As a speaker, I offer several options. As the author of Shipwrecked! Learning From The Bad Guys of the Bible, I can speak on characters such as Saul, Esau, Absalom, Ahithophel, and Joab. There is much we can learn from their poor decisions and worldly focus.
In addition, I can speak on the topics below related to future things. My viewpoint is:
I have an MDiv degree from Talbot Theological Seminary and a BA in Biblical Studies from John Brown University. I served six years as the senior pastor of two churches and since then have done both teaching and speaking.
My passion is to share the necessity of a two-world perspective, one that values eternity above the things of this earth as Paul wrote about in Romans 8:18. It’s this outlook that encourages us in difficult times and comforts us in sorrow.
Does our hope of heaven really matter?
We live in a day when most churches remain silent about topics such as the Rapture and the Millennium. Rather than jump into waters muddied by false teaching and controversy, some pastors find it easier to emphasize our joy for this life with fleeting references to eternal life.
However, as wickedness increases in our nation and violence becomes the norm in our world we need an eternal perspective now more than ever. It’s not simply that it’s nice to know about our eternal hope. These things matter as we face trials, endure sickness, and start into the coffin of someone we love.
What was the expectation of new Testament saints?
What was the imminent hope of New Testament saints and does it matter today? Were they wrong to look for Christ’s soon return? What if Jesus had told His disciples this, “Relax guys, it’s going to be a really long time before I return?”
In this message, I look closely at the expectation of believers in the New Testament as well as those in the centuries afterward. The passage of centuries must not quench our anticipation of total wholeness for our bodies, souls, minds, and emotions.
What did the church fathers believe?
False teachings regarding the return of Jesus abound today. Some suggest He already came in AD 70 while others deny the literalness of Revelation 20-22. And, they so often use church history to solidify their claims.
Although Scripture must be the basis for all we believe, a close look at the history of beliefs regarding the end times does bolster our defenses against false teachings. I explain why in this message.
Are WE living in the last days?
We are living at a time in history like no other. As we read Jesus’ description of the last days in Matthew 24:4-14, it’s almost as if He had a laptop and was reading from today’s news sites on the Internet.
As we see the nations aligning precisely as Ezekiel said they would (38-39) and as preparations for the third temple in Israel ramp up, it’s no longer just speculation. We are seeing things fall into place for the fulfillment of biblical prophecy concerning the last days.
The Rapture, what's to fear?
If truth be told, many believers fear the rapture; others dread teaching on it while some even disdain such a thought. Jesus and the apostles anticipated such feelings and to ease our minds described the rapture with imagery of a first century marriage where Jesus is the bridegroom and the church is the bride.
I believed the Lord purposely invoked such pictures to comfort us regarding His sudden future appearing.
As a teenager, I listened to a singer who was paralyzed from his waist down and confined to a wheelchair. I sat amazed as he joyously spoke of eternity and the day he would walk on streets of gold. How could someone who could not do all the things I loved so much be so full of joy?
He knew the teaching of Scripture regarding our eternal home and all the glory the lies ahead for us. Regardless of our situation, our focus on heaven matters for whatever we face each day as we step out of bed.
An eternity worth waiting for
Jonathan: Author and Teacher
My interest in writing began many years ago during my time as a senior pastor when I had the opportunity to write adult Sunday school curriculum for David C. Cook. That was the summer of 1984 and Cook still sends contracts to me to continue producing lessons.
My journey in serving the Lord took me from the ministry to the business world where I worked for over twenty years as a senior financial analyst on government projects for a data processing company. I retired in June 2016 to pursue writing full-time as well as teaching and speaking.
My wife Ruth and I moved to Roscoe, Illinois on June 1, 2018 to be closer to family. We have five children and ten grandchildren scattered about Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Texas.