Year 2 Day 12
Read - Acts 12v20-25
Message - Scott Woodburn
At one time Adolf Hitler was the most feared and powerful man in the world. He died by his own hand in a collapsed bunker. At one time Josef Stalin stood like a colossus over Russia. He died after his aides allegedly ignored him as suffered a heart attack. Pol Pot waged a brutal campaign against his own people in Cambodia. He died suspicious and fearful and unloved.
Evil always overreaches and antichrists never win. Herod raged against the church and even surrounding nations feared him. The people of Tyre and Sidon sought peace with Herod. The King was angry with them and they knew they needed Herod's favour for food (v20). Herod filled with arrogance put on royal robes, sat on his throne and began to speak (v21). We're not sure what Herod had to say but we do know the response of the people.
They shouted that Herod's voice was that of a god and not a man (v22). Antichrists love nothing more than to receive praise that is not due to them. But perhaps Herod would be different? Perhaps he would turn the crowds gaze away from himself to the Lord? Sadly not. An angel of the Lord struck him down because instead of giving God the glory he took it all for himself (v23). Like antichrists before and since, Herod's end was not glorious. Luke tells us he was eaten by worms and died (v23). We do not know what disease afflicted Herod but we know that it was sent by God and Herod fell under the righteous wrath of the One he opposed.
Meanwhile, in understated fashion, Luke mentions that the word of God increased and multiplied (v24). If only the opponents of the Gospel understood this. The Gospel cannot be stopped and every antichrist in every age will fall before the judgement of God.
The King of France, Louis 14th preferred to be called "Louis the Great". At his funeral he insisted that only one candle remain alight and be placed on top of his coffin. After all, men in every age filled with their own arrogance, believe themselves to be the light of the world. The preacher that day was called Jean Baptiste Massillon and he climbed from the pulpit and blew out Louis the Great's candle. "Only God is great!" he declared "Only God is great!"
We pray that the world would understand this message and today may we not lazily point to far off lands and denounce the foreign antichrists. Our own country is rotten, the Western world continues its decline into depravity. Evil is called good and good is called evil. May the Gospel of Christ thunder in the west and may these lands and the antichrists in them remember...only God is great and all will stand before Him.
Q27 Wherein did Christ’s humiliation consist? Christ’s humiliation consisted in his being born, and that in a low condition, made under the law, undergoing the miseries of this life, the wrath of God, and the cursed death of the cross; in being buried, and continuing under the power of death for a time.