Summary of Illustration

Answers.
Notes.
Illustrations.
Illustrations 2.

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Answers

ANSWERS.

1. Is a good life not enough?
The Bible makes it clear that a man cannot save himself by good works. He cannot earn salvation because any good he does is due to the grace of God in the first place. If a father gives his son a pound to enable the son to buy his father a present, the father is no better off when he receives the present from the son. The son has only given back to the father what was the father’s in the first place. God cannot be a man’s debtor. He owes a man nothing. God has a perfect standard and all sinners have fallen short. Compared to Jesus all fall short. Jesus lived as a man ought to live. No matter how hard a man tries he still falls short. If a good life was enough to satisfy God, then Jesus would not have had to die for man’s sins. Luke describes Jesus as the ideal man. Those who teach salvation by works have no answer to the level of works required to satisfy God.

2. How can miracles be possible?
The miracle stories in the Bible are always for a good and definite purpose and never to show off. Jesus performed miracles out of compassion and love for those who were afflicted. They were to prove that Jesus was the Messiah. One of the credentials of the Messiah was that He would be accompanied by signs and miracles. The enemies of Jesus never doubted that a miracle had taken place. They simply asked Him by what authority He had done it. There is no question of denial of what had happened. The miracles were well known publicly. People then were no less sceptical than they are today. Many people today will only believe what they can understand. Behind the question is the familiar issue of whether or not God exists. A person who refuses to accept the possibility of God breaking into history in a supernatural way is denying the very existence of God.

3. Evidence that Jesus rose from the dead.
1. There were 500 eye-witnesses of the risen Jesus. The authorities, which were anxious to deny the resurrection, could have arrested them in order to question them.
2. When the four Gospels were written no book was written to counter the claim of the resurrection.
3. Many brilliant men have set out to disprove the resurrection. They failed to disprove the evidence.
4. The lives of the Disciples and other followers demonstrate their conviction that Jesus was alive. Many died awful deaths because of their belief.
5. 2000 years of concerted persecution of believers failed to stamp out the belief in the resurrection.
6. The authorities, which had crucified Jesus, could not produce a body. They did not even look for one because there had been a guard at the tomb. The reliable guard testified to the authorities that Jesus had left the tomb, which was empty.
7. The whole Bible has a ring of truth about it.

4. Is the Bible full of contradictions?
Usually this is a red herring and if the person who asked the question is asked in turn: “Which one do you have in mind?” there is no further question. When Matthew refers to two blind men meeting Jesus while Mark and Luke mention only one blind man there is no contradiction. Both are right. A man might tell one person that he met two people in town and later tell another that he met one person in town. Neither statement is wrong. Both are right. The statements are different but not contradictory. There are difficulties in the Bible but there is not a word of untruth in it. This is what distinguishes it from every other book ever written.

5. Does it really matter what a man believes?
Believing in something will not make it true since belief does not create fact. If the facts do not support the belief, the thing a man believes in will not come true. A man may wait at a bus stop for a 10 a.m. bus sincerely believing that there is one. However, if the man is wrong and the bus left at 9 a.m. no amount of believing will alter the fact that the bus has gone. Belief is only as good as the object or person a man puts his trust in. A man needs to be sure of the facts before he trusts them. This is why people are invited to test the truth of the Bible before putting their trust in it. When Jesus was asked for a sign to be sure that He was who He said He was, He said that He would rise on the third day. Christianity rests on the fact of the resurrection. If Jesus did not rise then Christianity is false. But He did rise. God requires a man to put his trust in the person of Jesus. Nothing else will satisfy God.

6. If Christianity is so great why are there so few Christians?
1. Ignorance. Ignorance of (a) the facts on which Christianity is based (b) the fact that Jesus fulfilled all the Old Testament prophecies and ceremonial law or (c) the purpose of Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection.
2. Laziness. Much ignorance is self-imposed. In order to make any decision in life based on facts, some energy must be expended to ascertain the facts first. That means reading, talking, asking etc.
3. Largely the problem is not knowledge or lack of it but a definite decision of the will. They will not become believers.
4. Error. Many think that Christianity is just a religion like other religions i. e. just a set of negative commands and ritual. Many believers do not live out what they speak and mislead others.
5. Guilt. Some wrongly think that their life has been too bad to be forgiven by God. However, no one is too sinful to receive forgiveness.
6. Sin. Many know the facts but love their sin too much – whether it be avoidance of tax or adultery.
7. Pride. Many cannot face admitting that they have been wrong for years, which is why statistically few older people become believers.

7. Was Jesus born of a Virgin?
The Bible says so. If any word of the Bible is untrue the whole Bible is unreliable. The miracle birth of Jesus was prophesied by Isaiah. Mary gave evidence to Luke, Mark and Matthew. She should know. It is not likely that she would spread a story, if it were not true. Jesus was sinless. Even His enemies admitted this. He had to be different and this was achieved by being born into the World after conception by the Holy Spirit. The fact has been believed for 2000 years. Jesus claimed to be God and it is consistent that He would have been born in a different way from anyone else. The virgin birth is both a historical fact and a necessity to fulfil Scripture. It was a supernatural act of God. No one spoke out to deny the miracles. Even His enemies did not deny the other miracles. Since God created the Universe out of nothing a virgin birth is not too hard. A hundred years ago people would have said that it would take a miracle for a man to walk on the Moon. The greatest miracle takes place each time a person is converted. It is the sins of the Father, which are visited on the third and fourth generation of those who hate the Lord. So the genes of the Mother do not appear to carry the sins. Hence Mary’s part in the conception and birth did not result in Jesus being conceived in sin.

8. Can Christianity be proved?
If a decision by a jury were based on 100 per cent proof, no verdict would ever be returned. Everybody makes decisions of life based on probability and not certainty. Many people will say: “Prove to me that Jesus is alive and I will trust Him.” But Jesus says: “I am alive. Trust me and you will know for sure.” A man cannot prove trust, but it is by trusting that the believer has assurance. Decisions in life are based on a combination of faith and fact, e.g. crossing the road and sitting on a chair. Lack of 100 per cent proof does not stop a man from proceeding as he wants to. If a man wants to trust in Jesus he can. It is a question of the will. It is an excuse to demand 100 per cent proof of Christianity when they do not demand the same level of proof in relation to other matters. Even the atheist cannot be 100 per cent certain that there is no God. A man cannot prove a negative. The evidence of the resurrection of Jesus is overwhelming. The attitude of many is: “No matter what proof there is, I will not believe that Christianity is true.”

9. Did Jesus exist at all?
The facts of His life were recorded by eye-witnesses, who gave first hand testimony. Historians recorded the facts. In light of the evidence it is absurd to hold such a view. More is known about the life of Jesus than just about any other figure in the ancient World. It would never enter anyone’s head to suggest this unless, before asking the question, the mind had been darkened by the wish that He had not lived.

10. Did Moses write the Pentateuch?
Moses was well qualified to write these books. He was educated in the Royal Court in Egypt and was highly advanced academically. He had first hand knowledge of the geography of Egypt and Sinai, having spent 40 years in each. Exodus ch 24 v 4 says that Moses wrote all the words of the Lord. Moses spoke to God face to face. He obtained his information from God Himself. Jewish tradition is firm in its belief in Mosaic authorship. Jesus makes it clear that He believed that Moses wrote the Books. “For if you believed Moses you would believe me, for he wrote about me.” Only someone who knew all about the facts could have written the Books. Such primary evidence would be accepted without hesitation in any Court of Law.

11. Are all Religions the same?
Religion is man’s search for God. Christianity is God’s search for man. To some extent all religions have the same objective but they cannot be the same because they teach many things completely opposite to each other. They may all be wrong but they certainly cannot all be right, since the claims of one exclude the others. It is not as if each one is a part of a giant jigsaw puzzle and when, put together, they form a whole picture. They conflict and overlap. The mark of error in religion is that its gods are scaled down to a size, which the human mind can accommodate and its demands encourage the idea that a man’s religious practices can contribute to his own salvation. Christianity alone teaches that Jesus is God in the flesh, a real person. Others, such as Islam, may refer to Jesus but only as a man and not as God. Salvation is through trusting God – taking God at His word. If a man accepts the Bible as written by God, he will know that it is true. Other religions teach that salvation is through works and knowledge. All religions are therefore not the same. Christianity is different from them all.

12. Does the Bible allow for the theory of evolution?
The theory of evolution states basically that complex elements have developed from simpler elements by chance association. As such, it is contradictory to the Bible’s teaching of creation. This says that God created the World out of nothing and that He made man out of the elements of the Earth. It affirms that the first man was fully a man at creation. The idea of natural selection is contrary to God’s Word, which says that all things were created good.
Evolution contradicts the second law of Thermodynamics which states that, left to itself, everything tends to become less ordered and not more ordered or complex.
Neither the theory of evolution nor special creation can be proved scientifically. Both require to be accepted by faith. There is no laboratory capable of repeating the experiment.
Laws such as gravitation and nature imply a lawgiver. The variety and balance of life witnesses to a master-mind. The organs such as beaks, eyes, ears etc are all fully formed. A partially formed organ would be useless. They had to come into being at once.
Where a mother has a son addicted to glue sniffing there is no point in telling her about evolution. It has nothing to say to the moral issues of the day. It offers no hope for the future or explanation for the behaviour of mankind. Evolution is an excuse for not coming to terms with reality.

13. What about those who have never heard?
Those who ask this question have heard or they would not know to ask it. Therefore it must either be because they have a genuine concern for those who have not heard or as an excuse – accusing God of unfairly condemning those who have not heard.

1. The answer does not affect the question of whether Christianity is true or not. Jesus’ death and resurrection are facts, which are not altered just because someone has not heard about them.

2. It has to be agreed that there is a certain mystery. Man does not know God’s purposes in full but the Bible is clear that Jesus is the only way to God. There is no other way for a man to be saved.

3. No one has any excuse. Creation states that there is a Creator. Lives are not what they should be.

4. All are running and hiding from God or keeping Him at a distance.

5. God does not want any to die but wants all to be saved.

6. Judgement will be absolutely fair – if a man seeks justice that is what he will receive. The wages of sin is death. If a man seeks mercy, genuinely, then he will receive it.

7. A man is judged by his own moral standard. Each man has a conscience to tell him what is right and wrong. He sees faults in others but pretends that he does not have them. He tends to see the faults in others, which he has himself.

8. A man expects others to look after him and help him in his need but he is slow to help others in their need.

9. There is such pain and suffering all around the World and so many are behaving in a way, which they know is wrong. Ought a man not to ask why this is? The evidence is that man is not genuinely seeking the truth. Jesus said: “I am the truth.”

14. Why does a God of love allow suffering?
The Bible makes it clear that evil comes in as a result of the sin of man. Genuine love cannot exist unless freely given through free choice and will. Therefore man was given the choice to accept God’s love or to reject it. By choosing to disobey God man brought evil into the World. The Bible also teaches that evil will eventually be destroyed. Jesus knew more about suffering than most. He was born in poverty, died in disgrace and, throughout His life, knew the full extent of the suffering that lay ahead of Him on the cross – one of the cruellest deaths ever devised for men.

God allowed it to happen. He is an all-wise, all- knowing God and He has reasons for allowing things to happen, which are beyond man’s comprehension. Most, if not all, suffering is due to the sin of man.
War. God wants peace. The root cause is the pride of man.
Starvation. There is enough food for everyone. The root cause is man’s refusal to share it out.
Alcoholism. The Root cause is disobedience to the Word of God.
Accidents. The root cause is carelessness of man.
Ill health. The root cause is abuse of the physical body.
Earthquakes. Sin upsets the natural order.
Prisons. The root cause is the selfishness of man.
Aids. The root cause is the sin of sexual behaviour outside marriage.
Drugs. Stupidity of man, knowing that it is harmful.
Depression. Anxiety – lack of trust in God.
Loneliness. The root cause is a lack of concern of one man for another.
Poverty. The root cause is the greed of man not to share and laziness.

God has provided ample resources for man’s need but man has to share the gifts with others. Man spends more on weapons than on food. God created the World good. Man sinned. Suffering is almost all due to the sin of man. There will be no sin and no suffering in Heaven.

15. Salvation by works.
The Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Liberals teach that a man is saved by the good works he does. There is no evidence of the level of works, which are required to earn salvation. There can therefore be no assurance or guarantee that these people have salvation. If a wicked man turns over a new leaf, how many good works does he have to do to earn salvation? There is no answer to the question.

16. Humanism.
Most people in Europe today are humanists. They may not admit to the label but they say things like: “It makes you lose your faith in human nature.” That is where they put their faith (or trust) – in the inherent goodness of man. Humanism says that given time and resources man will solve all the problems of the World. In other words – man will save himself. Humanists used to be optimistic but are now more pessimistic. However their views fail to take account of sin. The prisons are full. The mental hospitals were full until the government emptied them into society. Divorces are increasing. Weapons are being stockpiled. Crime is increasing. Even the humanists admit that the World is not getting better.

17. Did Jesus claim to be God? Why believe it?
1. Jesus is unique in that He claimed to be God in human flesh. He said: “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” John ch 14 v 9.
2. He existed before Abraham. John ch 8 v 58.
3. He said that He was equal with the Father. John ch 5 v 17-8.
4. He claimed the ability to forgive sins. Mark ch 2 v 5-7. The Bible taught that only God could do this. Isaiah ch 43 v 25.
5. The writers of the New Testament are united in declaring that Jesus was more than mere man but was God.
6. Not only did His friends notice that He claimed to be God but so did His enemies. They wanted to stone Jesus because he made Himself out to be God. John ch 10 v 33.
7. In Ezekiel ch 34 v 11 God said that He, Himself, would come to search for His sheep.
8. Anyone who made the claims Jesus made is either a lunatic and to be ignored, or, He was who He claimed to be, God in the flesh, and ought to be obeyed. He did not leave man with the option of being accepted as a great Teacher. He did not claim to be teaching the truth. He claimed to BE the truth. Religions invite people to follow a set of teachings. Christianity invites man to follow a person.
9. His ability to lay down His life and take it up again separates Jesus from anyone else who ever lived.
10. The resurrection proves Jesus to be who He claimed to be – God in the flesh.
11. Why believe it? Jesus offers His Disciples eternal life. He proved by His words and actions that He has the ability to give eternal life. A person can only give away what he has to give. Jesus alone has eternal life to give.

18. The Bible is the Word of God. Reasons:
1. The unity of the Book. Written by 40 authors over 1500 years in 66 Books, yet it reads as one Book. Behind it is a master author.
2. The superiority of its teaching to any other book. There is no error in the Bible. There is no moral truth, which is not in the Bible. No other book is in the same class. It is unique.
3. No other book has changed the lives of millions of people.
4. Twenty centuries of strenuous and determined attack has been unable to destroy intelligent faith in the Bible.
5. The lives of those who live under the authority of the Bible speak to its power and life-giving vitality.
6. Fulfilled prophecies concerning the coming Messiah, the Jewish People and the Gentile nations. Every prophecy, so far fulfilled, has been one hundred per cent accurate. The chances of this happening are billions to one. The whole of the Bible is prophetic – its history – its people – its ceremonies – its facts.
7. The lives of the Apostles, changed by their encounter with the resurrected body of Jesus.
8. Jesus believed that the Old Testament spoke of Him and that it was absolutely true. He gave it the stamp of approval by:
a) The life He lived – He lived without sin.
b) The words He spoke – He spoke with authority.
c) The works He did – He did miracles and healed.
d) His influence on history. – An impostor could not have made such an impact on history.
e) His words have stood the test of time.
f) The resurrection is one of the best-proven facts of history.

Notes

NOTES.

God allows disappointments and failures to test us and to strengthen our loyalty and obedience. God’s leading is often by 1. outward circumstances 2. an inward urge and 3. a word from the Bible. Every step of obedience opens the way ahead to a greater revelation of God. The preacher counts for nothing if he does not act out what he preaches.

Samson’s self-confidence led to the most appalling disaster and suffering mental, spiritual and physical. It is a great danger to think that we can manage ourselves. Our contact with Christians is not to be casual and careless but deliberate, concerned and whole-hearted. You cannot live the Christian life by yourself.

Work was designed by God to be productive, creative and invested in tasks, which contribute to God’s purposes. A man who is not busy does not need a helper. Eve was created to be a helper to Adam.

Life owes a man nothing but the opportunity to grow.

A man interprets the things he sees and hears in a way that is very personal to him.

You are not the same person today that you were yesterday because of the things, which have happened in your life.

Going the extra mile gives a man an opportunity to impact on the life of another.

A frog offered a scorpion a lift across a river. There was a risk that the scorpion would sting the frog. “If I do we shall both die.” As they crossed the scorpion stung the frog. “You promised.” “I can’t help it. It is in my nature to sting.” A toxic relationship is like a body part with gangrene. It will infect everything. You cannot dance the fox trot with someone who only dances the waltz. You picked the wrong partner. If the “partner” does not care he will infect the environment and ruin the plan for your life.

Breaking God’s laws leads to darkness, sooner or later.

One of the principles of mental health is this: “You cannot change what you will not acknowledge.” Zech ch 5 v 5 pictures a woman in a basket with the lid on. A man tends to push his problems down into the subconscious and put the lid on them, hoping that they will go away. Skeletons do not disappear. A man attempts to get rid of sin by placing it in a basket and putting the lid on it.

The secret of being willing to forgive others is to focus first on the extent to which a man has been forgiven by God in Jesus. Resentment and anger are strong feelings and give a sense of power and control over others.

A bigoted person has a floating anger and will focus that on anything with which he disagrees. If his soul were stripped down there would be found at the core a disposition that is fiercely adversarial and lacking in love. There is a close connection between our attitudes and our arteries.

When a crisis comes people go looking for someone who has the answers to life’s problems.

Character is what a man is when no human being is watching.

Good marriages, good business relationships and good friendships are based on Jesus’ golden rule – show people that you value them. A pastor said to his congregation:
A. If you have a problem with me, come and see me privately. I shall do the same for you.
B. If someone else has a problem with me and comes to you, send him to me. I shall do the same for you.
C. If someone will not come to me, say: “Let us go together to see him. I shall do the same for you.
D. Be careful how you interpret me. I would rather do that myself. It is too easy to misinterpret intentions. I shall be careful how I interpret you.
E. If it is confidential, do not tell. If you or anyone else comes to me in confidence, I will not tell unless the person is going to harm himself or harm someone else or if a child has been physically or sexually abused. I expect the same from you.
F. I do not read unsigned letters.
G. I do not manipulate. I will not be manipulated. Do not let others manipulate you. Do not let others try to manipulate me through you.
H. When in doubt, just say so. If I can answer it without misrepresenting something or breaking confidence, I will. I. If people can still construe that you are taking advantage of them, even after you have had an opportunity to explain your motives, you need to re-think your ideas.

None of the disciples guessed that the one to betray Jesus was Judas. He had played his part so well that his true character had not yet been discovered.

Jesus loved people as they were, while inspiring them to a higher standard.

Learn to get along with difficult people. They may bless you tomorrow.

When a man prays he feels better because he has shared the problem with the one who is able to change the situation and who cares enough to listen.

God will prune things, which have served their purpose and which will hold a believer back and give him trouble later in life.

Some people grow through failure. Others never recover from it and move on. It is essential to press on to the goal, make decisions and remember that others have failed and been used of God.

Go out with joy. Isaiah ch 55 v 12. God’s Word demands it and a hurting World need it. Happiness depends on circumstances. Joy comes from a deep relationship with the Lord. It is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Seeds of greatness lie buried within unpromising people, which abruptly spring to life when they are recognised, valued and nurtured. Jesus sees value in the vilest sinner. Man is made to complete one another and not to compete with one another. Matthew, a despised tax collector became a writer for Jesus.

The enemy’s footholds in the life of the believer have to be pulled down – one by one.

Jesus began to build his Church with 12 flawed people.

Galatians. The veil of pride had dropped from Paul. Legalism. There is always someone ready to criticise. A legalist is never sure that he has done enough. Legalism is more serious than immorality. Can a man give his ministry back to God, sure that a new door will open up? The doctrine of the Gnostics was a doctrine of demons. Satan does not need to go overboard but needs only to gently push believers off course. Today legalism is found in the clothes people wear, the prosperity gospel and the trivial matters, which become important. Paul was always called Paul the Apostle and never given a title. Leaders today like a title – it makes them feel important. Witchcraft is the attempt to control people. The attempt is to manipulate, intimidate and dominate. Some leaders are very much involved in doing this. It is a sign of insecurity and weakness. It is clearly not of God. God never forces a man but invites a man.

Proverbs ch 12 v 15. A wise man listens to advice. A believer should be careful to whom he listens to for advice.

Never look at what you have lost. Count what you have left. Weigh eternity with the present World.

John. The word ”logos” means the reason why. Hence zoology. And all the ologies. The reason why is seeing things as they really are. The reason why is Jesus. The word – logos – reason why – became flesh in Jesus. Logos became personified.

Luke ch 18 v 35. Bartimaeus cried out for Jesus. The disciples told him to be quiet. He was disturbing the meeting. It is not those who hear my words but those who do it. The Disciples wanted to hear the words but for Jesus it was time for action.

My wife says that I am a model husband and then goes on to explain that a model is a small version of the real thing.

Amos. God never does anything without revealing it to the prophets. Great emphasis on prophecy today but what about the prophecies which have lain hidden in the Scriptures for centuries and are coming to fruition today. Should believers not be interested in and excited by these.

Worship is a permanent matter while the sacrifice is a temporary matter. Believers are not immune from difficulties – quite the opposite. Response to the Word of God means righteousness – doing the right thing. There were 13 silent years during which Abraham had to wait. Achan was not to benefit from serving God. Politicians are not to benefit from serving the people. Sins cannot be hidden. They will find a man out in time. This is a moral Universe. Sin has consequences for the family of a man. Believers should not even mention the names of foreign gods. Joshua ch 23 v 7. Believers should hold onto a vision and do not let others discourage you. Others will not see it or appreciate it. There can be far reaching effects of prayer, if it is truly in the power of the Holy Spirit. Politicians squander money to build their own image. Saul disobeyed God and was rejected. Today image and appearance are everything. God looks on the heart.

What is wrong with the World? I am. G. K. Chesterton.

In infancy a child has to be taught how to walk and talk but a child needs to instruction in how to lie, cheat and lose his temper. Sin comes as natural as breathing. A child seems to have a built-in bias against the will of God.

Jesus said to the Pharisees: “If you Pharisees want me to heal your souls, stop pretending that you are spiritually well and join the sick queue with the rest.”

There has been a reign of death over mankind since the days of Adam. His decaying body is proof of the fact that man is cut off from his Creator. The believer loses his salt if he is enslaved to his own appetites.

Jesus desires that believers enlist in His army but this involves our co-operation.

When Jesus rose from the dead He explained to His bewildered Disciples that His death by crucifixion had not been a ghastly mistake. Nor was it a heroic attempt to save a cause, which was all but lost. The only man on Earth who never deserved to die willingly did so in order that men, who fully deserve to die, might not have to die. The finest deeds of human heroism pale beside this supreme act of self-sacrifice.

Baptism speaks of purification, confession and union.

There is one special counter attack from the enemy, which needs careful attention. Feelings are variable. A bad experience quickly snatches joy from a believer. It is essential to hold fast to the promises of God and to rely on the facts and not the feelings.

There are certain principles, which will enable the soldier of Christ to hear signals from Heaven. Humility. Submission. Sensitivity. Patience.

A soldier is posted top a unit. A believer is limited to what is available in his locality. Seldom will it relate to the First Century Church. In Rev ch 2-3 it is clear that there was no perfect Church even in these days. Give the local Church full support. The believer belongs firstly to the body of Christ and then to the local congregation.

The shoes of peace. The sandals were important to a soldier to hold his ground. No soldier would want to be caught with his boots off. This refers to the believer being able to give a good defence of the Gospel.

There is a danger of being entangled, even by activities, which are not wrong in themselves. There are certain tests to apply.
1. Can I do this with a clear conscience and a heart at peace?
2. Can I enter into it wholeheartedly?
3. Can I do this to the glory of God?
4. Can I do this in the name of Jesus?
5. Can I thank God for this activity?
6. Will it be helpful to my spiritual life?
7. Might it enslave me?
8. Might it endanger my health?
9. Will it minister to my fallen nature or lead me into temptation? Is it in keeping with a proper stewardship of time and money?
10. Will it cause my weaker brother to stumble?
11. Is it likely to be misunderstood?

A shield is something, which comes between the enemy and the soldier. God is the shield for the believer. No enemy activity can reach him unless it is first allowed past God. Satan knows that a man cannot keep all the moral laws. By encouraging a man to try he knows that the man will fail. There is a danger of repeating doctrine and warning against watering down doctrine but at the same time limiting the people to being hearers of the Word and not doers of the Word.

New believers are not able to handle their new freedom and need to mature. As believers grow older they see matters from a different perspective. New believers need older believers to bring them on.
Dan
God created man, holy, innocent and perfect. God filled man with light and intelligence. He communicated to man His glory and His wonders. The eye of man saw the majesty of God. Man was not then in the darkness, which blinds him, nor subject to mortality and the woes, which affect him.
But man has not been able to sustain so great a glory without falling into pride. Man wanted to make himself his own centre and independent of God’s help. Man withdrew himself from God’s rule. Then finding happiness in himself, God abandoned man to himself. Man has fashioned his own destiny according to his own standards and in his own strength.

Everything, which happens in the physical, seen World is a manifestation of what is happening in the spiritual, unseen World. J. I. Packer. There is turmoil in the physical seen World and by faith believers understand that the battle in the unseen World is growing in intensity. Satan realises that time is running out for him. Believers have gathered to add their voices to the praise in Heaven and to play their part in the spiritual battle as children of their Heavenly Father.

If the physical universe is a mystery, life itself is even more mysterious. Man does not know what life is – except that it comes from God. Life animates physical bodies. Gen ch 2 v 7. God breathed into man’s nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul. Is the life given when the heart begins to beat within the tiny baby? Eccles ch 11 v 5. Man is created in the image of God who is a Spirit. Gen ch 1 v 26. Man therefore is a spiritual being living in a body through which he participates in physical events. The spirit in man enables him to know God. Separation of man’s spirit from God’s spirit brings spiritual death. Eph ch 2 v 1. Eccles ch 12 v 7. At physical death the body goes into the grave and the spirit returns to God who gave it for judgement. Man’s spirit is therefore at God’s disposal to send it to Heaven or Hell. The spirit of a dead person is therefore not floating about. It is either in Heaven or Hell. The brain does not think. Thoughts originate in the spirit, which then uses the body to say or do its will. The spirit separated from the body remains conscious, whether in Heaven or Hell.

Jesus would probably not have stood up on a platform but would have taught as He walked among the people. John ch 7 v 37. Jesus stood up and proclaimed. He did not set Himself up on a platform. Man has chosen to do it in order that many people can see and hear.

Mark ch 10 v 13. He may have picked up a child or laid His hand on the head of a child as He passed, saying: “Let the children come to me to be blessed.” Are children just to sit and listen or be blessed?

Widows. James ch 1 v 27 says that true religion is looking after widows and orphans. Jesus knew that loneliness imposes the heaviest burden that the human heart has to bear. James learned this by watching and listening to his brother Jesus in the family home. Jesus said: “Be doers of the Word.” Mat ch 25 v 36. “I was naked and you clothed me.”

The sick. Mat ch 9 v 20. “Your faith has made you well.” If the speaker is on the platform the sick person cannot touch him. Would it upset the preacher if someone came out for healing? The teaching is important but so is healing the sick. That is part of the great commission. It was part of the reason Jesus came to Earth.

Holiness. The only commodity left for holiness is people. If there is no God then there is no such thing as holiness. Israel was called by God to be separate and different. The World was unholy. There is no relativism. God is the same as He has always been. “You and I are incompatible and I do not change.” The believer is called to be different from other people and committed in a way they are not committed in humanism and Islam.

God comes to a man through His Word. As a man honours the Word of God so he honours God. The place that God’s Word has in a man’s life is the place that God has Himself. A man does not love God more than he loves His word. The test of a man’s relationship with God is his attitude to God’s Word.
What are the Hebrew Old Testament Prophets saying to the World in 2004?

Genesis. God always calls a man when he wants a job done to accomplish His purposes.

Eve was tempted to disobey God be eating fruit from the tree of knowledge. In the wilderness Jesus was tempted when hungry by the prospect of food. In the days of Noah people were eating and drinking. These activities seemed to feature large in their lives. Jesus said that it would be the same in the days before His return. Food is a major obsession today. Obesity is a major problem and health issues are often related to food and drink. It seems to be a weakness of man, which Satan targets.

At death wealth cannot be transferred to a Heavenly bank account and eulogies do not linger. The poor begin the next life on the same terms as the rich and famous man. The rich who worship their wealth in this life cannot take it with them into the next life. The believer knows that God’s ultimate purpose for his life is not prosperity, or success or comfort or fame or security but godliness or integrity.

Isaiah ch 53. The wise man is the one who is obedient to God.

God does not promise to save believers from adversity but rather promises to help them live with it and come through it with some positive gain from it. God provides personal examples to show man His providence in action. Joseph rode a roller coaster of disaster and prosperity all the while holding firmly to his faith in God. There is interplay between what seem to be minor, even trivial, individual experiences and the overall purposes of God for the World. The abduction of one young herdsman and his arrival as a slave in Egypt would have meant nothing to the Egyptians, who were preoccupied with their wealth and power. Yet in the overall perspective of history it was the most significant event in the history of the World. It led on to the shaping of God’s chosen people as His instrument for the salvation of the World. It is an antidote to the sensationalism and uncertainties of a news-obsessed culture.

Guilt on the part of Jacob’s sons and suspicion on the part of Jacob was a poisonous brew – as it is in every family. Joseph shared his feelings freely with God. Tears are often a healthy way of expressing thoughts, which cannot be put into words. Cheerful praise is not the only way of responding to God.
“You sold me and God sent me.” Gen ch 45 v 5. A man is responsible for what happens in life, while God takes actions in human experiences. A man has to hold the two truths together and realise that both may be at work in his life at the same time. God did not prevent Joseph’s brothers acting as they did nor did God miraculously deliver Joseph. God is able to overrule events in order to bend the wickedness of men to achieve His purposes. On other occasions God in His mercy encourages man at times with visible and tangible evidence of His care of man. Sometimes it is unexpected healing. “Someone up there is looking after me.” In considering the providence of God a man has to allow for His long-term purposes, which may far outrange a man’s vision. The shepherds were despised by the civilised Egyptians but in the end it saved the Hebrews from the worst effects of Egyptian urban culture and the consequences of the plagues.

First Peter. To choose to sin deliberately or to slip back into the old sinful way of life rather than to seek holiness would show contempt for the price of redemption. As believers choose love, service, reconciliation and compassion they reflect Jesus’ holiness. The new believers are seen by the Church people and good citizens of the nation as potential sources of subversion and vice meeting as they do in secret but not sharing society’s values. The pressure to assimilate to society may be violent or perhaps very subtle.

Psalm 130. Many do not like themselves. Truth is a man seeing himself as he really is. How does God see me? He loves me and He likes me. How do others see us? Many people may show superficial interest but do they really care? The relationship with God is all that matters in the last analysis. In 2 Sam ch 12 God revealed David to himself. David had not seen what everyone else had seen. How did Jeremiah cope with being rejected and no one showing interest in what God had revealed to him? He must have felt like a doctor with the medicine bag locked outside the hospital.

Jesus invites a man to make decisions knowing the consequences. He did when he set out for Jerusalem. Weigh up the costs. Jesus had an iron will. The Samaritan area was a territorial stronghold of Satan’s. It is still the same today. Even some believers are not willing to bless Israel. Few are interested. Jesus has been there. When there is rejection does it leave a man with compassion for the lost or anger? Those with an inferiority complex are more likely to feel compassion. Jesus was more concerned for the attitude of the Disciples. v 57. It is dangerous to pray: “send me” without having considered the consequences. Often there is a shallow commitment. Jesus had no gimmicks to attract people. A man should not look back to the old life or the earlier chapters wishing they had been different. They are now closed. The decision was made and the challenge is to press on.

God tells man to bless his enemies. Sometimes God uses a man’s enemies to bless him. “I am never down. I am either up or I am getting up.” Joy – God’s Word demands it and a hurting World needs it. What God owns He protects and cares for it or him. Parents are responsible to give their children love, rules to live by, light and instruction regarding God and life – a walk with God. God provided Eve to be a helper for Adam. A man who is not busy does not need a helper.

A man’s most indispensible possession is the Holy Spirit. God cannot leave His children. It is not part of His character.

Lev ch 22 v 4. Touching a dead body makes a man unclean. The women came to anoint the body of Jesus. The Disciples had forgotten the words of Jesus about His rising again. Believers need the Holy Spirit to bring the words of Jesus back to mind.

When a man expects nothing to happen, nothing will happen. It is sad when believers settle down in a spirit of non-expectancy and live out their lives in spiritual and moral defeat. Temptation can be defeated when believers stop harbouring it and brooding over it. When it is dismissed it leaves no stain but when it is held and entertained by the mind it discolours everything. Thoughts become evil thoughts when believers allow them to remain and dwell on them. Sin results from wrong intention. Self-centredness is deeply embedded in the nature of man, who likes things to be under his control. In order to live well a man must be able to handle both prosperity and penury. Those who try to be spiritual by ignoring the real issues of life end up with a pseudo-spirituality. They are so Heavenly minded that they are no Earthly use.

Rights are a recent concept. The Bible is full of responsibilities. Responsibility of parents gives security for children. Today society is ruled by children. To train children involves nurture, admonition and chastisement. The Bible gives responsibility for children to parents and not to outside agencies such as schools. Children need to know right from wrong. There is a need to recover the lost generation. It is not their fault but the fault of adults who have sniffed at God.

Truth matters. Without it the Gospel is perverted. If a man does not love God he cannot love his neighbour. Therapy helps people cope with problems instead of solving them.
Rejection of truth leads to ethical confusion. In matters of sexuality people make their own rules. Judges ch 21 v 25. Homosexuality defies the self-evident order in creation.
Rejection of truth undermines cultural development. Culture changes with different religions.
Rejection of truth leads to false gods. Man is incurably religious. Tolerance has led to intolerance against those who claim to know the truth. If Christianity is not truth, it is nothing.

Shortly after Elijah was carried to Heaven in his fiery chariot, a group of young prophets asked Elisha to go with them to build new living quarters near the Jordan River. While one of the young men was
cutting down a tree, the blade of his axe fell in the water and sank into the murky depths of the riverbed (2 Kings 6:1-7). The construction project came to an abrupt stop. This was before the days of flashlights and sonar devices. These men were in trouble. Knowing that his friends could not replace this expensive iron tool they had borrowed, the young prophet cried to his mentor Elisha for help. The wise prophet threw a stick in the water where the axe head had sunk. Immediately the heavy iron blade floated to the surface – defying the laws of physics and proving that nothing is impossible with God. Elisha’s faith saved the day.

The road to Emmaus. The men had failed assumptions of what Jesus would do for them. They had all the necessary information and evidence to enable them to believe that Jesus had risen, BUT. The gloom and doom of their lives locked them into a prison. The men asked Jesus to stay with them. A man has to ask Jesus to be with him. Jesus is waiting to be asked and then He will come into a man’s life.

God cares for the nations who ignore Him and uses His own people who have a special responsibility to be an instrument of blessing towards them – the needy, the persecuted, the sick and the refugees. Gal ch 6 v 10.

Egypt was the smithy in which was forged the nation that was to be God’s chosen instrument for making Himself known to the World the truth about himself and ultimately to bring salvation to the World. The time in Egypt taught the Hebrews about running a civilised country. Moses had been educated at the court of Egypt. The religion of Egypt was steeped in magic and the occult.

An “earthquake,” according to the figurative language of the Apocalypse, as all admit, just means a great political convulsion.

Secrecy and deception poison family relationships. A guilty conscience makes a man a coward and destroys trust and breeds paranoia.

Mankind has an insatiable desire to know the future. There are events in a man’s life, which he should be glad he did not know about in advance. Faith is being content to leave the future in God’s hands.

Reciting laws was a useless pastime unless lives matched the words recited. In Psalm 51 David asked to be changed. It may be that as a man is changed situations will change also.

God is going to do it with or without a believer. God is just giving him an opportunity to get involved with Him.

Real listening is paying attention.

A man should be thankful that God has not turned him over to himslef.

“Will my flesh rule this moment or my spirit?”

When a man’s body is tired to the point of distraction, he should rest.

If a man does not work on improving himself every day this could be his fate – stuck in the same place, doing the same things, hoping the same hopes, but never gaining new ground or developing spiritually.

In insensitive situations a man should engage his brain before opening his mouth.

A man should not burn the bridge he himself might have to cross some day. He should build thoughtful behaviour back into his relationship.

Healing. People heal at different rates. A cut heals faster if the man is in good health.

Marital disagreements fall into 5 categories – money, sex, in-laws, kids and household responsibilities.

“Do you keep your word even when it costs you? Can people depend on you to do what you have promised?”

Faith is not ignoring the obvious. That is denial. Acknowledging a problem is not an expression of doubt.

A man’s most indispensible possession is the Holy Spirit. God cannot leave His children. It is not part of His character.

Lev ch 22 v 4. Touching a dead body makes a man unclean. The women came to anoint the body of Jesus.
The Disciples had forgotten the words of Jesus about His rising again. Believers need the Holy Spirit to bring the words of Jesus back to mind.

The nature of love is for a man to make someone outside of himself the centre of attention. The main problem believers have is that they do not know how much the Lord loves them. Believers have their strength impaired and their attention distracted by the faulty functioning of their inner life.

There are 3 unnatural things, which have invaded life
1. Sin – the unnatural evil of the soul
2. Error – the unnatural evil of the mind.
3. Disease – the unnatural evil of the body.
Sin begins with thoughts and then talks and finally acting. Watching adultery on television can lead
to participation. Jesus widened adultery form the action to lusting after a woman in the heart. Walk
carefully even among fellow believers. Weigh up the consequences carefully before acting.

Jesus opens a man’s heart and then his wallet.

In the South Pacific it was the custom of men to trade cows for a wife. A father might receive two cows for an average daughter. An above average girl would bring her father three cows. A rare beauty might even bring her father four cows. There was a father with a daughter so homely that he was hoping for just one cow for her. There was a man on the island considered to be the most astute trader. To the astonishment of everyone he offered eight cows for this man’s daughter. Everyone thought that the trader had lost his mind. However it was not long before this homely girl was transformed into the most beautiful and gracious woman in the land. She had started to think of herself as an eight-cow woman and she became one.

A man determines the value of a commodity by what someone is willing to pay for it. Each believer was purchased by the blood of Jesus – God’s Son. Believers ought to value one another as Jesus values them.

The Passover Lamb. Exodus ch 12 v 3 and 6. The Hebrews were instructed to take a lamb on the 10th of the month and keep it until the 14th of the month. The purpose of taking the lamb into the house for 5 days was to carefully examine it for flaws. Jesus entered Jerusalem five days before His crucifixion. The Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees examined Jesus trying to find a flaw in Him. None was found. The rulers finally brought false witnesses against Jesus. Jesus was the flawless Passover Lamb. As Jesus was crucified lambs were being killed all over Jerusalem in preparation for the Feast of Passover. John ch 12 v 1 says that 6 days before the Passover Jesus arrived at Bethany. v 12. The next day Jesus rode into Jerusalem – 5 days before the Passover.

Illustrations

ILLUSTRATIONS. Ecclesiastes ch 12 v 9.
1. Most people do not openly reject God. They drift away, until they cannot hear His voice or see His face.
2. Judas was close to Jesus but he was not committed to Him.
3. When man is physically sick he goes to the doctor. But for sin, God has provided only one remedy – Jesus.
4. Just because a person quotes from the Bible, he is not necessarily a believer. Satan quoted from the Bible and he would hardly want to be regarded as a believer.
5. An old lady, who never spoke an unkind word about anyone, was asked if she had any kind word for Satan. She said: “I’ll say this for him – he is always on the job.”
6. The 10 Commandments are like fences. If a man lives within them, he will be safe. However, if he goes beyond the fences, there will be problems – adultery, stealing etc.
7. When a society disregards the authority of God, all other authority is then under threat e.g. Government, parents, schools etc.
8. God always comes with a word of judgement and a word of salvation.
9. God hammers out His message of salvation on the anvil of history.
10. What father would go off on a long journey and not keep in touch with his children? God keeps in touch with His children through His book – the Bible.
11. Religion limits God and keeps Him at a distance.
12. Jesus is like a bridge between sinful man and a holy God.
13. The emphasis in a humanistic society is on rights – but not on responsibilities.
14. A bottle of poison is still a dangerous thing, even if it is labelled “lemonade.” God calls sin “SIN”. Calling a sin an illness means that it is still deadly dangerous.
15. Jesus offered eternal life. A man only give away what he has himself, e.g. money, knowledge and happiness. Jesus alone can give away eternal life. He alone has it to give.
16. The reason why a man sins is that he is not content to be a man but wants to be God.
17. The Gospel of works is another Gospel. It appeals to pride.
18. Do not confuse justice and mercy. If a man receives justice from God, then he gets what he deserves – condemnation. All men deserve that. But mercy is entirely at the discretion of God.
19. When the institutional Church gains the upper hand, the Lord is squeezed out.
20. How can a man explain the Fatherhood of God to children who have no father or whose father has walked out on them?
21. Why are there so many laws being passed today? Simply to make people behave towards one another as they ought to behave.
22. People will not care how much a man knows, until they know how much he cares.
23. Every self-centred person is an unhappy one. Jesus says: “Forget yourself.”
24. God will never ask a man to do anything He has not already done Himself.
25. A man may not understand electricity, but when he presses the switch, the light comes on. A man may not understand all that God has to say but, when he trusts Jesus as Saviour and Lord, he begins to understand what the Bible means.
26. No one could have imagined that the God of the Universe would step out of Heaven, come right down to Earth, live in a human body and die on a cross. The Creator, knowing that man could never come to Him, came to man. A love like that does not exist except in God.
26. Religion is man’s search for God. Christianity is God’s search for man.
27. Israel is the individual believer on a national scale.
28. God promised Abraham the land but Joshua had to fight his way in. God promised He would make a man holy but He expects the man to fight to overcome sin and to work out his salvation.
29. Would a wise Creator leave a man to grope in the dark? What parent would be happy if he felt that his child was obliged to visit him? He would be much happier if he knew the child wanted to come.
30. Doing what the majority do, does not make it right. Only the Bible can be trusted 100% to be right.
31. God always walks with His people. He walked across the desert. He walked through Canaan. He promised He would never leave or forsake those who put their trust in Jesus.
32. The number of members at Church in the morning reflects the popularity of the Church. The number of members at night reflects the popularity of the minister. The number of members at Bible Study reflects the popularity of the Lord.
33. When God sends a man poverty – the man complains to God. When God sends a man riches – the man ignores God. When God offers eternal life through Jesus – a man is suspicious.
34. British Prime Minister Gladstone said: “Tell me what the young men of the country are doing on a Sunday and I shall tell you the strength of the country.”
35. If Shakespeare were within a man, he would write beautiful words. If Mozart were within a man, he would write beautiful music. If Jesus is within a man, he will live a beautiful life.
36. The difference between Mormons and others and believers is one of spelling. The Mormons and others spell it “Do” (works). The believers spell it “Done” (all done on the cross.)
37. Two men go to the well for water. One says: “No matter how often we draw water, it always runs out.” The other says: “No matter how often we run out, it is amazing that we can always come back to the well for more and it never dries up.” Jesus is the source of Living Water.
38. A man cannot expect God to lead him in the right way, if he is disobeying what God has already told him.
39. If a man is going to be a soldier in Christ’s army, he should not be surprised if he is shot at, criticised, humiliated and placed in some terrifying circumstances.
40. Moving from the duty of religion to the delight of a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus.
41. The genius of leadership is to be able to motivate others for service, to evoke loyalty and to make the best use of their varied gifts.
42. A man cannot truly praise God when he is speaking harshly about others.
43. The mark of error in religion is that its gods are scaled down to a size, which the human mind can accommodate and its demands encourage the idea that a man’s religious practices can contribute to his own salvation.
44. It is not what happens to a man, which is important but how he responds to it. A man’s responses are his own responsibility.
45. Temptation would be helpless, if there was nothing in a man to which it could appeal.
46. When a man has found life hard himself he is most able to help others in need.
47. Tradition is the dead faith of the living.
48. Depression is the common cold of emotional illness, sometimes developing into an acute and raging fever.
49. Man lives in a sin-ridden society and it is like putting the whites in with the colours. Some of the sin rubs off on man all the time.
50. An apologia is a well thought-out explanation.
51. God equips those He calls, rather than calls those who are equipped.
52. William Booth of the Salvation Army said: “The trouble is that God is not in a hurry and I am.”
53. When it is time to make a decision – look for outward circumstances, an inward urge and a word from God.
54. Left to themselves the Jews would never have told such bad stories of their ancestors.
55. The doubters have always held the Church back.
56. The World stands only one generation away from paganism.
57. The words of the Bible were consciously the free composition of the authors and at the same time the very word of God.
58. Satan became Satan by putting his own interests before God’s interests.
59. A man should be gentle with himself when he fails or makes a mistake. A mistake is not a sin. A man should congratulate himself when he has done well. That is entirely grace.
60. The reason why people become mentally ill is that they become immersed in themselves.
61. Yesterday is a cancelled cheque. Tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is the only cash a man has to spend. Spend it wisely.
62. If a man is too busy to establish a quiet time when he is alone with God, he is busier than God intends him to be.
63. A man never touches the ocean of God’s love so much as when he loves his enemies.
64. Right after the victory at Jericho came the ignominious defeat at Ai. Whenever there is a spiritual high, expect an attack from the enemy. Satan wants to spoil the believer’s success and bring him low.
65. A man’s secret meditations become him. What a man puts into his mind as meditation today will come out tomorrow as fact.
66. It needs only 5% of the people in an area to be true believers for that neighbourhood to be influenced noticeably by their presence.
67. Worry has been defined as a cycle of inefficient thought whirling round a centre of fear.
68. The olive tree has no trunk. All the branches come up out of the root in the ground.
69. The quickest way to be out of fellowship with God is to neglect to pray.
70. A clique is when the popular people meet to reassure themselves that they are.
71. Believers should be so open and honest that their words need not be backed up with an oath.
72. A man cannot hurt others without hurting himself.
73. A man has to be willing to give up his bad habits. Then God will supply the power.
74. A “fool” in the Bible is not one who cannot understand but one who will not understand what God is saying to him.
75. When Ahab took Nathan’s vineyard, he thought that he had got away with it. Elijah showed up to remind him of God. Israel reminds the people of the World of the God from whom they are running away.
76. The Bible is not like a building: incomplete until finished. But like a tree: perfect e.g. Genesis, while still growing.
77. The Jews are a mirror in which a man sees the way God deals with man and with nations and the way man responds to God.
78. Salvation is in 3 parts. 1. Justification by faith. 2. Sanctification – being made holy and acceptable to God. 3. Glorification – being glorified with Him. It is a process.
79. There is no fence to sit on. A person is either for Jesus or against Him.
80. When a man looks back over his life, he is confronted by his failures and not his successes.
81. Do not criticise the service or the preacher. If it is the Word of God – obey it. If not – tell the preacher.
82. God has chosen each believer. A believer should not say: “He is my God” but “I am His son.”
83. Nothing pleases God more than obedience to His will.
84. It is easy to answer a hypothetical question. Man is faced by a real question in the person of Jesus. Who is this man?
85. The old covenant was written on tablets. The new one is written on the hearts of men. The purpose is the same.
86. Man says: “Seeing is believing.” God says: “Believe and you will see.”
87. Pride blocks the way to understanding and truth.
88. Life’s greatest reality is sin. Life’s greatest certainty is death.
Life’s greatest offer is the gift of eternal life. Life’s greatest choice is to accept or reject Jesus.
89. If one person in a house is saved, the Lord comes into that house, although not all are saved.
90. If Satan destroys the family, he destroys the nation.
91. Temptation often comes when a person is alone – as Eve was.
92. God begins at a man’s extremity, when a man has nothing left.
93. Transcendental meditation fails because God can only be reached in the spirit and not the mind. It is simply self-meditation.
94. Ezra asked for an escort. Nehemiah said that he did not need one. God deals differently with each man.
95. Before choosing, a man must know who Christ is, what He has done and what He will do.
96. A pause is a short stop in the flow of words. It enables the listener to digest the previous words.
97. A coincidence is when God wants to remain anonymous.
98. The Pharisees’ persecution of believers was not a defence of their faith but a defence of their pride.
99. Parents are never happier than their least happy child.
100. Look at Jesus hanging nailed to a cross, bleeding, separated from the love of God, alone. There is a glimpse of Hell.
101. The family is God’s agent for evangelism.
102. The Jews did not have numbers for their Psalms. They would recite the first line to mean the whole Psalm. Jesus meant the whole Psalm when on the cross He quoted the beginning of Psalm 22.
103. Prayer will not be answered if a man has not forgiven others.
104. Evangelise or fossilise.
105. A believer may not know what the future holds, but he does know who holds the future.
106. A smile increases the value of a man’s face.
108. A man should not live under, but above, the circumstances of life.
109. The three main joy stealers are worry, stress and fear.
110. Nothing can rob a man of his hold on grace, his claim to peace or his confidence in God, without his permission.
111. The mind of a man is like a bank vault. If he deposits positive, encouraging and uplifting thoughts, he can draw on them.
112. While Jesus said that believers are not to be anxious for tomorrow, He did not say that they were not to plan carefully for tomorrow.
113. A man should always beware of rushing into situations in which the deep experiences of others are involved.
114. The moral tone of a nation is judged by its literature.
115. Satan often waits with his main attack until the people of God are worn down by minor problems.
116. A man cannot claim the confidence and security of God, if he is determined to disobey Him. The Israelites under Moses and the Corinthians tried and failed.
117. Paul came on the scene at a time when there were exciting events of growth in the Church. The tide was coming in. Jeremiah arrived on the scene as the tide was going out. What mattered was their faithful witness in their circumstances. Noah preached for 120 years and not a soul was converted. The tide was going out then too, until it came in a big way.
118. The greatest unexplored territory in the World is right between a man’s ears.
119. Going back. Solomon went back into Egypt. Lot’s wife looked back and longed for the old life in Sodom. The Children of Israel asked Moses to go back to Egypt. Jesus warned about going back to bury a relative. Therefore – there must be no turning back.
120. The Church is like a football match. There are 22 men on the pitch tired out and in need of a rest and 40,000 on the terraces in need of exercise.
121. Much disease is rooted in loneliness, guilt, fear, inferiority, resentment, etc. Doctors say so. Believers must apply the Word of God like medicine.
122. When Jesus had big decisions to make He prayed alone all night.
123. The Children of Israel were promised the Land but they had to fight every inch of the way in. Believers are promised eternal life but have to tackle the sins and resist the temptations.
124. Life is like a journey along a rocky precipice. God constantly warns man to slow down and take care but if he ignores all the warnings he will go over the precipice to Hell.
125. A man grows best when he is asked to put it out. The teacher learns more than the pupil.
126. A man plays with evil and then it takes over. When a nation allows evil in open places e.g. brothels, the nation is in serious trouble.
127. It is not in times of peace and prosperity that people return to God. Good times tempt a man to forget God.
128. The individual does not exist for the benefit of the State.
129. The Kingdom of God is the rule of God in the heart of man and in society. A man is subject to God’s judgement whether converted or not.
130. Failures are only temporary tests to prepare a man for more permanent triumphs. Character is fashioned in the furnace of affliction. God seldom uses anyone unless He puts that person through the test of suffering first. He did the same to Jesus. The World watches how believers react to suffering.
131. The Church should be called “Sinners Anonymous.”
132. The solitary position of the minister is not scriptural.
133. When the Church as an institution gains the upper hand, the people become dependant.
134. Group of 4 – intimacy. Group of 12 – discussion (disciples). Group of 60 – congregation. Group over 60 – celebration.
135. It is said that there are three kinds of people in the world: those who make things happen; those who watch things happen; and those who never know what has happened until it hits them.
136. Every emotion ever felt by man is reflected somewhere in the Psalms. The Scriptures speak to man. The Psalms speak for man.
137. People become like their idols – unfaithful and unreliable.
138. Where a bone breaks and then heals the break in the bone will be the strongest part of it. The healing involves bone growing over the break point.
139. Backbiting comes from wolves, which tend to pick on the weakest in the pack and they literally bite it on the back.
140. Depression, frustration and a man’s inner conflicts wear a man out and defeat him.
141. The role of the Holy Spirit is to point to Christ.
142. Can a believer recite: “I am patient, I am kind etc.?”
143. The genius of leadership is to be able to motivate others for service, to evoke loyalty and to make the best use of their varied gifts.
144. Worship means adjusting to the reality that man has nothing, which he did not receive from God.
145. The central question of human history is “Who is this Jesus?”
146. All that Israel failed to be, Jesus perfectly fulfilled in His sinless life of devotion to His Father.
147. Those who idolise their own conduct cannot bear contradiction.
148. The central question facing each person is not: “If you die tomorrow, will you be in Heaven or Hell?” It is: “If you live tomorrow, will you serve God or yourself?” Most people will not die tomorrow.
149. Satan needs fertile ground in which to plant his rebellious ideas. When the ground is broken up he can plant his demonic beings to destroy lives.
150. If believers, the sons of God, would only realise how close His ministering angels are, what calm assurance they could have in facing the cataclysms of life.
151. The enemies of Christ who attack believers incessantly would often be thwarted, if believers could grasp God’s assurance that His mighty angels are always nearby, ready to help.
152. References to the holy angels in the Bible far outnumber references to Satan and his subordinate demons.
153. Life was never meant to be a passive co-existence with enemy forces as believers await their Heavenly home.
154. Perfectionists are people who take pains – and give them to others.
155. When God wants to do an impossible task, He takes an impossible man and crushes him.
156. Leaving the angelic hosts who flooded His presence with adoring praise, Jesus unselfishly accepted a role that would require His being misunderstood, abused, cursed and crucified.
157. The believer is the Bible the employer, friend or neighbour will not read.
158. A Church must have love at its centre or else it achieves nothing.
159. Secular humanism has been unable to develop a durable or compelling World-view. The acids of its own assumptions ruthlessly corrode its credibility and appeal.
160. Humanism progressively focused more attention on the glory of humanity, to the exclusion of the glory of God.
161. All are tempted sooner or later to put status and security in human terms before loyalty to God’s call.
162. In this World, royal children have to undergo extra training and discipline, which other children escape, in order to fit them for their high destiny. It is the same with the children of the King of kings.
163. Does a believer love his Christian brothers with whom he lives day by day in a way that he will not be ashamed of when in Heaven he thinks back over it?
164. A religion, which does not cost anything, does not mean anything.
165. “It takes more grace than I can tell to play the second fiddle well.”
166. Death is the ultimate statistic. One out of one dies. C. S. Lewis. “If I find in myself a desire that no experience in this World can satisfy, the most possible explanation is that I was made for another world.”
167. If a man comes to a cross roads and does not know which way to go, does he ask one of the five dead men lying at the side of the road or the one living one. All the great philosophers and religious leaders are dead. Only Jesus is alive.
168. Believers who think most about the next World are the ones who are most used in this World.
169. God wants to show off believers to the World as his demonstration model.
170. Whenever God wanted to reveal some new aspect of His personality He would do so through a new name, which has a special significance.
171. At the time of Jesus there were 3 dominant races. 1. The Greeks emphasised the power of speech and oratory. 2 The Romans emphasised military might. 3. The Jews emphasised the power of the prophetic Word. The World was weighed and found wanting.
172. Believers do not have to drag the ball and chain of past guilt into their daily living – they have been cleansed and freed.
173. Reconciliation means bringing a quarrel to an end.
174. It is the conflict between what a man knows to be right and his inability to reach up to it, which accounts for so much inner disharmony.
175. Jesus is the best photograph God ever had taken.
176. God permits only those of Satan’s attacks, which serve His eternal purpose.
177. Success, money, friends or position may be the crutches the Lord feels a man does not need for spiritual growth. A man should not weep over lost crutches.
178. The Red Sea could not drown Him, the gallows of Haman could not hang Him, the fires of Nebuchadnezzar could not burn Him, the edicts of Herod could not eliminate Him and the brick ovens of Hitler could not destroy Him. God promised to bring the Jewish people back to show the World that He is the Lord and would cause Israel to live again.
179. Believers should be so open and honest that their words need not be backed up by an oath.
180. A grudge has to be nourished if it is to be kept alive. If a man stops feeding it by going over and over in his mind the hurt, which someone has caused him, it will soon wither and die. A grudge helps to excuse a man’s own bad behaviour. A man should kill the grudge or it will kill him.
181. God refuses to let judgement be the last word and makes every effort to reconcile His erring bride to Himself.
182. A man’s sins can have consequences, which he can never predict.
183. Concubines were never God’s will. Abraham followed a pagan practice.
184. The ungodly always despise those whom God blesses, especially the Jewish people.
185. God created in order to manifest Himself, to have fellowship and to be glorified.
186. God’s laws when revealed give stability to human society, by giving a special sanction to the moral law.
187. Meditation is the digestive system of the soul. True meditation results in positive moral action. Transcendental meditation is like putting the mind in neutral.
188. God has 3 purposes for man. 1. The reconstruction of his thoughts. 2. The refocusing of his emotions. 3. The realignment of his will.
189. When a man gives someone a piece of his mind, he loses his peace of mind.
190. If a man is unkind to another person, he is sick.
191. Lying is never justifiable. God cannot lie and He never delegates to a believer the privilege of lying for Him.
192. The ultimate question of a man’s character is this: “Will he tell a lie?” Dishonesty puts sand in the machinery of life. Honesty and fidelity put oil in the machinery of life.
193. A man cannot break the moral laws of the Universe. He can only break himself upon them.
194. What does it profit a man to run 0.02 seconds faster than another and lose his soul?
195. When a man does it God’s ways he achieves more by doing less.
196. In the making of a covenant, the people must be prepared to participate and to consecrate themselves.
197. Governments must be submitted to a higher authority or else they prescribe their own morality.
198. Man was not designed by God to compete with one another but to complete one another.
199. Both Jesus in His day and the state of Israel today draw the venom of the enemy by their presence.
200. The Bible brings a message of peace in times of turmoil and a message of truth at a time of lies.
201. Failures are only temporary tests to prepare believers for more permanent triumphs. Character is fashioned in the furnace of affliction. God seldom uses anyone unless He puts that person through the test of suffering first. He did the same to Jesus. The World watches how believers react to suffering.
202. There are certain principles, which will enable the soldier of Christ to hear signals from Heaven. Humility. Submission. Sensitivity. Patience.
203. Jesus desires that believers enlist in His army but this involves their co-operation.
204. When Jesus rose from the dead He explained to His bewildered Disciples that His death by crucifixion had not been a ghastly mistake. Nor was it a heroic attempt to save a cause, which was all but lost. The only man on Earth who never deserved to die willingly did so in order that men, who fully deserve to die, might not have to die. The finest deeds of human heroism pale beside this supreme act of self-sacrifice.
205. Baptism speaks of purification, confession and union.
206. There is one special counter attack from the enemy, which needs careful attention. Feelings are variable. A bad experience quickly snatches joy from a believer. It is essential to hold fast to the promises of God and to rely on the facts and not the feelings.
207. A soldier is posted to a unit. A believer is limited to what is available in his locality. Seldom will it relate to the First Century Church. In Rev ch 2-3 it is clear that there was no perfect Church even in these days. Give the local Church full support. The believer belongs firstly to the body of Christ and then to the local congregation.
208. Eve was tempted to disobey God by eating fruit from the tree of knowledge. In the wilderness Jesus was tempted when hungry by the prospect of food. In the days of Noah people were eating and drinking. These seemed to feature large in their activities. Jesus said that it would be the same in the days before His return. Food is a major obsession with people today. Obesity is a major problem and health issues are often related to food and drink. It seems to be a weakness of man, which Satan targets.
209. The shoes of peace. The sandals were important to a soldier to hold his ground. No soldier would want to be caught with his boots off. This refers to the believer being able to give a good defence of the Gospel.
210. The only commodity left for holiness is people. If there is no God then there is no such thing as holiness. Israel was called by God to be separate and different. The World was unholy. There is no relativism. God is the same as He has always been. “You and I are incompatible and I do not change.” The believer is called to be different from other people and committed in a way in which they are not committed.
211 God comes to a man through His Word. As a man honours the Word of God so he honours God. The place that God’s Word has in a man’s life is the place that God has Himself. A man does not love God more than he loves His Word. The test of a man’s relationship with God is his attitude to God’s Word.
212. “What is wrong with the World? I am.” G. K. Chesterton.
213. Man rebelled against God, thinking that he could pull off a better deal for himself with God’s archenemy. By believing Satan’s lie instead of God’s truth a man put himself in the camp of the enemy.
214. In infancy a child has to be taught how to walk and talk but a child needs no instruction in how to lie, cheat and lose his temper. Sin comes as natural as breathing. A child seems to have a built-in bias against the will of God.
215. Jesus said to the Pharisees: “If you Pharisees want me to heal your souls, stop pretending that you are spiritually well and join the sick queue with the rest.”
216. There has been a reign of death over mankind since the days of Adam. His decaying body is proof of the fact that man is cut off from his Creator. The believer loses his salt, if he is enslaved to his own appetites.
218. Providence is that continued exercise of the divine energy, whereby the Creator preserves all His creatures, is operative in all that comes to pass in the World and directs all things to their appointed end. Providence asserts that God, having called the World into being, continually sustains it, renews it and orders it, governing Heaven and Earth by His providence and regulating all things so that nothing takes place without His deliberation.
219. In ancient times the record of a debt, after it had been paid, would sometimes be nailed to a public notice so that everyone could see that the matter was settled. Jesus nailed our debt to the cross – the most public place in the Universe.

Illustrations 2

ILLUSTRATIONS 2

1. When a man’s body is tired to the point of distraction, he should rest.

2. People heal at different rates. A cut heals faster if the person is in good health.

3. Secular humanism has been unable to develop a durable or compelling World-view. The acids of its own assumptions ruthlessly corrode its credibility and appeal.

4. Humanism progressively focused more attention on the glory of humanity, to the exclusion of the glory of God.

5. All are tempted sooner or later to put status and security in human terms before loyalty to God’s call.

6. A religion, which does not cost anything, does not mean anything.

7. There is evidence of a direct relationship between the circulation rate of pornographic magazines and the number of rapes in a particular area.

8. In the making of a covenant, the people must be prepared to participate and to consecrate themselves.

9. A man teaches his children by the way he acts out in front of them.

10. Pure thoughts. A man cannot prevent the birds from flying overhead but he does not have to allow them to build a nest in his hair.

11. A man has not lived successfully unless he has done something for someone who can never repay him.

12. Life owes a man nothing but the opportunity to grow.

13. The society in which believers live is strange because it punishes people when they fall below its standards but when they rise above its standards it persecutes them.

14. Breaking God’s laws leads to darkness, sooner or later.

15. Pride. Oscar Wilde said: “I have nothing to declare but my own genius.”
Disraeli said: “When I want to read a good book, I write one.”
George Bernard Shaw said: “I often quote myself. It adds spice to the conversation.”

16. There are 7 occasions when it is essential to hear from God.
Before considering the needs of others
Before entertaining the ideas of others.
Before listening to the complaints of others.
Before making any significant changes in life.
Before responding to the requests of others.
Before sharing dreams with others.
Before seeking the approval of others.

17. Going the extra mile gives a man an opportunity to impact on the life of another.

18. A bigoted person has a floating anger and will focus that on anything with which he disagrees. If his soul were stripped down there would be found at the core a disposition that is fiercely adversarial and lacking in love. There is a close connection between a man’s attitudes and his arteries.

19. A man will not get to Heaven because he is worthy but because the One he trusted in is worthy.

20. Fallen man hungers for attention, fishes for compliments and thrives on flattery. God’s order is that a man loves God first, his neighbour second and himself last. Sin is the reverse of that order.

21. Whenever a believer has pursued his own interests instead of Christ’s, whenever he has chosen to be envious or put his own ambitions before God’s will for his life, then he has in effect crucified the Son of God afresh.

22. The secret of being willing to forgive others is for a man to focus first on the extent to which he has been forgiven by God in Jesus. Resentment and anger are strong feelings and give a sense of power and control over others.

23. Jesus loved people as they were, while inspiring them to a higher standard.

24. God allowed Moses and Elijah to return to Earth to meet Jesus and to speak to the One who would complete the work they had left undone.

25. When a crisis comes people go looking for someone who has the answers to life’s problems.

26. What a man owns he protects and cares for. God owns each believer and protects and cares for His property.

27. Good marriages, good business relationships and good friendships are based on Jesus’ golden rule – show people that you value them. A pastor said to his congregation:
A. If you have a problem with me, come and see me privately. I shall do the same for you.
B. If someone else has a problem with me and comes to you, send him to me. I shall do the same for you.
C. If someone will not come to me, say: “Let us go together to see him.” I shall do the same for you.
D. Be careful how you interpret me. I would rather do that myself. It is too easy to misinterpret intentions. I shall be careful how I interpret you.
E. If it is confidential, do not tell. If you or anyone else comes to me in confidence, I will not tell unless the person is going to harm himself or harm someone else or if a child has been physically or sexually abused. I expect the same from you.
F. I do not read unsigned letters.
G. I do not manipulate. I will not be manipulated. Do not let others manipulate you. Do not let others try to manipulate me through you.
H. When in doubt, just say so. If I can answer it without misrepresenting something or breaking confidence, I will.
I. If people can still construe that you are taking advantage of them, even after you have had an opportunity to explain your motives, you need to re-think your ideas.
J. When in doubt, just say so. If I can answer it without misrepresenting something or breaking confidence, I will.

28. No one can commit sin and be its master. Sin eventually masters them

29. A sheep cannot conquer a wolf but it can avoid being destroyed by the wolf, if it stays close to the shepherd.

30. None of the disciples guessed that the one to betray Jesus was Judas. He had played his part so well that his true character had not yet been discovered.

31. A man should learn to get along with difficult people. They may bless him tomorrow.

32. It is hard for a person to keep a chip on his shoulder, if he is allowed to take a bow.

33. Never give up on your dream. It took Joseph 23 years before it materialised.

34. The speaker should stir the emotions, inform the mind and bend the will to serve God.

35. Work was designed by God to be productive, creative and invested in tasks, which contribute to God’s purposes. A man who is not busy does not need a helper. Eve was created to be a helper to Adam.

36. Once others realise that a man thrives on recognition by others they hold the key to manipulating that man for their own purposes.

37. A man interprets the things he sees and hears in a way that is very personal to him.

38. A man is not the same person today that he was yesterday because of the things, which have happened in his life in the last twenty four hours.

39. Seeds of greatness lie buried within unpromising people, which abruptly spring to life when they are recognised, valued and nurtured. Jesus sees value in the vilest sinner. Matthew, a despised tax collector became a writer for Jesus.

40. When a man prays he feels better because he has shared the problem with the One who is able to change the situation and who cares enough to listen.

41. God will prune things, which have served their purpose and which will hold a believer back and give him trouble later in life.

42. Some people grow through failure. Others never recover from it and move on. It is essential to press on to the goal of being like Jesus by making decisions. Remember that others have failed and been used of God.

43. Go out with joy. Isaiah ch 55 v 12. God’s Word demands it and a hurting World needs it. Happiness depends on circumstances. Joy comes from a deep relationship with the Lord. It is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

44. Politicians squander money to build their own image. Saul disobeyed God and was rejected. Today image and appearance are everything. God looks on the heart.

45. The enemy’s footholds in the life of the believer have to be pulled down – one by one. Jesus began to build his Church with 12 flawed people.

46. “If you ever think you’re too small to make a difference, you’ve never been to bed with a mosquito.”

47. Believers should not even mention the names of foreign gods. Joshua ch 23 v 7.

48. A man should hold on to a vision and not let others discourage him. Others will not see it or appreciate it.

49. There can be far reaching effects of prayer, if it is truly in the power of the Holy Spirit.

50. There were 13 silent years during which Abraham had to wait for his son.

51. Jesus invites a man to make decisions knowing the consequences. He did when He set out for Jerusalem. Weigh up the costs. Jesus had an iron will.

52. The Samaritan area was a territorial stronghold of Satan’s. It is still the same today. Even some believers are not willing to bless Israel. Few are interested. Jesus has been there.

53. When there is rejection does it leave a man with compassion for the lost or with anger?

54. Those with an inferiority complex are more likely to feel compassion.

55. Worship is a permanent matter while the sacrifice is a temporary matter. Believers are not immune from difficulties – quite the opposite. Response to the Word of God means righteousness – doing the right thing.

56. Character is what a man is when no human being is watching.

57. Achan was not to benefit from serving God. Politicians are not to benefit from serving the people.
Sins cannot be hidden. They will find a man out in time. This is a moral Universe. Sin has consequences for the family of a man.

58. Jesus was more concerned for the attitude of the Disciples.

59. It is dangerous to pray: “Send me” without having considered the consequences. Often there is a shallow commitment.

60. Jesus had no gimmicks to attract people. Do not look back to the old life or the earlier chapters wishing they had been different. They are now closed. The decision was made and the challenge is to press on.

61. There has been a reign of death over mankind since the days of Adam. His decaying body is proof of the fact that man is cut off from his Creator. The believer loses his salt, if he is enslaved to his own appetites.

62. Man rebelled against God, thinking that he could pull off a better deal for himself with God’s arch-enemy. By believing Satan’s lie instead of God’s truth man put himself in the camp of the enemy.

63. Stay in formation. Geese increase their flight range by 17% by flying in formation. Heb ch 10 v 25. Jesus said in Mat ch 6 v 26: “Look at the birds of the air.”

64. Jesus opens a man’s heart and then his wallet.

65. The nature of love is for a man to make someone outside of himself the centre of attention. The main problem believers have is that they do not know how much the Lord loves them. Believers have their strength impaired and their attention distracted by the faulty functioning of their inner life.

66. There are 3 unnatural things, which have invaded life
1. Sin – the unnatural evil of the soul
2. Error – the unnatural evil of the mind.
3. Disease – the unnatural evil of the body.
Sin begins with thoughts and then talks and finally acts. Watching adultery on television can lead
to participation. Jesus widened adultery form the action to lusting after a woman in the heart. Walk
carefully even among fellow believers. Weigh up the consequences carefully before acting.

67. There is a danger of being entangled, even by activities, which are not wrong in themselves. There are certain tests to apply.
1. Can I do this with a clear conscience and a heart at peace?
2. Can I enter into it wholeheartedly?
3. Can I do this to the glory of God?
4. Can I do this in the name of Jesus?
5. Can I thank God for this activity?
6. Will it be helpful to my spiritual life?
7. Might it enslave me?
8. Might it endanger my health?
9. Will it minister to my fallen nature or lead me into temptation? Is it in keeping with a proper stewardship of time and money?
10. Will it cause my weaker brother to stumble?
11. Is it likely to be misunderstood?

68. Proverbs ch 12 v 15. A wise man listens to advice. A man should be careful to whom he listens to for advice.

69. A man should never look at what he has lost but should count what he has left. Weigh eternity with the present World.

70. God tells believers to bless their enemies. Sometimes God uses their enemies to bless them. “I am never down. I am either up or I am getting up.”

71. Parents are responsible to give their children love, rules to live by, light and instruction regarding God and life – a walk with God.

72. The word “logos” means the reason why. Hence zoology and all the “ologies.” The reason why is seeing things as they really are. The reason why is Jesus. The word – logos – reason why – became flesh in Jesus. Logos became personified.

73. An “earthquake,” according to the figurative language of the Apocalypse just means a great political convulsion.

74. God cares for the nations who ignore Him and uses His own people who have a special responsibility to be an instrument of blessing towards them – the needy, the persecuted, the sick and the refugees. Gal ch 6 v 10.

75. Egypt was the smithy in which was forged the nation that was to be God’s chosen instrument for making Himself known to the World, the truth about Himself and ultimately to bring salvation to the World. The time in Egypt taught the Hebrews about running a civilised country. Moses had been educated at the court of Egypt. The religion of Egypt was steeped in magic and the occult.

76. A shield is something, which comes between the enemy and the soldier. God is the believer’s shield. No enemy activity can reach him unless it is first allowed past God. Satan knows that a man cannot keep all the moral laws. By encouraging a man to try he knows that man will fail. There is a danger of repeating doctrine and warning against watering down doctrine but at the same time limiting the people to being hearers of the word and not doers of the Word.

77. God is going to do it with or without a believer. He is just giving the believer an opportunity to get involved with Him.

78. When money is a man’s objective, he must live in fear of losing it. This makes him paranoid and suspicious.
When fame is his aim, he becomes competitive, lest others upstage him. This makes him envious.
When power and influence drive a man, he becomes self-serving and strong-willed. This makes him arrogant.
When possessions become a man’s god, he becomes materialistic, thinking enough is never enough. This makes him greedy.
All these pursuits fly in the face of contentment and joy.

79. Reciting laws was a useless pastime unless lives matched the words recited. In Psalm 51 David asked to be changed. It may be that as a man is changed situations will change also.

80. Recovering the lost generation. God seeks a godly generation. Gen ch 23 v 2. Illegitimate children will find it hard to accept the Gospel. They become non-achievers in the spiritual realm. Priests bless marriages and the government does not bless marriages through registrars.

81. Marital disagreements fall into 5 categories – money, sex, in-laws, kids and household responsibilities.

82. Real listening is paying attention.

83. When Rockefeller was asked: “How much does it take to satisfy a man?” He said: “A little more than he has right now.”

84. A man should be thankful that God has not turned him over to himself.

85. A man should be careful with whom he shares his dream or they may steal it from him. Often it will be someone who never had a dream of his own. Or if he did, he has abandoned it. They will not be able to handle it.

86. A man should not burn the bridge he himself might have to cross some day. A man should build thoughtful behaviour back into his relationships.

87. New believers are not able to handle their new freedom and need to mature. As believers grow older they see matters from a different perspective. New believers need older believers to teach them.

88. Does a man keep his word even when it costs him? Can people depend on him to do what he has promised?

89. If a man does not work on improving himself every day he could be stuck in the same place, doing the same things, hoping the same hopes, but never gaining new ground or developing spiritually.

90. Faith is not ignoring the obvious. That is denial. Acknowledging a problem is not an expression of doubt.

91. Samson’s self-confidence led to the most appalling disaster and suffering mental, spiritual and physical. It is a great danger for a man to think that he can manage himself. For believers the contact with other believers is not to be casual and careless but deliberate, concerned and whole-hearted. A believer cannot live the Christian life by himself.

92. Amos. God never does anything without revealing it to the prophets. There is great emphasis on prophecy today but what about the prophecies, which have lain hidden in the Scriptures for centuries and are coming to fruition today. Should believers not be interested in and excited by these?

93. One of the principles of mental health is this: A man cannot change what he will not acknowledge. Zech ch 5 v 5 pictures a woman in a basket with the lid on. Man tends to push his problems down into the subconscious and put the lid on them, hoping that they will go away. Skeletons do not disappear. A man attempts to get rid of sin by placing it in a basket and putting the lid on it.

94. In Jesus’ day a child was the most unimportant and insignificant member of society. It is often when a man shares the things of God that they become more relevant to him.

95. Luke ch 18 v 35. Bartimaeus cried out for Jesus. The disciples told him to be quiet. He was disturbing the meeting. It is not those who hear my words but those who do it. The Disciples wanted to hear the words but for Jesus it was time for action.

96. Secrecy and deception poison family relationships. A guilty conscience makes a man a coward and destroys trust and breeds paranoia.

97. Mankind has an insatiable desire to know the future. There are events in a man’s life, which he should be glad he did not know about in advance. Faith is being content to leave the future in God’s hands.

98. Every step of obedience opens the way ahead to a greater revelation of God. The preacher counts for nothing, if he does not act out what he preaches.

99. If God wants to speak to men, He needs the right man, in the right place, at the right time, with the right message and in the right spirit.

100. CRABS is a nasty disease all too common. It stands for criticism, resentment, anger, bitterness and self-pity.

101. The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.

102. President Kennedy said: “Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.”

103. Bertrand Russell said: “We must very soon have World government or universal annihilation.”

104. In Italy it is the opera. In Switzerland it is the Alps. In Russia it is the Party. In America it is baseball. In Israel it is the Bible. It is the principal pastime of the people.

105. On every hand writers are stating that society has gone sour and civilisation is sick. The scent of death is upon it. Within six centuries earthquakes have increased by 189%. 80% of the World’s scientists are alive today.

106. Atheism as a philosophy of life is not content today to go its own way. Its proponents are getting more and more egotistical, haughty, militant and aggressively scornful of believers.

107. Imagine the Queen going into the cell of a condemned criminal who had rejected her and rebelled against her and had killed her son. She says that she loves him and offers him a free royal pardon. She offers to set him free and take him home to her palace and make him the heir to the throne. She will give him all the rights and privileges of royalty. Eph ch 2 v 6. This is what God has done.

108. There is one olive tree. The original olive tree of the Jewish people was not cut down and another planted beside it. If the believers today were more concerned about their Jewish roots, the Jewish people might become jealous.

109. A boy fell out of bed. When his mother asked him why he fell out he said: “Perhaps when I got into bed I did not move far enough from the place where I got in.” Many believers slip away because they have not moved deeper into the Word of God.

110. God uses failures. Moses was a murderer. Rahab was a prostitute. David was an adulterer. Solomon was consumed with his riches. Elijah got depressed. Samson was addicted to women. Jeremiah wanted to die. Peter was a denier of the Lord.

111. John ch 8. Jesus described Satan as the father of lies. The first lie by Satan was that a man would have a better quality of life, if he lived independently of God. Many astute people have persuaded less astute people that this is true.

112. The picture of Jesus hanging on a cross hides the essential Jewishness of Jesus – the knife mark in the flesh of His circumcision. Without the lion cloth there would have been a visible reminder that Jesus was a Jew. In that event would Christians down through the centuries have carried out all the pogroms against His fellow Jews?

113. Isaiah ch 60 v 8. Who are these who fly like a cloud to Israel, like doves to their nests?

114. Israel is the only thing, which stands between Russia and a Communist takeover of the Middle East.

115. When Jesus met with His Disciples to observe the Passover and institute the Lord’s Supper, the shadow of Satan fell across the room. Only Jesus saw that shadow and felt its chill. As Satan fuelled the hatred of the Jewish leaders and entered into Judas he was, in spite of himself, hastening the confrontation at Calvary, which would be his own doom. Satan hovered near to Jesus like a moth unable to stay away from a flame. The closer he dared to come the more certain was his destruction.

116. If you are going to achieve excellence in big things you must develop the habit in little things.

117. History has demonstrated that the most notable winners now are because they refused to be discouraged by their defeats.

118. Life affords no greater responsibility and no greater privilege that the raising of the next generation.

119. Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.

120. When someone encourages you that person helps you over a threshold you might otherwise never have crossed on your own.

121. Do all the good you can.
By all the means you can.
In all the years you can
In all the places you can.
At all the times you can.
To all the people you can.
As long as ever you can.

Answers

ANSWERS.

1. Is a good life not enough?
The Bible makes it clear that a man cannot save himself by good works. He cannot earn salvation because any good he does is due to the grace of God in the first place. If a father gives his son a pound to enable the son to buy his father a present, the father is no better off when he receives the present from the son. The son has only given back to the father what was the father’s in the first place. God cannot be a man’s debtor. He owes a man nothing. God has a perfect standard and all sinners have fallen short. Compared to Jesus all fall short. Jesus lived as a man ought to live. No matter how hard a man tries he still falls short. If a good life was enough to satisfy God, then Jesus would not have had to die for man’s sins. Luke describes Jesus as the ideal man. Those who teach salvation by works have no answer to the level of works required to satisfy God.

2. How can miracles be possible?
The miracle stories in the Bible are always for a good and definite purpose and never to show off. Jesus performed miracles out of compassion and love for those who were afflicted. They were to prove that Jesus was the Messiah. One of the credentials of the Messiah was that He would be accompanied by signs and miracles. The enemies of Jesus never doubted that a miracle had taken place. They simply asked Him by what authority He had done it. There is no question of denial of what had happened. The miracles were well known publicly. People then were no less sceptical than they are today. Many people today will only believe what they can understand. Behind the question is the familiar issue of whether or not God exists. A person who refuses to accept the possibility of God breaking into history in a supernatural way is denying the very existence of God.

3. Evidence that Jesus rose from the dead.
1. There were 500 eye-witnesses of the risen Jesus. The authorities, who were anxious to deny the resurrection, could have arrested them in order to question them.
2. When the four Gospels were written there was no book written to counter the claim of the resurrection.
3. Many brilliant men have set out to disprove the resurrection but in face of the evidence were unable to do so.
4. The lives of the Disciples and other followers demonstrate their conviction that Jesus was alive. Many died awful deaths because of their belief.
5. Twenty centuries of concerted persecution of believers has failed to stamp out the belief in the resurrection.
6. The authorities, who had crucified Jesus, could not produce a body. They did not even look for one because there had been a guard at the tomb and the reliable guard testified to the authorities that Jesus had left the tomb, which was empty.
7. The whole Bible has a ring of truth about it.

4. Is the Bible full of contradictions?
Usually this is a red herring and if the person who asked the question is asked in turn: “Which one do you have in mind?” There is no further question. When Matthew refers to two blind men meeting Jesus while Mark and Luke mention only one blind man there is no contradiction. Both are right. A man might tell one person that he met two people in town and later tell another that he met one person in town. Neither statement is wrong. Both are right. The statements are different but not contradictory. There are difficulties in the Bible but there is not a word of untruth in it. This is what distinguishes it from every other book ever written.

5. Does it really matter what a man believes?
Believing in something will not make it true since belief does not create fact. If the facts do not support the belief, the thing a man believes in will not come true. A man may wait at a bus stop for a 10 a.m. bus sincerely believing that there is one. However, if the man is wrong and the bus left at 9 a.m. no amount of believing will alter the fact that the bus has gone. Belief is only as good as the object or person a man puts his trust in. A man needs to be sure of the facts before he trusts them. This is why people are invited to test the truth of the Bible before putting their trust in it. When the people asked Jesus for a sign so that they could be sure that He was who He said He was, He said that He would rise on the third day. Christianity rests on the fact of the resurrection. If Jesus did not rise then Christianity is false. But He did rise. God requires a man to put his trust in the person of Jesus Christ. Nothing else will satisfy God.

6. If Christianity is so great why are there so few Christians?
1. Ignorance. Ignorance of (a) the facts on which Christianity is based. (b) The fact that Jesus fulfilled all the Old Testament prophecies and ceremonial law or (c) the purpose of Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection.
2. Laziness. Much ignorance is self-imposed. In order to make any decision in life based on facts, some energy must be expended to ascertain the facts first. That means reading, talking, asking etc.
3. Largely the problem is not knowledge or lack of it but a definite decision of the will. They will not become believers.
4. Error. Many think that Christianity is just a religion like other religions i. e. just a set of negative commands and ritual. Many believers do not live out what they speak and mislead others.
5. Guilt. Some wrongly think that their life has been too bad to be forgiven by God. However, no one is too sinful to receive forgiveness.
6. Sin. Many know the facts but love their sin too much – whether it be non-payment of income tax, adultery etc.
7. Pride. Many cannot face admitting that they have been wrong for years, which is why statistically few older people become believers.

7. Was Jesus born of a Virgin?
The Bible says so. If any word of the Bible is untrue the whole Bible is unreliable. The miracle birth was prophesied by Isaiah. Mary gave evidence to Luke, Mark and Matthew. She should know. It is not likely that she would spread a story, if it were not true. Jesus was sinless. Even His enemies admitted this. He had to be different and this was achieved by being born into the World after conception by the Holy Spirit. The fact has been believed for 2000 years. Jesus claimed to be God and it is consistent that He would have been born in a different way from anyone else. The virgin birth is both a historical fact and a necessity to fulfil Scripture. It was a supernatural act of God. No one spoke out to deny the miracles. Even His enemies did not deny the other miracles. Since God created the Universe out of nothing a virgin birth is not too hard. A hundred years ago people would have said that it would take a miracle for man to walk on the Moon. The greatest miracle takes place each time a person is converted. It is the sins of the Father, which are said to be visited on the third and fourth generation of those who hate the Lord. So the genes of the Mother do not appear to carry the sins. Hence Mary’s part in the conception and birth did not result in Jesus being conceived in sin.

8. Can Christianity be proved?
If a decision by a jury was based on 100 per cent proof, no verdict would ever be returned. Everybody makes decisions of life based on probability and not certainty. Many people will say: “Prove to me that Jesus is alive and I will trust Him.” But Jesus says: “I am alive. Trust me and you will know for sure.” Man cannot prove trust, but it is by trusting that the believer has assurance. Decisions in life are based on a combination of faith and fact, e.g. crossing the road and sitting on a chair. Lack of 100 per cent proof does not stop people from proceeding as they want to. If people want to trust in Jesus they can. It is a question of the will. It is an excuse to demand 100 per cent proof of Christianity when they do not demand the same level of proof in relation to other matters. Even the atheist cannot be 100 per cent certain that there is no God. A man cannot prove a negative. The evidence of the resurrection of Jesus is overwhelming. The attitude of many is: “No matter what proof there is, I will not believe that Christianity is true.”

9. Did Jesus exist at all?
The facts of His life were recorded by eye-witnesses, who gave first hand testimony. Historians recorded the facts. In light of the evidence it is absurd to hold such a view. More is known about the life of Jesus than just about any other figure in the ancient World. It would never enter anyone’s head to suggest this unless, before asking the question, the mind had been darkened by the wish that He had not lived.

10. Did Moses write the Pentateuch?
Moses was well qualified to write these books. He was educated in the Royal Court in Egypt and was highly advanced academically. He had first hand knowledge of the geography of Egypt and Sinai, having spent 40 years in each. Exodus ch 24 v 4 says that Moses wrote all the words of the Lord. Moses spoke to God face to face. He obtained his information from God Himself. Jewish tradition is firm in its belief in Mosaic authorship. Jesus makes it clear that He believed that Moses wrote the Books. “For if you believed Moses you would believe me, for he wrote about me.” Only someone who knew all about the facts could have written the Books. Such primary evidence would be accepted without hesitation in any Court of Law.

11. Are all Religions the same?
Religion is man’s search for God. Christianity is God’s search for man. To some extent all religions have the same objective but they cannot be the same because they teach many things completely opposite to each other. They may all be wrong but they certainly cannot all be right, since the claims of one exclude the others. It is not as if each one is a part of a giant jigsaw puzzle and when, put together, they form a whole picture. They conflict and overlap. The mark of error in religion is that its gods are scaled down to a size, which the human mind can accommodate and its demands encourage the idea that man’s religious practices can contribute to his own salvation. Christianity alone teaches that Jesus is God in the flesh, a real person. Others, such as Islam, may refer to Jesus but only as a man and not as God. Salvation is through trusting God – taking God at His word. If a man accepts the Bible as written by God, he will know that it is true. Other religions teach that salvation is through works and knowledge. All religions are therefore not the same. Christianity is different from them all.

12. Does the Bible allow for the theory of evolution?
The theory of evolution states basically that complex elements have developed from simpler elements by chance association. As such, it is contradictory to the Bible’s teaching of creation, which says that God created the World out of nothing and that He made man out of the elements of the Earth and that the first man was fully a man at creation. The idea of natural selection is contrary to God’s Word, which says that all things were created good.
Evolution contradicts the second law of Thermodynamics which states that, left to itself, everything tends to become less ordered and not more ordered or complex.
Neither the theory of evolution nor special creation can be proved scientifically. Both require to be accepted by faith. There is no laboratory capable of repeating the experiment.
Laws such as gravitation and nature imply a lawgiver. The variety and balance of life witnesses to a master-mind. The organs such as beaks, eyes, ears etc are all fully formed. A partially formed organ would be useless. They had to come into being at once.
Where a mother has a son addicted to glue sniffing there is no point in telling her about evolution. It has nothing to say to the moral issues of the day. It offers no hope for the future or explanation for the behaviour of mankind. Evolution is an excuse for not coming to terms with reality.

13. What about those who have never heard?
Those who ask this question have heard or they would not know to ask it. Therefore it must either be because they have a genuine concern for those who have not heard or as an excuse – accusing God of unfairly condemning those who have not heard.

1. The answer does not affect the question of whether Christianity is true or not. Jesus’ death and resurrection are facts, which are not altered just because someone has not heard about them.

2. It has to be agreed that there is a certain mystery. Man does not know God’s purposes in full but the Bible is clear that Jesus is the only way to God. There is no other way for a man to be saved.

3. No one has any excuse. Creation cries out that there is a Creator. Lives are not what they should be.

4. All are running and hiding from God or keeping Him at a distance.

5. God does not want any to die but wants all to be saved.

6. Judgement will be absolutely fair – if man seeks justice that is what he will receive. The wages of sin is death. If man seeks mercy, genuinely, then he will receive it.

7. Man is judged by his own moral standard. Man has a conscience to tell him what is right and wrong. He sees faults in others but pretends that he does not have them. He tends to see the faults in others, which he has himself.

8. A man expects others to look after him and help him in his need but he is slow to help others in their need.

9. There is such pain and suffering all around the World and so many are behaving in a way, which they know is wrong. Ought man not to ask why this is? The evidence is that man is not genuinely seeking the truth. Jesus said: “I am the truth.”

14. Why does a God of love allow suffering?
The Bible makes it clear that evil comes in as a result of the sin of man. Genuine love cannot exist unless freely given through free choice and will. Therefore man was given the choice to accept God’s love or to reject it. By choosing to disobey God man brought evil into the World. The Bible also teaches that evil will eventually be destroyed. Jesus knew more about suffering than most. He was born in poverty, died in disgrace and, throughout His life, knew the full extent of the suffering that lay ahead of Him on the cross – one of the cruellest deaths ever devised for men.

God allowed it to happen. He is an all-wise, all- knowing God and He has reasons for allowing things to happen, which are beyond man’s comprehension. Most, if not all, suffering is due to the sin of man.
War. God wants peace. The root cause is the pride of man.
Starvation. There is enough food for everyone.
The root cause is man’s refusal to share it out.
Alcoholism. The Root cause is disobedience to the Word of God.
Accidents. The root cause is carelessness of man.
Ill health. The root cause is bad eating, smoking and additives.
Earthquakes. Sin upsets the natural order.
Prisons. The root cause is the selfishness of man.
Aids. The root cause is the sin of sexual behaviour outside marriage.
Drugs. Stupidity of man, knowing that it is harmful.
Depression. Anxiety – lack of trust in God.
Loneliness. The root cause is a lack of concern of one man for another.
Poverty. The toot cause is the greed of man not to share and laziness.

God has provided ample resources for man’s need but man has to share the gifts with others. Man spends more on weapons than on food. God created the World good. Man sinned. Suffering is almost all due to the sin of man. There will be no sin and no suffering in Heaven.

15. Salvation by works.
The Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Liberals teach that a man is saved by the good works he does. There is no evidence of the level of works, which are required to earn salvation. There can therefore be no assurance or guarantee that these people have salvation. If a wicked man turns over a new leaf, how many good works does he have to do to earn salvation? There is no answer to the question.

16. Humanism.
Most people in Europe today are humanists. They may not admit to the label but they say things like: “It makes you lose your faith in human nature.” That is where they put their faith (or trust) – in the inherent goodness of man. Humanism says that given time and resources man will solve all the problems of the World. In other words – man will save himself. Humanists used to be optimistic but are now more pessimistic. However their views fail to take account of sin. The prisons are full. The mental hospitals were full until the government emptied them into society. Divorces are increasing. Weapons are being stockpiled. Crime is increasing. Even the humanists admit that the World is not getting better.

17. Did Jesus claim to be God? Why believe it?
1. Jesus is unique in that He claimed to be God in human flesh. He said: “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” John ch 14 v 9.
2. He existed before Abraham. John ch 8 v 58.
3. He said that He was equal with the Father. John ch 5 v 17-8.
4. He claimed the ability to forgive sins. Mark ch 2 v 5-7. The Bible taught that only God could do this. Isaiah ch 43 v 25.
5. The writers of the New Testament are united in declaring that Jesus was more than mere man but was God.
6. Not only did His friends notice that He claimed to be God but so did His enemies. They wanted to stone Jesus because he made Himself out to be God. John ch 10 v 33.
7. In Ezekiel ch 34 v 11 God said that He, Himself, would come to search for His sheep.
8. Anyone who made the claims Jesus made is either a lunatic and to be ignored, or, He was who He claimed to be, God in the flesh, and ought to be obeyed. He did not leave man with the option of being accepted as a great Teacher. He did not claim to be teaching the truth. He claimed to BE the truth. Religions invite people to follow a set of teachings. Christianity invites man to follow a person.
9. His ability to lay down His life and take it up again separates Jesus from anyone else who ever lived.
10. The resurrection proves Jesus to be who He claimed to be – God in the flesh.
11. Why believe it? Jesus offers His Disciples eternal life. He proved by His words and actions that He has the ability to give eternal life. A person can only give away what he has to give. Jesus alone has eternal life to give.

18. The Bible is the Word of God. Reasons:
1. The unity of the Book. Written by 40 authors over 1500 years in 66 Books, yet it reads as one Book. Behind it is a master author.
2. The superiority of its teaching to any other book. There is no error in the Bible. There is no moral truth, which is not in the Bible. No other book is in the same class. It is unique.
3. No other book has changed the lives of millions of people.
4. Twenty centuries of strenuous and determined attack has been unable to destroy intelligent faith in the Bible.
5. The lives of those who live under the authority of the Bible speak to its power and life-giving vitality.
6. Fulfilled prophecies concerning the coming Messiah, the Jewish People and the Gentile nations. Every prophecy, so far fulfilled, has been one hundred per cent accurate. The chances of this happening are billions to one. The whole of the Bible is prophetic – its history – its people – its ceremonies – its facts.
7. The lives of the Apostles, changed by their encounter with the resurrected body of Jesus.
8. Jesus believed that the Old Testament spoke of Him and that it was absolutely true. He gave it the stamp of approval by:
a) The life He lived – He lived without sin.
b) The words He spoke – He spoke with authority.
c) The works He did – He did miracles and healed.
d) His influence on history. – An impostor could not have made such an impact on history.
e) His words have stood the test of time.
f) The resurrection is one of the best-proven facts of history.