What a challenging and also encouraging night at Shaftesbury Reformed conference! The theme this year was ‘What next? Christian hope in a Hopeless world’ and Rev. Gareth Burke from Stranmillis EP and Dr. David McKay each gave talks.

Firstly, Gareth’s talk was about what comes next when we die, and he drew his points from the passage in Luke 23 vs 39-43 about the thief on the cross. He explained what Jesus was referring to when he said ‘today you will be with me in paradise’ vs 43.  Rev. Burke cleared up a lot of questions such as ‘what is the intermittent state?’ and ‘what is soul sleep?’ and much more. Throughout his talk, he emphasised that even though much is unknown about what things are exactly like when we die, one assurance is that we will be with Christ. Gareth ended with a comforting thought that for believers we will be with Christ in heaven one day, and this is assured. However, for those who remain unsaved, there will be judgement and hell.

 After a short coffee break in which many browsed the bookstall, Dr McKay spoke on ‘I am making all things new’ from Rev 21 vs 5. He began by speaking on Christ’s return and about how, as believers, we should eagerly await and actively prepare for it. He then spoke on the glorious resurrection and emphasised how, if there is no resurrection, there is no Christian faith. We must hope and anticipate a new resurrection body just as Christ received a new body and ascended to heaven. Following on from this, David spoke on the final judgement drawing attention to the fact that, if we are saved, our sins have been covered. Finally, he told us about the new creation, how it will be better than Eden ever was and the new heaven and new earth will be our dwelling place forever. Dr McKay finished by warning the congregation that we should ensure that we have put our faith in Christ and that we will be in the new creation. 

The talks are available to listen to on Shaftesbury RPC YouTube channel for anyone who wasn’t able to make it.

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