If the Lord, He is God…

The Lord, He is God!

Image result for elijah and baal

I woke up this morning, as I often due, with a sense that God has been speaking with me. I find it is normally in between the time of being asleep to waking up. Now, I am not claiming that I am a source of revelation from God but stating how the thoughts that I have start.

What were those thoughts?

If God is not real then why bother with morality at all? But if God is real then judgement is coming and I have to answer for everything I have done.

This is not a mighty revelation, at all. I am a Christian and therefore I believe in God and in Him sending a Saviour, Jesus Christ. However, it seems that I want to live with my feet in both camps. The world has its allures…after all why do we work? Do we only go to work because we need to buy food and pay the rent/mortgage? Or do we work so that we can gain pleasures, enjoy our food choices, clothes, holidays, clubbing, etc, etc, for example?

I am reminded of a passage of Scripture with a little context:

We are with Elijah on the mountain when he asked the people, whom will you serve? Baal or YHWH? We pick it up in:

1 Kings 18:38–39 Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!” (NKJV)

This sudden realisation that God, who is Almighty and awesome in power, could easily destroy them changed them radically: The Lord, He is God!

It is this realisation this morning of who God is, and I am a Pastor, that “The Lord, He is God!” awoke me, literally, wondering just how worthy I am of His judgement against me.

Choice

I, we, have a choice, we can serve the god of this world by using our time and effort for worldly things or we can use those same gifts and talents to serve our God.

If God does not exist then let us live for pleasure. There is no room for morality if there is no God. We live for ourselves and that’s that. We do not need a reason or give an excuse if there is no God. Who is going to dish out justice against us? Perhaps, only if we go against the laws of our own land for the sake of preservation we would keep them.

We have to decide, even as Christians, it is a daily battle. If God is real then we have to give an account to Him. Will we be able to cope with His judgement?

Which God/god do we serve?

 

An important message to everyone!

Certainly today there is a wealth of religions and non-religions vying for our attention all with its various claims for happiness, enjoyment, fun and life.  There is, no doubt, a reason for this…we are all looking for something beyond ourselves, something more.  There just has to be, doesn’t there?  And this yearning is not easy to describe.  King Solomon said that we have eternity in our hearts.

There is one that claims to have the real answers.  THE truth.  Claims to be able to fill the holes in our lives.  Claims to be THE life.  And contrary to how the world thinks, contrary to tolerance and the ‘doesn’t matter what you believe’ philosophy claims to be THE way.

It is odd that we think that it doesn’t matter what you believe if those beliefs are the opposite of each other – and surely we want to get it right, don’t we?  They can’t ALL be right – surely there can only be one.

It was Jesus who said: John 14:6 (NKJV) — 6 …I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Jesus was not inclusive but exclusive – He says He is the ONLY way.  Not very palatable to us – but so what?!  Some medicine is not pleasant for us to take but we still take for the benefit of our health.  Either Jesus was saying something we should pay close attention to or else he got it wrong.

In another place in Scripture (the Bible) it says:

Acts 4:12 (NKJV) — 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

So, if Jesus is right…and I haven’t heard anyone prove Him wrong yet…and what we have just read here is that there is no other way except through Jesus and it says we MUST be saved…then surely we should take extreme notice.

From what do we need to be saved?  Jesus came to give us life.  Not just a plain boring life but life to the full.  So He came to save us from monotony.  But is it this that we need to be saved from?  Of course not but that is one of the benefits of coming to Jesus.  You cannot say that the Christian life is boring!

So, from what do we need to be saved? 1) From ourselves 2) From hell

From ourselves?  Well, yes!  We all like to think that we are good and on the balance of things we’re OK.  But on whose scales are we weighing ourselves?  With whom are we comparing?  With Hitler?!  With our neighbour?

Let’s find out just how good we are!  Have we ever lied?  Ever?  Have we ever stolen something?  Tell the truth now – otherwise we have just lied!  Have we ever got angry?  Have we ever lusted and wanted something that belonged to someone else that didn’t belong to us or ever can without stealing?  Hmm.  Yeah, but these are just minor things, aren’t they?  Aren’t they?  Well, all these things and others like them such a murder, such as taking the Lord’s name in vain (ever said ‘Jesus’ as a swear word), such as not worshipping any other god (including TV, money, wealth, work, etc) – all these things are called ‘sin’.  It is missing the mark – like missing the bull’s-eye on a dart board – or it is something that has been done deliberately.

Sin.

This is why we need to be saved from ourselves because there is a price to pay, a judgment given for those who sin.

We won’t want to hear it…but here goes:

Romans 6:23a (NKJV) — 23 For the wages of sin is death

Death!  That sounds a bit harsh doesn’t it – I mean we haven’t done anything THAT bad, have we?

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

The point here is that we are all in the same boat – nothing we do can get us to a better place – God is so completely holy He cannot bear sin – and so we are all under the same judgment.  What is more God could not make it clearer:

Hebrews 9:27 (NKJV) — 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

This brings us to the other point – we need to be saved from the judgment.

Jesus says that He is the ONLY way, the ONLY truth, the ONLY life – and we can only come to God through Him.

But if we reject Him then we are going to be judged according to our deeds and according to the fact we have not accepted Jesus:

John 3:18 (NKJV) — 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

But not all is lost!  What difference did it make for Jesus to come?

Well – you know that judgment that we have to suffer – the one which says we deserve death and hell – Jesus paid the price – Jesus took our punishment upon Himself to save us.  That’s why He died an horrific death upon the cross.  We deserved to be there but He paid our fine in full.  That’s why when He was about to die He said: It is finished!

This is why the message that Christian’s bring to the world is called ‘Good News’ (Gospel).

Jesus didn’t stay dead – but came back to life after three days – defeating death in the process – now we can simply accept and trust Jesus has done it all for us – and in return He will give us eternal life.

Why did He do this?  The most famous verse in the Bible declares it best:

John 3:16 (NKJV) — 16 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.

And:

Romans 5:8 (NKJV) — 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

He didn’t wait for us to turn to Him – He initiated it all – His arms are wide open now to receive you, if you would receive Him.

We could not pay the price for our sin – our destiny was hell and deservedly so – the proof is in what Jesus has done for us – He would not have gone to so much trouble dying in such a way let alone the spiritual side of things (which was worse – He literally went through hell for us) – He would not have gone through it if there had been some other way.

Will you turn to Him?  Will you accept the free salvation bought for you?  If so – you will pass from death to life – as simple as that.  But if you will not then you are still under judgment – there is a price to pay for rejecting such a great salvation – but why reject Him?  It doesn’t make sense – Jesus is the medicine we need to take – and not the unpleasant kind either.  It is completely free – it is a gift:

Romans 6:23 (NKJV) — 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Pray now and ask Jesus into your life – as a response to His great love for you – give your life to Him.

Here is a suggested prayer to help you:

Lord Jesus, how amazing it is for you to love someone like me.  I am a sinner and I need forgiveness. I know I don’t deserve the life you are giving me.  But I believe that Jesus shed His blood and died in my place for my sin.  I believe that He rose from the dead to give me life.  You have given your life for me – I give my life to you.  Come into my life to be my Lord (to be the one in charge), Saviour and Friend.  Thank you!  And please give me your Holy Spirit to help me walk according to your ways. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

What now?  Go to a Bible-believing Church near you (like Ely Baptist Church in Cardiff) and tell people the Good News that you are now in the family of God and have eternal life.  If you have a Bible then start to read it – perhaps reading Luke first.

Need advice?  Get in contact with me – get in contact anyway and let me know what you have done – and if you have any questions because you have not yet decided or have unanswered questions getting in the way – just ask!  But PLEASE do not leave it – the question of whether Jesus is the way, the truth and the life is the most important question of all – and there is going to be a time when it will be too late to do anything about it – be URGENT – be saved.

God bless you as you move forward in your Christian life.

Good Friday

Philippians 2:5–11 (NKJV) — 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Good Friday.  It’s all in the name.  What is so good about this day?  I suspect that we already know the answer to that question but to remind ourselves again is profitable for us.  Without Jesus going to the cross then we would all still be in sin and trouble.

Let’s see what Jesus did for us, for each of us so listen carefully.

What Jesus did was voluntary.  He chose to do this.  He humbled Himself.  At no point was this something He was forced to do.  Yes, it was the only way for us to be saved and Jesus did it willingly.

John 10:18 (NKJV) — 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV) — 2looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Notice that?  For the joy set before Him.  Because He knew what the result would be He willingly went to the cross.  What was the joy? We are the joy.  We are so precious in His sight He is full of joy when we walk with Him.

His willingness led to His death.  Jesus showed us how to live but first and foremost He came to die, to be obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

When it says ‘even the death of the cross’ we need to grasp how shameful it was to both a Jewish mind and to a Roman mind.

To the Jewish mind these verses would come to mind when someone was crucified:

Deuteronomy 21:22–23 (NKJV) — 22 “If a man has committed a sin deserving of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance; for he who is hanged is accursed of God.

A person hanged from a tree is under God’s judgment. It was by no mistake that this was in Scripture.  Jesus came under God’s judgment.  Jesus became a curse for us so in the Divine exchange we could receive a blessing.  He paid the price for us that we should have paid.  Jesus was cursed with our curse and in turn we were blessed with His blessing as the sinless Son of God.

To a Roman mind, the concept of the death of Christ on the cross was offensive. And for the Son of God to die this way so shamefully was, in their minds, ridiculous.

1 Corinthians 1:23 (NKJV) — 23but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,

What we preach to the world is total foolishness. When we preach Christ, crucified and raised to an unbelieving world it is rejected as foolishness. To those who have experienced in a personal way Jesus Christ and Him crucified Jesus it is for us the power of God unto salvation.  And we wonder how it can be foolishness to others when it makes sense to us.  Thanks be to God that the eyes of our hearts and minds were opened.

The obedience which Christ demonstrated on the cross was not easy, it was an obedience that was hard, it cost Him something: Just read the gospel accounts leading up to His death:  He was slapped, name called, whipped, scourged, nailed by His hands and feet to a cross with thorns piercing His head, hanging in pain for 6 hours, tormented and left to die in humiliation.  And then the most haunting words of all: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

When Jesus died He took our sins and He endured the curse of God, the judgment of God for our sin, all for us, for our benefit. When Jesus died, He died so that we might know and experience the power of God unto salvation—so that we could know what we did not know before: the righteousness of God, the justification of God, the redemption of God, the forgiveness of God, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and eternal life.

Now we are called to follow in His footsteps, to become like Jesus.  Who here wants to be humiliated, to suffer, to be rejected, to die?  To become like Jesus is to have no reputation or at least to have a reputation we are willing to lose.   To take up our cross is to be like Jesus willing for these things, those things that happened to Him, to happen to us.  Because nothing should get in the way of knowing Jesus and what He has done for us.  But who here is really willing to go through hell like Jesus did?

How Jesus outstrips us as a person, how more amazing that God Himself as the Supreme Son of God who deserves all glory and honour, went to die an accursed, shameful, painful death for us.

It is called Good Friday because on this day almost 2000 years ago Jesus did all things for us so that we could live.  We follow Him because we were bought with the precious blood of Jesus.  We follow Him because He loves us.  Because He loves us we love Him.

9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Hymns, Prayers and Encouragements 1/1/14

Hymns Prayers and EncouragementsAnother year is dawning, Dear Father, let it be, in working or in waiting another year with Thee; another year of progress, another year of praise, another year of proving Thy presence all the days.
Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace; another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face; another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast; another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.
Another year of service, of witness for Thy love; another year of training for holier work above. Another year of dawning, Dear Father, let it be, on earth, or else in heaven, another year for Thee. Amen.

Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (10). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.

Homosexuality is a sin, really? Phil Robertson, A&E, and the Duck Dynasty

Of course, it doesn’t surprise us that in our wonderful world there are those who taint and oppress others. Some just don’t like those who are different to them. The plain bigotry of some people who hate and lack tolerance towards those whose lifestyles are not the same is deplorable. There is so much evidence about these fascists it is surprising that the world just doesn’t notice what is going on and even those who are on the receiving end of their narrow-mindedness and prejudice seem oblivious to the hateful nature of their opponents. It seems that the whole world will be turned upside down, if they had their way, to conform to their ideas and way of thinking which is just plain madness. They rail about homosexuality and go on and on as if there are no other issues affecting life and because of it make life a misery because of their rants.

Perhaps you would like to read that last paragraph again. Whose side did you take? You could read this from the perspective of the homosexual and think about the Church or Christians. But there again, you could read it from the perspective of the Church or Christian about the homosexual.

Everything in that first paragraph I have heard against Christians and against me. But it seems to me that the opposite is true. The true thought police is in the militant homosexual who lacks any tolerance at all towards the Christian.

This has become even more obvious, thankfully, due to the suspension of a man I had never heard of before this week: phil rPhil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame. The man quoted a verse of Scripture to indicate that homosexuality is a sin in the sight of God…and was suspended from the network for stating his obvious Christian beliefs. The same belief that any true bible-believing Christian would take including me which amounts to millions upon millions. But beware of taking that stance publicly otherwise you will lose your stature in the world. Of course it is a matter of whether we please God (whose standards do not change despite cultural change) or whether we please humankind (whose standards change all the time – for instance in Uganda they have just outlawed homosexual acts – going a different trend to the rest of the world).

The verse of Scripture quoted by Phil Robertson in full is: 1 Corinthians 6:9–10 (NKJV) — 9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

Did you notice there were more than homosexuals in this list? It is not that I have a distaste for homosexuals – though I do hate the act – it is that they are in the fearful place of being excluded from God’s Kingdom (along with all those who have sex outside of marriage and along with drunks and those who despise God’s standards and replace them with their own).

Outside of God’s Kingdom hell and the lake of fire is the scary alternative if we do not repent and follow Jesus who has paid the price so we don’t have to go to the alternative.  hell The good news is we don’t have to go to hell but because we have all broken God’s laws we deserve it. Jesus paid the price with his blood on a cross. Repent, believe and be baptised. Then you will be saved – I asked Jesus into my life some 27 years ago – and I have not regretted it – I am going to Heaven – not because I am good but because He is and has taken away my sin.  Dear people, whether you are a homosexual or a liar or a thief or whatever else we have done or not done that do not fit God’s standards: God loves you no matter what.  He proved it by sending His Son and Him dying and paying the price before we even considered changing our ways.  But now he COMMANDS everyone to repent (to change) and follow Jesus.  This is our proper response – God could have left us to our own devices and let us go to hell – but now the choice is ours to make.  The Lake of Fire.  The name on its own is terrifying.  You don’t have to go there and suffer for ever and ever and ever and ever.  Why be so daft and obstinate?  You could have real pleasures for ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever instead.  This is no choice: Repent! Believe in Jesus.  Follow Him.

Many have had their say about what has happened to Phil. This, perhaps, is the most public one and should be a wake-up call to Americans, Brits and others that taking a stance for God’s way will lead to persecution. Maybe not the kind where we would be tortured or killed but certainly it has already affected the income of many in an adverse way because they refused to conduct a gay marriage ceremony or be their photographer or be their cake-maker or be their registrar or be their bed and breakfast (hotel) or be their florist among many others.

And who knows? If this kind of pressure from the gay lobby continues (as resulted in Phil’s suspension) our freedom will be taken as has our freedom to speak about these thing. Soon just being a Christian who says he believes the Bible will also be tainted – and in some circles are already ridiculed especially by the press and by liberal Christians. If Christians do not stand together about this kind of oppression then we cannot be surprised when we are arrested and jailed for our beliefs here in the so-called tolerant West. But remember we are surrounded by clouds of witnesses who have suffered harsher things and rejoice – for great is your reward in Heaven.

PS Whilst I am with Phil Robertson on this issue I am not necessarily aligned with any other view he has or the way he does it.  This disclaimer is here because I do not know him or have ever watched Duck Dynasty.

San Francisco False Prophecies Oct 3rd

False Prophecies Oct 3rd San Francisco

My friends, nearly every day I hear of some prophecy of some sort…maybe because I am interested in matching every day events with the prophecies of Scripture…and whilst this seems to be quite exciting it is a hobby that has very little value!  Some people, however, seem to make prophecy their life’s work and that, my friends, if you are a Christian, is a waste of the resources God has given to bring Good News to our generation.  ALL Scripture is given, not just the roughly 25% given to prophecies.  So, a ¼ of our time should be spent in our studies within this subject and ¾ to the rest.  Do not ignore (biblical) prophecies for fulfilled prophecy proves that the unfulfilled will happen and that God keeps His Word.

There has been a spate of prophecies of late concerning San Francisco especially of a catastrophic earthquake (of about 9.7 on the Richter scale) that was meant to happen on the 3rd of October.  Today is the 4th.  And many ‘big names’ were in on it though some may not have been so bold as to name the day.  But, friends, even if it HAD happened yesterday the seismologists have been telling us this for a very long time that the BIG one is due.  Now, it would have been different if, say the prophecy had been about New York…but San Francisco is an easy target!

Scripture has a lot to say about prophets and their prophecies…especially ones that do not come to pass…for it is evident that God did not tell them and therefore they (the Prophets) should not be feared.

There was a doom and gloom prophet whose prophecies did not come to pass.  His name was Jonah. But God ALWAYS relents when people repent.  Nineveh, though, was overthrown some years later when they obviously returned to their old ways.

Now I am hearing this used as an excuse for the prophecies not coming to pass.  Oh come on!  If there is mass repentance in San Francisco then Praise God!  But, I can guarantee you there is not.

What, for me, is sadder is that so many Christians have been duped by all this going on being deceived and deceiving.  But what is sadder still is that they relish the thought of hundreds, thousands, millions dying without Christ just so Christians could go ‘aha!’  Shouldn’t our hearts yearn for the lost?  God’s does.  God has NO pleasure in the death of the wicked – and so should we?  Is it not enough that they will stand before God one day to give an account?  Should we not pity them, should we not preach to them the Good News?  Yes, perhaps they will reject the message, perhaps they will reject you…is this not the lot of the Christian?  If they hated Jesus will they not also hate you?  However, we are NOT called to hate in return.

God does warn people and sometimes about earthly disasters.  This is mercy BEFORE judgment. And so we also should be merciful as God is to us every day.

I have read about those who claim they ‘got it right’ with the Boston Marathon or the Japanese earthquake in 2011.  So what?  What good did it do?  What was it that they did that helped them?  There are many people in the world who are not Christians who claim these things too but again it made no difference except to boost them in the eyes of others…so there you have it…false prophets are all about self-glorification and ego even when done in the name of Jesus.  The true prophets are there on the ground making a difference in the lives of those they meet by talking about and being like Jesus.

Let us return to Scripture and learn to test prophecies.  Let us turn to Scripture to see what IT has to say about the future.  Let us remind ourselves of those amazing prophecies that have come to pass word-for-word.  Let us test people according to the Words of Scripture for this is what we are called to do.  Let us not get caught up in a plethora of prophecies that appear to be saying the same thing and reckon it must be God…a confirmed prophecy is only in its fulfilment.  And friends, the San Francisco one was a false prophecy.

http://z3news.com/w/97-earthquake-coming-west-coast-october-3-2013

Eschatology ES01 An Introduction

Eschatology: ES01 An Introduction

Eschatology (Greek: G2274 ἔσχατος eschatos = last – The word appears about 50 times in the New Testament) is the study of the last times.  Whilst most studies look at last times only, our studies will include all prophecy that has been fulfilled and all prophecy that has yet to be fulfilled.  All fulfilled prophecies were future when they were written in Scripture and became history!  And as such unfulfilled prophecy shall also become history.  God has acted in history and will also, in history, fulfil it.  Eschatology has been described as the: “systematic study of eventualities.”1

It is a fact that we are all curious about our own destiny and the destiny of others.  There is not a tribe or nation or tongue that does not have an idea about things beyond death.  However it is in Christianity that we find the answers to our questions and so find that as there is a beginning there will also be an end, a consummation.  The greatest event we are waiting for is the 2nd Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  With this will come the Judgment and the final destiny of individuals and the human race.  It will be the end of what we know as time and eternity will be instead which is timeless.

Now I know that many fanatics are also interested in prophecy trying their very hardest with many theories to predict how certain things shall come to pass.  There are others who also, with healthy scepticism, read the signs of the times.  How do we tell the difference between those who are mad and those who are sane?  It is by their level of biblical literacy.

So, in our studies on Eschatology that are going to be comprehensive (for that is what is meant by ‘Systematic’).  We are going to take in the whole field from the first syllable to the last in Scripture to get a balanced view.

I do not promise, however, to be systematic in the order that I present the subject!  I think that some events may overtake us such as those things that are happening in the Middle East even as I write.  Such questions inevitably arise such as: Will Isaiah 17.1 be fulfilled right now where Damascus ceases to be a City and remain uninhabited?  Such dramatic times we live in!  It is ‘watch this space’ time! But we have to exercise caution for it may not be now…but it will be one day!  God has not revealed the timetable for such events; only it is one that is yet to be fulfilled.  And we have the guarantee that it will be fulfilled because we know about all the other fulfilled prophecies.  It is proof that God keeps His Word.

We have to take this subject seriously taking to heart what is said in:

2 Timothy 2:15 — 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Don’t put your reputation on the line by saying with certitude that something is going to happen at this time or on such and such a date.  But put your reputation on the line by saying that what God says will happen will definitely happen for He is never wrong and never lies.

There are some who think that we should not bother with the subject of prophecy because they have no bearing upon our lives, which, by the way, is a fallacy.  However since prophecies take up 20% of our Bibles and 25% of the books of the Bible are expressly prophetic in nature we are doing a great disservice to God’s Word.  And what becomes of such verses as:

2 Timothy 3:16–17 — 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

All Scripture…even those relating to end times are profitable.

It is also evident that Old Testament Prophets thought prophecy to be so important:

1 Peter 1:10–11 — 10 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.

This searching is of the sort that indicates that they barely rested from this task, so vital and central did they think it was.

On top of this is the fact that Jesus and the Apostle Paul taught prophecy as something very important:

John 16:13 — 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

Jesus indicating here that one of the main roles of the Holy Spirit is to reveal things that are to come.

The Apostle John declared that Jesus Himself did the same:

Revelation 1:1 — 1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place.

2 Thessalonians 2:1–5 — 1 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?

How long was Paul with them to teach them so many things about the future and put such an emphasis upon these things as well as teaching other essentials?  It was for a very short time indeed; probably less than a month.  He urges them to remember what was taught.

There are many out there who are making their presence known in Academia, on YouTube, Websites and in Pulpits who should be ashamed.  I mentioned Academia and Pulpits on purpose for either they neglect prophecy altogether or they come up with radical alternative understandings ranging from the liberal to the deranged.  Let us make sure we do not become as one of those by getting a proper grasp of Scripture neither ignoring nor being consumed by prophecies.  The latter is incredibly easy to do and many Christians have got derailed along the way for it is an exciting subject but we ought to be more excited by our Lord Jesus Christ and all that He has done and all that He will do.  All is grace and mercy.

Prophecy is in Scripture to reveal our God who both knows and understands history and the future and is in control of it and who is faithful in bringing to pass all that He says.  Prophecy is the answer to the liberals who reject God’s Word.  Fulfilled prophecies are verifiable and is the reason why these Scriptures are attacked so vehemently as ‘written after the fact’.  But it is impossible to overcome some of these prophecies as they have been fulfilled since the canon was put together!

Elsewhere we have looked at hermeneutics (interpretation).  However we make clear that prophecies in their plain language are how they are to be read and understood.  Where symbols are used these are also plain and indicated and either interpreted within the passage or elsewhere in the pages of Scripture; such is the unity of Scripture.  There are few exceptions to this.  That is not to say that there are not complications but these often become clearer just before or just after a prophecy has been fulfilled; the complications then are understood in ways we often could not have expected.  The proof of this is in the plain statements to His disciples when Jesus was explaining what was going to happen to Him in His death and resurrection.  Though it was very clear from our perspective it was only afterwards the disiples understood.  If, as many are inclined to do, they try to put other interpretations to Scripture then what it leads to is confusion for who is to say whose interpretation is right?!

On top of this there are other rules of interpretation such as what is called the ‘Law of Double Reference’.  There are many times throughout the Old Testament, for instance, where Jesus’ coming is predicted but the verses are speaking about His 1st and 2nd Advent.  For example in:

Zechariah 9:9–10 — 9 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey. 10 I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim And the horse from Jerusalem; The battle bow shall be cut off. He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be ‘from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth.’

Verse 9 relates only to His first coming; verse 10 only to His second.  But it is not obvious that there is a time gap between verse 9 and 10 but history shows that there is.

And as well as other rules of interpretation that follow on from the first is the law of context.  It is too easy to take verses out of context and give them a meaning that would not be possible otherwise.  The Bible can mean whatever you want it to mean but only if you disobey the above rules.

There are some who think that these rules are a new thing somehow carved out by fundamentalists in our present day but even Irenaeus says: These things are such as fall [plainly] under our observation, and are clearly and unambiguously in express terms set forth in the Sacred Scriptures…But to apply expressions which are not clear or evident to interpretations…such as everyone discovers for himself as inclination leads him, is absurd. For in this way no one will possess the rule of truth; but in accordance with the number of persons who explain…will be found the various systems of truth, in mutual opposition to each other, and setting forth antagonistic doctrines,[1]

Whilst he is speaking of parables it is obvious that he would have included prophecy too.

And this is very clearly the case in Academia and in Churches today with their innumerable interpretations.  No one seems to have the truth leading to the ridiculous saying today that; ‘You have my truth. Fine and good!  I have mine!’

God has purposely revealed to us the future and because He has decided to do that we should make sure we are aware of what is written.  Because God fulfills prophecy we can also be sure that the promises He has made concerning our future and the future of the world will come to pass as assuredly as you are reading or listening to these words.

As well as all this it is a subject that is contemporary with all the fears and worries that the world has today about its future whether it be chemical, biological or nuclear weapons or accidents and natural and other man-made disasters whether floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, fires, climate change and so on.  Scripture gives hope to those who are God’s and fear to those who are not.  It is easy even as God’s people to be fearful but time and time again we are told not to be consumed by worry but to put our trust in God who knows all things before they even come to pass.

God has seen it fit to reveal many things but not everything has been revealed.  There are gaps in our knowledge and in formulating a systematic theology we have to be careful not to speculate wildly but within the confines of what has been revealed.  We are not able to predict the future with any level of certainty but what God has revealed will surely come to pass.

However when speaking of prophecies fulfilled and unfulfilled it has an effect upon us to make sure that we ourselves are ready; that we are holy as He is holy.  Prophecy has a sanctifying affect upon us.  And so throughout our studies the end game is to become like Jesus and to know Him all the more till at last we shall indeed, in a twinkling of an eye, be like Him and know Him as we are known.

Eschatology will cover such subjects as Israel and its place, the death of the individual, the Intermediate State, the 2nd Coming, the resurrection, the judgment, and the destinies of all peoples.  We will also be looking at the differences found between theologians (we are all theologians) in approaching this subject and will cover such topics such as the millennium and the tribulation.  As I have said already; it will be comprehensive.

So, concerning things to come we are not to avoid this subject but instead:

1 Thessalonians 4:18 — 18 comfort one another with these words.

Is it Heaven we look forward to?  Is it the pleasures forevermore?  Yes, and more.  We can look forward to these ‘things’ but really the whole of Eschatology is centred upon Jesus.  It is Jesus we are looking forward to seeing.  It is Jesus we are yearning for.  It is Jesus, the All in all.  He is the One who is coming for His own.  Indeed, let your Kingdom come!

Amen. Come Lord Jesus.

Feedback and discussion points are welcome either here or on Twitter: @pastorianthomas

Do share this article as the reason for writing is to lay biblical foundations in the Christian’s life which are grossly lacking today.

Bibliography

Berkhof, L. (1938). Systematic theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans publishing co.

Berkouwer, G. C. (1972). The Return of Christ. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Boice, J. M. (1986). Foundations of the Christian faith: a comprehensive & readable theology. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Chafer, L. S. (1993). Systematic theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.

Culver, R. D. (2005). Systematic Theology: Biblical and Historical. Ross-shire, UK: Mentor.

Erickson, M. J. (1998). Christian theology. (2nd ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

Fruchtenbaum, A. G. (2003). The footsteps of the Messiah : a study of the sequence of prophetic events (Rev. ed.). Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries.

Grudem, W. A. (2004). Systematic theology: an introduction to biblical doctrine. Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; Zondervan Pub. House.

Hodge, C. (1997). Systematic theology. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Horton, M. (2011). The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Irenaeus of Lyons. (1885). Irenæus against Heresies. (A. Roberts, J. Donaldson, & A. C. Coxe, Eds.)The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume I: The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company.

McCune, R. (2010). A Systematic Theology of Biblical Christianity: The Doctrines of Salvation, the Church, and Last Things (Vol. 3). Allen Park, MI: Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary.

Miley, J. (1893). Systematic theology, volume 2. New York: Hunt & Eaton.

Pope, W. B. (1879). A Compendium of Christian Theology: being analytical outlines of a course of theological study, biblical, dogmatic, historical, volumes 1-3. London: Beveridge and Co.

Ryrie, Charles Caldwell. (1999). Basic Theology: A Popular Systematic Guide to Understanding Biblical Truth. Chicago, IL: Moody Press.

Strong, A. H. (1907). Systematic theology. Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication Society.

Torrey, R. A., Feinberg, C. L., & Wiersbe, W. W. (2005). The Fundamentals: the famous sourcebook of foundational biblical truths. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Van Kampen, R. (2000). The sign (3rd rev. ed.). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.



1 J. Oliver Buswell Jr., A Systematic Theology of the Christian Religion (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1963), 2:295.

[1] Irenaeus of Lyons. (1885). Irenæus against Heresies. (A. Roberts, J. Donaldson, & A. C. Coxe, Eds.)The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume I: The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus (p. 398). Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company.

Why is the Bible so important? Part 1

Why is the Bible so important? Part 1

Interesting question as it actually has many answers.

I suppose it has to do with authority. By authority I mean, what is it that informs what we believe and why we believe it? Some rely upon tradition, others on feelings, others on what someone has told them, and still others rely upon their rational. All these are based somewhat upon upbringing, culture, natural demeanour and a host of other internal and external affects. And all of these are different for different people, a fact recognised in our post-modern world. Forgive the word ‘fact’ and ‘post-modern’ in the same sentence! Because it is our post-modern society that says there are no facts, no grand narrative, no one authority. This makes it convenient to believe whatever we believe with no justification necessary as you believe what you will believe and I will believe what I believe and both can live in unison despite its tensions and often diametrically opposed truths.
There is one authority, though, that has not changed, is neither ancient, modern nor post-modern but is present no matter what the era. And that is the Bible. The Bible speaks down through the ages to every people, culture and language. The Bible is its own authority. It speaks the truth. It is the Word of God. It is what God is saying.

Open Bible
Open Bible

Some say that the Bible contains the Word of God meaning that somewhere in its pages are words that can pertain to God but other pages where it does not. When I say the Bible contains the Word of God I mean from cover to cover every Word is given by God and is from God. This makes the decision about what is my authority very easy: it is the Bible. For those who think that only part of it should be our authority then pickers will be choosers. Who is to say what part is and what part is not? For those who choose which parts are and what parts are not have actually made themselves the authority. Some make it sound very spiritual and say that it is Jesus who is their authority. If this is the case then they would know that Jesus Himself made Scripture totally authoritative.

It is clear we either take the whole of the Bible with its difficulties that should not be glossed over or we take none of it. The only way we know what we believe and why is because God has revealed it to us through human writers sometimes through dictation (Thus says the Lord…) or, as usually was the case, using the writer’s humanity but without error.

This is called plenary inspiration, the view that all Scripture (the Bible) is inspired by God and thus is without any inaccuracy, mistake, fault or error.  2 Timothy 3:16–17 (NKJV) — 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

[Glossary: ‘plenary’ means ‘full and complete’]

If it is found to have inaccuracies, mistakes, faults or errors then we have nothing to rely upon for truth. Jesus regarded Scripture to be authentic even in those parts that are hard to believe like Jonah. And who am I or you to argue with the Author of our Salvation?!

[A more in depth article will be written in due course]

Are Christians lacking faith if they do not prosper or are sick or have trouble?

Today’s subject will be an eye opener.  It goes against the grain of those prosperity gospeller’s who ply their trade on God TV and elsewhere. We are told by them that only good is in store for those who are Christians.  We are told that problems simply go away because we belong to God.  We are told that there is no sickness, no pain this side of Heaven that God will not heal.  We are told that we will live abundantly in every green field and that we will have money to spare.  And if this is not the case then we are without faith.  This is a mindset that is difficult to overcome and is a very typical western view of how God should be to His children: the One who is on demand like our Sky Boxes, TiVos and Freeview boxes.  It is difficult to overcome because those who have believed these things can only feel condemned that their lives are not rosy and comfortable or instead are snug because it is all going their way and so, therefore, are of great faith.  Millions of Christians around the world think it is their right to have everything go their way.

My question is three-fold:  Do bad things happen to good people?  Is there something wrong with good people if things go pear-shaped?  When trouble comes who is at fault?

Now I have said before there is no one who is good except God – but I am addressing those who have been made righteous in God’s sight.  Do bad things happen to God’s people and is there something wrong with them if things don’t go right?

Let’s read from Scripture and see what it has to say:

Job 2:1–10; Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” 3 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.” 4 So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. 5 But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” 6 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.” 7 So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. 8 And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes. 9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” 10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

Notice that Job did not sin by saying that adversity came from God.  In another translation it says: “Shall we receive the good at the hand of God, and not receive the bad?” (ESV)

So, should we only expect good from God and no bad to come our way?  Today it even sounds heretical to say that the trouble we have actually comes from God.  But this is what Job says and he did not sin by saying that – meaning he was right in his estimation even though we, unlike him, have the insight to see that Satan was the one to actually cause all the pain and hurt he suffered – but this was allowed by God.

But this is so Old Testament, right?  I mean, it can’t be the case now that we are saved by Jesus Christ, can it?

1 Peter 1:3–9; 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,  4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

James 1:2–4; My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

You can’t be serious, can you?  Peter mentions that some may have had trials but James says when you fall into trials…it seems that if we have come out of trouble and not having trouble now we are guaranteed that trouble is on the way.  Out of Jesus’ own words He says:

John 16:33b; In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

If we have no challenge and no trials it can only lead to a bland Christian life; a life that does not cause us to rely upon God.  We naturally do not seek God when things are well and comfortable.  Faith grows in the crucible of fire, of trouble and trials, where we are forced to rely upon God even when the circumstances can seem unbearable.

1 Peter 4:12–13,19; Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.

Suffer according to the will of God.  There it is again! To re-emphasise;

Job 42:11; Then all his brothers, all his sisters, and all those who had been his acquaintances before, came to him and ate food with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversity that the Lord had brought upon him. Each one gave him a piece of silver and each a ring of gold.

suffering

Even after the trouble was over it left its mark on Job… but notice that others helped in comforting him.  We may know someone now who is going through the mill.  When they have come out the other side we need to be those who draw alongside and help where we can.  When we, ourselves, have been through the fire then we can empathise with those who also suffer…and this world is full of suffering.

Let us beware of how we respond to those in troubling times and not be judgmental and be like those whom Paul saw:

Galatians 4:13–14; You know that because of physical infirmity I preached the gospel to you at the first. 14 And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.

This just goes against the whole grain of prosperity gospeller’s preaching.  Even Paul was not well.  It would really seem that we are not promised that anything will go right for us this side of Heaven, if anything we are promised the opposite.

God does give us faith to trust Him for healing and other things and most of us have experienced such things and know others who have too but these things are not guaranteed to happen every time.  God however gives us faith to handle the different situations when they arise if we are willing to receive it – and sometimes it is for a complete miracle.

We have gained the idea in the last forty years that somehow we can demand of God our rights as Christians just like people are all the more demanding of their rights in today’s world.  But I think we are mistaken as to what those rights are.  We do have a number of rights: we have the right to become sons of God as long as we believe on Jesus, we have the right to be forgiven as long as we have forgiven others and confessed our sin – these rights come with conditions attached – and these are gifts from God through the suffering of Jesus.  We also have the right to suffer, a right that not too many Christians want to claim I expect but it comes with great rewards though not in this life.

Hear Jesus:

Mark 10:28–30; Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.” 29 So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.

We really do have it upside down; we are not gaining anything until we have left everything – which means that anything we do gain in this world will be held onto with very light hands because we realise their true worth.  And there is the bit we don’t want – persecution.

God may tell us that we shall be healed or, indeed, we have faith for healing so that is a promise to hold onto until it happens but unless this is so our faith is nothing more than presumption.  Earlier we saw that Paul was sick, we read that Job was sick, in Acts and the Epistles we discover others who were sick such as Timothy and he was advised to take medicine (rather than claim his healing – and this by Apostle Paul!).  If our great apostles needed healing and were sick from time to time are we to expect that we will live a sick-free life?

2 Corinthians 12:10; For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (ESV)

Paul is content in troubles and in whatever happens.

Perhaps we are surprised because we know

Romans 8:28; And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

And

Jeremiah 29:11; For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Both verses are absolutely true and are God’s promises to us but what do we think this good is or this future and hope?  Do we think that God’s good for us means monetary rewards?  Do we think that the future that God is giving us is a life of luxury?  Did we not hear that the things of this world are at enmity with God?  Sometimes God will bless us with these things and indeed we should be exceedingly thankful if so and to use what we have been given for God’s service.  But as said before we are to treat these things with light hands;

1 Timothy 6:17-19; Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. 18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share,  19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

If we were to look up the word ‘riches’ in the Bible we would find that riches of the world are mentioned with disdain but when it refers to riches for a Christian it refers to our inheritance; to the knowledge of Jesus; to the riches we have in glory.  Not at all what the world would want to hear or our faith preachers and their adherents.   Earlier in the chapter Paul says:

1 Timothy 6:9; But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.

forgoodDo all things work for the good of those who are God’s?  Bernard Gilpin, accused of heresy before Bishop Bonner, set out for London for trial. His favorite maxim was, “All things are for the best.” On his journey, he broke his leg. “Is all for the best now?” jested a scorner. “I still believe so,” he replied.   And so it proved, for before he was able to resume his journey, Queen Mary died. And instead of going to London to be burned, he returned home in triumph.

We don’t know what we have missed by the fact trouble has come our way…it maybe a worse calamity would have come our way us. Just because things don’t seem to be going well does not mean that things could have not have been worse or we escaped temptation that would have ensnared us.  God uses the things that happen for his purposes.  God sees the whole picture whereas we are like fish in a goldfish bowl only aware of our own situation – and even then we are not truly aware.

God does promise all things for good but it may not be what accountants call ‘tangible assets’.  Tangible assets are those that you can value with money and can touch with our hands: things like cars or computers or money. Most often, though, the good we receive is an intangible asset – something that is hard to put a value on because these are assets you cannot actually put your hands on.  These intangible assets are

Galatians 5:22–23; …the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control.

These intangible assets become evident to everyone even if one is poor or sick or homeless or jobless or friendless or possessionless.  But the greatest riches we shall enjoy will be once we cross over the Jordan, so to speak.  The Bible makes it clear we should be encouraging each other about the fact Jesus is coming back.  Why encourage?  Because this world has mainly troubles…and when He comes back He will set everything right…He will give us a reward and riches that nothing can corrupt but above all we will be with Him forever.

2 Corinthians 4:17; For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.

When bad comes our way we are not to demand our rights but seek God and allow Him to do His work in us, so that the end result is a greater trust in Him with an even greater reward.  It maybe that God will give healing or wealth among other things but maybe he won’t. We can say:

“I know that God has a purpose in this. I know that God will bring me through this. I know that God is a good and loving Father and that He is doing a good and eternal work in my life.” (Charles Stanley)

Through it all God never leaves us or forsakes us.  Like the footprints poem He carries us.  He is with us through thick and thin.  Remember that story of Daniel’s friends in the fiery furnace?  Who was there in the fire with them? (see Daniel 3:1-30)

I will end with this poem by Walter Knight who it would seem knows something of trials and pains:

vice

Pressed out of measure and pressed to all length,

Pressed so intensely it seems beyond strength;

Pressed in the body and pressed in the soul,

Pressed in the mind till the dark surges roll;

Pressure by foes, and pressure by friends,

Pressure on pressure, till life nearly ends,

Pressed into loving the staff and the rod;

Pressed into knowing no helper but God;

Pressed into liberty where nothing clings,

Pressed into faith for impossible things;

Pressed into living a life in the Lord,

Pressed into living a Christ-life outpoured!

All quotations from the Bible are NKJV unless otherwise stated.

Hymns, Prayers and Encouragements 29/3/13 Good Friday

Good Friday

Perhaps one, or perhaps THE greatest hymn of all time was written by Isaac Watts (1674-1748), a hymn that Charles Wesley apparently said he would have happily given up all the hymns he had written if he could have penned this one!

Hymns Prayers and EncouragementsWhen I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Can you answer, yes, Amen, to that?  If not then it is because you do not yet completely understand what it is all about.  Leave your email in the feedback and I will try to help you in this journey.