Summary: A sermon on the need to press on in our Christian lives and not settle down and become inactive in the Lord’s service
THE SIN OF SETTLING DOWN
TEXT - 2 Kings 2:1-14
INTRO. - We are living in difficult times. There are
many temptations we all have to face. One of these
temptations is for God’s people to go to sleep
spiritually. It is the temptation to settle down
spiritually and never go on to take and possess the will
of God for our lives. I have known hundreds over the
years who could have done great things for God but they
never did and they never will because they settled down.
They were satisfied where they were. Never become
In our text Elijah is about to be taken home to
heaven -vs.1 He is accompanied by his servant and
future successor Elisha. Elijah tests Elisha as to his
determination to follow him and his dedication. Elijah
tries to get Elisha "to tarry", to stay behind and quit
following him. Elijah is testing Elisha but in life
Satan is tempting us "to tarry" in doing the will of
God. Notice the message in our text to us as we see the
ways Satan tempts us to tarry.
I. TARRY AT GILGAL - vs. 1-2
Gilgal was the place of beginning. It was where they
began. It was the first city Israel took after crossing
the Jordan. The first passover was held there. A new
generation was circumcised there as Moses had ordained.
The manna ceased there and they are the food of the land
after 40 years of manna. Many Christians today are
tempted to settle down at the place of beginning. Many
Christians have never got beyond where they began in
their Christian life.
ILL.- It is like the small child who fell out of bed and
when asked why she fell by her mother answered," I
don’t know mama, I think I went to sleep too close
to where I got in".
Many Christians go to sleep to close to where they got
into the Christian life and never get any further.
Paul dealt with this problem in Heb. 5:12. Paul is
saying that when they ought to have been bearing
burdens, they themselves have become a burden. When they
ought to have been examples, leaders, teachers, workers,
and helpers, they needed examples, teaching, and help
II. TARRY AT BETHEL - vs.2c and 4a
Elijah tested Elisha to stay at Bethel. Bethel was a
place of dreams. Jacob in Gen 28 dreamed dreams at
Bethel. He dreamed of a ladder that reached to heaven.
Dreams are great - especially if they are God centered.
Now Elisha is tempted to stop at dreamland and join the
host of dreamers. Dreams are good if we dream and then
do. Most dreamers dream about what ought to be done and
then dream of doing something about it someday. It is
alright to dream but dreaming is not enough.
1. People know they ought to attend all the
services of the church faithfully and they plan
2. Some dream of tithing someday.
3. Some dream of working for God someday.
4. Many dream of a bigger congregation and they
talk about a bigger and better church but they
are not willing to get up and get out and make
those dreams come true.
Dreams + work = reality.
III. TARRY AT JERICHO - vs.4c and 6a
Jericho was the place of past victories. It was the
place of the first real victory when the Israelites came
into the Promised Land. They marched seven days and the
walls fell. Now Elisha was tempted to tarry and sit
down on the laurels of what had happened in the past.
Many of God’s people are quite content and happy to
settle down at Jericho, the place of past blessings and
talk about the good old days.
1. They talk about the old preacher they once had.
2. They talk about the revivals of yesteryear.
3. They talk about the souls who once were saved.
4. They talk about the old church, its services,
and a dedication now lost.
Don’t forget the victories and blessings of the past but
don’t live on them either. Learn from them. Praise God
for them. Grow by them. But don’t live on them. Get new
victories and blessings for today. God is the same today
as yesterday. Jericho means "the city of palms" and it
was noted for its many springs. It was the Palm Springs
of its day. That is where people retire to the past.
Remember Moses was 80 yrs. old when he started. It’s not
what or where you were yesterday but what you are today.
It’s where you are today. Live for today with God.
IV. TARRY ON THE OTHER SIDE OF JORDAN - vs. 6a and 9a
The other side of Jordan was the place of the past life.