23rd March 2020, an infamous & momentous day in England, as the country lockdown came in due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 6 months ago, we can all look back to the inconveniences and changes we faced. But what about the future? In 6 months from now – Where will you be? Remember with all of life’s uncertainties Eternity is for sure! Make plans for it, be prepared!
Read the Bible ( B.I.B.L.E – Be Informed Before Leaving Earth)
The breakdown of the moral fabric of society. Is this a world in decline and is there any hope? This blog addresses what the Bible has to say about the direction the world is heading in.
Sometimes people ask me ‘are we in the last days of this world’s history’. The truthful answer is, I don’t know. The Bible does predict that the world will end one day; but it makes clear that it will not be man who destroys it. I know that many of you will not be convinced that God designed and created the world. I believe that is the only logical explanation. The Bible says that God created everything and that He will bring this world’s history to a grand finale.
It states that  ‘Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of Thy hands. They shall perish, but Thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt Thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but Thou art the same, and Thy years shall not fail.’ This statement teaches us a number of things :
God created the universe
God is eternal and will outlive this world
While God is eternal the world is not.
These verses also hint at the fact that there will be a new universe when this one has fulfilled its purpose. Peter, Jesus’ disciple, described the incredible scenes of destruction when this world ends but in the same breath, he said that  ‘we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteouness.”
If we are all honest, we would all like to see a world of justice, fairness, kindness and peace. The Bible teaches that this will happen one day on the basis of what Jesus achieved through His death. One clear verse from the Bible states  ‘And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.’ The peace we long for is only available because the cause of sin and hatred was dealt with by Jesus’ death on the cross. God will bring peace to this world in a future day and thereafter create a new world, but in the meantime, He offers  ‘joy and peace in believing’ to those who turn and trust Him.
So are we nearing the end of the world? No one knows! The Lord Jesus taught these facts have been hidden from us –  ‘but of that day and that hour knoweth no man’. What we do discover is that the conditions and trends of the last days are described in the Bible. These lists make sobering reading as they match the moral decline, the current philisophy and the global conditions we are facing. For instance, end times will be marked by fatal epidemic diseases, famines and terrifying scenes on earth.
We need to wake up and understand the times we live in. It is vital that we get perspective and understand that we will not be here forever. It is possible to be safe and sure of the future. Jesus said  ‘I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish’.
 Hebrews 1:10-12  2 Peter 3:13 Colossians 1:20 Romans 15:13 Mark 13:32 The Gospel of John 10:28
In mid-2019, an eye-catching advert appeared: “Get 20/20 vision before 2020”. It was from a company offering eye surgery, encouraging readers to have the operation before the end of 2019, so that by the beginning of the year 2020 they would have ‘normal vision’. It is now too late to have it before 2020, but doubtless the same business, and others, will continue to offer it in this New Year.
In John chapter 9 (the Bible) we read about a man who received a transformation in eyesight far greater than that offered by any surgical procedure: instantaneously he went from being totally blind, to seeing clearly. This miraculous change took place because the Lord Jesus Christ had pity on him and healed him.
This tremendous event is a ‘sign’ of what Christ can do for us. The blind man was in physical darkness, where he had been all his life, and, until he met the Lord, he was destined to remain there. His physical darkness pictures our spiritual darkness: the darkness of sin, ignorance, and Satan’s dominion. That is where everyone is, from birth, and no-one can free himself from it, but is destined to go to Hell, and be in ‘the blackness of darkness for ever,’ Jude. 13. However, God desires to ‘deliver us from the power of darkness,’ Col. 1. 13, and so He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, Who said, ‘I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Me should not abide in darkness,’ John 12. 46.
In our story, the Lord Jesus made clay, put it on the man’s eyes, and then told him to go and wash in the pool of Siloam, which he did, and he was able to see, John 9. 6,7. The Lord did the work, but to benefit from it the blind man had the responsibility to obey His command. It is so as far as salvation is concerned: Christ did all the work that was necessary, when He died for us at the cross, but if you are to be saved from your sins, you must obey the call of the gospel, by repenting and putting your trust in Him to save you. The Lord Jesus told Paul to preach the gospel message to people, ‘to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Me,’ Acts 26. 18. Have you put your faith in Him, and received the forgiveness of sins?
While the receiving of sight was a great blessing for that man, he received an even greater blessing that same day: he came to know that Jesus is the Son of God, believed in Him, and received salvation. In this New Year, this is the greatest blessing you could receive. Unlike physical eye surgery, it is free, there is no waiting list, there is no possibility of failure, and its benefits last eternally. Accept it today, and you can sing, in the words of John Newton:
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see.
When God made the heavens and the earth everything was perfect. The stars and the planets were in their correct order and location and everything was ‘on the move’. Planet earth, the sun and the moon each were set revolving in an orderly manner. The earth revolves around the sun at 67,000 miles per hour. The sun orbits at 492,000 miles per hour. The moon orbits Earth at a speed of 2,288 miles per hour and completes its circuit in just less than 28 days. But note the following:
We have no sensation of movement of any kind, other than we can see the moon in different positions in the sky.
We can trust and depend upon the stability of this order and mariners can plot their course by fixing their location in relation to the North Star.
We don’t have to worry when we go to bed at night that the sun will rise in the East and bring all the benefits to planet Earth that it requires to sustain life.
The earth’s perfect crust was broken up in the days of Noah when God brought a universal judgement upon the earth because of sin. The fragmentation of planet earth’s crust created tectonic plates, upon which seven continents now stand. The seven continents are Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America. Europe borders with Asia and the straits of Gibralter forms a border between Africa and Europe. We have considered the geography of continents and of Europe in particular now we lets think about the geo-political structure of Europe. There are 27 nations that are presently in the European Union and 1 seeking divorce from the EU. History reveals problems between nations, which have resulted in war, and the migration of many people from their home country. The European Union has a Roman Treaty that reminds us of the four world gentile powers i.e. Babylon (Iraq) Persia (Iran), Greece and Rome. The Bible identifies these four world powers as ‘the times of the gentiles’. In Luke 21 v 24 we read “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled”. The expression ‘the times of the gentiles’ does not describe the collapse of the Roman Empire but looks forward to future days when another burgeoning gentile world empire will be overthrown by the second coming of Christ to earth. In the days of the Roman Empire God revealed his interest in man’s spiritual well being by introducing the gospel to Europe. Acts chapter 16 gives the details of the Lord assembling his servants in Troas (Turkey) for this great commission of bringing the gospel to the people of Europe. While in Troas the Apostle Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia appealing for help, “come over and help us” was his prayer. Paul’s intended to travel East with the gospel but God had other purposes for him, the Holy Spirit re-directing him North-West into Europe. The writer of the book of Acts was a Doctor, Luke and in chapter 16 of Acts he changes the pronoun ‘they’ to ‘we’. This reflects when Luke joined himself to the missionary journey. God didn’t provide Paul with an accountant or a fisherman, he provided a doctor. What a blessing this was when Paul arrived in Philippi and was treated brutally. Thankfully Dr Luke was on hand to help. In Philippi, Macedonia Paul preached the Gospel and three people were became believers. The first was a lady named Lydia, she was a businesswoman who had taken her business from Thyatira in Turkey to Europe. Thyatira is the area where the purple dye was produced and Lydia was a ‘seller of purple’. Her business interests did not deter her from believing in God and when Paul preached the gospel to a company of women by the riverside the Lord opened her heart to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and she was saved. Not only was she saved, she was then baptized and immediately opened her home to the preachers. Lydia’s life was changed by her faith in the Son of God, also members of her household were saved at the same time. God delights to save in families. The second person that Paul reached with the Gospel was a young girl. People were manipulating her young life. She brought her masters a lot of profit by her sooth-saying but her demon possession ended when she received Christ as Saviour and the Holy Spirit indwelt her changing her life dramatically. Many young peoples lives are today being messed up by an indulgence in alcohol, recreational drugs which bring the sellers much gain and bondage to the spirit world. Her salvation caused a rumpus in the city and her previous controllers created an uproar resulting in Paul and Silas being thrown into prison. This place was where the third person got saved; he was the keeper of the prison. Paul and Silas were singing at midnight, their feet fast in the stocks, their backs bleeding when an earthquake occurred causing the building to be shaken and the prisoners released from the chains that held them. The Jailor fearing for his life was about to commit suicide when Paul cried “do thyself no harm, we are all here”. The Jailor called for a light, drew his sword and sprang into the secured area. The question upon his lips “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Paul answered his question “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and all thy house” that man was saved, and his family and they were baptized the same night.God is still saving souls in Europe, have you asked the question “What must I do to be saved”. Believe today and you will be saved.
On September 6, 2018, Amber Guyer—an off-duty patrol officer in Dallas—entered the apartment of 26-year-old accountant Botham Jean. She later said she thought it was her own apartment and mistook Jean for a burglar, shooting and killing him.
One year later, on October 1, 2019, she was found guilty of murder. On October 2, she was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Botham Jean’s brother Brandt was allowed to give a victim-impact statement, and he addressed Amber Guyer directly.
The result was a beautiful Christian testimony—truly salt and light in a dark and twisted world.
“If you truly are sorry, I can speak for myself, I forgive, and I know if you go to God and ask him, he will forgive you.
And I don’t think anyone can say it—again I’m speaking for myself—but I love you just like anyone else.
And I’m not gonna say I hope you rot and die just like my brother did, but I presently want the best for you.
And I wasn’t going to ever say this in front of my family or anyone, but I don’t even want you to go to jail. I want the best for you, because I know that’s exactly what Botham would want you to do.
And the best would be to give your life to Christ.
I’m not going to say anything else.
I think giving your life to Christ would be the best thing that Botham would want you to do.
Again I love you as a person and I don’t wish anything bad on you.
I don’t know if this is possible, but can I give her a hug, please?
“My father was a wise man and he always explained it like this,” my friend began. I had just finished sharing the way to Heaven with him, but it was clear that the philosophies of his father were deeply embedded in his mind. Unfortunately, those thoughts were not according to Divine truth.
He went on: “My father said that going to Heaven is like going to New York: there are many ways to get there, and it doesn’t really matter which one you take. As long as you sincerely follow the way you believe, it will get you there.”
“You are right,” I quickly replied, “about going to New York, but you are completely wrong about going to Heaven. The only map to Heaven, the Bible, clearly presents only one way to get there. Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me” John 14.6. It is not true that there are many ways and He is just one of them. Nor is it true that Jesus plus something else is the way to Heaven.
Many people have formed various opinions and suggest there are many ways to reach Heaven. However, let us not forget that Heaven is God’s home, and He is the One Who decides who may enter and who may not. The opinions, philosophies, and religious systems which people have invented are not only uselessfor reaching Heaven, they are dangerous because they are sure to end in utter failure: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” Proverbs 14.12.
Philosophy presents a form of moral respectability, but ignores God’s solemn verdict that “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3.23. Religions of human effort promise that Heaven can be attained through good works and accumulated merit, but God says otherwise: “By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” Ephesians 2.8,9.
The Word of God presents Jesus Christ, and Christ alone, as the way for ruined, helpless sinners like you and me to enter into Heaven. To cleanse us from sin, He “put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” Hebrews 9.26, when He “suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” 1Peter 3.18. The pouring out of His precious blood at Calvary atoned for sin and paved the way for guilty people like you and me to draw near to God. Through Jesus Christ we can be cleansed, forgiven, and made fit for His holy presence.
This way is still open, dear reader. Jesus has already entered into the Father’s house and wants you to be with Him in that place of eternal glory. To go to Heaven, you need to do nothing more than realise your hopeless condition, repent of your sin and trust Jesus Christ as the One Who died for you and rose again. This is salvation by grace through faith. This is the way to Heaven. Call upon Him today.
Following any other way, however plausible it may seem, however religious it may be, or however sincerely it is pursued, only leads away from God and is guaranteed to end in “the blackness of darkness for ever” Jude 13. Allow this article, as a signpost along the highway of life, to point you to the Lord Jesus, Who says: “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out” John 6.37.
Yesterday I attended a wedding! To be honest, I did more than attend a wedding I was invited to play the piano during the ceremony and leading up to the main event.
I arrived at the venue about 45 minutes before the Bride was due to arrive and started to play about 30 minutes in advance. I had a good stock of music, on my iPad and in my head. As I relaxed and got settled in the task become easier and the music seemed to flow. I love playing music but I do find playing in front of an audience raises the stakes and produces some tension.
One of the delightful things about playing at a Christian wedding is that the bulk of the songs are full of meaning. The lyrics and the words express the wonderful truth of the Bible.
Here is a list of the songs I played:
Tunes to Play at a Wedding The Old Rugged Cross✅ Danny Boy✅ Great is thy faithfulness He giveth more grace✅ He will hold me fast✅ What a friend we have in Jesus✅ He is not a disappointment ✅ How great thou art✅ The Lord’s my shepherd (new tune)✅ Bye and bye when I look on his face ✅ We shall see his lovely face ✅ When Peace like a river ✅ Gazing on thee Lord in glory✅ Out of my bondage ✅ May the mind of Christ my Saviour ✅ Teach me thy way o Lord ✅ You might be familiar with many of the hymns I played but allow me the liberty of talking to you about one of them.
The Old Rugged Cross✅
This is an amazing song. It tells of the salvation that is available because of Jesus’ death on the cross. The fact is that the death and resurrection of Jesus is not just the stuff of legend but an historical fact. The biblical record is that ‘Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures, that he was buried and that he rose again the third day, according to the scriptures,’ 1 Corinthians 15:3,4. The offer is one of forgiveness and salvation because Jesus died and paid for sin. His death (as a sinless man) is sufficient to clear the guilt of all people. To benefit from this offer we need to admit our sin (repent) and accept salvation as a gift. Here are some verses in the Bible that would clarify this truth. ‘Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses,’ Acts 13:38,39. ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,’ Romans 6:23 ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them,’ Romans 2:4-10 May the Lord bless you through His word today.
Life is constantly changing; nothing lasts for ever! This is a sad reality but one that we all have to come to terms with. It is often hard to accept that we will grow old, that loved ones will pass on and that children grow up and leave home. It’s sad but true! Please read on as I have good news for you. Your life will not end when you die! At first sight that sounds like a contradiction in terms but let me clarify what I mean.
I’ll start at the beginning. The Bible teaches that when God made us he did it in two stages. Firstly he made man ‘of the dust of the ground,’ that is he made a physical body. The second stage is that ‘he breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul’. God put life into the body and man was called a living soul. We are more than ‘flesh and blood’ we have emotions, personalities, consciousness and memories; in other words there is a spiritual dimension to people. The Bible constantly refers to people as ‘souls’, it states that the soul is precious, that we can lose our soul and that Jesus died to provide the ‘salvation of’ our souls. As a society we also believe in the value of one soul, we launch lifeboats, send out mountain rescues teams and halt whole motorways all to rescue or save one soul.
Initially, humans had a straightforward relationship with God. There were open lines of communication. God and Adam, the first man, it would appear, enjoyed daily contact and intimate friendship but an event took place that ruined that relationship and distanced humans from the creator. Bible students and Christians often call this event ‘the fall’. It’s not a popular notion but it’s still the only rational explanation as to why intelligent people constantly struggle with moral and ethical issues. The scriptures state ‘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’. But, here’s the point, death is not the end. Death in the Bible is about separation. We are familiar with the concept of death as separation from the physical world. The other dimension of death as separation from God is usually ignored. At ‘the fall’ man died to God. Unless a person has repented and accepted the gift of God, which is eternal life, then they are effectively ‘the living dead’. Dead to God, dead in sins. The Bible teaches that though the body ends in physical death, the soul lives on. The destination of your soul (I should really say ‘your destination’ as you are your soul) is determined by a choice made in this life. Most people don’t believe this any more. The late Stephen Hawking, British Physicist and author dismissed the notion of an afterlife. He once said ‘I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark’. This argument sounds very feasible especially when proposed by such an intelligent man. It does however ignore the fact that we are not just biological computers. It ignores man’s consciousness which the best of brains have grappled with but have to admit is beyond their explanation. Consciousness cannot be defined in purely physiological terms. People are not just a combination of physical and chemical properties they are people with the capacity to relate to God. Let me remind you of why my information source is the Bible. It is easy to dismiss the Bible as the purely the writings of men but that would not be doing justice to the information it contains, its origins and the consistency of its message. The Bible has an inbuilt testing system of prediction and fulfilment which either stands or falls on the substantive evidence of archeology, science, history, geography and social development. There have been no developments to date in any of these disciplines which have produced evidence which undermines the truthfulness and probity of the Bible. I suggest that we should pay more attention to what the Bible teaches. One of the books of the Bible (John’s gospel) specifically states that it was written ‘that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that believing you may have life in his name’.
My prayer is that this will be the outcome for you if you choose to read the Bible for yourself.
Mark 16:6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is foundational for Christianity. If He had not risen from the dead then we could not be saved. What great hope we have knowing that Jesus Christ is alive today. A man in heaven who one day we will see! Paul wrote in 1 Cor 15 that if Christ is not risen then our faith is in vain. He goes on to say that we would be of all men most miserable. The resurrection is at the root of all that we believe. Christianity is unique in this. Religion boasts in its dead leaders. They cannot take you to an empty tomb and say He is not here but is risen.
Belief in the resurrection is vital for salvation. Rom 10:9 tells us ‘that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.’ Great efforts were made to ensure that the body of Jesus could not be taken away by his disciples. A large stone with a seal and Roman guard however could not keep the Lord in the tomb. The stone was rolled away and the guards became as dead men at the sight of the angel. Of course it was only rolled away to show that the tomb was empty. No doubt rumours of the resurrection spread and the soldiers were paid to lie. Those rumours could have easily been stopped. All the authorities needed to do was to show them His body. But they did not because they could not because He had risen. No one has ever been able to disprove the resurrection. The evidence to support it far outweighs the contrary. What hope and joy we have because HE IS ALIVE!
Can your parents make you a Christian? Does the fact that you are born in a Christian country (so called) mean that you are a Christian? Does going to Church or reading the Bible make you a Christian? Did I just make these questions up – no, I was once asked them by a girl in Liverpool when I was “street preaching’. She had been told that you became a Christian when you were christened and that if you are born in England you must be a Christian because it is a Christian country (that’s debatable!).
The Bible actually says that a person is born into the family of God when they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. One of the disciples of Jesus, John, wrote in his gospel ‘these things are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ: and that believing you might have life through his name,’ John. 20. 31. I would prefer to trust the teaching of a man who knew and loved Jesus than all the tradition that has built up over the years since then. What about you, are you a Christian in the Bible sense of the term? It’s vital that you have the right answer!