View from the pulpit

Monthly topical artices kindly supplied by a regular visiting               

speaker from Northampton: Stan Burditt.

 

 

VIEW FROM THE PULPIT               October 2019

Europe 

When God made the heavens and the earth everything was perfect.  The stars and the planets were in their correct order and location and everything was ‘on the move’.  Concerning planet earth, the sun and the moon each were set revolving in an orderly manner.  The earth revolves around the sun at 67,000 miles per hour.  The sun orbits at 492,000 miles per hour.  The moon orbits Earth at a speed of 2,288 miles per hour and completes its circuit in just less than 28 days.  We have no sensation of movement of any kind, other than we can see the moon in different positions in the sky.  We can trust and depend upon the stability of this order and mariners can plot their course by fixing their location in relation to the North Star.  We don’t have to worry our heads when we go to bed at night that the sun will rise in the East and bring all the benefits to planet Earth that it requires to sustain life.  The earth’s perfect crust was broken up in the days of Noah when God brought a universal judgement upon the earth because of sin.  The fragmentation of planet earths crust caused tectonic plates, upon which seven continents now stand.  The seven continents are Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America.  Europe borders with Asia and the straits of Gibralter forms a border between Africa and Europe. 

We have considered the geography of continents and of Europe in particular now we can think of the geo-political structure of Europe.  There are 27 nations that are presently in the European Union and 1 other seeking divorce from the EU.  History reveals problems between nations, which have resulted in war, and the migration of many people from their home country.  The European Union has a Roman Treaty that reminds us of the 4 world gentile powers i.e. Babylon (Iraq) Persia (Iran), Greece and Rome.   The Bible identifies these 4 world powers as ‘the times of the gentiles’.  In Luke 21 v 24 we read “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations:  and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” the expression ‘the times of the gentiles’ was not the collapse of the Roman Empire but looks forward to future days when an attempt of another gentile world empire will be overthrown by the second coming of Christ to earth.  However in the days of the Roman Empire God revealed his interest in mans spiritual well being by introducing the gospel to Europe.

Acts 16 gives the details of the Lord assembling his servants in Troas (Turkey) for this great commission of bringing the gospel to the people of Europe.  While in Troas the Apostle Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia appealing for spiritual help, “come over and help us” was his prayer.  Paul’s intended movements was to travel East with the gospel but God had other purposes for him, the Holy Spirit re-directing him North-West into Europe.  The writer of the book of Acts was Doctor Luke and in chapter 16 of Acts the pronoun ‘they’ changes to ‘we’ when Luke joined himself to the missionary endeavour.  God didn’t provide Paul with an accountant or a fisherman, he provided a doctor.  How blessed this was when Paul arrived in Philippi and received physical brutality to his person and Luke was on hand to help.  In Philippi, Macedonia Paul had occasion to preach the Gospel where 3 people were saved.  The first was a lady named Lydia, she was a businesswoman who had taken her business from Thyatira in Turkey to Europe.  Thyatira is the area where the purple dye was produced and Lydia was a ‘seller of purple’.  Her business interests did not deter her from believing in God and when Paul preached the gospel to a company of women by the riverside the Lord opened her heart to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and she was saved.  Not only was she saved, she was then baptized and immediately provided hospitality to the servants of the Lord.  Lydia’s life was changed by her faith in the Son of God, also members of her household were saved at the same time.  God delights to save in families.  The second person that Paul reached with the Gospel was a damsel, neither an infant nor an adult.  People in the abuse of spiritual activities were manipulating her young life.  She brought her masters much gain by her sooth-saying but her demon possession ended when she received Christ as saviour and the Holy Spirit indwelt her changing her life dramatically. Many young peoples lives are today being messed up by an indulgence in alcohol, recreational drugs which bring the sellers much gain and bondage to the spirit world.  Her salvation caused a rumpus in the city and her previous controllers created an uproar resulting in Paul and Silas being thrown into prison. This place was where the third person got saved; he was the keeper of the prison.  Paul and Silas were singing at midnight, their feet fast in the stocks, their backs bleeding when an earthquake occurred causing the building to be shaken and the prisoners released from the chains that held them.  The Jailor fearing for his life was about to commit suicide when Paul cried “do thyself no harm, we are all here”.  The Jailor called for a light, drew his sword and sprang into the secured area.  The question upon his lips “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  Paul answered his question “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and all thy house” that man was saved, and his family and they were baptized the same night.

God is still saving souls in Europe, have you asked the question “What must I do to be saved”.  Believe today and you will be saved.

God bless,     

 

Stan Burditt