How To Not Die

  • How to Not Die 1 Sam 12
  • Israel has come through some battles- Saul is now King- Samuel is now talking to Israel and telling them how they have done wrong, how their ancestors did wrong, and what they did right. He challenges them to serve God- then God sends a sign in the storm over a wheat harvest to show his power.  God sends rain on the wheat harvest- and finally the people have a fear of God.
  • This story illustrates Israel trying to not die a physical death- they wanted to live.
  • The application for us today is how to not die a spiritual death. How can we live in such a way to assure that we will live this Christian life until his Return
  • 1 john 5: 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
  • 1 Corinthians 10:12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
  • 1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
  • Jeremiah 7:24 Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and the dictates of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.

How do we do that?

  1. Have a fear of God
  • 18 So Samuel called to the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.
  • This process of Israel learning to fear God is an ongoing process. They go through this process of fearing God, not fearing God, coming back and forth
  • We read these stories to embolden us to continue to fear God- to not lose that prick in our spirits-
  • Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.
  • If Israel didn’t have a fear of God- they wouldn’t serve him wholeheartedly. They’d waver.
  • Proverbs 19:23 The fear of the Lord leads to life, And he who has it will abide in satisfaction; He will not be visited with evil.
  • What does it mean to you?
  • You better have a healthy fear of God- You better have some respect, fear and reverence.
  • Luke 1:50 And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation.
  • If you believe in Jesus- that’s great. That’s what we’re supposed to do- but we should live with a healthy understanding of who he is and what he is. What he has done, what he will do and what he could do.
  • The same God who said- Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
  • Is the same God who said Ezekiel 25:17 I will execute great vengeance on them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I lay My vengeance upon them.”
  • Have a healthy fear of Him. Water, Guns, Electricity, these are all great things- but if you don’t respect them- They will destroy you.
  • Love God- Get in his lap- but respect him.
  1. Forget your past sin- just serve God
  • 20 Then Samuel said to the people, “Do not fear. You have done all this wickedness; yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 And do not turn aside; for then you would go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing.
  • Samuel challenges the people to say- you did wrong. You sinned- But you cant live there- you cant live in the past or spend all your time worrying about it
  • If you turn back to your sin- it is “empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing”
  • But you Got to move past your past sins.
  • Psalm 32:5 I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
  • God has been in the forgiveness business for a very long time- Its his heart to forgive1
  • Micah 7:19 He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea.
  • Jeremiah 33:8 I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me.
  • What does it mean to you?
  • You have to live out the forgiveness that Jesus provides. You have to be forgiven, and then never Go back. IF God has forgiven your sin- you should forgive it as well.
  • 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
  • This is true! It couldn’t be more true! If we’re not truly forgiven when Christ forgives, then what we do and believe is worthless. Either Christ forgives it all, or not at all.
  • Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins. HE DOES IT FOR HIS OWN SAKE- NOT EVEN FOR US
  • Its for God’s own benefit that he forgives us- that he sets us free and FORGETS our sins.
  • Got pulled over a few years Ago- in Nevada- long conversation- no ticket- call me back now? NO
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
  • If God has forgiven you- walk in it!
  1. Stop sinning
  • 23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way. 25 But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king.”
  • The promise of forgiveness is always coupled with the challenge to not go back to what you’ve been forgiven from
  • Romans 6:2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
  • The challenge that Samuel gave to Israel was quite simple- if you don’t go back to your sin you’ll be fine- but if you do- it will not end well for you or for Saul
  • You would think that this would be enough of a challenge to protect them both- but it will not be nonetheless- the challenge to Israel is a sermon for us today- God has forgiven you of your sin, given you new life, so you need to stop sinning and not start it up again.
  • Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
  • This is the same challenge to the NT church as it was to the OT Nation of Israel
  • 1 Peter 2:11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,
  • What does it mean to you?
  • You need to do what it takes to stay away from sin and not practice it. You need to make drastic changes to keep yourself from that which will destroy you.
  • Galatians 6:8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
  • If you feed your sin nature it will give birth to death. You relationships, your job, your life. Eternity
  • Titus 2:12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,
  • You must be relentless in the removal of sin in your life- If someone comes along to challenge you and rebuke you and keep you- THANK THEM. WELCOME THEM INTO YOUR LIFE.
  • Hebrews 10:26-27 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.
  1. Serve him with your whole heart
  • 24 Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you. READ V 13-15
  • All God has ever wanted from Israel and us was to walk with him. All day every day.
  • Samuel is admonishing Israel to serve him- not out of fear. Not out of worry. He says- if you think about what he has done, you will fear him and serve him with all your heart.
  • Deuteronomy 13:4 You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.
  • This is a common theme in the scriptures- that we would serve God
  • It is very easy to get sidetracked in our service to God- get caught up in the details of the what and forget about the why- we’re serving God for what he has done- not what he will do
  • What does it mean to you?
  • Man- would you serve God? It’s the craziest thing as a pastor-I feel like I’m always trying to convince people to worship, give, serve, fellowship and disciple. Convince!
  • If you would consider what he has done- you would serve him with your whole heart
  • It would be 24-7 365. No one following up on you. No one convincing you. None.
  • Its like convincing someone to spend time with their own kids. You don’t love them?
  • Matthew 22:37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
  • Deuteronomy 10:12 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
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