INTRO: The little book of Amos is one from which come some verses you will recognize even if you do not remember that they are from this Old Testament book bearing the prophets name. Amos was not a man of the school of the prophets. He was a shepherd and a farmer. He lived in a little town about twelve miles south of Jerusalem, but God had called him to a ministry in Israel (the northern kingdom). So, he would have been considered an outsider by the religious establishment of Israel. Amos did not mince any words in his message to the apostate people of God. In fact, his message was so direct, so blunt, so challenging that he was invited to leave Israel and go back home!
I. SOME OBSERVATIONS ABOUT THE BOOK OF AMOS
A. Amos 7:14,15 - Amos makes it clear that he was not a professional prophet
1. he was a shepherd; he was a tender of sycomore trees (fig like fruit)
2. he notes that the Lord took me while he was actually engaged in shepherding
3. this man of Judah (southern kingdom) was to prophesy unto ... Israel
B. Amos 1:3,6,9,11,13, etc. - Amos recognized the Lord as God of all nations!
1. the typical view of that world was that gods were national gods - localized
2. but Amos knew better than that ... Jehovah is the God of gods!
3. there is not one god for the east and one for the west ... there is Jehovah!
C. Amos 2:4,5 - And Amos had a prophetic word for his own people!
1. while the Lord sent him specifically to Israel, Judah would not be exempted
2. long before the ultimate Babylonian destruction and captivity, Amos noted that the Lord would send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem
3. why? they despised the law of the Lord - they did not keep His commandments
D. Amos 2:6-8 - The prophetic work of Amos was primarily to Israel
1. from Amos 3:1,2 we can see that Amos does have concern for all of Israel ... the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt...
2. but notice Amos 4:1 & 6:1 - references to the mountain of Samaria tells us that Amos is directing his words toward the northern kingdom
3. ethical, moral, spiritual failures were rampant in Israel!
E.. Amos 5:27 - Amos tells Israel clearly of its ultimate captivity
1. and this captivity is unmistakably the work of God - Therefore will I cause...
2. the Assyrian captivity is yet 200+ years in the future
3. from Amos 7:7-9 comes the imagery of the plumbline - the plumbline is the standard, and Israel has not lived by the standard ... so, the plumbline becomes the symbol of Gods judgment on the house of Jeroboam
II. SOME TEXTS NEEDING OUR CONSIDERATION?
A. Amos 3:3 - Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
1. this may have been a startling question - they would have represented themselves to be in agreement with God
2. they fact is, they were not - they were idolatrous, unfaithful people
3. this question can certainly be instructive to you and me
4. Jer 6:16 - can we walk with God and be walking in a path other than His?
5. 2 Jno 6 - we walk after his commandments - unless we walk in His commandments (no matter what we think or feel), we are not walking in agreement with God
B. Amos 4:11 - ...prepare to meet thy God...
1. for many years I have seen signs along the highways with this cryptic message
2. well, here is the Biblical text from which that message comes
3. it is a word of warning; it is a word of judgment
4. to Israel it was the prophets word in view of impenitence - and perhaps the greatest tragedy of it is that Her own history should have told Her that judgment would follow impenitence (note Amos 4:10)
5. but the message needs to be preached and heard even today - you and I will meet God in the judgment ... will we be prepared
C. Amos 8:11-13 - ...a famine in the land...
1. but this was no ordinary famine
2. this would be a famine of hearing the words of the Lord
3. interestingly, they appeared to be seeking the word of the Lord - why, then, could they not find it?
4. the answer is in v. 14 - they were looking in the wrong places!
5. I wonder if this famine may not be affecting our own land? there are so many religious people ... but they stumble in ignorance of Gods word - do we?
CLOSE: Amidst all the doom and gloom of the book of Amos is Amos 9:11,12 - a word of prophecy about the Messiah and His kingdom which would even encompass all of the heathen. You and I are privileged to be called by His name!
Cecil A. Hutson
30 March 2003
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)