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Summary: Challenging the false thinking of comfortable Christians

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SERIES: “EXCERPTS FROM EZEKIEL”

TEXT: EZEKIEL 12, 13, & 14

TITLE: “COMFORTABLE CHRISTIANS”

INTRODUCTION: A. Many of you have probably heard the old story about an ancient village where all

the people who lived there were blind. One day, while walking down the road, six

men from that village came upon a man riding an elephant. The six men, who had

heard about elephants but had never been close to one, asked the rider to allow them to

touch the great beast. They wanted to go back to their hometown and tell the other

villagers what an elephant looked like.

The rider agreed and led each of the six men to a different part of the elephant. All

six blind men touched and stroked the elephant until they were certain they knew what

the animal looked like. They walked back to their village and couldn’t wait to tell

everybody about their experience. When they arrived, the villagers gathered around to

hear about the elephant

The first man, who had felt the animal’s side, said, “An elephant is like a great

thick wall.”

The second man called that statement nonsense. He had felt the elephant’s tusk

and told everyone, “He is rather short, round, and smooth, but somewhat sharp. An

elephant is not like a wall. He’s more like a spear.”

The third man had touched one of the elephant’s ears. He said, “Oh, it’s not like

that at all. An elephant is like a giant leaf made of thick wool carpet. It moves when

you touch it.”

The fourth man had touched the elephant’s trunk. He said, “I disagree. I can tell

you that an elephant is most certainly like a giant snake.”

The fifth man shouted that the first four had no idea what they were talking about.

He had touched one of the elephant’s legs so he said, “An elephant is round and thick;

like a tree.”

The sixth thought the other five had lost their minds. He’d been allowed to sit on

the elephant’s back. He said, “Now see here…an elephant is clearly like a gigantic

moving mountain.”

1. The story usually concludes like this: To this day, the men continue to argue, and

no one in the village has any idea what an elephant looks like.

2. The men in that story thought that they had it all figured out

--Sadly, while all of them were partially right, they were still all wrong!

B. The people of Israel were a lot like these blind men

1. They saw everything according to their sinfulness and rebelliousness

2. They’d turned away from the true picture and reinvented everything according to

their own warped standards

3. Let’s have a quick review of the events in the book of Ezekiel so far:

a. 10,000 Jews were captured by the Babylonians and carried into captivity 1,000

miles away

b. Ezekiel was one of the captives and was God’s prophet in Babylon

c. At approximately the same time, Jeremiah was God’s prophet in Jerusalem

d. The city of Jerusalem was virtually unharmed by King Nebuchadnezzer of

Babylon and he had installed a man named Zedekiah as a “puppet king in

Jerusalem

e. Optimism was running high that Jerusalem and Judah would soon be delivered

and restored to its former glory.

f. False prophets were responsible for this optimism

1). The people didn’t like the message of God as delivered by Jeremiah and

Ezekiel so they looked for people who would say what they wanted to hear

2). The people lived fast and loose and refused the call of God’s voice to

repentance and restoration

3). They believed that everything was going to be OK just like it was

--They didn’t believe that God would personally call them to task for what

they were doing

C. Our churches are full of people like that today

1. They see everything through the lenses of their sinfulness and rebelliousness

2. They’ve turned away from God’s true picture of things and have reinvented

everything according to their own warped standards.

3. They’re primarily concerned with feeling comfortable instead of being faithful in

following Jesus Christ.

a. They’re living fast and loose and are refusing to hear God’s voice calling them

to repentance and then restoration

b. They don’t believe that God will personally hold them accountable for what

they are doing.

D. The problem is that they have accepted falsehoods as opposed to accepting the truth

1. False prophets were declaring a message contrary to God’s message

a. They didn’t want to change their behavior so they changed the message

b. In order to understand God’s truth, you have to be obedient to God’s will

2. Leaders who falsely claimed to care about the needs of the people only cared

about their own interests

--Again, unwillingness to change their behavior made them put forth a false front

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