Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Eternity is Now in Session: Book Review

A special thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for sending me a complimentary copy of John Ortberg’s book, Eternity is Now in Session.

“Are we there yet?” is a question we have all asked at one time or another. Though we may not give it much thought or reflection, it is a question that keeps us literally sitting on the edge of our seats. It is the evidence that we are all longing for something much greater and far grander than what we are currently experiencing or feeling.

However, what Ortberg flawlessly does in his book, Eternity is Now in Session, is navigate the reader to see that eternal life is not just about us eventually getting to a place of unending peace and tranquility. It is not simply a distant land in some future time, but it is a present reality for all who have placed their faith in Christ for salvation. Jesus said, “…this is eternal life, that they know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3). Yes, there is a future fulfillment in which all followers of Christ will eternally dwell in both security and luxury with the God of salvation, but true believers have been given the abundant life right here and now (John 10:10).

I have read seven books so far this year and this is by far the best one yet! Ortberg is a creative writer with the ability to captivate the reader’s attention. Honestly, it was hard to put this book down and I finished it in less twenty-four hours after opening to the first page. If you were to flip through my copy of this book, you would see numerous highlighted sections and personal notes all the way through from start to finish.

Ortberg is a master of language and an excellent communicator using engaging illustrations and captivating stories throughout the pages. I recommend this book to everyone – both Christians and non-Christians!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Dispensationalism and the History of Redemption: Book Review

A special thanks to MoodyPublishers for sending me a complimentary copy of their book, Dispensationalism and the History of Redemption.

Dispensationalism is “…first and foremost a system of Biblical interpretation.”[1] It is a lens by which the reader looks through to better understand the progressive flow of God’s Word. A dispensation, in its basic meaning, is a distinguishable economy in which God manages the affairs of mankind according to what has been progressively revealed.

Though there are many resources available regarding this topic, an advantage this book has is the number of authors who offered their contributions in seeing this work completed. The writers of Dispensationalism and the History of Redemption walk the reader through both its developing history and doctrinal positions. As is seen in the title, their aim is not only to discuss the various time periods and economies but to ultimately show how God has been actively working through both His covenants and dispensations in order to bring about redemption for His people.

This book is comprised of ten essays regarding dispensationalism’s history, hermeneutic, Scriptural support, theological implications, and its worldwide impact. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about this subject. If you desire to gain a better understanding of Scripture, you will greatly benefit from reading Dispensationalism and the History of Redemption.

[1] D. Jeffrey Bingham, ed., Dispensationalism and the History of Redemption: A Developing and Diverse Tradition (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2015)., p. 232.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

A Lesson in Humility


Over the past few days I have been trying to come up with a topic to blog about. A topic that did not have to do with the end times because I know that branch of theology has comprised most of my blogs the last year. Even though I had a few ideas bouncing around in my head, the Holy Spirit had a specific agenda for this morning’s reflection – to humble me. Because, you see, this post has to do with my Revelation commentary, Mystery Made Known, that I wrote almost a year ago.

I devote much of my time, energy and resources to this pursuit because to know God in His Word is my single greatest passion in life. Studying the Bible is not a chore for me, but a joyful hobby. I write blogs primarily because I enjoy communicating what I have been learning from His Word. So, when I realize that I made a mistake, a public mistake at that, it can be a hard pill to swallow let alone point out to others. However, I do think this is an important lesson for not just me but for all of us.

Here’s What I Got Wrong

I began an attempt to outline the book of Revelation earlier today. As soon as I made it to the churches (Rev. 2 – 3) I took down a copy of Mystery Made Known from my bookshelf to review something I had written regarding the church in Laodicea. In the book, on page forty-eight, is a spelling mistake. I misspelled, Laodicea, writing instead, Laodice. Spelling mistakes tend to drive me crazy. This one was particularly vexing especially since I preformed a spellcheck on the document as well as reread it three times before printing.

But it got worse. As I discussed the geography in Laodicea in my book, I failed to cite a source for where I got my information. Though I did not use any outside sources while writing the rest of the book, when it came to this section, I was reflecting upon various statements I had heard regarding the layout and history of the city. I understand there exists a level of ambiguity regarding plagiarism and the idea of common knowledge, but I also see that there is no way to pull out the geographical layout from what is written in the Biblical text alone. Therefore, I must commit to citing any extra-Biblical sources when the information cannot be found specifically in the Bible. Here is one for your reference.[1]

Yet, and most humbling of the three, was when I realized this morning that I may have interpreted a passage incorrectly. The first was a spelling error, the second a citation omission, but this third was the nail in the coffin – not to sound overly dramatic but this is exactly how I felt as this realization hit me. In my commentary I talked about how the angel sent from God (Rev. 1:1) was Jesus appearing as the Angel of the LORD because that is who is seen and has a word for the churches throughout the first three chapters. However, Revelation 4:1 states that, after the messages were given to the churches, John heard the first voice speaking to him. Thus, the implication is that there were at least two voices so far in the text. The first voice was probably the angel sent by Jesus (Rev. 22:16) who initially spoke to John on the island of Patmos (Rev. 1:10-11) and the second voice was Jesus. Both passages (Rev. 1:10 and Rev. 4:1) seem to reveal that the trumpet-sounding voice came from an ordinary angel and not Jesus.


So, what did I learn and what would I like you to take away from this? First, whether you are reading a book or listening to a sermon always go back to what the Word of God says (Acts 17:11). The Bible is perfect and without error, but we are not. We are prone to make mistakes because our understanding is flawed. Thus, it is important to always take what we are reading or hearing and go back to the source, the Bible.  Second, one of the reasons I keep going back to Revelation and studying passages I have studied again and again these last twelve months, is because of instances like this one. God’s Word will never be exhausted and there is always more to be gleaned. I know I do not have all the answers, but the Lord is growing me according to His plan and purpose (1 Cor. 3:6) and, while this is a humbling moment, I hope that I have maintained a teachable attitude as the Lord continues to mature me.

[1] Phil Logan and Paul J. Martin, Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, 2015., pg. 990 – 991.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Teaching the Bible in 15 Years...or Less!


I believe it is the responsibility of every local church to create opportunities for the members to learn from the entire Word of God. Jesus commanded it (Matt. 28:20), the apostles followed through with it (Acts 20:27), and it is the only way for Christians to continually maintain a balanced view of God while becoming mature in Him (Col. 1:28). Obviously, there is not a one-size-fits-all process to fulfilling this Great Commission because methodologies must be adapted to the culture, time and place. Thus, individual churches are not necessarily required to teach the entire Bible within their own walls, but they should be intentionally working with other churches and organizations to see this commission fulfilled.

If you keep up with my blogs at all, then you already know of my speculation that we have about fifteen years until the prophecies in the book of Revelation begin to reach their fulfillment. The key word is that I am “speculating” because, as we all know, no one knows for sure when Jesus will return. All I am doing is making an educated guess based upon various Biblical themes and current geopolitical issues occurring in our day and age. Thus, I have developed this plan to teach through the entirety of Scripture to be both implemented and completed within a fifteen-year timeframe.

Step 1: Chapters and Services

In the Bible there are 1,189 chapters with 929 in the Old Testament and 260 in the New Testament.

There are 52 weeks in a year and most churches have two different services per week [Sunday and Wednesday] which comes to 104 different messages a year. If we multiply 104 messages by fifteen years, we end up with 1,560 formal teaching opportunities. The term “formal” is intentionally used as it would be almost impossible to include the number of small groups and other more informal meetings in this calculation.

If we then subtract 1,189 chapters in Scripture from 1,560 Sundays and Wednesdays, we end up with 371 extra make-up days during the fifteen-year allotment of time. However, we must then divide the 371 extra days in half to see how many extra Sundays we have left. Thus, half of 371 leaves us with 185 extra Sunday services.

Step 2: Pauses and Breaks

Most churches have special messages [break from a series] at least five times a year due to various holidays: Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Over the course of fifteen years these five holidays add up to 75 Sunday services which leaves us with 110 remaining extra Sundays. Depending upon where the church is located, snow days may need to be taken into account. Thus, an average of four snow days per year multiplied by fifteen years is 60 Sundays which leaves us with 50 extra Sundays. Those 50 make-up Sundays could be used for topical messages, various celebration services, and so forth.

Let’s not forget that we still have 185 extra Wednesdays as well! If the church decides to take a break for the summer (which is not ideal but not uncommon) then ten Wednesdays a year multiplied by fifteen years comes to 150 Wednesday services lost, leaving 35 make-up Wednesdays remaining. If the church halts Wednesday services during the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s, then two Wednesdays a year multiplied by fifteen years adds up to 30 weekday services removed from the schedule. This then leaves the church with 5 extra Wednesday services.


Ultimately, I understand that every church is different. I am also fully aware that there may be unforeseen circumstances that arise, and the Holy Spirit may even direct the church to allot more time for various topics, doctrines or passages. The goal is not just to finish; the desire is to teach through the entirety of God’s Word as He leads. My aim in sharing this is to simply cast a vision for churches all over the world to endeavor to teach through the entire counsel of God in a feasible amount of time.

Again, this plan may not be for everyone. It is simply a goal that I put in place in order both to know where I want to go and to also help my fellow Christians come to a greater knowledge of the Truth. Regardless if it ends up taking less time or even a little bit longer, we will rejoice because we taught through all of Scripture. The timeframe is simply put in place to keep us accountable to the vision of teaching through the Bible one chapter at a time.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

The Comings and Goings of Christ

Quick definitions

Premillennialism – when Jesus returns He will set up a literal thousand-year kingdom and rule the nations from Jerusalem.

Amillennialism – when Jesus returns He will not set up a literal thousand-year kingdom but will, at that time, usher in the new heavens and the new earth.


Whether we realize it or not, our view of Christ’s second coming and the chronology of that event has huge ramifications regarding how we read the Bible. If we take the thousand years literally, the implication is that God is not finished with the nation of Israel (Rom. 11). In contrast, if we say that the thousand-year reign of Christ is figurative then, the conclusion drawn is that God is done with Israel and has moved on with His Church.

What is the Second Coming?

The Second Coming refers to the future return of Christ to this world. While some believe it was the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 and others that it is the rapture, what makes the Second Coming of Christ stand out among other events is that He will physically step back onto this earth for a second time just as He did two thousand years ago (Acts 1:11).

When is the Second Coming?

The short answer is that nobody knows (Matt. 24:36; Acts 1:7). That being said, Scripture states that Jesus will completely remove His people from this world in the coming rapture (1 Thess. 4:13-18) and that there will be a seven-year period of time in which God will bring tribulation upon the earth (Dan. 9:24-27). Thus, the implication is that Jesus will return seven years after the rapture.

Now, I know what you are thinking. Matthew 24:36 states, “…concerning that day and hour no one knows….” I agree with you. No one currently knows when Jesus will return because no one knows when the rapture will take place. However, Jesus never said that no one would ever know. I believe it is plausible to say that people who get saved during the seven-year tribulation would be able to connect the dots and find out when Christ will return. In the same way that Noah knew he had 120 years before God would flood the earth (Gen. 6:3), tribulation saints may be able to deduce that they have roughly seven years from the timing of the rapture.

The Millennial-isms

Okay, back to the two main eschatological theology camps [Premillennialism and Amillennialism]. Throughout history, Premillennialism had been disregarded because of the misunderstanding that we believe in two different second comings – the rapture and the Second Coming. However, the rapture of the Church is not the Second Coming. Those are two very different events. Jesus never once lands on the earth when He comes to receive His Bride. As my wife wonderfully stated, “The rapture is not a coming, but a going.” It is when Jesus will call His Church up to Heaven (1 Thess. 4:16-17).

Some have labeled the belief in the rapture of the Church as a “Secret Coming” of Christ but the only thing secretive about the rapture is the timing. Otherwise, it is a very public event that will terrify the world [similar to when Thanos used the infinity gauntlet to remove half of the universal population in the movie, Avengers: Infinity War].

I would like to add that many Amillennialists hold to Preterism which is the belief that Jesus came spiritually with Rome in A.D. 70 to destroy Jerusalem. As with anything, if you truly want to know about a point of view or the beliefs of others, ask [or read from] those who hold them personally – not those who disagree with them. Ligonier Ministries, the teaching fellowship of R.C. Sproul, states that “…it seems best to see Jesus in the Olivet Discourse predicting His ‘coming’ through the Roman army in 70 A.D. to judge Jerusalem for rejecting Him.” I bring this up simply to point out that, even if a Premillennialist described the rapture as a “secret” second coming, many Amillennialists do the exact same thing by believing that Jesus came “secretly” with Emperor Titus in his great siege of Jerusalem.

The Challenge of Amillennialism

Premillennialists and Amillennialists are on complete opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to the interpretation of Biblical eschatology. Whereas Premillennialism reads the text literally, Amillennialism has the tendency to interpret most passages regarding the end times as having a spiritual fulfillment opposed to a physical one. This however begs the question, “Why do Amillennialists spiritualize the end-times prophecies, yet believe that Christ will physically return?” Why would His return not also be “spiritual” in the sense that He is always returning in the hearts and minds of His Church as the Gospel message is taken to the ends of the earth? Of course, this would be heresy but, I would argue, that it would be the logical conclusion of this interpretation.


Whether you are Premillennial, Amillennial, or even Postmillennial, we as believers should be able to discuss the coming of Christ and the events surrounding that great day with humility, civility and unity. I believe that discussing topics like this one, where people hold different interpretations, helps us sharpen each other in our understanding of the Scriptures. Most importantly, we must remember that Jesus Christ will literally return to this world someday. We may not have a perfect grasp on how it will all unfold in the end, but He does and that should give us great comfort. What we must ask ourselves is whether or not we are prepared for that glorious day?

Sunday, January 6, 2019

How Christ's Sacrifice Disrupted the World


Two thousand years ago, the sacrificial system was a controlling narrative which had spread out over the entire earth. Ever since Adam and Eve fell into sin, mankind had been offering sacrifices on a continual basis (Gen. 3:21; 4:3-7). Everyone in every people group on the face of the planet sacrificed year in and year out. It was the common routine of every culture and every society regardless of age, sex or status. Sacrificial forms and customs made a prominent appearance in both advanced civilizations and indigenous tribal locations. Everyone, from the nation’s top officials to the average peasant, practiced these rituals like clockwork.

So, What Changed?

In the world we live in today, sacrificing, by and large, is a thing of the past. What happened? Why is it that most of us do not currently take pilgrimages, journey to temples, and offer up animals to be burned? Why do churches today only have decorative altars? Why are the laws and prescriptions listed in the book of Leviticus often skimmed over or skipped altogether?

The reason is because, when Jesus gave up His life to be crucified on the Cross, His death finalized the entire system that had been in place for almost four thousand years (John 19:30)! This good news of Christ’s death and resurrection is what set the world on fire through the freedom that He now offers. This event is what revolutionized the map as we know it today.


It is not that we are smarter or more forward-thinking than those who have gone before us. On the contrary, greater minds than we can imagine lived back in these times and were held to these standards. The only reason the United States of America in the twenty-first century does not perform religious sacrifices is because the Gospel has crossed over our borders and has set us free.

In fact, no matter where you travel, whether stateside or international, any culture you find that does not offer sacrifices has, at some point in its past, been impacted by the good news of Jesus Christ. His sacrifice is what we proclaim because it is the only thing setting both people and nations free from their sins. Christ’s sacrifice disrupted the world both on an individual level and on a planetary-wide scale. Do you believe that?

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

So Much the Better: Book Review

I am thrilled to welcome my wife, Caitlin Neace, as a guest blogger to Biblical Perspicacity.

In Megan Means’ new book, So Much the Better, readers learn valuable moral lessons as they follow the adventures of a young lion, Ari, on his quest to find his way back home. This book is a short read with just eighty pages and is perfect for the elementary student reading chapter books. The plot evolves quickly with a new character and challenge introduced and resolved in nearly every chapter keeping the attention of children engaged as they turn the pages. What I enjoyed most about Means’ book is how she interwove Biblical morals throughout her story in a practical way that’s entertaining for kids. Children can learn how to take these truths from the abstract and apply these principles in their own lives by seeing how Ari handled difficult situations in a Biblical way. For example, rather than becoming angry with one of the characters, Ari remembered that controlling his tongue would keep him out of trouble and his kindness eventually resulted in a new friendship. All in all, So Much the Better, is a cute little book for the beginning reader in your life!

Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA ReviewCrew.

A Basic Doctrinal Statement

I believe in both the accuracy and authority of the Scriptures. Therefore, I hold to the fact that there is one Trinitarian God who created the entire universe by the word of His mouth. He allowed mankind to make a conscious choice regarding their relationship with Him and, immediately after man rebelled, God came to the rescue.

Throughout history, God has determined to create for Himself a people who willingly make a conscious decision to love Him above all else. However, no amount of love on our part could bring us back into right-standing with God. Therefore, God sent His Eternal Son to become a man, live a perfect life in complete obedience to the Law and dependence upon the Spirit, die the death that we all deserved, and ultimately to rise again from the grave revealing that He is victorious over sin and death. Now, as a result of Christ’s sacrifice, He extends this same victory over both sin and death to all who simply believe in Him and in what He has done on our behalf.

Finally, though Christians may suffer physical death in this life, all genuine believers will be resurrected on the great and glorious day of His second coming. It is at that moment when all Christians will be gathered together and forever be with the Lord completely removed from sin and its gravest consequences.
*Click here to read my Statement of Faith which includes Bible references.