May 2019

VIEW FROM THE PULPIT               May 2019

 

Monthly topical artices kindly supplied by a regular visiting               

speaker from Northampton: Stan Burditt.

QUESTIONS  P.M.Q’S or Prime Ministers Questions are heard at midday each Wednesday for half an hour when Parliament is sitting.  The leader of the opposition can ask six questions, sometimes a red herring is slipped in to mislead or misdirect the Prime Minister.  Most questions are direct, some rhetorical and others take the shape of “W.H” questions.  The latter is frequently used by journalists when a question is prefixed by What, Who, Where, When, Why and How.  The newsmen borrowed this structure from Rudyard Kipling’s poem “Six honest serving men”.  If only in politics honesty was the motive and driving force, questions might get answered more positively and outcomes more beneficial. 

The BBC program “Question Time” was presented for many years by David Dimbleby but in January a new host was appointed, Fiona Bruce.  The program runs for 1 hour and the BBC invite about 5 panellists with a broad range of views, knowledge and experience to answer questions from members of the audience.  Often these questions are not closed questions that can be answered yes or no but open questions demanding opinion and debate. 

About this time of the year many students at school, college or university sit examinations where questions are presented to them to test their understanding and knowledge of a subject.  In scientific research the researcher might present himself a question that he needs to discover the answer to.  Some people dislike facing up to a question because of not understanding its meaning or the consequences of what the answer could reveal.  These could be private and personal questions that an individual could find embarrassing.

Asking questions can increase ones knowledge and understanding and if this is applied with wisdom can lead to better outcomes.

The first question ever asked is found in the first book of the Bible, at the dawn of time.  It was the Devil (Diabolus, the deceiver) who questioned Eve in the Garden of Eden.  We can read this in Genesis chapter 3 v 1-Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?  And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:  But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.  And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

 

This was blatant rebellion by the Devil against the word of God for he knew that in the first chapter of Genesis “and God said” is recorded 8 times.  In the same chapter God asked the question of Adam “where art thou?”  God was seeking man.  The first question in the new testament is found in Matthew chapter 2 where the wise men ask “where is he”, this was men seeking God. These two questions are relevant for us today.  God is still seeking men and it is wise men that are seeking God. 

 

Matthew chapter 24 directs our thoughts to the future.  The disciples of Christ had shown him the buildings of the temple and the Lord commented that not one stone would be left upon another.  The disciples asked in verse 3 “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”(age).  Through this discourse on the Mount of Olives Christ tells us of future events relating to a period of time called “The Great Tribulation” and also of his “Second Coming” to Earth, to that very mountain.  Zechariah chapter 14 affirms in verse 4 “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.”  The critical point of time in Matthew chapter 24 is in verse 15 "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” We read of this in Daniel chapter 9 v 24 – 27 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” We considered this in April’s article, enlarging upon those comments, the decree to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem was made in the 20th year of Artaxerxes Longiman and 69 weeks (483 years) ran their course to the point where Messiah was cut off.  His crucifixion was not for his own sins, for he had none, it was for us that he laid down his life. 

 

The ultimate question is Where will you spend eternity?  Is this a question you are prepared to face?  Repent of your sins and trust Christ and you can be sure that Heaven will be your eternal home.

 

God bless,     

 

Stan Burditt