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Scripture Reading: Zechariah 1:1-6

Return to the Lord

Intro.

1.  The history of the northern kingdom (Israel) reveals an endless stream of rebellion against God, from its inception (Jeroboam) to its demise (Assyrians).

2.  Throughout its 200+ yr. history, God repeatedly sent His prophets, calling Israel to return to Him, Hosea 6:1; Zech 7:8-14.

3.  Isaiah 6: Things we must return to if we are to return to the Lord.

 

I.  RETURN TO A FEAR OF GOD, 6:1-4.

  A.  The Glory of God Compels Us, Rev 4.

    1.  His holiness, Lev 11:44-45; 19:2; 1 Pet 1:13-16; Heb 12:14.

    2.  His powerful presence (Acts 14:15-17).

  B.  Fear of the Lord: Dread Displeasing Him, Job 28:28.

    1.  Reverence for who He is, what He has done, and what He is doing, Psa 111:7-9.

    2.  Beginning of wisdom, Psa 111:10. Fear of God in our speech (pure), our clothing, our entertainment, in our homes, on the job, in school, with friends, family, strangersÖ

    3.  Protection against sin, Psa 36:1; Matt 10:28.

    4.  Incentive for obedient living, Eccl 12:13.

 

II. RETURN TO UNDERSTANDING AND CONFESSING OUR SIN, 6:5 (Rom 3:9-18).

  A.  It is Deadly to Refuse to Identify and Confess Our Sins, Isa 5:20-25.

    1.  Return to the Lord with all your hearts, 1 Sam 7:3; Jer 3:1, 6-7, 10-14, 22; 4:1.

    2.  Repent and do the first works, Rev 2:4-5.    

  B.  Stubborn Refusal to Return to God, Jer 5:3.

    1.  Accept the chastening of the Lord, Heb 12:5-7.

    2.  Humble hearts, Jas 4:6-10.

 

III. RETURN TO THE JOY OF YOUR FORGIVENESS, 6:6-7.

  A.  Obtain Godís Mercy by Forsaking Sin, Hosea 14:1-4.

    1.  Forsake sin, Isa 55:6-7. Repent and be converted, Acts 26:20.

    2.  Psa 32:5, 10-11: Acknowledge (confess to God), Rejoice!

  B.  Requirements to Rejoice in Our Salvation:

    1.  Accept that you have sinned against God (Lk 15:18).
    2.  Understand what our sin does to us (Rom 6:23).

    3.  Confess our sin to God (1 Jno 1:9) and those we sin against (Jas 5:16).

    4.  Repent of our sins (Lk 13:3).

    5.  Bear different fruit, Acts 26:20 (Rev 2:5).

 

IV.  RETURN TO BOOK-CHAPTER-VERSE PREACHING AND LIVING, 6:8-10.

  A.  Godís People are Destroyed for a Lack of Knowledge (of Godís Word), Hosea 4:6; Mal 3:7.

    1.  Godís word is our source of truth, guidance and salvation, Isa 8:19-20 (Rom 1:16).

    2.  Godís word assures judgment against sinners, Isa 6:11-12 (5:13-16; Jer 18:11; 30:24). Rom 2:1-4

    3.  Godís word assures reward of the righteous, Isa 6:13 (10:21).

 

Conclusion

1.  Do not think that you cannot fall away from God, Heb 3:7-8, 12-13.

2.  If you have; return to the Lord now, Hosea 6:1.