The Environmental Crisis

The Worldwatch Institute produces an annual report entitled ‘State of the World’. This year the report emphasises the need to educate children about the vital importance of the natural environment, encouraging them to see the need to work with it, to be custodians of it, to be careful not to exploit it. Many countries of the world encourage schools to hold lessons outdoors in woods and forests in all kinds of weather. Imaginative projects are undertaken which stimulate the children’s interest for caring for the world in which they live.

The sin of greed and selfishness is the basic cause of the great crisis our planet faces. God says:
“For every beast of the forest is mine,
And the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the mountains,
And the wild beasts of the field are mine …
For the world is mine, and all its fullness.”
(Psalm 50:10-12)

The Law given by God to Moses and the people of Israel stresses care for the environment and animals. The most significant principles enshrined in the Law show that we have a duty to manage our planet for its Creator and Owner, God Himself.

In modern times this principle has been forgotten, and the main aim of many is to get rich without any care for the effect it may have on our world. Is there an answer to this crisis?

So far we have stressed that sin is the principle reason why the planet is in such a mess.

We have to go to the Bible to understand what sin is. God’s Book tells us about the consequences of sin, its removal and God’s offer of salvation to all who try to follow His law. Because of the sin of disobedience Adam and Eve were condemned to die and the ground was cursed.

“Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground , For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:17-18)

The apostle Paul wrote: “the creation was subjected to futility , not willingly , but because of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” (Romans 8:20-21)

Here we read that God has promised that one day bondage and corruption will disappear on this planet. When Jesus returns to set up His Father’s Kingdom He will give His faithful followers everlasting life. All of God’s creation will be liberated when Jesus comes back. There are many detailed and glowing pictures of that age in God’s Word.

“The days are coming says the Lord, “When the ploughman shall overtake the reaper and the treader of grapes him who sows seed.” (Amos 9:13)

“The mountains will bring peace to the people,
And the little hills, by righteousness.
He shall come down like rain upon the grass before mowing,
Like showers that water the earth.”
(Psalm 72:3 & 6)

“The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose.”
(Isaiah 35:1)

May we prepare for that wonderful time!

Quotes from the NKJV.

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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The truth of the empty tomb!

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I want to be direct and talk about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, not just because it’s Easter time (a very good prompt of course) but because it is vital. It is the foundation of the Christian faith. Perhaps you do believe that “Christ died for our sins…that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. ( 1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

I do hope you will find these thoughts positive and reaffirming. However, you may be sceptical or just cannot accept it. Well, perhaps what follows will be food for thought!

Jesus of Nazareth is an historical figure, real and recorded in the literature of the era. He was known as a Jewish teacher who was crucified as a criminal, a death his followers did not expect. Amazingly however, within weeks, they turned from dejection and inertia to become an active, vital and very convincing force. They preached at home and abroad that Jesus had risen from the dead and had been seen by many of them. Saul, a resolute enemy and persecutor of Christians, became utterly convinced. (Acts 8) He became known as the apostle Paul, the foremost preacher of Jesus Christ. He committed and ultimately gave up his life for his risen Lord. These facts about what happened 2000 years ago are on record.

Roman and Jewish enemies could have stopped the movement in its tracks and shown it to be false simply by producing Jesus’ body. But the tomb was empty and the body gone! The tomb was sealed and a guard had been placed there to stop his disciples from removing his body.

The apostle Paul said of the resurrection” I am speaking true and rational words” (Acts 26:25).

Many have spoken irrationally and falsely about the empty tomb. Many theories have tried to explain away Jesus’ resurrection but all disappear when the evidence is judged fairly and squarely. Some maintain that Jesus appeared dead but had merely swooned and then revived in the cool of the tomb. He had then escape. Hardened, seasoned soldiers and their centurion knew a dead, lacerated body when they saw one. Jesus had been pierced in his hands and feet, had hung on a cross in the heat of the day and, just to make sure that he was truly dead, the soldiers pierced him with a sword in his side !His followers would have looked desperately for signs of life as they prepared his body for the tomb. What is more, how could a man, so badly wounded have removed the huge stone sealing the entrance?. He would then have to evade the guards! Clearly impossible!

The truth of the empty tomb is that Jesus is alive and “declared to be the Son of God in power…. by his resurrection from the dead.”( Romans 1:4)

This wonderful ‘outside our experience’ supernatural fact is pivotal. It is the centre of the truth of the Bible. The grave could not contain him because he alone was sinless. His life, freely given, can save us and reconcile us to God. His resurrection is the assurance that God will raise and judge many at Christ’s return to our earth. (Acts 17:31)

So, as Paul says “Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?” (Acts 26:8)

(All quote from ESV Bible)

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Faith

“Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even because of the lack of evidence. Faith is not allowed to justify by argument.”

Excerpt taken from a speech by Prof Dawkins (1992), entitled Lions 10, Christians nil

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Faith in God is derived by reading, understanding and believing the Bible’s message. The apostle Paul wrote: “So faith comes from hearing and hearing through the Word of God”. (Romans 10:17)

Let us put this Biblical faith to the test, particularly the Old Testament. God has a purpose with the Jewish people. They have been dispersed throughout the world, as the Bible says (Deuteronomy 28:64-68) because of their waywardness. However, God promised and we are witnesses to the fact that they have returned to Israel, in fulfilment of Bible Prophecy. The prophet Ezekiel writes: “Thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the people from the nations among which they have gone and will gather them from all around, and bring them to their own land. And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all …” (Ezekiel 37:21,22)

Since 1948 the Jews have returned to their land and are now a prominent nation in the earth. We are seeing part of the above prophecy being fulfilled. Other prophecies indicated the following events happening just before the return of Jesus to the earth. For example:

  •  Jews in control of Jerusalem (Joel 3:1)
  • Jerusalem -source of international trouble (Zechariah  12:1 , 2)
  • Jewish nation prosperous (Ezekiel 38:12 ,13)
  • Arab nations and others trying to destroy Israel( Ezekiel 38:1, -12).

Remember, the Old Testament was written before Jesus was born!

I can get on a plane to Israel, journey to Jerusalem and note the hatred towards the Jews by some Arabs and see the prosperity of Israel. All these events prerecorded in a book which was written before the birth of Jesus!

These details are just a few of many that could be presented.

Shortly Jesus will be back to establish the Kingdom of God. What a shock for Dr Dawkins!

Will it be a shock for you? We all need to be getting ready for this world shattering event!

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*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. Our next public meeting will be held at 2.30pm on Sunday, in our hall, Foundry Road, Ammanford. All are welcome to attend!

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