In the vastness of our universe the planet we live on is but a speck of dust. Man is an even smaller speck on that tiny speck of dust. 3000 years ago David, without the ability to view the earth from the moon (as we can see from this iconic image from the Apollo Programme) was inspired to ask of God:
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him?
God is mindful of man yet today we find a generation that is little mindful of God.
Here, in UK, people are more likely to believe in the existence of Extraterrestrial beings that they are to believe in an almighty God.
A question often put to young people, and one that is put in a number of Science Fiction tales, is, “If you were a visitor from outer space sent to earth what would your opinion be of the human race?”
This was the subject of two famous Hollywood movies entitled The Day The Earth Stood Still. The first was a 1951 black and white feature starring Michael Rennie and the second was a 2008 remake starring Keanu Reeves.
The plot is simple; an alien visitor comes to earth accompanied by a giant robot. His mission is to save the earth. However he is not here to save mankind, he is here to cleanse the earth from man who is corrupted by greed, cruelty, and a destructive nature. In many ways this is a sci-fi story similar to the Biblical story of the Great flood that was sent to cleanse the earth of mankind who have been corrupted by greed, cruelty and a violent and destructive nature. In the end the alien is persuaded that there is still hope for mankind because of the capacity for good that he has witnessed in the life of a young widow he receives hospitality from, so he, in the nick of time, manages to avert destruction, whereas in the Genesis account only one man and his immediate family find favour and are saved from the destruction by building a great box that would contain the 8 members of his family and pairs of every sort of animal.
The fear of mass destruction is ever with us. In the 1960’s the world faced the real threat of a global nuclear holocaust as the American President John F. Kennedy threatened the Soviet President Nikita Kruschev with all out war in what became known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. Even today the threat of a nuclear incident is an ever present fact. The International Community has expressed concerns over the nuclear programmes of North Korea and Iran, and with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989 and the rise in Islamic Terrorism there have been growing concerns about nuclear materials falling into the hands of terror groups who may use such materials to launch attacks on major cities world-wide!
Humans like to see the capacity for good that they are capable of. We see how willing people are to sacrifice for humanitarian causes as an indication of the inherent goodness of man. The evils of the world are attributed to small groups of people who are the cause of all the wickedness. It is this belief that has persuaded many to engage in political activism and even revolution, the premise being: if enough of us good people get together we can overthrow these wicked people and create a better world. The truth of the matter is that, as humans, we are quick to see the faults in others and quick to overlook our own faults.
The Bible relates that at the heart of the world’s troubles is man himself. That the very heart of man, the core of his being, is: is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. (Jeremiah 17:9) and that: from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. (Mark 7:21-23)
James goes even further, he posts the question AND gives the answer: From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? (James 4:1)
The responsibility for all the evil that is in the world lies within each one of us as human beings. To a greater or lesser extent we are all culpable. So to bring an end to the evil God will have to bring an end to the evil doers, mankind! God does not want to do this, He would rather that we could all be saved and has (just as Noah did for himself and his immediate family) made an ark so that we may all escape the flood of His judgement that is to fall upon this world. This ark is His Son.
When out on the streets of Manchester this is the message that we declare.
This week we were accosted by an irate Moslem who raised his voice, used some vile language about our faith and was very aggressive, even disrespectful, towards Amélia. Both John and Miguel stepped in and warned him against speaking with her in this manner. As is common in such cases this drew a small crowd of onlookers who watched in amazement (and disgust) at his antics. He was only intent on harassing us and making a scene admitting that he wanted to stop us preaching our “religion” on “these streets”!
He would not leave so we had no other alternative other than to call the police for assistance as he was being so aggressive. When he saw the police he attempted to walk off but they called him over. At first he was polite to them and claimed that Miguel had called his prophet a “paedophile”, which was an outright lie. Miguel denied doing this and the young man suddenly raised his voice and began to repeat his profanities as he moved towards Miguel. That was enough for the police who then told him to leave. They could see that he was in the wrong and that he was in danger of causing a public order offence. They told us that if we had any more problems to simply call them and they would come to our assistance.
The thing is, we weren’t actually engaged in any preaching at the time. We had finished and were engaged in conversation with other brethren who had approached us as we were preparing to leave!
Needless to say we view this as yet more evidence of the fact that we must be doing something right for the enemies of Christ to react in such a way. We are engaged in spiritual warfare, our enemy is not people but the forces that work in people’s lives; the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, (1 John 2:16) and many become angry at the fact that the light that the Gospel shines into their hearts exposes the fact that they are walking in darkness. However this is to their condemnation and not ours. As it is written: this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (John 3:19)
Please hold us in your prayers as we endeavour to preach the Gospel of Christ. And please consider your response to Christ’s call to confess Him before men!