Sermon #29 Micah Series
Title: A better day is coming!
Text: Micah 7:8-10
Subject: The Sure Triumph of Christ
And His Church
Date: Tuesday Evening — May 29, 2012
Tape: Micah #29
Readings: Lindsay Campbell and Bobbie Estes
Sunday morning I preached to you on the subject “Restoring the Worship of God”. Once a person sees how deplorable the religious situation is in our day, once any child of God or any servant of God is convinced that God has in our day sent “a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD,” just as Amos said he would (Amos 8:11), his great burden, his deep concern, is “What next? Is there no hope? Is there any hope for revival?”
Turn with me to the book of Micah. There you find a prophet of God who clearly understood how dark the day was in which he lived. In Micah’s day, in his nation and around the world, things were just exactly as they are in our day, in our nation and throughout the world. God’s judgment had fallen upon the earth; and in all ages “judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17). The book of Micah is a lamentation of Divine judgment, Divine judgment upon the world and Divine judgment upon the professed church and people of God. With rare exception, when men and women went to the house of God to worship God they worshipped strange gods. The world had so absorbed Israel and Judah and Israel and Judah had so absorbed the world that in the minds of all, all but a very small remnant, the worship of God a worship of Jehovah and the worship of Baal were synonymous! Jehovah was unknown in the Land of Israel! David’s God was unknown in the City of David!
And the nation reflected the low condition of the church. It is always that way. It is not the church that reflects the low condition of the nation. It is the nation that reflects the low condition of the church (Micah 7:1-6).
Micah’s prophecy is a lamentation of Divine judgment; but that is not all it is. Micah’s prophecy is also a word of assured grace.
Proposition: Micah, like all the prophets and apostles, throughout the Book of God, declares that the triumph of Christ and his church is a matter of absolute certainty.
No sooner had Micah asserted with stern boldness the low condition of the nation and the church than he turned to assert with joyful confidence that a better day is coming. That is the title of my message — A better day is coming!
In the first six verses of chapter seven Micah said, “You cannot trust the priests or the princes of the land. They do evil with both hands earnestly. The best of them is a brier. You dare not trust a friend. If you seek to worship and honor God, you dare not even put any confidence in your dearest companion or relative who follows the crowd and worships Baal. If you do, your own wife, your own husband, your own son, your own daughter will rise up against you as an enemy!”
Look to Christ
In the light of these great evils, Micah said, in verse 7, — “Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.” That is exactly what we must do in all circumstances and at all times. Look unto the Lord, Jehovah, our great God and Savior. Micah said, “Therefore I will look unto the LORD,” the Son of God, to him who is the true God, and eternal life. I will look to the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. I will look unto Jehovah-tsidkenu, the Lord our Righteousness, the only Savior and Redeemer of men. I will look to him alone for everything!
· when in darkness, for light;
· when weak, for strength;
· when sick, for healing;
· when hungry, for food;
· when brokenhearted, for comfort;
· for all supplies of grace here, and for eternal glory and happiness hereafter!
“I will wait for the God of my salvation.” I will wait for God my Savior to perform his promises. I will wait for him he is my Salvation. All the prophets of the Old Testament and all the saints of God were like Simeon and Anna, waiting for God’s Salvation, looking for Christ to appear. And all God’s saints in all times and places are taught to look and wait for the Lord.
“My God will hear me!” — This is blessed waiting at the throne of grace in confident faith. God give me grace so to wait upon him!
Now, let’s look at our text (Micah 7:8-10). Here Micah assures us that a better day is coming. In these three verses God’s prophet says, “Though things are in a mess now, though great darkness has fallen upon us, the walls of Zion shall yet be built. We will soon triumph over our enemies. Though now it appears that we have fallen under Babylon, Babylon shall soon be trampled beneath our feet and covered with everlasting shame!” As we read these verses, remember that Micah, though speaking in the first person singular, is speaking for the whole church of God. He speaks as the representative of all God’s kingdom.
(Micah 7:8-10) “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD [shall be] a light unto me. 9 I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, [and] I shall behold his righteousness. 10 Then [she that is] mine enemy shall see [it], and shame shall cover her which said unto me, Where is the LORD thy God? mine eyes shall behold her: now shall she be trodden down as the mire of the streets.”
Divisions: As God the Holy Spirit enables me, I want show you four things in this message.
First, I want you to see and see clearly that Babylon is Zion’s enemy. Without question, I remind you again, Micah’s prophecy has specific historical reference to the Israel’s 70 years of Babylonian Captivity and their deliverance from it. But they are gravely mistaken who imagine that that is all that is spoken of by Micah. Micah wrote by the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit; and all that he wrote he wrote for the benefit of God’s church in every age of her existence in this world. Everything has written in the Book of God has a spiritual, gospel meaning. The carnal things mentioned in the Scriptures are mentioned because they have a specific spiritual meaning.
The Great Whore
Throughout the Word of God Babylon refers to and represents all false religion. Babylon is the church of antichrist. Babylon is all Arminian, freewill, works religion. In the Book of God she is called “the great whore” (Revelation 17:1).
The standing symbol of false religion in the Word of God is whoredom. When men and women worship for God that which is not God, give their hearts to false gods, or institute doctrines, ordinances, and practices into the church to replace what God has revealed and appointed, they have begun to practice adultery and fornication. Their religion is whoredom. Their church is a whore. And when they go to their places of worship in the name of God, they are going to a brothel to buy gratification for their carnal lusts (Jeremiah 3:6-9; Ezekiel 16:28-37; Hosea 1 and 2; Revelation 2:22).
The woman which John saw in his vision is called “the great whore”, because she represents all idolatry, false doctrine, and false religion in the world. This old whore was not born yesterday. She has been around for a long, long time. She is the mother of all harlot churches and abominable doctrines that have ever existed in the world. They all come from the same womb.
I would be remiss in my responsibility to God and to you, if I did not plainly identify the most prevalent and most damning form of idolatry this great whore has produced in our day. It is not the worship of stocks, stones, and statues. The whorish religion of our day and our society is the worship of a god who is weak, frustrated, and defeated, the worship of a redeemer who tries but fails to redeem, and the worship of a spirit who seeks but is not able to save. The time for pretty speech and polite words is gone. The souls of men, the gospel of Christ, and the glory of God are at stake! With Solomon of old, I warn you to stay away from the strange woman “which flattereth with her words.” Free-will, works religion is the house of the great whore. — “Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.” “Let not thine heart decline unto her ways, go not astray in her paths.”
Just as physical Babylon was the enemy of physical Israel so mystical Babylon is the enemy of the Israel of God.
Throughout the Word of God Babylon represents false religion. It does not matter what name the religion wears, every religion that declares salvation by the will, works, and worth of the sinner, in whole or in part, is the religion of Babylon. It is antichrist. It engulfs the whole world in darkness. God’s command to his people concerning Babylon is not, “Reform her”, Rebuild her”, or “Restore her”. God’s command is crystal clear and forcibly repeated throughout the Scriptures (Isaiah 48:20; 52:11; Jeremiah 50:8; 51:6; 1 Corinthians 6:17; Revelation 18:4). No less than six times he says, “Come out of her,my people, that ye be not partaker of her sins, (her religious doctrines, ceremonies and blasphemies), and that ye receive not of her plagues.” We are to totally abandon all false religion, touching not the unclean thing, and align ourselves with Christ, his gospel and his people.
Babylon is Zion’s foe, the enemy of our souls. She was raised up by Satan for the purpose of destroying God’s church and kingdom in this world.
Illustrations: My Conversation with Doug Sharon
I am often asked, “What’s the difference? What’s the difference between your church and our church, between what you believe and I believe, between what you preach and I preach.” — Wherein do we differ with the religious world around us? Let me show you exactly wherein we differ by answering five questions very briefly.
1. What took place in eternity? — They say God knows everything. The Scriptures declare that God predestined all things. God the Holy Spirit tells us in Hebrews 4 that the works were finished from the foundation of the world. What works? What was done in eternity? What took place in eternity?
2. What happened in the Garden? (Romans 5:12) — They say that man was injured. The Scriptures assert that man died.
“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” (Romans 5:12)
3. What happened at Calvary? — They say that Christ made redemption possible. The Book of God says he redeemed us!
4. What happens in the new birth? (Ephesians 2:1-5; Titus 3:4-7; 2 Corinthians 5:17) — They say sinners give their hearts to Jesus. God says he gives sinners a new heart. — They say salvation is by your will. God says it is not by your will, but by his will. They say salvation is the result of something you do. The Book of God says, “Salvation is of the Lord!”
(Ephesians 2:1-5) “And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ. (By grace ye are saved.)”
(Titus 3:4-7) “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
(2 Corinthians 5:17) “Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
5. How are sinners saved by the grace of God to worship the holy Lord God? — They design their plans of worship, vote on them, and execute them without regard for the Word of God. We are to worship God in His house today in exactly the way He has prescribed in His Word, in exactly the same way sinners saved by His grace worshipped Him in the New Testament (Philippians 3:1-3)
(Philippians 3:1-3) “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed [is] not grievous, but for you [it is] safe. 2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. 3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”
Second, though we are surrounded by darkness, Christ is our Light still. I deliberately spent the bulk of my time talking about our enemy, the great foe of men’s souls, false religion. Now, let me take just a few minutes to encourage and comfort and inspire your souls. Though we are surrounded by darkness, Christ is our Light still (v. 8).
“Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD [shall be] a light unto me.” (Micah 7:8)
We have fallen upon dark, dark times. Darkness is everywhere. But this too is by the purpose of God. It is our God who sends darkness as well as light. By darkness as well as by light, he separates the wheat from the chaff (1 Corinthians 11:19).
“For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.” (1 Corinthians 11:19)
In these dark, dark days, Christ is the Light of his people. See that you look to him and walk in his light. Give no regard to the darkness. Do not allow it to influence you. Do not study the ways of the heathen (Deuteronomy 12:29-32).
“When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; 30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. 31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. 32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.” (Deuteronomy 12:29-32)
Third, Micah assures us that God our Savior shall make his church triumphant (v. 9).
“I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, [and] I shall behold his righteousness.” (Micah 7:9)
The evil we are experiencing in our day is fully deserved. Our fathers have sinned and we have sinned against the Lord our God. Yet, he has not abandoned us. He will plead for us. He will undertake our cause.
Fourth, I want you to understand that Babylon shall fall. We see it happening every day; and soon Babylon’s fall and utter destruction shall be accomplished (v. 10).
“Then [she that is] mine enemy shall see [it], and shame shall cover her which said unto me, Where is the LORD thy God? mine eyes shall behold her: now shall she be trodden down as the mire of the streets.” (Micah 7:10)
Soon this world, political and religious, shall see the two witnesses of God she has slain rise again (Revelation 11:12); and Babylon shall “be trodden down as the mire of the streets!” And shame shall cover her face forever! Yes, blessed be the name of our God, there is a better day coming!
(Micah 7:15-17) “According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I shew unto him marvellous [things]. 16 The nations shall see and be confounded at all their might: they shall lay [their] hand upon [their] mouth, their ears shall be deaf. 17 They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall be afraid of the LORD our God, and shall fear because of thee.”
Always endeavor “to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Bend over backwards to get along with God’s saints. Make allowances for one another’s faults, failures, and offenses. Never be guilty of alienating a brother, or refusing to graciously embrace one who is a child of God. But this brotherly kindness is not to be extended to those who are “the enemies of the cross of Christ.” — “Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord?” (2 Chronicles 19:2; Psalm 139:21-22; Galatians 1:6-9).
With regard to all false religion, the commandment of God is as plain as the nose on your face. Our Lord Jesus says, to all who are in apostate, Babylonian, free-will, works religion — “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” (Revelation 18:4).
All free will, works religion, Arminianism in any and every form, under any denominational name is false religion. It may call itself Christian. But it is not Christian at all. Such religion is utter paganism! It is a total denial of God’s free and sovereign grace in Jesus Christ (Galatians 5:2, 4).
The Son of God calls for all who worship him to clearly separate themselves from false religion (2 Corinthians 6:14; Revelation 18:4). Yes, that means we are not to attend, support, promote, or give any approval to those synagogues of Satan where “will worshippers” meet.
We must never forsake the assembly of the saints (Hebrews 11:25). But we are specifically commanded to forsake the religious assemblies of those who do not worship our God and “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.”
God never once says, “Stay in Babylon, try to reform her, teach in her Sunday School, and maybe you can do a little good.” Compromise will never benefit the souls of men. The only thing to do with Babylon is to “Come out of her that ye be not partakers of her sins (her religious activities), and that ye receive not of her plagues.”
I know that some who read almost everything I write, some who listen to tapes of every message I preach, many who watch me on television and listen to me every day on the internet, are still clinging to Babylon. You are trying to walk both sides of the fence. You claim to believe the gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ; but you attend synagogues of Satan and support false prophets with your money, your presence, and your influence.
If you do, you are as guilty of crimes against God and the souls of men as the false prophet you support. You are taking everyone under your influence, by the hand (husbands, wives, children, neighbors, everyone under your influence), and leading them to hell. This is what the Master says: — “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”
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