By Cynthia Ruchti
In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
— 1 Peter 1:3 (NIV)
“What is it about this family and hope?” my youngest grandson asked. “We have a cousin named Hope, and there’s hope everywhere in this house!”
I love his exuberance on the subject. Ours is a house filled with hope. It shows up in books on the bookshelves, mugs, pictures . . . it’s everywhere. I may have mentioned before that a young visitor came to our home and counted the items in our house bearing the word hope. She stopped counting at forty-seven.
Do you tend to avoid studying books of the Bible like Revelation and Ezekiel? Does it feel like words such as rapture and apocalypse fly right over your head? It’s common to dismiss these and other topics related to Bible prophecy as irrelevant or too complicated.
Bible Gateway interviewed Todd Hampson (@thampson) about his book, The Non-Prophet’s Guide™ to the End Times: Bible Prophecy for Everyone (Harvest House Publishers, 2018).
Explain the title of the book and its format.
Todd Hampson: The Non-Prophet’s Guide™ to the End Times features a comical character known as the Non-Prophet. He always gets prophecy wrong and doesn’t make wise business decisions, so he’s the Non-Prophet on both levels. I wanted to develop a systematic book on prophecy that didn’t feel like a seminary textbook and that would appeal to a younger, visual-driven generation. I also wanted to use humor to disarm the subject a bit. I really wanted to produce a book that made Bible prophecy accessible and attractive to everyone.
President George H. W. Bush, 94, (@GeorgeHWBush and @Bush41Library) the father of former US president George W. Bush, died Nov. 30, 2018 in Houston, Texas after suffering with vascular Parkinsonism. His funeral Dec. 5—declared a national day of mourning—at Washington National Cathedral (service leaflet) was attended by dignitaries, including President Donald Trump, former Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and George W. Bush, Charles, Prince of Wales, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, former Mexican President Carlos Salinas, and former UK Prime Minister John Major.
[Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, Scripture Read At Barbara Bush’s Funeral]
Pastor and author Mel Lawrenz is interrupting his weekly How to Live the Bible series to focus our attention on the wonder of the Incarnation for the Advent season. This week, here’s a Christmas blessing for personal or church use (click here for a printable PDF version; permission granted to reproduce in full form). Christ has come!
Be sure to sign up for the free daily email devotional Christmas Joy. Many people do these 25 readings every year as a rhythm of reflecting on the wonder, the power, and the joy of the coming of Jesus the Christ. Each brief daily reading takes a word from the biblical text associated with the coming of Christ.
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” — Luke 2:10-11
Great joy? Is it almost too much to hope for?
Where did all the Christmas joy go? How did things get so complicated? So rushed? So squeezed and cluttered? A nonstop buzz of Christmas lights and weary shoppers, boisterous television specials and pleading children. It doesn’t have to be this way. We can choose to step aside, step into a quieter moment, and read the angel’s words that came on the night that changed the world: “I bring you good news of great joy!”
How well do you know all the facts about the birth of Jesus? Have fun taking this brief quiz to find out. Encourage your family, friends, and social media followers to try their hand at it, too.
Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: The virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 (MEV)
Once you’ve finished, sign up for Bible Gateway free email Christmas devotionals and begin receiving them in your inbox.
But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity. Micah 5:2 (NASB)
[Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, Because of Bethlehem: An Interview with Max Lucado]
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness—
on them light has shined. Isaiah 9:1-2 (NRSV)
[Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, Bible Verses That Tell the Christmas Story]
[See other Bible Gateway quizzes]
[Browse the Christmas section in the Bible Gateway Store]
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By Charles Colson
Boris Kornfeld is the great paradox personified. A Jew who betrayed the faith of his fathers. A doctor whose years of training were senselessly wasted. A political idealist whose utopian vision led only to a barren Siberian prison. A prisoner who gave up his life for nothing more than a loaf of stolen bread. In every one of these areas, Boris Kornfeld was a failure—at least in the world’s system of values. Yet God took that failure of a man and through his single-minded obedience used him to lead to Christ another who would go on to become a prophetic voice and one of the world’s most influential writers: Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
For Kornfeld’s words did their convincing, convicting work, touching what Solzhenitsyn later called “a sensitive chord.” That was his moment of spiritual awakening; “God of the universe, I believe You again! Though I renounced You, You will be with me,” he cried out. It was a spiritual transfusion—life taken from one man and pumped into another for God’s sovereign purpose.
Who was the prophet Elijah and how is his ancient life exemplary for us in the 21st century? How did God use this ordinary man with many imperfections to accomplish extraordinary feats in the time of Old Testament kings?
Bible Gateway interviewed R. T. Kendall (@DrRTKendall) about his book, These Are the Days of Elijah: How God Uses Ordinary People to Do Extraordinary Things (Chosen Books, 2013).
Perhaps you’ve noticed that modern English Bible translations have fewer verses in them than vintage English Bible translations such as the King James Version (KJV) and Geneva Bible.
[Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, The Lord’s Prayer is Revolutionary: An Interview with R. Albert Mohler Jr.]
For example: Matthew 6:13 in the KJV concludes the Lord’s Prayer with, “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” But most modern English translations, such as the NIV, ESV, and NLT, don’t (although they do include the phrase in their translation footnotes).
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Bible Gateway is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a new sweepstakes every month this year!
[Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, On 25th Anniversary, Bible Gateway Has Been Viewed More Than 14 Billion Times]
This month enter for a chance to win either a copy of the NKJV Comfort Print Single-Column Reference Bible, Premium Leather, Black, Premier Collection (Thomas Nelson, 2018)—which has a suggested retail value of $159.99 (top upper left photo)—OR a copy of the NKJV Comfort Print Thinline Reference Bible, Large Print, Premium Leather, Black, Premier Collection (Thomas Nelson, 2018)—which has a suggested retail value of $149.99. Four (4) winners will be selected at random: two (2) winners will each receive a copy of the NKJV Comfort Print Single-Column Reference Bible and two (2) winners will each receive a copy of the NKJV Comfort Print Thinline Reference Bible. One entry per person; legal residents of the USA 18 years of age and older. Entry period: November 30, 2018 (8:00 am ET) – December 27, 2018 (11:59 pm ET).