Summary: Is it possible for a Christian to give God an offering He doesn’t want?
“WHEN GOD STOPS COMING TO CHURCH!”
TEXT: Malachi 1:6-10
“A son honoreth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a Father, where is Mine honor? and if I be a master, where is My fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise My name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised Thy name? Ye offer polluted bread upon Mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted Thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible. And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? Offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts. And now, I pray you, beseech God that He will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will He regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts. Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? Neither do ye kindle fire on Mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.”
Is it possible for a Christian to give God an offering He doesn’t want?
Do we offer unwanted PRAYER unto God?
“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
Do we offer unwanted GIFTS unto God?
“Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”
Do we offer unwanted PRAISE unto God?
“This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me.”
I. THE CHURCH AT LAODECIA
a) A picture of today’s church
“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.”
b) The verdict is the exact opposite of the church’s assessment of their own spiritual condition.
They were only lukewarm, only half-committed, only half-hearted.
They were complacent, lethargic, self-satisfied.
They were indifferent and neutral.
The Church at Laodicea had the distinction of being the only church that Jesus had nothing good to say!
The 3rd century work, “The Apostolic Constitutions” says that Archippus was the first Bishop of the Church at Laodicea.
When Paul was writing to the neighboring Church at Colossae, 30 years before Revelation:
“And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, ‘Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfill it.’”
c) Illustration: “The Moth to the Flame” (Indifference)
Some moths will fly directly into fire and die!
Others only hover at a safe distance…
II. PATTERNS & PARALLELS IN MALACHI
Malachi 1:10 (NLT)
“How I wish one of you would shut the Temple doors so that these worthless sacrifices could not be offered! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord, “and I will not accept your offerings.”
How would you be able to HURT God?
a) God is all POWERFUL…
“The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.”
“For our God is a consuming fire.”
(symbolizing great power!)
SO HOW DOES ONE “HURT” GOD? BY BREAKING HIS HEART!
b) Many times God has had to deal with His people…
“Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them. And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them.”
And the LORD said to Hosea, ‘Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD.’