Summary: This is a message to challenge one to a closer relation to Christ.
HAVE YOU LEFT THE ALTAR?
GENESIS 12:1-13:4 W. Max Alderman
INTRODUCTION: For the believer the altar speaks of consecration. It is so easy to move away from that place of consecration. This study will show the need for staying close to the altar and to also show what happens when we move away from the altar or the place of consecration.
The first mention of the word altar in the Bible is Genesis 8:20 when Noah built an altar. The first altars were simple built out of stones, raised up in a pile or just earth raised up to be easily seen as having been raised for that purpose. Later, the altars were fashioned of valuable woods and metals.
Two things may be noted by these two different types of altars. First, we are taught the simplicity of worship, and then that true worship requires man’s very best. Bethel is the place Abram built his first altar. Bethel means “house of God”. It was also here that Jeroboam chose in his apostasy to erect an idol. (I Kings 12:28, 32). Because of what Jeroboam did, God poured out His wrath and destroyed Bethel (I Kings 13:1-5) God never hesitates to cast aside that which no longer serves His purpose (Rev. 2:5; 3:16). During this message, I will be asking three important questions, beginning with:
I. DO YOU REALLY HAVE AN ALTAR IN YOUR LIFE?
B. The Altar Is a Place of DEDICATION.
C. The Altar Is A Place of SANCTIFICATION. (to make a difference)
1. Should be expressed in ones deportment. (Conduct)
Illustration: Billy Sunday said, “One can no more be a worldly Christian than the devil can be a heavenly devil”
2. Should be expressed in ones dress. (Deut. 22:5)
a. there should be the mark of modesty.
b. there should be the mark of identity.
c. there should be the mark of chastity. (Do not go to the extremes to draw and seduce others by the way that you dress).
3. Should be expressed in ones devotion.
D. The Altar Is A Place of CONSIDERATION. (Involving introspection and interrogation)
1. What can I do to be more like Jesus? (The big question)
2. Is my speech becoming of a Christian?
3. Do I have something in my heart against a brother?
4. Do I find myself closer to Him today than any other time in my life?
5. Have I lied to someone?
6. Have I stolen something?
7. Do I have bitterness in my heart?
8. Do I partake of habits that are hurtful to my body and testimony, such as tobacco products and alcohol (including beer, wine and liquor)?
9. Do I go to places that will hurt my testimony, such as bars, nightclubs, and movie theaters?
10. Do I watch or listen to music or movies that would be offensive to Jesus if he were sitting next to me?
11. Do I gamble, including raffles, card playing and the lottery?
12. Do I have a critical spirit and guilty of sinning with my tongue either talking about someone or as a gossip.
13. Am I guilty of being unfaithful to the church, witnessing, reading my Bible, prayer, family devotion, tithing, supporting faith promise missions?
14. Am I currently involving myself in ministry to Christ and the local church?
II. ARE YOU PRESENTLY AT THE ALTAR?
A. To Leave the Altar or the Place of Consecration Will Bring Wicked Dangers.
1. It will take its toll on your flesh.
2. It will take its toll on your Family.
3. It will take its toll on your Future.
B. To Leave the Altar or the Place of Consecration Will Bring Wrong Decisions.
(You can leave the altar before you leave the church!)
C. To Leave the Altar or the Place of Consecration Will Bring Worldly Defilement.
III. IF YOU ARE NOT CURRENTLY AT THE ALTAR, WILL YOU COME BACK? (Luke 15).
A. It is A Place of Reception. (V.20)
B. It is A Place of Refreshment. (Vv. 11; 23)
C. It is A Place of Restoration. (V. 22)
D. It is A Place of Revival. (V. 24)
CONCLUSION: We do not in a literal manner go and stand before or offer to and altar, but in a spiritual sense, we should have the spirit and attitude towards God that will be pleasing to Him as we consecrate ourselves to Him; for He is worthy…