Sermons

Summary: “The good news is--that in spite of our moral bankruptcy, God keeps on doing business with us.”

June 23, 2001

I. Introduction:

A. David Seamand

1. “Healing Grace”

2. Story of a farmer who one day went to his banker to tell him several bad news and one good news.

3. Bad news—because of drought and insects, the farmer could not pay the banker a penny on his loan for the farm. Not a penny on the principal, not a penny on the interest.

4. More bad news—the farmer could not pay a penny on the farm equipments that he loaned from the banker. Not a penny on the principal, not a penny on the interest.

5. Still more bad news—the farmer could not pay the banker a penny on the fertilizers and seeds that he loaned from the banker. Not a penny on the principal, not a penny on the interest.

6. “What is the good news?” asked the banker. “The good news is,” said the farmer, “I intend to continue doing business with you.”

B. Compare the farmer’s story with Jerusalem’s condition recorded in Ezekiel 22.

II. Body:

A. Jerusalem’s Condition: Nothing but bad news.

1. Bad News—Overall condition of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 22:1-12)

a. Shedding of blood and idolatry (verse 22:3-6)

b. Unjust treatment of the mothers, fathers, alien, orphans, widows (verse 7)

c. Desecration of the Sabbath (verse 8)

d. Adultery and fornication (verse 9-10)

e. Bribery, usury, extortion (verse 12)

f. Her priests teach no difference between the clean and the unclean (verse 26)

g. Her prophets give false visions and divinations (verse 27-28)

2. More Bad News—God’s Assessment of Jerusalem’s Condition and the Natural Result of Jerusalem’s Sinfulness—Metal Dross and God’s Wrath

a. God’s Assessment of Jerusalem’s Condition—Metal Dross (verse 18)

i. Impure, unclean

ii. Fake, counterfeit

iii. Waste, scum

3. Still More Bad News—Ultimate Result of Jerusalem’s Sinfulness—God’s Wrath (verse 19-22)

a. Melting process

b. Gather them all at the fiery furnace

B. Jerusalem’s Condition is a Reflection of the Overall Condition of Man

1. Bad News—Condition of man in the last days

a. 2 Timothy 3:1-5

b. Romans 3:23

2. More Bad News—God’s Assessment of our Condition

a. Revelation 3:17

3. Still more Bad News—Ultimate Result of Man’s Condition

a. Romans 6:23

b. Revelation 3:16

C. Alternate Solution to Jerusalem’s Deepening Apostate Condition and its Imminent Destruction (verse 30)

1. ONE MAN

a. Not two, not three, not ten, not a hundred, not even a thousand

b. But ONE MAN

2. ONE MAN Sought by God

a. This one man may not have:

i. The wealth of Bill Gates, but he is the ONE that God wanted.

ii. The genius of Einstein, but he is the ONE that God desired.

iii. The educational achievement that the world highly esteemed, but he is the ONE that God found favor.

iv. The speaking ability of the world’s greatest orators, but he is the ONE that God had chosen.

b. God’s Chosen Versus Man’s Chosen

i. Sometimes, we don’t allow God to do the choosing for us.

ii. Sometimes, we restrict God by our own personal preferences and agenda.

iii. Sometimes, we don’t allow God to chose for us because it conflicts with our expectations.

iv. Sometimes, we don’t allow God to chose for us because what God chooses may not be our friend, our relative, etc.

3. ONE MAN SOUGHT BY GOD to Build Up the Wall and Who Will Stand in the Gap

a. Conviction—Gal. 1:8; Titus 2:1; 1 Tim 2:9; 1 Cor. 10:31

b. Compassion—1 John 3:17; Ps. 126:6

c. Courage—Ps. 27:14; 1 Tim 6:12; 2 Tim. 4:7

d. Consecration—2 Tim. 2:20-22

4. The Result of God’s Search—NO ONE is FOUND.

a. No one is convicted enough to take the challenge of building up God’s wall in disrepair.

b. No one is compassionate enough to take the ultimate sacrifice of standing in the gap thus protecting the people inside the city.

c. No one is courageous enough to face the arrow and the bow that the enemy throws at those that stands in the gap. No one has the backbone to go against the flow of the crowd.

d. No one is consecrated enough to surrender everything knowing that God is in control of everything.

D. Ultimate Bad News or Ultimate Good News?

1. The reality of Ezekiel 22:30 opened the way for Christ to be the ultimate Mediator between God and man.

2. It makes us humble knowing that salvation is not something that we have earned but it is a gift from God.

III. Conclusion:

A. David Seamand’s concluding statement—“The good news is…that in spite of our moral bankruptcy, God keeps on doing business with us.”

B. Mercy Or Justice?

A young employee secretly misappropriated several hundred dollars of his business firm’s money. When this action was discovered the young man was told to report to the office of the senior partner of the firm. As he walked up the stairs toward the administrative office the young employee was heavyhearted. He knew without a doubt he would lose his position with the firm. He also feared the possibility of legal action taken against him. Seemingly his whole world had collapsed.

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