Summary: The great spiritual showdown between Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel. Elijah reveals that there is no God but Jehovah. Elijah reveals the steps to a "fire from Heaven" Revival.
FIRE FROM HEAVEN
Intro: The burning question.
I kings 18:21 Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.”
The question is still relevant today. Throughout the ages every generation, every nation, and every person must make this decision of what God they will serve.
I Kings 18:1-2 Now it happened after many days that the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the face of the earth.” 2 So Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. Now the famine was severe in Samaria.
Elijah met up with Obadiah and told him to give Ahab a message.... “I’m coming!”
I Kings 18:15-16 Elijah said, “As the Lord of hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself to him today.” 16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him; and Ahab went to meet Elijah.
It has been over 3 years since Elijah stood before King Ahab. At that time, Elijah confronted the King with his sins and declared the Lord’s judgement against him and all Israel.
* Since then, the nation has suffered greatly and the king has looked for Elijah to kill him and rid his nation of God’s prophet
* The Mark of God’s Servant... When God says “GO”, he goes.
Big risk here. Stand before the King to speak judgement against him.
Elijah was either a man in touch with God...... or just “touched”.
ELIJAH’S 3 CHALLENGES
1. ELIJAH CHALLENGES KING AHAB (18:17-20)
1 Kings 18:17-18 When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is this you, you troubler of Israel?” 18 He said, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, because you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and you have followed the Baals.
Who is the troubler of Israel? Elijah stands up to Ahab and demands that Ahab is the cause of all of Israel's problems.
1 Kings 18:19 Now then send and gather to me all Israel at Mount Carmel, together with 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”
Gather your prophets for a showdown. Why Mt. Carmel?
* It was a stronghold! Large Mountain. Whoever controls Carmel, controls the Northern ½ of nation militarily and politically.
* Whoever controlled Carmel controlled the nation spiritually.
** Years earlier, the idol-worshipers tore down the altar to God and erected a great altar to Baal. Baal worship was degrading religion.
Mixture of idolatry, perverted sexuality, and child sacrifice. They worshiped the idols Baal/Asheroth. These gods supposedly controlled agriculture, the weather, and fertility.
* Agriculture- gashed themselves on altar like crop rows. Blood-
* Fertility- Virgins would have sex with Priests before marrying to increase their fertility...
* Child sacrifice was a very common demand for answered prayer.
*** USA today... Idolatry– money, sports, hobbies, possessions..
Perverted Sexuality– fornication, adultery, porn, gay marriage.....
Child sacrifice– abortions.
** If ever America needed to return to God again, it is now!
1 Kings 18:20 So Ahab sent a message among all the sons of Israel and brought the prophets together at Mount Carmel.
So everyone is gathering at Mt. Carmel for the showdown.
2. ELIJAH CHALLENGES THE PEOPLE (18:21)
1 Kings 18:21 Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people did not answer him a word.
For generations, Israel has been trying to worship Jehovah and Baal at the same time. They want it both ways. They want the power of Jehovah but enjoy the decadence of Baal.
* Elijah is calling them this day to make a choice! He is telling them they can’t worship both. God will not allow it. And I believe God would have destroyed them that day if they chose Baal.
** look what it says... “the people did not answer a word.”
A picture of the church in America today. The church today is silent as our nation continues to march deeper into immorality. Even worse, church folks have become so immoral that you can’t tell the difference between church folks and lost folks.
* Drinking, drugs, immorality all the while singing “O How I love Jesus”
You can’t run with the Devil all week and stand with Jesus on Sunday! (Can’t Go to bed with Satan and wake up with Jesus)
* It’s time for America to choose... it's time for the Church to choose... It's time for YOU to choose!
3. ELIJAH CHALLENGES THE BAAL PROPHETS (18:23-29)
1 Kings 18:23-26 Now let them give us two oxen; and let them choose one ox for themselves and cut it up, and place it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other ox and lay it on the wood, and I will not put a fire under it. 24 Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, He is God.” And all the people said, “That is a good idea.”