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Summary: The Minor Prophets is that section of the Bible that one preacher describes as "The clean pages of the Bible." This lesson addresses why it is important to study the minor prophets.

INTRODUCTION TO THE MINOR PROPHETS

5/1/16 – Garfield

A. Hebrews 1:1- “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in

various ways.”

1. Today I am going to start a series of lessons on the MINOR PROPHETS.

COMMENT:

I know you are EXCITED—WOOHOO! You were just hoping for this SERMON SERIES. Some of you love the Minor Prophets so much that you NAMED your CHILDREN after one or two of the prophets . . . . “I think I saw little HABAKKUK and HAGGAI go off to Children’s Worship.”

2. No, I realize that this is a SECTION of the Bible that we don’t STUDY about very often (although, I

believe that is certainly a good reason to have this series).

a. The PROPHETS are not always easy to UNDERSTAND.

b. Martin Luther had this to say about the PROPHETS: “The prophets have a strange way of talking, like people who instead of proceeding in an orderly manner, ramble off one thing to the next so that you cannot make heads or tails of them or see what they are getting at.” (I understand where Martin Luther is coming from, but that sounds more like DONALD TRUMP to me!!)

B. What do you think about when you hear the word “PROPHET”?

1. Many, if not most of us, when hearing the word “PROPHET” think about one who foretells FUTURE

EVENTS.

COMMENT:

Certainly the PROPHETS did some FORETELLING of the FUTURE to WARN the WICKED

and ENCOURAGE the RIGHTEOUS.

a. There are many examples in the Old Testament of MESSIANIC PROPHECIES—foretelling of Jesus’s LIFE and MINISTRY, DEATH and RESURRECTION.

b. There are also many Old Testament PROPHESIES that speak of the future CHURCH as the

fulfillment of God’s PROMISE to Abraham to bless the NATIONS through his OFFSPRING.

COMMENT:

The MINOR PROPHETS speak of both the coming of Christ and the establishment of His Church.

2. However, most of what both the OLD and NEW TESTAMENT PROPHETS wrote and spoke about

were regarding the PAST and PRESENT.

a. God, speaking through the PROPHETS, was more concerned with how His people were LIVING in the HERE and NOW.

b. So the prophets would most often speak of the people’s PRESENT FAILINGS and what NEEDED to be DONE for them to STRENGTHEN their RELATIONSHIP with God and their fellow MAN.

c. They were merely PREACHING God’s WORD.

C. Now, there are those who don’t like to STUDY the PROPHETS because they feel that their MESSAGE is

nothing but DOOM and GLOOM.

1. And their MESSAGE does contain some HARSH TEACHINGS and REALITIES.

a. Yet, God sent the PROPHETS to His people because He LOVED them.

b. God’s WAY is always the BEST WAY.

COMMENT:

Whether in the Old Testament or New Testament, God has always wanted what is BEST for His people. And, sadly, whether in the Old Testament or New Testament and even TODAY, God’s people hasn’t always FOLLOWED God’s PLAN. And we WONDER why we are in a MESS.

But as we will see throughout this study of the MINOR PROPHETS that God is a FORGIVING God who never GIVES UP on His people.

D. Today’s LESSON serves only as an INTRODUCTION to the MINOR PROPHETS. (We’ll get into

the actual study of the PROPHETS starting May 15th.)

1. This will not be a verse-by-verse IN DEPTH study, but more of an OVERVIEW of each BOOK.

2. I will be looking at the basic HISTORY and BACKGROUND, and then be HITTING the HIGHLIGHTS of each MINOR PROPHET. (So, I urge you to do further study at home.)

3. The MINOR PROPHETS are the last 12 books of the Old Testament (you know, that part of the

Bible that is LEFT of Matthew).

a. They include the books from HOSEA to MALACHI.

b. They are called “MINOR” only because they are SHORTER in CONTENT than the MAJOR

PROPHETS—ISAIAH to DANIEL, and not because they are of less IMPORTANCE or they

haven’t made it to the BIG LEAGUE.

MESSAGE:

I. WHY STUDY THE MINOR PROPHETS?

A. They are part of the WHOLE COUNSEL of God.

1. Acts 20:26-27- “Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all man. For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the WHOLE WILL of God.” (EXPOUND)

2. Romans 15:4- “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scripture we might have hope.” (EXPOUND)

B. They HELP us to balance God’s LOVE with His Holy WRATH against SIN.

1. Our CULTURE and SOCIETY wants to HEAR about God’s LOVE.

a. People want to hear SERMONS about God being LOVING, FORGIVING and ACCEPTING.

We all do! Those are my favorite SERMONS to PREACH.

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