standing firm

‘WHAT ABOUT THE 144,000?’

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(June 4, 2021) Brian Bell recalls an incident from long ago that led (and still leads) to a reminder that we must continue to serve Christ in whatever we’re called to…

When I was in my late teen years, I spent some weeks in the UK summer months serving with a beach mission team. I remember one year on the Isle of Wight. The outreach program for each day concluded with an evening event, very often an open-air witness on the promenade. Some team members would sing, some testify, and the team leader would usually bring a gospel message.

As the event was taking place, team members would form a rough semi-circle around the platform, not obstructing the passage of passers-by and we would look for folk who may stop and seem interested in the message so that we may approach them on conclusion.

On a particular evening I saw a couple stop to listen and at the conclusion of the message which had included a reference to heaven, I approached them to ask what they thought about what they’d heard… but I was not prepared for the gentleman’s response when he said to me, ‘What about the 144,000?’

Young and inexperienced as I was, I knew this was a reference to the book of Revelation and surmised these folks were Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Reflection leads to Revelation
I use that memory to take you to the apostle John’s book of Revelation.

(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…)

MARTYRS BY PROXY?

(March 8, 2017) Stuart Reynolds brings another timely challenge …

A pig and a hen were walking down the road when they saw a poster advertising the forthcoming Harvest Supper. It reported that bacon and eggs would be served. The hen said to the pig, ‘How nice it is that we can help the church.’

The pig replied to the hen, ‘It’s all very well for you – you’ll be making a contribution, but I’ll be making a sacrifice!’

It was Alexander MacLaren who wrote: ‘Martyrs by proxy, who have such strong convictions that they think it somebody else’s duty to run the risk for them, are by no means unknown.’

A location considered
We rightly pray much for the ‘Persecuted Church’ – often feeling small and inadequate alongside them because of what they are living out and proving in the midst of oppression and we’re not. (more…)