Tomorrow’s World

We’ve been thinking about how we can live faithfully now in a world full of evil, suffering and temptation. How can we continue to trust God through trials and troubles? How can we resist temptation? How can we keep going? Continue reading

Millenium

On Sunday, we discovered that Satan’s power is finite and temporary as we looked at Revelation 20:1-6. This is the primary point that we should take away from those verses. Pastorally this makes it a deeply encouraging passage.

However, as I pointed out in the sermon.

  1. These verses have been the source of controversy over the years as people have debated exactly when and how Satan’s power will be limited
  2. Although we have just a short passage here, people have often decided their interpretation of the book of Revelation and indeed the Bible’s whole teaching on eschatology from these few verses.

In a sermon, I don’t really have the time to unpack all the options, nor do I think that would be the best use of my time. However, it may be that some would like a little bit more background and explanation. So here it is. My plan is to first of all give an overview of the different positions taken and then give a short explanation of why I’ve landed on the interpretation I have. Continue reading

The State we are in

We are thinking about the different worldviews and ideologies that underpin different political approaches and how Christians should engage with them.  One important factor to consider is our attitude to the State. Continue reading

Victory (Revelation 19-20)

“Come away from her my people, do not take part in her sins?” (Revelation 18:4).

This verse is a call to God’s people to be separate from “Babylon” the code name representing this World’s opposition to God and his people. Continue reading

The Enemy of God’s people (Revelation 17-18)

If the world at times seems cruel, unjust and ungodly, it’s not a new phenomenon.   If Governments seem to legislate against God’s Law and the markets encourage greed and selfishness then there is nothing new under The Sun. If our culture encourages sexual immorality, the objectification of women and the sexualisation of youngsters then its only following age old traditions. Continue reading

Singing in the midst of suffering – the reality for urban churches

On Sunday, we looked at Revelation 15-16 and we saw that God’s people are seen here singing, even though they have been suffering terrible persecution and living in a world under judgement. Our main application was that we could “sing even when suffering.”  By this we did not merely mean the ability to join in on a Sunday but singing as representing an expression of joy, trust and hope in the Lord throughout the work demonstrated by how we act and what we say, particularly about the gospel.

We noted two challenges to this:

1.       It may seem easier for those who have already come through the other side to “sing” than for those of us still in the midst of life’s troubles

2.       It is hard to have that sense of joy and hope when what we want to do is seek vengeance for what others have done.

Now, let’s be blunt, the second item is not trivial or light. I realise that when I preach a message of this kind there are people who will have experienced deep and painful suffering and abuse. A congregation may include: Continue reading

Plagues (Revelation 15-16)

The crowd are singing noisily “Going up, going up, going up.” Then against the break of play, the opposition striker gets through, one on one against the keeper, he calmly slots the ball into the bottom left corner.”

Silence falls on the ground. Then the away fans begin to chant “You’re not singing anymore” and “You only sing when you’re winning.”

It’s Sunday morning.  We stand to sing. You open your mouth and nothing comes out. You are just too overwhelmed, crushed, weary. How can you sing this morning when there’s so much trouble and uncertainty in the World? How can you sing after the week you’ve had, after your neighbour said what they did to you …and after what you said back?  How can you sing when you think about what is coming up this week -another one of your colleagues is going to be bullied out of their job because they are too old, senior and therefore too expensive? You’ve seen it coming for a while and you know it won’t be long before they come for you. How can you sing when you’ve watched the news and seen a Christian politician bullied by an angry interviewer demanding that they own up to believing something in the Bible that our world considers offensive? There’s another 7 weeks to come of politicians parading their self-interest? Continue reading