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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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Large Number of Pastors Don't Believe in the Rapture

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End-times theology is wavering in the Christian church and a large number of Protestant pastors believe there is no rapture.


Whether pre-tribulation or post rapture, a new study by LifeWay research reveals that pinning down details of the apocalypse among a group of pastors is hard to do.


Although the scriptures make it clear that Jesus is coming back researchers found varying views on three aspects of end-times theology: the rapture, the Antichrist, and the millennial kingdom.


Out of the 1,000 senior Protestant pastors surveyed, only a third (36 percent) believed in a pre-tribulation rapture where Christians disappear at the start of the apocalypse and those left behind suffer tribulation.


Thirty-six percent of pastors say the rapture is not literal, while almost 1 in 5 believe the rapture happens after the tribulation (18 percent).


End-times theology is popular with churchgoers but it is not an easy topic to preach about, Scott McConnell, vice president of LifeWay Research, explained.


"Most people want their pastor to preach about the Book of Revelation and the end of the world," he said. "But that's a complicated task. Pastors and the scholars they cite often disagree about how the end times will unfold."


The diversity among eschatological views includes varying opinions on the Anti-Christ and beliefs in a millennial kingdom.


About half of pastors (49 percent) see the Anti-Christ as a figure who will arise in the future, 14 percent believe he is the personification of evil, while 12 percent say he is not an actual person.


Close to half of the pastors surveyed believe in pre-millennialism (48 percent), which is the view that the thousand year reign of Christ happens in the future.


A third (31 percent) of leaders don't believe in a thousand year reign but they do believe that Jesus already rules in the hearts and minds of Christians. Close to 1 in 10 (11 percent) believe in post-millennialism, the idea that the world will gradually become more Christian until Jesus returns.


McConnell said it isn't a bad thing that pastors disagree on the details of the apocalypse because most agree on the main teachings about the Second Coming of Jesus. He said the rest doesn't affect the day-to-day life of most Christians.


"The big picture of Revelation is clear: Jesus returns, people must be ready, evil is defeated," he said. "With the rest of the details, there is room for disagreement."


Source: http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2016/...in-the-rapture

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Large Number of Pastors Don't Believe in the Rapture



One more excellent reason for using a literal interpretation of scripture when it makes perfectly good sense just as it is written, God's word never changes, it was the same yesterday as it is today and will be tomorrow. It will never lead a person astray, man will. Sometimes unintentionally and other times perhaps not so unintentional.


A suggestion...ask a person who does not apply a literal interpretation to scripture a question that challenges their doctrine, then ask one who does use a literal interpretation the same question and see who can quote scripture that clearly supports their answer.


BTW, this is the reason that I seldom try to use a commentary by anyone to prove my beliefs. My bet is, no matter who it is or the subject, an opposing commentary can be found so it is nothing more than one person's opinion against another person's opinion. My philosophy is, if a person cannot answer all questions asked, supported by scripture just as it is written, challenging their doctrine then that doctrine is extremely suspect.

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