GOD’S WORD IS A FIRE
A. Jeremiah 23:21-32 is found in a context speaking against the false prophet.
1. Verse 21 – God said that there were some prophets who He did not send, nor spoke to, and yet, they RAN to prophecy.
a. Today we need more true gospel preachers to run to preach the truth
b. Remember Jonah? He ran away!
2. Verse 23 – God said that He was not a far off, but was close at hand.
a. Omniscience – omnipresent
b. This should have made an impact on the false prophets
3. Verses 24-25 – God said that no one can hid from Him
a. He knew of their false teaching
b. He knew deceit was in their heart
c. All of this caused God’s people to forsake Him
4. Verses 28-29 – The true prophet was to speak God’s word faithfully, because it was like a fire and a hammer.
5. Verses 30-32 – God is against the false prophet, who takes the Word from the people – causing them to err.
B. God’s people throughout the Bible were continually departing from Him, and one of the major reasons was the false prophet
1. They were teaching man’s doctrine, as are many today – Matthew 15:9
2. God commanded them then, as He does today, to preach HIS WORD, because it is like a fire (Jer. 23:29).
C. God’s word will work like a fire in our lives today if we will only allow it to.
1. It’s difficult to explain fire
2. But we do know the things that it does
D. Let us consider the ways in which God’s word is like fire…
A. God’s word is like a fire because it gives LIGHT
1. Think, for a moment, how valuable light is to us
a. Helps us to see in darkness
1) Gives direction
2) Keeps us from stumbling
b. Helps us to feel secure
1) Fear of things that go bump in the night
2) Things that seem to something in the night are really nothing when seen in the light…
2. The light that is set forth from God’s word is even more important
a. “Thy word is a LAMP unto my feet, and a LIGHT unto my path” (Psa. 119:105).
1) God’s word sheds light in our lives
2) It allows us to see the direction we should follow
b. 1 Peter 2:9
1) A Christian is depicted as one taken from darkness into light
2) Jesus tells Paul that he was chosen to go to the Gentiles and “to turn them from darkness to light” (Acts 26:18).
3) Those in darkness are under the power of Satan and those in the light are under the power of God
4) Today there are many walking in darkness and going in the wrong direction
c. “The entrance of thy word giveth LIGHT; it giveth understanding to the simple” (Psa. 119:130).
1) God word gives light, therefore security
2) Things seem one way in the dark, but another way in the light
3. God’s word is like fire because it gives light helping us to see and understand
B. God’s word is like fire because it COMFORTS
1. There is nothing more comforting than sitting by a warm fire on a cold day
a. A fire causes cheer, comfort and serenity
b. The farther one gets away from the fire the less he is warmed and comforted.
2. So it is with God’s word … it comforts
a. “Wherefore COMFORT one another with these words” (1 The. 4:18)
b. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
1) God’s word is our comfort in time of trouble
2) We can then comfort others
c. “This is my COMFORT in my affliction, for thy word hath quickened me” (Psa. 119:50).
3. How does God’s word comfort us?
4. It is comforting to know that we have a God who cares and gives all we need, remember the farther we get from God word the less comfort we will receive.
5. God’s word is like a fire because it gives comfort.
C. God’s word is like a fire because it is PENETRATING
1. Fire has the power to burn right through metal
a. Fire is powerful
b. Fire that is hot enough can penetrate anything
2. As fire is able to penetrate, so can the word of God
a. Hebrews 4:12
1) Able to pierce through the hardest hearts
2) Like a two edged sword, able to cut a going and a coming
b. Ephesians 6:17 – “sword of the Spirit”
1) Notice that it is not the Spirit that penetrates
2) It is His sword – the word of God
3. When the word of God penetrates the hearts of man, one of two things will occur:
a. Acts 2:37
b. Acts 5:33
4. God’s word is like a fire because it penetrates the heart
D. God’s word is like a fire because it PURIFIES
1. Precious metals are separated from the dross by fire
a. Burns the impurities away
b. Fire is a purifying agent
2. As does fire, so does the word of God purify
a. John 15:3
1) It cleanses
2) Removes the filth of sin
b. Ephesians 5:26-27
1) The church is purified by the word of God
2) Produces a spotless church
c. 1 Peter 1:22
1) It is not simply the word that purifies
2) But obedience also
3. We need to use the word of God to burn the impurities from lives.
4. The word of God is like a firs because it purifies.
E. The word of God is like a fire because it DESTROYS
1. The same fire that can warm our homes, can burn it down
a. The fire that cooks your meals can burn you up
b. Fire can help and it can destroy
2. God’s word is much the same way
a. If you obey it, it will save you
b. If you disobey it, it will destroy you
3. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9
a. God is going to take vengeance in the Day of Judgment
b. The disobedient will be punished eternally
4. John 12:48
a. We will be judged by God’s word
b. Those word can save or cause us to be lost, depending upon our response to them
A. How are you responding to God’s word?
1. Are allowing it to do all it can?
2. Or, do you give little or no attention at all?
B. God’s word can do great things for us if we will but accept it.
1. Will you accept God’s word?
2. Will you allow it to so what it is able to do?
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