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Summary: Which will you extinguish: Hell's fires or Heaven's fires? Fire is important; but it must be the right kind. At a time when God's people were compromising & backslidden, Samson set an example of a man who fanned the flames of the Spirit and extinguished h

FIRE EXTINGUISHERS

EXTINGUISHING HEAVEN’S FIRE OR HELL’S FIRE?

1 Thess. 5:17

INTRODUCTION

A. HUMOR: FIRE AT CHEMICAL PLANT

1. One dark night a fire started inside a large chemical plant. Because an explosion was likely, an alarm went out to fire departments all around. Many began arriving, but they stayed outside the plant, only spraying water over the fence.

2. The chemical plant president said, “All our secret formulas are in the admin building in the center of the plant. They must be saved! I’ll give $50,000 to the fire department that goes in and brings them out safely!”

3. Since all the fire fighters were afraid an explosion was imminent, none volunteered. The president of the company offered $100,000 to save the company’s secret files; then $200,000. No takers.

4. Suddenly a siren was heard and another fire truck came barreling toward the plant. To everyone’s amazement, it crashed right through the Chemical plant gates and hurtled to the middle of the plant.

5. It plowed into a row of cars near the admin building, and began spraying water around. One of them activated the plant’s splinkler system, which extinguished the fire.

6. Joyous, the chemical plant president gave them the reward of $200,000 and asked what they intended to do with the reward money.

7. White as a sheet, the fire truck driver looked him in the eye and said, “The first thing we’re going to do is get the brakes fixed on that fire truck!”

B. HUMOR: WHY DALMATIONS ON FIRE TRUCKS

1. A 1st grade teacher was delivering a minivan full of kids home one day when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the fire truck was a Dalmatian dog.

2. The teacher asked the why the dog was in the fire truck. Answers?

a. “They use him to keep crowds back," one said.

b. “No,” said another, “he’s just for good luck.”

c. “No!” said a girl firmly. “They use the dogs to find the fire hydrants.”

C. TEXT

Judge 15:4 [Samson] caught 300 foxes and tied…a torch to every pair of tails…5 and let the foxes loose in the standing grain of the Philistines. He burned up the shocks and standing grain, together with the vineyards and olive groves. 9The Philistines [Army] went up and camped in Judah. 10 The men of Judah asked, "Why have you come to fight us?" "We have come to take Samson prisoner," they answered, "to do to him as he did to us."

11 Then 3,000 men from Judah went down….and said to Samson, "Don't you realize that the Philistines are rulers over us? What have you done to us?" 12 They said to him, "We've come to tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines." Samson said, "Swear to me that you won't kill me yourselves." 13 "Agreed," they answered. "We will only tie you up and hand you over to them. We will not kill you." So they bound him with two new ropes and led him [away]. 14 As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came toward him shouting. The Spirit of the LORD came upon him in power. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands.

15 Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men. 16 Then Samson said, "With a donkey's jawbone I have made donkeys of them. With a donkey's jawbone, I have killed a thousand men."

C. THESIS

1. We’re going to see this morning how one man changed the course of a nation. It can still be done today!

2. Samson was a man full of the fire of God. If we get full God will work great victories through us too!

3. The title of this message is, “Fire Extinguishers.”

I. IMPORTANCE OF FIRE

A. THE GREAT BLESSING OF FIRE

1. If you ever watched the reality show “Survivor,” you know how important fire is. Without boiled water, contestants didn’t stand a chance. Survival depends on it.

2. Fire is needed to cook food. Most electricity is produced by fire and steam. Our cars run because of it. Our planes fly by its power. All metals are produced through fire. Every aspect of our lives depend on it.

B. YET FIRE IS VERY DANGEROUS

1. It’s easy for fire to get out of control. The explosion of the fertilizer plant at near Waco last week is a sad example. Fire can be used wrongly.

2. Great forests or cities which took many lifetimes to build can be burned up in a few hours. James said, "Behold how small a spark can set the whole world on fire" (3:5).

3. THAT’S WHY WE NEED FIRE EXTINGUISHERS! An ‘out of control’ fire is one of the most feared events, on par with tornadoes and earthquakes.

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