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   At Ease In Zion

John 5:39, "Search the scriptures; for ... they ... testify of me." --- Jesus
   

Travis Case, Pastor/Teacher          Northgate Baptist Church          F.E.A.S.T Ministries
"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine:"   (Prov. 17:22)
"... the joy of the LORD is your strength."   (Neh. 8:10)


Amos 6:1-6, "Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came! 2 Pass ye unto Calneh, and see; and from thence go ye to Hamath the great: then go down to Gath of the Philistines: be they better than these kingdoms? or their border greater than your border? 3 Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near; 4 That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall; 5 That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David; 6 That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph."

Isa. 66:8, "Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children."

Introduction:

A. "In Zion" --- This is often in Scripture a name for the Church on earth.

B. Many are at Ease in the Zion (The Church)!

C. Though In the church, they are Not Of the church.

D. The Characteristics of their life are Not Those Proper To The Sincere Believer.

I. The Meaning of Being "At Ease In Zion."

A. Many are Preoccupied.

1. Spiritual things ought to get our First and Best and Continuous attention.

Matt. 6:33, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

Matt. 26:41, "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

2. The Careless eat, drink, marry, and are given in marriage.

Luke 17:27, "They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all."

3. The Householder relaxes His Watchfulness, and as a result his house is broken into.

Matt. 24:43, "But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up."

4. The Wise virgins as well as the Foolish virgins Slept and the Bridegroom Came Unawares.

Matt. 25:5, "While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept."

B. Many are Blinded.

1. The Natural man is Blind in Spiritual Things

1 Cor. 2:14, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

2. He see neither --- What Has Been --- What Is --- What Is To Come.

3. The Child of God can also be Blind.

2 Pet. 1:9, "But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins."

C. Many Are Presumptuous (Proud, Self-Confident)!

1. Men do Not adequately Realize Sin as to either its Guilt or Danger.

2. They live in it Calmly and Without Changing, as if it were the Normal thing.

3. They anticipate No Evil and No Disturbance.

II. The Varieties of Being "At Ease In Zion."

A. Some are Secure In Sin.

1. They Expect to sin on and on and Suffer No Evil --- Or

2. They expect Something To Intervene and stay proceedings before evil actually falls.

Isa. 28:15-16, "Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: 16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste."

B. Some are Secure In Morality.

1. They Trust in the Arm of The Flesh.

Jer. 17:5, "Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD."

2. They Persuade Themselves that they are but Little To Blame.

3. They view the coming Judgments as Provoked By, and Meant For, Others.

C. Some are Secure In Ordinances.

1. They locate Spiritual Power in Church Forms.

2. Regeneration with them means a Sprinkled Face.

3. Justification to them means an Elevated Host.

4. Sanctification with them means an exhaustive Observance of Ordinances.

III. The Occasions For Being "At East In Zion."

A. Unvarying Prosperity.

1. As life has been, so they easily assume that it will be.

2. A Smiling world is a Dangerous Tranquillizer.

B. Luxurious Living.

1. Deut. 8:11-14, "Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: 12 Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; 13 And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; 14 Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;"

2. The Flesh gets weak only by being Crucified.

Gal. 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."

3. If the Flesh be left along it will Grow Stronger --- much more if it is Pampered and Fed.

C. Companionship of The Ungodly.

1. Familiarity with sin breeds Tolerance of it.

2. A sinful Example Is A Temptation to sin.

IV. How To Overcome Being "At Ease Zion."

A. Isa. 66:8, "Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children."

B. What does this travail of the church Imply?

1. An Intense Prayerful desire for the Salvation of Lost Souls.

2. A Strong and Unwavering Faith.

C. Why is this travail Necessary?

1. If there is No Labor, there will be No Profit.

2. As it is in the Natural World, so it is in the Spiritual World.

D. How can this travail be Realized?

1. Not By Simply Desiring It.

2. You must fix your Attention upon Facts Adapted To Induce It.

E. What will be the Results of this travail?

1. The Church will Increase Rapidly.

2. When The Church Is Really Anxious For Conversions To Christ, Sinners Will Soon Become Anxious To Be Converted.

V. The Consequences of Being "At Ease In Zion."

A. With the Godly, it comes before a Fall.

1. The Church will Decrease.

2. Souls will Not be Saved.

3. We will be as the Five Foolish Virgins.

B. With the Ungodly, it comes before Destruction.

1. The careless eat, and drink, and marry, and are given in marriage.

Luke 17:27, "They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all."

2. Rev. 14:10-11, "The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name."




If You Are Not Saved, Nothing Else Matters
There Is No Second Chance After Death!
Hebrews 9:27

                                                          

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