The absence of water makes a desert.  The absence of land makes an ocean.  The absence of warmth makes the polar caps.  The absence of light makes darkness.  The absence of God's unconditional love and abundant provision makes Hell.

 Hell, for want of a better word, is simply a place where God and all of His goodness is absent. 

 In life, God sustains us with oxygen, gravity, water, sunshine and all the universal laws of order - even when we make it quite clear that we want nothing to do with Him.  

However, there will come a day (death) when God must respect our decision to live apart from Him - His perfection demands it.  On that day He may say to those who rejected salvation, ‘It saddens Me that you have refused all My gracious offers of salvation and shown on all occasions that you want nothing to do with Me.  I must respect your decision (free-will) and leave you in a place that has been set aside where My provision of healing, joy, love, kindness, goodness, mercy, forgiveness, patience and peace, shall be absent, where I will not sustain the environment or the universal laws of order, where My light will be nowhere to be seen and where you are beyond the reach of My comfort.  It is a place where I shall respect your wish and remain absent from you for eternity.’ (See 2 Thessalonians 1:9)

It is foolish to say we don’t need God in our lives.  Hell is the void created when God’s providence is absent.  It is a place of absolute darkness, chaos and everlasting discomfort.  Let us not eternally regret being separated from God when Heaven is simply ours for the asking. The Bible clearly states: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus Christ), that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16). CHOOSE God for your LIFE - TODAY.

Pastor Marilyn Hunter

In our busy lives it is easy to lose contact with family or friends.  If we don’t make the effort to keep in regular contact, close relationships can eventually slip away.  In time, they rarely come into our thoughts and soon become a distant memory.

Many Mothers’ hearts are breaking today because their children are so busy with various other friends, and so involved in social media, that their children feel they have no time to put into their relationship with their Mother.

How quickly children forget, or don’t even realise, the place that their Mother has in her heart for them and the huge sacrifice that she made for them when they were only young children and in some cases still does. 

No matter how long ago since we last spoke to her she doesn’t hold a grudge.  When we finally call, she happily picks up the relationship where we last left off.  Such is her love for her children.

Christianity too is not about religion – it’s about a relationship with our Heavenly Father.  God is all around us and will never forsake us.  But friendship with God can also be lost on our part in the busyness of our lives.

At first we may have had a meaningful and personal relationship with God, but if we don’t keep in regular contact (through prayer and reading His words to us) we inevitably lose contact with Him.  He will cease to be a reality in our daily life and we may begin to wonder if He exists at all.

He waits patiently – continually giving us little reminders to call home.  No matter how much time since you last spoke to Him, God doesn’t hold a grudge.  When we finally call, God happily picks up our friendship where we last left off. 

God says to us in His Word: “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends” (Revelation 3:20) and “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued to extend faithful love to you.” Jeremiah 31:3

This Mother’s Day, can we remember our Mothers and make it a very special occasion for her, where we not only pick up the phone, spend some quality time with her or even tell her special she is to us, but let it become the ‘norm’ in our everyday relationship with her. That would be the best Mother’s Day gift that she will receive.

We can also do this today with God and make it a very special occasion for Him.

Pastor Marilyn Hunter

We will all eventually die.  If the Bible is correct, there is an afterlife with judgement, heaven and hell.  What is our plan to reach heaven?  

Many say: ‘Well, I’m a relatively good person – when I die I’ll just hope for the best.  Others add: ‘I’ve been baptised, had communion, plus I give regularly to the church and charities – I think I’ve ticked all the boxes.’

It’s ironic that many people, including many Christians, think getting to heaven depends on what they do.  When asked about the relevance of Jesus Christ and the Cross, most scratch their heads; they don’t see a connection between their going to heaven and what Christ did on the Cross.

Many people consider the cross simply a symbol of Christianity – a story told at Easter how a good man was wrongly crucified and miraculously rose from the dead.  

Fact is, if we could earn our way to heaven by good deeds or religious rituals, Christ died needlessly on the Cross.  If we could save ourselves by our works, there would be no point for Jesus to die for our salvation (John 3:16). 

The Bible states: we can never be good enough to save ourselves (Ephesians 2:8-9) – our works are filthy rags in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6) – that we need to be born-again (John 3:3) – and become a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).  

To enter the kingdom of heaven we need to have God’s PERFECT uprightness, decency, integrity and morality.  This is the whole point of Jesus being crucified on our behalf.  If we accept the gift of salvation by believing in Christ we receive His PERFECT GOODNESS and are instantly adopted into the family of God.  Alternately, if we are hoping our good deeds or religious rituals will save us; sadly, we are in for a very rude shock.  

We need the Cross.  Christ is our salvation – He is the only door and way into heaven.  

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6.  

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9.

 Pastor Marilyn Hunter

To prove our capabilities in certain endeavours, we often need someone else to take a chance and believe in us.  When given such a chance, we then have an opportunity to prove their faith in us was well founded. 

The world’s greatest intellects can neither prove nor disprove God’s existence.  It all comes down to personal belief.  If we adamantly don’t believe in something, we sceptically explain away all proof.  We live in a world where seeing is believing; however, one of the greatest acts of trust we can show in another, is believing in them before the evidence is seen. 

God does not coerce our free-will. That is why belief is the currency that He demands before He vindicates Himself.  Only those who step out in faith see the evidence of God working in their lives.  This explains why many Christians have a strong faith; by believing they have seen – and once seen it is easy to believe.  

In a world of reason it seems foolish to believe in something before seeing the evidence, but if we always disbelieve in God we inadvertently close the door on Him ever proving Himself.  Give God a chance.  We must remember, God does not need us – but we certainly need Him.  God does reveal Himself through creation and His Word (the Bible), but if we wish for God to reveal Himself further in our life, we must choose to seek Him. 

How do we start? The Bible states in John 14:6-7 that Jesus Christ is the Way, the truth and the Life and by believing in Him we will receive everlasting life and an eternal relationship with God. (Hebrews 11:6, 2 Corinthians 5:7)

 Pastor Marilyn Hunter

A tourist heard of a special place known as 'Heavenly-Salvation' where everlasting accommodation was said to be free.  She eagerly grabbed her pack and headed off to see if the claims were true.  As she approached, a wild looking man who lived on the outskirts ran up to her laughing madly and speaking gibberish.  He welcomed her to Heavenly-Salvation and told her that if she wished to enter she would have to be his servant and give him all her money.  In disgust, the tourist thought, ‘These Christians are insane - I want nothing to do with them or their so-called free village.’  She quickly turned around and decided never to return.

Meanwhile, the citizens of Heavenly-Salvation scratched their heads in frustration.  They could not understand why so few tourists visited their lovely village - they were completely unaware that the village idiot was scaring them all away.

Salvation is a free gift - there is no cost.  God paid the account on the cross through Jesus Christ.  However, it can be very hard for the ‘Unbelieving-World’ to see the truth of Christianity through the forest of village idiots.  The world is filled with cults and crazy religions all claiming to be doing God’s will, but their obvious greed and weird practices are bringing the Truth into disrepute.  Sadly, these way-out teachings are the most vocal and the ‘Unbelieving-World’ judges all Christianity by the village idiots.  

Any person wishing for eternal salvation should ignore the village idiots and freely enter.  The bible says, ‘For grace you have been saved through faith (believing in Christ) that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God not of works lest anyone should boast, (Ephesians 2:8-9).’

 

Pastor Marilyn Hunter

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