Great Sermons Are Not Preached, They Are Lived!

I once heard, “Great sermons are not preached, they are lived.”

How challenging it is for us to read our Bibles every morning, and to absorb the teachings contained therein, and to put these powerful teachings into practice.

Let’s be completely honest about this; it’s very tough being a Christian and giving our life to Christ when we inhabit a body that is being tempted to sin!

That is why, in my humble opinion, it is absolutely essential that we spend as much time as possible each morning with our Heavenly Father, asking Him to prepare us for the day ahead and to help us and protect us from all the sinful opportunities being offered to us by Satan.

I know sometimes it’s hard to spend time with Jesus first thing in the morning.

But He knows what each day holds for us, and He longs to prepare us for every single problem He sees coming our way during the day.

Let’s accept His invitation to sit with Him. Let’s listen to Him intently. And let’s ask Him to intervene before our natural reactions to events betray our best intentions.

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Advertisements

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

Although it is only during the past four years that I became a Christian and accepted our Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour, as I read my Bible and Pray, every day, I find myself drawing ever closer to our Heavenly Father and experiencing an ever-deepening relationship with Him.

In my reborn life, I always put God first and am obedient to His will. And it is through His grace and mercy that He gave me a Healing Miracle when I lay in my bed ‘dying’.

Before I was saved I was a serial sinner – but our Father God, in His loving and infinite wisdom, showed me that He had forgiven all my past sins and misdeeds and that now was the time when I could start afresh!

Living a sinless life is far from easy, there are temptations lurking around every corner and Satan is always trying to distract me by offering me the opportunity to do things that would be displeasing to God.

But with the guidance and protection of our Father God I tell Satan that he must leave me alone; that I am not interested in anything that he tries to offer me, and that he must stop trying to interfere in my life.

Whenever I face challenging decisions in my life, where choices are involved, if I ask the one question, “What would Jesus do?”, the answer is usually plain and simple.

When God created our world, the seventh day – the Sabbath – He intended it to be a day of rest. And for thousands of years the Sabbath Day – Sunday – was a day when no work was done.

It was, in my humble view, a great mistake and an error of judgement by those who approved the change in the law, for Sunday to become just another day in the week.

Satan must be jumping up and down with joy and happiness when he sees how much the Church is declining because people are being seduced away from the church because there are now so many leisure activities for people to attend that take them away from God.

Sadly, many traditional church-goers are being pressurised by their non-Christian friends and family to go out with them on Sundays, taking the children to Amusement Parks, Football Matches etc.etc.

And these ‘Christians’ are too weak to stand up for their beliefs and still attend their church regardless of the demands of their family and friends, who long ago have forsaken the Lord our God.

When I was a child, my parents insisted that I went to Church every Sunday morning, and my Sunday School was always full because other parents also insisted that my friends should go to Sunday School.

I was not allowed to go out to play with my friends on  Sundays and my parents never went anywhere on a Sunday, except, of course, to Church.

But, as I grew up, away from the influence and control of my parents, I became a backslider and indeed continued to be a backslider until Jesus saved me four years ago.

Perhaps the style of worship needs to change to encourage younger people to go to church? Many of the churches I have visited these past four years consist mainly of elderly people, who have been members of their church for many years; they are very happy and content to worship in their own cocooned comfort zone!

From my visionary standpoint, the main problem is that many of the church services are lifeless and (please forgive me, Lord) DULL. It is thus easy to see why young people fail to be attracted to the Church.

I have seen videos of church services in America where the young people take a prominent part, often through music. Music can prove very uplifting to the soul – and young people love charismatic hymns and tunes that are a very long way from anything written by Charles Wesley.

Churches here in the UK need to wake up and alter their modus operandi to meet the needs and expectations of the 21st Century generation of young people!

My wife, Marlene, and I now attend The Christian Centre in Ebbw Vale. The Christian Centre is an Apostolic Church with an ever-growing congregation, with a higher percentage of young people than many churches today.

It is a vibrant church. Every Sunday there are Worship and Praise Services and the singing is breath-taking. The anointing is very POWERFUL.

Where is the church (all churches) heading? Personally, I would love the old Biblical Teachings to manifest themselves into our 21st Century lives.

But times they-are-a-changing and with the ever-present internet (especially Facebook) we are now living in a world of which Moses could never have dreamt!

Here are some signs that the church is asleep:

  • The absence of conviction of sin
  • A lack of the fear of God
  • Little sense of outrage over the godlessness of society
  • Watching pornography and feeling justified
  • Avarice, greed and lack of financial integrity
  • No sense of outrage over the Church’s lack of credibility in the world
  • Little or no concern about people going to hell
  • Little concern about the lack of knowledge of God’s word
  • Indifference to the biblical view of marriage
  • Indifference to holding grudges and unforgiveness
  • Indifference to talking to people about Christ
  • Tolerating heresies such as open theism and hyper-grace teaching
  • Indifference to the teaching that the Bible is infallible
  • Indifference to how much time is spent in prayer and quiet time

When I was saved, and gave my heart to Jesus I thought that all Christians frequently read the Bible and prayed, at least once, every day.

But it didn’t take me long to discover the truth – that the average Christian doesn’t pick up, or look at, a Bible from one Sunday to the next.

Can we honestly say that we are ready for the Second Coming of Christ?

AW Tozer wrote that if the Holy Spirit were completely withdrawn from the Church, “95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference”.

Tozer is undoubtedly correct. Only a very few churches that I have attended since being saved have had the presence of the Holy Spirit. Very few Ministers and Lay Preachers ever refer to the Holy Spirit in their sermons and my impression is that very few members of their congregations know what the Holy Spirit does and can do for them.

Many Biblical Scholars believe that the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25: 1-13) is eschatological – referring to the last days. I am sure that God meant this parable to be prophetic.

This parable refers to the customs of the Jews, when celebrating a marriage. The bridegroom used to go in the evening to fetch home his bride by the light of oil lamps. These were carried by bridesmaids (the ‘virgins’), which could be as many as ten, and when they arrived at the bride’s house, there was a feast awaiting them.

Christ is the bridegroom of the church and those who are of the true faith are the companions of the bride, and they are patiently awaiting the arrival of Christ.

However, this does not refer to all Christians; some Christians cannot be included because they have strayed from the Lord’s pathway and are only lukewarm and synthetic Christians.

Of the ten bridesmaids/virgins mentioned “five were wise, and five were foolish”.

The foolish virgins had lamps, but no oil in their vessels to replenish them with: that is, they had enough religious knowledge to make a plausible appearance but their hearts were not truly sanctified and stored with holy affections and dispositions by the newly creating Spirit of God.

But the wise virgins already had oil in their lamps as well as a firm foundation in the Word of God.

In Matthew 25: 5 Jesus is saying that because the bridegroom took some time in coming, both the wise virgins and the foolish virgins fell asleep.

The five wise virgins, who have extra oil, represent those who are ready for that which is going to come; they are preparing themselves with great enthusiasm and excitement for the Second Coming and the return of Christ.

They not only have faith in Christ but they trust him implicitly and they are determined to wait patiently, for as long as they need, for Christ to return.

The five wise virgins have real grace in their hearts and who are, notwithstanding occasional lapses through sleepiness, in habitual readiness to meet Christ, either in death or in judgement, and they shall graciously be permitted to have eternal fellowship with Christ in His heavenly kingdom.

But the five foolish virgins represent false believers, who profess to know Gospel truths but they are more concerned about their worldly wealth and enjoying themselves rather than any deep desire to see the bridegroom (Jesus).

Their hope is that because they are associated with true Christians this will be enough to bring them into the Kingdom of God at the End Days.

The foolish virgins, when awakened through death or judgement, will soon discover that all their false truths will come to nothing and that their pleas for salvation will be too late and that they themselves will be permanently excluded from fellowship with Christ.

For in Matthew 25: 11-12 it is written: –

11 Afterwards came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

And in Matthew 7: 21-23 we read: –

21 Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name, have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

This parable dynamically demonstrates the wisdom and profound effect of being ready and the devastating effect that will take place if one is unready and unprepared,

The five wise virgins, being ready, were admitted to the marriage feast, but the door was then immediately shut; and the five foolish virgins, coming afterwards, were denied admission and disowned by the bridegroom, as persons with whom He had no acquaintance.

Are you prepared for His Second Coming?

Will you be invited to the Lord’s Table?

AmenThe Ten VirginsThe Ten Virgins from the Self-Interpreting Bible published in 1778

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

The Christian Art of the Rev John Brown

I am in the process of creating paperback versions of all my kindle books.

Today it is the turn of The Christian Art of the Rev John Brown.

The Christian Art of the Rev John Brown (1722-1787) includes many coloured and black and white pictures/templates which were originally published in the Self-Interpreting Bible of the Rev John Brown in 1778.

All the pictures are beautiful and truly inspiring.

To order my new book, please go to:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1520795998

I know that you will be enthralled by the wonderful pictures, which first saw the light of day in The Self Interpreting Bible published by the Rev John Brown.

God Bless

Geoffrey

Blackrock Books

And a very good morning to you.

God is with you today and every day. Before I was saved nearly four years ago I was a serial sinner. I must have broken at least half of the Ten Commandments!

But since our Father God made His divine presence known to me my belief system has been totally renovated and revamped!

It is not an easy pathway that I can assure you. Many of the ‘Christians’ I have met seem, somehow, very shallow and synthetic. Many of them do not pick up a Bible from one Sunday to the next.

I have always been a writer/author, even before Jesus saved me. I have written a fair number of Christian orientated e-books.

I have just created an online store:-

https://blackrock-books.myshopify.com/

and I warmly invite you to take a look.

What kind of Christian are you? I hope that you will take the time to visit my new online bookstore – and even to purchase one or two books – there are most definitely books in my store for all Christians.

And to give you some encouragement (if you need it) when you enter the code 222444 when making a purchase or purchases you will receive a £3 discount if you spend more than £10.

I hope that you find my new online store full of interest.

Have a wonder-full day, in every way

God Bless

Geoffrey

Torment in the Land of the Kings

Legend held that Laksh’s homeland had been cursed for generations. Long ago, it is said, kings used it as a place to dispose of dead bodies and other refuse, and now spirits roamed the land, tormenting the people. When one of the spirits attacked Laksh’s wife, however, he knew she wasn’t suffering because of dead kings. This was the work of jealous neighbors.

 Neighbours Send Evil Spirit to Attack Woman

Laksh and his wife, Udgita, lived a contented life with their two children, but their neighbours weren’t as fortunate. The family members often fought with each other, and it pained them to see Laksh and Udgita’s happiness. Unable to achieve the same fulfillment, they lashed out at Udgita with a spell of black magic.

One day, Udgita closed her eyes and began murmuring things no one could understand. When people came near, she grew fearful, thinking they were trying to harm her. The same episode happened again the next month and the month after that.

A local witch doctor named Daivya began treating Udgita as the monthly attacks came, but the attacks only worsened. Now, when the evil spirit came, Udgita became violent with increased strength, ripping off her clothes and refusing to let others come near her.

One of Laksh’s relatives suggested visiting a Gospel for Asia-supported pastor, Chanchal, who had prayed for other people harassed by spirits and had seen them released, but Laksh felt uneasy approaching a pastor of a different faith. He could only hope Daivya’s treatments would begin to work soon.

Torment in the Land of Kings

Pastor Offers Prayers

Udgita’s condition didn’t improve, and life still carried the same responsibilities. Laksh had bills to pay and errands to run. He was picking up some things from the store when he happened to run into Pastor Chanchal.

Casually chatting as they got ready to buy their things, Laksh put away his fear of the pastor and shared about the spell placed on his wife by their neighbors. Pastor Chanchal told Laksh about God’s love and assured him that he would visit the family soon.

Still worried, Laksh allowed Daivya to come over one more time, but while the witch doctor was in the middle of his rituals, Laksh saw Pastor Chanchal coming. Laksh told Daivya to leave the room and let the pastor take charge of Udgita’s situation, but Daivya wasn’t quick to give up his role.

“It will do more harm to your wife to involve two different religions in this matter,” Daivya warned. “I am almost at the end of doing rites. Let me complete it.”

Laksh insisted the witch doctor stop, convinced Pastor Chanchal could save his wife. Several visiting neighbors supported his decision. While Udgita slept quietly in the other room, Pastor Chanchal sat down in the living room and began reading aloud from the Bible.

Suddenly, Udgita began to shout.

Woman Lashes Out As Pastor Prays

Udgita demanded that someone close the door to her room and quickly became violent. She tore down the mosquito net over her bed and ripped off her clothes.

Unable to enter the now half-naked woman’s room himself, Pastor Chanchal told Laksh to go to Udgita and control her, but Laksh was afraid to approach her. His wife’s strength had been increasing under the evil spirit’s power, making her violent display a serious threat to anyone who came near her.

Families and individuals often seek prayer from pastors, just as Laksh reached out to Pastor Chanchal.

Torment in the Land of Kings

“Nothing will happen to you because I will be praying to the Lord here,” Pastor Chanchal assured him.

Once again, Laksh swallowed his fear and, desperate to save his wife, faced the demon inside her.

Woman Released from Torment

When Pastor Chanchal (not pictured) began reading from the Bible and praying for Udgita, the woman became so violent that even her husband feared her.

Pastor Chanchal prayed fervently as Laksh walked into the other room, and to the amazement of Daivya and the other visitors, peace descended on the home. As the pastor spoke with His God, Udgita became calm.

As soon as he realized what had happened, Daivya rushed over to Pastor Chanchal and asked for the booklet he had used to drive out the evil spirit.

“I did not use any magic book like you,” Pastor Chanchal said, “but I used the Word of God. I have no Bible to give you, but what I can give you is this piece of literature. The Word of God is written in it. You may read it.”

That evening, Daivya couldn’t stop reading the literature. The next morning, he came to Pastor Chanchal’s house full of questions, and by the end of their visit, he had found his answers in Jesus Christ.

“I want you to come over to my house,” Daivya told the pastor, “and if you could help me remove all the religious booklets [and] charms, it would be so kind of you. I will now go to my teachers, and I will tell them of the new things I have learned about Christ.”

Woman’s Husband and Former Witch Doctor Share Christ’s Love

Having seen God’s tremendous power, Laksh and Udgita also decided to follow Christ, and like Daivya, Laksh began telling his co-workers about the One who had given his family new life.

Torment in the Land of Kings

This man pores over a piece of literature, just as Ugdita’s witch doctor was desperate to know more about the Word.

Torment in the Land of Kings

For now, other villagers fear persecution too much to embrace Jesus, but some of them say they believe in God’s Word. As Daivya, Laksh and Udgita continue to share what He did in their lives, they trust their neighbours will one day have the courage to believe in Christ without reservation.

What more effective way to share God’s love than through His own Word? Put literature into the hands of missionaries like Chanchal, and see how God changes people like Daivya, Laksh and Udgita again and again.

(A Report by Gospel of Asia)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

For God’s Grace in our Helplessness

We know, Heavenly Father, that at this desperate hour in our world affairs, we need you. We need your strength, your guidance and your wisdom.

There are problems in our world far greater than any wisdom of man can solve. What should our Government do in such an hour?

May your wisdom and your power come upon our Prime Minister, Theresa May, her Ministers and members of her Government, to whom have been entrusted the guardianship of our United Kingdom.

May the responsibility lie heavily upon their hearts, until they are ready to acknowledge their helplessness and turn to you, dear Father for help and guidance.

Give them the honesty, the courage and the moral integrity to confess that they don’t know always what to do. Only then can they lead us as a nation beyond human wisdom to you, who alone has all the answers.

Lead us, creator God, in this high adventure. Remind us that a ‘mighty fortress is our God’ – not a hiding place where we can escape for an easy life, but rather a war room of courage and strength – the mightiest of all, who will march beside us into the battle for righteousness and world brotherhood.

Oh dear Father God, may we never recover from our feeling of helplessness and our need of you!

In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, our Lord, we humbly pray.

Amen

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey