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God’s amazing love
May 2017
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

God’s amazing love

Imagine John, the last of the apostles, now an old man in his 80s, and close to death. He has not lost the wonder of God’s undeserved love; it still fills him with amazement. He says: ‘Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us…’ (1 John 3:1). It is years since John walked in Galilee and Jerusalem with God the Son, and stood at the cross and saw the empty tomb. Nevertheless, he is still overcome with wonder as he thinks about God’s love. Christians are loved by God This love is a divine gift The Father bestows it on us. He...

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May 2017
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The ‘doing-business-with-God’ prayer meeting

Last month, I was taken aback when on different occasions three separate people, each of them stable, mature Christians whom I admire, said the same thing about the church to which they have each belonged for years. They are fully involved with their churches and, as far as I know, walking with the Lord. But they, in different settings, shared that they are going to church out of a sense of duty, with no sense of delight or expectation that the Lord will meet with them or speak to them. They sense that their church appears to be on a downward spiral and it hurts...

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May 2017
Syria

Pray for Christians in Syria

The Syrian government’s use of sarin gas on civilians has seen US President Trump and Russian President Putin at loggerheads after months of seeming mutual respect between them. After Trump ordered an air strike on Syrian government military bases, seemingly carried out without prior consultation and voting agreement at the United Nations, Putin expressed ‘anger’ at the US air strike. As tension mounts between the two superpowers once again, Christians on the ground in Syria and Iraq are facing intensified attacks on all fronts. According to reports from Barnabas Fund, the fighting has now shifted to the edge of the Syrian capital Damascus, in the...

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May 2017
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Church-planting – the right way

Church-plants are breathing life into many unreached parts of Britain. But what happens when these plants conflict with existing ministry? Reports of church-planting have multiplied, with concerted efforts among organisations and large churches to revitalise gospel ministry across the UK. Acts 29, Co:Mission, the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC) and others are busy helping church-planters. Last year, London Seminary launched ‘Plant’, a course aimed at those preparing to plant and grow healthy churches. Earlier this year, Robert Strivens, seminary principal, wrote, ‘I’ve taken a call from a pastor looking for an evangelist or church planter to help in his church. I receive at least...

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May 2017
Articles > Historical

‘These 50 years’ (2)

Continued from ‘These 50 years’ (1) A sermon preached at the thanksgiving service on the 50th anniversary of Evangelical Times (Hayes Town Chapel, 4 February 2017): ‘The righteous shall see it and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth. Whoso is wise and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the Lord’ (Psalm 107:42-43). An understanding of theprovidence of God proves his love.Life in this world displays to us the love of God. Creation carries the message ‘the Lord is good to all’ (Psa.145:9); ‘he makes the sun to rise on the evil and the good’. The goodness of God...

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May 2017
Articles > Biblical/theological

‘How old is God?’

After finishing a school assembly recently, a few of the children came up to ask some questions. Two, independently of each other, asked the same one: ‘How old is God?’ How do you answer that in a couple of minutes! It’s not the first time I’ve been asked that by a child. Many years ago, I can recall a real smart little ‘cookie’ I taught getting exasperated with me and saying, ‘But Mr Woolley, God has to have begun somewhere. He cannot always have been alive!’ I think poor Kate thought I had lost the plot when I said God was outside time. How do...

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May 2017
Romania

Emanuel Hospice, Romania

Cancer — the dreaded c-word — is dreadfully common. In 2014 there were 356,860 new cases of cancer diagnosed in the UK, the equivalent of a new diagnosis every two minutes. Experts state that 50 per cent of people in the UK born after 1960 will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. In 2014, there were 163,444 cancer-related deaths, the equivalent of 450 every day. Ministry Now let’s imagine an award-winning team of health care professionals. This team is specifically committed to final-days palliative care. Let’s say that all staff are evangelical, Bible-believing Christians. And they visit not only to bring...

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May 2017
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Britain’s moral mess

The wrath of God against sin results not only in occasional catastrophic punishments, but sometimes in unrepentant communities being given over to vile and outrageous immoralities. The widespread push in the UK for ‘gender-fluidity’ exemplifies the latter type of judgment. It is a sign, if ever we needed it, of God’s displeasure with our nation for its atheism and contempt for the gospel. A freedom of information request from the Christian Institute has now revealed that, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), as many as 11.5 per cent of BBC bosses and 10.6 per cent of BBC staff are lesbian, gay, bisexual or...

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