May 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                      May Issue 2015

Apocalyptic                    Our May issue of Echoes of Service Missionary Magazine arrived with a pullout update enclosed (2015 issue1). Having read the introduction I contacted the Director who wrote the piece and asked permission to use it in this month’s VFTP article, which he agreed. I commend the following extraction for you careful consideration. I think it is very good, what do you think?                                                      

‘The current events in the Middle East are bewildering, complex and could potentially be apocalyptic. Iran’s push for nuclear weaponry, Islamic State’s attempt to establish a new caliphate, President Assad’s oppression of the Syrian people and the Sunni versus Shi’ite political infighting all make for a bleak picture.

To date, in Syria alone, 200,000 have died and 11 million people have been displaced. However, God is sovereign and His purpose will prevail.

Many people in the Middle East are questioning Islamic teaching and in their confusion are seeking the Truth.’

 

The first verse of the last Book of the Bible reads, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John.”  Verse 9 tells us where John was, he was on the isle of Patmos in the Aegean Sea, and verse 10 says that it was the Lord’s Day, which is Sunday, the first day of the week. The Lord’s Day is a period of 24 hours, whereas the Day of the Lord will be over a thousand years.

The New Testament was written in Greek and the word for Revelation is ‘apokalupsis’ where we get our word ‘apocalypse’, or, ‘revelation’, and carries the thought of unveiling. In this Book, God the Spirit, unveils future events as they relate to the Son of God in His purposes on earth, in Heaven and in eternity. These events comprise the Day of Christ in Heaven, the Day of the Lord on earth and the Day of God in eternity.

 

Two years ago we were privileged to visit the island of Patmos where the Apostle John was exiled. We stood in the cave, high upon a hill, where John was allegedly incarcerated. An alternative theory is that the island itself was the prison where offenders were taken to fend for themselves, having no possibility of escaping. It is truly a beautiful location but on that Lord’s Day John saw things that were awesome. First he saw the Son of God, not as he had last seen Him, on a cross, or, risen from the dead, then on the Mount of Olives ascending back to Heaven. He saw the Lord in His eternal glory and fell at His feet as dead. Christ said to him “Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” A topical hymn says ‘God holds the key of all unknown, And I am glad; If other hands should hold the key, Or if He trusted it to me, I might be sad.’ Faith lays hold of a Man who holds the key to eternity, an eternity with Him. If a soul refuses to accept the salvation that He has provided through His sacrificial death and blood shed upon the cross, then there is no hope for that soul but the certainty of an eternity in Hell. Many years ago I was working in a doctors new-build house, and I had a conversation with him about the gospel. He said, “I cannot accept this pernicious doctrine of the blood”. I thought that very strange because as a doctor he would know that all physical life depends upon blood, the scripture says, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood.” (Lev.17:11) so why could he not accept that “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” and that God’s love for sinners meant giving His Son to die for sinners? This intelligent man chose not to believe.

 

There have been many strange and false teachings about the Book of the Revelation. Two weeks ago I talked to a man who told me that when the volcano exploded in Iceland, the devil was loosed from the bottomless pit and the ash propelled into the atmosphere were demons. Revelation ch.9 tells us about the opening of the bottomless pit, which will occur during the Tribulation and the Tribulation triggers off the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord cannot begin until the Lord has taken the Church to Heaven, He has delivered all born again believers from the wrath to come. John the Baptist preached of the wrath to come and exhorted his hearers to repent. Paul encouraged the Thessalonian Christians, “To wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” Jesus will soon return to the air to call away His Church and take them to Heaven. The events that will take place in Heaven, such as the Marriage of the Lamb (Rev.ch.19) are part of the Day of Christ. No unbeliever will be present; they will be experiencing the seven years of Tribulation on earth. What contrasting experiences! For Christians, the joys of Heaven, for Christ rejecters the misery of Apocalyptic judgements.

If you do not read the Bible I would encourage you to obtain one and read the Book of Revelation, particularly from ch.6 to 19 where you will read of the outpouring of God’s wrath upon the earth. Seven seals are opened and after each seal an outpouring of wrath. Then seven trumpets, one after the other are sounded for more judgements, and after this ch.16 begins, “And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.”  Seven bowls of wrath are poured on the earth. When these judgements are finished Christ Himself will return to earth, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. What a hallelujah chorus that will be at the introduction of His Millennial reign, one thousand years of righteous government over all the earth. Who will be present with the Lord in that Kingdom? Only people who are born again, for, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Are you born again? If not, why not?

When the thousand years reign has ended God is going to make a new Heaven and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness and that will take us into the Day of God. This is something special and something great to look forward to. Will you be there to enjoy eternity with God or will you hear those words at the Great White Throne, “Depart from me I never knew you”

God loves you, Christ has died for you and He is worthy of your trust.  God bless.

Stan Burditt