The Blessings of Believing
2 Kings 6:24-7:20
February 26-27, 2022
All right. Here we are studying through now in the life of the prophet, Elisha, who is in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. It's a very dark spiritual time. As we pick up the story, one of the sons of Ahab, who was the wickedest, most evilest king in the Northern Kingdom who had married that woman, Jezebel, his son, is now on the throne. Frankly, he's not much better, for he's still bringing the people to follow after the gods of the world, Baal, and Moloch, and Ashtoreth, and Shamash, and Astarte. What is it? They're going after these gods, and they're turning their back on Jehovah, the God of Israel.
Interestingly, it's very important to see that while the nation of Israel has turned their back on God, He does not turn His back on them. He continues to make His power known so as to call them back. That's what he's trying to do. There's a spiritual warfare. There's a battle that's happening for the hearts and the minds of the people of God. That's true today as well. There's a spiritual battle going on for the hearts, and minds, and the soul of the people, not just in this nation and in this world. This is a time of tremendous spiritual warfare. Would you agree with me?
God is on the move. God was on the move then, through His prophet, Elisha, sending warnings to them about their unfaithfulness that would bring weakness and death to the nation. See, that's what we're going to see. 2 Kings 6, they find themselves in a place of national weakness. The army of Aram, that's to the north and a bit to the east, has besieged the capital of Israel in the north. Now, if your capital is being besieged, your nation is weak. That's what's happening now. Now, besieging a city was a powerful tactic of war and quite cruel.
Besiege means that they would be encircled by the enemy, and no one could come in, no one could go out. No food could come in, and thus, many would starve. It would be cruel. It was one of those tactics that would leave the city intact and no soldiers of the enemy are killed. It was just that cruel. Under siege, as we're going to read in the story, the condition of things in the city of Samaria had become so desperate that a donkey's head sold for 80 pieces of silver, and 2 cups of dove's dung sold for 5 shekels of silver, which seems like an exorbitant price for dove's dung and a donkey's head.
This is what you can call inflation. I mentioned this a few Wednesdays ago. I do want to touch on it if you don't mind an economic lesson on inflation because it speaks to the strength of nations. Inflation, many of you have been watching, has been part of their national news because the inflation of our current state of affairs in the country is nearing 10%, which is the worst it's been in more than 40 years, and could likely get worse due to what's happening right now with Russia, attacking Ukraine. By the way, on a side note, I've been asked do I have an opinion about what's happening with Russia attacking Ukraine?
Yes, I condemn it, on no uncertain terms, what's happening now with Russia. I suggest to you that it is part of the signs of the times. We are seeing a realigning of the power of nations, and we should therefore take very careful note of what is happening because this is part of the staying on the alert, always watch for the signs of the times. Back to my point of inflation. It's a monster, and it can quickly decimate a nation's economy. I believe that economic trouble will be an aspect of the latter days. The turbulence leading up to those, and we are seeing those economic troubles beginning to be revealed, and inflation is just the tip of the iceberg of it.
Now, it was in the midst of this terrible famine that I mentioned, that God makes an amazing promise. That the famine would end overnight. One measure of flour would sell for 1 shekel, two measures of barley would sell for 1 shekel, and this, by the next day. As the story unfolds, it's filled with tremendous spiritual application and life lessons for us. Let's read it. We're going to read this story in really two sections. We'll just start with the first section, which begins in Chapter 6, verse 24. "Now, it came about after this that Ben-hadad, king of Aram, gathered his army and went up and besieged Samaria."
Again, capital of Israel in the north. "There was a great famine, therefore, in Samaria, and behold, they besieged it until a donkey's head was sold for 80 shekels of silver, and a fourth of a kab," that's two cups, "Of dove's dung sold for 5 shekels of silver. Now, as the king of Israel was passing by on the wall," in other words, you could walk on the precipice of the wall, and soldiers would be up there and whatnot, "The king was passing by on the wall, and a woman cried out, Help my lord, oh, king. He cried out in response--" Which you notice something interesting in his response.
He says, "If the LORD--" Notice the word, Lord, is in all caps. That is the name of the God of Israel, Jehovah. "If Jehovah does not help you, from where shall I help you? From the threshing floor? From the winepress?" Which you'll notice something interesting. He said, "If Jehovah does not help you." How interesting. He knew where help would come from. He knew that God and God alone was the source of all-- Interestingly, they had gone after Baal, and Shamash, and Moloch, and Asherah. He didn't mention their name. Don't you find that interesting?
Didn't mention their name because there is no help in Shamash, there is no help in Moloch, there is no help in Baal. He knew where help came from. "If Jehovah does not help you, from where shall I help you? Then the king said to her, What is the matter?" Then they gave this tragic story. "She said, This woman here, she said to me, Now, give your son that we may eat him today, and then we'll eat my son tomorrow. We boiled my son and ate him. Then I said to her in the next day, Now give your son that we may eat him, but then she went and hid her son.
Now it came about when the king heard this, when he heard the words of the woman, he tore his clothes." Now, he was on the wall, and the people looked. They could look up. "Behold, he had sackcloth beneath his royal robes on his body. Then he said this," he's enraged now, it's like, "No, I can't do this anymore. This is enough. This has gone too far.
He says, May God do so to me and more also if the head of Elisha, the son of Shaphat, remains on him today." Now, Elisha was sitting in his house and the elders were sitting with him.
The king sent a man from his presence to dispatch his head, but before the messenger came to him, Elisha said to the elders, Do you see how this son of a murderer has sent to take away my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door, and hold the door shut against them." In other words, pin him to the wall. "Is not the sound of his master's feet behind him? Pin him to the wall. I want to talk to the king. While he was still talking to them, behold, the messenger came down to him, and this is what he said, Behold, this evil is from the Lord, Jehovah.
Why should I wait for the Lord any longer?" We'll get to that. That is a very interesting statement. We'll get to it. Chapter 7, verse 1. "Then Elisha said this, "Now listen to the word of the Lord. Thus says Jehovah, Tomorrow, about this time, a measure of fine flour shall be sold for 1 shekel, and two measures of barley will be sold for a shekel, and this, in the very gate of Samaria. The royal officer on whose hand the king was leaning answered the man of God and said, Behold, if the Lord should make windows in heaven, how could this thing be?"
I. Don’t Remain Outside of God’s Blessing
Then Elisha said, Behold, you shall see it, and you'll see it with your own eyes, but you will not eat of it." This is the first part of the story. We're going to look at the second part here, just in a little bit. Then I want to start with this, and really take hold of some life lessons, starting with this. Don't remain outside of God's blessing. Here's what I mean. You look at how difficult things had gotten for Israel, it certainly ought to lead you to ask the question, how did it come about that things got this bad?
Have you ever got to a situation in your life where you asked that same question? How did it ever get like this? How did circumstances happen that things got this bad? That's a really good question. I think that there are principles in His Word that speak to it. One of the principles, of course, that we need to see is that the way of the transgressor is hard. Hey, spiritual darkness, and transgression, and unrighteousness makes for a hard life. Anybody who's lived that way of the world, I think there are many who would add their own testimony, and say, "You know what?
That's a right principle. The way of unrighteousness, the way of the transgressor is, in fact, hard." Anybody want to add your own hand, or shall I raise my hand for all of us?
A. Come to the point of turning
Secondly, they had turned their back on the Lord long before. They had departed from God, therefore, they had removed themselves from the place of God's blessing. They had removed themself from the place of God's protection. They had removed themselves from the place of God's favor because they had removed themselves from God. Therefore, what we see in the story is a very practical and important point, which is, come to the point of turning.
There is a point where this thing can turn around. There's a point, I call it the point of turning. As the king is passing by on the wall, the woman cries out for help. He answers, "If Jehovah does not help you, from where shall I help you?" This much is certain. This is a true statement, but he has much to learn, for when he heard the tragedy of these women, he tears his clothes, and there, behold, there's sackcloth underneath his royal robe. Sackcloth, you might remember is what a person would put on them as a demonstration of tremendous humility.
It's literally the cloth by which a sack is made. They would cut a little thing for the head, and little for the arms, put it on them as a demonstration of humility. Now, at first, you might think, "That's something right. The king is doing something right," but I suggest that this is not the kind of humility that brings a man to the point of turning, for he immediately blamed God. See, when he heard how bad things have become, he's angry, "Enough, I can take no more of this." Then, in his rage, "May God do more so to me if the head of Elisha remains on him today."
In other words, he's blaming Elisha, which is, therefore, to blame God, which I suggest is deeply wrong. This is what's deeply wrong in the story. I suggest that if he was truly humble-- He's wearing sackcloth, it's something right. I suggest that if he was truly humble, instead of blaming God, he would have asked for a meeting with the man of God. He would have sat down in real humility, and he would have said to Elisha, the prophet, "My father, what shall we do?" That is the point of turning right there. "My father, what shall we do?
We've come to the end of ourselves." Unfortunately, some people don't turn. They don't come to the point of turning until they've come to the end of themselves, but at least they do then. I've heard many times where someone, they get into that deep place of trouble, and they call out to God. Then someone says to them, "Oh, you're just calling out to God because you're in trouble." To which I say, "At least you know from whom help will come. At least you're turning to God now. It's way better than keeping the pride and not turning to God at all. Amen?
If he could have just come to this point, "My father what shall I do? What shall we do?" I tell you Elisha would have given him a tremendous answer. See, when a man comes to the point, when they turn to the Lord, "Lord, what shall I do?" that's a come-to-Jesus meeting. That's a come-to-Jehovah meeting. That's what we need. That's the point of turning. When we come to a come-to-Jehovah meeting, we would say, come-to-Jesus meeting, that's the point of turning. Notice this part of the story, and let's put an application to it this way.
B. Don’t shipwreck your faith
Don't shipwreck your faith. Verse 33, "When the messenger of the king, which he had dispatched to take off the head of Elisha," when the man pinned him to the wall, "Behold, he says, This evil is from Jehovah. Why should I wait for the Lord any longer?" Which suggests that he was waiting, does it? Doesn't it suggest that he was waiting? He's come to the point where he has now given up waiting. I will wait no more. Why? Why should I wait any longer? This is what I call a spiritual shipwreck. People come to this point when they were waiting, they were hoping, but then they turn against God and blame God for their troubles.
It's a very tragic point when someone turns against God, and blames God, and gets angry with God. I tell you, I have had many, many, many troubles in my life. That's when I needed God most. I suggest to you that no matter how bad things get, never turn against God. He is who you need in times of trouble. That's who you need to turn to. "Lift up your eyes on High, from where does help come? My help comes from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth. I have no other source of help than you, oh my Lord." Anybody agree with me? See? Amen. Let's give the Lord praise, absolutely.
If a person gives up, they've shipwrecked their faith. I tell you, that's a tragic place. He's the help you need. Let me give you some scriptures. 1st Timothy 1:18-19, where Paul is writing to his young son in the faith, "This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, that you fight the good fight, keeping faith." That's what he means, fighting the good fight. He's not talking, fighting others. He's talking about, this life is a troubled life. There are many struggles. There are many difficulties in life. Hold on to faith. Be strong in faith. It's an anchor in the storm.
It's a rock that you can build your life on. That's what he means. Fight the good fight of faith, and keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. Never shipwreck your faith. Hold on with great perseverance. In fact, the scripture says in Proverbs 18:10, "The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run into it and are saved." See, there's the picture. If you are in trouble, if there are things that are going south in your life, you could say, using that expression, what is that you need to do?
C. Taste and see that the Lord is good
You need to run to the tower of Lord. Don't walk, run. You need to get into the presence of the Lord as fast as you can get. You need to get right with God and come under His hand of protection. You need to come under His place of favor, and you need to get there as fast as you can get. Anybody agree with me?
That's the answer. Then you will taste and see that the Lord is good. That's the beautiful part of the story. When the king came to Elisha to vent his anger, God responds to the prophet with this amazing promise. The next day at about this time, essentially, they could buy six times the food for one-fifth the price. God is going to deliver in one day. That was the Word of the Lord. That was the promise. The royal officer who was next to the king, when he heard this, he scoffed. He goes like, "[scoffs] Behold." That's what it means.
"Behold, if the Lord should make windows in heaven, how can this be?" See, in other words, he couldn't imagine how God could do it. Therefore, he concluded that God couldn't do it, because he couldn't imagine. How is that possible? He didn't know. He couldn't even imagine. "What? You're saying tomorrow at this time? A donkey's head is sold for some exorbitant price. 5 shekels of silver will buy you two cups of doves dung. Are you telling me tomorrow, at this time, that one measure of flower will be sold for 1 shekel? I don't believe it.
I don't believe a word of it. I can't imagine how God could do such a thing. If He opened windows in heaven, how could this be?" Therefore, he didn't believe it was possible. This is a very important aspect for faith. If you have to imagine how God is going to do it, then He's limited to your imagination. In fact, Ephesians 3:20 is a tremendous word. "Now unto Him who is able--" Now, when He says, "Now unto Him," it's a recognition, it's a aspect of worship, it's a lifting up of His name. "Now unto Him who is able to do far more abundantly, beyond--"
That's a whole lot of expressions right there. "Who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or even think," which is to say, you can't imagine, you have no idea, "According to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church, and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Ain’t that a good word? What a great verse is that, that it encourages faith? In other words, you have no idea. The man couldn't imagine how this could be, so therefore, it couldn't be. Elijah’s response was powerful and is a life lesson itself.
"You will see it, and you will see it with your own eyes, but you will not taste of it." See, unbelief was going to keep this man from tasting the promises of God. God is about to do this marvelous thing. He refused to believe that God could, therefore, he wouldn't taste of it. Interestingly, Jesus gave a parable in the book of Luke verse 14, describing those who refuse to take hold of the promises of God, and therefore, will not taste them. For there are people today, there were people in Jesus's day, there are people today who will not take hold of the promises of God.
They will not believe the promises of God, and therefore, they will not taste them. How could this be? Luke 14, I'll just read you the story, verses 16 to 24. "A man was giving a big dinner," this is the parable, "He invited many, and at the dinner hour, he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, Come for everything is ready. They all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, I have bought a piece of land that I need to go out and look at it. Please consider me excused. Another one said I have bought five yoke of oxen and I must try them out.
Please consider me excused. Then another one said, I have married a wife and for that reason, I cannot come. Then the servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry, and he said to his servant, Go out at once into the streets, into the lanes of the city, bring in here the poor, the crippled, the blind, the lame." That's a picture of the church right there. The destitute, the broken. I love that picture right there. "Go bring the lame, the broken. Then later, the servant said, "Master what you have commanded has been done, and still there's room.
Then the master said to the servant, Then go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in so that my house may be filled, for I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner. They will not taste of it for they would not believe it." Faith is such an important aspect of our relationship to God. I tell you, it's everything. God wants us to believe, to partake, to taste, to enjoy the promises of God. 2nd Corinthians 1:20, "For as many as are the promises of God, in Him, they are yes." You can stand on the promises of God, you can take hold of the promises of God, for, in Him, they are yes."
Psalm 34:8, "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good. How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him, who runs to the tower of the Lord." Psalm 119:103, "How sweet are your words to my taste, your words are sweet." I love that. Yes, they’re sweeter than honey to my mouth. I tell you, there's a deep verse. That's a very, very deep verse. The promises of God are found in the Word of God, and to take hold of the Word of God is to take hold of the heart of God. There's where relationship comes, faith is born. He reveals Himself. Oh, it's sweet.
II. Feast on the Promises of God
It's sweeter than honey. All right, now let's read the next part of the story, beginning in verse 3 of Chapter 7. Now, this is how God answers this amazing declaration and promise. Verse 3, "Now, there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate, and they said to one another, Why do we sit here until we die? Now, if we say we will enter the city, there's famine in the city, and we will die there. If we stay here, we're going to die also. Now, therefore, let's go over to the camp of the Arameans. If they spare us, we live. If they kill us, we're going to die anyway."
Actually, there's some pretty reasonable thinking here. "They arose at twilight," at dark, "To go to the camp of the Arameans. Now, when they came to the outskirts of the camp of the Arameans, behold, there was no one there, for the Lord had caused the army of the Arameans to hear a sound. The sound of chariots, and the sound of horses, even the sound of a great and vast army so that they said to one another, Behold, the king of Israel has hired against us, the king of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to come upon us. Therefore, they arose and fled in the night.
There's darkness all around. They hear this vast, great sound, and they panic. Really, they panic. They left their tents, their horses, their donkeys, even the campus it was, and they fled for their lives. Now, when these lepers came to the camp, they entered one tent, ate, and drank. Carried from there, silver and golden clothes, and went and hid them. Then they returned and entered another tent and carried from there also, and went and hid them. Then they said to one another, Look, what we are doing is not right. This is not right. This day is a day of good news that we are keeping silent.
If we wait until morning light, punishment is going to overtake us. Now, therefore, come, let's go, and tell the king's household." They're convicted, "This isn't right. We have good news. We ought to be-- We're silent? No, we got good news." You can't be silent when you got good news. "They came and called to the gatekeepers of the city, and they told them, saying, We came to the camp of Arameans, behold, there was no one there, nor voice of men. Only horses tied and donkeys tied in tents just as they were." The gatekeepers called and told it within the king's house.
The king arose in the night, and he said to his servants, I will tell you now what the Arameans have done to us. They know we are hungry, therefore, they have gone away from the camp and hid themselves in the field. They're saying, When they come out of the city, we're going to capture them alive and get into the city. This is a ruse, this is a deception. One of his servants answered and said, Please, let's some men take five of the horses which remain," most of them had been eaten, "Which are left in the city. Behold, they will be, in any case, like all the multitude of Israel who are left in it.
Behold, they will be, in any case, like all the multitude of Israel who have already perished. Let’s send and see. Therefore, they took two chariots with horses. The king sent after the army of the Arameans saying, Go and see. They went after them to the Jordan. Behold, all of the way was full of clothes and equipment, which the Arameans had thrown away in their haste. The messengers returned and told the king, so the people went out and plundered the camp of the Arameans. Then a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel and two measures of barley sold for a shekel according to the Word of the Lord.
It was fulfilled exactly. Now, the king appointed the royal official, on whose hand he leaned, to have charge of the gate, but the people trampled on him at the gate and he died, just as the man of God had said, who spoke when the king came down to him. Thus all was fulfilled." These verses are filled with tremendous again, spiritual insight, for us to take hold of, starting with this understanding, the promises of God. Feast on the promises of God. Taste and see. Israel is out of options. The situation is desperate because, in their formulations and in their calculations, they took God out of the equation, but God was not out of options.
God, in His mercy, is going to deliver. That is the demonstration of His power. Why is God doing such a thing? He's demonstrating His power so as to bring the people back. Elisha is declaring, "Jehovah says this promise to you," so that when they see it with their own eyes, the idea is that they would be amazed, and they would come back. There is something stirring in Israel. God is doing something, calling them back, demonstrating to them that He's still reaching out to them. Reminds me of Romans 10:21, where Paul says, "Now, as for Israel, God says this, All day long, I hold out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people."
Oh, what a picture of the heart of God right there. This, in turn, is, "All day long, I reach out to my people." The aspect of faith says this. "We may not know what tomorrow holds, but we know who holds tomorrow." Maybe you've heard that expression. It's a tremendous aspect of faith, to believe. "I don't know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds tomorrow." Faith and fear are opposites. Fear says, "What if? What if this should happen? I don't know. Tomorrow, what if this happens tomorrow? What if that thing--
What if? What if? What if this bad-- What if?" That's fear? It's the, "What if?" Faith is the opposite. It's, "Even if. Even if that happens, I will always believe. No matter what, I will believe. Even if that should happen, even if that should happen, even if that should happen, I will always believe. Nothing can stop me. Even if there's no cattle in the stalls, no fruit in the vine, yet I will exalt in my Lord. Even if that should happen, I will always believe." Amen?
There are four lepers in the city, outside. Leprosy, as I mentioned recently, is a picture of sin. These, outcast, diseased, terminal, out of options too, so they decided to throw themselves on mercy. Now, if you think about it, those same three options are available to sinners today. Go into the city and join everyone else who's dying, or stay where you are and do nothing, and die in that condition, or throw yourself on mercy. I suggest to you that throwing yourself on mercy is the best option of all of them. Then we see this. We can maybe capture it this way, be careful of how you listen.
When these four lepers went over to the Arameans, there's no one there. The Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots, and the sound of horses, the sound of a great army. If you remember, we recently looked at it. Elisha asked that God would open the eyes of his servant to see the horses and chariots of God, the horses, and chariots of fire, a vast army, but here, God opened the ears of the Syrian army to hear it. For one, it was the source of encouragement, the other, it's a cause of fear. What you tune your ears to has everything to do with what you tune your heart to.
A. Be careful how you listen
Be careful how you hear. What you tune your ears to has everything to do with what you tune your heart to. Let me give you a verse out of Luke 18:17-18. This is just after He gave that parable of the sower. It's a picture of God sowing His Word, and it lands on different types of hearts, thus, different types of soils. Then He added this to the parable, "Nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known or come to light, so take care how you listen to the Word. Take care how you listen. For whoever has, to him, shall, even more, be given, but whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away."
This is something to ponder deeply. Be careful how you listen. As another example, when Israel heard the taunts of Goliath-- You remember that story? When Israel heard the taunts of Goliath, they heard something quite different than what David heard, which is to say they heard it differently. Goliath proclaimed this great challenge, "Send out a man to fight," and everyone's heart was reduced to fear. David, when he heard the taunts of the giant, became incensed and angry. "Who does this uncircumcised Philistine think he is, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?"
David volunteered to face him because of his faith. He heard it quite differently. Be careful how you hear. When Jesus spoke to the churches in the book of Revelation, seven times, He said a very similar thing, "Be careful how you hear." Revelation 2:7, "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." For I suggest to you that not everyone hears. They hear something different. Some, when they hear the Word of God, it blesses their soul. It brings strength to them, it increases their faith within them. It brings the presence and the life of God to their revelation.
It's a beautiful thing when the Word of God is spoken. Other people, when they hear it, they scoff at it. Be careful how you hear. Paul says something to the church in Rome. Similarly, Romans 10:17, "Faith comes from hearing, and hearing, by the Word of Christ." When you hear the Word of God with the heart, "Even what you have," He says, "You'll be given more." Then lastly, others must know the good news. When the lepers discover the camp of the Syrians is empty, they ate, and they drank. Carried away silver and gold, and hid it for themselves.
B. Others must know the good news
Then, at some point, they say, "This isn't right. We're not doing right. This is a day of good news, and we're keeping silent." In other words, if there's good news, you got to share the good news. There's a certain aspect to that we all understand. If there's good news, you want to share it. As I had mentioned a few Wednesdays ago, even to the point-- I remember I was at Fred Meyer, and I saw this package of cotton candy grapes. I didn't even know that there was such a thing as cotton candy grapes. This was a few years ago, and I thought, "What?"
I tasted one, and I thought, "Oh my goodness." Have you ever tasted cotton candy grapes? This is like a slice-- How many people have never tasted cotton candy grapes? I have good news for you.
You've got to try these things. This is like a taste of heaven. I'm serious. I think when we get to the marriage supper of the lamb, they're going to have cotton candy grapes on the table. They're that amazing. I'm over at Fred Meyer, and I taste one of these. I go buy a bag of them to bring home, and just put it on the counter, and everybody is like, "Oh, this is amazing." I started calling my kids, "Hey, you got to try this. It's called cotton candy grapes, yes. You've got to try it. They're at Fred Meyer." It's like, that's what we do.
If there's good news, that's what you do. When you got good news, you got to share good news. Others are suffering and starving, and they're keeping this to themselves? We, too, know that there is good news. There is good news. In fact, the Gospel is the good news. That's what it means. It transforms. We know that the Gospel transforms lives. It is the power of God unto salvation. We know that God takes the broken, and brings healing and hope. We know there's good news, but I already can anticipate somebody will answer and say, "Pastor, you don't understand.
People don't want to hear." No, I do understand. I do understand. There are two kinds of people that you might talk to about the good news of Jesus Christ. By the way, we are soon going to have, it's in early April, we're going to have what we call Welcome Weekend. Welcome Weekend is an opportunity for the church to be inviters. We're going to encourage the whole church, everybody in the church to be inviters. Does anybody in the church know anyone broken? Does anybody know anyone hurting? Does anybody know anyone who needs the good news?
Invite them because we're going to give a very clear Gospel presentation and an opportunity for people to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and to rededicate their lives, and God is going to move. I'm telling you right now, in advance, that there are many who are going to come to faith in Jesus Christ, and many who are going to rededicate their lives. Amen?
Be inviters because there are good news. Then you might say, "People don't want to hear." There are two kinds of people that you might talk to about the good news. There are those who are sick, and they know it. They know they need help, and they know they need a physician. Then there are those who do not know and do not want to hear.
When the Jewish leaders saw that Jesus was eating with sinners and tax-gatherers, these were the despicable. Did you know that Jesus, reached to the worst of sinners, the worst of the worst of sinners?
Did you know that Jesus made a point of reaching out to the worst of the worst of sinners? When the Jewish leaders saw Jesus eating with sinners, I mean, the worst of sinners, they confronted the followers of Jesus, "Why does your teacher eat with people like that? You say He's a man of God. What is a man of God doing with sinners like that?" This is Mark 2:17 "Hearing this, Jesus said to them, Because it is not those who are healthy who need a physician, that's what, but those who are sick. I didn't come to call the righteous. I came to call sinners."
I don't know about you, but I love that verse. I didn't come to call the righteous. I came to call sinners. There are two kinds of people you're going to talk to about the good news of Jesus Christ. There are those who don't need, they don't think they need because they think they're just fine. "I didn't come to call the righteous." Of course, the truth is there is no righteous, there is none. No, not one. Not one, but they're blind. They're quite blind. Revelation 3:17-18, "Because you say this, you say, I am rich, I have need of nothing--" You will meet people like that.
"I'm fine, I'm rich, I have need of nothing." Jesus says, "You do not know that you're wretched and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. I advise you to buy from me salve to the eyes, to anoint your eyes that you might see." Oh, what a great word is this. "I didn't come to call the righteous, I came to call sinners." I love my Lord because my Lord was sent the call sinners, and He is still finding sinners today.
I tell you what, I'm not afraid to use the word sinners because people know that they're sinners. When they know that God sent His Son to go and seek and to save sinners, it does something to the heart because there's an aspect of the soul that gets real honest with the Lord, that says, "You're looking for a sinner, well, you found one. Here I am, Lord. You found me. Now make me a son, make me a daughter." God is not done making sons and daughters. God is not done finding sinners, and God is still seeking and God is still saving.
Amen? Let's give the Lord praise and glory. Amen? Amen.
Lastly, we'll close with this, "Is anything too difficult for the Lord?" I love this. "When the king heard this good news, he wouldn't believe it. It's a ruse. Yes, I'll tell you what this is, this is a deception." He would not believe it. Unbelief will keep people from enjoying the promises of God. How many people do not take God at His word, therefore, don't have the promises of God given to them? Jeremiah 32:17, I love this expression where he says. "Ah, Lord God," I love that phrase, " Ah, Lord God, behold, you have made heavens and earth by your great power, and by your outstretched arm.
Nothing is too difficult for thee. Nothing. Nothing, absolutely nothing is too difficult for you." Just because you can't imagine how God might answer, doesn't mean that God is out of options. Is anything too difficult for the Lord? God wants you to ask Him. Just because you can't imagine how God is going to rescue, or save, or help, doesn't mean that God is out of options. James 4:2 says " You do not have because you do not ask." God wants you to ask. God wants you to believe. God wants you to take hold because when He makes you a son or a daughter, He's going to walk with you in the course of His life.
He'll never leave you, and He'll never forsake you. He'll be a father like no father could be on this earth, and He'll bless your life. Let's pray. Father, thank you so much for revealing yourself. We are amazed. We are truly amazed, and we thank you, for sending your Son to seek and to save sinners like us. You did not come to call the righteous, you came to call sinners. Oh God, I'm so thankful that you found me. God build now in me, the life that you desire to build in me. God, show me what it means to walk as a son or a daughter of the Almighty.
Show me what it means, I want to walk like one. I want to live like a son or a daughter of the Almighty. You found a sinner. Here I am. Now transform me. Church, would you say that to the Lord? Would you just raise your hand and say, it's a prayer to say to the Lord, "You found a sinner here I am. Now make me, transform me, move in me. Do this in me." Father, thank you. Thank you, and we thank you for all that you've done in us. We give you honor.