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The Downfall of the Soul (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
October 17, 2022 6:00 am

The Downfall of the Soul (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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October 17, 2022 6:00 am

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The wicked here that day on this referring to are not common sinners, we are all sinners. These are abject sinners in unrestrained rebellion against God, and in this case, of course, Yahweh and it's important to point that out because if you just read that the Lord is going to take vengeance upon us the wicked. The sinners then we are all without hope that is not what's intended.

This is cross reference radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of Jonah. Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about cross reference radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching, but for now let's join Pastor Rick in the book of Nahum chapter 1 as he begins his message. The downfall of the soul. If you have your Bibles turn to the table of contents and there. Look for the prophet Nahum we are in Nahum chapter 1 Nahum chapter 1 will take verses one through three and a moment text is entitled the downfall of the soul.

Nahum chapter 1 verses one through three. The burden against Nineveh.

The book of the vision of mail the Elko Shiite God is jealous, Yahweh avenges Yahweh avenges and is furious away will take vengeance on his adversaries. He reserves wrath for his enemies. Yahweh is slow to anger, and great in power will not at all equipped the wicked.

Yahweh has his way in the world when in the storm clouds of the dust of his feet that you might be a little intimidated by that the wicked will talk about that in a moment of the text is first three and only a portion of Yahweh is slow to anger, and great in power and will not at all equipped the wicked the wicked here that Nahum is referring to are not common sinners, we are all sinners. These are abject sinners in unrestrained rebellion against God, and in this case, course, Yahweh, and it's important to point that out because if you just read it that the Lord is going to take vengeance upon us the wicked. The sinners then we are all without hope that is not what's intended. God did not give us the Scripture to skim over these lesser-known books of the Bible are every bit as much of God's word as the more popular books of the Bible. These unused sections of Scripture are so they are on used to pass over often because God's perfection is not realized there may come to the book of Mammon. You just don't see it you're not blessed by it. If you take for instance the artwork of premier Johannes Vermeer who is artwork. I like very much. It requires education to really appreciate in the eyes of the beholder. Just what is what they're looking at was Vermeer his way he handles light in the colors if you look at his painting of the geographer. For instance how the sunlight comes into the room. Well if you just look at the painting and yet you are not told what you're looking at.

You may just see a look at that at present our guy can really draw. Then someone comes… But look at this. What makes it so special is you can do it and hardly anybody else can do it then you begin to appreciate what you're looking at. And so God has given to the church teachers to do this very thing to take a book like May hummus and let me tell you what you're looking at in case you've missed it. Learning learning the word of God allows us to reflect Christ as moonlight reflects the sunlight driving in this one is a full moon and was very bright. Of course the moon has no light of itself, that life is a reflection of the sunlight, and this should speak of the Christian life. I find this inspiring. I find it inspiring that I can learn God's word and that I can reflect God's work or am I too quick to absorb light and sluggish when it comes to reflecting light. I some people wonder why no one likes them why they have no friends is reason for that usually. And maybe it is because they are doing more of the absorption than the reflecting blackhole does not let light out said the gravity is too intense. Well, I don't want to be that way and I want to learn about these things and I want to do something with them. For God because God wants to pour into all of us so he can pour out from us. That's true of every believer. I would even say that's true of every human being. If God could just get his hands on their soul. If you could fill them. He could use them as we consider these things going a little deeper by just taking on the profit we haven't even begun to open up the prophecies of Nahum. We will, of course, in a moment, but we want to go below the surface or beneath the surface and not just take the meanings that are on top in the Scripture for a child in the story of Joan of the fish is the big deal, but for the adults. They go deeper lost souls that Jonah was sent to. That's the big deal with the book of Jonah. So I hope to go beyond the obvious with the meanings of May home because it right on the surface right on the surface, God's judgment. God's verdict. God is vindicated from his judgment but there's again so much more to this book in its meaning and its application as there is with all books in the Bible so I hope we go beyond again the obvious meanings in this prophet's writings.

Speaking of Jonah May informs the sequel to the book of Jonah. 100 years over 100 years.

Separate the two profits. Both of them were sent to the city of Nineveh. Nineveh belong to the Assyrians. When Jonah went there. The Assyrians were not yet the vicious people they would become. They were now very vicious. Very cool. They would skin their victims and hang their skins over the wall.

They do also to distinguish just mean they're very wealthy from all of the loot that they had acquired from the people that they had conquered mail goes through that Wesley details why the judgment is going to be upon them, but at this point in their history.

Assyria was at the height of her powers she recovered from that incident at Jerusalem where God had taken out over hundred and 80,000 of them that Isaiah 37 mousy strong again.

No one liked Nineveh except the Ninevites. By this time in her history. She had no friends in heaven and no friends on earth. Nineveh had no regret or sorrow for their sin and their cruelty.

They were just cruising right along. This is the second time. As I said that God has addressed Nineveh, that in fact with Jonah got it gone out of his way to deal with Nineveh, God sends Jonah's and Nahum's if necessary, to nations and to individuals as well, particularly to the individuals and that's when the book becomes a little bit more real to me when I remember God deals with individuals.

Individuals will impact society. Alexander McLaren, an old Scottish preacher said the message of Christianity is primarily to individuals and only secondary to society. It leaves the individuals whom it has influenced to influence the mass of the worst influence the society. The numbers of people, the word of God comes to individuals and those individuals ought to reflect the Christ that they have encountered in the Scriptures and are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and they are to go out into the world and make disciples very basic Nineveh. In the end it was as if the prophet Jonah had never been there. How tragic. Subsequent generations were lost forever.

Why because they receive the light and then those subsequent generations abandoned at this awful tendency talked about it somewhat Wednesday. We saw David, the king, loving the Lord Solomon upholding the kingdom and then the third generation of Rehoboam moving away from God one generation fights for their faith. The next assumes it in the third abandons that this is a pattern. It's not absolute, but it does exist and the question is you who have devout grandparents are you listening to this because of the grandparents love the Lord and your parents love the Lord, are you going to be that generation that departs from the Lord or are you going to continue it. Raise your children to understand as much mayhem the prophet here speaks of the vengeance of God. He wrote to the benefit of his people, the Jews, unlike Jonah we have no indication that Nahum was dispatched to Nineveh itself. He clearly addresses the question that the Jews would've been and asking because at this time the Jewish people were suffering raids from the Assyrians.

Ultimately, the Assyrians would conquer the northern kingdom and take it away.

He answers the questions why does God allow cruel Nineveh to continue. This is what his prophecy deals with it is a burden on Nineveh, not a blessing. So you look at word verse one. This is the burden against Nineveh and everything that follows is about Nineveh and their wickedness. Well, what does that have to do with the individual what that individual is wicked. If that individual is in the eyes of God an opponent to God, then they are to lined up for the vengeance of God. The very serious stuff. The gospel is good news, but it does not come without bad news when there was no cloud in the Assyrian sky metaphorically when there was no cloud on their horizon.

Nahum was called to preach its downfall is not the city it's the souls in the city. It is the downfall of the city because of the downfall of the souls it matters. It matters what you believe it matters what you think.

You may say nobody cares what I think we are God does every idle word is registered by God.

Nahum's prophecy against Nineveh has been so completely fulfilled. As you read this three chapters is so completely that armies have marched over the city of Nineveh unaware of the existence of his ruins beneath their feet.

That's how thorough is how thorough the prophecies were fulfilled.

There is something radically wrong with God if he does not judge sin. And I don't know why people don't get that because we, as individuals we are incensed when a wrong has been committed against us.

And no one deals with we say there is no justice will got full year. There is there is justice will get to why it takes a long time for God to execute justice in the moment well enough good moment.

But as we look at this chapter 1 there is the verdict of vengeance. Chapter 2 is the vision of vengeance because it was a vision vision he could see what was going to happen. He named it he said the floodwaters will comment and breach the city and that is precisely what happened to none of the Euphrates overflowed the Tigre's River and the waters came in and the sun baked bricks were just dissolved. Chapter 3 speaks of the vindication of vengeance. In other words, God is justified in his wrath is a good reason for this get to the part about salvation know where he every good person sometimes prophesies just like nail at some point, a righteous person looks for judgment against the wickedness in the evil that is found on earth. Why because in the Christian God's love is in them, because we hate.

We despise cruelty and inhumanity, and evil. And this is what he was was facing the prophet in his day. These Assyrians were a constant threat to the righteous people of God and the unrighteous people to they were a threat to everyone such prophecies of God's vengeance are always justifiable. God is never wrong. Whether you showing kindness or whether he is judging. He is always right. This is fundamental to Christianity. In prophecy retrospect or prophecy in Pro that is in prospect. So you have a retrospect that's the book of Naaman. In retrospect, we see it fulfilled.

It's all done.

There is no more Nineveh. You won't catch a flight to Nineveh in prospect. It is the great tribulation. That's one. It will be fulfilled as God's mercy was given to Nineveh when they repented God's vengeance was given to their impenitent ancestors, we would say it cuts both ways. These are stark warnings, they remain lessons for future generations and that would include us and these are the kind of things we should be preaching to be something wrong to open up your Bible and preach from Nineveh to someone who has no knowledge of the Bible whatsoever because you're the one this going to point out to them with a light is coming in with the colors come from that no one else can do this except God.

Like the Vermeer analogy that I use it at the beginning of profits they wrote and they spoke with astounding certainty astounding.

When they said something is like this is going to happen in many of the prophecies they do not live to see. They didn't even let the see them beginning to be fulfilled.

They were sure they were going to happen because God had given them the vision God had given them the faith and he does the same to us. He gives us what we need to be certain about the witness of Jesus Christ we have observed Jesus still points to Nahum's prophecy.

He doesn't not he does it indirectly.

It was Jesus who beheld the city and wept over it, and Wallace tears was still on his face. He pronounced Jerusalem's doom. He says it this way in Matthew 20 3C. Your house is left to you desolate judgment. He could see it coming because of them. Always God offers mercy before he pronounces judgment. That's why a book like Nahum is so important is that where is this judgment coming from what's going to happen to me. I am a sinner.

I need mercy I need God to forgive me.

Why didn't the Ninevites get it, they didn't come for this generation the others there were the president was that they would just repentance. I thought that God would forgive them and not talking about the Christian who struggles with sin was sin abounded, grace did much more talk about a lost world that is depending on us and doesn't even know it. Jesus said this woe to you raisin woe to you, but cider for the mighty works which were done in you had been done entire inside and they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

This is Jesus speaking this a lamentation in his judgment, but is a judgment.

Nonetheless, anything to the New Testament to New Testament church.

Don't misunderstand, I want to say but there is a judgment. Matthew 2313 but woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering into going such a train wreck. These religious people that he were talking about here knowing to get to heaven because of them. Matthew 2314 woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites for you to borrow widows houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore, you will receive greater condemnation. Matthew 2315 woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites for your travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is one you making twice as much a son of hell is yourselves so don't say the book of Nahum has no relevance.

All Scripture is God breathed all of it is relevant and if you don't see it is because it just hasn't been pointed out to you doesn't mean you can't see it.

How obnoxious we would all be if you could be like me joke. How obnoxious would we all be if we just knew everything. Who likes a know it all, raise your hand so within Nahum's words again the Lamentations of Jesus Christ. Jonah was sent to convict sinners to repent.

Because of the value of the soul to God. Jonah had no value for their soul. Mayhem was sent to condemn sinners for M penitents. That is the downfall of the soul without God. These are the things we need to learn to preach. I learned in my days early days as a Christian sharing the gospel that when I spoke about things of God from sections of Scripture that were totally foreign to the people I was speaking to. I held their attention better by just want to God so loved the world that he gives a so for me I don't mean lead over their heads in money but when I took a book like Nahum or any of the other books of the Bible that are relatively obscure arcane I've hold their attention because I would teach them what these things were meaning with what God has to say about sin and wrath in our Bibles. None should ignore it. God doesn't. We should not still here is some Christian that will come along because they think this way. Unfortunately, and it's never mind what you have to make me holy pastor, what do you have to make me happy.

What you have for my teams audio here.

Here's my you know your child fix them.

John Wesley said it this way about churchgoers in his day and he was in late say a 1700s. They came to church to enjoy religion instead of to learn how they could become holy.

Well, I don't feel like is that pastor this church, I have this issue but I know it exists. I know firsthand that it exists. I know that there are other churches that are this way and I don't say this to condemn them is unnecessary is pointing it out has value that kind of thinking is not taking Christianity seriously when you come to God's house only for yourself and not for him.

Something's not right.

Again we have our seasons. Sanctification that is the development of the Christian coming. There are two elements to sanctification is when you are justifying your sins taken away, you are set aside by God. You sanctified become a saint.

When Paul wrote to the Saints.

They were all living to the Saints at Ephesus to the sainted Coliseum to the Saints at Rome, they were not voted on.

They were those who had come to Jesus Christ, they were separated they were sanctified. The second phase of sanctification is the development of the Christian walk.

Ephesians 17 gets right out of step 4/70 get right into this.

It takes work to develop as a Christian. It takes work to face the flesh, the sinful nature that you're born with, and it takes constant work. It is by the sweat of your brow you will enter into heaven to hear the Lord say well done John Baptist, Jesus did and the righteous are pressing in, we are pressing in.

It is work. If you think Christianity is not work, you haven't tried the cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, of the power of God. We all know that as believers unbelievers don't know this, but if they do while they still unbelievers really don't believe, why do they not believe that million dollar question God's message to forgive or two dams wrapped up in his mercy, no question about mercy does not mean that the recipient has gotten away with their sin. It's the opposite. Mercy means you been busted. You have been caught, and strength is being withheld judgment is being held back God's mercy is lightning fast when he shows it in this instant is condemnation, though it plods along very slowly and this is why Nineveh was getting away with murder for the seasons that belong to them before their judgment. I want to say that again because it is critical to understanding the heart of God in a cursed world critical element God's mercy is lightning fast when you repent your salvation is instant but for those who have not repented. The condemnation comes slowly, Luke's gospel. This is illustrated in 13 chapter and verse six. He also spoke this parable Jesus is now giving this parable in a parable is a parallel is a great truth in the story that runs right next to life, and he says a certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.

Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard. Look for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down. Why does it use up the ground. That's me, that's what I would say cut that thing down is wasting to help with something better.

There it comes the reply but he answered and said to him, sir, let alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it and if it bears fruit, well.

But if not, after that you can cut it down to see the slow response to judgment the keeper of the vineyard's not rush to cut it down. Give it a chance move. Thanks for tuning into cross reference radio for this study.

In God's word. If you've missed any part of this message or would like to explore more teachings you can hear them by going to cross reference Pastor Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville, Virginia. To learn more about this ministry. Visit our website cross reference again. That website is cross reference would also like to encourage you to subscribe to our podcast by doing so you will be notified of each new edition of cross reference radio that we upload. It's a great way to stay connected to God's word. Just search for cross reference radio in your favorite podcast. That's all for today. Thanks for joining us here on the cross reference radio

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