BRANDON PAUL HANSON
Brandon is husband to Becky, father to Hadassah, Delaney, and Athanasius "Thane." He served in the U.S. Army as an infantryman for seven years, from 2001-2008. In 2004, and again in 2007, he was mobilized for overseas deployments to combat zones in Afghanistan and Kosovo. He has served in childrens and youth ministry, jail outreach, and as an officer on boards for evangelism and missions. Modern folk, Indian Pale Ales, Scotch, Cigars and good conversation are some of Brandon's favorite vices. For everything else, there's Jesus' substitutionary life, death, and ressurection for us. None of us deserve it, but we are fogiven. This is most certainly true.
We’re living in the end times. We have been since Pentecost. The earliest Christians believed it, and what’s more, that is what the apostles teach us in Scripture. As early as Acts 2:17, just after Jesus had ascended to heaven and poured out his Spirit on His church…
We can pretend that we’re not sinful all day long. But coming face to face with the thrice holy God clears things up in a hurry. Suddenly, there is no place left to hide, no way to disguise our sin, no device or scheme left to excuse us.
To see God would actually consume you in your current state. Entirely. There would be nothing left. “No one can see God and live.” This was their tradition. It was utterly impossible to see God. For if one did, they were dead. And so how can one see God and yet live? They could not conceive of a way..
What might we say is the significance of John addressing Revelation to the seven churches that are in Asia? It does two things. First, it grounds it in reality. This gives the book credibility as attested to by the naming of actual places and actual churches residing in those places.
John ends the prologue of Revelation in verse three with a three-part blessing. The blessing is proclaimed on the one who reads, those who hear, and who keep what is written. What John is writing here must be interpreted within the context of the community of faith.
It’s the First Century, the early days of the of the Post-Pentecost Church. Something is in the air. There is change on the wind. You can feel it like electricity, clinging to you, causing the hair on your arm to stand up. It has been 50-60 years since the Spirit fell on the apostles and disciples in that upper room.
It may seem like a strange place to begin: the end of the beginning. But the pattern of Revelation is one of continually circling back to the beginning, proceeding to the end, and repeating the process again from a different perspective. At the center of it all is the comforting and confident message that Jesus reigns.
So there’s this famous quote that you may have heard in one form or another around the interwebs. I think I finally found the original quote and who said it (but let me know if you think I’m mistaken): “The Christian army is the only army that shoots and buries its wounded.” -Dr. Freddie Gage
What if I told you that Paul means exactly what it sounds like he’s saying? What if I told you that Paul was in fact saying that “she” [Eve] and “they” [all women] are in fact saved through childbearing? What if I told you that it worked like a math problem?