Intro: This is a pivotal day in the history of Central Assembly of God. We may never pass this way again. There are some important lessons today God wants us to understand before we leave here. These lessons come from the story of Abraham offering his son Isaac on Mt. Moriah.
I. GOD WILL TEST HIS CHILDREN.
A. He will even test a local church. Look at what Jesus said to the churches in the Book of Revelation!
B. God had promised Abraham years before that a blessing would come through his son Isaac that would change the world forever.
C. Now He commands Abraham to sacrifice his son! This was the supreme test of Abraham's walk with God. Notice His response to God's command:
1. The next day he rose up early in the morning. (He didn't put it off)
2. It took them three days to reach Mt. Moriah. (He had plenty of time to turn back)
3. He told the servants to wait while he and Isaac went to "worship!" (He considered his sacrifice worship)
4. He drew back the knife to slay his son. (He obeyed God fully).
II. PASSING THE TEST GOD PUTS BEFORE US IS REQUIRED BEFORE HE WILL PROMOTE US TO A HIGHER LEVEL.
A. You have to pass the first grade before you are promoted to the second grade.
B. The same is true in the school of discipleship. Some Christians want to go on to the second grade without learning the lessons and passing the test of the first grade!
C. Some churches never get out of elementary school, so to speak, when it comes to doing God's will.
D. Everyone wants to be promoted to heaven when the Rapture takes place, but Jesus said, "few there be that find it." There will be a lot of so-called Christians surprised when the trumpet sounds and God doesn't let them graduate to Heaven, because they're still in first grade!
E. We are commanded to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Story of the preacher who tried to get the woman's unsaved husband to come to church. Than man said, "I can't come to church." "Why," asked the pastor. The man said, "Because I don't have a pocket knife." The Pastor said, "What does not having a pocket knife have to do with not going to church?" The man said, "Well, I figure when someone doesn't want to go to church-any ole excuse will do." HOW TRUE!
F. Listen to the Word of God in II Peter 1:3-11.
G. Eph. 2:8, which says, "For by grace are ye saved, through faith, not of works, lest any man should boast," must be read in the light of James 2:14 which says, "If a man says he has faith, but has not works, can that faith save him?"
H. Jesus said, "He that endureth to the end, shall be saved." YOU HAVE TO PASS THE TEST!
I. The song, "Deeper, Deeper" should be the theme of our life!
III. AFTER WE PASS THE TEST, THE NEXT LEVEL ALWAYS BRINGS A GREATER REVELATION, A GREATER RESPONSIBILITY, AND A GREATER BLESSING!
A. Abraham's obedience brought a greater revelation of God, "Jehovah-Jireh," The Lord our Provider!"
B. The blessing was a ram caught in the thicket, a substitute for Isaac.
C. WHERE GOD GUIDES HE PROVIDES! While I was praying the other night, and saying, "God how are we going to get it all done?" God spoke to my heart and said, "Do you remember how I called you to come to Central Assembly of God?" And I said, "Yes." He then said, "Do you remember how I confirmed that call to you through the gifts of the Spirit and through supernatural timing?" I said, "Yes, Lord, I remember." Then I said, "God you didn't send me down here to fail. You sent me here to do your will and you're going to bring it to pass!"
Conclusion: The lessons from Mt. Moriah are for us today Central Assembly of God.
1. We have already passed several tests: purchasing the land, raising building commitments, securing plans, selling this building, finding a temporary home, moving out in faith.
2. Our sacrifice to get these things accomplished has not been grievous to us…truly, we have considered it worship! GOD IS WORTHY!
3. God is promoting us to a higher level. He has given us a greater revelation of who He is, what He wants us to do, and how He's going to help us do it!
4. We have a greater responsibility now more than ever before! God is calling us to a higher level of ministry and outreach to this community. The Bible says, "Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time." This is Central Assembly of God's "due time to reach Haughton for Christ!" There are some rams caught in the thicket. There are some goats trapped in the hedges. But, we're going to go into the highways and the hedges and compel them to come in!
5. If we continue faithful, we are about to receive the greatest blessing of our lives and we are about to become a blessing to many, many souls who are lost and need to know about the Savior!