Scott Alan www.eccl.org
© 2013-2020. All rights reserved.
Before going any further, please take a moment to consider other study resources available to you. We try to point you towards free materials whenever possible, such as the Online Bible. It’s a winner in its free, basic form and can be greatly enhanced for less than a hundred dollars. We suggest paying for some modern translation royalties as desired. We will share just a few of the powerful features found in the free download.
Some printed Bibles have small concordances at the back. Better is the ability to look up all target related words and scriptures in an exhaustive concordance. With an electronic version, you can simply key in the first part of a word followed by an asterisk (i.e. hypocr* to search for hypocrite, hypocrites, and hypocrisy). Keep in mind that when you use it to display the original Greek or Hebrew meanings, your quest for accuracy is limited to the much appreciated work of diligent, yet imperfect humans using the language of their time.
It can be extremely helpful to run several of the most recognized Bibles simultaneously on the screen, with the verses scrolling in automatic synchronization. You can quickly compare various translations this way to achieve a better understanding. No matter what electronic tools you use, please also revert back to a few portable printed items such as a Bible or two and printed guides such as this. Learn to live without electricity.
Continuing on with eschatology, we suggest you understand our different meanings of some key terms: judgment, damnation, discernment, accusation and condemnation. Keep in mind that our corrupted language has uses for the word love that mean anything but God’s love (e.g. idol worship and fornication). So please join us in the following definitions.
We prefer to reserve the word judgment for God’s divine providence. Whether we are deemed righteous by accepting the blood of His Son and His rule of grace, or we are damned to an eternal hellfire death for our disobedience, this is God’s domain. Whereas our job is to properly discern our world without vainly attempting to usurp God’s authority. That is Satan’s error and he continually tries to pull us into his hell.
In his attempt to trick us into empowering him, Satan accuses us as if he has some authority to condemn us. This father of all lies can actually control us if we let him. He wants us to miserably relive our sins of yesterday and fall off a course to a new life in Christ. Satan wants us discouraged and dying with him. God wants us encouraged and alive with Christ. Faithful, repentant followers are saved by grace, period.
Please don’t let our firm preferences for these terms create a distraction for you when listening to someone else’s use of the same words, as they might come from a respectable history of Biblical discourse. We have simply honed in on some distinguishing characteristics that can make a difference in your study with us in this new century. Here’s a short recap for you to pocket:
Judgment is God’s sole authority. His mercy offers us eternal salvation or upon our rebellion, damnation. Any day can be our judgment day. It’s always just a heartbeat away. When we don't extend forgiving mercy to others just as God offers us, we invite the alternative judgment from Him.
Discernment is our responsibility, deferring to God’s judgment, not taking revenge.
Accusation is Satan’s con job on us to accept his destructive authority over us, trading our given grace and righteousness for his mutual condemnation. Let God's Holy Spirit convict of your sins and inspire your replacement with righteousness.