Two killed at FNB Stadium

It shows that life can be lost at any moment. Scripture warns,

27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: ~ Hebrews 9:27

Crowd at FNB Earlier this afternoon, sadly two males were killed and many injured during a stampede at Gate-J leading into the FNB Stadium during the seventh edition* of the Carling Black Label Champion Cup between Soweto derby rivals Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. It is reported by News24:

Michael Sun, MMC for public safety for the City of Johannesburg, told News24 they were not sure what caused the stampede, but it is alleged that it involved the selling of fake tickets at the entry gates. (Source)

It is for this very reason why the Repent and Believe South Africa evangelism ministry preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ outside football stadiums, for tragedies can happen at any moment. So, were those who were killed ready to enter eternity? And, Are YOU Ready?

Police have barricaded the area were two males have died during a stampede at the FNB Stadium. (Larato Sejake, News24) To help you examine your life in view of eternity, please read the following gospel tract by clicking the photo Game Over hereunder:

Game Over

This is not the first time there has been loss of life at a Soweto derby match. On April 11, 2001 at the Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, a stampede at an ‘Orlando Derby’ soccer match between arch rivals Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates led to the death of 43 supporters.

But be reminded, the day of one’s death is never a second too late . . .

Soli Deo Gloria

_______________________________

* 29/07/2017

Kaizer Chiefs 1 – 0 Orlando Pirates

PAST FINALS

2016: Chiefs 2 Pirates 0

2015: Chiefs 1 Pirates 1
(Pirates win 4-3 on penalties)

2014: Chiefs 0 Pirates 0
(Pirates win 6-5 on penalties)

2013: Chiefs 1 Pirates 0

2012: Pirates 1 Chiefs 1
(Pirates win 5-4 on penalties)

2011: Pirates 0 Chiefs 0
(Pirates win 4-3 on penalties)

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The Gospel for Roman Catholics

A Gospel tract . . . the original PDF can be viewed Here.

_______________________________________________

The Gospel

for

Roman Catholics

~ With Compliments ~

clip_image002

Gary Stephen Crous

Cell: +27 (0) 72 221 1233

E-mail: luke9.23evangelism@gmail.com

Website: www.luke923evangelism.wordpress.com

The Gospel for Roman Catholics

The Bible, the infallible Word of God, declares in 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

Notice that He is called “the man Christ Jesus”. Yes, Jesus Christ was a Man! But He was also God: God manifest in the flesh. In the first chapter of John, we are told that Jesus Christ, “the Word”, is God Himself (v.1). He is the Second Person of the Godhead: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

All men are sinful by nature, and no man can ever be saved from his sins by his own works; his own efforts. The salvation of sinners is the work of God alone. And for this purpose God the Son, Jesus Christ, left heaven, taking upon Himself human nature (without laying aside His divine nature), being born miraculously of a young virgin (Matthew 1:18-25).

He grew up as all men do, with one difference: He lived a sinless life. This was essential because, in order to suffer the penalty for sin in the place of sinners, He had to be without sin Himself – a perfect Man. The totally innocent had to die for the totally guilty, for the punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:23).

When He died on the cross, He paid the penalty for sin, and shed His blood to wash away sins (Hebrews 9:22-28). And then He rose from the dead, destroying the power of death (Matthew 28:5-7; 1 Corinthians 15:55-57).

Jesus Christ is thus the way to eternal life. He is the only way, there is no other, for the Bible says that there is only one Mediator between God and men, and that is Jesus Christ. The only way to the Father is through Him (John 14:6).

Now before we see exactly how a sinner comes to God through Jesus Christ, let us consider the Roman Catholic teaching on salvation. There is only one way to be saved, whether you are a Roman Catholic or not. There is only one Mediator.

No man, according to Roman Catholic teaching, can have assurance of salvation in this life. The Roman Catholic Council of Trent declared that anyone who says they have assurance of salvation is anathema, that is, accursed!1 This means that one can never know whether one is saved or not. You must simply do the best you can, and hope that you have been good enough, by the time you die, to finally reach heaven (after spending an unknown period of time in purgatory).

There are certain things which every loyal Roman Catholic is taught to do, in order (supposedly) to earn his salvation; and each one is said to be essential to salvation. In Roman Catholicism there are seven “sacraments”, and any loyal Roman Catholic will know what these are: Baptism (by which a baby is said to be cleansed of original sin, and when it is supposedly “born again”); Penance (some deed to perform, given to a Roman Catholic by a priest, to atone for some sin; however, when he dies he will go to purgatory to be fully purified before entering heaven); the Holy Eucharist (“transubstantiation” is the doctrine that the bread and wine are literally changed into the body and blood of Christ, so that the Roman Catholic partakes of His actual flesh in the mass; also, Christ is, in effect, re-offered as a sacrifice to God; the mass is said to be the same sacrifice as that which He made on the cross); Confirmation (when the Roman Catholic is said to “receive the Holy Spirit”); and Extreme Unction (called “the sacrament of the anointing of the sick”, received at the point of death).

There are two other sacraments: the sacrament of Holy Matrimony is received when two Roman Catholics marry; and the sacrament of Holy Orders is for men who become priests. Thus the Roman Catholic, if he marries, must receive six of the seven sacraments in order to hope to be saved; five if he does not marry; and six if he enters the priesthood.

The sacraments are considered essential to salvation.2

But even the sacraments are not all there is to it. The Roman Catholic must be subject to all the doctrines of the Roman Catholic religion, regardless of whether or not they are supported by the Scriptures. He must, for example, believe the teaching that Mary is co-mediator with Jesus Christ; that she was conceived without original sin; that one should pray to her; that tradition is equal in authority with the Bible; etc. All the above can be verified by consulting official Roman Catholic works on these subjects. The list goes on and on.

And yet, even if he does all his church requires of him, he still cannot be sure he is saved. The best he can hope for, when he dies, is to go to purgatory until he is purified enough to enter heaven. And he has no idea how long that will take.

That, then, is the Roman Catholic teaching on salvation in a nutshell. And if you are an honest person, you will have to admit that it is a system of salvation by works. In other words, one attempts to earn one’s salvation.

Salvation by works, however, is contrary to what Scripture teaches. As was seen earlier, man is too wicked to earn his salvation by good works. God Himself has to redeem men. Man cannot keep God’s holy law, but Jesus Christ kept it perfectly; and when He died on the cross, He died for the sins of all those the Father had given Him to save.

In contrast to what the Roman Catholic institution says, the Bible, the very Word of God, declares that salvation is by grace through faith. What does this mean?

Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). When we entered the world, we were born physically; but to be born again means to be born spiritually. In the sight of God, sinful man is dead in sins, and in such a state he cannot enter heaven. A person needs to become a new creature before he or she can live forever with the Lord. The new birth is the work of God alone, who opens the heart (Acts 16:14), and gives the gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8,9), enabling the sinner to believe on Christ.

The Bible declares, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). If the Lord has made you conscious of your sinfulness, then by faith, flee to Christ! “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Christ died for the sins of His people, and rose again from the dead for their justification (Romans 4:25).

Repent of your sins. Cry out to the Lord to forgive you your sins, and forsake them. The Word of God says, “REPENT, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). Jesus said, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). In 2 Corinthians 7:10 we read, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation”. True sorrow for sins brings about true repentance, which results in salvation.

Repent, and receive Christ by faith as Lord and Saviour. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “But as many as RECEIVED him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12,13). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). This is the sure Word of the Lord!

Salvation is a gift. It is NOT something we can earn by doing certain things. “For by grace [God’s grace, His undeserved favour] are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves [we cannot earn it]: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast [none will ever be able to boast of having earned salvation by his own works]” (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a gift of God (Romans 6:23). What is more, if you truly come to the Lord in faith and repentance, you can have the assurance that you are saved! “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).

The ONLY way to be saved from sin and death – that death which means total separation from God, and eternity in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15) – is through faith in Jesus Christ, in His shed blood (Romans 3:25).

The way to heaven is not a complicated system. It is a Person. Call upon the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ!

A Roman Catholic who is converted to Christ must (and will) leave the Roman Catholic institution. The reason is clear. This false religion does not teach that a person is saved by grace through faith. It teaches salvation by works. All that Romanism teaches about salvation is contrary to God’s Word. It says that no-one can have the assurance of salvation; the Bible says that those who are truly saved can have this assurance. It divides sin into two classes (mortal and venial); the Bible makes no such distinction. ALL sin brings death (Romans 6:23). It teaches that baptism is essential to salvation; the Bible teaches that baptism is simply a sign to show outwardly what has happened inwardly. A Christian is to be baptized, not in order to be saved, because he already is saved (Acts 2:38-41: repentance comes before baptism).

Roman Catholicism teaches that one must do penance; but the Bible says that one must repent. Penance is some external work, which is not good enough: God requires a change of heart. Roman Catholicism teaches that men must confess to a priest, who forgives them; but the Bible says that only God can forgive sins (Luke 11:4; Matthew 9:6).

The Roman Catholic religion teaches transubstantiation; but the Bible declares that the Lord’s table is something Christians are to partake of simply in remembrance of the Lord (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). The bread and wine do not really become His flesh and blood. They simply represent it. Rome teaches, in effect, that Christ is re-sacrificed in the mass; but the Bible says that Christ does not offer Himself often, but has offered Himself once, and once only, on the cross (Hebrews 9:25-28).

Rome teaches that one must be confirmed; but nowhere is confirmation mentioned in the Bible. It is a human invention. Likewise, there is no scriptural foundation for what is called “extreme unction.”

As for the doctrines concerning Mary: 1 Timothy 2:5, as was seen, makes it clear that Jesus is the ONLY Mediator between God and men. Mary herself admitted that she was a sinner, by calling God her Saviour (Luke 1:47). So she could not have been conceived without original sin. Nor are we to pray to her, for she was only a mere mortal, and men are to pray to God alone (Luke 11:2, etc.).

Tradition is equal in authority with the Bible, according to the Roman Catholic religion. But how can human traditions be as authoritative as the Word of Almighty God? God’s Word is the final authority (2 Timothy 3:15-17; Isaiah 8:20, etc.).

As for purgatory: nowhere in the Bible is this mentioned. Heaven, yes; hell, yes; but not purgatory (John 14:2; Revelation 21:8; etc.). The saved shall go to heaven, the unsaved to hell. This is God’s revelation. Purgatory is a human invention.

Receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, by faith! Repent with all your heart of your sins! And leave the Roman Catholic institution! It is not a Christian church, but an impostor, described in Revelation 17 and 18, and called the Great Whore. “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).

SHAUN WILLCOCK

ENDNOTES:

1. Council of Trent, Session VI, “Decree on Justification”, chapters 9 and 12, and Canons 13 and 15.

2. Council of Trent, Session VII, “Decree on the Sacraments”, Canon 4.

If you have repented of your sins and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, or if you would like to know more about Him, His Gospel, and the true Christian life, please contact us.

Published by:

Bible Based Ministries, South Africa

info@biblebasedministries.co.uk

http://www.biblebasedministries.co.uk

Distributed by:

Contending for the Faith Ministries

42055 Crestland Drive

Lancaster, CA 93536

USA

This tract may be copied for free distribution if it is copied in full

Reincarnation . . . or Resurrection?

A Gospel tract . . . the original PDF can be viewed HERE.

_______________________________________________

REINCARNATION . . .

OR

RESURRECTION?

~ A Message to Hindus ~

~ With Compliments ~

clip_image002

Gary Stephen Crous

Cell: +27 (0) 72 221 1233

E-mail: luke9.23evangelism@gmail.com

Website: http://www.luke923evangelism.wordpress.com

  Many, many centuries ago, it is recorded, a man named Job asked this question: “If a man die, shall he live again?” It has been asked by men throughout the ages. Is death the end of our existence?

  Hindus answer that it is not; for they believe in reincarnation: that a soul goes through a cycle of birth and rebirth. And according to what is called the “law of karma,” it is believed that one’s present circumstances in life are the result of the good or evil done in one’s past lives. Reincarnation and karma thus go together in Hindu teaching.

But is all this true? And how may we know?

  It is in the book called the Bible that there is the record of the man, Job, who asked that question long ago: “If a man die, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14). Throughout the ages, men have desired, and sought for, the answer to this! But Job knew the answer to his own question. He immediately went on to say, “all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come”; but the change that he was referring to was not that he would be reincarnated! For he did not believe in this. He said, “I know that my Redeemer liveth” (Job 19:25). His faith was in a living Redeemer! And because this was so, he was able to say also, with great assurance, “in my flesh shall I see God” (Job 19:26) – that is to say, in the very same body he had right then – not in another body! Job believed in the resurrection of his body to newness of life, not in being reincarnated into another physical body altogether. And when he spoke of waiting till his “change” came, he meant that he would wait for the time of his death, when he knew he would exchange his life on earth for one in heaven for eternity.

  And the Redeemer whom he firmly believed in was Jesus Christ, whom the Bible declares to be the Son of God, and who said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die” (John 11:25,26); and by these wonderful words He meant that the one who believes in Him shall never die spiritually or eternally; and even though his body dies physically for a time, he shall be raised from the dead in the selfsame body, and shall live in heaven with Christ for ever.

  Jesus also said, “the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His [Jesus’] voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:28,29).

  Thus, on the one hand, there is the teaching of Hinduism concerning reincarnation; and on the other hand, the teaching of the Bible concerning resurrection.

  But which one is the truth? And how may we know?

  It is only reasonable to ask: where is the evidence that reincarnation is true? And an honest enquirer will have to admit that there is simply no evidence whatsoever. It is something which is believed – but the Hindu must ask: why exactly do I believe in it? The plain fact is that there is no evidence for it at all.

  Now at this point the Hindu has every right to ask, “But where is the evidence that what the Bible says about the resurrection is true?”

  There is proof: most certainly there is! And if space permitted, we could examine this abundant evidence: e.g. the fact that the Bible, written over many centuries, by many different men, contains no contradictions or errors whatsoever; the fact that it is full of astounding prophecies which have been fulfilled down to the smallest detail; etc. This is just a small portion of the evidence that the Bible is the Word of God, and therefore, when it tells us about the resurrection, it tells us the truth. But here we will examine, as solid evidence for the resurrection, the resurrection of Jesus Christ Himself from the dead!

  After Jesus died, He was not reincarnated – He was resurrected! The very same body He had when He died, was raised to life again!

  The resurrection of Christ is an historical fact, proved by ample evidence. The apostles were men who were eyewitnesses of Christ after His resurrection (Acts 1:22). One of them, Peter, said, “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses” (Acts 2:32; also Acts 3:15). And a disciple named Luke wrote that to the apostles Christ showed Himself alive after He had died “by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days” (Acts 1:3); and then He ascended back to heaven (Acts 1:9-11; Luke 24:50,51).

  But did these men really witness Christ’s resurrection? They certainly did! They suffered much persecution, because they preached that Christ had died and risen again (1 Corinthians 4:9-13). It stands to reason that they were either good men, or bad men. If they were good men, they would not have lied about Christ’s resurrection! And if they were bad men and had lied, would they have willingly suffered so much for the sake of a tale they themselves invented? Certainly not! Despite their sufferings and even martyrdoms, they continued to preach the resurrection of Christ – for they knew it was true! They were good and godly men, called by God to bear witness to the truth of Christ’s resurrection. And the many mighty miracles which they performed in the Name of the risen Christ confirmed that what they were saying about Him was the truth! – or God would never have authenticated their message in such a wonderful way (Mark 16:17-20; Hebrews 2:3,4).

  And furthermore, there were hundreds of other witnesses of the resurrected Christ! Paul the apostle wrote of Christ, “And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures: and that He was seen of Cephas [Peter], then of the twelve [apostles]: after that, He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once…. After that, He was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all He was seen of me also” (1 Corinthians 15:4-8). Over five hundred people saw Jesus after His resurrection! In a court of law, a case would be considered amply proved, beyond all shadow of doubt, if there were five hundred witnesses!

  Yes, Jesus rose from the dead, and in the same body which He had when He died. When He appeared to His disciples after His resurrection, He said, “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have” (Luke 24:39). He was resurrected – not reincarnated!

  Therefore, to return to the question, “Where is the proof, the evidence, that what the Bible says about the resurrection of the dead is true?” The evidence is in the amply-attested fact that God the Father raised Jesus Christ His Son from the dead! And so we can be certain that when Christ taught that all men will be resurrected, either to eternal life or eternal damnation (e.g. in John 5:28,29), He was telling the truth! The Bible says most solemnly, “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). There is no reincarnation after death, but there is divine judgment! At death, the body returns to dust until the resurrection, but the soul goes either to heaven or to hell, for all eternity.

  Who is Jesus? The Bible reveals that there is only one true and living God (Deuteronomy 6:4), who eternally exists in three divine Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; 1 John 5:7). Jesus Christ is God the Son. Being God, He existed from all eternity; but He came into the world as a man to redeem (i.e. to purchase the spiritual freedom of) His chosen people from all nations; He was miraculously conceived in the womb of a virgin; and thus was God manifest in the flesh (Galatians 4:4,5; Luke 1:26-35; 1 Timothy 3:16). And His purpose in coming into the world was to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15), by living a life of perfect sinlessness and obedience to God the Father, and dying on a cross in the place of sinful men and women, suffering the penalty that they should have suffered for their sins, as their great and perfect Substitute, their sins being laid upon Him by God the Father (2 Corinthians 5:18-21; Isaiah 53:4-7; 1 Peter 3:18). Then He rose from the dead, conquering death for all those He came to save, and ascended back to heaven, from where He will come again to gather His redeemed people to Himself, taking them to be with Him in heaven for ever (Romans 6:9,10; 1 Corinthians 15:20-26,51-57; John 14:1-6).

  Returning, then, to Job’s all-important question: “If a man die, shall he live again?” If saved from his sins by faith in Christ, he will live forever in heaven with the Lord; but if not saved from his sins, he will spend eternity suffering the torments of hell.

  What is sin? Sin is the transgression of the holy law of God (1 John 3:4). And all men and women on earth have transgressed it! All are guilty, and deserve damnation because of their sins. Sin proceeds from within the heart of man. Sin is every wicked thought, word, or deed; every act of rebellion against God (Mark 7:20-22; Romans 1:28-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9,10; Galatians 5:19-21). Sin also includes the worship of idols of all kinds (Romans 1:21-23). And Hinduism is full of idolatry!

  It is absolutely essential, then, to know the answer to another all-important question: “How may I be saved from my sins?”

  Hinduism teaches a form of salvation by one’s own works, or efforts. The belief that present actions affect future happiness or sorrow, is what motivates the Hindu to do various good deeds. Thus the motive for doing good deeds is not, first and foremost, for the benefit of others, but for one’s own benefit! This is the notion of salvation by one’s own works; and it is an impossibility!

  The Bible says, “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us” (Titus 3:4,5). And, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9). Grace is God’s undeserved favour. Faith is the gift of God, and those to whom it is given believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation; and thus, by God’s grace, they are saved from their sins through faith in Christ. Salvation, we are emphatically told, is not of works!

  The answer, then, to the all-important question, “How may I be saved?” is faith in Jesus Christ alone. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31)! Believe, with all your heart, in He who is the Son of the living God; the only Saviour of sinners; the Way, the Truth, and the Life. When He hung on the cross, the sins of all His chosen people were laid upon Him; and He died for them. He suffered the penalty that they should have suffered for their own sins – He suffered in their place! Of Christ it is written in God’s Word, “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:5,6). “For He [God the Father] hath made Him [God the Son, Jesus Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

  The Lord Jesus died in the place of sinners. And whosoever truly believes in Him will not perish eternally, but have everlasting life (John 3:15,16).

  The one who is brought to see his own sinfulness in the sight of God who is holy, must repent of his sins, and believe in Christ! To repent is to turn from sin; to forsake it. If you have been pricked in your heart, and are crying out, “What shall I do?” the answer is, “Repent” (Acts 2:37,38), and “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 16:31)! “For there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”, than the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).

  And good works? Salvation is not by works; but the Bible says that true believers are “created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). This means that although no man is saved by his works, but only by God’s grace through faith in Christ, yet once he is truly saved, he will demonstrate this fact by the good works that he does. Good works are the evidence of salvation, not the cause of salvation.

  Dear Hindu reader: do not be deceived! “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12). Hinduism is, truly, “a way which seemeth right’; but it is not. It is deceptive, and leads to hell, as all false religion does. Jesus said, “Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat” (Matthew 7:13). Hinduism is just such a broad way to eternal destruction. Jesus also said, “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (v.14). This “narrow way to life” is Christ Himself, who is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Enter into eternal life by turning from your sins and from false religion, and by believing in the only One who can save your soul – the Son of God Himself, Jesus Christ the Lord and Saviour!

SHAUN WILLCOCK

If you have repented of your sins and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, or if you would like to know more about Him, His Gospel, and the true Christian life, please contact us.

Published by:

Bible Based Ministries, South Africa

info@biblebasedministries.co.uk

http://www.biblebasedministries.co.uk

Distributed by:

Contending for the Faith Ministries

42055 Crestland Drive

Lancaster, CA 93536

USA

This tract may be copied for free distribution if it is copied in full

Some Straight Talking

This is a new Gospel tract . . .

___________________________________________

Some

Straight

Talking

 

No Sugar-Coating;

No Beating about the Bush;

Just the Plain, Gospel Truth . . .

~ With Compliments ~

clip_image002

Gary Stephen Crous

Cell: +27 (0) 72 221 1233

E-mail: luke9.23evangelism@gmail.com

Website: http://www.luke923evangelism.wordpress.com

Who is Jesus Christ?

   You may have no idea. You may not care. You may think you know something about Him, or you may think you know all about Him. You may even claim to be one of His disciples. Or you may not.

   That He was a true man who lived on earth some 2000 years ago is a well-attested fact of history. No single individual who has ever lived has had such an effect, such an impact, on the world. For 2000 years, He has dominated the history of the human race. Many have loved Him more than life itself. Many have hated Him and those who follow Him. Who was He? Who is He? And why does He matter? Should He matter to you?

   Jesus once asked His disciples this question: “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?”

   There were many opinions about Him, and His disciples told Him what men were saying. But then He said to them, “But whom say ye that I am?”

   One of His disciples, Simon Peter, answered, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus exclaimed, “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” This is found in the Bible, in Matthew 16:13-17.

   “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” Reader, you may have heard the opinions of many men about Jesus. Some say one thing, some say another. But hear Jesus speaking: “But whom say ye that I am?” Whom do you say that He is? Men’s opinions count for nothing; all that matters is the truth. The answer to the question Jesus asked is the most important answer that you will ever give to any question in your life. Do you answer that you don’t know? Or that you don’t care? Perhaps you answer that He was just a man? Perhaps a great man, perhaps even a prophet, but no more than that? Jesus certainly claimed to be much more than that! He claimed to be the Christ, the Son of the living God. And He also claimed to be the only way, truth, and life; and that no man comes to God the Father, but by Him (John 14:6). And the Bible, which tells us about Him, says of Him: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, where we must be saved” (Acts 4:12) – saved from our sins.

   The true Gospel has nothing to do with meetings using crowd-pulling gimmicks, providing “thrills” or “entertainment,” nor has it anything to do with wild promises about bodily “healing” and other “miracles,” nor is it about pomp and ritual, nor is it a political message, nor a social one, nor is it driven by “pop psychology”. What you are about to read is the simple, plain, Gospel truth. No sugar-coating to make it more palatable, no beating about the bush. Just the plain, Gospel truth about Jesus Christ, the only Lord and Saviour.

   Perhaps you are burdened by a sense of your sin, and are longing to be at peace with God? Then read on! The Bible says, “As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country” (Proverbs 25:25). The Gospel means the glad tidings, or good news; and truly, the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is good news from a “far country,” from heaven itself, “good tidings of great joy” (Luke 2:10), the greatest news ever heard on earth: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”! (1 Timothy 1:15). And “He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him”! (Hebrews 7:25).

   The fact is, all men and women are sinners, and sin is a terrible thing: it is the transgression of the perfect and holy law of God, and it has separated all mankind from God. Those who die in their sins suffer the torments of eternal fire. Jesus said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13,14). The Lord Jesus Christ Himself is that strait gate, and narrow way, that leads to life! “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” Jesus said; “no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). If you, then, are asking, “What must I do to be saved from my sins?” here is the answer: “Repent”! (Acts 2:38); and, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). Forsake your sin, repent of it, turn from it, and believe, with all your heart, in Jesus Christ! To believe in Him is more, much more, than merely an intellectual head-knowledge about Him; it is to cast yourself upon Him, by faith, for salvation. He is the Son of the living God, holy, harmless, undefiled, sinless, the only Lord and Saviour.

   He died on a cross, He was crucified, not for His own sins – for He had none of His own – but for the sins of His chosen people, those given to Him by His heavenly Father to save, paying the penalty for sin in their place, shedding His blood to redeem them. And after dying in their place, the wrath of God being poured out upon Him, having satisfied the justice of God and having put away the sins of those He died for by the sacrifice of Himself, He rose from the dead, victorious over death, sin, and Satan; and He gives eternal life to as many as the Father has given Him. Eternal life cannot be earned, and it cannot be bought; it is the gift of God through Jesus Christ the Lord. He alone is the One who can save the soul and set the spiritual captive free! Forsake your sin, turn to the Lord by faith, and be saved!

SHAUN WILLCOCK

If you have repented of your sins and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, or if you would like to know more about Him, His Gospel, and the true Christian life, please contact us.

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365 Years Ago Today . . .

24  God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
25  Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
26  And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
27  That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: ~ Acts 17:24-27

Today is the 365th Anniversary (6th April 1652 – 6th April 2017)since Commander Johan “Jan” van Riebeeck from the V.O.C. (Dutch East Indies Company) landed at the Kaap de Goede Hoop (the Cape of Good Hoop) which is present day Cape Town. A God fearing man of Dutch Reformed Christianity, came to the fairest Cape and brought with him and his fellow Dutchmen the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Here is the original Resolution prayer in Dutch for the work that lay ahead in establishing the refreshment post at the Cape:

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These historical documents are from the Precis of the Archives of the Cape of Good Hope – December, 1651 to December, 1653 – of Riebeeck’s Journal translated into English and stored in typed text by H. C. V. Leibrandt, Keeper of the Archives, 1897. The following extracts are a log of events as the Drommedaris sailed southwards from Texel in Holland to the Cape.

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Further readings of this historical day in South African History, can be read at these blog links:

Ten Grand Tract

Soli Deo Gloria

Is there a pre-tribulation rapture?

What does GOD’s Holy Word really say in the Christian Doctrine of Eschatology – the “study of end-times” – pertaining to the “rapture”? And does the Latin word for “caught up” being rapturo mean a literal “pre-tribulation rapture”?  

The Dispensationalist Futuristic Eschatology believers advocate the “rapture of the Church” prior to the great tribulation described in the Book of Revelation when GOD pours out His wrath upon men left on the earth as well as on His ‘chosen people’ from the House of Israel, the Jews, who will be experiencing Jacob’s Trouble in fulfilment of Daniel’s prophecy concerning the seven-year tribulation. As the pre-trib advocates’  interpretation goes, the Church has been “raptured out of the earth” and are in heaven and will therefore not be present when GOD pours out His vial judgments upon the earth. This can then leave born-again Christians with an understanding that we need not worry about the mark of the beast or ever being deceived by the anti-christ, the beast or the false prophet, or taking “. . . the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Rev 13:17) as “the Church” will not be present on the earth during the tribulation!

The English evangelist Leonard Ravenhill (June 18, 1907 – November 27, 1994) put it aptly, quote: “Today’s church wants to be raptured from responsibility.” Is this a true reflection of modern churchianity? In Scripture we learn that “there is no respect of persons with God” and that Jew and Gentile will be treated justly in salvation by His judgment and His reward, as we read,

16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. ~ Romans 1:16

9  Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 
10  But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 
11  For there is no respect of persons with God. ~ Romans 2:9-11

So what does Scripture then really say concerning the “rapture” and its timing? Let us first look at the verses that “pre-tribulation rapture dispensationalists” use to advocate the rapture taking place before the great tribulation where our Lord Jesus Christ “returns” for His Church in the air, but does not “come to the earth”. We read in 1 Thessalonians 4 the following,

14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17

The apostle Paul is addressing the ekklesia at Thessalonica and explaining the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and its relationship with the dead, “which sleep in Jesus”, and the believers who are “alive and remain” when the Lord Jesus comes. The context can be gleaned from certain words and verses that confirm this. In 1 Thessalonians 3:13 Paul writes “To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.” (Emphasis added by writer in bold and hereafter throughout). This “To the end” is of time that Paul speaks of when the believers will appear before GOD and Paul confirms it by saying “at the coming” of our Lord Jesus Christ. He does not say at the fetching of His Church, but “at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” Who will not come to fetch His Church alone, but “with all his saints.” The question to the pre-trib rapture advocates, is: Why does our Lord Jesus Christ come fetch His Church in the air bringing with Him “all his saints” only to return back to heaven with His saints again?

Paul then starts chapter 4 with the words, “FURTHERMORE then we beseech you . . .”; the apostle Paul continues with the emphasis of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, but now exhorts and gives instructions to the ekklesia about holy living which is leading up to him reiterating the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know,

14  Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: ~ Hebrews 12:14

In 1 Thessalonians 4:14, the apostle Paul speaks of our belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus and states that the believers “which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” This is pertaining to the first resurrection of “the dead in Christ” (1 Thess 4:16), as we also read, for it is written,

4  And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 
6  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. ~ Revelation 20:4-6

Those believers “which sleep in Jesus” who died during their lifetime before the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, God will bring with Him. It should also be noted from the preceding portion of Scripture in Revelation 20:4 that the souls that take part in the first resurrection “. . . were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; . . .” and therefore it is common sense from a literal reading of GOD’s Word that they must have been present at the time of the worshipping of the beast and of his image and the receiving, i.e. the giving, of the mark of the beast. The apostle Paul writes that the “dead in Christ” will be raised to life and those “which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord” (1 Thess 4:15) “. . . shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thess 4:17). Twice the phrase “alive and remain” is used in 1 Thessalonians 4:15 and 17 in reference to those living at the time. Interestingly Paul uses the “we” which is the first person plural, for since the time of Pentecost all believers were living with an expectation of the soon returning Lord Jesus Christ, and the end-days started almost two thousand years ago. We too live with an imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ perspective, and it was no different back then in first century A.D., in the year of our Lord. We read in Scripture that we are to “watch” for we know not when the time is for the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, for it is written for our instruction,

35  Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
36  Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
37  And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
~ Mark 13:35-37

36  Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. ~ Luke 21:36

6  Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:6

7  But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. ~ 1 Peter 4:7

3  Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. ~ Revelation 3:3

The word “remain” in the phrase “alive and remain” (1 Thess 4:15,17) is the Greek word,

G4035 περιλείπω , perileipō, per-ee-li’-po; from G4012 and G3007; to leave all around, that is, (passive) survive: – remain.

It speaks of “survive”. To survive is to overcome something, be put through something! It is used in these verses speaking of the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and this can only be that the believers have survived the wickedness upon the earth and the “seven-year great tribulation”!

The reason why these Scriptures can only be describing the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is the wording that is used. In 1 Thessalonians 4:16 Paul writes, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven . . .”. To descend is to physically come down. To descend will also be a physical sighting of our Lord and if this portion of Scripture was for the “pre-tribulation rapture” of the Church then our Lord’s descending would constitute the second coming and the actual second coming would then constitute a third coming! This is false teaching and heresy! The descending is also not a “secretive rapture” as many argue, but there are announcements at the coming of the Lord with “shouts, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump [trumpet] of God”. All will know and see the Lord is coming and there will be further evidence as the graves will open and would have the dead in Christ rising first in the first resurrection.

If the “Church of Christ” is “raptured up to heaven” before the tribulation and we are to appear before the bema seat of Christ to be judged and receive our rewards as per 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 during the seven-year tribulation period on the earth as the pre-trib advocates believe, then when do the tribulation saints appear before the throne of our Lord Jesus Christ to have their works tested by fire – gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble?

Further questions which need to be answered, are: Should “new” tribulation saints die in Christ during the tribulation period, when do they get resurrected? Will it be at the second coming after the tribulation? If the dead in Christ are raised at the then second coming of Christ after the great tribulation, will this not then constitute a second resurrection of the dead in Christ which goes contrary to what Scripture tells us in Revelation 20:4-6 above? The second resurrection is for the dead unto eternal damnation!! Further, if the “pre-tribulation raptured Church” have appeared in heaven at the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9), why have the new tribulation saints been excluded from the Lord’s marriage supper? Would these tribulation saints be deemed second-class believers in Christ and therefore not be partaking in His marriage supper? You can see that the pre-tribulation rapture theory is contrary to the Word of GOD!

It is not preposterous for the genuinely born-again believers who are alive at the great tribulation for them to pass through the tribulation. Many believers even today are losing their bodily lives through persecution and even tribulation. There are disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ who have lost their physical lives in tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, cyclones, landslides, great forest fires, electrical storms, violent accidents and other disasters, including wars and diseases, and yet spiritually they are saved from the wrath of GOD of eternal damnation. Scripture reveals that GOD can save those He will as according to His Divine purpose for His Glory, for “. . . The Lord knoweth them that are his . . .” (see 2 Timothy 2:19). YEHOVAH (YHVH) is able to save His elect saints – Jew and Gentile – and even in the midst of the great tribulation of Revelation which is to come. In Exodus GOD gives us assurance that He is able to protect His chosen people when He placed them in the land of Goshen in Egypt when He brought the plagues upon the Egyptian Pharaoh and his nation. None of the plagues touched GOD’s chosen people as we read some select Scriptures with emphasis by the blog’s writer concerning,

The plague of flies –

21  Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are.
22  And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth.
23  And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be. ~ Exodus 8:21-23

The murrain of beasts –

3  Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain. 
4  And the LORD shall sever between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all that is the children’s of Israel. 
5  And the LORD appointed a set time, saying, To morrow the LORD shall do this thing in the land. 
6  And the LORD did that thing on the morrow, and all the cattle of Egypt died: but of the cattle of the children of Israel died not one. 
7  And Pharaoh sent, and, behold, there was not one of the cattle of the Israelites dead. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go. ~ Exodus 9:3-7

The plague of hail –

23  And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt.
24  So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.
25  And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field.
26  Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail. ~ Exodus 9:23-26

The darkness –

21  And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.
22  And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days:
23  They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings. ~ Exodus 10:21-23

The firstborn –

4  And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: 
5  And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. 
6  And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more. 
7  But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. ~ Exodus 11:4-7

Therefore, from reading the preceding Scriptures from the Book of Exodus all things are possible with GOD and even in the midst of the great tribulation of Revelation, GOD can keep His people safe and untouched.

We further know that the Scriptures in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and 17, could only be referring to our Lord Jesus Christ’s second coming at the last trumpet and not a “pre-tribulation rapture”, for we read,

50  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
51  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:50-53

And when does the last trumpet take place? Certainly not before the great tribulation of the Book of Revelation! For we read concerning the “elect” (and this portion of Scripture is not just for the Jews as some erroneously believe) when we read in Matthew 24, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” (Matt 24:15) which event takes place before the days of the elect spoken of in Matthew 24:21-24 concerning “21 . . . great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. 23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”  These events all precede, as it is written,

29  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 
30  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 
31  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
~ Matthew 24:29-31

There is therefore sufficient proof from GOD’s Word that there is no pre-tribulation rapture. The rapture, a catching up of the dead in Christ and those that are alive and remain will take place at the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ immediately after the tribulation, i.e. post-tribulation. In closing, is ‘Chart No. 5 – The Seven Thousand Years of Human History’ then a true representation of what the Holy Bible teaches? Clarence Larkin (1850-1924), a dispensationalist, studied the Scriptures and “with the help of some books that fell into his hands, led him to adopt many of the tenets of the premillennialist theology that was gaining favor in conservative Protestant circles in the Gilded Age.”* It is widely accepted that the teachings of the pre-tribulation rapture theory was invented in the 19th century by a man named John Nelson Darby (1800-1882) who is considered to be the father of modern Dispensationalism and Futurism (“the Rapture” in the English vernacular)**.

The Seven Thousand Years of Human History

In Larkin’s aforementioned chart (click to enlarge) the pre-tribulation rapture is depicted and taught to have taken place before the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in A.D. 2000! We are now in the year 2016 A.D. and therefore what has been recorded in Clarence Larkin’s chart as “gospel truth” is false for neither had the “rapture” taken place neither had Christ returned in the year 2000 A.D.!

The plumbline of GOD’s Word is not what men teach, but what GOD’s Word tells us! Let GOD be true, but every man a liar.Soli Deo Gloria

________________________________

Footnotes:

* Clarence Larkin http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence_Larkin

** Christianity Today: Christian History, John Nelson Darby, http://christianitytoday.com/history/people/pastorsandpreachers/john-nelson-darby.html and http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Nelson_Darby

My friends are dying . . .

. . . and though they be alive, they are dead men walking!

 Pirates FC 1986 Natal League Cup winners

Dear friends,

This is a clarion call to all my past, present and future friends – a clarion call trumpeted to all known Football Association (soccer) players, managers, coaches, administrators, officials and referees i have had the privilege of meeting, playing for and playing against, and also having socialised with over the past years.

This cry out is pertinent at this most urgent time we live in. Being a member in two social media groups on Facebook – titled ‘Natal League’ and ‘The Old MDFA Soccer Days (Shamrocks, Pirates, Savages, Park Villa)’ – i take this opportunity to make right any wrongs i have committed against any individual or club team in the football (soccer) fraternity i had been a part of since my junior days at Fynnland FC on The Bluff, Durban in the early 1970s, at Empangela Park FC in Empangeni, Zululand and from 1980 at various clubs under the Pietermaritzburg and District Football Association (MDFA) and Natal Football Association (NFA). Please forgive me for any wrongs committed against you in our past playing days . . .

Since 1980, some would say i have had more ‘clubs’ than South African golfer Gary Player – having played at various stages for Pirates FC (U17 to Seniors MDFA and Natal League), Shamrocks FC (MDFA, Natal Premier Reserve League and The Witness Regional League), Howick FC (MDFA), Hearts FC (MDFA) and Savages FC (MDFA ‘Barflies’ and Over 35s) and as an ‘unofficial player’ for the University of Natal: Pietermaritzburg at the RAU Inter-Varsities Tournament in the 80’s!

Over the past few years or so, many of our generation of players and coaches have died and passed on into eternity. Some have hopefully died with a living hope, whilst others have sadly and tragically died with no hope at all and are damned for all eternity. It is for this very reason i come to you my friends, in love, with this message: My friends are dying and though they be alive, they are dead men walking!

Bill Shankly Liverpool FC 1959-1974 Bill Shankly, a Liverpool manager on Merseyside from 1959–1974 is quoted as saying: “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.”[*] Well, the socialist William “Bill” Shankly came to realise on Tuesday 29th September 1981 at the age of 68 when he passed into eternity[**] that football is not “much, much more important” than life and death, when he died of a heart attack. The front page headline of the Liverpool Echo newspaper read: SHANKLY IS DEAD. It recorded the official Broadgreen Hospital statement: “Mr Shankly suffered a cardiac arrest at 00.30 am and was certified dead at 01.20. Shanks had been battling for life since he suffered a heart attack early on Saturday morning. He had been making good progress until his condition deteriorated yesterday morning and he was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit. His wife Nessie was by his side when he died.”

shanksfuneralspt81 Dear friends, how will your epithet read one day when you pass from this life into eternity? Will you be remembered as having lived with a hope and being born-again? Or, will you be remembered as having wasted your life and being damned for all eternity? GOD’s Word tells us in advance, giving a clear warning, whether you believe it or not,

27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: ~ Hebrews 9:27

Friends, whilst we played our football according to the prescribed Football Association (FA) Laws, the matches always had foul play in them. As in life so in football – every law broken has a consequence to the lawbreaking: in football the consequences would be a free-kick, a penalty, a booking or a sending-off which latter offence would most likely have ended up in a suspension for the offending culprit, or the like.

Therefore, it is a no-brainer that whilst the games were played hard, they were certainly never fair. Lawbreaking of the Football Association Rule Book were always common place and practice. Be it stealing ground at throw-ins and free-kicks, lying about whether the ball came off your opponent last before going out of bounds with cries of “My Ball!!!”, cheating by pulling shirts, shorts or other body parts to gain an unfair advantage, diving illegally, or feigning injury or an unfair tackle to punish your opponent, or even more callously by deliberately “going over the top” which could result in a broken leg or ankle! These were the grievous deeds we mostly participated in – however a minority did try to play the game hard and fair – and whilst many of you might cry ‘foul’ and say it is the nature of the game, these actions were a direct result of a competitive and covetous spirit that lusted for vain glory – vanity of vanities!

Pirates Reunion 2009 Friends, our socialising after matches were also played hard. From my own experiences as many of you can vouch for back in the day; and yes, many of you too, have engaged in many of these following practices. Filthy and foul language used with open abandonment by and amongst ourselves, not even taking into consideration the ‘ladies’ or ‘elderly’ in our company, and engaging in crude joking. Drunkenness and vile affections were not only practiced but encouraged amongst our mates. Gossip and slander were often directed at some players and coaches and the referees and linesmen – often referred to as “The Three Blind Mice” – never escaped poisonous tongues, and sadly often carried the brunt and anger from the players for a lost game or decisions that never went a particular way. We also indulged in many late nights that carried on into the wee hours of the morning filling ourselves with copious amounts of poisonous alcoholic beverages, or maybe philandering and chasing after some skirt at nightclubs like Da Vincis, Crowded House, The Black Stag, Stables and at our various clubhouses amongst others  PMB Collegians, The Wanderers Club and the Midlands Club to mention but a few watering-holes.

In reality, by our actions it revealed to us that we were – and to a degree, many are still – wretched lawbreakers. The Holy Bible sums up lawbreakers as sinners. In 1 John we read,

4  Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. ~ 1 John 3:4

In this Scripture, the law mentioned is GOD’s commandments and not man’s football laws. Man has a real dilemma – for there is none that is righteous, no not one. Man is conceived and born into this world in sin as a result of Adam and Eve’s sin against GOD in the Garden of Eden, and as a direct result thereof mankind is already condemned unto a physical and a spiritual death until such time that he/she comes to “. . . repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (see Acts 20:21). We read about the soul that sins, and that each person is answerable for their own sin,

20  The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. ~ Ezekiel 18:20

Don't Judge Me!So, how we have in time past, and even now in the present, conducted our lives as can be seen from the above descriptions, man’s actions are referred to most clearly in GOD’s Word. In the Bible, there is correction brought against the hypocritical Pharisees and scribes in a story in their day, which is still applicable for us today, where the Lord Jesus Christ says that a man is not defiled by eating with filthy hands for the things eaten passes through the body, but what comes out of a man is what defiles a man, for it is the issues of the heart, as we read,

20  And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.
21  For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
22  Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
23  All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
~ Mark 7:20-23

We further read of the serious predicament that sinful man has,

19  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 
20  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 
21  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. ~ Galatians 5:19-21

We can also read what the apostle Paul had to say to the church in Corinth,

9  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 
10  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 
11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. ~ 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Scripture tells us,

23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; ~ Romans 3:23

And therefore, not all are washed, not all are sanctified, and not all are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of GOD. Verse 11 of 1 Corinthians above was written to believers and not wretched sinners, for we read,

4  Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. ~ James 4:4

It is for this very reason that this plea is made to you, to humble yourself and cry out to GOD to save you, if HE is speaking to you by drawing you to HIMSELF, for none of your works righteousness’s (in other words, your bribes, your so-called good deeds, your filthy works, etc.) can get GOD to turn HIS wrath away from your account before HIM come Judgment Day! Even all the memories, the accolades, medals and trophies that you have accumulated through-out your football career is worthless and cannot save you,

36  For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
37  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
~ Mark 8:36,37

You are not ‘good enough’ in your own stead to receive GOD’s pardon come Judgment Day, if you are walking after the flesh and not the Spirit of GOD! Here, take a quick test using GOD’s perfect and righteous Law, The Ten Commandments (see Exodus 20:1-17; Deuteronomy 5:6-21) to see your plight when you have to give an account before the great white throne judgment seat – How many lies have you told in your life time? If you have told but just one lie you are a liar. Have you stolen anything – irrespective of the size or value of the object, including piracy of music CDs and film DVDs? If you have, that would render you as a thief. Have you looked at a person with lust of the heart – either in acts of heterosexual and/or homosexual lust? Jesus calls that adultery of the heart (see Matthew 5:27-30)! Or maybe idolatry is your violation of GOD’s Law. Idolatry is not only in a religion of idol worship, but idolatry can be a love of money, material possessions, sex, drugs, music, etc or maybe it is football players and teams which are your idols. For many years Liverpool Football Club, its players and the game of football in general was a deep-rooted idol in my life until i came to repentance and GOD delivered me from this idolatry. GOD sees all,

3  The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. ~ Proverb 15:3

GOD being good, perfect, righteous and holy therefore has a good, perfect, righteous and holy standard! Judging by GOD’s standard, any person breaking HIS commands would leave that person guilty of breaking GOD’s Law and therefore GOD must punish their sin! Scripture reads,

Not Judging But Loving 12  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. ~ Revelation 20:12-15

Dear friends, if you have violated GOD’s commandments that would leave you guilty before the Judge of the Universe. We all must appear before GOD, as we read,

13  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
14  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. ~ Ecclesiastes 12:13,14

10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
11  Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:10,11

You have heard that old cliché: “You do the crime, you do the time.” Well, GOD will punish all sin wherever it is found, and so, if you are found to have transgressed GOD’s Law and is found to be a lying thief, an adulterer at heart, and an idolater (just to mention a few violations of GOD’s Law) then you are guilty as a criminal who should do the time! And GOD’s place of punishment is hell as a holding cell until Judgment Day which results in an eternal sentencing into the lake of fire as mentioned in Revelation 20:12-15 here-above.

Whilst “God is angry with the wicked every day” (Psalm 7:11b), GOD is also merciful and gracious. GOD is love (1 John 4:8,16) and HE shows HIS love by making a way for wretched sinners to be saved from HIS wrath, and reconciled back to HIMSELF,

16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 
20  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 
21  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
~ John 3:16-21

Your Life~ God's Solution to Your Religion: Click to read Tract As can be seen that the salvation of GOD is obtained through HIS Son Jesus Christ and not through the thousands upon thousands of man-made religious practices, customs and traditions! Man worships his plethora of idolatrous gods through his man-made cultic religions such as Roman Catholicism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, the ZCC, the TACC, Shembe Nazarenes, Seventh-Day Adventism, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormonism, the 38,000+ “ecumenical Protestantism denominations” (the Papacy’s harlot daughters) that have little unity in their doctrines and teachings, and atheism which is a religion of worshipping and serving the creation and not the Creator, as we read,

Creation vs. Evolution: Click to read Tract 20  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted
beasts, and creeping things.
24  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. ~ Romans 1:20-25

Yeshua haMessiach, the Lord Jesus Christ, said He is the ONLY WAY to GOD the Father when,

6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 
7  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
~ John 14:6,7

The prophecies of old that were prophesied by the prophets in the Old Testament concerning the Saviour came to pass as YEHOVAH (YHVH), the One and Only True and Living GOD, ordained it to be. GOD confirmed through the prophet Isaiah: “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us” (Isaiah 33:22). In the Historical account when Mary was pregnant with the baby Jesus, she said: “My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour” (Luke 1:46,47). Jesus confirmed,

56  Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
57  Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
58  Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. ~ John 8:56-58

The Lord Jesus Christ used the very “I am” that YEHOVAH GOD used when HE spoke to Moses out of the burning bush concerning saving HIS people Israel out of Egypt,

14  And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
15  And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. ~ Exodus 3:14,15

And Jesus also confirmed that “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30). For Jesus the Word (logos) has always existed from eternity to eternity, for “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8) for Jesus was in the beginning with GOD, as we read,

1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 
2  The same was in the beginning with God. 
3  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. ~ John 1:1-3

14  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. ~ John 1:14

Much more can be written concerning the Saviour Jesus Christ[], but if you reject Jesus’ dying in your stead, a propitiation (a substitutionary atonement) on your behalf then you will be damned for all eternity. GOD can save you through HIS Son Jesus Christ. And ONLY through HIS Son, the Lord Jesus Christ! The Bible tells us that you must be born-again to see the Kingdom of God (John 3). For salvation is a work of GOD,

Spurgeon Gem 8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. ~ Ephesians 2:8-10

In closing, often when a bereavement takes place the common condolences’ message shared is “RIP so-and-so”. The “RIP” stands for “Rest In Peace.” Kindly bear in mind that unless the deceased person was born-again and had the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour of his/her life then that soul will experience peace with GOD, but if the soul dies without finding peace with GOD the wrath of GOD will still abide on that person, as we read,

36  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. ~ John 3:36 

Also football players do not go to a football heaven to kick footballs around with each other when they die. You will either be in heaven worshipping GOD or be in hell experiencing the torments of the fire. Today, while it is still today, find peace with GOD for you are not guaranteed another minute, another hour, or another day upon this earth. There are more people headed for hell than heaven, for Jesus warned,

13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
~ Matthew 7:13,14

Do repent of your sins and believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ, for this is your only hope. You reject the Lord Jesus Christ, you reject GOD at your own peril!

38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. ~ Acts 2:38

Soli Deo Gloria ____________________

Footnotes:

* From the Bill Shankly website Own Words, we read:

Whether Shankly said the exact words… "Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that," is maybe not exactly accurate, but he DID say when reflecting on the relationship between the Liverpool and Everton fans.
"I’ve seen supporters on Merseyside going to the ground together, one wearing red and white and the other blue and white, which is unusual elsewhere. You get families in Liverpool in which half support Liverpool and the other half Everton. They support rival teams but they have the same temperament and they know each other. They are unique in the sense that their rivalry is so great but there is no real aggro between them. This is quite amazing.
I am not saying they love each other. Oh, no. Football is not a matter of life and death… it’s much more important than that. And it’s more important to them than that. But I’ve never seen a fight at a derby game. Shouting and bawling… yes. But they don’t fight each other. And that says a lot for them."

** I do hope Shanks repented for I have not come across any information confirming that Bill Shankly had repented of his sins and surrendered his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. However, I have seen some of Shankly’s other quotes where he blasphemes the name of Jesus Christ.

The Saviour of the world Scriptures ~

47And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. ~ Luke 1:47

11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. ~ Luke 2:11

42And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world. ~ John 4:42

31Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. ~ Acts 5:31

23Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus: ~ Acts 13:23

23For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. ~ Ephesians 5:23

20For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: ~ Philippians 3:20

1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; ~ 1Timothy 1:1

3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; ~ 1Timothy 2:3

10For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. ~ 1Timothy 4:10

10But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: ~ 2Timothy 1:10

3But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour; 4To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour. ~ Titus 1:3, 4

10Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. 11For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. ~ Titus 2:10-14

4But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. ~ Titus 3:4-7

1Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: ~ 2Peter 1:1

11For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ~ 2Peter 1:11

20For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. ~ 2Peter 2:20

2That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: 3Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. ~ 2Peter 3:2-4

18But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. ~ 2Peter 3:18

14And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. ~ 1John 4:14

25To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. ~ Jude 25

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