Summary: If we are going to win the lost, we have to use the right tools.
Trying to catch a sea monster with a fish hook
I’m going to be honest: I have read many times in the Bible about this thing called "Leviathan", but have never really paid much attention to it. But, as I was reading this chptr. the other day, I felt like God had something to say to me. So, I began to do some studying/research about it.
The name "Leviathan" comes from the Hebrew word "Liyathan" (livyawthan), and it means "twisted or coiled". There has been a lot of study/research as to figure out what exactly this really was. Some suggest a whale, some a crocodile, and even one man holds to the idea it was just an oversized tadpole or poliwig. But whatever the case, by reading the descriptions of it in the Bible, we know it was a massive animal, that was feared by many and regarded as uncontrollably deadly when encountered by mortal man. God gives a vivid description of it here in Job 41. tremendous strength in its limbs, enormous frame, hide is like a double layer of armour, teeth are terrible, no one can pry open his jaws, has overlapping scales on his back that makes a shield, when he sneezes it flashes out light, eyes like the red of dawn, fire & sparks leap from its mouth, smoke streams from its nostrils, tremendous strength in its neck, flesh is hard & firm not soft and fat, heart is hard as a rock, no sword/spear/dart/stone/clubs can stop it, belly is covered w/scales as sharp as glass, it tears up the ground as it drags through the mud, it makes the waters boil w/ its commotion. *There is nothing so fearless anywhere on earth!*
As I began to read this, something stirred me. I want to preach to you this morning "Trying to catch a sea monster using a fish hook". God asks Job "do you think it’s possible to do this? Do you think you can just tie a rope around its tongue and wrestle it down? Of course not. If you are going to overcome something as big as that, you better use the right stuff!
*What are you saying?* I don’t know if you realize it or not, but life in 2004 is not as simple and quaint as it once was. The days of living in Mayberry with the Beaver family are long gone. Satan has unleashed his full scale attack on the human race, and now wickedness is abounding everywhere you turn. And I don’t know if you are noticing or not, but the church is not what it once was either. Somehow, over the years Christians have lost sight of what’s important, and have gone astray from where they once were. All around us people are dieing and going to hell. Sin is abounding in the lives of young & old alike, but for some reason, the church as a whole is standing idly by, merely shaking their heads in dismay. Oh sure, we may throw out a hook now and then. But, if we are going to real this one in, we better do what it takes. *You can not catch a sea monster using a fish hook!
We as the church have to come back to the understanding that we have a call/commission to win the lost, invite folks to church, and help each other grow in the kingdom. You say, "Preacher, I just can’t get folks to come to church/accept the Lord..." Let me tell you why:
-They won’t come to church because what they have in the world is a lot more exciting/appealing than what they find in the house of God.
got ballgames they can shout at, TV shows they can laugh at, and all kinds of other superhuman things to mystify their imaginations. But in the modern church, we have traded in all our expressions of joy/praise for mundane, dead religious meetings. We have settled for 2 songs and a sermonette, instead of supernatural encounters with the Holy Ghost. And if church ain’t no more important/exciting than that to us, what makes you think a lost person wants to come?
-they won’t come to God for salvation for 2 reasons:
(1)there’s no conviction: We don’t want to preach to them anymore about burning in a lake of fire because we might offend them, and they won’t come back. We won’t press in to invite God in the house, bringing His spirit to convict, because they may not agree with our worship styles. Lost folks can come in, set in our pews, etc. and never be moved, because there’s no conviction in the building. God help us to get back to old fashioned, Holy Ghost services where the lost can’t stand it, and will know they either have to get to an altar or get out of that atmosphere!