In many parts of the world today God’s people are truly horrified by much of the God-defying legislation that has been enacted by their governments in areas such as abortion, gay rights, same-sex partnerships, the total re-defining of marriage and civil liberties. In conscience this poses many problems about whether or not in these situations Christians should take a government-defying stand “toobey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). In such cases Christians often feel a real sense of helplessness or impotence when it comes to opposing these vile laws and to declaring publicly God’s views on these subjects in a meaningful way.
Over recent years there has been a steady build up of opposition to and outright rejection of what some term as ‘the theory’ of ‘penal substitution’. Amongst the definitions for ‘theory’ is one that reads – ‘a conjectural view or idea’. When it comes then to understanding what was happening on “the cross of Christ” for the faithful Christian the doctrine of ‘penal substitution’ is not a matter of ‘conjecture’ but it is the factual and glorious heartbeat that sustains God’s gift of “eternal life” [Romans 6:23]. ‘Penal substitution’ is a factual divine truth that leaps from the pages of the Bible and to deny otherwise is quite simply to set oneself up as an ‘enemy of the cross of Christ’.
To begin with I want to quote a few lines from my own personal testimony that for years has been posted to our ministry web site –
I am pleased to report that our new home and ministry office are proving to be a real blessing to us. Although the move has resulted in Margaret having more travelling to do in relation to her work as the practice nurse in Carryduff surgery, thankfully that has not presented any major difficulties so far. The “Take Heed” office is more or less complete and in order and is certainly ideal for the ministry that the Lord has called us to – it is truly ‘exceedingly abundantly above all that we could have asked for or thought of’ [Ephesians 3:20].
We are grateful to our gracious God and to so many of you who have identified with us in this move and we thank each and every one of you for your kindness and generosity at this time. Plans are now well in hand for the meetings both in England and Ireland in the latter half of March involving Rob Zins, Mike Gendron, Stephen Murphy and myself. We covet your prayers and where possible your presence as unitedly we seek to dispel the darkness and error that threatens once more to engulf the professing Christian world. We sign off by sharing with you our home church motto text for 2001 –
“The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek Him” Ezra 8:22.
As I begin to prepare this newsletter it is now almost 4 weeks since we moved to our new home in Ballynahinch. All that is said about the stress involved in moving house has proved to be accurate but thankfully many ‘loose ends’ are gradually being tied up.
We give thanks to God for His faithfulness and are confident that in due course all outstanding matters will be successfully concluded. Enclosed by separate letter are fuller details of the move as it has impacted on “Take Heed” Ministries.
As this landmark ‘millennium’ year draws to a close it is evident that the forces of darkness are flexing their spiritual muscles, confident that the tide of popular opinion is flowing their way. This should come as no surprise as Paul tells us of such a time when people “will not endure sound doctrine” [2 Timothy 4:3]. His remedy for such a situation was simple and concise “Preach the Word” [v 2]. Your prayers and continuing support for “Take Heed” are coveted that we may faithfully take an effective stand for truth in these days of great compromise.