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Monday, 29 September 2014

Back again!

Well, it's been a while.  I have discovered that PCs are like cars - great while they are working!  Sadly, just before my last trip to France, I lost my wi-fi connection and, as my ethernet cables are all safely packed away (!), I was depending on borrowed cables, and my wife's laptop.  On my return, I took it to PC World (under an extended warranty) but, when I got it back, I discovered that they had replaced the Hard Drive.  No problem re data - all backed up.  However, it has taken me forever (almost!) to reinstall software - and to re-upgrade to Win.8.1!

Okay, that's my reason (excuse) for not having posted for so long - but I'm back on track as of now!

Of course, my difficulty, now, is in deciding a topic on which to post!  So much has been in the news since my last offering.  The ongoing advance of the so-called "Islamic State" in Iraq; the move of another Conservative MP to the UK Independence Party; the revelation that police failed to check valuable CCTV evidence in their investigation into the disappearance of teenager, Alice Gross.

So I am simply going to comment on something that I certainly haven't noticed in the national newspapers - or any other news medium, for that matter!

In the Letter to Hebrew disciples of Jesus, we find these amazing words: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever." (13:8).  In a world that seems to be forever in a state of flux, those are words that must surely appeal to our innate desire for constancy.  The fancy, theological, word is 'immutability', and what it assures us is that the Lord Jesus is unchangeable.  He is One on Whom we may depend, regardless of our situation, or our circumstances.  He is not one thing today; and something totally different tomorrow.  He is not fickle, or vacillating, abandoning, today, the plan that He made yesterday.

That, then, means that the salvation that He offers to all who place their trust in Him - confessing their sinfulness and sins, and claiming His blood and righteousness as the already-paid penalty - is not just for a time, but is for all of eternity!  (To learn more about eternity, may I recommend my book, "Great Words of the Faith" - see the top of the page).

So much of the news that we read in the newspapers, or see and hear on TV and radio, is bad news.  But the Gospel of Jesus Christ is Good News - indeed, it is the best news that any mortal can hear!  It is the news of sin forgiven, and a new life that is possible in, and through, that same Lord Jesus.

If you want to know more, please check out the "Do you need God?" link on the right-hand-side of the page, near the bottom.  Then go to the link above it (New Christian UK).  Alternatively, please feel free to contact me using the e-mail address at the top.  I will be delighted to offer what help I can. :-)

Saturday, 20 September 2014

After the event.

It's all over, bar the shouting - and, regretfully, there appears to have been quite a bit of that! However, the result of the referendum is fixed, and no amount of conspiracy theories; alleged ballot-box, or count, fraud; or even of different questions on ballot papers in different polling stations, is going to change it.  If Mr Salmond is willing to accept the result, I fail to see why others appear to be unable to do so!

I also trust that friends, who were on opposite 'sides' of the pre-referendum debate, will discover that their friendship is real, and above politics of any sort.  A true friend is one who sticks with a person through thick and thin.  Such a friend does whatever is possible to encourage, and support, and even bless.  A true friend is neither triumphalist (as some 'No' supporters have shown themselves to be), nor sullen (as some 'Yes' supporters have shown themselves to be).  

This is even more important within families and, while I have not yet heard of any familial discord based on the result of the referendum, there were certainly families with members supporting opposite sides.

In my archives, I came across a story that may, or may not, be true.  Either way, it does make an important point.  It reads: "It was the interval between final two rounds in a boxing match.  In one corner, a severely bruised and battered fighter sat on his stool, while his helpers worked furiously at his bleeding face.  His manager leaned in.  'I think he's got you whipped.' he said.  'Yes', agreed the pugilist, gazing dizzily through nearly-closed eyes.  'I should have got him earlier, when he was by himself.' "

The manager may not have realised it, but his comment was as damaging as the physical cuts and bruises that the boxer had already suffered.  It's bad enough to have to bear the stinging blows; the buffeting; the battering; of an enemy. However, the criticism, and discouraging words of someone close can be much worse.

I trust that the good relationship that I had with many who supported the 'Yes' campaign will continue now that the decision has been made - at least for the foreseeable future.  I would contend that it is certainly the responsibility of those of us who claim to be disciples of the Jesus Who said "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." (Matt.5:9) to do all that we can to bring about peace and reconciliation in our land. 

May all of us go forward, united in our love for our nation, and determined to see it flourish, as Glasgow's original motto states: "by the preaching of His Word, and the praising of His Name"!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

God - and the Archbishop!

The headline immediately attracted my attention.  


"Archbishop Welby: Sometimes I wonder if God really exists."

Thinking that it was one of those deliberately misleading headlines, designed to encourage me to read the full article, I did just that!  The headline, it would appear, is absolutely accurate!  In what was offered as a direct quotation, we are informed: "The other day I was praying over something as I was running and I ended up saying to God ‘Look this is all very well but isn’t it about time you did something, if you’re there’ – probably not what the Archbishop of Canterbury should say." (emphasis added). That final comment must surely be viewed as something of an understatement!  

So, if the spiritual leader of the Anglican Church has occasion to doubt the very existence of the Creator God, is it any wonder that so much appears to be wrong within that particular communion - at least in the 'western' world?

Of course, the existence of God is on of those hoary old chestnuts that is pulled out, time and time again, by the sceptical, secular, humanists of the world.   And it must be admitted that, in the sense of laboratory experiments, that existence is something that we cannot prove!  Nor, indeed, should we expect to be able to do so!  If I was able to reduce God to the confines of a test-tube, then I would be greater than God.  In that case, the God Whose existence I had now 'proved' would not be God at all, as one definition of God is "the creator and ruler of the universe and the source of all moral authority: the supreme being." (Oxford Dictionary).  If I have reduced this being to something the existence of which I can 'prove', that I am certainly superior to that Being - and it, whatever else it may be, is not God! 

This is not to say that there is no evidence for the existence of God - but note my use of the word 'evidence'.  Evidence is not scientific proof.  In a criminal investigation, for example, the detectives who are involved in the case will gather evidence from the crime scene and elsewhere.  They will put together a case, and present it to the Office of the Procurator Fiscal (in Scotland), or to the Crown Prosecution Service (in the rest of the UK).  It will then be up to the legal experts to decide whether, or not, the case as presented is likely to persuade a jury that the accused is guilty of the crime as charged!  There is no 'proof''.  It has all to do with the burden of evidence - "beyond reasonable doubt"!

The topic is too large for me to deal with in just one post on this blog.  Anyway, I deal with it, to some extent, in the second volume of my book series (Foundations of the Faith) that I hope to have published by the end of the year, or early next year.  However, permit me to share a few thoughts.

1. Creation  I would contend that any unbiased, impartial, observer would accept that this amazing universe in which we live out our mortal lives is not the result of a long series of random accidents. To use an unoriginal example, if I see a Boeing 747 sitting on an airport runway, I do not conclude that it resulted from an explosion in a junk-yard!  (We won't go into the origin of the junk-yard, or the cause of the explosion!).  Design demands a Designer, and the creation demands a Creator to Whom, in the English language, we give the nomenclature "God".

2. DNA  Okay, I suppose that after Creation, everything else is merely a sub-section!  Having said that, DNA is amazing!  What is it?  Well, I am no micro-biologist, but I know that it is a code - a code made up of four chemicals identified by scientists as A, T,G, and C.  These are arranged in the well-known double helix.  Every human cell has no less than three billion of these 'letters' in its code. They are, effectively, the instruction manual for the cell.  An instruction manual, basic logic tells us, requires a writer who deliberately, and intentionally, prepares it.  We call that writer, God!

3. The human 'heart'  No, not the organ that is pumping blood around your body as you read this post - although it is a remarkable piece of engineering in its own right!  I'm referring more to the human psyche - the inner person that makes me different from you, and you different from everyone else. Suppress it as we may, there is something inside us that 'knows' that there is a superior Being.  I read an article just a few months ago that claimed that this "sense of God" is innate to humanity.  Our 'default' position is, apparently, that we accept the existence of God.  It is a secular society, that does not want to be answerable and accountable, that then 'teaches' us that the whole idea is nonsense. However, even then, there is truth in the words of Augustine that "Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee"; or, in a more contemporary form: "There's a God-shaped blank in every heart that only God can fill".

I doubt that the Archbishop of Canterbury reads this blog, but I trust that someone will advise him that he need not doubt.  Almighty God has not left Himself without witness. Our God is totally dependable; totally trustworthy; totally believable.  

Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (Jn.20:29). 




  


Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Yes, or No?

With only one full day before the polls open for the Scotland referendum, this is my final post on the subject.  I have made on secret of my personal conviction that the best future for Scotland is within a continuing United Kingdom.  This is not, as Mr Salmond was suggesting in a clip on the BBC programme, Reporting Scotland, earlier this evening, that I do not believe that Scotland could 'go it alone' - I merely happen to be one of those who believes that there is strength in unity that is lost in isolation.

Mr Salmond's interview by Jackie Bird was, to say the least, interesting.  Time and time again, he 'ducked' the direct question that she had put to him.  This, I have noticed, has been a feature of the 'Yes' campaign which, however much he denies it, has been very much the campaign of Mr Salmond, supported by the SNP.  I have been told, ad nauseum, that the 'No' campaign has been negative and false.  However, I have also noticed that Mr Salmond has fought for his side with just one word - 'scaremongering'.  Everything that the 'Yes' campaign has put forward - from currency to cost of living - has been tarred with that single word.  No suggestion that it might actually be reality!  Even in this evening's interview, he was insisting that the rest of the current UK would go into a currency union, and that a separate Scotland would keep the pound sterling!  I believe that the correct psychiatric term is 'denial'!  Even if the leaders of the two main Westminster political parties (I totally discount the LibDums as a major force in British politics, and fully expect them to all but disappear at next year's General Election!) were to realise the error of their ways, and go along with Mr Salmond's conviction (which may well be correct!) that a formal union would be in the best interest of both a separate Scotland and the remainder of the UK as we still know it, the electorate outwith Scotland have made clear their disapproval of any such accommodation!  And Mr Salmond talked, this evening, about the 'mandate' of the Scottish people for such a union!  I honestly cannot see any of the Westminster politicians putting their own positions in jeopardy just to please "oor Alex"!

The ultimate choice, it seems to me, is the uncertainty that would continue within the UK - because the future is always uncertain; or the uncertainty of following the 'Braveheart' rhetoric of Mr Salmond.  I know which option I find less worrying!

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am no fan of David Cameron.  I have seen more backbone in a jellyfish, and his kowtowing to minority groups - from homosexuals to Muslims - is, I believe, an affront to most of the British population. However, I did agree with one of his most recent statements.  I have constantly insisted that this referendum is not about 'independence', but separation.  However, I have come to realise that I have been wrong!  Separation allows for re-union. This vote, if it is a 'Yes', will be a divorce.  It will be a divorce that is full, final, and irrevocable.  If Scotland votes, on Thursday, to leave the United Kingdom, then it will never - and that means 'not ever' - be able to return to the fold.

It is my prayer that the period following the declaration of the result which, regardless of the outcome, is going to disappoint a great many people, will be a time of peace and reconciliation.  As a disciple of Jesus, I am convinced of the sovereignty of Father God and I believe that He is still in control.  I don't know what the future holds - but I know Who holds the future!

Monday, 15 September 2014

Of dogs and men.

Let me make it perfectly clear - I am a dog-lover.  Let me also make it perfectly clear that I abhor the, apparently deliberate, fire that caused the deaths of so many of our canine friends in the Manchester Dogs' Home.

However (you were expecting that, weren't you?!), along with many others, I am at  a loss to understand how it is that such an event should spawn so many fund-raising ventures - from a sponsored dog walk, to simple appeals for cash - and raise more than £1million in a matter of days. That, of course, excludes the value of the tons of dog food that have been donated.

So what is the problem?  Let me mention only two, of many, causes that are not as well supported. The first concerns soldiers.  "Help for Heroes" has done a tremendous job in providing assistance for members of the military who have received serious injuries (some, extremely serious!) in the line of duty.  I am, of course, open to correction, but I don't believe that donations have ever flooded in at the sort of rate we have seen in Manchester!  The other cause I will mention is the "Pro-life" one.  If you read the series that I posted, last month, on abortion, you must surely realise that that procedure is nothing other than murder.  What has been conceived, and is growing (the ultimate sign of life!), is a human being, albeit at an early stage in its development.  The deliberate extinguishing of that life, for whatever reason, and at whatever stage, is murder - plainly and simply.

It would appear that many people consider the life of a dog to be of more importance than the life and well-being of a human being!  Yet it was only man that the Creator made in His own image.  It was only into man that He breathed His own spirit.  It was for sinful men, and women, and children, that the Lord Jesus, the second Persona (see my book: details at top) of the Godhead hung on a Roman cross, and shed His precious blood.  It is only man who is aware of sin, and to whom salvation is offered - fully, and freely.

By all means, let us care for our animal friends.  But let us also remember that, in spite of the lies spun by secular humanists, we are not animals.  We are a distinct and special creation.  Let us show even more support for human life, than we do for dogs.  "A dog is not just for Christmas", the car sticker proclaims.  Human life, we might add, is not just for time.  We have an eternity awaiting us - and only those who have accepted the sacrifice that Jesus made, on their behalf, and who are trusting in Him for this life and all that it may hold, are assured that they will spend that eternal day in His presence.  Please be sure that you are among that number.

If I may be of any assistance, please use the e-mail address at the top to contact me - or go to the link "Do you need God" near to the bottom of the page.  The one above it may also be useful.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

One week today!

One week today, an unusually large number of the residents of Scotland will go to the polls to vote in what is popularly known as the "Independence" referendum but that is, in reality, the "Separation" referendum.  By Friday 19th September, the newspaper polls will all have become redundant, and irrelevant, because the people will have spoken, and their voice will have been heard!

The 'Yes' campaign have had a number of planks in their platform that have been, in my opinion, disingenuously deceptive.  Regretfully, a number of people have accepted the word of politicians (a dangerous thing to do, whichever side one supports!), and either plan to vote 'Yes', or have already done so by a postal vote.  What follows is of no interest, or value, to the latter group.  However, I trust that it will cause some of the former group to reconsider their position over the next seven days.

One of the major issues, it seems to me, has been that of the NHS.  The cry has gone up from Mr Salmond, and others, that if the result of the referendum is that we do not separate from our fellow-Britons, then the NHS in Scotland will be gradually privatised (and the 'Yes' campaign have consistently criticised what they have perceived as the 'fear' tactics of the 'No' campaign!).  The pros and cons of NHS privatisation is a totally different topic, but what surely ought to be made clear is that, under the terms of the Scotland Act (1998)  the NHS is a devolved matter.  This means that it is, and has been, the responsibility of the Scottish Executive/Government for many years.  It also means that it will continue to be so.  Sorry, Alex - that one doesn't work!

The currency that would be used in a separate Scotland has also been an issue that has dogged the 'Yes' campaign.  The current Chancellor of the Exchequer has, vehemently and consistently, ruled out any form of currency union with the remainder of the current UK.  The Shadow Chancellor has agreed wholeheartedly with that stance.  Even the wee LibDums (who are no longer the 'third major party', and who may disappear after the next UK General Election!) have said that they would not be a part of any such union.  The Governor of the Bank of England who, according to Mr Salmond, "is in charge", has clearly stated that "a currency union is incompatible with sovereignty."  This, of course, does not effect only the currency with which I pay for my messages in ASDA.  It also effects matters such as international trade; pensions (very important to some of us already, and to all of us eventually!); the banking sector.   We have already seen, on the back of a single poll that indicated that the 'Yes' campaign had overtaken their rivals, a fall in the value of sterling, and a fall in the stock market!  And that was just one poll!  The only person who regularly assures us that, when the 'Yes' vote succeeds, everyone else will fall in with his way of thinking is - Mr Salmond.  I am reminded of the old story (too old for some of my readers to have known!) that ends with the line "They're a' oot o' step, but oor Jock"!  Sorry, Alex - that one doesn't work either!

Just one other issue for now - the European Union.  The declared opinion of a number of high-ranking officials in the EU is that a separated Scotland would cease to be a part of that body, and would be required to apply for membership - a process that could take many years.  The opinion of Mr Salmond and the 'Yes' campaign is that the EU would be so desperate to have a separate Scotland as a member, that it would be little more than a 'rubber-stamping' job!  I seem to recall 'expert legal opinion' to support that notion - but opinion that remained, and remains, anonymous!  The SNP spokesman on BBC Radio 4, yesterday, claimed that no-one in Scotland was interested in leaving the EU.  I suppose that that is why we now have a Scottish MEP - from UKIP!  Of course, if the whole of the UK is allowed its referendum on membership of the EU and, as is expected, comes out of that discredited body, then there is unlikely to be an EU for a separate Scotland to join!  When one domino falls, others have a habit of following suit - and there is no shortage of countries who would gladly be the second to leave!  Is it indicative of the state of the SNP, in particular, that they would even wish - in an 'independent' Utopia - to be a continuing part of an organisation that hasn't even been able to satisfy its own auditors for many, many years?   Sorry, Alex - that's a third strike!

I don't like my posts to be overly long.  However, there is one issue that I have not heard raised at all, but that concerns me greatly.  No, it has nothing to do with the place of the Christian faith in this new. separate, Scotland - although that is something about which many are, indeed (and rightly), concerned.  This issue is much more politically practical.  As those who know me well are aware, I currently spend a lot of my time in France, and also travel, as occasion demands, to Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and other countries.  With me, I always carry a number of important documents.  One of these is my (UK) passport.  Having that passport means that if, for whatever reason, I am in trouble, I have access to the British Embassy, or a local Consulate, to receive assistance.  Will those officials be willing to help a foreigner - as I would officially be if I belonged to a separated Scotland?   I suspect not!  The alternative would be to go to the Scottish Embassy/Consulate.  However, I have heard no-one mention the cost of such the large number of properties that would have to be acquired for those purposes.  Other countries may be willing to act on Scotland's behalf, but the assistance would be minimal - and there would undoubtedly be a cost involved!  The other item is a little card named the EHIC - that assures me state healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes for free, anywhere in the EU and Switzerland.  This is all, as far as I know, because of a mutual agreement with these countries.  How long would it take a separated Scottish government to put all of that in place - especially in countries like France, Spain, and Italy where a separatist movement is a thorn in the flesh of the respective governments?  

It is my hope - yes, and my prayer - that common sense, and pragmatism, will prevail over an emotional, albeit laudable, desire to "dae oor ain thing"!   The Bible, even if not accepted by all as being of divine origin, is usually recognised as having many wise words.  I close with one reference: "... 'though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken." (Eccl. 4:12).  Let us not break up a country that is, of course, far from perfect, but that is still looked up to by many.  Let us put our energies, not into separating, but into improving.

You know it makes sense!



Saturday, 6 September 2014

Wow!

I have never watched "American Idol", nor such shows as BGT - but if there was more of this, then I might be persuaded to change my mind. 

Backed by a full Gospel Choir, the finalists of 'American Idol' present a powerful rendering of the song "Shout to the Lord" (My Jesus, my Saviour) on national television - in front of millions!  The crowd was brought to their feet, and the Lord's Name was praised.  What a blessing it is to watch!

In the light of all of the contemporary social situation, I was particularly moved at the very end. Watch it through and see what I mean!

Friday, 5 September 2014

Hypocrisy!

There is a well-known story about a man who informed a local minister of the Gospel that he didn't attend church because it was so full of hypocrites.  "Well, then," responded the clergyman, "another one won't be noticed"!

It is always wise, when pointing out the hypocrisy of others, to remember that three time as many fingers are pointing at oneself as are pointing at the other person!


Having said all of that, I was struck by two items that I saw on Facebook earlier this evening.  The first one was from a dear Canadian friend who makes no secret of her humanist sympathies, and her opposition to (at least, organised) religion.  It deals with the well-known American tele-evangelist, Pat Robertson who, it is claimed, read out a letter on his TV show - a letter from an elderly couple. The link informs us that the letter read: "My husband and I are in our 80s and have been tithing for many years. We both love the Lord and give willingly and our tithe is over 10 percent…but we never have an extra penny after our monthly bills are paid. Our old car just broke down and we had to borrow money to fix it. We both need dental work, but we can’t afford it. I constantly have to use our credit card to pay for medical needs… What could we be doing wrong?"  Pat Robertson's response, we are informed, was to suggest that "they sell their belongings on eBay or go back to work. He also told them that God would grant them a blessing if they asked for one. The one thing he didn't tell them is to give a little less of their income to church so that they can take care of themselves."


Now, as an advocate of tithing, and of giving a freewill offering over and above, I am not about to criticise the practice.  In fact, I am convinced that it is at least part of the reason why my wife and I always seem to make ends meet, regardless of circumstances.  As I learned a long time ago, the Lord's mathematics work on a different principle than mine!  However, I have a great deal of sympathy for my friend's only comment: "REALLY!!!"   Mr Robertson's response to this couple might have been better as a cheque towards the expenses that they are encountering - having checked, of course, that the letter is genuine!


A little further on, I came across another post that has to do with 'giving to church'!  This one displays a picture of another well-known figure - Richard Dawkins, the 'high priest' of secular, humanist, atheism.  Across the top of the picture (which is as unflattering as is the one used of Pat Robertson!) are the words: "THINKS PEOPLE GIVING MONEY TO CHURCHES ARE GULLIBLE".  Across the bottom of the picture are the words: "CHARGES $85 A MONTH TO JOIN HIS ONLINE 'REASON CIRCLE'".  This is not the information that any of my humanist friends is likely to disseminate.  Yet why not?  Is not Mr Dawkins being every bit as much a hypocrite as Pat Robertson?  


When it comes to the Christian aspect, I well remember my former minister, spiritual mentor, and friend - and the man who married my dear wife and me to one another, 44 years ago yesterday - saying: "Don't judge the Christians - they will fail; don't judge the church; it will let you down; don't judge the clergy, they are much too fallible.  Judge the Christ - and see if you can justly criticise Him."  That statement still stands.  My personal faith does not depend on my personal achievements - however good they may sometimes be.  It depends wholly, and solely, on the finished work of God Incarnate, at the cross on Calvary, when He paid the punishment that I deserved to pay, in order that I might go free.  He died there for you as well.  Why don't you take Him at His word: "Whoever comes to Me I will never drive away" (Jn.6:37) - that's acceptance; "I will never leave you , nor forsake you." (Heb.13:5) - that's assurance; "... if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to Myself, that where I am, you may also be." (Jn.14:3) - that's anticipation.


Hypocrites!  Yes, Pat Robertson is one; Richard Dawkins is one; and you and I are in that same league!  Only One stands out in all of history as not having been of that ilk.  Come to Him; know the wonder and joy of sins forgiven; let Him rule in your life.  You'll still make mistakes (see I Jn.1:10), but you will no longer be under condemnation (Rom.8:1), and you will spend eternity in His nearer Presence.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Anniversary!

Today, I celebrate forty-four years of marriage to my wonderful wee wife.  She has been as good a wife as any man could wish for - loving, faithful, supportive, diligent, encouraging, and the mother of our two wonderful daughters.

Thank you, my love, for all that you have been, and continue to be.  I cannot say that I love you as much, today, as I did when I saw you walk up the aisle all of those years ago.  It simply wouldn't be true!  I didn't really know what love was, at that time.  Now - I love you much, much, more.

I pray that the Lord Whom we have sought to serve, throughout our marriage, will grant us many more years to love one another; to share with one another; and to serve Him together.

Happy Anniversary, my love.  :-)

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Yes? - or No?

It's okay!  I know that there is only a fortnight to go before the referendum on Scottish independence (= separation!), but this post is going to be in no way political.

I have just come across a post on Facebook.  It's from 'Jesus Daily' and shows a picture that is obviously intended to represent the incarnate Lord Jesus.  The caption above reads: "I CAME, LIVED, AND DIED, AND ROSE AGAIN FOR YOU. DO YOU BELIEVE ME? Yes or No"

That is, indeed, an important question.  It reminded me of the one asked by a man named Pontius Pilate, almost 2,000 years ago: "Then what should I do with Jesus Who is called the Messiah?" (Matt.27:22).   What will you do with Jesus?   

There are many responses to that question - too many for me to deal with in one post.  There are those who, like the Pharisees and the priests, with the support of a mob, merely want to get rid of Him.  He challenges their traditions; their lifestyle; their philosophy.  "Let's get rid of Him", is their response.  However, He is not so easily dismissed - as those 1st century Jewish leaders soon found out!

Others have no particular animosity towards Him.  Indeed, like Pilate, they may even have a grudging admiration for Him.  They like His teaching - as long as it isn't too radical!  They admire His courage!  They even suspect that He is more than any ordinary man.   But they wash their hands of Him (Matt.27:24).  They can't, or won't make a decision for Him - and, by default, have made a decision against Him!

However, in every generation there are those who, even as did one of those crucified with Him, recognise His Kingship, and seek the salvation that is available only through Him. They commence a life that is so different from the life they have formerly led, that it is referred to as having been 'born again'.  It's a life that is under His control.  It's a life that is not necessarily a 'bed of roses' - as those of His disciples who live in Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, and about fifty countries in the world today, well know.  If you wish to find out more about the persecuted church, please scroll down to the links on this page.  However, as so many of them testify, it's His presence in even the direst of situations that proves His promise that he would never leave, or forsake, His followers. (see Heb.13:5).

The final tally of votes on Sept.18th will decide the future of Scotland and, to an extent, the remainder of the current United Kingdom, for generations.  Your 'Yes', or 'No', to Jesus will decide where you spend eternity.  I know which I believe to be the more important decision!