Summary: In order to faithfully obey God’s call to be messengers of His gospel, we need to see the obstacles that we will face. But not only do we need to see the obstacles, we need to be able to overcome them like Amos did.
a. A messenger of God will face personal opposition (10)
b. A messenger of God will face verbal misrepresentation (11)
c. A messenger of God will face sensible temptation (12-13)
i. Wouldn’t it be nice to go home?
ii. Eat your home cooking?
iii. It’s OK to prophesy—just don’t do it here.
iv. Remember who’s in charge—it’s the king’s territory, not yours.
2. How can a messenger of God stand strong in the face of opposition and temptation, diversion?
a. Confidently understand the Source of the message (14-16)
b. Boldly proclaim the strength of the message (17)
Have you ever heard the Mailmen’s Creed? It goes like this: “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Actually, it’s not an official creed. But it gets the point across, doesn’t it? It lets us know that mailmen are going to do what it takes to get you your mail on time. No matter what obstacle is presented to them. No matter what tries to get in their way or slow them down. It doesn’t matter. They will overcome the obstacles and get you your mail. Some of you are grinning, because you know it doesn’t always work that way. I know the lady that runs my route refuses to come down my driveway. Sun shining, not posted, no dogs, plenty of room to turn around. Yet every time we get a package, all of a sudden, no one seems to be home. We get a slip that says we have to pick it up at the Post Office. That’s OK, I know she works hard. But it doesn’t quite match the so-called Mailmen’s Creed does it? As Christians, we have a kind of a creed too. It’s found in Acts 1:8. It goes like this: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Kind of like the Mailmen’s Creed, that’s not really an official creed either. But it does get the point across. As Christians, our job is to be witnesses for Christ. To spread the gospel—the Good News of Jesus Christ. Where? Everywhere. When? Always. How? Through the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ calls us to be messengers of His gospel. No matter what obstacle is presented to us. No matter what tries to get in our way or slow us down. We are supposed to overcome all obstacles and spread the message of the gospel. But it doesn’t always work that way does it? So many times we get so hung up on the obstacles that we never get the message out. We do like my mail lady does and make people come to us instead of us going to them. But that’s not what Amos did. Amos was faithful to deliver the message that God gave him. And just like any time a person is faithful to deliver God’s message, he ran into obstacles. But Amos overcame the obstacles and delivered his message. I want each of us to faithfully obey God’s call to be messengers of His gospel. In order to do that, we need to see what we’re up against. We need to see the obstacles that will be placed in front of us. But not only do we need to be able to see the obstacles, we need to be able to overcome them. A little bit later on, we’re going to see how to overcome the obstacles that we will encounter as messengers of the gospel. But first we’re going to look at the obstacles themselves. As messengers of the gospel, there are three obstacles each of us will face. The first obstacle is personal opposition. Look with me again at verse 10:
A messenger of God will face personal opposition. Now I want you to remember the scene of where we are. For six and a half chapters, Amos has been hammering on these people. He has been faithfully delivering God’s warning message to Israel. It’s been a harsh message to a bunch of people who were very comfortable with the way things were going on. They had money. They had security. They had comfort. They even had religion. But God sent Amos to tell them that none of that stuff was going to save them from the wrath to come. He was going to judge them because their heart wasn’t right. That’s a hard message to deliver to someone who thinks they’ve got it going on, isn’t it? And it wasn’t well received. Isn’t it interesting what happens when people don’t want to receive the gospel? Most people—especially people with some respect for God—most people won’t make a direct attack on the content of the message. Instead, where is the first place they attack? They attack the messenger. And that’s what happened to Amos. It wasn’t a physical attack. It was more of an accusation. It was an accusation against his personal motives. Amaziah the priest told Jeroboam the king that Amos was conspiring against him. A conspiracy against the king? That’s a pretty serious charge! As a matter of fact, it’s one that could get you killed. Now, what basis did Amaziah have for that charge? None. But since he couldn’t attack the substance of what Amos had been saying, he had to attack something. So he attacked Amos himself. He opposed him personally. And I can tell you that it’s no different today. When you faithfully deliver the message of the gospel, you will be personally opposed just like Amos was. Why? Because people can’t argue with the truth of the gospel. And since they can’t logically argue against the truth of the gospel, they have to escape somehow. And the first place they’ll try to escape is by presenting personal opposition. They will present personal attacks against religion in general. “Well, religion is just a crutch for weak people.” They will present personal attacks against the church. “Well, the church is just looking for your money anyway.” They will present personal attacks against the pastor. “That preacher is boring. He just puts me to sleep.” They will present personal attacks against the members of the church. “Those people are just a bunch of hypocrites. All they do is fuss and fight anyway.” Those will all come. But the ones that are hardest to deal with is when they attack you personally. Like Amaziah did to Amos. You’re just a conspirator. You’re just in it for your own gain. All your words—blah, blah, blah—they’re just too much to handle. Go away—you’re bothering me. Religion is OK for you—I don’t need it. Door slams. Ridicule. Lost friends. Angry relatives. People avoiding you. Those are some of the kinds of personal opposition you will face as a faithful messenger of the gospel. Can you handle it? Will you let the message get through despite the personal opposition you’re going to face? Before you answer, know that personal opposition isn’t going to be your only obstacle. Another obstacle is verbal misrepresentation. A messenger of God will face personal opposition and verbal misrepresentation. Look with me at verse 11: