I grew up listening to sermons by Adrian Rogers who was the longtime pastor of Bellevue Church in Memphis. In fact, since 1927 only four pastors have led Bellevue and I have had the opportunity to hear all four speak (Robert G. Lee [1927-1960], Ramsey Pollard [1960-1972], Adrian Rogers [1972-2005], Steve Gaines [2005- present]). Above is the complete sermon and below is a portion of the transcript.
Dr. Lee originally published the following message in 1926. It is said that he developed it following the suggestion of a deacon at a prayer meeting in 1919 and that he preached it at least once a year at his home church. All total, it is related that he preached the message 1,275 times.
Dr. Robert G. Lee was the pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee for thirty-two years. During his lifetime he was a strong leader in the Southern Baptist Convention, known as a preacher’s preacher, and was highly respected among his peers. This sermon has been accepted as a classic by all that have heard and read it, and through its message, the Lord still speaks to mankind. We at Carl Graham Ministries hope you get a blessing from this message written by the prince of preachers.
Part 1 of transcript:
“Go down to meet Ahab, king of Israel,
thou shalt speak unto him, sayingin the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.”
(I Kings 21:18,19)
“The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.”
(I Kings 21:23)
I introduce to you Naboth, a devout Israelite, who lived in the foothill village of Jezreel. From his home on the hillside he could look far down the valley of Esdraelon. He was a good man-a man who “abhorred that which is evil and clave to that which is good.” He would not exchange his heavenly principles for loose expediencies. He would not dilute the stringency of personal righteousness for questionable compromises.
Now Naboth had a vineyard surrounding his home. This vineyard, fragrant with blossoms in the days of the budding branch and freighted with fruit in the days of the vintage, was a cherished inheritance of the family. This vineyard was near to the summer palace of Ahab, situated about twenty miles from Samaria.
I introduce to you Ahab. Ahab had command of a nation’s wealth and commanded the armies of Israel, but he had no command of his lusts and appetites. Ahab wore rich robes, but had a sinning, wicked, and troubled heart beneath them. Ahab ate the riches food the world could supply, and this food was served him on fine dishes and by servants obedient to his every beck and nod, yet he had a starved soul. Ahab lived in palaces, sumptuous within and without, yet tormented himself for one bit of land more. Ahab was king, with a crown and scepter and a throne, yet he was under the thumb of a wicked woman.
Ahab is pilloried in contempt of all right-living, God-fearing men through history as a mean rascal, the curse of his country. The Bible gives us a better and more apt introduction in these words: “There was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up!” (I Kings 21:25)
I introduce to you Jezebel, daughter of Ethbaal, King of Tyre. (I Kings16:31) A woman infinitely more daring and reckless than her husband. A devout worshipper of Baal, she hated any and all who spoke against her false and helpless god. She was as blunt in her wickedness and as brazen in her lewdness, doubtless, as Cleopatra, fair sorceress of the Nile. She had something of the subtle and successful scheming of a Lady Macbeth, something of the genius of a Mary Queen of Scots, something of the beauty of a Marie Antoinette. Much of that which is bad in the worst of women foundexpression through this painted viper of
Israel. She had all that fascinating endowment of nature, which a good woman ought always to dedicate to the service of her generation. But, alas, she became the evil genius, which wrought wreck and blight and death.
I introduce to you Elijah, prophet of God. Heir to the infinite riches of God, he! Attended by the hosts of heaven, he! Almost always alone, he, but never lonely, for God was with him. He wore a rough sheepskin cloak, but there was a peaceful, confident heart beneath it. He ate bird’s food and widow’s fare, but was a physical and spiritual athlete. He had no lease of office or authority, yet everyone obeyed him. He grieved only when God’s cause seemed tottering. He passed from earth without dying -into celestial glory. Everywhere where courage is admired and manhood honored and service appreciated he is honored as one of earth’s heroes and one of heaven’s saints. He was “a seer, and saw clearly; a hero, and dared valiantly; a great heart, and felt deeply.” And now with these four persons introduced we want to turn to God’s Word and see the tragedy of payday some day! We will see “the corn they put into the hopper” and then behold “the grist that came out the spout.”
A Real Estate Request
“Give me thy vineyard.”
And it came to pass after these things that Naboth, the Jezreelite, had a vineyard which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab, king of Samaria. And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, “Give me thy vineyard that I may have it for garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house; and I will give thee for it a better vineyard that it; or, if it seem good unto thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money.” (I Kings 21:1-2)
Thus far, Ahab was quite within his rights! Perfectly fair was Ahab in this request, and, under circumstances ordinary, one would have expected Naboth to put away any more sentimental attachment for the pleasure of the king, especially when the king’s aim was not to cheat him or to defraud him.
Ahab had not, however, counted upon the reluctance of all Jews to part with their inheritance of land. By peculiar tenure every Israelite held his land, and to all land-holding transactions there was another party, even God, “who made heavens and earth.”
So, though he was Ahab’s nearest neighbor, Naboth stood firmly on his rights, and with an expression of horror on his face and in his words, refused to sell his vineyard to the king. Feeling that he must prefer the duty he owed to God to any danger that might arise from man, he made firm refusal. Fearing God most and man least, and obeying the one whom he feared the most and loved the most, he said: “The Lord forbid it me that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.” (I Kings 21:3)
True to the religious teachings of his father, with “real-hearted loyalty to the covenant God of Israel” he believed that he held the land in fee simple from God. His father and grandfather had owned the land before him. All the memories of childhood were tangled in its grapevines. His father’s hands, folded now in the dust of death, had used the pruning blade among the branches, and because of this every branch and vine was dear.
His mother’s hands, now doubtless wrapped in dust-stained shroud, had gathered purple clusters from those bunch-laden boughs, and for this reason, he loved every spot in his vineyard and every branch on his vines.
He felt that his little plot of ground, so rich in prayer and fellowship, so sanctified with sweet and holy memories, would be tainted and befouled and cursed forever if it came into the hands of Jezebel. So, with “the courage of a bird that dares the wild sea,” he took his stand against the king’s proposal.
Adrian Rogers’ sermon on Clinton in 98 applies to Newt in 2012
Category: Payday loans