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All articles in category Comment

Ten things on assurance of salvation

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November 2015
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Ten things on assurance of salvation

1. Every believer should aim for full assurance of faith (Hebrews 10:22). 2. Assurance is not of the essence of saving faith. One may truly believe and yet lack assurance. 3. True Christians may sometimes doubt the truth of the gospel. Genuine believers may question whether they are truly saved. 4. The objective basis of assurance is that God accepts believers as righteous on the basis of the obedience, blood, resurrection and intercession of Christ. ‘It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns?’ (Romans 8:33-34). 5. We know that we are the children of God because we love him and keep his commandments....

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October 2015
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The worst judgement

The sin that has engulfed our nation, and infiltrated — sometimes deeply — into the professing church of Jesus Christ, demonstrates beyond all doubt that God’s judgements are at work in the UK (see ET comment, September 2015). Far from Britain experiencing a latter day Christian ‘revival’, as some well-meaning yet very naïve people try to persuade us is taking place, the nation is surely experiencing earlier instalments of that wrath of God yet to engulf this fallen world (Romans 1:22-32). The final visitation of divine anger against sin will be a storm of fiery indignation, a cataclysm from which nobody can escape, unless (in...

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September 2015
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Is the UK under God’s judgement?

That things are terribly wrong in British society is obvious at all levels — individual, family, communal and institutional. Evangelical Times reports on this every month, perhaps less adequately than it should, not because the editors enjoy muck-raking, nor because they want to transform evangelical churches into communities of Pharisees, but in order to encourage the Lord’s people to serve the Lord more effectively and cry earnestly for revival. You can read and watch all about the nation’s moral mess in the media, as well as encounter it in many homes, streets and public places. From whatever source you get it, there is no doubt that...

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August 2015
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Is homosexuality inherited or chosen?

‘Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God’ (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). The Supreme Court of the United States has taken up the matter of ‘gay marriage’ and by a small margin has overturned all marriage protection laws in the United States. This means that the marriage law of Kentucky, my home state, will be struck down. But we must remember there is a difference between legality and morality. There are...

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The new morality

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July 2015
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The new morality

Recent days have seen the citizens of Ireland decide by popular vote to accept ‘same-sex marriage’. The BBC revelled in the outcome and reported it as yet another endorsement of the West’s new social position. What are the implications for our society? Does this new morality undermine the Bible and its revealed position concerning marriage? The West historically has used the Bible as its baseline for morality, but, on a national, political level, in the UK at least, this is no longer the case. Huge issues arise as to what is morally right today, but the UK’s new phase of subjective moralism is open to...

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June 2015
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Facing upheavals

In AD 410 the city of Rome was sacked by the Goths. Rome was already drastically weakened by self-indulgence, and its social structures, heavily based on slavery, were falling apart. It had become easy prey to the invaders. In the minds of Roman citizens the sacking was, of course, a catastrophe. And to the Christians too it seemed a disaster, especially since the Roman state now recognised Christianity and seemed a final bulwark against Barbarian paganism. Unshaken It was to address such fears that Augustine of Hippo wrote his majestic treatise The City of God. In it, he shows that the church of Jesus Christ is...

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God’s Dynamite

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May 2015
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God’s Dynamite

God’s dynamite ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek’ (Romans 1:16). The word for ‘power’ in this verse in the Greek is dunamis, which is variously translated ‘strength’, ‘power’ or ‘authority’. You can easily recognise that it is from this word that we get the English word ‘dynamite’, which is an explosive formula used for various purposes.  Paul said that he was not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s ‘dynamite’ for salvation. I am very happy to say...

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Church Meetings

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April 2015
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Church Meetings

Church meetings I smiled when reading of Stanley Delves, a Grace Baptist pastor in Sussex, who, on retiring after 60 years in the ministry, said with evident relief, ‘I will not have to chair any more church meetings!’  His attitude is regrettably easy to understand. While the church meeting is something central to Congregationalism, it is in practice a problem for many people. Mixed feelings In 1981, Derek Swann spoke on the subject of the church meeting at the Congregational Studies Conference and gave us two wonderful, opposite and apposite quotations on the subject, both of which came from R. W. Dale, a famous Congregational...

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Suffering for Christ

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March 2015
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Suffering for Christ

What we lack in the Western church today — Australia and New Zealand included — is a practical theology of personal and corporate suffering for the cause of Christ. Putting it simply, we Western Christians are often averse to the thought of suffering for our faith! Many Western believers have only a hazy idea of the extent of daily hardships, difficulties, persecutions and sufferings that our brothers and sisters in Christ are undergoing for the cause of the gospel of Christ around the world today. Immense suffering Fellow believers in the Middle East have endured great persecution following the ‘Arab Spring’. The wars and extremist...

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Can going to church reduce the risk of dementia?

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February 2015
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Can going to church reduce the risk of dementia?

Simply going to church may be putting off your chance of developing Alzheimer’s. We already know that research shows that ‘people with a faith, who regularly attend a place of worship’ tend to live longer. Commenting on the research, a professor said the evidence was so clear that, although he wasn’t a believer, he thought he might go for his health’s sake. This confirms previous research showing feelings of loneliness can be a risk factor for dementia. Measuring loneliness Robert S. Wilson, PhD, and his colleagues at the Centre for Aging, Rush University, Chicago, analysed the association between loneliness and Alzheimer’s disease, in 823 older...

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January 2015
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ET Comment ‘Code of Conduct’

In November 2014, the directors and editors of Evangelical Times adopted the ‘Code of conduct’ set out in this comment column. This voluntary code was agreed on after fruitful discussion involving a number of editors of Christian journals, under the helpful chairmanship of Peter Milsom of Affinity. It does not impinge on ET’s editorial freedom (ET is independent of all other organisations, including Affinity). Many of the code’s principles should characterise the wider discourse of Christians in churches and the world. We request readers’ prayers that what ET publishes will reflect a high standard of integrity. For the sake of completeness, we include ET’s mission...

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Lessons from the launch of the Persian Bible

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November 2014
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Lessons from the launch of the Persian Bible

Recently I went to Elam Ministry’s service of dedication, to mark the translation of the whole of the Bible into modern Persian. Immediately I was captivated and lifted in my spirit. My first impression was the sheer beauty of the Iranian people, all dressed as befitted coming before a king — King Jesus! Oh what delight! And what joy in their singing as they praised Jesus! Then I was awestruck by their stories. Christians in Iran are paying a high price for their faith in Jesus. They have lost jobs, homes and even custody of children. Some have been physically abused. Hundreds are rejected by...

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