Sermon and Bible reading by David Ball - Sunday 4 October 2015
Today’s Bible reading is from the Gospel of John, Chapter 3, verses 1 – 8.
My text is taken from the King James Bible:
v.1) There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
v.2) The same came to Jesus by night and said to Him; “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no man can do these miracles that you do, unless God is with him.”
v.3) Jesus answered and said to him; “Truly, I say to you, except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
v.4) Nicodemus said to Him; “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
v.5) Jesus answered; “Truly, I say to you, except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.
v.6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is the spirit.
v.7) Marvel not that I said to you, you must be born again.
v.8) The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear the sound of it but cannot tell from where it comes or where it goes. So is everyone that is born of the Spirit.”
Sermon / Address
There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus. Who was Nicodemus? Not much is known about him. He would have been fairly important and quite learned, being a Pharisee. His name crops up 3 times in John’s Gospel. Here, and again when he urged his fellow Pharisees to listen to Jesus before judging him and, finally, he assisted in the burial of Jesus. He is cagey when talking to Jesus and came at night, so no one would see Him. It would not have been a good idea for a Pharisee to be seen visiting Jesus. Tongues would have started wagging! He says; “We know that you are a teacher.” He is not committing himself. He is giving the impression he is speaking on behalf of a number of Pharisees. But we don’t know. That is not bothering Jesus and he soon has Nicodemus tied up in knots.
So what is Jesus explaining to Nicodemus and is it relevant today? Yes it certainly is to us as Christian Spiritualists. Jesus is saying that unless a man is born again, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.
As Christian Spiritualists we believe that when your physical body dies, your soul leaves the Earth Plane and you enter the spirit world. You are effectively born again, this time in Heaven. This we relate to the 4th of the 7 Principles of Spiritualism; 'The continuous existence of the human soul'. Spirit people will tell you that their earthly birthday then becomes less important to them. The time that they start their new life in spirit becomes far more important.
Jesus goes on to say; “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.” Some Bible scholars consider Jesus to be referring to Christian baptism; perhaps, a plug for being baptised. However, Jesus is just describing how we are all born into this physical world – of water. He makes it clearer by saying; “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit.” No mention of baptism. And then Jesus tells Nicodemus; “Marvel not that I said to you, you must be born again.” As I said earlier when we leave this physical world we are spiritually born again into the spirit world.
Finally, Jesus uses the analogy of the wind to explain the Spirit. “The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear the sound of it but cannot tell from where it comes or where it goes.” We can’t see the wind but we can see its effects. In preparing my sermons, I can’t see the spirit person or people who help me to produce my sermons, but I know I couldn’t do it without their help. Likewise, we can’t see Jesus but when we pray to Him and He answers our prayers, we can see the results. We can see how He can change our lives when we welcome Him into our hearts.
God bless you.
Sermon and Bible reading by David Ball - Sunday 6 September 2015
Today’s Bible reading is from the very last book in the Bible. In fact it is almost the last page. It is from the Book of Revelation, Chapter 21, verses 5 - 7 and was written by John of Patmos, not the same John who wrote the 4th Gospel.
He was a disciple of Jesus, but even that is disputed by modern Bible scholars. My text is taken from the King James Bible:
v.5: And he that sat upon the throne said; “Behold, I make all things new.” And he said to me; “Write, for these things are true and faithful.”
v.6: And he said to me; “It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will freely give to him that is thirsty water from the fountain of life.
v.7: He that overcomes shall inherit all things and I will be his God and he shall be my son.”
Sermon / Address:
God said; “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.”
Scientists tell us that the Universe came into existence 13.7 billion years ago in what we call the big bang. They also tell us that our planet Earth was born 4.5 billion years ago and that it will be consumed by the Sun in about 5.4 billion years. They are literally astronomical figures.
Earlier last century many people believed that the universe, including our world, was created about 6,000 years ago. James Ussher, Primate of All Ireland, in the 17th Century calculated the date of creation as the evening of 22nd October 4,004 BC. Many others, including Isaac Newton, Martin Luther and Johannes Kepler came up with similar results of around 4,000 BC. The end of the world has been predicted by Nostradamus and many others including our friend, James Ussher, who predicted the world would end on 23rd October 1997, being 6,000 years after creation.
Whatever date that the Universe came into existence, God was there. When the Earth ceases to exist, God will still be there. God and his son Jesus, have always been and always will be there for you and me, if we let them into our hearts. This is the first principle of Christian Spiritualists, namely, the fatherhood of God.
Today, many people lead such materialistic lives. They are obsessed with acquiring wealth. They don’t have the time or the inclination to let Jesus into their lives. They have to have the 4 bedroom home with swimming pool and theatre room; the latest car sitting on their driveway to impress the neighbours; plus all the latest Smartphones and I-Pads. They think they can manage perfectly well without Jesus. But you can’t take accumulated earthly possessions with you. The Egyptian Pharaohs tried to do that 3,000 years ago. Their tombs were crammed full of gold and other items including food for their use in the spirit world. They were still there when archaeologists uncovered their tombs thousands of years later.
If you lose a loved one, all the money in the world will not bring them back. But turn to Jesus and he will help you through the grieving. He will be there to support you and give you strength. You will know that your loved one is now in spirit and will be in Jesus’s care.
When the time comes for you to leave the Earth Plain you know that Jesus will be there waiting to welcome you. No ifs or buts. No question of money. Remember, Jesus told his disciples it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God (Mark 10 v25). You don’t have to be important. The Beetles summed it up when they sang; “All you need is Love.” Love for Jesus and a belief in him.
You know that Jesus will always be there for you, however many times you return to this world. This relates to the fourth principle of Christian Spiritualist Philosophy, the continuous existence of the human soul. Jesus will never disappear. Jesus said (Matthew 28 v20); “I am with you always even to the end.”
God bless you.