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Summary: This is a sermon to depict how so many Christians live life on the edge of God’s great blessings.

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Scripture: Numbers 32:1

Title: “Borderline Christians”

Introduction: The time for God’s people to enter the land of Canaan was growing near.

But a problem had arisen; there were two tribes than didn’t want to participate in the crossing over the Jordan River into the Land of Canaan.

Reuben and Gad had different plans for themselves.

· It was a simple matter of economics.

· They had a very great multitude of cattle: and they saw that the land was a good place for their cattle to graze and grow.

· Reuben and Gad wanted to remain here.

This request was based totally on material factors.

· The land they sought had rich pastoral potential and these tribes wanted it in order that they might better feed their own cattle and hence build a wealth and security for their future.

· All this was without any respect to the will of God, His promises for them in Canaan, or His spiritual purposes for them.

· Too many, even in our day, settle just outside Canaan because they LOSE SIGHT of God’s first requirement to “POSSESS the LAND!”

Reuben and Gad were also DISREGARDING the RESPONSIBILITY to assist in the conquest of Canaan.

· “bring us not over Jordan” v. 5.

· Moses saw this to mean they wanted to be free from military responsibilities. “Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here?”

· Moses believed this would discourage the others. – “And wherefore discourage ye the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the LORD hath given them?”

· Moses reminded them of what happened in the past, “Thus did your fathers, when I sent them from Kadeshbarnea to see the land.”

These two tribes were willing to live just outside of their “Inheritance.”

· These two tribes represent many Christians who for material benefit and self-interest live on “this” side of Jordan.

· Because of this exposed position these two and a half tribes were the first to be taken captive by the king of Assyria (1 Chron. 5:26).

· They had lost sight of God’s will for their life, “Possess the Land” – Instead of possessing the land the land had possessed them!

After Moses Confronted Reuben and Gad they proposed a COMPRIMISE.

· All right, we will go fight, but first let us make provision for our cattle and our families.

Because of the SELFISH desire of Reuben & Gad their requests were granted.

· Their families were left behind.

· Their homes were built just outside of the Promised Land.

· They went and fought but RETURNED back across the BORDER to the land just outside of their INHERITENCE.

It was God’s desire for His people to go on into the Promised Land of Canaan.

· God had a spiritual purpose for ALL of His people.

· God wants His people to live by FAITH and not by sight.

· Something may look good to you, but it may be the very worst thing for you according to God’s plan for your life.

· Reuben & Gad were the first to be captured by the king of Assyria.

· Again and again we find in the Scriptures where God is encouraging us to go forward, go on unto perfection, step out of the boat, and the list goes on and on.

· Living by sight robs us of the God’s best for our lives.

Wherever your heart is will be where your treasure is.


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