Summary: We want to consider words from the Bible that should encourage us to keep the fires burning in our personal life and in the life of our church.
Turn to Leviticus 6. We will look at three verses in this chapter – 9, 12, & 13.
The title for today’s sermon is “Keep the Fire Burning.” Many times you hear someone say, “That church is really on fire.” Or, maybe they say, “That person is really on fire for the Lord.”
We want to consider words from the Bible that should encourage us to keep the fires burning in our life for always. We can keep that fire burning with God’s help. And not just in our individual lives but in the life of this church, also.
Let’s look at our primary text now.
9 Give Aaron and his sons this command: 'These are the regulations for the burnt offering: The burnt offering is to remain on the altar hearth throughout the night, till morning, and the fire must be kept burning on the altar.
12 The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it.
13. The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.
It should be our prayer that this church, other churches in our area, and all churches around this world that stand for Jesus Christ be on fire for God. May it be that we are on fire more than we have ever been before. May it be that when a lost person comes by, they might say, “I don’t know why I’m here. I just felt that something was persuading me to come in here and see what’s going on.” May it be that this church is so on fire that people in this community say, “There are wonderful things happening at that church. Things that can’t be explained. Things that only God can do.”
A pastor received a phone call late one night and he was informed that there was a fire at his church. He quickly got dressed and drove to the church. When he arrived he discovered that the church was engulfed in flames and was a total lost. He stood with other members of the church as the cried, hugged, and prayed.
He glanced around and noticed a certain gentleman standing on the corner observing all that was taking place. This was a man that the pastor had visited many times and had invited to church. However, the man had never stepped one foot in the church building. The pastor was a bit taken aback. He walked over to the gentleman and said, “Well, I never saw you in the church.” The gentleman replied, “Well, the church had never been on fire before.”
Now, this is not the kind of fire we would ever wish for our church. But we should be praying for the fire of the Holy Spirit to consume this place. And that it happen in such a way people will be drawn to this place.
Now, there are some questions we need to ask and try to answer as we consider this fire that is spoken of in Leviticus. First of all, what is this fire?
Secondly, whose responsibility that this fire should not go out?
And, thirdly, how can we see that the fire does not go out?
And lastly, why should we keep the fire burning?
First of all, what is this fire? The Scripture tells us what this fire is. Over and over in the Old Testament we’re reminded of the symbol of fire. The fire first appears as Moses sees a bush burning in the desert but its not being consumed. Moses had often seen bushes burning in the desert but he had never seen one that wasn’t being consumed. So, Moses went over to see that bush and he heard a voice. That voice said, “Take off your shoes, Moses, for the ground on which you’re standing is holy ground.” Moses removed his shoes and began a meeting with the Lord God.
Then, we see Moses leading the people of Israel. The Bible tells us they were lead by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
Then we see on top of Mount Sinai the mountain was burning with fire because of the presence of God. And God’s voice came and called for Moses. And Moses went up and received the Ten Commandments that were written by the finger of God.
Later in the Old Testament we see Elijah. He is calling on God to send down his fire. Remember the confrontation of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. In the book of 1 Kings, the 18th chapter, Elijah challenges the prophets of Ba’al to a duel. Both will set up an altar with a bull. Then they will both call on their god to consume the offering with fire.