That They May Be My People

07/10/2018 13:31

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Date: 3 October, 2018
Text: Ezekiel 14
Title: That They May Be My People
Theme:
Proposition:
Rhetorical:
Introduction:
 
It is obvious in the Word of God that God created man to be His people.
- Adam and Eve walked with God until sin came in.
Gen 3:8  And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
- Enoch walked with God.
Gen 5:24  And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
- Abraham was a friend of God.
Jas 2:23  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
- God spoke with Moses face to face.
Exo 33:11  And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp:
exp. It is obvious from Scripture that God loves man and loves fellowshipping with man. It is also obvious that He is very jealous to have that relationship - but sin breaks that fellowship.
 note: In our Text - God is going to deal with the sinning people - He does so for a wonderful purpose found at the end of our text in Ezekial 14:11.
11  That the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, saith the Lord GOD.
note: God wants to deal with WHAT IS KEEPING THEM FROM BEING HIS PEOPLE AND WHAT IS KEEPING HIM FROM BEING THEIR GOD.
 
As we begin - let us first consider WHO is NOT the people of God.
 
ill. We've just begun a study of the book of Romans in our adult/ teen Sunday School. 
- Paul dealt with "unrighteousness" in chapter 1.
Romans 1:28  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30  Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31  Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
app. If you are here this morning and you are unrighteous - clearly you are not the people of God.
- In chapter 2 he dealt with "self righteousness."
 exp. Self righteousness - is having a form of righteousness without the fruit of righteousness.
1.) You condemn ungodliness but you are not Godly.
Rom. 2:1  Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
exp. You look down on the ungodly - but believe you are different - not because of Jesus - but because you believe in God and feel like you have kept God's law.
2.) You are not interested in following God's way of righteousness.
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;
6  Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
exp. You don't believe you need to repent and get save because you have good works - which God will condemn.
3.) If you are confronted with Christ you are argumentative and unwilling to yield.
8  But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
exp. This person often has no time for a spiritual conversation because it makes them upset and they reject Jesus as the only way of true righteousness.
 
- There is a third type of person who is against God - carnal Christian.
def.  carnal: fleshly
Rom 8:8  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
exp. This person is truly a child of God - but you wouldn't know it because they are living as if they are not. 
1Co 3:3  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
1 Cor. 5:1  It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.
2  And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
ill. William Law's book - A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life (If I could summarize some of his thoughts) Says that there is no express command to go to church in the NT. But that many Christians feel like they are good Christians because they attend church. But when it comes to....
1.) loving your neighbor
2.) Forgiving your enemy
3.) Caring for the poor
4.) Having humility
5.) Thinking about spiritual things
They are no different from their unsaved self righteous neighbor. 
 
I highlight these people this morning who are not the people of God - because you may find yourself in that list - (we all could.)
unrighteous, self righteous
Or who are the people of God - but are living as if they are not.... carnal (fleshly)
 
And so - my message this morning - You need to get right with God and be His people. 
11  That the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, saith the Lord GOD.
 
How?
 
I. Cast the idols out of your heart.
1  Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me.
2  And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
3  Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, 
 exp. They were trying to come to God but God was not their God. They had put something up in God's place. 
God's question: should I be enquired of at all by them?
 note: Though the idol may have been wood or stone externally - notice that this idol is not a physical idol - it is a heart idol.
ill. Jack - praise God for Jack's salvation - he shared with me how he used to really look up to Movie Stars and think they were incredible.... but now he realizes how messed up Hollywood and wicked musicians are.
 exp. These pop music leaders are IDOLIZED. They are worshipped by their fans.
 show: Amercian Idol (at least it is accurate) 
 question: What do you worship in your heart? What has the place of pre-eminince? With what are you most enamored? What do you obey?
note: You are not God's people and He is not your God - if He does not have first place.
Exo 34:14  For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
Deu 4:24  For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.
note: Things that become idols - are not necessarily bad of themselves.
A. Are sports your idol?
exp. Does the success of your team give you more delight than God? 
Do you look forward to Sundays (not because you get to focus on God) but because your team is playing. 
Do you adore your players and dote on their skills (But never speak about your God and marvel at Him?)
B. Is your family your idol?
exp. Do you run to and fro to meet their needs but never run to meet the needs of God? 
Do you have no time to serve God because you serve your family? 
Does family time take priority over God's time.
  C. Is your hobby your idol?
You can spend ours working on it - but never work for God.
You are generous to serve it - but you are stingy with God.
You study it - but not your Bible
D. Is technology your idol?
 You are so addicted to it - that you can hardly put it down or set it aside.
You can't even turn it off to go to the house of God.
You aren't quick to speak to God but you are quick to jump to social media.
E. Is work your idol?
 Take all the overtime you can get, but can't take work off to be in the house of God.
No time for evangelism or special meetings - but all the time needed to get a bigger paycheck.
conclusion: How can you be God's people and Him be your God - when HE DOES NOT HAVE FIRST PLACE IN YOUR HEART AND IN YOUR LIFE?
 app. Notice - the idol is SET UP IN THAT HEART - It's time to take whatever that IDOL is and cast it down and SET UP AN ALTAR TO GOD IN IT'S PLACE.
 
II. Move the stumblingblock of your iniquity out of your life.
 ill. As I understand it - falling down is one of the greatest risks to injury around our house. We've all done it - caught our two and went flailing - it can be kind of funny - "Did you have a nice trip? See you next fall." (What we tripped on is a stumbling block.)
....and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them?
exp. Warning - we can all fall into sin!
Psalms 37:23  The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
24  Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.
 exp. We can all fall into sin - it is another thing to jump into sin! These people put the tripping stone of their sin in front of them.
ill. Nelson and the boys bought some Reeces Pieces for the golf tournament. Before we left the store Nelson was asking me where he could put them so that he wouldn't eat them. Finally I said just put them in my office - WHY - BECAUSE IF HE CAN'T SEE IT - HE'S NOT TEMPTED TO EAT IT.
 exp. These Jewish leaders were not even trying to get victory over their iniquity. They had set themselves up to fail! Their lives were a mockery to their God!
 question: Does God want His people to live in victory over sin?
1Co 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
1Co 15:57  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Rom 8:37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Eph 6:14  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Jas 4:7  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
question: Should you ask God's forgiveness when you have a stumblingblock of iniquity that you refuse to move? Pro 28:13  He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
Rom 13:14  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
note: We all have tempation to sin - and we know our own weaknesses.
Heb 12:1  ... the sin which doth so easily beset us,
exp. God expects us to get rid of the tripping stones.
A. If you struggle with thievery - Get rid of the stumbling block by going to work and sharing what God gives you.
Eph 4:28  Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
B. If you have struggled with gossip. Go to the person whom you have slandered and ask their forgiveness. Then go to the person to whom you spoke and ask their forgiveness.
C. If you struggle with pornography. Get off the internet, turn off the tele, get a filter, get accountability.
D. If you struggle with anger. Learn to use your tongue to build up than to tear down. If you have wronged someone
E. If you have been drunken - Don't go to the pub, don't buy alcohol and dump any you have remaining.
F. It could be friends, video games, cd's, dvd's, etc.... 
 ill. The bonfire is getting built up near our home. The early church had a bonfire to get rid of stumblingblocks to iniquity.
Act 19:19  Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.
exp. They didn't risk going back to their old life - they burned the tripping stones.
ill. I don't know about you - but everytime I physically trip - I look back to see what tripped me. If it is moveable and a hazard to others - I take care of it - so I don't trip again and so that others don't trip.
app. Do you want to be God's people - get rid of the stumblingblock of your iniquity.
 
III. Stop trying to come to God with a wicked heart.
4  Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols;
5  That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, 
 exp. God will not accept partial obedience - His people seek him whole heartedly.
Deu 10:12  And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,
exp. Those who in reality - seek elsewhere - God will judge.
ill. King Saul - the witch at Endor (spiritism)
1 Samuel 28:7  Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.
8  And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.
9  And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die?
10  And Saul sware to her by the LORD, saying, As the LORD liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing.
11  Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel.
12  And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.
13  And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.
14  And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.
15  And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.
16  Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy?
17  And the LORD hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the LORD hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, even to David:
18  Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the LORD, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the LORD done this thing unto thee this day.
19  Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.
20  Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night.
 exp. Saul was judged by the idolatry of his heart (seeking unto a false God)
ill. King Ahaz - seeking unto Baal (idol) 2Ki 1:6  And they said unto him, There came a man up to meet us, and said unto us, Go, turn again unto the king that sent you, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that thou sendest to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron? therefore thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.
app. Don't be deceived by an insincere heart. Nobody pleases God today who is not worshipping Him and Him alone. Trusting in Him and Him alone. Serving Him and Him alone. THOSE WHO SEEK TO WORSHIP HIM WITH IDOLATRY WILL BE JUDGED BY THEIR IDOLATRY.
 
IV. Repent of your spiritual adultery.
because they are all estranged from me through their idols.
def. estranged - like an adulter is estranged from their spouse. They have turned aside unto others.
6  Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.
def. repent - turn back home - leave behind you all the uncleaness.
note: Idolatry, homosexuality, child sacrifice - are called abominations in the OT. They are things which are disgustingly unclean. 
exp. The idolatry of Israel had taken Israel from the Faithful spouse - God. She needed to turn back home.
 ill. Hosea - 100 years before Ezekiel - told by God to marry a prostitute, Gomer, who would be unfaithful to him (as a picture of Israel's spiritual adultery) and whom Hosea would take back to Himself as a picture of God's faithfulness.
app. If you are in sin, you are committing spiritual adultery against God. Why don't you go home to God? God will forgive and cleanse you - BUT YOU CAN'T KEEP YOUR ADULTERY AND HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR FAITHFUL GOD.
 
V. Wake up to the damnation of your false teachers and your self deception.
7  For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to enquire of him concerning me; I the LORD will answer him by myself:
8  And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
9  And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.
10  And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him;
exp. God and the false prophet - who was fine with the idolatry of the people- will be judged and CUT OFF FROM GOD'S PEOPLE.
 ill. We have in our day many churches who claim to be the bride of Christ - but who have not separated themselves from that which God hates. 
question: Have they succeeded in doing what Israel could not do? Or will God cut them off as well? Could it just be His mercy which has waited this long for them to get right?
 app. What about you? Did you think you could have God and your sin. God and your idol? God will soon show that this has not been the case and will never be the case.
 
conclusion: God wants us to be His people. He is actively working in our lives to make this possible.
11  That the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, saith the Lord GOD.
 
What does He want us to do - so that we can be His people?
 
1.) Cast the idols out of your heart.
 
2.) Move the stumblingblock of your iniquity out of your heart.
 
3.) Stop trying to come to God with a wicked heart.
 
4.) Repent of your spiritual adultery.
 
5.) Wake up to the damnation of false teachers and your self deception.
 
 
now - You may realize tonight that you have never put your trust in Jesus alone for salvation. 
 

Date: 3 October, 2018

Text: Ezekiel 14

Title: That They May Be My People

 

Introduction:

 

It is obvious in the Word of God that God created man to be His people.

- Adam and Eve walked with God until sin came in.

Gen 3:8  And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

- Enoch walked with God.

Gen 5:24  And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

- Abraham was a friend of God.

Jas 2:23  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

- God spoke with Moses face to face.

Exo 33:11  And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp:

exp. It is obvious from Scripture that God loves man and loves fellowshipping with man. It is also obvious that He is very jealous to have that relationship - but sin breaks that fellowship.

 note: In our Text - God is going to deal with the sinning people - He does so for a wonderful purpose found at the end of our text in Ezekial 14:11.

11  That the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, saith the Lord GOD.

note: God wants to deal with WHAT IS KEEPING THEM FROM BEING HIS PEOPLE AND WHAT IS KEEPING HIM FROM BEING THEIR GOD.

 

As we begin - let us first consider WHO is NOT the people of God.

 

ill. We've just begun a study of the book of Romans in our adult/ teen Sunday School. 

- Paul dealt with "unrighteousness" in chapter 1.

Romans 1:28  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

29  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

30  Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31  Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

32  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

app. If you are here this morning and you are unrighteous - clearly you are not the people of God.

- In chapter 2 he dealt with "self righteousness."

 exp. Self righteousness - is having a form of righteousness without the fruit of righteousness.

1.) You condemn ungodliness but you are not Godly.

Rom. 2:1  Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

exp. You look down on the ungodly - but believe you are different - not because of Jesus - but because you believe in God and feel like you have kept God's law.

2.) You are not interested in following God's way of righteousness.

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;

6  Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

exp. You don't believe you need to repent and get save because you have good works - which God will condemn.

3.) If you are confronted with Christ you are argumentative and unwilling to yield.

8  But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

exp. This person often has no time for a spiritual conversation because it makes them upset and they reject Jesus as the only way of true righteousness.

 

- There is a third type of person who is against God - carnal Christian.

def.  carnal: fleshly

Rom 8:8  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

exp. This person is truly a child of God - but you wouldn't know it because they are living as if they are not. 

1Co 3:3  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

1 Cor. 5:1  It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.

2  And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.

ill. William Law's book - A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life (If I could summarize some of his thoughts) Says that there is no express command to go to church in the NT. But that many Christians feel like they are good Christians because they attend church. But when it comes to....

1.) loving your neighbor

2.) Forgiving your enemy

3.) Caring for the poor

4.) Having humility

5.) Thinking about spiritual things

They are no different from their unsaved self righteous neighbor. 

 

I highlight these people this morning who are not the people of God - because you may find yourself in that list - (we all could.)

unrighteous, self righteous

Or who are the people of God - but are living as if they are not.... carnal (fleshly)

 

And so - my message this morning - You need to get right with God and be His people. 

11  That the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, saith the Lord GOD.

 

How?

 

I. Cast the idols out of your heart.

1  Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me.

2  And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

3  Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, 

 exp. They were trying to come to God but God was not their God. They had put something up in God's place. 

God's question: should I be enquired of at all by them?

 note: Though the idol may have been wood or stone externally - notice that this idol is not a physical idol - it is a heart idol.

ill. Jack - praise God for Jack's salvation - he shared with me how he used to really look up to Movie Stars and think they were incredible.... but now he realizes how messed up Hollywood and wicked musicians are.

 exp. These pop music leaders are IDOLIZED. They are worshipped by their fans.

 show: Amercian Idol (at least it is accurate) 

 question: What do you worship in your heart? What has the place of pre-eminince? With what are you most enamored? What do you obey?

note: You are not God's people and He is not your God - if He does not have first place.

Exo 34:14  For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:

Deu 4:24  For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.

note: Things that become idols - are not necessarily bad of themselves.

A. Are sports your idol?

exp. Does the success of your team give you more delight than God? 

Do you look forward to Sundays (not because you get to focus on God) but because your team is playing. 

Do you adore your players and dote on their skills (But never speak about your God and marvel at Him?)

B. Is your family your idol?

exp. Do you run to and fro to meet their needs but never run to meet the needs of God? 

Do you have no time to serve God because you serve your family? 

Does family time take priority over God's time.

  C. Is your hobby your idol?

You can spend ours working on it - but never work for God.

You are generous to serve it - but you are stingy with God.

You study it - but not your Bible

D. Is technology your idol?

 You are so addicted to it - that you can hardly put it down or set it aside.

You can't even turn it off to go to the house of God.

You aren't quick to speak to God but you are quick to jump to social media.

E. Is work your idol?

 Take all the overtime you can get, but can't take work off to be in the house of God.

No time for evangelism or special meetings - but all the time needed to get a bigger paycheck.

conclusion: How can you be God's people and Him be your God - when HE DOES NOT HAVE FIRST PLACE IN YOUR HEART AND IN YOUR LIFE?

 app. Notice - the idol is SET UP IN THAT HEART - It's time to take whatever that IDOL is and cast it down and SET UP AN ALTAR TO GOD IN IT'S PLACE.

 

II. Move the stumblingblock of your iniquity out of your life.

 ill. As I understand it - falling down is one of the greatest risks to injury around our house. We've all done it - caught our two and went flailing - it can be kind of funny - "Did you have a nice trip? See you next fall." (What we tripped on is a stumbling block.)

....and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them?

exp. Warning - we can all fall into sin!

Psalms 37:23  The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

24  Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

 exp. We can all fall into sin - it is another thing to jump into sin! These people put the tripping stone of their sin in front of them.

ill. Nelson and the boys bought some Reeces Pieces for the golf tournament. Before we left the store Nelson was asking me where he could put them so that he wouldn't eat them. Finally I said just put them in my office - WHY - BECAUSE IF HE CAN'T SEE IT - HE'S NOT TEMPTED TO EAT IT.

 exp. These Jewish leaders were not even trying to get victory over their iniquity. They had set themselves up to fail! Their lives were a mockery to their God!

 question: Does God want His people to live in victory over sin?

1Co 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

1Co 15:57  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Rom 8:37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

Eph 6:14  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

Jas 4:7  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

question: Should you ask God's forgiveness when you have a stumblingblock of iniquity that you refuse to move? Pro 28:13  He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

Rom 13:14  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

note: We all have tempation to sin - and we know our own weaknesses.

Heb 12:1  ... the sin which doth so easily beset us,

exp. God expects us to get rid of the tripping stones.

A. If you struggle with thievery - Get rid of the stumbling block by going to work and sharing what God gives you.

Eph 4:28  Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

B. If you have struggled with gossip. Go to the person whom you have slandered and ask their forgiveness. Then go to the person to whom you spoke and ask their forgiveness.

C. If you struggle with pornography. Get off the internet, turn off the tele, get a filter, get accountability.

D. If you struggle with anger. Learn to use your tongue to build up than to tear down. If you have wronged someone

E. If you have been drunken - Don't go to the pub, don't buy alcohol and dump any you have remaining.

F. It could be friends, video games, cd's, dvd's, etc.... 

 ill. The bonfire is getting built up near our home. The early church had a bonfire to get rid of stumblingblocks to iniquity.

Act 19:19  Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

exp. They didn't risk going back to their old life - they burned the tripping stones.

ill. I don't know about you - but everytime I physically trip - I look back to see what tripped me. If it is moveable and a hazard to others - I take care of it - so I don't trip again and so that others don't trip.

app. Do you want to be God's people - get rid of the stumblingblock of your iniquity.

 

III. Stop trying to come to God with a wicked heart.

4  Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols;

5  That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, 

 exp. God will not accept partial obedience - His people seek him whole heartedly.

Deu 10:12  And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,

exp. Those who in reality - seek elsewhere - God will judge.

ill. King Saul - the witch at Endor (spiritism)

1 Samuel 28:7  Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.

8  And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.

9  And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die?

10  And Saul sware to her by the LORD, saying, As the LORD liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing.

11  Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel.

12  And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.

13  And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.

14  And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.

15  And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.

16  Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy?

17  And the LORD hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the LORD hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, even to David:

18  Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the LORD, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the LORD done this thing unto thee this day.

19  Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.

20  Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night.

 exp. Saul was judged by the idolatry of his heart (seeking unto a false God)

ill. King Ahaz - seeking unto Baal (idol) 2Ki 1:6  And they said unto him, There came a man up to meet us, and said unto us, Go, turn again unto the king that sent you, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that thou sendest to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron? therefore thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.

app. Don't be deceived by an insincere heart. Nobody pleases God today who is not worshipping Him and Him alone. Trusting in Him and Him alone. Serving Him and Him alone. THOSE WHO SEEK TO WORSHIP HIM WITH IDOLATRY WILL BE JUDGED BY THEIR IDOLATRY.

 

IV. Repent of your spiritual adultery.

because they are all estranged from me through their idols.

def. estranged - like an adulter is estranged from their spouse. They have turned aside unto others.

6  Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.

def. repent - turn back home - leave behind you all the uncleaness.

note: Idolatry, homosexuality, child sacrifice - are called abominations in the OT. They are things which are disgustingly unclean. 

exp. The idolatry of Israel had taken Israel from the Faithful spouse - God. She needed to turn back home.

 ill. Hosea - 100 years before Ezekiel - told by God to marry a prostitute, Gomer, who would be unfaithful to him (as a picture of Israel's spiritual adultery) and whom Hosea would take back to Himself as a picture of God's faithfulness.

app. If you are in sin, you are committing spiritual adultery against God. Why don't you go home to God? God will forgive and cleanse you - BUT YOU CAN'T KEEP YOUR ADULTERY AND HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR FAITHFUL GOD.

 

V. Wake up to the damnation of your false teachers and your self deception.

7  For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to enquire of him concerning me; I the LORD will answer him by myself:

8  And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

9  And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.

10  And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him;

exp. God and the false prophet - who was fine with the idolatry of the people- will be judged and CUT OFF FROM GOD'S PEOPLE.

 ill. We have in our day many churches who claim to be the bride of Christ - but who have not separated themselves from that which God hates. 

question: Have they succeeded in doing what Israel could not do? Or will God cut them off as well? Could it just be His mercy which has waited this long for them to get right?

 app. What about you? Did you think you could have God and your sin. God and your idol? God will soon show that this has not been the case and will never be the case.

 

conclusion: God wants us to be His people. He is actively working in our lives to make this possible.

11  That the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, saith the Lord GOD.

 

What does He want us to do - so that we can be His people?

 

1.) Cast the idols out of your heart.

 

2.) Move the stumblingblock of your iniquity out of your heart.

 

3.) Stop trying to come to God with a wicked heart.

 

4.) Repent of your spiritual adultery.

 

5.) Wake up to the damnation of false teachers and your self deception.

 

now - You may realize tonight that you have never put your trust in Jesus alone for salvation. 

 

Christian - have you idols in your heart. It won't work. You may be saved but you aren't walking with God. Do you need to cast out some idols - take down some stumbling blocks?

Christian - have you idols in your heart. It won't work. You may be saved but you aren't walking with God. Do you need to cast out some idols - take down some stumbling blocks?