Summary: There must be a revival of the word of God in the hearts of new believers.
May 25, 2008
Text: Amos 8:11-14
Subject: The Word of God and the End
Title: A Revival of the Word
Well, our big week has come and gone. Ric Gorden was great on Saturday night. His music and humor really fit into this church. So did the Word of God that he shared.
Sunday morning with Pastor Ray was awesome as well. The word he shared for Sunday School as well as his message in church were significant. The Spirit of God was moving to prepare you to hear that word he preached.
Sunday night was good. Pastor Tim came and preached his heart out.
Do you remember the message and interpretation from Monday night? The Lord spoke to us about a revival of the word.
Tuesday night was incredible. The healing service – healings of every kind were taking place. Some have told me that they can’t wait to go to the doctor so he can confirm what they know has already happened in their bodies.
Then our last night was the call to action. What are you going to do with what you received from the Lord this week?
You know, the really significant thing that I walked away with from this week is that God is ministering to our young people. I’m not just talking about youth, but those who are young in the Lord. During this revival week we saw five people saved. Many of our new Christians came forward and received great spiritual blessings at the altar this week. The desire is there to get closer to God. And now it is our responsibility to help them do that and the only way to help them draw closer is to help them understand more about Him, and the only way to do that is to open the scriptures to them. And that is where we want to be today.
There is an epidemic in the church today among the young and not so young, and it is an epidemic of ignorance of the Word of God. In our youth group we have kids from many different denominations. The one thing that they have in common is that they have a minimal understanding of the Bible. It is time for that to change. If you look around at youth groups in the area most of them are geared toward entertainment as a way to attract more kids. It is time for our youth to become Bible based and to grow in the Lord, and not just hear but to be doers of the word and to experience God like they experienced Him this past week.
This message is a warning that the time of the end is near and what we must do to prepare our young people and young Christians to be overcomers. This message is for mature Christians as well to help you understand your role in growing the church.
Open our ears to hear and eyes to see as I read the word to you today.
I. THIRST FOR HEARING THE WORD (11) “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign LORD, “when I will send a famine through the land— not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD. I want you to get a picture if you would of the continent of Europe. In the centuries following the fall of the Roman Empire Europe became the purveyor of Christianity. You can go there still and see the wonders of architecture displayed in the magnificent cathedrals and churches. Jesus Christ was exalted in Europe for many centuries. Then the spirit of religion began to sweep across the continent and dead religion began to replace faith in Jesus. Little by little darkness crept into the church till the light of Jesus Christ was extinguished. Go to Europe now and look at the churches. They have become museums – a testimony to a religion that no longer has any value in a godless society. Aren’t you glad that it is Europe and we are the US? But listen, as Europe goes the US will follow. You don’t realize it right now because we live in the Bible belt, but if you get a picture of America in your mind you can see that both the east and west coasts of our great nation have been inundated by spiritual darkness that is displayed in Hollywood and Broadway. Look to the north and you see the liberal social agenda is overtaking the conservative beliefs that Christians hold dear to their hearts. Look to the south along the gulf coast to see a city that was once “sin city” in the US – New Orleans. All along the gulf coast satanic worship and voodoo religion prevails. It has made its way up the Mississippi River and the occult has established strongholds in river towns from Louisiana to Minnesota. Darkness has engulfed the perimeter of our nation and is closing in on us and in fact geographically dividing the nation. Frustratingly enough even in our churches darkness is rising up to the point where all people want to get from church is the good feeling that keeps them going till the next week. People are starving and they don’t even know that it is the Word of God that they desire. In this passage from Amos, the problem isn’t that there was no prophet in Israel. The problem was that the people had hardened their hearts to what God was saying. How did that happen? How did they get to that place? Because they disregarded the Word of God in the scriptures and had begun to practice “religion”. The sacrifices at the temple had replaced a loving relationship with Yahweh. Special feast days and holidays held more significance than the God who ordained them. It wasn’t that the word was not available. They just didn’t want the very thing that they needed – the inspired Word of God. America is at that place right now. Our society in general has hardened their hearts so that the Word of God has no place in America any longer. The Bible is no longer relevant. But Jesus said that His words would always be relevant. Matthew 24:35, Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Did you notice that Amos said that there would be a famine? The root of the Hebrew word translated “famine” means “to suffer in hunger” That’s a pretty dire prediction of how Israel would become. And America as well. Again, the famine is not because the Word of God isn’t going forth. It is because nobody wants to hear it anymore. There is a great ignorance of the word even in the church. The story has been told about several famous preachers, but it actually happened to Joseph Parker, minister of the City Temple in London. An old lady waited on Parker in his vestry after a service to thank him for the help she received from his sermons. "You do throw such wonderful light on the Bible, doctor," she said. "Do you know that until this morning, I had always thought that Sodom and Gomorrah were man and wife?" Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching & Preachers, Moody, 1984, p. 213. That is total ignorance of the word.