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Thought for the weekend

By Rev Gareth Burke

The decision of the Prime Minister to suspend Parliament for a period of weeks has caused quite a stir. Some are enthusiastic about Mr Johnson's plan while others are bitterly opposed to it.

The divisions that exist within the UK are very much on display at the present time.

Here, in Northern Ireland, our society is becoming increasingly polarised and the centuries-old division between Orange and Green appears to be alive and well. Polarised societies. Divided communities.

Division, of course, is not something new. Let's go back to the beginning, the Garden of Eden.

Adam, the first man, was given specific instructions by God not to eat the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 3). However, he disobeyed God's clear instruction, broke God's command and fell into sin.

Since that moment a huge division has existed between man and God. There's a mighty gulf which man has sought to bridge in all kinds of ways, to no avail.

Here's the big dilemma: how can sinful man, born in a condition of enmity towards God, ever be reconciled to God, who is pure, holy and just?

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All our good works, self-righteous attitudes and attempts to please God cannot bridge the gulf that exists between sinful man and our holy God.

This is, of course, depressing reading, but don't stop; there's good news to come.

The good news is that God has provided a way by which we can be reconciled to Him and experience the forgiveness of all of our sins.

In the Bible's best-known verse we are given a superb summary of the Christian Gospel and confronted in a few words with God's solution to man's great problem: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16)."

To be at one with God, to bridge the gulf and to experience God's forgiveness, we need to reach out in faith to Jesus Christ, who died in our place and took the punishment for our sin.

The division between you and God can be remedied. God, in His love, provided a way for you to be at one with Him. Simply reach out in faith to Jesus Christ today.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph