Let the Fire Fall
Now therefore, send and gather all Israel to me on Mount Carmel, the 450 prophets of Baal, and the 400 prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel's table. So Ahab sent for all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together on mount Carmel. And Elijah came to all the people, and said, 'How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him.' But the people answered him not a word (1 Kings 18:19-21, NKJV).
I certainly don't want our buildings to be on fire, but I do want our church to be on fire. Indeed, the greatest need in our churches, our homes, and our nation, is not men, money, might, machinery, or methods. The greatest need is for the fire of revival to fall on the pews of the church, the desks of the schools, the hallways of congress, and the oval office in the White House.
The first thing Elijah did was to confront this false god and his pagan worship. Now I want to call your attention to the obvious, which is, Elijah was not politically correct. You know today there are basically three ways you can relate the Lord Jesus Christ to every other religious figure, and every other religion in the world.
The first is inclusivism. That view says that Jesus Christ may be unique, but he does not have a monopoly on the truth. Other religions are also an expression of the divine. Other religions also have God's revelation, just in a different form. Now that philosophy today is both politically correct and culturally acceptable.
But many say an even better way than inclusiveness is pluralism. This is the thinking that all religions are totally equal. Jesus Christ is no more unique than Buddha, or Mohammed, or any other religious figure. No religion has the right to sit in judgment on another religion, and any other view is simply religious bigotry. Everybody worships the same god, they just call him by different names, and everybody has a different way to god, and whatever works for you is fine.
Well, Elijah did not practice inclusivism nor pluralism. He believed in exclusivism. That is, there is only one God—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, any other religion, any other philosophy, any other god is wrong, misleading, and false.
Do you know what people who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ need? They not only need to know the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, but they also need to see the dynamic of the Holy Spirit alive in us. People will turn from a false god when they see the evidence of the true God living in us. One of the great preachers in Great Britain of the 20th Century, was a man by the name of James Stewart. James Stewart once said:
"If we could but show the world that being committed to Christ is no tame, humdrum, sheltered monotony, but the most exciting adventure the human spirit can ever know, those who have been standing outside the church and looking askance at Christ, will come crowding in to pay allegiance…and we may well expect the greatest revival since Pentecost."
People still want to know that there is a God who answers by fire! I believe that when people walk into a church, it ought not to feel like a refrigerator, it ought to feel like a furnace where the Holy Spirit is ablaze in the pulpit, and the Lord Jesus is aflame in the pew. Our problem is, we have gotten so afraid of the wild fire of fanaticism, we have settled for the no fire of formalism.
Elijah wanted his people to know that he had great faith in a great God. The God that cannot burn wet wood isn't worth dry faith. You know today, we would have poured kerosene on it and added matches to help God out. But not Elijah. He wanted to prove that his God could do anything.
Elijah wanted everybody to know that not only did he serve the only God, he served an omnipotent God for whom nothing is impossible. The problem with the average Christian is not that his faith is too small, but his God is too small.
Any prophet, professor, or preacher, that proclaims any other gospel than the gospel of grace, and worships any other lord than the Lord Jesus Christ, is absolutely false, and the fire will fall. It will either fall in retribution, or it will fall in revival.
Has the fire fallen in your life? Can I tell you how you can know whether or not it has? When the fire falls, here's what happens: sin is burned out, the Savior is burned in, and self is burned up. When that happens, revival comes. So, let the fire fall.