December 2015

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                      Dec. Issue 2015

Wise Men       On Paul’s second missionary journey he brought the gospel into Europe. When he preached at Philippi there were people that believed, were saved and baptized and commenced a local Church in the city. He next went to Thessalanica and the same thing happened there. From his short stay in that city he went south into Greece and came to Athens and preached at Mars Hill (Aeropagus, popular with tourists today). He told the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers that the true God created Heaven and Earth and that His Son, Jesus Christ had died on the cross and rose again from the grave and lives in Heaven able to save all who believe the gospel. Acts 17:32 says. “And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. So Paul departed from among them. Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them. After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth.” Observe their response, some mocked, some procrastinated, some believed!

Paul stayed 18 months in Corinth working as a tent maker for his living and also preaching the gospel. “And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.” A local Church was planted in Corinth and it grew numerically. Wherever there is a work of God the devil will attack it. In 1 Corinthians 16:9 he said, “For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.”

 

This Church at Corinth experienced numerous attacks and disorders causing Paul to write to them from Philippi to correct their big problems. The Church had become divided, they were sectarian in practice, some had become immoral.There were doctrinal issues, diverting them from correct service for the Lord. Others had legal matters between themselves and were going to law with each other. It was to this point Paul said, “I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?”

 

Recent events in Egypt, France, Mali, Turkey, Syria have caused politicians, Presidents, Prime Ministers to focus their attention to the advance of ISIS who want to control the world with Sharia Law. To do this ISIS is spreading fear from within nations, radicalising Muslims to form cells of terrorists to kill hundreds of civillians whereever there is a soft target for the suicide bombers to target. False doctrine produces false practice!

One Hundred and Fifty world leaders met in Paris to discuss Climate change and Global warming, trying to come to an agreement for less pollution of the atmosphere. Less pollution for any country would be good, giving people a better quality of air to breath, but the thought that it is in the hands of men to save the planet is absurd. The future of planet earth is in the hand of God and not men. The God who brought the universe into being is the One who according to Hebrews 1:3 is, “Upholding all things by the word of his power,” This He has done through the millenia of time and will do till He brings in  New Heavens and a New Earth. I borrow Paul’s question to the Christians at Corinth, and direct it to the Heads of State, “Is not a wise man among you?” or has every one swallowed the evolution lie?

 

At this time of year we call to mind the birth of Jesus at Bethlehem. The first two verses of Matthew ch.2 read, “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.”

The first question in the Old Testament, God said to Adam, “Where art thou?” It was God seeking man. The first question in the New Testament was asked by the wise men, “Where is he that is born King of the Jews?” which was man seeking God.

From the fall of Adam in Eden it is God who has been seeking sinners, to deliver them from their sins and save them for the great eternity. So we read in 1John 4:14, “The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world”. This grand plan of salvation for sinners necessitated the Son of God coming into the world and giving His life on the cross, to reconcile sinners back to God. It will always be wise men that seek after God, to discover the love of God for their souls, to enjoy the forgiveness of sin, past, present and future, knowing that Calvary settles it all. This was not ‘Plan B’, God determined this way of salvation for sinners before He made the worlds. Jesus is the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”(Rev. 13:8). 

Where these wise men looked for the Saviour was in accordance with the Word of God, and that is how it always should be. They made the mistake first by going to Herod’s Palace at Jerusalem and the Son of God was not there. People today look for Christ in the wrong place, places that man has made and not what God has revealed in the Bible. They knew who they were looking for, it was He who was born King, not born a prince but born King. If you are seeking don’t look for anyone less than the Sovereign Lord Jesus Christ who will reign over all the earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

The wise men were warned of God that Herod had a murderous plan for the babe, so they did not go back to him after they found Christ they went home another way. I like that! God’s way is always another way to man’s way. These wise men went God’s way and in so doing they left intelligent gifts behind them, gold, francincence and myrh. The gold expressed their understanding of the deity of the man-child. The francincence spoke of the purity of the life that Jesus would live, and the myrh the suffering of the cross. Wise men appreciate the values of the Son of God and they worship Him. Do you?

It would be a marvellous Christmas if you applied your heart unto wisdom, sought the Lord and found Him to be your Saviour.

 

A happy Christmas and most blessed 2016 to you all.

 

Stan Burditt