Friday, April 10, 2009



There was a popular song back in the 1970’s with that title. It was written in 1970 by Hoyt Axton, and originally sung by Three Dog Night, the Australian group. Elvis Presley had a version of it that I remember. He sang it in live concerts. The lyrics indicated a fascination with the beauty, and intrigue of the Spanish nation, and its women, and a curiosity to go there on the part of the singer; yet, in the song, he never got there. I always thought I would like to go there, and although I have been in England and France, that is as close as I have come so far in my life of 64 years.

Paul the apostle planned to go to Spain. “Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come unto you” (Romans 15:24). This was his human plan, but in God’s purpose he met a detour. The ultimate detour was to Rome where Paul was executed. We may think an apostle would know whether his ambition would come true or not, but Paul did not. Was God’s purpose thwarted? Was Paul’s life cut short (other that in a human sense)? No! Emphatically no! Remember “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27), and “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way” (Psalm 37:23). God had a purpose in Paul dying in Rome, and not on the isle of Melita when the viper bit him (Acts 28:1-6), or in Jerusalem (Acts 23:27), or Lystra when he was stoned (Acts 14:19). We can see some of His purpose in the thriving early church there in Rome. There were in subsequent years, many others executed there for Christ’s sake. There were many Christians in that empire then, and many more martyrs after the Roman church became the heretical Roman Catholic church with all its corruption.

Yet in the early days the gospel spread from there, as it had from Jerusalem earlier. God had a purpose in Paul not getting to Spain, but Rome instead. Paul had wanted to see Rome also, but I see nothing to indicate he expected to die there; at least not at first. Later, as he was under imprisonment, he knew he would not get to Spain, for he told Timothy “For I am now ready to be offered and the time of my departure is at hand . I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (II Timothy 4:6-7). I may never get to Spain either, but if I can have a testimony similar to Paul at the end, I won’t care. Follow Paul as he followed Christ. (I Corinthians 11:1).


By the way, another thing regarding Elvis; as almost everyone knows, they had a big hoopla in Memphis on August 16th, the anniversary of his death 30 years ago. His daughter, Lisa Marie, now 39 years old, sang a duet with him of In The Ghetto. It was all done by photographic and holographic magic, I guess. I have not seen that performance. A few months earlier on American Idol, Canadian singer Celine Dion sang a duet with him of If I Can Dream . I saw that one. It looked as though he was really there, living and breathing, and singing, but, of course he wasn‘t. As my grandson told me “Elvis has left the planet.” The frightening thing about all this is that through digital animation, and special effects photography, they can make many things appear to be so that are not. Did you see the flying saucer hoax that came from Australia? That one was so well done that it even had the experts saying it was real! It did look absolutely real. Can’t you see the way this could go if you had an enemy with access to this technology that wanted to frame you? We are in an era of strange things. Even everything moral and sacred is under attack. “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth” (Luke 21:26). I am glad we serve a God that cannot be defeated; a Christ that will gather His elect from the corners of the earth.. Whatever lies ahead, He is with us, and He is coming back.. Even so, come Lord Jesus!

( Editor's note:These articles were written in August 2007 and were originally published in our Morsels and Tidbits publication; so please keep that in mind regarding the dates mentioned. cw)

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