Come and See!
The prophetical hope of the gospel.
Friday, July 02, 2010
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Welcome to this week's Bible in the News. This is Paul Billington speaking with you this week from the UK. It is summer time and many of our usual presenters are away for various mid-summer reasons - Bible schools, travelling and other activities. So we shall be with you every two weeks until things return to normal.
The Bible in the News seeks to demonstrate the links between current events and the prophecies of Scripture in a week by week reminder that the word of God is up to date and that events are moving forward in the direction that Scripture out lined many centuries ago, and in which believers have anticipated over many years.
In the words of Revelation chapter 6 we are saying in effect "Come and See!" Or again, in the words of Psalm 66:5, "Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing towards the children of men."
Events that we read about in the news are like seals of a scroll being opened, or like the blowing of trumpets, alerting us to the fact that the Lord's hand is at work. It is in another example, the work of the watchman to blow the trumpet and warn of approaching danger. We read about this in Ezekiel 33:1-6 where it says:
"Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand."
But the Bible in the News not only looks at approaching danger and judgment - it also looks forward to future blessings in store for Israel, and for those who are committed to the things of Truth and who are obedient to God's word. In other words, it is a reminder of the "good news" or gospel. This good news of the gospel is about the things which God has promised - as we read for example in Acts 26:6,7 and 8.
"And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope’s sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?"
These promises are clear and straightforward, and as the apostle told the Galatians (chapter 3:8).
"The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the nations through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed."
Now this takes us to the book of Genesis where we read of the promises that were made to Abraham - and among the things promised was the Land - that land known as "the promised land." This Land is a specific geographical location that we can identify on a map between the river of Egypt and the river Euphrates. Though promised to Abraham, Acts 7:5 tells us that God gave him none inheritance in it, "no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him..."
Now Abraham died and was buried in Hebron, so the only way for him to receive this Land is through a coming to life again - by resurrection from the dead. And that is also part of the hope of the gospel, for as the apostle Paul said in Acts 17:31-32. Why should it be thought incredible that God would bring the dead back to life? This is the point that Paul emphasized to the men of Athens.
Well, it may seem incredible, but this is what God has promised to those who believe him - to those who, like Abraham, believe His promises.
Let us embrace these things then, for "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned" (Mark 16:16).
Join us again in two weeks time for another edition of the Bible in the News.
Printed: Friday, July 02, 2010
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