SERMON TITLE: A Warning Against Helping the Ungodly
(originally preached by Professor Herman Hanko at Byron Center Protestant Reformed Church, Byron Center, Mich.)
Scripture: 2 Chronicles 19
Text: 2 Chronicles 19:2
Introduction prior to the reading of the scripture:
The chapter which precedes this describes how Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, went up with Ahab, the king of Israel, to battle against the Syrians at Ramoth-gilead. As you will recall, in that battle the combined armies of Israel and Judah were defeated by the Syrians, and Jehoshaphat himself escaped "by the skin of his teeth," so to speak, from being killed, and Ahab himself was killed in his chariot.
[Reading of 2 Chronicles 19]
I want to call your attention to verse 2 of this chapter: "And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD."
I read Chapter 19 rather than some of the preceding context because I wanted you to be impressed with what a godly and upright man Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, was. In all his ways he served the Lord, and he brought Judah back, in fact, to the true worship of Jehovah. But there was this one fault, one serious sin in his life, that is described in Chapter 18 when he went with Ahab to battle against the Syrians. And that sin stands out the more sharply because of the good man that Jehoshaphat was and because of his faithful and godly rule over the southern kingdom. And that demonstrates to us that the evil into which Jehoshaphat fell is an evil which is a constant temptation to the people of God and to the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.
You would think that after the sharp rebuke of Jehu, the son of Hanani, the prophet who brought this word of God to Jehoshaphat, that he would have repented of his sin. David fell into sin, too--sometimes extraordinarily serious sin--but when the Lord came to him with a sharp word of reproof and rebuke, David was stricken and in heartfelt sorrow confessed his sin. Jehoshaphat did not. Even though he was rebuked, and even though the Lord pointed out in unmistakable clarity the tremendously serious consequences of his sin, he nevertheless persisted in it. As you probably know if you are acquainted with the history of Judah, when Ahab died and his son Ahaziah came on the throne, Jehoshaphat did the same thing and formed a league with the son of Ahab in a common endeavor to send ships to Tarshish in order to enrich the realm. And God in his fury smashed all the ships so that they never accomplished their purpose. But what needs to be underscored is this: that this was a very blind spot in Jehoshaphat's life of otherwise godliness and righteousness. The scriptures mean by that to underscore for us, too, how easily it is to be tempted by this sin with which Jehoshaphat was tempted.
So I call your attention this evening to this passage under the theme "A Warning Against Helping the Ungodly." And I'd like to have you notice in the first place A Seemingly Good Cooperation. I want to point out to you that Jehoshaphat really had all kinds of good reasons why he should cooperate with Ahab in this endeavor against the Syrians. In the second place I call your attention to A Serious Warning, and finally to A Terrible Wrath.
Jehoshaphat was the king of Judah, and Ahab was the king of Israel. The kingdom that had once been one under Saul and David and Solomon had been split by the rebellion of Jeroboam. That was in punishment for Solomon's sins, but let that be. It was also a sin on the part of the northern kingdom. It was a sin on the part of the northern kingdom because by separating from Judah, the northern kingdom separated from Christ. The whole of Israel knew that the Christ whom God had promised throughout all the ages of the Old Testament was to be born from the house of David. And when Jeroboam and the people left Rehoboam, who would not agree to lower their taxes, and split away from the kingdom, they were conscious of what they were doing. And they said to each other as they left Rehoboam, What have we to do with the house of David? And by saying that, they clearly showed that they wanted nothing to do with Christ.
The kingdom of Christ was represented in the house of David, and on Mt. Zion, where was the throne of David and where was the temple where God met with his people. The division between the kingdom was permanent. Never again was the breach between those two parts of the nation healed. The result of it was that there was not only war between the northern kingdom and the southern kingdom from the time of Rehoboam to the time of Jehoshaphat, but they lived their own separate lives. There was no intercourse between them, no fellowship between them. In fact, to prevent such fellowship, Jeroboam had raised calves in Dan and Beersheba to prevent the people of the northern kingdom from going to the temple to worship God. But when Ahab took the throne of Israel and Jehoshaphat was on the throne of Judah, Jehoshaphat, at the request of Ahab, formed a league in order to do battle with the Syrians.
Now from a certain point of view, if we consider the entire situation and the circumstances under which this took place, it becomes very clear that Jehoshaphat had some good reasons seemingly for doing this and reasons which undoubtedly he used to justify his forming a league with the northern kingdom. Consider first of all the fact that the nation of Israel, while it had indeed separated from the house of Judah, had nevertheless remained the people of God. God called them that. You read the prophets --actually the prophets who proclaimed the word of the Lord in the northern kingdom. They are repeatedly addressed as being the "people of God" and the "house of God" and such like names. That was not because of the fact that God was simply trying to woo Israel back to him, but it was because of the fact that although the northern kingdom had left the house of Judah, there were still many, many people of God in that northern kingdom, genuine people of God. That's evident from the fact that God provided prophets for the northern kingdom, prophets who continued to proclaim the word of the Lord.
Among those prophets was Jehu, the son of Hanani. We read of him earlier in the history of the kings of the northern kingdom when he was sent by God to Baasha, the king of Israel, to pronounce God's judgments upon Baasha for his terrible sins. And Jehu was a contemporary of Elijah. You all recall how Elijah when after Mt. Carmel thought that he was the only one left in the whole northern kingdom who served the Lord, the Lord said to him, No, Elijah, don't feel so sorry for yourself. You're not the only one left. I have reserved unto me 7,000 who have not bowed the knee to Baal. And there continued to be people of God in the northern kingdom right up until the time of the captivity under Hoshea. So Jehoshaphat probably reasoned with himself, There are people of God there, people of God who still receive the word of God, to whom God sends prophets, and to whom the gospel continues to be preached. And therefore, because there are people of God there, it cannot possibly be wrong to enter into a league with Ahab for the sake of the people of God who are still present in the northern kingdom. That was undoubtedly one of Jehoshaphat's arguments.
In the second place, not only was it true that there were people of God in the northern kingdom, but the fact of the matter is, too, that Syria, who was attacking the northern kingdom at the time of Ahab, was an enemy of both the northern kingdom and the southern kingdom. Syria was the world power of that day. Syria was a mighty, powerful army before whom the armies of Israel could not stand. And Syria had made deep inroads into the land of Canaan. In fact, when Ahab and Jehoshaphat went to battle, they went to Ramoth-gilead, an important city of Israel on the east of Jordan, in fact, a city of refuge which God had appointed as such when Israel inherited the land. Ramoth-gilead was threatened, and Ramoth-gilead was really the key to the whole land. If Ramoth-gilead could be conquered, the whole of the eastern part of the nation would fall, and it would only be a matter of time before the same nation would constitute a threat, not only to the northern kingdom of Ahab but the southern kingdom of Jehoshaphat as well. There was a fierce and bitter and godless enemy on the border, and Israel was powerless before that enemy. Israel needed desperately the help of Jehoshaphat. And Jehoshaphat himself, of course, saw that Syria was not only a threat to the northern kingdom but to Judah as well, and that if Judah was to be spared and was to escape destruction at the hand of the Syrians, it was better that he form a league with Ahab in order successfully to repel the armies of the Syrians with a united front.
It is quite clear, too, from subsequent history that Jehoshaphat had in his head the notion that if he would form this league with Ahab and cooperate with Ahab and the kings of the northern kingdom in a common endeavor, there was a very real possibility that the kingdom would once again be united, and that was Jehoshaphat's main, driving motive. How nice it would be if all the people of God formed one nation once again. How nice it would be if the two nations could live together in peace and harmony as in the glorious days of David and Solomon. And maybe the beginning of such union between the northern kingdom and southern kingdom could once again begin in a cooperative effort against the common enemy. All those reasons sound plausible and acceptable, and if it were not for this word of God through Jehu the son of Hanani to Jehoshaphat, we would almost say Jehoshaphat could add this effort to the glorious deeds which he performed on behalf of the cause of Christ. Nevertheless, when he returns to his house, he is met by the prophet Jehu: "Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD."
It is quite amazing, people of God, that the word of God is always so wonderfully relevant. I often think to myself when I read and meditate on the scriptures that that in itself has got to be proof of the divine inspiration of the scriptures because the scriptures always speak sharply, concisely, pointedly to the situation in which the Church finds itself in every age. This word of Jehu is not a word of God just to Jehoshaphat and Judah, but it is an abiding word of God to the Church of all ages. And indeed the church today, the church in which we live, finds itself in the same situation and faced with the same temptation with which Jehoshaphat king of Judah was confronted.
Let it be established first of all, and I'm sure that all of you here will agree with me, that we as the Protestant Reformed Churches represent in this world the cause of Christ and the kingdom of Jesus Christ. There cannot be any doubt about that. If there were even the least bit of doubt about that in my soul, I would not be a member of the Protestant Reformed Churches. It is only out of the deepest possible conviction that we in this present world at this age represent the cause of Christ that makes us loyal to and determined to be a part of, the Protestant Reformed Churches. That's our reason for existence. We believe that the truth for which we stand and the cause of righteousness which we insist upon is the truth of the Church of all ages and the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ.
At the same time, when we consider our relationship with those about us, we discover the exact same situation which confronted Jehoshaphat. There are all kinds of churches in the world today, some more Reformed, some less Reformed, but all kinds of different bodies who claim to be the Church of Christ and who claim to represent the cause of Christ in the world. Let it be clearly understood first of all that it has never been our position, and is not now our position, that there are no people of God in these churches. Just as God preserved people who were his own, a remnant according to the election of grace in the apostate northern kingdom, so God has his people in many different churches. The Protestant Reformed Churches have never said, and do not say now, that in our denomination alone are to be found the people of God. That's not the issue, nor is it the point. God has his people in many places. It may even be, and must be if there are people of God in all these different churches, that the gospel is still being preached. That's not the point, either. The point is not that we insist that everywhere else outside of the Protestant Reformed Churches there is no gospel. Just as God provided prophets for the northern kingdom, not the least of whom were Elijah and Elisha, God still provides preachers for the Church. We must not make that the issue, nor must we allow others to make that the issue.
In addition to that, and this is oftentimes said to be reason for cooperation with others, there are causes for which others fight which are noble causes and causes for which we, too, stand. I have only to mention to you, for example, the cause of war against abortion. We're by no means the only denomination in this country that is opposed to abortion. There are many, many groups--powerful groups--who oppose abortion and who fight vigorously against it. Those who promote the cause of abortion have a common foe. No question about that at all. Abortion is a horrendous, horrendous sin that will destroy our country. The same is true with the prevalence of pornography and the growing sin of homosexuality and the increasing power of the homosexual lobbying forces. There are those who are opposed to these evils and who fight vigorously against these evils. And so it is with many of the evils that beset our country. Our churches are by no means the only ones who oppose these evils and do battle against them. The question arises, as it might almost naturally arise, ought we not for the sake of a common enemy which threatens the welfare of the church, join forces with those who oppose the same enemy as we do? Would it not make our battles more significant and more powerful and easier? Would there not be greater hope for victory if we would join with all these others who face the same enemy we do?
The same thing is true in the area of doctrine. There is a common enemy against which countless churches fight, the enemy of modernism, the enemy of liberal theology, a theology which denies the virgin birth and the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ and his bodily resurrection from the dead. That enemy is to be found in the church. There are churches who have denied the very fundamentals of the Reformed faith. That these constitute a threat to the welfare of the Church goes without saying.
Ought we not, therefore, in the interests of a common enemy, join forces with those who may not be as we are in matters of doctrine, who may not agree with us 100% in all the matters of truth for which we stand, in order that together we may fight against the much more serious and destructive enemy: modernism and liberalism?
As a matter of fact, I just received a letter this past week, a letter in which the correspondent, a very thoughtful man, widely read, an ardent student of theology who has read all the great theologians, including our own Protestant Reformed theologians, who in this letter said to me that our Protestant Reformed Churches were making a serious mistake and that mistake was this: that we refused to join forces with other Reformed churches, even though they were Arminian, because modernism was Enemy #1, and we ought to be able--in the interests of presenting a united front against Enemy #1--to join forces with others though we were not in complete agreement with them. That is a temptation, and it is a temptation of seriousness.
And the reasons for joining forces with others against these common enemies are, from a certain point of view, powerful and persuasive and cogent. It's very easy for us to take heart at the fact that there are many others who fight against the same enemies with whom we do battle and with whom, therefore, we may safety join forces. Much the same as the arguments Jehoshaphat raised when he made league with Ahab of the northern kingdom for the sake of fighting the Syrians. The Lord said to Jehoshaphat, You may not do that. You may not do that. The Lord did not deny that he had his people in the northern kingdom. The Lord did not deny that there were prophets of the Lord in the northern kingdom. The Lord did not deny that he would preserve a remnant according to the election of grace in the northern kingdom, but he said to Jehoshaphat in no uncertain terms, You may not do that. "Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD." That's strong language that language Jehu used in condemning the actions of Jehoshaphat, language against which we might, if we did not understand the issues at stake, take exception.
The nation of Israel, the northern kingdom, is characterized as being ungodly. Why? It is characterized as being ungodly because of the fact that in the northern kingdom idols were being served. That was the reason. In fact, Ahab, under the prodding of his wretchedly ungodly wife Jezebel, had even attempted to make the worship of Baal the national religion. He hadn't succeeded, and even at the time when Elijah gathered together all the hosts of the kingdom on Mt. Carmel, Elijah still characterized the people of Israel as a people that halted between two opinions. They had not accepted Baal worship as the national religion but along with Baal worship had still attempted to cling to the worship of God. That was halting between two opinions. If Baal be God, follow him; if Jehovah be God, follow him, but for the sake of all that's right and true, get off the fence. That was what Elijah said to the people on Mt. Carmel. There was still an effort made to maintain the worship of Jehovah. Nevertheless, the nation as a whole, because it halted between two opinions and worshipped Jehovah and Baal, is characterized by the prophet as being ungodly. That's a sharp and harsh condemnation. The nation, the nation is characterized as ungodly.
You might be inclined to say that although it was indeed true that Baal worship was prevalent in the northern kingdom, and although it cannot be denied that idolatry prevailed in the land, we must not characterize the church of today outside of our own denomination as being idol worshipers and therefore ungodly. We must not do that. That's not true. It's not true. And that's not true because of the fact that any departure from the truth of the scriptures, as is clear from especially the second commandment of the law as interpreted in our Heidelberg Catechism, is fundamentally idolatry. And that's because of the fact that in any respect in which the truth is denied, it is a fashioning of a god who is different from the truth of the scriptures. You say, Well how do you know that the God who is served in the Protestant Reformed Churches is the only true God? Do you think you have a corner on the truth?
Well, apart from the fact that we believe with all our hearts that the truth which we maintain is in full harmony with the word of God, it is of great comfort to me personally when I face this question that the truth which we confess as the Protestant Reformed Churches is the truth that the church has confessed from the very beginning of her history in the new dispensation. It is. When I read Augustine back in the fifth century and I read Luther and I read Calvin and I read the fathers of Dordt and I read the Reformed theologians in the British Isles and in the Netherlands, it's astounding that the truth which we today confess as Protestant Reformed Churches is one truth, which the Church has confessed throughout the ages of the new dispensation. And it is the truth of sovereign and particular grace of Almighty God in Jesus Christ in the work of salvation.
The man who corresponded with me to whom I referred moments ago was referring particularly to Arminianism, and he mentioned explicitly in his letter that we ought not to be so picky about Arminianism because of the concern that we have to fight Enemy #1: modernism and liberalism. And although he readily admitted that there were Arminians in these other churches and that the theology officially adopted by these churches was Arminian in character, that nevertheless we ought to be able to put aside our objections to Arminianism in the interests of doing battle with the greater, more threatening evils of modernism. The God of Arminianism, beloved, is an idol, and he is an idol simply because of the fact that he is a helpless God who desires to save all men but is unable to do so because salvation finally depends upon man's will. A God of that sort, unable to save, is an idol. And so the idolatry that characterizes today's church world is an idolatry which must be, according to the word of the Lord himself, branded as being ungodly. "Shouldest thou help the ungodly?" Jehu says to Jehoshaphat. Ungodly because of idol worship. Shouldest thou help them? As if that is not strong enough, the prophet goes on to say that those who are ungodly hate the Lord! "Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD?" That's strong language.
Now let it be understood, of course, that there are people of God out there, sometimes far removed from the Protestant Reformed Churches, who earnestly attempt to cleanse their thinking and theology from an Arminianism in which they were brought up and who are struggling and striving to come to understand the truth of the scriptures more clearly. I have nothing but patience for those people, nothing but concern for them, and I will spend all the time I possibly can to help them come to a clearer understanding of the truth.
But those who know the truth of the Reformed faith and know what the church has stood for throughout all the ages of New Testament history and turn their back on it and erect in the place of a sovereign God the God of the Arminians, are people who hate the Lord. I don't say that. That's the word of the Lord. That's strong, you say? I'm not ready to say that. I don't know if I could go that far. I think you're being much too harsh. The substitute for the God of the scriptures and the God of the Reformed faith and the God who has been worshipped by the saints now for nearly 2,000 years--a God helpless to save--is a serious, serious form of idolatry. Concerning them the prophet says, To help them is the same as to love them. "Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD?" That's the word of Jehu to Jehoshaphat. You love them, and out of love for them, you help them. You may not do that.
I want to say a few things about that. To help is, of course, to join with them in a cooperative venture, to assist them in attaining their goals. In the case of Ahab and Jehoshaphat, it was to do battle with the Syrians who were threatening the land of Canaan. Today it is to join forces and cooperate with those who seek what can only be described from a formal point of view as noble goals, to cooperate with and assist those who do battle with abortion and who battle against homosexuality and who battle against pornography and who battle against the evils of the age, many great and threatening to the Church. No question about that at all.
But the prophet says, You may not do that. We may not help them because by helping them, we love them, and we may not love them. Now that brings up an interesting question, of course, and that question has to do with what does it mean to love? Are we not called by the law itself to love our neighbors? And are not our neighbors all those with whom we come into contact? And is it not true that when we are called to love our neighbors, we are called to love especially those who, if I may put it that way, fight against the same enemies we do and stand closest to us in the cause of righteousness? Is that not our calling?
Before I answer that question, I want to make a few remarks on which this sharp condemnation of Jehoshaphat is based. If I may put it simply, this sharp judgment of Jehoshaphat is based on what we in the new dispensation would call the "antithesis." Now I don't have time this evening to enter into a lengthy discussion of the antithesis, as important as that may be, but that's the point which the prophet is making here. The prophet is insisting upon the fact that Jehoshaphat, as the king of Judah, represents the cause of Christ and of his kingdom, the house of David, the promise of God. And so it is that in every age the Church here in the world is called upon to represent the cause of Christ, the cause of Christ's kingdom, of Christ's truth, of Christ's righteousness. That antithesis is struck by the great work of grace which God performs in the hearts of his people by calling them out of the kingdom of darkness and out of the power of sin and of the lie and making them by the wonder of grace citizens of the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom over which Christ rules.
But all heresy, all denial of God's truth, is a part of the kingdom of darkness. Idolatry is always a part of the kingdom of darkness because it is a denial of God and because it is setting up in God's place a God of man's own imagination, fashioned and crafted by man himself, before whom he bows in worship. And it belongs, therefore, to the whole sphere of that which is opposed to God and that which is opposed to his truth. That's the kingdom of darkness that does battle with the kingdom of Jesus Christ and that does battle with the cause which the Church of Christ represents in the world. That's the antithesis.
It is always first of all an antithesis between the truth and the lie. That fundamental. It is the antithesis of God versus that which denies God; of the holy, sovereign, eternally glorious, all powerful God and that which denies him, whatever form that denial might take. And because it is a denial, and because it is an antithesis between the truth of God and the lie, it is an antithesis that cuts through the whole of life. I'm not denying, as I say again, the fact that there are those in all sorts of places who do battle against the evils that are current in our age. And I don't deny that these are fierce and awful evils. But the antithesis requires that the Church of Christ, faithful to her God, not help these ungodly nor love them that hate the Lord. That's the word of God.
We are called to love our neighbor indeed as citizens of the kingdom of heaven and as those who represent the cause of God's kingdom right in the midst of the world. But that love manifests itself, you see, in only one way in all our contact with those about us, and that is this: We love you so much that we want you to believe in the true God and worship him. That's love. That's the highest expression of love. And that love ought to characterize God's people. Let there be no misunderstanding about that. The people of God ought to have what is sometimes called a passion for souls, if I may put it that way. They ought to have a deep sorrow in their heart to see the faith that their churches confess trampled underfoot. They ought to weep when Jerusalem lies in ruins because she has forsaken her God. But that love which expresses itself in sorrow when the church goes wrong, expresses itself in this: Stand with us. Join with us to stand for the truth of God and of his Christ. Would that you would do that. How happy we would be if only you would forsake your idols and worship the true God. What a great reason for rejoicing it would be if you would only bow with us before the living and sovereign God of heaven and earth and confess his truth and stand with us in the cause of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That's love. That's real love. That's genuine love. And God knows that I have that love. I do. There's nothing so grievous to me as to see churches that are Reformed in name deny the great Reformed truth of the sovereignty of God. Would that they would stand with us. But love is not to help the ungodly. That's not love.
Now you say, Yes, yes, yes, that's all fine, but if only we will join forces with others, and if only we will be willing to unite with them in a common cause against the enemies which we all face, we stand a much better chance of success. Our little Protestant Reformed Churches, which number a couple of dozen congregations and a few thousand souls, are not going to do any good against this mighty, mighty stream of filth and this tidal wave of corruption that sweeps the land. How are we going to stand against it? Wouldn't it be much better if we would join forces with others to stem these horrible tides and to overcome and resist the powers of darkness?
No. Already in the law at the time when Israel was preparing to go into the land of Canaan, God said to Israel, Your safety lies in dwelling alone. You say, Yes, but we're so alone, so few stand with us. Never mind, beloved, never mind. I don't like it, and I wish the numbers of those who stood with us were thousands upon thousands upon thousands. I wish that. I do. And I wish that the voices of the Reformed faith were a mighty loud chorus to condemn the forces of evil, but our safety is in dwelling alone. And if you say, Yes, but if we only stand here with our little Gideon's band while the powers of darkness march on from victory to victory, we shall be overcome. And I only want to remind you, in the first place, that it has often happened in the Church of Jesus Christ, that the Church and the cause of God have gone down seemingly to defeat. That doesn't make any difference. And I want to remind you, too, that the power and strength of the Church does not lie in numbers and does not lie in mighty hosts, and does not lie in powerful attacks against the forces of darkness. But the strength of the Church lies in her faithfulness, and we know, oh we know beyond doubt, that whatever may seem to be the case here in the world, the cause of Christ and of his truth and of his righteousness is victorious. We are of the kingdom. We're brought into the kingdom by a wonder of grace, and out of citizenship in that kingdom we represent the cause of God's truth and of righteousness in the world. We do. I believe that with all my heart. That will be victorious. No matter what it might seem like, it will. God will not let his truth be vanquished. He will save his Church.
Just a few remarks about the wrath of which the prophet speaks. "There is wrath upon thee from before the Lord." There was, too. There was wrath upon Jehoshaphat and upon Judah. Terrible! I shudder when I think of it! Jehoshaphat had a son by the name of Jehoram. Jehoram married Athalia, the daughter of Ahab, because that's what happens, you know. Intermarriage is always the result. And from that marriage of Jehoram and Athalia came Ahaziah. And Ahaziah was killed by Jehu, the son of Nimshi, when he destroyed the house of Ahab. Athalia, the queen mother, sat on the throne. The throne of Judah, mind you! And what did she do? She killed all the seed royal. Yes, she did. Jehoshaphat's house was destroyed except for the fact that God--in his grace and because his promise cannot fail and because he will maintain his cause--rescued the infant Joash by the instrumentality of his nurse. Jehoshaphat almost, by these evil leagues he made, Christ himself was almost destroyed! The only reason Christ survived was God preserved the royal line that carried Christ in its loins. That was the wrath.
Let that be a warning to us. Let that be a warning. Wrath comes, already in this life. We endanger the spiritual welfare of our seed and of the whole cause of Jesus Christ. But if we have the courage to stand alone, come what may, and the courage simply to believe that we represent the cause of Christ and of his truth, and we tell our children, "Don't be afraid, even when you have to stand alone", then the cause of the truth of Christ is preserved. That's what we want. You want that, and I want that. Because whatever else may have been wrong with Elijah, he was dead right when he said, "I have been very jealous for the name of Jehovah my God." Are we jealous for the name of our God so that his name, his truth, his righteousness is more important to us than whatever may happen to us personally? It's his truth that is the issue, his glorious name. And for his name we will stand. You will, too. I know you will. May God give us grace. Amen.
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