What follows was recently printed as a tract and distributed at the annual Scarva event (see attached web photo album for further details).
"And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth" (Luke 12:15).
We have heard much in recent times from politicians about Northern Ireland's economy. Phrases such as 'financial package' and 'inward investment' or buzzwords like 'infrastructure' and 'mechanisms' have been used regularly. What it all means is not always clear to all of us, but the general atmosphere is upbeat.
Politicians - local, national and beyond - have grasped with apparent accuracy that what really interests the people of Northern Ireland - including those who would still call themselves 'Protestants' - is money. Questions of right and wrong, such as abortion and homosexuality or even crime and punishment, do not seem to be top of the list of concerns. As for issues such as Sabbath observance, well - such a thing is viewed really as a relic of a bygone age and of antiquarian interest at best. We have moved on. We have our new shopping centre in Belfast and much more to come.
Dissenting voices from this priority order are few. But there is one voice, though little heard at present, which will have the last word in the end - it is the voice of God. God speaks now in the Bible. He will speak again at the last judgment when the history of this present world, and all the lives of men and women in it, will be over. What does He say about the love of money in the Scriptures? He does not condemn prosperity as sinful nor declare poverty as an automatic virtue, but He does speak very clearly against 'the love of money' (1 Timothy 6:10). In fact, God's Word calls this "covetousness, which is idolatry" (Colossians 3:5). What we live for - token church-attendance notwithstanding - that is our god.
The verse at the beginning of this leaflet introduces Christ's parable about the rich fool; a man who stored up the produce of his ground in barns and said to himself, "thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?" (Luke 12:19-20). He promised himself what God had not promised - a long life. He did not, however, prepare for the inevitable - death and judgment.
Is this the case with you? On the other hand, perhaps it is not accumulating wealth that is the driving force in your life. Some other form of pleasure motivates you and you 'live for the moment'. But still you are not "rich toward God" (Luke 12:21). You have no treasure in Heaven for you do not have Christ who is in Heaven. All you love is in this present world and all of it will have to be given up when you are summoned before God by death. Your sins are not forgiven and you live daily under the condemnation of God.
Those sins, even of your thoughts, that you tell yourself are trivial, are not trivial before God. They deserve His wrath in Hell forever. Only the Lord Jesus Christ can save you. "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36). This is why Christians have come to you with this leaflet to tell you of Christ who bore the just wrath of God as the substitute of guilty sinners who believe on His Name. "O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him" (Psalm 34:8).
'The day of the sham fight'Just 3 miles from the village of Loughbrickland, Scarva sets the scene for the re-enactment of the...