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Christian Living

What Are the End Times?

Discover What the Bible Says about the End of Time

Some Christians give a lot of attention to the end times. Others choose to ignore it. Interestingly, the phrase end times doesn’t appear in the Bible, at least not in the NIV. Though four subheadings, added later, do carry this phrase.

The End Times

These passages about the end times are Daniel 12, Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21:5-36. Surprisingly, John’s epic end-time prophecy in the book of Revelation doesn’t mention that phrase. This is despite containing most of the Bible’s text about the subject.

What does the end times refer to? We might think of it as the judgment day or Armageddon. Other understandings are the end of the world, the day of reckoning, or the Apocalypse.

The end time is nothing to dread for those who follow Jesus. Click To Tweet

The End of Time

If these things are the end of time, what happens after it? Do all things, including us, cease to exist?

This might be a logical conclusion, but it’s the wrong one.

When God created our world and the cosmos that surrounds it, he also created time. Remember that scientists teach that time and space exist on a continuum. This means we can’t have one without the other. So, if God created space, he had to have created time along with it.

This means that the end of time doesn’t signal the end of everything, just the end of our temporal existence and the space that surrounds it. We will live on in the spiritual realm.

Revelation ends with a glorious look at a new heaven and a new earth, ushered in when time as we understand it ends. Eternity awaits.

Eternal Life

To those who reject Jesus and don’t accept his gift of eternal life (John 3:14-17), they’ll encounter an unpleasant outcome. They had the chance. And they’ll have more chances.

According to the book of Revelation they’ll have multiple opportunities to repent of their wrongdoing and follow Jesus. But many won’t. They’ll receive an eternal reward instead—eternal punishment. This is something to fear.

Yet to those who follow Jesus (Luke 9:23), whose names appear written in the Lamb’s book of life (Revelation 13:8 and Revelation 21:27), the end time is nothing to dread. We are on the winning side, and good will prevail over evil. We’ll spend eternity with Jesus.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

What is the Spirit of Truth?

John Teaches about The Holy Spirit

One of the things I enjoy when studying the Bible is to investigate words and phrases that are repeated throughout its pages. The phrase “Spirit of Truth” is one such example that jumps out at me and begs further investigation.

Interestingly, only John uses “Spirit of Truth” in his writing. Since John is a bit of a poet, it makes sense that he would use this intriguing phrase. These words appear three times in the Gospel of John (John 14:16-17, John 15:26, and John 16:12-13) and once in John’s first letter (1 John 4:6).

Though the precise meaning in 1 John is a bit confusing, in each instant in the book of John, he quotes Jesus.

In these contexts, Jesus is talking about sending an Advocate to help us and be with us forever. He speaks of the Holy Spirit. So the Spirit of Truth is a synonym for the Holy Spirit.

I actually prefer the label Spirit of Truth, as it better conveys who the Holy Spirit is and what he does: the Holy Spirit comes to reveal truth to us; he is the Spirit who brings us truth; he is the Spirit of Truth.

The Holy Spirit comes to reveal truth to us. He is the Spirit who brings us truth; he is the Spirit of Truth. Click To Tweet

In his first letter, John writes about distinguishing the Spirit of Truth from the spirit of deception. Though John is maybe alluding to something else, it makes sense to also understand this as the Holy Spirit, as that’s what John means the other three times he uses the phrase.

Though I doubt I’ll adjust my vocabulary to start calling the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, the descriptive nature of Spirit of Truth is certainly worth remembering: the Holy Spirit reveals God’s truth to us.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is John 13-15, and today’s post is on John 14:16-17.]

Read more in Peter’s new book, Living Water: 40 Reflections on Jesus’s Life and Love from the Gospel of John, available everywhere in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life

The source of life, truth, and the way to Father God is through Jesus

The disciple Thomas wants to go where Jesus will go but doesn’t know how to proceed. He seeks clarification. Jesus gives him a five part answer, which another disciple John records for us.

Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” (John 14:6, NIV).

I Am

In the Old Testament God the Father effectively tells Moses to think of him as “I am.” When Jesus repeats this phrase in his concise answer we are reminded that Jesus also exists as God, in the form of God the Son.

The Way

Jesus is the path to God the Father. Jesus points us in the right direction and provides the means for us to get there.

The Truth

Jesus personifies truth. He exemplifies truth, proclaims truth, and models truth. We can rely on the words of Jesus as true.

The Life

Not only does Jesus give us life, he is life. As taking part in creation, he emerges as one with life eternal.

As God the Son, Jesus provides us with the path to God the Father. Click To Tweet

The Door to Father God

The first four parts of Jesus’s answer, culminate in his conclusion: it is through him that we are reconciled with God the Father.

Jesus is the way. He provides all that we need for our journey in this life and into the next.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is John 13-15, and today’s post is on John 14:5-6.]

Read more in Peter’s new book, Living Water: 40 Reflections on Jesus’s Life and Love from the Gospel of John, available everywhere in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

God is the Great I Am

Characteristics of God

In the Bible, Jesus makes several declarations of who he is and his character. In the book of John alone, he says:

I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35).

I am the light of the world” (John 9:5).

I am the gate for the sheep” (John 10:7).

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).

I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies” (John 11:25).

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener” (John 15:1).

He also provided insight into his relationship with his Father and his followers:

I am in my Father” (John 14:20).

I am in you” (John 17:21).

I am not alone, for my Father is with me” (John 16:32).

May these verses better inform our view of Jesus, what he does for us, and his relationship with Father God, the Great I Am.

Read more in Peter’s new book, Living Water: 40 Reflections on Jesus’s Life and Love from the Gospel of John, available everywhere in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

Does God Really Answer All Our Prayers?

We Can Believe That God Hears and Answers Our Requests

When you pray do you think God hears you? Does he answer your prayers? All of them? The Bible says so. Consider what Scripture teaches.

God Hears Our Prayers

First, we can have assurance that God does indeed hear our prayers.

John writes that we can be confident that God will hear everything we ask for, and we will receive it. The only requirement is that we must align our requests with his will (1 John 5:14-15).

The challenge for us then is to determine his perspective and pray according to his will. But this may not be as hard as what we think. Paul writes that we already have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).

Jesus Says God Answers Our Prayers

Jesus teaches that we can ask whatever we wish, and he will do it for us. There is, of course, the requirement that we maintain our focus on him and his word (John 15:7). But aside from that, he’ll do whatever we request.

Another time Jesus teaches that we can ask for anything in prayer. If we believe that we have received it, then we will (Mark 11:24).

Parents Give Their Children Good Gifts

These verses seem to say, that given some basic requirements, God does hear our prayers and will answer them. Yet, there are times when I haven’t received what I asked for, and other times he seemed to ignore my pleas. Have you ever felt that way?

The problem, however, isn’t that God didn’t answer our prayers. It’s that he didn’t answer them the way we wanted him to.

Consider a child asking their parents for something. A loving parent will do whatever they can to respond to the child’s requests. Yet a wise parent will sometimes say no because it’s not in their child’s best interest.

For example, if a child wanted a steady diet of candy, we would say no, instead providing a well-balanced and nutritious meal. Giving our kids junk food—even when it’s what they ask for—isn’t good for them. So we give them what’s best for them, even if that’s not what they want (Matthew 7:11 and Luke 11:13).

God does hear and will answer our prayers. Click To Tweet

God Provides What’s in Our Best Interest

Parents, however, sometimes make mistakes when it comes to raising their kids. God, however, doesn’t. He loves us fully and perfectly. As our loving Heavenly Father, he gives us exactly what we need, when we need it, to accomplish the best possible outcome for our lives.

We can be confident in him to do that. God does hear and will answer our prayers. Though the answer may not always be what we want, it’s always what’s best.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

What Is Your Path?

When we focus on other people, we may lose sight of our own calling

As Jesus wraps up his stint on earth, he spends some time with his disciples, the core group he trained for three years. They will need to carry on without him, and he wants to make sure they’re ready.

First, he must deal with Peter, who, a few days earlier, denied he even knew Jesus. Jesus is gentle but sure. To counter Peter’s three denials, Jesus has his wayward disciple give three affirmations of love. After each one, Jesus tells Peter to “Care for those who follow me.”

Then Jesus tells Peter what his future will entail. It ends with execution. But Jesus tells Peter to follow him, regardless.

Likely squirming and wanting to change the subject, Peter notices John and asks Jesus what the future holds for this disciple, “What are your plans for him?”

Jesus won’t play along. He basically says, “It doesn’t matter. You must do what I told you to do: follow me.”

God says, “It doesn’t matter what others do, you must follow me." Click To Tweet

It’s easy to become distracted by other people: People who seem to have more success, at least by the world’s standards; people who radiate God’s love in a way we fear we never will; or people who pray with a faith that eludes us.

Frustrated and discouraged, we may ask God, “What are your plans for them?”

To which God says, “It doesn’t matter what others do, you must follow me.” That is your path.

Look straight ahead and follow Jesus. We shouldn’t concern ourselves with what others are doing. Don’t look to the right or to the left, but look right at Jesus (Proverbs 4:25-27).

[Read through the Bible this year. Today’s reading is John 20-21 and today’s post is on John 21:20-22.]

Read more in Peter’s new book, Living Water: 40 Reflections on Jesus’s Life and Love from the Gospel of John, available everywhere in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Christian Living

Celebrate the Gospel of John

Slow Down to Appreciate the Poetic Rhythm and Evocative Style of the Apostle John

I once quipped that the book of John was my fourth favorite biography of Jesus in the Bible. Another time I wrote about the Ten Most Difficult Books in the Bible. To the dismay of many, I included the Gospel of John in my list.

Given this, it may seem surprising that I’ve written a devotional Bible study about the book of John, called Living Water.

I embarked upon this effort because readers requested it, and the Holy Spirit confirmed that I was to do so. As I studied the Gospel of John more thoroughly so that I could write about it, God grew my appreciation for the apostle’s words.

I learned quite quickly that the key to embrace his evocative writing and poetic rhythm, was to slow down. Slowing down is sometimes hard for me.

Though I can read Matthew, Mark, and Luke at a normal pace and glean much from those words, that reading speed left me frustrated with John. What I needed to do to better appreciate his words was to read slower, to mull over one phrase before moving on to the next.

Though I always strive to meditate on Scripture as I study it, embracing John required that I be more intentional.

Once I slowed down, however, the profound beauty of John’s words became immediately apparent to me. Even though I’ve read John’s good news at least twenty times in my life, this last reading stands out as the best by far.

This is all because I took my time to really contemplate each word, each phrase, and each sentence to better comprehend its meaning.

When I did this, God’s Holy Spirit guided me in drafting my book, Living Water, about the Gospel of John. I’m most pleased with the results. It’s one of the most personally rewarding books I’ve written. I’m proud of those words, which I hope is a God-honoring pride.

Once I slowed down the profound beauty of John’s words became immediately apparent to me. Click To Tweet

Given what I’ve learned—that I needed to slow down to appreciate John’s writing style and profound content—it’s wise to go back and do the same thing with the other nine on my list of challenging books in the Bible. Indeed, I’ve already done this with Isaiah and am in the process of doing so with Revelation.

This is a good reminder of what Paul wrote to Timothy when he said that all Scripture comes from God and is useful to teach and train us (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Yes, every book of the Bible is beneficial, if we will but take the time to appreciate it.

Read more in Peter’s new book, Living Water: 40 Reflections on Jesus’s Life and Love from the Gospel of John, available everywhere in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Peter DeHaan News

Book Release: Living Water

40 Reflections on Jesus’s Life and Love from the Gospel of John

Do you have a spiritual thirst? Do you want to drink Living Water that only Jesus offers?

Whether you are yet to take your first sip of Living Water or have been quenching your spiritual thirst for a long time, dig deeper into the Gospel of John to move forward on your spiritual journey.

Embrace John’s—and Jesus’s—recurring themes of eternal life, love, and the need to believe. It could—it should—change everything.

Explore profound truths in Living Water, a devotional Bible study based on John’s biography of Jesus.

In Living Water, lifetime student of the Bible and founder of the ABibleADay website Peter DeHaan, PhD, celebrates the poetic rhythm of the Gospel of John. In doing so he digs into the disciple’s evocative writing to uncover profound spiritual truth and life-changing insights with eternal ramifications.

You’ll never look at John the same way.

In Living Water, you’ll discover:

  • Why John’s biography of Jesus is beloved by so many.
  • Jesus’s gift of living water—so we’ll never thirst again.
  • The power of Jesus’s longest prayer and what it means for us today.
  • Jesus as the Good Shepherd who cares for us, his sheep.
  • The role of the Holy Spirit in Jesus’s ministry—and in our lives.

Learn more about Thomas’s disappearing doubt, Peter’s redemptive restoration, and Nicodemus’s born-again confusion. Find out who Jesus’s first missionary was, how Joseph of Arimathea risked everything for Jesus, and the truth about Mary Magdalene.

Get Living Water today to celebrate Jesus’s life and embrace his love.

Read more in Peter’s new book, Living Water: 40 Reflections on Jesus’s Life and Love from the Gospel of John, available everywhere in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Christian Living

Discover What the Bible Says about How to Treat One Another

Apply These Biblical Tips on How to Value Others

Throughout the New Testament we see instructions of how we should treat one another. Let’s call these the “one another” directives. We are to:

The last two of these one-another commands come from the mouth of Jesus. The rest of them are in the letters written by Paul, John, and Peter, as well as the author of Hebrews.

Love One Another

The charge to love one another is the most common of them, mentioned ten times. Jesus, Paul, Peter, and John all tell us to love one another. Jesus says that loving one another is his new command to us (John 13:34-35).

Another time Jesus says that the greatest commandment of the Old Testament law is to fully love God, and the second most important one is to love others as much as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:35-40).

In a world that has multiple meanings for the word and a distorted understanding of how it functions, what does real love look like? How do we fully love one another? The Bible explains that too. Paul says that love:

  • is patient
  • is kind
  • does not envy
  • does not boast
  • is not proud
  • is not dishonorable of others
  • is not self-seeking
  • is not easily angered
  • keeps no record of wrongs
  • does not delight in evil
  • rejoices with the truth
  • always protects
  • always trusts
  • always hopes
  • always perseveres

From Gods perspective on the topic, love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).

We can then understand love as an overarching principle, a foundation for all others. Afterall, Paul does say that love stands above all else (1 Corinthians 13:13).

As a church, however, we’re doing a poor job of following these one-another instructions. If each person individually did their part to apply these commands in their every-day interactions, our church would be a much different place. And the world in which we live would be better off.

If each person did their part to apply these biblical instructions on how to treat one another, our church—and our world—would be a much better place.

Read more about this in Peter’s new book, Jesus’s Broken Church, available in e-book, audiobook, paperback, and hardcover.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

Do We Allow the World to Control Our Thoughts?

The Holy Spirit Gives Us a Sound Mind to Counter Fear

Through the Holy Spirit we have a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Sound mind means self-discipline, self-control, sound judgment, and wise discretion. We can claim all these as the Holy Spirit’s provision to us. In doing so we can direct our thoughts and not live a life controlled by worldly fear that produces irrational behavior.

Instead the Holy Spirit equips us to make sound judgments and not panic in the midst of pandemonium. Here are some ideas to guide us in this.

Focus Our Thinking

Paul encourages the church in Philippi to focus their thoughts (Philippians 4:8). We should do this too. But what should we think about? Fortunately, Paul gives a list: Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, and whatever is excellent or praiseworthy.

We are to think of these things and dismiss the opposite.

Focus on Spiritual Things

In writing to the church in Colossi, Paul tells them to place their concentration on spiritual thoughts instead of worldly opinions (Colossians 3:2). The world—with all its worries and disruptions—seeks to distract us from God. We counter these distractions by tuning out earthly things and tuning in on godly ideals.

Focus on God’s Power

John also has some recommendations for us. He reminds us that we are children of God. As his children, our heritage comes through him. He has overcome evil, and as his children we can overcome evil too.

Contrary to what many believe, God and Satan are not equal but opposing forces. God is the creator, while Satan is part of creation. God is greater than the devil. And God is in us. Through him we can overcome the opposition (1 John 4:4).

Let us not forget that we are on the winning side.

Focus on Making Our Thoughts Obedient to God

A final consideration comes from Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth. Here Paul writes that we are to fight against any notions that are contrary to God. We do this by taking every thought captive and forcing it to submit to Jesus (2 Corinthians 10:5).

The Bible shows how we can reorient our thoughts from the wrong thinking of the world to the right thinking of God. Click To Tweet

Final Thoughts

Though the world tries to pull us down, we are on the winning side, and the Bible shows how we can reorient our thoughts from the wrong thinking of the world to the right thinking of God.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Philippians 1-4, and today’s post is on Philippians 4:8.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.