Why God Likes It Straight
Intro: The Old Testament prophecy concerning John the Baptist, found in Isaiah 40:3 is referred to in ALL FOUR Gospels. I believe it is important for us to realize that God wanted a STRAIGHT path paved by John.
How was John supposed to go about doing that?
- The only thing John the Baptist could do was PREACH!
- He didn’t sing – and I love good singing!
- He didn’t write and print books or tracts.
- He didn’t make movies, or tell stories.
- He just preached!! That is still what will get the job done!
- Psalms 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
In this day in age, many people have minimized preaching. I’ve heard it said, “We had such a good service, the preacher didn’t get to preach!” Well, if God shows up and there’s no time for preaching, that is one thing. But to equate the preacher not preaching to having a good service is unscriptural. If God has exalted his word above His name, then you can’t get any better than some good old fashion, Holy Ghost, anointed Bible preaching.
John the Baptist didn’t preach for:
- Fame – vs. 1 he was preaching in the wilderness; no glamour there
- Fun – vs. 2 preaching on sin and repentance was not received well; Herod killed him for it
- Food – vs. 4 he ate locust and wild honey (unlike the gluttons of today in our pulpits)
- Fine clothes – vs. 4 he wore camel’s hair and a leather girdle
- Fellowship – vs. 7-12 – when many of the Pharisees and Sadducees showed up, he called them vipers.
He definitely wasn’t in the ministry to make friends with everybody. He didn’t care if he was the only one preaching repentance – that didn’t affect him at all.
So why did John the Baptist preach such a STRAIGHT message?
- It was for FRUIT – vs. 8
His focus was not on what he could get out of it, but what God could get out of it.
Go to Isaiah 40:3-11
We discover why God likes it straight:
I. Because His Concern is Preparation – vs. 3 – Prepare ye the way of the Lord
To bring forth fruit, it will require a lot of preparation.
- Preparing the soil for the seed.
- Preparing the hearts to receive the truth.
- Preparing young people for adulthood.
- Preparing God’s people for Christian service.
- Preparing churches to make an impact.
- Preparing missionaries for the mission field
That will only be done through STRAIGHT PREACHING!
God likes straight preaching because it…
- Expounds Doctrine
- Establishes Direction
- Eliminates Differences
- Encourages Dedication
- Exposes Disobedience
- Enforces Discipline
II. Because His Course is Plain – vs. 3 a highway; vs. 4 notice the word “plain”
- A crooked road takes the path of least resistance. (that is why rivers and streams are crooked)
- Making a straight road involves:
- Determination – DEFINITION: highway – raised way, public road
- Elimination – trees, stumps, rocks, etc. (any obstacles for progress)
NOTE: Paul prayed in 2 Thessalonians 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:
- You can see where you are going – God’s people have promises to those that obey truth
- You can see where you’ve been – so you don’t forget the faith once delivered
- You can see where you are – his word is a mirror
God likes straight preaching because it…
- Reproves our Wicked Heart
- Redirects our Wandering Heart
- Refreshes our Withering Heart
- Rekindles our Waning Heart
III. Because His Company is Precious – vs. 5 and vs. 10, 11
If you want to walk with God, you will have to walk a STRAIGHT path.
God is not going to take a path that is crooked and weaves in and out and back and forth.
God likes it STRAIGHT!
God’s people are to walk a STRAIGHT path
Philippians 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
It is demanded because it:
- Reveals to us the Ways of God
- Reminds us of the Word of God
- Removes off of us the Wrath of God
- Reinforces to us the Will of God