Today’s Sermon

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The sermon for September 24th is now available on the New Life web-site.

In this sermon, which is based on Revelation chapters 21 and 22, I talk about the city of God.

Click here to listen in your browser, here to download the mp3

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Reflection on Philippians 1:21-20

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Passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Philippians+1:21-30

Scripture

For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain.

Observation

For Christians, continuing to live means fruitful labour in the lordship of Christ, but dying means we get to be with Christ. Paul was aware of this dilemma. He wanted to be with Christ but also wanted to help the Philippians grow in Christ.

The Philippians are encouraged to live in a manner worthy of the gospel. They should stand firm against their opponents. Their steadfastness is evidence of their salvation but also of their foes’ destruction.

Believing in Christ and suffering for Him are both privileges from God.

Application

Many Christians live with the values of the world not of the gospel. We get so caught up in the flesh that we lose sight of the spiritual.

This earthly life, with all of its joys and griefs and ups and downs, is just the beginning of our life. We will reign with Christ for ever.

Paul was torn between living for the love of the people he oversaw and love for eternal life with Christ,

We experience fellowship with Christ in this life, but how much more shall we be with Him in the next life. To live is Christ but to die is gain.

Death is not the end of life for the believer. It is a new birth, a transition to something even better.

Always our focus must be on the long-term goal of eternity as well as on the present.

This is the ultimate win- win situation. We live well in this life and get to do it for ever. We have fellowship with Christ now, as a preparation for even better fellowship with Him in eternity.

Prayer

Father please forgive me for the times I lose sight of who I am in Christ. Help me to live every day as preparation for the life to come. Amen.

WORLD ENDS? WELL IT MAY TAKE A BIT LONGER NOW… Melanie Phillips

Melanie Phillips writes that the  climate “scientists” are startnig to admit that the computer models might be running “on the hot side” and we may have a bit longer to repent of our sins against  Gaia.
So the long walk-back from the doom merchandising begins. It will take a few more years and a few more trillion dollars thrown into emissions reduction and expensive renewable energy, but our politicians (except the Greens of course who are the thickest of the lot) will eventually wake up to the con.
The tragedy of lives lost by people who could not afford to heat or cool their homes, the jobs lost in manufacturing industries, the hospitals and schools that could have been funded on money diverted is all incalculable.
climate-activists

WORLD ENDS? WELL IT MAY TAKE A BIT LONGER NOW…

Climate scientists have now admitted they were wrong about man-made global warming and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Not very wrong, you understand, just a bit wrong. Apparently the planet is still going to hell in a carbon-lined hand-cart, just more slowly.

A study in the journal Nature Geoscience says the world has warmed more slowly than had been forecast by computer models, which were “on the hot side” and overstated the impact of emissions. You don’t say.

Global average temperature has risen by about 0.9C since pre-industrial times but there was a slowdown in the rate of warming for 15 years before 2014.

Er, would that be the slowdown that was authoritatively said not to have happened because the computer models all said it was impossible for it to happen, because everyone knew that rising CO2 levels inescapably caused global temperatures to rise and anyone who said the evidence of the slowdown showed the entire theory was bunkum and hogwash was a “denier”?

Yes, it would.

The Times reports:

“Myles Allen, professor of geosystem science at the University of Oxford and another author, said: ‘We haven’t seen that rapid acceleration in warming after 2000 that we see in the models. We haven’t seen that in the observations.’

“He added that the group of about a dozen computer models, produced by government institutes and universities around the world, had been assembled a decade ago ‘so it’s not that surprising that it’s starting to divert a little bit from observations’. Too many of the models used ‘were on the hot side’, meaning they forecast too much warming.”

Nevertheless, according to the study rapid reductions in emissions will still be required – but the world now has more time to make the changes.

But if the computer models were wrong, on what evidence do these scientists base any calculation of what reductions in emissions will be required? On what basis do they still maintain there is a need for any reductions at all?

According to Myles Allen, the group of about a dozen computer models, produced by government institutes and universities around the world, had been assembled a decade ago “so it’s not that surprising that it’s starting to divert a little bit from observations”.

Oh really? Why isn’t it surprising? The theory hasn’t changed: you know, the theory – sorry, not a theory but the unchallengeable and incontrovertible and inconvenient truth – that rising CO2 levels cause a rise in global temperature.

So what exactly was it that had been fed into the computer models a decade ago that caused them to fail to predict that rising CO2 levels would not continue to cause such a rise in global temperature – or to be more precise, that they would cause a slowdown for a few years? Does the theory itself have a break for R&R? Because such a slowdown was certainly not included in the catechism of anthropogenic global warming theory.

Well, it was just those darned pesky computers that screwed up, wasn’t it, and led those scientists astray. Not the scientists’ fault at all, was it.

The truth is rather different. As many of us have been saying since AGW theory was first invented in 1988, the idea that computer modelling could ever predict something as stupendously complex as climate change was always scientifically illiterate. Computers are only as good as the information that is fed into them. If you feed rubbish in, you get rubbish out. Fed inadequate information designed to prove AGW theory, the computers disgorged predictions that proved AGW theory.

The whole thing was a scam from start to finish. Will these Potemkin scientists ever admit that? Even now the Met Office, among others, is still trying to spin the data, as David Whitehouse reports here.

For the past three decades, AGW zealots have insisted that “the science is settled” (itself another piece of anti-science illiteracy). They not only denounced as “deniers” those who actually looked at the evidence and questioned the theory but also sought to ruin their reputations and careers.

Climate-related science has been corrupted by ideologically-bent grant-funding only given to projects designed to prove the theory; government policies have been catastrophically skewed to undermine energy production and screw the poor through fuel bills inflated to meet the costs dumped on energy production through an orthodoxy no-one in government had the intelligence or cojones to fight.

We have been the victims of junk science. Maybe the highly limited admission of error in this study will help blow down the whole rotten facade of pseudo-science and finally expose this charlatanry for the ideological con-trick that it is.

Gay Marriage Nothing To Do With Freedom of Speech

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Bill Muehlenberg: Affirm Traditional Marriage and You Can Lose Your Job for “Hate Speech”

Sep 19, 2017

Let me cut to the quick: if you dare to question the radical homosexual agenda, or if you dare to publicly defend what the institution of marriage has always been about, chances are very good that you can lose your job, be fined, or face other heavy-handed penalties for your views.

All over the West today free speech, religious freedom, and the democratic process itself are under direct attack. And overwhelmingly those stomping on our freedoms are the activists from the homosexual lobby and their many and various supporters.

The way things are going, I really need to write a book featuring all those who lost their jobs for daring to stand up for heterosexual marriage. Oh wait – I already did this. The first chapter of my 2014 book Dangerous Relations features not one, not two, but 165 cases of pink persecution.

They come from a 34-month period (January 2011 to October 2013) and feature just some of the cases of people losing their freedoms, being kicked out of a job, fined, or even jailed – all for the “crime” of insisting on the usual understanding of marriage, and refusing to bow down to the homosexual juggernaut.

And these were certainly not all of the cases that took place during this period. And of course not every case of this kind gets a wide public hearing, as the ones I reported on did. Thus I think it is safe to say that we now have many hundreds – if not thousands – of occurrences of this happening.

Not a day goes by when some poor soul who thought living in a free democratic society meant he could speak out on things that matter – including the historic understanding of marriage – has found himself on the receiving end of rainbow repression.

And in some places things are now this bad, but homosexual marriage has not even been legalised yet. Just imagine how much worse things will get if and when it is! Australia is one such nation, where the rainbow activists have been on a search and destroy mission, targeting anyone who dares to disagree with their radical agenda.

I have heaps of examples of this already documented on my site. Well, it is a new day, so we of course have plenty of new examples to include in this ever-expanding list of victims of the pink mafia. Let me offer just three more of them.

The first involves a small business owner in Canberra who has just fired one of her staff members. Was he caught stealing company goods? Did he seek to molest a customer? Did he trash the joint in a drunken rage? Nope, he did something far, far worse: he actually said he affirms heterosexual marriage.

Yes that is now such an horrific offence that you can lose your job over it. Try telling this guy nothing changes when we seek to redefine marriage. It has not even been legally changed here yet and we already have people losing their jobs! Wakey wakey folks!

The shop owner, Madlin Sims, wrote this on her FB page (I slightly edited one word):

Today I fired a staff member who made it public knowledge that they feel “it’s okay to vote no”.
Advertising your desire to vote no for SSM is, in my eyes, hate speech.
Voting no is homophobic. Advertising your homophobia is hate speech. As a business owner I can’t have somebody who publicly represents my business posting hate speech online.
1. Its bad for business
2. I don’t like sh*t morals
3. I don’t want homophobes working for me, especially in an environment with children.
It’s not okay to vote no. It’s not okay to be homophobic. This isn’t a matter of opinion or even religion. It’s a matter of the love & livelihood of real human beings. Freedom of speech is there for a reason and so are consequences.

Wow, did you get that? To support traditional marriage is “hate speech”! Affirming male-female marriage is “sh*t” morals! If you say marriage is about one man and one woman you are being “homophobic”! And the real howler is this: “It’s a matter of the love & livelihood of real human beings.”

Um yeah, try telling this real human being who just got fired what this love is all about, and how it impacts one’s livelihood! Usually the leftists are the first to scream about unfair dismissals and authoritarian bosses running roughshod over workers’ rights. Um, just where are all these lefties now? As Martyn Iles pointed out:

This woman has sacked a contractor for using an “it’s ok to vote no” frame on Facebook. She has a problem, though…
1) Discrimination Act 1991 (ACT) s13 — “It is unlawful for a principal to discriminate against a contract worker… (b) by not allowing the contract worker to work or continue to work”
2) Discrimination Act 1991 (ACT) s7(1)(o) — “political conviction” is a protected attribute.
It appears that what she has done is plain illegal.

My second case is not much better. One person actually rented a plane to sky write the words “Vote No”. For daring to do that all hell has broken out. They are now after his head, and he is now likely hiding in fear of his life! One news item puts it this way:

The electoral watchdog has received complaints about the “Vote No” skywriting over Sydney on the weekend not being properly authorised. A grassroots campaigner against same-sex marriage commissioned a pilot to write “Vote No””Vote No” in the sky four times on Sunday, a day after the anti same-sex marriage campaign launched nationally.
The skywriting, which was not organised by the key “no” case group Coalition for Marriage, attracted much discussion on social media, and the website from which it was crowdfunded was inundated with comments. The Australian Electoral Commission has received a number of complaints regarding the skywriting.

But get a load of all the love and tolerance he is now getting:

Social media users quickly began circulating the company’s contact information, abusing them for taking on the job. One message said the business owner is an “a***hole”. Another post said it was “probably the end of your business”.
One text message to the business owner read “you really are a sh** human. You’re definitely the biggest piece of sh** in Australia today. Probably tomorrow too. Hope you’re proud of yourself. Don’t be surprised by the hate coming for you. Titt for tatt, it’s only fair, right? You stupid, ignorant, remorseless, pathetic, old, LOSER”.

My final case involves a church that had the audacity to actually affirm two-thousand years of Christian social teaching on this issue:

A billboard outside a Brisbane church has sparked outrage ahead of the same-sex marriage vote. The Bellbowrie Community Church posted the sign: “God designed marriage between a man & a woman”. It was condemned on social media, and critics took to the church’s Facebook page to object.
“Hopefully there are churches in the area that cater to ALL Christians and not just the ones who fit in the narrow minded view of this “Church of God”. I’m sure Christ would be very disappointed in your view of Christianity,” one post said. Others started taking to the church’s review section and posting one-star reviews.
“A closed-minded group which overtly discriminates against members of our valued community and their (very reasonable) quest for marriage equality,” one woman wrote. Cartoons of same sex couples and sailors waving rainbow flags were posted in the comments under unrelated posts by the church.

So let me get this straight: now churches cannot even state publicly what the Christian view of marriage is without the haters and frenzied mobs coming out in force? I repeat: if things are this bad now, can you imagine how much worse things will get if faux marriage is legalised here?

And yet the other side keeps pushing the same old mantra that nothing changes when we change marriage. There will be no negative repercussions, they keep insisting. They are lying through their teeth and they know it. As just one of a kazillion examples, just yesterday lesbian activist and sister of Tony Abbott Christine Forster said the same thing.

She claimed on Sky News that homosexual marriage would have zero impact on free speech. She claimed that “there is nothing about changing same-sex marriage laws to allow same-sex couples to marry that will have any impact whatsoever on people’s ability to speak freely about their religion and their beliefs.”

Sure Christine, sure. Try telling that to the guy who just lost his job, or the skywriter facing the wrath of the militants, of the Queensland church subjected to so much hate and abuse. Try telling them their ability to express their beliefs – whether religious or not – will not be put at risk.

www.news.com.au/finance/work/at-work/its-not-okay-to-be-homophobic-canberra-contractor-sacked-for-vote-no-facebook-post/news-story/4ed027f47b5810e87036450054a8b6dd
au.news.yahoo.com/a/37132053/same-sex-marriage-no-case-skywriting-triggers-complaints/
www.couriermail.com.au/questnews/southwest/same-sex-marriage-supporters-critical-of-brisbane-church-billboard/news-story/240c1a37342c85ee0d50ecea0e6f2513?nk=6b87ac2934e63127b3027c05d2a15a8e-1505782321

Reflection on Exodus 16:1-15

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Passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+16.1-15

Scripture

As Aaron spoke to the whole community of Israel, they looked out to the wilderness. There they could see the awesome glory of the Lord in the cloud.

Observation

The community of Israel journeys into the wilderness of Sin. The people begin to complain against Moses and Aaron bringing them into the wilderness to starve. They make the ridiculous complaint that in Egypt they always had enough and sat around eating all day.

The Lord promises Moses that He will provide meat every evening and bread each morning. So each evening vast numbers of quails fly into the camp, and each morning a flaky substance which they call manna appears on the ground.

Application

Amidst the complaining and grizzling of the people in the wilderness, they could see the glory of God in the cloud.

Their fear and unbelief prevented them trusting the God who was gloriously present with them, shining from the cloud at the edge of the camp.

The issue was not that they doubted God’s presence- He was clearly visible to them. Nor was the issue that God was able to provide for them- they had experienced some awesome miracles in the previous few weeks.

The issue was this. Did God care enough to provide for their needs? Could they trust the Lord to bring them through?

This issue of the Lord’s love and our trust in Him is at the heart of all doubt, and indeed of all sin.

We don’t have the cloud of glory “out there.” We have the Holy Spirit in us, a far greater blessing than the children of Israel experienced.

This same question remains for us as we pass through our own wilderness experiences. Can I trust God in this wilderness?

Prayer

Lord I believe, help me in my unbelief. Help me to trust you in the wilderness times even more than in the good times. Amen.

Reflection on Matthew 18:21-35

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Passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+18.21-35

Scripture

This is how my Father in heaven will treat each of you, if you don’t forgive each of my followers with all your heart.”

Observation

Peter asks Jesus how many times we should forgive our christian brother or sister- is seven times enough? Jesus replies that the real answer is seventy times seven.

Jesus then tells a story about an official who stole a huge amount of money from the king. The man could not repay this, so the king ordered him and his family to be sold into slavery in order to repay the debt. The official begged for mercy, and so the king relented.

When the official met a fellow employee who owed him a small amount of money, he had him thrown into jail. So the king, enraged by the man’s lack of gratitude, has the first official put into jail to be tortured until he repays everything he owed.

Application

Jesus says that if we refuse to forgive our brothers or sisters we will be like the official thrown into jail for neglecting the law of grace.

Does Jesus mean literally that unforgiveness destroys salvation? Does He mean that God’s grace is not unconditional?

I think that the point here is that if we hold onto bitterness against those who sin against us, then we have not really experienced God’s grace in the first place.

Salvation means that God rubs out a debt we could never repay and continues to do that. If we understand that we should be dancing in the streets and kissing strangers! Forgiveness should flow from us in a torrent of joy and grace.

We were on death row preparing to die, but at the last minute an appeal came through announcing we are innocent. How can we do anything other than forgive our brothers and sisters?

Prayer

Thank you for the gift of salvation, Lord Jesus. As you forgave me my many sins I will forgive all who sin against me. Amen.