(Preached in Kilskeery FPC by Rev Ivan Foster, 22nd October 2017 in the evening meeting)
Scripture: “And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD,” 2 Chronicles 20:3-4.
There are few today who recognise the crisis that is upon the nation. Not even, indeed, least of all, the leaders of our nation.
It is a wonderfully easy thing to denounce government leaders for their faults and failures but let every Christian, who is a citizen, be aware that we all must bear some responsibility for what has taken place within our nation. Who can say, “I did all that was possible, my hands are clean”! Very few if any can make that claim.
It is only when we recognise our duty and seek to do all in our power to stand for the “crown rights of King Jesus and the crown jewels of His Gospel” that we are brought to the place where we say with Paul: “Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men,” Acts 20:26. Have we been as faithful as this?
I wish to set before us all our duty in this day of national crisis. No clearer demonstration of our primary duty can be had than in this chapter. Here Jehoshaphat acted wisely and courageously and we must learn from him for are these things not written for our learning, Rom 15:4?
(Preached in Kilskeery FPC by Rev Ivan Foster, 22nd October 2017 in the morning meeting)
Scripture: “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof,” Rom 13:14.
In verses 11-14 Paul uses the language of a parable in order to put across certain truths regarding the need for holy living. He likens our duties unto those we commonly engage in every morning as we rise from our bed and prepare for the activities of the day ahead. Note the phrase at the beginning of the section. “Knowing the time,” verse 11.
For many of us, we have heard the shout: “Get up! Don’t you know the time?” Is there not a similar note here in Paul’s words?
How important it is to be aware of the time on God’s clock. What mistakes have been made, opportunities missed, losses incurred and tragedies occasioned by errors about the time!
It is impossible to journey through this world without a knowledge of the time. SO IT IS WITH ETERNAL MATTERS!
How many there are who have no sense of time and that we need to awaken! They slumber on in sin or live as Christians in carelessness.
A message preached in Garvagh FPC, October 19th, 2017.
“And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him,” Hebrews 5:9.
The Protestant Reformation of the 16th century restored Christianity to its Biblical roots and as a result, changed the world. Roused to action by the Spirit of God, upon recognising the corruption and abuses they saw in the Roman Catholic church of the time, the likes of Martin Luther and John Calvin spearheaded a movement that led to the emergence of the Protestant denominations that exist today.
The Reformers believed that there was a great drift away from the essential, original teachings of Christianity, especially in regard to what was the Bible’s teaching about salvation. How people can be forgiven of sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and receive eternal life with God was grossly perverted by Rome! The Reformation sought to return Christianity to the original message of Christ crucified as preached by the early church.
During the Reformation, five phrases emerged summarising the Reformers’ theological convictions about the essentials of Christianity.
“Scripture alone” – The Bible alone is our highest authority.
“Faith alone”- We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
“Grace alone” – We are saved by the grace of God alone.
“Christ alone” – Jesus Christ alone is our Lord, Saviour, and King.
“To the glory of God alone” – We live for the glory of God alone.
Tonight I have been asked to speak on the fourth of these slogans: “Christ alone”. I will do that by looking with you at our text.
We have another wonderful picture presented to us for our instruction and edification.
I. HERE IS A PICTURE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
Our second consideration under this heading:
2. God is actively at work amongst mankind. “The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field.” God is busy in the midst of this world’s affairs, sowing seed. His work is largely unnoticed by men. Men must be reminded of God and His work. Daniel 2:28, 5:21. The Saviour used the image of the farmer – a busy man!
We have another wonderful picture presented to us for our instruction and edification. How abundantly does nature illustrate the gospel.Please note the words: “Another parable put he forth unto them,” verse 24. These words were spoken for the benefit of His disciples. The Lord is speaking to His people here in this passage. Please be sure to hear and heed what He says.
I. HERE IS A PICTURE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
1. Few give any thought to this kingdom! In 1596 Andrew Melville, the successor to John Knox, made a famous speech in which he reminded the King James VI that ‘there are two kings and two kingdoms in Scotland.’ As well as King James ‘There is Christ Jesus, the King of the Church, whose subject James the Sixth is, and of whose kingdom he is not a king, nor a lord, nor a head, but a member.’ James VI paid little heed to Melville’s words as is the habit of most professing Christian inhabitants of this earth!
The existence and the activities of God’s kingdom are as real as that of the UK, the USA, Russia etc.