Summary: Things may seem to be a total chaotic state in your life, you may be troubled on every side, but know this A Change is Coming because troble don’t last always. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
“A Change is Coming”
1st Samuel 2:12-17
¨If I were to pick an opening statement for this message it would be the passage that we find in the book “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens, where it says “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
¨We live in a society and time that man before never has seen. Technological advancement is at an all time high; a cornucopia of any information that we desire is at our fingertips. We have our freedom; we don’t always have to wonder am I going to be lynched just because of the color of my skin. We live in a time that a hundred years ago would have put a person in an insane asylum for thinking this way. Our churches are growing and God’s Word is being preached all over the world. The trials and tribulations that our predecessors suffered has literally made this to be the best of times. Although we at this time are at war, it still is the best of times. Yet we struggle with what is one of the biggest weapons the devil uses and that is Racism.
¨I am not talking about Black vs. White as racism, because that’s not racism that’s prejudice. The core foundation and premises of racism is separation. We have Apostolic racism, Baptist racism, Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran racism. This type of racism divides the church, which is the body of Christ. It is because of this type of racism we as children of God had developed the bondage of fear. Because this person preaches a certain way or this choir has a certain sound, churches find themselves fearful of fellowshipping with other churches, afraid that the people will leave because the grass looks greener over there. “Spiritual Racism.” I am reminded of the scripture that says “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba Father”. Now that this type of racism is present, and the devil has succeeded in separating us, through denominations and organizations, what he is trying to do now is put racism in the individual church. We see it here, the young people sit on this side of the church and the older saints sit on this side of the church. We say that this is where I have always sat, but the reason this is, is because the devil is trying to take the best of times and turn them into the worst of times, but I’m here to declare “A Change is Coming”.
This separation that the devil is causing is not a new thing, it has been going on ever since the Garden of Eden and this was the situation that was taking place with the Children of Israel here in our text.
ÞThe children of Israel were not under bondage at this time. They were not wondering in the wilderness. They were not worshipping idols; they did not have to worry about Pharaoh or his army. They were worshipping the one and only true God. They were offering up sacrifices to the Lord, they were living theirs lives the way God required them to live and doing the things God required them to do. In that essence it was the best of times. Even-though it was the best of times there was trouble in the temple. Don’t you know that when the church begins to do the things God requires the church to do that the devil begins to cause confusion within church and he tries to take the best of times and turn them into the worst of times.
ÞWatch this, Church get on fire for the Lord and the devil will try to bring confusion in the church and if we are not careful before you know it this side of the church is upset with this side of the church. This deacon is upset with that deacon, the organ player is upset with the drummer, half the church doesn’t like the pastor and the other half can’t stand his wife. WHY, because the devil realizes “A Change is Coming” and he is going to try every-thing he can to stop it.
ÞThis was the case with the Children of Israel. Eli, the High Priest, had two sons by the name of Hophni and Phinas, and these men were wicked men that caused a lot of distress and confusion among the people. The name Hophni means (Pugilist) boxer if you will and the name Phinehas means (Serpents mouth). We have a lot of fighters and liars in church today.
ÞThe Bible says these men were the sons of “Belial”, which is another name for the Satan, it means worthlessness, wickedness, and ungodly. Hophni and Phinehas refused to obey God, they didn’t hold to the custom of the priest; they stole the offering of the people that was a sacrifice to the Lord. They threatened the people with bodily harm, they caused the women, who had dedicated their lives to the Lord in the temple (Nuns if you will) to commit adultery. They defiled the temple and when confronted of their atrocities the failed to repent. At a time when things should have been the best of times for the Children of Israel, these men made it the worst of times, they caused confusion and fear and because of their power and position they were an Old Testament Mafia or Temple Tormentors.