Our God Is a Consuming Fire

He has given food to those who fear Him; He will ever be mindful of His covenant. He has declared to His people the power of His works, in giving them the inheritance of the nations. The works of His hands are verity and justice; all His precepts are sure. They stand fast forever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness. —Psalm 111:5-8

In these verses, the author reminds the people of the wanderings of the Israelites and God’s miraculous provision of manna from heaven. He refreshes their memories about God’s faithfulness to His covenant, bringing them back to the power He displayed in places like Jericho, and when He made the sun stand still over Gibeon so that Joshua’s army could conquer the five kings of the Amorites leaving a heritage to His chosen people. The writer declares that all the works of God’s hands are absolutely certain and unchangeable.

Acts 19: “Some of the itinerate Jewish exorcists [called upon] the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, ‘We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.’ Also there were seven sons of Sceva . . . who did so. And the evil spirit answered . . . , ‘Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?’ Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them . . . and prevailed against them, so that they fled . . . naked and wounded. This became known . . . in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. And many . . . came confessing . . .their deeds. Also, many . . . who had practiced magic brought their books . . . and burned them. . . . So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed” (19:13-20).

Unlike the seven sons of Sceva, we know the Lord, and the Bible says, “Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world,” so the demon world has no power over us. In fact, we have power over the demons! But any power we have is directly related to our living by the truth, and the time has come for the church to tell the world the whole truth about God. Notice that fear fell upon those present, and the name of the Lord was magnified. The sorcerers of the land were so convicted when they saw the power and heard the name of the Lord being magnified in connection to the event, that they brought their books of magic to be burned, and God’s Word grew mightily. Whose kingdom is growing by leaps and bounds today? Are we seeing mass burnings of pornography, drugs, and drug paraphernalia, along with repentance from the distributors of such things? Sadly, no, because today God’s Word is watered down, compromised, and cut and pasted into a powerless blob of silliness that is powerless. Where is the church? Too many preachers have removed any mention of hell, repentance, and the fear of the Lord from their sermons. We need to remember what Spurgeon said: “The church’s job is to feed the sheep, not to entertain the goats.”

So what does a loving person tell their unsaved friends? They should be telling them to fear God, who has the power to kill and to cast into hell! When hell isn’t preached, no one fears God. The truth of God’s Word is the only thing that can set people free and save their souls from hell. Friends, it’s time for the church to get angry at what the devil is doing. We need to get out there and tell the world the truth about God. Yes, He is love; no, He did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but to save it, because it was already condemned. He showed His love by sending His Son to die in our place. There’s no middle ground. God is love and has prepared a wonderful place for those who love Him. But those who refuse His love will find out at the end of their life on this earth that He is a consuming fire! Is there someone you know who needs to hear this? Let’s begin by praying for them today and seeking for opportunities to speak the truth without being hindered by fear.

Excerpt from “Beside Still Waters” now available on Amazon.

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BARRY STAGNER

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