Date: 04 December, 2016
Text: I Kings 8:41-43, 60
Title: Getting Strangers in Touch with God
Theme: Solomon's prayer at the temple had an evangelistic element as he prayed for those outside Israel who would come to God.
Proposition: We have the ability to get strangers in touch with God.
Rhetorical: Solomon was concerned about strangers who would want to come to God. His prayer showed that he had an evangelistic heart? Do you?
At Bob Jones they have Artist Series events where they have guest performers come to the Universtiy - Canadian Brass, Edinburgh's Blackwatch, Vienna Boys Choir. They also do Shakesperean plays and Operas.
It is an opportunity to have a date. I usually went with friends or family. My sister was also a student and I remember the first time I saw Katie. My sister pointed her out to me at Artist Series and told me that I needed to ask her out. BUT WE WERE STRANGERS. I wouldn't be shy to ask my wife to go anywhere today. But, when I didn't know her we could communicate at all and we knew nothing about one another. (I'M GLAD MY SISTER WAS CONCERNED ABOUT THAT - SHE WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN GETTING KATIE AND I TOGETHER.)
It's wierd to think that I was completely ignorant of Katie just 18 years ago. Now she is my best friend and helper.
note: Some of us have been Christians for a long time. BUT THERE WAS A TIME IN ALL OF OUR LIVES WHERE WE WERE STRANGERS TO GOD. (YOU MAY BE SO TODAY.)
Ephesians 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
exp. There is no more wonderful reality than TO KNOW GOD. Without him you don't have access to His promises and you HAVE NO HOPE.
CHRISTIANS we ought to be concerned about that and BE SEEKING TO GET STRANGERS IN TOUCH WITH GOD. SOMEONE NEEDS TO INTRODUCE THEM TO GOD. Are you involved in bringing strangers to Jesus?
Our text is the evangelistic part of Solomon's Temple dedication prayer. He's praying about many things and does not neglect to pray for those who do not yet know God but who will come to know God.
I Kings 8:41-43, 60 - HOW CAN WE GET STRANGERS IN TOUCH WITH GOD?
I. We must see their identity.
41 Moreover concerning a stranger,
def. stranger - unknown person.
ill. You could be beside someone on the bus with whom you have a lot in common and who if given the right opportunity you could be very good friends. But, you don't know them.
app. There are people all over the world who have God so close to them - but they don't know Him. He could be there best friend but a strangers is someone.....
A. A stranger is someone who is unconnected to God's people.
that is not of thy people Israel,
exp. At this time in history God had a covenant relationship with Israel. In our day God has thrown open the door to ALL PEOPLE to be saved. A stranger is someone who is "not of thy people."
ill. That may not seem like a big deal to you - but stand with me at the judgment. You have God's people separated from those who are not His people.
Matthew 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
app. He knows his own sheep - he calls them all by name. Are you part of the people of God?
B. A strangers is someone who is far away from God.
but cometh out of a far country
question: Would anyone here want someone from a far of nation guiding the affairs of this country? How about Donald Trump or Angela Merkle? Why - becuase they are strangers from a far country and are not part of this nation.
exp. Do you know that I find many unbelievers who think they have a right to tell God what to do? They want to rule Him. They want to dictate to Him. They want to rule His church. THEY DON'T REALIZE HOW FAR AWAY FROM GOD THEY ARE.
ill. Lady on Wednesday indignantly said, "I was born a Christian!" Well she must know more than the apostle Paul who we have already quoted, "Ephesians 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
app. Nobody has been born a CHRISTIAN. If you are here today and you are away from God - YOU ARE FAR AWAY.
C. A stranger is someone who is ignorant of God.
for thy name's sake;
exp. When they come to God it will be because they finally KNOW Him. They will come from these far off disconnected places - BECAUSE OF WHO GOD IS. But, they must find out about Him.
Romans 10:13-14 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
app. Believer there is only one way this world that is estranged from God will come to know Him - it is through our telling them about THE NAME OF GOD.
II. We must stimulate their interest.
ill. Man on Wednesday said, "I am not religious and I hate religion as it causes all the problems in the world." Do you know that man listend for another 5 minutes as I spoke to Him about what God's Word says about that.
ill. We had a man about to close the door on us in door to door, but I spoke to Him about God and the door stayed about for over 10 minutes.
question: Why? Because God's truth is incredibly interesting and God in His mercy can engage unbelievers to think about His truth.
A. Let me introduce you to God's person.
42 (For they shall hear of thy great name,
ill. Witnessing to Brandon on Wed. Atheist - speaking to him about God's name - CREATOR. Speaking to Him about God's Name - Revealer of Secrets (prophecy) - Speaking to Him about God's name, "Saviour."
app. God has a name unlike anyone else. His names reveal to mankind WHO HE IS!
B. Let me introduce you to God's power.
and of thy strong hand,
ill. Watching a machine take 45 foot tall pine trees and in less than 20 seconds, cut them down, strip all the branches off and put them in 10 foot sections on the ground. We said things like, "Incredible! Wow! That is Amazing!
exp. When unbelievers really understand God, they ought to say, "Wow!" They ought to marvel at God's power.
- He spoke the world into existence.
- He made man in His image and gave him dominion over the earth.
- He led His people Israel accross the Red Sea on dry ground and brought water out of a rock.
- He became a man to die on the cross for our sins.
- He gave sight to the blind, strength to the lame, life to the dead, cast out demons.
- He walked out of the grave.
- He bodily ascended up into Heaven and He's going to come again in the same way.
app. Those who laugh at God would be struck dumb to know the power of the Person whom they are mocking. He is the ALL POWERFUL God.
C. Let me introduce you to God's performance.
and of thy stretched out arm;)
exp. I believe God's arm is stretched out in two ways this morning BOTH have a sense of immediacy.
- I believe His arm is stretched out in mercy. Isa 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
- I believe His arm is stretched ou in judgment. Joh 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
app. The way in which His arm is stretched out towards you today IS YOUR CHOICE. Do you want mercy? You can have it. Do you reject mercy? You have God's wrath!
transition: If you are a believer who knows the identity of the stranger, you'll want to stimulate the interest of strangers in God. But that isn't enough.
III. We must secure their involvement.
exp. We need to tell them how they can be connected. Tell them, "You must....
A. "You must be connected by faith."
...when he shall come and pray toward this house;
43 Hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for:
exp. Why would a stranger want to bow their head and pray to God? Because someone has told them that the way to God is by grace through faith.
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
ill. Witnessing to children - I will offer to lead them in a prayer of salvation - but I will tell them there is no reason to pray if you don't believe what you are saying to God.
Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
app. Are you an unbeliever this morning? Or have you come to faith in Jesus? You must be connected by faith.
B. "You must be connected by Name."
that all people of the earth may know thy name,
exp. God is not Allah this morning. God is not Budha. God is not Jehovah (as the JW's preach - because Jehovah is Jesus.) God is - the Father, the Son (JESUS CHRIST), and The Holy Spirit.
app. If you don't know God by Name - you don't know God. 1Jn 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
1Jn 2:23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.
C. "You must be connected by respect."
to fear thee,
exp. The wicked are those who do not fear (respect) God.
Psa 36:1 The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.
ill. Does David Attenbourgh, Richard Dawkings fear God? Would they take a knee and bow before God?
ill. In our society - you don't have to bow - in Asian society - you do. The new Thai king - man shuffled up on his knees to give him a microphone.
ill. When Joseph was appointed as second in position to Pharoah - Gen 41:43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.
app. Have you bowed the knee to God? You must be connected by respect of God!
D. "You must be connected by adoption."
as do thy people Israel;
exp. Israel feared God because they were THE CHILDREN OF GOD.
ill. When I grew up - I grew up with a fear of my parents. But it wasn't terror - it was respect and submission to their authority. I was there child and they had been given the authority by God to rule my life.
question: Maybe you don't fear God today - because you aren't His child.
Ephesians 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
app. Are you a child of God today? You can be - John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
E. "You must be connected by TRUE religion."
and that they may know that this house, which I have builded, is called by thy name.
exp. If they were going to worship in God's temple - they were going to show that there temples were false.
ill. Matt Jones - Thailand - have 5-6 Thai unbelievers attending their church - in their culture that is a huge statement to those who see them enter into that place. Even more so when they renounce their idolatry for the one true God.
app. We aren't seeking to get everyone to become a BAPTIST. We want everyone to come into a Biblical relationship with God that is in COMPLETE OBEDIENCE TO GOD'S WORD. WHY?
G. "You must be connected to THE ONE TRUE GOD."
60 That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else.
exp. Our world hates exclusivity and absolute truth.
note: I am happy to be religious tolerant - "Every man has a right to worship God as He sees fit. Obviously that right does not include the ability to harm others."
note: They describe religous tolerance as, "My saying that your religion is equally as good a any other religion. And when it comes to Islam if it hurts others I am ok with that because I don't think you really teach that."
exp. Oh how I can't wait for the day which I believe Solomon prophetically was speaking - the day of the Millenial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ - that day when the world understands that JESUS CHRIST IS GOD AND BOWS THE KNEE.
app. Are you connected to the ONE TRUE GOD?
19 years ago, my wife and I were strangers.
I mentioned that my sister was instrumental in Katie and I getting to know one another. I'm so thankful that she was used of God to bring us together. I can't imagine life without my Godly wife and companion.
Are you a stranger to God today? You don't have to be. He would love to be your best friend and companion.
Are you doing anything to introduce strangers to God? Are you stimulating their interest in God? Are you securing them to God - by faith in His name? Are you praying for them as Solomon did?
May God hasten the day - 60 That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else.