in projecting modern American culture onto Peter, though. The skills that it would take to navigate the water with ancient technology may have taken more skill than we give him credit for. But, then again, the Bible does say Peter cursed and cursing is a skill that modern seafarers master without peer, sooo…
The Calvinist doctrine of Limited Atonement was born several years after John Calvin died… and it has been in need of a proof text ever since. It teaches that Christ only died for a relatively few elect individuals who, according to the fifth point of Calvinism, will persevere in living for Christ until the end of their physical lives. This means that we can look at the fruit in people’s lives and determine whether or not Christ even died for them. It also means that if we want to know whether or not Christ died for us, we need to look at our own works.