We're looking today in the book of Numbers, chapter 13 and 14.When you think about Israel, they had left Egypt, they've traveled to the promised land. They're encampted outside the land and they send 12 spies into the land to spy it out.
The story of the twelve spies is one of the strangest and saddest in the Bible. These men are sent into the promised land.
- Numbers 13:1-2
They were to take a man from every tribe sent as spies into the promised land.
- Numbers 13:17-24
They've found this land after going to spy it out. When they report on the land, they report that it was all that God had said it would be.
- Numbers 13:25-27
It was exactly what God had promised, a land flowing with milk and honey. Yet, nonetheless, in verse 28.
- Numbers 13:28-30
They're saying it's a people strong and mighty. Caleb says let's go take it.
- Numbers 13:31-33
They find that they couldn't do it, they were too strong and Israel, weak. They had fear. Caleb had the right idea, God had promised it and ready to go take it. But the others, besides Caleb and Joshua was fearful and too weak.
- Numbers 14:1-3
Look what 10 pessimist did to the entire nation.
A lot of people are like this... they become Christians and come to think that it's harder than they thought it would be and then fall back into the world.
- Numbers 13:4-11
They rebel against God and refuse to go in. When Joshua and Caleb try to encourage them, they take up stones to kill them. Because of their lack of faith, God condemns them.
- Numbers 14:22-23
All of these of this generation, except 2, Joshua and Caleb, will not see the promised land.
- Numbers 14:24
- Numbers 14:37
Those who had spied and rejected the Lord's will, died of the plague. Of the 12 men, only two live.
Imagine if these men had lived the entire 40 years.
- They had seen God's Promised Land with their own eyes.
- They could have enjoyed Canaan'sfruits for the ret of their lives.
- But due to their faithlessness, they only spent forty days in the promised land.
Israel was like many people today who get a taste of God's promise of Heaven, a glimpse of what it is like. But they refuse to finish the journey they have started.
Christians Have Excaped a Polluted World
Man--made pollution (SIN) is destroying this world. Some people are concerned that man's recklessness, using the earth's resources, etc, are going to destroy the world. But, regardless of what you think of physical pollution the most devastating pollution in this world is sin, it is destroying the world.
- Ecclesiastes 7:29
We live in a sin-polluted world.
Man has turned away from God. We've been studying the results of this in the book of Judges, "Every man did what was right in his own eyes."
- Psalms 14:1-3
- Philippians 2:15
When you think of what sin has wrought in this world, as we look about us, we see it is full of sin and corrupt. We, as Christians, should not be.
God is able to deliver us from this sinful world.
- 2 Peter 2:5-7, 9
We see how God delivered Noah, Lot, he will deliver us today. Think about through Christ we are able to escape the pollutions of this world.
- 2 Peter 2:20
Christians have escaped from this world of sin. God is willing and able to deliver us from the pollutions of this worl.God is willing and able to deliver us from the pollutions of the world.
Have you allowed God to rescue you from the pollutions of this world? Or, are you still wallowing in the filthy mire of sin?
They were willing, they had escaped fromt he bondage of Egypt. They had tasted the promised land.
Christians Have Tasted of the Heavenly Gift
Christians are recipeients of the spiritual blessings that are found exclusively "in Christ."
- Ephesians 1:3
- Romans 3:24
- 2 Timothy 1:10
- Galatians 5:1
- John 5:28-29
When we are put into Christ where those spiritual blessings are found we are sons of Abraham and heirs to the promise.
- Galatians 3:26-29
When we obey the gospel, we enjoy Chrisitan fellowship.
- Acts 2:42, 44-46
- 1 Corinthians 12:26
We pray with those who are ill. And, we weep when a dear one passes. And we rejoices when a couple marries or welcomes a new little one. There is no greater fellowship than the fellowship we have with our brethren in Christ. It transcends race, gender, nationality. It is the most important relationship we have in the world.
We enjoy genuine liberty as Christians.
We are free from sin and it's deadly consequences.
- Romans 6:22-23
Many people think they are free when they withhold from themselves pleasures. But, many find the thing they withhold themselves from they become enslaved to.
- Romans 6:16
Any sinful pursuit we can become enslaved to. When we become a Christian we learn how great life can be
We get a taste of Heaven when we are obedient to God.
- Ephesians 2:6
Imagine what it will be like to be together forever in the presence of God. We get a small taste of it here in fellowship with our brethren.
The fruits of Canaan are nothing compared to the glorious frutis that God has shown us from the gates of Paradise!
Some Fall Away and Never Get Another Taste of Heaven
Hebrews compares this phenomenon directly to Isarael's fall in the wlderness.
- Hebrews 2:3-19
Some who "have tasted the heavenly gift" seek to return to the sin-polluted world.
We see they could not enter in because of their unbelief. They were the people of God who had seen miracle after miracle as God led them out of Egypt. Yet, they are there ready to enter the promised land and they lose faith.
- Hebrews 4:1-1, 11
We see people today, can still be lost because of unbelief. Christians can fall away becasue of unbelief. Some will abandon the fiath
- Hebrews 5:1-6
We each know some who have turned away from the faith. But, we long for them, we love them and want them to come back.
- 1 John 3:18
When you find yourself in need, you find that there are no greater friends than the people of faith.
If you abandon the faith, it would have been better if you had never known it.
- 2 Peter 2:19-21
The Israelites who wandered int he wilderness... think of them who havign tasted the fruits fo the promised land, to end up eating only manna and quail. They must have wished they never experienced the lushness of the land.
Think of those who have tasted the Lord's promise and end up spending eternity in hell.
You have a choice to make.
There is no reason for you to fall short of the Promised Land.
God has promised us - like Israel - that He will help us to achieve it!
Forty Days in Canaan
Isarael wept when they ought to have rejoiced.
There is no reason for you to miss out on the blesing of Heaven. God will help you through if you wll be faithful and refuse to give up. Will you choose o sepnd 40 days surveying he Promised Land? Or, will you choose to spend your eternity there?
We are at the edge of the Promised Land. It's up to us to enter in. God has done his part. He has made it possible to reconciled to Him throught hte blood of Jesus Christ.
If you believe, act upon that belief, repent of your sins, and put on Christ in baptism to have your sins washed away.
If we can assist you in establishing yourself in receiving the Heavenly promise, please contact us.