EASTER WEEKEND 2012
A cold but pleasant day finds us out sharing the Good News of God’s Salvation with whoever will stand to talk.
A cold but pleasant day finds us out sharing the Good News of God’s Salvation with whoever will stand to talk.
Our conversation turned to the subject of sin: ‘Are you a Sinner I asked?” “Not me” he quickly replied.
“Have you ever told a lie?”, “Well, every one has at one time or another”. “What does that make you?” – A LIAR.
“Have you ever stolen anything, even something small?” “Well, I suppose most folks have?” “What does that make you?” – A THIEF
“Have you ever used God’s name as a Swear Word?” “Come on now, everyone says OMG now, don’t they?” “What does that make you?” – A BLASPHEMER
So even an Easter Bunny, collecting money for charity is shown to be a sinner and in need of The Saviour.
“The wages of Sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans chapter 6 verse 23.
Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” Acts 17:30–31 (NKJV)
Tragically, while ‘the Second World War’ ended, people still fight and war seems to be ever present.
Man has always struggled to find peace in the world around him, when the problem is actually on the inside.
“From within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”
2 Corinthians 5:19
God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ
the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
“We have not only peace towards the outer world, but peace within. After all, happiness and peace lie more within the man than in anything about him. Heaven lies more in the heart than in golden streets, and hell’s flame consists rather in man’s tortured conscience than in the Tophet fire which the breath of God has kindled. So the peace which Jesus gives is within us; “the good man is satisfied from himself.” C H Spurgeon 1343.148
The deepest want of man is not a desire for happiness, but a craving for peace; not a wish for the gratification of every desire, but a craving for the repose of acquiescence in the will of God: and it is this which Christianity promises. Christianity does not promise happiness, but it does promise peace.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!
“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ’
Man calls sin an accident; God calls it an abomination. Man calls sin a blunder; God calls it blindness. Man calls sin a chance; God call it a choice. Man calls sin a defect; God calls it a disease. Man calls sin an error; God calls it enmity. Man calls sin fascination; God calls it fatality. Man calls sin infirmity; God calls it fatality. Man calls sin infirmity; God calls it iniquity. Man calls sin luxury; God calls it lawlessness. Man calls sin a trifle; God calls it tragedy. Man calls sin a mistake; God calls it madness. Man calls sin a weakness; God calls it willfulness. There is only one remedy for sin—the precious blood of Christ, which was shed for the remission of sins on Calvary’s Cross.—Author Unknown
Jesus used only 504 words to tell the Parable of the Prodigal Son, judged by some to be the greatest story ever written. James Hastings
Mark 1:15 (NKJV) [The words of Jesus’ first recorded sermon]
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
The conversation developed to the point where she informed me that she regularly attends one of the local churches, but that she wasn’t one of those ‘born again’, capital ‘C’ christians.
She liked to hear about Jesus, but knew not that transformation wrought by the Spirit of God whereby He removes the shutters and floods the inner man with the light of the world.
BUT , there is only one kind of ‘Christian’, the biblical kind, those who have experienced the life transforming power of the Word of God applied by the Spirit of God :
2 Corinthians 4:6 (NKJV)
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:22–23 (NKJV)
Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.
The words ‘Born Again‘ may have been robbed of meaning by over zealous enthusiasts, but when used in context, they describe that wondrous work of God in which He acts on a sinner to give them life, life which expresses itself in a heart cry to God for salvation and reaches out in repentance and faith toward Jesus Christ for salvation.
James 1:18 (NKJV)
Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
1 John 5:1 (NKJV) Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God,
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
A strange phrase that has crept into our vocabulary in recent years is “born again Christian.” The phrase is redundant. It is like saying “dog dog.” The phrase suggests there is more than one kind of Christian. There is not! If you are born again, you are a Christian. If you are a Christian in the scriptural sense, you have been born again!
A Methodist Lay Preacher, A Christian Family From Leeds, A Little Old Lady who was frightened off by the mention of being ‘born again’.
Then finally a man who wanted to be friendly with everyone. So concerned that he should not be coerced to conform to anyone’s criteria, he’d invented a whole new set of boxes to tick!
HE RAISES THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER EVERYONE CAN BE RIGHT AT THE SAME TIME.
Can you be BOTH black and white at one and the same time, I fear not, you are simple left as a shade of gray.
John 14:6 (NKJV)
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Acts 4:12 (NKJV)
Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
Then proceeded to explain that he believed each person would be judged by the light he had received.
This is often thought to be the meaning of:
Romans 2:11–16 (NKJV)
There is no partiality with God. For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.
Tragically it describes the fate of ‘sinners’, whether they’ve had the privilege of the revelation of God’s Law or simply the Light of God’s Creation.
Either way they are lost and without hope, it may sound generous to talk about being ‘judged by the light you have’, but in fact its the terrible truth that:
Romans 3:10–12 (NKJV)
As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one.”
Romans 3:19–20 (NKJV)
Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Those who’ve never heard of the Living God, The God of the Bible, fair no better, the light of creation defines them as sinners too:
Romans 1:20–25 (NKJV)
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
Romans 3:23 (NKJV)
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God!
IT’S ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL THAT WE ARE HONEST WITH PEOPLE.
Jesus Christ came to save sinners, and all who recognize their name, and only they, will find themselves ‘safe’ in the salvation provided in and by Jesus Christ.
John 3:16 (NKJV)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
1. Provision of help or relief to the poor; almsgiving.
2. Something given to help the needy; alms.
3. An institution, organization, or fund established to help the needy.
4. Benevolence or generosity toward others or toward humanity.
5. Indulgence or forbearance in judging others.
It goes on to describe a 6th meaning of ‘charity’:
The theological virtue defined as love directed first toward God but also toward oneself and one’s neighbours as objects of God’s love.
In this 6th sense (???) the work of sharing the Goodnews of God's love for sinners, His provision of His Son as a substitute for sinners, His calling of people to believe and be saved is 'charitable' work of the highest importance.
As long as people are around there will be a need to give to those who help cancer sufferers, provide lifeboats, air ambulances and provide for human and animal welfare.
But only the gospel of God’s kindness to undeserving sinners meets mankind’s great need of a Saviour. The cancer of sin, the danger of drowning in it and just plain compassion for mankind is the primary Christian Charitable Cause.
Martin Luther wrote: “The believing man has the Holy Ghost; and where the Holy Ghost dwells, He will not suffer a man to be idle, but stirs him up to all exercises of piety and godliness, and of true religion, to the love of God, to the patient suffering of afflictions, to prayer, to thanksgiving, and the exercise of charity towards all men.”
Mark 16:15 (NKJV)
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
Romans 1:15 (NKJV)
So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in [Pickering] Rome also.
1 Corinthians 9:16 (NKJV)
For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!
As A Charitable Act We Would TELL YOU About God’s Great Love and Call You to Receive His Free Gift of ETERNAL Life.
You must either be a ‘Charity Case’ or suffer the ravages of your own sin forever.
A.B. Simpson is reported to have said that the gospel “Tells rebellious men that God is reconciled, that justice is satisfied, that sin has been atoned for, that the judgment of the guilty may be revoked, the condemnation of the sinner canceled, the curse of the Law blotted out, the gates of hell closed, the portals of heaven opened wide, the power of sin subdued, the guilty conscience healed, the broken heart comforted, the sorrow and misery of the Fall undone.”
Evangelism, A Biblical Approach, M. Cocoris, Moody, 1984, p. 29
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.
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.
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
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.
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).
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Their task is endless, the rubbish just keeps on coming – and thankfully going – so we live a healthy life in a healthy environment !
Romans 8:22 (NKJV)
For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
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.
Matthew 8:3 (NKJV)
Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
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.
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
Open Adventure was set up by James Thurlow in 2004 in reaction to the lack Adventure Racing in the North of England.
Saturday’s event was an ‘Open 12’ – 12 hours of adventure racing in a wonderful location, and they even paid £110 to take part!
You can only begin to imagine the training and planning that went into such an event.
‘Who am I? What is my purpose in life? Why am I here? Where am I going? How can I be sure?
Challenging Physical Exercise Can Give A Sense of Well Being and Achievement.
So can a sweet cold ice cream or stroll by a pleasant stream.
But neither answer the Ultimate Questions, that relate to life and death.
It’s pages tell us of our special status as made in God’s image, then that we are made to walk in familiar communion with our maker. It further explains that your whole life is about recovering the relationship with God that is spoilt by sin. That this can only be accomplished through personal faith in Jesus Christ, wherein He delivers you from God’s wrath and eternal judgment. Confirmed as true by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who died on the cross, on the third day.
Its a lot to take in, but as you can see the table above is loaded with information, which is entirely free. Just ask and we’ll do what we can to supply your need.
John 6:35 (NKJV)
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
Matthew 11:28 (NKJV)
Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Acts 13:38 (NKJV)
Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins
2 Corinthians 5:20 (NKJV)
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.