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1 Kings 18:16-24

Talks for Growing Christians

Preparations for the Confrontation at Mount Carmel

1 Kings 18:16-24

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Lesson Number 33

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The believer will be blamed for many of this world’s problems.
  2. The unbeliever should be confronted.
  3. The truth is not decided by numbers or home court advantage.

Practical Application

  1. How long will you falter between two opinions?

Questions

  1. What did Elijah tell Ahab to do when he met him? What was Elijah’s purpose?
  2. What was the agreement between Elijah and the false prophets on Mount Carmel?
  3. Why is it that believers often get blamed for the world’s problems?
  4. Should unbelievers be confronted about their relationship to God?
  5. Does God tolerate luke-warmness? Support your answer with Scripture.

Answers

  1. He ordered him to assemble the false prophets of Baal to Mount Carmel for a showdown. All of Israel was to be assembled to observe the results. Elijah’s purpose for the confrontation was to prove who was really God, Baal or the Lord God of Israel.
  2. They agreed that two bulls would be prepared for sacrifice, and that the God who answered by fire was truly God.
  3. People need a scapegoat for their wrong doing and wrong thinking. Elijah was blamed for withholding the rain, but Ahab and Israel had stopped following the Lord. The Roman Emperor Nero blamed the early Christians for the fire in Rome. Today Christians are blamed for impeding progress because of their old-fashioned moral convictions, such as counter-attacks on abortion or moral decadence in films.
  4. Yes, for God commands all men everywhere to repent. Elijah confronted unbelieving Ahab, the unbelieving prophets and unbelieving people. Paul confronted unbelievers in Athens and elsewhere. We are to contend earnestly for the faith (Jude 3).
  5. No. Read Revelation 3:16 and Joshua 24:15. God wants you to choose to serve His Son. Do not falter between two opinions.

Discuss/Consider

  1. As a Christian, have you been accused of causing some of the world’s problems? If so, what was your response?
  2. As a Christian, do you enjoy the pleasures of sin? Have there been times when you have been enamored with the riches of the world?

Challenge

  1. Are there times when you falter between two opinions? Are there times when you are luke-warm?
  2. Try to confront an unbeliever this week about his relationship to the Lord. Pray about it beforehand, and seek the Lord’s direction and help.

Key Verses

  • “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have.” I Kings 18:18
  • “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him.” 1 Kings 18:21 “The God who answers by fire, He is God.” I Kings 18:24

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