A year has passed since we first heard of Covid19. In the beginning, it did not seem such a big thing and showed signs that it might not last too long. But then the second wave hit and the infections and deaths multiplied. It shows little sign of being over soon. God’s people need to pray much that He will step in and say, “It is enough: stay now thine hand” [2 Samuel 24;16]. Take courage, God is still on the throne. Let His will be done.
The Toronto church is technically able to be open, but with a maximum of ten people. However, it continues to broadcast each Sunday on sermonaudio at 11:00 am and 6:00 pm, with the pre-service prayer time at 5:50 pm on Zoom. The Wednesday prayer meeting is at 7:30 pm again on Zoom.
THE ONE AND ONLY MESSAGE
A new year but we still have the same old Gospel message. In Acts 17, Paul is in Athens with time on his hands while waiting for Silas and Timothy to join him. He does not waste that time. As he looks upon the ancient city with its grand architecture, illustrious history, and philosophical people, his heart is stirred because he sees Athens wholly given to idolatry. So he begins to preach unto them Jesus [v18], first in the synagogue to the Jews, then daily in the market place, a public meeting place for shopping, and philosophical discussions. Many and heated are the debates between Stoics, Epicureans, and others.
Into this motley crowd steps Paul. His message is simple – Jesus Christ crucified and raised from the dead. The people begin to listen, and the proud philosophers wonder, “What will this babbler say?” Their expression shows their utter contempt for God’s faithful servant. “Babbler” means “seed picker.” Paul is derided as one picks like a bird at the crumbs of human philosophy.
But why should Paul concern himself about what mere, miserable, mortal men may say of him? Paul has the everlasting Gospel of Christ to proclaim. If “it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe,” [1 Corinthians 1:21] why should he, or any other Christian, fear what men will say to him, or of him?
Those who read the Bible consecutively each year will have met Abraham already. Here are a few facts about him that will hopefully enrich your understanding of him.
Abraham was the son of Terah [Genesis 11:27]. He was born c1996BC and died c1821BC at the age of 175. [Genesis 25:7]. His name “Abram” means ‘exalted father’ and was later changed by God to “Abraham,” meaning ‘father of a multitude.’ He is the father of the Jewish nation and Arab nations, and he is also the father of Gentile Christians [Galatians 3:7].
Abraham was a humble man who saw himself as “dust and ashes” [Genesis 18:27], but the Lord called him “the friend of God’ [Isaiah 41:8].
Enoch ‘had this testimony that he pleased God” [Hebrews 11:5]. He lived to please, not himself or anyone else, only his God. How a grasp of this spiritual objective can simplify life and glorify the Lord.
Before I was called to the gospel ministry, I worked for seven years in a bakery in Belfast. Part of my apprenticeship involved working in the “store,” learning the various recipes, and getting the bakers’ ingredients ready.
I well remember the day when one of the bakers came and asked for some ingredients he wanted to bake a wedding cake at home.
It was one of the most difficult for me as a young Christian to take my stand against his dishonesty. I had to tell him I was a Christian and that since what he was asking me to do was stealing, I could not give them to him. I can still see the anger on his face and can remember the unpleasant things he said to me and my Christianity. But deep down in my heart, I had the joy that I pleased the Lord by refusing to do that which was dishonest.
May each of us have Enoch’s testimony that we “pleased God.” [Dr. Stanley Barnes].
The Free Church becomes 70 on March 17. What makes it similar to, or different from, other churches?
The Free Presbyterian Church is:
FUNDAMENTAL IN DOCTRINE
EVANGELICAL IN OUTREACH
PRESBYTERIAN IN GOVERNMENT
PROTESTANT IN CONVICTION
SEPARATIST IN PRACTICE
The North American Free Presbyterian Church will not have fellowship with churches that support the ecumenical World Council of Churches or have departed from the fundamental doctrines of the Word of God.