Friday, May 22, 2015

Once in a lifetime!


I see a lot of slogans as I walk around Liverpool City Centre - From "Merseyside to Manhattan" for one. It points people back to the days when great liners regularly left Liverpool heading for the New World. This weekend three liners are visiting the city of Liverpool. If you go to the right spot (The Waterfront, Everton Brow, New Brighton to name a few locations) you should get a good view of "The Three Queens" as they visit our city on this historic occasion.

As I prepare to travel to Canada for a couple of weeks I have been contemplating the long journey; which is relatively short compared to the long days at sea when my grandad was a sailor. I leave Liverpool at 0800 and reach Toronto at 1930 GMT (1430 local time). Travel by jet has vastly reduced travelling time and seduced us into thinking that we are just popping across the road when in effect we are travelling across a vast ocean to another continent. I'm not complaining; I love the fact that travel has become so easy. When I was a boy only a few people travelled these distances and often only once in a lifetime


There are some experiences that are still only once in a lifetime - birth, death - I know some people say they have clinically died and come back to life but that's the exception not the rule - and well, marriage should also be on the list unless you sadly lose a love one and decide to remarry. I know that many will not agree with this principle but from a Christian perspective it is God's intention that marriage is a life long commitment. 

But back to our phase - "once in a lifetime". The term still has some significance. It generally evokes thoughts of exciting things that we would love to do. We think that the chances of them happening are so unlikely that if they did you would most likely only ever get a one off chance to do it. We are all different so for you going to a Garden Party to meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace might be on the list, or winning the lottery. There is no point in me drawing up a list - my bucket list would probably be vastly different to yours. 

The two main "once in a lifetime" experiences I mentioned earlier are the two common book stops of human existence i.e. birth and death.  The former you have no control over and the latter is out of your control unless of course you choose to forcefully end your life. We all know that this happens from time to time when life becomes unbearable for some individuals but it's not normal. The question we need to consider is - are our deaths just random events or is there a higher power in control? 

This topic could get out of control if we explored whether we are just randomly responding to our circumstances, whether we have no real choice but act as our genetic make up determines or whether there is a balance between our ability to reason, act and choose and God determining events at the same time and somehow allowing uJs the responsibity of making choices and decisions. I believe the latter is the what the bible teaches. If anyone is interested I can show them the evidence from the bible.

So.....your birthday was set by God and obviously your mum and dad had a part to play in bringing you into the world. Ecclesiastes 3:1,2 states "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die". In Genesis 17:21 God tells Abraham the exact time his son will be born - you might argue that God, knowing everything, was just informing Abraham that his son would be born not that he was involved in ensuring that it would happen. However, in Genesis 21:1,2 it is recorded that the Lord visited Sarah and did for Sarah "as he had promised" (NASB). She gave birth to a boy. In other words God played a key role in ensuring that conception took place. In this story we can see that God didn't just know the future but he orchestrated the birth of the child. Of course Abraham had to play his part (the conception of the child wasn't a miracle) but God is author of life. Every child born into this world is as a result of God giving life. There are other references that clearly indicate that God is in control of the birth of every living being of you care to look at them. 

When we consider our mortality it is amazing that we exist at all. Science in all of its disciplines has concludes that it is incredible that we exist at all. The conditions for our survival on this planet are so finely tune that it is mind blowing that everything is just right for life to exist on this planet. Our physical anatomy is also a demonstration of excellent design and precision and we all know that we are so fragile that life can be extinguished in an instance. Who of us have not marvelled that our life has been preserved in circumstances well outside of our control! Whether it be illness, accident or un-expected events we would have to admit there is a hand controlling at times when we could not. The bible puts it like this: "but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways", Daniel 6:23. God is in control but we usually ignore him. Job, one of the oldest writers in the bible states, "In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind", Job 12:10. When it comes to the end of life; your death will not just be a random event. Hebrews 9:27 makes it clear "it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment". That appointment has been set by God and by the way; it's not the end. It is just the transfer from this life to next for the verse states that each of us have an "after this". 

There is life after death!
You will stand before God on the day of judgment!
What you do and believe in this life will affect where you are and what your situation is in the next!

So God gave you life and he has chosen allowed you to live up until now. 
He allows you to choose but has his plans for your life. 

What are you going to do with this information?

One man in the bible, as described by the Lord Jesus, continued to make his plans, run his business and amass his wealth with total disregard for God. The Lord Jesus, being the Son of God, gives us an insight into what God was thinking about this man while he was carrying on with his life and ignoring God. God is recorded as saying "You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?"  Luke 12:20. 

A once in a lifetime opportunity faces you now. You can ignore this message, carry on as you are and miss this great offer of salvation. OR 

You could get serious about your life and your future, sort out your priorities and come humbly to God. God loves you. He sent His Son, Jesus, to this world 2015 years ago to die for your sins. If you repent (change your thinking about God and stop disobeying Him) and come humbly to God confessing your sin, He (God) will forgive you, cleanse you and save you. 

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved" - Acts 16:31

For more information or to get in touch please visit www.seekthetruth.org.uk


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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Superbugs



One of the greatest threats facing us today is the emergence of stubborn ‘superbugs’ that are proving increasingly resistant to antibiotics. Indiscriminate over-prescription of antibiotics has caused some of these bacteria to mutate so that previously prescribed remedies are no longer effective. Hygiene regimes need to be more stringent if this serious problem is to be addressed adequately and alternatives to antibiotics are being researched. C-Difficile and MRSA are commonly known, quite widespread and feared to the extent that many dread a prolonged stay in hospital.




How they remind us of the even more lethal virus of sin with its universal impact on the souls and lives of humanity. It has targeted and touched every person without exception; there is no one anywhere who has not been affected and infected by its toxic power. To say that it is life-threatening is a huge understatement as it has not merely temporal consequences but also eternal results. It affects our present circumstances and impacts on our eternal well-being. Its effects are seen on every hand, in every strata of society, in all lands, among all peoples. Every part of creation has been affected and the evidence is overwhelming. Hospitals, asylums, cemeteries; the need for doctors, nurses, surgeons and therapists of all kinds, all attest to the disastrous consequences of the problem of sin which simply cannot be ignored. Sin has blighted lives, blackened characters, broken hearts and barred sinners from heaven. John Newton, who knew much of sin’s power and thraldom prior to his conversion, wrote so convincingly:

The worst of all diseases is light compared to sin,

On every part it seizes, but rages most within;

‘Tis palsy, dropsy, fever and madness all combined,

And none but a believer the least relief can find.

The Scriptures are unequivocal on this issue as it is too serious for mere speculation and philosophical debate. "… for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" Romans 3.22,23. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" Romans 5.12.

Is there a cure; is there hope? Thank God, the Bible presents to us a wholly effective remedy that is tried and trusted and has brought blessed relief to many millions who have known the transforming power and blessing of salvation. There is only one remedy but it is so potent that it works on every occasion and has never been known to fail. The apostle John describes it in these lovely words, "… and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin" 1John 1.7. God’s only Son came to earth to deal with the chronic problem of sin and at Calvary, He bore its fearful penalty and by His death has secured deliverance from sin’s consequences for all who will trust Him and depend alone upon the value and virtue of His sin-atoning sacrifice.

Like all remedies, its success depends upon you taking it; hearing about it, knowing about it is not enough; you must take it and so you must trust Christ to experience the blessings and benefits of salvation now, and be in heaven forever. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved …" Acts 16.31.


An Assembly Testimony Article. Reproduced by kind permission. 


For more information visit www.seekthetruth.org.uk

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Are we hurtling towards the end of time with our eyes closed?






Our May issue of Echoes of Service Missionary Magazine arrived with a pullout update enclosed. Having read the introduction I contacted the Director who wrote the piece and asked permission to use it this month, to which he agreed. I commend the following extract for you careful consideration. I think it is very good, what do you think?      

                        

‘The current events in the Middle East are bewildering, complex and could potentially be apocalyptic. Iran’s push for nuclear weaponry, Islamic State’s attempt to establish a new caliphate, President Assad’s oppression of the Syrian people and the Sunni versus Shi’ite political infighting all make for a bleak picture.


To date, in Syria alone, 200,000 have died and 11 million people have been displaced. However, God is sovereign and His purpose will prevail.


Many people in the Middle East are questioning Islamic teaching and in their confusion are seeking the Truth.

The first verse of the last Book of the Bible reads, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John.”  Verse 9 tells us where John was, he was on the isle of Patmos in the Aegean Sea, and verse 10 says that it was the Lord’s Day, which is Sunday, the first day of the week. The Lord’s Day is a period of 24 hours, whereas the Day of the Lord will be over a thousand years.

The New Testament was written in Greek and the word for Revelation is ‘apokalupsis’ where we get our word ‘apocalypse’, or, ‘revelation’, and carries the thought of unveiling. In this Book, God the Spirit, unveils future events as they relate to the Son of God in His purposes on earth, in Heaven and in eternity. These events comprise the Day of Christ in Heaven, the Day of the Lord on earth and the Day of God in eternity.

Two years ago we were privileged to visit the island of Patmos where the Apostle John was exiled. We stood in the cave, high upon a hill, where John was allegedly incarcerated. An alternative theory is that the island itself was the prison where offenders were taken to; they had no possibility of escaping. 

It is truly a beautiful location but on that Lord’s Day John saw things that were awesome. First he saw the Son of God, not as he had last seen Him, on a cross, or, risen from the dead, then on the Mount of Olives ascending back to Heaven. He saw the Lord in His eternal glory and fell at His feet as dead. Christ said to him “Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” 

There is a hymn that says ‘God holds the key of all unknown, and I am glad; if other hands should hold the key, or if He trusted it to me, I might be sad’ By faith Christians trust in the Man who holds the key to eternity, an eternity with Him. If a soul refuses to accept the salvation that He has provided through His sacrificial death and blood shed upon the cross, then there is no hope for that soul but the certainty of an eternity in Hell. Many years ago I was working in a new build house that was being built for a Doctor. I had a conversation with him about the gospel. He said, “I cannot accept this pernicious doctrine of the blood”. I thought that very strange because as a doctor he would know that all physical life depends upon blood, the scripture says, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood.” (Lev.17:11) so why could he not accept that “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” and that God’s love for sinners meant giving His Son to die for sinners? This intelligent man chose not to believe.

There have been many strange and false teachings about the Book of the Revelation. Two weeks ago I talked to a man who told me that when the volcano exploded in Iceland, the devil was loosed from the bottomless pit and the ash propelled into the atmosphere were demons. Revelation chapter nine tells us about the opening of the bottomless pit, which will occur during the Tribulation. The Day of the Lord cannot begin until the Lord has taken the Church to Heaven, He has delivered all born again believers from "the wrath to come". John the Baptist preached of the wrath to come and exhorted his hearers to repent. Paul encouraged the Thessalonian Christians, “To wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” Jesus will soon return to the air to call away His Church and take them to Heaven. The events that will take place in Heaven, such as the Marriage of the Lamb (Rev. 19) are part of the Day of Christ. No unbeliever will be present as they will be experiencing the seven years of Tribulation on earth. What contrasting experiences! For Christians, the joys of Heaven, for Christ rejecters the misery of Apocalyptic judgements.

If you do not read the Bible I would encourage you to obtain one and read the Book of Revelation, particularly from chapter six to nineteen where you will read of the outpouring of God’s wrath upon the earth. Seven seals are opened and after each seal an outpouring of wrath. Then seven trumpets, one after the other are sounded for more judgements, and after this as it states in chapter sixteen, “And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.”  Seven bowls of wrath are poured on the earth. When these judgements are finished Christ Himself will return to earth, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. What a hallelujah chorus that will be at the introduction of His Millennial reign, one thousand years of righteous government over all the earth. Who will be present with the Lord in that Kingdom? Only people who are born again, for, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Are you born again? If not, why not?

When the thousand years reign has ended God is going to make a new Heaven and a new earth (wherein righteousness dwells); this will be the commencement of the Day of God. This is something special and something great to look forward to. Will you be there to enjoy eternity with God or will you hear those words at the Great White Throne, “Depart from me I never knew you”

God loves you, Christ has died for you and He is worthy of your trust.  God bless.

Written by a Guest Blogger for FTMP

More blogs, videos and podcasts can be accessed through www.seekthetruth.org.uk


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Apocalyptic!




Our May issue of Echoes of Service Missionary Magazine arrived with a pullout update enclosed. Having read the introduction I contacted the Director who wrote the piece and asked permission to use it this month, to which he agreed. I commend the following extract for you careful consideration. I think it is very good, what do you think?      
                        
‘The current events in the Middle East are bewildering, complex and could potentially be apocalyptic. Iran’s push for nuclear weaponry, Islamic State’s attempt to establish a new caliphate, President Assad’s oppression of the Syrian people and the Sunni versus Shi’ite political infighting all make for a bleak picture.

To date, in Syria alone, 200,000 have died and 11 million people have been displaced. However, God is sovereign and His purpose will prevail.

Many people in the Middle East are questioning Islamic teaching and in their confusion are seeking the Truth.’

The first verse of the last Book of the Bible reads, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John.”  Verse 9 tells us where John was, he was on the isle of Patmos in the Aegean Sea, and verse 10 says that it was the Lord’s Day, which is Sunday, the first day of the week. The Lord’s Day is a period of 24 hours, whereas the Day of the Lord will be over a thousand years.

The New Testament was written in Greek and the word for Revelation is ‘apokalupsis’ where we get our word ‘apocalypse’, or, ‘revelation’, and carries the thought of unveiling. In this Book, God the Spirit, unveils future events as they relate to the Son of God in His purposes on earth, in Heaven and in eternity. These events comprise the Day of Christ in Heaven, the Day of the Lord on earth and the Day of God in eternity.

Two years ago we were privileged to visit the island of Patmos where the Apostle John was exiled. We stood in the cave, high upon a hill, where John was allegedly incarcerated. An alternative theory is that the island itself was the prison where offenders were taken to; they had no possibility of escaping. 

It is truly a beautiful location but on that Lord’s Day John saw things that were awesome. First he saw the Son of God, not as he had last seen Him, on a cross, or, risen from the dead, then on the Mount of Olives ascending back to Heaven. He saw the Lord in His eternal glory and fell at His feet as dead. Christ said to him “Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” 



There is a hymn that says ‘God holds the key of all unknown, and I am glad; if other hands should hold the key, or if He trusted it to me, I might be sad’ By faith Christians trust in the Man who holds the key to eternity, an eternity with Him. If a soul refuses to accept the salvation that He has provided through His sacrificial death and blood shed upon the cross, then there is no hope for that soul but the certainty of an eternity in Hell. Many years ago I was working in a new build house that was being built for a Doctor. I had a conversation with him about the gospel. He said, “I cannot accept this pernicious doctrine of the blood”. I thought that very strange because as a doctor he would know that all physical life depends upon blood, the scripture says, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood.” (Lev.17:11) so why could he not accept that “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” and that God’s love for sinners meant giving His Son to die for sinners? This intelligent man chose not to believe.

There have been many strange and false teachings about the Book of the Revelation. Two weeks ago I talked to a man who told me that when the volcano exploded in Iceland, the devil was loosed from the bottomless pit and the ash propelled into the atmosphere were demons. Revelation chapter nine tells us about the opening of the bottomless pit, which will occur during the Tribulation. The Day of the Lord cannot begin until the Lord has taken the Church to Heaven, He has delivered all born again believers from "the wrath to come". John the Baptist preached of the wrath to come and exhorted his hearers to repent. Paul encouraged the Thessalonian Christians, “To wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” Jesus will soon return to the air to call away His Church and take them to Heaven. The events that will take place in Heaven, such as the Marriage of the Lamb (Rev. 19) are part of the Day of Christ. No unbeliever will be present as they will be experiencing the seven years of Tribulation on earth. What contrasting experiences! For Christians, the joys of Heaven, for Christ rejecters the misery of Apocalyptic judgements.

If you do not read the Bible I would encourage you to obtain one and read the Book of Revelation, particularly from chapter six to nineteen where you will read of the outpouring of God’s wrath upon the earth. Seven seals are opened and after each seal an outpouring of wrath. Then seven trumpets, one after the other are sounded for more judgements, and after this as it states in chapter sixteen, “And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.”  Seven bowls of wrath are poured on the earth. When these judgements are finished Christ Himself will return to earth, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. What a hallelujah chorus that will be at the introduction of His Millennial reign, one thousand years of righteous government over all the earth. Who will be present with the Lord in that Kingdom? Only people who are born again, for, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Are you born again? If not, why not?

When the thousand years reign has ended God is going to make a new Heaven and a new earth (wherein righteousness dwells); this will be the commencement of the Day of God. This is something special and something great to look forward to. Will you be there to enjoy eternity with God or will you hear those words at the Great White Throne, “Depart from me I never knew you”


God loves you, Christ has died for you and He is worthy of your trust.  God bless.

Written by a Guest Blogger for LPB

More blogs, videos and podcasts can be accessed through www.seekthetruth.org.uk
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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Victory Europe Day - WW2 Commemoration




As we commemorate the end of WW2 we should remember that early in the war when International opinion predicted the imminent collapse of Britain's will to fight - supposing that the British would be cowed by the threat of invasion, by U-boat blockade or by terror bombing from the huge German airforce. King George VI called for a national day of prayer. The likelihood of Britain surviving the war was minimal but God preserved this land and Europe from the domination of Hitler and the 3rd Reich. We salute the hero's of WW1 and thank God for his sovereign intervention in those dark days. 

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Friday, May 08, 2015

An update 8th May 2015


I'm in Ely at the moment visiting my daughter and her husband and preparing for meetings this weekend.

If you are interested in listening to my radio program go to www.vintageradio.org.uk and click on program schedules. My program is called the Living Hope Show. It is due to be broadcast next weekend on Saturday the 16th of May. Music and chat about the truth of the bible.

Next week I start a gospel mission in Haydock, Lancashire. The aim is for people in the locality to have an opportunity to hear the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.



Please pray.



Stephen.


For more posts and info visit www.seekthetruth.org.uk

Location:Ely

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Friday, May 01, 2015

The Three Queens are coming to Liverpool



The great celebration on the River Mersey of the Three Queens of the Cunard Line is fast approaching. The three Cunard's Queens visit Liverpool between the 24-26 May 2015 for a very special "Royal Rendezvous" to celebrate the landmark 175th Anniversary of the Cunard Line. The event is being described as a water ballet as the trio, Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, sail up and down the Mersey in salute to the city of the Cunard's birth. This should be a great reunion!

Getting back together for most of us usually marks an occasion that is really worth celebrating. It might be for a birthday, an anniversary or something similar. It's good to catch up; it's interesting to see where life has taken people and it's sometimes scary when we see the changes that have taken place!



There are however some reunions we might prefer not to attend! Getting together with people who have caused us heartache can be tough. Facing up to regrets and mistakes can be heart wrenching. Not something we would choose to get involved in unless it was unavoidable! Unfortunately there are some meetings that we cannot avoid, unpleasant as they are! The most sobering one I can think of is death. This leads to our inevitable meeting with God. The Bible states the certainty of this rendezvous when it says 'it is appointed unto men once to die but after this the judgment', Hebrews 9:27. Thankfully the good news is that we can make preparation for this event; just as careful preparations have been made for a long time now for the Cunard celebrations. Jesus is recorded as saying 'the person who hears my word and believes on Him that sent me shall not come into judgment but is passed from death to life', John 5:24.



Individuals who trust Jesus in this life will find the rendezvous in the next life one that they are not nervous about. The fear of death and the fear of facing up to how we have lived has been sorted out. The truth is that He, Jesus, died for our sins. He took full responsibility for them through his sacrificial death on the cross. He offers forgiveness and a clear conscience to those who are willing to trust Him as Saviour and Lord.

I, personally, am looking forward to that rendezvous. I want to see Jesus face to face. I am not frightened to meet God. My past and my guilt has dealt with. I am saved, forgiven and happy as a result of what God has done for me through His Son, Jesus.



What about you? Are you afraid of that rendezvous? Are there things you would rather not face up to? There is a way to make things right! Call upon the name of the Lord Jesus. Pray and ask God to forgive your sins! Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.

I would love to meet you at the great reunion in heaven!

For more information or to get in touch visit www.seekthetruth.org.uk











Location:Liverpool
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