1. Possibility of falling away is a real threat to every child of God.
2. To think otherwise is a great danger! – 1 Cor. 10:12
3. Israel is a warning to Christians to remain faithful & true.
I. ISRAEL: OUR EXAMPLE – 1 Cor. 10:1-10.
A. Of Relationship With God – 1 Cor. 10:2; Gal. 3:27.
-Baptized into relationship with God’s prophet / Relationship with God’s Son.
B. As God’s Chosen People – Exo. 19:5-6; Psa. 135:4; 1 Pet. 2:9-10.
C. Israel’s Unbelief – Heb. 3:15-19.
1. Eyes fixed on Egypt instead of God & land of promise – Num. 11:4-6.
2. Fell in the wilderness due to their sinful & disobedient unbelief.
3. Our warning: 1 Cor. 10:6-10.
-Confidence of salvation must rest upon obedient faith, not wishful thinking!
D. Therefore, Take Heed Lest You Fall! – 10:12
-Look carefully & discern the warning that is given to us.
1. Israel thought she stood with God (chosen, saved, protected). Cf. Matt. 3:8-9 – Thinking we stand w/ God not same as actually standing with Him!
2. Israel did not take heed to herself. Mixed & mingled with worldly idolaters while complaining against God’s care & provisions – 1 Cor. 10:6-10; Psa. 106:13-15, 19-22, 24-25.
3. Israel fell. Consumed in wilderness – Psa. 106:26-27; Num. 14:26-35.
-What About Us?!-
II. WE MUST EXAMINE OUR FAITH & TAKE HEED LEST WE FALL.
A. Discern the Signs of a Faltering Faith – Heb. 3:12-13; 2 Cor. 13:5.
1. Use God’s word – Heb. 4:12-13; Jas. 1:25.
2. Apply God’s remedy for every sin we find – Acts 8:20-24; 26:20.
III. SIGNS OF A FALTERING FAITH WHICH IS READY TO FALL – Gal. 6:3.
-We can Deceive Ourselves that our Faith is Stronger than it is By…
A. Equating Men’s Estimation of our Faithfulness with God’s Approval of Us – cf. Lk. 6:26.
1. Reputation of faithfulness is not equivalent to proof of it! – Rev. 3:1
2. Instead of trusting what others say about your faithfulness – trust what God says about it! (2 Cor. 13:5)
3. Take heed: It is God’s evaluation that matters!
B. Minimizing the Corrupting Effect of Evil Companions – 1 Cor. 15:33.
1. Evidently Israel did this – Exo. 23:2; Num. 25:1-2; 31:16.
2. 1 Pet. 4:1-2 (1 Jno. 2:15-16) – Don’t be deceived! (At work, tempted to steal, Tit. 2:10; At school, tempted to cheat, Eph. 4:25; at home, media bombards our senses with sensuality, Col. 3:5).
3. In the world but not of it (sanctified) – 1 Cor. 5:9-10; Jno. 17:15-17.
4. Take heed: If you befriend the world you are God’s enemy! (Jas. 4:4)
C. Becoming Spiritually Complacent, Neglectful, Apathetic – Rev. 3:17.
1. Lukewarm Christian rarely acknowledges their real condition!
2. Take heed: Avoid downward spiral of apathy. Rom. 12:11 (Jas. 4:17)
D. Thinking We Are Above Temptation & Sin – Jas. 1:12-16.
1. By not recognizing the dangers of sin &/or temptation – 1:16.
2. Exactly where Satan wants you to be! – 1 Pet. 5:8
3. Take heed: Pride goes before a fall – Prov. 16:18.
E. Relying on our Past Faithfulness.
1. As long as we are alive we have a battle before us! – 1 Tim. 6:12 (Eph. 6:10-13).
2. Only when near death did Paul say he had “fought” the good fight (2 Tim. 4:7).
a. Just a few years earlier Paul had not yet attained or been perfected – He was pressing onward & upward! – Phil. 3:12-14
b. Imitate his forward-pressing faithfulness (Phil. 3:17).
3. Take heed: We cannot rest on past victories when present battles & opportunities exist! (Gal. 6:10; Jno. 4:35)
F. Equating Believing with Obeying – Lk. 6:46.
1. Faith without obedience: Incomplete, profitless, dead, unseen, demonic & barren (Jas. 2:14-20).
2. Only “faith working through love” has the power to produce a genuine hope of righteousness – Gal. 5:5-6.
3. Take heed: Affirming your faith but not obeying Christ is not real faith!
1. Israel’s fall is our warning: We can also fall!
2. Constantly check your faith in the light of divine truth & walk by faith – 2 Cor. 5:7-9…this will please God!
1. Prov. 23:6-8: The miserly, distrusting person promises much but deceptively conceals his true intentions: the envy and selfishness of egoism seeks to have and retain all for itself.
a. He is what he thinks…not what he appears to be at first.
b. The intentions of the heart can only be concealed for so long.
2. We are what we think; in time the heart is revealed by our words and deeds, 1 Tim. 5:24-25.
3. The heart can deceive and lead us into sinful ways, Jer. 17:9-10.
4. What you are thinking becomes who you are: Are you a child of God or a child of the devil? Jno. 8:42-44; 1 Jno. 3:6-9
I. AS A MAN THINKS: WE DECIDE WHAT KIND OF PERSON WE WILL BE. Prov. 23:6
A. You Are What You Think, Psa. 19:14; Prov. 3:1-5.
1. God created us upright, without sin, Eccl. 7:29; Matt. 18:3-4.
2. We became sinners as we were drawn away by desires (lusts) of the heart, Jas. 1:14-15 (Rom. 7:9-10).
B. What are you:
1. Reading? Col. 3:16; 1 Tim. 4:13, 15
2. Watching? cf. Jno. 4:35 (Matt. 9:36); Matt. 5:28-29
a. Internet pornography is epidemic: Like drinking sewage!
b. Many movies, TV, etc. are predicated on sin and/or advance immoral thinking, conduct and treatment of others — That’s not entertainment!
3. Meditating upon? Phil. 4:8-9
a. It is no mystery that we live what we think.
b. Question is: What kind of person will you decide to be?
II. IN HIS HEART: OUR HEART IS THE FOUNTAINHEAD OF OUR CONSCIOUSNESS, CHARACTER AND CONDUCT.
A. You are Defined by what is Inside You (in your heart).
1. Good man — evil man, Lk. 6:43-45.
2. Defilement comes from within (the heart), Mk. 7:14-16, 20-23.
a. Sin comes from fulfilling the desires of the mind, Eph. 2:3.
b. The vain, darkened, alienated, ignorant, blindness of the heart produces a sinful living, Eph. 4:17-19.
B. Conversion: Change Your Heart, Eph. 4:20-24; Rom. 12:1-2.
1. Renewed in the spirit of your mind, Eph. 4:23.
2. Produces changed living, cf. 2 Cor. 7:10-11.
III. SO IS HE: YOUR LIFE IS DEFINED BY WHAT IS IN YOUR HEART.
1. Think about yourself…become a selfish person, 2 Tim. 3:1-2.
-Think about others…become a caring, giving person, Rom. 12:10-13; Eph. 4:32.
2. Think about money…become a greedy person, 1 Tim. 6:9-10.
-Think about thankfulness to God…become a contented person, 1 Tim. 6:6-8.
3. Think about immoral sex…become a lustful person, Matt. 5:28.
-Think about moral purity…become pure in heart, 1 Cor. 6:18 (Matt. 5:8).
4. Think about deception…become a liar, Col. 3:9-10.
-Think about truthfulness…become an honest person, Eph. 4:25.
5. Think about being praised by men for religious life…become a hypocrite, Matt. 6:5; 23:12.
-Think about the praise of God…become a humble, genuine servant of God, 1 Pet. 2:1-3.
1. What kind of person are you? What does the Lord see when He sees you? Acts 1:24; Heb. 4:13
2. That is your choice – your decision – that you make every day.
3. Will you decide to become a Christian, saved from past sins with the hope of glory? Will you decide, Christian friend, to repent (change your heart) and pray for God’s forgiveness of sin?