Important Information.

STOP PRESS: My second book - Foundations of the Faith - is now available as a Kindle e-book at*Version*=1&*entries*=0
Paperback NOW available at:

The first volume - Great Words of the Faith - is still available at
Paperback NOW available at:

If you haven't got a Kindle, there is a FREE app at

ALL royalties now go to support the persecuted church.

I may be contacted, personally, at

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

True freedom.

As I type, further reports are coming in of the atrocities that are being experienced in Libya, as the president of more than 40 years, Muammar Gadaffi, appears to be adpting a 'scorched earth' policy in the country.  The basic aim of such a policy seems to be "I know that I'm on my way out, but if I can't continue to control the country as a dictator, I'm going to leave as little as possible for anyone else to lead."!

But what are the Libyan people seeking?  The one word that crops up, time and time again, is the word "Freedom".  What, then, is freedom?  I suppose that it could be defined as "release from tyranny" - and that would certainly seem to be the desire of vast numbers of Libyans, many of whom have already paid with their own lives.

However, the greatest tyranny known to mankind is the tyranny of sin.  Sadly, no amount of protesting - peaceful or otherwise - is able to deal with that!  Indeed, the only answer is the shedding of blood  - not the blood of human beings who, however sincere, are themselves sinners.  The Gospel message is so simple - "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31).  What makes it difficult for some is that, like Naaman of old (see II Kings 5), they want to have to do something for which they might take the credit.

The story is told of a man who died and (because it is a story!) arrived at the 'pearly gates'.  Peter was standing there, with a clipboard. (I 've said that it is just a story!).  He approached the man.  "Welcome", he said.  "Now, before I allow you through the gates, you'll have to get 100 points."  "100 points!", exclaimed the man.  "I wasn't warned about this!  How do I get them?"  "It's not too difficult." responded Peter.  "You just have to explain to me why you should be allowed to enter."

The man thought for a moment.  "Okay," he said, "I was a good husband and father."  "Well done," said Peter, "that gets you 3 points."   "Then," said the man, "I never cheated on my tax returns."  "Good," said Peter, "that gets you another 2 points."  The man's brow furrowed.  "Oh, of course," he went on, "I was a church elder, and went to church regularly."  "Amazing," responded Peter, "and another 2 points."

The man was becoming perplexed.  "How many points is that?" he asked.  "You've got 8 so far," came the reply.  "Oh dear", said the man.  "At this rate, nothing but the grace of God is going to get me in."  "100 points," said Peter, throwing the gates wide open.

It's only a story - and some of its 'theology' is less than perfect.  But the central point is true.  Nothing but the grace of God can assure us of eternity in His presence.  As the hymnwriter put it: "Not the labours of my hands can fulfil Thy law's demands."  It is grace, grace, God's grace - and grace alone.  And it not only brings the assurance of eternal life, here and now, but it also brings true freedom.

No comments: