On Reading Revelation

Revelation provides us with high-def footage of the climactic conclusion of world history, it ties together and consummates all of God’s redemptive purposes in this world, and it delivers us to the doorstep of a glorious eternity. And a conscious awareness of this truth will begin to change our entire perspective of this world. If we listen carefully, this hearing will become heeding.

It appears that one of God’s main purposes in the book of Revelation is simply this – He wants to change us. He wants to change how we live, what we live for, how we treat our spouse and children and friends, how we order our goals, what we prioritize, the zeal with which we kill personal sin, the purity of the local church, our compassion towards the hurting, our counsel for fellow sinners, our love for the lost, our earnestness to obey, our diligence to pray, our disgust of our personal worldliness, our heartfelt earnest longing for the return of Christ. God wants us to be holy like His Son.

Via: Tony Reinke

Eternal Life

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

—John 3:16-18

When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

—John 17:1-5

The Wasted Life

God created me — and you — to live with a single, all-embracing, all-transforming passion — namely, a passion to glorify God by enjoying and displaying his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life. Enjoying and displaying are both crucial. If we try to display the excellence of God without joy in it, we will display a shell of hypocrisy and create scorn or legalism. But if we claim to enjoy his excellence and do not display it for others to see and admire, we deceive ourselves, because the mark of God-enthralled joy is to overflow and expand by extending itself into the hearts of others. The wasted life is the life without a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples.

—John Piper
Don’t Waste Your Life, page 31

Joining the Church Triumphant

Right now we Christians are, by God’s grace, members of the church militant.  We struggle with the cares of life that so easily distract us from the business of worshipping our great God.  The promotion to glory of dear saints reminds us that we have a glorious future awaiting us.  And that is not all.  We have a great resurrection awaiting us!   I cannot imagine a greater incentive to perseverance and holy living.  And I want to practice now what I will be doing for all eternity, worshipping the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Right now I want to experience a dry run at being a member of the church triumphant.  Reader, there is only one way to become a denizen of the New Jerusalem, to be in the church triumphant.  And that is by grace alone trusting alone in Christ alone for your salvation.  Another way to say it is that you need to wash your sin stained garments in blood of the Lamb.  Come with me and let’s journey toward the celestial city together…

—Jeffrey C. Waddington

Via: Feeding on Christ

The Universal Phenomenon of Religion

Have you ever wondered why there’s a universal phenomenon of religion? You can go anywhere on the globe and you’ll find evidence of cultic practices of sacrifice. Why is that? I suggest that it is because the original program and prescription for the worship of the living God was sacrifice. Adam told it to Cain, Abel, and Seth. Seth told it to Enoch, and he told it to his sons and they to their sons and so on. It was taught to Abraham. It was taught to Isaac. It was taught to Jacob. It was taught to Joseph. It was taught to Moses. It was also taught to Ishmael and to Esau, and so the idea of the requirement of sacrifice in faith pervaded the whole human race.

But today the need for sacrifices to be made in faith is forgotten – we hear that it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere. In fact, the basic requirement of sacrifice is unknown – it doesn’t matter what your religious practices are. It doesn’t matter what you worship. It only matters that you do worship. It’s said that the Jews worship God in their way, the Muslims worship God in their way, the Buddhists worship in their way. The unspoken assumption is God is obligated to receive, honor, and respect any kind of worship that people bring.

God didn’t respect all of the worship in Genesis 4. He had no respect for the worship of Cain. And Cain responded in anger when he saw that his worship was unacceptable to God. A faithful man, a righteous man, would have said, “O my God. I’m heartily sorry for having sinned against You. Teach me Your statutes, O Lord, show me the more excellent way. Change my heart, so that the offering that I bring You next Sabbath day will honor you. I’m glad, at least, Holy Father, that You were pleased with my brother’s offering. Father, give me an attitude by which I can learn from my brother, because my brother lives by faith and is trying to obey You.” But that was not Cain’s response.

In reality, that is never the response of the godless to the godly. Which of the prophets did they not kill? Which of the reformers in church history was not despised by the organized church? Like Cain, who rose up and slew his brother Abel, wicked churches have spilled the blood of true Christians. In fact, it was the church that rose up to kill Jesus because He did not respect their sacrifices.

—R.C. Sproul
A Taste of Heaven

Via: Ligonier Ministries Blog

Cal.vini.st First Anniversary Giveaway

The fine folks at Cal.vini.st are celebrating their first anniversary by giving away two copies of Bibleworks 8.0.

On the 12th of July 2008, I posted for the first time here at Cal.vini.st. Leading up to our first anniversary next month, I thought it fitting to have some celebrations. Several things will be happening here over the next month, not the least of which is that I am launching the Cal.vini.st First Anniversary Giveaway. Over the next month (June 12th – July 12th 2009) you have the opportunity to enter to win one of two major prizes.

You can read more about the giveaway at their website.

Via: Cal.vini.st