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Enter the name of the tune for hymn 362
Some of the first things we learn are nursery rhymes or fairy tales – stories that make no sense at all, but which are catchy rhymes and tales that people have taught their children over the centuries. In Britain we have stories about
They’re nonsense poems and stories of course, but good fun for all that.
Children love stories about witches and wizards and all sorts of improbable things – like a house made out of gingerbread and a wolf that talked to Red Riding Hood. But, as they grow up, children begin to realise that there’s a big difference between the world of make-believe and the real world in which we live.
Things that seem too good to be true are usually untrue and finding that out is part of life’s experience. Adults have to explain some uncomfortable truths, like: “You have to work hard to get on in life”; “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” and “You only get out of life what you put into it”.
These are important lessons to learn because plenty of people will try and trick you if they can. They might offer you an investment deal where they promise a huge return on your money; but you may never see your money again, because they will just spend it. There are people who will offer to sell you something, but when you send your money you hear no more from them. And there are others who will try to persuade you that their beliefs are the right beliefs about something, when they are in fact quite wrong! But how do you know who to believe and how to choose the best course to follow?
It is especially important to know what to believe about matters which have to do with your eternal destiny. Someone will tell you that you have an immortal soul, so you are bound to live forever, either in pleasant surroundings and happy circumstances or in eternal misery. Someone else will say that there’s no prospect of life after death for when you die you cease to exist. Another person will say that you might live forever if you do the right things and make your peace with God. Yet another, that you are destined to return after death in some other form of life, like a butterfly or a frog. How can you know what is right and what is wrong?
Regular readers of Glad Tidings will know that Christadelphians believe that God has a plan with the earth and mankind which He has revealed in the Bible. We believe that Jesus Christ – the Son of God – was born to save men and women from sin and death, and that he died and rose again to make that possible. Now in heaven, Jesus is to return to earth as God’s appointed king, ruling over a worldwide kingdom centred in Jerusalem and that then the world will become a wonderful place, just as God always intended. At his return, Jesus will raise from the dead those who are now in the unconscious and dreamless state of death, and those who are accounted worthy will work with the Lord Jesus to beautify the world and to work alongside those who survive his Coming and get to live in the new world. All of this is something that God offers quite freely, an offer summed up by one Bible writer like this:
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
How do we know if that’s too good to be true? The first reason is because it’s in the Bible and the Bible has been shown to be true many times over. Of course there are people who say that the Bible is like a fairytale – something that sounds good when you’re young and foolish but which is not believable for thinking adults. Many people who say that haven’t even read it and know nothing about:
We feature items like that in Glad Tidings from time to time. But there is one absolutely convincing way in which you can satisfy yourself about the truth and teaching of the Bible and that is something that Christadelphians have been doing daily for many years.
The best way to discover what the Bible is like and what it teaches is to read it, a little at a time until you have read it all. That is why this issue contains a set of Bible Reading Tables (on pages 10 and 11) that suggest a few chapters every day from different parts of the Bible. Resolve to do those readings and during the course of a year you will read the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice. That will give you two huge benefits.