Author: Jabe Nicholson

The Hopey Changey Thing

LOOKING FOR FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE In 2008 the signs were everywhere. “Hope and Change” were the call words of Barack Obama’s campaign. Conor Friedersdorf, a staff writer at The Atlantic, wrote in that magazine in January 2014, “It’s worth remembering that Obama asserted a need to ‘fundamentally change the way Washington works,’ an approach Hillary Clinton regarded as naive, but that Americans embraced.” How did that work out? I think you know. And what is it, after seven years of disappointment both on the political right and left, that the American electorate find so appealing about such divergent figures as...

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FAIL-PROOF OPTIONS FOR 2016

CHRISTIANS AND THE U.S. ELECTIONS The 2016 U.S. primaries are the talk of the town. Everybody wants to weigh in on the candidates and discuss the options. What should a Christian do? Let’s see. Rubio is fading fast; if he loses Florida, they say he’s a goner. Kasich, probably the most prepared for the job, doesn’t seem to have a prayer. Trump looks unstoppable, not that some pretty powerful people aren’t trying to derail his train. And he’s your man, assuming a boastful, philandering, money-hungry, gambling casino-owning, multiple divorcee is what you’re looking for. And then there’s Cruz. Know...

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A THIEF IN THE NIGHT

Keep On Truckin’ My son David and I were on a mission of mercy, and he had taken the day off work so we could head north to Detroit last Friday morning. I was driving a Ford F350 and pulling a Pace tandem-axle covered cargo trailer. It was a long drive, but the weather was agreeable, and 800 miles later we pulled into a refurbished motel in the town of Taylor, Michigan. It was just about 11 o’clock. To my pleasant surprise, we were given the last room available and, at less than $60 for the night, it made...

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The Great Transition in John’s Gospel (5)

What About those Branches that are Burned? You can’t read the Gospel by John without noticing the words “the Father” (58x) and “My Father” (27x). Apart from two statements in John 1, two in John 13, and two questions by the disciples in the Upper Room, all the other usages come from the lips of the Lord Jesus. Add to that His use of “My Father,” “living Father” (Jn 6:57), “holy Father” (17:11), and “righteous Father” (v 25). Who knows the Father better than the Son? What better place to learn about the Father than these 85 references made...

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The Great Transition in John’s Gospel (4)

The Mystery of Israel’s Blinding This article will require careful thinking. But I can’t stress enough how important the subject is, because it directly affects how you think about grace, about God’s earthly people Israel, and, most importantly, how you think about God Himself. And as A.W. Tozer famously wrote, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” John 12:35-50 is a vital section in discussing the transition from the Lord’s focus on Judaism to the building of the Church, but in order to understand it, we must carefully link...

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The Great Transition in John’s Gospel (3)

What About Those Who Are Not His Sheep? “The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (Jn 10:25-27). It’s good to understand the picture here. A large sheepfold had been built just outside the city gate. It was used by shepherds who had matters to attend to in the city. Their sheep would be kept in the fold with other shepherds’ sheep, where...

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The Great Transition in John’s Gospel (2)

Transitional Passage 2 “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that every one who sees the Son and believes in Him...

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The Great Transition in John’s Gospel (1)

Introduction When the Lord Jesus arrived on the planet, we must remember there were people living who were the spiritual children of Abraham by faith. They had, like the patriarch, a true and vital relationship with Jehovah, though they had not yet met Jesus. As the Lord Jesus would later say, “You believe in God, believe also in Me” (Jn 14:1). But a new society was about to be birthed—the Church—constituted of both Jews and Gentiles. And some of those who previously would have been considered the wife of Jehovah (see Jer 31:1-5, 32; Ezek 16:8; Hos 2:14-23) would now...

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In Season, Out of Season

Last Minute Changes It was Thursday night, two days before I was to leave for three weeks of Bible teaching in Colorado, The phone rang. It was my friend Larry  on the line with a frantic plea to speak at the Labor Day youth conference in North Carolina—starting Friday evening! The other speaker had withdrawn for personal reasons at the last minute. They were desperate since 120 young people were expected. The topic had already been selected and advertized. I told him I was heading to Colorado. Couldn’t I see if I could come a few days later, he wondered? I...

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AWOL: Where Did These Verses Go?

Can we be complete without a complete Bible? What Christian doesn’t know the statement: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16-17)? All Scripture inspired? Absolutely! All Scripture profitable and necessary to make us complete and equipped for every good work? Hmmm. You’ve seen a red-letter edition of the Bible. But, it seems, the far more popular one is the invisible-ink edition, where scores of what seem to be...

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