Summary: TC2FC -- What looks at first glance like a chemical formula, is in reality a simple truth, recorded in simple fashion – “To Claim This Community For Christ”. I believe that the fall of the city of Jericho gives us valuable insight regarding this truth.
To Claim This Community For Christ
INTRODUCTION: As a church we are about to embark in a process tat I believe will radically affect the way we act, operate, and prioritize ourselves as a church. Beginning in September, we will, as a body, seek out the purposes that God established for our existence. Yet, as we prepare, we need to take a moment and deal with one truth. You have seen it displayed in our announcements, and it is illuminated behind me this morning -- TC2FC. What looks at first glance like a chemical formula, is in reality a simple truth, recorded in simple fashion – “To Claim This Community For Christ”. I believe that the fall of the city of Jericho gives us valuable insight regarding this truth.
I TO CLAIM– Joshua 5:13-15
A From the very onset of Joshua’s mission he had a desire to overthrow the city of Jericho
B The formidable sight of the city
1 One of the oldest cities in the world at that time
a Jericho had been there for a long while
b Jericho had withstood many battles before
c Jericho had NO reason to fear now
2 One of the most defendable cities of its time
a Walls 25 feet high
b Walls 20 feet thick
c Soldiers on guard could see for miles
d Was considered INVINCIBLE by the Canaanites
C Joshua’s desire was sure
1 His confrontation with the “man” said he would not be dissuaded
2 His conversation with the man revealed the victory was his
3 As Joshua would move forward, God would give him the victory
§ We need to understand that as we move forward
o Discovering our purpose
o Redefining ourselves based on God’s desire for us
o Moving forward based on God’s purposes for us
§ We move into a world that looks indestructible
o Make no doubt about it – Satan has a tight grip on this world
§ William Bennett writes, “Since 1960, the U.S. population has increased 41%; the gross domestic product has nearly tripled; and total social spending by all levels of government (measured in constant 1990 dollars) has risen from $143.73 billion to $787 billion--more than a fivefold increase. Inflation-adjusted spending on welfare has increased by 630%, spending on education by 225%.
But during the same 30-year period there has been a 560% increase in violent crime, a 419% increase in illegitimate births; a quadrupling in divorce rates; a tripling of the percentage of children living in single-parent homes; more than a 200% increase in the teenage suicide rate; and a drop of almost 80 points in SAT scores.
Clearly many modern-day social pathologies have gotten worse. More important, they seem impervious to government’s attempts to cure them. Although the Great Society and its many social programs have had some good effects, there is a vast body of evidence suggesting that these ``remedies’’ have reached the limits of their success. “
§ Sean Hannity, in a speech to United Families International said this, “And if you don’t think groups like United Families International are important, go back several decades. Sometimes you’ve got to stand back and look at the big picture. It is mind-boggling to me that in the 1940s and 1950s the top problems in American schools were talking in class, chewing gum, and running in the halls. What are the top problems today? Teenage pregnancy, violence, drug abuse, and suicide. Something has shifted, something has altered, something has changed.”
o Biblically, this world is Satan’ realm
§ Ephes. 2:2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.
§ Job 1:6-7 One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. 7The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."
o Yet at the same time God has declared our victory over the world
§ Matthew 16:18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
§ John 14:12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO DO EVERYTHING IN OUR POWER TO PREPARE OURSELVES TO ACHIEVE THE VICTORY GOD HAS ALREADY GIVEN US!
40 DAYS OF PURPOSE PREPARES US TO ACHIEVE THE VICTORY GOD HAS FOR US!
II THIS COMMUNITY – Joshua 6:1-5