Australian Rugby Union player, Israel Folau, has lost his job this week after posting a picture on social media that said “Warning: Drunks, Homosexuals, Adulterers, Liars, Fornicators, Thieves, Atheists, Idolaters: Hell awaits you. Repent!”
In the comments he said “Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him”, as well as quoting from the Bible.
Folau clearly believes in Hell, and he wants to take every opportunity to warn people to find safety in Jesus.
The response from Rugby Australia and the media is that his comments are “homophobic” and that he has “vilified” people by how he’s expressed his religious beliefs.
To be honest, I wouldn’t post that image on Instagram, even though I agree that we need to warn people about Hell.
Yet I, too, want people to know that no matter who you are or what you’ve done, Jesus loves you so much that he died to forgive you.
Everybody is guilty of disobeying God in all sorts of ways, but no matter what you’ve done, Jesus offers unconditional forgiveness if you truly follow him.
I love Izzy’s courage and conviction, and I share his passion for people to come to Jesus and be rescued from Hell.
And I think he’s right when he says that God considers homosexual activity to be one of many things that are immoral.
But whether you agree or not, surely it’s un-Australian to sack someone for publicly saying something that’s in the Bible.
We used to think, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”, but now our society silences views that are unpopular.
Nobody likes to be told that their behaviour is wrong, yet all of us are guilty in Jesus’ sight for all we’ve done to offend him.
At the same time, all of us can enjoy forgiveness in Jesus because of his self-sacrificing death on the first Good Friday.
Speaking to many people last week, it was clear that the new Bible Talk series on Jesus’ prayer to his Father has really had a big impact on us. Jesus prayed for his glory, so that his Father would get the glory, and because of that, his chosen people get certain eternal life. Amazing. If you missed the talk then you can catch up by listening on our Talks page.
So, be sure to join us this coming weekend for the next instalment as I preach from John chapter 17 verses 6 to 19, as we hear what Jesus prayed for his disciples, and what that means for us.
If you’ve never joined us before, then you really need to pop in! We absolutely love visitors, so come along at 5pm on Saturday for an all-age service with kids’ program, a terrific dinner together, then youth group for the teenagers afterwards. Or come at 9am Sunday for a more classic Anglican service, followed by espresso coffee at morning tea.
Plus, during our services we have a question and answer spot, where I get to answer your questions from last week. And they are:
1 Is it OK to be single or a virgin if you’re not wanting to grow up to be a nun?
2 Is it acceptable to divorce if the husband and wife were not Christians when married, but one later becomes a believer?
3 Whilst we won’t have married relationships in heaven, won’t we still know people there?
4 Will we feel sadness in heaven about the people who are suffering eternally in hell?
5 How is there any ‘cool’ way to die?
6 Why does God choose to save some people but not others?
7 Can we truly forgive someone who continues to do wrong to you and doesn’t repent?
Can’t wait to see you this weekend!
Grace and peace, Jodie.
This weekend we begin our three-week series ‘What would Jesus pray’ from John 17, as we examine why Jesus prayed for his glory in verses 1-5.
Next weekend we continue our series on Jesus’ prayer by looking at what he prayed for his disciples from 17:6-19.
BCA (Bush Church Aid) is our mission of the month. Support at the ‘Mission Table’.
Check out the all-new titles!
Go to www.jamberooanglican.com/talks or search ‘Jamberoo’ on iTunes Podcasts.
If you ordered Hot Cross Buns to support the Scripture Teaching at Kiama High, put your money in the bookstall letterbox.
This Saturday 13th April 8am at the church. Everyone welcome!
Our first meeting for our Parish Council is this Tuesday night 7pm at the church.
Our Good Friday service will be held at 9am. Our other two services will run at normal times during the Easter weekend.
Jamberoo is remembering Anzac Day on Saturday 20th April 10.30am. Jodie will be reading the Bible and praying.
On Saturday 27th April we welcome Cameron Jones from the Anglican Church of Ireland, to preach and share about his plan to plant a church in the most gospel-poor, English-speaking nation. Irish dinner, trivia, and much more! He will also preach at 9am.
During May, we’ll be hosting three youth ministry students from Canada.Can you billet a student for a week?
Saturday 15th June 9am-2pm in Dapto. Speaker: Sam Chan. Don’t miss it!
Each week we need to receive $2650.00 in order to meet our commitments. In the last calendar month, our average weekly giving was $2681.00, leaving a gap of $-31.00. Up to the end of the last calendar month we needed to have received $34,450. Compared to that total we received $30,345, leaving a gap of $4,105.
Electronic giving is a great way to give! It helps us prayerfully plan our giving, and then the bank will help us keep that commitment, even when we may be unable to attend. To give by direct transfer then these are the details. Account name: Church of England Jamberoo. Account number: 10081274. BSB: 062562.
One of the greatest lies of the Devil is that Hell is not nearly as bad as its reputation.
You might have heard people say that they want to go to Hell because they want to party with all their friends that they expect meet there.
Jesus spoke more about Hell than anyone else in the Bible, and he made it very clear that a person should do anything in their power to avoid this horrible place.
In one part of the Bible, Jesus said that if a your eye causes you to sin, “gouge it out and throw it away. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.”
And another time Jesus spoke of a man who had been sent to Hell who was in so much agony that he pleaded that someone simply drip a few drops of water on his tongue to somehow relieve his anguish in the flames.
What’s more, given that relationships are a good gift from God to enjoy, we can be confident that Hell will be like solitary confinement, with no human contact for forever and ever.
And contrary to another popular viewpoint, God will be present in Hell, but only as one who is bringing judgement and punishment for eternity.
There are better reasons to follow Jesus than just to escape this horrible, eternal punishment.
After all, the joy of having life to the full with Jesus is mind-blowing, even if we don’t experience it fully until we go to be with him in heaven.
But even so, it’s worth being scared out of Hell into the safe arms of Jesus, knowing that you can fully escape God’s anger by simply trusting in Jesus and experiencing his full forgiveness for everything you’ve ever done.
So what are you waiting for? Why would you risk eternal punishment when you can have certainty for eternity with Jesus?
Well having spent four weeks looking at sex (listen to the recordings here if you missed them), we’re now going to spend some time reflecting on the prayer that Jesus prayed to his Father on the night before he died. It’s from the New Testament Gospel of John, chapter 17, and our series is called ‘What would Jesus pray?’
For our first week, I’ll be helping us look closely at what Jesus prayed to his Father about his own glorification in verses 1 to 5, as he prepared for the most important part of his mission to earth. This is very important for us, today, as it shows us where Jesus’ priorities lie, and why it matters that this continues to be at the heart of what he desires for us and for the universe.
We also love to meet together to hear answers to the questions you asked last week, and here they are:
1. What place does dreaming have in the Christian life?
2. What does Mary’s headpiece represent?
3. Why didn’t Jesus have a wife?
4. Are there any relationships in heaven?
5. What does the Bible say about when it is permissible to remarry?
6. Why should a person give up the fun things in life in order to become a Christian?
So, we’d love you to join us at 5pm on Saturday (with a kids’ program, then dinner together, then youth group), or 9am on Sunday (for a classic Anglican service, followed by excellent espresso coffee).
Can’t wait to see you this weekend!
Grace and peace, Jodie McNeill.