Monday, December 15, 2008

Signposts to Jesus



Why are Christians are so convinced that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? Well you might ask, it's an excellent question.

Our belief is laid on a very solid foundation. First of all we believe in divine revelation not just human discovery. In fact to learn about something outside of our sphere of experience we all accept we need information from a trustworthy source. If you are serious about discovering the truth - check the Bible out. It is a trustworthy source. Read it, check it's sources, speak to those who believe it, look at it 's accuracy in every sphere it touches. There can only be one answer to the question of the origin of a book that was written over one thousand five hundred years by forty different authors, many of whom did not even know each other. The Bible is God's message to mankind.

Secondly check the facts concerning Jesus Christ. There are over three hundred signposts (biblical predictions/prophecies) which point to him. The chances of them all being fulfilled precisely in the life of one person, at the right time, in the right place are mindblowing odds apart from this fact - God planned it and implemented His plan in a person - His Son, Jesus Christ. The Bible predicts the mode of his conception, the place of his birth, his exile into Egypt, the slaughtering of the innocents, the gifts from the magi and lots more.

Finally look at the prediction about the way that Jesus would die. Psalm 22 and Isaiah 52 describe the horrific death of God's Son a cross. Death by crucifixion was unknown when Psalm 22 was written about 1000 years before the death of Jesus but God knew that was the way that His Son would die.

In closing please listen again to the words of the angels who announced the birth of the Lord Jesus 'For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord'. Is he your Saviour? He died 'for our sins'. He suffered 'the just for the unjust that he might bring us to God'. Will you rest by faith on what the Lord Jesus did to save your soul?
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Friday, December 05, 2008

Liverpool City of Football

Maybe you were handed a leaflet today when we were having a 'Street Meeting' in Liverpool City Centre. If so, thank you for accepting one. We would like you do more than just be polite we would like you to search for 'truth' . You might say like a famous man once did - what is truth? Fair question! Jesus Christ made some massive claims - he said that he was 'the way, the truth and the life'.

I do not usually focus on one area of some people's interests but I am doing so today as I read on www.textministry.co.uk the following message. I hope it helps some of the readers of this blog

GOAL?

Football is all about goals! The referee has seconds to decide to allow or dis-allow a goal. His decision is not always the right one. Your life should have a goal too. God has a purpose for your life. You are in this world for a reason. In order to live your life as God intended, you need to become part of His family. ‘For I know the plans I have for you…plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.’ Jeremiah 29 v 11

FOUL!

The problem is you have a past. God warns us in His word, the Bible. ‘All the world is guilty before God.’ Romans 3 v 19. Our fore-parents Adam and Eve sinned and everyone born since has fallen foul of their disobedience. God however, wants you as part of His family. He offers a free transfer. He does not ignore your wrong beliefs or behaviour but he will and can forgive if you come to him and ask in prayer (my addition).

SUB!

Gods love for you is so great He gave His Son, the Lord Jesus to die on a cross. He took the penalty of your sin. He became the perfect substitute. God punished His Son instead of you,
‘The Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.’ Galatians 2 v 20

RESULTS?

You now have a decision to make ‘now is the day of salvation’ 2 Corinthians 6 v 2. God asks you to put your trust in His Son and what He has done for you. Don’t leave Him on the bench. You will have the ultimate goal in life if you put Him first. To get saved you need to turn from your sin (Acknowledge and renounce your sin and agree with God's assessment of your life). Then accept His Son as Saviour and Lord who has paid the price in His death so that you can be forgiven and right with God (My addition).
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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Christmas is coming.......

How about you - too busy for Christmas, me too. Sounds a bit like Scrooge. Humbug and all that. I really do like the season but life is so busy that you feel that it's on you before you know it.

Makes me think that all of life is a bit like that. We're young, out of nappies, walking, school, working, paying bills. Children become teenagers all of a sudden and then they are off to Uni. Where does time go?

All I know is that it does fly. There are no rewind and start again options and time for all of us will run out sooner than later. So why today's blog? For this reason - make sure you take time to find God and life or you'll miss the whole reason why you were born.

God in the Bible bemoans the lack of forsight of humans. He says 'O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end (discern their future)'. we rush on, busy busy busy. We achieve lots in respect of this life but we fail to stop and consider what it is all leading to and why we exist.

Take time out this week (preferably today) to consider these issues. Jesus said 'I am come that they might have life'. He also said that he had come ' a light into the world that whosoever believeth in me should not abide in darkness'.

My question - are you forgiven by God, walking in the light of God's salvation, ready to meet God. To find out how read some of my previous blog entries.

May God bless you.
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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Where did that week go?

I worked on Monday and then we flew to Ireland to see our relatives and friends for a few days. It was half term and the time didn't half fly. Into Belfast International at 11 a.m. , up to Ballymena, then down to Newtonards to see my wife's sister and her family. Back to Belfast at night to visit friends. Home late.

Wednesday - a bit of a lie in, then out for the day with friends (back to Belfast) then home to spend the evening with my wife's Mum and Dad. Our daughter went out for a meal with friends she had been in the Ukraine with and our Son went off to spend the night at our friend's son's house.

Thursday - up and in to Ballymena by 9.15 a.m. , time for an Ulster Fry (good healthy living). Off to Ballymoney to visit my Brother in Law and his wife. There for the rest of the day, back to Ballymena for 7 p.m., collected cases and then off to the airport for the flight home.

Three days off - you must be joking. Three days on a flying visit without hardly drawing breath.

Seems that's how our life goes. Maybe that's how your life goes. Hardly any time to think. Little time to take in what are we doing with our lives. What is all the rush and activity about?

I thank God that I learned early in life why I am on this planet. I thank God for parents who taught me the truth. Why we die? Where we came from? What's next when life is over?

What about you! Have you stopped to think yet? Or are you rushing on and missing the point of your existence. It's not to make money, it's not for success in itself, it's not solely for personal happiness. You were created to bring God glory and when you are doing that you will be fulfilled in yourself and a blessing to others.

Our self centred lives, our sin against God is the reason why we do not know God and enjoy the real things in life (not the toys this world offers but the truth, joy, pleasure, honesty etc that comes from God).

To get to know God you need to confess your guilt before Him and admit your need of Him. He will save you and bless you. In the Bible the way back to God is summarised like this. 'Repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ'. That means you turn from your sin and admit it is wrong and that God is right. Then you turn to God's Son, the Lord Jesus and trust him to forgive and save you. He came from heaven, born of the virgin, live a perfect lfie and allowed men to crucify him so that you could be forgiven. He personally paid the price God demanded for sin so that you could be forgiven. Would you trust Him today? I pray that you will.

Kind regards and God's blessing, Stephen
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Monday, October 20, 2008

Losing the will to live!

Sadly my wife and I heard this week of an ex colleague of hers who decided to take his own life last week. It was unexpected and tragic. The lose of a valuable life. He was a lovely man and a great professional nurse and was very good at his job but he could not see the point of living any longer.

I also have been touch with a young man this week who says that he realised that he needs to know God better, to be forgiven and so he got on his knees and cried to God. God hears and saves when a person does this.

What about you? I hope you are not in dispair but you also make a choice every day. We either choose live or we choose to continue being dead to God and the life he has on offer.

Please choose life today. The Lord Jesus said 'I have come that they may have life'.

Choose life and live
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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Can you trust what anyone says any more?

I know every one is writing about it but it is big news. When I was a lad, Banks were so secure that we thought that it was impossible for a Bank to "go bust". That's probably why I joined a Bank at the tender age of 16 and spent the next 26 years of my life working in the financial services sector. So here we are in the 21st century and you cannot even trust a Bank. What is left that is dependable? What worries me is that we are told one day that everything is fine by the very people who then have to admit that everything has gone wrong so soon afterwards.

Truth seems to disappear all for the sake of public confidence in something that is already destined to fail.

Well those of you who read my blogs will know that I believe that God can be trusted. The Bible says that 'God cannot lie'. The Bible says about things that God says that they are 'true and faithful' i.e. they are to be trusted.

Can I tell you about one of the 'true and faithful' things that God says in His word. Here it is 'that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners'. This statement can be trusted. Firstly it is true historically and factually. Jesus did live, He did die and He did claim that He had come 'that they might have life'. Secondly it is true practically - that is if you come to God and confess to Him that you (like me) got it wrong, that you have broken His law and that you deserve what is coming to you. He will save you. That means He will legally grant you a pardon from God (see Romans 5), He will give you a new beginning and a new power to live (see the Gospel of John chapter three about being born again and 2 Corinthians 5), He will rescue you from being condemned by God on the day of judgement (John 5:24).

You really can trust God when he speaks. Why not take Him at His word and pray confessing your sin to God - He will save.
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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Do you believe in God?

Whatever your answer God loves you and is interested in you.
God created us in His image.

That is why we have a conscience about right and wrong and an inbuilt sense of justice and injustice. The world we live in can be a sad and hard place. This is because of wrong doing and sin. Sin came into the world through the first man, Adam.

But, God is love. He loves everyone in the world. That is why He sent His Son the Lord Jesus Christ to be the Saviour of the world! God is pure and holy. He must punish sin. Yet He has given us a way back to Himself. By asking God for forgiveness for our sin we can have peace with
God!

There is only one way. Refusal to come to God by accepting Jesus Christ as Saviour leaves God with only one option. He must judge sinners and will send them to a place of eternal
punishment, the Lake of Fire.
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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Olympic Closing Ceremony

What a display! I have just watched the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing. I would love to have watched the opening ceremony but did not manage to fit it in. Every time I see one of these events I am reminded of the brilliance and excellence of human skill and endeavor. We always say 'this is the best ever' and 'no one will ever match this' but time and time again we manage to pull off another outstanding display of brilliance. Beijing was no different.

Why are we so clever? Do you see animals create and design like we do? We are the only living being to have this ability - why? The Bible gives the answer - we were created in the image of God. Our appreciation of beauty and skill is universal. The human imagination is unsurpassed by any other species. When God created us out of the dust of the ground (Genesis 2) and breathed into us the breath of life we received a distinctiveness in makeup and personality that no other creature possesses.

We are unique in other ways as well. We all have a sense of right and wrong. We know good and evil. We react to injustice and cruelty. An appreciation of these values may be deadened by an insensitive conscience (the effect of wrongdoing and sin sears the conscience) but they are universal values. Our awareness of right and wrong and our weakness in doing what is right so often is explained by the Bible statement 'all have sinned and come short of the glory of God'. 

Sin and death came to our planet through the conscious act of the first man (Adam) - 'by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin'. That sadly is another universal fact - we all die. One of the only 100% statistics. The verse from the Bible quoted above explains why this is so.

In closing this blog I want to remind you that mankind's greatest problem has been answered by the creator, God, by a universal solution. 'The Father sent the Son to be the saviour of the world'. Everyone in the world has broken the law of God and as a result is guilty. The penalty and punishment for our sin is eternal death (eternal banishment from God and his love, mercy, kindness, grace etc). The provision of God for all of us is this. 'The Father sent the Son to be the saviour of the world'. The claim of the God's word is that Jesus Christ God's Son 'came into the world to save sinners'. 

Two thousand and eight years ago Jesus Christ was born. He came from heaven to earth. Born of a the virgin (Mary) he lived a pure and holy life - 100% perfect. For three years (approximately from aged thirty to thirty three) he performed miracles to provide evidence to support the claim that he is God's Son. At the age of thirty three he allowed the authorities to crucify him. His death paid the price for all of our wrong and satisfied the creator's heart that justice had been met.

You can have this salvation today if you admit to God (in prayer) that you have sinned and rest on what the Lord Jesus did when he died to save you. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.
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Thursday, July 24, 2008

You need to face to the truth

There are times in life when we need to stop and face up to the truth. But for most of us it is easier said than done. We often ignore the obvious until it is impossible to ignore it any longer.

Take for instance your health. How often have you ignored the tell tales signs that something was wrong until someone else made you see sense! How many men refuse to go to the doctors or the dentist!

Think about relationships! Did you ignore the way things were going until it is too late? Could you have repaired your relationship if you had been a bit more honest about things?

Finally the big white elephant in the room. God, religion, life and death. It's all there! The issues are real and will not go away yet we all ignore them too often. Make a decison today to face up to the truth before it is too late.

There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death (the Bible).
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Friday, June 27, 2008

What do I do each day?

Some people ask what I do so I am writing this week a brief summary of how my week usually looks.

My standard week is like this.

Monday
Preparation Day & Personal Time (sometimes)
Tuesday
Tract Distribution at shopping area, Bible Study and Coffee morning in my local Gospel Hall, Street Meeting in the afternoon.
Wednesday
School work, Street Meeting & Home Visitation with the gospel
Thursday
Taking the gospel to business events, Bible Study and Home Visitation
Friday
One to one Bible studies, Street Meeting.

In the evenings I am often speaking at a series of gospel meetings, speaking at Bible Teaching Meetings or attending my own Gospel Hall. I also visit Hospitals, Prison Hostels and meet people for coffee to explain the gospel to them. I also am involved in editing a Christian Magazine (Precious Seed), write, record gospel and bible teaching CD’s for handing out to my contacts.

I am off to Ukraine for 10 days soon to give some Bible Teaching. That will be an interesting experience.

E-mail me and tell me about your weeek.

God Bless you,

Stephen
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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Nothing lasts for ever!

We often say things like 'nothing lasts for ever' or 'all good things will come to an end one day'. Did you know that Jesus Christ said that 'heaven and earth will pass away' He predicted the end of this universe as we know it. Scientists tell us that the second law of thermodynamics means that everything is degenerating. The Bible in other places (Isaiah 51/Hebrews 1/2 Peter 3) states that this universe will end one day. So what then? The Bible also states that God will create a new heaven and a new earth (2 Peter 3/Revelation 21:1/Isaiah 66:22). There will however be a major difference to the present world. It will be a righteous place. All that is right will feel at home and be welcome in this new heaven and earth. Utopia indeed. This is guaranteed to happen (but we are not told when) because the Lord Jesus Christ came into this sinful world, dealt with consequences of sin by his death on the cross and rose again on the third day.

Where would you rather live? This sad and sinful world or in the new one where everything is right. You can be there courtesy of the Lord Jesus if you come to Him admitting and confessing your guilt before God and requesting forgiveness through faith in Christ.
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Monday, June 16, 2008

Liverpool City of Culture 2008

Not only is Liverpool 800 years old but it is celebrating being the City of Culture this year. As part of the celebrations one of the Gospel Halls (an independant local evangelical church) in the city is hosting a two week mission. I have been invited to speak along with couple of others. The strapline for the two week mission is 'One year of Culture, an eternity of ?' An interesting question! The question addresses the fact that life for all of us on this panet is temporary. We will all die one day! The question is, is this all there is or is there more to come?

If we are left to our own thoughts we might assume that it would be a waste to achieve so much on earth and for it all to account for nothing in the end. Think about the considerable talent that most humans have and the amazing talents that certain individuals have. Is all this ability for nothing, wasted on a pointless existence. Even if we use it all the talent we have to it's best advantage ultimately it is of no signifance if there is nothing beyond this! But is this true?

I suggest that there is more to life! This suggestion is not based on a hunch, a gut feeling or wishful thinking. It is based on the revelation of God in the Bible, the word of God. God says he made us in His image. He created us for His glory. The Lord Jesus stated that he came 'that we might have life', abundant life. But our wrongdoing, our sin has deprived us of joy knowing life now as God intended it and could prevent us (if unconfessed and unforgiven) from knowing the God's quality eternal life, now and in heaven.

The situation is basically simple. Mankind made a wrong choice. In Adam, the first man, we all sinned and continue to do so. Our sin has consequences it must be accounted for and be dealt with legally. Our physical and ultimately eternal death is the result.

The solution is simple. It has been paid for but at a very high price. This is why Jesus Christ was born. He 'came into the world to save sinners'. By Jesus' death of crucifixion He paid the price in full for sin and can offer to us the gift of eternal life. In other words 'Christ died for us' and as a result God offers, when we confess our sins and receive His Son as our Saviour, the forgiveness of sins.

Will you celebrate salvation in Liverpool's year of culture? I trust that you will.
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Sunday, June 08, 2008

What is the main thrust of the message of the Bible?

The main message of the Bible is that God created us. We as a human race do not know God personally because of our sin and disobedience. Ultimately God will hold us accountable for our beliefs and behavior on the great judgment day. This all sounds depressing and it would be if the rest of the story was not know. The rest is this: God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world 2008 years ago. History and the Bible record His life, death, resurrection and return to heaven. Jesus was perfect and unique and for 33 years he lived on this planet providing evidence that he was God (all His miracles and teachings). The Bible records His death and coming to life again after three days (the Bible calls it resurrection). The claims of the Holy Scriptures (the Bible) are that Jesus paid the full price God demanded in payment for human sin. God offers to all people personal forgiveness and the removal of our legal guilt before Him when we turn from our sin to God and trust Him for salvation.
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Thursday, May 29, 2008

A week off……….ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh

How are you when it comes to taking time off? Are you good at switching off or do you always seem to be in work mode? I have to admit that I am not very good at switching off. I enjoy what I do and I find that it is easy to keep on going when you should be taking a rest.
Believe it or not the Bible establishes the premise of taking periods of rest. When God made the world he made it in six days and then rested on the seventh (Genesis 2:2, the Bible). Why do we keep on working? Why is there restlessness about us as humans? Is that we never feel that the job is really done properly? Or are we not satisfied with what we have done? Is there a guilt thing that makes us feel that we have never done enough? Do we have to impress others? Or satisfy our own demands? There is not one simple answer but a lot of the above will no doubt apply.
So how did God manage to rest after making this world? Well when God does a job he does it to perfection. He could not have improved on His creation. It was perfect and he was content and satisfied with what he saw on the dawn of creation.
You may at this stage be saying – it doesn’t feel or look like a perfect world to me! And you are right. This world is not perfect but the Bible teaches us that it was when God made it, in Genesis 1 we read that it was good, good and indeed very good. So what went wrong? Why do we have climate disorders, earthquakes and eruptions? We cannot ignore the creatures that live on this planet. Why do we kill each other, hurt each other and damage this world? Why does everything get old, wear out, decay? We are on a downward spiral and nothing can stop these natural processes. Or can they be stopped?
Let’s answer the first question first. Why? You maybe don’t like the answer but the Bible does offer an explanation. ‘By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin’ (The Book of Romans 5:12, the Bible). The reason why the downward spiral exists is that everything that is not of God and blessed by God will ultimately fail. God created the universe for our good but good can only be effective in the hands of the creator, God. When we handle good we corrupt it and it is tainted with our fallen nature. We like the first man, Adam , have made our choices and we ‘all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God’ (The Book of Romans 3:23, the Bible). God intended mankind to enjoy his blessings for ever free of corruption and death but Adam acts of rebellion condemned us all as guilty before God. You may feel that this is unfair but these are the facts as revealed by God in His word, the Bible.
Can the downward spiral be stopped? The message of Christianity is this. The ‘Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world’ (1 John 4:14, the Bible). This is not just climatic salvation, or economic salvation, or even ethical or moral salvation. All of those things will be effective in a future day but initially God offers personal salvation to individuals. The Lord Jesus Christ said (when in this world) ‘I have come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly’ (The Gospel of John 10:10, the Bible). He claimed that if a person took on board what he said and trusted Him and believed that God had sent him that, that person would cross the line from death to life, they would be raised to everlasting life at the Day of Judgement, that they would be saved (see The Gospel of John 3:36, 5:24, 11:25).
You might be asking how was all this possible? Was Jesus not just a good man? His claims are too great to be that of just a good man. He is either is the real thing or at best he was deluded and at worst a liar. Check it out, he claimed to come from heaven, he claimed to be equal with God, he claimed to fulfil Bible predictions, he announced that he would draw men to him upon dying, he predicted his own death and coming to life again after three days. These things are either true or false there is not middle ground.
All I can say to you if you are reading this blog is go, check it out for yourself. Read the Bible. Listen what God has to say. Trust Him. Take Him at His word. If you do e-mail on Stephen.baker1@virgin.net. I would love to hear from you.
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Friday, April 18, 2008

So long

I am now on a guilt trip. If you have looked at my blog recently you will have noticed that I am really bad at writing entries. This is supposed to be an on line diary - I do keep a paper one better than this.

What have I been up to? Will that's my excuse. I have been really busy getting out and about telling people the message of Christ and His great salvation. As a result I have not had time to write my blog. I have been in schools, prison hostels, on the street (having meetings), working with other Christians having missions and generally doing all I can to bring the message of saving grace in front of people.

Why go to all this effort?

It's simple really. God has revealed in the Bible that we have all sinned and broken his law. We are guilty and stand condemned already by God. He is angry about our rebellion and will call us to account on the day of judgement IF we have not changed our minds and trusted His Son (Jesus) for salvation by then.

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. That is he was born of the virgin (Mary), lived a perfect life, died on the cross to pay the price for sin and came to life a again three days later as proof that he had paid the price for sin in full. That is he served God's sentence to take the legal consequences of our sin. He offers pardon and forgiveness if we turn from our sin and trust him as Saviour.

That's why I get so excited about the message of the cross. Will you trust him today. If you do be sure to e-mail me on Stephen.Baker1@virgin.net to let me know. I'll be praying for you.
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Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Rise of Christianaphobia

In our society a trend of ‘christianaphobia’is rising. Christianity is accused of some amazing things and to such an extent that it turns the values of Christianity on its head. In a large circulation Regional Newspaper in England Christianity was recently accused of being the source of the 'tide of disrespect engulfing us'. On a very basic level the principles of Christianity (if practiced) would ensure that peace and harmony ruled on earth as all people would act in the way Jesus Christ described (forgiving, loving etc). It is obvious however that all people have not accepted the salvation that Jesus Christ offers and that sin in the heart of humanity (as also established by Judaism) still results in evil and hurt for all concerned.

The writer chose to focus on one part of the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Other records in the Gospels state that the Lord Jesus did not come to 'destroy the law' as received under Judaism but to 'fulfill it'. This means that the individual who loves the Lord God expresses this in respect of others and respect for authority. The Lord Jesus never undermined the authorities of the day and indeed he encouraged his disciples to 'render to Caesar' the things that belong to Caesar i.e. revenue, tax, civil obedience etc.

The rest of the New Testament (see Romans 13) supports the principal that Christians are expected to obey the authorities and that political powers have been ordered by God and have executive powers from God to rule (with all that that implies). I would suggest kindly that should one choose to take a closer look at the Bible (and in particular the books of Isaiah and Revelation) they would discover that the Lord Jesus Christ has promised to return to planet earth one day and that he himself will dispense summary and immediate judgment on wrongdoing and evil (Revelation 21:8). Sadly unbelief in him is one of the crimes that will qualify for his judgment. This may seem harsh but essentially unbelief is the worst crime of all because of what it leads to. God is light therefore unbelief leaves you in moral darkness. God is truth therefore unbelief leaves you with all that is false. God is life therefore unbelief leaves you with death. God is holy therefore unbelief leaves you with sin, imperfection and that is wicked. Ultimately unbelief leads to all the grosser wicked sins that we readily accept are wrong and harmful. Thankfully today we all have the opportunity to 'believe in the Lord Jesus Christ' to be saved. In that day it will be too late.

So in closing I want to pass on to the readers of this blog a ‘Global Warning’ (excuse the pun). This is not about the effect of the mismanagement of our planet and its resources (important though that is) but about a longer lasting issue. This planet will come to the end of its life cycle one day (see the Bible – 2 Peter 3). However your and my spiritual life will never end. The warning is that if we do not actively get back to God then we will find that we are, on death, forever at a distance from God (and all that God is, love, justice, peace etc). How can we come to God? The answer is in honestly seeking the truth, obeying his command in the word of God. This is to repent of our sin (turn away from it) and place our personal faith in Jesus Christ.
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