The Alicante Church Of The Good Shepherd New Year Message

With the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century we can definitely say that we are now well into the century. Children born in 2000 are 10 years old, they will never remember the 20th century and the 20th century is now history. For someone over eighty this is not always easy to grasp because we were children of the twentieth century and the second millennium.

However, although the calendar changes, lifestyles change, and people change, God does not change and calendars are of little importance to him. For him, as the Scriptures say - one day is as 1000 years and 1000 years as one day. It is the apostle Peter who tells us this, and I will quote the complete biblical passage -

By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the Day of Judgment and the destruction of ungodly men. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends:- With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought we to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming
- 2 Peter 3: 7 to 12

Are you ready at the beginning of this second decade of the 21st century to really live for God as a disciple of Jesus Christ? You cannot do this on your own, but Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to those who would believe in him and follow him. The Spirit is the Divine helper who will be at your side today and always.

The Apostle Peter declared this when he preached at the birth of the Church on the Day of Pentecost - Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit"
- Acts 2: 38

In the early church baptism was by immersion, and that practice should never have been changed because baptism represents death with Christ, burial with Christ and resurrection with Christ.

You will notice that Peter says first "repent": the word means a radical change. Change your mind, change the direction of your life, change your lifestyle, be sorrow for your sins, believe in Jesus Christ and be ready to follow him. Baptism should be the result of having done this and it ratifies and confirms it.

When the children of Israel slew the Passover lambs and were freed from Egyptian slavery God told them, "This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year"
- Exodus 12: 2

Jesus Christ was the true Passover lamb and he shed his blood for you on the cross at Calvary. Ask him now to come in to your heart and life and 2011 will be the first month of your first year of a new life in Christ..

God bless both you and all those you love throughout the coming year, and let the love of Jesus Christ reign in your hearts!!!

Pastor Gordon Guillermo Burgess
The Alicante Church of the Good Shepherd