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Alive! magazine No. 169"Alive!" magazine

"Alive!" is a bi-monthly topical evangelistic tract, which has been published since the 1960s. The present editor is Gordon Smith from Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Copies are available at £8.00 per 100 (plus postage). Generous discounts are available for quantity, and the tract can be personalised at £1.00 extra per 100. Christmas and Easter editions are produced, but otherwise the tracts are undated and can be used at any time of the year. To order Alive!, send us an e-mail via the Contact Us page to take out your subscription.

A follow-up booklet for enquirers is available from STP, and a similar booklet can be read online at the "Alive!" web site.

"Alive!" is undated, and back issues are available at £1.00 per 50 (plus postage).

From the current issue of Alive!

Flags of Destiny

by George Stevens

Alexander the Great has been acknowledged as a military leader who always led by example. On the one hand, he could be ruthless in his conquests. On the other, he could be merciful. For example, in besieging a city, he would hoist a white flag to signify that if the people surrendered then they would be treated with kindness. This would fly for a while. If the offer was refused, he would then raise a red flag to show that the people would be spared, but the city destroyed. If this failed, then he would fly a black flag to signify there would be no mercy upon the garrison or its population.

These flags remind us of aspects of God and His salvation.

The white flag signifies His grace. He wants sinful hearts to freely submit to Him. He has proved His love by sending His own Son to bear the judgment for our sin in His death at Calvary’s cross. He has raised Him from the dead in order to show that the sentence has been fully served. Ephesians 2:8-9 states: “For it is by grace” [God’s Redemption At Christ’s Expense] “you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” God says, “My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways” (Proverbs 23:26) - Surrender!

The red flag reminds us that there is another cost related to following the way of God. The Lord Jesus Christ said that whoever does not forsake all that he has, cannot be His disciple. True submission to God may well involve the loss of family relationships, friends, ambitions and possessions - Count the cost!

The black flag shows that God reaches a point where mercy is laid aside and He must judge the unrepentant sinner in righteousness. If your name, through unbelief, has been blotted from the Book of Life, and if your name is not found written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, then an eternal Hell awaits with its ruin and torment (Revelation 20:11-15) - Reap the consequences!

Respond to the white flag of God’s grace today! The converted slave trader, John Newton did and he wrote:

Amazing Grace! how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me;
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind but now I see.
’Twas Grace that taught my heart to fear
And Grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

From the previous issue of Alive!

The Ice and the Eagle

by George Stevens

The eagle soared magnificently against the grey sky of a severe winter above the Niagara River. Its eyes diligently scanned the flowing waters for easy pickings. Suddenly, it spotted the carcass of a sheep bobbing along in the torrent below. It swooped down to alight upon the frozen corpse. Using its sharp beak, it began to dig through the ice on the fleece in order to reach the softer flesh. Meanwhile, the waters raced on towards the falls some distance ahead. Being aware of this danger, the eagle raised its head (every now and again) to ensure its own safety. It then continued to feed. Soon the crescendoing roar of the falls showed it was time to leave. The bird of prey spread its wings in order to fly away. Its powerful legs pushed against the carcass to take off. But it failed! The eagle shrieked. It beat its wings frantically. But all to no avail! Its talons had become encased in ice and were firmly fixed to the dead body. The sheep and the eagle were swept over Niagara’s falls. Ice and water had claimed another victim.

No doubt you are aware of the judgment of God against sin; but, maybe, you continue to ignore His way to escape it by trusting in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Do the words of Proverbs 5:22 apply to you? “The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast”.

Just as the eagle in our story was bound by the ice, are you bound to death by the cords of your sins? The Bible tells us that if we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, then we are forgiven, delivered from judgment and given eternal life. Why should God insist that we put our faith in Christ? It is because Christ alone was delivered for our offences and raised again for our justification. In other words, He, the sinless One, took the judgment of God against our sin on His cross. In accepting this, then salvation is righteously applied by God to us. We are not only saved, but evermore secure!

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