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Bethesda Shalom

Bethesda Shalom , "House of Mercy and Peace". A small independent Bible believing Church located in Wolverhampton, England; endeavouring to hold fast to truth and stand fast in love by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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Jan 25, 2021

Isaiah 36

David brings a very timely word to the Body of Christ that draws from the godly life of King Hezekiah. When Sennacherib came up against the defenced cities of Judah, taking them captive; he set his face towards Jerusalem and sent a messenger to Hezekiah to strike fear into the armies of Judah. How did Hezekiah respond in such an hour of trial? Where did he turn and in whom did place his trust?

May God speak to our hearts through this word so as to grant us understanding in knowing how to respond in times of trial.

Jan 18, 2021

Isaiah 6:1-9

Brothers and Sisters, I don’t know about you, but I carry in my heart a great burden as I witness first-hand the departing of a generation of Christian workers who in their day troubled the kingdom of darkness and wrought many mighty victories for the kingdom of light!  These were men and women of commitment, sold to the cause of the advancement of the kingdom of God; men and women of sacrifice, men and women of faith and courage, who knew what it was to walk with their Lord.  These were disciplined souls whose personal business mattered less to them than did the business of their Master who they served with wholeness of heart in sincerity, in obedience, and love.  I know that they have gone ahead of us into glory—far better it is for them; but for us who are left behind and more importantly, for the Body of Christ as a whole; their passing is our great loss and we’re far the worse off for not having them still with us!!  Now it ought to be that in the passing of a great soul, rising in their shadows are found others mounting up on eagles’ wings; seeking to build where one left off and to further to the work that they began.  Yet, when I look to see the ones rising up to fill their shoes, I look in vain!

This sermon is a call and a cry, for Christian men and women to purpose in their hearts to give themselves wholly unto the Lord so as to live for Him in absolute devotion!  When we do this, then I believe that we will witness again the sending forth of labourers in our day.  Who will give themselves to the Master?  Is there one?   

Jan 15, 2021

Knowing the Bible for Yourself (Pt. 8)

It seems an absurd question to ask, how one should read historical narrative since we do it intuitively all the time.  In picking up a biography to read or a story in the newspaper, we are naturally handling material that would rightly be defined as historical narrative and yet we do it effortlessly without thinking.  We pay close attention to the facts and the details - the dates and names, the places and characters.  We all know the difference between facts and fiction and handle both accordingly.  No one for a minute would take a novel like Alice and Wonderland and read it as they would a WW2 journal.  One is fact and one is fiction.  Whilst we can be inspired and entertained by fiction - learning very many valuable lessons - it is still at the end of the day fiction – it’s made-up, it’s not a faithful representation of historical fact but instead concerns itself with imaginary people and imaginary events.  I’m sad to say, there are some, most notably those in liberal circles, who approach the Bible in this way.  God creating the earth in six days!  A global flood!  Noah and the Ark!  Jonah and a great fish!  Virgin birth!  Resurrection from the dead!  Miracles and healings!  Far from being taken as fact, at best these are embellishments to enhance the narrative and at worst fanciful stories (myths and legends) made up by the imaginations of men.

In this teaching, we look at the historicity of the Bible.  Rather than giving a definitive how-to, we seek to give some cautionary pointers in approaching the historical narratives contained in the Bible and to clearly set out what these narratives are and are not.    It is my hope that in doing this, it will help guard against the misuse of these passages and set a firm foundation upon which we may learn from the history recorded in the Bible so as to serve the Lord better in our day. 

Download teaching notes (pdf)

https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/bethesdashalom/5_Interpreting_Historical_Narrative.pdf

Jan 11, 2021

Luke 2:25-35

The great predicament of man, is his pride and rebellion; stubbornness is what keeps Him from serving God—He can have it no other way than his own. Simply put, He refuses to have a God that will meddle with His affairs, and until that man is first broken, he will rise in newness of life.  You know, the Church today has lost sight of the first and only ever presents to man the last.  Come to Christ and see what He will do for you!!  Yet, they do not tell them that entrance into this Kingdom is through a door of brokenness!  “And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder” (Mt. 21:44).  Tell me dear soul, have you known it on this wise?  Do you know what it is to fall on that rock?  May we indeed fall upon that rock that in falling we might rise again in newness of life. 

Jan 4, 2021

Luke 18:1-8

Any true sportsman knows fully well that there’s more to winning than merely turning up!  Turning up is the easy part; it’s the parts that the cheering fans don’t see that differentiates the winners from the losers.  Persistent and relentless discipline; those countless hours spent in training.  When those of their peers were free to do as they please—eating what they will and going where they would—the future champion in the making is not!  Burdened with a fervent passion to succeed, against all odds and at all costs, he pushes his natural man to limits, exacting from his mortal body seeming impossibilities so as to win the prize. 

With the self-same analogy, the Church of Jesus Christ must everywhere be given, not only to prayer but persistent prayer!  If we would see the power of God in our day at work, let us give ourselves to this end and see what the Almighty will do!

Dec 28, 2020

John 1:35-42

Oh to see the Son of God in all His glory! To comprehend His majesty; to fathom His deity. John declares; "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (Jn. 1:1). Adding to this, he then makes this staggering statement; " And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth" (Jn. 1:14). Peter writes, "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty" (2 Pet. 1:16); and John again states: "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life" (1 Jn. 1:1).

This sermon is an exhortation that having found the Messiah we would be moved to tell and to bring others to HIM also!

Dec 21, 2020

1 Corinthians 6:13b - 20

We face a battle in our day to remain clean in the sight of God in respect to sexual purity.  Young people live in a generation where immorality has become the new morality.  Adultery in the professing Church of Jesus Christ has reached an all-time high and every month it seems a scandal breaks of another minister caught in the headlights of this evil.  I have need only to mention that word beginning with “p”, derived in part from the Greek word “porneia” and who can deny, that there has not been an epidemic of this evil that has literally swept across the world by the aid of advancements in technology, most notably, the internet

This sermon is a sober warning and a plea for all who name the name of Jesus Christ to flee fornication and to render their vessels in sanctification to the Lord. 

Dec 14, 2020

1 Kings 17:1-6

It’s not until you step out of a situation, that looking back, you’re able to see it really for it was!  When you’re in a smoke-filled room, it’s hard to see the smoke, but exit the room and peer back in through the glass and you’ll be astonished at how you ever could have been in such an environment and not have.  As I look around and survey the spiritual landscape of the nation, I have to conclude that we are living in the midst of a spiritual famine that few are even aware we’re in.  Churches are closing by the week of and the British landscape is changing.  Brethren, it is my conviction that unless God in His mercy sends another revival —an awakening, the likes of which this nation has not witnessed since the days of Wesley, the flickering light of present-day Christianity may soon be extinguished from these British Isles.  Now I acknowledge that God will always have a remnant—7000 who have not bowed the knee to Baal, but Brother/Sister, where is the grief over the fact that the city once set on a hill has been removed, and the candle which once stood on a candlestick has been placed under a bushel! 

This sermon is a heart-cry, for another heaven-sent revival and a warning to those who have been placed in sound fellowships at this present time of famine, to not forsake where God has placed them, but to be grateful for the bread He has provided. 

Dec 7, 2020

Mark 5:35-36

Here we are again this Lord’s Day morning, back on the subject of faith!  Ah, but I say, Brother/Sister, can we ever tire of receiving what we need?  As food is to the stomach and petrol is to the engine, so faith is to the spiritual life of the believer, the vehicle through which he gains unlimited access to the marvellous and never-ending treasure stores of grace, without which he cannot live!  Can we ever tire of speaking about faith?  Can we ever exhaust its riches?  There’s not a day, not even a waking hour that you and I are not called upon to exercise it!  Faith is indispensable to the child of God; “...by it the elders obtained a good report” (Heb. 11:2) and by it, we hope also to obtain likewise in our generation, proving the God of our Fathers to be the same yesterday, today and forever!   

A strong exhortation sounds forth, calling the children of God to glorify the Lord in taking Him at His word.  Even in the face of apparent setback and disappointment, God is saying, be not afraid, only believe!

Dec 5, 2020

Knowing the Bible for Yourself (Pt. 7)

God has always emphasised that which is important through repetition, He did in with the Law by giving Israel in effect, four complimentary books of the Law (Exodus – Deuteronomy), and He does it again in the New, giving to His people four complimentary books of the Gospels.  As one reads through the Gospels, one will notice that whilst they are very similar and alike, they are not exactly the same.  Some things that appear in one book, for example, will not appear in another.  How are we to harmonise the apparent discrepancies and contradictions that appear between them?  Can something be said in two different ways and yet at the same time, both ways be correct?  What also of the parables?  Are we free to interpret them as we wish?  Is it okay to use allegory when seeking to interpret them? 

In this second and final teaching part exploring the Gospels, we provide some answers to the above questions as we continue our studies looking at how to harmonise the Gospels and interpret the parables of Jesus.

Download teaching notes (pdf)

https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/bethesdashalom/4b_Interpreting_the_Gospels_Pt2.pdf

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