Tuesday 28 February 2023


The wrath of God.

The Synod of the Church of England recently met and at the proposal of the bishops, they passed a motion to allow same sex marriages to be blessed in churches. There was regret that same sex marriages were not to be allowed to be celebrated in Churches . which will no doubt be approved in the July meeting.

The Archbishops apologised to the LGBT organisation, which represents the homosexual constitution, for the failure to further and approve marriages.

If we turn to the book of Romans in the Bible, we can read the words ’God gave hem up’. Having stated the righteous shall live by faith, Paul writes the Word of God from heaven has been revealed against all unrighteousness and godliness of men and women who support and engage in unnatural sexual practices, for this reason God gave them up. Hence, the Archbishops are apologising for not teaching something which the Bible  describes as incurring the wrath of God, which made God give them up.

In plain terms, this is stating God does not approve of same sex relationships and whilst people are free to follow their own desires under State law, the Church cannot approve of them.  This calls for the bishops to stop their irresponsible actions, and to honour their vows to preach ONLY what the Bible sanctions, and keep to what they promised to do.

The Church is the only means of teaching the Gospel. The Bible states, how can people believe if they have not heard, and how can they hear if no one teaches them.  The Bible is the supreme authority for all teaching, and is the divine Word of God for what is right or wrong. If any person in Holy Orders cannot accept this, they should take the honourable action of resigning. To remain is an affront to God and Jesus Christ.

The Church of England is the mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion, 75% of which is spread across the world, and the Archbishop of Canterbury is considered to be the leader of the Communion.  That large percentage is firmly committed to the words of Scripture, and is shocked that the Church of England can so easily act against the teaching laid down in the Bible, which has the been the foundation for matrimony since its origination, and is co commanded by God and the Lord Jesus Christ. In consequence, they are passing a resolution to separate from the Church of England with sadness, that the Church  to which they looked up to, has acted in the way it has. The Archbishop is no longer seen as leader.

God abandons a nation which acts against His Word, and those who have disrespected, or have followed their own ways. God withdraws His grace for all who cause moral chaos.

We have to recognize there is much immorality in society, a situation in which the Church should challenge and not acquiesce. Virtually on every entertainment television channel, there is a sexual scene from the mere suggestive to the blatant pornographic. This is unhelpful for children.

 We now have transgenderism thrust upon us, despite eminent surgeons stating it if medically impossible. In schools, all forms of sexuality is taught to young people, and even children of four years are being made to walk in Gay Pride marches without parental knowledge, and questioned if they think they are of the wrong gender

Bishops sit in the House of Lords for the purpose of holding the government of the day to hold to a moral compass, but whilst they may write letters about food banks and climate change, they never write about how children are subject to improper teaching at schools.  In fact, a petition supported by many people, called on the Archbishop of Canterbury to ban an organisation which teaches children in Church schools to support homosexual content and abandon heterosexuality.

We have now reached a stage where true believers are considering whether they can remain in the Church of England when it so improperly treats Scripture, and such would decimate the Church when it is already losing members. A huge task has been placed on Vicars who will now have to declare their views  on marriage, which will inevitably affect relationships. And what a situation for a Vicar who has care of more than one church, in which there may be differences between his churches.  

God and the Church have become irrelevant to a sizeable amount of people in society and public life. An example was   given from a political campaign in Scotland at the present time. A vacancy has arisen as the First Minister of Scotland has resigned shortly after she announced a bill to the Scottish Parliament, to allow anyone of the age of 16 to declare themselves to be of the opposite sex to their biological sex, without any medical recommendation.  This of course placed women in a dangerous, situation for they would have had free access to women’s own facilities.

The front runner for the vacancy was a woman, with a formidable record of Parliamentary efficiency. In her campaign speech, she told she is a member of the Free Church of Scotland, and announced she was a Christian. She added that she did not favour same sex marriage, sex out of   marriage, and was not in favour of casual abortion. Members of her own Scottish National Party spoke against her views.

  Religion is not as strong as it once was in Scotland, and the press immediately wrote her off in consequence of her Christian declaration. In a television cross party discussion she was most aggressively attacked. Her nearest challenger is a Muslim man who will have much of the same outlook, even if not declaring so.

Christianity is prone to much mockery in public life. One man who for a short time led the Liberal Democrat Party, but such was the mockery and harassment when he declared his Christian faith, he had to resign the Office.  In the Labour Party, a senior member declared, we don’t do God.

I was listening to a broadcast from the United States Senate shortly after when a member returned after being injured and he referred to his faith in recovery; the members present all clapped. American politicians can be open about their faith.

I close with the words of John Wesley.

I want to know the way to heaven; how to land on that happy shore. God himself has condescended to teach the way; for this end He came from heaven. He hath written it down in a book. Give me that book. At any price give me the book.

Tuesday 21 February 2023

The 7th chapter of Matthew, verses 13/14.

This passage was part of Christ's Sermon on the Mount. A huge crowd had gathered around Jesus and preaching to them. In order that they would live lives worthy of being his followers, he is telling them what is expected of them, which will lead to eternal salvation.

Christ has been describing up to this point the character of Christians, and the rules by which they are to walk. Now He explains the way of salvation. Jesus always taught there were. two destinies in life, and dependent on how we respond lies the future life when this present one is over

Jesus was always eager to point out that there just two options to choose from, what is known as the narrow way or the broad way. Two roads to follow in life, one leading to Kingdom of God and heaven, and the other to hell. Jesus only allows one choice, people may prefer selection, but within the Church this means following the Way and Word of God or that of man. No sitting on verbal fences.

You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate, the road is difficult, and only a few find it. The Psalmist stated, those who accept the Word of God bear much fruit, and those same believers accept the death of Jesus on the Cross was what saved them, and made them righteous to God.  The boundaries on this road are clearly defined, and limited to true believers, who have tried to live moral lives worthy of the Lord’s support. 

The road will not be overcrowded for fewer people have chosen to enter. You enter one by one to Jesus who said, I am the door, no one enters except through me

The broad road is overcrowded, many people crushed on to it. No boundaries, all accepted the immoral, hypocrites, selfish who only believe in themselves, those who bear malice, led permissive life, rejected Christ as Saviour.  The door is very wide and  the road is the highway to hell .

There are others who say, just follow your conscience, which is deluding yourself, for your conscience has become hardened and adjustable. Your conscience is no longer a safe guide.

We have a government, which whilst posing as Conservative, but without displaying many of the traditional conservative policies, introducing legislation in direct conflict with the Bible, and encouraging abortion on a large scale. Many people will feel disappointed

The moment you reached the age of accountability, you must choose which road to follow. You can still choose the narrow road. It is not too late for anybody  to turn around and leave the broad road and start the narrow road.

These are very important and profound verses which are not always taken with the seriousness they merit. The widely held belief is that as long as you are sincere, honest, don’t harm anyone, have a tenuous belief in Jesus and God, you are worthy of getting to heaven.

The most asked for Bible passage to be read at funerals I have found is one found in John’s gospel, and whilst people know little of the Bible, they seize on this verse, which states, ‘in my Father’s house are many mansions, I go to prepare a place for you.’ These are the words of Jesus to his Apostles on his last hours with them, and indeed can be applied to-day, but only to those who have committed their lives in following Jesus, but not to all and sundry.

The Church has perpetuated a misguided belief, and is guilty of what could reasonably be called deceit and false teaching. In the service, and at burial, people are assured that the deceased is destined for eternal life in heaven, irrespective of what kind of life had been led.  Whilst we all want to exercise compassion and consolation, this can be given without misinterpreting the Scriptures. It is time we showed personal integrity and reverence for God in our teaching, and in these two verses, Jesus has laid down for us what options there are for us, and we have to  decide now in his life.

This is what Jesus taught so many years ago, but it is still a moral and spiritual lesson for us to-day. We are living in very unsettled times.   Many businesses, organisations, societies and groups have suffered greatly because of this deadly virus which has plagued the earth, and no one more so than the Church. People have been denied the right to attend worship. We were told we could meet provided no more than 30 were present, although some of the Churches I visit would consider it great to have 30 at any time,  but people have now got into the habit of listening to and watching services through the internet, and many in the older age range have lost the urge to return to Churches, which will mean the Churches will not survive.

The casual way in which the Church has treated the Word of God will prove in a lot of cases to be their downfall.  When people who have faithfully attended Church to find poorly put together services, have now seen inspiring services, especially if you have seen the televised United States Churches, it will not be an encouragement to return.

From its first days the Church has had to face powerful forces giving much opposition to the gospel message, and now the attack is stronger than ever. The Bible states, for we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places .

.This week, those of us who have been worshipping members of the Church of England, have found we have been put out of the world Anglian Communion because of the decision of the bishops of the Church, to sanction prayers of blessing for same sex marriages.

The Church of England has until recently been the primary member of the World Anglican Communion, with the Archbishop  of Canterbury counted as leader; that ended this week. The remaining 75% of world Anglicans in other countries, has maintained commitment to the traditional orthodoxy and authority of the Word of God, and has considered the Church of England as more concerned to please the world outside the Church. 

This is deeply regrettable, but was an obvious course that would be taken. This is the first break of the Anglican Communion since the Reformation. Even more concerning, from within the Church itself. Incredulously, from the highest Offices there are calls to abandon Bible teaching on moral matters, and a link up with an activist organisation which opposes all forms of Christian teaching but the bishops carried on.

The Church in this and other Western nations has reached crossroads, and must make a decision which road it is going to follow along. The present situation in which the Bible has in so many places been either discarded or vandalised to accommodate popular opinion cannot continue,  If necessary, there can be a parting of ways in which the liberal wing with its secular activists partners, can take the broad road, and let the evangelical biblical people make their way with Jesus on the narrow road.  Jesus set guidelines which have been removed, so a decision has to be made whether we are following God made religion or man-made, one or the other.

We need to look back to the Reformation and learn from it, that the Bible guides the Church and the voice of God is not being listened to. Biblical doctrine only must be used; Jesus said, ‘ the Scriptures cannot be broken’, which means that all the Bible contains cannot be annulled.  If the doctrines within are not accepted, it must be asked is it being suggested the Bible is untrustworthy; is the Church no longer to take its authority, for at present  Church leaders are tearing up the doctrines and introducing man made ones.

For centuries the Church toiled to preserve the teaching of the Apostles, a message firmly believed to be God given, and God watched over his Church. We must trust in God to continue and deal with those who seek to abandon him.

The clearest of messages as given by Paul, whostated  ALL Scripture is inspired by God. 






























































Jesus said there is a life to come and it is a long life, it is eternal, and there are only two destinies, , and you alone choose, God will not push you. He gave you the ability to choose and lets you do so. Where you end up in eternity will be determined by which road you take, so what you do in the world is important. 
One of these roads leads to destruction the other to life with Jesus. He took time to remind people of the seriousness of salvation. He wanted all to be sure of the future. People do prefer the easy road in life but Jesus made it plain He wants us to journey down the difficult road and enter the narrow gate. 

The great men who God chose to write his words were those he chose because of their occupations and characters, their commitment and devotion, and Paul and Peter the two great Apostles, divinely chosen by God, stressed that those men spoke as God directly inspired them, being filled with the Holy Spirit.

God meant his Word to be respected, not become a subject for intellectuals to amuse themselves debating in College Common rooms, as to what should and should not be taught.

It is time to think of God’s feelings. The Church is a family with a (heavenly) Father who wants his children to meet together in fellowship, worshipping as one. There may be, as with human families differences, but we have a duty to put God at the heart of our lives.

The clearest message comes from Paul,  ALL Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true, and to make us realise what is wrong in our lives,  It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.


Pray that you will be found on the narrow road


Saturday 18 February 2023


 Matthew 17  v 1/13

The story of the Transfiguration.

This is one of the most dramatic stories in the Bible. It is called the Transfiguration story because the clothes of Jesus changed and became so bright, glittering a dazzling white. It comes just after Jesus had been asking His Apostles who they thought He was, and received Peter’s great confession, and after He had told them He was on the way to the Cross to die and then be raised.

In Jewish history, the luminous robe of Jesus stood for the shekinah, the glory of Almighty God.

Jesus wanted to be on the mountain top, and took with Him on the journey three Apostles with whom He appeared to have a special relationship, namely Peter, James and John; these three Apostles were also with Jesus when He raised Jairus’ daughter, and in His agony in the garden. The mountain was thought to be Mount Hermon, one so high it could be seen from many miles away.  The climb must have been strenuous, for Luke tells us they were feeling sleepy and tired.

Jesus was going up the mountain that He might receive God’s confirmation that it was the intention for Him to go to the Cross.  Jesus we find always was anxious to consult with God at His every step.  Here is a lesson and good advice for us.

It may be asked  why it was necessary to go up a  mountain to pray. If you have ever been to Scottish Highlands, and gone up the mountains to the top of the Cairngorms, you will realize how close you feel to God. You can there gaze down on scenery unsurpassed in any other country, and see one of God’s most glorious creations.  You can feel close to God on a mountain top, away from the ordinary things of life.

Mountains figure conspicuously in the Bible.  It was on Mount Sinai that Moses received the Commandments; Mount Horeb that God spoke to Elijah.  

Jesus we are told was transfigured on this Mountain, meaning His appearance changed, and he met there those two great figures of the Bible,  and in the history of Israel; Moses was the greatest law giver, and Elijah the supreme prophet through whom God spoke. They discussed the journey of Jesus to Jerusalem, and   advised Jesus to go on.

 People are puzzled as to how God speaks to men, and they scoff at such talk.  I believe a lot of what is claimed to be from God is self -manipulated.  I once visited a Theological College where ordinands were completing their training and I was surprised to hear how God had told so many to go to the South of England; I am sure God really does care for the North as well.

God speaks to us in several ways.  Sometimes it is through a preacher.  I had a lady who came to Church very infrequently, and one time she said I always seemed to be getting at her.  I told her that as I prepared beforehand and never knew when she was coming, it may be that someone higher than me was getting at her.

Many people were converted by one of the posters containing Scriptural messages placed by the London City Mission in the Tube Stations.  Sometime God speaks through our conscience, or when we pray about something and an answer comes into our mind, not always perhaps the answer we want although probably for your ultimate good. If you have something worrying you, ask God to help you, telling  Him your problem, then wait for an answer.

When Peter realised what was happening, he offered to build three tabernacles for Jesus, Moses and Elijah.  He was struck with awe, and wanted to prolong the experience, and offered to build three tabernacles. Jesus rebuked him for he was in error in that he was equating Jesus with Moses and Elijah. 

We all like to feel we are on top of the world,  both figuratively and actually, but most of us live their lives more realistically on the level or down in a valley.

This can happen at worship. When Billy Graham came to England thousands went to hear him and came away on a spiritual mountain.  They had heard the world’s greatest and most successful preacher, massed choirs singing glorious hymns; then the following Sunday went to Church and realised they had come down to earth with a shattering bump.  Instances were quoted of Vicars mocking Billy and wanting their old staid services, some Bishops even wanted to stop him coming.  Even now Church leaders are anxious to change Scripture to meet cultural desires.

The lesson of the Transfiguration is that we must always let God speak to us and follow His Word; He has a plan for all our lives.  When we turn to Him, we too can reach a mountain top, but also we can close our minds to Him and lie in the valley.

This passage tells of Moses who had died many years before, as did Elijah, yet there they are alive but in glory.  This should indicate to us that when our last breath is breathed in this life, there is another to come, another world beyond the grave.

There is much mysterious about the future, things we cannot understand, but let us be sure God has all planned, and Jesus is taking care of those who have gone to be with Him, as He will with us. 

You may say you cannot believe this story, be careful you do not confuse the unimaginable with the unbelievable. This story is told by Matthew, Mark and Luke.

This story gives a vision of the glory which Christ will appear when He returns, The Apostles were being encouraged by seeing what will happen when Jesus comes in majesty with His disciples. We are told of thee sunlit face, and the very white cloak portraying Jesus as King.

We are being told of the coming glory of the Lord. In the present world we are surrounded by sin, unbelief and rejection, and there is little to be proud of or suggest change, but we are not to doubt that Jesus and His followers have a future we cannot envisage.  It has not only been promised, but the Apostles with Jesus on the mountain were giving evidence.

 In addition, Peter in his second Letter, spoke of this event saying the  Apostles saw this splendid majesty  in which Jesus will appear having received honour and glory from God th,,,e Father.

Peter tells they heard the voice say. This is my dearly loved Son who brings me great joy. John also writes in a Letter, that the Apostles saw His glory.

We are told of the appearance of Moses and Elijah, with Jesus in bodily form.  Moses died four hundred and eighty years earlier, and Elijah died two hundred years after Moses, yet both were talking with Jesus.

Most of us wonder, especially as we grow older, what happens when we die.  We wonder if we will meet again those we loved and lost.

Now, having studied the Transfiguration story we have the clearest evidence the dead will rise. This should inspire all who follow Jesus as Lord and Saviour, those who truly accept that Jesus died for them, will be called to life again.

I am constantly amazed, that men and women can actually watch television and emulate what they see, being unable to separate fiction and fact.  The same people will deny any biblical drama, and when God shows us what He can do, it is cynically rejected.

God is a god of the living, and those we have lost are living as surely  as    when we are living ourselves. I  live for the day when I will met my dear wife again, and have every confidence it will happen.

There is much you may find hard to understand about in this story. There was mystery to the Apostles on whom it was a great impact, and it may have that on us.  For Peter, it was a beacon on the ocean of faith years later when the Church was debating what it meant to be faithful and he remembered this event.

The Church has faced many challenges by people who wanted to adapt their own views. Times have not changed, in fact they have got much worse as our woke leaders with all their ideology, would play around to include equality and diversity into the story.

Peter pointed to Christ, and we should not let ourselves be taken over by clever arguments  All Christians should let the Bible be our guiding light. We are given the abiding  witness of Jesus, who has promised to be with us through our lives.

May God bless His Holy Word to us and His Holy Name be praised.

Tuesday 14 February 2023

The General Synod of the Church of England.

 Whenever I read that the General Synod of the Church has met, I dread what the consequences  are going to be.   It was obvious that prayers of blessing for same sex marriages would be passed, and calls will no doubt be made for same sex marriages, which has been delayed probably until the next meeting in July.

  I was listening to an American broadcaster who stated , ‘ the bishops of the Church of England have succeeded in their effort to destroy the Church by going stark staring mad in introducing non gender  ideology. Outrageous as it sounded, I readily believed it. The Church will not be destroyed, but undoubtedly will lose members, but the Bible has been cast aside, and the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ ignored.

It has been frustrating to find bishops actively campaigning for same sex marriage, calling for the bible wedding teaching to be abandoned as offensive to those who did not believe in that form; a bishop suspending a clergyman for not accepting a safe guarding order not to insist on a marriage as being  solely man and woman; a bishop stating she would call God Our Mother; declining to define a woman stating the Church did not do so.  The Bible does, should have used that one.

I cannot understand how bishops can adopt such actions when at ordination, and also at Consecration, they vow to teach only that which is in Holy Scripture, and to banish all false doctrine. As Clergy we are expected to observe the laid down Articles of the Church.(See Articles V1 and XX in the Appendix  to this posing) A bishop shockingly reported a Synod member to the Police, on an accusation of hate speech in a ‘twitter’ account. The Police were more aware of the ruling of Lord Sedley, who stated,  Free speech includes not only the offensive but the irritating, contentious, the eccentric, the heretical the unwelcome, the provocative ,provided it does not tend to   provoke violence. Freedom to speak inoffensively is not worth having.

Why was he reported to the Police?  Why did he receive a letter of rebuke from the Archbishops? Why was he threatened to a prison term? The Bible states, ’when one  has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous, instead of the saints?

Consider how intelligent Christian people  will be shocked, and wonder that a bishop of the Church could report a member of the Church to the Police,because he expressed an opinion which was in support of biblical teaching, and against  that of the proposed dishonouring of Scripture.  We have got to the stage where faithful traditionalists are to be rebuked.

 The Church was a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and recognized as the home of the Communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury as the leader, but no more. 75% of the Communion is in countries in Africa, Far East and South America, and has disconnected from the Church of England, and maintained orthodox traditional teaching of the Bible, not recognizing the Apostasy the Church has adopted.  The Archbishop of the Global Communion criticized the Archbishop of Canterbury for his sympathetic stance and collaboration to the LGBT . 

To it’s credit, the LGBT has carried out an extremely successful and efficient campaign on behalf of the homosexuality cause, taking with it sympathy and collaboration of the Church. How men and women in general act and believe, is essentially a personal matter which the Church need not pay attention to, but they cannot justify formally approving the same. Nor was it necessary for the Archbishop to apologize for failing to have the Church pass same sex marriage.  We should exist together and show tolerance without capitulation.

If the Church had carried out the message which Christ commanded it to, with the same commitment and efficiency, we would have had a revival.

Whilst travelling to various Churches, I have not found any support for same sex marriages in church. I have met people who were leaving to find a Church without such belief. 

Since the beginning of creation, marriage has been celebrated in every country of the world with that of a man and a woman.  There is no basis for any other kind of union.

The non-gender ideology is nonsense, and the Church cannot acquiesce. The Bible states. ‘God created man in his own image. male and female he created them.  In Matthew6, the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, and Jesus stated, Our FATHER, and since that time 2000 years past,that is how the Lord’s Prayer has been said, and will continue to be said. Imagine saying Our parent, it is utterly ridiculous.  In addition, Jesus in teaching told how people can be helped by their heavenly Father.

The Archbishop of York stated same sex blessings for marriage was just a development of doctrine.  True doctrine is contained in the Bible, which quotes Jesus warning, of dire consequences if anyone add or takes away from what is described in the Bible. (Revelation 22 v 18)

I was amazed to hear the Archbishop of York state in a reply to a member, that if he wanted to learn more to turn to the New Testament. It was the Archbishop himself, who when a bishop is reported to have told a Vicar in his Diocese that if he wished to teach biblical sexuality, there was no place for him in the Church of England.  The Vicar had resigned from being a Governor in a Church School as he disagreed with young children being taught explicit sexuality. He subsequently left the Church

it is an excellent suggestion to turn to the New Testament, let us do so

Matthew 19 v 4

Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female.  Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife

John 2 v 1-11

Jesus -performs fist miracle at a wedding of a man and a woman. This demonstrates the support of Jesus for man/woman marrage. To accuse him of not doing so would be unbelievable, for Jesus as part of the God-head would never differ from God the Father.


Principles for marriage

1 Corinthians 7  Ephesus 5  Colossians 3

We might note that in 2Timothy 3,  the Bible sates ALL Scripture is inspired by God.  The operative word is ALL

Then Timothy is warned that there will be those who do not want to know sound doctrine, but will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions. (2 Timothy 4 v3 )

               A P P  E N D I X

V1  Of the Sufficiency of the holy Scriptures for Salvation

HOLY Scripture containeth all things necessary for salvation; so whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought necessary for salvation. In the name of Holy Scripture we do understand those canonical Books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never in any doubt.

XX Of the authority of the Church            

The Church hath power to decree Rites or Ceremonies, and authority in Controversies of Faith: and yet it is not lawful for the Church to do or ordain anything that is contrary to God's Word written, nor may it so expound one place in Scripture, that it may be repugnant to another. Wherefore, although the Church be a witness and a keeper of holy Writ, yet, as it ought not anything against the same. So besides the same ought it not to enforce anything to be believed for necessity of Salvation.

Friday 10 February 2023


   MATTHEW 6 V. 19/34

        Jesus is still giving his sermon on the Mount, which is the gospel passage for this week. He has told of treasures,  and then turns to the state of anxiety.  He is calling on them not to worry about the things of daily life, the matters of food and drink, or whether they have the proper clothing, for life consists of more than all these items.

       He calls on the people to look how the birds live without care, thy don’t store up food because God provides food for them, and God views people as being more valuable creatures than the birds.

        He asks them to consider not worrying about what they will do about the daily needs, for it will make no benefit nor make life longer

      Clothing is not a matter to worry about, for the flowers  which God has created to make a more beautiful world, grow without problems. He mentions Solomon a great king of Israel who had all ceremonial dress, yet his appearance was not as beautiful as the flowers

      Jesus went on to talk about wild flowers, which are collected and were used by people to enable them to have fires. Whilst unbelievers may worry over the basic necessities of life, they being the people of God will be cared for by God, who will provide all they need.  God calls on them to live righteously and to seek to live as in the Kingdom of God, and to live one day at a time, leaving tomorrow as another day in life.

     Jesus is comparing treasures on earth which are corruptible and insecure, whereas treasures in heaven are incorruptible and secure, and can be kept without desperation.

He lists the things he was forbidding. There is not ban on personal possessions, the Bible does not forbid private possessions, or for saving for times which may not be good. The Bible in fact calls on the man to provide for his family. Jesus is actually referring to the selfish accumulation of goods, seeing hearts being attached to treasures, causing people to seek for yet more.  In the ancient world, as in fact with ours, there are plenty of thieves about.

Jesus explains between the choice there is a case of two masters, God and mammon. Some people think they can serve two, but Jesus denies this. He saw this as not possible, for if a man divides, he has in fact turned to Mammon.

Jesus calls on us to look carefully at the situation, and states we must decide which is more worthy of our devotion. He tells his followers not to be preoccupied with own needs, which is the way of the unbeliever. We  are called upon not to be anxious, which is caused by a collection of cares.  Today television, with its display of attractive goods, food, clothing, and many other luxuries, provides many temptations, which should be dismissed. He states to be engrossed in material comforts is a false occupation. Prudent provision for future is acceptable, but self-tormenting is wrong.

Applying to the world we live in, our world moves at a fast pace. Think of the many people going to town centre offices. I saw the masses of people leaving transport in the City of London of a morning, ready to fill a busy day with all sorts of issues to be met causing strain. In addition to work worries, they have their own personal worries, will they get that promotion they are banking on, the targets to be met. Business owners caring for how long they can exist in to-day’s world.

Life is not as peaceful and secure in relationships, as marriages break up constantly. Health is a concern, mortgages and other house necessities.  Worry is a disturbance of the mind, which all these matters create, causing all kinds of body ailments, hair loss, and heart attacks. 

How should we respond?  A Harley Street doctor once advised, in a manner which many listeners would be aggrieved at, he told a patient to read the Bible. This is a wise advice, for Jesus stated, ‘come unto me all who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest, for I will share your burden. The more we trust Him. the less the worry, a simple way to cure you.

Often  a sense of past failure, or some past occurrences come to haunt us, and little things can hurt much, sometimes added to a sense of guilt. It was to make it possible, for people seeking to face forgiveness, and ease conscience, that God sent Jesus to pay the penalty for all our past errors, when he shed his blood on the Cross. Jesus said he is faithful and just and will forgive us.  What a price Jesus paid, and what pain he endured; what pain for God who sent his Son to suffer that death.

If you have hurt someone, you may suffer continuously until you have faced the person, and sought forgiveness. Then you can leave the past, knowing Jesus has redeemed you.  A trouble with a relationship is an unpleasant matter, and can make life difficult. When two people have been friends for a long time and a break up occurs, that is heart breaking, especially if between a man and a woman,.

So any people rush into marriage, which is madness.  People need to experience time together to find the irritating habits, as well as the romantic. Separation can be painful to both, but one will surely feel it more.

The future is a matter of concern, unless we are well provided for, but no situation is beyond the Lord’s ability to help you deal with it.  If you feel you did not fulfil life’s dream, try and seek help from a close friend, or a helpful Pastor of your local Church may be able to comfort you.

Finally, are you afraid you will be rejected at heaven’s gate?  If you have been faithful to the Lord Jesus and his teaching, he will not leave nor forsake you. So many people who never give a thought to God or his Church, never read a bible or think in a religious way, somehow have come to know there is a passage in John’s gospel where Jesus stated he was going to prepare a place in his Father’s mansion.  Jesus was speaking to his Apostles, and which includes his followers. He was not giving a promise to all and sundry, however much convinced they are that Jesus was. The Bible is of great help to those who have read or been taught it, but so many false teachers have misled others, and people themselves have misread, they are going to be so disappointed one day.

I close with the words of the Apostle Peter, who said, ‘cast all your cares upon Jesus for he cares for you’.  Unto him that is capable to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. To the only wise God, our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever.

May God bless His Holy Word to us, and may His Holy name be praised

Tuesday 7 February 2023

Turn with me to Matthew Chapter 6, in verses 1 to 15, which contain the Lord’s Prayer.

We have come to Chapter 6 in this Sermon on the Mount series.

Jesus is giving teaching on giving alms and praying, subjects which Jews placed great importance on.  Jesus takes it for granted that all who follow Him will give money, but He speaks about the manner in which given.  It has often said (and proved) the people who have the most money are the least in giving of it away.

When giving we should not make a demonstration in doing so, we are to do so quietly and not talk about with those to whom it is given.

Jesus referred to hypocrites, He was meaning the Pharisees who made a  scene of giving things for the wrong reasons.

I mention in passing a procedure which always upsets and annoys me. We seek to bring people to Church, and having dome so we present a plate for them to put money on, which is rather like asking them to pay for coming.

At one service at which I was present, when the time came to send out stewards with plates, a woman collector placed a plate almost directly under a young man’s face when he did not put money on. The man was young and had come obviously without money and was noticeably embarrassed as he searched his pockets, and the woman remained holding out the plate. She did not have the courtesy to move away.  The proper manner is to place plates at the back of the Church, and if necessary tell the congregation they can make a gift if they wish.

In all giving and praying, we do so with an all-knowing God, where formality and affectation is worthless in God’s sight. God takes no account of the money given, the only thing he is interested in are the motive and intention of the heart. We should only be concerned in pleasing Him.

Jesus also takes for granted that all who call themselves Christians, will pray as a matter of course, and speaks the way of praying. He teaches that prayerless people are not true Christians, and states it is not enough to just join in prayer at Sunday services.  There has to be private prayer made regularly, in which we give thanks and seek forgiveness.

Prayer was a pillar of Jewish piety.  It was common to have prayer said aloud in morning, afternoon and evening.  At the set time of prayer, pious Jews would stand and stop what they were doing. Some discreetly, but others with pretentious display.  Jesus did not condemn public praying for He did so, but did not admire making a display of it, and went on to say for personal prayer we should retire to a room and shut the door, so as to be exclusively with God.  There can however, sometimes be helpful to pray with a friend, bearing mind Jesus stated when two people ask for something in his name……  Some people do have a prayer partner.

Before praying we must consider if we are burdened by sins; God will not answer unless we have confessed and repented to him of anything we are guilty of.

      In praying we should not use unnecessary words and phrases, I have been in churches where the intercessor rattles on praying for every conceivable person and institution, rather than embracing causes. Jesus condemned people making long prayers, likening it to the pagans who think the more words used the more effective. Prayers should be concise, asking God to grant what we need, remembering God is an understanding God and knows what we require. The prayers in the bible are short, as per Moses, Elijah, Solomon

Jesus encouraged us to ask, but to do worthily, and not imagine God to be like a heavenly father Christmas. We pray to God, in the name of Jesus Christ, and God will answer possibly in a different way to what we intend, but because he like an earthly father knows what is better and safer for us.  We need to believe, have faith in God and expect to receive, if we doubt we are wasting time and effort.  The Bible calls on us to pray ‘fervently’, quoting by example the occasion when people were praying fervently for Peter to be enabled to get out of prison.

Having advised of the approach to prayer, Jesus then gives his disciples an example to follow when praying. 

This is a model prayer used in Church services and in personal praying since first having been given by our Lord. For over two thousand years and across the world, it has been said, heard and read times beyond numbering.  This prayer was also quoted in Luke, but I have chosen Matthew’s version as being the recognised fuller account.

Whenever I  hear the prayer, I am reminded of a scene broadcast on the Christian Broadcasting Network in America.  It is of the first English settlers who landed at Virginia Beach in April 1607,planting the Cross and then reciting the prayer. They had sailed the Atlantic to find the land they believed would allow them to worship God in freedom, and with full commitment.  They were the forerunners who were joined by others, to make that such a great and powerfully Christian nation.

Jesus began calling God ‘our’ Father,  but not everyone is entitled to call God in this way, only those who have accepted Jesus as Saviour and so are in Christ.  In John’s gospel, Jesus taught that those who reject him are not children of God. This tells that the prayer was meant for believers.

Hallowed be thy name calls us to hold that name in reverence, and God was to glorify God with highest honour and set apart as holy.. We pray that God’s character, attributes and perfection may be more widely known, honoured and glorified. The importance cannot be overstated. God’s name is far more honourable than any earthly ruler.  His Kingdom is the only one to which we conform.

Thy Kingdom come, they will be done on earth as in heaven, calls for us to pray for God to be received here on earth into human hearts, and is a prayer for those in missionary work. But we need the will of God to reach us here on earth as it is in heaven

We pray that God will provide for our daily needs, bread being the basic food which sustains our physical life, so we are asking God to supply for us as He did for the people of Israel when in the wilderness and He sent manna from heaven, just enough for one day.  In Jewish households bread was made on daily needs. This reminds us of our dependence on God, and approach each day as a separate entity in our life.

We recognise God’s grace as we seek forgiveness for the debt we owe to God for sinning, and lay our sins on Jesus Christ. The Bible states ‘there is no one righteous, no not one, we all fall short of the glory of God’, so here we confess we are in fact sinners. There is the need to forgive those who offend us, forgiving the person not the sin, for only God can do that.  This is a hard call for many people and even harder to put into practice. It is important to remember that the word ‘sin’ has a far greater meaning than just sexual matters, which people usually have solely in mind.

We plead with God to so order our lives that we do not face temptation beyond our ability to resist.  God will never lead us into temptation, but we face this every day of our lives and will do so as long as we live on this earth. At this point we also want Him to protect us from evil which abounds so much all around us, and so order our lives that we may not be faced with anything we cannot bear. We live in an evil world, full of temptations.  Television controls so many minds, and some find difficulty in separating fact from fiction, and young people leaving homes to go to Universities mix with all manner of people, some from richer background and family status, lead behaviour in ways not practised in lower classes of society.  Even older people who should know better, copy that which they see portrayed on television. We pray against temptation, but that does not mean God provides  it, we just are asking for his protection.  God will never allow us to be tempted beyond our own powers to  resist.

We are taught lastly  to pray for protection from the evil one. This is a description of the world, evil. The stories we read in the newspapers  and on television seem to get worse as time goes on. There is corruption, lies, deceit from the highest echelons of society, and when exposed people just either shrug off or lie. Children are being brought up with no guidance, as schools do not hold assemblies as they should. Schools and school authorities, seem to think teaching sexual activity is more important than Christianity. The Churches of each major denomination, all now allow services expressly against the teaching of Scripture to be made, and even rejoice in doing so. How God must weep when he has to see such rejection of his Word.

Finally, since all of God’s virtues are reflected in his world of creation and redemption, in each according to its own nature; the children of the heavenly Father, are deeply impressed with the manifestation of his power, wisdom and goodness, and glory, show by the sincerity of their words, and their conviction that the Father will attend to their needs, the prayer is concluded.    

I often wonder how many people really think what they are saying when they recite it, for many it is said automatically rather than thought. Is God our Father, and are we his sons and daughters. Are we his children by our faith in Jesus Christ, do we care for his name and will, and for his Kingdom to come?

 These verses give a pattern of prayer which Jesus gave. Millions of people world wide may not have heard the gospel, but they have heard of the Lord’s prayer, sometimes called the King’s Prayer. This part of Scripture is simple, but contains much meaning. We have to recognise the implications we are making.

There is first the person to whom the prayer is made, our Father; then three verses respecting His Name, Kingdom and will; four respecting our daily needs, our weakness and danger; and one of praise.

When we pray to our Father, He is the creator of the world and in control of heaven and earth, for in Him we have our living, moving and very being. We recognise Him as Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. We profess to be His children by our faith in Christ. 

We respect His Name and call for it to be hallowed. His power, wisdom holiness, justice, mercy and truth and intend they may be known and glorified.  Jesus prayed for God’s name to be glorified, it is the main thing we seek.

We pray for His Kingdom to come, the Kingdom of grace which God gives to the hearts of all members of Christ, the Kingdom of glory when Jesus makes His return to earth. Then there will be no sin, no sorrow, when sin will be cast out, and both Jews and Gentiles will be one.

We thank God for His Holy Word, may His Holy Name nbe paised

Friday 3 February 2023


Matthew 5 v 13/20

In these verses we find Jesus describing the kind of people Christians should be, and further how both the Old and New Testaments are important. So often the Old Testament is dismissed as just being  discourse of Jewish history, but Jesus constantly referred to  it.

In these verses the Lord Jesus speaks to us of two subjects which Christians should support and maintain in the world. True Christians should be the ‘salt of the earth’.  Salt has a taste which is unlike any other substance. It has several important usages.

Jesus said, you are the ‘salt of the earth’  and created an expression which is now used to describe someone worthy of admiration.  The Romans used to say there was nothing more useful than salt. It was also very valuable.

 Salt represents purity, and was offered to their gods. Christians were meant to be seen as good and pure people.  We are in a world where there were once standards of honesty, good conduct, and good speech recognized, but  now it is not only deemed acceptable, even encouraged to be inappropriate.  A Christian cannot allow him or her self to lower moral standards, but keep themselves above reproach.

 Salt was also used as a preservative in times before refrigerators were made, to keep food items fresh and free from decay.  Salt stops corruption. In like manner, Christians must have an antiseptic voice in the world, be a cleansing factor.

 Salt was used to add flavour, and Christians  should give to life what salt gives to the food.  It is, most regrettably, that sadly Church members are not living up to those standards mentioned.

True Christians are also to be in the world like light, so as to shine amongst society and to lead people from the darkness which pervades non-Christians. Put together, salt and light should be distinct characters. 

Jesus quoted these two phrases to show Christians how to live worthy of him and bring glory to God and his Church. He is trying to show how the world has wandered away from goodness, but Christians must aim for perfection in morality. We must be an example in society, and not let ourselves deteriorate. To be a beacon of light in a dark world.

  In the early Christian days it was thought that Christians took the pleasure out of life.  Robert Louis Stevenson once remarked after attending Church, ‘I have been to church this morning and am not depressed’.  I can recall going home and saying, I have been to church this morning and I am thoroughly depressed.’ 

 Jesus said if salt lost its saltiness, it should be cast away. Coming to Church was once an accustomed Sunday practice, and usually was found to be uplifting and pleasant. The Bible makes the point that when anything becomes of no use, it invites disaster, therefore as Christians we should strive not to cause disasters.  We in the Church were meant to be the salt of the earth, bringing purity and a radiance, and all that is worthy.

 In verse 14, Jesus said we are to be the light of the world; he is calling on us to be the like him. In other words, if we are in a controversial situation with two or more options, we should consider what would Jesus do?  We must shine like a reflection of Jesus, a light to put on  to cast away darkness.

A light gives warning of dangers ahead, and Christians may be able to give warnings of trouble if they see someone not a Christian heading for what they may later regret.

 There are two kinds of light mentioned, one of a city on a hill where the light beams out over an area from a city full of light, as opposed to a country area of less light, and the other a lamp with a wick on a stand, which should not be hidden under a bushel.

 Christians are to stand out in a darkened world, with the light of Christ shining noticeably. No instances of hiding your faith, no secret Christianity, we should be proud to be noticed as followers of Jesus Christ.

 We should be recognized in the way we are courteous people of whatever status of society. I found it irritating in hotels when some people, who I would imagine would call themselves Christians, even if never attending a Church, and would treat the waiters male and female as if they were in some lower class of society than themselves. We all have an occupation in which we help others, and whatever level we may be at, as Christians we should treat others with respect, and not be supercilious.

 A light is a guide, and when you find yourself in a dark place or a darkened road, you realize how necessary light is to make a clear and safe way. Christians should show the safe and proper way to live.

 We are called finally to do good deeds, and to do so not to just impress, or as an act of boldness to attract attention to ourselves, rather as an act of kindness which will be recognized as such and bring glory to our heavenly Father.

 Martin Luther interpreted the phrase ‘good deeds’ to mean distinctly the Christian work of teaching the Bible correctly, and stressing faith, showing how to preserve it. 

 Having looked at the meaning of those words of Jesus at his sermon on the mount, let us now turn to consider how they relate to us in the current time.

 I have heard it said, as probably you have, that someone was a perfect Christian because of how they live. Such is often true, I have met lovely men, and women especially, who are quick to respond when a fellow Church member, or just another local friend, was in need through some form of submission.

 I have witnessed ladies in Church anxious to help the less able, and such people do impress and inspire and they reflect credit on themselves and their Church. These ladies show the way the light of Christ shines through them. I know this to be true for I married one, and I saw how much she was loved by people for her kindness. (She was more popular than her husband, even though I was supposed to be the Vicar))

 Christians can show response to Jesus’ call in several ways; help a struggling fellow worker who is finding things hard; preventing arguments which too often lead to aggression.  We should not be lazy workers, steal from employers, respect honesty, be meek in personal activity, but bold in righteous pursuits.

 In modern society some Christians are letting themselves be persuaded there are no absolutes in behaviour as long as one’s conscience is clear, but fewer people seem to have a conscience nowadays.  We should challenge such ideas, without being aggressive in opposing, yet we must face the fact that activists have no tolerance for people with opposing views.

 Quite recently the Archbishop of Canterbury was quoted in the press as saying he felt he had not been able to get more people to Church. There will be many who agree with him, but figures are not a reliable picture in view of the pandemic, when people were actually forbidden to attend.  He was rather too quick in ordering all Churches to be closed completely .

 I am sure the Archbishop speaks sincerely, but I am sure he would be more well received if he remembered we live in a different age from that of our predecessors, with different opinions, so it would be helpful if he stopped apologizing for past people, who in their own way gave many generous gifts to society.  It would be helpful if he stopped calling for statues and statements to be removed, to placate the oddities of society. He could support an evangelical preacher, even if they came from the United States, rather than speak against him because the man believes in man and woman marriage, and be  less pliable himself to current society fashion.

 Christians should not support any action, or be intimidated into sin.  We  live in an evil and vicious world, if anyone doubts that, make sure you read a daily newspaper.  At all levels of society, from royalty, through government Ministers, business and trades, there is immorality, corruption, blatant lying.

 The Church is supposed to be the moral voice of the nation, be an antiseptic to society.  Bishops are given places in  Parliament to hold the government to account, yet we have legislation which gravely contradicts the Scriptures, without any protest from the Bishops.  Indeed, some of the bishops openly  give support to those who oppose the Bible teaching on marriage, as it may offend those who disagree.

 We in the Church are engaged in the Lord’s business of preaching the gospel. I have watched two documentaries on supermarkets, Waitrose and Aldi. Both are reputable businesses, but with two different styles.  One is upmarket with frills on, catering for those who like the atmosphere, and some like the impression it gives if they shop there.  The other is  winning customers across the board, aimed at lower wage earners who have no frills, very basic, and very popular as they reduce costs.  Could you visualize either changing their beliefs to avoid being different?  But this is what the Church is doing, toning down its voice to avoid being different.  Preachers are frightened to be too fundamental, lest they be called bigots by people who are themselves bigots.

 This country has followed too fully adopting the American ‘woke’ style, verbally and practically.  We follow anything the Americans do, except follow the many devout Christian churches, pastored by men who really preach the bible.

 I have stated many times, what any person or two persons do, is a personal matter for them alone, but he Church should never surrender the Bible.   We are (meant to be) salt of the earth, and to remain so. We are (meant to be) lights shining in a dark world, and meant to continue to shine.  I think if Jesus was personally here today, He would be saying those statements.

The problems of society are great, and people have become overwhelmed by resources which try to exercise control over them by dedicated activists pushing their own agenda.

 The Church needs dedicated activists to preach the Christian gospel for Jesus Christ, but there are those holding high Office within the Church who do not seem to want to speak out. There is no strong confidence in the power of the gospel.

 Salt and light have two functions , protection from decay and illumination from darkness.  Jesus is calling his people to exercise a double influence on a secular society. It is much easier to stop evil spreading than to promote truth and goodness.  When the truth is suppressed, standards fall apart and corruption follows.  We are placed in society to penetrate the world.

 To be the salt of the earth, we Christians should be more courageous and outspoken to condemn evil.  Martin Luther made much of rubbing salt into the wounds and denouncing what was wrong. Some Church people would prefer to rub sugar, rather than salt to avoid confrontation. We should stand boldly for all that is good and truthful.  God created the State and family as the social structures, to restrain evil and promote goodness.

 We have to be different to society, not the same. If we are to make any influence in the world people will be attracted by a message and will listen. If we try to fit in with their ways we will become useless and be discarded. The Church should not be like a town nestling in a valley with the light hidden, but shining brightly on a hill to light all around. Not concealing the truth of the gospel, and willing for Christianity to be clearly visible.

 There is an important difference between Christians and non-Christians. Some Christians are undesignable from non-Christians. One is light,   the other is darkness, serving neither God nor ourselves.  The sermon on the mount assumes and calls for us to be different, but the Church has a tendency to conform to the prevailing culture of society instead of the Christian counter culture.

 Jesus came to fulfil the predictions of the prophets, who had long foretold of a Saviour one day appearing.  He came to fulfil ceremonial law by becoming the great sacrifice for sin, to which all the Mosaic sayings had pointed.

He came to fulfil the moral law, by yielding to it a perfect  obedience, which we could never have given, and by paying the penalty for our breach of it with his atoning blood, which we could never hav paid.  He magnified the law and made it honourable, as foretold by Isaiah.  This shows as I have previously stated, we should not cast out the Old Testament as relic of Jewish history, when it has so much to offer to our generation.

 We thank God for his Holy Word. May his holy Name always be praised.