Tag Archives: Living in light of eternity

Whose Glory Will You Live For?

There is a contrast in Revelation between the wicked city called Babylon and the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem. And we have a choice as to which city we will build in life. The first city is about self. The second city is centered on the glory of God. In his message on Revelation 18, Tim Keller compares this first city to the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11…

The men of what would become Babylon got together, and they said, “Let’s form a city.” Do you remember why? This is Genesis 11:4, “… let us make a name for ourselves …” “Let’s build a tower so high no one can see the top. Let’s build a great city.” Now this is the reason most people come to New York. It’s the spirit of Babylon. “… let us make a name for ourselves …” That’s why many of you are here. That’s why many of you came originally. It’s the only way to really make it in this field or make it in this field. “I’m going to make a name for myself.”

You have talents. You’re a lawyer. You’re a dancer. You’re a person in finance. You can either use those abilities to make a name for yourself or to honor God. A city can either be a city forming a culture that glorifies humanity, that glorifies the self, that maximizes your bank account, that maximizes your ego, or you can build a culture that honors God. As a dancer, as an artist, as a businessman or businesswoman, you can use your culture-forming ability to build a civilization that either maximizes the human ego and maximizes your own name, or one that honors God. That’s what God is saying.

Keller, T. J. (2013). The Timothy Keller Sermon Archive. New York City: Redeemer Presbyterian Church.

It’s a choice that each of us must make – who will we live for? Ultimately, will we seek to glorify ourselves…or God? If we choose to live for selfish glory, we should realize that any glory we achieve will surely pass away. We will be working for the short term, for this life alone. But if we choose to live for the glory of God, we will in some way be contributing to the brightness of His glory that will never fade, and we will be truly living for eternity, and for the Eternal One.


For Monday, December 28: Revelation 19

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Posted by on December 25, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Divorce and Remarriage in Light of Eternity

Seminary never really prepared me for marriage and divorce issues in the church.

My professors tried, mind you, and I got the basics in my New Testament and ethics classes.  It was there that I came to the common evangelical understanding of when divorce (and thus subsequent remarriage) was appropriate or permitted. Like most, I hold to an understanding that divorce is permissible in cases of adultery (usually of the unrepentant type) or desertion by an unbeliever. At Edgewood we use this criteria to determine whether we can perform a wedding of someone who has been divorced.

But…I’ve found through the years that it is almost always very difficult to sort these things out in the vicissitudes of day to day life. Circumstances are never as simple as the ethics textbook led me to believe they would be. So many times I have felt coldly clinical and legalistic as I have tried to think through a person’s circumstances which might make remarriage possible. I need…we need…to be biblical, but applying biblical standards always feels so hard.

But I get good instruction on these issues as I read Paul’s word to the church at Corinth on divorce and remarriage. In 1 Corinthians 7, we find that when Paul considered these issues, he was moved and motivated by thoughts of eternity. In other words, when the question came up of whether divorce was permissible, Paul gave standards which we need to follow, but he also asked, “Which course might lead my unsaved husband/wife (and children!) to trust in Jesus?” Consider…

To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? 1 Corinthians 7:11-16 (ESV)

I know that some couples are suffering greatly in their marriages. And I feel for men and women married to unbelievers, especially when these believers have unsaved spouses who are quite antagonistic toward Christianity. I have heard many sorrowful stories through my years of pastoral ministry. And as we have already said, there are surely sometimes biblical reasons for divorce. (And by all means, if you are feeling unsafe, or are being hurt, talk to us at the church and we will help you get to a place of safety.)

But aside from all this, Paul makes the powerful case to hold on if at all possible…because sometimes unbelieving wives and husbands are “made holy” through their Christian spouses. And of course they are! How many non-believing spouses have trusted Christ through the faithful witness of their spouse? Surely many are enjoying eternal life now because a spouse held on.

And what he says about children is probably an even greater motivator to most people, for even if someone cannot be motivated to hang in there to save an antagonistic spouse, they are likely to be moved by thoughts of their kids in eternity: “Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.” Wow. As we think about eternity and our longing for our beloved children to be there with us, staying married is apparently important, even staying married to an unbeliever. So ask the Lord for His grace, either to hang in there now in a tough marriage, or even possibly…to consider reconciliation.

All that said, whatever your story now, remember that God can save anyone, including your ex-spouse or your children of divorce. So ask Him to move…and keep asking; He loves to save the children of believers in all circumstances.

For Thursday, May 14: 1 Corinthians 8

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Posted by on May 13, 2015 in Uncategorized


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