Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Satanic Accusation:Satanic Oppression by Frank Hunting




The attached podcast was part of a School of Prayer conducted by Frank Hunting at the Church of Christ at Grote Street Adelaide in the 1970's.
Frank was visiting the Church prior to taking up a part time appointment alongside his good friend Pastor Harold Long.
I had never heard anything like this and was privileged to sit under Frank's teaching for the next several years.
I may be able to post the whole school on this site progressively.
It was not recorded professionally but you will benefit if you concentrate on this.
I have notes on his school of prayer that compliment this podcast.
Contact me if you wish to have a copy pertaining to this subject.
Unfortunately many Christians and most non Christians are ignorant about the devil.
In this message Frank distinguishes between satanic accusation and satanic oppression.
As CS Lewis remarked, along these lines anyway in his preface to the Screwtape Letters, mankind makes 2 main mistakes about the devil.
They are either totally disbelieving about any such thing or tend to see the devil being responsible for everything that goes wrong.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Put on Christ

This was my working draft for the message I brought to The Parkrose United Church on 5/11/17.

I added a little extra during the actual presentation.

The Church meets every Sunday within the Parkrose Nursing Home,Everard Park.

Text for the day.

Matthew 23.

Woe to the Scribes and Pharisees


23 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe,[a] that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ,[b] and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. 11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

Sermon:

  
Put on Christ!



All of today’s reading are the words of Jesus Himself.



So we need to say what is this saying to us.



Bear in mind this was being spoken to Jewish people not Gentiles who are us in this modern day.



Jesus had gone into the temple where He was teaching the people there.



This was not long before the time of His crucifixion.



He was being bombarded with questions by the Scribes and Pharisees who were trying to trip him up as their very authority and standing with the public was being threatened..



“23 And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?”



They could see Jesus was a lot more popular than them and they basked in their power and authority.



We will take one piece at a time from our reading, or some of them anyway.



23 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe,[a] that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.



Have you ever heard the phrase “do what I say but don’t do what I do”.



The world is full of hypocrisy like that isn’t it?



This sort of thing is most evident to kids when their parents might say not to smoke or drink but they are continuing on their way practicing their bad habits in front of their children. 



Notice Jesus did say to those present don’t ignore the things the scribes and pharisees are saying but practice them,for  they do have authority in the Jewish religion, but don’t follow the examples they set which are really poor.

Remember this was still the time before Jesus Crucifixion and Resurrection.



The Jews were still living under the Law as handed down by Moses and the Prophets.



The fulfilling of the Law was still required to be right with God, and the age or dispensenation of grace had not yet begun.



For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.



The scribes and Pharisees had by this time so expanded on the commandments and practices and rituals of the Old testament that it made life very difficult for the ordinary practicing Jew.



Willian Barclay a Christain author shares this with us.



“in the 4th and 5th centuries bc there came into being a class of legal experts known as scribes.



They were not content with great moral principles; they had what could only be described as a passion for definition.



They wanted these great principles(of the old testament law) amplified and expanded and broken down until they issued in thousands and thousands of little rules and regulations governing every possible action and every possible situation in life.”



I will not describe all the weird things that they brought in here but according to William Barclay,

 “to the Pharasaic and scribal Jew these things were their religion.

Ritual,ceremonial and regulations that they considered to be the essence and of the service of God.

Ethical religion was buried under a mass of tabus and rukles”



They were on about things being clean or unclean to a ridiculous level.



“but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.”



The scribes and Pharisees while putting on a great show of their religion did nothing to help the common man.



The passage we had read to us today refers to these things called Phylacteries.



. But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues,



This is still a Jewish custom practiced in these times as well as then.



I don’t know if you have ever had in your possession little plastic box with cards for every day of the year with a scripture promise written on them.



These were popular a while back.

They were supposed to help you with your daily devotions but were a bit like a lucky dip.



I guess they might be helpful as thought starters much like you can still read a thought for the day verse each day in the Advertiser.



Well Phylacteries are mentioned in the Old testament and were quite specific in



construction,



what passages they contained from the Old Testament, 



(The same 4 old testament passages were in all of them)



and where you wore them or displayed them.



They made a big show of wearing these things on their foreheads and also their wrists.



It was like a status symbol and also an amulet.



Much as some people today where amulets and some bracelets to protect them or their children of illness or tragedy.



It was like “look at me I am a practising jew”, all the while turning a blind eye to the real needs of their fellow men,



The Law of the Lord is perfect, according to Psalm 19:7. Psalm 1 emphasizes the importance of meditating upon God’s Word both day and night. We should never forget it; it should be a part of our daily lives. The Word belongs in our hearts, not just on our foreheads.





So to all appearances the Pharisees and Scribes were highly religious people.



They tended to strut a bit which is what Jesus is focusing on.



They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ,[b] and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ.



We have a tendency with our clergy of today to place them up on pedestals.



How soon does the world, the media, jump on members of the clergy who do bad things.



They and we can see the hypocrisy of bad behavior.



We need to check our own behaviour to make sure we do not become like the Pharisees and scribes.

Before we jump on the Pharisees and Scribes we need to ask ourselves where our true heart lies.

Do we come to Church just like in  that old TV programme.



It was called “keeping up appearances”


Is that the extent of our faith?


Are we wanting to be seen to be doing “the right thing”?


Do we think that if we put some money on the collection,


Join in the singing,


Listen to the sermon,


Take communion,


that this means we have arrived,


We are paying for our ticket to heaven?


Is our faith coming from God,

  
in the person of the lord Jesus residing within us,


through His holy Spirit,


speaking to us as we meditate daily on the Word of God and seeking to apply it’s truth to our lives?


When we become Christians we can become a whole new person inside.


We are told we can become a new creation,

2 Corinthians 5

17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.


We are urged to put off the “old man” or woman, and to put on Christ.

14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

This actually means we are to realise and put into practice that Jesus is our Saviour.


We are to be clothed in His righteousness.


He has made all things new.


He lives within us.

"It is no longer I that lives but Jesus who lives in me".


As we allow Him to work and live through us then the laws that the Pharisees were on about will be more than fulfilled.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”



Romans 13:8-14King James Version (KJV)

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.




Tuesday, July 11, 2017

"Keeping Short accounts with God" by Geoff Thompson

This post is a transcript of the message I brought to the two Renmark Uniting Church Congregations on 9th July 2017.


ORDER OF SERVICE RENMARK 9/7/17 
Welcome : Geoff
Call to worship: Psalm 45:1-7 and prayer of invocation.
Hymn: “Jesus lover of my Soul” AHB 139
Bible Reading: Romans 7:15-25 (NIV)
Hymn:”O Love that wilt not let me go.” AHB 525
Offering:
Prayers of Repentance,Intercession, and confession
Hymn:“To God be the Glory.” AHB 85
Sermon: “Keeping short accounts with God.”
Hymn: ”What a friend we have in Jesus” AHB 165
Benediction:
Vesper: “May our Lord,God of Peace.” Edelweiss tune

SCRIPTURE READING

Romans 7:15-25

Romans 7:15-25New International Version (NIV)
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!



SERMON:”Keeping short accounts with God”

“For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.”

Do you wonder in dismay when you see someone in an AFl game just out of the blue, king hit someone and knock them out.

Usually the person will say that is just not my usual character.

“I am ashamed I did that.”

“I am so sorry.”

They usually have apologised before the day ends to the person they hit.

I can remember in my football days doing things I was immediately not proud of.

Do you find yourself,  as a committed Christian, that like the Apostle Paul, this is your ongoing experience?

“For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.”

Do you have days when you are feeling quite spiritually aware,
and in tune with God’s voice,

and His involvement in your life,

and yet,

other times where you can’t seem to touch base with Him,

and even sometimes don’t want to.

And when you don’t want to,

you feel guilty because you think

“I am a Christian, I shouldn’t think that way.”

When that’s happening you can feel like you are in a tug of war with God.

So we ask ourselves how real is my faith?

Am I really a Christian or am I just pretending?

Do I really believe what I tell people?

We have thoughts that come into our heads along the lines of “You call yourself a Christian, so how come you said that?”

Other thoughts we might have  might say “the Christian life is just too hard, why don’t I just live like everyone else does?”

The Apostle Paul was obviously having some battles when he wrote the words in Romans 7.

“For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.”

You can see we are in good company when we have similar thoughts.

So will we ever be free of all this too-ing and frow-ing in our minds?

Now to many people who observe us from a distance they might think we are wonderful Christians.

That can be because we are very good at making sure others don’t know about our secret sin or thoughts that are less than Christian.

We don’t want people to think ill of us.

We have a reputation after all!

I think back, and you can probably think of examples, where a fine  upright Christian person has been caught out for embezzelement and fraud.

Totally the opposite to how the person came across.

Were they just plain evil and deceitful?

The Bible teaches us as Christians that we have 5 enemies.

Sin

The flesh

The devil

death.

the world

Let’s deal with the flesh.

This is what Paul says.
“5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.”

And he goes on to say :

“8 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,[b] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.[c] And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

Note how three of our enemies are dispensed with here.

Sin, Death and the Flesh.

This has all been accomplished by Jesus on the Cross.

We do need to recognise this of course and make this real in our lives.

The “flesh” is where the enemy of mankind, the devil, attacks us.

He attacks us through

our minds,

our thoughts.

The things we look at,

the things we read,

the things we listen to,

our behaviour towards others;

So will we ever be free of temptation to do wrong?

No!

But we can be free of any power that temptation has over us.

We can claim the victory that our position in Christ has given us.

Paul gives us the answer.
It is found in other parts of the Bible also.

“9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.”
“but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 “

Abiding in Christ.

Walking in the Spirit

is the key to peace with God.

How do we do that?

We allow God to control our behaviour through His Holy Spirit.

We cultivate and develop right habits.

Habits like daily reading the Bible so that our minds become saturated with God’s will for us.

Habits of always seeking to forgive and not condemn.

The habit of giving up our right to ourselves!

Always wanting to be served first!

get special favour above everyone else!

We might see where some Christian we know is failing in their Christian walk.

Usually we can only see where someone else is failing because we have the same sin in our own lives.(finger pointing exercise)

It is not for us to criticise or condemn but to intercede on their behalf.

So what about the devil?

The devil is still very active in the world today.

He attacks Christians through his accusations and life's circumstances.

But the devil is defeated.

He was defeated when Jesus was crucified.

Listen to this in Colossians 2:14-15

“He has forgiven you all your sins: Christ has utterly wiped out the damning evidence of broken laws and commandments which always hung over our heads, and has completely annulled it by nailing it over his own head on the cross. And then having drawn the sting of all the powers ranged against us, he exposed them, shattered, empty and defeated, in his final glorious triumphant act!”

"And then having drawn the sting of all the powers ranged against us, he exposed them, shattered, empty and defeated, in his final glorious triumphant act!”

The Bible tells us we don’t fight with flesh and blood but principalities and powers in high places.

Those powers are the realm of the devil and they were dealt with on the cross.

We need to stand up to the devil  like a traffic cop has the authority to stop traffic.

We have all the authority of the Cross of Christ behind us.

So will we go on sinning?

that is very likely,

as human beings,

 tainted by the fall in the Garden of Eden.

But this is where our title comes in.

“Keeping short accounts with God!”

How do we keep our faith fresh and alive?

How do we keep these so called short accounts.

It’s called repentance.

We have someone we can turn to when we fail.

1 John 1: Living Bible
  5 This is the message God has given us to pass on to you: that God is Light and in him is no darkness at all. 6 So if we say we are his friends but go on living in spiritual darkness and sin, we are lying. 7 But if we are living in the light of God’s presence, just as Christ does, then we have wonderful fellowship and joy with each other, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from every sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him,[a] he can be depended on to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. And it is perfectly proper for God to do this for us because Christ died to wash away our sins.* 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are lying and calling God a liar, for he says we have sinned.
1 John 2Living Bible (TLB)
2 My little children, I am telling you this so that you will stay away from sin. But if you sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father. His name is Jesus Christ, the one who is all that is good and who pleases God completely. 2 He is the one who took God’s wrath against our sins upon himself and brought us into fellowship with God; and he is the forgiveness for our sins,[a] and not only ours but all the world’s."

If we sin,

we recognise it,

we repent,

we forgive,

we confess,

we keep on with walking in God’s light.

Did I mention the world earlier as an enemy?

We have to live in the world and mix with the worldly,

but we don’t have to be part of it!

we don’t have to conform!

We have choices don’t we?

We can make these choices new each day.

Keeping Short accounts with God through our Saviour and Advocate,
the Lord Jesus Christ!

Just one real life example:
A well known Christian author,pastor and counsellor!

This was just one of his quotes.

He was a highly motivated and gifted Christian.

“Anger is a divinely implanted emotion. Closely allied to our instinct for right, it is designed to be used for constructive spiritual purposes. The person who cannot feel anger at evil is a person who lacks enthusiasm for good. If you cannot hate wrong, it's very questionable whether you really love righteousness.”

You see he was very much against evil,

 against what he did!

 I have some of this mans books and tapes of his sermons.

He was without doubt a very influential and wonderfully gifted teacher and counsellor.

I still value his teaching and books etc.

He fell from grace very badly.

He had an affair.

The good news is his wife forgave him and so did the Church, in time.

He had to take the same course that I have been outlining here.

Confession!

Repentance!

Acceptance of God’s grace!

And God has forgiven him!

He is now with His Lord.

None of us here are denied God’s grace.

The love of Jesus Christ!

Perhaps we should all check our overdue accounts!

Before I close I would just like to make an observation:

When I was about 20 I was overcome by a serious anxiety state or depression.

It was really because of feeling guilty about something.

It gave me some very serious physical and emotional problems.

Lesley at this time, suggested we go to Church and that might help.

This was before we were married.

The sermon was by a man who really belted out the Gospel.

I heard the word sin mentioned about every second word.

All the sermon did, as I heard it, was convince me I was a hopeless case.

Because I felt guilt I knew my problem was sin.

The trouble is I was so neurotic at the time I didn’t hear that a solution was also being offered.

All I was hearing was "the wages of sin is death"

I was thinking I had no hope to be relieved of these symptoms.

I was a hopeless case!

I wasn't hearing the part that says: "but the Gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.!"

I came out of that Church feeling worst than when i went in.

Some 8 years later I fully understood what he was saying and was able to know the peace and forgiveness that Jesus brings.

My prayer and hope that today if there is someone here, who just like me so many years ago, is not really able to cope with all this sin talk, will go home and realise that while sin is a reality in everyone’s lives,

that Jesus indeed provides the way of escape as we have been learning.

and does choose to receive Jesus as Lord and Saviour.

Through:

 1Faith and Belief that Jesus is the Son of God,

2. Confession of sin.

3. Repentance

4. Acceptance that He is your only Saviour

5. And by being obedient in Baptism



AMEN!

PS. I have recorded this message and may put it up on youtube later.
If any would like a copy of the recording I can email it to you.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Whatever happened to Evangelism? A challenge for young Christians and not so young..



A Churches of Christ Tent Mission from way back. I think these were conducted by E C Henriksen.Note the blackboard at the front with clear instructions on salvation

I became a Christian in 1974.

My wife and I were a product of the "Jesus" revolution of the 1970's.

The signature symbol  of the movement was the one way logo with the hand with index finger pointed to the sky.
My wife became a Christian about 3 years before I did.

There was a world wide movement of God's Holy Spirit reaching out to young people fresh from the 60's cultural revolution.

There was a lot of rebellion in that time world wide. Check the stuff online.

There started to be a revival around the world that was complemented by a thriving Christian Music Industry and dynamic Preachers and Evangelists and testimonies of many people, some pop celebrities, telling how they had found Jesus as Lord and Saviour.

The paraphrased "Living Bible", which put the Bible in today's language, was a major tool in this movement.
I still find it my main "go to" Bible.

The Gospel was very enticing and  proposed without fear or favour.

Paul Stukey of Peter Paul and Mary became a Christian when a young "Jesus Freak" aproached him backstage at a concert and boldy presented him with the Gospel. Apparently Paul had been searching for answers prior to this happening.
Barry Maguire the famous singer of the Protest Era anthem ,"The Eve of Destruction" became a Christian.
He this day seems to still be a Christian but like many  he has changed his views on some things along the way.

He featured in a very popular Gospel Musical  called "the Witness".
My wife sang in the choir in an Adelaide production of this.

Keith Green, Christian Musician and Evangelist, a little bit further along the continuum, became a huge influence.
He made his albums of Gospel music free if you couldn't afford the price and his concerts had huge attendances and a strong challenge for Christian Commitment.
He met an untimely death aged 28 in a plane crash.
http://www.lastdaysministries.org/ 

To "witness", to tell of your faith and what Jesus had done for you and what was possible for your "witnessee" was the norm for new Christians in the evangelical tradition.
We were trained in how to do this and the booklet "The Four Spiritual Laws" produced by Campus Crusade for Christ was widely used.
In fact when I became a Christian my Pastor used it to help summarise for me what I was doing the night I responded to the Gospel invitation after an evening service.

I have seen many people both "famous" and "nobodies" along the journey profess Jesus as their saviour.
Sadly some fall by the wayside which is a "normal" happening when you take into consideration the parable of the sower.

These days, in the city of Adelaide,South Australia, I see little evidence of a vibrant Christian movement in our Churches.

Perhaps I don't get out much.

There have been many great revivals over the years but there seems to be a lack of anything like revival in these times.

People seem to have lost sight of the Power of The Cross of Christ and instead water the Gospel down with all sorts of promises of experiences and "connecting " with God.

We hardly connect with each other let alone God.

My wife and I and others were fortunate to be exposed to some very balanced and Biblical teaching.

What seems to be lacking today is for example:

1.  a spirit of discernment. The whole idea of if you stand for nothing you fall for anything seems to be well and truly operating.

2. A thorough Biblical understanding of the Christian conversion process and progression from there.

3. An accurate theology on the Holy Spirit and the Gifts of the Spirit.

4. The recognition of who the Christian's enemy is and the weapons God has given us to combat the enemy.

5. The need to preach the Cross only and to recognise that when you do that people are confronted with Jesus.

6. An understanding of the three most important things. The Book, The Blood and The Blessed Hope.

I have been going back through some of the writings of some of my predecessors in the denomination in which I have hung my hat.

One of our mottos was we are not the only Christians but Christians only.

A good motto I think.

About 130 or more years ago Adelaide people had a hunger for the Gospel.

Gospel Meetings were attended by large crowds.

See this written account by HS Earl who was a visiting Evangelist from America called to Australia by the Churches of Christ.

this was in 1866.

"ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA,      
Editors of British Harbinger.--
      The past month has been one of unusual interest; indeed it stands without a parallel in the history of the cause we plead, or any other religious body, in Australia. Our audiences have been overwhelming, the interest most solemn and profound, and the results most soul-inspiring. Last Lord's day, August 26, I preached in the New Town Hall to the largest audience ever congregated for religious purposes in South Australia. It is estimated by the press and others, that upwards of 2,200 were present, and more than 500 were unable to gain admittance. All available space was occupied, and hundreds stood during the whole service. The most marked attention was given by this vast assemblage, and a profound interest prevailed. All classes and creeds were represented--The Mayor of the city, Councilors, Members of Parliament, Ministers, Lawyers, Doctors, Merchants, Artisans, and Mechanics--Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Episcopalians, Congregationalists, Universalists, &c. At the close of the discourse several persons confessed their faith in Christ. Last week I baptized the largest number of persons ever baptized at one time in South Australia, and the meeting was one of intense interest. During the past month no less than forty-three persons "have been baptized into Christ" and added to the Church of Christ, and several others have confessed their faith in Christ, and will be "buried with him in baptism" to-night, (D.V.) Thus the cause of "Pure Christianity" is advancing most gloriously in South Australia, and would soon occupy the foremost rank in power and influence, if we could only get several able and devoted Evangelists in the field. The Brethren are very anxious to hear that the Evangelist sent for from America is on his way hither. We sincerely hope there will be no delay. Now is the time he is specially needed here, as also the one sent for for Victoria. "The harvest truly is plenteous but the labourers are few.
H. S. EARL,  "

A Churches of Christ Tent Mission from way back. I think these were conducted by E C Henriksen.Note the blackboard at the front with clear instructions on salvation



Indeed the labourers are few.

You might say today's citizens of Adelaide are a lot more "sophisticated" than the people of that day.

Mores the pity.

We think we have made progress with our technology, out theories of evolution, our anything goes type of society.

Our so called "wisdom" is our downfall.

We have been caught like frogs in "the boiling frog" analogy.

As the Apostle Paul puts it.:

1 Corinthians 1

Christ Crucified Is God’s Power and Wisdom

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”[a]
20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Young person or older person will you become a "fool" for God?

"For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength."













I became a Christian in 1974.

My wife and I were a product of the "Jesus" revolution of the 1970's.

The signature symbol  of the movement was the one way logo with the hand with index finger pointed to the sky.
My wife became a Christian about 3 years before I did.

There was a world wide movement of God's Holy Spirit reaching out to young people fresh from the 60's cultural revolution.

There was a lot of rebellion in that time world wide. Check the stuff online.

There started to be a revival around the world that was complemented by a thriving Christian Music Industry and dynamic Preachers and Evangelists and testimonies of many people, some pop celebrities, telling how they had found Jesus as Lord and Saviour.

The paraphrased "Living Bible", which put the Bible in today's language, was a major tool in this movement.
I still find it my main "go to" Bible.

The Gospel was very enticing and  proposed without fear or favour.

Paul Stukey of Peter Paul and Mary became a Christian when a young "Jesus Freak" aproached him backstage at a concert and boldy presented him with the Gospel. Apparently Paul had been searching for answers prior to this happening.
Barry Maguire the famous singer of the Protest Era anthem ,"The Eve of Destruction" became a Christian.
He this day seems to still be a Christian but like many  he has changed his views on some things along the way.

He featured in a very popular Gospel Musical  called "the Witness".
My wife sang in the choir in an Adelaide production of this.

Keith Green, Christian Musician and Evangelist, a little bit further along the continuum, became a huge influence.
He made his albums of Gospel music free if you couldn't afford the price and his concerts had huge attendances and a strong challenge for Christian Commitment.
He met an untimely death aged 28 in a plane crash.
http://www.lastdaysministries.org/ 

To "witness", to tell of your faith and what Jesus had done for you and what was possible for your "witnessee" was the norm for new Christians in the evangelical tradition.
We were trained in how to do this and the booklet "The Four Spiritual Laws" produced by Campus Crusade for Christ was widely used.
In fact when I became a Christian my Pastor used it to help summarise for me what I was doing the night I responded to the Gospel invitation after an evening service.

I have seen many people both "famous" and "nobodies" along the journey profess Jesus as their saviour.
Sadly some fall by the wayside which is a "normal" happening when you take into consideration the parable of the sower.

These days, in the city of Adelaide,South Australia, I see little evidence of a vibrant Christian movement in our Churches.

Perhaps I don't get out much.

There have been many great revivals over the years but there seems to be a lack of anything like revival in these times.

People seem to have lost sight of the Power of The Cross of Christ and instead water the Gospel down with all sorts of promises of experiences and "connecting " with God.

We hardly connect with each other let alone God.

My wife and I and others were fortunate to be exposed to some very balanced and Biblical teaching.

What seems to be lacking today is for example:

1.  a spirit of discernment. The whole idea of if you stand for nothing you fall for anything seems to be well and truly operating.

2. A thorough Biblical understanding of the Christian conversion process and progression from there.

3. An accurate theology on the Holy Spirit and the Gifts of the Spirit.

4. The recognition of who the Christian's enemy is and the weapons God has given us to combat the enemy.

5. The need to preach the Cross only and to recognise that when you do that people are confronted with Jesus.

6. An understanding of the three most important things. The Book, The Blood and The Blessed Hope.

I have been going back through some of the writings of some of my predecessors in the denomination in which I have hung my hat.

One of our mottos was we are not the only Christians but Christians only.

A good motto I think.

About 130 or more years ago Adelaide people had a hunger for the Gospel.

Gospel Meetings were attended by large crowds.

See this written account by HS Earl who was a visiting Evangelist from America called to Australia by the Churches of Christ.

this was in 1866.

"ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA,      
Editors of British Harbinger.--
      The past month has been one of unusual interest; indeed it stands without a parallel in the history of the cause we plead, or any other religious body, in Australia. Our audiences have been overwhelming, the interest most solemn and profound, and the results most soul-inspiring. Last Lord's day, August 26, I preached in the New Town Hall to the largest audience ever congregated for religious purposes in South Australia. It is estimated by the press and others, that upwards of 2,200 were present, and more than 500 were unable to gain admittance. All available space was occupied, and hundreds stood during the whole service. The most marked attention was given by this vast assemblage, and a profound interest prevailed. All classes and creeds were represented--The Mayor of the city, Councilors, Members of Parliament, Ministers, Lawyers, Doctors, Merchants, Artisans, and Mechanics--Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Episcopalians, Congregationalists, Universalists, &c. At the close of the discourse several persons confessed their faith in Christ. Last week I baptized the largest number of persons ever baptized at one time in South Australia, and the meeting was one of intense interest. During the past month no less than forty-three persons "have been baptized into Christ" and added to the Church of Christ, and several others have confessed their faith in Christ, and will be "buried with him in baptism" to-night, (D.V.) Thus the cause of "Pure Christianity" is advancing most gloriously in South Australia, and would soon occupy the foremost rank in power and influence, if we could only get several able and devoted Evangelists in the field. The Brethren are very anxious to hear that the Evangelist sent for from America is on his way hither. We sincerely hope there will be no delay. Now is the time he is specially needed here, as also the one sent for for Victoria. "The harvest truly is plenteous but the labourers are few.
H. S. EARL,  "


The people waiting to hear the Gospel



Indeed the labourers are few.

You might say today's citizens of Adelaide are a lot more "sophisticated" than the people of that day.

Mores the pity.

We think we have made progress with our technology, out theories of evolution, our anything goes type of society.

Our so called "wisdom" is our downfall.

We have been caught like frogs in "the boiling frog" analogy.

As the Apostle Paul puts it.:

1 Corinthians 1

Christ Crucified Is God’s Power and Wisdom

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”[a]
20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Young person or older person will you become a "fool" for God?

"For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength."












Saturday, December 10, 2016

Speaking Personally- Devotional Readings

You will find many sermons and studies by the late Pastor Frank Hunting on this blog and my youtube channel.
I have started an occasional reading of some of his devotional booklet material and Bible Studies.
More to come.




Monday, November 28, 2016

The Road to Jerusalem by Geoff Thompson

This message was recorded at the Renmark West Uniting Church on Palm Sunday 2016.

I speak as a lay preacher a few times a year in the Renmark West and Renmark Town Church.

The pictures with audio are just so I can upload the audio to youtube.

 I recorded this on my iphone.I also have a blog called geoffthompsonsblog.blogspot.com.au

My youtube channel is at pembridgehouse.





The First Adam v the Last Adam by Pastor Harold Long

 
This video is about The First Adam v the Last Adam by Harold Long.
The opening Bible readings are by the late Pastor Frank Hunting.
The late Harold Long was a Churches of Christ minister and the one who was instrumental in my becoming a Christian.
It  is an important message to enable us to understand the Gospel. It shows how we are born "in Adam", a life that leads to death and when we become Christians we are "in Christ" and have entered into eternal life and freedom.It is also important to note how important the opening Chapters of Genesis are and that we should read them as literal truth.   Geoff Thompson