Archive of Pastor Darby's Sermon Notes, transcribed from his original typewritten documents
GOD'S PLAN OF SEGREGATION
Jun 27, 1971 am
IN EZRA AND NEHEMIAH WE CAN SEE GOD'S PLAN FOR A STRONG PEOPLE AND A STRONG NATION
- Cyrus of Ezra 1:1 was named in Isa 44:28 150 years before his birth as rebuilder of Jerusalem
- Ezra was sent to Jerusalem by Artaxerxes to organize Jerusalem - 7:25-26 and make it a city.
- He searched to see what needed to be done, ch. 9, 10 to bring God's blessing to the land-
We need to search to see what we need to do to be in the center of His blessing, too.
THE PROBLEM - A LOSS OF SEPARATION TO GOD - EZRA 9:1
God was beginning to open an opportunity to the people for real revival; will they buy it up?
THE PEOPLE, PRIESTS, AND LEVITES HAVE NOT SEPARATED THEMSELVES (SEE I COR 5:9-11 - NOT ENTIRELY)
- They were intermarried with the pagans - 9:1-2, and perhaps we have married many strange ideas.
- God's purpose in a pure nation was to preserve the Christ-line - Satan tried to break it down!
- The N.T. is plain - not race - Gal 3:26-28 - but faith in Christ makes difference -
THE PEOPLE OF EZRA'S TIME WERE DOING THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE GENTILES AND PAGANS WHERE THEY LIVED
- There were gentiles in the lineage of Christ - but they were saved.
- Solomon with all his wisdom lacked the faith to stand - I Ki 11:4,6 - and was led to evil.
- The abominations were obvious - even then! Sex worship, perversions, murder, theft, filth, anti-God!
THEY WOULD SUFFER THE SAME JUDGMENTS OF THEIR FATHERS IF THEY CONTINUED IN THEIR FATHERS' SINS!
- The Lord was very angry with Solomon - I Ki 11:9 and judgement came - it took time, but was certain.
- The princes and rulers of Judah were chief in the sin - 2b and God is no respecter of persons.
- Ezra trembled, for he knew the penalty - v.7, why did the leaders not know - at ease in Zion!
Sinners of the worst kind receive an opportunity to repent - but we had better take it!
THE STRUGGLE, AND REPENTANCE - EZRA 9
Life is a struggle - the only ones who do not have to struggle are in sleep of death already.
EZRA RECOGNIZED THE TERRIBLENESS OF THEIR SIN, AND THIS HAD AN EFFECT UPON HIM
- God had given them a chance - v.8, but Ezra knew they would perish if they did not take it - 10
- Ezra blushed - v.6 (we have lost this ability), and tore his garments and wept - have you?
- He recognized that God had punished them far less than they deserved - v.13,14, what have we?
OUR PRIORITIES TODAY ARE CONFUSED, AND WE HAVE SLEPT BEYOND THE WAKING POINT TO THE DANGER
- There is no greater danger than being led to slaughter - through the chute - and kept blind.
- We are worried about economic and racial discrimination, and have lost our moral discrimination - sense.
- We have mixed our sins with the worst-down-morals, crime, pollution, education, credibility.
EZRA CALLED A CONFERENCE OF THE LEADERS, AND GAVE THEM A COURSE OF ACTION -
- He was deeply moved - v.10a, but we are educated not to get excited about terror of fear of God's judgment.
- The people wept sore - 10b, they believed what Ezra said, and were sensitive to the danger.
- How much more do we need repentance - or we perish - but our wealth sugarcoats the poison -
We have been desensitized - accept sin as life, tune out preacher - listen to hippy ecologists.
THE SOLUTION - SEPARATION FROM WORLDLINESS - CH 10
Something must be done - John 17:15 - we are to be in the world, but not of the world!
THEY DECIDED ON A COURSE OF ACTION, AND IT WAS PRAYED OUT, REASONED OUT, AND GOD-GIVEN - V.3
- The leaders took council - the leaders were the first to be willing to clean up their lives - 3a
- Their course of action was by law - 3b, not riot, or foolishness, but by God's law, and fair.
- They sought God's help - through prayer, fasting, and real heart searching - v6b - Wednesday night?
THE MEN OF THE LAND GATHERED IN A GREAT REVIVAL MEETING - AND GOD BLESSED THEM - V.9 - COME TO CHURCH!
- They made confession - 11a - have you confessed Christ as your Saviour? Publicly? Baptized?
- Pledged to do His pleasure - will -11b - have you? cf Eph 2:8-10, 19, - will you put God first?
- And to separate themselves - 11c - takes time - do it right - Eph 2:2,3, 4:17-20 & 5:1
THE CONGREGATION SAID, THIS WE WILL DO! V.12 - AND THEY MADE OF THEMSELVES A NATION OF GOD
- No one was forced to join - they could leave - but no longer remain undecided sponges - v.8
- It was not easy - took judges - v.14 to do it by law v.4b - fair to all; but worth figuring out.
- Te blessed life is not easy - it takes a mind to work and not get discouraged - (come tonight).
But those who followed Ezra built a new Jerusalem, and founded a nation for God.
GOD IS SEEKING AND CALLING ME NOW TO HELP US CHANGE COURSE AND GET BACK TO GOD'S WAY
- Will you confess Christ? Be Baptized?
- Will you do His will - pleasure - let your life be changed, take on new vibrancy to serve Him?
- Will you put away your sin - take counsel - do it lawfully? This divorce I recommend!