“Sold Out and Radical!”
TEXT: Hebrews 11:32-38
INTRODUCTION: Why did we start out reading from Hebrews Chapter 11? Because this is what some call the Bible’s “Hall of Faith.” Men like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Moses, Enoch and Noah. Men and women who dared to step up in the crowd and radically live out their faith in God. They lived on the edge. They made a difference. They were unashamed. They were “Sold Out and Radical” for the Lord. That’s what I want to talk to you about this morning.
PROPOSITION: Jesus didn’t call us to be “undercover Christians” who apologize for our faith; he called us to be “Sold Out and Radical” for the cause of Christ.
INTERROGATIVE SENTENCE: I wonder what would happen to our city, our country, and our world if everyone who called themselves Christians were to get “Sold Out and Radical” about what they believed?
TRANSITIONAL STATEMENT: Let me show you some examples from Scripture of what it means to be “Sold Out and Radical” for the Lord.
I. JOSEPH SAID “NO” TO SEXUAL COMPROMISE. Genesis 39:2-4; 6b-10 (READ).
Joseph found himself in a position of great power as Potiphar’s right-hand man. Many would have looked at him and said, “he had it all.” But he had come into this position through the “school of hard knocks.” He was the cocky, favorite son of an overprotective father, Jacob. He always received special treatment. Nowhere was the evidence of that fact more clear than in the famous “coat of many colors” Joseph wore around as a gift from his dad. Joseph’s brothers became jealous of him. He was a tattletale and a brown noser. Always prancing around in his fancy-smanshy coat. Finally, his brothers could take no more.
Joseph was sent on assignment by his father to check on his brothers who were tending the flocks and they seized the moment to do away with the source of their irritation. They threw him into a pit and began to talk about what they were going to do to get rid of him. Someone suggested they kill him but about that time, in the providence and plan of God, a caravan headed for Egypt happened along. The 10 brothers agreed to fake his death, sold Joseph into slavery, bloodied up his fancy coat, and succeeded in convincing their elderly father that Joseph had been killed by a wild animal. Joseph was removed from everything safe and familiar to him and sent into a foreign country. He was only 17 or 18 years old at the time.
This was the first in a series of “hard knocks” that eventually shaped young Joseph into a man God would greatly use. The road to greatness is often filled with character building detours and potholes. Fortunately, Joseph took with him to Egypt the one thing from home that he needed most: his faith in God. He rode into town an unknown slave. A foreigner with not a penny to his name. But God came to Egypt with him and Joseph was “Sold Out and Radical.” When God exalted him as Potipher’s right-hand man the devil came to check out his commitment level. He now had access to virtually anything in the house – food, money, clothes…even Potipher’s wife.
She noticed this good-looking hunk of a Hebrew and, obviously unhappy with her marriage, she began to seduce Joseph on a daily basis. She was relentless about it. Her intentions were made very clear to him, “Come to bed with me!” Here he is, now a young man in his early 20’s. He’s got the run of the house, a set of hormones in high gear, and a good-looking older woman who wants him in bed with her every day. There are plenty of men who would have called that their “dream job.” Plenty of men who would have cheered him on and said he deserved it after all the trouble he’d gone through. It was a situation that had compromise written all over it!
But Joseph was different. He was full of the Spirit of God and he was, “Sold Out and Radical.” The level of his commitment is seen so clearly in his response to this woman’s repeated sexual offers. I love it! He didn’t say, “Well, what if we get caught?” or “Let me think about it.” or “Do you have a condom so we can have ‘safe sex’?” No! He said, “How could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” It was a radical response. “Are you kidding? I don’t care if we’ve got the whole house to ourselves, God is watching!” “And though she asked day after day, Joseph refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.”
“Way to go, Joseph! Way to be a Christian!” Thanks for showing us that INTEGRITY and PURITY are more important than a fleeting moment of passion. Thanks for the reminder that what we do we do in the sight of God. What about you? What are you going to do when the devil comes to check out your commitment level?