This coming Wednesday [19th] we shall pick up again in our studies in Pilgrim’s Progress. If you are coming along for the first time you can download and read the part we are studying by clicking here.
Sadly, we learnt of the passing of Mrs Florence Philpott. Mrs Philpott has been connected with the church for many years and will be sadly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this sad time.
On Sunday we welcome Pastor Ivor Thompson to our church. Ivor is the Pastor at East End Baptist Church and he will be preaching at both services.
This morning we were looking at the topic of How can we believe the Old Testament? and this is the passage we were looking at – ‘And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit’ [2 Peter 1:19-21 ESV].
It is a tricky passage to grasp as the Greek has more than one way of being understood [so the commentators told me]. In light of what Peter has mentioned just prior to this passage about what the Apostles saw and heard on the Mount of Transfiguration, it seems Peter is telling his readers that what the Apostles saw and heard authenticates the Old Testament, which is the written word of God. The Old Testament speaks about the second coming of Jesus, of which the Apostles had a glimpse of on the Mount of Transfiguration, and therefore the readers can be certain that Jesus is coming again. In light of this fact, believers should read, believe and obey the Word of God.
In the evening we were looking at Exodus 12 and the 10th judgement God brought on the Egyptians. Before the judgement came the Israelites were told to prepare a meal, which they were to enact each year as a reminder of what was about to happen. We looked at the three parts of the meal, the lamb, the unleavened bread and the bitter herbs. They are rich in meaning and point to Jesus who is the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. The unleavened bread speaks of making haste because they didn’t have time to allow for the bread to rise and there is an urgency needed in coming to Christ our Passover Lamb. We mustn’t delay in coming to Him. The bitter herbs speak of a reminder of what they had been redeemed from, their bitter experiences in Egypt. It is good at times for believers to remember what the Lamb has rescued them from and to.
This morning [Saturday 25th March 2017] we hosted the European Mission Fellowship Conference, which we do once a year.
We were glad to welcome Ian Parry [Mission Director], Istvan Salanki [Pastor of a Hungarian speaking church in London] and Jose de Segovia [Minister of a church in Madrid].
The meeting commenced with a hymn [Great is the gospel] before Istvan and Jose were interviewed by Ian and Phil Dunn [EMF NI Rep]. It was an opportunity to hear about the work the two men are involved and the difficulties they face in their separate ministries. One interesting point that Jose made was that the evangelical churches in Spain have more freedom under a secular government than they did when the Roman Catholic church had more power and influence.
After a break for tea/coffee/refreshments, Ian preached an encouraging message from Genesis 20 and reminded us that
- God is bigger than we think.
- Things are not as bad as we think.
- Our calling is greater than we think, and
- It is harder to stop the gospel than we think.
Our closing hymn was The Power of The Cross.
Overall a good and encouraging time was had. It was good to see folk interested in the bookstore and hanging around afterwards to speak to each other and those who took part.
Daniel Webber – Istvan Salanki – Jose de Segovia – Ian Parry – Phil Dunn
This evening we are looking forward to hearing from Gordon Stewart of Asialink..
Interesting article about St Patrick http://www.ligonier.org/blog/who-was-saint-patrick-and-should-christians-celebrate-st-patricks-day/
Today we had two missionary organisations with us. In the morning Keith Andrews shared something of the work of Release International who are helping the persecuted church around the world.
It is never pleasant hearing of people suffering for simply following Jesus. We have it so easy here in the UK. Yes, times are changing, but we are hardly being persecuted. We should be thankful for the privileges and blessings we enjoy and pray/support those who are suffering.
In the evening we had Roger from FrontiersNI sharing with us an encouraging message of what the Lord is doing in the Muslim world. Yet there are people groups who have never heard of Jesus. We were encouraged to consider to earnestly pray for one group, which as a church, we hope to do.
Good day all round.
In the morning it was our monthly Communion Service and our text was John 10:9.
- Jesus is the door of access into the people of God and to God the Father [John 14:6].
- Jesus is the door of provision [John 10:9], He provides all we need for salvation.
- Jesus is the door of protection, all who enter through Him are saved for eternity [John 10:28-9].
- Jesus is the door to abundant life [John 10:10].
Our hymns were
- Lord of the cross of shame,
- Name of all majesty,
- See, what a morning and
- Jesus, my Lord, my God, my all.
In the evening we looked at the 10 plagues of Egypt and what lessons we learn from them. They teach us
God sees sin and will judge it.
God is the only true God.
God cares for His people.
Our hymns were
- I sing the almighty power of God
- Through all the changing scenes of life
- Almighty God, Your word is cast
- O that the Lord would guide my ways.
Having a lot of fun trying to build a new website for the church using this video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVoXDk8ps10
This evening we were looking at Mr Talkative in our studies in Pilgrim’s Progress. What an interesting character!
Here is a man who loves to talk about anything, but especially about the Bible. He could talk to you about sin, the cross, repentance, forgiveness and the rest. He had a good knowledge and understanding about these topics.
Yet, sadly, that is all it was too him. Knowledge. He could talk about sin, but would not acknowledge his own. He could talk about repentance but he had never repented. He could talk a lot about Jesus, but had never come to see his own need of Jesus to save him.
Knowledge is a good thing, an essential thing, if we are too know our sins are forgiven through Jesus. But a knowledge that does lead to action is very dangerous. People can know their Bible inside out and pass any examination in Religious Studies, and yet still be lost.
He is a warning to believer and unbeliever alike. Does our knowledge of God and the Bible stay in our head or change our lives?