We respect and honour Her Majesty the Queen, but we feel that her broadcast to the nation given on April 5th 2020 involved some unhelpful elements and regrettable omissions.
Her Majesty said, “The pride in who we are is not a part of our past”. We courteously refute this statement. Every generation only builds upon the ones which have gone before. We cannot just ignore what we used to be. In particular, we cannot cast aside as belonging to the past the enormous benefit which Biblical Christianity has brought to our history, culture and civilisation. In this context it is pertinent to remember Deuteronomy 32:7,
“Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee” (Deuteronomy 32:7).
The Queen stated, “If we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome (the crisis)”. This is an appeal to human solidarity as the ultimate solution to the pandemic. This is theologically erroneous.
The CRE (Christian Resources Exhibition) took place at Sandown Park in Esher, Surrey between 15th and 17th October, 2019 and the Lord mightily blessed and answered prayer as those manning the stall had to stand for 8 hours or more each day in order to deal with a steady stream of enquirers.
Many people visited the stall and appreciated the vast array of literature on display, including Gospel tracts and pamphlets written by Bishop J.C. Ryle (the first Protestant Bishop of Liverpool) and many of the old Divines. The stall was adorned with banners portraying Huss (on the left), Luther (in the centre) and Tyndale (on the right), which created much comment. 300 British Church Newspapers were distributed, together with 300 calendars (with Gospel texts) and 300 Christian Watch newsletters, incorporating application forms to join with us. The leaflet — ‘D-day and the Providence of God’ — written by Christian Watch Committee Member, Rev. Peter Simpson, attracted considerable interest.
There was — as there always will be — many who call themselves Christian, who clearly have little understanding of the things of God but, nevertheless, the banner of the Lord was lifted up to His honour and glory and we give Him all the praise.
1 John 1:7
There’s a painful truth that glares out to us from this beautiful text and that is this – sin must be cleansed. But not just any old sin, it is our personal sin that needs to be cleansed. The blood cleanses “us” from all sin! Since our sin needs to be cleansed, it must, therefore, be filthy and polluted, but more than that, without this cleansing we are left filthy and polluted. It’s a painful picture, isn’t it?
There is a tendency today to forget just how horribly wretched sin is. We’ve dulled our spiritual senses so much that we cease to see sin as being what the Bible says it is, “exceeding sinful” (Rom 7:13). What a choice of words! “Exceeding sinful.” God, wanting to call sin by the worst of words could have called it vile or wretched or any number of names, yet He chose to call it by its own name “sin”. Literally, sin is heinous beyond all measure. When a person begins to see how ruinous and awful sin is and at the same time to see just how holy God is, it is then that they begin to wonder whether or not they, as polluted sinners, could ever meet the all-holy God in peace. It is only when we see these two things – our utter pollution by sin and the absolute holiness of God – that the Gospel begins to make any sense. Indeed, unless we see these things we will have a very low notion of the Lord Jesus and His saving work. Furthermore, our life will not be filled with Gospel wonder and astonishment concerning Him.
by Michael Hobbis – National Coordinator
Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah.
Banners, standards and ensigns, are given to armies by their commanders as a central point around which the troops may rally and be encouraged.
A banner is furled when there is no battle, or when the army is beaten, or has capitulated in abject surrender; so too when the banner is captured; defeat is usually not far away.
Whatever the state of the battle, the army always endeavours to keep its banner aloft and unfurled unto the very end. If the standard bearer is killed, then another takes his place, for it is a sign that the battle is still being fought and that they are a force to be reckoned with.
Moreover the banner unfurled signifies in whose name and for which cause the battle is raging. Worldly battles may be fought under despotic and wicked rulers; while opposing armies under their own banners fight against these tyrants.
Acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at
peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.
“Be at peace.” Such is the blessing God offers. Society at large knows nothing of this mercy. We live in a world of strife, envy, and hatred. On a personal level, how easy it is to be bowed down with worry. Practically every day we contend with stress and strain that make our very existence a burden. Responsibilities and duties press in upon us from every side. In every heart there is a need for an inner peace that will conquer the trials and tribulations of life. We urgently need a rest of soul that will comfort, a sustaining strength in the depths of the soul which nothing in this world can destroy. Such a peace is above rubies and worth more than gold.
Today’s text declares that this rest of soul and peace of mind come only from God Himself. “Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace.” Acquaint literally means “make profit.” It is always to our profit to get to know God. John the Baptist asserts that no one has seen God at any time. Only Christ can reveal Him and bestow His blessings on our hearts (John 1:18). In Christ, the God of peace takes up residence within our souls. He not only delivers us from the consequences of our sins, but grants us a rest that sustains and supports our souls amid the ever-changing patterns of our lives.
The proffered blessing of peace proclaims a promise for the future: “Thereby good shall come unto thee.” To be a Christian, to be acquainted with God, will not only profit us in this world but, best of all, in the world to come. Today we enjoy the presence of the God of peace amid the discordant sounds of this life. One day we will be with Christ and will dwell in the bliss of His presence in “the glory that shall be revealed” (1 Pet. 5:1).
There is but one thing in the world really
worth pursuing—the knowledge of God.
R. H. Benson
by Charles Spurgeon
If we have received Christ Himself in our inmost hearts, our new life will manifest its intimate acquaintance with Him by a walk of faith in Him. Walking implies action. Our religion is not to be confined to our closet; we must carry out into practical effect that which we believe. If a man walks in Christ, then he so acts as Christ would act; for Christ being in him, his hope, his love, his joy, his life, he is the reflex of the image of Jesus; and men say of that man, “He is like his Master; he lives like Jesus Christ.” Walking signifies progress. “So walk ye in Him”; proceed from grace to grace, run forward until you reach the uttermost degree of knowledge that a man can attain concerning our Beloved.
Walking implies continuance. There must be a perpetual abiding in Christ. How many Christians think that in the morning and evening they ought to come into the company of Jesus, and may then give their hearts to the world all the day: but this is poor living; we should always be with Him, treading in His steps and doing His will. Walking also implies habit. When we speak of man’s walk and conversation, we mean his habits, the constant tenor of his life. Now, if we sometimes enjoy Christ, and then forget Him; sometimes call Him ours, and anon lose our hold, that is not a habit; we do not walk in Him.
We must keep to Him, cling to Him, never let Him go, but live and have our being in Him. “As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him”; persevere in the same way in which ye have begun, and, as at the first, Christ Jesus was the trust of your faith, the source of your life, the principle of your action, and the joy of your spirit, so let Him be the same ’til life’s end; the same when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, and enter into the joy and the rest which remain for the people of God. O Holy Spirit, enable us to obey this heavenly precept.
By: J. C. Philpot
And what fruit? Why, fruit of three kinds: fruit in the heart, fruit in the lip and fruit in the life.
I Let us see what these fruits are that he brings forth in the heart, or rather, that the Lord brings forth in him.
There is, first, the fruit of faith. This is the only man who really believes in Jesus; who believes the Gospel to be glad tidings to perishing sinners; and who believes in and accepts the doctrines of grace as sweet and suitable to his soul. This is the only man who really believes in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, in His blood, in His glorious righteousness, in His dying love, as sweet and suitable. And why does he believe it? Because it has been revealed in a measure to his soul. Another may have heard it and received it gladly; but there has been no special discovery or manifestation of the gospel to his heart with Divine power. His head may be stuffed with doctrines; but there is no faith in his heart; no real coming unto, trusting in, or hanging upon the Lord Jesus Christ. There may be abundance of false confidence and presumption, but no real looking unto the Lord Jesus Christ out of the depths of a broken heart; no calling upon His Name; no seeing Him by the eye of faith; nor casting all his soul upon Him as able to save to the uttermost.
Again, He will bring forth the fruit of hope; or rather, God will bring it forth in him. The light shining into his soul making his evidences clear, bringing sweet manifestations of the love of God into his heart, applying His precious promises, and shedding abroad His favour – all these things, experimentally felt within, give him Gospel hope, “an anchor to the soul, both sure and steadfast, and entering into that within the veil.” Others have no such hope. Their hope is the hope of the hypocrite that shall perish, the spider’s web spun out of his own fleshly bowels and vain hope; not a good hope through grace, anchoring in the blood, love and obedience of Jesus.
By: A. W. Pink
1886 – 1952
The dawning of a new year is a fresh call unto each of us to put first things first, and it is only by heeding this call that we are prepared to start it aright. The greatest tragedy of life is that the vast majority of our fellows are dissipating their energies on secondary things, spending their strength for that which satisfies not. Alas, how much time have we wasted in the past! But a new year affords us another opportunity to mend our ways: how much of it, then, are we going to improve and conserve for eternity? The answer to that question will be determined by how far we put first things first.
It is one thing to recognise and realise that it is both our duty and wisdom to put first things first, and quite another to actually do so. It is much to be thankful for when light from above makes plain the path wherein we should walk – yet something more than illumination is required in order for us to traverse the same. Strength, power, enablement, is indispensable – and that we have not by nature. Have we not already been made painfully aware of this fact? Then have we humbly acknowledged it to God, and sought from Him fresh supplies of grace? Let us say with Jehoshaphat, when the enemies of Israel assembled against them, “O our God, wilt Thou not judge them? For we have no might against this great company that cometh against us: neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee” (2 Chron. 20:12).
O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years.
The middle of anything is generally its weakest point, and middle years are years of particular danger. More and more, society has turned its attention to the problems people face in their middle years. The work of God faces its own peculiar difficulties in its middle years, and Habakkuk was led to pray that it might be revived at that time. The trouble with the middle years is that zeal tends to diminish while worldliness creeps in. Prosperity can lead to complacency, and God’s people lose the vision of a world perishing in sin.
Habakkuk shows us that the work is still God’s in the midst of the years. He prays, “Revive thy work in the midst of the years.” Because the work is still God’s, it demands the same level of faithfulness as at the beginning. Many people support the work when it is in its exciting initial stages and then lie back and become discouraged when it settles down.
“Where be all His miracles which our fathers told us of?”
Christians should never despise the day of small things. We tend to look for the extraordinary and discount the ordinary, but this is wrong. God’s ordinary dealings in and through His people are worthy of our deepest gratitude. People saved here and there through the normal ministry of the church are just as truly saved as those saved in revival, and their salvation is just as much a miracle of grace.
Yet we cannot be indifferent to the need for revival. We have read in Scripture and in church history of the great outpourings of the Holy Spirit. We have thrilled at the record of the powerful revelation of the majesty of God, causing men to fall under great conviction of sin and to cry for mercy through Christ. As we have read, we have yearned to see the working of His Spirit. We are grateful for every token of the Lord’s presence as we worship and serve, but we long to see greater things than we have yet seen. Where are the mighty works of grace our fathers have described?