• Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit Article by Dennis Johnson

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2015

    Jesus’ announcement that blaspheming the Holy Spirit is a sin that will never be forgiven is “hard” for two reasons. First, it seems to contradict Scriptures that tell us Christ’s blood can effect forgiveness for every sin (1 John 1:7, 9). Second, Jesus affirms that slander against Himself, the Son of Man, can be forgiven; but slander against the Holy Spirit cannot. Does this exalt the dignity of the third person of the Trinity above the second person? The saying appears in varying forms in the Gospels: Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the … View Resource

  • The New Heavens and New Earth Article by Dennis Johnson

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2015 | Revelation 21:1-22:5

    Right Now Counts Forever. The title of Dr. Sproul’s column in every issue of Tabletalk concisely captures the relationship between the gospel and the new heavens and new earth. The good news of Christ’s sacrificial death and glorious resurrection has eternal ramifications for the destiny of every human being. Your response to that message—whether in humble trust or in defiant unbelief—will be your tipping point between boundless bliss beyond your wildest dreams and unrelenting torment beyond your worst nightmares. The living God, sovereign over every atom in His universe and every nanosecond of its history, is directing the cosmos … View Resource

  • The First and Second Resurrection Article by Dennis Johnson

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2013

    In a second perspective on the “thousand years” following the binding of Satan, John saw thrones and the judges who occupied them, the souls of those who had been beheaded for staying true to Jesus (Rev. 20:4–6). These souls “came to life” and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. Their coming to life is “the first resurrection,” and it shows that “the second death”—the eternal torment that awaits God’s enemies (19:20; 20:10, 14–15)—has no power over them. Some premillennialists construe “the first resurrection” as believers’ bodily resurrection at Christ’s second coming (see 1 Thess. 4:13–17; 1 Cor. 15:20–23). Although … View Resource

  • Seven Applications of Revelation Article by Dennis Johnson

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2012

    Why did God give us the book of Revelation? If you had asked me this question when I was a young Christian, I might have said, “To help us discover when Jesus will return to earth,” “To help us make sense of events in the Middle East,” “To give us nightmares about the tribulation so that we don’t get lax and miss the rapture,” “To give Christians something to argue about,” or, simply, “To confuse us.” My answer today is different: God gave the Apocalypse shown to John in order to bless us — to do us good, to convey … View Resource

  • The Letter to the Church in Ephesus Article by Dennis Johnson

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2009

    Ephesus was the site of the first congregation that Jesus addressed in the Apocalypse, and the New Testament tells us more about the history of this church than about any of the others. Planted by Paul during a brief visit, this congregation was nurtured by Paul’s co-laborers Priscilla and Aquila, then by the eloquent expositor Apollos (Acts 18:19–28). Paul subsequently returned to Ephesus for an extended (three-year) period of ministry, marked by the victory of Christ’s gospel and Spirit over demonic powers and the entrenched commercial interests surrounding the city’s world-famous temple of Artemis (19:1–41). Later, bidding farewell to the … View Resource

  • Kingdom Life Article by Dennis Johnson

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2007

    Jesus promised that the kingdom of God would come in power before some of His hearers faced death (Mark 9:1). After His resurrection, He again spoke to His disciples about the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3). On the day of Pentecost, Peter announced that Jesus had been seated at God’s right hand in heaven, fulfilling God’s ancient promise to put David’s descendant on his royal throne (Acts 2:30–35). These texts, as well as many others, express the New Testament’s unanimous witness that God’s long-awaited redemptive reign, invading this sin-stained world to recapture it for its rightful king, had begun in … View Resource

  • Redemption Accomplished Article by Dennis Johnson

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2004

    Tradition!” sings Tevye. “Without our traditions, our lives would be as unstable as a fiddler on the roof.” As the drama unfolds, this analogy turns from affirmation to lament: Tevye’s daughters marry suitors disapproved by tradition, and in the end his family and their fellow-Jews trudge away from their village, exiled by the growing anti-Semitism of Czarist Russia. Although Sholom Aleichem’s original story was set in 1905, the marvelous musical derived from it is a child of the sixties. Tradition-bound Tevye is challenged over and over to accept the new “reality” that the individual heart’s longings for romance and self-fulfillment … View Resource