North Anderson Baptist Church
Without Repentance The Day of the Lord Will Come
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  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
The Lord shares a warning in the Book of Joel of the coming judgement of The Day of the Lord because of the great sin of the nation of Judah and those who are a part of that nation. Their sin and wickedness was before the Lord and He not only gave them a warning of doom coming but He gave them hope also. The judgment was upon them in the “invasion of the locusts,” and the hope would come when the people would repent, weep and show sorrow over the sins committed against the Lord.

I believe this event in the life of Judah is found close to the end of King Joash’s reign. Joel served as a prophet during this time of the King of Judah. His reign started when he was seven and lasted until his death, which covered 40 years. The time frame of Joel’s prophecy is believed to be from 835 BC to 796 BC. Throughout most of Joash’s reign the king was described by God’s Word as “Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years Jehoiada the priest instructed him.” (2 Kings 12:2) It was only when Jehoiada the priest died at 130 years old that the king and the officials of Judah abandoned the Lord and served idols. It seems that this “life change” for Judah came in the later years of Joash’s reign.

During those years of sin and wickedness of Judah, God sent a prophet named Zechariah (Not the one who wrote the book of the same name.) to tell the truth of their disobedience. He told them, “This is what God says, ‘Why do you disobey the Lord’s commands? You will not prosper. Because you have forsaken the Lord, He has forsaken you.’” The king had him killed.

The people of that time were prosperous and yet complacent. They had taken God for granted, they were self-centered, full of idolatry and sinfulfulness. This lifestyle brought judgment on them and that kind of way of living will bring God’s judgement on any people of any generation, such as ours. We sometimes think that no matter how we live God does not care and will not respond to our waywardness. How foolish are we? Think for a moment, could it be that what is happening now, a multitude of wildfires, unbearable heat wave, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados and this pandemic, is not part of the judgment of God on the world and the United States who have turned their backs on their creator and lived lives of sin, self-centeredness and idolatry?

Matthew Henry says this about these Scriptures, “It is just with God to take away the comforts which are abused to luxury and excess; and the more men place their happiness in their gratifications of sense, the more severe temporal afflictions are upon them.”

We need to heed God’s call for repentance or the last judgment of God, The Day of The Lord will come!

With this background, enters one of the prophets of that day, Joel. Joel's writings are words that have come directly from the heart of God to the prophet of Judah.
1. The Judgment of Locusts - v. 1-12
a. Natural devastation that had never been seen before - v.1-3

Whatever Joel has prophesied to come for the people of Judah was to be something no one alive had ever seen. Joel told the people of Judah to make sure that they tell their children and grandchildren what was happening. He wanted the people to know far into the future so that the people then would never turn their backs to God like this people and receive from the hand of God such harsh judgment.
b. The Invasion of the Locusts - v. 4-12

Some people think this is a prophecy of the locusts to come in the future, others believe because of Judah’s sin, the locusts were upon them at the moment that Joel speaks to them. And, then some people believe this is a prophecy of an invasion by another nation against Judah. Regardless of what people believe, as we read, the locusts are eating everything! These are not just the usual locusts; they had never seen the likes of these before, but this was an invasion that would overcome all living things. This invasion of insects would be “like a nation had invaded the land.” The locusts would eat everything and the land would be laid waste. These were stripped of everything: trees, fields of grain, vines, palms, pomegranate, apples, fig, wheat and barley, all gone, dried up or eaten or destroyed.
Matthew Henry says, again, “God is Lord of hosts, has every creature at his command, and, when he pleases, can humble and mortify a proud, rebellious people, by the weakest and most contemptible creatures.”

Read verse 6 again.“A nation has invaded my land, a mighty army without number; it has the teeth of a lion, the fangs of a lioness.” Man! What an insect!

Joel calls for the people to “wake up!” They had been so engrossed with their own desires and lifestyles they had been put to sleep and he wanted them to know what was going on and why! He wanted the people to mourn and do what it took to show true repentance. He includes the religious leaders in this mourning crowd. Joel also includes the farmers who have been devastated to despair and yet seek God and turn from their wicked ways. There is no joy in the judgment of God for mankind.
2. Respond with Repentance to God’s Judgment - v. 13-20

There is hope in Joel’s words from God. HOPE is available! True repentance is turning from your sin and sinful ways and turning to God seeking forgiveness and cleansing. Our hope is that He will do what He says and will cleanse us and bring peace to the land and to our hearts.

He first speaks to the priests! They are to:
*mourn and put on sackcloth, wail before the Lord, at His altar.
(Joel says, “Come, spend the night in sackcloth.”)
*declare a holy fast
*call a sacred assembly.

God calls the spiritual leadership first to mourn and get right before the Lord, turning themselves away from sin and turning toward God. Why do you think that God calls the spiritual leadership to do that first?

I think that God desires that spiritual leaders get right before Him because without them the overall nation will ignore what God wants. If their priests are not involved and lead the way why would the people repent.


Joel then writes, God instructs the priests to declare a holy fast. What is a holy fast? “A fast was a period of time when no food was eaten and people approached God with humility, sorrow for sin, and urgent prayer.” (LAB) The holy fast was to show one’s willingness to repent of the sins of their life and to express to the Lord God that the nation was seeking forgiveness.

And, the priests were to call for a sacred assembly. That assembly was to have all the people come together as a public demonstration of repentance and to pray for the mercy of God to be given to His children. Joel said everyone was to come to the sacred assembly including elders and they all were to cry out to the Lord for His forgiveness.


Joel wants the people to understand that if they don’t call out and repent at the urging of the Lord by sending the locusts, then maybe “The Day of the Lord” will then come. Joel wanted them to understand how serious this was and that they should respond now with this urging from God’s judgment using the locusts.

It seems like before the people could come together to repent, that Joel was calling for the fires to devour the fields, pastures and trees. The punishment for sin is truly great and if the people refuse to immediately respond then God will continue to bring upon the people, His judgment.

Joel is seeking to help the people of God to realize that they must turn and repent from their sins or they will experience something so much worse than the plague of locusts they were experiencing. He called it The Day of The Lord.
J. Vernon McGee says about the Day of the Lord, there is (1) man's day, the day in which we are living now; (2) the Day of the Lord Jesus Christ, when He will take the church out of this world; then (3) the Day of the Lord beginning with the Great Tribulation period.

However, the Lord Jesus made it very clear concerning the Great Tribulation: "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be" (Matt. 24:21). JVM
My dear friends, when reading Joel my heart thinks about our day and the time in which we live. I know many of you have wondered about these days we live in because you have told me or have told others that you think that the days in which we are living may very well be “the last days.” Well, I don’t know if we are in the last days but if you think it is, then I believe that God is truly calling you and me and the church here and the church of Christ everywhere and our nation as a whole, to turn from our sin and turn to God in repentance and seek His mercy and forgiveness for our sin and wickedness. Like Joel, if we don’t recognize that God is sending us trials and tribulations to get our attention and call for us to repent, then He very well may bring to this old earth the TRUE Day of the Lord.

We are entering a time where I believe we need revival. We need revival individually and corporately as a church. In just two weeks we are going to have a series of services that are called revival services but there truly won’t be revival unless you and I are broken over our sin and seek God and cry out for His mercy and forgiveness.

Today, I believe we can start with repentance of our sin. Today, will you listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit who is calling all of us to come to His altar and mourn over our sins. We may not put on sackcloth and ashes like they did in Joel’s day, but if we mourn over what we have done wrong and come to God confessing our sins, He will hear our cry and He will forgive our sin. You know He might even, if our little church family is the only church to experience true revival, it might actually help turn the tide of sin in all our nation and God could use us to touch the nation and the world. It could start here with you and me.

Would you begin to mourn over your sin, fast before the Lord over the sin which has a hold over you, and as we call for the church family to come in for the sacred assembly make your commitment to come into the house of the Lord seeking to have Him cleanse you of your sin.

Pray with us right now that God will touch our hearts and begin the work of revival in us.

Pray with me!

Invitation

Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is www.northandersonbaptist.com and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby

http://www.northandersonbaptist.com