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Sermons and Outlines


Claiming Your Canaan Series #2

Joshua 2:1-24 SHE'S NOT THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE

Intro: Ill. There once was a rather rough, uncultured man who for some reason fell in love with a beautiful vase in a shop window. Eventually he bought the vase and put it on the mantelpiece in his room. There it became a kind of judgment on its surroundings. He had to clean up the room to make it worthy of the vase. The curtains looked dingy beside it. The old chair with the stuffing coming out of the seat would not do. The wallpaper and the paint needed redoing. Gradually the whole room was transformed. When you put Christ on the mantel of your heart, your whole life is transformed.

It is this kind of transformation we witness here in the second chapter of the book of Joshua. As the Israelites were about to enter Canaan and claim their promised land, the first city they would have to face was the great walled city of Jericho. If they could take this city, they could easily split the country in two and then move from there to conquer the north and the south. Before they go about the business of defeating Jericho, Joshua sends spies to the city to gage the mood of the people and to see whether or not they were ready for war. When these spies entered Jericho, they went to the home of a harlot. Why? Well, the sight of men entering a harlot's home would not attract too much attention. Now would it? What they found when they entered the home of Rahab must have come as quiet a shock to these two men. They found a woman who had been changed by the power of God. They met Rahab, but found out that she wasn't the girl she used to be!

For us, Rahab is a picture of the power of the Lord Jesus to transform any life that comes to Him by faith. What we will see today is how the Lord takes sinners who will place their faith in Him and changes them by His power and grace. As I preach this message this morning, if you are saved, then rejoice in the great change Jesus has made in your life. If you are not a child of God, then allow the Lord to speak to your heart this morning and be saved today.

Let's take a look at these verses this morning as we think about the thought, She's Not The Girl She Used To Be!

I. V. 1 RAHAB THE CALL GIRL

A. Her Spiritual Condition - Rahab was a harlot. She was engaged in a wicked lifestyle whereby she sold her body to men for money. Her's was a depraved and wicked life.

(Ill. She is a picture of every person who is lost in sin this morning. You see, you may not be a harlot, but if you have never trusted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, then you are lost in sin and need to be born again! It is sad but true, all are sinners - Rom. 3:23; Gal. 3:22. If you are outside Christ today, your's is a helpless and hopeless situation - Eph. 2:1-3; Eph. 2:12.)

B. Her Spiritual Condemnation - She lived in a city that was slated for destruction! God had already determined that Jericho would fall! I ma sure the people felt pretty confident and reasonably safe behind the walls of their city, but God had already passed sentence upon them and they were doomed to destruction! The people of Jericho may not have felt that they were in great danger, but they were doomed nonetheless!

(Ill. So it is with the sinner this morning! The lost person may feel secure today and may not believe that he is in any danger. However, the Bible tells us that the lost are condemned already, John 3:18. It tells us that they abide under the wrath of God, John 3:36. It tells us that their ultimate destiny is eternity in Hell to be forever separated from the presence of God, Psa. 9:17; 2 Thes. 1:8-9. My friend, if you are lost, that is your future we are talking about!)

C. God's Spiritual Compassion - Notice verse 10. Rahab tells the spies that they heard of what happened in Egypt and of the kings thy have defeated along the way. Well, it had been 40 years since they left Egypt. God had spared the city for that amount of time, and still they had several more days before judgment came to them. Rahab had experienced the grace and patience of God in giving her time to come to faith in Him.

(Ill. Friend, how many years has the Lord given you? How many times has He knocked on your heart's door? How many times has He called you to faith? You that are saved, how many times did the Lord call before you responded in faith? What a gracious God we serve! However, the lost should be very careful about presuming upon the grace of God. The Bible makes it crystal clear that there is a limit to patience in calling the lost to come to Him for salvation - Gen. 6:3; John 6:44; Isa. 55:6; Pro. 27:1; Pro. 29:1. It is a dangerous thing to delay coming to the Lord! If you have been holding off and waiting for something, wait no more! Come to Jesus while He is calling you!)

I. Rahab The Call Girl

II. V. 2-11 RAHAB THE CONVERTED GIRL

A. V. 10-11 She Heard The Word - Rahab heard about the God of Israel. It was a message of judgment that she heard, but it introduced her to the true and living God. The message that came was to her a message of life!

(Ill. My friends, there is still a message of life that is bring proclaimed around the world. This is the only message that can take the vilest sinner and make him a new creation. That message is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This message tells us about a God who loved us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins on a cross. This Son suffered in terrible agony and shed His blood that our sin debt might be paid. Then, 3 days later, this same man who died for us on that cross arose from the dead to bring eternal life to everyone who will call on His Name, 1 Cor. 15:3-4. It is this message that you need to hear today. It is the only message that will bring eternal life to a person dead in sin!)

B. V. 9-11 She Heeded The Word - Not only did Rahab hear the message, but she heeded it as well. This message produced a response of faith in the heart of Rahab. The fact that she believed the message is proven by what she says about God. In verse 9, she calls Him "the LORD", using His covenant Name Jehovah. In verse 11, she expresses her faith in Him as THE God of Heaven and of earth. I verse 12, she again expresses her faith in Him as she calls God to witness the pact she is about to make with the spies. Even Heb. 11, the great Hall of the Faithful, in verse 31 tells us of the faith of Rahab. She heard the message and she acted on it in belief.

(Ill. My friends, this is exactly what must happen in the life of the lost person to bring them to Jesus. They must hear the message and then they must act on that message by accepting Jesus as their Savior by faith. The Bible tells us in Romans 10:17 that "faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." As the message of salvation is heard and believed in the heart, salvation becomes a reality in the life of the believer. Please let me remind you this morning that salvation can not be yours as long as your faith is in anything else but Jesus. If you are rusting the sinner's prayer to save you, you are lost. If you are trusting church membership, baptism or anything else in this world, other than just Jesus and Him alone, then you are lost and need to be born again. I challenge you to look into your heart right now, and determine just what it is that you are trusting to take you to Heaven. What is it? If it is Jesus then rejoice for you are His. If it is anything else, then repent, for you are headed to Hell!)

I. Rahab The Call Girl

II. Rahab The Converted Girl

III. V. 12-22 RAHAB THE COMPLETED GIRL

(Ill. After Rahab came to faith in the true and living God, her life was forever changed! What God did with her is a miracle of His love and grace. By the way, He has no respect of persons, therefore, what He did for Rahab, He can do for you. He used her in a mighty fashion. He can use you as well!)

A. V. 12-22 The Proof Of Her Completion

1. V. 1-7 She Labored For The Lord - One of the surest proofs that Rahab was genuinely converted is the fact that she involved herself with the work of the Lord. She hid the spies and covered up for them. We cannot condone her lie, but must see it as a case of "the lesser evil for the greater good." It may even be that Rahab had stopped being a harlot. Verse 6 tells us that she hid the spies under some flax that was upon the roof. Flax was used in the production of linen. It is evident that she had trusted the Lord before the spies arrived. It may be that her life had been radically changed by the power of God before they arrived as well. Even James uses her as an example of the believer who proves their salvation by the works of their life, James 2:25.

(My friends, we can like it or not, but the truth of our profession is proven by the work of our life, James 2:18! You see, we can say anything we like, but what we really are is proven by what we do! A life that belongs to the Lord Jesus will be a life that wants to be involved in the things of God! The fruit of your life proves the root of your life - Matt. 7:20! After all, when Jesus saves our souls, He tells us that we have been created unto good works, Eph. 2:10. Works don't save, but they can sure point out those who are!)

2. V. 12-13 She Loved The Lost - Notice that Rahab is concerned about others in her family who are in danger as well. She now knows that God will take care of her. She wants the same assurance for her family. Her heart is moved to reach out for help for them. Imagine what risk she placed herself at in telling her family of her plan.

(Ill. In this aspect of her life, Rahab is a picture of the person who comes to faith in Christ. One of the first things that happens when a person gets saved is that they want to bring others to the Savior. Notice John 1:35-42; Mark 5:18-20. One of the surest signs of salvation is a desire to tell others about the Savior. Rahab proved she was saved. Can the same be said for us?)

B. The Payoff Of Her Completion - Because she placed her faith in the Lord God of Israel, she obtained some precious possessions. Notice how God took this former harlot and blessed her new life with the richest of His blessings

1. Josh. 6:20-25 She Found A New Freedom - Because of her faith she was spared from the destruction that overtook her city. By the way, all those in her house were spared as well! When the walls of Jericho fell down flat, there was apparently one section that remained standing. It was the section that held the house of Rahab. It was a place that was marked by a scarlet rope that hung from her window, v. 18.

(Ill. What a picture is given here. When a new believer places his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, he is immediately delivered from the penalty of his sins, which is Hell, Rom. 5:9! He finds a new freedom in Jesus that allows him to live while others all around him perish. And, just as Rahab's home was marked by a scarlet rope, v. 18 so our life is recognized by God because of the blood of Jesus that has been applied to our souls by faith. That rope told Israel that Rahab believed God and was to live. The blood of Jesus tells the Father that we have trusted His Son and that we, too, are to be spared! Folks, it is the blood that makes the difference! I Pet. 1:18-19; Rev. 1:5.)

(Ill. It was the blood of a lamb that spared the firstborn in Egypt when the death angel passed through the land. It is the blood of Jesus that makes the difference between Heaven and Hell for each of us this morning!)

2. Josh. 6:25; Matt. 1:5; Ruth 4:21 She Found A New Family - When all these verses are taken together, we have the rest of the story concerning Rahab. She married into the people of Israel and became part of all the covenant blessings of the Lord. She went from being part of judged nation to being part of a holy nation!

(Ill. So it is for the lost person who trusts Jesus for salvation. Instantly, they are transformed from sinner to saint. They are no longer under the curse of God, but they become the children of God. As a result, they become the partakers of everything the Lord has for His children down here, 1 Cor. 2:9, and they become part of what He has for His children up there, John 14:1-3. The point is, while the rest of Rahab's neighbors died in the war, Rahab live and went to a wedding! Guess what child of God, one of these days, you and I, people who deserve nothing but judgment and death are going to be the honored guests at a wedding in the sky, Rev. 19:7-9. When we got saved, we became part of a new family - 1 John 3:2.)

3. Matt. 1:5 She Found A New Fame - Rahab was taken from the house of shame and wound up in the hall of fame. This woman became and ancestor of the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, she was David's great-great grandmother and she was the mother-in-law of Ruth. God took her from the very gutter and made her eternally famous. He gave this trusting sinner a place in His eternal, divine plan.

(Ill. What the Lord did for Rahab, He can and will do for you! You might think that God wouldn't have you because you have been so wicked. The truth of the matter is that the Lord loves you just as you are and that He will take you, save you and make your life one of blessing and honor for His glory. You see, God specializes in taking old, lost sinners, saving them by His grace and then using them to touch the world by His power, 1 Cor. 1:26-29. Here is the bottom line. God can take your life today, change it by His power and use you for His glory. He won't make you an ancestor of Christ like He did Rahab, but you can be assured that you will become the ancestor of new believers as you allow the Lord to use your life. You may not become famous down here, but they will know who you are in Heaven! Imagine arriving in Heaven and being greeted by some you led to Jesus!)

Conc: Well, it's plain to see that Rahab isn't the girl she used to be! What about you my friend? Are you really saved today? If you were to die right now and stand before the Lord and He looked down at you and you looked up at Him and He said, "Why should I let you into my Heaven?" What would you say? Could you say, "Father, I should be allowed into Heaven because as a sinner, I placed my faith in Jesus Christ, and in His shed blood and His resurrection from the dead. I have nothing else to claim but faith in Christ."

My friend. If your answer would have to be anything else, then you need to come this morning and trust Jesus as your Savior. You need to be saved, and let me assure you that there is grace in Christ this morning to save your soul!

Christian friends, many of you have been less than God saved you to be. Do you need to come and make some things right with God today? This altar is open for those who need it.

God took an old harlot by the name of Rahab and saved her by grace and used her for His glory. He wants to do the same for you. Will you come and do what He is asking you to do today?

 


 
 
 
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