Amos – Chapter 7 – Amos or Amaziah
There is a very loud and persistent cry in Chruch-anity today. TELL ME WHAT I WANT TO HEAR! GIVE ME A BIBLE FORMULA FOR MAKING MY LIFE BETTER! This religious posture has seeped into the church to the point that after a sermon, one common response among hearers is, “I didn’t get anything out of that sermon, how about you?” This “serve me” mentality makes the individual the center of the church and not Christ Jesus. This polluted perspective among so-called believers has persisted for so long that pastors all over the nation have bowed in acquiescence. Afraid of a mass exodus from the church, and with it financial support, the pastors have altered the pulpits message. Today’s successful preacher artfully changes the sermon from one that exposes the truth of God’s Holy message, to a culturally relevant, upbeat and easily digestible message from which I can get something for me.
Young parents are instructed to “never, never shake a baby”! Sometimes I feel like the body of Christ today is like a baby that should never be shaken. Let’s deal gently and lovingly with it so as to not damage its modelable young life. But then I realize the church is not some baby, it is actually around two thousand years old. Nobody ever says “never, never shake an adult”! The church today is no baby, it’s just acting like one!
So I want to shake the church. WAKE UP! Your culturally relevant, feel good, community-based homilies are NOT God’s message to His people! On the contrary, these man-centered proclamations are anti-biblical, damaging and damnable perversions of the truth of God’s Holy Word. Don’t believe me? Think I’m being too harsh? Spend quality time in the Word of God, then take the time to compare the modern sermon to the Word of God. Use the Word of God as your standard, not the modern cultural climate.
We need more people like Amos and fewer people like Amaziah standing in the pulpits today. In Amos chapter seven we see Amos boldly risking his life to proclaim the nation’s worship centers will be destroyed, and the king will die by the sword. Amos 7:10 tells us how Amaziah the priest of Bethel reacted to the harsh words of Amos.
Before we look at the Amos 7:10-11 think about something. Here we have two men both claiming to be men of God, but with two contradictory messages. If they were both God’s man for the hour how could their messages be so different? Is God bipolar? Absolutely not! God is Holy. God is sovereign. If Amos and Amaziah were both men of God, then their messages would agree and compliment one another. Each message would give details and perspective possibly absent from but in agreement with the other one.
Amaziah though functioning as a priest had long ago departed God’s service. He had bowed to the pressure of the people and the king. He had been telling the king and his followers what they wanted to hear for so long he no longer recognized God’s word.
10 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel. The land is not able to bear all his words.
11 For thus Amos has said:
‘Jeroboam shall die by the sword,
And Israel shall surely be led away captive
From their own land.’ ”
Do you see that? Amaziah doesn’t see the message as a warning from God, he instead thinks it to be Amos conspiring against the king.
Please church, I beg you, stop eating the delicious sugar coated placebos of the feel-good sermon – they are killing you! Instead, sit down to a complete and nutritious meal. Feast on the Word of God! Expect your pastor to preach the Bible!
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
If there is no Jesus in the church you may be seeker friendly with a large congregation, but there will be no life because Jesus is the life. Trying to get to God through community messages and formulas? You’ll never make it! No one comes to the Father unless it is through Jesus the Messiah.
Remember church, not every negative message is bad, and not every positive message is good. Learn to discern using the Holy Bible as your standard, not how the message makes you feel.
All Scripture Quotations from The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982. Print.