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Archive for November, 2009

Bring Salvation back:

The  Jackson five sang a song called I’ll be there in which there was a line “You and I must make a pact, we must bring salvation back”   This is a bit of a love song and a fantasy performed by a family none of whom seemed to live in the real world – in particular Michael Jackson, although extremely talented, seemed to me to be a broken spirit throughout his short life. However when this song came on the radio recently I was grabbed by the line “…we must bring salvation back…” And you have to ask if it needs brought back where has it been?  Well it hasn’t been anywhere, the church however has done a great job of hiding it.

Of course it may not be our place to “bring” salvation back but in some ways salvation is not going to come back unless we are ready and willing in our service and obedience to the Lord.   The Bible says in Rev 7:10 that “And they cried out in a loud voice:  “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

I have many deep concerns about the state of our nation and I am also aware of my own contribution to our society’s fall from grace, that which we have seen and experienced in recent decades.

  • Where a young person can be maimed or even killed for their mobile phone.
  • Where very young children are assaulted by adults who are there to care for them due to the need for another fix, or as a result of broken parental relationships. Where a father can be kicked or stabbed to death as he challenges those who vandalise his car.
  • Where dangers of addictions and violence lurk on every corner of every street. The wicked will get worse but the Godly need to set an example: 2 Tim 3:12-13  “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it”,

I am aware that this blog cold turn into a rant about the state of the world today – I really don’t want to go there but suffice to say, we as human being have an uncanny knack at getting ourselves into problematic situations in particular when we edit God out of the equation.

1.We disrespect and devalue the scriptures rather than embrace and accept them as from the One who has the words of Life. (1 Tim 3:16 – All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness ) – forgive us Lord!

2.We philosophise about life, seeking in the wrong places – we mix our spiritualities to find a god that suits our needs instead of seeking God to know Him, to be granted forgiveness by Him and to allow Him to give us wisdom for the issues which confront our lives – “Lord – what do you have to say to me in this situation”. (1 Cor 1:25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. )

3.We forget the commands of Christ in particular the Great Commission – instead we become fat, well fed and heartless. “Go into all the world…”

4.We involve ourselves in materialistic practices – worshipping the god of this world as we do so – our equivalent of Baal – where we should do whatever we can to serve and live for the living God. Love the Lord thy God and Him only.

5.We look to human resources to bring change and redemption from the disaster we call life. (Matt 4:4 – Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word hat proceeds from the mouth of God).

6.We submit to political correctness and expediency due to the fear of MAN when we need to submit to God and fear Him. People have been deceived, they are told by the world’s well oiled propaganda machine that ‘anything goes’, ‘do what you like there are no consequences’. We know that is not true, we know that consequences will follow (1Thes 4:9,10 – you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath).

7.We look for heroes and super heroes because there is a cry in our hearts that only human relationships and human power cannot meet – we need to know the one who can fix the unfixable – SIN, love the unlovable – US, teach the unteachable, give life to the dead, turn darkness into light, turn sorrow into joy, turn ashes into beauty…. (Heb 12:2 – Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God).   Also (1 Pet 5:7 – Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. ) I could go on – but I think you get the picture…… the question is – Heb 2:3 – How can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?  This benefit to our dead souls is ours through Grace – the unmerited favour of God. There is no escape for those who ignore the warning……

The Cross:

The cross of Jesus Christ is central to our salvation, that salvation he has won for us on the cross and as a result of the cross we too are bound into the family of God if we accept Christ as Messiah and Saviour.   The work of the cross is perfectly perfect and completely complete! “IT IS FINISHED” – he sat down at God’s right hand…..

An interesting aside:

Acts 7:55 – Stephen saw Jesus standing on the right hand of God – Jesus only stands up when His people are in trouble – the Lion of the tribe of Judah is standing with us through our storms. Many will say “God is not interested”, “why does He do nothing”, but He stands up from His throne at the right hand of God and is with us as we pass through trials and difficulties.

Salvation:

What is it?

Salvation is the scriptural teaching that a loving, Holy God takes pity on sinful mankind by sending His only Son to save mankind from their sins and reconcile them, once again to God making them fit for heaven.

Why do we need it?

We need salvation because we cannot get rid of our sin by our own achievements, and we cannot be reconciled to God if we stay as we are.

Rom 3:23 “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

Where can I find it?

Jesus Christ has won salvation for us by shedding his blood on the cross of Calvary and wants us to accept Him as our Saviour and Lord – in simple terms – at the cross. “At the cross at the cross where I first saw the light and the burden of my heart rolled away, it was there by faith I received my sight and now I am happy all the day” It’s the shed blood of Jesus that makes the difference – “There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emanuel’s veins and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains”.

1 Pet 1:18-19 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved .

What do I have to do to get it?

Well I really can’t do anything since my attempts at fixing my broken relationship with God will only end in failure. Simply all I can do is come to Christ and repent (turn away) from my sin and ask for absolute forgiveness and receive the salvation won for me by Christ.

How do we play our part in God’s great plan of salvation?

We take seriously the Great Commission.  We listen to God’s Holy Spirit call us and direct us into His purpose for our lives: (A role in the Church is to allow us to fulfil our PURPOSE not to have a POSITION).

  • Priorty need – Children’s/Youth Ministry.   Quality teachers are required to make sure our kids know where its at.   Kids need people who will tell them the truth and answer their many questions.
  • Outreach to those in great need in our city – to those with addictions, families in crisis, parenting for young mothers/families.    
  • Get involved in the outreach planned for your congregation in the near future.
  • Go on a team to serve here in the UK or abroad – learn how to share the Gospel with people.
  • If nothing is happening, start something – with the permission of your church leadership of course.

People are hungry for the truth, they have been sold ‘a pig in a poke’ for two long, and the church at large has been party to that and it needs to stop.

  • Love one another – all men will see we are His disciples The world does not need a band of do-gooders but a people of power ready to serve the living God. (Not our own feeble power but the power of God’s Holy Spirit working through us). The insipid world of the do-gooder fails to measure up to what is required of the Christian Church.

 

  • The Government – no matter which colour or persuasion – can’t achieve what God wants achieved.
  • The education system can’t achieve it
  • The health service can’t achieve it
  • The police and the judiciary can’t achieve it

The CHURCH has been called to achieve it (Eph 3:10 and now through the church).

The problem is that the church has been led astray into:

  • Worldliness – unpopular word in the church today
  • Untruthfulness – fear of the truth as laid down in the scripture – the Spirit of TRUTH leads us into ALL TRUTH – which means that the spirit of un-truth (Lies – the Father of lies – the devil – will lead us into all un-truth.
  • Uncaring and carelessness – the church has missed the basics, the outgoing nature of her DNA and has become self seeking, producing bigger and more glorious buildings, hotter and more slick pastors, more culturally relevant sermons and programs and basically missing the point all together, and that is that Jesus called us to give in order to receive, love our enemies, lose our lives in order to gain the life He has won for us and so on.
  • Postmodernism – The post modernist movement in the church – where there may be some positives in asking the right questions, there is no good in giving the wrong answers.   Gal 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!   Lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater – yes I mean the baby! and the king of Kings.

If we remove the notion of ‘original’ sin from our vocabulary then the end result is that people are not given the opportunity to repent and God has no access to their lives in order that they can be reconciled to Him.

If we consider the cross as ‘cosmic child abuse’ as purported by some, then we remove the efficacy of the cross and the need for an eternal and perfect sacrifice.

If we remove to virgin birth we make the living Son of God a mere human and not in the least divine and useless in our quest for salvation.

If we remove the resurrection we lose the victory over the sting of death.

If we understand the scripture as being for a bygone age and unable to comment on our lives today and give the authority of God to our behaviour, then we are able to blindly follow a pagan/heathen pathway and in following such be open to the full judgement of God.

You can see why some might want to avoid the realities of scripture due to the fact that their own behaviour is less than open to scrutiny, but the one who navigates lives towards the rocks of destruction is the enemy of our soul – the devil himself.

Conclusion: We need to bring salvation back to our nation – we need to be available to God when He is ready to move. 2 Cor 6:2 – Now is the day of salvation – now is the accepted time! We are the bearers of the Good News about Jesus and his offer of salvation. Just give me a call when you have something organised – Call me when you are ready – Oh! Sorry I have something else on. No we need to be ready to drop everything like the disciples of Jesus did when He called them.

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