Summary: Don’t make a willy nilly choice to serve God, but be resolute about it.
The points and some of the text for this sermon are borrowed from one I ran across on another sermon service.
Text: Joshua 24:15
15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Subject: “Eenie, Meanie, Miny, Mo”
My sisters and brothers... in his famous novel titled “A Tale of Two Cities”, author Charles Dickens wrote: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us. . .”
Even though Dickens was writing about the French Revelation, when one looks at the condition – morally and spiritually – in America today . . . it sounds like Dickens was writing about us — for the parallels are unmistakable. Many in our country today can truly say that “It is the best of times, as well as the worst of times.” i.e. Never before has America had so many people living the American Dream of prosperity and never before has America faced the kinds of horrors and heinousness that plaques our streets and neighborhoods.
Rarely a day goes by, these days, when we don’t hear or read about another murder, mugging, rape, or robbery. Even though America is considered to be the richest nation in the world, many people are poor spirit — victims of senseless crimes. But I want you to know that it’s not the first time a nation has been in this condition. And here in Joshua 24, we find this parallel of good times and bad times for the nation of Israel.
Yes... from a historical perspective, these were exciting times for the people of Israel. They had defeated their enemies and claimed the promised land. Each of the tribes had received their inheritance and now they could settle down and enjoy life a little. It was a time of hope, prosperity and blessings. But it was also a very dangerous time for these people!
There was the danger that they would forget where they came from, how they had gotten to where they were, and what the Lord had done for them.
There was the danger that they would begin to adopt the idolatrous religion of the Canaanites who still lived around them.
There was the danger that they would fall into a state of complacency; a state in which they might feel that they could let down their spiritual guard just a little. Yes... these were dangerous times for Israel indeed! And as it was in Joshua’s day, I would just remind you that these are dangerous times for the modern day church — for I’m afraid that we are seeing more and more churches today develop an appearance that is like that of the church in Laodicea. You remember... Laodicea was one of the 7 churches that John wrote to, while under divine influence of the Holy ghost, in the Book of Revelation,
In chapter 3 of Revelation, down at verse 14, John writes: “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”
John was painting a picture of the Laodicean church, both physically and spiritually. Understand that during the first century, the city of Laodicea was one of the richest and most powerful cities in the land. Located between the Mediterranean region and Persia, Laodicea was a lucrative trade stop known for its soft black wool that was appreciated throughout the Roman world; its healing eye salve; and its banking.
In fact, an ancient writer recorded that the city of approximately 120,000 people refused an emperor’s offer to rebuild following an earthquake. The Laodiceans apparently told the emperor that they were rich and didn’t need his money. But despite its prosperity, Laodicea had a serious problem. Its water, unlike the healing hot springs of Hierapolis or the fresh, cold mountain water of Colosse, was lukewarm and full of minerals that mad the water taste bad. Matter of fact, it tasted so bad that it made people sick! And John likens it’s sickening water condition to it’s sickening spiritual condition. Spiritually... they weren’t hot, nor were they cold... they were lukewarm. So lukewarm, in fact, that they made God sick!