The Dead Sea —One Day It Will Live Again

The evaporating sea offers a picture of God’s power to bring life from death.

Piles of driftwood, bleached white, surround the shoreline like bones from a life lived long-ago. It’s the lowest place on earth, the hottest spot in Israel, and nothing visible can live in its waters. The Dead Sea.

Sunrise over Dead Sea

(Photo: Sunrise over Dead Sea. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

With a name like the Dead Sea, this unusual site might lead you to expect a disappointing visit.

Rest assured—anyone who experiences the Dead Sea never forgets its wonder.

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God’s Promises—How We Can Know They’re True

One sure way proves God has told us the truth.

When someone makes us a promise, it’s always best to give them the benefit of the doubt. Might as well believe them. Unless, of course, they have a history of fibbing to you.

God’s Promises—How We Can Know They’re True

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com)

It happened again to me not long ago. A man I know shook my hand and said, “Let’s grab a coffee soon; I’ll call you.” I didn’t say it, but I wanted to reply: “No, you won’t. But thanks.” Does that ever happen for you? Honestly, it doesn’t take many times for someone to fail keeping a promise, and I lose confidence in the person.

The only way we can trust that people will keep their word is if they have kept their word.

The same is true of God’s promises.

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The Source of Our Peace—Reflections from Yom Yerushalayim

Why Peace Requires One Thing More than Anything Else

The holiday, Yom Yerushalayim, “Jerusalem Day” always reminds me of the T-shirt my grandmother bought me when she went to Jerusalem in 1987. (We men keep clothes way too long.)

The Source of Our Peace—Reflections from Yom Yerushalayim

(Photo: The Jaffa Gate, celebrating Jerusalem’s 40th Birthday. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Printed in English, Hebrew, and Arabic, the T-shirt celebrated “The 20th Anniversary of the Reunification of Jerusalem.” Yom Yerushalayim is a Jewish holiday annually celebrating the first time the Jews controlled Jerusalem since the Romans destroyed the Second Temple in AD 70.

Now almost 70 years since the beginning of the State of Israel, the land has just as much tension and heartache as ever. And much of the conflict cloaks its true motives in the name of religion.

One day in Jerusalem I saw a humorous sign that tried to bridge that religion gap.

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Dr. Pentecost first taught me the life of Christ in such a way that my Bible became one book and not just two Testaments; I’ll never forget the moment that clicked. I’ll treasure the personal conversations I had with him.

After I gave him a copy of my book, Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus, he called me a few weeks later to tell me how much he enjoyed the book and planned to require it as a textbook for his class, “The Life of Christ on Earth.” I was completely surprised and tremendously honored.

When I visited David Ben Gurion’s modest home in the Negev of Israel, I noticed in his vast library a surprising volume: Things to Come, by J. Dwight Pentecost.

Visit Dr. Pentecost’s memorial page on the Dallas Theological Seminary Web site. The video was also produced by DTS.

Tell me what you think: Did you know Dr. P? To leave a comment, just click here.

Is Jesus the Messiah? My Open-Letter Answer

A few weeks ago I received an email from a Jewish man who had hard questions about what Christians believe. His questions were excellent. His inquiries about Christianity boiled down to three questions.

Is Jesus the Messiah? My Open-Letter Answer

(Photo: Jews touching the Torah at the Western Wall. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

I’ve listed his questions here without changing his wording:

What I can never fathom is how you can honor and accept the ‘teachings’ of one called Paul—an apostate and traitor to his people—to be the truth.

• Is this Paul who wrote 13/27 books of the Greek New Testament any more authoritative than the great Hebrew prophets such as Jeremiah or Amos?

• Are we to assume that G-d changed His Mind regarding His People and the Torah, and simply informed one solitary man about a new dispensation 100 years after the death of the man from Galilee?

• When Hashem [“The Name”] gave us the Torah, there were millions of witnesses to this earth-shaking event. It has become part of our collective spiritual DNA. How can a ‘new revelation’ be given with no witnesses to one individual who wrote in Greek things that are anathema and inimical to Jewish belief?

To me, these questions all boil down to one: Is Jesus the Messiah?

Here is my open-letter answer. Would you have answered differently?

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The Tabernacle at Shiloh—A Promise, Person, Place & Parable

Local schoolchildren ate their lunches across the olive grove from my wife and me.

Like the kids, we came on a field trip to explore ancient Shiloh. Although our lunch was hardly a feast, it reminded me of the reasons the young nation of Israel initially came to this site. They came to worship at the annual feasts before the Tabernacle at Shiloh.

The Tabernacle at Shiloh—A Promise, Person, Place, & Parable

(Photo: Area of the Tabernacle at Shiloh. Courtesy of Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Ask most Americans where Shiloh is, and you’ll likely get a blank stare.

  • Historians may point to a Civil War battle in Hardin County, Tennessee.
  • Music buffs may start singing the chorus to a Neil Diamond song.

But question someone who knows his or her Bible, and Shiloh means something far more significant.

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What Will Heaven Be Like? [Podcast]

Revelation 21-22

Jesus promised to prepare a real place for believers in His Father’s house. The new heaven, new earth and New Jerusalem are described in Scripture as indescribable! Heaven’s occupants will both worship and serve forever and ever in the presence of the Lord who died for them.

In the meantime, believers should keep an eternal perspective and unbelievers should trust Christ without hesitation.

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Victims of the Great White – The Final Judgment [Podcast]

Revelation 20:7-15

After the Millennium, Satan will briefly be loosed but then eternally confined to the lake of fire. God will then sit on His holy and great white throne, whereby the earth will be destroyed and the unbelieving dead will be resurrected for judgment on the basis of their works. Without exception, each one will find him- or herself condemned to the lake of fire.

Such a somber scene requires each one today to seek to have his or her name written in the book of life, and be spared the great white throne judgment.

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When the World Meets Jesus Again – The Second Coming [Podcast]

Revelation 19:11-20:6

Hollywood’s version of Armageddon is skewed differently from the Bible. The real Armageddon won’t be much of a battle but will culminate with the Second Coming of Christ to earth, when Israel will finally accept their Messiah whom they so long rejected.

Christ will separate the Gentile nations in judgment and rule the earth from Jerusalem for 1000 years, fulfilling the unconditional Covenants made so long ago.

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A Tale of Two Cities – Jerusalem and Babylon in Prophecy [Podcast]

Genesis 10-11, 14; Isaiah 13-14; Revelation 21-22

Two cities represent two kinds of people. Babylon corresponds to the rebellion of man against God; Jerusalem epitomizes faith in God. In a day that leans wholly on humanism, we would do well to trace the history and future of these two cities to see their outcome.

God has prophesied to utterly destroy Babylon and eternally bless Jerusalem—and all that both great cities represent. Which city holds your citizenship?

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