May 2016

Monthly topical artices kindly supplied by a regular visiting               

speaker from Northampton: Stan Burditt.

Green Pastures  Email:- greenpasturejune@btinternet.com      Listen on WWW.harbourlightradio.org 

 

                                                             VIEW FROM THE PULPIT                    May 2016

Wildfire      The Canadian Province of Alberta has suffered the biggest recorded wildfire disaster in the Nation’s history. Fort McMurray has borne the brunt of the inferno with 20% of all property destroyed (4500 structures) at an estimated multi-billion dollar insurance claims. The city has been evacuated saving hundreds of lives; the residents heeded the warnings and responded sensibly to the emergency services instructions to safety.

Many horrendous stories are being related, one woman told a TV crew, “It was just like Hell” The ferocity of the flames caused her to equate what she was witnessing with the unquenchable flames of Hell. Such scenes focus the mind on eternal damnation!

 

According to Alberta Provincial Active Fire Reports there are 176,060.20 ha that have been burned and some fires are still burning, with new outbreaks each day. Some welcome rain has fallen easing the fire fighters task a little but a complete ban on fires still exists. Alberta Government website has an enormous amount of information, such as a list of Helicopters available that are used to scoop up water and drop it on strategic places to contain and extinguish fires. This work requires intelligent planning, affecting soil condition protection and many other factors, a very costly work to protect life and property

 

The wildfire has travelled to within thirty kilometres  of the neighbouring Province of Saskatchewan causing folk to take evasive action such as clearing woodlands of trees to make a firebreak and stop the onward path of destruction.

 

Alberta has a vast oil reserve, the third largest in the world, two producing plants have been forced to halt production losing a million barrels of oil a day which will globally push up the price of oil.

 

Flood and flame have been a continual fear of people all over the world. The first mention of flood in the Bible is in Gen.6:17 when God brought a flood of water over all the earth, it was a universal judgement by God against the wickedness of man. Only Noah and his family were saved in the Ark, together with all the animals, birds and creatures, an amazing plan of deliverance.

The magnificant reliable Ark for the people of that day is a picture of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ for folk today.

 

The first mention of fire in the Bible is in Gen.19:24  “Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven.” This was a localised judgement against the immoral behaviour of men in two cities. Some say that those two cities are at the bottom of the Dead Sea, some archaeologists place them north east of the Dead Sea, but wherever they were they were removed from the face of the earth. Men at their peril make light of sin but God will judge sin!

In 2Kings ch.1 we read that King Ahaziah, Israel’s king was sick and Elijah had told him that because he consulted a false god and not Jehovah, that he would die, then he withdrew to the top of a hill. The king sent fifty soldiers to take him. “And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.” This happened a second time with fifty more soldiers killed by fire from Heaven. A third fifty were spared when the captain appealed for their lives to be spared.

 

A Universal judgement, a Localised judgement and Individuals who experienced judgement by fire.

 

The lady in Fort McMurray who likened their wildfire to Hell must read the closing chapters of the Book of Revelation which tells us of the Lake of Fire.               Rev 19:20 reads, “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.”

Rev 20:9 continues “And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”

Rev 20:14 and 15 says “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

Rev 21:8 concludes, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

 

These are solemn statements about an eternal state which will involve millions of unbelieving souls. To escape this horrific experience God has provided a Saviour for sinners. 1John 4:14 confirms,  “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.” To accomplish this it necessitated not only Christ’s incarnation at Bethlehem but also His death at Calvary. His death was expiatory, He died on account of our sins in order that we might be forgiven and become a child of God who will live in Heaven, never exposed to the wildfire of Hell.

 

Everyone who puts their faith in Christ receives the gift of eternal life and saved from perishing in Hell.  God bless.

 

Stan Burditt