The following articles are related to the topic of PROVIDENCE

The Cyrus Decree

It was one of the most extraordinary acts in international history. When the Persians overthrew the Babylonian empire (539 B.C.), Cyrus, the conqueror, issued a proclamation releasing the Jews from their seventy-year period of captivity. The biblical record of that edict reads as follows: "Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth has Jehovah, the God ... read more »

How Is a Civil Ruler a “Minister of God”?

"Could you comment on Paul's teaching in Romans 13:4-5? How is the civil ruler a 'minister of God'? What is the meaning of 'he bears not the sword in vain'?" The general context of Romans 13:1-7 has to do with the Christian's responsibility to the government under which he lives. And this embraces any government - ancient or modern. The ... read more »

Nuggets from the Book of Philemon

Colossae was a bustling city in Phrygia, in the southwest region of Asia Minor. In the time of the apostles it had seen its better days. Once famed for its soft wool and colorful dyes, commercial competition had muted its influence. There was a church there, perhaps established by Epaphras (Colossians 1:2; 4:12). The saints met in the home of ... read more »

Life and Death Ethical Issues

Solomon once observed that there is "a time to be born, and a time to die" (Eccl. 3:2). Dying, which ultimately is the price tag attached to human rebellion (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 5:12), is man's final earthly experience. It shuts the door to this-world activity (Eccl. 9:6; Heb. 9:27)-the views of many fanciful speculators to the contrary notwithstanding-and opens vistas ... read more »

Do Angels Minister to Christians Today?

"Please explain Hebrews 1:14. Do angels minister to Christians today?" The inspired passage poses this question: "Are they [angels] not ministering spirits, sent forth to do service for the sake of them that shall inherit salvation?" There are several points worthy of note here: First, as the question is framed in the Greek New Testament, there is the use of ... read more »

God’s Great Plan — In Perpetuity

In the title of this article, every word is significant. First, it asserts that "God," creator and ruler of the universe, is the author of a plan. Second, it affirms that in quality and scope, the plan is "great." Third, it declares that the Lord has not acted capriciously; rather, he has deliberately and progressively implemented a strategy. Finally, the ... read more »

I’m a Good Christian. So Why Am I Sick and Poor?

A gentleman who professed an identification with the Lord, became quite disenchanted with Christianity. When an interested friend inquired as to the nature of his problem, he replied: "According to the Bible, God promised that those who follow him will be blessed with health and prosperity. As I observe Christian people, I see vast numbers who are sick and poor. ... read more »

The Value of the “Factious” Spirit

What a curious title for an article! And yet, the concept is biblical. In that controversial epistle, commonly called First Corinthians, Paul deals with a variety of church problems. They were problems conveyed to the apostle via the reports of others (1 Corinthians 1:11), and concerning which the Corinthian saints had inquired of their "father" in the gospel (7:1; 4:15). ... read more »

Developing Christian Confidence

Some people treasure things. Others value ideas or concepts. The former are temporal; the latter are forever. A very precious quality, rarely addressed, is that of confidence. The English word embodies the ideas of reliance on, or trust in, another. A different aspect is that of self-assurance or boldness. In the sacred scriptures several words stand behind the English counterparts. ... read more »

The Jewish Talmud and the Death of Christ

In one of his epistles, Paul, lifting a text from the book of Job (5:13, LXX) to emphasize the folly of human wisdom in contrast to that which is divine, observed that God "catches the wise in their own craftiness" (1 Corinthians 3:19). A fisherman "caught in his own net" is a pathetic sight. Or, as Chrysostom (c. A.D. 347-407) ... read more »