The Day Fire From Heaven Fell
Our Text this morning will be taken from 1 Kings 18:15-46
Please read 1 Kings # 17-18 on your own time for the whole context of the event in our text. During this period of their history, Israel was in a bad way. There was trouble in the land. Godís chosen nation, the greatest nation in the world, was greatly vexed, and humbled into the dust.
I believe that our great nation, America, is also in a bad way. There is trouble in our land today; trouble so great that I fear there is no turning back for America. I donít want to frighten our young people, but beloved we are living in perilous times. We canít hide our heads in the sand and hope the trouble will go away. It wonít go way. Our best and only hope is to face the trouble head on, and seek the Lordís mercy and forgiveness, and restoration of our once great nation.
1. First this morning, what was the trouble in Israel? (Read verses 17-19)
The trouble that Ahab was referring to in verse 17 was drought and famine in the land. God shut the water spigot off, so to speak, and all the health, and prosperity, and power of the nation Israel dried up like water. That is all that God has to do to bring a nation to its knees!
There was also a famine in the land of hearing the Word of God. Israel, by and large, had forsaken the Lord, and they would not hear and obey the truth of His Word by His prophets.
Beloved, there are droughts and famines in our land today. There have been several droughts in recent years that have hurt our crop production. This is only the beginning of what we might expect in the years to come. There is a famine of hearing the Word of the Lord today. People will not hear the truth today. There is a famine of the Lordís blessings and protection upon our nation. Oh beloved, how our once great nation has fallen into wicked hands in recent years. There is a famine of morality and decency, and respect for human life in our nation. There is a famine of righteousness in our nation today. There is a famine of truth and honesty, and personal integrity in our nation today. There is a famine of brotherly love, and kindness, and courtesy, and goodness in our land today.
Yes, beloved, there are droughts and famines in our land today; and I fear its going to get worse.
2. Secondly, who and what caused the trouble in Israel? (Read verses 17-18).
Was it Elijah that caused the trouble in Israel, as Ahab thought? Well, Elijah did pray that there would be no rain on the earth for 3 Ĺ years. But was Elijah really the cause of Godís judgment?
Or was it the Lordís faithful people and His prophets that caused God to send judgment upon the land? You can be sure that the world will blame us, but His faithful people are not to blame!
No, beloved, it was the sin of idol worship in the land that brought Godís wrath upon Israel. It was the wicked leaders, Ahab and Jezebel, who promoted idolatry in Israel. It was all the idolaters themselves, who forsook Jehovah God and worshipped dumb idols. No doubt it was also the fault of Godís true people, who were guilty of learning and practicing the ways of the heathen, and worshipping their idols.†
So it is today in America beloved. It is our wicked leaders, and the multitudes of idolaters in the land today, and Godís own chosen people who have bowed the knee to all the Baals of our day and time. Yes, these are bringing Godís judgment upon our nation. May we each ask ourselves, are we a part of the curse upon our nation, or are we a part of the cure? We are one or the other.
3. Thirdly, Israel was a nation divided between two opinions (Read verses 20-24; 21 again).
Most of Israel worshipped Baal or other idols at this time in their history. This is true in America today. Most Americans worship idols and not the God of heaven.
Most of the people who worshipped the true God, worshipped with a mixture of truth and error. They were halting between two opinions. Between God and Baal. Most of Christendom today worships God with a mixture of truth and error.
Very few, if any, Israelites worshipped God according to His prescribed way in Jerusalem. This is true of most Christians today. Very few worship Him in Spirit and in truth, and in accordance with His Word in His New Testament Baptist Church.
There were also very few prophets of God in Israel at that time (read verse 22). Should we expect the true prophets to be in the majority today, or the true worshippers of God to be in the majority? No! They never were, and never will be on this earth.
4. Fourthly, the idol gods could not answer prayers (Read verses 25-29).
All other gods are dumb idols, no matter what men attribute to them. They canít hear or speak, or answer menís prayers. They are dead, and there is no life in them. They have no power to do good or evil. They are useless and worthless! They are gods of menís making and men who worship them are like unto them.
But one thing that these idols can do, beloved, they can bring Godís wrath and judgment upon nations, and upon individuals, and upon His own people when they bow down and worship them.
5. Fifthly, God answered Elijahís prayer by fire (Read verses 30-39).
God is a covenant keeping God. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel (verse 36). He is the God of the living. He is El Shadai, the almighty God, Who is able to answer prayers.
Fire from heaven proved that God is God, and that He is almighty in power to save His people. The fire of God consumed the sacrifice, the altar, and even all the water in the trench, but the fire did not go beyond the trench and consume the sinners who were standing by.
Elijahís sacrifice represented Jesus, Who is Godís sacrificial offering for the sins of His people. Upon the cross of Calvary Jesus was consumed, as it were, by the fiery wrath of God. Jesus was consumed for His peopleís sins, even our wicked sins of idolatry. And like Elijahís sacrifice, the fire that fell upon Jesus did not fall upon His people that stood by. In the midst of the fire, there was mercy upon sinners. The fire of Godís wrath might have broke out upon all Jerusalem and Judea that day when Jesus was crucified, but it was contained within the trenches around the cross. The fact is, the fire fell upon Jesus so that it would not fall upon His people in the eternal fires of hell!
6. Sixthly, the prophets of Baal were slain (Read verse 40).
Beloved, America is not Israel, and we are not Catholics, and Jesus never commanded us to kill or destroy our enemies, even wicked idolaters. No, we are to pray for them; we are to preach the gospel of Jesus to them, in hopes that God might recover them from the snare of the Devil.
But our nation has erred, beloved. In order to keep from offending all of the immigrant idolaters that pour into our country like a flood, and all the other idolaters that have risen up in our land, and all the fornicators and perverts of every kind; to keep from offending all these, our country is rapidly removing the old Christian landmarks from the foundation of our once great nation. Among these landmarks include public reading of the Scriptures, public prayer, displaying and upholding the ten commandments in our courts, our Christian mottoís, our Pledge of Allegiance with ďone nation under GodĒ, and our honor for the Lordís Day as the day set aside to worship God. These have been all but removed from our nation. And in place of Christian landmarks, pagan idolatry is rapidly becoming the predominant religion in the United States of America.
A pagan leader recently remarked, that Christianity will soon be extinct in America. I wonder if this could be true.
The only hope for Americaís future is for Christianity to be put back in its rightful place of prominence in our nation. We must dethrone Buddha and Mohammad, and Allah, and Confucius and all the other pagan gods out of our schools and public places. Instead of employing Muslims and homosexuals, and new-age evolutionists in our public schools, colleges, and universities, our nation needs to begin employing God fearing Christians. Believe it or not, there are educated, qualified Christians in every honorable field of academia.
We need God fearing leaders, and public officials, and supreme court judges, who respect the Word of God, and honor the ten commandments, and believe in the power of prayer. Men who hate the gross immorality of our day; who hate abortion, and homosexuality, and all manner of perversion, and idolatry of every kind. Is it too late to enlist such people in a God hating society?
And above all, we need God fearing Christians today, especially Baptists, who will not bow the knee to Baal and all the rest of the idols in our land; those who will stand up for what is right, and will stand against what is wrong. Who will stand up and be counted with Jesus and the gospel, and with righteousness and godliness. We need Christians who will not halt between two opinions, and straddle the fence between God and Baal, but have God given convictions burnt into their hearts and souls, and be willing to live or die for what they know is true and right.
This is Americaís only hope of recovery beloved. There is no use in pretending that God is going to continue to bless our idolatry, and our rebellion against His plain revealed Word. Unless America makes a major turn around and soon, she is doomed to the judgment and wrath of God!
7. Seventhly and finally, rain from heaven fell when Baal was debased (Read verses 41-46).
After Jehovah God was exulted and Baal was debased, and his prophets were slain, then God blessed His people and nation with rain once again.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord! Blessed are the people who forsake their idols, and worship the only true God of Heaven. Blessed is the church that forsakes her idols, and worships the Lord in Spirit and truth. Do we want the rain from heaven to fall upon our church? Do we want the showers of blessings of the Holy Spirit? Do we want to feel and know the Lordís loving presence in our church? Do we want to witness sinners slain by the Holy Spirit in genuine repentance and faith in Jesus?
May the Lord help us at Calvary Baptist Church to destroy the idols in our homes, and destroy the prophets of Baal in our lives that are turning our hearts and minds from the Lord. How about you, dear child of God, do you have idols that you are holding on to? I pray the Lord will help you to see that they are idols, and to help you let go of them. May the Lord give us penitent hearts and tears of contrition over our idolatry and unfaithfulness to Him. May He break our stony hearts, and break down our stubborn pride, and cause us to return to Him for mercy.
Are you a believer in Jesus this morning? If not, I urge you to repent and believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Can you see that the fire of Godís wrath fell upon Jesus for you? Believe that Jesus died, was buried, and rose again the third day for you, and thou shalt be saved!
One marvelous day in Israel, fire from heaven fell! On that day God convinced His people that He is God. May God send us a fire from heaven to convict and convince us that He is God, and besides Him there is none else. May God help us to destroy our idols and worship Him only.