Sermon – Careful Whispers (1 Kings 19:7 – 19:18) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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Sermon 8 of 11

Careful Whispers

Pete Woodcock, 1 Kings 19:7 - 19:18, 1 November 2020

In our next sermon in the series Pete takes us through Elijah's encounter with Yahweh in 1 Kings 19:7-18. In this passage Elijah is led by God to mount Carmel where he runs in fear for his life. Pete shows us how God with working through our everyday circumstances despite outward appearances.

1 Kings 19:7 - 19:18

And the angel of the LORD came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.

There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 11 And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. 13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 He said, “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 15 And the LORD said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. 16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. 17 And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death. 18 Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

Just to recap God's prophet Elijah is at Mount Horib, the mountain of God, and we pick up the story in verse 9. There, Elijah went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the lord came to him, What are you doing here, Elijah? He replied, I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. These relites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars and put your prophets to death with the sword.

I'm the only 1 left, and now they're trying to kill me too. The Lord said, Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the lord. For the lord is about to pass by. Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart. And shattered the rocks before the lord.

But the lord was not in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake. But the lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.

When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, what are you doing here Elijah? He replied, I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only 1 left, and now they are trying to kill me too.

The Lord sent to him. Go back the way you came and go to the desert of Damascus. When you get there, an anoint Hazel, king of Aram. Also anoint j q, the son of NIMshi, king over Israel and anoint Elijah son of Shafat from Abel Mahola to succeed you as profit. JQ will put to death any who escaped the sword of Hazel, and Elijah will put to death any who escaped the sword of JQ.

Yet, I reserved 7000 in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed down to bail and whose mouths have not kissed him. Let me add my welcome to you. I'm Pete Woodcock. I'm the pass of the church, great to see. It's a good crowd today here and hopefully on the interweb as well.

Do as let me just underline, do sort of look out for what's going on. The the staff team and the elders will be thinking We we are generally trying to keep things open, but it's a slip it's a slippery thing. So keep keep looking out to see what we're doing. We've been doing this series in in Elijah, the prophet in the Old Testament, and we're carrying on that series. And really, I want to I want to bring you into into my mind and heart.

So I'm gonna be quite honest. This is this is a sermon for me. It's not necessary for you, but I'm preaching to myself here. This is how my thinking goes. So if you wanna pray for the leadership team, then then this this might be helpful to you.

Let me pray. Father help us now. As we open this word up, as we go into the mind of the prophet and his discouragements help us. Pleased to hear the word that is being said when discouragement comes, that we may be people that are enthusiastic about your mission. We pray this in Jesus' name, amen.

So how do you get the attention of of the nation? How do you get the attention of the nation in order to be able to preach the good news of Jesus Christ? Because that's why you want their attention. How do you get the attention of a nation that is drugged up on entertainment that is listening to the false gods and the false philosophies? That are being so prominently preached.

Messages of messages like live for yourself and go with your feelings and find yourself and you are in control and you need no 1 greater or more important than your yourself. Learn to love yourself. How do you get the attention of a nation that's been so blessed by the gospel in the past? That actually the nation's foundations and laws are are actually built on those bible truths, but a nation that is quickly digging up those foundations and throwing away those foundations and truths and really believing that freedom from the truth is true freedom. How how do you get the attention of a nation that's com that completely ignores the Christian message?

And ignores those preachers as loonies and that the cultural the cultural gatekeepers of the day wouldn't consider asking our opinion on anything for a minute unless they can show us up and show us to be the loonies that they think we are and to mock us. Well, I know. I know, actually. This may sound arrogant, I know how to get the attention of the nation. I know that because I do read quite a lot of history.

And I know what God has done in the past. What the nation needs to get its attention so that we could preach the gospel to it is a plague. Is a plague. That's what the nation needs, a plague. And if a plague comes, that reminds us of death every day and our mortality, perhaps that will get the the neigh the nation's attention.

And if God would just send a disease that would limit our freedom and show us that we're not in control, then perhaps the nation will listen to the good news of God. That is exactly how the prophet Elijah is thinking, I think. The plague that God brought on the nation of Israel back in Elijah's day, came in the form of a drought. And the drought certainly got the attention of the nation. Economically, you know, shops were closing, all kinds of things were going on.

However, it didn't turn the people back to God. It got their attention, but they didn't listen. In fact, the king and the queen, the government of the day, Ahab and Jezebel, they did their best to shut the mouth of the profit because they wanted him dead, and he had to go on the run. And then, as we've already seen in this series, after 3 and a half years of drought, The nation's detention was got, you had this great challenge on Mount Carmel. Now, if you haven't heard that, then go back and to the sermons, but it was a national event, and it was Build as Who is God, Bail or Yahweh, the God of the Bible.

And the result of that national event was very, very clear. It couldn't be clearer. The falsehood and the powerlessness of of Bale, the false God. He was a deaf, dumb, and he was a blind God, and also following him was shown up. How self harm and destruction and eventually death comes through following bail.

And then that event on Mount Carmel showed very clearer, as clear as could be, that Yahweh, the God of the Bible is God, and he's altogether different from Baal because he's the God that forgives, and he buys redemption and he buys his people back, all of that stuff we've already seen. But Jezebel, For some reason, she wasn't at Mount Carmel. She wasn't there. And Ahab goes back and tells her what happened. And I can imagine her saying this.

If I was there, that wouldn't have happened. I can imagine what it must have been like to hear her fury. So, you had this display of fire on Mount Carmel. The power of God coming down, it turned the heads of the people, to say that he is God, but it didn't turn their hearts, which was actually the prayer of Elijah, that their hearts would be changed. And so Jezebel, she sees Mount Carmel as round 1 in the ring.

And she steps back into the ring for round 2, and she kills all the prophets of Norway, all of them in Israel, except 1. There's only 1 profit standing and she's after his blood. Now I tell you all that because I want you to get into this disappointment. Do you get the disappointment of the preacher of the prophet of Elijah. Do you see how he's feeling here?

He's absolutely broken. Elijah is disappointed. He's totally discouraged and he's downcast. He had got the attention of the whole nation. There's no doubt about it.

But it hadn't worked. They hadn't turned to to god. See, I wanna say, what preacher wouldn't want a Mount Carmel? I've longed for that all my life. I've longed for Mount Carmel all my life, but it didn't work.

It got the attention of the people, They turned their heads intellectually to say that Yahweh is God, but their hearts weren't changed at all. And so what we've got here is Elijah on the run again. And during that run, God is going to deal with this disappointment. We're gonna learn lessons that he need to learn, and these are lessons that every preacher needs to learn, and this is the sermon for me. This is what I have to learn, again and again, if I may be that open with you.

Last week, we saw that God gave Elijah, a long rest. He sent angels to give him breakfast in bed twice, at least twice. He had a 6 week holiday. All of those things are very important. For dealing with discouragement perhaps.

So I'm I'm not asking for a 6 week holiday, but, you know, but God then sent him on a pilgrimage where he had to go back to the roots, back to where the nation started, or at least, you know, not Abraham, but where it started with Moses. So God is very tender with discouraged people, and he takes you back on a pilgrimage to the roots. And says, this is the foundations you need to relearn. So here's my first point. What are you doing here God says.

It's interesting the way God deals often with us is by asking us questions and and we should hear those questions. What are you doing here? Look at verses 7 to 9 of 1 kings 19. The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, get up and eat For the journey is too much for you, so he got up and ate and drank, strengthened by that food He traveled for 40 days and 40 nights, underline 40 there, 40 days and 40 nights until he reached Horub, the mountain of God. There, he went into a cave and spent the night, and the word of the Lord came to him.

What are you doing here, Elijah? What are you doing here, Elijah? It's a very simple question, isn't it? Now, I actually don't think this is god accusing Elijah. A lot of people think that.

It's like, what are you doing here? You're the prophet of God, you should be facing Jezebel. And I don't think that's what God is doing. Personally. If that was the case, Elijah could have said, well, you knew I was coming on this journey.

In fact, you provided food for me to come on this journey. And it was 40 days and 40 nights. I think the stress of what God is asking here is the word here. What are you doing here? What are you doing here, Elijah?

Why have I brought you here, Elijah? Why have you come back to where it all started, Elijah? Why have you come back to this mountain, Elijah? Why have I brought you here? So so where is he then?

Well, he's on on top of the mountain of Horib. It's better known to us as Sinai, the mount of Sinai, It's called the mountain of God, and he's in a cave. What happened at Mount Sinai? Well, it's where God spoke to Moses, it's where the 10 commandments came from. It's where God instituted the nation of Israel from that point on.

400 years before Elijah stood on this mountain, Moses stood there, where in a cave maybe the very same cave as Elijah's in. And why was Moses in this same place 400 years ago because he was actually interceding for God's people. He was praying for God's people that had had the covenant, broken the covenant, and gone off with a baal with a golden calf and worshiped that instead of God. And Moses is hidden in a rock, in the cleft of the rock, to intercede. It's very interesting.

Moses was up the mountain. Guess how many day, 40 days and 40 nights. 40 days and 40 nights praying that God would forgive this nation of its adulterous idolatry. And during that time, he experienced the presence of God in a way that he hadn't done before. He was in the cleft of a rock, a little cave, and God passed by.

You can read all that story in Exodus, 32 and 33. Or 33 or 34. What are you doing here Elijah? What are you doing here where it all began? It took you 40 days and 40 nights.

Hint to get here. What are you doing here in this place where the covenant was made then broken and then renewed. What are you doing here where God said to Moses that he would have compassion on people but he wouldn't leave the guilty unpunished. What are you you Elijah, do you see you're in the right place? You've come here to plead your cause.

That's right. You've come back to where it started. So what's on your mind, Elijah? What do you want to say? You're despondent, you're discouraged, you're downcast It didn't go as you wanted it to go.

There wasn't a great revival where you where thousands of people trusted in in yahweh. It was just a pretend revival. Still, Jezebel is stomping around marching out her orders. What what express yourself to me. This is a very gracious invitation of God.

For Elijah to download his pain and his confusion. What are you doing here? See where I brought you? Which leads me to my second point, which is Elijah's prayer or or his statement you get in verse 10. Listen.

He replied, I've been very zealous for the Lord, God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death by the sword. I am the only 1 left, and now they're trying to kill me too. Now the word that is used here in his prayer for Zealous could could easily be translated jealous, And I prefer that because I think that really takes you in to the feeling of Elijah at this moment. Why is he so downcast because he's actually jealous for God?

You see, the thing is, we may not be downcast because we're not jealous for God. We're happy to just carrying on with life, and we just see all the baelism, it doesn't bother us. But it bothers him He's jealous for God. So we're taken into the emotional life of this man who is downcast because he's jealous for God. He's downcast, not just because he's downcast.

He's downcast because he sees how people are treating God. So Elijah saw these people rejecting the covenant. The covenant is like a marriage. That's what a marriage is. It's a covenant, and he felt it he feels the pain of an adulterous spouse to God.

When Elijah saw the altars, torn down. He feels the pain of not only an adulterous spouse, but an adulterous spouse ripping away all the relationship they ever had. No love, no worship, the violent ripping away, of any reminder of Yairway, and he's jealous for Yairway. When Elijah saw them killing all the prophets of yahweh, shutting the mouth of God, and listening to the false and the demonic He's jealous, he fills it. Why would you go after them when you have a loving God like this?

When Elijah saw that he's the only mouthpiece of God left, he's jealous, he doesn't want Jezebel killing him, He would rather die himself in the desert. Kill me God. I'd rather die here than let her take away the mouth peace of God and get the glory and honor for that. And if I'm dead, then there is no more voice of God in this nation. He's jealous.

That's what's going through his mind. Paul in the New Testament book of Romans in chapter 11 verse 2 tells us about this event and tells us exactly what he was praying. He's so jealous for God that Paul says that he prays against Israel. He's again he's interceding funny enough against Israel. Law, take away this generation.

If this older generation has led the young people into idolatry, they'd kill those over 50. Bring a plague on them. Take them. Let the young people hear refreshing word of God if these old people are in the word. That's what he's praying, I think.

Bring more plague. Being more destruction. If the older generation generally haven't followed God and have led the young people into idolatry, then deal with this generation. I pray against it. I'm jealous for your word.

May you raise up a new 1? So that's his prayer, which leads me on to the third point. God answers now, careful whispers. There was a song, wasn't there careless whispers? Well, this is careful, careful whispers, but it hasn't got a bit of doo doo doo doo whatever it is in the front.

Careful whispers. No. There's there's a there's noise before the careful whispers. Look at verse 11. Then the Lord said, go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the lord for the lord is about to pass by.

Now what is interesting is is coming and goings from the cave. He's in the cave. He comes out of the cave. Now that is exactly the opposite to what Moses did, because we told Moses had to go in a cave. Now we've come back to him going in the cave in a minute.

Just watch those 2 in some franks, but at the moment, he's out the cave and he's in the elements. So, then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, and the Lord was not in the wind. He's out in the elements facing the elements and its destructive and powerful. I mean, it's smashing up a mountain for goodness sake. But that's not how the Lord was speaking to him.

Isn't that interesting? After the wind, there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. The whole earth was quaking. But that's not how the Lord was dealing with him. Verse 12, And after the earthquake came a fire, like like on Mount Carmel when the fire fell.

But that isn't how the Lord was going to speak to him. You've got wind, earthquake, and fire They're all symbols and things God uses in the bible to bring about his judgments and his justice. But that isn't the message, the lesson that God wants him to learn here, and then everything goes quiet. The tinnitus is ringing in his ears. The earthquake has been shaking his very foundations.

And it goes quiet. And after the fire came a gentle You hear it? It's a gentle whisper. And Elijah heard it, and he pulled his cloak over his face and stood in the back in the mouth of the cave, he goes back to the cave. Exactly where Moses stood.

Who, by the way, covered his face when he heard the glory of God, when he saw the glory of God. He was learning the lesson that Moses had to learn. We'll come to that in a minute. But you see not everything that is dramatic is where God is. When nothing happens, That's where God is.

Sounds strange, doesn't it? Elijah and I have something in common. I have this equation in my head, and I think Elijah did. Nothing dramatic happening means nothing happening. God's doing nothing.

No immediate wiping out of balism, no immediate judgment, God isn't judging. No immediate revival when the word of God is preached. God isn't working. That's the dilemma of the preacher. That's what the preacher goes through.

Every Sunday evening every Monday morning. What is the point? What is the point? And then verse 12. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.

Gent whisper. It was the gentle whisper of God that opened Elijah's heart and drew the pain of discouragement out, a gentle whisper. The old version has a still small voice, still small, voice, gentle, whisper, careful, gentle, whisper. It was not the tremendous. It's not the overwhelming that conquered Elijah's heart.

It wasn't the whirlwind, it wasn't the earthquake, it wasn't the fire. You see, the outward, the miraculous, the terrors of a plague, will they advance the gospel? Will they advance the gospel? Well, It might get the attention of people, but in the end, the attention of people that is got have to hear the gentle whisper of God. Otherwise, no heart will be changed.

That's what he's being told, isn't it? And, Mike Carmel, with that great fire pouring down, everybody turned and said, the Lord, he is God. Yo, wait, he is God and it looked like they were all converted. But the next day, they were joining in with Jezebel and seeking the life of Elijah. The power of God might get the attention but if there's no still small voice, if there's no gentle whisper to go with it, it doesn't matter.

The attention is so that we hear the small voice. Miracles themselves never soften any hearts. They never open the eyes of the blind, Only God's gentle voice will open the heart. So we're back to the question, which is my fourth point. What are you doing here, part 2?

You notice it's exactly the same stuff that said. When Elijah heard it, he pulled the cloak over his face and he went and stood at the mouth of the cave. That's exactly like Moses, and then a voice said to him, what are you doing here, Elijah? What's the same question? And then Elijah says exactly the same answer that we've just seen.

So what's going on here? Well, God's rubbing this point in. He's rubbing the point. See, Elijah's statement or prayer wasn't wrong, but he had to learn how you deal with those issues. So he becomes very much like Moses.

He covers his face, he stands in the in the cave, What did God say to Moses in that first event? Well, here here's here's it from Exodus 33 verse 19. This is what God told Moses and this is I think what God is reminding Elijah of. He says this, I will cause my goodness to pass in front of you I will proclaim my name the Lord in your presence, listen. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I'll have compassion on whom I have compassion.

Moses, Elijah, I'm in control, I'm the 1 who will speak that small voice to whoever I want to speak it to. I will have compassion on who I will have compassion on. I am the sovereign lord here. Jezebel can't stop that. Jezebel with her trying to put out the prophets and kill the prophets, I want to tell you she won't stop me having mercy on who I'm going to have mercy on.

She won't stop me having compassion on who I'm gonna have compassion on. She won't stop me bringing judgment when I need to bring judgment. Don't you worry about it? I'm in control. I always have been right the way back to Moses.

I've been in control and I'm in control. Which leads me on to my fifth point. God reveals then his immediate future plans. You see it there in verse 15 to 18? The Lord said to him, go back the way you came.

So you can go back, you'll recommission to get on with the work. Go back the way you came and go to the desert of Damascus. And when you get there, Anoint Haziel, king over Aram or Syria. See, notice the anointings here. There's gonna be a new set of for coming in because I'm gonna carry on my work, don't you worry, I'm gonna carry on my work.

Anoint Hezil King over Aram. Anoint Jayhu son of NIMshi, over Israel. There's gonna be a new king in place of Ahab, an anointe, Elijah, son of SAFat, from Abel, MeHAola. It's a great name. It sounds like you should be doing this sort of dance, doesn't it?

To 6 to succeed you. As profit. And then he goes and says what they're gonna do. And if you carry on and read into 2 kings chapter 10, you'll see that Hazel was God's judgment on Israel. He brought judgment on those baal worshipers.

And those that were left, particularly the king's household, Jahu would bring judgment. In 1 day, the whole of Ahab's family was wiped out under judgment. Don't you worry, Elijah, that's not your job. I will bring judgment, and they are judged. There is not 1 single ancestor in this world from Ahab, not 1 single ancestor.

They were wiped out in 1 day by jehu. These were wicked men by the way, Hazel and jehu were wicked men, but God used them. He raised them up because of Israel's wickedness, he raised up more wicked leaders to do this judgment. So don't worry about judgment. That's not your business.

Your business in this world isn't to bring judgment on the world. It's not to shout out condemnation only of the world. And I won't leave you alone Because the third 1 you're to anoint is Elijah. Anoint Elijah. Sorry, Elijah.

Anoint Elijah is easy to get those muddled up. We will eventually get into the story of Elijah, but anoint Elijah. In other words, Listen, you're not the only profit left, though I'm raising up another profit. And don't worry, because even if you do die, when you do go, Elijah, there is Elijah. There's another prophet.

The the word of God will come. Don't you worry about that? Yeah? And then there's another encouragement. Look at verse 18.

Yet, I reserved 7000 in Israel, All those who have not bowed them down to bail, whose mouth have not kissed him. He didn't know that. He thought was the only 1 standing. Suddenly, the church of God, the kingdom of God, has multiplied by 7001 to 7000. It's extraordinary.

So God, if you go through Elijah's statement, His prayer, answers each 1 of them. I'm dealing with the judgment, the honor of my name. I'm dealing with the whole idea that you're the only person left, no, I'm gonna have a succession of prophets that are gonna preach the word. And I'm dealing with the whole idea that you think that that there's only 1 7000 times more people. Do you see that?

That's what a preacher needs to hear. So let's have some lessons. I'm not sure if there is a 0.6 with Don't worry. Here's some here's some lessons. First thing, when you see our nation that we're in now, running after the self harm and destructive lies of bales, which they are, at a hell bound speed.

Are you not disheartened and discouraged? Because I am. God has placed us here and placed me here as a preacher, and I'm really discouraged. When I see all the adverts. I mean, you can't even advert advertise chips if you've seen the McCain's chip advert.

You can't advertise coffee. You can't advertise the internet without them preaching baleism at you. Just watch those adverts. Things that sound so nice the way they tell the stories of those people, if you look at those adverts, but are leading young people into self harm and self destruction and death. If you're a cultural reader, which if you're a preacher, you have to be, Then you say to yourself, how do I get this attention of this nation?

You say to yourself, bring a plague, Lord send a plague on this nation. Perhaps that will get the attention. And if they don't listen for a year, bring extra plague, shut us down stronger. But is that the way? For us to reach the nation.

It may get the attention, but is that what I'm supposed to be doing? No. How do you reach the nation? After perhaps, God has got their attention, how do we do it? We have a simple, clear whisper.

The gentle voice of Jesus. How do I reach a nation? You tell them the message of Jesus. That's how. How do we reach a nation?

I don't know, I can't get their attention. We go to that little room in the back that annoyingly we call the pink room, even though we've tried to change the name, it's still called that. There are little tots running around, playing games but being told very simply, yahweh's God. Jesus' savior. It's small.

It's a whisper. It seems pathetic compared to the earthquake and the thunder and the wind. But That's how you change people. That's what people need to hear. Sunday school teachers, youth leaders, preachers, Don't ever fall for the idea that if the dramatic isn't happening, God isn't at work.

Never must stake noise for the work of God. It's the gentle whisper of the gospel. Going on week by week, unassuming. You can hardly hear it. It's that Jesus says that the kingdom of God grows by a small amount of yeast in the dough just a little bit, and it'll affect everything.

Jesus says, the kingdom of God grows by a little tiny mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds. It's so insignificant and so silly the world can blow it away. It means nothing but when it falls into a little heart, and that gentle whisper, that little seed grows, you have life. And a harvest to come. 1 of my favorite chapters in the bible is acts chapter 16.

It's my favorite chapter in in the book of acts. You have 3 people that are converted. 1 woman called Lydia, she's Rich, She's a businesswoman. How does God open her heart? It says he opens her heart, why a gentle whisper opens her heart.

Then you have a complete opposite to her. You have a slave girl that's being manipulated by men for for sex and trade and and all kinds of magic and demon things, and she's a wreck of a girl. And what does Paul to turn around, and he says, in the name of Jesus, I command the demon to come out of her, and she's safe. Just a word. And then you have the next bloke, who's who's a jailer, a hard working class man.

And an earthquake happens, It got his attention. An earthquake got his attention. But he couldn't think of anything else to do but to commit suicide. And so he goes to commit suicide, and what does Paul say? Believe on the lord, us Christ, and you'll be saved.

And the man in his whole household is saved. He's just a little voice, a gentle voice, hitting rich lydias, poor, screwed up girls that are manipulated by men, slave girls. Working class blokes at the end of their life in a dead end job. The word, the whisper, the gentle voice. That's what I've got to be recommitted to.

That's what we've got to learn to do, That's when everything's closing down, we've got to think, what can we open up? That's when everything's everybody's saying, well, we can't do, it's where we're saying, where can we get this seed in? Where can we get this gospel in? That's what we were doing yesterday here, trying to open up to bring people around to see that that little video that was so powerful, is spreading the gospel. That's what I'm looking forward to.

We've got a month of closed down, but in December, we're coming back, aren't we? With the little seed, because we're gonna sow it. We're gonna open this place up. We're gonna redo, Bethlehem experience. Sorry, Just telling you what we're gonna decide tomorrow as a team.

We're gonna have queues of people coming on, COVID safe and all that stuff. In order to tell them about the Lord Jesus Christ, we are going to do it on video, we are going to do a big thing out the front there. The seed is going out, to whisper, to preach the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ. That's the first lesson. The second lesson is that evil, baptism will be judged.

Don't worry, It'll be judged, it'll be there, it'll be gone, it will fail, God will end it 1 day. The third thing is to learn that companionship is so needed, is so needed. Elijah needed to know there was a Elijah coming on the scene. That someone was gonna take over from him, and it's good when that happens. And I have to say that in this church, we have staff team that is a joy to work with.

We encourage each other in these truths. We're often downhearted. We have to change plans And we're off oh, what are we gonna do? And it's constantly, what are we gonna do? And if we're not careful, we get into the Elijah, at least I do and think, oh, what's the flipping point anyway, you might as well just give up and watch the telly.

And and then you have to remind yourself, no, no, no, no, no, no, it's not the dramatic, it's not the big The world isn't listening, but I've got to keep preaching the gospel to those little ones out there. And then I look at you lot here and you encourage me and the elders of the church our encouragement to get on with the little still small voice and preach the gospel. And then the fourth thing, The church is growing. We may not see it. You have to go to Iran and places like that.

It's 7000 times bigger than I can imagine. 7000 times bigger. And so I feel recommissioned. They're the battles. And I can honestly tell you I go through those battles regularly.

That's the battle, to get to the point where, no, come on, we've got this little whisper. We got this message. It's only a little part of the world that we're in, Cambrey Park Road, whoever heck has ever heard of that. Funny little old building. Look at it.

Look at those, I mean, look at it. You are on the internet. Think we're in a massive where we are. There's thousands in front of us. 50000 people.

That's what I imagine. That's what I would like but it does never happen. Got a little tiny group of people all with silly masks on. But just say this message, and in the end people will be saved. And in the new creation we'll be surprised.

Praise the Lord. Let's pray. Father God, you know everyone in this building, you know how discouraged we can be. We know that the times that we're in has certainly got people's attention, but there isn't mass revival and people turning to you. And so we pray for churches up and down the country, little churches Small groups of people with this phenomenal message that changes the hearts of people, the gentle, Still small whisper of God.

Keep us active in that. Keep us hearing it. Being revived in it, and spreading that good news, we pray. We pray for all these little ones that have just been born, and and those that are gonna be born to well, 1 being born to tomorrow, we pray these these little children will be the ones that have great success in the gospel. Finally we thank you, it's not just us, and then it stops.

We can pass this message on to these little children that can stand up for Christ. We're so excited by that. And so bless this work we pray, and bless us, in this good news of Jesus. We pray in Jesus' name, amen.

Preached by Pete Woodcock
Pete Woodcock photo

Pete is Senior Pastor of Cornerstone and lives in Chessington with his wife Anne who helps oversee the women’s ministry in the church.

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