Prophecies about Jesus: He is eternal

Jesus Christ is eternal - without beginning or endWhen I was in high school there were two views of the origin of the universe – The steady state theory (that the universe was eternal) and the big bang theory (that the universe had a beginning). Since then, the steady state theory has been discarded. But it was attractive to scientists because it removed the need for a creator God because the universe was eternal. Now there is a need for a creator to kick off the universe. And the Bible says that it is the creator who is eternal.

An Old Testament prophecy about the birth of Christ also makes a statement about His antiquity. The prophet Micah wrote, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah [near Jerusalem], though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times” (Mic. 5:2NIV). This is from a passage (v.2-5) that is about the birth and reign of Israel’s Ultimate Ruler. And Isaiah called this person “Mighty God, Everlasting Father” (Isa. 9:6).

“From ancient times” means from the eternal past. Jesus is the eternal God. The promise to Judah was that their situation would change when the Messiah comes (Mic. 5:4).

So, Micah prophesized that the Messiah to be born in Bethlehem had existed eternally in the past. Over 700 years later, the fulfilment was given.

John begins his gospel, “In the beginning was the Word [Jesus], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made” (Jn. 1:1-3). Here we see that Jesus was the pre-existing eternal One. Before anything was created, Jesus existed. His existence is beyond time. He has always existed, and He created everything, including time. Jesus preceded creation in both time and space. When He was born, Jesus added a human nature to His eternal, divine nature.

And when He was in Jerusalem, Jesus told the Jews, “Before Abraham was born, I am!” (Jn. 8:58). He existed before Abraham. Christ existed in eternity. The Son of God never came into being at all because He always existed in eternity. He had no beginning. He is timeless. Then they tried to stone Him to death because they recognized that Christ claimed to be God almighty.

And Jesus said that He was with God the Father, “before the world began” (Jn.17:5).

And in the last chapter of the Bible Jesus says, “Look, I am coming soon! … I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Rev. 2:12-13). These three pairs of titles affirm that Jesus is eternal.


Father God, we thank you that the trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is eternal. That Jesus who was born in Bethlehem existed from all eternity. He is almighty God. This means that He has unique powers of creation and salvation.

So, we offer thanks and praise for all that you have done through Jesus. In Christ’s name, Amen.

G Hawke

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Munmorah State Conservation Area

Saturday 3 June 2023

Coastal walk between Catherine Hill Bay and Wybung Head. Zawns, sea caves and whale watching. Transport (mini bus) available from North Ryde (8.15am) and Hornsby (8.40am).  Return by 6pm.

Leader : George Hawke 0422 659 589

Grade : Medium (8 km)

Sydney Christian Bushwalkers

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Where will you respawn?

Where will you respawn?Despite the way some people may react, death is not that big a problem in a video game. You may lose your loot, position or game but there’s always another life. On the contrary, the Bible says real human death is a once off occasion, life is not repeatable, it’s a one time only offer. And what comes next is crucial.

“People are destined to die once, and after that to face judgement.” Hebrews 9:27

Post death divine judgement sounds like an old fashioned idea, and it is. The idea that God will judge us and our lives after we die has been around since the beginning of recorded history. It’s a scary idea and out of fashion in our post-christian culture. But the Bible says it’s true. As much as God’s eternal judgement may seem dreadful, from another perspective it gives life meaning and can comfort us as we face injustices in life. Post death divine judgement means that what we do here and now matters. There is an objective standard of right and wrong. There is a witness to every secret crime and cruelty. When all the land’s judicial systems fail, when corruption perverts truth, there is still justice for those who got away with it.

The idea that when our “game is over” everyone of us will re-spawn before God’s impartial judgement can be both terrifying and comforting. But the above verse brings great hope as it continues.

“Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgement, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.” Hebrews 9:27-28

The Bible teaches that their will be two types of judgment – believers (who trust that their sins have been forgiven through the death and resurrection of Christ) will be rewarded (Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10), and unbelievers will be punished eternally (Revelation 20:11-15).

The good news of Jesus is that He Himself bore our punishment so that those who trust in Him, or, as this verse puts it, are waiting for Him to return, can be confident they will be forgiven for everything and spend eternity in the loving company of God. Will you take this one life you’ve got seriously? Do you want to be sure that, on the other side of death, you will be forgiven and welcomed by a loving God (2 Corinthians 5:10)? Trust Jesus. Depend on what He’s done to bring you forgiveness. Be confident of where you will be when you re-spawn.

Prayer: Dear God, I admit I don’t live according to your perfect standard. I admit I have secret sins. It’s scary to know you see them all and will judge me for them. Please forgive them in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Acknowledgement: This article was sourced from Outreach Media, Sydney, Australia.
Images and text © Outreach Media 2023

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Zig Zag Railway Walk & Farmers Creek, Lithgow

Saturday 22 April 2023

Did you know that the Zig Zag Railway is planning to reopen this year? Walk from Clarance Station to Zig Zag Station and then to historic dams along Farmers Creek. Transport (mini bus) available from North Ryde (8.00am) and Strathfield (8.15am). Return by 6pm.

Leader : George Hawke 0422 659 589

Grade : Medium (8 km)

Sydney Christian Bushwalkers

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What’s so special about Easter?

What's so special about Easter?Everyday in the world about 190,000 people die. That averages as 8,000 deaths per hour and two deaths every second. In Australia we do a pretty good job at keeping death out of conversation and mind. However there’s no denying it is an inevitable and ordinary part of life. Death isn’t, in a manner of speaking, anything special. So why do we have a public holiday – an extra long weekend with Good Friday and Easter Monday, in remembrance of one man’s death? What has the death of one specific, Jewish man who lived 12,217 kilometres and 2,000 years apart from our lives today got to do with us?

Let me tell you the two reasons why thousands of kilometres away and thousands of years later millions of people stop to remember the death of Jesus Christ.

Firstly, Jesus’ death wasn’t an ordinary death. He did die in a rather common, though brutal, way for first century Roman occupied Jerusalem. Crucifixion was a preferred method of executing non-Roman criminals in Jesus’ day. Jesus was just one of 1,000s crucified by the Roman government in those days. However the Bible testifies that, unlike the thousands of others who died on a cross, Jesus’ death had a very special divine and eternal purpose. The eyewitness accounts of Jesus, preserved for us today in the Bible, make it clear Jesus was the perfect, sinless, universe creating God-become-human. When He died He was God dying on behalf of us God ignoring sinners. The death of Jesus is the expression of God’s sacrificial love for us and the means by which we can be freely forgiven for our rejection of Him. The undeserved death of Jesus is the substitution of our deserved death. The death of Jesus is the act and evidence that we are deeply and unrelentingly loved by the God who made us. This is worth remembering, celebrating, honouring. This is reason for the whole world to stop.

Secondly, Jesus didn’t just die. The eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ contemporaries and disciples report the extraordinary event of Jesus coming back to life. This is not something they expected as they huddled together grieving the death of their teacher and loss of hope He would save them. Yet as they met the resurrected Jesus they were convinced Jesus had conquered death and indeed was their saviour – not just in this life but the life to come. They went from fear and despair to people willing to share the miraculous message of who Jesus is and what he has done whatever the cost.

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26

What’s so special about Easter? The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus is the historical proof of the creator God’s gritty, agonising, death-defying love for you. Will you accept this love? Will you humble yourself enough to admit you need it? Will you accept His promise of life eternal?

Prayer: Creator God, I believe Jesus is who He said He was. I believe He is God almighty who died in my place to bring me forgiveness and eternal life. Forgive me for rejecting you. Help me now to live knowing your love and looking forward to eternal life with you. Amen.

Acknowledgement: This article was sourced from Outreach Media, Sydney, Australia.
Images and text © Outreach Media 2023

Here’s a link to the Good News archive (in a new window).

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Today’s lifesavers

Worn by today's lifesaversWe appreciate, perhaps now more than ever, the sacrificial and life saving service of our doctors and nurses. A survey in 2021 showed that doctors and nurses are the professionals we Australians trust more than any other. Paramedics and surf lifeguards are also held dear in our Australian hearts. How important and comforting it is to know there’s someone there to save us if our life is at risk. In a moment of life and death there is nothing more vital than being rescued and nothing more beautiful than our rescuer’s face.

Have you thought of Jesus as your rescuer? The overarching story of the Bible, from beginning to end, is that we humans need rescuing from more than just physical death. Because we have all rejected our God and creator we are in grave spiritual danger. After our physical death we face God’s just judgement and eternal condemnation. It’s a hard thing to think about. It can sound so harsh and feel so far from our current daily experiences. But the Bible is clear – our sin (rebellion against God) means we are in real, serious and permanent danger from God’s justice.

The reality of this danger is what makes the message of Jesus “good news.”

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.  Romans 5:6-8

This is where what Jesus did to rescue us from eternal danger is even greater than our sacrificial doctors, nurses, paramedics and lifeguards. Jesus gave up His life to rescue us, to secure our forgiveness and eternal life. Sometimes we hear of someone dying to save the life of another – the dad who saved his child from drowning but was unable to get himself to shore safely. Like this scenario Jesus gave up His life for ours. But unlike this example Jesus didn’t die to save His innocent loving child, He died to save the children who have shunned Him and hurt Him. And Jesus didn’t stay dead either, rather He rose back to life again and conquered death for all in doing so. Jesus wants to rescue you from eternal danger. He died and rose again, so that you could have a perfect eternal life with Him. He did this despite the way you’ve ignored or rejected Him. Are you ready to be rescued by this amazing Saviour?

Prayer: Dear God, Please forgive me for ignoring and rejecting you. I accept Jesus’ eternal rescue. I’m thankful that He died and rose back to life again to save me from eternal condemnation. I receive this rescue and gift of eternal life with you in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Acknowledgement: This article was sourced from Outreach Media, Sydney, Australia.
Images and text © Outreach Media 2023

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Prophecies about Jesus: His family line

When a job is advertised there is usually a job description and a list of essential requirements (like qualifications, skills, and experience). What were the essential requirements for the Jewish Messiah? One of them is one’s family tree.

Prophecies about the family line of the Jewish Messiah can be traced through the Old Testament and its listed in detail at the beginning of the New Testament (Mt. 1:1-16).

A descendant of Abraham

God told Abraham, “all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Gen. 12:3NIV). This means that one of his descendants will bless all the earth.

Fulfillment: His name is in Christ’s genealogy (Mt. 1:1; Lk. 2:34). And Paul said that the covenant promises given to Abraham were fulfilled in the person and work of Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:16).

But Abraham had eight sons (Gen. 25:1-2).

A descendant of Isaac

God told one of these sons, Isaac, “through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed” (Gen. 26:4). Once again, this means that one of his descendants will bless all the earth.

Fulfillment: His name is in Christ’s genealogy (Mt. 1:2; Lk. 2:34).

But Isaac had two sons.

A descendant of Jacob

Isaac told one of these sons, Jacob, “May He [God] give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham” (Gen. 28:4). And God repeated His promise to Jacob saying, “kings will be among your descendants” (Gen. 35:11-12).

Fulfillment: His name is in Christ’s genealogy (Mt. 1:3; Lk. 2:34).

But Jacob had twelve sons.

A descendant of Judah

Jacob said about one of his sons, Judah, “The scepter [rule] will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his” (Gen. 49:10).

Fulfillment: His name is in Christ’s genealogy (Mt. 1:3; Lk. 2:33).

But Judah had five sons (Gen. 46:12).

Then there is a gap of 9 generations (about 650 years) to Jesse.

A descendant of Jesse

Isaiah wrote, “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit” (Isa. 11:1). And then he describes the Messiah’s millennial reign (Isa. 11:2 – 12:6).

Fulfillment: His name is in Christ’s genealogy (Mt. 1:3; Lk. 2:33).

But Jesse had eight sons, and David was youngest (1Sam. 16:10-11).

A descendant of king David

The prophet Nathan told David about a descendant of his, “He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever (2 Sam. 7:13).

Fulfillment: His name is in Christ’s genealogy (Mt. 1:6; Lk. 2:31). And the angel Gabriel told Mary, “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus … The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David” (Lk. 1:31-32).

So only descendants of king David meet this requirement to be the promised Messiah. It’s an essential requirement for the job.

And we know that Jesus Christ was the only person to meet all the essential requirements to be the promised Jewish Messiah.

Fortunately for us, Jesus was a Savior and deliverer for Gentiles as well (Mt. 22:1-14). The invitation goes out to everyone, but only a few accept it (Mt. 22:14). For them Paul says, “the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:14).


Father God, we thank you for promising to send a Messiah into this world. Your great plan of salvation was announced to Abraham about 4,000 years ago. And Jesus fulfilled this prophecy about 2,000 years ago. He satisfied this essential requirement for our Savior. He had the right ancestry.

So, we offer thanks and praise for all that you have done through Jesus. In Christ’s name, Amen.


Inspired by Did Jesus Fulfill the Prophecies about the Messiah? By Don Stewart.

G Hawke

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God’s love letter to you

God's love letter to to youWe can not live well without love. It is a universal truth as much as it is a cliche. Love lost, love unrequited, love received – these are the real events that make our lives and mark our memories. Without true love in our lives, whether it be a parent, a child, a lover, a friend, or a pet, we limp along surviving but never thriving. And it is not a coincidence that as the oft- quoted Bible verse declares, “God is love” (1 John 4:16). God is love, and He has created us to exist, to thrive, in His love.

But what does “God is love” really mean? Some conclude that the prevalence of suffering in this world precludes the existence of a loving God. That makes sense. If God is all-powerful and all-loving, why would He allow the terrible suffering that has darkened each one of our lives?

The Bible is a very long love letter that describes why. God’s love is holistic and long-sighted. He doesn’t give His beloved ice cream for breakfast because it will make them happy in the morning. When the humans He has created to thrive in His love reject Him – He loves them enough to let them experience the natural consequences of their choice. And the natural consequence of living outside God’s love is suffering. That is not to say that the suffering in a person’s life is a specific or proportionate consequence of their sin. Rather, because of our common rejection of the God who is love, we live in a world, in bodies and relationships, that are broken and love deficient.

Yet God loves us still. He doesn’t delight in the suffering we have brought upon ourselves. On the contrary, with a grieving and love-filled heart, God steps into our suffering. Jesus going to the cross is that moment in the movie where the heroic lover sacrifices himself to save their beloved – even after the beloved has denied him.

“This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” 1 John 4:10.

Have you accepted the strong, forgiving, self- sacrificing love of God? Have you acknowledged that you have not loved God but He has loved you? Have you read His love letter to you? Perhaps you could start by reading 1 John (a letter recorded towards the end of the Bible). Whatever love you are blessed to have in your life there is none stronger, deeper, or better than God’s love for you.

Prayer: Dear God, open my eyes and heart to the depths of your love. Help me to see that, though I haven’t loved you, you have loved me. I receive the gift of Jesus’s sacrifice to take away my sins. Please fill me with your love. Amen.

Acknowledgement: This article was sourced from Outreach Media, Sydney, Australia.
Images and text © Outreach Media 2023

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The Creator who entered His creation

Children playing with LegoOur children and grandchildren spent many hours playing with Lego. They used their imagination and creativity to build many things. In Genesis we are told that in the beginning of time God created the universe and all that is in it. This was greater than creating with Lego – He didn’t just assemble ready-made components, He made the atoms and molecules of all the components. And He made living creatures, which do a lot more then Lego technic or Lego robots. Living creatures make their own decisions and don’t just follow a computer code. And they can communicate with each other.

But can an ant communicate with a human being? Or vice-versa? No, not unless an ant becomes a human or a human becomes an ant. That’s absurd and ridiculous! It’s like a transformer toy. At least they would need to know the other’s language.

Can the creator God communicate with human beings? This gap is greater than between an ant and a human because we are inside time and space and God is outside time and space. For this to happen, either the Creator comes down to our level or we, the creatures, move up to His level.

How would you feel about becoming an ant? Imagine the only way to save them was for you to become an ant and show them how to live right. Would you do so knowing that the same ants you were trying to save would turn on you and kill you? Would you do it if you knew you would have to remain an ant forever?

In Old Testament times God sent important messages to His people via an audible voice (Gen. 3:8-19; Ex. 19:3-6; Dt. 4:12; Acts 9:4-6; 10:13, 15), prophets, angels, and dreams and visions. Also, it seems as though God appeared physically sometimes as “the angel of the Lord”. This was a foretaste of what happened in the New Testament where God did more than that. The New Testament says that God the Son came down to our level. We remembered this at Christmas. God doesn’t need anything from us, and we have no intrinsic value that didn’t come from Him. Yet, God chose to become a human being knowing fully well that we would kill Him and He would have to remain a man forever (1 Tim. 2:5). The God of the universe experienced the nature of humanity.

Jesus had to be a man so that He could die for us. If He wasn’t a human being, He couldn’t have died and paid the price for our sins. Jesus was still human, but with a glorified body, after He rose from the dead and when He ascended back to heaven (1 Tim. 2:5). A glorified body is a transformation that all believers look forward to.


Father God, we thank you for the miracle of creation. Thanks for creating us in your image so we can have a special relationship with you and be indwelt with the Holy Spirit.

And we thank you for sending Jesus in our image to die in our place so that our sins might be put away forever. That’s the greatest example of love that we can imagine.

We marvel that Jesus entered His creation and is now connected to it forever. And that as the unique God-man, He continues to mediate and intercede between us and God.

So, we offer thanks and praise for all that you have done through Jesus. In Christ’s name, Amen.

G Hawke

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God’s ultimate destination for you

With love from heaven - God's ultimate destination for youWhat is your ultimate holiday destination? Dream big, imagine you have no limit on your budget or time. Are you a chalet in the Alps, sitting by a wood fire drinking cognac kind of person? A New Zealand extreme sports adventurer? A culture vulture visiting the galleries of Italy? Or would you prefer a tropical island with massages, snorkelling, and endless feasts? There are so many beautiful places and experiences to be had if you have the money and time for them.

However, if the promises of the Bible are true there is a place even better than you can imagine available to you whatever your financial position or time constraints. This place is beautiful beyond anything you’ve ever known. Squeeze together all the beautiful places you’ve seen, all the delicious tastes you’ve tasted, all the deepest joy and love and sense of belonging you’ve ever felt, and you get a pale preview of what heaven will be like for those who trust Jesus.

The last book of the Bible, Revelation, is a rather cryptic, confusing, albeit vivid, account of the end of the world, judgement day and the new creation. Many people have fought over various interpretations of Revelation’s message. Yet it contains a promise that is crystal clear and profoundly captivating. God’s people, all those who have entrusted their lives to Jesus, will be blissfully united with their tender loving God.

Look, God’s home is now among His people! He will live with them, and they will be His people. God Himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” Revelation 21:3-4

The details of what heaven will be like compared to now, how much it will resemble this world, what will and won’t be different, are a bit on the blurry side. However, what is clear is that all that is difficult and painful in this life will not be there. It will be a place filled with God’s spotless beauty and God’s perfect embracing love. God wants you there with Him, in never ending love and joy. Jesus Christ died to pay for your way there. Will you accept His invitation to this ultimate destination?

Prayer: Dear God, I long for the never ending experience of love and joy and perfection that the Bible describes as being with you in heaven. I accept your invitation. Please forgive me for wrongs and accept Jesus’ sacrifice on my behalf. Help me now to live as one destined to be embraced by your perfect love. Amen.

Acknowledgement: This article was sourced from Outreach Media, Sydney, Australia.
Images and text © Outreach Media 2023

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