Light Of His Word
The Sermons of Pastor Mike Walls
Freedom Baptist Church
Used By Permission
Psalms 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
MOUNTAIN TOP EXPERIENCES IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
Introduction: Last time we saw the challenge extended. The potentate or we see in this passage the king challenged. Elijah speaks seven times and each time he commands the king and the people. He does not ask. King Ahab called Elijah a snake in the grass basically. But it is that is the true problem in the land of Israel. Ahab led the people of Israel into the worship of Baal. Baal worship has plague the people of Israel over and over again.
In reality, Ahab was the troublemaker; Elijah was just the troubleshooter. Elijah is the only true friend that Israel has. He is the only hope they have for rain.
the end of the last message I made reference to silence on the part
of people of God. Silence is not golden when it comes to the things
of God. It is plain yellow and cowardly.
II. THE CHALLENGE TO THE PEOPLE IS EXTENDED.
“So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel. And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.”
Mount Carmel is perfect location. It is flat and can accommodate a large amount of people. It would be exactly where the Lord would show Ahab and the people who was really in charge. At this event at the moment of these verses, Elijah pays attention to the people of the land and not the false prophets.
I want to give three views in regards to the challenge to the people.
A. There is a question asked. Simply put, Elijah's question is this: "How long are you going to waiver or vacillate between these two ways of life?" These people were guilty of trying to hold hands with God and Baal. They were guilty of what many people are guilty of today. They wanted the best God could give them and they wanted what they could get from Baal worship. They wanted the best of both worlds. The words "How long" indicate that this had been going on for quiet some time. So it is in the church. People want to assurance that they are saved and a member of the church, but they want to hold on to their sins too. They want heaven, but they also want a beer now and then. They want the Bible, but they want to curse when things go wrong. They want to be able to pray when they have a need, but they want to live life by their own rules and do as they please. This does not work like this.
The most miserable person in the world is one trying to hold onto the world with one hand and the world with the other. Jesus taught about this in His preaching.
“No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
This problem is growing by leaps and bounds in our day. People like Gospel music but they want to listen to the world’s music too. They see nothing wrong with contemporary “Christian” music or CCM. CCM elevates the flesh and has very little to do with Christian. A good friend of mine challenged his church folks to listen to their normal “Christian” radio station. He challenged them to listen an hour and see how many times they heard the name that is above every name- the name of the Lord Jesus. Several of them called him in a few days and they were sad to report one or two or even four times in one hour they heard the name of the Lord Jesus.
Divided allegiance is a wicked as open idolatry. This is proven by Christ's condemnation of the church at Laodicea.
“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
Let me give you this illustration from the passage. There was a two rivers or streams around the city of Laodicea. One had hot water and the other had cold. But when they came together in Laodicea, the water was not fit to drink.
A person is either for Christ as he is against Him. You cannot be neutral. You cannot occupy the middle of the road. Jesus said it this way, "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad." (Matthew 12:30)
The challenge for us is in this haunting question for some- where do you stand in regard to the Lord Jesus Christ? Standing for Jesus takes commitment. Commitment takes determination. When you read the Word of God, you see many people who stood for the Lord against odds. It is probably not as plain as the three Hebrew men in time of the book of Daniel. These three men faced a fiery furnace. They faced a certain death. So how do they answer the king?
“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”
Standing for the Lord for these three men was not something they decided at this day but years ago. God blessed their stand and chose to deliver them. But not all who stand for the Lord are delivered here on earth. Some of them were delivered unto the realm of our good God. Stephen felt those stones as they hit him. He closed his eyes in death and pain and woke up in glory where Jesus stood to welcome him home.
B. There is a quandary seen. This is defined as a dilemma. Elijah presents the people with a problem. He tells them that they are being contradictory. If God is Lord, then Baal cannot be. If Baal is Lord then God cannot be. What Elijah is saying is that both God and Baal cannot both exist. There is room in the universe for only one Lord and one God. They are challenged to choose whom they will follow.
This is the same challenge we face today. Many who claim to love the Lord are also holding hands with the world, the flesh, material possessions or whatever. This is a contradiction. Either God is the Lord or He isn't. If He isn't, then those other things you hold to must be. The bottom line is this: you have to make a choice. Who will you serve? Who is really the Lord of your life? You really can't have it both ways. If you say you love the Lord and deny Him by your life, you actions and your activities, then you really don't love Him at all. So, what's it going to be for you?
What does Jesus say on this subject again?
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Things are forever getting in the way of the eternal. Over the years many people has sold the Lord out for less than thirty pieces of silver. At the end of life, what will count? Will a big bank account or being sold to the Lord? Since the Bible is the final authority on all things in this life, the correct answer is being sold for the Lord.
C. There is a quietness heard. At present their position was illogical and absurd. Their course was like the limp of a man whose legs are uneven. When Elijah extends this challenge to the people, they just say nothing. This is just what you would expect from people like these. They are cowards and they prove it by trying to stay in the middle of the road. There are times when you can walk in the middle and be all right. But, there are times when you have to have the backbone to stand for that, which is right against that which is evil. Anything less is cowardice. Many people think by being quiet and maintaining a low profile that trouble and sin will just go away. If that is your philosophy, then you are deceiving yourself. Sometimes life will present you with opportunities to shut up, more often, faith will present you with opportunities to stand up.
The people seemed to have been stunned and ashamed that such alternatives should
be presented to their
choice, for "the people answered him not a word" (1st
Kings 18:21). Oh, for the clear sightedness of that faith which shall
show men the unreasonableness of their position. It could sweep
away the cobwebs of difficulty with a single movement of the hand
and bring before the court them at the bar of their own consciences,
silent and condemned. It is needed in our day as much as ever. Everywhere
men are trying to win the smile of the world and the "well done" of
Christ. They crowd alike the temples of mammon and of God. They try
to be popular in the court of Saul, and to stand well with the exiled
Conclusion: Joshua saw this very scenario in his day. He issues a challenge to the people.
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
We know the next generation after this one turned their backs on God and He judged them with their enemies taking them into bondage. It was a vicious cycle seen over and over in the book of Judges.
It comes down to the thought- who will be your master? Will it be the Lord or devil? You answer and life and the lives of your children rest upon how you answer and live.
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