The annual Southern Presbytery Colloquium was once again able to take place “in person” on Saturday 5th February at Knightswood Free Church, Glasgow. The day proved beneficial for the men who gathered from a variety of denominations as fellowship was had in the things of the Gospel.
The opening paper was given by Rev. William Macleod whose paper on Aspects of the Second Coming of Christ opened up a much disputed subject in a profitable way. In particular his discussion of the complexities of Matthew 24 was helpful. Mr Macleod noted that Jesus was answering two questions from the disciples, When would the temple be destroyed and what would be the sign of His coming and of the end of the world? Our Lord does not give a straightforward division in His answer between what for us is past and future. He indicated that some of the verses referred to the events surrounding the destruction of the temple in AD70, while others referred to the second coming of Christ, with there being an alternation of the two through the passage. He also showed that the end will be sudden and will be unexpected, “as a thief in the night”. At the same time it will be no surprise to the saints in that they are longing and looking for Christ’s return. Events to take place before the end as highlighted in Scripture were referenced, and signs of the end considered. This was useful paper covering a range of Bible passages, which was stimulating and encouraging.
Thereafter, Rev. Andrew Allan spoke on Applying God’s Law Today. After noting the way the word “law” is used in scripture, and indicating the usual distinction of the Old Testament Law into civil, ceremonial and moral, Mr Allan indicated how the Moral law remains the believer’s rule of life even though he is justified and Christ is the end of the law for righteousness for him. In an interesting discussion of Rom2:14-15 he indicated that all men by nature have the law written on their hearts, though they do not live up to it. Otherwise those without the written law of God would not be guilty of sin, which is contrary to the teaching of Scripture. After showing the need to preach the law, without which the Gospel makes little sense, he concluded with a challenging application of the Ten Commandments.
The final session took the form of a brief paper followed by discussion on Reaching our Neighbour in Modern Scotland. Rev. David Fraser reminded the brethren that the Free Church was born in a time of revival and that mission work and outreach at home characterised the Church both before and after the disruption. This challenge to be a people who were not insular, but were concerned for those who are perishing, was followed by some discussion as to how people might approach various types of people who might be encountered today, many of whom are either non-religious or caught up in false religion. The only regret was that there was limited time to pursue this theme.
The three sessions made for a worthwhile day and it was good to be able to meet and have fellowship with like-minded brethren over a period of time. The addresses can be found online on Partick’s Sermon audio page.