When Will These Things Be?

When Will These Things Be?

THERE WAS AN OCCASION when Jesus’ disciples pointed out to him the splendid buildings of the Jerusalem temple. It was one of the wonders of the ancient world, and the Jews were immensely proud of it. But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” (Matthew 24:1–3). Understandably, the disciples would have been alarmed at the warning that their fabulous temple was going to be destroyed. They wanted to know more. Jesus went on to tell them. Matthew 24 is often known as the ‘Olivet prophecy’ (because it was

The Brotherhood of Man

The Brotherhood of Man

THE  REVOLUTIONARY philosopher Karl Marx was one of the most influential thinkers of modern times. He had a vision of a world where everyone is equal, the rich do not exploit the poor, and we all live together in harmony. He urged the workers of the world to rise up against their rulers and establish a people’s utopia. Beginning with the Russian Revolution in 1917, the ideals of Marx and those like him inspired the creation of communist states in dozens of countries. Many people believed that civilisation was on the brink of a glorious new age. Karl Marx was an atheist. He had faith in the human spirit—he believed that given the right conditions people can build a perfect society without the need for God. Here we are, a hundred years or so later, and we have the benefit of hindsight. Even the most ardent communist has to admit

Will You Go to Heaven?

Will You Go to Heaven?

THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE who believe in life after death, even if they do not believe in God. Many people take great comfort after the loss of a loved one in the thought that they are still alive, somehow, somewhere. It’s a sensitive and emotive subject. But we need to ask the question—what does God actually tell us about the afterlife? For the answer, we need to look in the Bible. What the Bible Says Here are some Bible passages which you may find surprising: For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and for ever they have no more share in all that is done under the sun (Ecclesiastes 9:5–6). For Sheol does not thank you; death does not praise

Who Will Be In the Kingdom of God?

Who Will Be In the Kingdom of God?

THE GOSPEL is about the Kingdom of God. That is what Jesus and the apostles preached (Mark 1:14–15; Acts 28:30–31). It is what disciples died for. We know the names of some people who will be in the Kingdom. For example, Jesus named ‘Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets’ (Luke 13:28). He also said of the faithful apostles: … when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28). Hebrews chapter 11 lists faithful people (in the Old Testament) who were, and still are, dead awaiting the fulfilment of God’s promises. They will be in this kingdom (Hebrews 11:4–16 and 39–40). Immortal Saints In order to live in the Kingdom, all of these named, and many more unnamed, faithful people need to be raised from the dead.

The Environmental Crisis

The Environmental Crisis

THE PLANET IS IN PERIL, and something needs to be done about it. It is generally agreed that the temperature of the earth’s surface is rising, along with the temperature of the oceans. Polar ice and glaciers are melting. Sea levels are rising, presenting a danger to low-lying land, and the world is experiencing a dramatic increase in extreme weather events such as heat waves and storms. It is also generally agreed that climate change is due to humans loading the atmosphere with carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as a result of burning fossil fuels, intensive agriculture and deforestation, and modern industrial processes. And most experts agree that unless swift action is taken to limit the rise in global temperature there will be an environmental catastrophe. The 2021 COP26 Climate Summit established targets which nations are working towards. All over the world concerned people are taking action, in a

The Glories of the Age to Come

The Glories of the Age to Come

ONE GOVERNMENT throughout the world, ruling solely by the law of God: its fruits, peace and fulness of life for humankind from pole to pole. That seems the most futile of utopian dreams in a world of international conflict: yet it is as sure as the unceasing roll of the heavenly bodies, for “the mouth of the Lord” by Whom they were made “has spoken” (Isaiah 40:5). Many Bible prophets speak of the splendid Temple to be reared in Jerusalem (for example Ezekiel 40–48). And the prophecies of Isaiah 2:1–4 and Micah 4:1–4 draw a picture of the new world order of which it will be the centre. With Christ’s return to the earth, the throne of King David will be restored as the seat of his rule (Luke 1:32); and people from far countries, sickened by slaughter and the ruin which humanity’s evil has brought, will turn to it

The Bible in a Nutshell

The Bible in a Nutshell

WE KNOW WHAT IT WAS that the first apostles preached, which stirred people to  believe and be converted: “When they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized” (Acts 8:12). What are the “things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ”? The following list is a brief summary of the basic teachings of the Bible, together with a selection of Bible references in connection with each teaching. The BibleIt is the Word of God and is unique. It contains God’s message to humankind for our salvation. It was written by many men over the centuries whom God used as instruments for the writing of His Word. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).