Summary: The children of Israel tasted of the fruit of the promised land...and still not entered in. There are Christians that will taste, but...

Tasting the Fruit: Yet Losing the Land

September 29, 2002

Intro: Where are you headed? Are you going to get there? How?

Deut 1:25-26

25 "They also took some of the fruit of the land in their hands and brought it down to us; and they brought back word to us, saying, ’It is a good land which the LORD our God is giving us.’

26 "Nevertheless you would not go up, but rebelled against the command of the LORD your God;

1. Tasting The Fruit

A. Moses’ Recollection

a. Moses’ is addressing the people as to the time they came out of Egypt…how they were at the very gate of the promised land

b. He reminds them of the spies…how they had brought the fruit of the land… grapes that had to be carried by two men

c. These people tasted of the fruit…they knew that it was rich…they knew it was from God

d. But along with the story, he reminds them about the bad report 10 of the spies bring back…afraid to go in and conquer

i. He tells them how they rebelled against God…how they were at the very doorway of the promised land…and ended up 40 years in the desert

ii. Simply because they refused to trust God and GO FORWARD

B. Not Enough To Know

a. Listen Christian, it is not enough to know about the joy and the blessing of being a Christian

b. It is not enough to even taste of the first ripe grapes of righteousness

c. We must enter the promised land through faith in Jesus Christ, through God’s strength to help us overcome the giants of sin and posses the land and claim our inheritance

d. The Israelites were at the very door of the land, and yet they went away to forty years of sorrow and sin …which led to the death of all who rebelled

Ill: Of the coast of England, during the gold rush years of California, there was a ship headed to England from California. The ship was filled with bags of gold. But it had hit a storm and it became shipwrecked…sinking to the bottom. The owners took out divers and sent them down to search for the wreckage. For a long time they could not find this ship of gold…but finally after weeks of toiling in the ocean, a diver came up and yelled out, “I have touched the gold! I have touched the gold!”

i. How many know this mission would have been a failure if it would have stopped there. Good, he touched it

ii. The mission wasn’t just to touch the gold, but the mission was to recover the gold

iii. I would dare say this morning that some here have, “touched the gold!”

iv. But you stopped there…you have come very near the Kingdom of God, but as you were laying hold of it…you stopped

v. You laid your hands on the gold of a Christian life, but you haven’t laid claim to none of it…you are still spiritually bankrupt

vi. You’ve had opportunities, open doors, calling, destiny…but you’ve gone no further

Ill: Dr. W.L. Watkinson was speaking on the subject of the importance of our steps. You often hear people speaking about “taking the first step.” To them, the first step is the most important. But Dr. Watkinson says that this is a mistake…that the most important step that a man ever takes is the last step.

C. Taking the Last Step

a. How much more true that is in the race of a Christian…that you may come a long way in the Christian life, but if you do not take the last step it is all a failure

Ill: Amiel said: “That which is not finished is nothing.”

b. You can make a ladder, but if it’s not tall enough it is nothing, “That which is not finished is nothing.”

c. Listen to me Christian, This is true in your salvation, in your calling, in your destiny, in your family, in your marriage

d. If you come near to the Kingdom of Heaven and do not enter it, it is just as bad as if you never saw it

i. As the Israelites wandered back into the wilderness for 40 years and died in that desert, them having tasted those grapes did them no good

ii. And so it will be with some who stand at the very door of heaven, and yet if you do not get in it is all in vain

iii. It is not enough to be ‘almost a Christian”…what in the heck is almost

Ill: I was reading about these diamond fields in South Africa…reading about how they often find a substance that is part charcoal and part diamond. It was intended originally to be a diamond, but it stopped on the way, and being partly jewel and partly charcoal, it was no good and so it was thrown out into the trash…it was no good.

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