Occasional editorials written since 2001 

Passion yes, aggression no. Harry Potter All roads lead to God?  
Value of a soul. Homosexuality Passion of  the Christ
Islam and Christianity  Love not the world Persecution coming
Biblical or secular worldview? Freewill offering Letter or Spirit?
Faith The sacred and non-sacred Test your self
Discernment The gospel of me Repentance
Sinking sand That awful four letter word Sin
When God offends. Walls, gates and electric fences The curse of pornography
Gender confusion    

 

The Passion of the Christ

In God's providence, mercy is offered before judgement. 

Noah's Ark was His offer of mercy to a darkening world before His judgement. 

Frank Bartleman was one of the key men used by God in the Great Azusa Street Revival which occurred during the first decade of the 20th century.  

In 1905 he wrote the following..

Mercy rejected means judgement, and on a corresponding scale. In all the history of God's world there has always been first the offer of divine mercy, then judgement following. 

First comes Christ on the white horses of mercy. Then follows the red, black and pale horses of war, famine and death. The prophets ceased not day and night to faithfully warn Israel, but their tears and entreaties for the most part proved in vain.

The awful destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 which resulted in the extermination of a million Jews, and the captivity of millions more, was preceded by the offer of divine mercy at the hands of the Son of God Himself.

In 1859 a great revival wave visited our country (the USA) sweeping half a million souls into the fountain of salvation. Immediately the terrible carnage of 1861-1865 followed. (The American civil war)  

And so as we anticipate the coming revival which is already assuming world wide proportions, we wonder will not judgement follow mercy, as at other times. And judgement in the proportion to the mercy extended. The present war like attitude and distress of nations makes us wonder if the judgement to follow may not even plunge us into the 'Tribulation' - the Great one'

When Frank Bartleman penned these words in 1905 he had no way of knowing how accurate his words might prove to be.

Five years after the Great Revival ended the Great War began.

The great revival began in Wales in 1904 and ran until the following year, before bursting upon America from 1906 - 1909, and so the revival - or God's mercy - ran for more or less the length of time that the Great War of 1914-18 lasted.

The world is morally darkening at a rapid pace.  A terrifying pace. 

Suddenly, unexpectedly, a well known Hollywood actor/director decides to make a film portraying the final days of The Christ here on earth. The words would be spoken in Aramaic with subtitles. On paper it stood little chance of any success. Who but God could have known the impact it would make?

Already, as I write this, it is the 8th highest grossing film of all time and about to pass the 7th.

Its controversy has been its publicity.  Every media is debating it.  It has become a must see film.

This week I picked up the April 12th 2004 edition of the powerfully international 'Time' magazine, because on the cover was the illustration of Christ with His cross and the banner headline 'Why did Jesus have to die?'  with the subtitle 'As Easter arrives and millions still flock to see The Passion, the reasons behind his sacrifice are debated anew'

In the remarkably favourable article each double page had a strong headline accurately stating the claims of scripture (then writing about the debate on these claims below)  These headlines declared

  • By incarnation, death and Resurrection, Christ triumphs over Satan and rescues humanity from evil

  • Christ sacrificed himself to make amends for sins against God

  • By his example, Christ inspires people to live in obedience to God's ways

The final paragraph in the six page article opens with these words... 

'Gibson's The Passion of the Christ has certainly done its bit to combat Christianity lite..'

And finishes with these words..

'..it is a reminder that the question of why Jesus died requires some sort of response from anyone who reasons out his or her faith-and that question will not evaporate come Easter Sunday.'

Suddenly unexpectedly the gospel has been powerfully proclaimed to all and sundry throughout the 21st century media conscious world.  

It is God's Mercy.

Then follows judgement.

(Note: originally written in 2004 it is interesting that in late 2008 early 2009 what appears to be judgement has fallen in the form of the worst western financial downturn in living memory, weather patterns are playing havoc around the world, fear roams the streets in the form of teenage violence and family breakdown has reached an all time high. In 2014 some of the worst weather on record was being experienced in the UK and the USA)

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