Mortality looms behind our thoughts and the affects upon us are hard to tell. Best forgotten-about is understandable. One Christian approach puts everything on to the question and the cost -come- punishments to not follow the way. Unprepared what to write but press publish to kick-off and see what comes?
Circumstances matter. In suffering and church in parts of the world and physical persecution, —an emphasis on 'tomorrow's world' is inevitable. As do personal health challenges and then there's loved ones and grief at their death? All a difficult-think. As for the Bible, what is God offering and communicating?
What do I believe? While there's the local church (if went to/was in one) would hold as their collective view?
Decided on visiting a different local church each week from Sunday. Towards a local -potential- project am into seeing happen. If there's not the response, then it may well be time to get away in the Autumn and do a prolonged few months without people-contact. Not after money from anyone but God will lead and a battle to see a building and the need is for response hope and praying matters?
Ay up, that was a cryptic few lines eh. What is worth writing are the reasons to believe and what?
The answer is personal or collective and the local church associating as part of... in fellowship with? When Christians find out am one, the inevitable question is; "where do you go to church -or- which church do you belong to?"
Explaining that am not encouraging non-attendance or belonging but... don't want to be a stumbling block, hence "don't go". All because of the last three years and perspectives; plus, nothing-novel, but a broad evangelicals set of beliefs lead me to struggle to find a mix can be at home with, and be, in (a) local church?
All to preface Revelation (the book) and elsewhere that talks of life, death, heaven and hell.
The essentials are about meeting and knowing God through Christ. His death bringing a means to live and the defeat of evil; in potential and as far as possible. The Bible is what God means we get to read and use as means to learn and in applied reading and speaking out, a mechanism to sow and reap something good beyond what would see/know otherwise. God the Holy Spirit is present with any and all who call upon the name of Jesus. By grace, God's unmerited favour and giving, operates in and around our lives.
Beyond this and call to share it and live love are secondary issues.
There's a whole lot of juxtaposing, wrestling-over and complimentary issues. It's not enough for some to take any divergence. 'Our side, or no side' is the stand.
Am quizzed, not least on the life (or what...?) and happens once we die. The heresy-hunters are after looking to dismiss me for what they consider is compromise and spreading confusion. Doesn't rattle me and sometimes a short-chat is worthwhile.
In all though am into increased consideration over verses that state what certain traditional readings are detirmind they have to be saying.
To Rev.? Better get on it:
Stuck a bit in the book and need to pull myself away for the sake of wider Bible-reading but can see it'll take a Pt 6. and 7. because there's so much there. A starting point is back to why read it?
Reckon there are two reasons. One is the collective (if part of a local church) teaching. Another is a personal, ...receiving. The outlook of the book appears to be about the world and wide but for me its got messages and situations am facing. Hard to explain but as with the Bible overall being for our learning (and/or the local group and held-together).
Not for debate and other Christians, at least something not for me called to do, unless a congenial, joint-learning together, exercise.
'Revelation' was vision in a context that can be re-appropriated by various peoples', places, and historical times. There are shafts of light in it that reveal the backdrop and carry universal truths. Without these glimpses into behind and reality we'd have to live with a lot more unknown and mystery.
The language is coded and in an unfamiliar genre. Somehow it speaks like Jesus parables, more or less, or not at all in respects to the attitude and heart of the reader or hearer. It's open to every kind of misinterpretation and is self-evident unable to be settled in a definitive understanding.
Yes, it speaks to the times we're in but not as a an ancient prediction to describe an literal outworking.
There's a call to be an overcomer of a Christian and metaphorical pictures of judgement and the everlasting. Yet.., it's obvious in wanting the allegorical to be interpreted and this for these personal, or local church, interpretations.
Different resurrections and a millennium seem clear but the why and way of punishment/reward is all bound in the drive we live up and in God against evil spirits.
For good and God.
Got to get to prayer, things around require.
ALL this post is seeking to contend is that God is needed -with us- in reading the Bible aright.
Overall am sure God wants the better than not on this earth and now: to bring about as many can into salvation and the new earth to come.
Unconvinced by certain levels of universalism. Nor, at all, into the reformed pre-determined-ism. Too few and unanswered questions to make biblical sense. While not the foundation, for me.
The ground between sits a sphere on the spectrum. The what, and need to share on?
A second death (not a believer in the Greek-influenced, 'no one can die' belief and 'everlasting punishment' as interpreted). As for and what is a hell-like experience. Who? Surety, and otherwise?
Will get to the words and original language/meanings tomorrow. Must come with more intent.
Distracted (today) but do what and care not/ if not-what, would like, to best produce. So be it.