MEN’S HEARTS FAILING THEM FOR FEAR … 

Everywhere in the world people are on edge especially since the terrible atrocities in Manchester, London, Paris and Barcelona (to name but a few). We saw people running for their lives. All over the world people are wondering what will happen next.

The Bible tells us that these events are a precursor of a time when people will be even more worried, even more terrified because of ever more violent events all over the world.

The Bible tells us all this will happen prior to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth to set up His Father’s Kingdom.

The Gospel of Luke, which is a record of the life of the Lord Jesus, sets out in order the events immediately before His return as Saviour and King. He will reign over Israel and all nations.

Luke 21:26 People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.  Those who believe in God and Jesus have the comfort of knowing that, although the world is a sad and terrifying place, they should not fear because the Lord Jesus and His Father protect those who belong to them.

The Bible gives believers a wonderful hope for the future. Isaiah 11:3-5 tells us of the Lord Jesus, a descendent of David, King of Israel, coming again as King of the whole world.. He will judge honestly:

“… He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash round his waist.”

There will be no more violence. Wars will cease and all will live in peace.

But before this 2 Timothy 3: 1-3 warns  “But mark this: there will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power.”

This is an astonishingly accurate picture of our civilisation today. Humankind is throwing off all restraints and indulging its own desires. We have already quoted Luke 21:26. Look at verse 27 “At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”

Override your fears for the future and look with confidence for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ!

*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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Where are you from?

How often this question is asked when meeting other holiday makers. “And where are you from?” Perhaps because their accent is so distinctive, it may not be necessary to ask which part of UK they are from, However, we may still like to know exactly where they live!

When we look into the Gospels, we find the Apostle Peter had the distinctive accent of the Galileans. He tried to hide during the trial of the Lord Jesus Christ, but as he stood by the fire in the courtyard of the High Priest, one of the servant girls noticed him and said: “Certainly you are one of them (of the disciples) ; for you are a Galilean” (Mark 14:70).

Where we come from is vital in spiritual terms. The Apostle wrote “But our citizenship is in heaven and from it we await a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body by the power that enables him to subject all things to himself ” (Philippians 3:20). Again Paul writes: “He (Jesus) raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus”(Ephesians 2:6). He appeals to the believer: “If then you have been raised with Christ seek the things that are above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth”. (Colossians 3:1) By reading and listening to the Word of God (see I Peter 1:23, James 3:17 – 18) and applying it in our lives, we can develop a meaningful relationship with Jesus, our Lord, Saviour and Mediator, and we are born from Heaven.

Then, when Jesus returns to bring the ways of Heaven upon this earth, we shall be granted everlasting life, even though we are sinful, because we have endeavoured to be one with him,

Sadly, when Jesus returns, some faithless folk will earnestly appeal to him to accept them. He will say: “I do not know you “. “But he will say “I tell you I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil” (Luke 13:27).

It doesn’t matter what our accent is, or where our natural birth took place, but it is vital that the influence of Christ’s teaching is reflected in all aspects of our lives. In this way we show that we try to follow Christ and truly seeking the citizenship from above.

Quotes from the ESV. 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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Another election!

This democracy business gets a bit tiring!

Yes, it does! But the election talked about in this blog post concerns really changing the world for ever by those who are true followers of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Peter when encouraging the believers wrote: “Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practise these qualities [the Christian virtues of 2 Peter verses 5 -7] you will never fall. For in this way there will  be richly provided for you  an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:10 -11).

The election that the followers of Jesus look forward to is to be with Jesus in his Kingdom, the Kingdom of God that will be established when He returns (2 Timothy 4:1). The Bible clearly teaches that true believers of God and Jesus will become rulers the Kingdom!

The prophet Daniel said “the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High …” (Daniel 7:27, see also verse 22).

Jesus promises that the believers will be part of his rulership team (Revelation 3:21, see also 2: 26 and 27). The Apostle Paul wrote: “… if we endure, we shall also reign with him [Jesus]” (2 Timothy 2:12). Jesus even promised that the 12 faithful disciples would assist him in ruling over Israel when he is their King (Matthew 19:27 to 30).

The manifesto of that Kingdom?

The principles are set out in the Sermon on the Mount. (Matthew chapters 5-7) and other Scriptures. These rulers will have, during their lifetime, tried to follow the teaching of Jesus and so, when Jesus sets up His Kingdom, will be given an incorruptible body (I Corinthians 15:50 – 54, Philippians 3:20 – 21) and with perfect wisdom and judgement they will help to put this wrong world right for God.

Wow! What a hope! Remember the Bible predicted both the mess we are in now (Luke 21:25 to 26) and the wonderful time when Jesus will again be in the earth (Psalm72), so that there will be “glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace and goodwill amongst man”.

Will you strive to make your election sure?

*Quotes taken from the ESV. 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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When Terror Strikes

Sadly, another terrorist attack in the UK, the terrible slaughter of those young people and their parents in Manchester, both young and older lives tragically cut short. Even as we write this blog, similar atrocities are occurring daily in such countries as Syria, Iraq and Yemen, as well as in far away countries we do not often hear about in our media. Why are people killed in such terrible and random acts?

During His ministry, Jesus was approached by a group of people who described a recent tragic event. “There were present at that season some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he (Jesus) answered them, Do you think that these Galileans  were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No I tell you, but, unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you: but, unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:1 – 5)

Do you get the point Jesus is making?  We know we all will die. As the saying goes ‘ There is nothing more certain than death and as uncertain as life’. The vital thing that what we must do is “repent” whilst we have the opportunity. Constantly, in the Bible, God’s Word, the urgent message is to do today what Jesus requires of us  ” Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.”(Acts 2:38). We must give attention to the Word of God.

Jesus warned his disciples not to be anxious about tomorrow but to seek today the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33 – 34). The Apostle Paul warned believers not to be like Israel of his day, hardened in their hearts “Take care, brothers lest there be in any of you an evil unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort (encourage) one another every day, as long as it is called “today” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”(Acts 2:12-13) The Psalmist, so aware of the frailty of life wrote “My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day for their number is past (beyond) my knowledge” (Psalm 71:15).

Living spiritually on a daily basis is what is required by God. If we try as hard as we can to follow God and Jesus even if we are cut down suddenly by a tragic event or illness, God invites us, by His grace, to share in His wonderful Kingdom here on earth when He will raise us from the dead.

World events indicate that Christ’s second coming is near.

Quotes taken from the ESV

TODAY IS THE DAY OF OPPORTUNITY!

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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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Why I believe the Bible

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On Thursday 10th November (as you may have seen in the local newspaper) we are holding a special Bible class which will take the form of a DVD evening! The DVD we will be showing is called ‘Why I Believe the Bible’. This DVD is a series of short presentations from 6 Christadelphians. Each one is an expert in a particular field of science. They present their arguments for believing in the Bible from the perspective of their field of expertise. It is a free event and all are welcome to attend – so please come along and find out more about who we are and what we believe!

Well, this got us thinking, so we asked our members why they belive the Bible and we thought we would share some of their answers with you here on the blog! (Please note the names quoted are pseudonyms for security reasons but their ages are correct- or thereabouts, after all, a lady never tells!).

“When I look around at the beauty of the world and how everything works together in such perfect harmony, how can you not recognise a Creator? One looking over us ensuring we have everything we need. The Bible lays out exactly why we were created and shows us the whole purpose of our being. To aimlessly walk through life simply pleasing ourselves and our own selfish lusts isn’t enough for me. You can see from the greed and selfish ways of mankind how it is slowly destroying this earth. Which God in the Bible accurately predicts. 

Worlds leaders may have the best intentions of righting all the wrong within this world, but unfortunately without God and his Son Jesus, there is no hope of that. It is only through God’s loving-kindness that there will ever be the opportunity of Peace on Earth. Which is why I put my complete trust in him and his ways. God gives me the strength and confidence through all the wonderful things we have around us and a SURE Hope to hold onto of a better Earth ruled over by His Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.”

Holly Bright, 30

“Global anti-Semitism, Israel inhabited with strong Jewish presence, fore-made predictions from Revelation occurring; these started me off learning about the strong evidence for biblical accuracy, while refuting the minimalist position with emerging archaeological data; the ‘Large Stone Structure’ (David’s Palace), Khirbet Qeiyafa, the temple mount, and many ancient inscriptions.”

John Bennett, 22

“Every time I look around at the world, at the beautiful mountains, the stunning coastlines, the Deep dark forests the amazing and fascinating creatures that live on this earth, just by looking at this alone makes me believe there is no way all this can be created by chance – it must be God’s work. “

Alfred Clarke, 30

“My faith in God and Jesus reassures me that the Bible is believable. As I read through the various books I see that they all link together, telling me the same message. The message that God had a plan right from the beginning of time, a plan of peace for all.”

Jacqui Parker, 45

“In our world I see such diversity in the animal and plant kingdoms from the tiniest wren to the huge orca whale, from the tiny snowdrop to the mighty redwood tree. God is the Creator. He reveals in the Bible His plan to bring order and peace to our sad world.”

Julietta Dawes, 71

“Having been bought up in a Christadelphian family, I decided in my teens to investigate my parents’ belief in the Bible. I did this by visiting a wide range of churches and chapels, not only was it a fascinating experience, but it also convinced me that the Christadelphians (with all their faults) have, what the bible calls ‘the truth’.

Bernard Shaw, 82

“The Bible, from cover to cover, brings me close to my creator: longsuffering and compassionate, kindness itself, utterly truthful, trustworthy and just. In a cruel, chaotic world He is sane, real, approachable and understanding. And He gives me strength now and a concrete hope for a quality of life that will be simply lovely.”

Catherine Evans, 66

“The shimmering colours of the peacock feather is due to a phenomena known as ‘interference’. Each feather consists of tiny flat branches. When light shines on the feather, we see thousands of glimmering coloured spots, each caused by minuscule bowl-shaped indentations. That doesn’t happen by chance. If God pays such close attention to detail in his creatures, how much more care and attention is he paying in our lives?”

Talulah Riley, 22

As we said, please join us on 10th November at 7.30pm
for our very special Bible Class!

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DO IT NOW!

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It was once said “The most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do when it ought to be done whether you want to do it or not.”

Using this as a starting point it seems strange that most highly educated people have less time for God than ordinary people.

This proves the apostle Paul’s point when he said, “For the wisdom of this world is folly with God,” (1 Corinthians 3:19) because “.. God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world…..so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” (1Corinthians 1:27-29)

In this world of greatly increased knowledge we can become so absorbed in our own wisdom and our own petty problems that we completely fail to do what ought to be done when it ought to be done.

So let all of us, educated or not, learn the lesson – that of making ourselves do the thing we have to do when we ought to do it whether we want to do it or not.

The difference between success and failure in almost any venture is the ability to do the right thing at the right time. This illustrates the wisdom of Solomon who said “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die……” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) Too many of us put off doing the thing that is unpleasant or unappealing. True religion does not attract the natural man. Paul tells us that “the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God: for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed it cannot.” (Romans 8:7) If we are wise, we will learn what we ought to do and do it. It is vitally important for us to apply it to serving God. In the final analysis the only education really worth having is in God’s law and the only worthwhile wisdom is Godly wisdom.

Too many have spent their lives without doing what they ought to have done for God and realised as they lay on their death bed that all the things they knew and all the money they had was of little use.

Let us remember our Creator NOW before the years draw near when we are no longer able to obey God. We must not use the lame excuse that we don’t have time. We have all the time there is, 24 hours every day! No one has more or less than that. If we are honest with ourselves we must admit that we find time to do things we like to do. We must develop the ability to make ourselves do the thing we should do when it ought to be done. Now is the time to draw nigh unto God. At our death or at the Coming of the Lord Jesus to set up His Father’s Kingdom it will be too late.

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, or work, or knowledge, or wisdom, in Sheol [the grave], to which you are going.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

There is no joy like godly joy and no pleasure on earth like the peace of God but we shall never experience it unless we begin and persevere. By doing so, we, having been ” … set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification, and its end eternal life.” (Romans 6:22)

Quotes are taken from the ESV

*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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A Trip To Israel

Hello readers,

This blog post is a little bit different to our usual. One of our members has recently travelled to Israel and has very kindly agreed to share their experience with us on the blog. Enjoy!

“It was a pleasure to visit Israel for two weeks in August this year. I was able to develop an understanding of the history, both modern and ancient, of a land which God calls ‘most glorious of all lands” (Ezekiel 20:6) We visited many places.

Ashkelon, where Samson went to kill thirty Philistines for their garments, after they had tricked him, into revealing the answer to the riddle he had set by threatening his wife with death if she did not get the answer for them.(Judges 14:14-20) ;

Ashdod Philistine Cultural Museum which gives a context to the David and Goliath account, and to the endless struggle which Israel had with the surrounding people until the Babylonian captivity;

Masada where the Jews took refuge after fleeing Jerusalem after revolting against the Roman conquest of their land Jesus foretells the conquest in Matt 24:32-35.(Israel is symbolised as a fig tree).

The Mount of Olives Jerusalem where King David wept as he fled from Jerusalem when Absalom rebelled against his father (2 Samuel 15:30)

The Temple Mount Jerusalem where archaeologist Dr Leen Ritmeyer has found evidence of the First Temple Period platform from which Ezra spoke to the people who ‘sat in the open square before the house of God, trembling because of this matter and because of the heavy rain’ Ezra 10 (The children of Israel had been unfaithful by taking foreign wives after returning from the Babylonian exile)

The Jordan Valley where John baptised Jesus (Mark 1: 1-8) and where the Children of Israel crossed over when entering the land (Joshua 3)

Ein Harod, where Gideon separated the 300 men who were to go to war from those who were to go home (Judges 7)

Mount Carmel where Elijah met more than 850 false prophets of Baal and .all the people .to prove that the Lord is God.(1 Kings 18:20-40).

Independence Hall Tel Aviv where the modern state of Israel was confirmed by the UN vote in 1948. This was the fulfilment of Bible Prophecy which foretells the return of the Jews to the land of Israel.

Seeing such places as Shechem helps me to understand the different choices the Children of Israel had to make; did they want the blessing by obeying God or the curses because of disobedience, Mt Gerazim or Mt Ebal – the symbolic act described in Deut 27. Shechem, translated as Shoulder, lies between these two mountains emphasising that there is a great gulf between God’s blessings and His cursing, between choosing good and choosing evil.

Shechem

Beersheba, a town in the far south in Israel, a city whose ruins are excavated and preserved well enough for tourists to see the ouline of the city and some of the rooms clearly. It reminds one of how, in the latter period of the judges, the prophet Samuel’s sons Joel and Abijah “were judges” in Beer-sheba but that they “turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes and perverted justice”,

(1 Sam 8:6). This led the people of Israel to demand a king.

BeerSheba

The well in Beer-Sheba, 26 metres deep, reminds me of the fact that this was the foundation name of the city, the name chosen after Abraham and Abimelech made a covenant between them where “two of them took an oath”.(Genesis 21:22-31)

BeerSheba Well

Another interesting location was Perath. In Jeremiah 13:4, the prophet is told to go to this location, normally translated ‘Euphrates’, though it is actually more likely to be a location not too far from Jerusalem. This was misunderstood by commentators until recently.  

Perath                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

These sorts of things help me to understand the ‘beautiful land’ which God talks about and the relevance of it to my understanding of God, His Scriptures and the prophecies they contain for the future of our world.”

*To find out more about the Christadelphians in Ammanford, their faith and how you can be a part of it, please visit our website: www.ammanfordchristadelphians.co.uk

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WHAT ON EARTH IS HAPPENING?

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The speed of events worldwide is breathtaking! These are just a sample.

* Brexit has totally transformed the political landscape in the UK. In days there was a new Prime Minister and Cabinet. This change has huge consequences for Britain and Europe.

* According to the US National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration this June was the hottest ever recorded worldwide and the 14th consecutive month that global heat records were broken.

* We have witnessed Islamic terror attacks in Europe.

* The refugee and economic migration crisis is destabilising Europe.

* Aleppo is Syria’s largest city – 300,000 residents are facing barrel bombing by Syrian forces.

* President Putin has signed an anti-terror law which includes the banning of many activities by Christians such as emailed invitations for friends to attend church services.

* Because of intimidation worldwide, particularly in France, large numbers of Jews are moving to Israel.

The list goes on! Where can we find the solution to our world’s horrific problems?

God’s revealed Word, The Bible, has the answer.

The prophecy of Habakkuk in the Old Testament opens with the prophet complaining to God about the evils of that society – Habakkuk 1: 1 – 4. God then warns him of greater problems to come – Habakkuk 1:5 -12. God advises Habakkuk to place his faith in Him – Habakkuk 2: 1-4, that one day “… the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” Habakkuk2:14.

God then tells the prophet in a vision, Habakkuk 3, of the day when God will intervene in the earth and will establish that “glory”.

Having received this vision and having believed in what God had promised, Habakkuk accepted that horrific events were to happen in his own life time. Nevertheless he looked forward in faith to the time God has promised and writes “ yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God the LORD is my strength…”Habakkuk 3:18-19.

Are we like Habakkuk? Shall we see the “glory of the LORD” when Jesus returns? Just like Habakkuk we need the spectacles of faith to see beyond the horrors of the present time. How do we obtain faith? “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” Romans 10:17.

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Quotes taken from the KJV and ESV

*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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Rio 2016!

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The Olympics in Brazil are upon us! Will Mo Farah successfully defend his Olympic 5,000 metres title? All that training, self discipline over many months, even years, to be ready for the important day. We all admire Mo’s dedication and his obvious elation when he wins, but what about those who don’t do well on the day? The glory attached to winning is transient. One is a media hero for a few days, and a few years later forgotten.

The Bible talks about a race, keeping fit, and the prize set before the runner. This spiritual ‘Olympics’, however, is dealing with the race in which the participants are not competing against each other, but helping each other to win. The Apostle Paul writes “Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control lest, after preaching to others, I myself should be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:24 -27) Notice that his training is in conquering himself, his earthly desires and being filled with what the Bible calls “the fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22).

What about the prize? Imagine you have won the 100 metres race, all the glory and praise! Move on 25 years and hardly anyone remembers your ‘glory’ You look back in thought to those halcyon days. If only they could be repeated! Think of the Christian, growing old, yet looking to the future with joyful anticipation! Paul wrote “Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me at that Day, and not to me only, but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8). And although it is a spiritual race, the consequences of faithful running is the prize of an immortal body, on this planet, energised by the Spirit of God and giving glory to God. The prophet Isaiah wrote “But they who wait for the LORD shall renew (change) 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)

Let us choose God’s Olympics!

  • Join us at our hall in Foundry Road on Sunday 14th Aug 2016 at 18:00 to hear a special talk entitled: ‘Humanism and the Bible’. All are welcome to attend! See more of our upcoming events here.
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Light at the end of the tunnel

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The world’s longest and deepest rail tunnel was opened officially in Switzerland recently, after almost two decades of construction work. The 57l metre long twin-bore Gotthard base tunnel will provide a high speed rail link under the Swiss Alps between northern and southern Europe. Switzerland believes the tunnel will revolutionise European freight transport. Goods currently carried by a million lorries a year will be carried by train instead.

Although it is easier to travel across Europe today, the political/social and economic situations there, as in most parts of the globe, are fraught with problems. There does not appear to be any light at the end of the world’s political/social/economic tunnel.

Jesus warned that world chaos would dominate prior to his return. He told his disciples that there would be “….. upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven will be shaken”(Luke 21:25-26). The Greek word for “perplexity” means “finding no solution, at one’s wit’s end, having no idea how to proceed”.

Can we not see the beginnings of this perplexity in the world today? We see financial uncertainty, migrant crises, Middle East turmoil, Russian aggression, global warming and famine to name but a few issues causing fear, distress and perplexity. Who has the answer?

Having described the chaos to come upon the world, Jesus goes on to say “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near”(Luke 21:27-28). Jesus, the Light of the World, is to bring the Kingdom of God and solve all the world’s problems. Please read Psalm 72, a wonderful picture of the Kingdom of God on this earth. To a true Christian, the light at the end of the tunnel of human experience is the coming again of Jesus to the earth. On a personal level the Christian’s salvation is totally dependent on this event. For the survival of the planet it is absolutely essential. Now is the time to come to the light of the Gospel.

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Quotes from NKJV Bible

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