Summary: Cardboard testimonies sermon, dealing with the past versus the present in Christ. Full text, audio & Communion message will be placed at: www.sermonlist.com
Many people, including all of us, have done things in our lives that God despised. Oh, by worldly standards we weren’t that bad, but we must remember that to God, there is no distinction between sins.
To God, a little white lie is just as bad a shooting somebody because they are both done with the same heart; a heart filled with selfish desire and a heart that has no room for Jesus.
God knew what kind of people we were and what kind of people we could become, so He gave us something very profound. It is something everybody wants and needs; yet very few really find it. That wonderful gift is called ‘hope.’
And it is in that gift of hope that we find the ability to go from where we are, to where we want to be. Where we shouldn’t be to where we should be. It is in that gift of hope that we find the ability to change.
I am going to start by showing the changes that have happened to some of our church family.
CARD BOARD TESTIMONIES
To see what these are, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvDDc5RB6FQ
(After everyone had shown their cardboard testimonies and sat down, I continued with the sermon ….)
Every Christian has their own personal testimony of change. What would yours be?
Today, I would like to talk to you about change. Not just any change, but the kind of change that is impossible to have … under our own power. I want to talk to you about a change in life brought about by something called faith. And I want to do it by talking about a lady who was the darkest of the dark, a lady no other person would ever want as a friend or public acquaintance. I want to talk about a lady who was a prostitute. Her name was Rahab.
Turn your Bibles to the second chapter of JOSHUA, and hold them there for a moment while I explain to you who Rahab was.
Rahab was, and still is, an example of God at work. Her salvation was not based on her character, for she had no real character. It was not based upon where she lived, as she lived in a city that was pagan and which engaged in rebellious activities. Her salvation was based upon her faith. And because she had true faith, God spared her the judgment she so much deserved.
Nature forms us, sin deforms us, the world conforms us, education informs us, but only faith has the power to transform us. Rahab is an example of that. She was living in spiritual darkness. She sold her body for money. She was living in depravity. She was on the fast track to hell where she would receive the punishment of eternity.
And then she was transformed. She was so transformed; she ended up marrying a prince of Israel. And this will show you what God’s grace will do for us. She became part of the bloodline of Jesus, because she was the great-great grandmother of King David.
She truly went from being a child of Satan to being a child of God. From shady lady to shining star; from disgrace to dignity through grace. She went from the house of shame to the hall of fame; from being a call girl to being a converted girl. She was truly the poster child for the ‘I WAS BUT NOW I AM’ testimonies.
God’s people had just wandered the wilderness for the last 40-years and now He commands them to take the land of Canaan for themselves. But between them and the Promised Land stands the mighty city of Jericho.
Joshua, who became the leader of the Israelites when Moses died, selects two men who go into the city. They meet Rahab and through their witness as God’s representatives, she is transformed by His grace.
In JOSHUA 2:1-11, we out what Rahab did for the men of God.
Joshua sent two men into the land so they could see what they might be up against when they went into the land. They were told to especially look around in the city of Jericho. So they did as they were told, and when they got to Jericho, they entered into the house of Rahab, a local prostitute.
Some people saw this and reported to the king of Jericho that there were two spies from the Israelite camp there to spy on the city. The king sent Rahab a message telling her they were spies and for her to send them out. When she got the message, she hid the spies on her roof, under a pile of flax.
She told the king’s messengers that they had indeed been there, but she had no idea where they came from, and at dusk they left through the city gates. She claimed she had no idea which way they went and encouraged the messengers to hurry and go out and try to find them.