THERE’S USUALLY SOMEONE
WHO WILL STOP AND TALK!
These two were quite happy to engage with us on matters of great importance.
It began with a comment and complaint that people had no idea that this was ‘Whit Week’! And developed into a discussion of how to be ready to meet God.
The lady was so disillusioned with the ‘Established Church’ that she’s been meeting with ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ for a long time.
We touched base on their familiar shibboleths: Jesus isn’t god, the Holy Spirit is just God’s energy and that God’s Name is Jehovah.
When I explained that the JW’s were a man made cult with just c.150 years of history, and that they’d gone so far as producing their own version of the Bible to pass off their views as Biblical, she began to listen.
“Ah”, she said, “you’ve got to have hope”, so I pursued her line of thought to show that what the JW’s call hope is no hope at all – just ‘I hope so’, and so they are no different from every other religionist on the planet, ‘hoping’ that when the meet their Maker and Judge, He will review their ‘good works’ and approve them as worthy of a place in His eternal world.
The Christian’s hope is very different, it is a person – Jesus Christ, who as our representative and substitute, has completely covered our sin and made us acceptable to God, here, now and forever.
Romans 5:1–2 (NKJV) Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Romans 5:5 (NKJV) Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
1 Peter 1:3 (NKJV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
So desperate is our state by nature that we need rescuing, not another set of rules which no one can keep. Jesus Christ is that Saviour, those whom He saves have the ‘blessed hope’ that He will bring them into the eternal world by His strength, and His alone.
Matthew 1:21 (NKJV) And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Acts 5:31 (NKJV) Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Saviour, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
Philippians 3:20 (NKJV) For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ,
I don’t usually quote Thomas Aquinas, but in this quotation from ‘The Imitation of Christ’ he hits the mark:In Thee, therefore, O Lord God, I put all my hope.… For many friends shall not profit, nor strong helpers be able to succour, nor prudent counselors to give a useful answer, nor the books of the learned to console, nor any precious substance to deliver, nor any secret and beautiful place to give shelter, if Thou Thyself do not assist, help, strengthen, comfort, instruct, keep in safety…
To hope in Thee above all things is the strongest solace of Thy servants.
The People of Pickering, and every other place on this planet, need ‘hope’ not the ‘hope so’ of man made religion, but the ‘Living Hope’ which God has Established through the Death and Resurrection of His Son.