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End Times Myopia

During the 40-day post-resurrection ministry of Jesus to His disciples, He progressively prepared them for what they would face after His departure. By the time of their last meeting with Jesus, they had received the Great Commission.1 We pick up the narrative in the Book of Acts.

“And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.“

Acts 1:4,5

In the latter days of the private ministry of Jesus to His disciples, He told them of the Promise of the Father, which would be essential for them to fulfill their mission.

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever;“

John 14:6

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.“

John 14:26

“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:“

John 15:26

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.“

John 16:7

It is certainly clear that Jesus was preparing His Church to fulfill its purpose of reaching out to the whole world with the Gospel. When Jesus meets them in Jerusalem, we are told,

“When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, ‘Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?’“

Acts 1:6

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The Duty to Define

“There are two burdens every aspiring critical thinker must consider when making or evaluating an argument—the evidentiary burden and the persuasive burden.“1 Underlying these burdens are several duties necessary to meet them—in this article, we will consider what I call “the Duty to Define.“ Words and phrases form the foundation of any argument and when their meaning is ambiguous or duplicitous, so is the position that relies on these words or phrases.

Have you ever said, “Jesus bless you“ rather than “God bless you“ to a stranger or even to an acquaintance? For the Christian, Jesus is God and God is Jesus. Consider what Jesus said about Himself, “I and the Father are One.“2 John’s Gospel begins with the concept that, “The Word was God. The Word dwelt among us.“3 And yet, even though the believer would agree that the two phrases are synonymous, the lack of specificity of the phrase “God bless you“ can be a more comfortable salutation. (Come on, admit it! Or better yet, try it and see what you think!)

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