February 2019

  Monthly topical artices kindly supplied by a regular visiting               

speaker from Northampton: Stan Burditt.

 

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

 

              

                 VIEW FROM THE PULPIT               February 2019

HELL – WHAT? WHY? WHEN? HOW? WHERE? WHO?  Rudyard Kipling spoke of six honest serving men in his poem The Elephant’s child, lets think about some of these in relation to the subject of Hell.

Who and Where - BBC reported on 6th February that European Council President Donald Tusk has spoken of a “special place in hell” for “those who promoted Brexit without even a sketch of a plan of how to carry it out safely”.    In this secular world it is interesting that a politician refers to Hell that only God know the full extent of.  Mr Tusk speaks of who he envisages going to the special place in hell.  He may have big responsibilities in the EU but no responsibility in consigning anyone to hell, that is Gods prerogative alone.

Early in January 1957 a SASRA preacher came into Billet 454 RAF Henlow, Beds to talk to the men present, about God and the Bible.  Before he left that night he asked three questions 1.  Do you believe in God? 2.  Do you believe in Heaven and Hell? 3.  If you were to die tonight where would you go, Heaven or Hell?  The writer was among those men and would have answered the first two questions in the affirmative but with no conviction.  The third question I could not answer positively as I did not know what my destination would be, however it was this question that was in my mind when laying in bed and hearing the officer cadets training to night fly.  Billet 454 was the last billet before the grass runway so every few minutes there was a swoosh over the billet as another aircraft landed.  The thought that passed through my mind was I don’t know what that man has been talking about but if one of those trainees makes an error we could all be wiped out. This aroused my conscience and surfacing on my conscience were the thoughts of drinking, gambling and swearing.  The next six weeks I was trying to disprove the fact of God by reading Darwin and Wells, thinking that if there is no God I was not accountable to anybody.  One thing the preacher did before he left us that night was he left a gospel booklet on every mans bedside locker, the one he gave to me was “Gods way of Salvation” by Alexander Marshall. This little booklet was like a beacon of light revealing the truth of God and His salvation.  Late in February 1957 I realised that my life was guilty before God and only Hell could be my destination.  I was invited to the preacher’s home where another man spoke to us about the Lord Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death on the cross to open the way for sinners like me to be saved. In that home when invited to kneel and pray I prayed three life changing words “God forgive me”.  In that moment of time I was born again and the promise of an eternity in Heaven became a reality for me.

Why?  Because faith in Christ saved my soul from an eternity in Hell. 

Some may say What is Hell like? Dr Luke in his Gospel ch 16 tells us of two men who had left their bodies and their souls were in eternity, one man in Heaven, one man in Hell, the account reads

19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:

28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

There are two men in the New Testament named Lazarus, it is the record of their death’s that is important because both went to Heaven.  The name Lazarus is a derivation of the Old Testament name Eleazar, which means, “the mighty God is our helper”. Anyone passing out of time and into eternity needs to know the mighty God as his or her helper, this is the critical When?  The psalmist concurs in psalm 23 “yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for thou art with me”.    Another may say How can a soul escape from Hell? The rich man tells us that there is no escape from Hell as a great gulf is fixed.  He was also concerned about his five brothers and wanted Lazarus to preach the Word of God and warn them as he did  not want them to join him in Hell   To avoid Hell a person must receive and confess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour

God bless,               

Stan Burditt