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An Unchanging Message to a Changing World | Part 1

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
October 23, 2020 8:00 am

An Unchanging Message to a Changing World | Part 1

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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October 23, 2020 8:00 am

1 Kings 22 tells the story of a prophet with an unchanging message to a changing world. In this message, Adrian Rogers shares five things we can learn from Micaiah’s bold response to the pressures to compromise.

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As Christians, we cannot strive for popularity. We must strive for truth.

Listen to Adrian Rogers. We have to stop running for popularity contests. It is better to be divided by truth than to be united in error. I am not asking God's people to divide over incidentals, but when the great eternal values of the Word of God are jettisoned and crucified upon the altar of conformity, the altar of conformity and cooperation, it is a sin against Almighty God. Welcome to Love Worth Finding featuring profound truth simply stated by author and pastor Adrian Rogers. 1 Kings 22 tells the story of a prophet with an unchanging message to a changing world. After receiving counsel from 400 pandering prophets, King Ahab and Jehoshaphat hear from Micaiah, a true prophet of God. Rather than saying what they wanted to hear, Micaiah proclaims, As the Lord liveth, what the Lord saith unto me, that will I speak. If you have your Bible, turn to 1 Kings chapter 22 as we hear five things we can learn from Micaiah's bold response.

Once again, here's Adrian Rogers with an unchanging message to a changing world. What we have here is the story of a good man. His name was Jehoshaphat, but he was a good man who tried to do a good thing, but he did it the wrong way. He got himself in league with an ungodly man whose name was Ahab.

But rather than telling you all of that, let me just read it from the Word of God, beginning in verse 1. And they continued three years without war between Syria and Israel. And it came to pass in the third year that Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, came down to the king of Israel. And the king of Israel, and by the way the king of Israel was a wicked man, and the king of Israel said unto his servants, Know ye that Ramoth and Gilead is ours, and we be still and take it not out of the hand of the king of Syria? That is the Syrians had taken Ramoth Gilead, but the king of Israel said it doesn't belong to them, it belongs to us. Why are we just sitting here?

Let's go get it back. And he said, verse 4, and he said unto Jehoshaphat, Wilt thou go with me to battle to Ramoth Gilead? And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, I am as thou art, my people as thy people, my horses as thy horses.

No prayer, no seeking the face of God. But here was a good man that made an unholy alliance, a political alliance with a wicked man, and he's about to reap the consequences. And so like many people today they plan, they plot, they agree, and then after they've done it they carry it to God in prayer and ask God to rubber stamp their plans. And so let's look in verse 5, And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Inquire I pray thee at the word of the Lord today. Now Jehoshaphat said, you know we ought to pray about this thing. Remember he's already made up his mind. He's already given his word. He's already entered into an alliance and then he tries to get God to rubber stamp it.

And so he says, let's pray about it, we need a word from God. Now the king, the wicked king whose name was Ahab, he had his court profits. He had his paid pussy footing, pandering profits. There were 400 of them and he called them together. Notice in verse 6, And the king of Israel gathered the profits together about 400 men and said unto them, Shall I go against Ramoth Gilead to battle or shall I forbear?

And they said, Go up for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king. 400 preachers speaking with unanimity. Now at that time Jehoshaphat knew something was really wrong when 400 preachers get together about anything. And so he's getting a little nervous now and he says, I'm a little suspicious of this.

Instinctively he knew that something was wrong. And he said, isn't there someone else that we can get other than these 400? And notice in verse 7, And Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the Lord besides that we may inquire of him? Now notice verse 8, And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah, the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the Lord, but I hate him, for he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so. That is, king give him a chance. Let's hear what this 401st prophet will say. And so they ask him to prophesy.

Let's go get Micaiah. Ahab said, I don't want that preacher around here. He never says anything good to me. He never says anything good about me. He never prophesies good concerning me.

Of course he couldn't. How can you say anything good to or for a bad man? This was God's man, Micaiah. But they sinned for Micaiah because Ahab needs Jehoshaphat and he doesn't want to lose that cooperation. So they sinned for Micaiah. Go down to verse 13, And the messenger that was gone to call Micaiah spake unto him, saying, Behold now, the words of the prophet declare good unto the king with one mouth. Let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of them and speak that which is good. Now they go down to get Micaiah and they send this envoy to pick him up.

And he begins to butter him up and he says, Now look Micaiah, don't mess this thing up. We've got absolute unanimity. Four hundred prophets have said we ought to go to war against Syria and take Ramoth Gilead. And don't you mess it up. You make it unanimous.

You vote with a ministerial alliance. Now, I want you to listen to Micaiah's glorious answer. And that sets the stage for everything else I have to say. This next verse is the key to everything else I want to say. The answer that this man of God gave whose name was Micaiah has put steel in my backbone. And I pray God that every man of God will resonate with the words of Micaiah. Look, if you will, in verse 14. And Micaiah said, As the Lord liveth what the Lord saith unto me, that will I speak.

That's underscored in my Bible. As the Lord liveth what the Lord saith unto me, that will I speak. It may not be pleasant, but I'll say it. It may not be prudent, but I'll say it. It may not be pleasing, but I'll say it. It may not be profitable, but I must say it.

I may go to jail, and by the way He did. They may kill me, but I'll say it. I may not get a promotion, but I will say it. I will not be intimidated by the King. The King can't put strings on me. Do you know the difference between a puppet and a prophet? A puppet has strings on him.

No man of God can have strings on him. And so he said, What God says to me, that I will say. Now, here's the first thing. It is better to be divided by truth than to be united in error. It is better to be divided by truth than united in error. Now, I must be very careful here, because I want to say that unity is a wonderful thing. And folks, we must do everything that we can do to keep the unity of our church and keep unity with all the brothers and sisters in Christ. The Bible tells us in Ephesians chapter 4 and verse 3 that we're to be endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. And the Bible says in the book of Psalms, Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. And we must do everything that we can do to preserve unity, to bear and forbear. But listen, it must only be the unity that the Holy Spirit can say, Amen, too, because the Bible says in Amos 3, verse 3, Can two walk together except they be agreed? There are some things you just can't put together, and there's no cook that is skilled enough to make a good omelet out of bad eggs.

You just can't do it. Unity? Yes. Unification and uniformity that sacrifice truth?

No. Now, listen to these scriptures. 1 Corinthians chapter 6 beginning in verse 14, Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers? That's what Jehoshaphat was trying to do. He was trying to be unequally yoked together with Ahab. Ahab was an unbeliever.

Jehoshaphat was a believer. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers? For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?

And what concord? That means what agreement hath Christ with Belial? Belial was the God of worthlessness. And what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?

For ye are the temple of the living God, as God hath said, I will dwell in them and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Not only is Jesus Christ the great unifier of all those who believe in him, but Jesus Christ is also the great divider. Jesus Christ is the most divisive person and his teaching the most divisive force that ever hit planet earth. There's a lot of sentimental preaching about Jesus being the great unifier, but Jesus has caused more division than any other force since creation. Listen to what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 10, verses 34 and following. Jesus said, now these are the words of Jesus, they may surprise you. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth, I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother-in-law, and a man's foes shall be they of his own household, and some of you could say that is true in my house.

Ever since I gave my heart to Christ, there's been strife in my house and there's been a division in my house concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who value unity above truth have missed the spirit of Jesus. It is better to be divided by truth than united in error. Martin Luther led the Protestant Reformation.

He saw the error in Romanism and he came out against it. And here's what the mighty reformer said and I want you to listen to it. I do not want to know anything of peace and concord when the word of God is thereby lost and the word and eternal life and everything is forfeited.

It is not right for me here to draw back and give way out of love toward you or toward any other man. But before the word, everyone must give way, whether he be a friend or an enemy. For the word has not been given to us for the sake of external or worldly concord or peace, but for the sake of eternal life.

Don't talk to me, therefore, of love and friendship if the word and faith are to be compromised. That's what Martin Luther said. We remember Martin Luther today. He paid a price.

He took a stand. And what you and I call the Protestant Reformation was a great revival meeting. The Bible does not state, he said, that love brings us everlasting life, God's grace and all of the heavenly treasures, but the word brings them to us. I suppose the greatest preacher, historians say, that lived outside of the Apostle Paul was the great Charles Spurgeon.

Here's what Charles Spurgeon had to say. He said, where union and friendship are not cemented by truth, they are an unhallowed confederacy. Too bad Jehoshaphat didn't know this. Too bad Jehoshaphat somehow joined himself up with an unholy man. It is better to be divided by truth than to be united in error. Our unity is in Christ and Christ alone.

Now, again, I want to say, I am not asking God's people and good people to divide over incidentals, but when the great eternal values of the Word of God are jettisoned and crucified upon the altar of conformity and cooperation, it is a sin against Almighty God. Not only is it better to be divided by truth than united in error, but number two, it is better to speak the truth that hurts and then heals than to tell a lie that comforts and then kills. These 400 men told Ahab and Jehoshaphat a lie. It was a lie that Ahab loved to hear. He loved these pandering preachers because they told him what he wanted to hear rather than what he needed to hear, and as a result, fell into great calamity. Preachers need to stop trying to win popularity contests.

I want to say it again. It is better to tell the truth that hurts and then heals than to tell a lie that comforts and then kills. Now, Ahab said, I hate the message that this man brings. He saw a man who was his friend as his enemy. The former pastor of this church, Dr. Robert G. Lee, used to say when he preached on hell, some will call preaching about hell cruel, but Dr. Lee used to say, I'd rather be called cruel for being kind than to be called kind for being cruel.

Rough truth is better than polished falsehood. Let me give you some verses. Ecclesiastes chapter 7 and verse 5.

It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than for a man to hear the song of fools. There are some people today in our churches who are hearing the song of fools. Do you know what is happening in some schools of church growth?

Church growth now is being studied in America. And they're saying, don't on Sunday morning, don't say anything that might offend. Don't preach on judgment. Don't preach on hell. Don't preach on separation. Don't preach these things because if you do, this generation of people will be turned away.

Just talk to them in glittering generalities. There's a man that typifies that. He's a well-known preacher in California.

He's on many television stations. But I want you to hear what he said. This is a quote taken from Christianity today. I don't think anything has been done in the name of Christ and under the banner of Christianity that has proven more destructive to human personality and hence counterproductive to the evangelism enterprise than the often crude, uncouth and unchristian strategy of attempting to make people aware of their lost and sinful condition. This same preacher said, my number one role is that I don't want to do anything that would turn somebody off so they will not be open to listening to my invitation to accept Jesus Christ as their best friend.

Now, friend, people need a Savior. They need to know that they're lost. They need to know that they're sinners under the wrath of a righteous and holy God. That's not a popular message. But it is better to tell the truth that hurts and then heals.

Than to tell a lie that comforts and then kills. I've told you of the sailors who asked the chaplain this question. Chaplain, do you believe in hell? He said, yes, I do.

Why do you ask? They said, for this reason. If there is a hell and you don't believe in it, we don't want you for a chaplain. And if there is no hell, we don't need any chaplain.

There is, friend, the wrath of God. Micaiah refused to be bought. He refused to be intimidated. He knew it's better to be divided by truth than united in error. He knew it was better to tell the truth that hurts and then heals than to tell a lie that comforts and then kills.

I don't believe that we ought to go out of our way to be rude to people. But primarily, it is not my job to fill the pew. It is my job to fill the pulpit, to preach the Word of God. It is better, it is better to tell the truth that hurts and then heals than to tell a lie that comforts and then kills. Let me give it to you from the Word of God. Proverbs chapter 27 verses 5 and 6. Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. What Ahab was receiving was 400 kisses from faithless prophets who had never heard from God rather than hearing and wanting to hear the wound of a friend, a man who wanted to tell him the truth. The third thing is this, it is better to be hated for telling the truth than to be loved for telling a lie. Ahab said concerning this man, I hate him.

Look if you will in verse 8, And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the Lord, but I hate him. And I say this, that every man of God is not going to be loved. And I want to be loved. I love to be loved. I don't like to be disliked.

But it is better to be hated for telling the truth than to be loved for telling a lie. Micaiah was a man of God. We don't have to be elected clergyman of the year.

We have to stop running for popularity contest. The Apostle Paul would not give way when he talked to the Galatians. And he told the Galatians that they were off in doctrinal era and then he said to them, he asked them this question. In Galatians chapter 4 and verse 16, Am I therefore your enemy because I tell you the truth? I'm not your enemy because I tell you the truth.

But sometimes somehow we think that those who tell us the truth are enemies. I was in my car in South Florida supposed to go to an engagement and I was on a very fine road in a good rental car that had beautiful music and it was wonderful. The sun was shining, the car was running smoothly. I'm praising the Lord, driving along there listening to this music. But I got a suspicion that something was wrong. I wasn't seeing the right signs that I needed to see that was to get me to my destination. So I asked a highway patrolman, Is this the way to thus and such? He said, Mister, you're headed the wrong way and you're way away from where you ought to be.

I want to ask you a question. Was that man who told me I was on the wrong road, was he an enemy or a friend? I mean, I was enjoying myself on the wrong road.

I mean, it was wonderful. He was a friend. He didn't bring me good news. He brought me bad news, but had he not told me, it would have been worse news.

I did make my engagement because a man told a man on the wrong road in a good car listening to beautiful music on a sunny day, you're headed the wrong way. Am I therefore your enemy because I tell you the truth? Micaiah told the truth and they put him in prison on bread and water.

Jesus told the truth and they crucified him. I had a woman in a former church call me on Monday. She was a friend. She said, Pastor, were you preaching to me Sunday? I said, Bertha, I was shooting down in a hole.

If you were down in it, I can't help it. I loved her, but she was wrong and she knew it. We're not called on to be loved by everybody else, but to bear the reproach of Jesus. We're not called to be loved by everybody else, but to bear the reproach of Jesus.

That's a convicting word today, isn't it? And we'll hear part two of this important message coming up on Monday. In the meantime, maybe you have a prayer request you'd like to share with us. If you can, go to our website homepage, lwf.org slash radio. Scroll down, you'll find our prayer wall. If you've never been there, I urge you to go there today because there's an option to submit a prayer request or to pray for others. This resource is one of our favorite ways to keep the ministry and the community praying continually for one another's needs.

We can't wait to hear from you. Go to the prayer wall at lwf.org slash radio. Now, if you'd like to order a copy of today's message, call us at 1-877-LOVE-GOD and mention the title, An Unchanging Message for a Changing World. This message is also part of the powerful series Standing for Light and Truth.

With a complete collection, all 11 insightful messages, call that number 1-877-LOVE-GOD or go online to lwf.org slash radio or you can write us at Love Worth Finding, Box 38600, Memphis, Tennessee 38183. Thanks for studying with us in God's Word today. Remember these words from Adrian Rogers, Rough truth is better than polished falsehood. Stand for truth today. And don't forget to join us next time for more real truth that never changes right here on Love Worth Finding. As the political climate intensifies, we need solid biblical answers to difficult questions. At Love Worth Finding Ministries, our greatest hope is to offer timeless truth for timely conversations. That's why we're honored to share our new book, Battle for the Soul of America, containing popular messages from Adrian Rogers, such as Does Character Count?

and Christian Citizenship. This book can be used as your resource of biblical response in the crucial days ahead. For more information about the book or to receive a copy for a gift of any amount, call that number 1-877-LOVEGOD or go online to lwf.org slash radio. Again, for your copy of Battle for the Soul of America, go to lwf.org slash radio. And thanks for your continued support of Love Worth Finding.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-02 08:38:27 / 2024-02-02 08:48:11 / 10

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