Sunday 31 December 2023


A Happy New 2024

At this time of the year, two of the saddest words of the English language are used; namely if only. We look back on some of the events and occasions of a past year, and in the gift of hind sight realise the opportunities we messed up on, and how things could have made such a difference,…if only we had etc. I wonder if our Church leaders feel that way when they look at the state of Christianity in the country today.

The Church in this country, is losing members almost weekly, and is failing to be of any interest or relevance to the under 50 age ranges. This should give all sincere Christians real concern, and as we enter a new year, reflect on the challenges facing the Churches, especially the Church of England.

The foundation of the Church is built on the teaching of the Apostles. However unpleasant it may be to accept, we are failing God, Jesus, the saints down the ages, and the Church we have been called to serve and save, by failing to maintain that teaching.

Jesus said, ‘if anyone serves me, the Father will honour him.’
In every business the owners, or the company which owns, want to promote the product they have to the best advantage. When one considers the success of just two outstanding British companies such as John Lewis and Marks & Spencer, the application of the desire for perfection in every aspect of their business, promotion, caring for customer satisfaction by offering what is sought, and the loyalty of staff, the reason for such success is obvious; commitment to the purpose of their business. Bankruptcy does not face them.

The Church is engaged on the Lord’s business, and we should show similar devotion rather than appear to be striving for bankruptcy. Jesus said, ‘I will build my Church’, but it seems as if those within are saying and we will knock it down.

Can anyone imagine a director in a secular business being allowed to tell customers not to believe the firm’s advertising because it wasn’t true, or the goods being offered were faulty; he would be dismissed forthwith. Would a branch manager be allowed to sell goods from a rival firm, or be indifferent as to whether customers attended his branch?
Such comparisons may appear frivolous to some people, but just take some similar situations to those displayed by those engaged in the Lord’s business.

We are to lead people to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who came to earth to redeem us, by dying on the Cross. That was the reason he suffered such a painful death willingly, so that God could forgive us.

The prime purpose of the Church is to offer and present the teaching of the Bible; to proclaim the gospel (as it is written) and known to be the Word of God. All God’s teaching is contained within, just as He intended. We are to preach the Word, not express opinions, nor make any amendments.

The Bible is the supreme authority for the Church, yet liberal minded people want to re-interpret to give justification for alternative living and behaviour, without any respect for the fact that God laid down clearly what He expects.

The Bible tells us God made a man, and then woman to be man’s companion, equal in every way but different in style. But our bishops tell us God got it wrong, so we should allow two people of the same sex to go through a form of marriage.

Read your Bibles you will find, God created man in his own image, male and female he created them .Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife. To the woman God said, you shall bear children.

In recent times the leaders of the Church have made one concession after another to meet the agenda of the LGBT activists, who will never be satisfied until everybody not only accepts their agenda, but approves of it.

Following a vote in the Synod of the Church, same sex marriage was not approved, but blessings for those who were ‘married’ elsewhere was approved. This resulted in the Church of England, which was the head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, being displaced from that Communion until the Archbishop of Canterbury repented for the Church celebrating that which was contrary to the Word of God as written in the Bible.

A previous Bishop of Liverpool was reported in the Telegraph newspaper of calling fora wholesale reappraisal of traditional interpretations of the Bible relating to sex and marriage. In fact the bishop was a great supporter of gay rights, and if the gospel had have been preached with equal ardour, there might have a revival in Liverpool. This was in contrast to Jesus who said, ‘the Scriptures cannot be altered’, (John10 v 35)

Such comments therefore from a person holding Office in the Church, would to men of integrity and loyalty to the Lord, consider the Bishop should consider his position, remembering that every person ordained in the Church vows to banish false doctrine, and uphold the teaching of Holy Scripture.

How individual people live is a personal matter for each person to decide. God gave us free will and we place ourselves in His hands; we do not bear personal animosity, nor should we, but we do resent the provocative acts of the activists who have caused so much hurt in pursuit of their agenda, causing people to be deprived of their occupation, just for having a different belief. Tolerance and goodwill means allowing someone to have a different opinion.

If you are not a (true) believer these things may not matter to you, indeed may seem trivial to mention, but to those who have chosen to enter a preaching ministry it is quite out of order to support, and even more so to practise. If we are to be the witnesses for Jesus, we must tell positively what Jesus stated and commanded.

We have people not being satisfied with having perfect bodies, they want to change their sex. How people with body problems must be irritated to hear such selfishness . We even have young children of very tender ages being questioned in schools as whether they feel they have the right body. Anyone so asking a child that question should be ashamed of themselves. But however outrageous, this happens in Church schools. Obviously there is need to ask how on earth this could be allowed, and then to give them some strong advice.

The most eminent surgeons in the country have stated clearly that no matter how much medication may be minded, each sex has a chromosome which cannot be changed, with X type for women and Y for men. Bodies are being mutilated for no purpose. And the Church at all levels should stick to their day jobs.

Furthermore, as managers we must offer just the product we are in business for, not what people in opposition to us would like others to have.

We should be assuring people we offer week by week on a regular basis, pure solid food of Scripture and not some junk food, and have that offered carefully presented, with enthusiasm and purpose to make the people want to come to us regularly; we are not just here for special offers, such as baptisms and weddings.

So, coming back to reality, we should never suggest the Bible has got things wrong; we must maintain the Bible is the inspired, authoritative, unbreakable, fully trustworthy Word of God, and stop trying to please people in order to be accepted.

God chose 40 men of different occupations and characters and over many years inspired them by His Spirit to write all He wanted people to know and believe and practise. They did not know each other or what others were writing. There are so many interlinked stories, yet there was no contradiction on what was collectively written; not even the most sophisticated computer could do that.

The Church has thrown out the Bible and in doing so the country has lost its influence, guidance and standards with the consequence the young are growing up not knowing right from wrong. Today there are many attacks on the truth of the Bible.

The Bible is not the book of the month; it is the unchanging book of the ages, unlike modern technology, it doesn’t need regular updating. The early Church never questioned it, they just preached it. Can you imagine a Muslim cleric ever questioning the Koran?
If the Church is to survive in any meaningful way it is down to the ordinary Church members, as there is now no one on the national scene with any notable charisma or the will and courage to speak out.

Let us Christians be as proud of our faith as other faiths are of theirs. Jesus gave his life on the Cross so that all who believe in him will be forgiven all sin, and restored to a relationship with God. Remembering there is salvation in no one else than Jesus, for there is no other name under heaven given among men, by which we can be saved. No one else in all history made such a sacrifice for all people, who are ready to accept him as Saviour.

The Bible calls on us to love God and serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.

In conclusion, never be ashamed of the gospel. When Paul wrote to Timothy he told him not to have a spirit of timidity, but be ready to preach the word that God saved us by His grace which He has given us through Christ Jesus.

I close with this prayer.
God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit upon the Church in the burning fire of your love; grant that your people maybe fervent in the fellowship of the gospel that, always abiding in you they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service. Defend your Church from all false teaching and give to your people knowledge of your truth that we may enjoy eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Thank you to all who so kindly read these sermons throughout the year. I wish you a sincere and blessed life in the year to come

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