grace

WHAT AN INCREDIBLE BETTER COVENANT!

(August 17, 2022) Neil Brightbard joyfully reminds us of a great scripture truth…

Whenever we think of ‘better’ we expect something superior to what we’re used to. And we usually want to know more.

‘Better’ compares to  good: a higher standard, or more suitable. Where Hebrews uses it to describe ‘covenant’ the Greek word is kreittōn… stronger, best! When Christians consider the phrase – a better covenant – let’s be aware this is speaking of something spiritual that is boldly ultra-superior.

I wish to share why the Hebrews 8:6 and 12:24 covenant is such a stronger, better covenant, one that we should boldly grasp.

The heart of Hebrews
We don’t know who wrote Hebrews. Possibly Paul, Apollos or Luke. The sophisticated teaching and excellent Greek grammar suggests a high intellect. Whoever wrote it revealed things that no other book does. Particularly the doctrine of the high priesthood of Jesus.

Hebrews isn’t just good theology! Written so well with spiritual authority primarily to discouraged Jewish Christians needing their faith strengthened, its chapters are clearly a –

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HONOURING JESUS

(December 16, 2021) Dr Robert McQuillan responds to this concerned believer

Dear Dr Robert

You mentioned in your article this month that ‘people, especially Christians, are looking for reality, for truth, not loud music, meaningless worship and hyperfaith! Churches that are attracting followers are those proclaiming the gospel that Jesus Christ is Saviour and Lord and through him a relationship with God is now possible!’ I’m one of those Christians, looking for down-to-earth reality and am really concerned that although I regularly hear consoling messages about the blessings that God gives but never about what it costs Jesus and our responsibilities. Am I missing something or somehow confused? Kelvin.

Dear Kelvin

This reminds of ‘hammered preaching’ (that you referred to before when you expressed other concerns, and that the Acts 20:27 ‘whole counselling of God’ was not being taught).

You mentioned quite a few scriptures that are repeated regularly, highlighting what God must do for us in terms of ‘Giving to get’ such as the often-quoted Malachi 3:8 coming across as ‘You give your offerings, and you’ll get blessed. If you don’t you won’t.’ And that our responsibilities such as our being willing to give not only to our local church but to needy neighbours (whoever that pans out to be) and other worthy causes and wanting to honour Jesus are never mentioned.

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CANCEL, CONDEMN OR CHERISH?

(November 13, 2021) Geri B challenges Christians to live righteously…

We live in a very troubled world today!

And not just the ongoing worldwide Covid-19 pandemic. New terms have become an embedded part of our culture, including a most troubling one originating out of America … ‘Cancel Culture.’

For the uninitiated the definition of this is: The practice or tendency of engaging in mass cancelling as a way of expressing disapproval and exerting social pressure. This practice of ‘cancelling’ or mass shaming often occurs on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

This is where the assassination of a person’s character, no matter who they are, is permissible, acceptable and at times, applauded.

Even when someone has committed an offence, it is acceptable to hold the person up for public scrutiny – to be judge, jury and executioner all at once. Complex issues are cut down to the lowest common denominator – us and them.

Very current hot examples:

  • Vaccinated and Unvaccinated
  • Black Lives Matter
  • Me-Too Movement.

Cancel?
If someone comments on an issue or a current event, and that comment does not agree with your viewpoint or value, you have the ‘right’ to ridicule, attack, vilify or belittle that person in any way you see fit.

I think Jesus called that murder…  ‘For out of the heart come evil thoughtsmurder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander’ (Matthew 15:19).

And indeed some people who have experienced such open (and sometimes very public) attacks have taken their own lives, unable to bear the onslaught of hatred and shame. And I am not talking about worldly individuals (who have done this for many years), I’m talking about Christian brother against Christian brother, Christian sister against sister!

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THE ‘BIG QUESTION’

(October 11, 2021) Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, shares in-depth on what can be a distracting issue…

Here is a topic that has often distracted Christians and divided home Bible study groups – Did God select in advance those who would be saved or is the exercise of our free will to accept Jesus as our Saviour the deciding factor?  How many fruitless hours have been wasted in argument that has often been dogmatic, hostile and divisive!

The ‘Big Question’ which often stirs people is this: Is our salvation determined by God’s decision or by ours? The problem is finding an unambiguous and unequivocal answer because there is an apparent conflict between the biblical concepts of God’s sovereignty and human free will. Does God decide in advance who will be saved and who will be lost? 

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This is a massive theological issue that has been addressed in multiple books by many profound theologians so I admit that my comments here are most inadequate.  However I hope that they may be of some help.

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WARNING: ‘A TEXT OUT OF CONTEXT IS A PRETEXT!’

(June 16, 2021) Robert McQuillan reflects on the above…

Personally, I will never forget these words of wisdom above, made decades ago by an outstanding pioneer of Pentecostal truths. There’s always something that sticks in one’s mind when a great preacher declares something profound, and this certainly did… has, and always will!

Now, it’s a warning that has been highlighted in different ways by others over the years, but at the time it linked perfectly with scriptures the Holy Spirit had burned into my heart three years previous when out-of-the-blue he had spoken to my spirit.

I well recall that wintery night when he stunned me by saying clearly that he would use me to teach God’s word simply but in-depth, challenging Christians and leaders to understand what scripture is really saying, not what they think or suppose, or declaring as being ‘the latest thing in God.’

Dangerous spiritual junk food
The Holy Spirit strongly impressed on me to deeply study the Timothy epistles, to wholeheartedly devour Paul’s warnings about end time lack of hunger for truth in some Christians.

Influencing me about a coming lack of desire for God’s word, a careless Christianity,he burned 1 Timothy 4.7Message into my heart: ‘Stay clear of silly stories that get dressed up as religion.’

Then, especially 2 Timothy 4:3-4, ‘You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching but will fill up on spiritual junk food – catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages.’

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IS JESUS THE ONLY WAY TO GOD?

(March 26, 2019) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, challenges a undermining deceit…

Is it, as some claim, unloving and bigoted to claim that Jesus is the only way to God?

Today we are being bombarded by a range of views that have one thing in common – they seek to undermine the millennia old Christian principles on which many nations have been built.

One of the worldviews that is being more and more widely peddled and increasingly accepted in today’s rather confused world is called ‘Religious pluralism.’ This is part of the so-called ‘progressive’ agenda of those who seek to erase Western culture, conservative standards and, above all, biblical values.

‘Many’ ways to God?
Religious pluralism, which is usually promoted in the media as a wonderfully tolerant and progressive thing, may be defined as the belief that all religions are equally valid as there are many paths to God (or gods) and the idea that there is only one way to know the true God is objectionable and intolerant.

Susan Laemmle, Rabbi and former Dean of Religious Life at University of Southern California has made this comment that ‘… all spiritual paths are finally leading to the same sacred ground.’ In other words, she is stating that there are many ways to God. To such people the differences among various religions are superficial for ultimately they all are giving directions to God.

Regrettably there are many who claim to be Christians (even some church pastors!) who make the claim that there are more than one way to God!

The late, highly esteemed conservative theologian, John Stott defined religious pluralism as ‘an affirmation of the validity of every religion, and the refusal to choose between them, and the rejection of world evangelism …’

World evangelism is consequently immediately ruled out when the viewpoint of religious pluralism is embraced. So too is… (more…)

CHRISTMAS OR CHRISTMYTH

(December 9, 2018) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, once again challenges us to think outside the proverbial box…

I admit it! There is no such word as ‘Christmyth’ in the English dictionary but I have formed it to make a point of contrast.

The word ‘Christmas’ is first found in Old English, in 1038 and was called Cristes Maesse. It referred to the festival that celebrated the coming of Christ into the world. Maesse, which means ‘dismissal’, refers to the sending out of the worshippers who had celebrated the good news of the birth of the Saviour.

I find that to be so appropriate for the message of the Incarnation is one of redemption and hope that Christians need to ‘go and share’ throughout the world.

My ‘made-up’ word ‘Christmyth’ refers to what I see to be the dominant expression of the festival today. A glorious, unrepeatable, rescue event expressing the loving heart of God has been transformed into a happy myth-laden tale with jolly Santas, red-nosed reindeers and fun!

And in so many ways the church has bought into this sanitised and shallow version of the biblical story by placing an emphasis on the sweet baby in a manger, the heavenly choirs and the ‘silent night.’

Don’t misunderstand me. I really am not a Grinch!  I too enjoy the ‘myth.’ At Christmas time it is so good to see the excitement in the eyes of children and the coming together of friends and families and the singing of the old familiar carols. But I sense that along the way we have so developed the ‘myth’ of Christmas that we have sold-out on the essential truth of the event.

Let’s take this further. (more…)

DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER!

(November 10, 2018) Tomorrow, Sunday, is Remembrance Day and Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, reminds us to remember some important matters we should never forget…

100 years ago, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, World War 1 came to an end following a signing of an armistice between the Allies and Germany. After four and a half years of bitter fighting, which directly involved 32 countries and in which around 100 more participated in that bloody conflict with countless tragedies, peace was finally agreed.

Horrendous destructive trail
The war had lasted for 6 years and was now over. But what a horrendous trail it left in its wake. There was destruction everywhere. The human toll was truly overwhelming. It has been estimated that the total number of military and civilian casualties was around 40 million. Life would never be the same again for countless people whose families were torn apart, whose homes were reduced to ruins and whose countries were almost wiped off the face of the map. Wars had always played a gruesome role in human history but no war had ever before been more devastating than World War 1. It was truly the first global war.

Woodrow Wilson, the United States President at that time described it as ‘The war to end all wars.’ But it wasn’t! Twenty one years later and World War 2 began with even more sophisticated weaponry and once again Germany engaged the Allies and again another horrendous cacophony of hatred, lies, violence, inhumanity and destruction was visited upon the earth. Before it ended, around 80,000,000 people were dead. (more…)

A CRIPPLE IN THE CASTLE

(March 25, 2018) Ben Godwin reminds us of Easter realities as he shares a king’s goodness toward a troubled young man…

The news spread rapidly. Israel had suffered a devastating defeat. King Saul and his son, Jonathan, had been slain in battle by the Philistines.

It was common in ancient regime changes to execute all the royal family to eliminate any heirs to the throne and a nurse acted quickly.

Terrified, she scooped up a five-year-old prince to whisk him to safety. But in her haste she stumbled,  dropping the boy… and unfortunately both his legs were broken. Consequently, Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son, was lame the rest of his life.

Mephibosheth is a fitting type of the human race – he was of a royal line but crippled by a fall. 

Years later, during his reign as king, David wondered, ‘Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?’ (2 Samuel 9:1 NKJV). He was told Mephibosheth was living like a pauper in an obscure town called Lodebar.

Lodebar means ‘without pasture or barren place.’ That describes our spiritual condition before we met our heavenly king! Life without God is a barren wilderness. Nothing can satisfy the hole in our soul that only he can fill.

David, a type of Christ, gave this maimed man four things which God has also given to us: (more…)

STANDING FIRM ON WHAT YOU BELIEVE GOD’S WORD TEACHES

(November 30, 2017) Robert and Maureen McQuillan encourage those going through challenging times, especially leaders who teach solid scripture truths…

Ever wonder which unrealistic idiot came up with ‘Just trust Jesus and everything will be absolutely fine in life’ or ‘The Christian life will be like a bed of roses so no worries’ or led new converts to think Christianity is ‘Easy Street to heaven’ – or that ‘Ministry’s great… all fame and glamour, no hassles.’

Probably some dodo man, think you wise realistic ladies!

The reality is that …

  • Life is a gift from God, to be appreciated each new day and lived to the full as best possible.
  • Ministry is a privilege, not to taken carelessly or irresponsibly as it must honour the Lord.
  • Unfortunately we have a lying, distracting enemy!
  • Although we can fully trust God and his word for our needs, we live in a fallen world.
  • Life itself – not just Satan – can unexpectedly unleash furious storms against us!

Bad things happen, even to Christians! (more…)