13 Oct The fire of the Lord
1 Kings 18:17-40
17 When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?” 18 And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the Lord and followed the Baals. 19 Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”
20 So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. 21 And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. 22 Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the Lord, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men. 23 Let two bulls be given to us, and let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it. And I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood and put no fire to it. 24 And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.” 25 Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many, and call upon the name of your god, but put no fire to it.” 26 And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made. 27 And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” 28 And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. 29 And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention.
30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” And all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been thrown down. 31 Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord came, saying, “Israel shall be your name,” 32 and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord. And he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two seahs of seed. 33 And he put the wood in order and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.” 34 And he said, “Do it a second time.” And they did it a second time. And he said, “Do it a third time.” And they did it a third time. 35 And the water ran around the altar and filled the trench also with water.
36 And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. 37 Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.” 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.” 40 And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and slaughtered them there.
Anyone has trouble making decision? I do. I would not call myself indecisive but I am a thinker. I am the type of person who needs to consider all the possibilities first before I make a decision. For example, when I go shopping, I am not an impulse buyer. I don’t come into a store, grab what I want, pay at the cashier and leave. That’s not me. Let’s say I want to buy a white shirt. I would go into a store, walk around the store and scan the entire store before deciding if I want to buy a white shirt or not. But that is not enough. I would go to different store, do the exact same thing, to make sure that there isn’t a better white shirt. But that is not enough. I would go to another store and repeat the whole process. I want to make sure that I get the best white shirt for the cheapest price. How many of you are like me? All the Chinese raise your hands. Making a choice is not easy. And the higher the stake, the harder it is to make a choice. Sometime it is easier to not make a choice. But how many of you know that to not make a choice is in itself a choice? And some of the most miserable Christians I know are those who made a choice to not make a choice.
Tonight, I have an agenda. I want to be straight with you so you don’t have to second guess me. If throughout the sermon, a thought come to your mind saying, “Hmmm I think Yosi is talking to me.” I want you to know that “Yes! I am talking to you!” There will be no ambiguity and for some of you, this will be very personal. And you will ask the question, “Did Yosi have me in mind when he prepare this sermon?” and again I will answer, “Yes, I have you in mind when I write this sermon.” So you don’t need to second guess me. I’m letting you know ahead of time. So what is my agenda? Here is my agenda for tonight. Tonight I want you to finally make up your mind on who God is and act consistently with what you believe. Sounds simple right? It is simple! But it is very confrontational. The text for tonight is extremely confrontational. It does not allow a middle ground. You are given a choice. You either serve God or Baal. One or the other but not both. The God of the Bible will not allow you to serve both him and Baal. If the Lord is God then serve him. If Baal is God then serve him. If the Lord is God, then he demands all of you. But if the Lord is not God, you don’t have any reason to be here at all. In fact, it is best for you to ignore him altogether. Some of the most miserable Christians I know are those who serve God on Sunday and serve other gods on Wednesday. Tonight, I want to set you free from it. Either you fully commit your life to the Lord or go out there and enjoy what the world has to offer. Stop going to the church on Sunday and go to the club instead. Some of you are thinking, “This is the first time I heard a pastor telling me to stop going to the church and to go to the club instead.” But I mean it. And I believe this is what our text is telling us tonight. Stop limping between two gods and choose one whom you will follow.
Our text for tonight is one of the greatest showdown in the Bible. It is a showdown between the Lord and Elijah against Baal and the prophets of Baal. At this time of the story, Israel is separated into two Kingdoms. The Northern Kingdom and Southern Kingdom. Northern Kingdom consists of 10 of the original twelve tribes and is called Israel, while the Southern Kingdom consists of two tribes and is called Judah. Each Kingdom has their own king. The one reigned over Israel at this time is a king by the name of Ahab. Ahab is not a Godly king. He does not fear God at all. The Bible even mentions that Ahab did more evil to provoke the Lord more than all who were before him. As if that’s not bad enough, he marries a non-Israelite woman by the name of Jezebel and Jezebel introduces Ahab to other gods called Baal. Baal is not a single god. Baal is a generic name for any god. So there is a rain Baal, fertility Baal, success Baal etc. Because of Ahab and Jezebel, Israel no longer worship the Lord alone but they also worship Baal. This is a bad marriage arrangement. There is a lesson here: be careful whom you marry. The person you marry has a massive influence in drawing you closer to God or separating your further from God. That is for free.
And in 1 Kings 17:1, God sents his prophet by the name of Elijah. Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew not rain these years, except by my word.” Talk about an entrance. He shows up out of nowhere, declares there would be no rain or dew at all in Israel, and then he disappears just like that. Ever since that day, there is a massive drought in Israel. King Ahab looks everywhere for Elijah but cannot find him. Then three years later, the Lord tells Elijah to show himself to Ahab. It’s time for showdown. This is a battle to decide once and for all, who is the true God. Is it the Lord or Baal? The name Elijah means “The Lord is God” and this is Elijah’s mission in life and the point of this story. There is only one living God. His name is the Lord. So, follow him.
The challenge to the people
After three years, Elijah shows up in front of Ahab and Ahab is upset. He blames Elijah for the drought in Israel. And Elijah replies, “Why are you blaming me? It is not my fault. It is your fault Ahab. You have committed two sins against the Lord. One, you abandoned the commandment of the Lord, and two, you followed the Baals. So this drought is the Lord’s punishment for your sins. But okay, if you want the drought to end, bring the 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah and meet me at Mount Carmel. Also, gather all Israel at that place as well. Let’s settle this once and for all.” So they gather together at Mount Carmel. And listen to what Elijah says to the people of Israel. 1 Kings 18:21 – And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. Do you see what happen? At this time, the people of Israel have yet to forsake the Lord completely. They know that it is the Lord who brought them out of Egypt with his mighty hands. They know that it is the Lord that gave them the Promised Land. They still hold to the Law of Moses and performed all the sacrifices. However, they also worship Baal at the same time. They worship Baal for their needs. So they hold on to their status as the people of God but they live their daily life depending on Baal. And now Elijah is telling them to stop it. If the Lord is God, then he is the only God. The Lord does not allow room for any other gods. The Lord will not share his glory with another. So either Israel serve the Lord only or serve Baal only. No compromise or negotiation. That’s the challenge and it is very applicable to us.
There are many Christians today who confess with their mouth that the Lord is God but worship idols with their life. And by idols I do not only mean you bow down to statues of other gods. But idols can also mean anything that you love more than God. Most of the time they are not bad thing. Idols are a good thing that we turn into a god thing. Let me give you an example. One of the most common idols in our days is success. Success is a good thing. God created you with ability to work and thrive. But then what happen is we turn success into our idol. We are driven by success and we are willing to pay whatever the price in order for us to become successful. We study hard and we work hard so that we might be recognised by people around us. And if we do not receive that recognition, we are devastated. There are many other idols. And the point is, you either follow the Lord or follow your idols. Choose one over the other. If money is what makes you important, then do whatever it takes to have more money. Leave God out of the making money equation. It’s not working. If sexual fulfilment is what satisfy you, then have as much sex as possible with whoever you want. Don’t use God to make you have guilty conscience only to continue to pursue your sexual appetite. If people’s approval is what gives you value, then sell your soul to please people. Do whatever you need to do to win their approval. Don’t use God to increase your self-esteem when you desire others approval. If success is your goal, then run hard after it. Don’t look to the right and left and worry about how your decision affect others. If Baal is your god then follow him. Don’t hold back. Go all out. Pursue sin. Stop limping. A lot of Christian try to be both. They want little bit of God and little bit of Baal. It’s exhausting. Because you do not enjoy the joy of following Christ but you also do not enjoy the full pleasure of sin. No wonder you are miserable.
Now, let’s chat. I meet people like this all the time. They seemed to have a personal encounter with God. They were willing to do anything for God. They heard about the message of forgiveness of sin. They heard the Gospel and they were baptized. They were probably my favourite people at church. They were at church every Sunday. If the service starts at 4, they were not here at 4:10 like many of you but they were here at 3PM. They read their Bible every day. They never missed MC. As long as things goes their way, they were all out for God. They told everyone, “I love the Lord.” But when things did not work out according to their will, they said, “Who is the Lord?” They questioned God. But then they came to church and heard the gospel preached and they were on fire again. “I love the Lord!” Until they met him or her. They know that they should not date non-believer but what can they do when they are in love right? So they would tell me, “Well, it’s not like we are going to get married. We are just going to hold hand and have coffee together for the next 2 or 3 years and see where it goes. I know he is not a Christian but he is a very good guy and he is cute. And beside, maybe through me he will get to know God. You never know right? You know how RSI talks about one person one disciple one year right? I feel like this is my one. Maybe this is God’s will for my life.” And I would reply “Girl, I can assure you this is not God’s will for you. God’s will is for you to share the gospel with him and introduce him to the gospel. And if he believes and becomes a Christian, then awesome. Give him a year to see whether he is faking it or not. And if his faith is true, then you can hold hand and have coffee with him for the next two or three years.” But of course, what does a single pastor know about love right? So most of the time they ignored my warning. And very soon, they began to lose their desire and passion for the Lord. Why? Because they are trying to follow both the Lord and Baal just like the Israelites. And my fear as your pastor is that this passage is actually talking about some of you. You know enough about the Lord to know that you should not forsake him altogether but you also want to pursue your idols at the same time. Church becomes nothing but a Sunday ritual for you.
I love the way Chandler puts it, “Church is a terrible hobby to have.” So you dress nice every Sunday and put on the church face and meet lots of church people and pretend that everything is okay. Then you come and sing about how God loves you and you love God despite knowing in your heart that you don’t. Then you listen to me yell at you on how sinful you are and the good news of the gospel that call you to repentance. So you feel guilty, say sorry to God and then you go home and continue to pursue Baal. What a terrible hobby. It’s a waste of time. Just stop. It’s miserable. If Baal is God, then follow him. Go and sin as much as you can. Be the best sinner you can be. Some of you are worried right now. “Is this a church? The pastor just told me to sin and be the best sinner I can be. Is he a fake Instagram pastor?” No I’m not. Hear me clearly on this one. If Baal is your god, follow him! Stop being a miserable half-hearted people who can’t decide and keep limping from one side to the other. It’s exhausting and tiring. Go and run as fast as you can toward sin. Because the faster you do that, the quicker you realize the empty promises of sin. But, if the Lord is God then follow him. All in. Because this is what I know about those who are all in for God. Fullness of Joy and pleasures evermore are yours! It is the privilege for those who follow God wholeheartedly. So choose one: the Lord or Baal.
The silence of Baal
Let’s continue. So Elijah tells the people to bring them two bulls, one for him and one for the prophets of Baal, and they will set up separate altars. Then they will call upon the name of their God and the God who answers by fire is the true living God. Simple. The people agree to it and the battle begins. Now, usually, in every battle, you want your team to have as many advantages as possible. You don’t want your team to be in disadvantage. But that is not the case with Elijah. Elijah intentionally gives every advantage to the prophets of Baal. First, they are having the battle at Mount Carmel. Mount Carmel is known at that time as Baal’s territory. If you are a sport person, then you know the advantages of playing in your home court. Home court gives you extra edge because you are familiar with your surrounding and you have the crowd at your side. Elijah intentionally choose Baal’s home court to have the battle. And not only that, we also know that there are 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah. So they have 850 players on the other team and Elijah is by himself. 850 vs 1. The odd is not good. On top of that, Elijah decides to be a gentleman and let them choose the bull first and for them to go first. It means that if Baal answers by fire, Elijah would have lost before he even start. Why did he do that? Elijah is not dumb. In fact, he is very smart. He is giving every advantage to the prophets of Baal to show the people of Israel the foolishness in following Baal and to further increase the glory of the Lord when he answers by fire. The Lord is not limited by disadvantages. In fact, he loves to be at disadvantage because he will receive greater glory when he win. Listen. When you have the Lord on your side, it does not matter how many disadvantages you have, it does not matter how many advantages your enemy has, you will triumph.
So the prophets of Baal call upon the name of Baal from morning to noon. They call on him for 6 straight hours and nothing happen. After waiting for few hours, Elijah is bored and start mocking them. “Cry louder. Maybe he is day dreaming. Maybe he is checking his Instagram and does not hear you. Or maybe he is taking a piss (this is the literal translation. That’s a long piss.) Or maybe he is on holiday to Japan. Or maybe he is out brunching or shopping. Or maybe he is just tired and is taking a nap. Cry louder.” We call this holy sarcasm. If you want to learn how to do it, speak to Tim. I heard he is an expert. So the prophets of Baal cries louder and they also dance for Baal. Why did they dance? The assumption is this. For God to answer you and give you what you want, you need to make him happy by doing something for them. You need to perform for them. So they dance for Baal. And when dancing does not work, they start cutting themselves. Why? Because if performance is not enough, you need to sacrifice yourself to please God. Sounds familiar? This is how you serve every other gods.
Today, many people still try to perform and sacrifice themselves to earn God’s approval and blessing. Whether it comes in the package of religion or personal idols, every false god requires you to dance and slash yourself for them. Work harder. Do better. Obtain more. False gods always require payment and sacrifice from us and it always harms us. If success is your idol, you will sacrifice your integrity and you will do whatever it takes in order to climb up the ladder. If acceptance is your idol, you will sacrifice your honesty and tell lie to get affirmation. If relationship is your idol, you will sacrifice your body and risk your future to be with that person. And here is the thing about idol: the more you do for idol, the more it will demand. It starts as a cry out, then it turns into a dance, and then it leads to a cut. Why? Because it is never enough. Your idol cannot satisfy you and give you what you want. And many Christians try to approach God the same way. We used prayer and Christian disciplines as our payment and sacrifice to get what we want. So we go to the church, we read the Bible, we pray, we serve in church, we do everything right in order to be accepted by God. But when we don’t get what we want from God, we bail out. We think of God like Baal. But God is not Baal.
Listen to what happen after the prophets of Baal did all of those. 1 Kings 18:29 – And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention. Don’t miss this. No voice, no answer, no attention. Three repetitions to emphasize the same point. The author is trying to emphasize that Baal is nothing, nothing, nothing. Baal is absolutely nothing. Triple zero. Baal does not answer. The response from Baal is total silent. But the Lord is different. If Baal is nothing, nothing, nothing, the Lord is holy, holy, holy. And the Lord is not silent. The Lord is never away. The Lord never go on holiday. The Lord never take a nap. He is never weary. He is always available. “Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” (Psalm 121:4). The Lord is different from Baal. He is the one true God.
The fire of the Lord
Now pay attention to what happen next. Elijah calls the people of Israel to gather around him. He sets up the altar using twelve stones to represent the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he puts the wood in order and cuts the bull in pieces and lays it on the wood. And then he does something strange. He pours 12 jars of water on the burn offering and the wood until the altar is drenched with water. This is strange. Anyone has the experience of making bonfire? I did it few times back in High School camp. I might not know much about making a fire but one thing I do know. You don’t use water to create a fire. It’s like trying to go on diet by drinking bubble tea. It does not work. It creates opposite effect. Yet this is what Elijah does. He stakes the odd against the Lord. Why? Same reason he gives all the advantages to the prophets of Baal. Elijah wants everyone to be sure that what is about to happen can only be explained by the power of God. The greatest handicap is no handicap at all to the one true God. So Elijah prays to the Lord.
1 Kings 18:36-37 – And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.” What a powerful prayer. This is very important. How long does it take for us to read Elijah’s prayer? Less than a minute. It is a very short prayer. Prophets of Baal prayed for 6 hours and nothing happened. Elijah only needs 30 seconds. The power of prayer has nothing to do with the length of prayer but the God to whom we pray. And I love Elijah’s prayer. He asks for two things. One, he asks the Lord to vindicate his own name. That there is no God but the Lord. Two, he asks the Lord to turn the hearts of the people back to him. This is crucial. Because revival is about to break out in Israel. People about to repent and return to the Lord. But it all hinges on Elijah’s prayer for the Lord to vindicate his own name and for the Lord to turn the heart of Israel back to him. This is such an encouragement to me. I desire to see many people repent and return to the Lord. I desire to see many of you to have passion for the Lord. But I am also aware of my limitation and inability to do so and that is a good news. Because if your repentance is dependent on me, I am going to die young trying to convince you to follow the Lord. I can’t do that but there is one who can. It is the Lord himself. He is the only one who is able to turn the heart of the people back to him. And that is my hope and your hope as we share the gospel with others. The Lord is the only who is able to turn the heart of the people. Our role is to get on our knees and ask God in prayer to do what he alone can do.
1 Kings 18:38-39 – Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.” Despite the odd against him, the fire of the Lord falls from heaven and consumes everything. Literally everything. Nothing is left. No bull, no wood, no stones, no soil, and no water. See, now the Lord is just showing off. Don’t miss the two contrasts. The prophets of Ball cries out to Baal and inflict pains on themselves but there is no answer. Elijah stakes the odd against the Lord, then he calls out to the Lord in faith and he answers. Everything that Baal cannot do, the Lord does instantly and so much more. And what happen next? Revival breaks out. People fall on their faces and confess that the Lord is God. What cause it? The fire of the Lord. Don’t miss it. The fire of the Lord does two things. One, it consumes the sacrifice, and two, it turns the heart of the people back to the Lord. The fire of the Lord demonstrates that the Lord is God and it is also the mean by which the Lord turns the heart of the people. The fire is both demonstration of the Lord’s power and grace. It is God’s acceptance of the sacrifice that turns the heart of Israel toward God. My friend, this is the gospel.
There is an interesting story in Luke that seems very random to me for many years until recently when I prepared for this message. Luke 9:51-55 – 51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. 53 But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. 54 And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55 But he turned and rebuked them. Now if you have a good Bible, there should be a little number at the end of verse 54. And if you look at the number at the bottom of the page, you will find that some manuscripts have the phrase “as Elijah did. That means that the phrase could be or could be not in the original manuscript. But the point is still the same. The Samaritans reject Jesus because his face is set toward Jerusalem. This is Luke’s way of saying that Jesus is determined to go to Jerusalem to be crucified. Jesus knows that he is about to die and he is determined to die. And the Samaritans reject Jesus because of it. To which James and John respond by saying they want to tell fire to fall from heaven and consume the Samaritans. And Jesus rebukes them. Why? Because they are missing the point. Jesus is not Elijah calling down the fire of judgement. Jesus came to be the sacrifice that will receive the Lord’s fire of judgement.
This is what separate Jesus from every other gods. Every other gods say, “Dance for me, perform for me and I will accept you.” But Jesus is the only God who danced and performed for you. Every other gods say, “Cut yourself for me, sacrifice for me.” But Jesus is the only God who was cut for you and became sacrifice for you. Every other gods requires your blood but Jesus is the only God who gave his blood for you. Every other gods demand from you but Jesus is the only God who came to turn your heart to him. This is the gospel. Every other religion requires you to perform and there is no answer but the gospel requires you to call out in faith and he answers. Your acceptance is by grace though faith. You do not need to cut yourself to get the Lord’s acceptance because the Lord cut himself for you. Jesus came and bleed for us so that we are accepted in front of God by our faith in Jesus. All other gods do not give you answer. They are all silent and powerless. But the Lord answers you with a miracle. The Lord who came and bleed for us and died at the cross on our behalf was resurrected from death and sit at the right hand of God, forever interceding for those who trust in him. The Lord, he is God. It is only when you see the fire of the Lord fell on Jesus that your heart can burn on fire for Jesus. This is the gospel.
1 Kings 18:40 – And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and slaughtered them there. This is what happen when you see the fire of the Lord. Your hearts burn for the passion of his name and you destroy the enemies of God. It does not mean that you go out there and start killing people but it means that you won’t allow Baal to rule in your hearts. Baal won’t satisfy you. Baal won’t answer your prayers. Destroy all the idols in your life. Be extremely ruthless. Do not play around with sin. Sin is not your pet. Sin is a predator ready to kill you at any time. We need to kill sin before it kills us. The only appropriate response to the gospel is to follow the Lord wholeheartedly and destroy Baal in your life.
After such an overwhelming victory, Elijah goes up to Mount Carmel and pray for rain. And the Lord answers his prayer and sends a great rain. And I love what happen next. Ahab rides back to Jezreel in his chariot. And Elijah is running on his feet and overtake Ahab’s chariots. Can you imagine that scene? Elijah is jogging next to Ahab’s chariot, says hi to Ahab, and outran him. How is it possible? Only God knows. But this is so cool. With God, you can outrun the fastest chariots on your feet.
I’ll end with this. Tonight, I believe the Lord wants to burn his fire in your heart. And for that, he wants you to make a choice. The Lord or Baal. How long will you limp between two opinions? Choose. And my hope is that you choose the Lord because he is the only true God. I want you to go all in for Jesus. If your heart is not on fire for Jesus, maybe it is because you are still holding on to Baal in your pocket. I implore you tonight to let go of your idols and follow Jesus. Jesus is the only God that if you find him, he will satisfy you and if you fail him, he will forgive you. Follow him wholeheartedly. So what do you need to do to go all in for Jesus? Whatever it is, tonight I want you to make a choice to follow Jesus. I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back. The cross before me, the world behind me, no turning back.
- What is the problem with Israel in Ahab’s days and how does this problem relate to us?
- What is the choice that Elijah presented to Israel and us? Why is it better for us to choose one over limping between two?
- “When you have the Lord on your side, it does not matter how many disadvantages you have, it does not matter how many advantages your enemy has, you will triumph.” Agree or disagree? Do you have a testimony that you can share with others?
- Baal does not answer and Baal is nothing. In your opinion, why do many people continue to pursue Baal (idols) today even though they are nothing?
- Read Elijah’s prayer in 1 Kings 18:36-37. How does his prayer empower us to share the gospel with unbelievers?
- What makes the gospel different from every religion or idols?
- Split into group of two or three and pray for one another that they may continue to say no to Baal and say yes to Christ.