Thursday, June 12, 2014


The Oxford English Dictionary has three meanings of the word paradox, the first is, ‘A seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that may in fact be true. An apparently sound statement or proposition which leads to a logically unacceptable conclusion.’

Wikipedia carries many examples of paradoxes from different categories, a humorous one from the miscellaneous section says, ‘Intentionally blank page: Many documents contain pages on which the text "This page is intentionally left blank" is printed, thereby making the page not blank.' Another states, ‘Ignore all rules: To obey this rule, it is necessary to ignore it.’

The Football World Cup taking place in Brazil presents a mamoth social paradox. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent on the construction of new stadia for the event, in the vacinity of ghetoes where thousands of people live trapped in poverty. Fans from all over the world will spend thousands of dollars in travel, accomodation, tickets to matches, food and drink, whereas people living in the favelas (6% of Brazil’s 200 million population), because of poverty cannot get out of the slums. Footballers playing in the World Cup are paid millions of dollars a year, conversely, slum children prostitute their bodies to obtain money.

The city of Manaus on the banks of the Amazon in the north of the country is host to England’s team in mid-June, when they contend to reach the final.

A Christian I know, who lives in that city, told me of a sad incident that happened there some years ago. A man was driving his truck along a road and saw a body by the side of the road. He stopped his vehicle and found a young lad laying unconscious. He lifted him into the cab of his truck and took him to a medical centre. The receptionist began to fill an admission form and asked who was going to pay for the boy’s required treatment. The driver told her that the boy was not his responsibility, and he was told that if he did not accept to pay then the doctor would not see the lad. The man insisted that she go in to the doctor and tell him about the lad’s plight. She went in and came back saying that without a signiture on the form he would not see or attend to his injuries. The boy died without being attended to. What a shock it was for the doctor who found out later that the boy was his own son! The medical skill in the doctor’s head and hands could no doubt have saved his son but his heart revealed that he loved money more than caring for human need.

Atheists say that the Bible contradicts itself. That is not so, the Bible from beginning to end is God’s truth but contains many paradoxes. Solomon wrote in the Book of Proverbs “There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty” This principle lies at the centre of Christian giving, Jesus said, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” Whether giving to God or to others, when done with the right motive, the gift acts like a boomerang and comes back with interest.

Death is often viewed as final and that there is nothing afterwards, but that is wrong, Heb. 9:27 reads, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” That scripture tells us that death is not the cessation of being, but that there is the matter of accounting to God for the life lived in the body, at the final judgment. There is an alternative to that appointment that can be made during life’s journey. Jesus also said in Matt. 10:38,39, in relation to life and death, “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” Finding life and losing it and losing life and finding it, what does it mean, it sounds contradictory but it is not, it is a paradox. If a person lives for self, holding onto things that they cannot keep, and dies in their sin, they will lose out on life in Heaven. If however a person during their lifetime yields their life to Christ, not henceforth living for self but the Saviour, then they will find life, abundant life, both now and in eternity.

In Matthew chapter 21 Christ told a parable about two sons, “But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.” Both sons acted paradoxically, one said I won’t go but he went, the other said I will go but he did not go. This parable illustrates the importance of doing the will of God.

Jesus is the Son who did the will of His Father, He came into the world to save guilty sinners like you and me, and that meant that He had to die on the cross so that we who repent and believe might live. He said, “Because I live you shall live also.” A sinless man died that sinners might live, and He lives that saved sinners might never die the second death, which must be the greatest paradox of all!

God bless.

Written by a guest blogger for FTMP. For more information about the good news of salvation visit to source blogs, podcast and videos.

Location:Writing from Canada


Wednesday, June 04, 2014

St Bartholomews Court Care Centre - The view from the front door


Liverpool Airport - Arrivals and Departures

There are many thousands of these daily, throughout the world. The population of this world is continually on the move; some journeys are short while others are ‘long-haul’. Some take us to a nearby village while others carry us to distant countries. Some are one-way while others are return journeys. It is not an exaggeration to suggest that, even now, as you are reading this article, there are scores, if not hundreds of travellers who will not arrive at their planned destination.

We are all travellers on the sea of life; carried by the restless tides of time inexorably to eternity, with but one of two destinations before us forever: heaven or hell. An interesting, two-part question was posed by King Artaxerxes in Nehemiah 2.6, "For how long shall thy journey be? And when wilt thou return?"

Annually, many celebrate the date they arrived in this world though none of us remembers that event. In Job 1.21 we read of that humble beginning, "Naked came I out of my mother’s womb …". We began to breathe the polluted air of this sullied environment and our journey on earth began.

In Luke 2.11 we read of the arrival of a unique Person on Planet Earth. "Unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour which is Christ the Lord." That day was planned from all eternity. His birth was neither premature nor postponed; at exactly the hour God had predetermined, Mary "brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger." Luke 2.7. The Saviour remembers it well and the subsequent days He spent so profitably here for the glory of His Father.

In Luke 23.33 we read of His arrival at another place; Calvary, the place of His crucifixion. It too had been planned so that He arrived on the very day and date ordained of God. It could not be delayed or derailed; it must be on the day of the Passover for Christ was the Paschal Lamb by God appointed. Have you ever considered, my friend, that He went there just for you, to bear the fearful penalty of your sins and by His death, provide an eternal salvation for your soul?
It was for me, yes, all for me;
O, love of God, so great, so free;
O, wondrous love, I’ll shout and sing,
He died for me. my Lord, the King.
(J. M. Whyte)
A few weeks after that dread experience, He arrived back in His Father’s home and we who have trusted Him, await His arrival in the air to take us to be eternally with Him in heaven.

In Genesis 35.18 we read an interesting statement, "It came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) …". This informs us that death is not the terminus, but a transition from here to eternity. In Luke 16.19-23 we read of two men, representatives of the entire human race, who left this world and arrived in eternity; one in heaven and the other in hell. Where they arrived, has become their endless and changeless abode. They cannot reverse the change and they cannot now opt for the other destination; their choice is irrevocable. In the past hour, thousands have arrived similarly in their chosen, eternal destination. We will all, without exception, arrive there one day.

Most of us will depart this life, suddenly and unexpectedly but our arrival in eternity is beyond all doubt. In love to your undying soul, I ask you, "Eternity, where?"

Trust Christ and enjoy the confidence of the apostle Paul, "… having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better" Philippians 1.23.

Written by Assembly Testimony Publishing as a Guest Blogger

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