Summary: Sin will take you farther than you want to go. Sin will keep you longer than you want to stay. Sin will cost you far more than you want to pay. Link inc. to formatted text, audio & video, and PowerPoint.
Prisoners in Paradise
Sin is a place. It’s a place you can go. It’s not just an action or an occurrence, it is a conscious journey you make and it doesn’t take long to arrive at the place of sin. It often becomes a place of slavery. Thank goodness the lockdown can be lifted, the chains can be broken, and thank God that the place of sin is also a place that you can leave!
Ill.--The prodigal son went off to a far country. For him, sin was a place. He wallowed in the mud a good while before he came to himself and decided to leave that place.
Egypt in the Bible is a picture of the world...the place of sin. The Bible talks about people ‘sojourning’ into Egypt. This is just a temporary visit. Abraham left God’s Promised Land and sojourned into Egypt when famine came. He didn’t plan on staying. But while in the place of sin he lied about his wife and got into trouble.
No one plans on going into sin permanently. But as the old song says:
“Sin will take you farther than you want to go
Sin will keep you longer than you want to stay
Sin will cost you far more than you want to pay.”
Ill.—a wealthy couple wanted to hire a chauffeur to drive them in their limousine, which was parked in a tight and narrow garage. They had a fear that someday their limo would be scratched down one side by an unskilled, uncaring driver, so they were careful in their selection. They interviewed 3 men. The wife asked the first man, “How close would you be able to drive my car the edge of the entrance without scratching it?” He claimed to be able to keep it within 4 inches. She asked the same of the second man, who replied that he could drive it within 1 inch. The third had a completely different outlook, saying, “Honestly, ma’am, I think it’s better to play it safe. If I were your driver I’d try to stay as far away from that wall as I possibly could!” She said, “You’re hired!”
“Flirting with sin may lead to a committed relationship!” It’s not about how close you can ‘walk the line’.
I. The Designation of God’s People
A. Their identity.
v. 1-4 This book of redemption and freedom is begun by the Lord naming names. Why is this important? Further, why are the first 9, long chapter of I Chronicles just a list of names? “He begat him and he lived so long, and begat this many, and he died, and they lived this long...” Be honest, how many of you skip those chapters when reading thru the Bible? Why is such a list important?
First of all, it’s a good reminder that you live, and then you die...so make the most of your time. “Do your givin’ while you’re livin’!” More importantly, a list of names is important when YOUR name is on it. That’s what salvation is all about...having your name written in heaven in the Lamb’s Book of Life!
B. Their security.
v. 5 Joseph was their security, because Joseph had gone before them already. He is an OT picture of Jesus Christ, Who has gone on before us and paved the way for us.
I don’t have to pay for my sins, because Jesus has done that already.
I will one day overcome death, because Jesus has done that already.
And I will walk on streets of gold in heaven, for Jesus is there already!
Spiritually speaking, we are secure. But on a human level, Joseph died, according to v. 6, and eventually their security diminished...the basis of their blessing was gone.
Humanly speaking, on a national level, when this Christian nation threw Christ out, we threw out our blessing. When America threw out the basis of its blessing, it threw out the blessing! When we decided to expel Jesus from public education, we threw out our blessing.
In 1961 prayer was banned, the next year, the Bible. By 1980 the Supreme Court was ruling it unlawful to post the 10 commandments on the wall, and you’ve got to hear the wording of their decision:
“If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the School children to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey the Commandments.”
Let me translate. You cannot display the commandment ‘thou shalt not kill’ because somebody might obey it! And so the biggest killings our nation sees each year are in public institutions of learning. When WILL we truly learn?!
When you throw out the basis of the blessing you throw out the blessing with it!
C. Their prosperity