TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD
"For this is a rebellious people, false sons, sons who refuse to listen to the instruction of the LORD; who say to the seers, 'You must not see visions'; and to the prophets, 'You must not prophesy to us what is right, speak to us pleasant words, prophesy illusions. Get out of the way, turn aside from the path, let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.'" Isaiah 30:9-11
When I was growing up, there was a song by Rufus, sung by Chaka Kahn, which was very popular. It was simply titled, Tell Me Something Good. Do you remember it? Its chorus was certainly catchy, and the bass riff was classic. I believe that chorus—Tell Me Something Good--aptly fits many in our world today who call themselves Christians. It was certainly the chorus in Isaiah’s day as evidenced by the verses above.
The people in Isaiah’s day didn’t want to hear about God’s holiness. They didn’t want to hear about repentance. They didn’t want to hear what was right in the sight of the Lord. They just wanted to hear the things that made them feel good about themselves as they continued on in sin. Sound familiar?
HOW DARE YOU!
Although Isaiah was getting intense pressure from the people to change his message to the feel good, mushy, God-is-love-and-nothing-else, no-standard variety, Isaiah wouldn’t do it. He stayed faithful to the God who called him and commissioned him (see Isaiah 6). He preached the word of the Lord without stutter, stammer, or apology. As a result, tradition tells us that wicked King Manasseh placed Isaiah inside a hollow log and sawed him in half. He silenced the messenger, but failed to silence the truth of the message.
IT HAS COME TO AMERICA
I believe we are living in a country that is becoming increasing hostile to people who believe the Word of God and cling to the clear standards of God. Although none of us is glad about this recent American phenomenon, it should not be a surprise. Jesus told us it was coming. Concerning the end times, He said, "Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name” (Matthew 24:9). Have you felt the hate lately? Have you witnessed the attacks and smears against anyone who dares to stand up and tell the gospel truth?
Based on the selfish, sinful decisions we have made individually and collectively as a nation, I believe we are on the precipice of judgment. God is marvelously patient, but His patience does not last forever. When the message of repentance is repeatedly rejected, God’s judgment eventually comes. Proverbs 29:1 reminds us, “A man who hardens his neck after much reproof will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.”
In the ancient, antediluvian world of Noah, God was pleading to the people through His prophet to board the ark of safety before it was too late. Yet no one heeded, save Noah and his family. No doubt, Noah was called every nasty name in the book for preaching about pending judgment. But he was speaking the truth in love, not hate. He was telling the people what they needed to hear and pointing the way to salvation. He wanted the people to escape from the wrath that was rightfully going to fall on his sin-sick world. Tragically, the people mocked and scoffed and probably threatened to do him physical harm. In the end, they were swept away in judgment because they refused God’s gift of salvation.
Let me encourage you as I encourage myself: “Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10-11). The Lord never said it would be easy. It wasn’t for Isaiah. It wasn’t for Noah. It wasn’t for Peter, James, and Paul. All those guys were faithful to the Lord and His Word. They were bold, yet loving. They endured hardship like a good soldier. They let their light shine in a dark and evil world. They glorified God, all the way to the end.
May you and I do the same. May we be faithful to our Savior and King until death, knowing that He has promised to give us the crown of life as a reward (see Revelation 2:10). Indeed, it is hard to stand up for Jesus when the world is coming against us, but it is so worth it!
Pastor Jeff Schreve
From His Heart Ministries
P.S. If you are struggling with being faithful, please allow us to pray for you. Go to www.fromhisheart.org/prayerworks and list your prayer request on our PrayerWorks page. We’ll join with people from around the world to lift you up in prayer.
Jeff Schreve founded From His Heart Ministries, www.fromhisheart.org, in 2005 with the vision to reach as many people as possible with the good news of God's love. Jeff believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a great plan just for you. He broadcast on radio, TV and in the internet around the world from his pulpit ministry as Pastor of First Baptist in Texarkana, Texas. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.
DESCRIPTION: Wars, terrorism, earthquakes, famines, floods, rapid technological advancements, a falling away from the true faith… what in the world is going on? What is coming next? Is the end really drawing near, and if so, what does it look like? In this frank and powerful series, Dr. Jeff Schreve shares biblical insights concerning the present age and the not too distant future.