Today Is A Day Of Good Newsz
If you would, go ahead and leave your Bibles open to second Kings chapter seven. We'll be looking at that and going back actually for a little bit into chapter six and looking at some things there. It's good to see each and every one of you here this morning and I appreciate your presence. The time that we spend together this morning worshiping our God, honoring Him, is special. I appreciate so much the opportunity to be able to stand before you, to be able to break open God's word together, study from it, and maybe make some applications along the way. As you see on the screen behind me, the title of our lesson is, "Today Is A Day of Good News." Well, it is the Lord's day. It is a day in which we teach from our Bibles and study from them. And time you can open your Bible and study the words that God has recorded there for us, through the hands of men, it is good news.
The message of the Bible is a message of good news; and what we will see in our text this morning is men who were able to tell other people about some good news. I want you to consider for just a moment, what is taking place in our text. It is a period in Israel's history where the kingdom is divided: Israel to the North and Judah to the South. It is a period of turmoil in Israel's history. It won't be long before both nations will be taken into captivity!
The Northern kingdom (Israel) will be taken into captivity in 722 BC and the Southern kingdom (Judah) will be taken into captivity in 606 BC. Already, in our text, Israel is under siege, and the Syrians are camped outside of the city. In 2nd Kings, Chapter six, Verse 24, it is recorded: "And it came to pass after this, that Benhadad, king of Syria, gathered all his host, and went up, and besieged Samaria." Samaria, at this particular time, was the Capital of Israel.
[As you might know, the city of Jerusalem was supposed to be the Capital of the entire nation, but after Jeroboam became the King, the kingdom divided and Samaria had become the Capital of Israel and Jerusalem remained the Capitol of Judah.]
So... the city of Samaria is under siege by Benhadad, the King of Syria. He is there to defeat the nation of Israel. However, as 2nd Kings, Chapter 7 tells us, Elisha, the prophet of God was also there in Samaria. I believe Elisha was there to tell the Syrians that God would not allow the Syrians to take the city yet.
As the text in 2nd Kings unfolds, we see four lepers sitting at the gate discussing their situation. They also were hungry. By Jewish law they could not enter the city. Because of the siege all trade had ceased. The city of Samaria was cut off from the rest of the world and the shortage of food was affecting everyone, including these four lepers. They had determined that it would be better for them to go to the enemy and be killed rather than staying where they were and starve to death. They thought the enemy might even have mercy on them. So, they decided to surrender themselves, and in doing so, they arrive at the camp. They had heard about this great Army, and were fully expecting to walk into this camp and surrender. Imagine their shock when they arrive at the enemy camp and find no one there! They began to look for food, and found some. Realizing this was good news for the people of Samaria, they determined to go back to Samaria and tell the people. This had become a day of good news! Without delay, they went and told the king's people.
I believe there are parallels between what takes place in this old Testament record and what we can do today, as Children of God: The people of Samaria lacked food and were starving. Today, many people in the world lack the blessings only God can provide, and they need to hear that message. They need to know what we know -- mankind, without God, is broken -- and has been broken since sin came into the world! Paul says, in his letter to the Romans: "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." A little further into that same letter Paul says, "The wages of sin is death!" What is he telling us? That the world is broken and there is a need for us to proclaim the blessings of God. It doesn't need to stay broken when the remedy is close by. Just as the city of Samaria had plenty of food after taking from the Syrian camp, there is an abundance of spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus waiting to be had.
Ephesians, Chapter one, Verse three: "Blessed be the God and father of our Lord." Why? "Because he has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places, in Christ in Jesus." That's good news news that needs to be shared! Not tomorrow, but today. It is news that doesn't need to be kept to ourselves. Remember what those lepers did? They realized, while they were in that tent eating and drinking, that they needed to share the blessings with others.
Today, it is all of you in this auditorium. It is all Christians around the world. It is men and women who believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, and was raised on that cross with His hands, feet and side pierced; The One who breathed his last breath and committed His spirit to God. The One who was buried in a tomb, but raised again the third day. He arose and walked in newness of life that we can enjoy. Jesus, who ascended to the Father and is currently sitting at the right hand of the throne of God, ruling His kingdom. We should NOT be a people who sit back and remain silent!
It has been said that a church that is not sharing the good news is a dying church. We have to share the good news first. If we are not sharing the good news, then we are not going to be baptizing anyone. It is the message. The sharing of that message that becomes absolutely necessary on our part. We need to understand that. We can go to that fountain of life. We can have those blessings. But unless we share the news, others will not have the same opportunity to experience the blessing of Christ. This can be a day of good news if we do not remain silent.
I realize I am talking to people in the 21st century... but imagine for just a moment: Back on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts, Chapter 2: What would have happened on the day of Pentecost had Peter and the other apostles remained silent? Jesus, before he ascended into heaven, told them, go into all the world preaching and teaching the gospel. That started on the day of Pentecost, there in Jerusalem! From there they went throughout Judea, Samaria, and the rest of the world. What could have happened if they had just remained silent on that day of Pentecost? Well, first, those 3000 souls there in Jerusalem who were baptized that day, would not have heard the Good News.
Peter, and the others, convicted some of those present that day. They spoke the Good News. They told the people what they had done, and why it was wrong. They held back nothing. Throughout the book of Acts we see the Good News being shared. The apostle Paul, in 2nd Timothy, Chapter Two, told Timothy that he was to teach others so they can understand and even teach others. Share the Good News!
So... We learned from the lepers: We learned from them by what they said to each other about keeping silent, then realized they were not doing right. Many of us have our bibles with us today, whether we have it on our Tablet, or some other electronic device. Or perhaps we have an actual Bible and are turning the pages. When you leave the worship service today, you can close your bible, take it home, put it on the shelf and it benefits only you. But when you open it and share it with others, the blessings of God that come through his son, Jesus Christ are shared with others.
And as we learned from the Lepers: The urgency is for us to share that good news. Don't wait until it's too late. I hear people talk about politics all the time. It doesn't matter whether it is in the workplace, the coffee shop, or wherever... and I hear of people being angry about what's going on in our country today -- with passion! Well friends, we should be more passionate about the news that we have -- I'm stepping on my own toes here -- we need to do better. We all can improve. Thinking of the four Lepers: As great as their news was... it was nothing compared to the salvation message contained in the Gospel!
Now -- There are consequences of our remaining silent. If we fail to keep the great commission, then we fail to carry out our responsibility as found in scripture. Jesus commanded His apostles to teach all things whatsoever I have commanded you. (Matthew, Chapter 28) That is now our responsibility, and if we fail to do as the Lord commanded, we fail in our mission as people of God.
Think about this: We are privileged, and what I mean by privileged is this: As children of God we are joint heirs with Christ! We have the honor of wearing the name Christian. We have the honor of being considered as Sons of God. As such, we are to proclaim the praises of God. We are to proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light, because we have been given mercy by the grace of God. Keep that in mind!