Nearly 100 people gathered for the official opening of the Bible Centre, Stockton-on-Tees, the new location of Stockton’s Presbyterian Reformed Church. The refurbished building, a former boxing club, has already been in use for several months in the good fight of faith.
Pastor Roy Mohon, minister of the congregation, led in worship. His statement thanked those who had helped and, in particular, the solicitor, architect and contractor who were all present at the service.
The preacher was Pastor Pooyan Mehrshahi of Cheltenham. He reminded us at the outset of the privilege of having a fixed place of worship, when so many Christians across the world meet in hiding for fear of persecution.
His text was Hebrews 12:3: ‘For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds’.
Three important lessons were drawn. First, we must consider what Jesus Christ has done. He ‘appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself’. He paid the price of sin that all who trust in him might be saved.
Second, we must consider what every sinner needs to do. The wages of sin is death, but Christ the great physician (Matthew 9:12) gives healing and pardon without payment, because he paid the price himself. It is time for sinners to consider God’s offer of peace and forgiveness.
Finally, we must consider what every Christian needs to do. Paul tells us we ‘ought to walk and to please God’ (1 Thessalonians 4:1). This applies always and everywhere to everything we do.
The formal proceedings ended with the singing of Psalm 23, and retired pastor John Crosby gave thanks for the refreshments. An enjoyable time of fellowship followed.