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All articles in category Evangelistic

December 2016
Evangelistic

The angels’ message to the shepherds – and to us

Angels and shepherds. It’s hard to escape them at this time of year. You’ll find them on Christmas cards, in shop windows and at the school nativity play; not to mention the carols we hear as we turn on our radios and TVs, or make our way through shopping centres and major railway stations. ‘Hark the herald angels sing’; ‘While shepherds watched their flocks by night’; ‘Angels from the realms of glory’; ‘Silent night! holy night! Shepherds quake at the sight’. At first glance, such a theme appears worlds away from 21st century Britain. Sightings of shepherds are not everyday occurrences for most of us,...

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December 2016
Evangelistic

The light has dawned

Winter is here again with its dark evenings and mornings. We will often find ourselves walking in its darkness; it’s not surprising that Christmas lights are so popular. Every year more of us fight the darkness by brightening up our homes and gardens with hundreds of festive lights. Worldwide darkness Do you feel that the world is in darkness? Terrible wars rage in Syria, Ukraine and many other places. These conflicts have spilled over the borders, resulting in horrific attacks such as the ones in Paris. Do you long for some light in this darkness? Can we overcome the world’s darkness? Our own darkness There...

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December 2016
Evangelistic

50 years on

I was born in Nottingham in 1949. My family was respectable, but with no serious interest in God. Church was only for family occasions like christenings and weddings. 50 years ago this month, I trusted in Jesus Christ to be my Saviour and Lord, and my life changed direction. Superficially, that change seemed to hang on random events not of my making. A year before I was born, my dad went to work for the railway. Train travel led to my lifelong interest in railways. When I was five we moved to Long Eaton, about eight miles from Nottingham. These circumstances led me to the...

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‘For a while’
December 2016
Evangelistic

‘For a while’

Bala in North Wales is a very Welsh town. The language spoken in the homes and shops is Welsh, and the names of the houses you pass are, with very few exceptions, Welsh. One of these exceptions is the nameplate on a house passed if you enter Bala from the Dogellau road. The name is Pros Kairon. It is not Welsh, but Greek, and means ‘for a while’. Whoever gave that name to the house had wisdom and understanding. He knew that no home is permanent in this world. The house may stand for 100 years or more, but we are here only for a...

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December 2016
Evangelistic

Taking God seriously

Recently I read of an unnerving experience that happened to a pastor and his wife flying back from a Christian conference abroad. The conduct they witnessed teaches us a great deal about human behaviour and attitudes. They were flying from Portland back to Los Angeles and all seemed to be going well. All of a sudden, while food was being served, the plane banked sharply. Emergency Moments later, flight attendants took back all the trays of food and could be seen quietly whispering among themselves. There was clearly something very wrong. The pilot then came on and said, ‘We have a slight mechanical difficulty. We...

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December 2016
Evangelistic

Two views from space

The year 2011 was remembered as the 50th anniversary of the Russian Uri Gagarin’s first flight into space. Though his exact words have been disputed, and communist propaganda was undoubtedly at work, Gagarin is famously said to have quipped, ‘I see no God up here’. In 2012 the American Neil Armstrong passed away. He was the first man to walk on the moon, eight years after Gagarin’s exploits. He too is remembered for an iconic saying: ‘One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’. Armstrong spent the best part of three hours walking across the lunar landscape and, on reflection, reasoned, ‘God walking...

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December 2016
Evangelistic

Christianity and Christmas

Paul Mackrell encourages both Christians and non-Christians not to confuse true Christianity with the trappings of Christmas. Annual national events seem to be getting bigger and bigger. More chocolate is now eaten at Easter than ever before. The mix of childish and sinister rituals that is Halloween grows with each succeeding year. And Remembrance Day is commemorated with far more diligence than a few decades back, when those the nation promised to remember could actually be remembered. Much of this is driven by commercial interests, but there is also something within us which hankers for routine and structure in an uncertain and hectic world. Giant...

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December 2016
Evangelistic

Knowing true peace with God

I grew up in a family which went to church every Sunday. Gradually I came to realise that attending church and living an outwardly respectable life did not make me a Christian. I needed to accept that God’s definition of sin included the self-centred attitudes of my heart. Only by believing that Christ died on the cross to take the punishment I deserved and by turning to him in repentance and faith could I know true peace with God. Now I am at home full-time, bringing up two young children of my own. As I look at the world into which they have been born,...

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December 2016
Evangelistic

Freedom in Christ

My name is Demi. I’m 25, from Bulgaria, but have been living in London for five years. I graduated from Middlesex University and since then have been working as a guitar and piano teacher. I was raised in an Orthodox country, where the majority of people identify themselves as Christian, but have no idea what the resurrection of Jesus means, neither what his commandments are. The Jesus of the Bible The focus in the Orthodox church is entirely on rituals and superstitions. More attention and honour is given to Mary and various saints, while the name of Jesus is avoided. Those who preach Jesus and...

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December 2016
Evangelistic

God’s amazing love

At one time, there was no more to my life than the plans I’d made of going to university, getting a job, maybe marrying, and having a family; then, I suppose, retirement and a few relaxing years — and what then? I knew from reading the Bible and going to church that there was an eternity to face, but it seemed so distant. And, anyway, the world has so much to give me now! I was just trundling along, doing what was expected. Sometimes I wished I was a Christian and had the peace and joy that Christians claimed to have, but it was too...

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December 2016
Evangelistic

From crime to Christ

In April 2016, John Lawson shared his spiritual experience with BBC Radio Scotland (interview in full at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03r150l). This report is made available from the Christian Institute. A man who ran London’s biggest brothel and was planning a murder has told the BBC how his life was turned around by Jesus Christ. Criminal life John Lawson described his former self as a ‘horrible animal’, but an encounter with God transformed him and he now goes into prisons to tell others the gospel.Lawson said he has deep regret about his past misdeeds, but that Jesus’ death on the cross is all he needs for his redemption. After...

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December 2016
Evangelistic

Jesus never forsakes us

‘I believe that when we accept the claims of Jesus on our lives he never forsakes us, even when we stray’. This has proved to be the Christian experience of church member, John McKay, as he explains: I was converted, baptised and received into membership of a Baptist church 50 years ago. ‘Four years after joining the church, I felt that God was calling me into some form of full-time Christian service, so I left Shetland and trained as a youth and community worker at a Glasgow college. I worked in this capacity in an Anglican and then a Methodist church for a number of...

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