Category Archives: Jesus
Do not abuse ‘grace’
from Pastor Mel
A few years back this term “greasy grace” was frequently thrown about in the Christian community.
It referred to the idea of God’s grace being abused like the bloke who goes out willfully sinning during the week, gets forgiveness from the priest at confession and then he’s off again.
Abuse of grace is certainly warned against in the Bible e.g. “Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves,” says 1Peter 2:16.
Similarly, Paul in Galatians 5:13 warns: “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”
The fact of the matter is we all fail as believers somewhere along the way, and we struggle to overcome bad habits, thoughts and actions, so we certainly need grace, which is central to Christian living.
Learning to live in that grace is a profound, ongoing spiritual experience, usually found when our focus is off ourselves and doing things to serve others, or when we are honest and open before God with our brokenness and seeking His help.
Until next time …
by Pastor Mel
Biblical freedom = true freedom
We don’t need to lecture people who read Cairns News about the importance of freedom in Australia.
The Bible’s major themes are centred on the ideas of “freedom” and “liberty”, but diverge from popular ideas of freedom.
Many of us will know the story of Moses bringing the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt or the famous words of the prophet Isaiah (61:1): “The Spirit of the Lord Jehovah is on Me; because Jehovah has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound…”
Isaiah’s prophecy looks ahead to the ministry of Jesus, in physically and spiritually setting free the people of his time on earth and in the future.
Jesus confirmed this in John 8:35-36 in a heated confrontation with some unbelieving Israelites: “A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know you are Abraham’s descendants, but you are trying to kill Me because My word has no place within you.…”
As we know, Jesus went on to suffer a cruel death at the hands of his countrymen and their Roman rulers, but rose again from death to life to reveal his power and confirm himself as the Son of God.
St Paul, the main persecutor of the early church who turned key witness for it, made the profound, big-picture statement in Romans 8:20-21 that the entire creation is destined for freedom: “The creation waits in eager expectation for the revelation of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not by its own will, but because of the One who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”
The same St Paul also had much to say about freedom to the Galatian church that had come under the sway of Judaizers i.e. those Jews who wanted to impose legalistic, Pharisee-like practices on the church.
In Galatians 5:1 Paul states: “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
But most importantly, Paul underlines that freedom in Christ is not simply being free “to do what you like”. “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” (5:13)
True freedom puts aside selfishness and takes a higher path where reward is neither sought nor expected but where love is exercised for the benefit of others.
from Pastor Mel
What’s your world view? Is your world one of random, chance happenings which you may or may not be able to control?
Are you just waiting until your “number comes up”?
That’s a brutal, evolutionary view of life and humanity and one totally contradicted by the Christian faith.
Genesis 1, in the first book of the Old Testament, it says “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
In the last book, the Book of the Revelation of St John (popularly known as “Revelations”), Jesus appears to John the apostle on the island of Patmos.
John records: “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. But He placed His right hand on me and said, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last, the Living One. I was dead, and behold, now I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of Death and of Hades.”
In the biblical world view, everything begins and ends with God.
Many people are fearful and anxious about all manner of things, but Jesus Christ says “do not worry, look at the birds of the air and how well they are provided for, and the lilies of the field and how beautiful they are”!
Have faith. Press in and seek the Lord God, somehow, some way. You might even go to a church somewhere. Jesus Christ is not a dictator. But He seeks, by the Holy Spirit sent by the Father, those whose hearts are open to Him.
by Lex Stewart
I interpret world history and politics in the light of what is written in the Holy Bible, which is the true, the infallible Word of God.
Jesus was God manifest in the flesh, and was a non-political non-violent teacher etc.
John the Baptist called Jesus the “Lamb of God” i.e. the sacrifice to take away our sins. The purpose of his coming to Earth was primarily to suffer unfair crucifixion and rise from the dead. Therefore he is alive in physical form somewhere in this Universe, and is available to come back to Earth.
Jesus said (and other parts of the Bible also state) that He will come back to Earth for multiple purposes, one being that he will finally be accepted by the Jews as their Messiah.
Jesus will come back not as the Lamb of God but as the “Lion of Judah”, as a violent warrior, leading an army to defeat (at the place “Armageddon”) the armies of the new world ruler, “the Antichrist”.
The restoration of Israel in 1948 as a nation is a miracle unprecedented in world history, and it was predicted in various parts of the Bible, some parts having been written centuries before Christ came.
Jesus said that some of the people who see Israel restored will still be alive when he returns. That therefore means that Jesus will be back here before about 2048, or sooner, perhaps 2020! Jesus said that nobody can know the exact day of his return.
However, just as the Bible gives us many signs that predicted Jesus’ first coming, what he would do and what would happen to him, then so too the Bible tells us what will happen shortly before Jesus comes back the second time, what will happen when he returns, and afterwards.
Signs/ events leading up to the return of Jesus Christ the second time:
Attempts in history to exterminate the Jews (e.g. the Inquisition, Hitler’s holocaust, Russia etc)
The emergence of the theory of evolution (based on uniformitarianism not catastrophism)
The re-gathering of Jews into their own land, and the re-birth of the nation of Israel
The prospering and wealth of Israel, and their military might
Then Russia, Iran, Libya will invade Israel, at a time when Saudi Arabia is supportive of Israel, and Britain and USA will not come to the aid of Israel
A sudden increase in sodomy and a decline in marriages between men and women
Declines in attitudes among Christians, and an increase in deceivers, so that Jesus refers to His Church as a mixture of true believers and superficial believers with no inward change
Huge increases in the economy, in scientific knowledge and in high-speed transport
Nuclear weapons (described as unprecedented destruction with mushroom fire clouds)
Turbulence in world politics, leading to people crying out for a strong world leader
Increasing rejection by more people of the traditional Judeo-Christian values, which have been the foundations of stable, just societies
Moves towards a cashless society, a ‘one-world’ government that controls personal finances
Moves towards a ‘one-world’ government, which will be led by a clever flatterer called “the Antichrist” who will rule a one-world government for either 3.5 or 7 years.
Before that world government occurs, Jesus will supernaturally summon true Christians up into Heaven for what He refers to as a “supper” celebration to absent them from the horrible events occurring on Earth in what Jesus called “the Great Tribulation” that lasts 3.5 or 7 years.
It is up to each one of us how we prepare for the return of Jesus Christ, both in our personal lives and in the ways that we help our neighbours e.g. how we contribute to politics and the economy.
It is our duty before God to attempt to slow down the decline, to be as Jesus says “salt and light”