The joy of family

Well, that’s another Christmas done, and another year behind us. Many of us are on holidays, and many away travelling. It’s a great time to reflect – if you’re not holidaying too hard!

As we mentioned in last week’s Sunday Reflection, City Edge Church had the privilege of joining brothers- and sisters-in-Christ from Bread of Life Church for a combined service.

I had the pleasure of visiting a small church plant down near Geelong on the same day for their Christmas Carols service. I must say, it was refreshing to be able to join in without needing to think about or prepare for the next part of the service.

But what was even more refreshing was to spend time with other believers – all of whom were strangers to me at the time – and connect immediately and deeply with them. Continue reading

What if Jesus never came?

This week, City Edge Church had the privilege of joining with Bethel Bread of Life Chinese Church for a combined service. It was a great Sunday of worshiping together in both English and Chinese. What a privilege to be united together worshiping Jesus with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

We should not belittle this. Where in the world can we find people of different nationalities, languages, cultures, backgrounds, experiences put aside their differences, and come together for a common purpose – that of exalting our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? Continue reading

For King and Kingdom

As we approach another Christmas, we are reminded of the prophecy in Isaiah 9;

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this” [Isa 9:6-7].

We had the pleasure of Paul and Monika Zanardo’s company yesterday, and Paul shared with us from this – and many other – Scriptures about the kingdom of God.

The first thing Paul pointed out is that “of the increase of his government … there will be no end.”

We sometimes look at our society becoming increasingly hostile and intolerant towards Christians and despair for ourselves and for Christianity. We hear of the slaughter of Christians overseas, and watch the march of Islam, the New Age, and Secularism and wonder how the gospel can survive in the face of such opposition. Continue reading

Why would you perish?

I must confess to being surprised recently to discover that Universalism is gaining in popularity. Even a good friend is leaning in that direction. For those who don’t know what Universalism is, it is the belief that everyone without exception will be saved.
There are a few variations of this belief. Some believe that everyone immediately goes to heaven. Others believe that some punishment will still be required for sin – a time spent in purgatory – but the guilty person will get to heaven eventually.
Regardless of the timeline, the common understanding is that all will get there one day, no matter what they’ve done in this life. (Does that include Adolf Hitler, and Joseph Kony, and serial killers, and paedophiles??)
Given that God is love, and God so loved the world [John 3:16], this would be a reasonable assumption, would it not? Continue reading

Just how powerful is God, really?

God is omnipotent; all-powerful, there is nothing He can’t do. The Bible is pretty clear on that.

After all, God created the heavens and the earth with just a word. “Let there be… and there was…” [see Gen 1]. And it didn’t deplete His reserves of energy in the slightest. Even though the creation account tells us that God rested on the 7th day, He didn’t rest because He was exhausted.

“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” the Lord says in Jer 32:27. He does whatever He pleases [Ps 115:3]. With Him, all things are possible [Matt 19:26]. He is the Almighty who reigns [Rev 19:6].

God is so powerful that He can even turn the heart of a king in any direction He wants to. Who can stand before the Lord?

So then, can God create a rock so heavy that even He can’t lift it? If we say no, He can’t, then there is something God can’t do, thus He must not be omnipotent.

It the answer is yes, He can, then if God can’t lift the rock, He is not omnipotent. Ha, gotcha! Answer that one, Christians!  Continue reading