Saturday 30 December 2017

As we come to the end of another year and consider the next, we should bear in mind the parlous state of the Church in many places in our land. If we are to see an improvement in the coming months, we need God on our side and perhaps it would be wise to listen to words of two great Saints of the Bible, the Apostles Peter and Paul.

Peter states, ‘Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven by which men must be saved’. Paul states ‘I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation’.

The response from many people, even within the Church is ‘you can’t say that it’s too narrow it’s discriminating and exclusive’. So many within the contemporary Church would find this objectionable.

Why are they shocked that there is only one way to be saved, Shouldn’t we be utterly and thankfully amazed that there is a way to be saved at all?

The Bible is a book all about salvation and there has never been any doubt that the only way to be saved is through Jesus Christ. He is the focus and climax of the Bible from start to finish. This has been the message from all the great evangelists.

Today, no less than in any other age, it is this intense biblical integrity that is needed. Fearless courage and conviction to stand for the truth that Jesus Christ is the only name that saves.

We will find that we will meet opposition when we declare our faith, we shouldn’t be surprised, and we should expect it. Public officials are ever anxious to erase Christianity from the public arena.

I read that more people are turning to Islam rather than Christianity because of its more decisive morality.

It is true to say that Islam is a moral religion and its clerics promote it vigorously. The Islamic faith is challenging the Western world, and whilst there is too much violent aggression in the process, we have to admit sadly and shamefully that there is generally a more ethical and moral basis in their faith than many Christians have.

They see millions and millions of abortions, and in America the previous President gave millions of dollars to an abortion clinic in America, where there was evidence suggested of very improper dealings; and in other Western nations abortion has become alternative form contraception.

They see drugs; the obsession with illicit sex; same sex (so called) marriage; the pornography and smut; the breakup of homes; young people smashing and looting and rioting; and they don’t want it in their countries.

It is also true to say Christian preachers tend to modify teaching of traditional values to appeal to contemporary thinking, and for fear of offending one of the many discrimination laws promoted equally vigorously by vociferous minorities, so falling foul of the law, which is not enforced against other faiths with the same enthusiasm as against Christian preachers.

At the present time in this country we don’t go to prison for spreading the gospel, (not yet that is) although we are getting there, as punitive legislation has led to some preachers being arrested by police for preaching biblically, with a zeal not displayed against criminals.

The last government enacted legislation which was anti-Christian, and against the beliefs and conscience of Christians, and eradicated 2000 years of Christian teaching by legislating for same sex marriage. Our present Prime Minister is for ever telling us she is a Vicar’s daughter and goes to Church every Sunday, which is glorious to hear; what a pity it doesn’t make itself manifest in her judgements; for example supporting the proposal to have children of tender years to be taught of various kinds of sexuality and encouraging children to question their gender.

'I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes, first for the Jew, then for the Gentile’. These are the words of the great Apostle Paul.

The gospel story we are called to proclaim is the good news about what God has done to rescue us from the consequences of our sin. Each of us falls short of the standard that we ought to meet, and so justice demands that we pay a price.

The problem, fundamentally, is a moral one. People like to pretend that morality is just some arbitrary set of rules made up by other people who want to control how we behave. It’s not. But God has given us the chance to be absolved from the mess we have got into, and the punishment we deserve. He has done this through the Cross.

Whilst a price has to be paid for our sins, God decided to help us by taking that punishment upon Himself. On the Cross Jesus suffered a most cruel punishment on our behalf so there is no longer any price for us to pay. But that requires us turning from our sin and putting our faith in Him and living according to the standard laid down by God in His Holy Word.

Why should anyone be ashamed to tell that story?
We may not be able or indeed desire to preach in the same way as of old, but whilst we may change our style we still have an important message to proclaim and it must not be watered down to suit modern susceptibilities.

To be ashamed infers that one is reluctant to admit to something, a desire to disassociate oneself from it. There is an ever present strong temptation to do so when there is so much theological and moral confusion; when you are dismissed as a fundamentalist for believing the Bible; when there is so much opposition; when there is encouragement to water down the gospel to make it more acceptable; when we don’t want to declare our faith in case we are sneered or laughed at.

We cannot be ashamed of the gospel. How would people hear? And how can they call on the One they have not believed in. And how can they believe in the One they have never heard. And how can they hear if no on preaches it to them.

How many Church members are embarrassed when asked if they believe? Indeed how many are ready to acknowledge they attend Church. How would we answer if asked to give our opinion on moral questions? If you are not ashamed you are ready to speak out about your faith.

The reason Paul was not ashamed and was eager to preach the gospel, was because it was the power of God for salvation, a teaching scorned by so many in the world. There is no other power known to men which can do that. All other religions have a philosophy, we have a man. No other spiritual leader can forgive, only Christ can forgive.

The Bible states ‘no one can come to the Father except through Jesus Christ’ Paul said you may be ashamed of saying these things but I am not. The Bible states ‘God did not give us a spirit of timidity’

How many preachers would be ready to stand in one of our Cathedrals and state this? How many would be allowed to? So many preachers are afraid of what people, and especially what the papers would report. But look at the praise heaped on Pope Benedict by the press for his bold and brave words when he told the politicians to stop interfering with the Christian faith, and calling for a vigorous Christian outpouring to combat the aggressive secularism pervading our society. How we miss that fearless and forthright man.

We must stand shoulder to shoulder with Peter and Paul behind the almighty power of God and the sacrifice made on our behalf by Jesus Christ, and we must proclaim Him as Lord and Saviour.

Friday 22 December 2017

Luke 1 verses 39-56

This Sunday the Church honours Mary, the mother of our Lord. In the past the Roman Catholic Church has perhaps made too much of Mary’s position whilst the Protestant Church has made too little.

The gospel passage opens with Mary, a fifteen years old virginal girl from a Jewish village, having found she was pregnant, and been told by an angel of the Holy Spirit being upon her, decided to go seventy miles to visit her elderly cousin Elizabeth, whom she had been told was also pregnant in her old age.

On arrival the two women greeted each other, and Elizabeth in a loud voice proclaims how blessed Mary was. Until that time Elizabeth thought this was just a family visit, but now she realised how unique the situation is and feels she should have been the one visiting Mary. At the same time Elizabeth felt movement of her own baby.

Elizabeth’s joy inspires Mary to fully recognise she is to be the mother of the Saviour of the world and spontaneously sings a song, which has been sung at every Evensong in Churches all over the world for centuries since, the Magnificat. The Lord God is magnified in this song of praise which is filled with Scripture.

Mary expresses her glory and rejoices in being blessed, and how gracious God has been to her in her humility. There is a significant point made by her in that she recognises she needs a Saviour, which implies she recognises that only a sinner needs a Saviour, which tends rather to negate some Roman statements about her. God therefore in His amazing grace has allowed this girl to be the mother of His Son. This reflects the words of John Newton in that wonderful hymn which he wrote, that God saves us by grace.

If this gospel message was told as a story in one of our daily newspapers, and so posted on their website, it would receive numerous scornful mocking comments, questioning as to why anyone would believe it. In fairness, if a daughter or friend came and told you she was pregnant but had not been intimate with a man, you would reasonably think she was mad or trying to cover up a moral lapse.

Such was the situation experienced by a young Jewish girl in a remote Israeli village, risking disgrace and shame and also the loss of her fiancée. It has to be accepted that the birth of Jesus was unique. God took the initiative, and Jesus was born of a virgin, such is a basic doctrine of the Church,

But such was the faith and courage of that young woman that she trusted God, and so became the most famous woman in all history, the most blessed of women.

Is it not amazing how peoples’ minds reason. Thousands say they will not believe what they cannot understand. If I should go out on to the car park of this Church and take out a little plastic box, and press a combination of 13 numbers, within seconds I would be speaking to my son in Hong Kong. Yet if I wished to speak face to face, it would take a journey of 13 hours to do so.

I can’t explain how this can happen, and I doubt there is anyone I know who could explain, we take mobile phones for granted. We watch events as they happen from across the world in a box in our homes and take it for granted. Who can explain how a brown cow, which eats green grass, produces white milk, and yellow butter, yet we eat and drink both. Why on earth if we can accept all the marvels of man, we cannot accept the miracles of God.

Mary knows that all future generations will speak of her and indeed throughout the ages she has rightfully been praised, and she has brought honour to her sex. Mary has raised being a mother to the highest of professions, although now some feminine politicians are anxious to downgrade motherhood and their sex by trying to equate women on all levels with men. In the process some women have demeaned their sex by not only copying men’s excesses, but furthering them.

When God created the world men were intended to care and provide for the family, and women to be mothers, (primarily but not exclusively)and for that role were endowed with a more tender and caring nature. Now for their own selfish purposes, politicians and social workers want to meddle with gender identities.. We are all equal under God, but are meant to have different roles in life.

The Pope has wisely state that the future of mankind is at stake when the understanding of what a family means is challenged through same sex marriage. He said ‘In the fight for the family, the very notion of what being human really means – is being called into question. He spoke of the falseness of gender theories and of the current attack on the structure of the family made up of father, mother and child.
Mary told of how God is merciful to those who fear Him, and we should be mindful that whilst God is a God of love and mercy, He is also a God of wrath. In that respect we should take note of Mary’s words, ‘He has brought down rulers from their thrones’. She has a profound view of God, who disputes the worldly values of status and misunderstanding of what it
means to be equal.

God chooses people who are lowly. If the Church authorities had been given the responsibility for choosing the Apostles, Christianity would have died in very short time. They would have been looking for people with degrees, and with an equal balance of men and women Apostles. (A cynic once said the Church is falling apart by degrees). This is why God chose Mary and gave her everything that He may be glorified. Mary acknowledged her humility, her ordinariness, and the high honour God had given her.

She ends her song by singing praise of how God has remained faithful to His chosen people, the Jews, by keeping His promise to Abraham. Every Jewish boy and girl would know the history of Israel and how God has blessed them.

God chooses ordinary and lowly people to do His work, so that they will remain faithful and dependent on Him and not be full of themselves and feel self important. We should each seek to find out what God wants us to do in His service.

Tuesday 19 December 2017

The Bible states, God is Light. Jesus was the Son of God who came into the world and shone light upon who ever He touched. We as the followers of Jesus must continue to shed His light.

But we live in a world where there is much darkness, and under darkness there is evil, which comes to attack us in many different ways. A most insidious way is that which is being perpetrated against the Christian faith by people who have infiltrated public services such as education, the judiciary, and public bodies, and who try to silence us from expressing our faith and are trying to force Christianity into the four walls of the Church..

I have extracted details of three cases published by Christian Concern, a Christian Legal Defence team who represent Christians who have been the victims of injustice because of their Christian belief.

This was from an article written by Andrea Williams, who is the Chief Executive Officer, and the most prominent Christian speaker and defender of the faith in this country, who is regularly called upon by press, radio and television because of the clear and faithful manner in which our faith is explained.

I am a proud supporter and I urge you to consider supporting this team of lawyers who perform such loyal service to our Lord, and who have saved brothers and sisters in Christ from legal penalties. They are defending your freedom. The address to send donations is given at the end of this post
'The light shines in the darkness'
Speaking of Jesus, John writes: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). This is the first advent. We await the Second Advent, when Jesus returns to fully establish his kingdom. You and I live in-between these two appearances of Jesus. The darkness remains – for now. (See sermon on 2 Peter 3, on 10/12/17)

In the meantime you and I are to bear witness to Jesus, the light. So will you join us this Christmas in bearing witness to the light?

I’d like to briefly tell you about three legal cases where there is shining light in the darkness. As you read, please consider giving a Christmas donation to Christian Concern a legal Christian defence team who are nobly fighting in the Courts for the right of Christians to express their faith.

Such a gift is priceless in terms of the hope that it brings to a nation that desperately needs the light of Christ.

You’ll be particularly interested in the first case if you have children or grandchildren in school

Witnessing to Christ in schools'

Nigel and Sally Rowe love Jesus and are bringing up their children to know him. They were concerned when one of their sons came home and told them that one of his classmates – a boy – was now sometimes coming to school dressed as a girl.

They spoke to the school, which said it couldn’t do anything about it. Nigel and Sally followed this up with a letter. Nothing could have prepared them for the response.

The school warned them that the “inability to believe that a transgender person is actually a ‘real’ female or male” was “transphobic behaviour”. In other words, if the Rowes’ six-year-old son wouldn’t believe that a boy might really be a girl, he could be guilty of bullying. Do you see the darkness here?

These ideas are based on a lie that gender is ‘fluid’. This opposes the truth that God made us “male and female” (Gen 1:27).

Nigel and Sally explain: “We could so easily have felt alone, and isolated…but we have not been alone. God has provided help and support through the Christian Legal Centre.”

Will you stand with Nigel and Sally as they bear witness to Jesus? A gift of £20, £50 or whatever you can afford will help Nigel and Sally in the next stage of their challenge in 2018.

'Witnessing to Christ in the courts'

I'm sure you'll remember Richard Page. Richard served as a magistrate and as a non-executive director for an NHS Trust. But that came to an end when he expressed his biblical belief about parents and children.

Richard explains: “My Christian faith informs me that children flourish best in a loving home with a married mum and dad. My 20 years of experience in mental health service also leads me to the same conclusion.”

During an adoption case, he shared this view with his colleagues, and said that he couldn’t agree that it was in a ‘child’s best interests’ to be placed with a same-sex couple. He was reported, and investigated by an advisory panel.

His case was referred to the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice. They reprimanded Richard and sent him for ‘equality’ training. Later, Richard spoke to the BBC about what had happened. He was again investigated. And then the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice dismissed him as a magistrate.

Next, Richard was suspended from his role as an NHS non-executive director, and then blocked from returning to the role. Do you see what’s happened?

Richard has acted as a witness to the light by upholding God’s good pattern for families. And yet he’s the one portrayed as living in darkness.

How can we allow this to go unchallenged? We must keep bearing witness to the light in the area of marriage and family.

Thanks to support, Christian Concern have been helping Richard to challenge what has happened to him. In the New Year, Richard will be helped as he returns to court.

We’re also continuing to support someone else who testified to the light.

'Witnessing to Christ in the workplace'

I’m sure you can relate to Victoria Wasteney. Like every Christian who loves Jesus, she longs for others to come to know him too.

That’s why, when a colleague began asking her questions about her faith, Victoria gladly began to explain the gospel.

The colleague, from a Muslim background, seemed interested.
So Victoria kept answering her questions and invited her to church events.

She also gave her a Christian book that she thought would be helpful.

But when the colleague told her NHS bosses about what had been going on, Victoria’s employers launched an investigation.

Victoria was suspended for nine months
A panel found Victoria ‘guilty’ of three ‘offences’: inviting her colleague to church-related events, praying with her (with consent), and giving her a Christian book. Victoria was given a written warning.

You can again see what’s happening: the darkness opposes someone who bears witness to the light. John’s words: “…the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light…” (John 3:19).

We aren’t anxious, because we know that the darkness won’t overcome the light. Support will allow help to keep standing with Victoria in the new year and give her all the legal support she needs as her case moves to the next stage in 2018.

If you want the light to shine in the darkness, please consider making a Christmas gift today.

As we prepare for 2018, any gifts will enable Christian Concern
to stand with Nigel, Sally, Richard, Victoria and many other Christians who are opposed for testifying to the light.


Christian Concern address is
70 Wimpole Street
London W1 BG 8AX

Saturday 16 December 2017

Sunday next is the 3rd Sunday of Advent, and the theme is on John the Baptist. We do in fact honour John on the 24thJune, and on that day in Spain, which is still largely a Catholic country, they do so in style with ceremonial processions through the streets. John was a very special character in the Bible, being described by Jesus as ‘a prophet greater than any born of woman.’

A period of 400 years elapsed between the Old and New Testaments and John acted as a bridge between the prophecies of the Old Testament and the coming of the Messiah. God chose John to prepare the people for the coming of Jesus. John attracted huge crowds to see and hear him; they came from all directions, North and South, East and West. They came from all levels of society

John was bold and fearless preacher giving a message of confession and repentance, and did so in the most direct way accusing them of being a brood of vipers, and told them there was a wrath to come. He was not one to seek popularity and attacked hypocrisy. Most preachers would rejoice in being able to emulate his appeal, although they would hesitate to use the language he used in today’s atmosphere, where the least criticism raises accusations of phobia or bigotry.

The Church now needs Ministers like that who will give sound doctrinal teaching, not flinching from doing so and will not fear of what people might say. Jesus said, ‘woe unto you when men speak well of you’.

John spoke of God’s judgement and hell, which is now considered to be offensive. I attended a meeting where there was stated to be a famous mural, which was supposed to show sinners being chased into hell. I commented to several other Ministers that I could not understand it as it was faded somewhat. One answered that it was outdated as ‘we don’t preach about hell now’. When I said well I do, I received looks of horror as if I had landed from a strange plant. But we should acknowledge that when Jesus spoke about heaven, He invariably spoke of the alternative, hell. People would rather have smooth comforting words I accept, but a Minister’s duty is to say what should be heard instead of what people want to hear. People will never take notice until they are afraid of the consequences, and if we are silent we are betraying our calling.

Because of his successful appeal to people a delegation of priests was sent out to find out if he was acting in an orthodox manner. The Jews believed, and were proud of the fact, that they were God’s chosen people and He would one day send a Messiah who would be a great national leader who would lead them to world conquest. It was also believed that prior to the Messiah coming Elijah the great Old Testament prophet would come back to herald the Messiah’s coming.

The priests wanted to see who John actually was. When John spoke of baptism it was not the meaningless kind that is sometimes practised in churches today. Baptism was a symbol of admittance into the Christian faith, taken by someone who had come to need a personal Saviour in the person of Jesus Christ, who they would take into their hearts and lives and live according to His teaching.

John wasn’t concerned with numbers or adding to some Church roll, he wanted genuine commitments. The Bible is clear in all four gospels that the Christian life involved repentance and the following of a new way of life. If we analyse our lives we will find there are things we have said and done and sincerely wish we hadn’t, but there is nothing we can now do except pray that God will forgive us, and that others will accept our flaws.

The place where John ministered was way out in the wilderness a bleak and desolate place, living off the land, getting his clothing from wild camel and food from whatever grew there. There is a wilderness in many people’s hearts.

John calls us to a new life in Jesus Christ and it was with such a desire that people sought out John. Jesus can come to us in very different ways. It may be through a poster we noticed, which is why we need well thought out poster displays which will catch people’s eyes and strike them, and they ought to be relevant. Thousands have been led to Christ through reading posters placed on the London tube system by the London Christian Mission. Other people have been influenced by the words of a preacher, but the most telling witness is that of other Christians drawing in others by their way of life.

It is possible to become so engaged in religious activity dressing ourselves with religion without changing our hearts. Church attendance is essential and proper, but words without practice are of no merit. We Christians need to be more aggressive about our faith and be prepared to act and rebel as other faiths do when bloated bureaucrats try to stifle expression. We have to display in our manner of living we are Christians, and that extends throughout the whole week and not just on Sunday. Confession has to mean repentance and an honest intention not to go on committing. It is sheer hypocrisy to say sorry and then continue doing what we know is improper.

We are now approaching Christmas and the secularisation of it is almost complete, which is why all who hold the Christian faith dear must be prepared to support Christian worship. Advent is a time when we come out of the wilderness and be inspired by the ministry of John the Baptist.

Sunday 10 December 2017

Turn with me to Peter’s 2nd Letter in chapter 3 reading verses 3/14.

The Bible states, during the ‘last days’ there will be a time when scoffers will be present who will mock God, saying he is dead, we can’t find him anywhere, and they will scoff at any talk of judgment or the return of our Lord’.

When the Bible mentions last days, as it does numerous times,
it is referring to the days between the day of Pentecost and the time of our Lord’s return.

Many Bible scholars think we are in that period now and they may well be right. The Bible lists terrible events which will come before the final end, and whilst these have in some way been seemingly applicable to past years, they seem to be most applicable now. When we look carefully at them we can claim they are very much relating to our time.

By the word ‘scoff’, it is meant treating with contempt and the
number of scoffers, and the intensity of their scoffing, will increase in the last days. It is suggested that the reason for this is because they walk after their own lusts; in other words, they follow their own evil desires.

Such scoffing was also being done by false teachers who had infiltrated the Church even then, and they wanted to please the people of the day. When biblical Christianity didn’t fit in with their preferences they thought Christianity should change. Often people express doubt
due to moral overtones, in that they don’t want the constraints of true Christianity

We have many scoffers today who do not believe that Jesus Christ is coming back again. The Bible distinctly declares that Christ is coming back again, that His kingdom will be established, and that the prayer which our Lord prayed will be answered some day.

They reckoned that God was asleep as things had been the same since the world was created and God had not shown His presence. They forgot that it was God who commanded the heavens to be brought forth, earth from the waters, and was One who kept His Word.

They forgot too that God at one time was disgusted by people in the world and destroyed it by means of the flood. He also indicated that a time will come when the heavens and earth will be destroyed again, but not by water but by fire.

Jesus said, ‘as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be when the Son of Man comes back’. If you read the story of Noah in Genesis you will find it was a time when people began to travel; knowledge was increasing; people began to develop weapons and musical instruments; and there was an emphasis on sex. And Jesus said when such things happened of that nature in the future the end would be near.

Think of the amount of travelling we do now by land, sea and air. People holiday all across the world whereas once Blackpool was a long way off. Bible literacy is at an all time low and immorality at an all time high. Sex is used to advertise and sell almost all products on television.

It was also a time of violence and lawlessness. Look at the terrifying events and occurrences that are happening in the world today; the threat of nuclear war by the psychopathic leader in North Korea, who wants to take on the mighty United States; the seekers of world domination in Iran. The acts of terrorism which arte proliferating in Western nations by people who have chosen to live here.

As in the days of |Noah, people in this country have fallen away from true faith. The Bible states people will not wish to listen to sound doctrine and will seek churches where they will hear what they want to hear, and this is truly happening.

God recognised Noah as a man of faith who could be trusted. He told him to go into the desert and build a huge boat and Noah trusted God. You can imagine the humour this must have caused a man building a big boat in he middle of the desert, all because He believed God wanted him to do so. If that was today you would have every television crew in the world going off to film the event.

The Bible teaches that towards the end of the age it will be a time of peril, war, lawlessness immorality so great God will be forced to intervene as He did at the time of Noah

The bible consistently promises Jesus Christ will come back to earth, but this time He will not like the first time, a little baby born in poor surroundings, He will come as King of Kings and Lord of Lords in triumph to judge, and we will all have to answer and account to Him for how we lived in response to His teaching. When He does come there will be no notice. He will just appear like a thief in the night.

Peter said do not forget for the Lord a day is like a thousand years. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, He was not forgetting or being indifferent as He is long suffering and still giving people the chance to repent and accept Jesus as Lord so they will not perish, He does not want anyone to be unsaved.

People say I can’t believe God would send anyone to hell, and that is right, but people make their own choice by ignoring His call.

Verse 11 states, since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? Peter calls on all God’s people to live holy and Godly lives and avoid sinning until the day of the Lord comes. Peter calls on Christians to be holy in conduct and godliness, and to make every effort, to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with God. Live in a way which if you met the Lord now, you would not feel ashamed.

Having studied the words of Scripture together with their meaning, we have to consider how they relate to us in our lives.

Jesus gave commands to His Apostles and told them to teach all He commanded; we have this laid out for us in the New Testament, and anyone who acts in a manner which is conflict with such teaching is offending the Lord Himself. Holiness is God’s activity, and we have to respond.

Recently I was told by a young lady who I would have thought to be highly intelligent and of sound mind, that people should see the Bible as a valueless book from 2000 years ago. I was shocked as I thought if this was typical of the younger generation, we need earnestly pray and say God help us.

The reliability of the Bible is beyond question and been attested by eminent writers if the day and has many of its prophecies fulfilled and we some now taking place.

In recent years we have seen biblical prophecy fulfilled by the return of the Jews to their homeland 70 years ago; the establishment of the Jewish States 50 years ago; the naming of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in the last week by President Trump. I know much uproar at this latest development has been caused, but this is so much hot air for the Palestinians can still have a rightful place in Jerusalem; they have not been excluded, as Christians have not.

There are good grounds for God to judge the sinful world now. The Islamic faith is challenging the Western world, and whilst there is too much violent aggression in the process, we have to admit sadly and shamefully that there is generally a more ethical and moral basis in their faith than many Christians have.

They see millions and millions of abortions, with an American President Obama who gave millions of dollars to an abortion clinic in America, where there was evidence suggested of very improper dealings; and in other Western nations abortion has become alternative form contraception.

They see drugs; the obsession with illicit sex; same sex (so called) marriage; the pornography and smut; the breakup of homes; young people smashing and looting and rioting; and they don’t want it in their countries.

Mankind is in rebellion against God. Our very natures have been twisted and perverted by sin, but most of our leaders are deliberately ignoring the wrath of God hanging over us. Biblical literacy is at an all-time low, and immorality at an all-time high; that suggests there is some co-relation.

In the face of this our churches have remained silent on all the moral issues, terrified of offending people who do not and never will have any concern for us. The Church of England, which as the established Church, should be giving a lead and speaking out against the abandonment of all absolutes, has in some cases joined in and embraced ways of life specifically opposed by the Bible.

The Archbishop of Canterbury recently revealed he could not describe sin! When asked if he thought ‘gay sex’ was a sin he is quoted as saying he was unable to answer. This was quite inexcusable. Sin can be simply defined as being anything which offends God’s Word as has been written down for us in the Bible.

I am reminded when I read that, of the difference there was between the Archbishop and a pastor in the United States who when asked the very same question, replied, ‘I am not here as a pastor to give an opinion, I am here to tell what the Bible says and if the Bible says it is wrong then I say it is wrong, but it doesn’t mean I love you less’.

We have Bishops actually contradicting the Bible, and preachers fearful of saying anything which goes against the politically correct mania, our churches are infiltrated by those who in effect are scoffing at traditional Bible teaching.

I am told people want ton hear happy sermons to make the feel better; of clergy who take lessons on how to tell jokes in sermons; if they want to be comedians they should go for a stage career instead. Jesus was never afraid to speak without fear or favour, and had two effects on people; He either saved them or turned them away

We allow our bible to be mocked; our speech to be restricted; Christians made to act against their conscience, all of which are not enforced on other faiths

Jesus said we need to be prepared, ‘prepare to meet your God’
We do this by being certain we have accepted that Jesus died for our forgiveness, and we received Him as Saviour. There are so many people who sincerely believe if they have been honest, kind and helpful to others they have accomplished all that is needed for a heavenly passport. In many ways the Church has encouraged, but certainly not discouraged such thinking, for fear of upsetting people.

I was amused by a news item about people being called snowflakes, a term I understand applied to people who take offence to anything from against their liberal beliefs. A group of such named people complained it made them feel depressed to be so called. (You just couldn’t make it up)

But preachers are not commissioned to say soothing words and tell people just what they want to hear, we are to tell what they need to hear for their salvation. This means we accept Christ by faith and believe, and we live a disciplined life under the guidance of His teaching

I pray that under the Lord’s guidance you will always hear sound biblical doctrine, but from much experience I have doubts this will always be the case.

Tuesday 5 December 2017

‘why the bible is important’.

Today bible literacy is at an all time low whilst immorality is at an all time high. Normal thinking people may see there is some co-relationship with such a situation.

I fear for the future of the Church in this country, we really do face a fearful future. Within the Church we find incredibly, men and women in ministry, some in high Office, who openly discredit and cause others to defy Scripture, deliberately challenging Scripture which they once vowed to uphold, and now seemingly have no feelings of betrayal and deceit.

I repeat here for anyone who missed the news in a previous recent post one such case.

Kelvin Holdsworth, Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow, who is homosexual and listed 35 in a line of LGBT activists, in a ‘gay’ blog made the sinister and tasteless suggestion that England should pray for the four years old Prince George, who will one day become King, to grow up and find love with a fine young gentleman. He believes this would make the Church accept same sex marriage, and comes after all the publicity of Prince Harry marrying a woman.

The Archbishop of Canterbury prevaricated when speaking this week
(not unusual) when he wrote, ‘churches must learn to live in a in which families are no longer led only by married couples. He threw his support that different forms of family can provide a stable home. He obviously has never accepted the reports of numerous surveys by independent sources that only marriages between man and woman provide stable homes, and only recently a research found children of married couples do better in schools, better health and avoid drugs and crime.

Andrea Williams, a member of Synod stated, ‘there is an opportunity for the Church to stand up for marriage and not surrender to popular culture. Given the struggles and unhappiness faced by millions of children who are the main victims of the sexual revolution in Britain it is a great shame that the Archbishop chose to over-state acceptance of same-sex marriage to such a startling degree instead.

I am sure Andrea will appreciate the Archbishop seems unable to have any positive opinion on moral issues. He recently could not define sin; he could have done wiser by appointing Andrea Williams to be his spokeswoman and in consequence would have seen the Church grow in influence..

With such fragile ministries we face a generation with little if any interest in Church, God, Bible, traditional morality. This was brought home to me forcibly during a conversation with a young woman who I had great respect for her general intelligence and sense of mind, yet she expressed opinions on morality and the Bible that one would usually find coming from a person of limited intelligence and bigotry.

She considered the Bible to be a valueless book of foolishness from 2000 years ago. This is actually wrong, it is less than 2000 years and much of the New Testament has been corroborated by eminent writers of those times.

If this is typical I thought, of modern man and woman truly we may say ‘God help us’. It is more concerning coming from a woman as women are the more spiritual and religious.

Looking equally realistically millions of people through the age have found comfort and truth in the Scriptures, and many brilliant minds of both men and women have left home and country to take the Bible to sparse regions. Quite recently Russian Christians travelled to the barren lands of Mongolia, miles from other places just to help people become Christian. Many of us have foregone careers where we could have earned far more financially, in order to serve Jesus Christ, and been happier and enjoyed life doing so.

Let us also acknowledge the Bible was a basis for nations to create a legal framework; societies which prevented countries from chaos and instead were able to become stable.

We live in an evil world where there does not seem to be any limit to which people are prepared to go to cheat, lie, and be corrupt, even to the highest level of public service. Added to this is the widespread breakdown of family life, crime (despite the massaging of figures) and crudeness of life, lack of honour and integrity, moral and social problems, a time when there are no absolutes all is relative.

Some people will not want to hear that we are called to live our lives worthily according to the Bible’s teaching; they take the attitude that ideas have now been changed by society, and all the old morals and social ethics can be laid aside as long as you just accept the theory; this is not God’s idea however. The Bible was not just written for yesteryear.

What hope then is there for the future of Christianity? This depends on how the Church at large, ordained and lay responds; our services in many cases need to be upgraded. Like much of our national life, we our constricted by political correctness and are frightened that if we are too faithful to the Bible we will upset some minority faction, so we modify our words.

Commissions in trying to attract new members, introduce novelty services. We have tried different ways using clowns, animals, Messy Church, café Church, and other diversions, which whilst useful, they only survive as a one off, and more relevantly, fail to achieve regular attendances. Time now both logically and spiritually to try teaching
sound biblical doctrine; getting back to the Bible.

We have to accept that if you state you believe in the full authority of the Bible you will find many will oppose you, and even those close to you will challenge you, perhaps within your own family. You will be called narrow minded, bigoted or of having some kind of phobia.

The time may come when those of us who stand firmly on the Bible will be frozen out, and attempts will be made to silence us.

All Christians at this perilous time need to think of what we can offer to God. To paraphrase a famous saying, ‘think not what God can do for me, but what can I do for God’.

Saturday 2 December 2017

Matthew 24

Today is Advent Sunday and for many Churches it is the start of the Church’s year. For all Christians it is a time when we think about the return of our Lord, although for so many people, they have not recognised His first coming. This is a very serious and important subject and should not be treated lightly. The teachings of the Bible are not acceptable to many folk within the Church, but they are quite clear. Let us look at them together this morning.

The Bible tells us that God will one day bring an end to this world. 380 times in the New Testament the return of Jesus is mentioned, and the whole Bible promises His return.

We are called to live by the teachings of Jesus, and are warned there will be people who mock the faith. They will do so in order to justify the sinful way in which they live.

People also scoff at any talk of Jesus returning or the suggestion of judgement, stating God will not intervene and asking why He hasn’t done so. They forget that one day to us is like a thousand years to God, who is giving time for more people to be saved.

They forget too, if they ever knew, that God did once destroy the earth and is saving up fire for when judgement comes. This will be without warning, leaving no place or time for hiding. The Bible calls for Christians to live pure and holy lives to avoid punishment that awaits the ungodly.

When we turn to the gospel passage we find Jesus had been talking to His Apostles on the Mount of Olives, who asked Him what the signs are of His coming back at the end of the age. Jesus answered there would be wars and rumours of wars, nations would fight nations--- there would be famines, ----earthquakes----Christians would be persecuted ----people would turn away from the faith. ----there would be false teaching---evil--wickedness.

You don’t hear much preaching on this subject, the Church tends to avoid it. The Church is remarkably quiet about anything which is likely to upset people’s tranquillity; there is reluctance in a politically correct obsessed society to suggest judgement or guilt. But we are thinking here about the climax of world history, a point where any national psychopathic leader could, by pressing a button, unleash nuclear destruction on an unimaginable scale. So we may be nearer to the end than many think or want to believe. One has only to think of the psychopath in North Korea who thinks he can take on the might of the United States.

It is true that such signs have been prevalent in each generation but they increase in their likelihood as time goes by. If you look at present world events, there are grounds for concern. Wars and terrorism are occurring all over our world.

A situation of utmost gravity exists in the Middle East where Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map, and world leaders seem to be deluded into thinking they can trust Iran, whereas Israel is more ready to face reality. They in turn are ready to attack Iran, and bearing in mind that the Bible prophesises the world will end in Jerusalem, we should all be concerned. The Bible states God will protect His ancient chosen people.

We see famines in Africa, earthquakes and typhoons of unprecedented strength, with one island which rarely has rain having had large parts destroyed by storms.

False teaching aplenty is given in our Churches, to justify and make acceptable modern moral behaviour. Christians are being forced out of Middle Eastern lands, where arson and murder reign against them, and they are treated barbarically. Jesus says all these kinds of things will happen in the last days, that are before His return.

Jesus stated that only God knows when that time will be. He compared life in the days of Noah to those relating to what will be happening when He returns to earth.

You remember the story of Noah. A lot of people laugh and scoff at it, but archaeologists say there is plenty of evidence that a flood did exist at one time over a certain portion of the world, the portion that Noah lived in. The Bible says that God looked upon civilization, and He saw the wickedness of men.

Jesus said as it was then, so it will be in the day of the coming of the Son of man. There are several things said about that day. First, it was a world in which marriage and home were abused. People were obsessed with sex. Emphasis was on immorality. Look at our world today; we are living in the same way as in the days of Noah. We see the same conditions today. Pick up a newspaper.

The Telegraph and Mail newspapers often feature religious articles on their websites and a lot of comments are made in response which are quite vitriolic; not just disagreement, but open hatred of religion. People do not like to hear their way of living is seen to be immoral by others. They want to live their lives without reference to God or biblical values.

One journalist wrote an article in response to a speech by the ex Archbishop of Canterbury, who had suggested the Church faced extinction. He stated the Church could not expect younger people (especially) to reject same sex relationships, or couples sleeping together outside of marriage, or the doctrines of the Church such as a Virgin Birth and resurrection, which SOME churches still do preach. He was in fact implying that the Church should drastically change its stance on such issues, although I think many within the Church have done so in thought and practice.

At the next meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England, a whole host of members have called for same sex marriage to be debated, some already calling for it to be approved and calling for the LGBT lobby to be con gratulated.
The Church of England has adopted a policy which states clergy should not engage in same sex marriage, yet in the Liverpool Diocese it is openly practised, seemingly with the Bishop’s approval. Other bishops openly campaign for same sex marriage, without any disciplinary action being taken.

Noah tried to warn his fellowmen of coming judgement, but there was a sceptical unbelieving and casual unconcern. The more Noah preached the more they laughed at him. God said man was too evil, so He was going to make it rain for forty days and destroy the earth. But God saw Noah was a good man of moral integrity who worshipped God faithfully.

God told Noah how to build a ship, and when Noah did so everybody laughed at this crazy guy building a ship out in the desert. Today you would have television crews from around the world taking pictures. But then the rains came and how they must have wished they had listened to Noah

This is how it will be before Jesus returns to an unbelieving world which will be living as they choose. People laugh at this story and at today’s gospel; they call it a myth and fairy tale, but they will find out one day.
When Jesus returns, just as the flood brought sudden judgement His return will do the same. People will be caught unawares as they will be unprepared through rejecting Christian teaching. The world will be separated even between families and friends as Jesus taught. The Bible is clear – there was a beginning and there will be an end, when Christ comes again.
Jesus stated two people will be together, one will be taken to be with Him, the other will be left. A person who has accepted Jesus, who died on the Cross as their Saviour, will be safe on Judgement day. A person who has not will be let behind. There will be no chance to make a decision then, we have to be ready beforehand and decide we want to accept Him now. The Bible states, ‘now is the day of salvation.’ God has given everybody a chance to decide and choose. These are Jesus’ words, not mine.

This is a very serious truth to consider, for the Bible teaches that the consequences are drastic, some will be saved for eternal life and the rest will be lost. However much we might like to conclude there is a different ending, the Bible leaves us with no doubt.

The last verses of our passage call on us to be ready, and we are expected to spread the gospel message, particularly to our families and friends, for we will never have warning. The Bible states now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation

There is a grossly mistaken notion that as long as one is honest and a nice person one is assured of heaven. That is not what the Bible teaches. Many people who are atheists are honest and nice people. There has to be a personal commitment to Jesus. The Bible states, ‘salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved’. Jesus said, ‘no one comes to the Father except through me’. The Church has not always given sound teaching on this; indeed there are those who do not accept those words.

Whilst it may be comforting to believe that we can all get to heaven regardless of one’s beliefs, and we like to please our fellow men and women, it is quite cruel to mislead if it is not true. It is like telling a blind person standing on the footwalk of a busy road it is safe for him to cross when ready. Others say if you just follow your conscience you’ll be fine, but consciences become dulled and hardened. We need to be prepared just as any responsible householder will take care of their property against theft, for burglars do not give notice of their coming.

This is why it is so important for each person to make his/her own decision whether to follow Jesus in His teaching, commands and demands He makes on us.

You see the Bible is all about commitment. We are reminded of the superficiality of commitment in our own time. Less than 10% of people think God worthy of one hour per week to visit a Church. Yet if you were to ask people their religion, the vast majority would reply C of E and seriously consider they were Christians. They would be mortally offended if you suggested otherwise. Very few people seem it necessary to think of Jesus, even less to do anything about it.

Some Christians have sincerely gone to extremes to prepare for Jesus’ return. Jesus never called us to do anything more than to be faithful in all that we do and always to thing to the best of our ability and be ready to greet Him either here on earth or in heaven.

Friday 1 December 2017

You will readily understand why we are having a hard time keeping members within the Anglican Community in the United Kingdom and at the same time the attendances are haemorrhaging when you read the following (true as hard as it is to believe) story

Kelvin Holdsworth, Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow, who is homosexual and listed 35 in a line of LGBT activists, in a ‘gay’ blog made the sinister and tasteless suggestion that England should pray for the four years old Prince George, who will one day become King, to grow up and find love with a fine young gentleman. He believes this would make the Church accept same sex marriage, and comes after all the publicity of Prince Harry marrying a woman.
England should pray for the four years old Prince Georg

His comments about the four-year-old, who is third in line to the throne, were met with outrage by fellow Christians – who condemned them. The director of the Church Society has commented, ‘to co-opt the Royal children to service a narrow sexual agenda seems particularly tasteless and, I should add, bizarrely illogical on his own grounds.

The director of Anglican pressure group Reform, said it was clear Holdsworth would ‘use any means to achieve his aim’ of seeing same-sex marriage in church. It is disappointing that he feels it necessary to bring a four-year-old prince into the argument’.

Of course Holdsworth has indicated his unsuitability for even holding the office of priest let alone Provost, due to his outrageous behaviour.

In addition to this discourteous outburst, during the Epiphany service this year, the Quran was read from the lectern, including "the Islamic teaching that Jesus is not the son of God and should not be worshipped. It was suspected Holdsworth knew in advance this was likely to be stated, and he declined to answer the allegation at the time. Yet when complaints were made to the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, he declined to make any condemnation.

If such similar controversial conduct was made in secular business the perpetrator would be instantly dismissed, but when it occurs on the Lord’s business, anything is allowed to go on.

Next time one of your friends mocks the Church, understand their disillusionement.