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:
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.
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.
Here and here are posts that I have written on this topic.
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.