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All articles in category Evangelistic

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December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

Angels and shepherds

Tea towel-turbaned children and cosy Christmas card scenes often spring to mind when we think about the shepherds. But what were these first eyewitnesses of the manger really like? Our research takes us to the account by Luke, the historian amongst Jesus’ four biblical biographers. But what would it have been like for Luke to do his research. We imagine a conversation with a shepherd, as Luke interviewed him when writing his Gospel. Luke: I’m glad to find you, because in my research I keep coming across stories about shepherds seeing Jesus in the manger. Shepherd: I’m not surprised. We were so excited that we...

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December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

A soldier’s story (2)

Gavin Dickson continues sharing his life story (begun in November’s ET ): When the Scots Guards returned to Iraq in 2007 for Telic 7, an insurgency was raging throughout the country. So we had to exchange our berets for helmets and full body armour. In fact, you didn’t travel unless you were in an armoured vehicle. In 2005 we had moved around by driving in snatch wagons or cut-down Land Rovers, which were very exposed to the elements, especially the wind. Yet in 2007 we moved around in the Warrior, a 26-ton armoured fighting vehicle. The full force of the insurgents was felt by their...

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December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

From pavement to palace

Mark was a 27-year-old from Clwyd, working for a firm that fitted ten-pin bowling alleys. It was a job that many lads of his age would have been happy to have had, but Mark had bigger dreams. Like other young boys in North Wales he had grown up with the idea that London was a million miles away. It might as well have been! London was the place of excitement and endless opportunities. It was where young people wanted to be and where they could thrive. After all, there were only so many ten-pin bowling alleys that the people of Clwyd wanted. And what then?...

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December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

Happy Christmas?

Gary Clayton reminds everyone, including Christians, what the Christmas season is all about. To millions around the world Christmas is the most eagerly anticipated time of the year. For some, it’s a time of joy, celebration, family and worship. For others, it can be a profoundly lonely, materialistic or depressing experience. Christmas, however one celebrates it, presents a number of problems, whether past, present or future. Some years ago, a parent taking on the role of Santa at a school fair departed from the traditional script when one of his young visitors went blank, having forgotten the presents he wanted. ‘Surely you’d like something for...

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December 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

The perfect man

Has there ever been a perfect human being? In spite of the praise and adoration we lavish on our heroes, saints and pop-idols, the answer has to be ‘no’. The Bible, however, claims a single exception to this rule. Jesus Christ, the Bible maintains, was the perfect man who shows us what humanity should look like. But who was Jesus Christ? Did he even exist historically? And if he did exist, who was he and what claims did he make? Historical evidence No serious historian doubts that Jesus of Nazareth existed — the son of a working-class family in first-century Roman-occupied Israel who became an...

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Article

November 2018
Articles > Evangelistic

A soldier’s story (1)

At the age of 16 I probably could have joined any regiment, but I chose the Scots Guards, which is an infantry unit. However, I was very small for my age and had been bullied for it at school. I was only eight stone with a small frame. When I had my army daysack on my back, the straps would fall off because my shoulders were so slight! I would say that when I enlisted I was smart but didn’t have much common sense. It took me a long time to gain some traction in the military. The early days of my military career could...

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Article

January 2018
Evangelistic

The terrible, terrific moment

Roger Ellsworth shares a story from My coffee-cup meditations about William R. Newell. The teenage Newell was so rebellious that he brought continual heartache to his parents. His father, a pastor, pleaded with R. A. Torrey, president of Moody Bible College, to accept his son as a student. Torrey refused. The father continued to plead, and Torrey finally agreed. While he was at Moody, Newell encountered the Word of God in a new and powerful way and became a Christian. What did God’s Word do for him? He gives us the answer in his well-known hymn, ‘At Calvary’: ‘By God’s Word at last my sin...

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December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

How one Iranian became a Christian

Q. Mark [name changed], what was your life like before you were a Christian? Mark: Actually, my life had a lot of ups and downs, but any happiness was very short-lived. I always believed in God. Looking back, I can see that I was a sinner — and still am. One summer, I was very happy because I had managed to obtain an Iranian passport. I travelled to the UK and really enjoyed my time here. But soon afterwards my sister died. Two years later, my mother died; and, two years after that, my father died. I wasn’t the same after that; I began to realise that...

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December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

We don’t need to guess

News is out that a certain celebrity has come to town. But why has he come? No one is quite sure. So, everyone’s guessing — one suggesting this, another suggesting that — until someone comes up with the really bright idea: ‘Why not just ask him?’ So they do. And he tells them! It’s now Christmas and lots of people are talking about Jesus. How he came from heaven to earth. How he was born in a stable in Bethlehem and laid in a manger. What a very special person he was, God’s own Son. But the big question is this: why did he come?...

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December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

The danger of the manger

Gary Clayton examines some of the supposed ‘magic’ of Christmas. A friend once produced a thought-provoking Christmas card that showed an illustration of the traditional Christmas tree decked in tinsel and baubles, with presents down below. This was then followed by an image of a mighty wind stripping the tree of its trappings and partially unwrapping the parcels below. The final drawing showed a denuded tree, its branches in the shape of a rugged cross, the gifts beneath now unequivocally revealed as gold, myrrh and frankincense. ‘The true meaning of Christmas: Immanuel, God with us’ was, I think, the simple greeting that followed, along with...

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December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

If I were a wise man…

We don’t know very much about them. Matthew’s is the only Gospel to make mention of them, and they appear and disappear in just twelve verses. But I’ve always had a soft spot for the mystery men from the East. One carol goes like this: ‘We three kings of Orient are, One in a taxi, one in a car, One on a scooter, blowing his hooter, Smoking a big cigar’. That, of course, is the unofficial version; although the real thing isn’t a whole lot more accurate. The Bible nowhere tells us that they were kings, nor even that there were three of them. That’s...

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Article

December 2017
Articles > Evangelistic

Just an old book?

The circumstances surrounding someone’s conversion to Christ may vary widely, but it seems to me that there are five elements common to all: conviction of sin; repentance; hearing (or reading) the gospel; the exercise of faith in the finished work of Christ; and a subsequent, evident change in lifestyle. My own conversion occurred in 1973, when I was 29 years of age. I had at that time been married for five years. I had no religious convictions, nor any history of church attendance, except for a handful of visits to Sunday school as a child. My career as an environmental health officer in local government...

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