[CORRECTION: At the end of the episode Nick refers to a Messianic Psalm... this is Psalm 22 not Psalm 24. Also, the prophetic passage describing Jesus’ suffering is in Isaiah 52 & 53]
This is a special episode of the Into the Pray podcast specifically with our Edinburgh neighbours in mind!
Thank you for making the effort to come through to listen to this episode and we hope that we've managed to strike the right balance in both how and what we discuss. Thanks also to Gareth Hides for joining Nick to make this episode happen.
Our priority in this podcast as a whole is to address the "chaos of the Church" - and the Church is more chaotic that any of us are currently able to see. (We've discussed this at length in the early parts of season 1).
This chaotic landscape, (ie one church saying one thing, another church saying something very different, a lack of unity around the things that Jesus actually said), probably means that you're not interested in attending any of the 300+ churches in the city of Edinburgh.
We completely understand that.
We understand that there is often hypocrisy, contradiction, confusion and compromise regarding what the Church stands for (and doesn't stand for); we understand that there is often no real substance or power to what is currently understood to be "the Church".
We are so sorry that this is the way it has become, especially in recent decades in Britain. As such, as part of the Church ourselves, we apologise unreservedly on behalf of the Church.
However, there also remains spectacularly, (incomparably!) good news that will never spoil or fade...
What is the core of the gospel message, really?
- That Jesus Christ, the Messiah, lived, was crucified, was resurrected to life on the third day and is returning to redeem a people who will be ready for Him... just as a Bride is made ready for a Bridegroom. Once again, the gospel integrally includes the urgency of the Second Coming firmly, daily, in mind.
- That forgiveness for sin - any sin, absolutely any sin, once and for all - is immediately available by trusting in the name of Jesus, by believing in His "atoning" sacrifice on the cross, by believing in your heart that He is Lord and by confessing with your mouth that, by faith, He is yours.
Why is this different from any other message on the earth?
Grace is uniquely Christian. Only Jesus offers eternal salvation as a gift and that to receive this gift we need not do anything other than believe. Grace is the "unmerited favour" of God and there is nothing that any of us can do to make God love us more or less than He already does.
This is very, very good news!
We don't have all the answers but we do want to boldly give the most important answer of all:
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16).
In what is arguably the most uncertain period of modern history, it is our obligation (and privilege!) to point you clearly in the right direction - to Jesus Christ, "...the way, the truth and the life..." and "...the only way to the Father".
Please take our word for it: the Church is the problem, not God!
Please feel free to drop us any questions or knock on our front door; we'd love to hear from you.
in Jesus' Name,
Nick & Mairi xx