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Castro, quarters, and crowns

As I was reading the news of Fidel Castro's resignation on Tuesday of his position as dictator over Cuba, I was struck by a particular piece of reporting. The observation was made that "Castro has been Cuba’s unchallenged leader since 1959. Monarchs excepted, he was the world’s longest ruling head of state."

Despite the many sorrows that this man has caused many people throughout the years, one must confess that the longevity of his reign is an accomplishment of history-making proportions. Maintaining a dictatorship over a volatile country, even through brutality and corruption, is not easy to do.

But as I was marveling at the shear girth of Castro's carnage-strewn history, it suddenly occurred to me that

the Baptist Bible Hour has actually been broadcasting the gospel of Jesus Christ over the radio longer than Fidel Castro has been dictator of Cuba!

To think of all the world events, spiritual needs, and cultural transformation that have come to light since 1953, when the BBH first began broadcasting over the radio.

the Baptist Bible Hour has actually been broadcasting the gospel of Jesus Christ over the radio longer than Fidel Castro has been dictator of Cuba!

In 1953, minimum wage was 3 quarters per hour and a gallon of gasoline cost just over a quarter. In addition to the monetary inflation

that has occurred since then, no one could possibly have predicted the sexual revolution, the Vietnam War, the Kennedy assassination, the Challenger explosion, or the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks.

And yet God has continued to advance His kingdom, unhindered and unaltered in its mission and message, through all of these turbulent times and shocking surprises. God's Word is just as true, just as powerful, and just as relevant today as when the first BBH broadcast went out over the air waves in 1953.

The Cuban Missile Crisis--or any other pages that have suddenly unfolded in history since 1953--was not a surprise to God. Long before Castro came to power, it was truthfully said of God: "power belongs to Him" ( Psalm 62:11). And, as Nebuchadnezzar learned thousands of years ago, the rule of God over all His creation "is an everlasting dominion" (Daniel 4:34).

So no matter how many years the Nazis might prevail, or the Communists might hold on to their power, or Capitalism might thrive, God is ever on His throne and His purposes are not thwarted by gas costing over $3.00 per gallon, or Castro coming into or abdicating power, or anything else that might rock our world. There is a reason that Jesus is depicted in Revelation as having on His head "many crowns" (19:12).

Ultimately, every crown is dispensed at His pleasure. And so what a pleasure it is, and has been, to be laboring in His majestic and mighty kingdom for the past 55 years.