As we approach Easter …

Cross with soft cloud backgroundDuring February this year (2017) the BBC commissioned a survey of 2010 people.

The tragic results showed that at least a quarter (25%) of people who described themselves as Christians in Great Britain,  don’t believe in the resurrection of Jesus.   Only 31% of Christians believe word-for-word the Bible account of the resurrection.   It rises to 57% amongst so-called “active” Christians (those described as going to a “religious” service at least once a month).

In my book, “Moments of Encouragement”, I wrote about God’s infallible Word.  I asked the question:  ‘How far has the message of the modern church strayed from the Truth of God’s Word, His infallible Word?”

The “infallible Word of God” – this is the issue eating away at the Church today!   I have have heard first hand a minister say from the pulpit that God’s Word is fallible!   That same church was one that discouraged the use of Bibles in church and removed all Bibles from the pews.

The BBC article quotes the acting general secretary for Modern Church (which actually promotes Liberal Christian theology) as stating the following:

“I think [people answering the survey] are being asked to believe in the way they might have been asked to believe when they were at Sunday school. You’re talking about adults here. And an adult faith requires that it be constantly questioned, constantly re-interpreted, which incidentally is very much what modern church is actually about.” She continues by saying:  “Science, but also intellectual and philosophical thought has progressed. It has a trickle-down effect on just about everybody’s lives.  So to ask an adult to believe in the resurrection the way they did when they were at Sunday school simply won’t do and that’s true of much of the key elements of the Christian faith.”

What an utter lie and deception this is.   A statement like that comes from the great deceiver himself.   God’s Word is infallible.  It does NOT change to fit in with man’s thinking.  It stands forever.  We do not adapt the Bible to man’s interpretation, but rather, we build our faith and lives on the unchanging Word of God.   Is it any wonder that society is as it is these days?

The story of Easter, starting with Palm Sunday (today) IS the Gospel of salvation.  It is the most significant period in the Christian calendar.   It IS the central theme and fantastic reality of the mercy and grace of God by sending His One and Only Son to take on Him the punishment of our sin.  If one takes anything away from the Bible, God’s Word, one is in a very dangerous position.

Let the Bible speak for itself:   All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” ( 2 Timothy 3:16-17).   “ I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve.After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him. For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church” (1 Corinthians 15:3-9)

Paul continues in his letter to the Corinthian church:  But tell me this—since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? 13 For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. 15 And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. 16 And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. 18 In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! 19 And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.

20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.

21 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. 22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. 23 But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back”

If one denies the literal death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, you will be lost eternally.   That is the crux of the Christian message.   But there is time (not much time) left to turn to Jesus and ask His forgiveness and believe in the One and Only Saviour, the Lord Jesus Himself.

As Lorraine Lorenz puts it so clearly in her excellent devotional book “Amber’s Story – Walking Back into the Light”:

“There are certain foundations of our faith, which are made very clear in the Bible.  It is essential that we believe these with all our hearts.  In this post-modern age there are Christians who have ‘second thoughts’ about them.   Where do you stand?”

My next blog will contain a further extract from her book where we will take a quick test and see where we stand.

1 Timothy 4:16 says:  “Watch your life and your doctrine closely”

So as we enter this Easter period, the most sacred and holy period in the Christian calendar, please stop and think about what it really means.  Not Easter eggs and Easter bunnies, etc.    It is the greatest love story ever told, that Jesus loved us so much that He laid down His life for you and me, so that if we believe in Him, put our trust in Him as Saviour and Lord, we will have eternal life and be set free from our sin.

And now a prayer:   Father, help me to realize afresh that Your Word is Truth!  Help me to accept it as such without any doubt.  Help me to love it more and more and to strive to hide Your Word in my heart so that I can learn to live in a way that is pleasing to You. Thank you for Your Word, the Bible. Amen.

If you have any questions or comments regarding this article, do not hesitate to contact me.

Day Ashton
Email: dayashton.uk@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Is there really hope for the future?

 

WHAT HOPE IS THERE FOR THE FUTURE?

Is it unreasonable to ask such a question?  No.  Why should it be?

As we look around us, the world we are living in does not look a very happy place!

Increased levels of fear due to terrorism. Based on what we have been seeing in the last few months, acts of terror are increasing globally, not forgetting constant daily terror attacks in Israel.   Warfare has changed and it is so difficult to “nail” the terrorists, police and armed forces facing very dangerous situations.

160519156Strange and dangerous treaties being signed.  Laws being changed to accommodate non-Biblical values and anti-Christian stances.

The global economy is not stable.  Despite that. there are so many instances of various projects where money is being wasted while needy folk within ALL countries, including our own, are struggling.   Incredible amounts of money being spent on issues over which humankind has genuinely got no control despite them thinking they have, global warming and climate change being one such instance.   Oh yes, one does have to take due care and avoid unnecessary damage to the planet that God created.   But in reality, if folk would take time to read the Bible, they would discover that this world as we know it is destined to be burned up.

Am I being cynical?  No, I am being a realist.

What hope is there then?

The sad, sad situation in our world today is that people are writing God out of the equation.  God has provided incredible guidelines in His Word which would solve a myriad of the problems we are facing today IF His Word, His Guidelines would be followed and adhered to.   So many issues would be resolved if we would be obedient to His Word.  Sadly people have ignored the Book of Books, know little about it or prefer to treat it as a great literary work rather than Life’s Handbook.

I believe (as do many true Christians) that the Lord’s return is very, very close.   No, we cannot say the day or the hour, BUT the Lord Jesus Himself warned that we could tell the general period of His return.   Never before have things been so ready for all the end-time scenarios to fall into place.  In fact, the Bible in 2 Timothy 3 tells us that things will go from bad to worse!  Someone recently compared events in the last days to a pack of dominoes.  They are all closely stacked up together and once the first domino goes, the others will fall in rapid succession.

World events will be like that in the last days:  the Church (true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, those who have put their trust in Him as Saviour) will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air (commonly known as The Rapture). Once this has happened, the Antichrist will emerge (Global Leader), the Tribulation Period of 7 years will begin. Then the Battle of Armageddon followed by the Christ return RaptureReturn or Second Coming of Jesus Christ (this time as Judge and not Saviour).  This is followed by the Millennium (the 1000 year reign of Christ), etc.
These events will have the domino effect. Once the first one starts, the others will follow in sequence and rapid succession. I have no doubt that we have never been closer to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ than we are right now.

Just look how descriptive God’s Word is:  ” …   in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly… ” (2 Timothy 3:1-5 – New Living Translation)

Describes things exactly as they are!  It goes on to describe that “3 …  a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.” (2 Tim 4:3&4 NLT).   People find it far easier to follow New Age teachings, Liberal Theology, Esoterical Thinking, Humanistic thinking, etc.

 

The Bible describes the times and attitudes of people in the world we are living in now so accurately.

I could say SO much more, but to get back to the question I asked at the start of this article:  “Is there really hope for the future?”

Yes.  There certainly is!   There is one way and only one way.   If we as individuals have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, we have the hope of eternal life where we will be forever with the Lord.   Whilst we are still here upon this earth, God’s Word does not teach us that nothing will go wrong in the life of a Christian – it does – BUT, we do not have to go through things alone.  He gives the strength we need.  He provides for us in various ways when we go through hard times, He really does – He has done it for me countless times!

For those Christians who have become “lukewarm” towards the things of the Lord, it is time to WAKE UP as time is running out.  Churches that are failing to stick to the Truth of God’s Word; compromising His Word and making it say or not say what it clearly states; failing to preach the True Gospel of Repentance and point people to Jesus as the only way to the Father and to be saved; no longer regard the Bible as the infallible Word of God – are in a very dangerous position.   Revelation teaches that God will spit them out of His mouth as they make Him sick!   The invitation to those churches is this:    “20 Behold, I stand at the door [of the church] and continually knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him (restore him), and he with Me. 21 He who overcomes [the world through believing that Jesus is the Son of God], I will grant to him [the privilege] to sit beside Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down beside My Father on His throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear and heed what the Spirit says to the churches.”  (Rev 3:20 – Amplified)

I end with two verses from a very old hymn written by Edward Mote (1797-1874) based on the 1 Timothy 1:1

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found,
Clothed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne!
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me without delay.

Day Ashton
dayashton.uk@gmail.com

YOU ALSO BE READY FOR IN AN HOUR WHEN YOU DON’T EXPECT, JESUS WILL COME!

 

 

 

 

GOD NEVER SPEAKS TO ME!

God never speaks to me!

Some years ago I heard about a woman who told her friend: “God never speaks to me!”  As the conversation progressed, the friend discovered that this lady seldom read the Bible and seldom prayed …

This lady indeed professed to be a Christian but had never learnt to speak to God in regular prayer, nor had she realized the joy and encouragement of communion with the Saviour through the reading of His precious Word.  How sad is that?

God’s Word is alive.   God speaks to us through His Word if we will only but listen!

Paul, in his second letter to Timothy, tells us that “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work” (3:16-17)

The writer to the Hebrews tells us that “… the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow.  It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires” (Hebrews 4:12)

The psalmist also reminds us that God’s Word is “… is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path” (Ps 119:105).  In verse 130 of the same Psalm, it is encouraging to note that the teaching in God’s Word is so plain, it is possible for everyone to understand: “The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand”.

We need to read God’s Word for in so-doing we can hear Him speak to us.  We need to read His Word prayerfully.  His Word guides our steps, helps us become more like Jesus and helps us overcome evil.  His Word helps us pray according to God’s will.

If you have never heard God speak to you through His Word, make sure you get to know Him as your Saviour in the first instance.

Whether a new Christian or someone who has known the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour for many years, take time daily to read His Word – God’s blueprint and map for our lives.

Read the Bible, God’s infallible Word, prayerfully.  Read it expectantly. 
You will not be disappointed.  

Will your Anchor hold in the storms of life?

The Dangers of the Last Days  – will YOUR Anchor hold?

The New Living Translation puts 2 Timothy 3 as follows:

“You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!  …. (v13)  But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived”

This is exactly what we are seeing around us! As the King James version of the Bible puts it, “Evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:13).   This is a clear picture of what is happening right now as the end of this Age of Grace nears.

I want to ask you, “Who or what is your Anchor?”

When we look around us, what are the major threats?   Certainly not global warming as many would have one believe.  The major threats we are facing are very real and very dangerous:  ISIS, Islamic terrorism, ever-increasing Russian aggression, international drug cartels, ante-Semitism, the rogue nations nuclear activities, or even another looming world-wide economic meltdown, to mention a few.

Other issues that impact our lives in one way or another include illness, loss of loved ones – often in very tragic circumstances, loss of a job, unemployment, marriage breakdown, violence, selfish and uncaring attitudes, the increase of aggression towards Christians – Bible-believing Christians including opposition to Christian Schools and businesses, not to mention the godless life-styles which directly or indirectly impact on us as individuals.

So much instability.   So much insecurity.   So much heartache!

When all around us is changing – with increasing speed, how secure are you?  Is your hope and faith placed in the Solid Rock of Ages, the unchanging God, the Eternal One, the One who is the only Way, the Truth and the Life?   He, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the ONLY anchor that is worth having.  All else cannot save you.

I’m reminded of that good old solid hymn ….

“Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,
Will your anchor drift, or firm remain?

“We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure as the billows roll;
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love!”

My Anchor is Jesus!   Who or what is your anchor?

“18 So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.19 This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. …” (Hebrews 6:19)

 If you need further spiritual help or wish to discuss this issue, please do not hesitate to contact me via the contact form below!

 

CALVARY’S CROSS

The “C” in Calvary stands for the Cross on which the Lord Jesus Christ died to save us Cross with soft cloud backgroundfrom our sins. “For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Romans 3:23) “…… You were His enemies, separated from Him by your evil thoughts & actions, yet now He has brought you back as His friends. He has done this through His death on the cross in His own human body. As a result, He has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault” (Col 1:21&22)

A” is for Atonement. “For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed His blood, sacrificing His life for us” (Rom. 3:25)

Calvary’s “L” stands for the incredible Love with which Jesus loves us. “And here is how to measure it – the greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for their friends” (John 15:13). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (Jn. 3:16) The greatest expression of the love of Christ is seen in His self-sacrifice on Calvary’s cross and in His blood that flowed from His wounded hands and feet.

V” is for the Victory won at the cross of Calvary when Jesus shed His precious blood for us. “He paid (a ransom) for you with the precious life- blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God”(1 Peter 1:19) “For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. How we thank God, who gives us the victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Cor.15:56 & 57)

The second “A” stands for the Assurance we have that if we have confessed our sin and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord, we can know our sins are forgiven and know that we have eternal life. “If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from every wrong” (1 John 1:9)

R” reminds us that Jesus is Risen from the dead. We serve a risen Saviour! “And Jesus Christ our Lord was shown to be the Son of God when God powerfully raised Him from the dead by means of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 1:4) This gives us hope indeed. “If Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless …. but the fact is that Christ has been raised from the dead. He has become the first of a great harvest of those who will be raised to life again” (1 Cor.15:17& 20)

When faced with such love, such sacrificial love … the “Y” stands for Your decision (and mine). What will you do with Jesus? Neutral we cannot be. “Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, ….” (Rev. 3:20)

Dearest Lord Jesus, help us to understand how much you love us. Help us to to respond The Crossand seek to know you as our Risen Saviour. In these difficult days when Christ’s blood and atoning sacrifice is hardly mentioned, help us to realize anew what it cost You to purchase our salvation and deepen our understanding of the meaning and power of your precious blood. Amen.

(* New Living Translation used throughout)

[This is an extract from my book “Moments of Encouragement”]

What is Christmas about anyway?

Carslide0001_image003ols, Christmas lights, parties, presents, food, drinks, shopping, frustration …

Festive music and carols fill the air in almost every shop, restaurant and Shopping Centre. Christmas songs   with no spiritual meaning or message are piped through most shopping malls. According to a fairly recent survey, only one in a 100 cards with any vague reference to the true Christmas message can be found on the shelves of major High Street stores.

A few years ago a very dear friend of mine felt the Lord leading her to make personalized Christiaslide0001_image011n Christmas cards. The message on the front cover stated: “Gifts are for unwrapping”. It was followed by a verse and and pertinent question inside the card: “For God so loved the world (that includes you and me) that He gave His one and only Son”(John 3:16a). It followed on with the question: “Have you unwrapped that gift? …”

This is indeed the real meaning of Christmas. The words in Isaiah get forgotten: “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine” (Isaiah 9:2) We are living in a very dark, evil and frightening world. This message of the coming of the Saviour, is as relevant today as ever before! We need the Saviour, the Lord Jesus slide0001_image010Christ. Whether we care to admit it or not, we are all sinners and need to find forgiveness in the only One who is able to forgive sins. “…and she (Mary) will have a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21) – and that includes you and me!

The world is shouting “Away with the manger!”   Christians should be challenging the world to “put Christ back into Christmas”. Yes, many of the practices at Christmas stem from heathen and pagan festivals and practices, but, despite that, the Christian church uses this time each year to remember the first coming of Jesus to this earth. He was born as a human baby. He was born, as that famous carol states so beautifully: “born that man no more may die; … Born to give them second birth”.

This Christmas, let us meditate on the fact that Jesus came with a purpose – to save people (you and I) from our sins and to give us hope and eternal life.

As we remember His first coming, be ever mindful of the fact that He is coming back again. Having given us time (more than enough) to repent, to turn away from our sins and to live for Him, He will come as Judge for all those who have rejected Him, His gift of salvation and eternal life.

Let us also, this Christmas, ensure we are ready for His return.“Be ye also ready, for the Son of Man cometh at a time when ye think not!” (Luke 12:40)

PS:  Why not listen to this music video?  Where’s the line to see Jesus?

What is Christmas all about?

Carols, Christmas lights, parties, presents, food, drinks, shopping, frustration …

Festive music and carols fill the air in almost every shop, restaurant and Shopping Centre. Christmas songs with no spiritual meaning or message are piped through most shopping malls.  According to a fairly recent survey, only one in a 100 cards with any vague reference to the true Christmas message can be found on the shelves of major High Street stores.

A few years ago a very dear friend of mine felt the Lord leading her to make personalized Christian Christmas cards.   The message on the front cover stated: “Gifts are for unwrapping”.  It was followed by a verse and and pertinent question inside the card: “For God so loved the world (that includes you and me) that He gave His one and only Son”(John 3:16a). It followed on with the question: “Have you unwrapped that gift? …”

This is indeed the real meaning of Christmas.  The words in Isaiah get forgotten: “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine” (Isaiah 9:2)  We are living in a very dark, evil and frightening world.  This message of the coming of the Saviour, is as relevant today as ever before! We need the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Whether we care to admit it or not, we are all sinners and need to find forgiveness in the only One who is able to forgive sins.  “…and she (Mary) will have a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21) – and that includes you and me!

The world is shouting “Away with the manger!” Christians should be challenging the world to “put Christ back into Christmas”. Yes, many of the practices at Christmas stem from heathen and pagan festivals and practices, but, despite that, the Christian church uses this time each year to remember the first coming of Jesus to this earth. He was born as a human baby. He was born, as that famous carol states so beautifully: “born that man no more may die; … Born to give them second birth”.

This Christmas, let us meditate on the fact that Jesus came with a purpose – to save people (you and I) from our sins and to give us hope and eternal life.

As we remember His first coming, be ever mindful of the fact that He is coming back again. Having given us time (more than enough) to repent, to turn away from our sins and to live for Him, He will come as Judge for all those who have rejected Him, His gift of salvation and eternal life.

Let us also, this Christmas, ensure we are ready for His return. “Be ye also ready, for the Son of Man cometh at a time when ye think not!” (Luke 12:40)