God or Baal
Zusammenfassung: The story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal and the contest. The emphasis is on God-- the all-powerful true God. Brings out Satan's desire to deceive; the atonement of Christ. Invitation.
|Thema:||Sacrifice/Atonement; Evil Spirits, demons; Honor God; Saviour of Sinful Men; People of God|
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Many, many years before Jesus was born, God's people began to do something very wicked. They started to worship a false god (idol) named Baal. They made special places in the trees where they prayed to Baal. They even sacrificed some of their children to Baal. This made God very angry. A few of God's people were still obedient to God and they were angry too. One of God's obedient followers was named Elijah.
One day Elijah called the people together. He called all the wicked leaders and the followers of Baal and told them that God was the only true God. He said, "Why do you serve two gods? If God is the true God, then follow Him. If Baal is God, then follow him." The people didn't say anything.
Then Elijah said to all the people, "Listen, I am a follower of the Lord God. Over there are 450 of Baal's men. Let us each make a sacrifice. Lay it on wood, but don't put fire under it. You call on your gods and I will call on the true God. Whoever answers by fire and burns up the sacrifice will be the true God."
Then the people said, "Yes, that's a good test." So the prophets of Baal made their sacrifice. When it was ready they called to Baal. They called all morning. But Baal did not answer. Then Elijah mocked them and said, "Maybe Baal is busy or asleep. Call louder."
The prophets of Baal called and danced around all day and cut themselves with knives, but their god did not answer because he had no power.
Finally, they quit, and Elijah prepared his sacrifice. All the people drew near and watched him. He put the sacrifice on the altar made of stones. Then he dug a ditch all around it. Then he said, "Fill 4 barrels of water and pour it all over the sacrifice." They did it. He said, "Do it again and again." They emptied the barrels three times and the water soaked everything and even filled the ditch. Then Elijah prayed to the true God and said, "Oh Lord God, let all the people know that You alone are the true God. Let them know that I am your follower, and have told the truth and obeyed You."
Then suddenly, fire from God fell on the sacrifice!! It burned it up, then it burned the wood, and then it burned the stones and the dust and even licked up all the water!
When the people saw this, they were full of fear. They said, "The Lord God, He is the true God. He is the only God!" And they believed in the true God again and followed Him. But the wicked leaders of Baal who had deceived the people were taken and put to death.
My people, this story is from God's Word and is true. This happened many years ago, but even today many people of the world follow gods which are no gods. Some follow gods who are really evil spirits. They are deceived by Satan - the chief enemy of God.
This does not please the true God. He has said He would not give His honor to another god. Some day He will put in hell's fire forever all evil spirits and deceivers who lead people away from following the true God. He will punish all those who follow false gods and evil spirits.
God sent His Son to earth so that people could know the truth about God. His name was Jesus. He was altogether good, but He suffered and died so that we wouldn't have to be punished after we die. Jesus will take you to God's good place when you die, if you believe. Follow the true God. Ask Him to forgive you for your evil ways. He will free you from the power of evil spirits because He is the true God - the One Who is powerful and good.