Impact

The Christian Union runs a weekly evangelistic lunch-time talk called Impact, which is always encouraging, challenging, great to bring friends to and, of course, fun. Highlights from recent weeks:

This week, Mark Fossey from TBT was talking about Cornelius’ conversion – the first prominant Gentile to become a Christian (Acts 10). While he was explaining how and why it is that “everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (v43) and why our efforts at religion can’t bring us forgivness he said something like (but better!):

Imagine a man committed adultery against his wife. She, rightly, would be outraged and what he needs is for her to forgive him. But he can’t decide what the terms of forgiveness are. He can’t bring a take-away curry and a six-pack of Fosters and think that’s the end of it. He can’t even buy her tickets to the ballet or a new dress – things he thinks she’ll like – she sets the terms. But how amazed would he be if she said that what needed to happen for her to forgive him is that she would buy him a Ferrari? That she would pay the price herself, and it would be more than he would ever have been able to pay? That’s what God did, but much more than the cost of a new car.

Last week, Mark JP (who also works for TBT as an apprentice) was talking about Paul’s conversion (Acts 9). The title was “Why should we trust the writings of Paul?” (answering the attack that Christians actually follow Paul who hijacked Jesus’ message) and two particularly helpful points came out of it. Firstly, Paul really wasn’t in a position to change the message. He was feared by the church and if he’d turned up one day and said ‘right, I’m one of you, but here’s how we’re going to do things from now on’ they wouldn’t have allowed it. It was only because he received the same gospel – independently, Galatians 1 – that they accepted him as a brother and teacher. Secondly, we’ve become used to people saying “I like to think of Jesus as…” and have lost sight of how arrogant that is. If I said I think of Churchill as a great orator, but not a patriot or as a drinker, but not a smoker you would say that I knew nothing about him because that’s not what the witnesses say . It is the same with Jesus’ life – he had one life not six billion different ones so the choice isn’t what we think Jesus was like, but whether or not we’ll listen to the witnesses.

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