I Could Do A Better Job Than That!

We can not avoid in the news today yet another disaster. Another killing. Another case of child abduction or abuse. This can and does put people off the idea of God. It is easy when you see these things to wonder “if there is a God, why is he idly  watching by? letting these things happen?”

The answer to this is Sin.

The effect of sin is bigger than the damage it has on humans, but also its impact on creation. We live in a fallen world. A world which could be perfect but because of sin is marred.

So where did this all start then, well in Genesis 3.

 

Genesis 3: 17-19

17And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

In this passage then the key verses are 17-18. Because of the sin of taking from the tree of knowledge which God told Adam and Eve to not take from, God cuts them off from all the potential knowledge and power of the tree but also because of their sin informs them that certain things will not work in creation as well as they had done before “The Fall”. When God created the world he declared it good having made it perfect. But now, “Post Fall” the world is not so good, the word used in verse 17 “Cursed” meant the ground was now not considered good but instead fallen, broken.

The way to imagine all this is that now the world is sick from sin. It needs to be given a cure to the disease of sin.

Sin is the cause of all the pain and suffering, all the natural disasters, Pre-fall there is no sign of hurricanes, typhoons, tsunamis and suffering and death. It is only after sin entered the world that the world becomes broken, becomes fallen and imperfect. Soon following the first sin is the first murder, so powerful is influence of sin.

So the reason for all the shocking things that we see on the news are because of the fallen world we live in, because of the sin of our first parents Adam and Eve.

But does this mean God has done nothing about it?

No… Quite the opposite.

 

 

Romans 8: 18-23

18For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

 

God had a plan. A rescue plan for creation and for us. One in which he would give his only son up for us and creation.  God saw the effect and damage that sin had on the world. To tackle the infection of Sin, God sent his only son to be a sacrifice for our sins. He came to make us and the world right with him. Jesus came to take away the power of sin by dying on our behalf.

Jesus came to make us and creation righteous. Righteous meaning right with God.

In the passage above we see that as we look and long for the return of Christ, the one who has taken the punishment for our sins, so does creation, it “waits with eager longing”. Creation looks for a release from the bondage of sin just as much as we do.

Does all this mean then that as soon as you become a Christian there is no suffering in your life and in the world around you. Well no. Until Christ returns again there will be death, and there will be natural disasters and famine. But when Christ comes again and we are taken to Heaven we will be in a place of no more tears and no more sorrow. 

 

 

Revelation 21:1-4

1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

This glorious picture of what life will be like when Christ returns, shows us that there is hope. There is hope and an end to suffering. We know that through Christ and only through Christ can the world be healed more importantly only through Christ can we be forgiven “healed” of our sin.

God bless.

G.

Please like the blogs Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/scriptureguides?ref=hl

 

Advertisements

Rugby, Beer and God.

In my current post as a Ministry Trainee, I have just enough free time to go and play for the local Rugby Club. I enjoy playing and watching Rugby, but obviously with Rugby there are the obvious things that come with it, The beer… The “man chat” and this post i guess is to see really how a Christian Guy can fit into a Rugby Club, Is this even possible, should Christians be found in such places. Well I can report in my situation I have found that you can have a number of good conversations with people about God. I will look firstly at the biblical reason why we should be there, my personal experience and how we need to be careful, and some tips for anyone else in a similar situation.

Biblical context:

So what does the Bible say about being in a Rugby Club well nothing particular about rugby clubs but certainly about what happens in Rugby Clubs, it says a lot. Firstly drinking, drinking in Rugby Clubs is a common practice, mostly after the games with drinking games for Man of the Match’s and other such trophies. So this drinking culture what does The Bible say a Christian say should have to do with this:

Ephesians 5:17-19

English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.

So here it quite clearly states that as Christians we should not be getting drunk which means moderation in the drinking games, it means moderation in the way you behave around Beer and its consumption. It is understanding that drinking is acceptable, but drinking till you are plastered is not good. So moderation of alcohol is acceptable, “watch yourself” It is a case of protect yourself from possible temptation by enjoying drink but not becoming on overly reliant on it.

Secondly Girls, In the Rugby Club context there is a great deal of alpha male, testosterone talk which always ends up about girls, with how many women, lads  have slept with and what they did to/with them. Well lets see what the Bible says about this issue:

1 Corinthians 5

English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges[b] those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

So this passage seems to suggest that we should not associate with them, that talk about the sexually immoral things they do, but as well as this we do need to be there in those conversations to rebuke and to stand firm that you haven’t gone out and had sex yet because you believe in no sex before marriage, that you do not believe in the sexual immorality and the misuse of the body.  So we do need to be in situations to try to tell people that they need to change from these ways and not that they are the right view to have. We cannot avoid these people and their conversations otherwise we will be seen as hypocritical pious weirdos.

My personal experience:

I have experienced the conversations about sex, the crazy nights out drinking. The great thing about being there in those situations is that I can have conversations with people about Jesus. The usual situation I find my self in, is when I will buy a beer from the bar, there will always be someone who will ask if as a christian I can drink. Apart from being able to get rid of that incorrect view of Christianity, but also because it’s a path into a conversation about God. The reality is, that to get the Gospel to the men of rugby clubs, is not by hoping that one day they will be tempted to come along to church, but we need to get alongside them, love them and tell them the truth of the Gospel.

But we do need to be careful, that by sitting in on the conversations we are not involved in provoking the conversation. we need to make sure we are not equipping people for the conversations and situations, so that we will not be seen as a hypocrite or a liar.

Philippians 1

English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

27 Only let your manner of life be worthy[h] of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.

Please do feel free to comment,

Gareth