I went to my church’s Bible study last night. We’re going through Luke: Gospel of Reassurance With Michael Card. Here are some items:
1. One question that the workbook asked was how we can be ready for Christ’s return. I was thinking of asking a question about that in the group last night, but I was too mellow at the time to do that. Essentially, the question that was in my mind was this: Why do we need to be “ready” for Christ’s return? What’s that even mean? That we need to be perfect when Christ returns—-or at least spiritually adequate—-otherwise Jesus will be disappointed in us when he comes back and sees us doing something we shouldn’t, or not doing something we should? Would we lose our salvation, in that case? I suppose that there are some passages about that in the synoptic Gospels: in Matthew 24-25, for example, we have the parable of the wise and foolish virgins, and also the story of the guy who thought his master was delayed and thus beat the slaves. The foolish virgins are excluded from the wedding banquet, and the guy who beat the slaves is cut up and put into a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth. That sounds to me like a loss of salvation. I go to a Presbyterian church, which probably does not believe that people can lose their salvation. How would it interpret these passages? That the foolish virgins and the guy who beat the slaves represent people who weren’t truly saved to begin with?
Here’s a post that I wrote about being ready for Christ’s return.
2. Michael Card in the DVD said that Jesus in Luke 24 was addressing two questions: one was about the destruction of Jerusalem, and the other was about the second coming of Christ. I usually hear this sort of argument from conservative Christians when they are trying to argue that Christ in Matthew 24 and parallels was not predicting an imminent second coming, which (according to a number of Christians, except for preterists) did not happen. I see this argument as a stretch, since the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E. and the second coming of Christ seem to be closely associated with each other in Matthew 24 and parallels. At the same time, when it comes to the Gospel of Luke, I tend to be open-minded, for there are some scholars who don’t seem to have a conservative Christian ax to grind, yet they maintain that Luke did not hold to an imminent eschatology.
3. Hearing about people’s real-life struggles in the group was quite sobering. People in the group were talking about those who lost their toes or leg due to diabetes. I wonder how I would react if that happened to me. Would I cling to God even more for faith and hope, or would I be upset at God? I’d probably be in the latter category, for some time, but I can imaging myself clinging to God as a way to have faith, hope, and joy, in a situation where joy might be hard to find.