A Horrible Sin That Christians Commit

2 Kings 7:3-16

2 Kings 7:3-11: "And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate:
and they said one to another, Why sit we here until we die?
If we say, we will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there:
and if we sit still here, we die here.
Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive,
we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die.


"And they rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp of the Syrians: and when they were come
to the uttermost part of the camp of Syria, behold, there was no man there.
For the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses,
even the noise of the great host:
and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired
against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us.

Wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses,
and their asses, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life.

"And when these lepers came to the uttermost part of the camp, they went into one tent,
and did eat and drink, and carried thence silver, and gold, and raiment, and went and hid it;
and came again, and entered into another tent, and carried thence also, and went and hid it.

"Then they said one to another, We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings,
and we hold our peace:
if we tarry till the morning light, some mischief will come upon us:
now therefore come, that we may go and tell the king's household.


"So they came and called unto the porter of the city: and they told him, saying,
We came to the camp of the Syrians, and, behold, there was no man there,
neither voice of man, but horses tied, and asses tied, and the tents as they were.
And he called the porters; and they told it to the king's house within."

For this sermon from the Book of Kings we will focus on the dilemma of four lepers.
We need to remember that Samaria was under siege, and they were surrounded by the
invading army of the Syrians. (2 Kings 6:24-25)
The city was in desperate situation.
Benhadad the II, the king of Syria has brought his army, and they have shut off Samaria.
No one could go in and no one could come out.
The Syrians were going to starve the people of Samaria to death.

The famine is indescribably terrible in Samaria.
In verse 25 and following, we are told of the horrors that were taking place..
The famine was so terrible that the head of a donkey was sold for fourscore pieces of silver.
Ordinary, no one would have eaten the flesh of a donkey..
But the head of a donkey was selling for $50, which was an astronomical sum of money
to those poor people.
The dung of a donkey was sold for $3 a pint.

Their situation in Samaria was so severe that they were driven to cannibalism
They were eating their children.

Four lepers were trapped between the enemy and the walls of the city of Samaria. (6:29)
Their condition was helpless and hopeless.
They were banned from the city because they were lepers, and if they tried to enter the camp
of the Syrians they would be killed.

Then, God intervened ( 7:6)
God had delivered judgment on Samaria. (Isaiah 10:5)
Take a look at Samaria.
See what unbelief in God will bring.
Samaria is shut-in like people in an iron cage.
And they go to bed each night in hysteric fear.

There isn't an enemy soldier close to them, and they are starving to death.
There is an army of 100,000 men camped across from them.
Samaria had turned away from Jehovah God and were worshiping false gods.
(1 Kings 3:31; 1 Kings 12:28)
And God, being true to His Word, had brought this deserved judgment upon them.
They had been warned.

Outside the city wall are four lepers and they are also suffering as the result of the famine..
This was also a desperate life and death situation for them.
They are starving to death because the garbage, that was usually lowered down to them
over the wall every day, had stopped.

God was judging Samarians because they had turned to false gods, and now, He is ready reveal
His power against the Syrians.
He is going to show them His mighty power so that they will know that He is in charge.

The lepers were the first to discover the results of the awesome power of God.
II Kings 7:3-11 says: "And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate:
and they said one to another, Why sit we here until we die?

If we say, we will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there:
and if we sit still here, we die here.
Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live;
and if they kill us, we shall but die.


"And they rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp of the Syrians: and when they were come
to the uttermost part of the camp of Syria, behold, there was no man there.

For the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses,
even the noise of the great host: and they said one to another, "Lo, the king of Israel hath hired
against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us.

Wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses,
and their asses, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life
."

These four desperate lepers were doing what they thought was their best option.
In their desperation, these lepers got up and went into the camp of the Syrians, and we read,
" Behold there was no man there ...."( 7:5-6)
The Lord had intervened !
And the Syrians had fled in utter panic. ( 7:7)

These men just could not believe their eyes.
They were amazed at what God had done.
The forces, that had encircled and trapped them, had been dispersed and defeated.
They reached the outside of the camp, and no one stopped them.
They decided that they would enter the camp, and they found that it was completely deserted.
They discovered that all of the Syrians had left, and they had left all their food and all their belongings.

Just imagine their amazement!
Moments before this, they had nothing at all, now had everything they wanted and more than they needed.
They had food in abundance.
They had water to drink.
They had horses and donkeys and other animals.
They could take off their rags and now, could wear the finest clothes.
The entire camp was theirs.
They could fill their pockets and their sacks with gold and silver.
They had been paupers, but now they were as rich as kings.

So, these four lepers were having a wonderful time, eating and drinking all they could hold.
They took what they wanted, and hid much more that they could use later.
They were having a wonderful time
This was a tremendous thing that God had done for them.

There they were In the Syrian Camp, and they were eating and drinking all they could hold,
and then, they thought of the starving multitudes in Samaria who were dying of starvation.
Their conscience started working on them.
They were living it up, but over in the city of Samaria men and women and children were
dying of hunger.

They knew that they could no longer be silent.
In verse 9 they said, "We are not doing right."
They were leaving thousands in the doomed city to die in their misery, while all the time they were
enjoying themselves.
" We do not well .... and we hold our peace, .... now therefore come that we may go and tell."
(2 Kings 7:9)

In verse nine, we see what happened.
The four lepers told one porter:
The one porter told the other porters:
Those porters told the King:
The King told the city, and all the people were saved from a sure and certain death.

The horrible sin of silence was their sin.
It is also our sin.
When did you last speak to anyone about Jesus Christ?
When did you last invite anyone to come and hear the gospel?
We pray for souls to be saved, but how many lost souls do we ever invite to come to the services?
Everyone knows someone who you could invite to hear the Gospel.
Anyone can invite their loved ones and friends and co-workers to attend church services.

The Bible teaches us that we can be guilty of sins of omission as well as sins of commission.
The Bible says that, "Sin is the transgression of the law." (1 John 3:4)
The Bible also says, " To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not to him it is sin." ( James 4:17)
James 2:10: "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point,
he is guilty of all
."
That is is the sin of omission!

This is a horrible sin that most Christians are ignoring and excusing in their lives.
James 2:10: "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point,
he is guilty of all
."
That is horrible that we would treat God's commands with such indifference.

Matthew 28:19-20: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:
and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen
"

Mark 16:15: "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel
to every creature."

That is so clear that no one could deny that Jesus has commanded us to go tell.

Jesus didn't say, "Go, unless you are shy."
Jesus didn't say, "Go, unless you are too busy."
Jesus didn't say, "Go, unless you are afraid of what they will say."
Jesus didn't say, "Go, unless you are not trained."
Jesus didn't say, "Go, unless you don't know what to say."
Jesus didn't say, "It's alright not to "Go tell", if you are not a pastor or deacon."

We talk to people about everything.
We talk to them in great detail about sports.
We talk to them about the most personal matters in their lives.
We talk to them about serious health problems.
But we don't talk to them about the most important subject of their lives.

We don't talk to them about where they will spend eternity.
We have never asked them if they will go to heaven.
We have never asked them if they know Jesus.
We have never even asked them if they go to church.
We have never asked them what they think will happen to them when they die.
We have never told them about our experience with Jesus as our Saviour.

If we are not telling others about Jesus, we are committing the most horrible sin of silence.
We cannot excuse ourselves!
Jesus said so clearly, "Go, tell!"

And the last word that we have from Jesus before He ascended into heaven tells us
where we are to go.
Acts 1:8; "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:
and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria,
and unto the uttermost part of the earth
."

Not to obey these very plain commands from Jesus is the sin of commission.
That is horrible when we ignore the clear commands of God.

When we are not telling others about Jesus, we are guilty of both sins -- the sin of omission
and the sin of commission.
Double sins.
Do you think that God is pleased with us?
Do you ever think that the reason that our church services are devoid of the power of
God's Holy Spirit is that we are guilty of this horrible sin of silence.

These sins are so horrible because of all that God has done for us.
God sent His Son, His only Son, to come down from heaven to live upon this sin-filled world,
and suffer an agonizing death on the cross for our sins -- not His -- He committed no sins.
Because of Jesus, all our sins have been forgiven.
Because of Jesus, we have been given eternal life.
Because of Jesus, we will not go to hell and die forever and forever in that horrible place.
Because of Jesus, we have a home in heaven being prepared for us.
Because of Jesus, our names are written in the Book of Life.
Because of Jesus, our heavenly Father watches over us.
Because of Jesus, we can take our prayers directly to God who hears and answers all our prayers.
Because of Jesus, we have Someone who lifts our heavy burdens from us.
Because of Jesus, all things work together for our good.
Because of Jesus, we have been given all things.

The Bible tells us that our God has "giveth us richly all things to enjoy." ( 1 Tim 6:17)
How could we commit these horrible sins knowing how wonderfully God has blessed us.
Are we not grateful for Jesus and all that He has done for us?

We have been found so that we would go and find others.
We are commanded to tell others:

We have our holy huddles and our bless-us clubs, and we have our exclusive fellowship suppers
while the world is going to hell.
We hoard all of God's blessings just for ourselves.

We must wake up to our obligations and our indebtedness to the lost and dying all about us.
They are starving without the Bread of Life.
They are thirsting without the Water of Life.
They are dying without the Lord of Life.

I regret to say that many pastors will have to admit that they go for weeks without ever speaking
personally to someone who needs Jesus.
I have known very few deacons who ever speak to anyone about Jesus.
I know of very few members who ever tell anyone about Jesus.

Everyone of us should have a prayer list.
At the top of that prayer list should be the names of our loved ones and our friends who are not Christians.
We should be praying that God would lead us, or lead someone else, to witness to those who are unsaved.
Could it be that many of us would be ashamed to admit that we don't even pray for them.
We are guilty of this horrible sin of silence.
We are not obeying God's clear command.
And, we wonder why our churches are not growing.
We wonder why the fire of God is not falling.

Some years ago a lady in a mid-Western town in America had an unusual method of testifying
about her faith in Christ.
Her friends, for the most part were lukewarm and indifferent.
They could be called "nominal Christians".

So one day when she knew that her friends would be passing by, she stood before a wooden Indian
in front of a store, and spoke to that wooden Indian about Jesus.
When her friends ridiculed her for creating such a scene, she gave her reason,
" I would rather be a real Christian, and share Christ with a wooden Indian,
than be a wooden Christian who never shared Christ with anyone
."

R.A.Torrey went into a restaurant one day with some Christian friends.
Immediately, the Lord spoke to him and said, " Speak to the waiter about Christ."
Torrey decided that it was not the time or place to witness to this waiter.
So, he and his friends continued with their meal, but the conviction became stronger,
and Torrey decided hat the next time the waiter came to his table, he would speak to him Jesus..

But he never came back.
When they were leaving the restaurant that evening, Torrey said to the manager,
" I would like speak to the man who served us."

The manager said, "Sir, I'm afraid that's impossible for a short while ago he committed suicide."

Many years ago, in my first church as an interim pastor, I had preached the morning sermon,
and was standing at the door shaking hands with the people as they left.
I noticed this lady who had lingered behind, and after the last one was out, she asked if I would sit
with her because she had something to share with me.

This is what she said: "I am a head nurse at the hospital.
There was a middle-age man in one of our rooms who was critically ill.
I had learned that he was not a Christian.
After my shift was over on Thursday, I went by his room.
He was by himself.

I asked him if it he would mind me talking to him about Jesus.
He said that he would like that, but he wasn't feeling so good; but could I come back
in the morning and talk with him.

I told him that I would be happy to come back in the morning.
That night I prayed for him.
I prayed that he would trust Jesus as his Saviour in the morning.

I left home earlier than usual so that I would have time to talk with him before my shift started.
I arrived at the hospital, and hurried up to his room, and was excited that I would have the
opportunity to tell him about Jesus.

When I got to his room and opened the door -- my heart almost stopped.
His bed was empty, and had already been made up.
I learned that he died very early in the morning.
I waited too long -- it was too late."

Around The Corner

"Around the corner I have a friend
In this great city that has no end,
Yet the days go by and weeks rush on,

And before I know it, a year is gone

And I never see my old friend's face,
For life is a swift and terrible race,
He knows I like him just as well,
As in the days when I rang his bell,

If, we were younger then,
And now we are busy, tired men.
Tired of playing a foolish game,
Tired of trying to make a name.

"Tomorrow" I say "I will call on Jim"
"Just to show that I'm thinking of him."
But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,
And, distance between us grows and grows.

Around the corner!- yet miles away,
"Here's a telegram sir - Jim died today."
And that's what we get and deserve in the end.
Around the corner, a vanished friend."

-- Around The Corner by Charles Hanson Towne, World Of Windows And Other Poems, p 66
George H. Doran Co., New York, 1919)

What about you?
This is a day is a day of good tidings, are you selfishly keeping the good news about Jesus to yourself?
If so, you are guilty of this horrible sin of silence?
God has brought you here to hear this today, and He is waiting for you to repent of this horrible sin.
I now ask you to bow your head and close your eyes, He is ready to forgive you, and cleanse you,
and to enable you to be the witness that He saved you to be!

1 John 1:8-10 says: "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us
from all unrighteousness.
If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us
."

This is the time to confess to God that we have been committing this horrible sin of silence.


Sermon adapted from many sources by Dr. Harold L. White