Summary: An original sermon on Elijah at Mount Carmel dealing with idols and God's fire.
Fire On The Mountain
• I want to direct your attention to a fire today. We find it burning in the pages of 1 Kings 18, specifically verses 36-39. In this chapter we find the story of Elijah, the prophet of God confronting the wicked prophets of Baal. For those who may not be familiar with this story, allow me to give you a quick “thumb-nail sketch” of what is taking place.
• King Ahab:
1. Was the reigning king in Israel
2. Scripture informs us that Ahab “did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.” (1 Kings 16:33)
3. He had turned his people from the worship of God to the worship of Baal, a heathen god.
4. Because of the wickedness of Israel, God had caused the heavens to be closed for 3 1/2 years.
1. Announced that “there would be no dew drop on any flower for years, no rain cloud to cross the sky for years, no rains to drench the land for years. All skies would be pitilessly brass.”
1. In the midst of a devastating drought.
2. There was no fruit on the vines.
3. Terrible famine plagued the land.
4. The refreshing drops of rain no longer quench the thirst of a parched land.
5. The long-term drought resulted in kingdom-wide starvation .
That was the situation after three and a half years of drought and famine. There was no food to satisfy the hunger or water to quench the thirst. People were dying in record numbers because of the hard-heartedness of their king.
• We find in 1 Kings 18 the prophet Elijah emerging from 3 1/2 years of seclusion to challenge Ahab, king of Israel. In meeting with this evil king, the prophet assures him that the long drought and famine is a result of the sin of the children of Israel. Elijah states: "If God is God, serve Him! If Ba’al, then serve him!" But how is this to be determined? Simple!! There is to be a head-to-head confrontation between the 450 prophets of Baal and Elijah, the prophet of the most high God! The terms of the contest are set forth in vv 23,24:
“Now bring two young bulls. The prophets of Baal may choose whichever one they wish and cut it into pieces and lay it on the wood of their altar, but without putting any fire under the wood; and I will prepare the other young bull and lay it on the wood on the Lord’s altar, with no fire under it. 24 Then pray to your god, and I will pray to the Lord; and the god who answers by sending fire to light the wood is the true God!”
I. How Long Will You Halt? (Waver)
A. Halt means “to dance”
1. Dancing with two partners
2. Must choose one
3. God is a jealous God, must be number 1 or will not be in our lives at all
B. People today, even in church, waver between God and the world
1. Can’t tell the Christian between the non Christian because they both have a drink in their hands
2. Both talk vulgar
3. Both go to the club on Saturday night
4. Both watch filth on television
5. Both listen to music that takes God’s name in vain and glorifies sinful lifestyle
6. God will never send His spirit on a people that is not consecrated fully to Him
a. Sanctification is what God does to you—He sanctifies you through the washing of His Word
b. Consecration is what you do for Him—Consecration means separation—
1) John 15:19 says we are not of this world, He has called us out
2) Romans 12:2 says "And do not be conformed to this world…”
3) 1 John 2:15 says “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
c. Matthew 21, Jesus was headed back to the city and became hungry. Sees fig tree, on closer observance, nothing but leaves
1) Curses the tree and it dies
2) On the outside it looked the same as every other tree
3) It was green
4) Stood tall
5) Blew with the wind
6) Even provided shade
7) But when Jesus observed the tree, He noticed there was no fruit
8) Potato Chip Christians—Full of Air
9) Folks, it’s not enough to just come to church
10) It’s not enough to go through the motions
11) It’s not enough to sing the right songs and say the right words
12) Not everyone that says Lord, Lord is saved
13) Not everyone that shouts is living right