You Can't Fool God!
Contributed by Ralf Bergmann on Sep 8, 2004 (message contributor)
Summary: I think the parallel between Judah in Isaiah’s time and America today is frighteningly similar. Everywhere we look, we see declining moral standards, business ethics are deteriorating, and the leadership of this nation moves further and further away from
Sermon Title: You Can’t Fool God!
Text: Isaiah 1:10-20
Date: July 27, 2003
Context of Scripture:
I think the parallel between Judah in Isaiah’s time and America today is frighteningly similar. Everywhere we look, we see declining moral standards, business ethics are deteriorating, and the leadership of this nation moves further and further away from God’s influence. Judah knows the consequences are coming, they have been warned many times in the past.
We don’t need to look around as long before we see the signs of moral decay. It is evident in the nightly news, we read it in the morning paper, we discuss it over meals, and many times we make lighthearted jokes about. At the time that this section of text was written, the writing was on the wall. And as I stand before you this evening, reminding you about what is going on in America today, we cannot deny it, for us the writing is on the wall as well. With this in mind let us turn to the book of Isaiah, chapter 1, and begin our reading with verse 10 12 and conclude with verse 20:
Let us stand for the reading of God’s word!
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 1:10-20
10 Hear the word of the LORD, You rulers of Sodom; Give ear to the instruction of our God, You people of Gomorrah. 11 "What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?" Says the LORD. "I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams And the fat of fed cattle; And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats. 12 "When you come to appear before Me, Who requires of you this trampling of My courts? 13 "Bring your worthless offerings no longer, Incense is an abomination to Me. New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies--I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly. 14 "I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feasts, They have become a burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them. 15 "So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood.
16 ¶ "Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil, 17 Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow. 18 "Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool. 19 "If you consent and obey, You will eat the best of the land; 20 "But if you refuse and rebel, You will be devoured by the sword." Truly, the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
I’ve given this evening’s message the title “You can’t fool God”. Now many of you might say that this is obvious, to which I have to respond that to the world around us it may not be as obvious as it seems. Most people seem to think that they can get away with anything. The news certainly shows that and much of reality TV proves it. With society around us caving in to all carnal desires, we almost feel like throwing up our hands in despair and giving up. What is the use, I may believe in God, I may follow God, and I may worship God, but the world around me is heading straight for hell, without a care or without a concern, why not just let them.
That is not the will of God, that is contrary to Scripture, even when things are in the worst of shape, in the midst of evil we must live righteously and heed the word of God. Even when we are out numbered, we are commanded by God to go forward. Even when no one cares to see, we are to conduct ourselves according to the word of God. Even when all years are closed, we are to say boldly, “thus saith the Lord”.
Why doesn’t the world to look at the church as an example? It might be obvious to many, too much of the church has become fake. Money is more important than souls. Comfort is more important than conviction. Salvation has taken a back seat to entertainment. This is the church that the world around us is seeing. It is shallow, it is self-centered, it is self-seeking, and it is dead and cold. Our services are no longer meaningful times of worship of God, our worship is all show, all fluff, simple entertainment. It satisfies our felt commitment to God, how sad, how wrong.
We miss the point entirely, we are not supposed to leave the church in the same condition as when we went in. We should be growing, we should be learning, we should develop a deeper relationship with Jesus, we need to get saved, we need to get sanctified! The church of today has grown distant from the call that God has placed upon it. We are not winning lost souls for Jesus, we are not even improving ourselves. Time is running out, for those that are lost as well as those who have themselves fooled in the very pews that they sit in.