It may be too late to save the planet!

The Prince of Wales has always expressed great concern regarding the natural world. He fears that the changes needed to save it could come too late. When he met with President Trump recently he tried to impress him with the urgency of doing something about it.

Sadly, what is forgotten, or not really appreciated, is that God’s Word, the Bible, promises that the Kingdom of God is to be established on this planet. For humankind to have any chance of making a significant difference to the rate of climate change there would be the need for all the nations on earth to work together. Just a superficial look at the present political situation indicates that this will never happen. However, when Jesus returns as supreme ruler over the planet, “… all kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve him” (Psalm 72:11). Jesus, with his team of immortal saints, will cure all the ills of the natural world. Consider the following Bible verses, just a few of many.

“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night, shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22)

“.. And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing …” (Isaiah 35:1 and 2)

“… For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, And streams in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool, And the thirsty land springs of water.” (Isaiah 35:6 and 7)

Today nearly one quarter of the earth is desert or semi desert. When Jesus rules “… He will deliver the needy when he cries, The poor also, and him who has no helper.” (Psalm 72:12-13) People will not suffer from disabilities and ill health: “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb sing.” (Isaiah 35:5-6)

The Bible speaks about the great tree planting work to be done. “I will plant in the wilderness the cedar and the acacia tree, the myrtle and the olive tree; I will set the desert the cypress tree and the pine and the box tree together. That they may see – that the hand of the LORD has done this.” (Isaiah 41:19-20)

Jesus taught his followers to pray: “… Your Kingdom come. Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)

Are you ready for the coming of God’s wonderful Kingdom?


To find out more about our hope and how you can become a part of it, visit our website: www.ammanfordchristadelphians.co.uk.

All quotations from the N.K.J.V.

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How do you know when God is calling YOU?

For those of us who weren’t born into a spiritual family this is a very important question. I was 57 years old when I was finally in a state of mind to listen to God’s call – and I’m so glad I did!

This blog tells how God called me and how I responded. It will be different for everyone but you should be ready to respond and start your journey should the time come. It’s worth noting that God will give you opportunities to walk away from him. It’s always your choice.

As a younger man I recall asking myself important questions such as:

  • Why was this wonderful planet created and when?
  • Why are we here and what’s our purpose?
  • Why are there so many different types of people, good and not so good?
  • If death is really the end, what’s the point of living?
  • Why do some people seem to ‘have it all’ yet others have nothing?

Over the years I’ve met a few people who said that they followed Jesus and they did seem to have a certain ‘relaxed air’ about them. I remember thinking that I would like to feel that way, but I can now see that I was too busy working, paying the bills and providing for my family. In short – I was too busy and materialistic to hear God’s call.

Life’s adventures eventually took me abroad and I was happily enjoying semi-retirement. I thought that I had finally achieved my ambition and was looking forward to a future in the sun, sea and mountains.

To add to my contentment I was building a new camping business, which my grandchildren could choose to become involved in at a later date.

My new business was progressing well and I was integrating into the local and wider community.

However, there was suddenly a family difficulty that meant that I needed to return to the UK urgently and probably for some time.

I spent hours thinking and deciding on the best strategy to return to Wales, finding somewhere to live, yet still keeping the campsite in good order while I was away. To compound the problem I had no means of earning an income in the UK.

During these periods of thought I also reflected on instances in my life where, given the opportunity, I would have done things differently and treated some people with more compassion. I also decided that bearing grudges against others was not a good thing. Age and experience can be a wonderful thing!

Little did I know that God was listening to what I know now was my repentance. For me, it wasn’t anything dramatic. It was simply a quiet conversation with God.

A few days later, rather stressed, I found myself praying, something I hadn’t done since my school days. This time, however, it was different. I really wanted and needed God’s help. I remember promising that if I got back to the UK I would find a church and follow Him. Then, within days everything fell into place and my return to the UK was arranged. Even my friends were astonished as to how suddenly everything happened!

Settling back in Wales was very difficult but I got myself reasonably well organised and started putting my life back into order. However, I never forgot my promise to God, which I definitely wanted to keep. I need to stress that it wasn’t simply a need, but a deep-rooted desire, which drove me to succeed.

In retrospect I can see that my desire to follow God was tested several times, one of these times was when I became ill and was hospitalised. Other difficulties also presented themselves but I just worked through them. I could so easily have concentrated on my own needs and the needs of my family and not even considered God.

As I considered the best way to connect with a ‘church’ I did start to have some doubts (being tested again?) and asked myself questions such as:

  • What will others think of me?
  • Should I worship God on my own and just follow the Evangelical churches on TV?
  • Some ‘friends’ said that ‘church-goers’ are just looking to fill their empty lives with something to do.

Oh, how I laughed! At this point my life was incredibly busy and rather stressed. It was far from empty. I chose to ignore these people.

Once God calls you, the questions above, and much, much more become irrelevant. I can only say that if you follow God you’ll discover many answers for yourselves, as I continue to do each day.

I did a fair amount of research and the only ‘church’ organisation that I felt comfortable with was the Christadelphians and I had never even heard of them!! I would recommend their free and without strings attached one-to-one Bible course to anyone searching for God. I found these sessions incredibly helpful to increase my knowledge of the Bible. Though I’m not good at remembering things I’m improving … slowly. 🙂

I’ve been with them for over three years now and what a wonderful journey it’s been. It’s worth noting that before I opened the Bible for the first time I had not read any kind of book for over forty years. Yet I had no real difficulty reading the Gospel.

Interestingly, since following the Word of God, my life has become far simpler and it now has true meaning and purpose.

Every day I thank God for hearing my prayers and opening my heart and mind to answer his call.

Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.


To find out more about our hope and how you can become a part of it, visit our website: www.ammanfordchristadelphians.co.uk.

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No Easter at Notre-Dame

Isn’t it remarkable? In a widely atheistic age, in a secular republic, a fire at a medieval Catholic landmark has brought people and nations together. It has caused them to unite, to pray and to thank God.

I am, of course, talking about Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. I am obviously not a Catholic, so this building holds no religious significance for me.  Matthew 18v20 Jesus tells us, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”. We don’t have to worship God in a vast and ornate cathedral. It is hard, however, to be unmoved by the unfolding of recent events. But, in this largely post-Christian age, how is it that Notre-Dame has outlasted its original reason for existing?

Even if religion is set aside, historically and architecturally this building is of immense significance. Cathedrals such as this are, without doubt, great works of art. They have in their time been centres of community. They have witnessed and hosted both their nations greatest and saddest events. They were built in an age before machines by the hands of the very people who would congregate there to worship.

As an avid tourist of history and literature, it is fair to say that few houses of faith have such a vivid story to tell as Notre-Dame de Paris. Notre-Dame has been, for all of us, an embodiment of Paris and its history, of the city’s medieval Catholic past, its religious wars, its national triumphs and disasters. It was the backdrop for the Disney film, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The film begins with the song, The Bells of Notre Dame, which poignantly summarises the part this building still plays in the lives of the people of Paris:
Morning in Paris, the city awakes,
To the bells of Notre Dame.
The fisherman fishes, the baker man bakes,
To the bells of Notre Dame.
To the big bells as loud as the thunder,
To the little bells soft as a psalm,
And some say the soul of the city,
The toll of the bells,
The bells of Notre Dame.

My own story with this building began as a little child when I first encountered Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, not just because of the vivid colours and the enchanting music, but because this cathedral is the stage for a story of hope, of acceptance for outsiders and those who see the world a little differently. It is something which the apostle Peter brings out for us in his first epistle, “All of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tender-hearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.” 1Peter 3v8-9.

As I got older my love of this story caused me to read Victor Hugo’s, Notre-Dame de Paris, one of the great works of French literature and the story that inspired Disney. Whilst the book is darker than Disney’s interpretation, it holds a wonderful quote, which I often bring to mind, ‘A one-eyed man is much more incomplete than a blind man, for he knows what it is that’s lacking.’

That’s really the crux of my ponderings here today. Is the modern, confused and agnostic world around us the blind man? Has society travelled so far from ‘The Age of Faith’ that it doesn’t even know what it is lacking? As Jesus asks in Luke 6v39, “Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch?”

This has happened at a time of miserable squabbling over the future of Europe. The truth is that, whatever we think about Brexit or a customs union, or any of the esoteric options lying before our politicians, we are all heirs of a great common history. If only the world had one eye that it might recognise what is lacking and seek out the hope set before them in the Bible – to be heirs of a future, not just a past, to be heirs of the promises of God.

In Hebrews 12v2 we are told to, “Look unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Rather fitting really when we remember that this weekend is Easter Weekend, a time when Christians worldwide reflect on the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

However, for the first time in nearly nine centuries there will be no Easter at Notre-Dame.


You are warmly invited to join us this Sunday, April 21st 2019 at 6pm for a Bible talk about ‘Jesus Christ, The Cross and You’. Find out how Jesus’ sacrifice can have a positive effect on your life and what it could mean for your future!

*All quotes are from the King James Version.

 

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Loneliness at Christmas

December is almost here and the shops have been promoting Christmas since mid October! It is also appearing in adverts in newspapers, magazines, online and TV.

For most of us it is a happy time spent with families and friends but for some it is the loneliest time of the year. They live alone. Their loved ones may have died or are living far away. They remember the years gone by when they were surrounded by so many who loved them. Most of us can’t imagine being so isolated and unhappy.

We know, of course, that everyone struggles with loneliness at some point, even in the midst of a crowd.

The problem is so prominent in our society that the Government is proposing the setting up a Minister and a team to see what can be done.

The Bible, God’s Word, can provide hope and strength if we are prepared to let its message filter into our thinking. Please think about the positive flow of thought that comes from the Bible passages listed below. They are just a few of many.

King David wrote: “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.” (Psalm 62:8)

“O Lord, all my longing is before you ; my sighing is not hidden from you.” (Psalm 38:9)

“He (God) heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3)

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” (Psalm 42:11)

Jesus, God’s beloved Son, appealed to the people: “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you , and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

The apostle Paul wrote: “ Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Peter, Jesus’ disciple, also adds to the message:” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7)

So David, Jesus, Paul and Peter, although at times feeling lonely, found their solace and comfort in God, knowing that His purpose with them would be fulfilled . The power of meditating on the Word of God, prayer and actively applying God’s principles in their lives provided the stimulus to keep going. We, with them can look forward to the promise of God’s Kingdom on this earth (Hebrews 11 to 12:1 and 2) and in that Kingdom feelings and experience of loneliness will be a thing of the past.

May those of us who are blessed with families and friends and looking forward to their company this Christmas spare a thought for the lonely and, if we can, invite them to share our happiness.

All quotes from English Standard Version. To find out more about our hope and how you can become a part of it, visit our website: www.ammanfordchristadelphians.co.uk.

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Parables of Jesus: The Parable of the Ten Minas

Luke 19:11-27 (ESV)

… Jesus proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately.

Jesus said therefore: A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. Calling ten of his servants he gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’ But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business.

The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten minas more.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’

And the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made five minas.’ And he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’

Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief;  for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ He said to him, ‘I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’

‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’


Here we read one of the last parables of Jesus. It is usually called, ‘The Parable of the Ten Minas’ – a ‘mina’ is an amount of money – which is said to be about 3 months wages for a labourer at the time of Jesus.

What does this parable mean for us today?

The servants are those who try to serve Jesus. The minas are the talents we have all been given by God. The citizens don’t want anything to do with Jesus and God, his Father.

When Jesus rose from the grave he ascended to heaven, the far country, where God has given him a kingdom on earth when he comes again.

Those who have faith in God and his Son are the servants. They try to use the talents they have to follow Jesus. They will be rewarded with immortality when Jesus returns to set up the Kingdom of God on earth.

Sadly so many of earth’s citizens turn their backs on God and Jesus. They have no hope for the future.

We believe that Jesus Christ will return to bring order and peace to our troubled world. God has promised that all who try to follow his laws will be given a place in His glorious kingdom. We pray that we will be found ready to serve Jesus forever!


To find out more about our hope and how you can become a part of it, visit our website: www.ammanfordchristadelphians.co.uk or our Facebook page.

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Our Favourite Verses

The blog this week is made up of 4 of our favourite verses. It is amazing to see how the Bible message from creation to salvation shines through!


Psalm 95 v 4–5
“In his hand are the deep places of the earth; the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it
; and his hands formed the dry land.”

To anyone who looks at the world and sees the stunning snow topped mountains, lush beautiful coasts and majestic forests and fails to see the Maker at work needs to take a closer look. All these amazing sights could not happen by chance. Everywhere you look all these things have been created. Come rain, snow or shine we are very blessed with such a beautiful land to live in, Everywhere we look we can see the Maker’s work. It really should make us stop and think how awesome his wonderful creation is!


Choosing a favourite is very tricky as it all depends on the mood I am in, so for this reason I tend to lean towards this one.

Philippians 4 v 4–7
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”


Acts 1 v 11
Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”

I love this verse – I can remember it! It’s such a straightforward verse. If you honour God’s word and take it at its face value, it’s so valuable. It is solid and concrete, providing hope of the Lord Jesus’ return and so gives comfort when life’s grim realities could pull one down.


This is a favourite verse of mine as this world can be tough, so to keep myself upbeat and cheerful I like to concentrate my mind on the things that God has in store for us.

Habakkuk 2v14
“For the Earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea.”


To find out more about our hope and how you can become a part of it, visit our website: www.ammanfordchristadelphians.co.uk or our Facebook page.

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What is the historical evidence that Jesus Christ lived and died?

Today some claim that Jesus is just an idea, rather than a real historical figure, but there is a good deal of written evidence for his existence 2,000 years ago.

How confident can we be that Jesus Christ actually lived?

The historical evidence for Jesus of Nazareth is both long-established and widespread. Within a few decades of his supposed lifetime, he is mentioned by Jewish and Roman historians, as well as by dozens of Christian writings. Compare that with, for example, King Arthur, who supposedly lived around AD500. The major historical source for events of that time does not even mention Arthur, and he is first referred to 300 or 400 years after he is supposed to have lived. The evidence for Jesus is not limited to later folklore, as are accounts of Arthur.

What do Christian writings tell us?

The value of this evidence is that it is both early and detailed. The first Christian writings to talk about Jesus are the epistles of St Paul, and scholars agree that the earliest of these letters were written within 25 years of Jesus’s death at the very latest, while the detailed biographical accounts of Jesus in the New Testament gospels date from around 40 years after he died. These all appeared within the lifetimes of numerous eyewitnesses, and provide descriptions that comport with the culture and geography of first-century Palestine. It is also difficult to imagine why Christian writers would invent such a thoroughly Jewish saviour figure in a time and place – under the aegis of the Roman empire – where there was strong suspicion of Judaism.

What did non-Christian authors say about Jesus?

As far as we know, the first author outside the church to mention Jesus is the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, who wrote a history of Judaism around AD93. He has two references to Jesus. One of these is controversial because it is thought to be corrupted by Christian scribes (probably turning Josephus’s negative account into a more positive one), but the other is not suspicious – a reference to James, the brother of “Jesus, the so-called Christ”.

About 20 years after Josephus we have the Roman politicians Pliny and Tacitus, who held some of the highest offices of state at the beginning of the second century AD. From Tacitus we learn that Jesus was executed while Pontius Pilate was the Roman prefect in charge of Judaea (AD26-36) and Tiberius was emperor (AD14-37) – reports that fit with the timeframe of the gospels. Pliny contributes the information that, where he was governor in northern Turkey, Christians worshipped Christ as a god. Neither of them liked Christians – Pliny writes of their “pig-headed obstinacy” and Tacitus calls their religion a destructive superstition.

Did ancient writers discuss the existence of Jesus?

Strikingly, there was never any debate in the ancient world about whether Jesus of Nazareth was a historical figure. In the earliest literature of the Jewish Rabbis, Jesus was denounced as the illegitimate child of Mary and a sorcerer. Among pagans, the satirist Lucian and philosopher Celsus dismissed Jesus as a scoundrel, but we know of no one in the ancient world who questioned whether Jesus lived.

How controversial is the existence of Jesus now?

In a recent book, the French philosopher Michel Onfray talks of Jesus as a mere hypothesis, his existence as an idea rather than as a historical figure. About 10 years ago, The Jesus Project was set up in the US; one of its main questions for discussion was that of whether or not Jesus existed. Some authors have even argued that Jesus of Nazareth was doubly non-existent, contending that both Jesus and Nazareth are Christian inventions. It is worth noting, though, that the two mainstream historians who have written most against these hypersceptical arguments are atheists: Maurice Casey (formerly of Nottingham University) and Bart Ehrman (University of North Carolina). They have issued stinging criticisms of the “Jesus-myth” approach, branding it pseudo-scholarship. Nevertheless, a recent survey discovered that 40% of adults in England did not believe that Jesus was a real historical figure.

Is there any archaeological evidence for Jesus?

Part of the popular confusion around the historicity of Jesus may be caused by peculiar archaeological arguments raised in relation to him. Recently there have been claims that Jesus was a great-grandson of Cleopatra, complete with ancient coins allegedly showing Jesus wearing his crown of thorns. In some circles, there is still interest in the Shroud of Turin, supposedly Jesus’s burial shroud. Pope Benedict XVI stated that it was something that “no human artistry was capable of producing” and an “icon of Holy Saturday”.

It is hard to find historians who regard this material as serious archaeological data, however. The documents produced by Christian, Jewish and Roman writers form the most significant evidence.

These abundant historical references leave us with little reasonable doubt that Jesus lived and died. The more interesting question – which goes beyond history and objective fact – is whether Jesus died and lived.

This post was adapted from The Guardian, written by Simon Gathercole – Reader in New Testament Studies at the University of Cambridge.

To find out more about our hope and how you can become a part of it, visit our website: www.ammanfordchristadelphians.co.uk.

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Walking with God

Most babies begin to try to walk a few steps during the first year of their life. Walking is a big accomplishment for them and, once they master it, they take off on every direction imaginable! The parents’ job is to try to direct their little steps so they don’t come to any harm.

The problem of making sure that we head off in the right direction continues long after we are babies. We all need to be directed by GOD to walk in the right way. King Solomon tells us what to do if we don’t want our steps to get us into trouble. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart: and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5)

Babies don’t understand the dangers of walking in busy streets, stairs or pools of water. The awareness of danger comes with age and experience, coupled with wisdom. It is the same for us. Although we all have experiences as we pass through life, the question is, how much wiser are we? We cannot see what lies ahead for us in the future. If we rely on our own wisdom or that of others to guide our way we will fall into trouble.

Jesus explains “… And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into the ditch” (Matthew 15:14) We need always to ask the Lord to direct our paths. Solomon said twice “There is a way which seems right to a man. But its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 14:12, 16:25) We dare not lean on our own understanding any more than we would allow a little child to play in the street, even though he thinks it is all right. GOD really does know what is best for us.

It is amazing how many people who consider themselves wise simply do not consider GOD’S way. They speculate as to whether or not Jesus was married, or what happens when we die and they honestly don’t know the answers. They aren’t aware that our Maker, the Creator of the Universe, has provided an instruction manual, the Bible, that has all the answers. If we want to know how to live wisely, we can go directly to the source and humbly ask GOD, as King David did in the Psalms, “Show me your ways O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach, For you are the God of my salvation.” (Psalm 25:4-5)

It is wonderful that the believer can communicate directly with GOD and ask Him anything by praying to Him. Sometimes the answer to the request is “No” and it isn’t easy to accept, just as children may not like being refused sweets even though they may not be good for them. However, there is one prayer that all believers can pray. The request that GOD has promised to fulfil is the believer’s request for wisdom. However there is one condition.

James, the servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ explains. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:5-8) If we ask GOD to give us wisdom to walk in His ways He will say “Yes” to that prayer if we believe and do not doubt.

Many times Jesus said “Follow me.” What is it that we are doing when we are trying to follow Jesus? On one occasion, the disciple, Thomas, was confused and asked “Lord, we do not know where you are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:5-6) A few verses later Jesus said “If you love me keep my commandments” (John 14:15)

The apostle Paul gives encouragement when he tells us “There is, therefore, now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1)

The prophet Micah tells us what the Lord requires of us. “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)

All who follow Jesus must choose their steps wisely and with humility, always trying to follow the path towards the promise of salvation revealed by GOD in His holy Word, the Bible.

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Transformation

Sitting out on the patio in the warm sunshine in Kent, I was admiring my sister-in-law’s potted plants. Suddenly my eyes focused on something unusual on a fuchsia branch. Looking closely, I remembered seeing exactly the same thing in South Wales years before. It had a large, arresting head end – the large, dark eyespot markings giving it the sinister appearance of a snakes’s head! At the other end of the soft and thick brown-grey body was a black tail spike. It was an Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar and, at 85mm long, is one of the largest and most distinctive in Britain! It takes about 30 days to grow to full size from the 4mm mini-versions that hatch from eggs. To complete its’ life cycle, this sluggish soft-bodied creature forms a leathery-cased chrysalis (or pupa) and from this a totally different form emerges. It changes to an attractive pink and brown moth, that moves quickly through the air on its delicate wings.

This incredible transformation is called metamorphosis. It is controlled by hormones. Tissues are broken down in the chrysalis (they virtually liquify) and then cell growth and development cause the different tissues and organs of the adult to form!

Now, is there a spiritual lesson here? Well, the Greek word ‘to metamorphose’ is ‘metamorpho’ and it occurs in the New Testament just four times. It is translated as ‘transfigured’ in Matthew 17:2 and Mark 9:23, as ‘transformed’ in Romans 12:2 and as ‘changed’ in 2 Corinthians 3:18 KJV.

The two gospel verses speak of Jesus’ change in appearance on the Mount of Transfiguration: “and he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light” (Matthew17:2). Peter, one of the disciples watching this, later wrote in his second epistle that they were “eyewitnesses of his majesty for he received from God the father honour and glory”.2 Peter 1:16 KJV. It was as if they were seeing Jesus as King coming in power to reign – eternal, glorified, with all righteousness and power.

Some years later, Paul the apostle, writing to Christians in Rome, encouraged them not to conform to the surrounding culture but to be “transformed by the renewing” of their minds. Romans 12:2 This would enable an outlook that was good, mature and acceptable to God, being changed from the inside outwards.

Paul also wrote to the church at Corinth, a city notorious for depravity, and again brought in ‘metamorpho’: “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed (changed) into the same image from one degree of glory to another” 2 Corinthians 3:18 (ESV). It has been described as transfigured into ever increasing splendour” or as another has paraphrased it “nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of His face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him” 2 Corinthians 3:18 (The Message Bible)

So, regardless of cultural background, we are to change, trying every day to become more Christ-like. The apostle Peter puts it like this in the following free paraphrase, “complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipleship, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the other” (2 Peter 1:5-8, The Message Bible).

The complete transformation for the faithful is at Jesus’ return, when they are resurrected and judged and “have everlasting life … and shall shine like the brightness of the sky above” Daniel 12 : 2-3).

Perhaps the freedom in flight of our moth emerging from an apparently lifeless chrysalis can be a trigger to help us think about these things. It gives a little echo of some uplifting words in Isaiah, “they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” ( Isaiah 40:31)

To find out more about our hope and how you can become a part of it, visit our website: www.ammanfordchristadelphians.co.uk.

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Is our world doomed?

Do you think our earth will survive or will we destroy it?

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) certainly think so! These learned scientists created the Doomsday Clock in 1947, as a metaphor for how close humankind is to destroying the earth. On Thursday 25th January 2018, in Washington DC, BAS moved the clock forward to just two minutes to midnight! The scientists on the committee singled out the nuclear tests in North Korea and the rising tension between Russia and the West as the main contributory factors for their decision.

Jesus prophesies that the world will be in great turmoil prior to his return.

“And there will be signs in the sun and the moon and the stars and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” ( Luke 21:25 – 27).

Yes, the believers in God’s Word, the Bible, know there are terrible times to come as Jesus cleanses the world of evil.

“ … but with righteousness he (Jesus) shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.” (Isaiah 11:4)

“… when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” (Thessalonians 1:7- 8)

The purpose of God is to bring His kIngdom to this planet. Then these wonderful and beautiful promises will be fulfilled.

The Angels who announced the birth of Jesus to the Shepherds looked forward to this time.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, among those with whom he is pleased.” (Luke 2:14).

Speaking of Jesus, King David prophesied ”In his days may the righteous flourish; and peace abound till the moon be no more.” (Psalm 72:7).

The prophet Isaiah writing about Jesus declares ”He shall judge between the nations , and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks : nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more”(Isaiah 2:4).

These are just a few examples of a range of Bible verses telling us about the wonderful time that is coming to this earth. We must prepare ourselves now for the coming of God’s Kingdom when Jesus returns. God’s clock is ticking!

To find out more about our hope and how you can become a part of it, visit our website: www.ammanfordchristadelphians.co.uk.

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