The popular author and speaker was upfront with the audience that his address was going to be something of a study talk or rebuke - but he was quick to add that worse than receiving a study talk was not receiving a study talk at all.
You get those talks because somebody loves you, you get those talks because somebody cares, he said.
Dont lose heart when [God] rebukes you. He does it because he loves you.
Although God loves and forgives, Parsons said that there was such a thing as testing God and that believers could sometimes cross the line, sometimes by being cynical, judgemental or proud, or even by bending the rules.
After speaking to hundreds of Christian men who have left their wives, he said they tended to give the same four reasons: that they were so young they hardly knew each other; that it was better for the wife that way; that it was better for the kids; and I prayed about this and this is fine with God.
Pride whispers in our ear that God has a special set of rules just for us, he said.
We can be in Christian ministry and in the middle of an affair and still kid ourselves that we are right with God.
He added: But God wont change the rules for us.
A lack of gratitude could also creep in among believers, he warned, as he urged believers to thank God for what he had done for them and not treat him as though none of it matters.
He recalled with humour the times he and his friend as teenagers used to sneak out of their small Brethren Assembly in Cardiff to go to the large Pentecostal church where they often sang Count your blessings one by one.
He admitted that sometimes it could seem easier to sing count your problems one by one and that in those moments he would recall his encounter with a woman in Mozambique who had no food, no drainage or heating in her home, and who was dying of AIDS.
Theyd give their life to have a home where the heating broke down twice and I say: God forgive me my sheer selfishness, my breathtaking lack of gratitude for your mercy to me and Im going to start singing your song.
Parsons also got to grips with the problem of dwelling on the past, either because of a past mistake or difficult experience, or because of the mistaken notion that things were somehow better back then.
He told of his excitement recently at going to a sounds of the sixties concert in Cardiff only to be so disappointed when he got to the auditorium and saw that his heroes were all now old.
Sometimes, we think the past was so great. People say to me, Oh church used to be so great. The sermons were so deep and yet so fascinating, we loved each other. I was there and trust me, it wasnt so great.
He added: If the past was so good, we cant let go of it. If the past is so bad, it wont let go of us.
Instead of living full of regrets and tied to the brokenness of the past, Parsons exhorted Christians to live remembering that Christ had died for them and set them free.
You and I will know times in our walk with God when we sit in shame and we believe there is no way back but he waits for you. You must be sorry for the past. You must want more than anything else to walk a different way in the future.
Dont make the mistake his ancient people made. Dont take him for granted Tomorrow doesnt have to be like today. Christian Today
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