Sermons

Summary: Like a prosecuting attorney, God levels accusations against the nation of Israel.

The Accused People

(Malachi 2:1-17)

1. It gives us great satisfaction when someone gets caught cheating. Bonnie Jones shares this story:

"I was in the express lane at the store quietly fuming. Completely ignoring the sign, the woman ahead of me had slipped into the checkout line pushing a cart piled high with groceries. Imagine my delight when the cashier beckoned the woman to come forward, looked into the cart and asked sweetly, ’So which six items would you like to buy?’"

(Reader’s Digest)

2. But it is not so funny when we are called on the carpet.

Main Idea: Like a prosecuting attorney, God levels accusations against the nation of Israel.

I. God States His CASE (1-17)

A. He Accuses the RELIGIOUS LEADERS (1-9)

1. This does not mean that all the leaders had major issues, but too many did.

Priests and Levites

2. "Life and peace," "reverence," "true instruction," and "uprightness"

3. As the Levites of old, like Phineas:

Numbers 25:1-13 (you can read these verses when you get home)

4. The priests in Malachi’s time were supposed to teach and model the law, but instead they were corrupt

5. This gave rise to the Rabbinic and Pharisaical movement under Ezra….Non-priests became Israel’s teachers…

6. How was this prophecy of God punishing the priests fulfilled? Collectively, as God’s wrath built through the centuries until finally in 70AD, almost 500 years later, the Temple was destroyed…

7. Much like God’s dispossessing the Canaanites (Genesis 15:16b)

B. He Accuses Those Who Have Married PAGAN Wives (10-12)

1. Deuteronomy 22:10 "Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together."

2. 2 Corinthians 6:14, "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers…"

3. I Corinthians 7:39, "A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord."

C. He Accuses Those Who Divorced Their Wives for Younger WOMEN (13-16)

1. How we treat our spouse has spiritual ramifications for us; you can cry all you want before God (14), but if you continue with an unrepentant heart, He will not hear you!

2. I Peter 3:7, " Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers."

3. Psalm 66:18, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me…"

Central Focus: Repent (10-17)

Some people love to whine about their problems, but they really do not want them solved or corrected…Example: wife of an alcholic wants her husband to give up the bottle… but sometimes, not really; it excuses her from being the wife she should be; marriages often break up…

Because of this insincerity on a human level, some people do not think God really wants people to repent and change --they think it is just God gripe…

4. "Did He not make one?"

5. God took one rib from Adam…

6. Divorce allowed and regulated, but (somebody’s) sin is always at its root

D. He Accuses Those Who Have Become NEGATIVE Toward God (17)

Main Idea: Like a prosecuting attorney, God levels accusations against the nation of Israel.

II. We Draw PRINCIPLES from God’s Statements

A. Quality leadership is CENTRAL to a solid church (1-9)

1. Many view church as an "anything goes" proposition. One man reported this: "The other day, I passed a sign on a small truck with a pro-customer service motto: ’Gene’s Hauling—Satisfaction Guaranteed or Double Your Trash Back.’" Reader’s Digest

2. People measure a church by its building, names, or programs; but so many will settle for spiritual junk, as long as it feels religious

3. If the leaders of a church do not believe the Bible, seriously study the Bible, teach the Bible, and seek to obey the Bible, the church may prosper and perform many noble functions, but it does not meet God’s quality standards for a church…

B. Rear our children to marry only BELIEVERS (10-12)

Intermarriage meant excommunication (v. 12).

1. defining "believer" and "unbeliever"

2. begins with dating

3. "every date a potential mate"

4. notebook and the insanity of romantic love

Limerence [from Wikipedia]

Limerence can often be what is meant when one expresses "having a crush" on (or infatuation with) someone else although limerence, unlike a crush, can last months, years or even a lifetime. It is characterized by intrusive thinking and pronounced sensitivity to external events that reflect the disposition of the limerent object towards the individual. It can be experienced as intense joy or as extreme despair, depending on whether the feelings are reciprocated.

The physiological correlations of limerence are heart palpitations, trembling, pallor, flushing, pupil dilation and general weakness. Awkwardness, stammering, shyness, and confusion predominate at the behavioral level. There is apprehension, nervousness, and anxiety due to terrible worry that any action may bring about disaster.

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