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It's Time to "Restore the Years", Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
May 17, 2022 7:05 am

It's Time to "Restore the Years", Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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May 17, 2022 7:05 am

The Church Awakening: An Urgent Call for Renewal

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Would you seek. You seek worship you long for worship.

It's meaningful that has lasting power stays with you that picture deeply busters down inside only the spirit of God in touch.

There's nothing quite like worshiping God in a community of Christian friends. When the Bible is opened and the truth is declared the people of God are inspired to worship him.

Sadly, many churches have abandoned the historic model of worship and have come to rely on creative entertainment techniques to attract a broader audience.

These shallow approaches often leave the congregation feeling unsatisfied today on Insight for living Chuck Swindoll calls upon churches everywhere, including the one he pastors in Frisco, Texas to return to the biblical model. Chuck begins with no one like you father, who is worthy of worship no other who is worthy of praise.

None other is worthy of honor and glory of reverence and fear of love and devotion worthy of bowing and bending knees worthy of all this and added to these. You are worthy Savior creator master worthy of our offerings.

We give him gratefully in the name of the one who model of love like none other. Jesus said a Insight for living resources designed to help you dig deeper into today's topic go to Insight.org and now, let's continue Chuck Swindoll's message titled, it's time to restore the years we find ourselves in the 21st century on hard time and I'm not alone in the observation was still a pastor. Eugene Peterson wrote these words as he laments are times American pastors are abandoning their posts left and right, and I don't know alarming rate. They're not leaving their churches in getting other jobs congregation still pay their salaries. Their names remain on the church stationary and they continue to appear in pulpits on Sundays, but they are abandoning their posts their calling the pastors of America have metamorphosed into a company of shopkeepers in the shops that keep her churches they are preoccupied with shopkeepers concerns how to keep the customers happy. How to lure customers away from competitors down the street how to package the goods so that the customers will lay out more money. It's all turning to the gimmicks of the 21st century style and congregations are starving so I decided to go back a few centuries and interviewed three individuals whose names are familiar, but we've never met them.

The first will be Ezekiel and will visit with him.

Chapter 2.

To start with and then will go over to talk with Amos and hear his counsel, and finally will listen and talk with Joel as 1/3 interview.

Ezekiel chapter 2 Ezekiel had his work cut out for them folks he was surrounded by somewhere around 10,000 Jews in exile. They are aliens. Exile's and they have become cynical rather than this experience crushing them. They are a rebellious people, there is no voice for the people to hear for five years and then finally, Ezekiel feels the Lord's On his shoulder and the Lord says you're my man, you speak, they will want to listen but you speak, they won't care.

But you speak. Look at chapter 2 verse one.

He said to me, Son of Man stand on your feet, that I may speak with you. As he spoke to me the spirit entered me and set me on my feet and I heard him speaking to me that's the way it is when you are spokesman for God. God speaks to you. You then take his message and deliver it to God's people. And that's exactly where Ezekiel is then he said to me, Son of Man, I'm sending you to the sons of Israel, to a rebellious people who have rebelled against me. They of their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day you would've thought losing home, losing family, losing the temple, losing your land losing your government. What humbled you not on your life.

These people are fighting against me, says God speaking to his right to a Ezekiel and so he says to him, verse four. I'm sending you to them who are stubborn and obstinate children and you shall say to them, thus says the Lord God. That's the responsibility of the prophet he afflicted the comfortable and he made comfort for the afflicted. He did both. And Ezekiel is to common to tell them what they don't want to hear diversified is for them whether they had to listen or not they are rebellious house. They will know that a prophet has been among the men you Son of Man neither fear them nor fear their words though thistles and thorns are with you to the next phrase and use it on scorpions.

Here he is ministering to people who are like thorns and thistles it may have a stinging kind of reproof they do not want to hear what he has to say. Look at chapter 3. Then he said to me, Son of Man, eat what you find, eat this scroll going speak to the house of Israel. So I open my mouth. He fed me this scroll.

He said to me, Son of Man, feed your stomach feel your body with this scroll, which I am giving you. I it was sweet as honey in my mouth. The man who speaks for God takes and the word of God personally. It's as though he is he is assimilating the truth in his own life. Not as though that's exactly what he does, which is illustrated in the symbol of taking this and eating the scroll. I take it that that's exactly what Ezekiel did verse 10. Moreover, he said to me, Son of Man taken in your heart, all my words which also speak to you and listen closely. Go to the exiles to the sons of your people and speak to them and tell them what they listen are not thus says the Lord God in the spirit lifted them up. That's exactly what he did in chapter 33 I like to have you look at next defined Ezekiel in this very difficult setting holding forth to read how the people responded to him now, the Lord points his finger at his prophet, and he says, but as for you, Son of Man, your fellow citizens who talk about you by the walls and in the doorways of the houses speak to one another, each to his brother, saying, come now and hear what the messages which comes forth from the Lord. So here is a man who's been speaking the truth in the word is out. And if you want to hear somebody speak well in public.

You need to hear. Ezekiel in verse 31 makes it look like a pretty good church service. They come to you is people common and they sit before you as my people, and they hear your words. That's the way it is, is people, people said people listen they hear the words but Ezekiel they did not do them, for they do the lustful desires expressed mother mouth. It's all about them.

Ezekiel and their heart goes after their game. You know what that means. A church is good business opportunity for you and you know build your business little social contact. This is a perfunctory spirit toward worship goes on all the time all the time and Ezekiel are going to do this right in front of your face will Ezekiel good thing. But what of the thing about me while they come, your will tell you Ezekiel, verse 32 behold, you are to them like a sensual song, one by one who has a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument. One of the paraphrases says your you're like a good old country singer with a guitar backed up by banjo drum traps. They come to hear you sing the hear your words that they do not do them.

You understand, worship is like an electric conduit it's constantly on the move and it's constantly moving back and forth, back and forth. Otherwise, the circuits broken if it winds up as a dead-end street. The purpose of worship is lost isn't about just taking it or being entertained or impressed. It's about a change life but they do not practice them and look at the verse 33 lands like a gavel on the judge's bench so when it comes to pass, as surely it will, then they will know that a prophet has been in there is a hollow ring to the end of chapter 33 it's a hollow ring heard in many of church today that once have a strong pulpit and a vibrant, adult fellowship, ministry, and a youth ministry in a children's ministry or the fellowship was authentic and love was real and grace abounded and there was a passion will work of the Holy Spirit igniting lives in bringing people who were lost to a knowledge of the Savior where there was this kind of give-and-take is kind of of of vibrant spiritual life that is a Scottish people say is better felt until you feeling you can't stay away from it, but now it's a hollow ring just a memory of we once had a prophet here. Cindy and I spent some time on our 2008 Insight for living cruise conference with a longtime friend, he happens to serve on the staff of of of of a church were familiar with and the church was at one time in one of those vibrant places multiple multiple services.

A people couldn't stay at wouldn't stay away.

Me there was evangelism there was mission involvement. There was an engagement of lives. The loss for coming to Christ and it was just that was granted music and a wonderful pipe organ and a magnificent balance of God's work. There was a there was a back then it was called a cassette ministry that would around the world taking the message to the people who would never be able to come.

It was just a place of spiritual influence. So I said to our friend a who he still in the staff as as the church. He literally groaned you wouldn't. You wouldn't believe it is dreadful. It is dreadful. He said I don't know that that we can keep on. I don't know ;-) going on doesn't even look like what we once were. He said as he described in their eyes as it well at least it held how the tape ministries and annotate ministry. There's nothing to record and on and on he went in there was a time when a prophet was in their midst and a few of them still remember there's a hollow ring to the last part of this one man writes for some, a major life crisis may cause them to attend church but they only become superficial hearers like Ezekiel's audience.

They may find the form of the message interesting and stimulating.

But they never feel its power in their hearts is a life changing reality. Those of us who are preachers need to be careful that we do not foster such shallow attention in our day there was a focus on seeker sensitive services that will present the gospel in a way that will be attractive to such people. The task of the church is not to assemble seekers but to make disciples's know what you seek his will see later you seek worship you seek worship as a child of God, and I speak today are realized in Stonebrook to the choir you see you long for worship.

It's meaningful that has lasting power that stays with you that hits you deeply tells you the truth ministers down inside were only the spirit of God and touches Ezekiel faithfully preach, but you realize they don't want returned from Ezekiel, who was a rather us aristocratic kind of individual to a man named Amos turn over there what you Amos is a little hard to find I use just before Obadiah just after Joel so it'll take you a while to get there and I have always liked Amos Amos is from to: this is a country boy. He's he's a sheepherder and wanted that one going on. He was a VP pick for Sycamore figs.

Stories of fig drinker from to: all things of all things the Lord's hand is on Amos and Andy says that Amos I'm going to use you to minister up north right in the face of the king who was cruel and immoral and unfaithful and unfair and your to confront him with his wrongs.

Amos a year to speak the truth without fear, and will be for you and I'll be with you as you do so. So, Amos shows up overalls and all hear the king's palace words rather sophisticated if you don't mind.

And in chapter 7, you will see the encounter that I love. As we read chapter 7 verse 10.

Then I was I/O the print sees a false priest. He's a phony priest. He's a got a priest that tells the people around them what they want to hear Amos Amazon I of the priest of Bethel sent word to Jeroboam, king of Israel say Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel. The land is unable to endure all his words a king. You gotta know something, he's back. He's right down there right there in the court for. Thus, Amos says Jeroboam will die by the sword, and Israel will certainly go from its land into exile. Now, that's not how you win friends in and gain a lot of the contacts for business, but am about Amos isn't worried about that. So, Amazon is telling on them saying to the king you got understand the guys back.

He's a pain in the Messiah then says to Amos verse 12 goal you see here. You get out flee away to the land of Judah go back home.

They are eat your bread and do your prophesying, but no longer prophesy it Bethel or it is a sanctuary of the king and the royal get the feeling please you in offense get out and take your sheep with you fig picker I love this. I love this response then Amos replied to Emma's. I listen to me hi pockets was kind of a swindle per phrase to get us into a prophet meaning out of the silk mom not a self-appointed man of God. God's called me. I responded to his call.

I didn't do this on my own. I am not here representing me nor my the son of a prophet. I don't have a daddy was a preacher and my granddaddy when the preacher, not from a long line of preachers, sheepherder, and on the fig picker.

That's the truth I'm a herdsman and a grower Sycamore figs but the Lord took me from following the flock and the Lord said to me, go prophesy to my people Israel.

Now that you hear the word of the Lord you are saying you shall not prophesy against Israel, nor shall you speak against the house of Isaac.

Therefore, that you say that here is my answer. Thus says the Lord, your wife will become a harlot in the city. That's a good opening line, you might mention to Jeroboam's wife to be on the street in a while selling herself and your sons and your daughters will fall by the sword, and your land will be parceled up by a measuring line and you yourself will die upon unclean soil.

Moreover, Israel will and will certainly go from its land into exile will that there is nothing easy to hear in a message like that isn't the job of God's spokesman to shape his words so that they are easy to hear all they need to be accurate. They need to be relevant, but they must not be compromised. Turn the page and look at chapter 8 verse 11 Emma Amos is not true speaking, behold, which is his way of saying pay attention days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will send a famine on the land you talk about 21st century prophecy.

I will send a famine on the land it will not be a famine for bread or thirst for water, but rather for hearing the words of the Lord. People will stagger.

No wonder from one coast to the other, from sea to sea from the north to the east to the west of the South don't know what all different direction. They will go to an fro there is the seeker seeking the word of the Lord, but they will not find it. I don't know of a more apt statement to define our times. Then Amos 811 12 that false priest earlier and tried to run off the rough and rugged Amos since he confronted wrongdoing with such passion. Amos later predicted that there will come a day when the land will languish. Longing for a strong voice for God courageously and politically incorrect standing for what is right and the famine men and women has come, we are in the midst of it being aware of it. Wanted on your television screen.

Listen to religious comments made by the so-called professional's not all remember there are exceptions, but most and don't go by size of churches or size of offerings. Listen for the truth. Are they taking the word of God and teaching it. As you are hearing it right now. Walt Kaiser in an outstanding little book called, revive us again writes too often the Bible is little more than a book of epigrammatic sayings or springboards that give us a rallying point around which to base our editorial but where did we get the audacious idea that God would bless our opinions or judgment. Who wants to hear another point of view as an excuse for a message from the word of God, who said God would bless our ramblings. Surely this is a major reason the famine of the word continues and massive proportions. In most places in North America. Surely this is why the hunger for the teaching and proclamation of God's word continues to grow year after year men and women cannot live but ideas alone. No matter how eloquently they are stated or argued, but solely by the patient reading an explanation of all the Scriptures line after line paragraph after paragraph in chapter after chapter book after book. He concludes, where are such interpreters to be found where are their teachers. He speaks like a prophet from old even though he lives is one of our wonderful contemporaries that is your listening to the Bible teaching of Chuck Swindoll. This is insight for living and to learn more about Chuck and this ministry. Please visit us online@insightworld.org and if you're inspired to find a church that exercises the kind of biblical values that Chuck described today and we highly recommend reading his book called the church awakening. It's painful when local churches prioritize entertainment, teach feel-good theology or cave to political and cultural pressures. God never designed the church to do such things in Chuck's book addresses these issues head-on while offering help on finding the right church for your family this series concludes tomorrow, so be sure to request your copy while it's fresh on your mind to purchase a copy of Chuck's book called the church awakening go to insight.org/offer or call us if you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888.

You often hear us say the inside for living relies on your personal support to make these daily programs not only on your local radio station. But on a variety of channels that make learning more about the Bible easily accessed by people everywhere. This includes, of course, a smart phone, the Internet, and even a free daily email devotional that comes right to your inbox. We provide these free resources because it's our goal. Our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ in all 195 countries of the world know that when you give a donation to insight for living you're not only sending out God's word all over the world and nine languages through these various Avenue but you're also strengthening churches all over the world.

And if you're excited about this work, as we are. Please pray for us and is God prompt you to do so, would you send a generous financial gift as well to give a donation online today go to insight.org/and if it's easier just give us a call if you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888 once again to give online visit insight.org/you've heard him teach about the holy land using word pictures to make us feel like were actually strolling through the old city learning about Jerusalem is fascinating for sure but see the land of Israel with your own is his life-changing. In fact, is absolutely magnificent. And now you can see Israel with Chuck Swindoll and the gracious hosts and experts assembled by inside for living ministries. Join us on an unforgettable 12 day tour March 5 to the 16th 2023 at special sites along the way, I will teach from God's word will worship at the Mount of Beatitudes and share the Lord's table at the garden tomb. In fact will sale the Sea of Galilee together and will visit places where Jesus won't and talk to learn more, call 1-888-447-0444. Just imagine walking along those sacred sites and seeing the Bible come to life for your very mark your calendar for March 5 through the 16th 2023 and make your reservation by calling 1-888-447-0444 or go to insight.org/events insight for living ministries toward Israel is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend my bill Meyer join us. When Chuck Swindoll concludes his hallmark series called the church awakening tomorrow on insight for living.

The preceding message. It's time to restore the dreaded in 2008 and 2010 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2010 by Charles Marceline Dalton. All rights reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited


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