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.
For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
“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.”
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.
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?
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.