Home Sermon Archive
May 28, 2017
Searching but In Vain
Series:

"Searching, but in Vain"

Amos 4:1-12

May 28, 2017

Pastor/Teacher Roger Redmond

Five times in these first twelve verses Israel's problem in identified, "...yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD." They were a people who honored God with their lips but their heart was not with Him. It is a reoccurring problem with nation of Israel, Isaiah 1: 2ff. Jesus warned us with similar words, Joh 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.  Joh 5:40  And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

Israel as a Nation had everything but the Person of Christ:

They did not believe God

Rom 9:1-4 i.e. v.4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Did they have an advantage? Yes, Rom 3:2  Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.

"oracles of God." is what God has to say - the sayings of God, the Word of God. 

But the indictment is they did not believe on Christ.  The exact words of Christ: John 5:40  And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

"the meaning here is, that they imagined, by having these writings in their hands, and by their reading them, and hearing them expounded every sabbath day, they should obtain and inherit everlasting life: hence they call (r) the law eternal life, and say by the reading of it would gain eternal life." From Gill on e -sword 

They lived in a self imposed vacuum of unbelief

People choose to live in a self imposed unawareness.  They are willfully uninformed  about the Gospel of Christ. Here is what Paul said, Rom 10:1-4  Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. 1Co 1:18  For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Calluses are made up of Scar Tissue

While growing up and working on a farm you did much manual work.  My first experience in hauling hay was not with bales of hay but rather with a pitch fork .  Hay was raked in piles and loaded on the hay wagon with a pitch fork.  In using the tools made for the hands you developed calluses.  My Dad's hands were hard with callous from years of hard work.  Calluses on your hands from hard work is a good thing but my friend calluses on your heart, calluses of the mind, of the soul is not a good thing.

Ephesians 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:  Eph 4:19  Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

You can be unenlightened but it is by your choice

Paul used the word "ignorant" and here is the definition : " IG'NORANTadjective [Latin ignorans.] Destitute of knowledge; uninstructed or uninformed; untaught; unenlightened. " You can be ignorant by ignoring the LORD, by ignoring the Holy Spirit, by ignoring Preaching.   By ignoring the spiritual opportunities God has given you, by ignoring the Word of God

"Ignorance that is in them" -1. lack of knowledge, ignorance. a. esp. of divine things b. of moral blindness. copied from Thayers 

"Blindness of the heart"- the covering with a callus, dulled perception, the mind has been blunted, persistence in sin.

"Who being past feeling" b. to become callous, insensible to pain, apathetic - copied from Thayers 

All three is the result from a willful choice to turn away from the Word of God.

1Ti 4:1  Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;  1Ti 4:2  Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

Their conscience was not seared because they spoke lies; they spoke lies because their consciences was seared. When you willfully ignore the Word of God you have departed from the faith.

"seared with a hot iron;" in a medical sense means to cauterize.  It builds up scar tissue.  The word "hardness" is the scar tissue of the soul. Rom 2:5  But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;

To continue to willfully neglect the Word of God (to know what God has said), to refuse to walk in faith, will lead a Christian to hardness of heart.  You are building up scar tissue of the soul. Pro_29:1  He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.

hardeneth his neck, means rejection of authority.  Carries the same meaning as "hardness of heart".  When you refuse to hear the LORD you are rejecting His authority.

The LORD said to Israel Return to me, Hosea 14:1-6. and the Church is Warned about leaving Their first Love

The church is warned in the Book of Revelation about the preeminence of Christ, Rev 2:4  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Rev 2:5  Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. Rev 3:15  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

Rev 3:16  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Rev 3:17  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: Rev 3:18  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

The LORD is speaking of the nakedness, that comes from the life not lived by faith, as seen at the Judgment Seat of Christ (JSOC).  1 Cor. 3:13-15,  Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Rev, 19:7-8. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

I believe the "righteousness of saints is the gold produced in your life by following Christ,  1  Peter 1:4-8  To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: The question that begs to be answered: what is reserved in heaven for you?   No question,  but that it is your Inheritance.

2Ti 2:12  If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 2Ti 2:13  If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. At the time of salvation you become an heir of God. An heir of God is an unconditional inheritance.  But being a joint heir with Christ has conditions.  "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him:" No pain - no gain

Faithful (πιστὸς). True to his own nature, righteous character, and requirements, according to which he cannot accept as faithful one who has proved untrue to him. To do this would be to deny himself.

Vincent, M. R. (1887). Word studies in the New Testament (Vol. 4, p. 300). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

for he cannot disown himself. Nevertheless these words are not a charter for sin and apostasy, but rather a consolation for a frightened conscience (as Jeremias points out). The main thrust of this statement, however, may be that God’s faithfulness implies that he cannot acknowledge those who disown him

Guthrie, D. (1990). Pastoral Epistles: An Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 14, p. 163). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

"2 Timothy 2:11-13.  Verse 13 points out the danger of unbelief as a saved person.    If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

"If we believe not.."  ἀπιστέω apisteō - Thayer Definition: 1) to betray a trust, be unfaithful

"If we believe not" (εἰ ἀπιστοῦμεν). Better, are faithless or untrue to him. Comp. Rom. 3:3. In Pastorals only here.

"Faithful" (πιστὸς). True to his own nature, righteous character, and requirements, according to which he cannot accept as faithful one who has proved untrue to him. To do this would be to deny himself.

Vincent, M. R. (1887). Word studies in the New Testament (Vol. 4, p. 300). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

Conclusion to what is being taught:  Christ is faithful to His character and will hold the unfaithful accountable in the same manner as He rewards the faithful.  He cannot deny Himself." Copied from Roger Redmond, "Following Christ is not Automatic" 

Romans 4:21-25. Everything done for Christ that will stand the test at the JSOC is done by faith.  Fai.th was imputed to Abraham for righteousness. Rom 4:21  And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. Rom 4:22  And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Righteousness is imputed to us, Romans 4:23Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; Rom 4:24  But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Man is saved by grace through faith, Eph. 2:8. And the righteous acts of the saints is by faith.  Shall not the just live by faith?  I believe the "righteousness of saints is the gold produced in your life by following Christ.

The Pretense of Spiritual Riches Makes The LORD Sick

Revelation 3:15-17

Their true condition was of spirituality poverty. They prided themselves on spiritual riches but they were bankrupt spirituality.  The only reason one would say " I am rich and have need of nothing" is because you are self- righteous.  There is no one more poor than the one who is rich in self righteous.  The word "thou" is very emphatic.  The word miserable means, the one to pitied."Mayest be clothed": means to clothe yourself

The assumption of spiritual riches, where none exist, hardens the heart and makes the LORD sick. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Rev. 3:16. Living in pretense hinders and dulls the mind, 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: Rev. 3:17. But yet, He comes to us with compassionate  advice, ?  "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire,....." Rev. 3:18

Anyone who hears His counsel discovers they are loved by Him and accepts correction from Him.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Rev. 3:19

Name:
Comment:
Copyright © 2017 North Red Bank Baptist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Contact the webmaster at mty@nrbbc.com.