July 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                      July Issue 2015

Greece                        The present political situation in Greece has produced a massive problem within the nation and it’s membership of the European Union and retaining the currency of the Euro. An opinion-poll of the people for Sunday’s debt crisis referendum vote of ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ was evenly split with the Yes folk just shading it. The IMF have said that Greece will need 60 billion Euro’s extra funding over the next three years to bale them out if a Yes vote wins the referendum. If a No vote wins the future of Greece in the Euro-Zone is in doubt and could lead to a total collapse of the Greece Banking system. Their Banks have suggested a ‘bale-in’ by a  30% ‘hair-cut’ of all their customers accounts over 100,000 Euros as a self imposed tax. Cyprus did this in 2013 hitting and hurting many investors, pensions and securities did not escape this pernicious deduction. At that time Cyprus gave Greece 8 Billion Euros. Which black hole did that money go in?

 

These days are far removed from Greece’s former glory days when Alexander the Great (July 356 – June 323 BC) was world ruler. In his childhood and youth he was taught by Aristotle, and at the age of 20 after his father’s death he ascended to the throne of Greece and became it’s military leader. According to Wikipedia, Alexander defeated Darius 111 the Persian to end their world dominion and enlarge his own. This kingdom stretched from the Tigris in Babylon eastward to India, occupying 2 million square miles of Hellenistic rule. He named twenty cities ‘Alexandria’ after himself, in countries that he had defeated, Egypt being one of them.

Alexander died in Babylon in 323 BC, the city he planned to establish as his capital. In the years following his death, a series of civil wars tore his empire apart, resulting in several states ruled by Alexander's surviving generals and heirs. One such later general was Antiochus IV Epiphanes 215 BC – 164 BC) was a Greek king of the Seleucid Empire from 175 BC until his death in 164 BC.

He was responsible for many cruel and notorious happenings. In 168 BC he invaded Jerusalem and desecrated the Temple by setting up an image of Zeus in the sanctuary and offering a swine on the burnt altar. He made a broth of the swine’s blood and daubed it on the inside walls of the Temple. Three and a half years later Judas Maccabeus, who was the son of Mattathias a Jewish Priest, restored the Temple worship and cleansed the sanctuary from it’s defilement of swine blood. The Feast of Hanukkah, or, Feast of Lights is celebrated every year to commemorate this restoration of Temple worship. This feast is called in John ch.10, the Feast of Dedication, “And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.” (Dec.25th.)

In a day to come the Beast will set up an image of himself in the Temple, in the middle of the seven year Tribulation period. After three and a half years Christ will come and cleanse the Temple and set up His worldwide kingdom. John the Baptist said, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (Matt.3:12) The Temple stood on an old threshing floor, which was bought by King David.

 

When Paul went to Greece he came to the capital Athens and walked around the city observing many altars to false gods. There was one with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god’. This prompted him to preach at Mars Hill, which was a centre of learning and debate. “Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” (Acts 17)

When Paul wrote to the Corinthians in Greece he said, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” (1Corin 1:21)

Academics and debaters might think that it is foolish to believe the gospel, but those people who believe that Jesus Christ died on account of their sin and call upon Him to forgive them and save their soul, He is the power of God who delivers them from the power of darkness and puts them into the Kingdom of God.

Greece’s membership of the European Union hangs in the balance while politicians’ debate the outcome of the referendum and the decision is uncertain. If you receive Christ today you will that very moment be saved and are certain of a home in Heaven.  God bless.

 

Stan Burditt