Monthly Archives: March 2017

Reflections on the book of Revelation

By God’s grace, I am finishing up Revelation in a couple weeks. It has been about an eight month journey. It has been more fulfilling than I ever anticipated. Just a few reflections:

  • Revelation is relevant for today- not because we have finally reached the “end times” now, but because we have been in the “end times” ever since Jesus rose from the dead. And when John wrote Revelation, the time (for the book to begin to be fulfilled) was near (Rev 1.3).
  • The point of this book is the victory of Christ over Satan through His resurrection- all  debates about this book take a back seat to that main point.
  • This book is full of symbols- the modern resistance to that betrays a desire in Christians to have every book of the bible be as easy to interpret for the 21st century reader as it was for the 1st century reader.
  • You have to choose a perspective to read from- the four major perspectives on reading Revelation are the Preterist, Idealist, Futurist, and Historicist views. You can be a combination of these (as I am), but you still have to choose a way to read this book, and then interpret it through that philosophy. Otherwise, you will be inconsistent, and your interpretations just will not stand the test of literature.
  • You have to be aware of your biases- at the same time, there is a fine line between interpretive perspectives and interpretive biases. You have to pray your way through this book, that the Lord would make you a humble reader, not afraid to be wrong about things you currently believe.
  • Dispensationalists are Christians. But many of them are not gospel-centered. So many of them can sit through a sermon that exalts Christ and His saving work, but leave troubled that you might not think there is a future for national Israel. That is the definition of not-gospel-centered.
  • Greg Beale has written the best commentary in the history of the world on Revelation.
  • If this book does not make you love the gospel and desire to evangelize the lost more,  nothing will!

Immanuel Network

Last week I got to spend time with my old church, Immanuel Baptist Church in Louisville, KY. If you have not heard of Ryan Fullerton, you need to add him to your podcast list. He is an anointed preacher. And I mean Lloyd-Jones-type anointed.

But Ryan is just one of 14 pastors at Immanuel. They have led that church toward greater and greater health and vitality over the years. They continue to grow, and continue to be a great blessing to me many years after leaving there.

They started the Immanuel Network a few years ago, and this year was the first year we had an open conference, where about 100 of us gathered for a conference on what gospel-loving church life looks like. The Immanuel Network is a partnership of like-minded churches and leaders around the world, who all were sent out by Immanuel Baptist at some point in time. Including Immanuel, there are currently 5 partnering churches in the network (KBC is one of them). There are also 10 partnering individual ministry/church leaders spread around North America. There are also 8 or 9 missionaries spread out around the world. Everyone in the Network is Reformed and Baptistic. This past year there were 7 churches planted around the world through this network!

KBC is a Southern Baptist church. We are also affiliated with The Gospel Coalition. But I am probably most excited to be a part of the Immanuel Network. One simple reason: I can trust EVERYTHING that happens in our network will be faithful. We are not the only faithful network out there, but in God’s providence this is the actual network He has placed me in, with brothers and sisters around the world I actually know personally and love. And I am so thrilled that over time my own church will get to know them and pray for them, and be prayed for by them more and more.

For more info on the Network: http://www.immanuelnetwork.org