Our little church in England is fortunate to have Peter Brandon giving us several talks over about a week. The first was tonight, a Saturday night in January, and a small group turned up to hear his wonderful message on Thessalonians. He is preparing us for the Lord's return, which we all suspect might be soon. As Peter said: 'Israel is being surrounded; Western Europe is all ready for the Man of Sin; we are living in exciting days - and most people do not know anything about the Second Coming of Christ.'
If anyone out there would like to join us, he will be speaking at the Sunday morning service tomorrow, Jan 21 (starts 10:30) and the evening, 6:30pm; Tuesday and Thursday evenings this week at 7:30pm; and next Sunday, Jan 28, morning service.
The talks will all be from 1 and 2 Thessalonians, and will all be to prepare us for the Lord's coming and to help galvanize us to get busy and do something for Jesus while there is still time.
Peter said that the Thessalonians were all baby Christians, all new believers for about six months, and under serious persecution. So serious that Paul had to leave, after teaching them for only about a month. In that month he taught them the doctrines of the faith, including about the Rapture of the church and the Second Coming of Christ.
After Paul left, some of them died, and those left behind were confused about what had happened to them. Paul wrote that he did not want them to be ignorant, but Peter Brandon said now, some 2,000 years later, Christians are STILL confused about what happens when believers die!
He told us of one Mrs Brown, a Baptist aged 84 who was dying. A minister went to see her and told her she soon would die, but she said: 'Never!' 'What, are you exempt?' asked the minister.
'Of course I am,' she replied. 'I've already died, when I was baptized. They put me under the water to show that I died in Christ, died to the world. I died substitutionally, so I'm already dead. I can't die again because Jesus tasted death for me already. When I die, as you said it, it won't be death; it'l be sleep and I'll be with the Lord in Paradise - and I'll be more alive than you are now!' Wow. Now that is one great Christian lady!
As you can see, we are having a great time hearing the accumulated wisdom of Peter's long life of serving the Lord. Come and join us if you want to learn more about the Bible, the Second Coming, and how you can be ready when Jesus suddenly comes back with a shout. Peter said that Jesus never normally raised His voice, but He did shout three times: first he shouted 'Lazarus, come out!' at the graveside. The second time was on the cross: 'My God, My God, whave hast thou forsaken me?' as He tasted death for all our sins. Immediately after this came the third shout, one word: 'Finished!'
Peter said one man, Lazarus, came out of the grave with the first shout. Then, with the Lord's shout from the cross, many came out of their graves and appeared to people in Jerusalem.
Thessalonians tells us there is another shout coming! When the Lord descends from Heaven with a shout, the dead in Christ will rise first (1 Thes 4:16) and we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
At that shout there will be millions coming out of the graves; millions who are alive rising into the air.
Those are just a few of the highlights of tonight's talk. Maybe some of you would like to join us for the others. If you live in southeast England, the church is Tongham Christian Fellowship, Poyle Road, Tongham, Surrey GU10 1DU. Tongham is just outside Aldershot.
Or you can order CDs from our church at http://www.yeshuas-people.com
You can watch Peter for yourself on this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Po7UILtV0g