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Archive for August 2012

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Partakers Friday Prayers!

31st August 2012!

We pray together and when Christians pray together, from different nations, different churches and different denominations - that reveals Church unity! Come! Let us pray and praise together!

  • Opening prayers
  • Confession
  • Praise
  • Petitions
  • Doxology (as sung by Jeff Wooldridge)

Amen!

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Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

30th August 2012

Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

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What a glorious promise to hang on to, the most powerful person in the universe has plans for you and me. These plans are for our good. I think this is what prosper means in the context above it doesn’t mean God plans to make us all billionaires. He does however promise to supply all our needs and in a climate like Great Britain – that means a roof over our head and food and water and clothes.

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He has our future in His hands, it is a future to look forward to in wonder and awe at what God is going to do with our lives. He says they are plans to give us hope, so if your life isn’t the way you want it at the moment , hang on in there, God’s going to change it, all you have to do is be obedient.

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God loves us so much, this promise proves it for me and if God has declared it, it must be true and it will come to pass. So you can tell Satan to go away, the next time He makes you despair of your future and quote this verse out loud, then believe it.

~

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Things To Come

Some of the final words of the Bible are in Revelation 22v7 Jesus speaking “Behold, I am coming soon! To which the Apostle John replies in Revelation 22v20, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”

As Christian Disciples living almost 2000 years after Jesus spoke those words, this is our hope – to be with Him who is coming again. He who is the object of our faith, worship and life of discipleship! And not just Christian Disciples talk about the “end of the world as we know it”.

There are a plethora of books written about it from all sorts of people, from all sorts of backgrounds with all sorts of opinions. But what does the Bible say about the time when Jesus comes again and how are we to respond to this fact? What does the Bible say about the future things to come, seeing as it is the authorative source for the Christian Disciple?

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1. The Second Coming of Jesus

I will come back and take you to be with me (John 14v3). He will come back the same way He went to heaven (Acts 1v11)

When will He come?

  • No-one human knows (Matthew 24v36)
  • It will be unexpected (1 Thessalonians 5v1-3)
  • There will be signs preceding His coming (Matthew 24)
  • When the gospel has been preached in the whole world (Matthew 24v14)

2. Our Response to Eschatological Prophecy

  • Be ready, waiting, watching and working (Matthew 24v42-44).
  • Be alert, self-controlled, sanctified and encouraging of each other (1 Thessalonians 5v6-8, 11)

3. Different Responses to Eschatological Prophecy

The three main schools of prophetic interpretation are Amillenialism, Postmillenialism & Premillenialism. These 3 views depend on whether the prophetic parts of Scripture are to be interpreted literally or figuratively (Spiritually). I wont tell you my opinion as to which I think is the correct interpretation, but let you decide that for your self!

  • Amillenial View - Primarily a figurative/spiritual interpretation. This view sees the O.T. promises to Israel are being fulfilled in the church. The Millennium is the reign of Christ in the Church - the new Israel. The Church is already experiencing tribulation.
  • Postmillenial View - Christ will return at the end of the millennium - a golden age of the Church.
  • Premillenial View - Christ will return to set up His kingdom on earth for 1000 years (Revelation 19v1-7). God promises to Israel of restoration, a future king and temple will await fulfilment. God has a separate programme for the Church.

4. Second Coming of Christ

The Premillenial view sees 2 stages in the second coming:

  • His coming in the rapture. This is when Jesus Christ returns to take His people to be with Him (1 Thessalonians 4v16). The dead in Christ are raised and the living are changed (1 Corinthians 15v51-54)
  • His coming to Earth (Revelation - parousia). He will return to the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14v4; Acts 1v11). He will come with power and glory (Matthew 24v30) and everyone will see Him.

5. Christ’s return to Earth

  • To judge the antichrist and his followers (Revelation 16v12-16, 19v11-16)
  • To bind Satan (Revelation 20v1-3) during the Millennium. Amillenialists see this as having already been done. However, Satan is still the ruler of this world (John 16v11).
  • To save Israel (Zechariah 14v1-3). Israel will repent, recognizing the One they pierced (Zechariah 12v10-13v1; Romans 11).
  • To judge the nations (Matthew 25v31-46; Joel 3v11-17)

6. Premillenial return of Christ

Christ will come and set up an earthly kingdom for 1000 years (Revelation 20v2-7). Amillenialists see this as speaking figuratively about Christ’s current reign in the Church.

7. History of Premillenialism and Amillenialism

The view of the church for the first 2 centuries was of a literal millennial return of Jesus Christ after the Holy Spirit’s return. Early church fathers such as Papias, Ireneaus and Justin Martyr taught this, and these men were not far removed from the Apostle John. Origen promoted the figurative (spiritual) method of interpretation and Augustine developed an Amillenial view, identifying the Church with the fulfillment of the O.T. promises to Israel and this became official Roman Catholic doctrine. Many scholars returned to the Premillenial (literal) view after the Reformation.

8. Pre-tribulation Return of Christ

Rapture - The tribulation is a time of judgment for unrepentant men (2 Thessalonians 2v9-12). God’s people would be excluded from such judgment (1 Thessalonians 1v9-10; 5v9). The Lord will come suddenly bringing destruction, while people are saying ‘peace and safety’ (1 Thessalonians 5v1-3). These conditions will exist before the Rapture, but not at the end of the tribulation.

Resurrection - The bodily resurrection of the dead, saved and unsaved, is clearly taught in Bible (John 5v28-29; Acts 24v15). Christ’s resurrection is the guarantee of our resurrection (1 Corinthians 15v20-22)

Christian Disciples

  • Like Christ’s glorious body (1 Corinthians 15v49; Philippians 3v21; 1 John 3v2)
  • Not flesh and blood (1 Corinthians 15v50ff)
  • Not partly spiritual (Luke 24v39; 1 Corinthians 15v42, 53)

Unbelievers

  • They will be resurrected (John 5v28-29) and cast into the lake of fire

Timing of the resurrection

  • 1st Resurrection - when Christ comes in the air to take Christian Disciples (1 Corinthians 15v23; 1 Thessalonians 4v16); some place resurrection of O.T. saints at the end of the tribulation.
  • 2nd Resurrection - Resurrection of the unsaved after the Millennium (Revelation 20v5, 11-13)

Judgment - Certainty of judgment - He will judge the whole world with justice (Acts 17v31). Humanity is destined to die once and after that to face judgment. (Hebrews 9v27)

The Judge - God is the judge of all the earth (Hebrews 12v23). The Father has given all judgment to the Son (John 5v22-27)

Judgment of Christian Disciples

  • Christian Disciples will not be judged for sin - this has been judged already (Isaiah 53v4-6; 1 Peter 2v24)
  • Christian Disciples will be judged for their works. We will give an account of ourselves to God (Romans 14v10). We will be judged according to our works (2 Corinthians 5v10). The quality of our work will be tested (1 Corinthians 3v11-15). Our motives will be exposed either for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 4v4-5) or for our own glory.
  • We will give account of the opportunities and abilities entrusted to us (Matthew 25v14-30)
  • Rewards may be gained or lost (1 Corinthians 3v14-15)
  • Incorruptible crown (1 Corinthians 9v25)
  • Crown of glory (1 Peter 5v4)
  • Crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4v8)
  • Crown of rejoicing (1 Thessalonians 2v19)
  • Crown of life (James 1v12)

Judgment of unbelievers

  • The Great White Throne of Judgment (Revelation 20v11-15).
  • After the Millennium (Revelation 20v11-15, 21v8).
  • They will be cast into the lake of fire with satan and his angels (Revelation 20v15; Matthew 25v41). This punishment is eternal (Matthew 25v46).

For more to think about please do. Ask yourself the following questions, writing them down if you can, and see how you respond or react to them. Then why not share your answers with your spouse or a close friend, so that you can pray over any issues together.

Q1. Read 1 Thessalonians 5v6-11. How am I living out these Scripture in my life as a Christian Disciple?

Q2. Read 2 Corinthians 5v10. If I were to give an account of my work today, what would occur?

Q3. Read Matthew 25v31-46. As a Christian Disciple, how does this affect my urgency to tell others about the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

You can make a comment by clicking on the word "Comment" below! Thank you!

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Think Spot

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Think Spot 27th August 2012

How is your reading going?

When I was first converted over 45 years ago I was privileged to be converted in a church which had regular expository preaching and keen prayer meetings as well as a strong support for several missionaries abroad and in England. Week following week we had a feast of good things as we were taught on Sunday evenings the depth of the meaning of each of the Ten Commandments from Exodus 20. On each of those same Sundays in the mornings we went through a section of Paul's letter to the Colossians a few verses at a times. I had no idea how important this type of teaching was for me. I didn’t realise at the time how privileged I was.

Little did I know also that God had carefully arranged my spiritual education to prepare me for future ministry. He called me first to Missionary work in London. “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” ( Luke 5:1ff)

I was then encouraged to wait upon the Lord for a clear word from Him to lead me into such a valuable, important and necessary work in an extremely hard place, a city with a multitude of different nationalities and religions, where only a sovereign God could break through . This teaching concerning God's almighty power was so vital for me to grasp before I began. “Go now therefore and I shall be with your mouth and teach you what to say” Exodus 4:12.

Before church membership it had been a regular feature I believe, to be taught three important teaching sessions on three major doctrines, Justification, Sanctification and Glorification. Yes we were certainly grounded in the faith and discipled which was so important when about to be sent into such a challenging work for God. This work in London witnessed God moving in and changing peoples lives of all ages through His powerful Word. This was followed by various Bible teaching posts in evangelical churches throughout the country. Time and time again I praised God for such a great education at the beginning of my christian life. Such brilliant preachers and mature Christians ready and available and so willing to help a young believer.

Now retired and having a lot of time to write devotional booklets to help all kinds of Christian through my life experiences I can now advise from personal experience which good Christian books to read which have helped me. Two questions I would like to ask as I look at the church today. First I ask “Is discipleship such an important part of a regular church programme today?” I think of Jesus called his disciples for three years training before He sent them into the mission field.

The second question I ask is how much do Christians read today of Christian Doctrine and experience? I thought I would share my knowledge of good christian authors and books which have helped build me up in my faith and have been such a help to me in all kinds of different situations which needed clear understanding of how to deal with them.

Books on Prayer which have helped me are Hallesby on Prayer as well as David Pawson's teaching online on the subject of “The Lord's Prayer” from the Sermon on the Mount, so helpful to build you up in your faith in addition to your regular dipping into the Scriptures to feed your souls. Prayer is not easy and can he helped by lessons learned by these men of God.

The first books I was given to read as a new christian were JC Ryle's “Expository Thoughts on the Gospels.” These are still excellent to use in your daily devotions today so easy to read and understand and divided very helpfully into useful portions to use on a daily basis. I recommend them highly. USB Notes are also very helpful and “Our Daily Bread” from RBC Carnforth.

But in addition to this form of study may I suggest you read regularly biographies of some great men and women of God from the past. I was helped early on in my Christian life in reading Charles Haddon Spurgeon's Biography “The Early Years” and the second volume called “The Full Harvest” He was one of the greatest preachers this world has ever known. His writings are still popular today 150 years after his death.

Corrie Ten Boom books are much smaller but excellent reading. If you need further encouragement in prayer then read the narratives of George Mueller and Billy Bray the Cornishman's story “The Kings Son” which was also so helpful to me. Finally Pilgrims Progress by John Bumyon is a must for every Christian written now in modern English. And there are so many more.

Paul the apostle wrote “Study to yourself approved of God” In his epistles he makes it clear that we should give attention to reading and when in prison he asked his friends to bring him the parchments. There is a wealth of good christian literature, but we need to be guided into what is really useful for us. We can waste a lot of money without the right advice from more seasoned Christians who we know and trust. Ask for their help and take care and may God richly bless your reading and listening.

Joys Prayer Dear Lord and loving Heavenly Father,

You have taught us today how important it is to not stand still in our christian life. To make sure we grow in knowledge and in our understanding of the Holy Scriptures. Forgive us for laziness and being distracted by other things such as Television and other social pursuits which have been additional to what is really necessary in our lives.

We are thankful Lord for Christian programmes on TV and we know the need to keep ourselves fit and healthy with exercise but we also know how these things can slip in and replace our prayer life and our life of usefulness to You. Please forgive us and recharge us as we listen to Bible teaching or read Christian books which are helpful for us to maintain our souls and to enlarge our hearts and minds.

We are made aware through Scripture we are in a battle and need all the resources we can get to strengthen and equip us for each days battle and in our daily witness to your marvellous Truth. Our love for you Lord is always in response to Your love for us and we want to show Your love to all we come into contact with each morning whether at work, in retirement or in the social world.

Lord help us to be shining lights for You and may we never forget to give You all the glory and praise due to Your Holy Name. In Jesus Name

Amen

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Partakers Friday Prayers!

24th August 2012!

We pray together and when Christians pray together, from different nations, different churches and different denominations - that reveals Church unity!

Today we are specifically praying for churches and church services this weekend! Come join in! Play & download the video!

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Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

23rd August 2012

Luke 10:38-42 tell the story of two sisters. Jesus drops in for a visit and Mary sits at His feet listening to Him whilst her sister makes preparations for the meal. Martha complains to Jesus that Mary has left her to do all the work but Jesus says that Mary has chosen the best thing.

How often do we fill our lives with church meetings, church activities and leave out the most important thing - spending time with God? Of course there is a place for church meetings and house groups and prayer meetings but sometimes we miss out doing the things that God would have us do like visiting those in prison or hospital, feeding the hungry, befriending the lonely because we simply don’t have any time to do those things after we’ve been to all our church meetings.

So take time out to ask God which meetings He wants you to attend, you may be surprised at the result. And then if He frees up some time for you ask Him what He wants you to do instead, it may be joining the local golf club so you can tell people there about Jesus or it may be spending time with your family. But you won’t know until you ask.

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