2 Chron. 36:11-17 Were the officials of the priests getting plenty of results by having a large following of the people of Israel (2 Chron. 36:14)?
But was this large following of the officials of the priests and the people a success in God’s eyes or because of God’s blessing, and why?
Were God’s messengers, the true prophets, getting lots of positive results or a large following (2 Chron. 36:15-16)?
What kind of results/responses did they get?
If you were one of God’s messengers spreading God’s word and didn’t get any positive results, how would you have felt (e.g., like a failure or quitting), and why?
Judges 20:18-21 Did God tell the sons of Israel to battle against the tribe of Benjamin?
Did the sons of Israel get positive or negative results?
Did they quit, or what did they do (Judges 20:22-23)?
Would you have quit, gotten discouraged, or continued to obey God despite a lack of positive results and even getting some negative results, and why?
What did God tell them to do (Judges 20:23)?
Did they get positive or negative results the second day (Judges 20:24-25)?
How did the sons of Israel react (Judges 20:26-27)?
What would you have done after getting negative results twice in a row, even though you thought you knew God’s will, and why?
Would you have wondered if maybe you had misunderstood God’s leading?
After inquiring of the Lord a third time, what message from God does Israel receive (Judges 20:28)?
And do the sons of Israel obey (Judges 20:29)?
Would you have persevered in obedience to God a third time, or quit, or gotten discouraged thinking that either God didn’t know what He was doing, or that you misread His guidance, and why?
Do you see how a lack of immediate positive results and, in fact, even some negative results does not mean that you are not in God’s will?
Jer. 7:25-26 Though God’s servants, the prophets, had been speaking God’s words to the nation of Israel for hundreds of years, what kind of positive results were God’s prophets getting?
If you were one of God’s prophets at this point in Israel’s history, and you knew that Israel hadn’t listened to the previous prophets of God over hundreds of years, would you have felt like you were wasting your time preaching to Israel any further?
And would you have wanted to move and preach elsewhere to some other more receptive people?
What did God tell Jeremiah to do in spite of Israel’s past history (Jer. 7:27-28)?
And what did God tell Jeremiah that Israel’s reaction to his speaking would be?
Would you begin to question or doubt God’s wisdom at this point, and why?
Or, would you be tempted to disobey God and want to go where there would be positive results and a “successful” ministry, and why?
Or, would you reluctantly obey God, but always be discouraged and feel like a failure, and why?
What had Jeremiah done for 23 years (Jer. 25:3-7)?
And what kind of positive results did he get?
Do your ministry results ever seem to be like Jeremiah’s?
If so, are you willing to faithfully evangelize for 23 or more years, even if no one ever responds positively to the gospel or no Christians want to be trained for more excellent service to God, and why?
Ezek. 2:3-7 What was the prophet Ezekiel to do whether or not Israel listened to him?
Are you willing to share the gospel with people whether or not they listen/respond positively?
And are you willing to teach the truths and/or doctrines of the Bible whether or not Christians listen to/obey them, and why?
How should Israel have responded (Ezek. 3:4-6)? Why wasn’t Israel listening to Ezekiel (Ezek. 3:7)?
Do you ever take it personally when people do not respond positively to your evangelism, follow-up, Bible teaching, or challenging of a Christian to get trained to serve God more effectively?
How should you view it (based on Ezek. 3:7)?
What does God tell Ezekiel not to be because of Israel’s rebellion (Ezek. 3:9)?
Do you ever get dismayed/discouraged because of people’s lack of positive response to your ministry?
What are God’s final words to Ezekiel in Ezek. 3:11?
Will you do the same with both the gospel and the other teachings of Scripture?
Why (Matt. 28:19-20)?
What other principle does God tell Ezekiel in Ezek. 3:18-21?
Do you see by now that our having positive results in God’s work is not the main issue at all, but rather our obedience and faithfulness to God and His word and work are what’s important to God?
2 Chron. 30:1-10 What happened to the couriers who were delivering a message to God’s people, Israel, for them to do what God had prescribed many years ago (2 Chron. 30:10)?
When God’s people not only don’t respond positively, but, in fact, respond negatively to your correction or instruction from God’s Word, the Bible, will you now feel like there is something wrong with you or with them?
Why shouldn’t you take personally a lack of positive results or think that you are a failure?
Num. 13:25-14:10 Who got lots of positive results (people to follow them): the 10 spies or the 2 spies?
Yet, who was right: the 10 or the 2 spies (Num. 13:2, 30; 14:6-11, 26-30)?
So, do positive results or lots of people joining/following you necessarily mean that you are right, or a success in God’s eyes, or that you have God’s blessing upon you?
[The next time you see lots of people joining/following another religious leader or group, it may be because that person or group is disobedient to God and doing their own sinful, self-centered, rebellious, compromising thing. Be like Joshua and Caleb, and do what’s right and of God, even if you don’t get anyone else to join you. God will bless you in the long run (e.g., Num. 14:30)!]
Jer. 44:15-18 What kind of positive results were these Israelite women in Egypt getting (in their thinking) because they had sacrificed to the queen of heaven (were idolatrous), Jer. 44:17?
What kind of results did they get when they stopped sacrificing to the queen of heaven?
Yet, which was right to do: be idolatrous or not?
But what were they going to do regarding the prophet Jeremiah’s message (Jer. 44:16)?
Do you see how so-called “positive” results don’t necessarily mean God’s blessing and that so-called “negative” results or no results at all necessarily mean that something is not right to do or is not God’s will?
Ex. 32:1-10 Even though Moses performed many miracles to show that Jehovah was the one true God (Ex. 7-11; 14:21-29; 15:24-25; 16:12-18; 17:6) and though Moses was a godly man (Num. 12:3, 6-8; 11:17; Deut. 1:3; Heb. 11:24-28), did Moses have positive ministry results with his people (Ex. 32:7-9)?
And just because Aaron had a lot of people follow his lead into idolatry (Ex. 32:5-6), does that make Aaron a success in God’s eyes (Ex. 32:10)?
Even though you may be a godly leader and a good Christian example, does that necessarily mean you are going to have positive, visible, ministry results?
Why (Psa. 127:1; Jn. 15:5; 1 Cor. 3:6-7)?
And though you may be an ungodly leader, does that necessarily mean you won’t have lots of followers or people coming to your meetings/ministry?
2 Tim. 1:15; 4:10, 14-16 What kind of negative ministry results did Paul experience?
If this happened to you, would you think that you were a failure, or that you were doing or teaching something wrong, or give up, or get discouraged?
[Positive ministry results or having large numbers don’t mean you’re a success or doing the right thing and vice versa!!]
Num. 20:8-12 In spite of disobeying God by striking the rock that God told Moses to speak to, what positive results did he get?
Do you see how God sometimes allows a person to get good/positive results even when that person is doing wrong or disobeying God in what or how he is doing something?
What modern day examples of religious people doing something wrong either in action or method but getting positive results (even possibly from God) can you think of?