Not For Sale
1 Kings 21:1-4
by Pastor Christopher W. Burke Sr.
Many Baptists in the last several decades, like Esau, have sold their birthright for a mess of pottage. Many have compromised and bartered away their heritage for the wood, hay, and stubble of modernism and carnal reasoning. May God help us at Calvary Baptist Church, and all of the Lordís Churches throughout the world, to be like Naboth, and stand our ground, and refuse to sell or give away the inheritance of our fathers, that they received from God our Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ. We want to notice four points from our text this morning: 1) We have an inheritance; 2) the enemy wants our inheritance; 3) our inheritance is not for sale; and 4) may we have the grace to bleed before we concede.
1. We have an inheritance (verse 1).
Just like Naboth, we have an inheritance that we received from our Heavenly father. What is our inheritance? It is the Lordís vineyard, or His Church, as we studied last week in Song of Solomon 2:15, and it includes all of the blessings and promises that Jesus gave to His Church.
This morning we want to notice just seven of these particular blessings and promises the Lord gave His church?
1. The authority to be the Lordís Church (Matthew 21:23-25; 16:18-19).
This is a good piece of ground to stand on beloved, and it is not for sale at any cost! No other institution has God given authority to be the Lordís church.
2. The baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5, 8; 2:1-2).
No other institution has the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and this baptism is not for sale.
3. The authority and privilege to evangelize the world (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8).
No other institution has been given the great commission, and this responsibility is not for sale.
4. The authority to baptize and observe the Lordís supper (Matthew 28:19-20).
No other institution has authority to observe these ordinances, and this authority is not for sale.
5. The authority to teach and preach the Word of God (Matthew 28:19-20).
Jesus invested His Word, and its proper understanding, in His Church (1 Tim. 3:15). It is through His church that God preserved His written Word and the truth of His word over the centuries. Beloved, the truth of Godís Holy Word is not for sale.
6. The promise of perpetual existence.
From the day Jesus started building His Church, through the eternal age to come (Matthew 16:18, 28:20; Ephesians 3:21). No other church has been promised perpetuity. And beloved, the perpetuity of the Lordís Church is not for sale.
7. The Lordís true churches are the bride of Christ.
The Lordís Church is His espoused bride (John 3:29; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:25-27). No other kind of church is the Lordís bride. Jesus loved His Church, and shed His blood to purchase His bride (Acts 20:28). No other kind of church can this be said of. The Baptist Bride has a special place reserved in Heaven with Jesus, which is New Jerusalem (Revelation 3:12; Revelation 21:9-10). No other kind of church can claim this promise. And beloved, the bride of Christ is not for sale.
Yes, beloved, as one of the Lordís churches, we have an inheritance, and donít you forget it!
2. Our enemies want our inheritance (verse 2).
Ahab was the king of Israel at this time, but he was the enemy of Godís true people. Ahab was a wicked idolatrous king, and His wife Jezebel was a very wicked, and murderous, and idolatrous woman, and she hated Israel and the people of God. Under Ahabís reign Baal worship was the predominant religion in Israel. Israel, needless to say, was at a very low spiritual ebb at this time in their history. But even in such spiritually destitute times, their were still godly people like Naboth who stood for the truth, and for what is right in Godís eyes. God has reserved 7,000 men who havenít bowed the knee to Baal! It might only be 7,000, but I believe God still has His people who are standing for the truth in every age, who are not compromising with Baal and all the false religions of the world.
Beloved, the enemy wanted Nabothís inheritance. As king, Ahab had everything he could want in this world, but he wouldnít be happy until he had Nabothís vineyard. Our enemies today want our vineyard and our inheritance. Not that they can do anything with it, but simply because they donít want us to have it. Our enemies donít like our claim to our inheritance. They resent us claiming church authority, and denouncing their right to it. They donít understand that we didnít claim the inheritance for ourselves, and that it isnít within our power to give it or sell it to them. Lets notice a few thoughts concerning our enemies:
1. Who is our enemy:
Satan is our arch enemy. He hates the fact that God gave His Church an inheritance in Heaven. Satan fell from his first estate, and heíd like nothing more than to take away our inheritance.
The world is our enemy. The world despises our claim to an eternal inheritance with God in Heaven, and our pronunciation of future judgment and doom upon them. They hate and despise us for this, and would love to take our inheritance from us.
Other religious organizations. Beloved, donít think that other religious organizations in the world donít despise the Baptists. Baptists have always claimed their rightful inheritance, and other religious organizations have always hated them for it.
2. How do our enemies try to take our inheritance from us?
Satan offers us everything in this world if weíll sell him our inheritance and bow to him. He sends his angels of light, and his little foxes, and his wolves in sheepís clothing to destroy our vineyard from within, and he attacks us like a roaring lion from without. As a sneaky serpent, he has many deceitful ploys to trick us out of our inheritance, like he did Eve in the garden of Eden.
The world entices us with the vanity fair of worldly lusts, and the pleasures of sin, and ungodly entertainment of all sorts. They say ďsell me your inheritance for some of my delicious waresĒ. They desecrate the Lordís day by operating their vanity fair on Sunday, and allure Godís people from the house of God, and entangle the saints in their web of worldliness. They make the people of God labor in their brick yards on the Lordís day, and thereby keep them out of church and from offering the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving in Godís temple. Then they get angry about our labors of love to bring the glad tidings of the gospel to them, and they discourage us from laboring in our vineyard, in hopes that our vineyard will die out and be taken over by weeds.
The other religious organizations employ tactics of compromise, and ecumenical enticements in attempt to buy our inheritance. They know that if they can allure us to partner with them, and compromise the truth, that God will be angry with us, and perhaps remove our candlestick.
Yes, beloved, our enemies desire to have our inheritance, and they would love nothing more than to see us lose it.
3. Our inheritance is not for sale (verse 3).
1. Like Naboth, we received our inheritance from our fathers.
Beloved, for nearly twenty centuries, millions upon millions of our Baptist forefathers were faithful even unto death so that we could have an inheritance in the Lordís Church. May God help us to be thankful for those men and women of the Baptist faith, and for this church in which we are so privileged to be a part. Beloved, our church is not for sale. It came to us by too much martyr blood, and by too great of love and devotion of Baptist saints to sell out now.
2. It is the Lordís inheritance.
We donít have the Lordís permission to sell our inheritance. We donít have authority from the Lord to compromise it away. He gave our inheritance to us, yet we are joint heirs with Christ, and we have no right to sell it. If we sell or compromise our inheritance, we will bring the Lordís judgment upon us. No beloved, our church is not for sale.
3. Our inheritance is precious and priceless.
All the gold and silver and diamonds in the world could not buy one square inch of our spiritual inheritance that the Lord has given us! What could we possibly hope to gain by selling our inheritance for the corn husks of this world, or for the wood, hay, and stubble of false religion, or for the suffering and misery of falling for Satanís devices?
Yes, beloved, our enemies desire to have our inheritance, but may we like Naboth tell them ďIts not for saleĒ!
4. May we have the grace to bleed before we concede (Verses 5-13).
Naboth became a martyr for the cause of truth and righteousness, but he didnít sell out. It was far better for him and for the cause of His God that he stood his ground. Naboth went on to paradise as a faithful child of the King. He lost a nice piece of land, but he gained his own soul and the confidence of doing the Lordís will. Iím sure he will attain unto a better resurrection as a result of his faithfulness to God. It took great faith and courage to withstand a king, knowing well what his earthly end might be.
The enemies of Naboth, king Ahab and his wife Jezebel, were both brought to a miserable death for killing Naboth. Elijah the prophet told Ahab that in the place where the dogs licked up Nabothís blood, they would also lick up Ahabís blood. And Elijah told Ahab that Jezebel would be cast down off the wall in Jezreel, and the dogs would eat her. This all came to pass just as Elijah said. Beloved, God said, ďvengeance is mine, I will repay saith the LordĒ, and ďwhatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.Ē God will make all the wrongs right sooner or later. God will bring the wicked into judgment, and He will justify and recompense His people in the glorious blessings of Heaven. It is for us to remain faithful to Him and to His revealed Word.
May God help us not to sell our inheritance at any cost, even if it costs us our lives. If we are tempted to sell our inheritance in easy times, what will we do if times get tough? If we are failing and ready to halt in times of peace and prosperity, what would we do when standing our ground costs us our lives? If we donít have the grace to stand for Him now, how will we stand when our lives are at stake? Yes beloved, may we be willing to bleed before we concede to our enemies!
Do you have the inheritance that weíve spoken of this morning? If not you may have it.
First, are you saved by grace through faith in the gospel of Jesus? Explain the gospelÖ
Next, if you are saved, is your light on the candlestick of the New Testament Baptist Church?
If not, we invite you this morning to follow the Lord in Scriptural baptism and membership in this New Testament Baptist Church, and you will receive a part in the inheritance of the Lordís Church.