The difference between heaven and hell is not that heaven will be ethnically diverse and hell won’t be. Both will be diverse. All races and all ethnicities and all cultures will be present in hell.
The difference between heaven and hell is that in heaven—that is, in the new heaven and new earth—there will be perfect racial and ethnic harmony, but in hell, racial and ethnic animosities will reach their fullest fury and last forever.
Paul spoke of the ethnic diversity of hell in Romans 2:9,
There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek.
“Jew and Greek” was shorthand for all ethnic groups.
Born March 31: Rene Descartes, 1596 (“I think, therefore, I am”), Joseph Hayden, 1732 ("The Creation" Oratorio), and Barnabas William Piper, 1983 (Son of Encouragement).
Things just keep getting better and better.
Happy birthday, Barna!
“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:13).
James 1:13 says, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one” (James 1:13).
That’s true. But the Bible also says, “Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Matthew 4:1).
So God does not do the tempting—he does not put evil desires in our hearts (for he can have no evil desires in his heart)—but he does bring us into the presence of many tests and temptations. “A man’s steps are from the Lord” (Proverbs 20:24).
In fact, every step we take is a step into the presence of temptation.…
This is our new world in the Twin Cities:
- The Twin Cities’ Hispanic population more than doubled from 1990 to 2000. The Twin Cities was the eighth fastest growing Hispanic city in the United States during the 1990s.
- The Twin Cities was the 9th fastest growing Asian city in the U.S. during 1990s.
- There are 13,000 international students in the Twin Cities (10,000 college students and 3,000 high school exchange students).
- There are 200 different languages spoken by people living in the Twin Cities area.
- The light rail system in the Twin Cities sells tickets in four languages: English, Spanish, Hmong, and Somali.
- The Phillips Neighb…
The most important prayer is that the most important person in the universe do the most important act in the universe.
That’s why Jesus put this request at the beginning of the Lord’s prayer: “Hallowed be your name.”
God is the most important person in the universe. More important than all others put together.
All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness” (Isaiah 40:17).
The whole-souled act of hallowing God’s name is the most important act in the universe.
To “hallow” means to “sanctify” which in God’s case means to set apart in your mind and heart as supremely great and beautiful and valuable.…
It is not a sign of a seasoned Christian soul that steady joy is untinged with steady sorrow.
Or to put it positively, the seasoned soul in Christ has a steady joy and a steady sorrow.
They protect each other. Joy is protected from being flippant by steady sorrow. Sorrow is protected from being fatal by steady joy.
And they intensify each other. Joy is made deeper by steady sorrow. Sorrow is made sweeter by steady joy.
For the seasoned Christian soul, I do not see how it can be otherwise while people are perishing and we are saved. I do not see how it can be otherwise while these two passages are written by the same inspired man:
I have great sorrow and unceas…
This is a plea that all of you would build into your lives both personal devotions and purposeful study of God’s word.
Daily prayerful meditation seeking personal application of God’s word to your own heart and life.
Regular study in a class or with a book where the (living or dead) teacher has seen more than you have and can give you insight in 30 minutes that might otherwise take you ten years to see.
The reason I plead for both is that without a book or a class about what some part of the Bible means and a teacher who is ahead of you, your devotions will probably flatten out at a low level of insight.
Year after year you …
Clarence Thomas was confirmed to be a Supreme Court Justice on October 15, 1991 after one of the most divisive confirmation battles in history. He tells the story movingly in his autobiography My Grandfather’s Son.
What many may not know is how he handled the tidal wave of lurid accusation and public humiliation. Here is what he said.
I had been reading Bible verses all summer, and as the confirmation process ground on, I spent even more time doing so. I knew that many good people were working tirelessly to help get me confirmed, but that knowledge no longer calmed my nerves or lifted my spirits. The more hopeless things appeared and the more vulnerable I felt, the more I …
Jesus is going to return to earth. I pray very soon. He said that before he comes—periodically throughout history—some people would think he has already come.
If they say to you, "Look, he is in the wilderness," do not go out. If they say, "Look, he is in the inner rooms," do not believe it. (Matthew 24:26)
Then he gave two reasons not to believe such rumors.
The first is that his coming will be globally unmistakable. It will be as publicly unmistakable as lightning.
For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:27)
The second reason for not believing these rumors…
Here is a simple exhortation that I have been trying to implement in our family:
Seek to see and feel the gospel as bigger as years go by rather than smaller.
Our temptation is to think that the gospel is for beginners and then we go on to greater things. But the real challenge is to see the gospel as the greatest thing—and getting greater all the time.
The Gospel gets bigger when, in your heart,
- grace gets bigger;
- Christ gets greater;
- his death gets more wonderful;
- his resurrection gets more astonishing;
- the work of the Spirit gets mightier;
- the power of the gospel gets more pervasive;
- its global extent gets wider;