2013-11

Dear Friends,

As a group of churches we have a busy month ahead of us. Nov 10-17 we will finally reach the Real Lives programme, when we hope to have meetings in Newport, Cwmbran and Caerwent. Prior to that we will have 3000 copies of a specially produced newspaper which features testimonies by people we know as well as a number of well-known personalities in the wider Christian world. It would be good if as many people as possible could make themselves available in the week(s) prior to the outreach to distribute these. Also since they are attractively produced you may want to use some of them with friends, families and neighbours. Please be praying, before, during and after these events that God will be pleased to draw people to Himself by whatever means He might choose.

We live in a world that is showing increasing evidence of being damaged by sin. As the evidence emerges so we hear discussions about who is to blame and how can we find a solution, so that this will never happen again. Sadly though, it does. This is not only happening ‘out there’. The news broadcasts remind us that major problems and crimes occur in our own nation and city. Is there a solution? There is! Throughout history peace and stability have been eroded in direct correspondence to the fact that God’s Word and God’s ways have been neglected. It is easy to blame the people ‘out there’ saying they have turned their backs on God and His Word, but we need to examine ourselves and to ask if we are truly walking in the ways of God. We have the Bible and are free to read it and to hear it being preached, but what effect is it having? The facts are that we as Christians face as many issues and challenges as the world.

We need to put our own house in order. Peter writes “For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And
“If the righteous is scarcely saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”(1 Peter 4:17-18)
Peter is addressing those suffering for their faith and tempted to compromise by turning back. He is concerned about the state of the church, but also about its effect on the wider society.

It is right we express our concern about falling standards in our society, but do we do that in judgement or do we do it in compassion? People are suffering; children and adults, it would seem are dying prematurely, but how concerned are we? The world will always be antagonistic to the Gospel. The human mind will always find it impossible to understand the Gospel, but God has called us to take the message to a suffering world. It has always been easier to retreat into monasteries or closed communities rather than face the trials of witnessing to those opposed to the Gospel, but God so loved the world that He became involved in the person of His Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Christ became so involved that He was willing to identify fully with sinners and took responsibility for their sins. It cost Him everything, but as a result He was crowned as king of heaven.

The needs of the world are great, but since the Great Commission we have the words of eternal life and we are to make them known by all means possible, so that God the Holy Spirit might work in the hearts of many and by His Grace we trust that they will come to saving faith. May God help all of us to take our place in this outreach in prayer, witness, invitation etc etc.

Your brother and pastor,

Bernard Lewis

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