When commenting on the parable of the householder and his vineyard (Matthew 21:33-46) the great English Anglican Bishop J C Ryle wrote ‘The fruit that the Lord receives from His vineyard in this land is disgracefully small compared with what it ought to be. We should note what an awful reckoning God sometimes makes with nations and churches… A time came when the long-suffering of God towards the Jews had an end. Forty years after our Lord’s death…they received a heavy chastisement for their sins in the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple… And will the same things ever happen to us? Will the judgments of God come down upon this nation… Only God knows. But history tells us that judgments have come on many churches and nations. Where are all the early African and Eastern churches? They are run over by Islam and destroyed…Nothing offends God so much as the neglect of privileges. Much has been given to us and much will be required’. Truly remarkable and in many ways ‘prophetic’ words seeing that they were first published in 1856. Margaret and I thank you all for another year of encouragement and support and wish you His rich blessing in 2009 [DV].
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.