Happenings 29 October 2020

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Just thinking…

The young people asked some profound questions in church a couple of weeks ago about suffering. I was once asked a similar question by a woman called Michelle. Here is part of a letter I wrote to her outlining my thoughts on this weighty issue.
Suffering is caused by sin and its consequences (either our own or the flow-on affects of others’ sin), and by the work of Satan and his agents. The biblical understanding of sin is that it corrupts and distorts things that were originally created perfect. The Bible says that this distortion affects not just our spirits and our relationship with God, but the physical world around us (Genesis 3:18) and even our own bodies (Romans 5:12). That is why when God finally deals with sin and wraps up history as we know it, for those who love him sin and its consequences will no longer affect us. But in the meantime, we are stuck with the consequences of humanity’s wrong use of free-will … with a world and bodies and relationships that can sometimes cause pain and heartache. Why doesn’t God doesn’t wave a magic wand and remove all the tangled outcomes of sin in this world? My own view on this is that for free-will to mean anything at all, it must mean not only the freedom to choose but also the responsibility to live with the consequences of the choices we make. If God did away with sin and its outcomes in this world, he would actually be dishonouring the original gift of free choice that he gave humanity since, as with all choices, freedom and responsibility must go together. Also, if God got rid of all the sin in the world, he would also be destroying every person as well, since we all guilty. But it is also true that God sometimes allows hard things. Why? To achieve through temporary pain a lasting good. God is more concerned about our character than our comfort. A person’s eternity does not depend on the state of their body, but on the state of their spirit. So why does He allow pain? Because pain can actually be the reason for someone turning to God! C.S. Lewis once wrote that pain is God’s megaphone to wake a sleeping world (i.e. wake people up to the fact that their eternity’s are on the line). God also sometimes allows suffering to continue in a person’s life for a long time, but again it is for a good and lasting purpose. The apostle Paul is an example of this (see 2 Corinthians 2:7-10). Sometimes, however, we can’t actually see the good that God is wanting to achieve through allowing us to suffer … that’s certainly been true of my life at times, and I still don’t have all the answers about why some things have happened to me and to others I know. For me, though, I choose to believe God has a purpose in it all, even when I can’t see it. The thing that convinces me is Jesus dying on the cross, paying the death penalty for my sins even though he didn’t have to. He could have given up on this world and on me – written me off as a lost cause. He didn’t have to die but chose to so that I could know and take comfort from him in this world and spend eternity with him in the next. He decided to become part of our suffering so that he might provide the eternal solution for it.

In Him,

This Sunday 1 November…

The Opposition Party : Last week we looked at with the Bible says about demons and Satan. This week, we check out God's guidance on living a life free from the entanglements of this opposition party.

Kids Programmes This Sunday

Spark is our program for older preschool to year 2 kids,
Blaze is for kids in years 3-5,
Ignite is for young people in years 6 and above.

Office Hours

Please note that the office hours are now Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8am-1pm.

Family Fun Night!

On Saturday 21 November from 5:30 - 9pm, we will be having a Family Fun Night in the church! Come and join us for a pre-Christmas dinner with all the trimmings and an exciting programme for all to enjoy! Please wear a party hat - there will be prizes for the most original hat.

Costs are:
Adults - $10
Children - $5
Family - $25
Under 6 Free
Please pay when you book. Bookings and payments will be taken at church on 1, 8 and 15 November.

Looking forward to celebrating together!
The Hospitality Team

Men’s Breakfast

Please note that there will be no further Men's Breakfast events for 2020. We will return in 2021!

mainly music

mainly music for young children is on in the church every Tuesday at 10am. Newcomers are most welcome!

faith @ 6:30

The next faith @ 6:30 all-age evening service will be held on Sunday 8 November at 6:30pm. More details to come!

Prayer Service

This Sunday evening from 7pm in the downstairs basement room. Come along and pray with us.

Home Groups

Young Adults Home Group
Every Thursday evening at 7:30pm. Please email the church to be added to the Facebook page, and check Facebook for updates of what we have going on. We'd love for you to join us!

Revelation Bible Study
The Revelation Small Group Series are studies looking at Jesus’ messages to the seven churches and asking what they mean for us today. This follows on from the Revelation sermon series and starts on Wednesday 21 October, 7:30pm. There will be five studies: 21, 28 Oct, 18, 25 Nov, 2 Dec. Enquiries phone the church office.

Myth-busters Small Group
Myth-busters is a 5 week series exploring what the Bible actually says about some key topics rather than what we think it says. Please contact the office if you are interested.

SHAPE Small Group
Pastor Murray will be leading a SHAPE Small Group series, looking at how God has wired you for service. Please register your interest by contacting the office.

Wednesday Night Home Group
Home Group at the home of Paul and Ruth Ungemuth every second and fourth Wednesday at 7:30pm. Each week we share in supper, do a bible study and pray for each other. Will begin on Wednesday 13 February. Contact the office for more information.

Thursday Morning Home Group
Home Group in the church lounge on the third Thursday of the month at 10am. After morning tea we do a bible study and pray together. Contact the office for more information.

You can check out what’s happening from our Facebook page by clicking here.

You can check out all our Sunday services during the lock-down from our YouTube channel by clicking here.

You can find out what’s happening at RBC by joining our e-newsletter list. Please contact the office if you wish to be added to this.