Sermons

Summary: Many decisions are truly crossroads: you cannot reverse them or their consequences, try as you might. Therefore, we need to take decision making seriously.

Irreversible Decisions

(Numbers 14:26-45)

1. The most important thing about you is your God and your relationship to him. This is more important than: education, health, vocation, family, intelligence, talent, riches…

2. Near the top of the list, perhaps second, is who you are. The sum total of our talents, skills, personality, and relational skills make up what we call "human capital," all you have to contribute to your family, your job, your church, and your community.

3. Who you are always goes with you. Your strengths are always there at your side, but so are your weaknesses.

4. In Ecclesiastes 2:9, Solomon explains the ups and downs of his life as he pursued meaning. He states: "My wisdom also stood by me." Who you are stands by you, or keeps undermining you.

5. Here is an actual quotation from a supervisor at 3M who was speaking to an employee who had quickly solved a long-standing problem: "Doing it right is no excuse for not meeting the schedule. No one will believe you solved this problem in one day! We’ve been working on it for months. Now, go act busy for a few weeks and I’ll let you know when it’s time to tell them."

6. Some people confuse human capital with financial capital, and seek meaning there. What you have is not as important as who you are in relation to God and others. Jesus said, "A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses."

7. Many people disagree with Jesus, even some within the church.

8. Who you are is determined by how you think. Thus the mind is the target area for both virtue and vice. Control your thoughts, and you control your behavior. Renew your mind and you transform your life, according to Romans 12:2.

9. What makes for a solid, wise person? Many things. But one crucial characteristic of a wise person is that he or she is good at making decisions.

Main Idea: Many decisions are truly crossroads: you cannot reverse them or their consequences, try as you might. Therefore, we need to take decision making seriously.

I. The People Balked At God's Directives and Aroused God's ANGER (26-45)

A. God 's JUDGMENT: Marking Time, Waiting to Die (26-35)

1. Some people are content with boredom, sameness and monotony.

2. But aimlessness and purposeless is worse than boredom. You can turn the same single bolt on an assembly line for 40 hours a week if you have a family to support; you are bored, but you have a purpose.

B. God ZAPS the Ten Spies (36-38)

C. UNBELIEF: The Gangrene That Cuts Us Off from God's Grace (39-45)

1. The People Would Not Take God SERIOUSLY

2. They PRESUMED Upon God's Mercy

• As slaves, they had been physically coerced to obey authority, but they had developed no authority ethic… neither respected Moses nor God. No faith without reverencing God, because faith means cherishing and depending upon the integrity of God & His Word.

• The people are in denial – pretend the entire ugly episode never happened. They appear and say, "Here we are! Let's conquer!"

• It may not be too little, but it is too late.

• Notice vs. 44; it says, "In their presumption..."

2 Corinthians 7:10 reads, "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death." Repentant over consequences, or offending God?

3. They did not believe God MEANT what He said

4. Self-effort led to DEFEAT

Many decisions are truly crossroads: you cannot reverse them or their consequences, try as you might. Therefore, we need to take decision making seriously.

II. The New Testament Midrash: The Irreversible Decision of APOSTASY (Hebrews 6:4-6)

A. Many Decisions Cannot Be REVERSED

1. We tell our young people to wait until they are married to have sex

2. We tell them to go to college, specialized training, or trade school

3. We tell them to be careful who they marry, what church they attend, and how they use their money

4. Spiritual decision are sometimes in this category

B. Some People Profess New Birth in Christ, But Then DENY the Faith

1. Sometimes the profession was shallow to begin with

• Kevin Bauder describes modern watered-down Christianity as "more and more people being converted to less and less Christianity."

Colossians 4:14, "Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings."

2 Timothy 4:10a, "for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica…" 2. In other instances, it seemed sincere

C. The issue here is APOSTASY, not sin

D. God's Grace is UNAVAILABLE to the Apostate

Many decisions are truly crossroads: you cannot reverse them or their consequences, try as you might. Therefore, we need to take decision making seriously.

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