The Parables of Jesus, Lesson 9: The Parable of the Final Judgment

Intro In the last Lesson, we studied The Parable of the Ten Virgins and The Parable of the Talents, which all deal with being prepared to meet Jesus.  They both dealt with our Lord’s return on the Last Day and its significance.  Today, we learn what happens after Christ’s return—in a parable. We can understand […]

The Parables of Jesus, Lesson 8: The Parable of the Ten Virgins and The Parable of the Talents

Intro Jesus is approaching the cross and those now following Him are reduced to His disciples.  They came to him in private and asked, “Tell us, when will these things [the destruction of the Temple] be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus responds in […]

The Parables of Jesus, Lesson 7: The Parables of The Wedding Feast and The Great Banquet

Intro Matthew 22 and Luke 14 contain two different parables but with similar content and context.  So, we will study them together.  The setting for The Parable for the Wedding Banquet is Jesus engaging His opponents at the Temple.  This showdown ignited in Matthew 21:23, where the scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees attempted to trap Jesus […]

Church History, Lesson 17: Christianity at the Close of the 4th Century

Recap and Intro To help resolve a theological division in the Church, Emperor Constantine hosted the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD.  The Council defined Jesus as homoousios, of the same Divine substance as God the Father.  This was not the desired term because it could be misunderstood as Jesus only being an extension of […]

The Parables of Jesus, Lesson 6: The Parable of the Friend at Midnight and Its Lead-Up

Intro and Recap The setting for The Parable of the Good Samaritan was a lawyer wanting to justify himself, asking Jesus to tell him “what he needed to do to inherit eternal life” (Luke 10:25).  So, if you are someone who thinks he must do something to have eternal life, then you must be the […]

Church History, Lesson 16: The Council of Nicaea and an Imperial Christianity

Recap and Intro In 318 AD, Arius, a Libyan-born pastor influenced by Origen, began teaching that Jesus was a creation of God who, at one time, did not exist.  A deacon in Alexandria, Athanasius, became his primary opponent.  Soon, the Greek-speaking Christian world became engulfed in this quarrel. This disunity disturbed Constantine.  So, he convened […]

The Reformation, Five Centuries Later

By Pr. Rich Futrell One year passes and another begins, 500-hundred years’ worth since Luther tacked his 95 theses on Wittenberg’s wooden door.  Through those statements, he wanted a debate about indulgences shortening someone’s time in Purgatory.  Today, most don’t understand the fracas, which followed, fracturing Europe.  On both sides, Lutheran and Roman-Catholic, people put […]

The Parables of Jesus: Lesson 5: The Good Samaritan: Luke 10:25-37

  The Parable within Luke’s Gospel If we remember, we learned a chiasm is a rhetorical device where the author states an idea or ideas and then expresses them again in reverse order.  The central point of a chiasm is its central idea.     Within the flow of Luke, The Parable of the Good […]

Church History, Lesson 15: Christianity’s First Decade in Freedom

Recap and Intro In 311 AD, Emperor Galerius rescinded his persecution and allowed Christians to rebuild churches.  His edict ended the effort to rid the Roman Empire of Christians. From the time of Irenaeus, around 200 AD, to 1000 AD, Christianity was primarily a religion in Asia and North Africa.  Though in Italy, Gaul (France), […]

The Parables of Jesus: Lesson 4: Loss and Restoration in Luke 15

The Setting for the Three Parables Read Luke 15:1-2 Eating with Sinners Part of Exodus 18:1 reads: “the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt.”  The Mekilta, Jewish scriptural interpretation, taught this for the verse: “Let no man associate with the wicked, not even to bring him close to the Law.” The Pharisees believed they […]