Fire on the Mountain – Gospel in Life

Fire on the Mountain

Tim Keller |  September 19, 1999

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  • Idolatry
1 Kings 18:20-39
RS 106-2

1 Kings 18:20–39

The story of Elijah standing up to Baal’s prophets can teach us how to find real spiritual truth in a world full of different religions. It helps us spot fake gods and know the real God. This story from long ago is still important today because it helps us understand all the religious beliefs we see around us.

1. Why was there a contest in the first place?

Elijah was asking the people to choose between the real God and Baal, a fake god. This challenges the idea that all religions are pretty much the same and all good. Elijah shows that saying all religions are the same is a contradiction. It’s like saying you know more than anyone else but also saying you don’t know more than anyone else. It’s also not fair because it doesn’t respect what each religion says about itself. Elijah wanted the people to think about the difference and choose what’s real over what’s fake.

2. How can you tell if you’re worshipping a fake god?

Everyone worships something, whether it’s a god or something else in life. Sometimes, things we see or pressures from society can lead us to care too much about things that aren’t healthy or important, like what happened with those who worshipped Baal. To grow spiritually, we need to let go of the idea that we can control everything and admit our own fake gods.

3. How do you discover the real God?

Going through tough times or ‘fire’ in life can lead us to a deeper understanding of God. These challenging moments can wake us up to God’s presence. The fire that was used in the sacrifice is like Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, where he took God’s justice so we could receive God’s power and love. The Lord’s Supper, where we remember that sacrifice, is important for experiencing God’s love because it involves admitting our wrongs and accepting God’s love.



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