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February 10, 2021 12:01 am
Christians look to the Day of the Lord with great anticipation. But Christ's return will bring unspeakable horror to those whose faith is only a hypocritical show. Today, R.C. Sproul presents a sober warning from the book of Amos--one we should heed today.
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Information is needed in almost every day. If all within years of founding the Corinthian congregation needs to see them reforms we can't be surprised the church is made reforming regularly in the history of the church.
Sometimes that reform is more the nature of a revitalization, but I think people have, especially in America, been to content to be satisfied with entertainment and with shallowness and we need a seriousness about God about Christ and about his word and I think should be drawn again to passionate interest in the word is gonna take a major Reformation of the church today. My hope is that this series will serve the church by causing people to reflect on what the church ought to be.
According to the word of God, the necessity of reforming the church teaching series with W. Robert Godfrey visit Lincoln here.org/teaching series to learn more. The prophet Amos had some sobering words for the people of Israel you're looking for the day of the Lord expecting a day of light. But I say to you, to those who are impenitent, the day of the Lord will be a day of darkness. That is a very great darkness with no light in it. You imagine what it must've been like for the people of Israel to fear that at least some of them had to think we've been part of the people of God, since you participated in all the rituals and Every rule the day of the Lord is a day of darkness welcome to Renewing Your Mind. I'm Lee Webb and Dr. RC Sproul was examining the hard sayings of the Old Testament prophets. These passages are not just part of Israel's historical record their wake-up call for the people of God today people who have been reared not only on television but still with the lingering influence of the folklore of Western civilization that includes a significant portion of fairytales.
Fairytales are part of our children's heritage and most of the fairytales that we read or see in animated movies are up eight and they deliver a message of hope they'd indicate the victory of good over evil.
But always there seems to be the beautiful princess whose impoverished or suffering in some way, like Cinderella, confined to the soot and the ashes of the hearth who serendipitously has the opportunity through the good intervention of the fairy godmother to go to the ball and to meet the prince and live happily ever after with. I think now of a song in the film version of Snow White and the seven drawers where snow white is wistful and yearning and dreaming in her fanciful imagination of her future happiness and what the she say some day my Prince will come. She looked to the future for a day that would be her day of redemption.
That would be her day of gladness would be the day when all of her problems would be over.
Have you ever done that. Have you ever look forward to a particular date in human history apart from the return of Christ, but just in your own chronology looking for but one that happens, then all of my aspirations will be fulfilled. My wife whom I been married for 35 years, we began to go together in the eighth grade. That was the third time. Gonna go twice before that broke up but we got serious when we were in the eighth grade and we went steady as it were for eight years. Six of those eight years we were separated by attending different school and when we were apart. I used to write her a letter every single day and she wrote me a letter every single day and at the bottom of every letter I wrote to her. I wrote a PS. I am waiting for you and our day five or so.
So often I finally had stationary made up where I had printed at the bottom to save me after that just ended every letter with that same PS I am waiting for you and our day and both of us used to keep the days on our tablets at school. Notice 947 more days as we set the date of our marriage years before we actually were married and we would cross them off day at a time and I remember when you finally got under 100 day specimen down the single digits. It was fantastic because all of our hopes all of our aspirations were poured into that date that day in the future. Now, that day is past and it's the occasion for annual celebration and remembrance. This is common to human decks and there is a concept in the Old Testament is very important to the theology and the religion in the life of the people of Israel and that concept is called the day of the Lord the day of the Lord, and if you trace it through the Old Testament you will see that early on in the life of the Jewish people. The future promise of the day of the Lord is a time of anticipated joy and pleasure, and redemption.
It would be the day of God's visitation. The time when God would come and vindicate his people from all of the persecution and suffering that they had received from wicked people and from wicked nations. It would be a time of unspeakable joy and celebration when the majesty of God would become apparent. God himself would appear in blazing glory and light and all of the nation would rejoice. But as the history of Israel unfolds and the people grow more and more wicked and they compromise the covenant more and more and move further and further away from the law of God by storm cloud begins to develop and arise on the horizon begins to cast a shadow over this future promise of the day of the Lord and by the time we get to the eighth century prophets were God's wrath.
Now is going to be poured out in judgment, first against the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 and then later on in the next century to the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 the prophecies of the future become darker and darker and we find one such prophecy, which is a hard saying in the words of the prophet Amos if we look at chapter 5 of the book of Amos, beginning at verse 16 we read these words. Therefore the Lord God of hosts, the Lord says this, there shall be wailing in all streets, and they shall say in all the highways.
Alas, alas, they shall call the farmer to morning and skillful mentors to wailing in all vineyards. There shall be wailing for I will pass through you, says the Lord was that scary. This is not the promise of the Passover, but now God is announcing that the angel of vengeance is angel of wrath is going to come now, not to Egypt but to Israel not to pass over the land at the pass through it when that happens, there will be weeping and wailing in the streets and the people crying out. Alas, alas.
Now here the next words of the prophet will to you who desire the day of the Lord for what good is the day of the Lord to you.
It will be darkness and not light it will be as though a man fled from a lion and a bear met him, or so he went into the house, laying his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him is not the day of the Lord. Darkness and not light. Is it not very dark with no brightness in it.
What a dreadful statement. Think back for a moment to snow white standing at her windowsill singing into the night. A dream is a wish your heart dreaming of the prince that will come putting all her hopes in this future meeting of her hero and imagine that she discovers that the prince who comes is the prince of darkness. The Prince of evil, the wicked Prince who takes her away.
This is the kind of message that God is saying to his people, you who long for the day of the Lord, you who are so caught up in the rapture of eschatological anticipation and hope you can't wait today for the return of Jesus. You can't wait for the coming consummation of his kingdom. You read every forecast of his return. He watch every television program that announces the coming of Christ. You circle every passage in the New Testament the promises is glorious return on clouds of glory where he will bring a new heaven and a new earth and causes you to rejoice in anticipation, the day of the Lord, but Amos is speaking to a generation who desire the day of the Lord, but who have become so estranged from God that the day of the Lord was not a good day for that as Christians we look forward to the return of Jesus with great anticipation, the day when our prince will come and will set a right all of those things which are unjust and out of kilter in this world we long for that day as a time of vindication at time of healing for the nations at time of the final realization of the fullness of our salvation. But what if our faith is a hypocritical faith. What if it's not real what will happen to us on that day. You see, when the New Testament speaks of the return of Christ.
It speaks of it in two different dimensions on the one hand it is the day of final salvation for the people of God on the other hand, it will be the day of final judgment were God's long-suffering and patience with wickedness will come to an end. And so it will be up to Edsel moment for those who are saved, it will be the time of exquisite delight.
For those who are not. It will be the ultimate time of judgment and do what will it be for you all the time of Christ's appearing be a time when you will be enraptured with joy and blessedness to see the coming and manifestation of your Lord and of your Savior, or will this be a moment of unspeakable horror when the judge appears and calls you into account the day of the return of Christ will be a day of gala celebration for some and for calamity for others who will be crying and wailing in the streets crying for the hills to cover them, and for the mountains to fall upon them and the last muffled murmurs of their cries will be alas, alas, this is the warning that Amos gives you're looking for the day of the Lord expecting a day of light.
But I say to you, to those who are impenitent, the day of the Lord will be a day of darkness and then he repeats that he says the day of the Lord will be a darkness. That is a very great darkness with no light in it. The greatest pleasure. We can ever hope to enjoy is to experience the radiance of the countenance of Christ, the beholding of the manifestation of his on veiled glory and the Scriptures uniformly describe the majestic radiance of Christ in terms of the metaphor of light we go to the book of Revelation and we read of the new heaven and the new earth that comes down out of heaven, and we note something extraordinary there that in the new heaven there is no sun. There are no artificial means of illumination because they're totally unnecessary because the light that is generated by the glory of God and by his son will fill the holy city, with light but outside we are told, outside the new Jerusalem will be a place of care, darkness were no light will shine where the glory of God will not pierce and will not penetrate in the radiance of the countenance of Christ will be shut up into this outer darkness and in the outer darkness. There will be, as the Scriptures say nothing but weeping and gnashing of teeth. You may not believe that you may think that that's not true.
You better hope that that's not true, but that message is on every page of sacred Scripture.
That warning that alert is there again and again and again. Do you want a future of outer abysmal darkness below but you were made for fellowship and communion with God. You were created with the capacity to experience on speakable joy in his presence to be shut out of that presence to be in a place where there is no light and only darkness is the worst possible thing that could ever befall you. And so, from the lips of Amos.
We hear this dreadful announcement that the day of the Lord.
For some will be a day of darkness with no light in it. But again, remember that this message is not pronounced out in the streets to pagans. It is pronounced to people who were professing religion and the very next phrase indicates it where the prophecy goes on in the name of God saying I hate. I despise your feast days and I do not savor your sacred assemblies, and though you offer me burnt offerings and your grain offerings. I will not accept them nor will I regard your fat and peace offerings take away from me. The noise of your songs.
I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments. But what justice or righteousness run down like water like a mighty rolling stream.
He's talking the religious people.
I did this Seer feasts. I hate your solemn assembly. The sacrifices that you put on the altar have become a stench in my nostrils don't coming to my presence with a show of religion. While there's no righteousness in the land you come with your sacrifices. I will accept them. You say your prayers. I won't hear them you sing your hand's. I won't listen to them because the sound of your music has become sour in my ears. This should make us tremble because again this message is addressed to the religious community. The people who are actively engaged in the experience of worship of singing of praying of celebrating feast day's sacraments, and the like. God says the church is like a waddy in Israel and the waddy WDI are those huge dry riverbeds there only two rainy seasons during the year. Most of the year. Israel is a desert and those riverbeds are empty, not a drop of water to be found.
But when the rains come.
There is no place to contain the water, so all the water runs off the desert floor into these waddy's. These empty big pictures and then it becomes a raging torrent through the desert.
He said that's what I want to see happen in my church. I want to see righteousness come rushing through the church and for the people of God, like the flowing rivers in the empty waddy's. But at that moment God had looked at his people and found nothing but empty cisterns and empty riverbeds.
They were empty of righteousness, and for that reason these people professed faith had no fruit.
For people like that. The day of the Lord will be a day of darkness. No light in that is a sober warning and one we should take seriously as well. The Israelites were serious about their religion.
Just as we may be that they were given these dire words from the prophet Amos Dr. RC Sproul is walking us through several passages from the Old Testament prophets this week on Renewing Your Mind's series is titled the hard sayings of the prophets in five messages. He helps us discern these hard sayings in their proper context and as a result were able to learn timeless principles, just as we are today. We likely to have this entire series for its continued on to audio CDs and when you give a donation of any amount to look at your ministries will be glad to send it to you.
You can give your gift email@example.com or you can call us our number 800-435-4343 doctors will series this week reminds us that there are indeed difficult passages in Scripture and learning to interpret them is the hard work required of all believers. If you have a pressing biblical or theological question, let me invite you to check out our online chat service called ask litigators not just a database of answers we have trained team members in time zones around the world ready to field your questions in real time disco to ask.Ligonier.org 24 hours a day, Monday through Saturday web address again is ask.Ligonier.org before you go today.
Here's RC with a final thought. For us there is a blessing that God announces to those who genuinely love the Lord's appearing and to be sure the promise of the future day of the Lord, for which we are still waiting is a promise of blessedness. We call the coming of Christ the blessed hope of the church and indeed it is the blessed hope of the church and indeed it is you were blessed hope if indeed you belong to Christ, but I'm speaking now to people who are church members or churchgoers who participate in the singing and in the prayers and in the sacraments and all the accouterments of worship.
Is it real is your face sincere does it inform your life is the fruit of righteousness flowing out of you if it is than for you. The day of the Lord is a day of light with no darkness in it.
That is good news for believing tomorrow. RC will tackle another hard saying what does the prophet Isaiah me when he says that God is the God of prosperity and evil hope you'll join us Thursday for Renewing Your Mind