Summary: A word for the people of God to turn from their selfishness, free themselves from the bondage of sin, and return to God's favor and providence.

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The Returning

Daniel 1:1-2

1In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.

2And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god

Intro: Leading up to this point, King Jehoiakim was the king over Jerusalem. The Word says that he did evil in the sight of the Lord. God’s people had turned their backs on the one that freed them from 400 years of bondage to the Egyptians. They allowed sin to creep into their lives, they began to worship idols, they turned their backs on God.

So God allowed King Nebuchadnezzar to attack. You can read a more detailed account of the attack in 2 Kings.

The city of Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians.

The temple of God was plundered and set fire, the city walls were torn down, The gates were burned and God’s people were taken captive in Babylon.

The city of Jerusalem, the picture and representation of God’s blessing and providence on His people is now a place of reproach, shame, and defeat!

I believe that God is speaking to His people tonight. I come as a messenger of the Lord to tell you that…

1. Sin destroys your relationship with God, it forfeits the blessing of God on your life, and it brings you into captivity!

I think everyone here tonight could agree with that statement!

When we live our lives in opposition to God’s Word, we surrender to the enemy of our souls!

I am ashamed to say that tonight there are people sitting in churches all across the world that spiritually their Jerusalem is a pile of burning rubble.

They sit in our pews with the perfect outward appearance, but their heart has been plundered, their temple, the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit has been burned to the ground, and they sit imprisoned, captive because of their sin!

Oh church, when we allow other gods to have a place in our lives, when we put the true and Living God anywhere but at the top of our priority list, our lives, which as a child of God should be a testimony of His favor and love, will be a testimony of His judgment and jealousy!

Deuteronomy 6:14-15 Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.

How long will we test God’s patience?

How long will we live in sin and expect His blessing?

How long do we expect his God to suffer with our selfishness?

I believe in the mercy and grace of God, and I would much rather preach that, but I would be doing you, me, God, and His Word an injustice if I didn’t preach the whole word!

If America doesn’t turn from our current direction we very well may see God’s hand of protection removed.

After 47 years of captivity in Babylon, the Persian army overtook Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon and therefore took authority over the people of God.

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