Daily Spirit & Word: 636. It’s God’s Call.
The Ministry of Reconciliation.
Having a deep care and concern for the Eternal Welfare of others.
My voice finally gave up last night, it had been cracking for a few days, but now it’s getting painful to speak. I’ve been told to stop. My wife thinks that’s brill, because now I can just sit and listen to her for ages. But I want to go back to the reading from yesterday in Isaiah 6, where we looked at the Trinity Revealed, but now I want to focus upon the calling of Isaiah and the dreadful message he was entrusted to deliver.
It’s weird, but my granddaughter asked me to play Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” the other day. I played it for them. Then a few minutes later I got into the car to go to a church meeting, guess what was playing on the car radio? “I fell in to a burning ring of fire…”
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.
2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.
3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”
6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar.
7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
9 He said, “Go and tell this people: ” ‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’
10 Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”
11 Then I said, “For how long, O Lord?” And he answered: “Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged,
12 until the LORD has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly forsaken.
13 And though a tenth remains in the land, it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land.”
Isaiah’s Calling Came From God: “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
BTW (Who is the “US” in verse 8 above? Answer: see Trinity yesterday’s message)
Have you ever heard someone declare, “I’ve had a call to the Ministry” or “I’ve got my calling”…
We could be left with the impression it’s as if the “calling” is something that belongs to them. However, if we’ve been called by the LORD to do something, then we should always be aware, as Jesus was, as Isaiah was and so many other Biblical Characters were, that it is God’s CALL. It’s HIS from start to finish. Give glory to Him always.
Note: Isaiah Is Convicted of his sinfulness:
Verse 5 “”Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.””
Isaiah knew enough about the LORD God Almighty, that if a person saw God that person would die, because of His sinfulness. Exodus 33:20. Moses could see God’s glory and God’s back, but he couldn’t look into God’s face and live.
NOTE: The Altar in Heaven: The Altar of Incense: Live coals were taken into the Holy of Holies to burn incense before the Lord.
The Altar is a place of sacrifice: So we must ask the question, what sacrifice had been made in Heaven that could atone for Isaiah’s sins? Who or what died in Heaven? It might just possibly be an indication or prophetic look at God’s own sacrifice for the sins of all mankind: He gave His own beloved Son to die for everyone’s sins.
The Severity Of Isaiah’s Mission and Message:
Isaiah must have experienced an immediate inner change when he had the vision of God in Heaven and when the Angel took the coal from the fire on the Altar and touched his mouth. When he hears the invitation of God, he volunteers immediately to go and serve (6:8). God’s response is also immediate. Note that God does not provide many specific details of Isaiah’s ministry, but the severity of his mission is clear. He is being sent to people who will not listen or respond to him, yet he is to continue his work until their nation is destroyed. God’s just judgement is imminent and it’s coming upon Israel.
NOTE: The Live Coal: Fear of Fire.
When I was a boy growing up in Edinburgh in the 1960’s we had a coal fire. From a very young age I’d watch my father set the fire and help him too. He’d get the crunched-up paper, the sticks, the coal and match to set it ablaze. Sometimes he’d hold a sheet in front of the fire to cause a draught in at the bottom, which speeded up the process of getting the fire going. Then after a while, the coals in the fire would be glowing bright red. What a fire. My dad said to me, “Don’t ever touch a fire, you see those red coals, DON’T EVER TOUCH A RED COAL”. I said, “Why dad, they look like lovely jewels?” He explained, “Because they will hurt you so much and you’ll be in agony. You’ll be crying louder than you’ve ever cried. Remember how much your knee hurt when you came off your bike? This will hurt so much more than that”. I’m so grateful that my dad warned me of the dangers of fire. He put the FEAR of FIRE in me. I didn’t hate my dad when He told me that the FIRE AND THE COALS would hurt me, I was only left with the impression that my dad loved me and didn’t want me to get hurt.
Similarly; When an Evangelist warns of THE FIRES OF HELL he’s only showing how much he loves you. Also that God loves you and doesn’t want anyone to perish in Hell. But burning hell fire is real and it’s reserved for everyone, EVERYONE, who dies in their sinful condition: Why? Because NO ONE CAN SEE GOD and LIVE. My friends, God has warned us in many ways about the dangers of sin and the consequences of sin: Jesus warned us so many times in the Gospels. Hell is real: It God’s punishment for sin, but He doesn’t want to have to send anyone there, but He will. Because of His justice, sin must be paid for.
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”
God wants to GIVE YOU ETERNAL LIFE so that you can live forever.
2 Peter 3:7-9 Warning & Yearning.
7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. 8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
We hear from Peter about God’s Patience: Not wanting anyone to perish. He’s extending His Divine offer of Grace, Mercy and Forgiveness for as long as we live: However, the moment we die, the time for God’s GRACE has ended. There’s no chance after death for; mercy, repentance, forgiveness.
NOTE: Jesus Doctrine of Hell: His teaching (that’s what doctrine means).
In Luke’s Gospel we’re given a picture from Jesus of what HELL is going to be like, and it’s NOT a place that you’d want anyone, even your worst enemy, to end up in.
19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.
20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores
21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried.
23 In hell (Hades), where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.
24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.
26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house,
28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’
30 ” ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ “
The Rich Man: In Hell “I am in agony in this fire”.
- NO WAY OUT: Verse 26: “between us and you a great chasm has been FIXED … nor can anyone cross over from there to us”
- NO WAY IN: Verse 26: “So that those who want to go from here to you cannot”
Hell is a FIXED State for anyone, everyone, who dies in their sins.
I was at the movies a while ago and noted throughout the movie: EXIT signs, they were bright and clear in the darkness as the movie played. If a fire broke out in the Cinema I’d know how to get out of the fire.
There’s no way out of HELL. No EXIT: It’s as if the EXIT sign has been removed from Hell. (A great chasm has been FIXED).
THE DESIRE TO WARN OTHERS.
Once the Rich man realised his eternal condition, his heart wanted to WARN others, especially his family members.
“I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will NOT also come to this place of torment”…
Once Isaiah was “cleansed of his sins” his desire was to be the one that God would send with His message.
Isaiah, was given a message from God to deliver. It was a WARNING of impending JUDGEMENT. He was to deliver it to a people that would not listen and would not turn to the LORD.
Christians, have been ENTRUSTED BY GOD with the same kind of message: REPENT OR PERISH. TURN OR BURN. THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH. HELL AWAITS THE ONE WHO HAS SINNED. Thankfully many do heed the warning and turn to the LORD in Repentance.
It’s not a nice message to deliver and many shrink from the calling. It’s such a horrific message, that many attempts have been made over two thousand years to WATER IT DOWN (Quench the fire a bit). It’s like asking Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water to cool my tongue. The Church has, instead of warning people, emphasised the benefits of heaven. But unless people KNOW why they need Heaven, they are unlikely to truly REPENT OF THEIR SINS.
Unless or until a person comes to Christ, then Hell awaits every sinful soul.
Jesus warned in His parable: “If they won’t listen to Moses or the Prophets (e.g. the Teaching in God’s Word about God’s Judgement to come), then they wouldn’t listen, even if someone came back to life from the dead to warn them.”
Jesus DID come back from the DEAD: People still won’t listen. However, we’ve been entrusted with God’s message of RECONCILIATION. (2 Corinthians 5:11-21). He wants every believer in Jesus who’s been born of His Spirit to be a PROPHET to the World, God’s Ambassadors who’ll deliver His message of Good News: That no one needs to perish in Hell forever.
2 Corinthians 5:11, 17-21. The Ministry of Reconciliation.
11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men … 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
GOD’S GREAT LOVE: Just as my father, my dad, warned me about the burning coals in the fire when I was a boy in Scotland, so the Church has been entrusted to warn the world about God’s coming day of judgement and punishment in Hell for sin. But I KNEW it was because of my dad’s LOVE that he warned me. It’s because of God’s GREAT LOVE that He’s entrusted us with His message and He’s given us this same calling as Isaiah:
Isaiah 6:8 “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!””
He didn’t know what the message was until he responded to the call.
We know the message, we know the call, we’ve been commanded to go into all the world and deliver God’s message of reconciliation.
Will you Go for God into the world today and deliver His LOVING HEART: His message of reconciliation. Will you WARN people that if we touch the fire it will hurt us? If you’ll do that to warn your own children and friends about earthly fire, surely we should be just as concerned about the Eternal Welfare of everyone on the earth today as well. The Day of Judgement will come, Jesus is coming back soon, let’s save as many as we can. You know BIBLE means; Basic, Instructions, Before, Leaving, Earth. Let’s get God’s message out into all the world, so that everyone has an opportunity to turn in faith and repentance and avoids the punishment of Hell.