Letters from Jesus

When Jesus Speaks Harshly

July 15, 2021 // 20 Comments

Since I preach grace, I am often hit with the accusation that I have not read the harsh words of Jesus. The argument seems to be that because Jesus spoke harshly to the Laodiceans, Sardians, etc., he’s not as gracious and loving as I make him out to be. Like the Hulk, Jesus has an angry side that grace [...]

Beware the Lord with a Sword

June 16, 2021 // 7 Comments

What will you do with the Lord with a sword? I am referring to the picture of Jesus found in his letter to the church in Pergamum. In it Jesus introduces himself as “The One who has the sharp two-edged sword” (Rev. 2:12). Why is Jesus holding a sword? And what does he plan to do with it? Should I be [...]

What Burdens Does Jesus Place On Us?

April 14, 2021 // 11 Comments

Thyatira is considered one of the bad churches in the Bible. You may recall they had allowed a woman called Jezebel to preach and she led some of the believers astray. So Jesus sent them a letter where he basically says, “I’m going to deal with this.” He ends his letter with this:  I place no other [...]

Who is Alive but Dead?

January 6, 2021 // 14 Comments

If you want Christians to work harder, there are two scriptures you can trot out to boost productivity. The first is the one about being lukewarm; the second is this one from the letter to Sardis: I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. (Rev. 3:1) This passage is usually [...]

What’s so Special about Christ’s Right Hand?

August 27, 2020 // 10 Comments

While writing my book Letters from Jesus, I discovered a lot of gems in scripture. Some of these were hidden in the introductions Jesus gives his letters to the seven churches. Consider this introduction from his letter to the church in Ephesus: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right [...]

Jesus at the Door

July 30, 2020 // 11 Comments

Jesus knows us better than anybody. He speaks our language. He talks to us about things that nobody else cares about. He listens. And he does all this because he loves us. This was something I learned again and again while doing research for my book, Letters from Jesus. The letters from Jesus to the seven [...]

Faithful unto Death?! What if I’m Not? 

July 16, 2020 // 33 Comments

Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. (Revelation 2:10c) But what if I’m not faithful until death? Jesus remains faithful; you still get a crown. A mind untouched by grace twists the promises of Jesus into tests that must be passed and commands that must be obeyed. “Jesus was [...]

What does it Mean to have an Ear to Hear?

May 20, 2020 // 20 Comments

At the end of the Bible we find letters from Jesus to seven churches. At the end of each letter, Jesus says this: He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (see Rev. 2:7a) We like to think that we have heard Jesus. But how do we know we have? How can we be sure? What does it mean to [...]

Who Will Jesus Spit Out?

March 5, 2020 // 11 Comments

“I will spit you out of my mouth.” So said Jesus to the Laodiceans (Rev. 3:16), but apparently he was talking to you. This spitting out passage, is sometimes used to terrorize the bride of Christ. “Fail to perform and the Lord will reject you. If you’re not on fire, you’ll be in the fire!” Such an [...]

Why did Jesus send Letters to Angels?

January 8, 2020 // 20 Comments

People sometimes dismiss the letters to the Seven Churches because they were addressed to angels. “To the angel of the church in Ephesus; to the angel of the church in Smyrna,” etc. It sounds weird, a bit mystical. Don’t angels live in heaven? Why would Jesus send mail to angels? He [...]

Three things people get wrong about the Laodiceans

October 10, 2019 // 11 Comments

The Laodicean church is probably the most infamous church in history. Preachers use it as an example of how Jesus deals with slack Christians. “Jesus is angry with these guys and he’ll be angry with you unless you get on fire for the Lord!” Demonstrating their expertise on the subject, they refer to an [...]

How to Read the Bible

September 26, 2019 // 15 Comments

The actor Charlie Chaplin once entered a Charlie Chaplin lookalike contest and lost. True story. Why did Charlie Chaplin go unrecognized? Surely it was because we see what we expect to see. No one expected the real Charlie Chaplin to show up, so no one saw him when he did. Even so, it was quite an oversight. [...]