April 2017

 Monthly topical artices kindly supplied by a regular visiting               

speaker from Northampton: Stan Burditt.

 

Green Pastures  Email:- greenpasture@btinternet.com    Listen on WWW.harbourlightradio.org     

                    

 

 

     

                       

                                                      VIEW FROM THE PULPIT               April  2017

                  

LAST DAYS   Over 30 years ago a young couple and their family had a little while available, before going to Brazil as missionaries,  to help me in Cornwall do some personal evangelism. We went to a popular beach at Bude and positioned ourselves in the car park and gave gospel tracts to people passing by. One holiday maker saw us and what we were doing and approached us saying, “Are we in the last days then?” to which I replied “It depends which last days you are thinking about”. He engaged in conversation with us and told us that for the past five years he had been associating with Jehovah Witnesses in Derbyshire. We spoke about the Bible and the Person of Christ. He surprised us by saying, “I am fast coming to the realization that the Jehovah of the Old Testament in the Jesus of the New”. I replied “That’s great! You are half way there”. What did I mean by that? He had come to understand that Jesus is not only the Son of God but also God the Son. What he needed to do was to acknowledge that he was a sinner that Christ had died for and to ask His forgiveness and receive Him as his Lord and Saviour. How lovely it would be if he went all the way!

 

Recent events on Westminster Bridge, Stockholm, Germany and France have demonstrated the evil of certain ideologies. Adolph Hitler had an ideology based upon a thousand years 3rd. Reich world rule. He was prepared to annihilate all Jews from the earth. Even in the last days of his futile plan for world dominion, in 1944 he exterminated over 400,000 Jews in Hungary.

Whatever the plan of ISIS is it will not succeed, because God has decreed that His Son, Jesus Christ will reign from Jerusalem for 1,000 years.

 

What was explained to the man on the car park was the difference between the Last days of 2Tim 3 written by the apostle Paul, and the Last days written by Peter and Jude.

Paul spoke of the conditions and conduct of unbelievers in the Last days of Christian witness and testimony, prior to the return of Christ to the air to take His Church to heaven.

Peter and Jude wrote of Last day conditions as they will be during the Great Tribulation.

 

2Tim 3:1 reads, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, having a form of Godliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away.”

The characteristics of sin are constant; the characteristics of righteousness are constant. The first sin committed by Adam and Eve was disobedience to the Word of God that was the root of sin, the above catalogue of the characteristics of sin is the fruit of sin.

It is evident that all these characteristics are prevalent in today’s society. There are over 7 billion people living on planet earth today, the majority of which have no time for the Word of God and their behaviour indicates that we are living in the Last days of Church witness. Very soon the Lord Jesus Christ will come out of Heaven and call His Church away from planet earth to meet Him in the air (1 Thess. 4 ) Will you be one of them? Or will you be left behind for the 7 years of Tribulation, spoken by Daniel the prophet and taught by Christ in Matt.24 and 25.

 

The Last days, Peter says in 2 Peter 2:3,”Knowing this, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they are willingly ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was , being overflowed with water, perished: but the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” Jude uses the expression ‘Last time’ but his observations run parallel with Peter’s account of Last days. Peter describes this period of time as a time immediately before the second coming of Christ to earth to set up His Kingdom.

To be precise these days fall in the second half of the Tribulation, which runs for seven years? In the middle of that seven year period the Man of Sin puts an image of himself in the Temple. Jesus said in Matt.24 that this would happen as Daniel had prophesied; this happening triggers the Great Tribulation. This period of three and a half years is described in the Bible as 42 months, or 1260 days, or, time, times, and half a time. That period will see catastrophic judgments affecting the whole world.

It would be the height of foolishness for any person to experience those Last days, when Salvation and Eternal Life can be a sure deliverance by trusting and receiving Jesus as Lord.

Christ will reign for 1000 years and even at the end of that period of time there will be further Last days. I said at the beginning that sin is constant, and the rebellion by Satan in Heaven, and then Adam and Eve in the garden, and the disobedience of man through the centuries will culminate in a final rebellion and the day of judgment of ungodly men.

Righteousness is constant too. The moment a person is born again they are constituted righteous in the sight of God, and through time and Eternity there will be no Last days. God Bless.

 

     Stan Burditt