April 2015

 

Monthly topical articles 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 Issue 2015

Notoriety                       

The Oxford English Dictionary gives the meaning of notoriety as ‘Famous for some bad quality or deed’. What Andreas Lubitz did in downing the Germanwings plane in the French Alps puts him among those who have committed acts of notoriety. Perhaps he does not equal Hitler’s henchmen in notoriety by murdering millions of Jews and other nationalities in their deliberate plan to conquer the world. But that is no consolation to the 150 families who mourn their loved one’s death caused by this futile criminal act.

CNN reported ‘Initial tests on the flight data recorder recovered from downed Germanwings Flight 9525 show that co-pilot purposely used the controls to speed up the plane's descent, according to the French air accident investigation agency.The flight data recorder, or "black box," was found Thursday by recovery teams that have spent days since the March 24 crash scouring the mountainside in the French Alps where the plane went down A statement from the BEA on Friday said its teams had immediately begun to investigate its contents. The initial readout shows that the pilot present in the cockpit used the autopilot to put the (airplane) into a descent towards an altitude of 100 (feet) then, on several occasions during the descent, the pilot modified the autopilot setting to increase the speed of the (airplane) in descent," Evidence from the plane's cockpit voice recorder, recovered swiftly after the crash, had already led investigators to believe that Lubitz acted deliberately to bring down the plane, killing all 150 people on board.’

 

Many years before, Roman Emperors performed gross notorious acts. Wikipedia says, ‘In 64 AD, most of Rome was destroyed in the Great Fire of Rome which many Romans believed Nero himself had started in order to clear land for his planned palatial complex. In 68, the rebellion of "Gaul" drove Nero from the throne. Facing a false report of being denounced as a public enemy who was to be executed, he committed suicide on 9 June 68 (the first Roman emperor to do so). His death ended the "Julio-Claudian Dynasty"; Nero's rule is often associated with tyranny and extravagance. He is known for many executions, including that of his mother and the probable murder by poison of his stepbrother. He is in-famously known as the Emperor who "fiddled while Rome burned. He was rumoured to have had captured Christians, dipped them in oil, and then set them on fire in his garden at night as a source of light.’_

Easton’s Bible Dictionary says ‘Herod the Great, the son of Antipater, an Idumaean, and Cypros, an Arabian of noble descent. In the year B.C.  47 Julius Caesar made Antipater, a "wily Idumaean," procurator of Judea, who divided his territories between his four sons, Galilee falling to the lot of Herod, who was afterwards appointed tetrarch of Judea by Mark Antony (B.C. 40) and also king of Judea by the Roman senate. He was of a stern and cruel disposition. "He was brutish and a stranger to all humanity." Alarmed by the tidings of one "born King of the Jews," he sent forth and "slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under" #Mt 2:16 He was fond of splendour, and lavished great sums in rebuilding and adorning the cities of his empire. He rebuilt the city of Caesarea (q.v.) on the coast, and also the city of Samaria (q.v.), which he called Sebaste, in honour of Augustus. He restored the ruined temple of Jerusalem, a work which was begun B.C. 20 but was not finished till after Herod’s death, probably not till about A.D.  50 #Joh 2:20 After a troubled reign of thirty-seven years, he died at Jericho amid great agonies both of body and mind, B.C. 4 i.e., according to the common chronology, in the year in which Jesus was born. After his death his kingdom was divided among three of his sons. Of these, Philip had the land east of Jordan, between Caesarea Philippi and Bethabara.’

Herod the Great’s son was Herod Antipas and he had John the Baptist beheaded and later was responsible with Pilate in condemning Christ to die on the cross, “Herod with his men of war set him at nought and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate. and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.” This man was no better than his father, and his son Herod Agrippa 1 was equally evil. He had James the brother of John killed and intended to kill Peter also.

```All these men were notorious in their villany, but none of them would equal Judas Iscariot in what he did. He sold the Son of God for thirty pices of silver to the chief priests, and doing so he betrayed Christ with a kiss to identify Jesus as the Son of God. Judas had been with the Saviour for three years, he had seen Him give sight to the blind, to raise the dead, to hear His teaching about Heaven and Hell. Yet he chose to betray Christ instaed of serving Him like the other disciples did. Knowing what he knew and seeing what he saw did not pursuade him to be a follower of the Lord for the rest of his life. The remainder of his life prove to be very brief, just a few hours and he was dead. He committed suicide, but before he took his own life he threw the thirty pieces of silver back at the priests, in the Temple.  The silver was blood money, it was useless for Judas where he was going, and the priests could not put it back in the treasury, so they bought a field with the money to bury strangers in.

 

Man’s craving for money, for power, for some perverted desire to be famous, will, as we have seen above, plunge some people into acts of notoriety where there is no coming back but a certain eternity in Hell.

 

Jesus Christ died at Calvary to deliver souls from a lost eternity, if they put their faith in Him and repent of their sin.

Were Judas, the Herods, Nero, Hitler and Lubitz insane to have committed such attrocities?

Do not reject the Saviour or you will spend eternity in Hell with all those notorious people, be saved today and spend eternity in Heaven with millions of Christians.  God bless.

 

Stan Burditt