Monday 18th December 2017
Welcome to Digital Church
Welcome to Digital Church, I hope you find the teaching useful. My prayer is that you will be encouraged in your walk with the Lord and that you will bring glory to his name.
Education, the media and government 15/09/2017
As a pastor I am regularly hear complaints from Christians that the government or education is against them or that the television is full of immorality and that we should complain or write to our MP's. In fact as I write this, an article has been sent to me where the solution is that Christians start taking people to court because a school is not doing what the Christians believe is right.
As a church we deliver monthly evangelistic leaflets to the houses on our side of the city, it's a long slow process, but the real joy of the work is that it gives me plenty of time to seek the Lord and pray, and plenty of time for the Lord to reply so this article is the result of a couple of days walking round in prayer.
So let us start with education. Do our schools teach Christian style ethics and lifestyle? Of course not! Why would they teach what they do not believe? Why would they teach what only the smallest minority of the parents want? Christians complain about the lack of prayer in schools, the issue is that there are no Christians to lead in prayer. Why would someone who does not believe in God teach children to pray?
However, deeper than this is the issue of who should be teaching our children? Is it the job of the world to teach my child to live a godly life? Is it the job of the church or the Sunday school?
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when he said to me, "Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children
The fact is that as Christian parents it is our duty to teach our children the ways of God. Our children's salvation should be the most important thing we think about as they grow up. Forget their career, their wealth or qualifications. All of these are set to perish and will not help them grow in the Lord. When our children come across worldly situations at school or with their friends, it is not time for us to teach them to hate or reject these people, but to teach them the ways of the Lord and in love explain to them that what they are seeing is the result of sin growing in our society from one generation to another. Romans 1v18-32 clearly tell us what happens as people move away from the Lord, that their sin increases as they try to find satisfaction in the ways of the world, always looking for the next thing that they hope will bring them a lasting satisfaction; something that can only be truly found in Christ.
Of course that means that we need to have found satisfaction in the Lord first, for it is so easy for us to preach with our words, yet our lives display a never ending desire to gain the things of this world. We need to remember that our children follow our examples more than they follow our words. So if we are claiming something is sinful, yet then sit there watching it on the television, what sort of message are we sending to our children? Our words speak a message to reject such things while our lives display us before them clearly feeding on the very same sin.
We can easily complain and say there is nothing else to watch! Well there is always something else to watch:
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
We can always do something else; feed our eyes on things that are spiritually beneficial to us. Like Jesus we may face scorn for not knowing the latest gossip, it may mean that we don't get to watch the latest blockbuster. It means suffering loss for the sake of Christ; now that is a real education for our children and grandchildren. It is that decision where we have to decide what we want; is Christ my goal or is the flesh my goal? These are things that we need to prayerfully seek the Lord on and if needed bring change into our lives. Is that not the testimony that the world needs to see? The example of another way of living; we may look a bit odd, but if there is true godly joy in our lives our testimony will speak.
However, turning off a program also does something else that we often forget. It sends a message back to the broadcasters, because they want us to watch! Commercial channels need viewing figures to attract advertisers. That's why they put on programs that the flesh will feast on, because they know people will watch. Now you may say what difference will it make? There are so few Christians, they just won't care? Sadly when we look at it in the cold light of day that is true; it is why the political parties don't mind upsetting Christians because there are so few of us that it won't affect their votes and chances of getting into power. Instead they offer the people what they want to hear so that they will give them the power they need.
There is a simple solution to the problems in education, in the media and in government, but it's a solution that comes at a cost that we may not be willing to pay.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 4v14
Are we willing to repent, to turn away from the things of this world and follow after Christ? Are we willing to spend time in prayer seeking the Lord? As our prayer meetings seem to be empty and prayer moved to the sidelines of the church, the answer is obviously "No". That is why the verse starts with "if". Is a godly life truly worth the cost to us or do we want to be like the hypocrites and want people to do the things of God while we do what we want?
If we truly want our schools to teach the things of God, if we want the media to have godly content, if we want government policies to be God based the solution is simple. We need to repent, not just saying sorry, but repent with action.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
We need to get on with the work the Lord has called us to do, to go out into the world, our nation, our town, and spread the gospel. For too long we have sat waiting for the people to come to us. Jesus did not tell us to wait for them to come to us, his command was quite simple "Go!" (Matthew 28v19). For repentance without action is not repentance, following Christ without following his commands is not obedience.
If we look back at the things that turned our nation towards the Lord in history, it was revivals that started in repentance and prayer that changed the hearts of the Lords people to go out and share the good news of the gospel with those around, and in turn the Holy Spirit moved among the people. When those numbers grew they influenced government, education, industry, human rights and so many other areas of our once great nation. The answer is simple and has never changed; the question we have to ask ourselves is how much do we want it?
The Spiritual Man
"The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed."
So often we talk about walking according to the Spirit or being led by the Spirit when we really have little idea what these terms mean.
This short book looks at some of our attitudes and behaviours and challenges what is being led of the Holy Spirit and what is being led of the flesh and how can we change how we are led.
Author: Simon Coward
Number of Pages: 42
Click to Download or Order
A Walk in the Park
An easy to read book covering the basics of Christianity in short chapters. ideal for new believers or those wondering what Christianity is all about.
Author: Simon Coward
Number of Pages: 44
Click to Download or Order
Education, the media and government
As a pastor I am regularly hear complaints from Christians that the government or education is against them or that the television is full of immorality and that we should complain or write to our MP's. In fact as I write this, an article has been se... (read more)
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."
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As a young Christian I grew up reading about different missionaries who all seemed to have left everything for the sake of the gospel. The book would usually tell of incredible struggles and how the Lord had met needs in various ways. My faith was ch... (read more)
Lessons from a hospital bed
It's strange how the Lord often has to take us to places or through situations we don't like to be able to teach us some simple truths. So often we miss what God is saying as we look for the major miracle, but if we will keep our ears open to that st... (read more)