THUS SAITH THE LORD
Reading: Isaiah 38:1-8

INTRODUCTION

[a] I once heard a preacher say, many years ago, "THE BIBLE DOES NOT CONTAIN THE WORD OF GOD - IT IS THE WORD OF GOD."

[b] There is a tendency today, for Christians, as well as others, to treat the Word of God as if nothing more than a guide book - and if you disagree with what it says, then it's all right - times have changed - man is more enlightened - God will put up with anything - if we say so!!

[c] It's all right to live immorally - after all, every one's doing it - a little minority, such as Bible believing Christians can't be right!! Bible standards can't be for today, can they?

[d] It's quite acceptable to steal from our place of work - they'll never miss it - when the Bible speaks about stealing - it's really speaking about the BIG things, isn't it?

It's all right at school, to forget to give someone back their pencil sharpener or rubber, they can always get another - after all they don't cost much, and they never knew I borrowed it anyway!

[e] And social drinking and taking the odd designer drug, or smoking a bit of grass - well, the Bible was written long before these things were thought of, so we can make up our own minds - we can set our own standards - can't we?

[f] And if we're meant to be Christians, we can't be seen to persecute the GAY COMMUNITY, after all, that's just the way they are - they can't help it - can they?

Almost every soap opera on television has got gay couples, so it must be acceptable!

So the Bible presents homosexuality as filthy, vile and from the pit of hell itself - but we're more enlightened - after all there are even gay ministers in some of the churches - aren't there? In fact, in certain parts of the world, they even marry gay people. "Do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded emmm..... " Slight problem!!!

[g] There is no place in Scripture for gay relationships of any kind! The Bible tells us in no uncertain terms, that such unions are absolutely abhorrent to God!!

[h] In fact it is linked with all that is evil and disgusting!

It was one of the main besetting sins of Sodom & Gomorrah - so evil it was destroyed by God!

In fact, when the angels, in the form of men, came to rescue Lot and his family, Lot had to barricade them in his house, because the crowd that gathered were actually trying to RAPE them!!

Ge 19:5 "And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.

6 And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,

7 And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly."

POINT 1

[a] In our Bible reading, Hezekiah the King was dying, and he was brought face to face with his sin, and was told, to put his spiritual house in order.

[b] He had left the council of God, and had gone in his own way, walked in his own precepts - lived by his own rules! GOD JUDGED HIM FOR IT!

Our reading shows us that it is a very dangerous thing to do!!

[c] Yet that is what mankind, many who would term themselves Christians among them, are doing today!

[d] The God they say they serve, bears little relationship to the God of Scripture!

The standards, the promises, the demands, the warnings of the God of the Bible, all mean nothing!

[e] They think the Bible, and obviously the God of the Bible, to be old fashioned and outdated!

[f] It is a very dangerous thing to think we have 'grown out' of our need for God, and the guidance, instruction, and commands of His Word!

POINT 2

[a] A certain minister once wrote a book, and said, "GOD IS DEAD!"

[b] I caused uproar - naturally enough! But many people, including some so called Christians, live their lives as if that is so!

[c] After all, if God is alive, then He has left a true witness of Himself in the Bible!

[d] If that is so, then we must take heed of what the Creator of this universe says to us. WE must obey His commands! We must accept His guidelines for our lives!

KING HEZEKIAH FOUND TO HIS COST, THAT TO DO OTHERWISE IS FATAL!!

[e] As someone called to preach the Word of God, I have no mandate to change what the Scripture says, or to dilute it to fit in with modern thinking!

Rather the opposite! In Jeremiah. 26:2 it says, "All the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word."

I would hate to be in the shoes of some ministers when they stand before God in Judgement, amidst the cries of many of the damned they have been responsible for turning astray!

POINT 3

[a] What makes people think they can fly in the face of God, and set their own rules, in effect making themselves into little gods?? THIS IS ONE OF THE MAIN MARKS OF THE DEVIL'S 'NEW AGE' TODAY!

In Ezekiel. 28:2 it says "thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God."

[b] Again in Ezekiel 13:3 "Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!"

[c] It says in Jeremiah 17:5 "Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD."

[d] Jehoiakim king of Judah didn't like what the Word of the Lord had to say to him, so he literally burnt the scroll, in Jer. 36.

HOW MANY PEOPLE DOWN THROUGH THE YEARS HAVE TRIED TO BURN THE BIBLE, AND EVEN THOSE WHO READ IT, BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T LIKE WHAT IT SAID!!

[e] But if we DON'T accept what it says, for our own lives, as well as everyone else's, then surely WE ARE BURNING GOD'S WORD IN OUR HEARTS!! What an insult to Him!

His Word is PRECIOUS. His Word is HOLY. His Word is ESSENTIAL. His Word must be OBEYED, if we are to truly be His disciples.

[f] Jesus said, in John 15:14 "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you."

[g] If we profess to be a Christian, then we can do no other than follow His teaching - for a Christian is a follower of Christ! A disciple is one who accepts and lives by the teaching of their master. In our case, that is the Lord Himself!

John 8:31 "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed."

POINT 4

[a] The Bible tells us that God's Word is POWERFUL! It tells us that it is "sharper than a two edged sword."

[b] BUT THERE IS ALSO A PROMISE FOR THOSE WHO PREACH IT FAITHFULLY!

We read in Jeremiah 5:14 "Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them."

[c] This is a striking promise of the effectiveness of the uncontaminated Word of God, preached in the power of the Holy Spirit. Notice it is not our own words, but HIS WORDS!

Jeremiah 23:29 "Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?"

[d] If someone says, "You can believe this bit of Scripture, but not that bit. That bit is just the opinion of the Apostle Paul, or Isaiah, or Matthew. Or that bit was just for the Corinthians or the Jews etc."

WHERE DOES IT END?? HOW DO WE EXPECT ANYONE TO ACCEPT ANY PART OF IT WITH THE AUTHORITY OF GOD STAMPED UPON IT??

[e] Is it any wonder today, that so much of our preaching and witness is totally ineffectual??

Is it any wonder the world doesn't believe??

IF THEY CANNOT BELIEVE THAT IT IS 100% "THUS SAITH THE LORD", WHY SHOULD THEY TAKE ANY NOTICE OF WHAT IT SAYS??

[f] If they see Christians reject those parts they're not happy with - or chop and change things - why should they accept any of it??

Once the authority and authenticity of the God's Word has been compromised in this way, apart from anything else, we shoot ourselves in the foot, in the eyes of the world - for we do the devil's job for him, by destroying the credibility of God's witness to this world!

WHAT SATAN FAILED TO DO OVER THE PAST THOUSAND YEARS IN THE BURNING OF BIBLES AND EVEN THOSE WHO READ AND PREACHED THEM - SO CALLED CHRISTIANS ARE DOING TODAY IN DISECTING AND DISFIGURING SCRIPTURE, UNTIL IT HOLDS NO REAL MEANING OR MESSAGE!

[g] The churches that are alive and growing today, are those that are totally sure of the genuineness of God's infallible Word, and preach it's truth without apology.

Isaiah 55:11 "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."

Re 3:8 "I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name."

CONCLUSION

[a] Have we been faithful to God's Holy Word, both in lip and in life??

[b] Are we living our lives by it, in it's total and complete form?

[c] Are we guilty of insulting the Lord, by refusing to accept completely, what He reveals to us in His Word?

[d] If there needs to be a re-commitment to, or re-assertion of, God's Word in our experience, then let us respond to the voice of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.

SONG TUNE

43 in Happiness & Harmony

16 in Happiness & Harmony

CHORUS ON SHEET Kingdoms may Rise

SONG ON SHEET (Tune)Chorus 105

(Teach me from the Scriptures)

PRAYER CHORUS 71

SONG 397 586