POSydney App Update (1.3)

Over the last few weeks we have been getting complaints about the “Sermons” tab of the POSydney iPhone App not updating weekly. Since receiving those complaints we created an update for the app. Nothing has been changed except for the “Sermons” tab. You will notice that we have reverted it back to the original format, this has fixed a glitch on our build causing the podcast not to update within the app. So we encourage all of you iPhone owners to update your POSydney App within the App Store on you phone. Hopefully in the near future you will be able to view our live streaming within the app but for now download the Sermon.net App and search “The Pentecostals of Sydney” if you are interested in watching our services LIVE on your iPhone. God bless and enjoy the app!

True Christians

Over the past month or so Pastor Stan has been teaching the POS a sermon series entitled Words From The Fire. The series is an in-depth look at the Ten Commandments detailed in Exodus 20. The Ten Commandments are very important to, not only Christianity, but Western Culture as they have helped shape the laws in countries all over the world. Each week Pastor Stan expounds on one of the Ten Commandments moving in order from the 1st to the 10th (you can listen to Commandments 1-4 on our podcast).

This clip is from Pastor Stan’s sermon “Honouring God’s Name” on the Third Commandment: Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. Throughout the sermon he details the importance of the name of Jesus and in the following video shares how it is that individuals take the name of Jesus in vain every day, yet may not realise it.

If you want to watch the entire sermon click here.

Empty Your Basket

They had journeyed up a mountain near the Sea of Galilee and there Jesus decided to sit and teach the people. Thousands had gathered on the slopes to, not only hear this Great Teacher, but to witness His miraculous touch. After three incredible days of miracles, signs and wonders Jesus decided he needed to feed the people before he sent them away. After all it had been three days and he didn’t want them to pass out heading home.

The disciples reminded their Master that they were in the wilderness and there wasn’t much food to be found; just five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus took the food, blessed it and then broke it. Then he did something amazing…He gave the food to the disciples.

It was the disciple’s choice to either keep the food or give it to the hungry people.

Recently I was reading a book entitled Crazy Love by Franchis Chan and I stumbled upon this interesting passage:

If one hundred people represented the World’s population, fifty-three of those would live on $2 a day. Do you realise that if you or your parents make roughly $4,000 a month you automatically are ONE HUNDRED times wealthier than the average person on this planet? Simply by purchasing this book you spent what a majority of people will make in a week’s time.

Which is more messed up; that we have so much compared to everyone else, or that we don’t think we’re rich? We are rich. Filthy rich.

How true is this? Now I understand that the cost of living in the Western world is much steeper than in third world countries, especially Sydney which was recently listed as one the World’s most expensive cities to live in, but that does not negate the fact that we are rich. Filthy rich.

Listen to what Paul tells Timothy is the responsiblity of the rich:

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share. (1 Timothy 6:17-18)

I think we need to start looking at the world around us and realise our responsibility. This blog post was sparked by the recent famine in the Horn of Africa. Experts are saying that today nearly 1 in every 5 adults in that region doesn’t know where their next meal is coming from, 2 out of every 5 children are malnourished and by the end of August, if foreign aid doesn’t increase, 2500 people will be dying every day (most of those children).

What are we going to do about it?

I’d like to share with you the story of Jonah. Jonah was called by God to preach to Nineveh but he didn’t want to so he fled on a boat in the complete opposite direction. While on the boat a storm hits and Jonah tells the seamen that the storm is his fault. He is thrown overboard and is swallowed by a big fish. Miraculously he survives inside the belly of the fish and repents. He is spit out by the whale after 3 days and decides to go to Nineveh.

He preaches God’s judgement to the sinful city but much to his surprise the people repent of their ways and God forgives them. Now Jonah gets angry because he, along with the Jewish nation, despised the wicked Nineveh. He goes to the East side of the city and builds a shelter so he can watch what is going to happen. While he’s there God allows a plant to grow in order to shield Jonah from the harsh sun but the following day a worm destroys the plant. Not only that, but as the day grew hot he was blasted by a scorching wind. Finally, Jonah gasps, “Death is certainly better than living like this!”

To which God replies, “Is it right for you to be angry because the plant died?”

“Yes,” Jonah shouts back, “even angry enough to die!”

Listen to God’s response: “You feel sorry about the plant, though you did nothing to put it there. It came quickly and died quickly. But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness. Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?”

Jonah was more concerned about a plant then he was for the 120,000 people living in Nineveh. Why? Because he was so focused on himself. It was all about him.

How often have we prayed prayers that were all about us? I just want to encourage you today to look beyond yourself to the world around you. Just like Jesus gave the bread to the disciples to spread to the people He has given us resources, not that they would stay with us, but that they would be spread to the needy, the broken and the downtrodden. But don’t forget, in my opinion, the neatest part of the story of Jesus feeding the multitude. The Bible says, “And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.” One basket for each disciple! They took care of the needy so God took care of them.

I’ll leave you today with these words from Jesus in Matthew the 25th chapter:

Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me. Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

This is a blog post from Greg Hackathorn, the Administrator of the Pentecostals of Sydney.

“There Are So Many Different Beliefs In The World, There Must Be No Truth?”

I was at the Doctor’s recently and in the introductory exchange of details, when he discovered that I was a preacher, he immediately began to inquire about my beliefs in God. He informed me that he has so many patients of varying beliefs who all claim to possess the truth of God, that it’s almost impossible to ascertain who is really telling the truth and as a result of this, when it comes to his own belief, he has resigned to the cliche; “to each their own”. 

But is this really true? That because there are so many beliefs and religions, even Christian denominations, that somehow ‘Truth’ therefore is relative to one’s own perspectives, culture, biases, etc? Since people are entitled to have their own opinions, does it therefore logically conclude, that what is right is simply subject to a one’s own worldview?

Living in an era of political correctness, my doctor’s remarks were not out of the ordinary. He further asserted, that “it doesn’t make any difference what you believe, as long as you are a good person.” and that “you can choose whatever belief that you want”. I said to him that what he was saying “all sounds very tolerant and inclusive but is it true?” “Can we never get to the knowledge of truth because there are so many different views out there?”

He had to admit that there are some absolute truths in the world else he would not be able to practice medicine and come up with definitive diagnoses. He might be able to diagnose a terminal illness and the patient may say that’s a matter of opinion, well that does not change the fact that the patient may well have a terminal illness. The patient could deny it all he wants to but that will not change his condition or cure it for that matter. The diagnosis of his condition stands.

That’s the same for truth. It is not subject to our personal views and prejudices but truth is truth, whether anyone believes it or not. If the tree falls in the forest, whether anyone saw it or not, the fact remains that it fell in the forest. We can still trust the most basic of mathematical equations such as 2 + 2 = 4. This and countless other mathematical discoveries have been sought and proven to be factual. The same applies for Spiritual and Biblical Truth. Not everyone in this world who claims religious insight that differs from the next can be true. There can be only one truth.

Jesus said in John 14:6; “I am the way, the truth and the life”. The word “the” in this verse is a definite article making the proceeding word to be exclusive. In other words; Jesus is not claiming to be just one of the ways or one of the truths and life. He is authoritatively declaring that He is the only Way, the only Truth and the only Life. He is Truth personified. That’s a pretty big claim to make but before you dismiss Him, investigate these claims and see whether they stand up to historical, scientific and logical scrutiny. His claims to be God also deserve attention and you will come to understand that his claims set him apart from all other religions, making Him exclusive.

I believe this is one of the main reasons as to why Christianity is unpopular in our ‘politically correct’ society because His truth claim excludes others who disagree. But my issue from the beginning continues to apply; does the exclusivity created from Christ’s claim determine that it is incorrect? Of course not. In fact the very nature of truth excludes what is false.

So we can determine that just because people believe in varying philosophies and ideas, does not mean there is no absolute truth. Paul Copan says that relativists “commit a serious error when they confuse difficulty of finding truth with the possibility of discerning truth or even affirming it’s existence.” That there are so many different religions in the world, and that diligence is required sometimes to apprehend truth, is no excuse for saying that truth can not be discovered or does not exist. If five different doctors have five different opinions about a patient with pain in the stomach region: one thought he had cancer, another gastroenteritis, another appendicitis, another a hernia and yet another with indigestion, does that mean they are all correct because truth is relative to personal opinion? Absolutely not! The fact may remain that he has only one particular problem, whichever one that may be.

Leaving the doctor’s office I asked him one final question; “Just because so many people differ in their views about God, does that mean there is not truth about him?” He simply shook his head. I urged him being an intelligent and educated man, to search out the truth but more importantly investigate the man who claimed to be God and Truth itself.

 

This is a blog post from Stanley Harvey, the Senior Pastor of the Pentecostals of Sydney.