Summary: Transfiguration (B) - Look, the chariots and horsemen of Israel. Believers live with confidence. Believers are taken into glory.
LOOK THE CHARIOTS AND HORSEMEN OF ISRAEL (Outline)
February 3, 2008 -
INTRO: At transfiguration we travel with Jesus to the mount of glory. Then we study Jesus’ suffering during Lent. On Easter Sunday you and I share in the joy of the resurrection of Jesus. His resurrection is our resurrection. Why are we so closely intertwined in and with the life of Jesus? Simply, we belong to him. "Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory"(ROMANS 8:17). Believers today are the children of Abraham. Believers as we shall learn from our text are the chariots and horsemen of Israel. By faith through grace we have been made part of the family of God. Our text explains what this means for us.
Our theme: LOOK THE CHARIOTS AND HORESEMEN OF ISRAEL.
I. Believers live with confidence, and;
II. Believers are taken into glory.
I. BELIEVERS LIVE WITH CONFIDENCE
A. During this time Ahab was king of Israel. Scripture describes him as the very worst of Israel’s king.
1. Jezebel was Ahab’s wife. They did not worship God. They hated God’s prophet, Elijah.
2. Both wanted to see Elijah dead. Elijah’s life was always in danger. He still lived confidently.
B. Verse 1. God had revealed to Elijah that his life was coming to an end. Elijah carries on boldly.
1. He plans to travel NW about 10 miles. Elijah asks Elisha to remain behind, verse 2a.
2. Elisha is not scared either. He vows to travel with Elijah as long as he lives.
C. Verse 3. The prophets at Bethel know of Elijah’s approaching death. God’s word is alive and well!
1. They travel to Jericho and then the Jordan, verses 5,6. The conversations are the same.
2. A crowd follows and they stop at the Jordan, verse 7. There is no bridge. There is no fear.
3. Note Elijah and Elisha’s confidence and boldness. They carry out their normal activities.
D. We are also to live our lives with confidence and great boldness. After all, we do belong to the Lord. If God is for who can ever, really stand against us? The prophets knew this truth. The apostles knew this truth. Consider the apostle Paul. God called him into his kingdom. God made him a new believer. Paul testified of this great miracle. He was constantly met with opposition. On his first missionary journey he was stoned and left for dead. Even though he was close to his hometown, Paul did not give up. Instead: "Then they returned…strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. ‘We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God," they said’"(ACTS 14:22). In our nation you and do not experience such outward attacks because of our Christian faith. We can rejoice.
E. At times our spirit is attacked by this world. Boldness and confidence are not the watchwords of our society. Instead people constantly worry if they have enough. The world around us makes it seem like there is never enough money. We are trained early on to put our trust and confidence in the things we can see and feel. These things are supposed to bring us comfort. It is ours. We can see it. What more do we need? "Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight"(2 CORINTHIANS 5:6,7). Woe to those who preach that God wants us to have lots of success here on earth. The Lord wants us to focus on heaven. Remember that on earth our Lord provides. It is in heaven however that our Lord prepares a place for us, forever.
F. Fear. Fear seems to be around every corner. The media lives off of the fear it can cause. We are told of an economic downturn. Prices are going up and wages are going down. What are we to do? As believers we are to live with confidence. No matter what happens. Our gracious God, our loving Lord is – still – and – always – in control. "’Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the LORD, who has compassion on you"(ISAIAH 54:10). God’s love cannot be changed. God’s love cannot be taken away.
LOOK THE CHARIOTS AND HORESEMEN OF ISRAEL.
These are the bold, confident believers!
II. BELIEVERS ARE TAKEN INTO GLORY
A. Elijah and Elisha stand at the Jordan River. Fifty (50) prophets are nearby wondering what next.