Friday, November 30, 2007

Now You See, Now You Don't!

During the mid 90's, my optometrist hurried me to an expert in macular degeneration because my eyes had gone into that condition. The expert examined extensively and then explained what he saw in great detail. Sadly, the condition cannot be reversed. Just live with the diminished eye capacity.

Many of my friends prayed that I would be able to continue seeing.

In recent years, I have asked my new optometrist about the situation and he said that he could not see any macular degeneration. I thought he may lack the skills.

Recently, in preparation for an lens implant, I visited a highly skilled surgeon who doubles as a professor at the local university. When asked, he also said that I did not have any signs of macular degeneration.

I can only conclude that the Lord reversed the condition and healed my eyes.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The A.D. 30 Test – Part 2

Peter spoke to thousands of pilgrims at the festival in A.D. 30. The Spirit of God was so convincing that about 3,000 obeyed what Peter said: They repented and were baptized to have their sins removed from God’s records. Peter had an 11 man support team that endorsed his teaching. The 12-man jury rendered a unanimous verdict. Faith in the resurrected Jesus, repentance to change attitudes toward truth and baptism to identify with the resurrection story and to be “in Christ.” Uncomplicated.

As the crowds returned to their Jewish communities across the Roman Empire, they took this unique plan for pardon home and repeated it over and over. People obeyed these steps to peace with God.

The “New Testament” had not been written. Not the four gospels, not any writing of Paul or Peter or James. The teachings set forth by word-of-mouth from the inspired Apostles stood unchallenged. This interlude continued for at least 15 years. The believers experienced a real war with the world and enjoyed real peace within the body.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The A.D. 30 Test – Part 1

The remarkable story of Jesus was told over and over again during and after his lifetime. His teachings and miracles made lively conversation. The culture was oral-based rather than text-based culture like ours because making documents was expensive. Writing materials were even used a second time to keep down costs.

So the greatest story every told was indeed told and not written for more than twenty years after the resurrection. Jesus said, “He that has hears to hear, let him hear.” We could have sung “Tell Me The Story of Jesus” and have been right on target.

The story of the risen Jesus was presented officially by the men whom Jesus had tutored during his ministry. He had promised them perfect recall in John 14. Peter and the other 11 used this treasure when they addressed multiplied thousands at Pentecost in A.D. 30.

Their written authority was the inspired men of times past and their current authority was their own experiences with Jesus, perfectly recalled. It was this verbal story about Jesus that spread around Jerusalem, Judea and out into the Roman Empire. The believers were united and the cause of Christ spread without the hindrances of internal dissension.

Harmony was a key ingredient in church life in A.D. 30. Oh, that our generation could recapture that mountaintop experience.