Loughbrickland Reformed Presbyterian Church
So Where Are We Now?

Below is the text of a tract distributed at the annual demonstration and sham fight at Scarva, County Armagh, on 13th July.

A Time of Change

There have been changes in Northern Ireland - of this there is no doubt. We hear repeatedly of the 'changed political landscape'. Those who believe the Bible view with varying levels of concern the presence of notorious terrorists in positions of authority. Such concern is inevitable, given that the Bible teaches that the role of the civil ruler is the punishment of evildoers; "for he is a minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil" (Romans 13:4).

Personal Changes

Perhaps, for you, there have been other changes of a more personal kind. Since this time last year, some will have passed through times of sorrow, trouble and distress. Others can look back on happy occasions - perhaps a wedding in the family, or the birth of a child or grandchild. Or perhaps things have just ticked over quietly. Such periods of calm are welcome, but they should not encourage a complacent forgetfulness of God; "Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God" (Psalm 55:19). It is certain that one thing has changed. You are older. You are nearer death and the coming judgment. "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). Without Christ the Saviour, your guilt before God has also increased.

Some Things Unchanged

You are still here in this world. You have not been taken into the eternal world. God has ordained that this great change has not yet happened to you. Without Christ you justly deserve to go to Hell for all your sins, but God has spared you to see this day. Your need of Christ has not changed: the Gospel he sends to you has not changed. Still he says to you, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). This will not always be so. The Saviour who now says "come" will one day say to unsaved sinners, "depart" - "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41).

Christ is still made known as the one who is "able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him" (Hebrews 7:25). He is able to save because he acted as the substitute of guilty sinners. God is righteous and always punishes sin. Christ, who had no sin of his own, bore the punishment of sin for his people. "For the transgression of my people was he stricken" (Isaiah 53:8).

An Unchanged Heart

If you have not trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ, your unwillingness to do so stems from an unchanged heart that loves sin rather than God: a heart that is full of pride and that takes offence at being told of sin and the need to depend entirely upon Christ for acceptance in the sight of God. Only the Lord can change your heart and that is why the Lord Jesus said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3).

An Unchanging World

>We live in a changing world, but in the world to come there are vitally important things that will never change. The happiness of those redeemed by Christ will never end. Nothing shall ever spoil the blessedness of Heaven. It is also true, however, that there will be no end to the miseries of the damned. The Lord Jesus was emphatic on this point: "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous unto life eternal" (Matthew 25:46). The most important thing to attend to in this life is our preparation for the next. This is why you must seek the Lord: "For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive" (Psalm 86:5).

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