Letters from Jesus

How to read the Bible – Escape to Reality – Christian Article

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. It’s not like Charlie Chaplin was unknown. At the time, he was the most recognizable person on earth. Along with the other contestants,…

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The Gospel in the Seven Letters – Escape to Reality – Christian Article

You probably know that my book Letters from Jesus came out in paperback last week. I hope you don’t mind me banging this drum but I feel strongly about this one. Why? Because Jesus sent love letters from heaven and most of us are afraid to read them! We have been told his letters contain bad news, even threats for Christians. That’s a contemptible lie! We try and read the letters ourselves, but lacking any sort of lens, we can’t…

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now in paperback + Easter Treat! – Escape to Reality – Christian Article

Ten years ago I started writing about the letters from Jesus, and two good things came out of that exercise: (1) a website call Escape to Reality and (2) my new book, Letters from Jesus. The book comes out today in paperback. Paul, what is your book about? Letters from Jesus is my most radical book. Contrary to all tradition, it dares to claim that the seven letters from Jesus are full of undiluted good news for all of us.…

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What deeds does Jesus know? – Escape to Reality – Christian Article

“I know your deeds,” says Jesus to the churches. He exhorts the Ephesians to do the deeds they did at first (Rev. 2:5), he rebukes the Sardisians for having incomplete deeds (Rev. 3:2), and he promises to reward the Thyatirans according to their deeds (Rev. 2:23). Clearly our deeds or works matter to Jesus. But what sort of deeds is Jesus referring to? The preacher of law says, “Jesus is referring to our law-keeping performance. We must keep the commands…

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What does it mean to keep his deeds? – Escape to Reality – Christian Article

Image source If you were to make a list of big topics discussed by Jesus and the New Testament writers, the subject of deeds or works would have to be on that list. They all spoke about it, and no one more than Jesus. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for not doing the works of Abraham (John 8:39-40), and said we would be judged for what we have done (John 5:28-29). This frightens some people. They think we have to get…

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Are your deeds incomplete? – Escape to Reality – Christian Article

If Christians are worn out, it is for one of two reasons: (1) they don’t know how much their Father loves them and (2) they have an unbiblical definition of work. Hey, I’m not judging anyone here. When it comes to overwork, I’m guilty as sin. I’m a workaholic who regularly pushes himself past breaking point. I’ve learned a lot through my mistakes, but sometimes I wonder whether I have learned anything at all. So put this one in the…

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Are you working too hard for Jesus? – Escape to Reality – Christian Article

Who were the hardest working Christians in the Bible? The answer must surely be Paul and his friends, but many people will say it was the church at Ephesus. They say this because of what Jesus said in his letter to the church: “I know your deeds and toil” (Rev 2:2a). Commentators make much of Jesus knowing the Ephesians’ deeds and toil, as though an impressed Lord was recording their labors in his scorebook. But the original word for know…

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What does it mean to remove a church’s lampstand? – Escape to Reality – Christian Article

If you wanted to control people using fear and dark threats, you could become a Sith Lord, or you could take the good promises of Jesus, turn them inside out, and use them to terrorize God’s children. Let me give you an example: Unless you repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand out of its place. (Rev. 2:5) What does that mean? It sounds scary. I’d better do whatever the man of God tells me. And bam,…

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Why does Jesus wish we were cold? – Escape to Reality – Christian Article

“You gotta be hot, hot, hot for Jesus! You gotta get enthusiastic in evangelizing the lost. You gotta get on fire with passion for the Lord.” This is a message I used to preach, yet it is only half of what Jesus said. “You are neither cold or hot but lukewarm. I wish that you were cold or hot” (Rev. 3:15-16). Wait, what? Cold is the opposite of hot. If hot is good, how can cold be good too? I…

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Who are the pillars in the church? – Escape to Reality – Christian Article

As a young man, I was told I was a pillar in the church. It made me feel good to hear the pastor say this, and I could hardly disagree. Of course I was a pillar. I was a good boy. I didn’t drink or smoke or do burnouts in the church car park. I arrived early on Sundays to put out chairs and I stayed back to pack up the AV equipment. I served on the worship team and…

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How do we become lukewarm? – Escape to Reality – Christian Article

Many Christians are lukewarm, but not for the reasons they think. “I don’t go to church enough, I don’t pray enough, I don’t witness enough.” Let me stop you right there. How much is enough? How many people do you need to lead to Jesus to stop him from vomiting you out of his mouth? The answer is zero, because Jesus will never vomit you out. You are not lukewarm because of your productivity. But you may be lukewarm if…

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Paul’s New Book – Escape to Reality – Christian Article

For the past year and a half I have been writing a book on the gospel of Jesus. I’m happy to announce – it is finished! Great! What’s the new book called? Letters from Jesus: Finding Good News in Christ’s Letters to the Churches. Who picked the name? You did. Probably. A few weeks ago I ran a poll on Facebook and the majority of voters chose this title over The Gospel in Seven Letters. Why? Because Letters from Jesus…

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The Lost Letters – Escape to Reality – Christian Article

My new book, Letters from Jesus, comes out in a few weeks. Here’s a taste… —In the creviced hills east of the Sea of Galilee, a kibbutznik stumbled on the neck of a partially buried earthen jar. Inside the jar was a roll of parchment. Experts at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem examined the parchment and found letters written by someone claiming to be the Son of God. The letters were dated to the first century, and all the evidence…

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The “I wills” of the New Covenant – Escape to Reality – Christian Article

The following is an extract from my new book, Letters from Jesus: Finding Good News in Christ’s Letters to the Churches. — The Philadelphians are often esteemed as a model church because Jesus never rebuked them—as though escaping censure was the high point of Christian living. (What a sad way to read these love letters from Jesus. “I got a letter from the Lord and he didn’t scold or threaten to kill me. I’m so blessed.”) Each of the seven letters…

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Get Your Name in Paul’s New Book! – Escape to Reality – Christian Article

UPDATE: This offer has now closed. My thanks to all who signed up. Missed out? There are still plenty of good reasons for signing up on Patreon. My new book, Letters from Jesus: Finding Good News in Christ’s Letters to the Churches, comes out in ebook format in two weeks. And if you act fast, your name could be in it! What’s the book about? It’s about letters. From Jesus. Did you know that Jesus sent seven letters from heaven?…

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Are these the Very Last Days? – Escape to Reality – Christian Article

UPDATE: This offer has now closed. My thanks to all who signed up. Missed out? There are still plenty of good reasons for signing up on Patreon. Are these the very last days? They are if you want to get your name in my new book, Letters from Jesus. Aargh! Groan. Sorry for the click-bait title. But I have to ask you three questions: Did you know that after Jesus ascended to heaven, he uttered 2000 words that are recorded…

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Who is an Overcomer? – Escape to Reality – Christian Article

The following is an extract from my book, Letters from Jesus. — To him who overcomes… (Rev. 2:7b) Jesus makes a promise connected with overcoming at the end of each of his letters. This promise leads us to wonder, how do I overcome? And what happens if I don’t? Is Jesus saying I can lose my salvation if I fail the overcoming test? Some define overcoming as a list of things you must do. You have to prevail in life’s…

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