Summary: God will not forgive your transgression or your sin! Wait a minute! Haven’t I always been taught that God was ready and willing to forgive my sins the very moment I say I’m sorry? Is this a contradiction in the Bible? What does this mean?
GOD WILL NOT FORGIVE YOU!
Introduction: God will not forgive your transgression or your sin! Wait a minute! Haven’t I always been taught that God was ready and willing to forgive my sins the very moment I say I’m sorry? Is this a contradiction in the Bible? Won’t God always forgive me? Let me say this there are no contradictions in Scripture. For us to understand this statement we must consider the events occurring in the time this statement was made. Joshua had called all the tribes of Israel together at Shechem and reviews the providential hand of God in bringing Israel out of the land of Egypt and into the Promised Land of Canaan. In his review he rehearses how greatly God demonstrated His love, mercy, grace, majesty and His power. He then brings the people to a spiritual crossroad where they must make some decisions that will impact not only their future but also the future of generations to follow. He issues…
I. A CALL FOR A CHOICE
A. Joshua 24:14-15a "Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. "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..."
B. Choice determines character and destiny.
C. To every soul there openeth A high way and a low; And every man decideth Which way his soul shall go. – John Oxenham (1861-1941)
D. Deuteronomy 30:19 "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:"
E. On the top of a hill in a Midwestern state stands a courthouse so situated that raindrops falling on one side of the roof travel by way of the Great Lakes into the Atlantic, while drops landing on the opposite side find their way through the Ohio and Mississippi to the Gulf. Just a breath of wind one way or the other may determine whether a single raindrop will end up either in the Gulf or in the Atlantic. Even so, one single decision is enough to determine man’s destiny, either heaven or hell. Have you made the right decision?
F. Romans 6:16 "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?"
TRANSITION: Joshua personally made the right decision and publicly makes a commitment before the people to which the people concur.
II. A COMMITMENT AND A CONCURRENCE
A. Joshua 24:15b-17 "… but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods. For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed:"
B. Joshua was Committed to God
1. Resolved: that all men should live for the glory of God. Resolved second: That whether others do or not, I will. – Jonathan Edward
2. A Christian without commitment is like a promise made with your fingers crossed.
3. If God has first place in your life, you won’t have to worry about who has the other places.
C. The People Concurred
1. Israel was influenced by the example of Joshua. Note their response in Joshua 24:18, “We also will serve the Lord.”
2. Half-heartedness and mediocrity don’t inspire anybody to do anything. But the radiating influence from one person rightly related to God is measureless.
D. Joshua hearing their words wants them to realize and consider the gravity of their choice. An old Chinese Proverb says, “He who lightly assents will seldom keep his word.”
TRANSITION: Fearing that the people might indeed be assenting lightly and follow previous patterns of infidelity to the Lord, Joshua makes a charge and gives a caution.
III. A CHARGE AND A CAUTION
Joshua 24:19-20 "And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good."