Friday, 26 June 2009
Thousands are voicing disappointment as Michael Jacksons planned 50 night UK Tour 'This is it' is now cancelled. However no-one is blaming Michael. The pop star died of an unexpected heart attack last night at his Los Angeles home. I was thinking about all the others who have gone before him unexpectedly...Elvis Presley, James Dean, Princess Diana, Marilyn Monroe, Buddy Holly. The truth is we never know when death will come. The Bible speaks of 3 deaths. Physical death, Spiritual death, and everlasting death. The first death no-one can escape. Physical death is the judgemnt of God against our sin and cannot be avoided. However God in his mercy has provided a means of escape for the other two. We can be resurrected from our spiritually dead position and made spiritualy alive in Christ when we become born-again. And we can receive the gift of everlasting life. Everlasting life cannot be worked for, it is a gift bestowed on Gods Children. "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is everlasting life in Christ Jesus" Romans 3:23. Christ Jesus is the only means of escape from spiritual death and Hell.
Jacksons sin was laid out to the whole world when he was arrested twice for sexual assaults on young children. The first case never went to court as the victim and his family were paid off. He was found not-guilty at the second trial against overwhelming evidence of his guilt. I'm sure many will continue to idolise this man after death. Huge merchandise deals will no doubt flood forth. Whatever legacy Jackson might have wanted to leave, God will always have the last word.
Friday, 19 June 2009
Drag me to Hell is a terrifying horror movie about a women called Christine who receives a curse from a gypsy. A demon comes to torment her and in three days he will drag her to hell to burn in fire for eternity. Elements of the film are set for humor, however the films content is anything but funny. The film is closer to the truth than anyone would like to think. The Bible teaches that Hell is a real place,
created by God. It is a place of punishment originally intended for Satan and his fallen angels (demons), but now the final destination for billions of lost souls. Jesus taught that it was a place of “Everlasting punishment” (Matthew 5:46) “Weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 25:46) and “Fire unquenchable” (Luke 3:17). Christine realising she only has hours left visits a fortune teller, psychologist and a medium, but no one can help her. In the final scene the ground beneath her opens up
and demonic arms pull her down into Hell. She tries to crawl out, but to no avail as her flesh burns away in seconds and she screams desperately for help before the ground closes above her and she is damned to suffer for eternity. This is fact: God promises to punish all thieves, liars, blasphemers, murderers and adulterers in Hell. How many times do you have to use Gods name as a cuss word to be a blasphemer?-just one! How many lies do you have to tell to be a liar?-just one! A murderer?-take just one life! Be honest if God judges you by his Holy standard on Judgement Day you’re in big trouble. "For all have sinned” (Romans 3:23). However there is good news-incredibly good news. We deserve judgement, but God offers us mercy through the cross of Jesus Christ. We broke Gods law, but Jesus paid the fine. “While we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). On the third day he rose from the grave proving he was sent by God to save us from our sins. Jesus did this to deal with the sin that separates us from God and to set us free from the curse of the law, so we wouldn’t have to go to Hell. Jesus said that if we repent (turn away from ourselves and sin) and put our faith (trust) in him we will be saved from the wrath to come. Do the opposite to what Christine did, cry out through prayer, in faith, to the only one who can save you, the Lord Jesus Christ. Do it today!
Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Daily Mail 17/06/09 'Marriage should be promoted by the Government to end the 'social anarchy' of family breakdown, a senior judge said last night.
Mr Justice Coleridge accused mothers and fathers who fail to commit to each other of engaging in a game of 'pass the partner' that has left millions of children 'scarred for life'.
In a hard-hitting speech in Parliament, he called for a change of attitude that would attach a 'stigma' to those who destroy family life and said a National Commission should be established to devise solutions for the 'epidemic' of broken homes.
He said: 'The reaffirmation of marriage as the gold standard would be a start.'
Currently, one in three marriages ends in divorce. One in ten children lives with cohabiting parents and a quarter live with a single parent.'
My thoughts on this article are this: If you believe as I do that God instituted holy matrimony and sustains those things he has put in place then it is our nations turning away from God that has caused the problem. Divorce and family breakdown are therefore merely a symptom of this turning away. It is a turning back to God that will mend broken Britian not just a governmental rethink on marriage.
Never before have Church leaders been needed to publicly speak out for righteousness (that which is right). But where are they?
Saturday, 13 June 2009
The World Health Organization has raised its swine flu alert to Phase 6, indicating that a global pandemic is underway. It is the first time in over 40 years that a flu pandemic has been declared.
The move to Phase 6 reflects the geographic spread of the virus and does not suggest any change in its severity. Of the 29,000 cases that have been recorded across 74 countries, the majority have not been severe. However, 145 people have died from the virus.
Mad cows disease, Foot and Mouth disease, bird flu and now swine flu all within ten years. Do you think God's trying to tell us something? "When he opened the fourth seal I looked and behold a pale horse. And power was given to him over a quarter of the earth to kill with the sword and with hunger AND WITH THE BEASTS OF THE EARTH" Revelation 6:8.
What we are seeing I believe is only the rumblings, a quickening, a foretaste of what is coming upon the earth. There is a difference between Gods Judgement and Gods wrath. Gods judgement is his MERCY upon people to show them somethings wrong and they need to repent. Gods wrath is an outpouring of his anger against sin.
Please read afresh Revelation chapter six through to to the end. You will see the wrath of God revealed against all unrighteousness of men. Gods final judgement has been delayed for the lost to take up the offer of a pardon. However Jesus taught one day the door to salvation will be shut and the wrath of God will come.
How often do WE feel outraged at sin. The millions of aborted babies? Child molesters? Imagine how God feels. Gods 'pay back' time is fast approaching. We need to continue to warn the lost they need to come into the ark, which is Jesus Christ. He is the only means by which they must be saved.
Friday, 12 June 2009
Philadelphia, PA (LifeNews.com) -- An abortion business in Pennsylvania is drawing criticism or giving away free abortions on Tuesday in honor of slain late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller. The Philadelphia Women's Center said the free abortions were meant to show appreciation for Tiller, who was allegedly killed by extremist gunman Scott Roeder.
Town Hall columnist Jillian Bandes said a staff member at the abortion center said an unspecified number of free abortions were done yesterday for Tiller's “memory and legacy.”
Operation Rescue president Troy Newman condemned the free abortions and said they only injured women and killed children.
"There seems to be no comprehension of the value of human life with these people. Killing babies for free to honor someone who was murdered can only be described as sick," he told LifeNews.com.
"There is no such thing as a 'free abortion,'" said Newman. "It costs the life of an innocent baby and puts the women at risk for increased problems in their lives. The loss of each innocent life diminishes us all."
Sunday, 7 June 2009
Wednesday, 3 June 2009
Recentley we decided to use a replica coffin with the scripture "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement" on the streets of Exeter. We were approached by various well meaning but ignorant Christians who accused us of being unloving. The premise being its wrong to stimulate and play on peoples fears. Have you seen a packet of cigarettes lately! I mean it. The have these graffic pictures on the front of them, throat cancers, lung cancers, arterial disease. The idea being that looking at the photo will produce fear in the smoker who will then as a result quit. Fear is regulary used as a tool by the government to induce a change of behaviour in the population. Think about the horrific drink driving ads at Christmas, or the terrifying aids ads of the eighties.
I looked up fear of God in the concordance: It is a reverence for God and his power which leads to obedience. In aother words Gods awesome power has become a reality to you, in so much, that it has induced a change of behaviour in which you now want to follow him in obedience. "Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man" Ecc 12:13.
It is clear even from a casual look in a concordance that God has and continues to use fear to bring about his purposes. "Through fear of the Lord men depart from evil" is beautifuly illustrated by Jesus in the following parable, were he encourages his hearers to stay away from sin. "If your eye offends you, pluck it out: it is better for you to eneter into the Kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire" Mark 9:47. He instructed his Disciples to "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul, but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" Matt 10:28. What greater incentive to stay away from sin could we need?
God sent Jonah to Nineveh with a message of judgement "Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be destoyed." Through fear of the Lord a whole city repented and was saved by Gods amazing grace. Okay it doesn't always go to plan. Paul shared his faith with the noble Felix in Acts 24:25 and reasoned with him about judgement to come. Although Felix 'trembled' he sent Paul away, remaining as much as we can tell unconverted.
Barnes' commentary on Jude 23 summs up the type of people who are won by fear: "And others save by fear, pulling them out of the fire." And others - Another class; those who were of such a character, or in such circumstances, that a more bold, earnest, and determined manner would be better adapted to them.Save with fear - That is, by appeals adapted to produce fear. The idea seems to be that the arguments on which they relied were to be drawn from the dangers of the persons referred to, or from the dread of future wrath. It is undoubtedly true, that while there is a class of persons who can be won to embrace religion by mild and gentle persuasion, there is another class who can be aroused only by the terrors of the law. Every method is to be employed, in its proper place, that we “by all means may save some.” Pulling them out of the fire - As you would snatch persons out of the fire; or as you would seize on a person that was walking into a volcano. Then, a man would not use the mild and gentle language of persuasion, but by word and gesture show that he was deeply in earnest.
Hebrews 2:15 tells us that all are subject to bondage through fear of death. However Jesus defeated the power of the grave and now offers eternal life to all those who come to him. So yes, fear of death, or rather the will to live, is an often overlooked, but valid tool for reaching the lost. If you take the average age of death as seventy and you are twenty you have two thousand-five hundred weekends left. You then loose five hundred weekends every ten years that goes by. If you're sixty you have only five hundred weekends left. Charles Spurgeon said "Men have been helped to live by remembering that they must die." Fear of death should cause the lost to run for the cure, and the saved to offer it. amen.
Monday, 1 June 2009
This is the claim being made by a group of evangelists from The River church Exeter, after their soulwinning outreach this Saturday. My heart would be rejoicing if these are indeed true converts to Christs. However I'm doubtful, firstly because I have read their soul winning script and secondly I bumped into one of the Atheist converts they are claiming. Yes you have guessed it we were also in Exeter that day as part of our preaching intinery. Four of us worked for four hours and didn't see one soul saved. On the surface it would seem we are failing in our methods and maybe need to change the way we do things. Or perhaps its simpler than that. It is my understanding that River Church would class a soul saved because someone has repeated
a prayer, and for me this is the problem. This leads nicely back to the Atheist false convert. I met him in the afternoon after I approached him with a tract about Athiesm (God is good). At first he refused believing it to be a Christian tract. However we got into a conversation about sin, righteousness and judgement to come. He kept repeating to me his unbelief so after a long conversation with him and his friend I offered to pray for him. It was then he told me he had already been prayed for that day by two Christians in the town who had taken him through a script. His name was Luke. Praise God I was given the opportunity to explain to him the Biblical way of salvation. Why heart grieves for any lost precious soul who now believes he is a Christian because he repeated a pre-prepared prayer. False converts are a Biblical fact and because of the reality of hell I shall forever keep this in mind. It may well be a few of the number they are claiming will go on to bear fruit for the Kingdom. However I believe it will be despite their method not because of it! I recommend Paul Washer teaching on the dangers of decisional evangelism, here is the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shxQcczYuAA.