Pastoral Letter August 2018

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…”
            — Hebrews 6.19

Dear Friends,

There’s an enormous anchor featured on the front cover (of our magazine). If you see images of the ship it came from, you begin to see why it had to be so big! If you look closely, you will see that this anchor weighs 13.5 tonnes. If ever an anchor was ‘sure and steadfast’, it would be one like this!

IMG_0775The writer of the letter to the Hebrews speaks about the ‘hope’ every Christian has, as an ‘anchor of the soul’. So what is this hope? It is spoken of as being something ‘set before us’—in the glory of Heaven, where the ‘forerunner’ has entered first, who is, of course, Jesus Christ.

Our hope, of course, is hope of eternal life. This is a certain hope because of the Lord Jesus, who suffered and died on Calvary’s cross and rose from the dead on the third day, paying the price for the sin of all His people, and opening the way to Heaven. There’s no way that anyone who trusts in Him can fail to know eternal life and the blessing of God. What He has done cannot be undone.

When He died, He said ‘it is finished’ meaning that the penalty for sin had been paid to the full. His work was done once and for all!

We can gain so much assurance from this ‘anchor’ picture. We are supposed to! See how it is spoken of, this hope being an ‘anchor of the soul’. We don’t have a ‘lifeboat of the soul’  which could be overturned or driven by life’s storms. We have an anchor!

Our cover quotes the hymn we all know well, and asks the question ‘Will your anchor hold in the storms of life?’ There is only one anchor which will hold. I suppose the question for all of us must be—what is the anchor of your soul?

Each one of us has a never–dying soul. Our bodies will wear out and die, but our souls will not. At death, we pass straight from this life to the next. What hope do you have regarding your soul for eternity?

The salvation Jesus Christ has won for all who trust Him is an anchor of infinite weight. Yes, much more than 13.5 tonnes! Will your anchor hold? Trust Christ, and the answer will be without doubt, ‘yes’.

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
when the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,
will your anchor drift, or firm remain?

Will your eyes behold through the morning light
the city of gold and the harbour bright?
Will you anchor safe by the heavenly shore,

when life’s storms are past for evermore?

We have an anchor that keeps the soul
steadfast and sure while the billows roll;
fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love!

      (Priscilla J. Owens)

Yours, anchored in the certain hope of eternal life,

      Jonathan

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