Have you heard?

If you have then did you accept or reject the Good News? That is exactly what it is, Good News. Always your prerogative of course but there is no real excuse for rejection. I have personally heard testaments from people who shall I say had no regard for anyone else but themselves. Thieves, robbers, slanderers they were but they had a change of heart after they heard about Jesus Christ and what he had done for them. Many folk I have witnessed to have told me that they will think about it and others have simply told me they just don’t believe or that it is all fiction. God however tells us that this is far from the truth and we have no excuses for not believing. I would ask anyone who think otherwise to think again for there is much to gain from coming to a real understanding.

Shirley Anne

Jesus appearing to Thomas the Apostle, from th...
Jesus appearing to Thomas the Apostle, from the Maesta by Duccio di Buoninsegna (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What About Those Who Have Never Heard About Jesus? (Acts 4:12)

Jesus was clear about the rules for receiving salvation when he said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (Jn 14:6). And when speaking about Jesus, the apostle Peter said in this passage, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
Further, all people have to answer to God whether or not they have “heard” about him (see Heb 9:27). The Bible states that God has clearly revealed himself in creation (see Ro 1:19–20) and that he has “set eternity in the human heart” (Ecc 3:11). This means that people see all around them the evidence of God and sense within themselves the truth that they are meant for more than this world. God is not the problem; humankind is. Because of sin, people reject this knowledge of God and rebel against his will (see Ro 1:21–23). It is only because of God’s grace (see Eph 2:8–9) that he saves people from their own sinful desires (see Ro 1:24–32).
How God works out his plan is mysterious and complicated. We have our ideas of what it means for Jesus to be “the way,” but he is not bound by our understanding. God works to accomplish his goals in ways that we will never see or comprehend. The wideness of God’s mercy and the tenacity of his love is beyond our intellectual capacity.
Jesus is central in the redemption story. But God rewards those who seek him (see Heb 11:6). It is our mission to help those who seek him and make sure that those who have yet to answer God’s call hear and understand the gospel (see Mt 28:19–20; Ac 1:8). God always acts justly; he never acts unfairly or wrongly (see Dt 32:4). We might be surprised at the final roll call of heaven. Fortunately, it is God—not us—who will sort out the details in each person’s case.
Taken from NIV Essentials Study Bible

Shirley Anne

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Not satisfied

Easter egg
Easter egg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you were to be asked to indulge in something which went against your principles or your beliefs do you think you would do so anyway? If it were to partake in some ritual perhaps or something in which you thought stupid and pointless would you still resist? How about joining a witches coven? A devil worshiping group? Perhaps these things might be of interest to some but I’ll wager not the majority of people. Suppose you were asked to think about becoming a Muslim or a Christian, a Buddhist or a Hindu if you don’t have any religious convictions, would you refuse? Well of course you would, each of us have our beliefs and when confronted with something totally against our desires and wills we resist. We may be persuaded or not depending upon our openness to such things. For instance those who are not Hindus probably wouldn’t observe Hindu festivals, those who are Muslims not Christian festivals and so on. There are those however who would celebrate festivals of faiths not their own, you have only to see what happens on and around 25 December! Christmas is celebrated by those who don’t believe in Christ and have even gone so far as to demand that Christ is left out of the celebrations. They misunderstand what Christmas is all about and have turned it into something completely different. In the western world this has become the standard, the way people behave, yet it doesn’t stop there. Not satisfied with corrupting Christmas their thoughts now turn to Easter and in a few years I can see that festival going the same way. It all starts supposedly innocently with the introduction of the Easter egg, then the Easter bunny and chicks. I wonder what next they will think of in the name of commercialism and it is all fueled by commercialism. Look at the advertisements on television on the approach to Easter. Special foodstuffs are now being promoted just as they do at Christmas. In fact every known gift is being advertised, things such as perfumes and aftershave lotions. What these have to do with Easter can only be imagined. These sacred festivals become something they are not meant to be and their message is lost to those who might otherwise hear and believe. How many children will be stuffing their faces with chocolate this Easter and not hearing the message about Jesus dying for them? How many parents couldn’t care less? They say secularism and Christianity should be kept poles apart. Try telling that to those in commerce. Where there is money to be made they will never be satisfied. As for me I believe that Jesus died for me, took my punishment for all my sins upon himself thereby setting me free. He didn’t come with a chocolate egg!

Shirley Anne

The way of men

All About Evil
All About Evil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Isaiah 5:19-21

New International Version (NIV)

19 to those who say, “Let God hurry;
let him hasten his work
so we may see it.
The plan of the Holy One of Israel
let it approach, let it come into view,
so we may know it.”

20 Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter.

21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
and clever in their own sight.

There are those in the world who would believe in God if He was to show Himself. They would believe only if they see God in action but they never will receive a demonstration specifically for them, or will they? In fact God has already revealed Himself by His Creation and has demonstrated His love for us (everyone) in this, ‘Whilst we were still sinners Christ died for us’. The fact that Jesus died for sinners falls on many deaf ears and they stubbornly refuse to believe. Instead of believing in God many place their trust in nothing and live their lives in the ignorance of their sins. They call good things evil but are ready to accept lies, they walk in darkness for they cannot walk in the light for fear of their wicked ways being exposed. Accepting what is wrong in Gods eyes condemns them, they think themselves so wise but God will prove them wrong and will bring them down. Don’t be amongst them, put your hope and trust in God through His Son Jesus Christ. This decision will bring you everlasting, eternal life!

Shirley Anne

Yet a further step away

Takva: A Man's Fear of God
Takva: A Man’s Fear of God (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Once upon a time this country was called a Christian country and God-fearing. The laws of God, His precepts were strictly adhered to for fear of God’s wrath. Probably many folk were more frightened of the Church because of the way the Church preached the Word but nevertheless the message was received and accepted. Religion has always been a problem in preaching God’s Word. Would God or does God recognise His Church in these last days? Much of the Church has lost its way and struggles with doctrine, often miss-interpreting Scripture along the way or allowing secular thoughts to influence in decision-making. God gave us His Word in writing showing us the covenants He made with us and laying down His laws and precepts for us to obey. Those laws and precepts remain true even to this day and will remain so forever. When we choose to disobey those rules (laws and precepts) we place ourselves in danger for He gave them to us for a good reason. However, many have turned away from God and choose to do their own thing and live their lives as they please but to be sure God isn’t pleased with them, though some who believe in Him would maintain that He does! Each defiant step we take away from His laws, away from His precepts takes us further away from Him. God loves us all but in no way loves the sins we commit before Him. Sins are what keeps mankind separated from God. This country, this nation, apart from those who love God and obey Him,  has moved far away from God and is getting further away from Him every day. Under the umbrella of the ‘Human Rights‘ advocates God’s laws are being disregarded and ignored, issues concerning homosexuality, same gender marriage, abortions, all go against God’s law. God is not pleased and will pass judgement in due course. The saying by many that this country of ours has ‘gone to the dogs’ is not far from the truth and we will most certainly reap the rewards for our evil ways one day. Our once great kingdom will no longer be great and is already part-way down that road. We, as a nation, need to repent of our ways and get back to God. It is then and only then will we prosper.

Jeremiah 18

Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, ‘Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?’ declares the Lord. ‘Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel. If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, 10 and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.

2 Chronicles 7

14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Shirley Anne

The Hanukkah Code

No real explanation should be necessary. Watch with an open mind….

 

 

Shirley Anne

Open your eyes people!

How much will it take to convince you about the danger we face in our society? Society has fallen away from God, fallen away from Christian principles and values. Secularism is rife and the result will be devastating. The freedom that people think they will enjoy will be taken away from them and they will become subservient to another god who is no god at all. Think I am making all this up to win converts? I pray The Lord will turn hearts back to Him of course but people are unaware of a more insidious evil in our midst and are blind to it. Ever heard the story about the Trojans who hid inside a wooden horse in order to gain access to a city and to conquer it? Similar ‘trojans’ attack our computers but they are nothing compared to the threat which faces our society and all that we hold to be of value. Our country is under attack and we are letting it happen by choosing to ignore the warning signs. Why? Because we as a nation no longer hold to the Christian faith and follow God. This has left us open to the enemy. Satan has gotten a foothold and he will be hard to eject. Below is a video which lasts for almost 50 minutes. It is a presentation to a church in the USA and the speaker talks about the danger the US faces from the inside eating away at its constitution and how people there have let it happen. It can only get worse unless something is done about it. The same forces of darkness are eating away the constitution of the United Kingdom too and we are facing the same danger. When God made the nations of this world He made them for a reason. We must not let the enemy get a firmer grip by doing nothing about it. If we rest on our laurels then that is exactly what he wants. You may laugh and you may scoff just as they did when Enoch Powell made that speech many years ago. No-one took him seriously and look what has happened as a result. I am not advocating hatred, bigotry or racism here but a threat to our very existence a free nation under God. I encourage you to watch the video through to the end. It will certainly open your eyes to what is going on all around you.

Ephesians 6:12
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Please watch the video

Shirley Anne

Solstice

Figures The Golden Calf
Figures The Golden Calf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Very late in the evening (local time UK) of the 20th of June the Earth reached the point in its orbit whereby due to its axial tilt the Sun would be at its highest point in the northern hemisphere and of course its lowest point in the southern hemisphere. It marks the beginning of summer in the north although the 24th June is noted as ‘Midsummer’s Day’. In reality the summer season ranges one and a half months each side of the solstice but as far as the weather is concerned we generally get the warmest and sunniest weather in the months following June, at least here in the UK and probably all of Europe too. That of course is more to do with the wind patterns than the position of the Sun. However there are people who worship the Sun as far as it gives them a good tan but some worship it as a sign from ‘Mother Nature’, even holding midnight gatherings to mark the time of solstice. On Wednesday evening, the day of this year’s solstice, people gathered around Stonehenge to do exactly that. It is believed that the ancient people of this land never practiced this ritual so where the idea came from in modern society to do so is anyone’s guess. In ancient middle-eastern times and even eastern times, many people actually did worship the Sun as well as the Moon. In Scripture we read about the Israelites sinful ways in spite of all that God had done for them. In His Word God forbids us to worship idols and that could be anything we hold more dearly than His love, mercy and grace. Worshipping the Sun and Moon is a sin in God’s eyes. Note

Deuteronomy 4:18-20

King James Version (KJV)

18 The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth:   19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the Lord thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.   20 But the Lord hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day.

(Egypt here represents the chains that bind us before we become believers and inheritors of God’s Kingdom. By His mercy and grace we have been pulled out of the pit that is this sinful world when we place our trust in Jesus. We must not revert to our former ways like the Israelites kept on doing)

Deuteronomy 17:2-4

King James Version (KJV)

2 If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the Lord thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the Lord thy God, in transgressing his covenant,   3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded;   4 And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel:

(The worship of the heavenly bodies, Sun, Moon and stars is an abomination to God)

Jeremiah 8:1-3

King James Version (KJV)

8 At that time, saith the Lord, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves:   2 And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth.   3 And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of them that remain of this evil family, which remain in all the places whither I have driven them, saith the Lord of hosts

(Choosing to follow after the ways of the wicked will only lead to death and exclusion from God’s Kingdom)

Ezekiel 8:15-17

King James Version (KJV)

15 Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these.   16 And he brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.   17 Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.

(Turning away from God is turning away from eternal life, yet for all our evil ways God will forgive those who repent. Believing in and worshipping foreign ‘gods’ {religions and philosophies and the traditions of men}, which are not gods at all, leads to destruction and separation from God)

Romans 1:18 (NIV)

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness,

Shirley Anne

What proof do you have?

The title page to the 1611 first edition of th...
The title page to the 1611 first edition of the Authorized Version Bible. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I am asked about the reasons I believe in God I am also asked what proof do I have that He exists. A reasonable question but it wasn’t the one I asked myself when I converted from atheism. Basically I was searching for God, even though at the time I didn’t believe He existed. God says in Scripture (Jeremiah 29:13) ‘And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart’. I was seeking Him with all my heart and the more I sought Him the more He revealed himself to me. At that time, had I been asked the same question what proof do I have, I would most probably have not been able to give a definitive answer although that isn’t really an excuse for it also says in Scripture

Romans 1:19-21

King James Version (KJV)

19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

The unbelievers heart is darkened to the truth, even many eminent scientists supporting evolution over creation. Not all scientists believe we came about by chance, in fact the more they learn about the nature of life the more they become convinced in the involvement of an intelligent creator. I have been reading several articles from different sources which debate this very issue, if we can call it an issue but for some it is just that. It is more than that though, it is the difference between knowing God and understanding His creation or following after an ideology that claims we are irrelevant and only exist through pure chance. One such article is here (but there are many more),  http://www.ucg.org/science/do-science-and-bible-conflict/ where the evidence is presented for each case. For me, I don’t have a problem. I do not have to prove that God exists, He has done that Himself but it takes the veil to be lifted from the unbeliever’s eye for them to see it too. The proof is there if you want to see it. When asked these days what proof do I have I turn the question around and ask what proof is there for there not being a god. Most people cannot give a convincing answer, mostly because they understand very little about the nature of things. On the same web site is another article which challenges us to prove that evolution is false without having to refer to The Bible  http://www.ucg.org/science/prove-evolution-false-even-without-bible-0/ . If we don’t have evolution it is hard to claim that we came about by chance.

Shirley Anne

Ashamed but not surprised

A Vandalized light
Image via Wikipedia

I am ashamed of the state of my country. In light of the recent rioting, looting and vandalism in London which has spread to three other cities, Birmingham, Nottingham and Liverpool, I am at a loss as to why people behave as they do. After a young man was shot by the police in London there was a march of protest on Saturday which at first was peaceful but eventually deteriorated into mindless violence and vandalism. Since then there have been more rioting each night which has led to an increase of police presence. Unfortunately the police are stretched to the limit and are finding it difficult to contain the problem, especially as there are several places across the city where the uprising is taking place. The present unrest has nothing to do with the original incident of that man being shot but it is simply an excuse for looting, thieving and vandalism. Many people have lost their homes due to the fires that have resulted, business premises too have been razed to the ground. Short of declaring Marshall law by bringing in the armed forces I am not sure how it will be brought under control.  Of course as usual it is the minority of the population causing the problem and they are mostly young men in their twenties or younger. One might ask why our youth act this way and why their parents don’t enforce their authority. It is a moral issue of course but sadly for some moral standards do not count for anything. I think as a Christian that if more people feared God, believed in Him, we would not be seeing these events unfolding before our eyes. Say what you like but I’m afraid this is yet another example of secularism not working.

Shirley Anne