April 2013

 

 

                                                             VIEW FROM THE PULPIT              April Issue 2013                                         

How Long?    Two nights ago at our assembly Bible reading the passage of scripture under consideration was Numbers ch.14. Verse 11 reads, “And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them? The second question seemed to leap from the page, “How long will it be ere they believe me?”  I will return to that question later.

 

With snow still lying patchily on the ground this Easter weekend, folk here are asking, “How long is this prolonged freezing weather going to continue? Winter is reluctant to give way to the warmth of Spring and Summer, but it will not be long before the trees shoot forth their buds and leaves and we will feel much happier to see signs of new life all around us.

 

The residents of Cyprus are wondering how long it will be before their financial problems with the Banks are resolved in order to gain full access to their funds. Aljazeera reported, Nicos Anastasiades, the Cypriot president, has pledged that his country will not leave the eurozone, but has criticised international lenders behind the huge bailout that saved the country from bankruptcy. Anastasiades' comments came as banks resumed normal trading on Friday, a day after they reopened their doors following a nearly two-week lockdown. Cypriots continue to face hardship under the eurozone's first ever capital controls, although Cyprus's central bank did lift a 5,000 euro ($6,400) ceiling on credit and debit card transactions within the country on Friday. The 10bn euro ($12.82bn) EU-IMF rescue deal imposed a levy on big bank deposits and calls for tough banking reforms, causing jitters among other eurozone countries, who fear they could be next. Anastasiades, who was elected in February on the back of a promise to secure a bailout for the small eastern Mediterranean island, said the deal had saved Cyprus from "economic collapse".

The world’s banking system is in turmoil, how long can it be before the Man of Sin arises and imposes restrictions on buying and selling? “And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”(Rev.13:17)

 

How long will North Korea display its military might and power, before they carry out their threats of war against South Korea and the United States. Nuclear warheads are being targeted against strategic cities and documents have been signed to authorize such attacks. Seeing the marching of masses of N/Korean soldiers brought back memories of Hitler’s show of power of his jack-booted army. We wait with anxious thoughts because history shows us that things can escalate quickly.

 

Over fifty times, the Bible carries some important questions of ‘How long?’ Psalm 94:3 says, “LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?  Habakkuk also asks in ch.1:2 "O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!" Man’s inhumanity to man has marked our sad history from Cain’s brutal murder of his brother Abel to the recent mindless killing of 20 children and 6 adults in an Elementary School in Connecticut, gunned down with no mercy or compassion shown. How long will the Lord allow this before He intervenes in judgment?

People do not believe that the Day of the Lord will soon be here, when Christ will act as Judge and executor of all the wicked.

When Christ returns to the air to take His blood-bought people to Heaven, the true Church consisting of all born-again believers, dead or alive, raised to meet Him in the air. What a gathering that will be, and it is imminent! The Saviour is coming soon.

When this has taken place the Day of the Lord will commence upon earth, all events from Revelation ch.6 will take place through to ch.19 when He returns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Now that will be a Hallelujah Chorus!   

 

Barzillai said to David in 2 Samuel 19:34 “How long have I to live?” This is a very poignant question because it affects us all. We do not know how long we have got before we die. The all important thing is to be ready, to be saved, born-again, converted, what ever expression of salvation you use, the meaning is the same, you are ready to meet God. But some may not be ready.

In 1 Kings 18:21 we read  “And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.” It was decision time for his hearers; it was one thing or the other, no halfway house or sitting on the fence. It was time to realize that agnosticism is no excuse; one must either believe or reject Christ as Saviour and Lord. It comes to us all, Pilate’s question was, “What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? He had to choose and made the wrong choice.

 

I pose my original question that God asked, “How long will it be ere they believe me? What more has God to do before a person believes and is saved? He has done all in giving His Son to die on the cross on account of our sin, so why do people not believe? The only reason I can see is that unbelief and the hardening of the will stops a person from getting saved. Willful unbelief is a deadly sin and will take that unbeliever to Hell. However, the moment a person calls out in prayer to the Lord for forgiveness that very instant salvation takes place. Fanny Crosby wrote, Only a step to Jesus! Then why not take it now? Come, and thy sin confessing, To Him, thy Savior, bow.’  How long will it be before you take the step of faith and bow the knee to Christ?  God bless

Stan Burdit