Thursday, 27 August 2020

Joy and peace

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing… (Romans 15:13)

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Friday, 21 August 2020

The Trinity - it matters more than you think

Some people dismiss it as an invention of the church, while others ignore it as a point of doctrine that theologians in ivory towers talk about because they have nothing useful to do.

But the truth of the Trinity is more important and relevant than you could imagine.

Saturday, 18 July 2020

The Way


Before Christianity was called Christianity, it was called “The Way” (Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 22:4; 24:14, 22). The reason for this is they were believers in the one who said, “I am the way” (John 14:6). Maybe you are feeling lost in life. Let’s think how Jesus is the way.
He’s the surest way to gladness
Everyone wants to be happy, and you might feel happy enough with the way your life is, but if the source of your happiness is something this world has given, then it’s something this world can take – your happiness is vulnerable – it will be taken from you at some time and it may be taken from you at any time.
The gospel of Christ offers you blessings that the world can’t give or take. That means that if disaster strikes, or when trials come, the Christian always has something to rejoice in.
Also, if the source of our happiness is something this world has given, then not only does that source not last, but the happiness doesn’t either. Whatever gives you gladness in this world is something you will tire of eventually if you are looking to it for fulfilment. Solomon put it like this, “All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full” (Ecclesiastes 1:7). The human heart is too big for the world to fill. Christ is an eternal source of eternal joy. He is big enough to fill your heart and satisfy your spirit forever.
He's the best way to goodness
A lot of people think that the purpose of religion is to make people good, and it is arrogant to say one way is better than another.
Let’s just ignore for the moment the mistaken presumption about the purpose of religion, and acknowledge that many religions help people live decent lives, (although there is no faith that can match Christianity for the powerful, positive changes it makes in individuals and societies).
However, I want to suggest that every worldview apart from Christianity is a barrier to true goodness, because they all encourage you to do “good” for your own sake. If you want to get to heaven, paradise, nirvana etc. you have to live a “good life”. This leads to you doing “good works” so that you get a reward, but that’s just self-interest, not true goodness.[1] This comes out over and over again as I speak to religious people about the gospel. When I tell them that salvation is not by works, inevitably they ask the same question, “Well, why bother doing good works then?” By asking that question they are admitting that their motivation is their own salvation. J. Warner Wallace has put it like this:
It seems to me that rules-based and works-based religious systems don’t actually produce ‘good’ people. They instead produce people who LOOK good. True goodness is a heart condition. It’s a reflection of who we are when no one is looking. It’s a reflection of our desire to do what’s right, even when there is nothing in it for us. It’s one thing to experience joy or satisfaction for doing what you know you ought to do; it’s another thing to do something ONLY because you are hoping to gain a prize. If we are only ‘performing’ because we are hoping to get the reward of ‘Salvation’, we’re merely trying to serve ourselves by earning a prize. On the other hand, if our hearts are so changed that we desire to behave morally even when the carrot of salvation is not dangling in front of us, then we can say that we truly are ‘good’ people.
If you are looking for a spiritual worldview in which truly good people are even possible, you are going to have to look for one that does not REQUIRE good works. Now what religious worldview teaches that Salvation is NOT the result of anything that you can do, but is instead the result of something that has already been done for you by God Himself? There is only one; it is called Christianity.[2]
Good works are only possible if they play no part in our salvation. The Christian does what he does, not because the carrot of salvation is dangling in front of him, or the stick of hell is behind him – he does it for God and for others. Furthermore, when someone receives Christ as Saviour, the Holy Spirit of God comes to live within him to enable him to live and love a life of goodness in a way he never could before.
He's the only way to God
Some might say they aren’t particularly sad or bad – they have enough happiness and morality in their lives already and so they don’t need Jesus. However, when Jesus said He was the way, He wasn’t talking about the way to gladness or the way to goodness, He was talking about the way to God. People might have gladness or goodness to some degree without Christ, but they can’t have God without Him.
We are separated from God because of the wrong we have done, and, because God is a God of perfect justice, those sins must be answered for and the penalty paid. That’s why no amount of working on our part can ever bring us to God, and that’s why Jesus is the way. He came from heaven and became a man so that He could act as our representative. When He was on the cross He gave Himself to take the punishment sinners deserve and make the payment God demands. His resurrection from the dead is the assurance that God’s justice has been satisfied, and, because of that, we can be reconciled to God.
If you know you are separated from God and want to be brought back, then turn to Jesus Christ in repentance. He will bring you to God now and into heaven when life is over. There is no other way.



[1] This is true even for the atheist – secular morality is essentially “treat others as you want to be treated.” Morality can rise no higher than that because atheism demolishes the foundation for calling anything objectively good or evil.

Saturday, 11 July 2020

Knowing God

Here is a link to another Understanding the Gospel podcast I contributed to. Hope it's helpful.

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Is God hiding?


“If God exists, why is He so secretive about it? Why not make it more obvious?”
The hiddenness of God is an argument that many atheists find compelling, but when we think about the evidence I think we will find that it certainly isn’t God is who is hiding.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

What the protests profess


Many cities across the United States and around the world have been filled with people protesting following the tragic death of George Floyd. The shocking video of his last moments has sent a jolt through the human consciousness, bringing out our innate awareness of a couple of huge realities.

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Suffering

Here is another episode of the UtG podcast that I have contributed to. It is on the subject of suffering. Please have a listen and spread the word.

All together now


The legend of the founding of Rome tells us about two twins who fell out.

Monday, 25 May 2020

Being human

I was asked to contribute to the UtG (Understanding the Gospel) podcast recently on the subject of what it means to be human. It can be found on any podcast provider, or click here. I hope you enjoy it. If you do, pass it on and spread the word.

Friday, 15 May 2020

What is faith?


I had a very frustrating discussion with someone recently about faith. This word is being mangled beyond recognition such that, when people hear it, something comes to mind which never would have occurred to anyone using the word at any other time in history.

Monday, 27 April 2020

Because He lives...


Written by Bill and Gloria Gaither in 1971, Because He lives has become one of the most well-known and well-loved contemporary Christian songs. The chorus is a testimony of hope and assurance:
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone,
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living, just because He lives
It’s true, because He lives, I can face tomorrow (and we will come back to that later), but there’s more.

Sunday, 12 April 2020

Saturday, 11 April 2020

A matter of death and life


The Easter period is a time of reflecting on the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Identity Crisis


I read in a newspaper recently that those who find their meaning in life in their work are going to find this period of lockdown to be very hard on their morale and self-esteem.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Follow the science, save lives!


The message that is being heralded day and daily from our government is that we need to pay attention to the scientific data regarding the coronavirus, and by following the science we will save lives.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

"Perfect peace, and at such a time"

Here's a video I did that I hope you find helpful in these strange times we are in!

Friday, 20 March 2020

Hard Times, Hard Truths


Hard times reveal hard truths. The panic-buying exemplifies the selfishness that ultimately drives us. We can be very generous and altruistic when we are sure there is enough to go round, but the moment we think we might have to do without, it shows that we are nowhere near as generous as we thought – the consuming thought is, “It has to be mine!”

Friday, 13 March 2020

What a waste?

I was recently in correspondence with an atheist who was commenting on the work of a Christian evangelist. He said it was so sad the man was wasting his life proclaiming a lie.

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

What God has joined...


When the Pharisees asked Jesus about divorce, He took them back to “the beginning”, showing them that God’s plan was one man with one woman becoming one flesh for life. He concluded His statement with, “Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:6).

The devastation that no-fault divorce has brought on society cannot be estimated. The heart-breaking consequences of a marriage break-down, particularly on children, cannot be exaggerated.

But as you go back to Genesis you find that God has not only joined husbands and wives. There are other things He puts together that are not to be separated.