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How God Shapes Lives. Acts 26:1-11

Challenging Unbelief, – In the Jews, the Gentiles and Oneself.

Text: Acts 26:1-11 

Paul is standing in the great auditorium, surrounded by important people. Agrippa gave him permission to speak, v1 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself.  and he begins.  Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself:  This hand gesture, seems to indicate that it’s a formal defence.  We think negatively about the Pharisees – But, there were some positives, – after all you cannot read the Law of God every day without God’s Word affecting, in your heart and life, what God purposes and plans for you. Isaiah 55:11. So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.  As a Pharisee…

1 Paul Expected the Fulfilment of Israel’s Hope. V6-7

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Talking HONESTLY – About Santa!

Table Talk: Will the REAL Santa Please Stand Up? 

Text.  Colossians 2:8   

It’s time to talk honestly about Santa! So let’s see what the Bible says!

1. Santa – The Myth.  

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The Christian and Food!

TableTalk: What Does the Bible Say About Eating and Food! 

Text. Daniel 1:8-13

In this episode of Table-Talk we are going to get to the very heart of what a table is for!  FOOD!  How good would it be if our table today was covered in the finest of cuisine, and we were all invited to tuck in!  But why would we be interested in getting some biblical perspective on food, and eating?  

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1. Understanding the Source of our Food.

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Catechism Class: LD15 Q38 Pilate – the Cowardly Judge

Pontius Pilate – the Cowardly Judge

LORD’S DAY 15, Q38

We have been looking at Lord’s Day 15, and now we arrive at Q38, – Q.38 Why did he suffer under Pontius Pilate as judge? Though innocent, Christ was condemned by an earthly judge,  and so he freed us from the severe judgment of God that was to fall on us.  We are confronted with a question that might almost seem, at first glance, like a distraction.  We are asked, “Why did he suffer UNDER PONTIUS PILATE?”  And why is it so important for us to know the reason?  The answer to this question gets right to the heart of the sheer injustice of the trial and suffering of our Saviour, but in order for us to fully understand it, the first step would be to actually find out who Pontius Pilate was and what part he played at the trial and crucifixion of Jesus.   

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Always Ready to Give Account. Acts 25:13-27

Always Ready to Give Account

Text: Acts 25:13-27 

This study is mostly history and background that we will need to understand what’s happening later, in Acts 26.  Festus has a problem!

1 The Problem27 For it seemeth to me unreasonable to send a prisoner, and not withal to signify the crimes laid against him.

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Roman Law was strict.  Under certain circumstances, a man who was accused of a crime had a right of appeal, and that went right to the top of the empire to the supreme court of the day, to Caesar himself. The Law of Rome dictated that any lessor magistrate, like Festus, would have to make sure that an appellant to the court at Rome had substantial charges placed against him, and that they were properly documented, in a file, personally submitted by the procurator.  Festus would have to write that letter himself.   But did it all add up?  Festus KNEW Paul was innocent.  Acts 25:10, 25.  If he sent a man to Caesar who had no charges to answer, – he was in danger of wasting the time of the supreme court, – and what would he write anyway?  This whole matter seemed to be about nothing other than the Jewish religion, and Festus knew nothing about it!  What a problem, – until a solution offered itself, in the shape of one King Herod Agrippa II.

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The Civil Magistrate.

The Christian and the Civil Authorities

Text: Acts 25:10-11

In Acts 25:10-11  Paul is saying – if I have broken the civil law, I deserve to be punished.  So, as a Christian, if I break the law, should I accept my punishment, willingly, even if that punishment is thought to be harsh?  To get a better insight into what Paul is thinking here we should couple Paul’s words here with what he wrote in Romans 13:1-7.   

1. Paul’s Principles Stated.  Romans 13:1-7

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The Prism: NI, Covid Passports and The Free Offer of the Gospel.

The Prism – NI, Covid Passports and the Free Offer of the Gospel

In this episode of The Prism, I want to look at an issue that has recently emerged in Northern Ireland, where I live.  The Executive of the local Assembly, by a vote of just 6 people, (There’s 10 ministers in the assembly) has mandated the use of ‘Covid Certification’ – a vaccine passport, for entry to venues where people will gather, including concerts, cinemas, restaurants, and so on. Only the ‘fully vaccinated’ will be permitted to enter such places, and venues must enforce the diktat, or face a one thousand pounds fine.  Their objective, apparently is to stem the flow of Covid infections and thus prevent overcrowding in the hospital system.  The implications of this new pass will be huge.  Already, firms are cancelling their Christmas functions, with one venue reporting that they have lost £50,000 of bookings overnight.  

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Table-Talk: Angels?

TableTalk – What does the Bible Say About Angels? 

READ.  Psalm 8:4-5

When ‘good’ people die, do they become angels?  In this New Age, there is an unhealthy interest in angels. There are people who think that when a person dies, they become an angel.  You’ll hear them expressing sentiments like, “Fly high, now you’ve got your wings…”.   As Christians we know that this is NOT true! 

o people become angels when they de? The answer is a resounding NO!

READ Job 38:4-7 Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. 5  Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? 6  To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, 7 When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?   At Creation, there were ‘created beings’ watching God doing his creative work.  Was it Adam and Eve?___________

Question: In the spiritual order, are angels above or below mankind?

READ: Psalm 8: 4-5 What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?  5  For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honour.  

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Echoes of Remembrance

A moving and heartfelt Remembrance Sunday at The Old Reformed Church at Ballymacashon, when we marked with solemnity, the sacrifices of those who served and those who died, during 1st and 2nd World Wars, and subsequent conflicts, and the gallantry and dedication of the UDR, RIR, USC and RUC in the face of terrorism.
We WILL remember them

Extracts from the Annual Service of Remembrance held on 14th November 2021, have been incorporated into a PODCAST

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Ballymacashon Church on Remembrance Sunday

Preaching Politics – Acts 25:1-12

Preaching Politics

Text: Acts 254:27-25:12

Retaining integrity in a political career, especially when that career climbs into one of the ‘great offices of state’ is extremely challenging, and politicians need our prayers.   We will use this passage as a case-study!  First let’s learn about:-

A Typical Bust of ‘Caesar.’

1. The Political Situation.

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