“What sorrow awaits you who say, “If only the day of the Lord were here!” You have no idea what you are wishing for. That day will bring darkness, not light. In that day you will be like a man who runs from a lion— only to meet a bear. Escaping from the bear, he leans his hand against a wall in his house— and he’s bitten by a snake. Yes, the day of the Lord will be dark and hopeless, without a ray of joy or hope. “I hate all your show and pretense— the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies. I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings. I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings. Away with your noisy hymns of praise! I will not listen to the music of your harps. Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living. “Was it to Me you were bringing sacrifices and offerings during the forty years in the wilderness, Israel? No, you served your pagan gods—Sakkuth your king god and Kaiwan your star god—the images you made for yourselves. So I will send you into exile, to a land east of Damascus, ” says the Lord, whose Name is the God of Heaven’s Armies.”

‭‭Amos‬ ‭5:18-27‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him.”

‭‭2 Peter‬ ‭3:10-14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God is sounding an alarm to the Church of Jesus Christ! Are we listening? Are we ready for the “day of the Lord? The returning of Jesus Christ. We say Jesus is coming soon! But do we really believe the words we say? Are we convinced and confident that were He to show up now, that we’d be ready to go with Him? The prophet Amos asked the question. Do you know what you’re asking and longing for?” Do you have any idea what the day of the Lord is going to be like? Then he gives us a vivid description and it ain’t pretty. Hold on to your religious hats, it’s about to get windy in here. Jehovah has had it!

There are some passages in the Bible that most preachers and even christians avoid. Revelation being one of them. But these minor prophets as they’re known, pack a spiritual punch. I’d guess that some of you in this audience have never heard of Amos, or if you’ve heard of him, never read what he wrote. But this little book transforms religious fantasies into reality. The first 8 chapters and 9 verses into the last chapter is ugly. The warnings and consequent doom of those who shrugged off Amos as though he were a pest to their religious norms was swift. Twice the man of God pleaded with the Lord in chapter 7 and the Lord relented, but then the Lord said. “I will spare them no longer!”

Put on your grown up pants buckle up and read the 9 chapters of this powerful book. God is the same as He was back then. Sin is still sin no matter the age of grace that some Christians take pleasure in hiding behind, while living contrary to God’s Word. To that preacher who claimed that The Lord supported abortion and won his bid for election to the House of Representatives. The Lord says He will not forget anything that you have done. We mix the profane with the Holy. We will be held accountable for the words and decisions we make to gain power.

Yeah! We say we long for the day of the Lord. But Amos asks “are you sure?” It’s not what you think it is. Corruption and rebellion against God will not be smoothed over by our feigned attempt at worship. He said in verse 21 of chapter 5. “ I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to Me.” He said “ away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, and righteousness like a never failing stream! This is what pleases the Lord. Justice and righteousness. And both are missing in this nation and the nations of the world.

We may be in the last days, but it isn’t the day of the Lord. The day of the Lord isn’t a planned event. We don’t get to determine what that looks like. The prophecy of Amos was not well received. As a matter of fact the king in his day, told him to get out of his city, and to take his prophecy someplace else. I like Amos’ response. And I believe that the Lord has men and women like him in the wings. Whose words will not fail, when they say LISTEN! It will make the knees of the hearers buckle. This was his response to king Amaziah.

“Then Amaziah sent orders to Amos: “Get out of here, you prophet! Go on back to the land of Judah, and earn your living by prophesying there! Don’t bother us with your prophecies here in Bethel. This is the king’s sanctuary and the national place of worship!” But Amos replied, “I’m not a professional prophet, and I was never trained to be one. I’m just a shepherd, and I take care of sycamore-fig trees. But the Lord called me away from my flock and told me, ‘Go and prophesy to my people in Israel.’”

‭‭Amos‬ ‭7:12-15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I would be remiss if I didn’t share the rest of what Amos said. You can tell he wasn’t professional lol he would’ve polished it up, putting his words in the Lord’s mouth instead of the other way around. Instead he was a straight shooter. God said it! He delivered it verbatim.

“Now then, listen to this message from the Lord: “You say, ‘Don’t prophesy against Israel. Stop preaching against my people. ’ But this is what the Lord says: ‘Your wife will become a prostitute in this city, and your sons and daughters will be killed. Your land will be divided up, and you yourself will die in a foreign land. And the people of Israel will certainly become captives in exile, far from their homeland.’”

‭‭Amos‬ ‭7:16-17‬ ‭NLT‬‬ 🤦‍♀️🤣

Made Amaziah wish he hadn’t opened his mouth. The day of the Lord will not be pleasant, people of God. It’s a day of weeping and leanness. This generation wants to hear nothing about the truth. We’re in the days of Noah, the days of Gomorrah. Like Lot we’re trying to appease sin by offering the innocence of our children. May the Lord have mercy on us. There is coming a time of famine, but not a famine of natural food but of the spiritual. Amos wrote:

“The time is surely coming,” says the Sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine on the land— not a famine of bread or water but of hearing the Words of the Lord. People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from border to border searching for the Word of the Lord, but they will not find it. Beautiful girls and strong young men will grow faint in that day, thirsting for the Lord’s Word.”

‭‭Amos‬ ‭8:11-13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Be careful what you despise now, you’ll need it later but won’t find it. There are millions of children and adults who have never graced the entrance way to God’s House, never heard His Beautiful Name or heard His Word. As shocking as that may be, the Lord was not speaking about the unsaved here, but His chosen ones. Be careful what you take for granted now, it may not be there when you go searching for it later. Heed the Word now! Amos was rejected, but not before speaking a word of warning. Nine chapters that has spanned a lifetime and it’s as relevant today as it was when he first spoke it.

So what is our response? Will we close the Book and refuse to listen. Brushing it aside as a metaphor. I heard someone refer to the book of Revelation as fallacy. My response at the time was, what are you going to do when you find out it’s not, and it’s too late to change your mind? Well praise Jesus she became born again and won’t have to find out, but what about you? Are you ready for the day of the Lord? Amos further stated that to those who remain complacent and complicit in their indifference to the things of God, ignoring the warnings. Well I’ll let him tell you.

“What sorrow awaits you who lounge in luxury in Jerusalem, (America) and you who feel secure in Samaria! You are famous and popular in Israel, (the world) and people go to you for help. But go over to Calneh and see what happened there. Then go to the great city of Hamath and down to the Philistine city of Gath. You are no better than they were, and look at how they were destroyed. You push away every thought of coming disaster, but your actions only bring the day of judgment closer. How terrible for you who sprawl on ivory beds and lounge on your couches, eating the meat of tender lambs from the flock and of choice calves fattened in the stall. You sing trivial songs to the sound of the harp and fancy yourselves to be great musicians like David. You drink wine by the bowlful and perfume yourselves with fragrant lotions. You care nothing about the ruin of your nation. Therefore, you will be the first to be led away as captives. Suddenly, all your parties will end. The Sovereign Lord has sworn by His own Name, and this is what He, the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, says: “I despise the arrogance of Israel, (America) and I hate their fortresses. I will give this city and everything in it to their enemies.”

‭‭Amos‬ ‭6:1-8‬ ‭NLT‬‬ (emphasis mine)

I guess Amos would be censored for hate speech today. And blocked from all social media platforms as I soon will be. But the Word of the Lord will stand forever it cannot be silenced.

America, are you listening! Church of Jesus Christ are you listening? Do you think that The Sovereign Lord plays favorites? Do you think He will not punish sin? Think again. Peter joined Amos in sounding the alarm. Another minor prophet gave this warning:

“I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that He may come and shower righteousness upon you.’”

‭‭Hosea‬ ‭10:12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

But ... that little three letter word begins the verse 13. (continue reading on your own)

From generation to generation, we are stiff-necked and hard hearted. Doing what pleases us. I plead with the Sovereign Lord like Amos, to have mercy on us. He’s relented on the locusts and the fire for now, but He’s setting a plumb line, to see if we will be straight with Him. Will we turn toward His ways, heed the warnings He sends, or will we deny His truths? My friend Dean likes to say, “we have choices” and we do. Peter asks “what kind of people ought we to be? We have choices.

“From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near. ”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭4:17‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Written by permission of the Holy Spirit

W. Tennant

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