Parousia: Present or Coming?

Throughout First and Second Thessalonians, Paul uses the Greek word, “parousia.” More often than not, “parousia” is translated “coming” and denotes Christ’s second coming.   The Bauer, Arndt, and Gingrich Greek lexicon notes that parousia can be translated “coming” or “presence” and was used in two main ways.  The first described the invisible presence of…

An End in Itself

Jacob’s death revives fears among his sons that Joseph will retaliate because of their cruelty towards him (Gen. 50:15).  Although Joseph already reassured them he held no grudge, they don’t yet trust this.  Once again, they appeal to Joseph for mercy (Gen. 50:16-18).  Joseph replies, “Am I in the place of God?  You planned evil…

A Piece of the Continent, a Part of the Main

The following article appeared in our local paper last week. It is a revision of something I posted a few years ago. *** When I was new to faith, I attended a prayer meeting at church. As we prayed, the formation of the first man, Adam, came to mind: I imagined particles of dust swirling…

IN

In 1 Thessalonians chapter four, Paul turns to discussing behavior and growing in separation to the Lord (1 Thess. 4:1-12).  But he starts with a phrase, easily overlooked, that provides vital context for what follows: “We ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus….” (1 Thess. 4:1).  In other words, “in Jesus” is where Paul’s…

Christmas Presence

The following appeared in our local paper this past weekend. It is a revision of a post previously published under the title, “Those Jell-o Loving Antichrists. *** Scripture tells us “God is love,” and that God’s love was most profoundly shown through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross (1 John 3:16, 4:16).  At one point in my…

New Page—Recommended Reading

Many visitors to The Voice of One know this blog site has multiple pages. Most of these contain links to booklets I’ve written about the Lord and scripture. One page is a place where readers can make suggestions, ask questions, or otherwise communicate with me. I wanted to let everyone know I published a new…

Circulation

First Thessalonians three finds Paul relieved that the Thessalonians are continuing to believe Jesus despite persecution: “For now we live, if you stand firm in the Lord” (1 Thess. 3:8).  This is an expression of happiness but also much more. Paul has written much about the Thessalonians’ participation in the sufferings of Jesus, as well…

Incar-Nation

The following is adapted from my booklet, This Is What Is Written *** In the time of Christ, the temple and Israel’s nation status were two pillars of Jewish identity. Many Jews at that time saw the nation of Israel as an end in itself, the goal of God’s plan in the earth. This was…

All Saints, Every Day

The evening of October 31st, or Hallowe’en, marks the beginning of All Saints Day.  All Saints Day is observed by various Christian groups, and is most often a remembrance of canonized saints.  These are believers who meet criteria set by the denomination celebrating them. Generally, these criteria involve especial holiness, the performance of miracles, exceptional…

Laid into Suffering

In 1 Thessalonians 2:17 and 18, Paul remembers being forced to leave Thessalonica—their time cut short by a mob that attacked, abused, and jailed some of them (Acts 17:5-9).  Paul talks affectionately of their desire to return but says satan hindered them. Acts 17:13-15 tells the full story: Paul and co. went to Berea after…