Summary: Not only will the altar less church be weak and spiritually impotent, but ultimately the church without an altar will falter.
1 King 18:14-30
Ahab the king of Israel meets Elijah with these words: Art thou he that troubeleth Israel?
Trouble=) stir up, disturb To agitate; 2. To afflict with pain or discomfort. 3. To cause mental agitation or distress
This shows you how far Israel had fallen from Gods divine presence and calling: this king who was suppose to lift the standard and was to lead Israel into their divine destiny, and relationship with God, was so backslidden that the very presence of Elijah with his commitment and his consecration and his love for God (disturbed, agitated, even caused Ahab such distress that he called Elijah (he that troubeleth Israel)
You might as well know this: That when you get serious about serving God, when you consecrate yourself to live a holy separated sanctified life ) You will be viewed as a trouble maker,
why? Because most people are satisfied to live around the altar, i mean satisfied to be religious, look the part sound the part, (but When you have chosen to live on the altar= A living sacrifice ) you will upset this worlds system and you will disturb religious people.
(Rom 12:1)I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
*Elijah called the nation of Israel back to the altar.
Elijah is not known through the scriptures as a great preacher, but when the bible shines the spotlight on Elijah, we see him on the ground with his head between his knees (praying)
*He showed us what the altar looks like:
The great need of this hour is for men and women who will rebuild the altar:
when I talk about the altar I'm not talking about this wood piece of furniture. As far as this piece of furniture is concerned it doesn't matter if it's, maple, pine, walnut, oak or two by fours covered with plywood.
It doesn't matter if its 6 feet long or 12 feet long or divided into two 6 foot sections: when it's all said and done this is for all intents and purposes just a piece of furniture.
It can't save anybody
it can't heal anybody
it can't deliver any body
it can't pick you up when you fall down.
It can't carry you when you're too weak to walk.
It can't mend a broken heart.
It can't restore a ship wrecked marriage.
It can't break the power of drugs over your life or drive cancer out of your body.
Its just a wooden piece of furniture, (separated and set apart for sacred purposes) but still just a piece of furniture.
No the altar I'm talking about is the altar in the heart. The altar of a heart that is humbled before God.
Surrendered to God, consecrated to God, faithful and obedient to God.
The altar I'm speaking of is a life laid down in sacrifice to fulfill the will of God.
**(where there is no altar the church will falter.)**
1.Move hesitatingly as if about to give way.
2.Be unsure or weak
5.Lose faith, abandon the cause
This is the message of the hour
The church is faltering because she has forsaken the altar.
For my people have committed two evils; they have (forsaken) me the fountain of living waters and they have hewn them out cisterns, broken cistern's that can hold no water.
what good is it to have a new house, a new car, a great retirement, money in five different banks, and be cold in your soul?
The greatest need of the hour is not natural, physical, prosperity.
Its soul prosperity
Mk 8:36 For what doth it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his soul?
I believe God wants to prosper us in every way including financially
The danger is when we substitute natural prosperity for soul prosperity.
3rd Jn vs 2 Beloved I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health (even as thy soul prospereth.)
But the determining factor is (as thy soul prospers)
Ps 106: 14-15
The bible says: the children of Israel lusted exceedingly in the wilderness and tempted God in the desert) then it says: God gave them their request but sent leanness to their souls.
Leanness = Thin, Emaciated, Weak, Sickly,
That means they were physically naturally satisfied (fat and happy) but their souls were starving to death.
This is happening today in our modern American churches.
We are getting fatter and fatter and more and more filled with natural! Carnal! Physical things) and our souls (the spirit man is starving to death.
Many of our churches today do not even have altars anymore, and the ones that do are mostly covered with dust because they're hardly ever used. They're just for looks.