Message from the Pastor
Rev Edward Evans
Bi-Monthly Newsletter 1 July 2018
“The harvest is past, the summer is ended, And we are not saved.” Jeremiah 8vs20
This scripture comes at the end of a passage in the prophet Jeremiah, where the prophet is lamenting the fact that in his day the people had cast off God's word and had given themselves to covetousness and materialism and still the false prophets were saying peace peace, when there was no peace.
Towards the beginning of the same chapter Jeremiah says :
"Even the stork in the heavens knows her appointed times. And the turtle, the swift and the swallow observe the time of their coming."
In other words Jeremiah is saying that the birds in nature know the seasons and respond to their Creator.
When it is summer the swallows return to our shores, just as surely as when the autumn progresses they take flight once again for more southern warmer climates.
Is it not an amazing thing how the rest of creation is quick to obey God's commands?
Every morning the sun rises and every evening it sets; every day the sea flows in on a fresh tide and just as surely, it also begins to ebb. The creation knows the commands of the Creator.
In contrast to this Jeremiah pictures the nation of Israel in his day going their own way, rejecting God's word and indifferent to the judgement that was going to befall them.
The seasons were passing, their lives were continuing and still they were not saved.
What is true of Israel as a nation in the Old Testament is of course true of us as individuals today.
The Bible tells us that God now commands all men everywhere to repent and to turn to the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, but how many are indifferent to that call?
It often amazes me the thoroughness which a person will bring to aspects of their lives that concern the immediate or temporary.
Take for example the fact that some people are always concerned to be punctual for an appointment and would never think to be late, ensuring that they always leave enough time to get to their destination punctually.
Or consider how someone else may approach an exam or a job interview with a thoroughness and a diligence: they would not think to neglect to study something that may help them through that exam or that interview.
Or consider others who may plan diligently ahead for the future and for their financial security in retirement and would never think to leave it until the day they retire to consider whether they have sufficient funds to make ends meet in their retirement. But these same people would never think to pause and consider whether they have made any preparation for their souls in eternity.
Jesus said "Beware of covetousness . A man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
Just like in Jeremiah's time, so many today live for material gain and for material possessions.
But life is more than this, so much more than this. And the peace that so many people find elusive today does not come from gaining more but from gaining "the pearl of great price" the Lord Jesus Christ who came into this world to reconcile us to God.
It is the will of God that all men everywhere should repent and discover that peace with God that the world cannot give and to do that we have to acknowledge our need, that all of us are imperfect, we are sinners in the sight of God and need to put our trust in Christ for the forgiveness of our sins. But also we need to recognise the urgency of this now and today in our lives, not eventually and one day.
"Today if you will hear his voice harden not your hearts as in the provocation." Heb 3 vs 15
Some people go through their lives saying, "I don't believe in God, I will live my life as I please"
But sadly one day they will stand before a Holy God in judgement and discover it is too late.
Yet others think that they can defer any thought of religion until the moment of death and if there is a God they say, "I am sure He will accept me and my good deeds will outweigh my bad ones. If God accepted and saved us on the basis of our good deeds, Jesus would not have had to come and die upon the cross.
No, the truth is that now is the time of God's gracious invitation to you and to me and today is the day of salvation for any and for all who will look to the Saviour, trust in Him for their forgiveness, and say, "O Lord I do believe."When we do that we come into a personal relationship with Christ and begin to know that we belong to God. And then we will be able to say in the words of Count Zinzendorf's great hymn:
"When from the dust of death I rise, To claim my mansion in the skies, even then shall this be all my plea, Jesus has lived, has died for me."
May God help us every one reading these word to be able to truly say: "The harvest is past , the summer is ended and by God's grace I thank God that I am saved".