PAGAN – IN PICKERING?


Market Place

Bridge Street, Park Street Junction

An Ordinary

Saturday 

Lunchtime

In Pickering.

Leaflet Display Table

More than half a dozen people stopped to talk, I’m always grateful to those Christians who want to encourage me  in my efforts to bear witness for the Lord.

The one who has left me thinking though, is the lady who cheerfully described herself as a ‘Pagan’!

She told me she believed in the ‘spiritual’ and that Jesus was the source of her morals, and left!

.

WHAT IS A PAGAN?

Wikipedia [where else would you look?] defines ‘pagan’ as:

Contemporary Paganism, or Neopaganism, includes reconstructed religions such as Hellenic polytheism, Celtic or Germanic reconstructionism as well as modern eclectic traditions such as Discordianism, or Wicca and its many offshoots.Many of the “revivals”, Wicca and Neo-druidism in particular, have their roots in 19th century Romanticism and retain noticeable elements of occultism or theosophy that were current then, setting them apart from historical rural (paganus) folk religion.
 

One ‘Pagan’ web site advertises itself as:

Your one stop spot for information relating to God and/or Goddess Worship in all its many forms…  Celtic, Druid, Egyptian, Greek, Magical Traditions, Eastern, Native American, Norse Heathen, Roman, Santeria, Wicca, WitchCraft {Craft of the Wise} and other Earth Centered and Nature Based Religious Faiths.  

The Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary describes them as:

Those who worship a god or gods other than the living God to whom the Bible witnesses.   
 

PAGANISM

MIGHT BE 

SUMMARISED AS

Those religions which Christianity replaced, having demonstrated itself to be the only true revelation of the Supreme Being to mankind.

 The delusions Satan uses to keep people trapped in sin and condemned to hell!

When the Pagan world of the New Testament was challenged by the Good News Of Jesus Christ’s Life, death and resurrection, Paganism crumbled before it.

Acts 19:19a (NKJV)

Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. 

Paganism Flourishes Today Because The Gospel has Been Distorted,  Misrepresented, and Ignored.

The ‘light’ has gone out and darkness rules the land.

THE GOSPEL LIGHT SHINES TO GIVE HOPE TO THOSE EMBROILED IN PAGAN DARKNESS.

John 8:12 (NKJV)

 Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

John 12:46 (NKJV)

 I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.

 Jesus’ Sacrifice Established Forever That There Is Only One God, and Only One Way To Be One With God –

Ancient paganism thought of each god as bound to his worshippers by self-interest because he depended on their service and gifts for his welfare. Modern paganism has at the back of its mind a similar feeling that God is somehow obligated to love and help us, even though we don’t deserve it. This was the feeling voiced by the French freethinker who died muttering, “God will forgive—that’s his job.” But this feeling is not well founded. The God of the Bible does not depend on his human creatures for his well-being (see Ps. 50:8–13; Acts 17:25), nor, now that we have sinned, is he bound to show us favor. We can only claim from his justice—and justice, for us, means certain condemnation.
God does not owe it to anyone to stop justice from taking its course. He is not obligated to pity and pardon; if he does so it is an act done, as we say, “of his own free will,” and nobody forces his hand. “It depends not upon man’s will or exertion, but upon God’s mercy” (Rom. 9:16). Grace is free because it is self-originated and proceeds from the One who was free not to be gracious. Only when one realizes that what decides each man’s destiny is whether or not God resolves to save him from his sins, and that this is a decision which God need not make in any single case, can one begin to grasp the biblical view of grace.
Your Father Loves You by James Packer, (Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986), page for May 4

KINDNESS


People out again after the rain.

Matthew 5:45 (NKJV)  He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

“I Think

,

the Most Important

,

Characteristic of God

,

is His Kindness”

 That’s What ‘Jim’ Thinks Anyway! We’ve spoken now for 4 weeks or more, and he approached me to raise the matter. I’ve been thinking since last we spoke, and that’s the conclusion to which I have come.

He’d gone away the previous week to consider the searching question: ‘Am I good enough to be allowed to enter heaven?’ We’d spoken about the fact that everyone sins, and that there are no perfect people in the world.

Romans 3:23 (NKJV)  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God .

We’d considered further that God is Perfect, and looks for Perfection in those who would enter His heaven.

Matthew 5:48 (NKJV) Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Concluding therefore that no living person is ‘good enough’ to dwell with God forever.

Romans 3:10 (NKJV) As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one.

What Is Sin?
Sin is anything that is contrary to the law or will of God. For example: if you lie, you have sinned. Why? Because God has said not to lie (Ex. 20:16). If you do what God has forbidden, then you have sinned. In addition, if you do not do what God has commanded, you sin (James 4:17). Either way, the result is eternal separation from God (Is. 59:2). Sin is lawlessness (1 John 1:3) and unrighteousness (1 John 5:17). Sin leads to blindness (John 9:41) and death (Rom. 6:23).

 Serious Stuff – Jim had gone home to consider where he stood before God, and came back speaking about God’s kindness!

Like so many of his generation he was hoping in that kindness which simply overlooks imperfections and rewards ‘best efforts’, ‘good intentions’, etc..

I was able to explain a little of the revealed nature of God as holy, righteous  and committed to justice, therefore committed to consistently deal fairly with sin of every degree.

A Policeman or Judge might be able to ‘turn a blind eye’, but the living God will not, can not!

Deuteronomy 18:13 (NKJV) You shall be blameless before the Lord your God.

1 Peter 1:15–16 (NKJV)  but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

Thankfully, God Is Also KIND, His KINDNESS is Shown in His Amazing Gift of His Only Son to Deliver Sinners from Judgement – That’s KINDNESS!

Titus 3:4–5 (NKJV) But when the kindness and the love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.

In a world changing act of mercy He has shown mercy to millions who deserve punishment – THAT’s KINDNESS! – Love in action, according to Charles Allen.

1 Corinthians 13:4 (NKJV)  Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up

Everyone knows the story of the ‘Good Samaritan’, that’s Kindness, a lesson in God’s kindness to those beaten up and left for dead by sin. Jesus [God] is the Good Samaritan who stoops down to tend our wounds, lift us out of danger and provided for all we need to bring us safe to heaven.

How?

Colossians 1:28 (NKJV) Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.

Those who understand the KINDNESS of God don’t want Him to turn a ‘blind eye’, they are rejoicing and resting in the work of God’s Son on the Cross to make them perfect, and thereby fit and ready for eternal life in the presence of the Perfect One.

Table loaded with information about the KINDNESS of God.

92214

Locomotive leaving

RUBBISH


Refuse Collection Van

Where would we be

|

without someone

|

who was willing

|

to clean up after us?

27 Million Tonnes Of Rubbish Is Thrown Away In The U.k. Every Year.The Current Population Of The U.k. Is 60 Million. So How Much, On Average, Does Each Person Throw Away Each Year? 27 000 000 / 60 000 000 =0.45 tonnes. Therefore, each person produces 0.45 tonnes of rubbish on average in a year.

"And humans make such a fuss about us"!

Dirt and pollution is everywhere, we may love our steam locomotives, but who would want live near them?

I may look shiny, but I pour out soot all the time.

I'm no different.

Clean enough to eat from .. !

Much as we like our streets to be clean and tidy, it takes lots of work and must be repeated each and every day.

Their task is endless, the rubbish just keeps on coming – and thankfully going – so we live a healthy life in a healthy environment !

 The Physical Problem and how it’s managed pictures a far greater pollution, the crippling , all contaminating corruption of sin.

Everywhere is affected, the world itself groans under it’s weight:

Romans 8:22 (NKJV)

For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.

Mankind is Corrupt, to the extent that he pretends pollution is good and being clean is bad:

Genesis 6:5 (NKJV)

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Jesus Christ Came To Cleanse Believers and Restore Them To Their Original Condition:

Matthew 8:3 (NKJV)

Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

 Those whom He has cleansed are kept clean by the daily application of Jesus’ sacrificial death

1 John 1:9 (NKJV)

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The Work He completed on the Cross has changed the world forever.

1John 1:7b (NKJV)

The blood of Jesus Christ God’s Son cleanses us from all sin. 

A preacher was speaking from the text, “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.” Suddenly he was interrupted by an atheist who asked, “How can blood cleanse sin?”

 For a moment the preacher was silent; then he countered, “How can water quench thirst?”

 “I do not know,” replied the unbeliever, “but I know that it does.”

 “Neither do I know how the blood of Jesus cleanses sin,” answered the preacher, “but I know that it does.” —Sunday School Times