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Monday, July 16, 2007

rahab the harlot (josh 2)

...from the sermon HERE

There is only one way and name under Heaven by which men and women are saved – the name of Jesus Christ. We need to understand the radical exclusivity of the Gospel – Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.

But in the same moment, we also need to understand the radical inclusivity of the Gospel – that God so loved the world that He sent His only son, Jesus, into the world to seek and save the lost. Salvation is only through Jesus, but it’s for everyone!

We’ve got to regain God’s perspective on the Good News – the same blessed-to-be-a-blessing perspective as the ancient covenant with Abraham. If you know God as Savior, if you are here because you belong to Him, then God has saved you that you might go to those who are outside and invite them in.

The Church – including this church – is called together to be sent out. There is no place you are not called to go; there are no people whom God has written off. We are to share the story of what God has done and God will bring to Himself all who hear and believe, as He did with Rahab.

Finally, if there is any situation where we are even more judgmental and exclusionary than towards “outsiders” it is with ourselves. As many people as won’t darken the doors of a church because “they wouldn’t take me” there are more whose real reason is the internal and often unspoken thought, “God wouldn’t take me.”

I’m not good enough. I’ve done too much that’s wrong. I’ve made too many mistakes; too many big mistakes. God could never forgive me. I’m hopeless.

If you hear nothing else, hear this:

Whoever you are and wherever you come from, whatever you’ve done and whatever secret burdens you carry, God knows you inside and out and He still loves you. He loves you, not ignorant or uncaring of what you’ve done (remember, the Bible didn’t conveniently forget that Rahab was a prostitute). Rather, God loves you anyway, in the face of your sin. Rahab heard what God had done. The Gospel is the news of what God has done through Jesus – He has come in love to rescue you from death and bring you home. Listen, come, believe, and follow. Come in from the outside and be part of God’s family. Seeing that played out over and over – that’s God’s story, and He’d love nothing more than for it to be your story. Amen.

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