Summary: This sermon should move people to revival and affirms the fact that no matter how dead we think we are or how wet our wood may be. God can still light a fire within us
This was written as a sermon for a revival but was also modified for Sunday Morning.
What is Revival? Well the dictionary defines it as:
1. An awakening, in a church or community, of interest in and care for matters relating to personal religion.
2. an evangelistic service or a series of services for the purpose of effecting a religious awakening
I look at Revival as a time to look toward spiritual renewal and purpose in the lives of Christians. It’s a time that we can come together and be encouraged and uplifted so that we may be able to go out into the world and boldly proclaim, Jesus is Lord.
Now if you went to annual conference or you have been looking at statistics for the United Methodist Church, you know that we are declining in numbers. We have all heard the doom and gloom report that by 2050 the numbers say that the United Methodist Church could very likely, cease to exist.
Let me tell you what I think about that, I think they’re wrong, I think we are poised for another Great Awakening, not just in The United Methodist Church, but in churches all around the world. But to turn this thing around we need get on Fire for God. We need that all-consuming Fire of the Lord to take hold of our churches and our lives, Church folk have got to quit playing church and start living Jesus.
You ever heard the saying “If that don’t light your fire your wood’s to wet?” Today I want you to know that your wood don’t ever get to wet, God can light a fire in you no matter how wet you think you are.
In the text tonight we find the people of Israel straddling a fence of worshiping Yahweh and worshiping Baal, they aren’t completely rejecting God they are just trying to incorporate a little pagan worship into what they were already doing. Elijah comes out of hiding and confronts the people of Israel. He also challenges The 450 prophets of Baal who are in King Ahab’s court, and also the 400 prophets in Jezebels court who worship Ashura to a showdown.
Let’s look verse 21 (read text) the people of God didn’t say a word.
Are things any different today? People go to church on Sunday and act like the rest of the world Monday through Saturday. We don’t want to state how we really believe in fear of not being politically correct. It seems that people of God are not much different than the ones that Elijah was talking to. We stand in silence while people call wrong right and right wrong, 3700 babies are aborted every day in the United States, we live in a country where a Man can marry a man , a woman can marry a women, people live together instead of getting married, divorce has become an epidemic, people are being shot and killed every day.
People ask where God is. And we stand silent. I think we stand silent because we ask the same question ourselves. Our fire has all but gone out our wood has become so wet that we can’t even see a spark or a flicker. We are scared to tell people where we stand for fear of exposing ourselves as politically incorrect. Wake up people, we gotta start acting like people of God. Sadly we are in a position much like the people of Israel we need to speak up for what we believe.
Anyway back to the underdog Elijah who is badly outnumbered in our natural way of thinking its 850 to 1 not good odds if you’re a spectator, but Elijah has what we would call an Ace in the hole, he has God in his corner.
Elijah says give us 2 oxen and some wood ya’ll pick your ox first cut it up place it on the wood for sacrifice and then I’ll do the same but neither of us will light fire to the wood.
And Elijah says tell you what ya’ll call on your god and I’ll call on the name of Yahweh and whichever God answers by fire , he is God, well all the people thought that was a great idea.
So Elijah tells the prophets of Baal, it’s a lot of ya’ll you go first. Well they prepare the alter place the ox upon it and start to dance around and call upon Baal well they dance around hopping and hollering till about lunch and then Elijah comes out and says “ what’s wrong holler a little louder he’s a god isn’t he? Maybe he’s taking a nap, or on a trip. Who knows maybe he had to go to the bathroom, call louder.” Well those prophets of Baal began to call louder and even cut themselves and whipped themselves but to no avail. The scripture said they did this till the time of the evening offering which would be around 3 p.m. and received no answer, no voice, and no fire.