September 2015

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

                                                             VIEW FROM THE PULPIT                      Sept. Issue 2015

Fire!Fire!Fire!    The cry of Fire repeatedly, causes people to act urgently and look for a safe place of refuge. Sometimes when a fire alarm is sounded in a building, some people think that is just a routine fire drill test and take no action to vacate the building, this of course is dangerous because, to delay in a real fire could be a matter of life or death.

In recent weeks residents in Western states in America have suffered widespread fires in forests and scrubland. According to Los Angeles Times fire-fighters are struggling to contain the current fires which so far this year have consumed 7.1 million acres of the U.S. Seventy firemen from Australia and New Zealand have arrived in Idaho to help fight fires in the Pacific Northwest. More than 200 soldiers have been deployed to assist firemen, as also 3600 prison inmates are employed to fight fires.

Drought and heat waves turn large areas of land into a tinderbox waiting to ignite, so it is of paramount importance that safety precautions are practised to avoid loss of life and possessions.

 

 On August 17th. BBC News reported, ‘Two massive explosions in the port of Tianjin, northern China, have killed more than a hundred people, left hundreds more injured and devastated large areas of the city.

Much of what took place, or is still happening now, is unclear - but here is what we do know. How did the blasts happen? They took place at a warehouse at the port which contained hazardous and flammable chemicals, including calcium carbide, sodium cyanide, potassium nitrate, ammonium nitrate and sodium nitrate.’ These explosions created a fire ball instantly killing people who lived nearby, BBC continued, ‘The China Earthquake Networks Centre said the initial explosion, in a city with a population of around 15 million, had a power equivalent to three tonnes of TNT detonating, while the second was the equivalent of 21 tonnes.’

Some details of material loss reported, ‘Large shipping containers were tossed into the air like matchsticks and were crumpled by the blasts. A logistics park containing several thousand cars was incinerated by the fireball. Renault says some 1,500 of its cars were lost, while Hyundai said it had around 4,000 cars on the site - although it has not yet assessed the level of damage.’ Material loss cannot compare with the loss of life with hundreds of souls ushered swiftly into eternity.

 

The third fire happened near Brighton on the A27. Again BBC News carried the story, ‘At least 11 people were killed when a Hawker Hunter jet crashed on to the A27 during a display at the Shoreham Airshow. The Shoreham Airshow takes place annually at Shoreham Airport in West Sussex and is run by the Royal Air Force Association (RAFA). Some 50 aircraft, including many classic jets, were scheduled to take to the skies for display flights during the two-day event. Among them was a vintage Hawker Hunter jet, flown by pilot Andy Hill. Eyewitnesses say the plane had just begun its flight and was performing a loop when it failed to pull out of the manoeuvre and crashed into traffic on a busy main road, the A27, at about 13:20 BST. Footage captured by spectators at the airshow and nearby motorists showed a large fireball engulf the area.’ That fireball was horrific!

There are three aspects of fire in the Bible that I want to share with you. (1) /A Moral one, (2) a Physical one, and (3) a Spiritual one. The moral one is found in James 3:4 to 6, “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.”  In this passage the tongue is linked with boasting, but what about blasphemy? People notice when someone boasts about himself or herself but do not notice when they themselves carelessly blaspheme the name of Jesus Christ and God. James tells us where this consuming fire is kindled; it is by Satan himself, the adversary of the souls of men. Watch what you say!

Peter tells us about the physical fire that will consume all creation. He says in 2Peter 3:3. “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”

In Noah’s day only eight people were saved in the Ark, those who mocked God, perished in the water. Only those who are saved by trusting Christ as their Saviour will be delivered from the fire that will destroy the heavens and earth. Are you saved?             

 

It is John in Revelation ch.20 who tells us of the spiritual doom of those who reject God’s love and His great salvation. “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 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. Again I ask, “Are you saved?”   God bless.

Stan Burditt