YOUR LIFE WILL NOT END WHEN YOU DIE

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.

(source : findthemissingpeace.co.uk)

Are you frightened about the state of the world?

Are you frightened about the state of the world at the moment? Many people find it very scary, as every day seems to bring another disaster. Murder seems to be so commonplace! On a daily basis we hear of someone else going on the rampage and killing people! Individual acts of terrorism are on the increase resulting in the tragedy of people being deprived of their loved ones by an act of violence. Events of yesterday seem so long ago as we wake up to hear of another tragic evil act being perpetrated. 

I find it all very distressing and yet I, sadly, can see the inevitability of the way the world is going. The Bible teaches that conditions in society will get worse and worse as time progresses. Paul, as an old man, wrote to Timothy, a young man – ‘This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away,’ 2 Timothy 3:1-5. I think what the Bible is saying in these verses is staring us in the face. Do you recognize a description of our society?
 
If we reject the moral compass of the Bible then ultimately there are consequences. In effect morality becomes subjective and personal. There is no absolute standard of right and wrong. Everyone does what is right in his or her own eyes. This is not a new problem. It happened in Bible times, and many times since but every time is happens the results are disastrous. The old book says ‘There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death,’ Proverbs 14:12.
 
If we don’t get back to the Bible we can expect society to get worse and worse. We need to educate the next generation so that they don’t make the mistakes that we have made. The Bible says ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it,’ Proverbs 22:6
 
I’m also glad to say that the Bible states that ‘But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound,’ Romans 5:20. This means that the gospel of Jesus Christ can meet the needs of a wicked society. Forgiveness starts with the individual. The promise of scripture is still true – ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,‘ 1 John 1:9. Society will never change by enforcement but by the transforming power of God working in the each individual’s life through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
 
Are you fearful? Scripture says ‘perfect love casteth out fear,’ ‘the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord’. 

(source : findingthemissingpeace.co.uk)

Dare to be Different

In the last week I have met a lot of people who are not prepared to think for themselves. They are following the current trend in our society to ‘rubbish’ belief in God and to ridicule the idea that there might be some validity to faith. If you are reading this blog you are probably not one of these people but you may come across them on a daily basis. Just remember that faith is only as good as the one in whom you trust. This is why it is so important to understand the integrity of the Bible and the historical basis of the facts stated therein.

The Bible states in Psalm 118:8 ‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man’. (incidentally this is the central verse to the whole Bible when you divide it up by the number of chapters and verses – interesting and significant!). The Bible also states that it is better that your faith ‘should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God’.

Will you dare to be different? Read the word of God today (The Bible). Start in the New Testament and read the four gospels. Discover the truth concerning the Son of God (Jesus) becoming man and dying ‘for the ungodly’ (that’s all of us, as we did not know God by nature and were disobedient to Him). He (the Lord Jesus) is worthy of your trust and he died to be your Saviour. Pray to him today, search for him in prayer and in reading the Bible. Admit your guilt before God and ‘call upon the name of the Lord’ and you will be saved.

(source : http://www.findingthemissingpeace.co.uk)

Come unto me… and I will give you rest

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11v28

The Absence of Rest

As dusk settles on our city all seems peaceful. But, under this appearance of rest, turmoil and struggle abound. From day to day, the burdens, the disappointments, and sorrows of life bear down upon us, and in the darkest hours of struggle we can feel helpless, even hopeless.

Yet, in this helplessness there is hope. There, we realise that the source of our burden is our separation from God.  We begin to understand that rather than rest in our God and trust in Him, we have sought to follow our own path, to our own hurt. And there, we realise our own responsibility – that our sins have separated us from God (Isaiah 59:2).

At first, this seems to increase our helplessness. We wonder how we could ever be reconciled with God, knowing it is impossible for us to ever do enough to make things right with Him (Romans 3:10-20).

The Hope of Rest

But, in this darkest of hours hope appears, and descending into our darkness, Jesus Christ, ‘the Light of the world’ (John 9:5), invites us to find reconciliation and rest in Him.  Truly, these are words of hope:

Come unto me … and I will give you rest

This rest is not the kind of temporary rest we experience in this life.  Rather, it is a complete and eternal rest. A rest that knows the work of reconciliation is finished, once and for all, and this was accomplished through Jesus Christ, when God ‘made peace through the blood of His cross, to reconcile all things unto Himself’ (Colossians 1:20).

This rest has its source in God alone, yet Jesus Christ said, ‘I will give you rest’. There can be no other explanation than to understand that Jesus Christ is God – not another God, for there is only One God, the Creator, who having completed His work of creation, ‘rested on the seventh day’ (Genesis 2:2).

The Restoration of Rest

Now Jesus Christ, the author of rest, has come ‘to be the Saviour’ (1 John 4:14), the restorer of rest. He has come to ‘bare our sins in His own body on the tree’ (1 Peter 2:24); to make reparation for our wrongs.  For God ‘hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). This is a real and eternal hope, for it is based in the finished work of Christ.

Now, when we come in our helplessness to Jesus Christ, and repent of our sin, He lifts us up saying, ‘Your sins are forgiven … go in peace’ (Luke 7:48,50).  This forgiveness brings us to have peace with God (Romans 5:1), and as we come into His gracious presence, we come to enjoy the peace of God (Philippians 4:9). This is the rest Jesus Christ invites us to.

The Invitation to Rest

We have seen that the provision of this rest cost God a great deal. But for us, who ‘labour and are heavy laden’, this rest is free.

All our obligations have been paid in full by Jesus Christ, and all He asks of us is to come. He wants us to trust Him: to accept His provision and His promise. It is when we fully trust Him that we find fulness of rest.

‘Come unto me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls’.

Come to Jesus Christ now, and be at rest.

 

(source : forwardinhope.com)

Baby Jesus stolen from nativity scene

A recent article reported a baby Jesus figure as having been stolen from St Annes Square nativity scene (Lancashire) – see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-46599641

Is this vandalism or deliberate theft? We trust the culprit will return the baby Jesus.

I was reminded by this news article of the sad fact that so many people love to celebrate Christmas, but the Lord Jesus is absent! Whilst I’m not a lover of nativity scenes, I am all for reminding people that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”. Is the Lord Jesus Christ part of your life?

Do you have room for Him?

Remember, what I do with Jesus Christ in this life, He will do with me in eternity.

If I have no room for Him in life and refuse to accept Him as my Saviour, then He will have no room for me in heaven, and on account of my sin will refuse to accept me.

Wise men years ago asked after Jesus Christ was born,  “Where is He?” Ask yourself the same question.

NJH

LIFE’S MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION!

Life’s most important questions – Is Jesus alive?

The Lord Jesus Christ is no ordinary person. I make this statement in the present tense because the Lord Jesus is not just a figure of history but he is, today, still alive in heaven. I don’t mean alive in the way we might think about a relative who has died and hope is now in heaven. As a Christian I believe people who have turned from their sin and accepted Jesus as their Saviour will be in heaven when they die but this is not my point at the moment. I mean that Jesus is alive, physically in heaven.

Your response might be – impossible and unbelievable!

The record of the life of Christ is all highly improbable if you ignore the key ingredient, God. I agree that the following seems way off the mark – believing that Jesus was more than a man, lived an absolutely faultless life, could do miracles, somehow became accountable for sin and evil and died to pay the price to deal with it on a cross outside Jerusalem and finally three days after his death came back to life. Add to that he lived on earth for forty days after his suffering, death and resurrection and physically rose from the earth and passed through the sky and space into the presence of His Father, God in heaven itself. On a purely rationale level this sounds like I am stretching facts and calling it truth!
BUT WHAT IF……
A careful analysis of the facts points to Jesus being the Son of God!

The evidence points to it being statistically impossible for the historical predictions (the bible calls them prophecies) being fulfilled accurately being mere coincidence!

It was impossible to deceive so many historians and eye witnesses on a such a grand scale!

The probability of it being the truth is higher than the probability of it being a lie?
I believe that this is the truth of the matter. I believe that the evidence of the authenticity of the bible is there if you care to look for it. I believe there is no other honest conclusion that you can come to about who Jesus is if you are prepared to genuinely look at the facts.

In support of this the bible clearly states: ‘these are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life in his name’, John 20:31.

What do you think?

(source : http://www.findingthemissingpeace.co.uk)

HERE TODAY – WHERE TOMORROW?

HERE TODAY – WHERE TOMORROW?

With the speed and facility of modern travel it is possible to have breakfast in the UK and tea in the USA. In travel terms the world has shrunk and this has opened up a whole new vista on holiday destinations with many companies specialising in long haul flights to exotic and distant locations. Travellers are less restricted in their choice and even the most remote places have become accessible, so you can be here today and almost anywhere on earth tomorrow. Maybe, even now as you read this article, you have read the brochures and planned your summer holiday.
However the apostle James in his epistle warns against presuming that we can do this or that tomorrow. In Chapter 4.14,15 we read; ” Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”
For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” Solomon in his wisdom, wrote in Proverbs 27.1;”Boast not thyself of tomorrow; For thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”
Life is uncertain, I can call only the present moment mine and I cannot state definitely what I shall do or where I will be tomorrow. You may expect to be in the office, or work on the farm as usual, or attend school as you have so often done but can you be sure? Perhaps life has become rather monotonous and drab and every day seems to be the same but tomorrow could be different. You may feel that you are in a secure routine and there appears to be nothing on the horizon to threaten that but things can change suddenly and unexpectedly. You may on the other hand have planned something out of the ordinary for tomorrow, but will your ambitions ever be realised?
So, where will you be tomorrow? At home, at work, in hospital, in heaven, in hell? What will you be doing tomorrow? Working, travelling, weeping, rejoicing, resting? How will you be tomorrow? Healthy, happy, excited, disappointed, tired, sick, dead? You say, “I have no idea, no one can be sure.”
But there are those of us who know that if things don’t work out as planned, if calamities should suddenly overtake us, if life should unexpectedly be brought to an end, that all is well for eternity.
There is not the slightest doubt in our minds because the Word of God has assured us. Note the confidence of the Apostle Paul in Romans 8.38,39; “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” John writes in his first epistle, chapter 5.13; “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” Paul’s last letter was 2 Timothy and in chapter 1.12 he wrote;”…for I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.”
Dear reader, do you have such confidence or do you have nagging doubts and apprehension regarding the future? Are you persuaded or perplexed? Before the end of today you could be able to sing, “It is well, it is well with my soul.”
The facts regarding Christ’s death on your behalf are absolutely beyond dispute. In 1Corinthians 15.3 we read; “…Christ died for our sins…” In 1Peter 2.24 it is stated; ” Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree” In Romans 5.8 we read; ” Christ died for us.”
All has been done that you might be in heaven – are you prepared to trust Christ and depend exclusively on Him and what He has done at Calvary to save you from hell and take you to heaven? If so, then tomorrow will hold no dread for you and peace will be yours amid all the uncertainties of life.
(source : http://www.findingthemissingpeace.co.uk)