Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
Email Preach Him with Dr. Jim

THE CALL OF GOD
Amos 7:12-17

12 Then Amaziah said to Amos, "Go, you seer, flee away to the land of Judah, and there eat bread and there do your prophesying!
13 "But no longer prophesy at Bethel, for it is a sanctuary of the king and a royal `residence."
14 Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, "I am not a prophet, nor am I the son of a prophet; for I am a herdsman and a grower of sycamore figs.
15 "But the LORD took me from following the flock and the LORD said to me, 'Go prophesy to My people Israel.'
16 "And now hear the word of the LORD: you are saying, 'You shall not prophesy against Israel nor shall you speak against the house of Isaac.'
17 "Therefore, thus says the LORD, 'Your wife will become a harlot in the city, your sons and your daughters will fall by the sword, your land will be parceled up by a measuring line, and you yourself will die upon unclean soil. Moreover, Israel will certainly go from its land into exile.'" (NAS)

INTRODUCTION
Scientists at the Goddard Space Flight Center report that one of the largest stars in our galaxy is about to self-destruct. Eta Carinae, which has a mass 100 times greater than that of our sun, is giving signs that its life is about over. Researchers say that it could become a supernova -- a blazing, exploding star -- within the next 10,000 years. What was especially interesting about the Science 82 report was the statement that since light from the star could take 9,000 years to reach the earth, the actual explosion could have already taken place.

This striking fact reminds me of the nature of biblical prophecy. For example, the predictions of God are often written in the past tense. This is done because even though the prophet is writing of a future event, he has already "seen" it. Also, in the mind of God it's as if the events have already happened. (Rev. 8:10)

We believe in a God called Prophets. We like for our ministers to know they received a call from God to be in the ministry. Amos knew God called him to the ministry of a prophet. The text tells of a Divine call, message, and assignment.

1. It is an . . Interrupting Call.
2. It is an . . Informing Call.
3. It is an . . Irrefutable Call.
 

1. The Call of God is an . . Interrupting Call. v 14 - 15 b 


14 Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, "I am not a prophet, nor am I the son of a prophet; for I am a herdsman and a grower of sycamore figs.
15 "But the LORD took me from following the flock. . . "

A. Interrupted his . . Career. v 14 b & 15 b

1. Career as a herdsman.
v 14 b ". . . I am a herdsman . . . " v 15 b ". . . from following the flock . . . "

2. Career as a grower of sycamore figs v 14 c
". . . and a grower of sycamore figs."

B. Interrupted his . . Calmness. v 15 a "But the LORD took me. . . "

1. Interrupted by . . Taking.
a. Strongs #3947 laqach (law-kakh'); Brown, Driver, Briggs to take, to get, to fetch, to lay hold of, to seize, to receive, to acquire, buy, to bring, to marry, to take a wife, to snatch, to take away 8) to take, to capture, to seize

2. Interrupted by . . Transferring. Southern boy goes North.
a. Today we have more allegiance to the company than to the Lord.

ILLUSTRATION Story of Chas Page and wife from Experiencing God Mag.
I realized that day that God was calling me to preach for the last time. The years and events in my life since God had first called me to preach all boiled down to that day, to that moment in time. I also realized that if I told God no this time, I probably would not live; my life would be short. That's an awesome thought, but that's how strong God's revelation was. To this day I have no doubt that this encounter and these God-inspired impressions were real.

At last I prayed sincerely, "Lord, I don't care where you want me; even in China, I am yours." Within a couple of hours I made the decision to go to seminary and prepare myself for the ministry.

My joy in surrendering to God was short-lived. Sandra was dead set against my new career plan. Because of a bad experience in her past, she had always said that she would not be married to a preacher. To make matters worse, we were building our first home--only two weeks away from moving in. Now we would have to give up and lose the down payment that we had carefully saved over the years.

Sandra normally so affectionate, hardly spoke to me for months. In August before I was to enter seminary in September, I was again in despair. "Lord," I prayed, "I don't understand this. You've called me to preach, but I'm going to wind up divorced."

One night I took her out to eat, just to try to get her to talk to me. The meal was hot, but our conversation was cold and sparse. On the way home I was again questioning God when she suddenly threw her arms around me and said, "I'm ready to go." I almost wrecked the car! I'd never been so excited in my life.

It wasn't until eight years later I asked her what had happened that night. She replied, "I didn't have a dream or a vision. But God spoke to me. He said, "Sandra, I have called your husband to preach. And if you stand in his way I'll remove you." That's pretty heavy. But at last she too felt called, and she's been a wonderful pastor's wife in each church we've served.

APPLICATION Where are you safest; In or out of God's will?

It is an . . Interrupting Call.
 

2. The Call of God is an . . Informing Call. v 15 c, 15 d 



". . . 'Go prophesy to My people Israel.' ."

A. Informed of concerning the . . Ministry. v 15 c ". . . 'Go prophesy. . . "

1, Three words for prophecy in Amos.
a. 2374 chozeh- (kho-zeh'); a) a seer b) a vision

". . . where there is no vision the people perish."
b. 5012 naba'- (naw-baw'); to prophesy a) under influence of divine spirit
c. 5197 nataph- (naw-taf'); to drop, to drip, to prophesy, to preach, to

discourse

Illustration:
Bobby Richardson left baseball at 31 years of age because God gave him a higher call. He obeyed. He was asked to preach Roger Maris's funeral and then Mickey Mantle asked him to preach his. He did and got to lead Mickey to the Lord a few days before he died. God Informed Bobby about what he wanted him to do. He received greater thrills in ministry than in baseball..

B. Informed of concerning the . . Multitude. v 15 d
". . . to My people Israel'. . . ". .
1. A specific place of ministry.

ILLUSTRATION
A lady wrote to Catholic Digest recently to tell about her six- year-old grandson. Their pastor had died. A retired priest was temporarily serving as a replacement. One day he announced that the bishop would soon be sending the church a new young priest directly from the seminary.

When her grandson heard this announcement, he told his parents that when the new priest came he would no longer be going to Mass. "What are you talking about?" his parents wanted to know. The young fellow replied, "When they get priests direct from the cemetery, I'm staying home."

APPLICATION

The little boy misunderstood the information and they were getting a priest from the cemetery. Amos was informed about ministry. We know of Amos because he was obedient to that call.
 

3. The Call of God is an . . Irrefutable Call. v 16-17 


16 "And now hear the word of the LORD: you are saying, 'You shall not prophesy against Israel nor shall you speak against the house of Isaac.'
17 "Therefore, thus says the LORD, 'Your wife will become a harlot in the city, your sons and your daughters will fall by the sword, your land will be parceled up by a measuring line, and you yourself will die upon unclean soil. Moreover, Israel will certainly go from its land into exile.'" (NAS)

A. Irrefutable for . . Amos. A Faithful Prophet v 16 - 17 a
16 "And now hear the word of the LORD: you are saying, 'You shall not prophesy against Israel nor shall you speak against the house of Isaac.'
17 "Therefore, thus says the LORD,

In Amos: 14 times "thus says the Lord," 2 times "the word of the Lord."

B. Irrefutable for . . Amaziah. A False Prophet. v 17 b
'Your wife will become a harlot in the city, your sons and your daughters will fall by the sword, your land will be parceled up by a measuring line, and you yourself will die upon unclean soil. Moreover, Israel will certainly go from its land into exile.'"

ILLUSTRATION
Submit to pressure from peers and you move down to their level.

Speak up for your own beliefs and you invite them up to your level.

If you move with the crowd, you'll get no further than the crowd.

When 40 million people believe in a dumb idea, it's still a dumb idea.

Simply swimming with the tide leaves you nowhere.

So if you believe in something that's good, honest and right --

stand up for it. Maybe your peers will get smart and drift your way.

APPLICATION

Amos stood up to Amaziah and the crowd; he was right.

He received an irrefutable call.

Conclusion:

I heard Bobby Richardson's tell of his wife wanting more confirmation that Mickey Mantle really knew the Lord so she ask Mickey "If you stood before God and he said "Why should I let you into my heaven?" What would you say?

Tears filled my eyes as I heard Bobby say Mickey quoted John 3:16 to his wife.

Mickey finally paid attention to the call of God to salvation. We all need to heed the call of God whether it be to ministry or salvation. You are being called today. Some like Amos others like Mickey Mantle others like Mrs Bobby Richardson. br wp="br1">