Welcome to Banbury Evangelical Free Church

Banbury Evangelical Free Church was founded in 1984, as a Bible-based, Christ-centred congregation seeking to proclaim the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ and to serve Christ in every aspect of our lives, both as individuals and together.

Monday, 27 September 2010

An encouraging occasion

Two days ago, on Saturday afternoon, I had the blessing and privilege of conducting a baptismal service. As so often on these occasions, I felt I rather stuttered and stammered my way through an attempt at an evangelistic message – I don’t think I rise well to the “big occasion” (though perhaps that is a good thing!). Nevertheless, it was a great encouragement that a large number of friends and relatives of both of those being baptised – John Robertson and Victoria Cunnington – were there, many of whom are not Christians. I preached on Acts 16.30, 31 under the following three headings:
• Why you need to be saved (you are in a mess you can’t get out of; sin is serious; you must to face up to your need);
• How you may be saved (there is nothing you can do; you need to trust in Jesus Christ alone, and what he has done);
• What you should do once you are saved (rejoice!; be baptised; show your changed attitude by a changed life, living to the glory of God).

We pray that there might be fruit arising from that occasion in the hearts and lives of at least some of those present, for whom this may have been the first time they heard the gospel. And we pray that the changed lifestyles of both John and Victoria may be an on-going testimony to the transforming power of the grace of God.

A visitor from another world?

I turned on the radio this morning to discover the presenter conducting an interview about the prospects for our planet being visited by beings from another world. I learned later that this was in the context of the United Nations proposing the appointment of a “space ambassador”, to be tasked with coordinating humanity’s response to an extra-terrestrial visit. This is all because, apparently, the recent discovery of other planets orbiting around hundreds of other stars, makes the detection of alien life more and more likely.

Leaving aside the questions whether the proposed ambassador will find enough work to fill her day, and be able to justify her salary, I found myself pondering humanity’s capacity to be gullible about far-fetched notions concerning which there seems scant credible evidence, while at the same time being sceptical about well-documented claims.

You see, we have already had a Visitor from another world, Jesus Christ, God’s eternal Son. Jesus was not merely a good man. Indeed, he was not merely man at all; he is the God-man, “God manifested in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3.16). The Bible declares, “He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him” (John 1.10). The evidence concerning Jesus Christ is strong indeed, attested by numerous witnesses, that he is all that he claimed to be: God’s Son, sent by the Father to be the Saviour of the world.

Many reject that message today (just as the people of Jesus’ day rejected him and murdered him by crucifixion). But they are willing to believe to believe in aliens coming to earth to colonise our planet – aliens, for whom there is no credible evidence that they exist, but for whom the UN is willing to prepare a welcome party! Little wonder that the Bible exclaims concerning those who reject God, “Claiming to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1.22).