Controversy Among Youth Concerning Jen Hatmaker’s Last Name: Is Jen Hatmaker a Hat maker?

By Rupert Lange

With the current uprising of theological issues concerning Jen Hatmaker’s comments on homosexual marriage, younger people are beginning to read her statement. As a popular icon amongst teenagers and young adults in the church, her views have reached many people of this age group. Although her words were very clear about how she felt on the issue, students still are very confused and concerned about Jen Hatmaker…

As this hot button issue is causing controversy everywhere, students are beginning to wonder whether Jen Hatmaker is actually a hat maker. While her firm stance is becoming a Continue reading “Controversy Among Youth Concerning Jen Hatmaker’s Last Name: Is Jen Hatmaker a Hat maker?”

The Gospel and Institutional Racism

By Colton Corter

Last week was a really, really tough week. Few weeks in recent memory so sharply remind us of the reality of sin and make us long for the return of Christ. Two black men were unjustly killed for apparently nothing more than being black. Five white cops were murdered because they were white cops. The subsequent violence that has ensued has only deepened our wounds. Our nation is torn by the lingering ghost of Jim Crow. Many who thought he had long been dead and gone see the nasty truth that he never really died but has only been hidden.

Tons of sins were revealed in my heart. Anger. Indifference. Prejudice. Being quick to speak and slow to listen. Unbelief. You name it, the seeds of it reside in my heart. Events like those last week open up a ton of questions. Some wonder what we should do politically. Others question what the role of the church is during times such as these. What does the gospel have to do with justice?

One question that is kicked around is with regards to the difference between personal racism and institutional racism. Really it is a question of institutional sin and personal sin. Some worry that we have overly personalized sin and fail to see the gospel implications for societal structures. Others think that personal sin has no public consequence and often we talk right past one another.

While I am not sure the Bible ever promises to transform social institutions, God certainly has promised to abolish racism in one particular institution. That institution is the local church. God is pleased to display racial reconciliation, not primarily in the world, but among His people. Racism, though not to be accepted without raising our voices and shedding our tears, will always exist to some degree in the world. But where racism should not be expected and where racism will one day cease completely is among the people of the Kingdom of God, which is represented here on earth in local embassies called churches.

The Church is an Institution

Maybe you don’t think of the local church as an institution. But the local church is the primary institution that God has invested with authority on earth. The church is ruled by her head, Jesus Christ. Our King has authorized authority for the church that the individual Christian or even groups of individual Christians don’t have. Jonathan Leeman has said that the church is the highest authority for the Christian on earth.

The church exercises its authority by wielding the keys of the Kingdom, binding and loosing on earth as it is in heaven by means of the preaching of the gospel and use of the gospel ordinances. The local church is tasked with affirming what the gospel is. The local church is God’s means for preserving a testimony to His saving work through Christ. Gospel fidelity is the life-blood of the church. The local church also protects the gospel “who.” Congregations affirm who does and does not represent Christ. The church doesn’t make someone a Christian. The church does, however, confirm their claim to have been brought from death to life and justified by the righteousness of Christ through faith.

To sum it up, churches are God’s means to display His glory and holiness. Want to know what God is like? Look to local churches. Want to see the grace of God and the sufficiency of Christ in power? Look to local churches. God has been pleased to display His manifold wisdom to the nations in the local church (Eph. 3:10).

Racism and the Local Church 

The government is also an institution ordained by God, as is marriage or parenting. However, God deals with His church specially. The Apostle Paul does not expect the world to act like the church. As much as he longed for the society around him to be governed by the Spirit in justice and mercy, he wrote to the church (1 Cor 5:12). If we are looking for an abolition tract in the Bible, you won’t find one. But what you also not find is a book indifferent towards the sin of racism.

Far from being colorblind, our God has created ethnicity so that the gospel might transcend those natural lines supernaturally, with His name being praised by every tongue and by every nation. We all began as one race in Adam but Christ is created a new race in His Son by Christ’s penal, substitutionary death. The gospel of justification by faith alone can melt the racist heart, being leveled by the guilt of sin and sufficiency of the cross. Strangers according to the flesh become brothers when they both treasure Christ above all else. The power of the gospel does not abolish ethnicity so that there is absolutely no such thing as race, gender or etc. but brings us into one Christ, those belonging to a new, heavenly culture.

God’s wisdom is not displayed in the local church when racism is allowed to flourish or even if treated with indifference, being swept under the rug. To allow such a sin is contrary to what heaven will be like and is an affront to the holiness of the Lord. Do we denounce racism in the same way as we would sexual immorality or abortion? We should. The heart of racism is a failure to see and savor the glory of God in the gospel. Man is intoxicated by the aroma of his own glory. But when the gospel dislodges us from our imagined placed at the center of the universe, a kind of Copernican revolution takes place and God is seen to be the source of all our good. This then plays out in our horizontal relationships.

It sounds trite, but the gospel is the only way for real racial reconciliation to take place. This does not mean we don’t weep with the hurting and marginalized, nor does it excuse indifference to the pain of the world. It is good as citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven to testify to the love of God by loving our neighbor. But we can never somehow transform this world into the Kingdom of God. The local church is where we can expect the Kingdom of God to be manifest, not fully but really, on earth. Gospel congregations are the place where black and white, Asian and Latino (rich/poor, old/young) fellowship with one another in the unity accomplished by our Lord on the cross. This alone severs the root of racism and leads to racial reconciliation with God at the white-hot center.

Is it a cop-out to say that it is the church alone that can model racial reconciliation? I don’t think so. Human institutions (governments, police forces, schools, etc.) are littered by institutional sins because they are made up of individual sinners. As long as people run the institutions, there will be sin. Praise God for His common grace that has given us law enforcement and government. We should lobby for those to be just and when they aren’t we should do all that we can to see that justice is done. But might we also bear witness to the fact that justice is yet to come. One day, all injustices will be repaid and that is horrible news to rebels against God – oppressors and oppressed alike! But justice has been satisfied for all those who would ever repent of their sins and trust in Christ! We haven’t received justice, we’ve received grace.

Churches must be serious about growing in their witness to the character of God. We don’t do that when we allow racism, blatant or subtle, to survive in our midst. God is glorified by the “supernatural breadth” of our relationships. White brothers and sisters, reach out to black brothers and sisters. Listen to them. Weep with them. Rejoice with them. Pray with them. Disciple one another! What binds us is not first a commitment to racial reconciliation but to Christ. However let us take this gospel to its logical and God-exalting conclusions in the local church. Allow the gospel to take its social shape, in membership and ordinary church life. It may seem foolish but that is kind of how God operates (see 1 Cor 1). One day when this institution of the local church passes away, when Christ returns, we will be perfectly reconciled to each other because finally we will be free from our sinning. Long for that day and, today, fight to live in light of that reality in front of a watching world.

God has decisively dealt with institutional racism. May we labor to cultivate what God has created!

Should Christians Watch Movies About Jesus?

By Colton Corter

It’s nearly Easter time and with Easter comes movies about Jesus. From the infamous Passion of the Christ to last Sunday’s Tyler Perry’s semi-live The Passion, many people have tried to retell or portray the greatest story of all time – the best news about what God has done in Christ to save sinners.

But most of these renditions are blasphemous at worst and unhelpful at best. There has long been the discussion about visual representations of Jesus. The larger Reformed tradition has avoided pictures and statues of Jesus, citing the 2nd Commandment and the incident of the Golden Calf in the book of Exodus. Calvin and those who have followed in that stream saw the idolatry of Rome and wanted no part in it. Reformed Evangelicals today normally avoid such representations today if not simply for the fact that they can take away from the spiritual sight of Christ’s glory found in this age only in the gospel. For whatever good could come from such movies or television programs, there are a few major things that I think should cause us to steer clear from enjoying such programs.

1.They tempt us to undermine the sufficiency of Scripture.

Behind the impulse to make such movies is often the desire make the story of Jesus relevant. It is thought that if people could just see what happened then they would reconsider their previous notions about the Second Person of the Trinity. But the cross has always been foolishness to those who are perishing (1 Cor 1:18). Our job isn’t to make the gospel more palatable. We cannot improve upon its sweetness. The Holy Spirit takes the objective facts of the gospel and gives us the eyes and the hearts to see them and savor them as our only hope and our highest good.

How does the Spirit do this? Over and over again, God tells us that He brings new life through His Spirit by the written Word of God. It may seem like a far-fetched strategy but we need to remember that it has worked for thousands of years. It was the Word of God that created everything that we see and it is with that same creative power that God creates light in dark hearts (2 Cor 4:6).

Brothers and sisters, it is not a healthy impulse to want to improve upon the words of Scripture. Creating good music and art is a wonderful and biblical thing! However, our main source of life and the hope of the world is found in the Book. God wrote a book! And that Book is able to do all that we need for life and godliness (2 Tim 3:16, 2 Peter 1:3). Do you want the Bible to come alive? The answer is not to go to Israel and walked where Jesus walked. Neither is the answer to make a movie about it. We must throw ourselves on the mercy of God in Christ and ask that as a consequence of being clothed in the righteousness of Christ, he would by His Spirit open our eyes to see the beauty of Christ. Faith comes by hearing (Rom 10:17). This is an age of faith, not sight. One day, beloved, we will see Him as He is with our sinless eyes! But that day is yet to come is and our greatest longing. Until then let’s seek Christ where He is to be found: the gospel as found in the Bible.

2. It misses the point of the gospel.

The physical sufferings of the cross were so gruesome that they are hard to imagine. Jesus Christ never, ever sinned. He alone can say that He has loved His Father with all of His heart, soul, mind and strength (Luke 10:27). His heart was so incredibly sensitive to the sin that was around Him. His very meat and drink was to do the Father’s will of displaying His glory by enjoying it as His highest good! Never was there a least deserving man to die.

But Jesus was not a victim, primarily. When we only focus on the physical death of Jesus then we lose the entire importance of the cross. We lose the gospel. Truth is, a lot of people had died on Roman crosses. It was kind of standard fare. If all that happened in Jesus’ case was that an innocent man was put to death by a corrupt government then we are most to be pitied. But infinitely more happened. Isaiah 53 happened! This innocent One, who fulfilled the Law perfectly on behalf our His people, was executed by His Father according to His predetermined plan (Acts 2:23). The Son of Man came with the express purpose to purchase a people for Himself by paying the penalty for their sin (Mark 10:45). Jesus was not slaughtered on accident or by force but in an act of unfathomably free mercy He gave up the life that no one could take from Him (John 10:18). He died for our sins. “In our place condemned He stood.” Jesus is not some revolutionary who died because he tried to overcome social structures by a code of ethics. Jesus earned a righteousness for His people to be received through faith and satisfied the just wrath of God in His body. Jesus is God.

But you miss all of that with these movies. They leave us with a less glorious gospel, not a more glorious one. The cross and the resurrection make no sense apart from the character, worth and value of God. They make no sense without explaining the cosmic treason that is sin and how the whole world sits under the judgement of a good God because He alone is worthy of our affections. Without the clear call to repent from lesser joys and run to the finished work of Christ to save and satisfy, you don’t have a gospel. Without explaining that God is the prize of the gospel then you leave the world with something less than the end for which God created the world.

Too Picky? 

I only say this out of a concern to see the real glory of Christ hallowed among the nations. To that end, I work for our joy – both yours and mine. The gospel of the Bible, found in the Bible, is far better. The power of God for salvation is found here! This is the Word of God that has given us the greatest gift imaginable – being enabled to glorify the Triune God of the universe by enjoying Him forever. We must stand against error, even sometimes error that is well intended. But we only do so because the light of the glory of Christ is eclipsed by such attempts to make Jesus “cool again.” Jesus is far better than cool, far better than anything that could be shown on a screen!

Jesus is infinitely glorious and beautiful.

Let’s all do the work of an evangelist as we strive together with our local embassy of Christ’s Kingdom to reflect the glories of God in Christ to the world by our words and deeds.


Santa Clause, Just Because?

By Colton Corter

Why in the world would you want to invite Santa Claus to your Christmas celebration this year? He sees you when you are sleeping. He knows when you are awake. He knows when you have been bad or good and then says, “So be good for goodness sake.” Sounds like a creepy guy, to say the least.

But seriously, why in the world would a Christian want to invite Santa Claus to their Christmas celebration this year? I know exactly why the world around us would. Santa promises everything that a natural heart wants. He promises wealth, stuff, happiness and all in a way that we can look back at the end of the year and say, “I deserved this.” My confusion comes from seeing well meaning brothers and sisters take their children by the hand and lead them to Santa Claus. They sing all the same songs. They watch all the same movies. Growing up in a nominal Christian home, I have to admit that this way the norm. Santa was just another part of the holiday or, more accurately, he contributed in equal part with Jesus in an combined effort to make the yuletide gay. I was always confused about how Jesus fit into this whole Santa story and truth be told I was more compelled by Santa anyway. He flew, had reindeer and brought me stuff; not completely dissimilar to the Jesus I was taught but with a “cooler” story. Even after I stopped believing in Santa I still considered him and old friend. It was fun to play along, as Santa brought a warmth and good feeling to the holiday season.

I wonder if this is how you have celebrated Christmas. For all of the recent talk on syncretism (the meshing together of two religions) we must not neglect to mention the blatant syncretism in the American church today. Even if we don’t believe the Jews and Muslims worship the same God as us, we do still tend to blend aspect of our culture’s religion with real gospel truth. It is my hope to suggest a better way. I think you will find more joy, not less, this holiday season if you spend it taking a long hard look at the Lord Jesus. Oh that we would be more like Mary who pondered the Christmas events in her heart and treasured them above all else (Luke 2:19). Jesus is far greater than Santa.

Is it sinful to celebrate Santa?

I don’t want to say no right out of hand. It probably is in some ways. First, it is a lie. Telling our children that Santa is real is simply not an act of truth telling. Lying is certainly a sin against God and it won’t do much to raise children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Second, Santa represents a false message. Santa rewards based on merit. Do we want our kids to be good? Yes! The Christian life is a virtuous life. But virtue is not the basis of our reward. Far and away, we have received much more than we deserve. The Bible says that we deserve hell and that anything outside of that is pure grace. What’s even crazier is that God has not only let us out of hell for now, but that He has done so for all eternity through the blood of Jesus Christ. “Good for goodness sake” will never work and will never make us just before a holy God.” Third, Santa elevates the gifts of God over the giver. Santa is not the sovereign creator of all things. The function he plays in the lives of non Christians world-wide is that of gift-giver. You pay him his due, he gives you the goods. Sadly, this is how most in America treat God. We do stuff to get his stuff. But the highest good of the gospel is that we get God. Sin, at is root, is the preference of anything to God. We have exchanged the glory of the Giver for what He gives (Romans 1:18-32).

Santa preaches an anti-gospel message. Now, you may be saying, “If we avoid all of that, what is the problem with having some sort of Santa figure to entertain the kids and give them something to look forward to?” This question shows that we have a light view of sin, holiness and the glory of Christ. Far too often, we only operate with the categories of “sinful” and “good.” We think that if something is lawful then it is automatically profitable. Santa Claus celebrate may not be sin per se and therefore it is fine to do. But that is not what the apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:23:
[23] “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.
(1 Corinthians 10:23 ESV)
The context is dealing with lawful practices in the Corinthian church. As Christians, we are free in many regards. We can drink. We can watch TV. Maybe we can teach our kids about Santa. But all of those things can cloud our vision of the God. They may be “ok” but will not serve to get our eyes off of ourselves and onto Jesus. Santa is actually more dangerous than TV watching or drinking. You can have a drink to the glory of God on Christmas Eve, but I am not so sure you can bake cookies for Santa in the same way.

This really gets down to the “why?” Why would you want to let Santa in your house? For all of the sophisticated answers, for most people, it really comes down to tradition. Our families have always done it this way. Our neighbors have always done it this way. In other words, we do Santa Claus just because. But this is a poor way to live the Christian life. We want to be making concerted effort to fight sin and produce sweet thoughts about the gospel of free grace.
Christ offers superior beauty. Leaving Satan out is not the pursuit of less joy but the radical pursuit of more joy. The heavenly hosts proclaimed this the night that Jesus, the eternal second person of the Trinity, was born in a lowly stable:
[14] “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:14 ESV)

Christmas does not need Santa’s help. In all of our celebrations, this proclamation of the glory of God should be preeminent. Jesus has come! We see the perfect image of the Father, the One through whom all things were created, lying in a manger to grow up and fulfill the law on our behalf and die on a cross for our sins. God’s being known and and glorified works for our great joy. At Christmastime and every time, God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. If you know Christ this season, let Santa go. Your time will be countercultural, but will give off a supernatural glow. Your salt with be saltier.
John the Baptist seemed to get it. When he saw Christ he said, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” Let’s follow suit. Go ahead, put up a tree, buy your family gifts. But open your Bible. Draw your eyes to God. Joy is here. As John Piper put it, “If you think Jesus is boring, you don’t know Him that well.”


Colton Corter is a student at SBTS and member of Third Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville.

Clothed and Unashamed: A Theology of Clothing

By Cade Campbell

Earlier this week Amy and I drove into town to pick up some new winter clothes – some sweaters and jackets. A few things in our closets have gotten worn and tattered so we needed to replace them. So we went shopping. After nearly six years of living north of the Ohio River, I’m still not adjusted to or prepared for the winters. It gets much colder here than it does in south Mississippi! But we do what we can, and part of doing what we can includes making sure our wardrobe is ready for the cold, making sure our closets have enough scarves and gloves and boots.

As I was sorting through my winter clothes in my closet I was reminded again how important our clothing choices are. It really does matter what we wear. We’ve heard that “the clothes make the man,” and while we may not fully buy into that, we do want to dress appropriately. Whether we’re dressing in a ballroom gown, trying to present ourselves as hipster, or just trying to convince ourselves that Doctor Who was right about bowties being cool, deep down we know that the clothes we wear make a statement about the person wearing them. And the clothes we wear keep us alive. We don’t want to be stuck outside too long in a t-shirt, flip-flops, and Chubbies if there’s a blizzard outside. A person may endure a brief polar plunge, but some warm clothes are going to be needed if that plunge isn’t going to be permanent. Our clothing has consequences.

And the Bible agrees.

We might not think of the Bible as a book about fashion, or a book with an underlying theme of “best and worst dressed.” It’s certainly a long way from a Land’s End catalog, but it does spend a large amount of time considering what we wear. The Bible implies that the very fact that we wear clothes reveals far more about us than our personalities or the current season. Clothes are a wholly theological affair:

The Bible begins in the shade of a fertile, tropical rainforest. Eden is the sanctuary of God on earth and the home of God’s vice-regents of his new creation. It is the base of operations for his cosmic enterprise to fill the earth with images of himself. Adam and Eve, the first humans, thrive in this environment. It’s where they belong. It’s where they are most themselves, and the Bible describes this innocent kingdom by describing them as “naked and unashamed.”

We read that statement and nervously pull at our collars. What on earth does that mean? We’re not comfortable thinking of Eden as the original nudist colony. So what’s so significant about the fact that they were “naked and unashamed?”

Well, the significance is profound. These two humans, the only created beings shining forth the image of God to the cosmos, were wholly satisfied as creatures living in relationship with God. It’s not merely that their bodies were perfect. Nor is it simply that they didn’t know any better. The fact that they lived innocently without clothes reveals the startling truth that there was nothing, literally nothing, between them and God and between them and one another. They were in such a perfect union as a married couple and as the friends of God that nothing else mattered or could matter.

But then things changed.

Adam and Eve got trapped in an early morning conversation with a cobra. They took the unholy initiative to transgress God’s command and assume God’s authority. They ate the fruit that was poisoned with the serpent’s lies, and suddenly, in the twinkling of an eye, they knew, deep down they knew that something had gone really wrong. In one horrible moment they had become the original cast members for Naked and Afraid.

Up until that time their skin had only felt the warmth of each other’s touch and the perfumed coolness of Eden’s breezes. Now it seemed the snake had breathed a frostbitten front through creation. They felt a chill. They stepped back from one another, dropping each other’s hand from their embrace. They suddenly felt panicked, trapped, exposed, ashamed, dirtied, and destitute. In that moment they realized that their nakedness was only as good as their obedience to God, and now their obedience to God was a train wreck. Now they no longer liked what they saw in each other or in their own reflection. So they had to run. They had to hide. They had to cover their shame. They were no longer the perfect royal family of God’s earthly kingdom. Now they were fugitives.

So now they had to find something to wear.

So they did. They hid from God and from one another in the tall grassy thickets growing on the edge of Eden. They sewed fig leaves into pajamas. They tried to cope. But their attempt at coping was really pathetic. Their fig-leaf PJ’s couldn’t relieve their guilt. Neither could their backwoods hideout conceal them from God. He knew where they were, and in the most amazing act since the first moment of creation, the creator called out to the creature-convicts. They fearfully crept out from the bushes, caught red-handed with fruit stains still on their lips and fig-leaf robes barely covering anything.

In that moment God could have struck them dead. He could have wiped their memory from creation and begun again with another lump of muddy clay. He could have, but he didn’t. Instead he gave them mercy. As they began their exile out of Eden into the thorny wildernesses of the world, he took fur-robe skins and provided them their first real set of clothes to cover their nakedness. He could have exposed them for the little nightmares they were. Instead, in love he covered them in grace (Genesis 3:21 ).

The rest of the Bible tells the story of how this good God continues to cover the sins of his beloved and continues to clothe them in the remarkable wardrobe of the gospel. Jacob presents his beloved son Joseph with a robe of many colors (Genesis 37:3 ) that is stained with blood as he is swept off to Egypt, only to be turned into garments of fine linen that Pharaoh clothes Joseph in after he is released from prison (Genesis 41:42 ). We sing with David the truth that God removes our tattered sackcloth and clothes us with gladness (Psalm 30:11 ). We watch Isaiah rejoice because God has clothed him with the garments of salvation (Isaiah 61:10 ).

Then the unthinkable happens. The divine tailor, the one who clothes himself in glory and clothes his people in grace, steps into the story and instead of wrapping himself in unapproachable light, he wraps himself in swaddling clothes. He grows, and he teaches, and he tells us what God is like.

Jesus tells us about a prodigal son covered in pig-sty manure-mud who is embraced by the loving Father, who then covers his son’s shame by giving him his golden signet ring and clothing him in his best robe, his robe. So the bankrupt prodigal walked home wearing the ring of the heir and the robe of the master of the house (Luke 15:21-23 ).

Jesus warns us about the danger of entering into a marriage feast without the needed attire (Matthew 22:11-14 ), expressing the very real importance of being clothed for the occasion.
Jesus confronts a demon-possessed man who was known for three things: his uncontrollable madness, his graveyard home, and his constant nakedness. Then he meets Jesus. The demon is cast out. The man is healed, and we’re told that the townspeople come out and see the amazing sight of the formerly insane and naked-necrophiliac sitting by the edge of the sea at the feet of Jesus, outside the tombs, very much alive, and miraculously “clothed and in his right mind” (Luke 8:35 ). The God of Eden was still walking in the cool of the day and clothing the shame of forgiven fugitives.

Then he does the most amazing thing of all. He goes to a cross. He becomes the curse. He embraces our shame. He covers himself in our own sinful nudity. In one dark and horrific moment this God who clothes fugitives is taken as a prisoner himself. He is mocked. He is wrapped in a scarlet robe and offered false-worship. A thorny diadem is placed on his brow (Mark 15:17 ), and then he is taken to Golgotha, and there he is stripped naked, exposed to all the world, suspended between heaven and earth, stapled to a tree to die.

And the executioners crouched at the foot of the cross with the naked God above them, casting lots to divide his clothes between them (Luke 23:34 ).

And it is in this one moment, this shocking and horrific moment, that God, by wearing our shame and nakedness, secures the unending life of his people in his presence, clothed in him forever. Because of Christ’s work on the cross, believers are clothed with the Spirit (Luke 24:49 ) and are the guaranteed heirs who are assured of walking into the heavenly mansion, a ragtag group of prodigals all wearing a shiny signet ring and a brand new robe of royalty.

That is the hope of the gospel, the great joy of the wardrobe of grace. The work of God is and always has been to clothe his children, to usher us into a new garden, another Eden, an Eden shining and shimmering with the glory of Christ, a world where we will not be “naked and unashamed,” but as living, breathing, displays of his suffering’s victory, we will be a people who stand clothed in Christ, “clothed and unashamed.”

So the storyline of the Bible begins with the tattered attempt to sew a wardrobe out of our own efforts, to piece together fig leaves to undo the damage that we’d done. But the story of the Bible ends (and then truly begins) with sons and daughters of Adam and Eve living in paradise again, fully in the presence of God, and reigning forever in the wardrobe of redemption. The book of Revelation describes the redeemed who live into eternity as those who are “clothed in white garments” whose names will never be blotted out from the Book of Life (Revelation 3:5 ), because they have “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14 ).

We will truly sing into the ages, living the never ending reality of the song we sing now on earth…

“When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.”

In Jesus Christ, his children will always be dressed best, for we will always be dressed in him.

You’re going to like the way you look. I guarantee it.

Cade Campbell, a native of south Mississippi,  is Associate Pastor for Preaching and Discipleship at First Baptist Church Henryville, Indiana. You can follow him on Twitter at @DCadeCampbell.