ETERNITY – WHERE WILL YOU SPEND IT?

For over twenty five years, from 1930 to 1956, the people of Sydney woke up each day to a one-word sermon—”Eternity”—handwritten in white chalk or yellow crayon (when raining) on footpaths, train station platforms, and perimeter walls lining the city’s many walkways and streets. Each day a fresh batch of graffiti rendered in beautiful copperplate lettering style  would appear at places where there weren’t any the previous night. Somehow, for twenty five years, a mysterious figure had managed to sneak into the city every night and leave his presence on the city’s walls and sidewalks. It attracted the ire of Sydney City Council at first, but as the weeks become months, and the months became years, the “Eternity” graffiti became an iconic symbol of the city. Pedestrians stepped around and over the words, and street sweepers and cleaners left the elegant writings untouched. This is some way explains why the “Eternity” graffiti illuminated on the Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of new year’s eve celebration in 2000. The real explanation, God orchestrated it so that many worldwide would be impacted by the “Eternity” message. Arthur Stace was illiterate so it was obvious, certainly to Arthur, that God had initiated it. “I couldn’t understand it, and I still can’t,” Arthur later told in an interview.. But Arthur did know that God had asked him to do it. Arthur was obedient to go out on the streets of Sydney everyday, rain or shine, until the day before he died.

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The “Eternity” graffiti illuminated on the Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of new year’s eve celebration in 2000. Photo credit: National Geographic

The mysterious figure behind the phenomenon, who was to become the most famous graffiti artist in Australia’s history, managed to keep his identity a secret until one morning in June 1956, when he was caught in the act. That morning, Reverend Lisle M. Thompson, who preached at the Burton Street Baptist Church, saw a church cleaner sneak out a piece of chalk from his pocket and write the word on the footpath.

Rev. Thompson approached the cleaner and asked, “Are you Mr. Eternity?”, to which the cleaner replied, “Guilty, your honour.” Soon after that encounter, the Sunday Telegraph published an interview with the artist and the mystery that had baffled Sydney for over 25 years was finally revealed. The cleaner’s name was Arthur Malcolm Stace.

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A rare photo of Arthur Stace – “Mr. Eternity”.

Born in 1885 in Redfern, Stace’s childhood and much of his adulthood was marked by abject poverty. His parents were alcoholics, and his sisters ran a brothel. In order to survive, he resorted to stealing bread and milk and searching for scraps of food in bins. At the age of 12, Stace became a ward of the state and worked briefly in a coal mine. As a teenager, he became an alcoholic and was subsequently sent to jail at 15 for drunkenness. His twenties were spent running liquor between pubs and brothels, and working as a lookout for gambling dens. During the First World War, Stace found work as a laborer with the Australian Imperial Force, but his recurring bouts of bronchitis and pleurisy led him to be discharged.

Stace finally found his calling in November 1932, when he went to listen to a Baptist preacher named John Ridley give a sermon. In a homily titled “Echoes of Eternity“, Ridley declared: “Eternity, Eternity, I wish that I could sound or shout that word to everyone in the streets of Sydney. You’ve got to meet it, where will you spend Eternity?“. The words so captivated Stace that at that very moment, Stace pulled a piece of chalk he had in his pocket, bent down and wrote the word “Eternity” on the church floor.

Even though he was illiterate and could hardly write his own name legibly, the word ‘Eternity‘ came out smoothly, in a beautiful copperplate script. Arthur had to ask the person next to him what he had written.

God has a calling for each one of us, what is yours? Don’t know, then get into prayer until you do. Also, will you be obedient as Arthur was to carry it out regardless of the cost?

The story of Arthur Stace (Acorn Press, 2017)

LIVING ETERNAL NOW

Living eternal now is only possible through prayer. Do you realise “prayer is life’s greatest joy, highest privilege and most powerful venture.” Nothing can compare to it. This gem was extracted from the “Love to Pray” course by Dr Paul Cedar.

God wants to use you to do great things but it is only possible through prayer.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalms 16:11

David understood the truth, go to the Psalms for abundant wisdom.

I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.Psalms 16:7-9

We were created to be in fellowship with God and we get a glimpse of that with Adam and Eve walking with God in the Garden of Eden before The Fall. Jesus sacrifice for us made it possible for the Father to send the Holy Spirit (third person of the Trinity) to indwell all believers and thus renew our fellowship with God the Father. We need to acknowledge the fact Jesus made it possible for us to pray to our Heavenly Father and we do so by saying “in Jesus name we pray.”

Hopefully, you will come as David did to realise that prayer is the talking part of a love relationship with God. Sadly, many see it as a spiritual discipline, something I need to do to get right with God.

What does God do for those who relate to Him in love? David said it well when he said, “in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

I hope you do not mind me giving a plug for my book here:

Contents: Chapter 1: Why, Living Eternal Now – Ready for Jesus Return, Chapter 2: Existence of God, Chapter 3: Evidence for Creation & Genesis as History, Chapter 4: Evidence for an Inerrant Bible, Chapter 5: Testimonies of PhD Scientists, Chapter 6: Powerful Testimonies of People (from all walks of life) Living Eternal Now, Chapter 7: Holy Spirit’s Role in Living Eternal Now, Chapter 8: Role of Prayer in Living Eternal Now, Chapter 9: Discerning the Times.

One of the good things about the book is you can choose any chapter/topic of interest and start there. Each chapter is independent from the rest of the book.

Available as an eBook on Amazon. Also available as a trade paperback book by donating AUS$10. Click the Donations icon on the Home Page to do so. You will also need to email the delivery address to ron@bakb.com.au. The donation will cover delivery to anywhere in the world.

LIVING ETERNAL NOW

Jonathan Edwards resolved “that I will live so as I shall wish I had lived when I come to die.” Before he died, he helped spark the First Great Awakening, became president of the College of New Jersey (later Princeton), and is widely considered America’s greatest theologian.

Edwards was right to live each day in light of his death: he died at the age of fifty-five from the new smallpox vaccination.

If you knew that you would die next month of COVID-19, what would you do to prepare? What would you do or stop doing? What changes would you make to prepare to meet God?

Can I suggest you start living now with an eternal mindset Not only is the prospect you can die at anytime but also we now have the prospect of Jesus returning, perhaps in your lifetime.’

Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.1 Timothy 6:12

Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for My sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.Mark 10:29-30

available as an eBook on Amazon and as a trade paperback book from me. mailed anywhere in the world for AUS$20. email me your address to ron@bakb.com.au and click donate icon on Home page to make donation.

HUMBLE OURSELVES AND PRAY

REPENTANCE BRINGS  HIS JOY.  

There can be no better witness to others who are in fear. You and I were born for this very time, to be anointed by the Father with the Holy Spirit. This was only possible through Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. He alone made it possible for us to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit to those needing hope all around us. The Holy Spirit speaks to us today. He is our counsellor, teacher, and comforter He provides the gifts of the Spirit for ministry as we go He will lead and His power is evident.

“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”  2 Corinthians 7:1

That is a wonderful “assignment” each day from the Lord. As we submit our will to His will, we are perfecting holiness in Him and truly living eternal now.

The LORD is in charge.  He’s allowing the Covid 19 pestilence and the economic and political chaos to shake us like never before, certainly in my lifetime. Hopefully, it will awaken Christians in all nations, so that His people called by His Name will repent and pray.

 “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Our prayers and daily repentance will support this process for His Will to prevail. 

LIVING ETERNAL NOW

I picked up the first printed edition of my book Living Eternal Now from the printer yesterday.

Preface for the book

The Bible is full of fulfilled prophesy which is testimony of its divine inspiration and inerrancy. It is estimated that as much as 75% of the 2,500 prophesies in the Bible have already been fulfilled, and most of those yet to happen are “last days/end time” events.

How many churches today are preparing their congregations for Jesus’ second coming? Do you realise that there are more prophecies about Jesus’ second coming than His first. The Pharisees and Sadducees did not get it with His first coming, and the church is not getting it, with His second coming which may be in your lifetime.

“For this reason, you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.” Matt. 24:44

Equipped with the knowledge of the Bible’s “last days” prophecies, we will see many of these events unfold in our time. We will look at these unfolding “end times” events in the last chapter, Discerning the Times. It is an exciting time for a Christian who is prepared to live eternal now. For both the unbeliever and believer alike “great tribulation” is ahead, but the discerning believer understands the times and is prepared.

I would like this book to help equip Christians to fulfill God’s assignment for them in these last days. You will only be able to do that, if you are aware of the times we are in, submit to the indwelling Holy Spirit, have total confidence in God’s Word, and are able to defend it to an unbelieving church, atheists, and agnostics.

The book is available as an ebook on Amazon but not as a printed book as yet. If you want a printed copy email me on ron@bakb.com.au.

LIFE IS MEANT TO BE JOYFUL

“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.Psalms 32:1

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” Isaiah 52:7

“We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.” 2 Corinthians 6:10

Until Christ cures this world, our happiness in Christ will be punctuated by sorrow. Yet somehow an abiding joy is possible even in suffering. Jesus tells us in one of the Beatitudes: “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.Luke 6:21b

“There is nothing dreary and doubtful about [life]. It is meant to be continually joyful. . . . We are called to a settled happiness in the Lord whose joy is our strength” (Frank Houghton, Amy Carmichael).

Morning Prayer: Pick me up Lord, and hold me in your loving arms. Protect me from the pressures of the day …

Spoken by the missionary Amy Carmichael (1867–1951), who brought the gospel to countless children she rescued from temple prostitution in India. She experienced much physical suffering and didn’t have a furlough in fifty-five years and yet she could say life is meant to be continually joyful.

Happy people look beyond their difficult circumstances to the One whose grace brings light to the darkness and smiles to our faces in the most unlikely moments A.W. Tozer in his book Who Put Jesus on the Cross?

“The people of God ought to be the happiest people in all the wide world! People should be coming to us constantly and asking the source of our joy and delight”

Blessed are those who mourn; [for] God will comfort them!” (Matthew 5:4) Present happiness is derived from the promise of future comfort. The eternal perspective of God’s children informs them of true and ultimate happiness they can anticipate now (see Psalm 16:11; 21:6; 36:7–10; 37:16, 43:4; 73:28; John 10:10).

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” Psalms 51:10-12

DIGITALISATION, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, AND ROBOTICS

THE SWITCH TO RENEWABLE ENERGY IS A MASSIVE DISRUPTER TO GOVERNMENTS, COMPANIES AND INDIVIDUALS TO MANAGE CHANGE BUT ADD DIGITALISATION, A.I. AND ROBOTICS AND WE HAVE CHAOS.

“But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.Daniel 12:4

How about this prophecy given to Daniel about the time of the end. In addition, we have many prophecies that in the “last days” chaos and lawlessness will abound.

How about this FLYING CAR developed by an Israeli company that uses hydrogen and electric battery power.

For some people like me that love change and can see all the new investment opportunities that this change provides, it is an exciting time. The big challenge for me is that I can so easily get sidetracked from what God is calling me to do in the twilight years of my life. I need to make sure I continue to live eternally now knowing that there are eternal rewards for building God’s kingdom on earth.

CAN WE KNOW GOD IS REAL?

Nabeel Qureshi, ex-Muslim turned Christian apologist, died in 2017 after a year-long battle with stomach cancer. The 34-year-old left behind a wife and two-year-old daughter.

Qureshi published three books, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity, and Answering Jihad: A Better Way Forward, and No God but One: Allah or Jesus? A Former Muslim Investigates the Evidence for Islam and Christianity.

Qureshi made the official announcement of his cancer diagnosis August 2016.

“This is an announcement that I never expected to make, but God in his infinite and sovereign wisdom has chosen me for this refining, and I pray he will be glorified through my body and my spirit. My family and I have received the news that I had advanced stomach cancer and the prognosis is quite grim,” he said in a Facebook post.

Qureshi continued to share the gospel and updates on his treatment through videos on his social media page.

In the last video before his death, he said he hoped he leaves behind a legacy of love.

“As you consider my ministry, I hope it leaves a message of love, of peace, of truth, of caring for one another,” he says. “Our God is a God of love.”

Listen to Nabeel on “Can We Know if God is Real”.

LIVING ETERNAL NOW

Jesus commands us: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27-28),  We can’t do this in our own strength. It takes yielding to God’s Holy Spirit within to “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you,” and “pray for those who abuse you.”

I am sure Abraham did not completely understand what God was doing by asking him to sacrifice his son, but he was prepared to do it anyway. Likewise, there are times when I cannot understand why we are commanded to pray for our enemies, do good to those that hate us, bless those who curse us, and pray for those who abuse us but, I do it anyway. And never have I ever regretted it.

I might not precisely understand what God’s Word tells me to do in some cases, so I must trust the Spirit and yield to His influence. The Spirit might prompt me to do something that I would not ordinarily do, and even though my own flesh says, “No,” I sense it’s what God wants me to do, and more often than not, I discover that, in His sovereignty, God had placed me in such a place and time to do just what He willed for me to do. I know that if what I do helps others; if it glorifies God, and it’s revealed in the Word of God, then I must do it, even if I don’t fully understand it at the time.

available from Amazon as an eBook

LIVING ETERNAL NOW

Colossians is a great book for helping us to live eternally now. Paul instructs us to concentrate on the eternal realities of heaven. “Set your minds on things above” The Greek verb for set emphasizes an ongoing decision. Christians must continually discipline themselves to focus on eternal realities instead of the temporal realities of this earth.

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.” Colossians 3:1-11

Use of old self and new self. These two terms do not refer to the Christian’s fleshly and spiritual natures. Instead, Paul describes our former unredeemed life as the old self and our life as God’s child as the new self. The new self has the image of the new creation in Christ, just as the old self bears the image of our fallen nature. The old self is under an old master, Satan, while the new self has a new master, the Holy Spirit of God living within.

available on Amazon as eBook