Judgement Day

Judgement Day

Neil Pattison | 26 July 2020 | Sunday Celebration

There is something inbuilt within us that gives us awareness of light and dark, good and evil.

We are made in God’s image. As humans, we all possess: a need for worship; a need to love and be loved; a sense of conscience and morality; a need for identity and purpose; a desire for marriage and family; a need for work-life balance; a love of creativity, beauty and art; a need for healthy rhythms in our mental, social, physical, spiritual and emotional lives.

When we do something wrong, we feel guilty or bad. Our conscience can be a pain, but it is actually a blessing – it reminds us there will be a consequence to our actions, a Day of Judgement.

Romans 1:18-23 (TLB): “But God shows His anger from heaven against all sinful, evil men who push away the truth from them. For the truth about God is known to them instinctively; God has put this knowledge in their hearts. Since earliest times men have seen the earth and sky and all God made, and have known of His existence and great eternal power. So they will have no excuse when they stand before God at Judgment Day.

Yes, they knew about Him all right, but they wouldn’t admit it or worship Him or even thank Him for all His daily care. And after a while they began to think up silly ideas of what God was like and what He wanted them to do. The result was that their foolish minds became dark and confused. Claiming themselves to be wise without God, they became utter fools instead. And then, instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they took wood and stone and made idols for themselves, carving them to look like mere birds and animals and snakes and puny men.”

Two questions came up:
1. How can a loving God judge people and send them to everlasting hell?
2. What about people who have not heard about the Gospel and Jesus?

Let me turn this on its head. Let’s picture ourselves on judgement day, standing before God, and we are asked to account for every action and motive.
Romans 1:18 says that one factor leading to judgement is “pushing the truth away”. Can any of us honestly say at times we do not push the truth away and instead do what we know we should not? How many times have we chosen actions that are not the best for us, or the best for others?

Understand the nature of God

The Bible tells us that God is pure love. He is perfect and pure and cannot look on anything that is impure or wrong. If we are going to have a judge, we need one that is perfect and pure and loving and who doesn’t make mistakes.
We were created to love and be loved, not be selfish and hurt others. Selfishness and wrong are the opposite of God’s plan for us and it saddens and angers Father God.

God is also just. How do you spoil a child? Withdraw nurture and boundaries. As parents we show loving care and compassion, we also teach a loving justice – there is a consequence to our actions. A disobedient child makes a parent angry. Our wrong behaviour rightly causes God’s anger.

In a court of law, the defendant needs a defence. Back to our picture – we are stood in front of God and we have in front of us all the times we pushed truth away. What is our defence? A system of justice must deliver judgement and sentence. Wrong cannot be swept under the carpet. Sin has to be paid for.

It is also easy to think ‘it’s not my problem – there are people worse than me. We can easily judge others and think we should be excused. But all our lives are polluted and we have a big problem.

Romans 2:1-4: “Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things. But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?”

A ray of light in our darkness

Hebrews 9:27-28 (NLT): “And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for Him.”

God in His love has provided a way out.

How do we benefit from this amazing offer?

  1. Hold our hands up and admit our guilt. Point your finger at others – 3 fingers back at you? No, thousands of daggers pointing back at our guilt!
  2. Agree with God, the perfect Judge, that our sentence should be hell. That is how much our “pushing away the truth” has offended and angered God.
  3. Ask for forgiveness and believe Jesus has paid for our sin. He is our defence. When you stand before God on judgement day, you don’t need any excuses or justification; you point to Jesus!
  4. Realise that without Jesus fighting our corner, every person on this planet is in peril. There has to be justice, there has to be payment – this problem will not just go away. What are someone’s chances of judgement and innocence? Motivation needs to be love for others, not guilt.

This Summer, pray for family, friends, neighbours and colleagues. Two things we are planning:

  1. Alpha Course in September. Who does God want you to invite?
  2. We are looking at prayer over August leading up to launch of prayer triplets in September. Start thinking/praying now.

Let’s finish off with communion. It is the celebration of Jesus paying our penalty – bread as His body, juice/wine as His blood shed as payment for us.

He is our defence. Our guilt is gone!

For the video and/or audio recording of the morning, click here.

Soldier – Athlete – Farmer

Soldier – Athlete – Farmer

Neil Pattison | 12 July 2020 | Sunday Celebration

2 Timothy 2:1-6: “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.”

Soldier: A person who fights in an army (not a strip of bread or toast, used for dipping into a soft-boiled egg)
Athlete: They engage in a contest, compete for a prize
Farmer: Tiller of the ground, vinedresser

  • Not a time to shrink back. Discern the times.
  • Thank Jesus for those faithful men and women who take responsibility in the church – Pod, Habitation, Mosaic, different groups, home group leaders, cluster leaders, eldership.
  • Ekklesia – a body of citizens assembled to discuss the affairs of state. Believers gathered together to discuss the King’s affairs.
  • We are restricted in size of gathering all at once, but our effect is increased in gathering in small numbers. DO NOT GIVE UP MEETING TOGETHER.
  • Prayer – pray for family and friends and colleagues NOW IS THE TIME OF SALVATION. Soldier – disentangle yourself from the affairs of the world.
  • Set your house in order – not a time for slacking and playing golf [metaphorically] and allowing old habits to return. Athlete – prepare yourself and compete! Address habits, thought life, destructive patterns, pornography.
  • Mission – ask the Lord: “Who forms the part of His harvest field that I can reach?” Farmer – work hard, be diligent, pass on to others what the Lord has shown you, freely give to others what the Lord has given to you.
  • We as a leadership are looking at how to rework corporate prayer. The Power Hour of Prayer will move to only once a month and we will launch “prayer triplets” with specific themes for a specific period of weeks.

We are not out of the woods yet. Continue to be responsible. God is doing amazing things. New salvations, healing, new jobs.

  • Parkwood project – drawings for submission to planning – then pray.
  • Thorny Theology – tackling sensational subjects from the word of God forming a library of discussions to provide an access point into the key issues.
  • Still a need for someone to head up the community side of Jubilee – more opportunities. We want to give of our best. What is God saying to you?
  • Enjoy the summer – holiday season for many. God has plans for many people over the coming months – He doesn’t want to wait until September to bless others!
  • Hub open in a limited way. Let us know before you visit.
  • Let us know if there are areas we have not considered as a leadership – no one should be left out or left behind.

Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

For the video and/or audio recording of the morning, click here.