“Why do the people rage against me” says the Lord, “they demand the pleasure of their own hearts but are unwilling to acknowledged the owner of all things who has given them the gift of life”. (not a direct biblical quote)
Thus says the Lord, “I will remove from them the pleasures of this life and rebuke their abundance so that they will return to me and repent.”
People of Northern Ireland the Lord God has a message for you if you are willing to receive it. It is a message of good news, it offers life in the midst of death and that life is to be in total abundance.
The ways of this world lead to death and suffering. It is evident that all humanity suffer from both of these deceivers. The lie of death is that it is the final reckoning for all life. It claimed that there is no return from it’s dark prison but the scripture disputes this untruth and the Lord God who created all things through His Son Jesus Christ will ultimately bring this deceiver to a swift end. Death will be destroyed by the God who is Life and the Creator of all things living.
The sister of death is suffering she creeps into the lives of people unexpectedly and steal their happiness and joy by bringing hardship, pain, sickness and sadness into their lives. Both of these enemies of humanity are empowered by the transgressions humanity commit against the God who created them.
The scripture states, ‘that it is appointed unto all men that they would die’ however the scripture does not leave it there it adds, ‘but then comes the judgement’. (Hebrews 9:27) Again, the scripture states that, ‘the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life.’ (Romans 6:23)
When the gift referred to finally manifested in human form, he was identified within the scriptures of the New Testament in John 1:14 as being Jesus Christ.
John 1:14 – NLT ‘So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son’
The Word referred to here is the man Jesus Christ and He is the Gift of Life made available to us from God the Father.
‘And this is the good news that Jesus Christ came to save sinners’, (1 Timothy I:15) this declaration made by Paul reiterates that the suffering and death we experience in this life are as a result of our transgressions against God.
In the Old Testament God showed to Moses, what He expected from a righteous people and the Law was given as a reference to holiness, but only in the letter not in it’s completeness. However that if only one of the written laws were transgressed then the person was guilty of the whole law and became subject to death. To help the people understand that it would be necessary for God Himself to pay of their transgressions the sacrificial laws were included which allowed animals to be offered in payment of transgression. It was highlighted that this was a shadow of a future sacrifice as the blood of animal were not of the same value of a human and therefore could not pay for the sin. It merely allow the relationship between God and man to be maintained until the perfect sacrifice was offered.
Today we do not continue with this practice of animal sacrifice, it is not that we have suddenly become good but rather that God has made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf and therefore there is no need for us to continue to offer animals. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ has abolished the need for inferior sacrifice in that He was both God and man. As God, Jesus was the Word of God from the beginning and it was by the Word that all creation was brought into being. The value of Jesus therefore is worth more that all of creation put together in the same way that the owner or builder of a house is worth more that the property itself. As a man, Jesus lived a perfect life in obedience to God the Father, he never sinned and so never purchased the right to died. It seems strange to us to comprehend that if there was no sin then there would be no death. We live in a world were all things died, as the scripture says ‘all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God’. It was never God’s intention for this to have been the case. Notice that in the Garden of Eden God warned Adam not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil or he would die. Sometimes we need to look at the scenario from a different prospective. What would the world have been liked if Adam had not have eaten from the forbidden tree. First we need to understand that sin would have still entered into the world, we known this because the scriptures tells us that Jesus was offered ‘as a lamb slain from the foundation of the world.’ (Rev 13:8)
So before man sinned God had already agreed to redeem him from the penalty of disobedience which gives death it’s power over him.
Are you aware that God will not break even one of his own laws. That is what it means to be righteous, to not break a law. However we understand that sometime a law which men make is overturned or repealed due to this ever changing world in which we live. However this is not the case with God. He does not make a Law without examining it carefully, literally looking at it’s end from it’s beginning. This sound complicated to us as we only see law from when they are needed and not from how they would be viewed in thousands of years time. God’s Law is prefect, unchanging and right, so when they have to be repealed it has to be agreed when they are originally made that this would happen. Take the Ritual Law, these Laws are to point towards Jesus and were to be repealed when a more perfect sacrifice was made. Until Jesus was crucified the ritual Law was in force, but following the crucifixion it became an abomination to offer an animal sacrifice to God for sin. The question is when did God declare he would do away with animal sacrifice. It is recorded in Moses and in the prophets. ‘Sacrifices thou don’t want’. Psalms 40:6 and 51:16
We are also told that Jesus was offered from the foundation of the world in revelation 13:8.
Today we are made right with God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son. It is his righteousness which is given to us as a gift through His indwelling spirit, but this gift is only made available to Christ’s Bride - the Church.
The rest of this world do not have a relationship with the Father and are unable to have one because they are unable to come to Jesus. Jesus himself stated that no one could come to Him unless the Father called them, (John 6:44) and again the scriptures stated that only those chosen from the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4) will receive a call to become part of the Bride – the physical body of Jesus Christ on this earth today.
The rest of the world will be judged at the white throne judgement on how they lived their lives. (Rev 20:11-15) This raises the question, if we can only come to Jesus if we are chosen, why then is there a future judgement when the majority of people are unable to accept Jesus anyway?
The answer is shared with us by Jesus in the parable of the Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25: 31- 46). Within the parable Jesus explains that He will judge the nations of this world on how well they reflected the nature of God in their lives. The people who showed outgoing love and concern for others, especially the poor, sick and persecuted are to be rewarded with eternal life and inherit the coming Kingdom of God, but the individuals who were only interested in themselves are rejected and sentenced to death in the fire that is to purge the earth of evil. A fire which will not be put out and would burn until it has completely destroyed all that is in it. Jesus likened this fire to the perpetual fires of Gehenna which burned in the Valley of Himmon during his own day which was where the unclean carcass’ of animals were disposed of and some even suggested that the bodies of executed criminal were burned rather than buried. The reason the fire never went out was due to the influx of combustible material which was being feed to it daily. Another aspect of this was that the place was maggot ridden due to the slow combustion of the animals flesh which allowed insect eggs, which hatch immediately upon being laid into maggots which in turn will complete their life cycle back to being adult flies within 12-14 days. Jesus used the observation of the people to highlight that all that survived the relentless fire of Gehenna was the flies and their maggots, and it will be just like that at the end of the age.
The good news taught within scripture proclaims that Christ’s sacrifice was for all people everywhere and across all time. No one is exempt all are now acceptable to God the Father through Jesus the Son. However as not all of mankind can accept Jesus they will subsequently be judged on how they lived their lives and rewarded or punishment is to be decided by Jesus as our redeemer and King. (1 Corinthians 15:22)
So why do we continue to preach? The simple answer is we don’t know who God is calling so we preach to everyone. The Bride will hear and receive the Gospel Message and enter into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, while the rest of the world hear within the message what is expected from them and therefore are encouraged to live their lives in submission to God’s authority over them and to Jesus who is their creator.
The gospel goes out throughout the world today via television, internet, books, and preaching, and we know that when the Bride is complete then our Heavenly Father will sent His Son Jesus back to this earth to claim His Bride and inherit the earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Until then we are to continue to proclaim the good news of God’s Love to mankind through Jesus Christ to a Dying World, and especially within Northern Ireland.
Please join our commission to announce the coming of the King and remember us in your prayers.
William Andrews is a regular Christian preacher/speaker within churches across Northern Ireland. He lives in one of the very few dry villages in Ireland called Seskinore, has been married to Caroline for 38 blissful years and has two daughters Charlene (37) and Rachel (23). The year 2008 proved to be an exciting year for the family as Charlene got married to Dominic in September 08 and they had their first child Phoebe Rose on 30th November 2009. A second grandchild, Ruby Caroline was born on 23rd April 2013.