Showing the state of our nation in the light of God’s Holy Word

Have you thought about

Do you ever stop and think about life? Have you ever wondered what it’s all about? Someone once summed it up as follows – ‘our births were a fluke, our lives are a farce and at death we just become fertiliser.’ But are we really no more than animals that live and die – and that’s the end?

To answer life’s big questions, many turn to philosophy or religion, but the most reliable place to find the true answers is in the Bible. This is because the Bible is God’s Word and it is the Book that God has given us to teach us what He is like and how we can know Him personally. Consider with me what the Bible says about the three basic questions of life.

WHERE DID I COME FROM? Some believe that we are just a chance collection of atoms formed by random events and natural selection from lower life forms. However, this is a belief that robs life of its meaning and fulfilment and ultimately it leads to hopelessness and despair.

The Bible tells us that man is not merely a highly developed animal, but that he was created by a special act of God ( see Psalm 139:13-14). It is God Who gives us life and being. ‘He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things’ (Acts 17:25).

WHY AM I HERE? The Bible tells us that we were made to know and love God. ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind’ (Matthew 22:37). However, because we have rebelled against God and disobeyed His laws, we are unable to fulfil the purpose for which God made us. In fact, we have lost contact with God – ‘we have turned every one to his own way’ (Isaiah 53:6). We think we can manage without God, yet deep within each of us we sense that there is more to life than trying to obtain satisfaction with only material things. If we are honest, we have to admit that, without God, life is empty and meaningless. But it need not stay like that!

There is a way back to God! Because God is just and holy, He cannot ignore the fact that we have broken His laws. A penalty has to be paid. The Bible says in Romans 6:23 that ‘the wages of sin Is death,’ but God loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, into this world to save us (sinners) from the penalty that our sins deserve. When the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross at Calvary, He took upon Himself the punishment for others. He died so that we might be forgiven and have our relationship with God restored.

WHERE AM I GOING? The Bible tells us that ‘it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment’ (Hebrews 9:27). One day, you must face your Maker. What then? If you turn from your sins and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as your own and personal Saviour you will be sure of Heaven – ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved’ (Acts 16:31). However, if you reject God’s way of salvation, you will be shut out from His Presence for ever. Jesus said that those who did not believe on Him would ’go away into everlasting punishment’ (Matthew 25:46). WHERE ARE YOU GOING?

Ian Henderson

God’s Alarm Call

By: Michael Hobbis

CW Committee Member

All in a matter of a few weeks, a virulent virus spreads over the globe. The pandemic Coronavirus – Covid 19 – has caused widespread disruption in every nation it has visited, many are calling these ‘unprecedented times’, times when the medical services have been stretched, often beyond capacity, in terms of hospital beds, staff and equipment. The price of oil, man’s liquid gold, has for the first time in its history reached negative territory. To add to these calamities the world’s economies are in danger of a great, possibly the greatest, recession ever.

When the Bible, the Word of the Living God, in the book of Amos speaks of the “lion roaring”; what does this mean? It means that God by The Lord Jesus Christ who is also called in Scripture “The Lion of the Tribe of Judah”, has roared out a warning to the inhabitants of the earth. How? By His acts of Providence in temporal judgements, we may say chastisements. Amos which speaks much of these Divine acts declares: “the lion has roared, who will not fear?”

It should be remembered that Almighty God who has sent out this warning holds in the hollow of His Hand all His creation and all events be they great or small. Lest any should ascribe these things to chance or the ‘natural way of things’, He asks by Amos: “Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?” The Puritans in the time of the black death had no doubt as to who had sent such a plague!

Nothing it seems is more likely to incur the wrath of God than to ignore, or be oblivious, of these merciful warnings from our Creator. The word unprecedented seems to be an overused word now, but little else can describe these times, particularly this enforced silence of ‘lock down’ which envelopes the globe. Some are drawing a comparison with these events – not without some justification – with those of the divine plagues which were visited upon Egypt before the final release of the Jews out of captivity.

The Withdrawal of the privileges of the Church

If the virus and its attendant ‘lock down’ of persons, businesses, shops and economies be so remarkable and unique in the history of the world; let us now consider the parallel case which can only have come to pass by an awesome and terrible Divine Fiat, and that is the lock down of all the churches. (I speak here only of the professing churches of Christ). It is a troubling aspect of this pandemic that there seems to be a reticence of some ministers in the churches to boldly point out to their congregations, and a wicked world, that these calamities are sent in the providence of God as a warning: for surely few would deny today that such evil, and depravity walk on every side, and when even the vilest men, such as sodomites are exalted.

Necessity is laid upon all preachers of the gospel to make known to the people what are the intentions of the Lord in regard to this pandemic; viz. that they should turn from their sin without delay and accept the mercy of God, which in His longsuffering has been held out to them for over 2000 years. To quote the commentator Matthew Henry on Amos 3:

“The threatenings of the Word and the providence of God are not bugbears to frighten children and fools but are certain presages of the judgement of God.”

It is a sure sign of the drift and decline in the churches that many leaders and ministers of the gospel cannot discern the secret intentions of God in His acts of Divine interference in the world. Not to discern such providential judgements which are clear to those who love righteousness and truth, is a signal evidence of a form of spiritual blindness and declension in faith.

Not only is there a ‘lock down’ in general society in order that men might have “space for repentance”, but also we of the church of our Lord Jesus Christ have had removed from us our privileges of assembly together for worship, praise, ministry and the act of remembrance and communion in the Lord’s Supper. Never has such a tragedy been visited on the churches.

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