He Is Risen

He is risen, a three word statement that is so profound and carrying huge implications. Because if Jesus was not resurrected from the dead, as the great Apostle Paul said, in 1 Cor 15:14, “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.”

13132In essence, if the resurrection of Christ did not occur then, our ministry, faithful enduring, acts of love and preaching of the Gospel is useless and empty. It would all be for nought, if this event never took place. Why? Because firstly, it would mean that Jesus was wrong and he lied, when he claimed that he would rise from the dead on the third day. If this is the case then we can not trust anything that he said or did, or the veracity of the Bible. Thus, there’s no point in believing Him. Secondly, if Jesus did not rise then, there may be no resurrection for anybody else, including his followers.

Thus, if we simply disappear and no longer exist after death, then there is no perfect judgement and no ultimate accountability for the life that we have lived. If we are not having to be accountable to the ultimate Judge, then it makes no difference in the end if we obey God or disobey, if we sin or live a good life, we all just disappear and everyone’s end result is the same, nothing.

This certainly makes for a horribly bleak and miserable prospect but the Good News however is that the resurrection of Jesus is one of the most provable events in history.

Dr. Simon Greenleaf, Royall Professor of Law at Harvard University said, “There is more evidence for the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ than for just about any other event in history.”

The weight of evidence of the resurrection of Christ is overwhelming when examined, and since He did rise again, it means we can take Him at His Word because not one jot or tittle shall be passed from his Word until it’s fulfilled. We can also take courage that our lives here on earth counts towards our eternal reward. When we obey God’s Word, we can trust that we receive God’s gift of salvation. Let us walk in the newness of life and victory wrought through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, receiving God’s abundant life here on earth and everlasting life to come!

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

The Kingdom Life in Our ‘Everyday Living’

A common misconception that many Christians have is that in order for them to be living impacting and productive christian lives, they must take huge steps of faith, such as; moving out of country to become a missionary. Or perhaps make enormous sacrifices by quitting their secular jobs to serve the Lord. While these may be noble acts taken on by individuals with personal convictions, it begs the question as to whether those who do not undertake such heroic feats are actually living effective and purposeful Kingdom lives.

The truth is, the office worker, mechanic, uni student or house wife who love God and are born again believers do not have to wait until they’ve saved up enough money to retire from secular work and enter into the ministry before they can serve God, but God calls all of us to live for him and serve him in whatever place of employment and financial position we are in, today! Kingdom Life is about living according to God’s Word and in the Holy Spirit, not just in Church on Sundays where many of us attend, but in our daily routines and obligations. God desires for us to take Him with us wherever we go, that we may show His goodness by our words, actions and attitudes.

When Jesus said that the field is white and already for harvest (Jn 4:35), it was not reserved just for the third world nations but even in our nation and cities, there are souls that need to hear the gospel and see our good works. It does not mean that we have to Bible bash people and preach hell and damnation to those we work with because it is proven to be ineffective. However, we need to demonstrate Christ’s love in such a way that it may solicit curiosity at the least, or an inquiry about what we believe, at most. And ultimately a door opens for us to share our testimony and the saving power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is in our day to day interaction with the lost world that we serve God’s purpose by showing kindness and generosity, demonstrating the temperance of the Holy Spirit when we are under pressure, revealing the hopeful demeanour when difficulties arise and the compassion of the good samaritan to whoever is in need. We must always be ready to share the Word as Jesus is always at work in the lives of people, even in your office colleague or fellow store man. As you follow the leading of God’s prompting in the ordinary day-to-day routines it is living an impactful Kingdom life, and it can go from a simple seed sowing habit to a full blown Bible study in the office with souls being saved and added to God’s Kingdom.

This month as we come to commemorate our Passover, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, let us consider our lives of sacrifice in the work place. The sacrifice is not to resign from the job but, on the job, be willing to share your faith even at the cost of being rejected and ridiculed.

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

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

God Is Love

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (NKJV)

God-Is-LoveThough perhaps the most famous verse of scripture associated with Christians, yet these words of Jesus are more than just a catchphrase, it reveals a truth about the nature of God. John emphatically declares that God is Love (1 Jn 4:16). He does not say that God has love but that He is actually the personification of love. Subsequently, the Bible does not say that God is forgiveness or that God is power, though, He does posses those qualities. Yet love is revealed as who God is.

One of the qualities of love is that it gives out. ‘..God so loved….that He gave’. This truth is evident everywhere including God’s creation. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead…” Romans 1:20

God designed this world to give; from the water cycle where the water in the sea evaporates to provide clouds, which in turn precipitates as rain to quench the parched earth, to the plants that give out oxygen for humans to live and in return man breathes out carbon dioxide to supply back to the flora. The physical world is a reflection of God’s love that gives. The Genesis narrative describes the creation of animals and plants with it’s seed embedded within it’s physiological make up, in order to give out and perpetuate the life of love.

cross5Love was personified in Jesus Christ, taking nothing in this world; he owned no property, having nowhere to lay his head and even in death, he had to borrow another man’s tomb. Yet he gave his life “He poured out His soul unto death” Isaiah 53:12. In God’s ultimate demonstration of love, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for Us! (Romans 5:8)

God’s love is to give and when we give, denying ourselves, pouring out our lives, God’s life continues to flow and His love is perpetuated. So give! Let this catchphrase remain with you “When in doubt, give out!” Give of: your time, your mercy, forgiveness, energy, support, encouragement, resources and love. And I assure you, you will find them return to you manifold. “Send your grain across the seas, and in time, profits will flow back to you.” Eccl 11:1 (NLT)

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

Suffering Saviour

EasterWhen we consider the many attributes of God, we often think of his awesomeness and grandeur. And so we should. However, perhaps the most powerful characteristic of our God is that of a suffering saviour.

This is significant because even though we live in a world filled with suffering, pain and injustice, the God of all creation did not stand outside of the human condition to judge a lost humanity. Instead the scriptures tell us that God became a man and as a man he endured the worst that the world could impose on a person, including the torturous death of the cross.

As a man our Lord Jesus experienced that gamut of human misery; in that he was homeless (Matt 8:20), rejected by society (Isa 53:3), suffered hunger and thirst (Matt 21:18, Jn 19:28), He was falsely accused, abandoned, tempted, stressed, He was beaten and tortured (Jn 19). His suffering ultimately culminating on the malevolent, Roman instrument of killing, the Cross.

While God has not removed suffering and pain from our existence, He stands with us in our suffering with nail scarred hands and feet, and a pierced side. He lets us know that he has suffered with us and that suffering and death has brought redemption to us, that regardless of what our lot is in this life, we can live with him in eternal joy.

He proved this by being resurrected after being dead for three days. He demonstrated that He is indeed who He said He is, the Lord of Glory, the Word made flesh. When you live your life in Christ, you too shall live again because He died for all humanity. This is God’s great love.

And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.       1 John 4:14-16

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